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addition to the two leading defects already mentioned, have a tendency to
sermonize," and have paid little regard to the necessary catechetical element, as well as to suitable arrangement. These and all shortcomings might be removed, or at any rate considerably lessened, by more practice and the study of a few good models.
With reference to Prize Lessons for Juniors sent in for competition, but few words are needed in the way of introduction. Here also there has been some falling off in the number of writers; the papers however are of a fair degree of merit, although none of them are what we should term striking, and some of them contain similar faults to those noticed in the Lessons for Little Ones. Individual notice of each set of papers cannot be given ; but their classification is as follows:
Class A.-Lilian Ida; Katie ; W.F.; A. E. A. H.; Bluebell.
CLASS B.-W. A. M.; May; Anna D. W.; Mona; Mary T. ; Whyla.
Class C.-J. W. T.; W. A. ; Granny; Retta ; Hawthorne ; Georgie ; Jessie ; Timotheus.
Several of the lessons in Class B almost equal those in Class A, and perhaps
deserve to be placed along with them. But, after careful consideration of the merits of all, the contest was found to be between the three first named; and upon again thoughtfully weighing the respective excellence of each of these, our decision came to be in favour of Lilian Ida, who receives our congratulations; we may say, however, that she was very closely pressed by her rivals in the same division.
There is considerable equality in all these papers for Juniors; and this was to be expected, seeing that such papers as we should deem super-excellent have not been forthcoming: still, all the competitors for Juniors deserve much praise.
One word to the unsuccessful writers of lessons for both Little Ones and Juniors. Do not lose courage ; but try again next year. The noble cause in which you are engaged will not admit of faint-heartedness; and, although unsuccessful in your present attempt, you should remember that in making that attempt you have acquired somewhat in experience and self-improvement.
In conclusion, we thank the various writers for their very kind wishes, and are much pleased to hear that the Treasury is becoming additionally useful as well as interesting.
PRIZE LESSONS FOR THE LITTLE ONES. FOUR THINGS HATEFUL TO GOD. ist say?-(Those who love God must I. A PROUD LOOK.
hate evil.) Give me the Bible words.
-“Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.") Read Proverbs vi. 16-19.
Well, a little child can do this; none IN these verses, dear children, the are too young, for the wise man tells Holy Spirit of God has given to us a us that “even a child is known by his list of wrong things which He hates. doings, whether his work be pure, or I am very anxious that you should pay whether it be right” (Prov. xx. 11). great attention while I talk to you about Do you know the name of the wise them, so that, when tempted to love or man ?—(King Solomon.) And what does yield to any of them you may know that he say about a child ?-(That he is they are wrong.
We cannot love God known by what he does.) Very good. unless we love all that He loves, and Now repeat the text after me. (“ Even hate all that He hates. The psalmist a child,” etc.) Again, the wise man says, “ Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.” tells us God loves them that love Him, (See Ps. xcvii. 10.)
and promises that they who “ seek Him Who is the psalmist ?—(King David, early” (that is, while they are young) teacher.) Right: what does the psalm- 66 shall find Him."
Now.you see God means you to love Him; also to love what He loves : He expects you to do so. But how are you to know what things to love and what not ?-(Look in the Bible.) Right; God's word must always be our teacher of what is good or evil. We shall begin, first then, with things which He hates. This morning's lesson speaks of how many ? -(Seven, teacher.) Yes; but I shall only talk to you abou four of them, because they are such things as a child may understand and do.
Which of you can tell me what " to hate" means ?-(Not to like; can't bear. Rose said she couldn't bear Emily, because she told tales.) Very true; we cannot bear or like what we hate; but we will not talk of Rose now. She' was wrong to speak so, for God says, “Love one another." I daresay she
very sorry now that she said so. must never hate, remember, unless God tells us to do so; and He never tells us to hate persons, only things, and wrong things.
What is the first thing mentioned on the Holy Spirit's list ?-(A proud look.) Yes ; and there must be the proud feeling in the heart before it shows itself in
I want each one of you to try and tell me therefore what the Bible says about pride. Can you remember any texts? 1. “Only by pride cometh contention" (Prov. xiii. 10); 2. “God resisteth the proud” (1 Pet. v. 5); 3.
