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on his father. He faintly murmured, “Oh, father, father, dear father.” The poor man covered his face with his hands and sobbed out, “Oh, it would be so much easier to let him go, if I felt sure he was saved."
Oh, my children, had you stood by that dying boy, would you not then have resolved to “ Remember your Creator now,
in the days of your youth"? Then will you not, every one of you, from this time ask God, for Christ's sake, to help you to remember Him and love Him?
HOW TO RESIST THE TEMPTER.
“Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."-Jas. iv. 7.
you a special invitation. He says, " Suffer little children to come.
He has nowhere said, Suffer old people, or grown-up people, to come, though He means them when He says " all." But lest you little ones should think you are not included in the word all, you have it three times in your Testament, “ Suffer little children to come."
4. It will be easier. You have not so many cares now as you will have when you get older, nor so many sins to repent of.
5. It will save you from many temptations. If you have God for your guard, and keep close to Him, you will constantly have the shield of His love around you; and Satan's darts are not sharp enough to strike through that.
6. It will make your life on earth very much happier. Oh, my dear young friends, if you will only try it you will find as you pass through life no thought so sweetly peaceful as that God is your Father, Christ your Saviour, the Holy Spirit your Comforter, and that let what will happen to you, all is well, because it comes from Him who loves you.
7. Because death may come, and now, just now, is the only time you can call your own.
One bright summer's morning a boy left his cottage home, full of life and gladness. But before the sun had sunk to rest that evening he was laid on a bed of suffering, from which he never more arose. For days brothers and sisters, parents and friends, watched by him with hushed voices and teardimmed eyes. A friend who often called upon them writes :-Never shall I forget one scene in that little death chamber. When all hope of recovery had been given up, the grief-stricken father hung over his boy as though he would stay the hand of Death from taking his life. Some one bent over the dying boy, and gently whispered, “ George, would you like to go to heaven, and live with Jesus?" “Yes.” “Do you think He will take you there?” " Don't know.'' Then followed the old, sweet story of Christ's willingness to hear and save. But his mind, like his body, was weakened by suffering. His eye wandered restlessly round the room, till it rested
This is one of the “exceeding great and precious promises' which God has given us in His holy word.
It is as much for children as for grown people; for none are free from the temptations of the devil. It is the common lot of mankind to be tempted, even as it is our common lot to die. It began with you, my young friends, as soon as you were old enough to know right from wrong; and it will most likely continue almost up to the last moment of your life. Even our Lord Jesus Christ was tempted when He lived on earth.
I. Then, as we are constantly surrounded by temptation, and as its influence is so hurtful, it is well for us to consider how we may best resistfight against--the devil, our tempter. 1. The first weapon must be prayer. “ Satan trembles when he sees
The weakest saint upon his knees.” Yes, dear children, when you find Satan tempting you to do or say anything wrong, cry unto Him who is “able to succour"—that is, relieve or assist“ those that are tempted.” You need not always wait till you have time to shut yourself up in your room alone; for some temptations must be met and conquered instantly, or there is no chance of conquering them at all. Sometimes you are tempted to say angry
There are few evils which come upon us but may be turned into blessings. Thus it is with temptation: it is a discipline, a trial to make us strong.
Every one of us has some weak point in our character. Perhaps with one of you it is temper—a hot, passionate temper, which, when you are vexed, flashes out like a charge of gunpowder when the fire touches it. Then every time you resist Satan's temptation to be angry, you strengthen your weak point; and next time the temptation will have
words; or, when you are questioned about a fault, you are tempted to tell a lie. These and all such-like temptations must be fought with and conquered on the spot. So, dear young friends, when next you find the “enemy coming in like a flood,” wherever you may be, lift up your heart earnestly—even though it be silently—to God, asking Him to drive Satan away and help you to do right.
2. Another weapon which it is well for us to use when Satan attacks us is, “The sword of the Spirit,” which is the word of God. Our Saviour has also set us an example in this, for when Satan came with different temptations He met them each with a quotation from Scripture.
These, dear children, are two mighty weapons, which you may safely use, to fight against your worst enemy. But, in order to use them well, you must be well acquainted with them. A soldier could not use his sword or spear so successfully on the battle-field if he had not previously learned how to handle them. In order to be familiar with prayer and God's word, you must use them often. Accustom yourselves to speak to God about all the little events which happen every day; then you will not fail to go to Him with the greater. And "search the Scriptures;” read them, and think of what you read, very often, until, as an old writer says, “ You have all the more notable passages at your finger ends."
II. I have been speaking to you of temptation as a curse, an evil coming from the devil, our worst enemy. Now let us think of it for a few minutes as a blessing, sent—or permitted to come upon us—by our heavenly Father, who loves us and knows what is best for us.
Perhaps with another it may be a sullen, obstinate temper, which delights in making yourself, and all around you, miserable after anything has occurred to displease you. Then, next time you feel a sullen fit coming on, ask God to help you to be cheerful.
With another it may be selfishness, alway to consider your own interest or pleasure, in disregard of others. Then every time you deny yourself for the sake of others, Satan will find it harder to make you yield to your selfish inclinations. And thus it is with sin generally. Each time you fight against it successfully, you gain fresh strength, and you will see that temptation has been to you a blessing in disguise.
