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becomes one of prevailing interest, it is almost sure to be damaged by crude one-sided speculations and arguments. When men set out to examine any question with a strong bias toward some preconceived determination, they will pretty certainly find seeming proofs from both Scripture and reason in favour of their theory. That the subject of which we are now writing has suffered in this way we are well convinced ; and the notion sometimes expressed that the Church has yet to learn the doctrine of the New Testament relative to children can be entertained only in the absence of a knowledge of interior Church history, or through the warping influence of narrow, though perhaps earnest, thinking. The present age of the Church may learn much, to profit it, of former tim es respecting this very subject, in both its speculative and its practical aspects.
The subject no doubt requires clear and definite doctrinal opinions for proper elucidation. Dogmas, notwithstanding all that has been said slightingly of them, have a very intimate relation to experimental and practical religion; and
especially must the religious teacher be well grounded in them. A free reading of the Bible even in the English translation—not to find proofs of opinions already adopted, but to learn from it the elements of theology-will in most cases suffice to settle the understanding in the belief of the truth. But, beyond mere opinions, a profound religious consciousness, realising the things believed in all their greatness, is requisite to an adequate appreciation of the value of religious culture for the child. A practical faith in the power of grace to reach the spiritual wants of children, and a lively sense of the capabilities of the childish mind to receive and render savingly available the grace of the Gospel, are things especially needful to strengthen the hearts and hands of those who are called to labour in that department of Christian activities. The work is one of such greatness as to demand the best efforts of the best minds; while the encouragement to such efforts, derived from the certainty of large and abundant success, is peculiarly adapted to elicit earnest, self-denying, and continuous efforts.
Vague conjectures Of the far-off land unknown, Where the brave, the proud, the lowly
Enter, each distinct, alone; Where the silence seems unbroken After earth's farewells are spoken, Whence returns nor sigh nor token
Of the once familiar tone.
Spirit to the senseless clay ;
Nearer her predestined way.
A SUPERINTENDENT'S NEW YEAR'S ADDRESS TO HIS TEACHERS.
By its own imaginings,
Oh the dawning
Of the morning,
And destruction pass away!
Beaming with a perfect ray.
A SUPERINTENDENT'S NEW YEAR'S ADDRESS TO HIS TEACHERS. A NEW YEAR'S LETTER TO MY SCHOLARS.
· As another year is gone, and we are about to enter upon a new one, I would briefly but earnestly address to you a word of exhortation.
God has called you to be fellowworkers with Him in His spiritual vineyard, and bidden you to feed His lambs. What a glorious privilege ! What a solemn charge ! Oh, be thankful for the honour, and be roused to a sense of your duty. Be grateful for past success, and be trustful for future.
You will each, my friends, have to give an account at Christ's judgment seat of your past year's work. How will it stand the test of that searching tribunal ? What has been the motive, the object, the character of your teaching? Has the love of Christ been constraining you to seek earnestly and prayerfully the salvation of every member of your class ? It ought to have been so. What does conscience answer ?
Be stirred up, I entreat you, to greater earnestness during the opening year. If you have met with failure and disappointment, be not disheartened. Remember that our great Exemplar came, and men received Him not. Rather let these crosses fortify and strengthen
you in following up the noble path of love and duty which will secure to you a heavenly and immortal crown.
Be more holy in your lives. See that your own sins are pardoned, each and all of you abiding in Jesus, and striving daily to glorify Him more in your life and conversation.
Be more earnest in your teaching. Souls are perishing around you,-souls for whom Jesus died. Oh! if you know anything yourselves of a Saviour's preciousness, snatch them from ruin, and lead them to His bosom. Rest not satisfied till every child in your class is washed in the Redeemer's blood, and safe in the Redeemer's arms.
And, lastly, be more prayerful. Without God's help you can do nothing; but that help He will not fail to grant, if you only ask for it. Be more instant in prayer, then, for His blessing; and plead believingly and perseveringly for every child of your charge.