The proud He knoweth afar off” (Ps. cxxxviii
. 6); 4.“ When pride cometh, then cometh shame” (Prov. xii. 2); 5. “ Pride goeth before destruction" (Prov. xvi. 10); 6. “A high look and proud heart is sin ” (Prov. xxi. 4).
Very good, dear children; and recollect, pride is among the things which
come from within, and
(Mark vii. 22) After hearing what the Bible says of pride, can we see anything lovely or loveable in it?—(No.) Yet how many thoughtlessly allow this evil weed—this ugly, hateful thing—to dwell in the heart, without asking God to root it out! We have seen what it is in the Bible; let us look again to see what it has done. It cast Satan out of heaven,
changed him from an angel of light into one of darkness (Isa. xiv. 12, 13). Pride led David to sin, in numbering his people, and caused his sorrow and suffering (2 Sam. xxiv. 10). Pride led Nebuchadnezzar into sin (Dan. iv. 37; v. 20). Pride robbed the Pharisee of the blessing (Luke xviii. 11).
You see then, dear children, that the more we look at pride the more evil it is, the more harm it does : no wonder God hates it! But the worst of pride is this,-it makes us more like the devil than any other sin does, therefore less like the Lord Jesus, who was
" meek and lowly.” It raises a barrier between us and God; i.e. prevents us going to Him, and drives Him from us. It will shut us out of heaven, and His presence, if we do not get rid of it. It makes us unhappy here, and causes all the quarrels that happen; and it will make us miserable in the world to come. Pride began with the devil; then it took root in Adam's heart, and so spread from him to his children—to you and to me. Pride empties heaven and fills hell.
All this we learn from the Bible. Dear children, let us believe what God says about it, and try to get rid of it. More or less, it grows in every heart. Can we cast this ugly weed out of our heart's garden ?-(No, teacher.) Who can ?—(The Holy Spirit.) Yes ; if
you go and kneel down and ask the Lord Jesus to root it out, He will : for He wants you to be like Himself—“meek and lowly.” He wants you to be made fit for heaven, that you may live there with Him when you die; and unless pride is quite rooted out, and you be made humble, you cannot go there ; for pride defileth, and nothing that defileth will be allowed enter heaven. (See Rev. xxi. 27.) “In a modest, humble mind,
God Himself will take delight;
They are hateful in His sight.
He no angry thoughts allowed ;
Dare to be perverse and proud ?
Lord, forbid it, we entreat;
That humility is sweet!
our Lord says defile a man
Make it shine in every part,
Fill me with this heavenly grace ; For a little infant's heart Surely is its proper place.”
F. B. W.
II. A LYING TONGUE.
Proverbs vi. 17. To-Day's lesson, dear children, will be upon the second thing named in the Holy Spirit's list as “hateful to God." Can you remember what it is ?-(A lying tongue.) Right.
What do we use our tongue for ?—(To speak with.) What does it speak ?(Words.) Yes ; but did the words begin there ?—(No, teacher; we thought about them first.) Then where do the words come from, really ?-(Out of the heart.) Right; the Bible says, of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Matt. xii. 34). So you see the tongue is like a servant to the heart; it can only speak when and what the heart wishes, and “out of the abundance of the heart” means that whatever we think or care most about, that we shall talk about, whether it be good or evil.
What do we call a person who cannot speak ?—(Dumb.) Is there one dumb in my class this morning ?-(No.) Very well then, the lesson I have chosen will suit you all, and it is meant for you all ; let us learn it together, very attentively.
First, dear children, I would have you remember that the tongue is a precious gift from God. He gave it to man that he might speak to Him in prayer, of Him to others in love, and for Him in doing His work. He made it good. But when Adam sinned, then the tonguewith the other members of the body became changed. Now it is an ruly evil, full of deadly poison ; man can tame it.” Now it is used to speak angry words, proud words, and untrue words: too seldom employed in blessing its Maker. This is very sad indeed, to find God's beautiful gift so spoiled. Now each of your tongues is like the rest; unless God's Spirit has tamed it, it is an “unruly
evil," and hateful to Him. Each of your tongues may be different one from the other (for there are many kinds of tongues,-angry, proud, lying tongues); but still you possess it in its evil state. Let us try then and discover whether the kind spoken of in this morning's lesson is yours or not.