But, dear young friends, remember that for this to be the case you must meet it in a right, prayerful frame of mind, and overcome it; for if it overcomes you it will leave you weaker instead of stronger.
III. There will be no temptation in heaven. Oh, let this thought cheer you in all your encounters with Satan. “Though sharp be the conflict, 't will cease
before long, Then oh how happy the conqueror's song."
MASTERIES.—Like as every man that trieth masteries, whether it be in running, wrestling, or buffeting, doth with great wariness and diligence forbear the meats, pleasures, and all other things that weaken the powers of the body, or which may abate their nimbleness, and either hinder or disappoint them of the victory: even so every Christian, sustaining a continual encounter and wrestling with the devil and their own sinful lusts and outward enticements, must, throughout the whole race of their life, abstain from all things that offend either God or godly and weak persons.
TEACHERS IN COUNCIL,
MEMBERS OF COUNCIL.
MR. SIGMA (Secretary). MR. EDITOR. Dear friends and fellow- God and taken courage on receiving teachers, it affords me hearty satisfac- these precious documents.” tion again to see the kind faces of so Mr. Ed. It is very gratifying to hear many of my valued helpers round me at our correspondent speaking so warmly : the beginning of another year. The past some of the letters, for publication, one has not been uneventful; and I feel would no doubt prove acceptable. sure, from the numerous letters which
Miss Delta. Yes, indeed ; that is have been placed before us for the ex
what I call successful teaching. The pression of our collective wisdom, that
writer may well rejoice. much good has resulted from the discussions in our council-chamber. May our
Mr. Omega. Would that all teachers great Model Preceptor additionally bless
could say the same with regard to their
efforts ! our exertions in the year upon which we are entering. There can be little doubt Mr. Sec. Two other communications that the attrition, if I may so express it, which the subjects submitted to us
LESSONS ON SPECIAL SUBJECTS. receive at our hands helps to make smooth the many roughnesses which One correspondent says :obstruct the path of the teacher, and assists him in his onward course. Mr.
“In the Bible the apostles keep the second Secretary will let us know what are the
coming of Christ continually before the
minds of the people: ought we not also matters which first call for attention at
to do so in our Sunday-schools ? It seems the outset of the present year.
to me not to be sufficiently thought of Mr. Secretary. There are a few now; if it were, I think it would increase short letters on subjects which I think our earnestness in religion. Would you will entail but slight discussion on the
or some of your correspondents tell me part of the meeting, and which on that
what you think?” account perhaps had better be disposed Mr. Ed. I think the writer does not of at once.
After these I shall have an watch our lessons too closely: there important communication to submit to are few of these which have not a referyour attention. One of the former is ence to the second coming of the Saviour,
although perhaps not in direct or very
full terms. LETTERS FROM OLD SCHOLARS, and the writer of it says :
Miss D. I am of the same opinion. "I was much interested in reading the ac
Mr. Ed. But it must be added count of your Teachers' meeting this
that the best divines and commentmonth, and think it would be a good
ators are by no means agreed in plan to publish letters from old scholars : their interpretations of the various pasI shall be happy to furnish some occa- sages of Scripture which refer to the sionally, as I may have time to copy them second advent. Many difficulties would I have found correspondence one chief
arise, therefore, in giving what our cormeans of success with elder scholars,
respondent seems to ask for-definite and would recommend all teachers to
lessons on this point. Wisdom will be adopt it. I have by me letters which I
best shown in teaching our little ones would not part with for gold of any
that, though our Master will certainly amount; and again and again has my re-appear on earth, He has not thought heart leaped for joy, while I have thanked proper to instruct us in the precise cir
Mr. 0. Now, Mr. Secretary, we shall be glad to hear your principal communication. But perhaps I am trespassing on the rights of our worthy chairman ?
Mr. Ed. Not at all, Mr. Omega. Go on, Mr. Secretary.
Mr. Sec. A teacher writes on the subject of
SUNDAY SCHOLARS READERS OF FICTION.
cumstances which are to attend that great event.
Mr. Sec. The other letter will speak for itself. A subscriber to the Sunday Teachers' Treasury, and one who has pleasure in stating that she has received great benefit from studying the lessons given from month to month, and has reason to believe that through them her labours in the Sabbathschool have not been in vain, is desirous now to instruct her class on the Israelites' journey to the promised land ; but having very little time to devote in searching the Scriptures for references, etc., she would feel greatly obliged if a series of lessons could be commenced on that subject: she thinks it would be interesting to all.”
Mr. Ed. Perhaps some teacher will entertain the matter; but the lessons must be concise. However, both letters may be commended to the attention of teachers generally.
Mr. Sec. I had nearly overlooked it; but I have received one or two notes from several valued correspondents concerning
66 THE TREASURY." I will read one of them :"If a ‘Biblical index' of the lessons, etc.,
in your valued Sunday Teachers' Treasury could be arranged, along with the other table of contents, in the December number, it would be considered a great boon by all Sunday-school teachers who take in this most useful publication; as, when I say that I have to sit down and draw out à Biblical index for myself, I speak not only for myself but for a good many other Sunday-school teachers in this quarter, who regularly take in this much-prized magazine."