That you may each have many souls for your hire, feel more and more of a Saviour's love, and have, in the highest sense of the words, a happy new year, is the heartfelt prayer of Your devoted superintendent,
MY DEAR -,-Another year of your year, let the very first part of this new life has passed away, to keep company time allotted to you tell of a soul saved with those other periods of time which by faith in the merits of Christ Jesus. have been lent to you by God, and which But, on the other hand, if the past all bear marks of the manner in which bears à record which angels rejoice over, you have improved or neglected them. and the loving Saviour delights to conNow, this being the case, is it not well template ; if before the new year came,
it was said in heaven concerning you, “To talk with our past hours, And ask them what report they bcar to
“ He was lost and is found;" if your Heaven,
name has been recorded amongst the And if they might not bear more welcome followers of the Saviour,—then let this news” ?
new year bear the impress of increased The past years of your life, what do love, of more untiring service. Forgetthey tell? Do they tell only of sins ting the things which are behind, press committed ? of love disregarded ? of a forward, thinking more of Jesus, speakFather in heaven neglected ? of a Sa. ing to others of Jesus, and so living viour's offers of mercy refused ? Do that, when dying, you will be sure of they speak of Sabbaths slighted, and going to Jesus. opportunities unimproved ? Is it pos- Life is then no trifling matter. As we sible that, among other things, they think of these things, earnest concern speak of broken promises and unful- should be awakened, and careful determifilled determinations to own and serve nations should be formed. The thought a loving Friend and Saviour? Or do is a terrible one, that though my soul they bear the impress of a repentant is esteemed so highly by God that He spirit? of a broken heart? of love re- thought it worth His Son dying for, it turned for love ? Can any day of the may be eternally lost. It may inhabit past tell of the Saviour received into one of the bright mansions of the your heart? of God pardoning your heavenly land; and it may, if I still consin? of the Holy Spirit sanctifying your tinue to sin, be consigned to the place nature ?
prepared for the devil and his angels. These are important questions, and And its future abode depends upon the
now in your early days should manner in which I live now. By living, be regarded carefully and answered I elect to be either an inhabitant of thoughtfully; for by the report which heaven or of hell. the years of your life bear, your future These thoughts, being scriptural, are happiness or woe will be determined. worth pondering. During the present
May I then now ask you, with an in- season you have had many proofs of tense desire to further your future, your love given you by your parents and truest happiness, to consider these friends, and I would say nothing to things, and think of your past life and lessen any feelings of gratitude which the way in which it has been spent ? have thereby been awakened; but I But, if you will so think, let it be with would ask you to remember the contia holy purpose. Reflection alone will nued love manifested to you by your BEST do you no good. Think, that you may FRIEND, your heavenly Father. And take action; and let that action be the now that He once more pleads with you result of very careful thought.
for your loving service and the surrender If a determination to "forsake sin of your heart to Him, let the service be and follow holiness” has not been given and the surrender be made. arrived at in the years gone by, let the
Then shall the new year be a happy earliest days of the new year tell of year. No fears will arise respecting the such a determination. If your soul future. Aided by Him, your coming would have been lost had you died last | years, if any more are to be yours, will
only usher in the time when life here shall be ended, and your better and eternal life begun. The sinless land will welcome you as an inhabitant, and, joining the company of the heavenly host, you will raise the “new song, and for ever serve your Saviour and
your Lord. Trusting that this happy lot may be yours, and wishing you a very happy new year, believe me, very sincerely, Your friend and teacher,
F. R. B.
[Under the above title we propose giving occasionally short sketches of eminent and devout men,-teachers as well as divines, witnesses to the truth as well as expounders and preachers of it--accompanied by short extracts from their best works. We shall avoid all unpleasant controversial discussion, seeking rather to lay before the reader great Gospel truths, and illustrations of them by devout and worthy minds. As subjects for reflection, we think this portion of the Treasury, with God's blessing, may be productive of good to the teacher, and, through him or her, to the taught.
Our first sketch is devoted to Dr. Barrow,-not indeed from any desire to point him out as a representative worthy ;' for our scope will be a wide one, and we intend to include in our series notices of many great and holy men who have done their Master's work in various sections of the Christian Church.]
