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capacity of teacher until you have served life out, or until there is no need of one saying to another, “ Know the Lord.” What if it be laborious? It is the labour of love, in the very fatigue of which the soul finds refreshment.
But perhaps you are not a Sunday-school teacher. “No, I am not,” methinks I hear one say ; “ I am not a professor of religionyou cannot expect me to be a teacher.” You ought to be both; and your not being the first, is but a poor apology for declining to be the other. The neglect of one obligation is no excuse for the neglect of another. You seem to admit, that if you professed religion, it would be your duty to teach in the Sunday School. Now, whose fault is it that you do not profess religion? But I see no valid objection to your teaching a class of boys or girls how to read the Word of God, though you be not a professor of religion. I cannot think that any one gets harm by thus doing good. Experience has shown that the business of teaching in the Sunday School is twice blessed-blessing the teacher as well as the taught. “ But I am not a young person. And what if you are not? You need not be very young in order to be a useful Sunday-school teacher. We don't want mere novices in the Sunday School. If you are not young,
theu have so much more experience to assist you in the work. Do Sunday-school teachers become superannuated so much earlier in life than any other kind of benefactors-SO uch sooner than ministers and parents ? There is a prevailing mistake on this subject. But you are “married,” you say. And what then? Because you have married a wife or a husband, is that any reason why you should not come into the Sunday School? Many people think that as soon as they are married, they are released from the obligation of assisting in the Sunday School. But I do not understand this to be one of the immunities of matrimony. As well might they plead that in discharge of the obligation to every species of doing good. But perhaps you say, “ There are enough of others to teach in the Sunday School.” There would not be enough—there would not be any, if all were like you. But it is a mistake ; there are not enough of others. You are wanted. Some five or six children, of whom Christ has said, “ Suffer them to como
may grow up without either learning or religion, unless you become a teacher. Are all the children in the place where you live gathered into the Sunday School? Are there none that still wander on the Lord's day, illiterate and irreligious? Is there a competent number of teachers in the existing schools, so that more would rather be in the way than otherwise ? I do not know how it is where you live; but where I live, there are boys and girls enough-ay and too many—who go to no Sunday School. It is only for a teacher to go out on the Sabbath, and he readily collects a class of children willing to attend; and where I reside there are not teachers enough
for the scholars already collected. Some classes are without a teacher ; and presently the children stay away, because, they say, they come to the school, and there is no one to attend to them. But I hear one say, “I was once a teacher.” And do you not blush to own that you
became weary in this species of well-doing? “But I think I taught long enough.” How long did you teach? Till there was no more to learn? Till you could teach no longer? Are you dead? If not, you are resting from your labours rather prematurely. This excuse resembles one which I heard of, as from a lady of wealth, who, having for several years been a subscriber to the Bible Society, at length ordered her name to be stricken off, alleging that she thought she had done her part towards disseminating the Bible. But one says,
I want the Sabbath for myself, for rest and for improvement." And who does not? Are you busily employed all the week? So are some of our most faithful teachers. You ought to be “ diligent in business" during the week. “Six days shalt thou labour." “But is there any rest in Sunday-school teaching?” The soul finds some of its sweetest rest in the works of mercy, and often its richest improvement in the care to improve others. But perhaps you say, though with some diffidence you express this objection, that you belong to a circle in society whose members are not accustomed to teach in the Sunday School. Do you mean that you are above the business? You must be exceedingly elevated in life, to be above the business of gratuitously communicating the knowledge of God to the young and ignorant; you must be exalted above the very throne of God itself, if you are above caring for poor
children. “Oh, it is too laborious !--there is so much self-denial in it!" And do I hear a disciple of Christ complaining of labour and self-denial, when these are among the very conditions of discipleship? Is the disciple above his Master? Can you follow Christ without going where he went ? Land went he not about doing good? Pleased he himself? Ah! I know what is the reason of this deficiency of Sunday-school teachers, and I will speak it out. It is owing to a deplorable want of Christian benevolence in those who profess to be Christ's followers. They lack the love that is necessary to engage one in this labour of love; they have no heart for the work.
Christian reader, beseech the Holy Spirit to guide you in your deliberation ; then take a turn in the garden of Gethsemane ; stand a while at the foot of the cross of Calvary. Remember who suffered in that garden, and on that cross, for your sake! Remember, the object of the Sunday School is to tell young children of his love in dying for us. Think how you will wish to have acted in the day of his appearing, and throughout eternity--think of this, and then, if you can, refuse to teach henceforth in the Sunday School!-(Slightly altered from the Sunday-school Teacher's Magasine.)
LINES COMPOSED IN A CEMETERY.--FROM THE FRENCH OF VICTOR HUGO.
The crowd of men press on their restless race,
Pursuing pleasure,—oft o'ertaking woe-
The lonely grounds where rest the dead below,
Who wanders pensive 'neath the tangled trees;
And who, by study of his sorrows, sees
O'er monumental stone where ivy cleaves,
They hear my steps among the fallen leaves--
Better, ohi noisy crowd of men, than ye!
And pours unseen its hymns of melody,
And in that silent garden of the dead
A glance more heavenly from her eyes to shed,
On the lone tombs that, long neglected, pined,
Through the thick boughs, whose network I unbind;
Amid that dream-like, death-entranced place;
And gazing inward, there can clearly trace
Float, like a veil, between the earth and me-
My soul entire, Oh Lord! to faith and Thee!
To some lone rocky crevice, there to find
So, to the shadow of the tomb, my mind Would fly, to seek the dew distilled on high, The Faith, the Hope, the Love, that ne'er will fade or die!-L. R. FUNDS FOR REMONSTRANT PURPOSES.
