« PreviousContinue »
Only God's grace can keep us from falling.
God bears long with sinners. • Texts in which the THREE Persons of the blessed Trinity are spoken of together.
Emblematic actions used by the prophets.
Teachers who do not know it will find “The Mine Explored” a very useful little book, though it is not all that we want.
DEAR SIR,-In your correspondence last month I observed some * remarks on the ignorance of Sunday-school children as to the real intention of the “Missionary Box” into which they put their money. I believe the statement of the writer to be quite correct, and think that perhaps the simple explanation which I enclose might be usefully read, occasionally, in our schools. • Would it not be well only to allow the missionary box to be * brought out at stated times—monthly or quarterly—this has a tendency to keep up the interest, and so give to the character of a privilege, rather than an every-day tax upon their purses.
As it is very desirable that the poorest child should partake of it, when reward tickets are given, and have a certain value, we have allowed the children to put them into the box, by which means the evil of teazing their poor parents for halfpence has been prevented, and no child who is diligent at school is unable to contribute. They can all give what they have first earned, ii , i
“Christian ministers and Sunday-school Teachers feel that the amount raised for missionary purposes is a very small proportion of the good which they derive from any collections. They feel, with St. Paul, when he said, “Not because I desire a gift : but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.” (Phil. iv. 17.) Trusting that these few hints may, by the divine blessing, further the object of your useful little publication,
I remain yours truly, Bristol, Nov. 14th, 1845. “ Perhaps some of you do not know what the Missionary Society is for, so I will explain it to you.
“ There are a great many countries a long way from England, where the people have never heard of God. They have no Bible, and no clergyman to teach them; they have no schools, and never learn to read. Instead of praying to God, they pray to frightful images, made of wood or stone, and call them gods, though they cannot help them, or hear what they say. These people are called heathens. You have been told what is the only way to go to heaven. You know that Jesus died upon the cross for us, so that if we believe in him, our sins may be pardoned, and we may go to heaven for his sake. But the poor heathens do not know any thing about either heaven ur Jesus Christ. They do not know how to be good, and so they are wicked and miserable.
“But there are some very good clergymen who have gone into some of these far countries to teach them what the Bible says, and to tell them of Jesus Christ; and these clergymen are called Missionaries. Now it is surely our duty to do all we can to help them, since God has been so kind to us as to place us in a land where we are taught to know and love him. Every body who is able, and has any money to spare, should help the missionaries by giving some, for you know that they cannot go into countries a long way off if they have no money. Each of you ought to give what you can, if it is but a penny or a halfpenny. But there is another way in which you may all help, even if you have no money. You may all pray. You should pray to God both for the missionaries and the poor people they go to teach. You should pray that the missionaries may be kept safe in all the dangers they have to go into, and have the help of God in all they have to do; and that the heathens may be turned from their idols, to know, and love, and serve him."
FOSTER, PRINTER, KIRKBY LONSDALE.
ON THE CULTIVATION OF A PROPER SPIRIT
AMONG SUNDAY-SCHOOL TEACHERS. POLICY as well as duty recommends the divine injunction, “ Overcome evil with good.” The purest philosophy is here blended with the distinguishing virtue of Christianity. The principle of love, is the purest and the sweetest which can actuate the human heart. Where this prevails, a halo of peace is thrown over the community in which it dwells, and men with men enjoy a reciprocity of feeling, and a mutual regard for each other's interests; the jarring of conflicting passions never disturbs such happy friendship; “each esteems other better than himself;” and confidence and fidelity are mutually experienced. Such is the love of Christianity: a love so strong and so lasting, that the most untiring persecution cannot wear it out; which forgives the greatest injuries, and benefits the greatest enemies. A love so broad, that heaven and earth are not too wide for its exercise; which, whilst it holds with deathless vigour to its great Creator, extends itself to all the inhabitants of the world. Love in reality, without dissimulation. “Love that suffereth long and is kind; envieth not; vaunteth not itself; doth not behave itself unseemly ; is not easily provoked ; thinketh no evil; beareth all things:" the very bond of peace, and of all virtues. How few, indeed, possess such a' love! yet such is no more than is required of us.