BARROW. DR. ISAAC BARROW (born 1630, died 1677) was born in London, and was the son of a linendraper. Having studied at Cambridge for the Church, his labours met with much disappointment at the outset of his career, owing to the prevalence of opinions with which he could not agree, and which gave him but slight hope of advancement in the sphere to which he had devoted himself. In consequence, he turned his attention to the study of chemistry, botany, medicine, mathematics, and astronomy; but he did not entirely forego his early choice -theology. He also travelled for some time abroad, and journeyed through
France, Italy, Turkey, Germany, and Holland. At Constantinople he is said to have studied the works of St. Chrysostom, which were composed in that city. On his return to his native country, he obtained professorships in various departments of knowledge and science, but still mainly devoted himself to his favourite religious study, and at length was nominated to the post of royal chaplain. The mastership of Trinity College and vice-chancellorship of his university shortly followed; but fever cut him off from his high appointments at the early age of 46. Barrow was distinguished for strict integrity ; and his manners were disinterested, open, and amiable. So careless was he about his personal appearance, that on one occasion his appearance in the pulpit had the effect of making the congregation leave the church. So heartily, too, did he throw himself into his discourses that once three hours and a-half elapsed before the end of his delivery. On being asked if he were fatigued, he replied, “ Yes, indeed; I began to be weary with standing so long." Barrow's religious works consist of sermons, and treatises upon the Church. His language is always chaste and polished, and perhaps at times would seem to err on the side of copiousness and diffuseness; but this is a commendable fault, and was characteristic of his times; it was to be expected from the man who was termed by his king "the best scholar in England." There is a simplicity and power about Barrow's language which charms the reader; and his wise exhortations have that indefinable something about them which carries conviction to the heart of the reader, which tells that the utterances before him are those only heard from men who have received the grace of God and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit ; that the man who is employed as instrument is speaking of glories which only he who is one with Christ can properly understand.
On Living together in Unity. How good and pleasant a thing it is, as David saith, for brethren—and so we are all at least by nature-to live together in unity! How that, as Solomon saith, better is a dry morsel and quietness therewith, than a house full of sacrifices, with strife. How delicious that conversation which is accompanied with mutual confidence, freedom, courtesy, and complaisance! how calm the mind, how composed the affections, how serene the countenance, how melodious the voice, how sweet the sleep, how contentful the whole life is of him that neither deviseth mischief against others, nor suspects any to be contrived against himself ! And, contrariwise, how ungrateful and loathsome a thing it is to abide in a state of enmity, wrath, discussion ; having the thoughts distracted with solicitous care, anxious suspicions, envious regret; the heart boiling with choler, the face overclouded with discontent, the tongue jarring and out of tune, the ears filled with discordant noises of contradiction, clamour, and reproach; the whole frame of body and soul distempered and disturbed with the worst of passions ! How much more comfortable it is to walk in smooth and even paths than to wander in rugged ways overgrown with briers, obstructed with rubs, and beset with snares; to sail steadily in a quiet than to be tossed in a tempestuous sea; to behold the lovely face of heaven smiling with a cheerful serenity than to see it frowning with clouds, or raging with storms; to hear harmonious consents than dissonant janglings; to see objects correspondent in graceful symmetry than lying disorderly in confused heaps; to be in health, and have the natural humours consent in moderate temper, than-as it happens in diseases--agitated with tumultuous
commotions : how all senses and faculties of man unanimously rejoice in those emblems of peace, order, harmony, and proportion ! Yes, how nature universally delights in a quiet stability or undisturbed progress of motion; the beauty, strength, and vigour of everything require a concurrence of force,co-operation, and contribution of help; all things thrive and flourish by communicating reciprocal aid; and the world subsists by a friendly conspiracy of its parts; and especially that political society of men chiefly aims at peace as its end, depends on it as its cause, relies on it for its support. How much a peaceful mind resembles heaven, into which neither complaint, pain, nor clamour, nor discord of any kind do ever enter, but blessed souls converse together in perfect love and in perpetual concord; and how a condition of enmity represents the state of hell, that black and dismal region of dark hatred, fiery wrath, and horrible tumult. How like a paradise the world would be, flourishing in joy and rest, if men would cheerfully conspire in affection, and helpfully contribute to each other's content; and how like a savage wilderness now it is, when like wild beasts they vex and persecute, worry and devour each other. How not only philosophy hath placed the supreme pitch of happiness in a calmness of mind and tranquillity of life, void of care and trouble, of irregular passions and perturbations ; but that Holy Scripture itself in that one term of peace most usually comprehends all joy and content, all felicity and prosperity : so that the heavenly consort of angels, when they agree most highly to bless, and to wish the greatest happiness to mankind, could not better express their sense than by saying, “Be on earth peace, and good-will among men.”
Almighty God, the most good and beneficent Maker, gracious Lord, and merciful Preserver of all things, infuse into their hearts those heavenly graces of meekness, patience and benignity ; grant us and His whole Church, and all His creation, to serve Him quietly here, and a blissful rest to praise and magnify Him for ever,