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66 Let us
came a story about dear little Esther eldest daughter, the children's goverBrown and her wonderful answer- ness, the village schoolmistress, and ing; and so it went on till at last a farmer's daughter in the neigh. the meeting broke up. I thought bourhood ; they pray together, and I never spent a more unprofitable then take the portion of Scripture to hour in my life. Not a word that be taught, and talk over_it; and could in any way help one in the when I was staying there I thought knowledge of how to explain Serip- it
very interesting and useful.” ture or to teach."
Well, then," said Mrs. Villers, There was
a general smile at "as we are all at leisure just now, Elinor's description.
and not likely to be interrupted-for should hope,” said Lina, I see it is beginning to rain hard“there are not many meetings so suppose we have a little teachers' ill conducted as that."
meeting' here among ourselves, to “I am afraid,” said Mrs. Villers, talk over the best way of making “it is not a solitary instance. I re- Sunday-schools useful. Most of us member, in my early Sunday-school are engaged in some such work, or experiences, attending a meeting car- have been at some period.” ried on very much in the same way." “I am sure it would be the great
“I can't see much good in teach- est help to me,” said Lina. ers' meetings,” said Sophia; “ I think “And to us all," added Elinor. they are mere waste of time."
6 But how should we begin ? " "That depends," said Mrs. Villers.
see how schools are “ There are many ways of manag- usually conducted,” said Agnes, and ing a meeting. I once worked for then consider which of the ordinary several months at a place where they modes pursued answers best.” were made very useful. We all met “That will be very useful,” said weekly, and were superintended by Mrs. Villers ; “ will you begin ? " the clergyman. He gave out the "A little while ago,” said Agnes, verse or subject to be taught, and “ I was at a country place where I questioned us all round, first on the was asked to take a class in the context, then on the meaning of the place of a lady who was ill. There passage discussed, then on the best were eight or nine girls, apparently manner of conveying that meaning from nine to twelve years old. to our pupil. We were encouraged After the clergyman had commenced to ask questions; we generally made with a hymn and prayer, and the notes ; and I found it a most useful classes were all arranged, I was told exercise, and very stimulating and that each of my girls must repeat helpful to oneself.”
Each had five verses " And I have a friend,” said from St. John's gospel to repeat. All Agnes Graham, “who does nearly this took up some time, though I the same, under greater difficulties. . must say the verses were said very She is a clergyman's wife in a very quietly. Then there were hymns to retired country neighbourhood, with repeat; every girl repeated a hymn of a scattered parish and scarcely any about four stanzas. I wished after gentry; and her husband has so much this to question them, and see if to do that he has to leave the Sun- they understood what they had said; day-school entirely to her. But she but there was no time to do so, as little teachers' meeting'
I was informed that in the school every Saturday, consisting of her course a certain portion of Scripture
SUNDAY-SCHOOL TEACHING: A CONVERSATION.
must be gone through, according to “ Yes," said Mrs. Villers, “in the arrangement. The chapter for scriptural teaching with children that day was a very long one in and the uneducated, we have two Acts ; by the time it was read main points to aim at: one to through our time was so nearly up give them a general knowledge of that I could only ask a few general Scripture history and the chief facts questions. The children were very in the Bible; the other to give attentive and well behaved ; but doctrinal and practical lessons on they looked wearied, and I could particular parts." not help feeling that they had gained “And can we do both these at very little from the lesson.”
once ?” asked Lina. si I fear this is a common way of
may be cases," replied managing Sunday-schools," said Mrs.Villers, “in which we are obliged, Mrs. Villers ; "and it certainly to some extent; but in such cases accounts for the ignorance we some- our work cannot be done so perfectly times see in those who apparently as it would were we able to divide it. have been carefully taught for Where there is week-day teaching, I years."
should say it would certainly be the “I once taught in a school,” said best plan to let the regular course of Lina, “where we had the epistle | Scripture history be gone through in and gospel to go through, besides a the week, and to devote the hour on long chapter, and it was quite a Sunday chiefly to the learning of scramble to go through it all before lessons to be gathered from some the closing time came.”