Amongst the different classes of individuals who compose the Christian church, we might suppose that none possessed this blessed principle more than Sundayschool Teachers. The nature of their office-and their voluntarily taking such an office would naturally bring us to such a conclusion.
While the political and commercial worlds are torn and rent by strife, and envy, and mistrust, we should hope to find in them a little community, carrying on a labour of love, bound by the same motives, armed by the same zeal, and united in the closest bonds of friend ship and unalloyed regard; a happy family, in which all that is lovely, all that is pure, all that is of good report, are cherished and nourished to the utmost extent. But, alas! it is not always so: we find, to our sorrow, that even amongst them, there sometimes exists a seeming indifference to each other's interests, an apathetic coldness, a disregard to the more sensitive amongst them, till it bursts into open disunion.
When Satan cannot tempt Christians to serve him by the commission of gross sins, he sometimes throws in brands of contention, and stirs up the hearts of some to strife and perverseness, in the most unimportant matters, to weaken and retard their efforts. How often, when all is going on smoothly, and when the little band humbly lift up their heads, as lights in the midst of the surrounding darkness, pursuing the work of the Lord with diligence and prosperity-how often does Satan throw up some root of bitterness, and spread, by this cause, disunion and opposition among them!
In all quarrels, there is generally fault on one side, sometimes on both; and too often pride and ill will are the supporters or the causes. In worldly men, this is almost always the case; while, in professors of religion, bigotry, shortsightedness, intolerance, and sometimes indeed the former, are the distinguishing blemishes. But where true Christianity reigns in the heart, neither one nor the other appear.
In the exercise of true Christian charity, it is of importance to observe, that some minds are so constituted or shaped, by early education, that they cannot concur in many of the opinions of others : their conscience. more tender, shrinks with alarm from what others, with equal sincerity, may practise without compunction; that is, in matters of mere form, where no principle is involved; and for the sake of peace, it becomes absolutely necessary to bear with the tenderness of such consciences, and strictly avoid any thing which may unnecessarily give them offence. It is not only necessary, but it is the bounden duty of the strong “to bear the infirmities of the weak.” Where this is not the case, but practices, unimportant in themselves, are continued to the injury and annoyance of those who conscientiously object to them, disunion will surely prevail ; and where it does prevail, under such circumstances, on which side lies the fault? May God Almighty enable every proud heart to learn in time!
«It is impossible," said the blessed Saviour,“ but that offences will come; but woe be to him through whom the offence cometh.” And oh! how little does the obstinate supporter of such measures reflect on the injury he may be doing, both to himself and others ! When the destruction of the Grecian empire was threatened by the immense army of Xerxes, the few determined and patriotic men who fought its battles resolved to deliver it, or perish in the attempt. They were comparatively a mere handful, compared to the almost innumerable army of the Persian Monarch. Themistocles and Aristides-who, like most worldly great men, were opposed to each other, either from difference of opinion, or probably from jealousy of each other's attainments were the two principal commanders. Being at variance with each other, and each commanding at different stations, they were ignorant of each other's schemes. Aristides, therefore, mistaking an artifice of Themistocles to mislead the enemy, and supposing him to be in danger, “ventured in a small boat by night, (says the historian,) through the whole fleet of the enemy. Upon landing, he made up to the tent of Themistocles, and addressed him in the following manner: If we are wise, Themistocles, we shall henceforth lay aside all those frivolous and puerile dissensions, which have hitherto divided us. One strife, and a noble one it is, now remains for us, which of us shall be most serviceable to our country. It is yours to command, as a general, it is mine to obey, as a subject; and happy shall I be, if my advice can any way contribute to your and my country's glory. He then informed him of the fleet's