Page images
PDF
EPUB

difficulties which stand in the way of part of St. Matthew's gospel embraced mental improvement are often mere in this number of Dr. Morison's imspectres, sometimes terrific in appear- portant work. We have no other such ance,

but face them boldly, with a commentary as his in the English determination to conquer, and they language. Its critical exactness and will either vanish or retreat. The its extensive collation of ancient truth is, that it is not so much by manuscripts, together with its logical means of faculties, but through diffi- ability, will render it invaluable to culties that the mind must grow up theological students. Every number to greatness. In the mind, as in the of the work increases our admiration body, it is not merely food that can of the amplitude of learning which is strengthen us,

but there must be exer- brought to bear upon the explication cise to co-operate with it. “ The and elucidation of the inspired word. longer I live,” says Thos. Fowell Bux- We rejoice greatly to find the author ton, “ the more I am certain that the so decided and outspoken against the great difference between menbetween drivelling absurdity of a semi-infidel the feeble and the powerfulthe great and pretentious criticism such as and the insignificant, is energy-in- that which represents the miracle of a vincible determination. A purpose fish supplying the tribute money by once fixed, and then death or victory. its own market value, when sold. That quality will do any thing that “The idea, forged with such painful can be done in this world ; and no ingenuity, in order to get quit of the talents, no circumstances, no oppor. higher idea of miracle, is almost a tunities, will make a two-legged miracle of pitiful and petty paltering creature, a man, without it."

with things grave and solemn.” We have purposely avoided saying anything on the importance of the composition and delivery of a sermon.

Sunday School Column. Our present object is, the improvement of the mind. In order to this,

A LETTER FROM A WEST-COUNTRY we have recommended reading. We

SUNDAY-SCHOOL TEACHER. scarcely need say, if our reading is to DEAR FRIENDS,

- It affords me improve the mind, we must be careful much pleasure in seeing the subject as to the choice of books. A book of Sunday-schools taken up in our should never be purchased because it magazine from month to month; and is cheap-or because the binding is in perusing these pages, I often feel elegant. Many of these are like revived in spirit, and am almost consepulchres, garnished without, but strained to have a word or two with within are full of rottenness. It is quite my brethren and sisters, who fill the right to consult men of taste-men office of Sabbath-school teachers; not of great minds — before purchasing; because I think of improving the but even then we should guard against sayings and writings of others on taking them merely because recom- these subjects,-for were I to be premended. We were once told by a sumptuous enough to begin such an Methodist minister, that we

undertaking, it would prove a perfect need hesitate about purchasing a book failure; neither do I wish to tax the if it had the name of John Mason patience nor injure the feelings of my upon it.

Let us rather go a step brethren and sisters : but being an farther than that, and have a mind of old Sunday-school teacher, I take the our own-a mind which shall be im- more liberty to converse with them. proved.

It has pleased the Lord to place me in a district where ignorance prevails

to a large extent. This, no doubt, is Literary Notices.

the case with many others of us.

Consequently, we find it harder work COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT. to reach a proper standard. And By James Morison, D.D. Part 6. Lon

although many of us covet earnestly don: Hamilton, Adams, & Co.

the best gifts, we fall short of what we From chapter xvii. 2, to xx. 13 is the wish to be. And, as Sunday-school

never

[ocr errors]

teachers, we have to contend with thyself, let us not forget these high ignorance and vice in the children attainments.---fellowship and commuunder our care. Yes; and others nion with God. have had to contend with ignorance Having made these remarks, I will in us; we are only, by the grace of now ask you to remember the chilGod, carrying on the same conflict, dren entrusted to your care. Supposand on the same battle-field, as our ing, then, we are all assembled, the own teachers engaged in; and as opening services performed, and ourthey fought, so must we.

selves prepared with suitable lessons, In order to be the more successful our next business is to instil into the in accomplishing the object-namely, youthful mind sound Bible principles. the salvation of these children's souls, This sometimes is really a hard task; I think a few things will be necessary; but often this is so for want of care and in classing these requisites, allow on the part of the teacher. It is one me to address thee, fellow teacher, part of our business to study the disaffectionately; and in so doing, I positions of children; and to neglect beseech thee, in the first place, re- this is highly injurious, and detrimenmember thyself. Regard for our own tal to our object. I have often stood character, perhaps, ought to be the like a spy in the Sunday-school, and first consideration. Character in a have been both amused and grieved teacher is of vast importance—and I at what I have seen. There is a mean to say our every-day character.