Mr. Ed. Anticipating a difficulty of this kind, we prepared for last year's volume a full index to portions of Scripture upon which lessons and addresses had been given. It immediately followed our ordinary index. But we gladly adopt the suggestion of our respected and valued contributor,"S.B.,” whose lessons appear in this number, and will give an index to portions of Scripture which have already been treated upon, every six months.
The matter, I think, has not hitherto received our attention.
Mr. 0. Well, I can see no very great harm in youth perusing a little fiction ; it enlarges their minds. But it should be good.
Miss Beta. Ah, that is one hitch ; who will define what is good, for the young at least ?
Mr. 0. I do not think that presents much difficulty.
Mr. S. Permit me to read the letter :“Will you allow me to have a few words
‘in council' with you, on the ground of working in a portion of the wide field of Sunday-school teaching? I have found for some years past that some of my scholars come to the Sunday-school more or less impregnated with a heap of extraordinary notions evidently derived from the perusal of the exciting order of fiction. How to eradicate these has been a'source of great perplexity to me, as well as I dare say to many other teachers.”
Mr. Gamma. Excuse the interruption; but I can bear testimony to the truth of the writer's statement. The peculiarity mentioned I have noticed in young scholars, and I have certainly been puzzled how to act, especially when this cheap and silly kind of fiction was read in the families of my scholars.
Mr. Sec. The writer goes on to say: “I have adopted what I considered the
most advisable remedies—such as communicating with the parents, reasoning with the culprit, and I hope implanting good seeds in his breast. Will you ask fellow-teachers to give their experience in the matter? I may say what mainly refer to are the 'fast' expressions, the false and highly-coloured ideas of life, the
acquaintance with subjects beyond the ken of youthful minds. Of course these are days of cheap bad and good literature; and youth as well as old age is not slow to take advantage of the fact: but the former unfortunately in this case has not the guidance of experience, and the seed is thoughtlessly sown which may be reaped with bitter regrets.”
Miss B. It is a melancholy statement to consider; but there is no denying its truth.
Mr. Ed. The difficulty has to be boldly faced; and I think our correspondent has acted very judiciously. I do not know of other or better courses open. Perhaps our fellow-teachers beyond this meeting will give their opinion.
Miss S. Has not the Archbishop of York been recently discoursing upon this matter?
Mr. Sec. Yes, certainly. With the Chairman's permission I will read a few extracts from his address, which bear very pertinently on the matter in hand. Here are the opening remarks :“The passion for works of fiction has
called out immense numbers of stories to meet it. He would be a bold man, and perhaps a not very wise man, who should condemn altogether this kind of reading. The works of fiction solace many an hour of forced inaction, and afford to the invalid imprisoned in his chamber access to society and converse without the trouble that would attend them. Well-chosen works of this kind give to young people some of the benefits of experience, without its bitter lessons; and at an age when imitation of models, and selfformation after known examples, are the most active instincts, such works enlarge the choice of examples, and enable us to go into wider circles than our own, and, as it were, with an interpreter at hand to show us what to regard. But modern fiction, catching its tone from our philosophy and our science, insists on its right to show us all that exists in the world, and claims for all an equal right to interest us. Hence that large band of literary photographers from the life, who bring us those astonishing pictures from classes of which it would be dangerous to know much except in pictures.'
Mr. G. That is precisely what our correspondent refers to. Good fictionI hope there is some attempt to define it in the address—can do no harm, and may be a true solace. What is Bunyan's
Pilgrim's Progress” but a fiction ? It is in these “ astonishing pictures” just mentioned that the danger really lies.
Mr. Sec. Speaking of these unprofitable imaginings and giving some outline of them, the speaker goes on to say that nothing remains out of all this glamour that can please or profit any child of man to remember.
Miss Zeta. A truthful statement, as whoever has taken the trouble to inspect productions of the kind too well knows.
Mr. Sec. We now come to the proper distinction and the right function of art in the province of fiction. “What is the fault of the realist school of
writers, who claim the right to display before us all forms of human vice and frailty? These have no true interest for us in themselves. The cold, cynical display of wickedness, without shame or sorrow, is hardening alike to writer and to reader. Who are we that we should stand by our brother's sick hed, and make profit and amusement by showing his sores ? There must be something to soothe and soften the pain we feel at the display; something to excuse it, and prove that it was necessary. Unfold for us some struggle of a moral being like ourselves, fallen, yet with a power of choice and capable of good. Show us some phase of that great development which, under God's directing hand, the race of man is undergoing. Give us, as spiritual beings, something worthy of the sympathy of spiritual beings; something to quicken our souls a little, in true knowledge, or true reverence,or true love; and you will do what the masters of your art have always aimed at. And whether you find this for us in the midst of stormy incidents, or in the placid dulness of some little town, you will claim our human sympathy by being human too, and it will not be refused."
Mr. Ed. I think we must leave the subject at this point for the present.