separate portion or text.” "But,” said Agnes, “I think I " But where this is impossible ?” see the difficulty, The managers of inquired Lina. these schools have often children to 5. Then I think,” replied Mrs. teach who have little opportunity Villers, “I would try to go through of learning anything of the Bible some book of Scripture, beginning in the week; perhaps they are with the gospels. The elder children kept at field work, or helping their and those who can read well I would mothers, so that they cannot go to set, if it could possibly be so arrangschool ; and teachers are natu- ed, to read the chapter and prepare rally anxious to get all the scriptural it first, and then let the Sunday lesson knowledge they can into the Sunday.” be employed in questioning upon it. " It is natural, but not wise,” said
As for the little ones and those unMrs. Villers. If a child could able to read fluently, it would be best have but one good meal in the week, to content oneself with a small porthat would not enable him to eat tion at a time, and endeavour to two or three meals in one. You teach that thoroughly." augh ; but I believe this well-meant But,” asked Sophia,“would that endeavour to cram a quantity of fill up the time sufficiently ? Someeaching into an hour or two is times I have found it difficult to ikely to injure the mental diges- make the lesson last out the time.” ion as much as such a meal would I think, my dear, that when you he bodily.”
have more experience as a teacher “The only way,” said Agnes, “ is, you will not find this. It is the suppose, to consider what objects want of a habit of intelligent quese must try to keep in view, and tioning which makes it so difficult ot attempt too much at a time.” for young teachers to fill up the
time. A good questioner will find they will learn to find them for enough matter in half a dozen verses themselves. It is very important to from one of the gospels to occupy teach them to compare Scripture with an hour: one less skilful will find a Scripture, and to remember the parts chapter insufficient.”
of the Bible which mutually throw “And how would you question light on each other : for instance, upon a verse or a series of verses ? " there is constant reference in the inquired Lina.
Epistle to the Hebrews to Exodus “ I once took down notes of a very and Leviticus; John iii. 3 should be interesting lecture on the subject, taken with Ezekiel xxxvi. and simifrom an experienced Sunday-school lar
Psalm li. is elucidated superintendent,” said Mrs. Villers : by a reference to Isaiah i. 18 and “I have them here, and will read 1 John i. 7,8; and so on. them :
“But where the Sunday is the “There are four points it is im- only day for giving general scriptural portant to keep in view in teaching knowledge, the teaching of course à verse : first, to make clear the cannot be so minute ; still, by the meaning of each separate word ; plan already suggested of letting the next, the meaning of the whole sen- chapter be read by the elder chiltence ; thirdly, its connection with dren by themselves before school
, what comes before and after it; and time will be obtained not only for fourthly, the lesson the whole is in- understanding the general aim and tended to convey.
scope of the chapter, but also for “In the first place, the teacher looking for other passages which should be very particular about the throw light on it. meaning of each word and its con- “ With regard to younger chilnection. Suppose, for example, that dren, a different method should be the verse is ' Being justified by faith, employed. With them it is often we have peace with God through a good plan to read yourself, in a our Lord Jesus Christ. If you are clear distinct voice, the chapter or not sure that your class understands portion chosen, then question them it, you must go over it. What must on the leading points and illustrate we be ?'
Justified by what ?' the lesson to be conveyed : lere • What have we?' Peace with anecdotes are useful ; a picture or a whom?' Through whom?' •What lively verbal description will often is it to justify?' What is peace?' be a help. Try and make the para. etc. Then take the context; re- bles and miracles of the gospels, and mark the therefore,' nevertheless,' the narratives of the Old
Testament, or 'but'-anything that unites the in this way real to the children. sentence with the preceding one or “In reading a chapter either to with those that come afterwards. your pupils or with them, there are
“Then point out the doctrine to two ways of accompanying the readbe taught, or practical lesson to be ing with questioning or explanation. enforced. If the pupils are tolerably One is, to explain verse by verse, as advanced, you can call on them to you read on, or after every two or find the passage which will either three verses pause and question ; confirm or explain the text: if they this is best with young children, or are not used to this, begin with very ignorant pupils, whose attention naming the passages, and telling requires to be constantly kept up: each in turn to read one ; by degrees the other is to read the chapter or
portion through, and question after- able dismay, two or three answered wards, which with old pupils some- at once, 'Pray to God.'” times answers best.”