poor ignorant boy yonder, dull in Often have I noticed, with deep sor- learning, and the questions by the row, the trifling and wantonness on teacher are hard. The boy's temper the part of Sunday-school teachers, begins to rise, because of the hard when in their daily occupations. questions and stern looks of his Vain and foolish talk prevents the teacher. The teacher begins to show good we otherwise might do; and his authority by staring, -his eyes where this is seen by our scholars on open wider than usual,—and mutterweek-days, it is remembered by them ing a little. The boy also shows his on the Sunday. Next to character, resentment. Consequently, there's perhaps, is punctuality in attendance. no good done. This might have been For want of this, many of our gifted, avoided had the teacher considered as well as the more humble, teachers and selected a proper lesson. are non-efficient; and it is rather And let us remember, if a child's remarkable, the more refinement, the mind is biassed and set against us, less punctuality. No doubt but the our efforts, ever after, will be disrewearing of costly array is, in great garded. In

my

school experience for part, the cause. It is to be feared we more than twenty years, I have enare self-worshippers, presenting our- deavoured to rule by love; and, thanks selves before the mirror when we to God, in every instance I have been ought to be in school; and often have victorious ; and I often think I could I seen these idolaters creeping in conquer

the worst wretch. I can ashalf an hour behind time; and where

sure my reader I love my boys, and this is the case, sure enough their my boys love me; and the fact is, if whole class is late also. These an. we cannot instil into their minds noyances are grievous to any conside- right principles by kindness, we shall rate mind. The writer has been con- never do it at all; and I think, if we nected with schools upwards of twenty only try, prayerfully and affectionyears, and can say that, on the ave- ately, we shall gain our point. Love rage, not one minute per year has he begets love; and if we would win lost by being late. This may be re- them to Christ, we must show them garded as boasting, but it is what we love them. every teacher ought to aim at. It But, fellow teachers, would we see will be sad for us, if we are one mi- these children converted to God, we nute behind at the last. Of course I must remember them in our more am writing on the supposition that private devotions; and it would be Sunday-school teachers are Chris- well if we could get our separate tians; and while I say, remember classes by themselves occasionally in

go to the last chapter, and quote a is it we teetotalers want? The good passage, 'If you add one word to, or wine! But there is so much bad that diminish,'—you know the rest. Paul we wish to exterminate. Would to never recommended Timothy to take God the wine of the present day was wine; he simply recommended him to as good and pure in its nature as use a little for his peculiar infirmity. that which Christ made at the feast Using in emergency and taking habit- of Cana of Galilee. I cannot imagine ually are very different things. But that the Saviour who came as a ranyet, in order to see the full meaning of som for fallen man, who left His the apostle's advice, we must go back Father's throne to become a pilgrim to the time when the recommendation on earth, who left glory to be a man was given. At that time, there were of sorrows and acquainted with grief, wines nearly solid, and that were for and who had nowhere to lay His outward application. There were head, who had nothing in the shape wines to be rubbed into the skin, and of luxury, and who came to teach there were wines that were taken like man the great lesson of self-denialjam, and not in liquid. You may I cannot believe that that is a man say,