Which kind is mentioned ?-(The lying tongue.) Yes; and since God is truth, no wonder it is said to be? (hateful to Him, teacher.) Yes : what does such a tongue speak ?(Lies.) And who is the father of lies ? -(The devil : John viii. 44.) Then, if we say an untrue word, whose child are we?—(The devil's.) Can you remember anything else the Bible says about a “ lying tongue"?—(“The lying is but for a moment,” Prov. xii. 19); “He that speaketh lies shall perish, Prov. xix. 9.) Quite right; and we read, too, in Rev. xxi. 8 and xxii. 15, that “ liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone,” and that those who love and make a lie" shall not be allowed to enter in at the gates of the beautiful city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” Nothing good, you see, can the Bible tell us of a lying tongue.
I wonder whether you can tell me of some persons named in the Scriptures who had this kind of tongue.-(Gehazi, teacher.) See 2 Kings v. 25. Yes; when hé told his master that lie, he little thought that he should be found out and punished. Do you recollect how he was punished ?—(Made a leper.) Yes, and for life; he would now be always reminded that a lie is hateful to God. His was a sad history. Can you tell of any others who possessed a lying tongue ?(Jacob.) Yes; he lied to his father, and suffered through life for it. Another? -(Ananias and Sapphira : Acts v.) Good. Whom does the Bible say they lied to ?—(The Holy Ghost.) Both equally sinned; the one led the other. How were they punished ?—(They were struck dead.)
How fearful an end ! The Holy Spirit has written the history to warn us, and all who read it, not 10 follow their example ; because He would have us fear a lie.
Before we close the lesson, tell me what you have learned from it ?—(That we must never say what is not quite true.) And why?—(Because a lie is " hateful to God.") Whom does it make us like ?—(The devil.) Have you ever told a lie ?-(Sometimes.) Then what ought you to do now?—(Ask God to forgive me.)
Yes ; and ask Him for a new heart, one that will lead your tongue to say the truth. It is because He is so merciful that He allows you to live still, and does not punish you immediately for a lie : He wants you to be sorry for it, and to learn in future to speak the truth. Try from to-day always to use your tongues in a way that will please God; watch and pray against proud, angry, or lying words. Use your tongues to pray to Him, to read His holy word, and to speak of Him to your young companions; then His blessing will rest upon you, and your tongues will become a delight to Him; then, one day, He will take you to heaven, and let you use them as the holy angels do, in singing His praise.
Will you begin to-day? for the song of praise must be learned on earth first, if we are ever to join in the 66 the Lamb,
,” and to hold the “ God." "God gave my tongue to speak His praise, And the sweet sounds of joy to raise,
For all His gifts so free!
Whilst He grants life to me. Lord, let the lip of truth be mine; 'Tis what Thou lov'st-the gift is Thine;
Put each false speech away.
Grant I may never say.
tion, I think I can make it simple enough for you to understand.
The thing hateful to God is- ? (a heart that deviseth, etc.) Now you have each one of you a heart; so it is right that you should understand what kind of one is pleasing, and what not pleasing to God, and right that you should care about it too. What does God mean you to do with your heart ?-(Love Him.) Yes; He gave you one that you might do so. He says, " Give Me thine heart;" that is, love Me. Love Me better than all else. In another verse
“ Set your affections on things above; that is, set your heart, have the thing you love most, in heaven-your treasure ; because the Saviour ought to be the one you love most, and He is in heaven. Do you understand me?(Yes, teacher.)
Well, what can we do with the heart besides love?-(Think, believe.) Very good; we can do both, for the Bible says · Haman thought in his heart," etc. (Esth. vi. 6; see also Deut. xv. 9.) It tells us too that " with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” Also that we are to “ love God with all the heart” (Deut. vi. 5). So you see we can love, think, and believe, all with our heart.