My Dear Sir,--In making a calculation, which a number of your readers must know to be substantially correct, I find that the Remonstrant Presbyterians of Ulster have, within these sixteen years, expended the sum of £16,000 in building new and repairing old meeting-houses, and in defending their civil rights:-that is, at the rate of £1,000 a year. They were no doubt aided, at various times, by the generosity of their friends of the Presbytery of Antrim, and by several of the Unitarian congregations of England.
That the sum total, which is certainly very considerable, 'was contributed, in as far as Ireland is concerned, by a few spirited individuals
, and not by the body of the people of the Remonstrant communion, cannot be disputed. This should never be the case; nor is it so in poorer churches which could be named. To cure this evil, if such I may call it, and to suggest a mode by which all may contribute in proportion to their means, is the object of the present communication.
As few old congregations are able to bear the expense of rebuilding their meeting-houses, it is natural for them, having in the first instance contributed themselves, to look, in the next, for help from their fellow-believers. If this observation hold good in the case of old congregations, it will be still more so in the circumstances of infant societies; which are generally originated by a small number of inquiring individuals, who have to struggle with a great number of difficulties.
What, then, is the best and easiest method of one Remonstrant congregation giving aid to another, when pecuniary aid is requested and required ? In a rich country, such as England, the Unitarians of Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, London, Bristol, or Exeter, could raise funds in a week for erecting a respectable chapel ; but in Ireland, especially in rural districts, the case far dift But whilst the more opulent members of these churches, and of many others that could be named, contribute liberally in support of their several and respective societies, and in support of the weaker Unitarian societies, there are what are called Fellowship or Congregational Funds, which are made up of small weekly or monthly contributions, and from which £10, £20, or £30 can be at any time voted for local or distant purposes.
The question returns, what, in Ireland, is the best and easiest method of preparing ways and means for giving a helping hand to those who are * contending earnestly for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints ?” that is, for “the word of God, which is contained in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments ;” and which “is the only rule to direct us—what we are to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.” Is not application for subscriptions a good method of raising funds for the purposes in question ? No: such a mode is expensive and troublesome; and at best permits three-fourths of the people to escape the application altogether, and thus to roll the burden upon the few who are more easy of access. In extreme cases, a balance may be thus made up; but the main expense should be otherwise defrayed. Of the £16,000 which have been raised within the period I have mentioned, you are well aware that several members of several Remonstrant congregations,—and persons who are in pretty comfortable circumstances,-have never contributed a shilling. Yes, and persons who would not be ashamed to solicit your recommendation of some of their friends to the ministry, in those very societies which have been formed amid intolerance, difficulty, and hardship!
But are not special collections an excellent way of giving pecuniary aid to congregations that are in hampered circumstances ? No: this mode is well calculated to tax the patriotic members of a congregation, and to
permit the lukewarm to evade the appeals which are made from the pulpit on special occasions. On these occasions it frequently happens, with considerable numbers, that one is not prepared, that another is not willing, and that a third contrives to be absent. In justice it must be told, that some, who are truly generous, do not wish to attend at special collections, because they cannot afford to give what would be expected by their friends and neighbours. Special collections may, like subscriptions, answer very well for helping to liquidate the balance of a large amount; but they never reach the majority of a congregation in raising its proportion of the principal sum required—whether for local or more distant matters.
What mode, then, many of your readers will be ready to ask, would I recommend ? I would recommend that families and individuals should contribute to the support and increase of our churches, in proportion to the means with which God has supplied them; for whilst one may plant and another may water, it is God alone who can crown their industry. This can be easiest, best, and most evenly done, by weekly or monthly con. tributions. This “bit-by-bit” method is an accommodation to all who are inclined to give anything; a method which is preferred in the payment of a multitude of sums (witness the Loan Funds), even when the interest charged is more than double of what is usual. If a person have no money this week, he may likely have some the next. He can, at least, according to his circumstances, give a shilling or sixpence when he can spare it ; and another can, if his means be more limited, give one-half or one-third this amount.
But some of your readers will further ask, what is a family to do that is numerous, and whose means are not better than those of a single individual who may occupy the next pew in the meeting-house? Let one member of such a family contribute as if for the whole; or let each member give a little, Sabbath after Sabbath, as circumstances shall direct. Whatever mode is adopted, the contribution is voluntary; but this mode of contributing now and then, as means shall authorize, is, I maintain, if people be inclined to give at all, the easiest, the best, and the most evenly, that can be devised.
If the Remonstrant congregations were unanimously to adopt this mode of raising funds, some, exclusive of local expenses, could give, without the least inconvenience, £20 ; some £15; and some £10 per annum, for missionary, building, and such other purposes as might be considered most useful. Generally speaking, such a practice would be but lending so much to friends, who would feel called on to repay the amount, should contingencies render it necessary.
Take, by way of illustration, a congregation, the average attendance of which at public worship is 250; and say that twenty contribute, one Sabbath with another, threepence each ; thirty, twopence each ; fifty, a penny each; 100, a halfpenny each; and fifty, nothing: the annual amount you will find to be £47 138. 4d.
By adopting this mode and no one will say that I have made an un. reasonable calculation-almost every individual, however humble, could feel a laudable pride in being able to say that he or she, as the case might be, had contributed to the funds for the erection of this meeting-house, or the support of that association. Much, very much, has been achieved within these twenty years in favour of free inquiry and Gospel truth, and much remains to be done; and each individual of the Remonstrant Churches should silently ask, how much have I subscribed_what time have I spent-what sacrifices have I made and what am I willing to do in future-to forward the good work ?
You will remember that, at the last annual meeting of the Remonstrant Synod, and which was held in Ballymena, a resolution, at the private sug