"That is another teetotal eva- who would supply persons who had sion; that is begging the question.' been feasting and drinking for some That I deny. It is you who strain days previously with a liquid which the texts of Scripture to suit your would make them still more drunk. perverted appetites and tastes. You My Christianity cannot allow me for may say, Give me an instance of an a moment to entertain such an idea. outward application.” We have all I cannot make my Saviour into a read of the man who went down from wine merchant, whatever you can do Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among with yours. I can do the reverse, thieves; and how, being left wounded, and I can say that His life, character, the priest and the Levite passed by teachings, and actions, from the manon the other side; and how the Sama- ger to the cross, teach me that he ritan pitied and relieved him. How would not do such an action as that did he do this? The good Samaritan at which I have hinted, and if you poured oil and wine into his wounds, have one spark of true Christian love not down his throat. Bear that in it is the conclusion you must come to. mind, and study it out to its legiti- Let us bear this in mind, whatever mate conclusion; and remember that may have been the state in early by the researches of Dr. Lees we have Christian times, the Bible should not learned that the wine recommended be quoted in support of the greatest to Timothy by Paul was almost a solid evil of the day-an evil that is blightsubstance. Then, again, before you ing every moral and religious effort take wine on this account, you must that is put forth. There never was a prove to me that you are in the same time when this evil was greater. He state that Timothy was. We have who runs may read that. That which no proof that Timothy took Paul's is ruining men for time and for eteradvice; nor have we any account that nity is intoxicating drink. Go where Timothy became a wine-bibber. You you will, everywhere men are being who cannot take a meal without cursed by it, homes are being made having a glass of wine, must prove to miserable, churches are being decime that Timothy became like you, mated, our pulpits are being deprived that wherever he went, he carried of some of their brightest ornaments, Paul's advice with him, and persis- our schools are ill-attended, and, in tently and continuously drank wine short, in any attempt we make, drink for his stomach's sake and his often starts up and stops the way. Surely infirmities.

But you say, 'Didn't all this teaches us, whatever flimsy our Saviour turn water into wine?' objections we may have to TeetotalTrue; but have we not the testimony ism, there is this truth that outweighs of the governor of the feast that it

all that can be pụt against it, that was better than the wine which had those who wish to do right must live been used previously? Thou hast right, and that those that wish to do kept the good wine until now. What good, must take care to put away that

which is evil, and live in harmony Though thoughts like light-winged with truth. And, ladies and gentle

lightnings run, men, there is one grand truth that Surveying planets, stars, and sun, lies at the root of the Temperance

Their distance, nature, size, to tell question, that, whoever the man may

How far from heaven, how far from hell, be that adopts its principle, whatever

And if, like man, they ever fell.

Nor can he with the present stay, his station in life, it makes that posi

For history calls his thoughts away ; tion better. Temperance adds lustre

Its rising wonders to survey: to the brightest character; it elevates And daring on that track goes forth, the most degraded, debases and en- To know of old creation's birth; slaves none; but it is rather a charter How all that is, or th' past e'er knew, of freedom, a principle of liberty, From nothing into something grew; and is in harmony with God's im- But know, where'er his thoughts may mutable laws, and with truth itself roam, (loud cheers). Teetotalism will live He sees a God, and is at home : when all your objections will have

His yearning spirit pants to see

God in his own immensity. passed away and been forgotten, and will win for itself one day the power

Though these high thoughts Tom's of overturning the drink error, and vision fill, assisting to bring about that glorious He knows he is a cobbler still; time when righteousness shall And with these soul-ennobling views, cover the earth as the waters cover Pays prompt attention to his shoes. the deep.'"--Temperance Star.

The self-same soul that mounts the skies
His humble stall with skill supplies;

And quite familiar with his kit,
Poetry.

He shapes the shoes to make them fit.

While worlds with worlds he seeks to LEAVES FROM A NOTE BOOK ON

join, THE CHARACTER OF MEN

And man with God would fain combine, AND THINGS.

His sole he beats to suit the tread,

And aws well waxed his flaxen thread. No. 3.-TOM THE COBBLER. His face is dirty, hands are rough, Sweet humble thoughts, on heavenly His clothing made of common stuff, things, And so put on, 'tis scarcely known, Go from his mind, and open springs If made for him, or if his own.

Of rapture, till at times he knows, His manners too, none can deny,

Scarce where he nails or how he sews; Are quite uncouth to courtly eye.

And feels, while shoe he's polishing, He works away ; is quite at ease All sin he is abolishing. Whether he anger, or he please, - Yet this is but occasional, Or rather seems to use no skill

When promptly he himself will call To shun your hate, or gain good-will. To earthly work. They are like chinks Though often prest with company, That let in such bright light, that Tom is his own society.

blinks 'Tis not his purposes that stir

His mental vision ; then no wonder, His mood to be thus singular ;

'Tween shoes and heaven if he should It is the instinct of his heart

blunder. That leads, without the aid of art.

