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OF MATERIAL FOR
WORKING SUNDAY-SCHOOL TEACHERS.
vitin 1,'. EVERY year is making more important, and more responsible, the service of those who work for the children. Dr. Horace Bushnell, more than twenty years ago, in his work on Christian Nurture, used an expression which sounded very strangely at the time, and which we are only now beginning to understand. He wrote of the
Out-populating of the Christian stock," and presented this as the great work of the Church, to be seconded and supplemented by evangelistic and missionary efforts for the conversion of self-willed and heathen men. POT DIR
1016 THORIN! - Sometimes we have feared lest, in our anxiety for the children's training from their earliest years in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,' we might be losing our concern for the tecovery and salvation of men, and our faith in God's power to saye 'those who have wandered far away from home and spent their substance in riotous living. We should not miss this side of the great redemption work, but we may see more clearly than even yet we do, that the children need not sow any wild oats,' and reap harvests of youthful misery; they need not become prodigals, in the desperate straits to which vice brings its victims, before they can experience the converting and renewing grace of God. They may be conse! crated to God from their birth, as Samuel was. Their beautiful and trustful child-love may be won by faithful teachers for the la VOL asub juhil ito oa bas tout odine din nou od aloo 11.- Wat Brightest, sweetest, fairest One, ii, i} jo bons runs Dict
That eyes have seen or angels known.'.' úprilli The word conversion' met fully our fathers' thoughts. We find that we rather want the word regeneration,' as including the whole work of the Holy Ghost in the beginnings of Divine life in souls. :
Now, our idea is this. We would win the whole life of every being born into the world for the Lord Jesus. We want for Him infancy that can only wonder and love; and childhood that needs a constant defence and guide ; and youth that yearns for a wholly satisfying friendship; and manhood that cries for an all-mastering strength; and age that sighs for the rest of the everlasting arms.' So our first work, our great work, is to win the young for Christ. We teach Him. We teach His truth. We fill all life and relations
with His will. We try so to speak of Jesus that every child shall come to pray for himself, and say,
0, Jesus, make Thyself to me
But, with the increased interest in the children, and enlarged views of the work that is needed to be done for them, there has grown a demand for the special culture and preparation of men and women for the service of the children. There must be, 1. Self-culture, since character is power. 2. Culture of the specific teaching ability. 3. Culture of a general knowledge of God's entire Word. 4. Culture of specific knowledge of portions to be used in teaching. And 5. Culture in general and Biblical literature for illustrative purposes.
Sunday-school Magazines must do an ever increasing part of this work of culture and training. Normal Classes and Teachers' Preparation Classes are invaluable, but they cannot do more than a small portion of the work demanded; and teachers are largely dependent on the service rendered them by Sunday-school literature.
The Teachers' Storehouse and Treasury' has gained such general favour, because it has so distinctly aimed at the preparation of the teachers for the various forms and features of their work. To its · Lesson Preparation' the careful labours of one of the most experienced lesson-writers have been given. They are not mere collections of material arranged for class use; they are • text-books' for the teacher's own study. Its articles are designed to bring the best and latest Biblical information before its readers; and to offer the best suggestions for reform and improvement in Sunday-school methods.
In closing one year's labours for our fellow-teachers we anticipate a new one; and, while assuring our readers that no effort will be spared to maintain the efficiency of every department of our Magazine, we ask that the kindly and earnest word of commendation may be spoken by them, and 80 our Magazine make new friends, and our service to the great Lord of Sunday-schools be widely enlarged.
Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.'—Isaiah lii. 11, In this chapter, Israel, representing the Church of God, is regarded as being still in bondage in Babylon, and receiving while in bondage the intimations of a coming deliverance, to be wrought for them in Divine power and mercy. The chapter is God's call to the Church to prepare herself for the coming redemption; she is bidden to wake out of sleep; to shake herself free from the contaminations of idolatry; to rise up from the dust of her degradation; to loosen from her neck the bands of her bondage; to recognize and welcome the ministry which brought the tidings of deliverance. The idea of the whole chapter is conveyed in general terms by the words, · Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.
It seems to us that this sentence very suggestively expresses the law that rules all the service man can render to God, and that it may therefore be applied to our Sunday-school work, and gives us a key-note for the new services of a new year. There must be preparation for our work, and that kind of moral and spiritual fitness for it which can only come out of inward culture, the nourishing of the soul's life in God, and the winning of that holiness, without which no man can either see God, or do the best work for Him while here on earth.
There is a general preparation necessary for those who serve God among the children. It is put into the word “cleanliness,' and brings up to our minds the washings and sanctifyings of the old priests and Levites, before they ventured to engage in sanctuary services. The fundamental idea of the Old Testament ritual was • cleanness,' 'holiness. Everything touched was a consecrated thing, to be employed only in holy uses, from the Ark of the Covenant to the very rings, and tassels, and bowls, and tongs. And that must be the fundamental idea of the new and spiritual temple where we serve. Everything in it is haly. God's Word most holy. God's Gospel most holy! Human souls, as redeemed by Christ, and meetening for glory, most holy. “This is the law of