“ That is only,” said Sophia, “be“The notes you have read are very cause those children, and most i suggestive, and would help one very think of the common run at Sundaymuch in teaching,” said Lina; schools, have a certain set of answers I should like, dear Mrs. Villers, to in their head, which seem as if they have a few more hints about the way were shaken together in a bag, and of questioning, and also about illus
any answer may come out at random trations. I have tried, when teaching, to any question. 'Be good,' say to help out with little anecdotes or your prayers,' 'go to church,' go to comparisons, and I have often found heaven ;' any one of these replies that what I thought would make the will do, without the least regard to subject clear only puzzled it the meaning.” more."
Lina could not help laughing. " You are thinking of those “Yes,” she said, “and the same with scholars of yours the other day," names of people. If I ask the chilsaid Sophia, laughing; “but you dren who it is says such and such know they were an uncommonly words, one calls out ‘God,' another stupid set."
Moses' David,' Peter,' perfectly “What did they say?" asked at random.” Mrs. Villers.
" It shows the habit they have ac"Oh, I was trying to explain the quired of speaking without thinking; passage about the lost sheep; and I and the only way you can cure it,' said, If a poor little lamb strayed said Mrs. Villers, “is to question away from the fold and fell into a backwards and forwards in such a pit or a deep ditch, what could it do way as to make mechanical answerto help itself ? and, to my consider. I ing impossible."
(To be continued.)
“IN GOD HAVE I PUT MY TRUST."
How great soever be its might or sway,
Or sin's deep gloomy shadows roll away.
Its strength decay and moulder into dust;
To Thee, O God, in whom I put my trust.
Are treasured up by Thee, and every sigh
And brings Thy cross, with all its comforts, nigh.
Thou bidd'st me to Thyself, the Refuge, flee;
I put my trust, O God, alone in Thee.
In times when sorrow bowed my troubled soul,
When pain and sadness seemed my earthly share,
Didst cheer my heart, didst listen to my prayer.
Where'er on hill or dale my feet have trod,
And I have trusted still in Thee, O God!
If e'er by suffering or by care oppressed,
When like “ a silent dove far off” from rest.
In joy or sadness, happiness or woe,
Thy will, not mine, be it my joy to know.
Look upon Him who dwelt in mortal flesh,
My fainting soul to raise each day afresh.
No longer bent or grovelling in the dust,
And Thee, the God in whom I put my trust.
" EXTREMES are dangerous” is a very common saying, and a true and important one. There are extremes connected with everything good, and man is prone to err on the right hand and on the left. There is a Divine standard of doctrine; but some will add thereto, and others take therefrom. God places Christian ordinances and Church discipline in their proper places ; but man is ever exalting or depreciating them. God shows us how to use the world so as not to abuse it, and giveth us richly things to enjoy; but some in all ages have been sensualists, and others ascetics. There is a minute and special providence which God would have us implicitly trust; but distrust and presumption have ever abounded. There is a narrow path for God's chastened ones to walk in; but they are in danger either of " despising the Lord's
chastening, or fainting when they are rebuked of Him." To the last point we ask especial attention. That blessed book which gives the above salutary caution (see Heb. xii. 5-10) furnishes us with illustrations of those who have failed in both respects, and also of others who, avoiding both extremes, were able to honour God in the path of sorrow by keeping in the narrow way which His word points out.
Behold Jonah sitting under his green gourd, rejoicing, yea “exceeding glad, because of it ;' but how soon the scene changes ! The gourd withers, the prophet faints, repines, reasons boldly with God, and says he does well to be angry. We are not told what was the ultimate result. The discipline, described so emphatically by himself in his prayer from the belly' of the fish, seems to have been forgotten, and for