Now let us take the two hard words first, and see what they mean: “ deviseth.” To devise means to think; that is easy enough, isn't it? it also means to plan beforehand what we will do. Imaginations ;" this is only another word for “ thoughts.” Do you understand ? (Yes.) Now then we will read the text thus: A heart that thinketh wrong thoughts, and plans to do wicked things. It is not so hard a text now, is it?-(No, teacher.) I am glad, because even a little child may have such a heart; and if not found out and taken to the Lord Jesus to be made clean, it will grow worse and at last destroy its owner.
There was a time when the heart was good; it only thought, believed, and loved good: when was that ?-(When God made it.) What changed it ?(Sin, teacher.) Do you remember when and where ?—(In the garden of Eden,
song of harp of
F. B. W.
III. A HEART THAT DEVISETH WICKED
Read Proverbs vi. 18. We shall find this lesson rather more difficult than the former two, dear children. There are two very long and hard words in it; but if you pay great atten
when Eve stood by the tree and took the fruit of it.) Yes, sin came then; from that moment her heart was changed, and ever since the heart of man has been “ deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” In the book of Genesis (chap. vi. 5) we read “God saw,” etc. We find, too, in chap. viii. 21 that “ the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth.” Our Lord tells us that “evil thoughts proceed (come) out of the heart of man (Mark vii. 21; also Matt. xv. 19). It is an ugly picture which God's word draws of the heart now! Can He look at it with any pleasure, do you think ?-(No, teacher.) No; He cannot, unless changed, for He is of purer eyes than to behold evil.
Is it not good that there is a way to get it changed ? There is no reason now why one heart in my class need be “ hateful to God.” If unchanged this morning, it need not be unchanged tonight. Each of you can get the new heart by taking the right way. Can you tell me what it is ?-(Ask God, like David, teacher.) What did he ask?(For a clean heart.) Yes; repeat the text after me: “ Create," etc. (Ps. li. 10). The youngest child here can say that prayer. Will God hear it ?-(Yes, teacher.) And how will He change your heart ?-(Put His Holy Spirit into it.) Right. I will read His promise to you. Listen to what He says, Ezek. xxxvi. 26: “A new heart also will I give you,” etc. After such a promise do you think He will refuse to give you one?-(Oh, no, teacher.) Then begin to-day, dear children, one and all of you, to use David's prayer. It is short and simple. Say it after me again all together : Create," etc.
Now, will you say it every day?-(Yes, teacher.) You will try; but do not promise, for it is a solemn thing to say I will ; and if you promise, and then do not do it, you will displease God. Try and recollect to use it, and never rest until you are sure that the Lord Jesus has made your heart new and clean, and that you have given it to Him to be a fit home for His Holy Spirit. When tempted to think a wrong thought, to say, “ I will hide that fault;
I will say I did not do it;" “when mother is not looking I'll disobey ; or, “ I'll be revenged on one who hurt me,” then remember, dear children, that you are "devising wicked imaginations -following the devices, i.e. thoughts, of your own heart. You are making your heart“hateful to God.” “Resist the devil” with God's own word. What weapon is it called ?—(The sword of the Spirit.) Yes; use that sword, and the devil will flee. Three times the Lord Jesus used it; when He was tempted in the wilderness He said, "It is written,” and you remember the devil fled before the sword then. Now, if tempted, what ought you to do?—(Pray, “ Make me a new heart, O God," teacher ; “Give me Thy Spirit to lead me and help me to think and do right.”)
Quite right; always pray and use the sword God has given you to fight with, and you are sure to succeed. I have a nice hymn that I should like
to learn for me about the new heart. Shall I repeat some of it before you go? (Yes, teacher; please.) “ Oh for a heart to love my God,
A heart from sin set free,
So freely shed for me;
And filled with love Divine,
A copy, Lord, of Thine,"
F. B. W.
IV. “HÉ THAT SOWETH DISCORD."
Read Proverbs vi, 20. AND now we come to the last thing named as hateful to God, viz., sowing discord. This is a sin so common even with children, that I want you all to pay great attention to this morning's lesson.
As I told you before, none are too young to learn to hate all that God hates. Nay, the earlier we begin, the better, the easier it will be to gain the victory over all kinds of sin-in His strength of course. You all know what sosowing” means?—(Putting seed in the ground, teacher. I sometimes go with
" no one