When Tom the Cobbler's in your view, When most Tom in this mood appears,

Please let him have the merit due; He is the butt of workmen's jeers. Nor meanly his high stall enthral, No matter; give they praise or blame, Though seated on a cobbler's stall. Unmoved, Tom goes on just the same.

His soul is mighty, and would grace, They wonder, and are oft perplext,

High science in its highest place; That Tom like them should not be vext; Such were the flights of Cobbler Drew, The more of him they daily see

Of Gifford, and of Carey too : But deepens their perplexity.

Men who, though orn in nature's

shade, Tom mends his shoes, but mind's strong Have sunlight paths in learning made. wings

They live inquiring minds to show, Oft bear him up to higher things; How deep, how high the mind can go; And in the adventures of his mind, That ties of poverty but lend He leaves the shoes and shop behind. A stronger impulse to ascend.

T.H

go to the last chapter, and quote å is it we teetotalers want? The good passage, 'If you add one word to, or wine! But there is so much bad that diminish,'—you know the rest. Paul we wish to exterminate. Would to never recommended Timothy to take God the wine of the present day was wine; he simply recommended him to as good and pure in its nature as use a little for his peculiar infirmity. that which Christ made at the feast Using in emergency and taking habit- of Cana of Galilee. I cannot imagine ually are very different things. But that the Saviour who came as a ran. yet, in order to see the full meaning of som for fallen man, who left His the apostle's advice, we must go back Father's throne to become a pilgrim to the time when the recommendation on earth, who left glory to be a man was given. At that time, there were of sorrows and acquainted with grief, wines nearly solid, and that were for and who had nowhere to lay His outward application.

There were head, who had nothing in the shape wines to be rubbed into the skin, and of luxury, and who came to teach there were wines that were taken like man the great lesson of self-denialjam, and not in liquid. You may

I cannot believe that that is a man say, That is another teetotal eva- who would supply persons who had sion; that is begging the question.' been feasting and drinking for some That I deny.

It is you who strain days previously with a liquid which the texts of Scripture to suit your would make them still more drunk. perverted appetites and tastes. You My Christianity cannot allow me for may say,

Give me an instance of an a moment to entertain such an idea. outward application.” We have all I cannot make my Saviour into a read of the man who went down from wine merchant, whatever you can do Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among with yours. I can do the reverse, thieves; and how, being left wounded, and I can say that His life, character, the priest and the Levite passed by teachings, and actions, from the manon the other side; and how the Sama- ger to the cross, teach me that he ritan pitied and relieved him. How would not do such an action as that did he do this? The good Samaritan at which I have hinted, and if you poured oil and wine into his wounds, have one spark of true Christian love not down his throat. Bear that in it is the conclusion you must come to. mind, and study it out to its legiti- Let us bear this in mind, whatever mate conclusion; and remember that may have been the state in early by the researches of Dr. Lees we have Christian times, the Bible should not learned that the wine recommended be quoted in support of the greatest to Timothy by Paul was almost a solid evil of the day-an evil that is blightsubstance. Then, again, before you ing every moral and religious effort take wine on this account, you must that is put forth. There never was a prove to me that you are in the same time when this evil was greater. He state that Timothy was.

We have who runs may read that. That which no proof that Timothy took Paul's is ruining men for time and for eteradvice; nor have we any account that nity is intoxicating drink. Go where Timothy became a wine-bibber. You you will, everywhere men are being who cannot take a meal without cursed by it, homes are being made having a glass of wine, must prove to miserable, churches are being decime that Timothy became like you, mated, our pulpits are being deprived that wherever he went, he carried of some of their brightest ornaments, Paul's advice with him, and persis- our schools are ill-attended, and, in tently and continuously drank wine short, in any attempt we make, drink for his stomach's sake and his often starts up and stops the way. Surely

But you say, 'Didn't all this teaches us, whatever Alimsy our Saviour turn water into wine?' objections we may have to TeetotalTrue; but have we not the testimony ism, there is this truth that outweighs of the governor of the feast that it all that can be put against it, that was better than the wine which had those who wish to do right must live been used previously? • Thou hast right, and that those that wish to do kept the good wine until now.' What good, must take care to put away that

infirmities.

« PreviousContinue »