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The Convert's Corner.
FROM the "Welsh Revival," by the Rev. T. Phillips, we extract the following:
"When we speak of numerous additions being made to the churches, it is not to be supposed that all, or even a large proportion, are converts from the ranks of the openly wicked and profane. Very many, who had always been hearers of the Gospel, with light in their heads but without grace in their hearts, have now been changed. Men who were, upon the 'whole, moral characters, but who, on account of an occasional outbreak at a fair or a market, were unfit for membership in the church of Christ; women, also, the wives of farmers, tradesmen, and mechanics, of unblemished reputation, willing to give everything, except themselves, to the Lord and His cause, are now found amongst the professed followers of Christ. Multitudes of hearers, who had been for a long time 'halting between two opinions,' have been led to decide for the Lord and His service. Amongst the new members may be found a great number of old backsliders, who at one time made a fair profession, and then yielding to temptation had become more hardened in sin than others, but have now been brought back again with tears and supplications.' It is also encouraging to observe that a large proportion of the awakened are young people of both sexes, under twenty years of age. Even children may be found
amongst the candidates, evidently under a deep concern for their souls. Nor should I omit to state, that in almost every neighbourhood some of the vilest and worst characters have been reclaimed. Swearers, drunkards, Sabbath-breakers, adulterers, thieves, are found amongst the penitents; and, after a course of instruction and a season of probation, have been admitted into the fellowship of God's people. Some of these characters, in their honest simplicity, are but too ready to confess their sins, and to charge themselves with crimes known only to themselves. An instance of this occurred at a place in Cardiganshire. A man suspected of sheep-stealing, on presenting himself as an inquirer evidently under deep conviction of sin, said, with wild emotion, 'I had rather live on potatoes and salt, or bread and water, than steal another sheep.' An aged woman, who had led a wretchedly wicked life, but who was now greatly alarmed about her soul, attended a meeting where none but members or candidates were present. It was intimated to her by one of the elders, that as she had only recently felt any anxiety on the subject of religion, it would be better for her to delay her appearance at such meetings for some time longer-a month or thereabouts. She seemed to feel this rebuff most keenly, and replied before all'God says, To-day-the devil says, To-morrow; but you put me off for
a month.' It is needless to add that this poor Magdalen was allowed to remain amongst them as a disciple to be taught, and as a patient to be treated as her sad case required.
"A few more cases of conversion are now added:-A brother who had spent the whole night in prayer returned home, and found his wife, who was unconverted, in a very angry mood, and was chiding him rather severely. He, however, fell upon his knees, saying, 'O God, help me to pray once more.' He continued to supplicate the throne of Divine grace till his companion in life also loudly cried for mercy. On the evening of the same day she joined the company of the faithful.
"A man had been treated with ardent spirits by some evil-disposed persons, with a view to create a disturbance, and thus to injure the revival movement. Instead of this he went home, and, as he passed by the minister's house, he began to cry aloud for mercy. The arrow of con
viction had pierced his heart. He called there again next morning, overwhelmed with a sense of his lost condition; and on the following night he became a candidate for church membership.
"Before the cold weather set in, there were many who spent whole nights out, praying by themselves along the mountains, and other places. Some of my own people used to do so, and they told me of it. "On one such occasion the following incident occurred :"One night -'s gamekeeper, being out on his beat on the mountain above, heard a noise on the other side of a stone wall, and having listened, he found it was a poor sinner confessing his sins, and praying to God. It affected the keeper so much, that he left quietly, and felt much concern about his own soul. That gamekeeper is now a member of my church, and one of the most gifted in prayer of all the new converts that we have had."
Ar an interesting social meeting of the teachers and friends of Zion Chapel Sabbath School, Toronto, a short time ago, several addresses were delivered, one of which is here given, in the hope that it may be useful to many who are now, or should be, devotedly engaged in this good work.
The Counsel Chamber.
OUR SABBATH SCHOOLS;
Who should Teach in Them; and the Best Way to Interest a Class.
WHO SHOULD TEACH IN OUR
Rev. Mr. Roaf said: It is of great importance to note the fact, that Sunday schools in this country are not for the communication of elementary knowledge, so much as for the inculcation of Divine truth, and therefore that they require the
and to be associated with parties of their own age. Then they have an idea of being useful, and should have the prospect and preparation for activity in the cause. All these and other propensities of minds emerging from mere pupilage are to be provided for in a complete Sundayschool system. To do this requires the best talents of the church. Our Sunday schools are the public provision for the lambs of the flock, as the general meetings are for the sheep-and domestic tuition, however faithfully performed, would no more supersede them than the private exercises of Christians renders unnecessary united worship. He always felt that whatever he might do at home, his own children should also go to the school; and he thought the best families might regard the Sunday-school teaching as a supplement, without at all being a substitute for their own religious culture. Here, children heard truth from other voices-here they had the stimulus of class sympathy and emulation-here they received public addresses-here they had the use of Scripture maps, pictures, and other aids to conception-here they had the books of the library-here also they learnt sacred music. It is not then to be anticipated that in the time when "the hearts of the fathers are turned to the children," schools will be dispensed with. He hoped that as these schools had rendered good service to the cause of God, so they still will do. He was affected to see the entire revolution of teachers and children in these institutions since he first knew them-in conceiving not only of those who were there when he
labours of Christian and intelligent persons. He could never recognise the idea of this work being left chiefly to the young-and would point out that here six out of the seven deacons are regularly engaged in it. The very best minds in this church and congregation have in former days worked in these schools -and he was sure that the best informed, most clear in conception, and most powerful in utterance, would find full scope for their energies in explaining and enforcing the things of God. The best are wanted even for the younger children; and then it is most desirable to retain and conduct up into life and usefulness the higher scholars. To neglect the harvest, after a year's labour to raise it, is folly. The school, like the parent, needs to recognise and meet the changed tastes and tendencies of youth. That implicit faith, credulity, which for wise purposes is implanted in the infantile mind, passes away as manhood approaches; and independence and self-judgment will work, be they recognised or not. It therefore becomes requisite to appeal to reason, to introduce the questions which are to be met with out of doors, and to convince as well as to silence. If this were not done in the school, it would be done by other parties, and probably by perverting teachers. Such young persons, too, like to have varied information, and may be interested by biblical literature, such as relates to the manners and customs of Scripture times, the geography and natural history of the Bible, and controversial topics. They wish, too, to be separate from small children,
Hint I.-Mark well the actions of men, and make them the prominent features of your lesson. Let such matters as geography, local manners and customs-chronology, natural history, and such like, occupy their right place, which is secondary. Not that any intelligent teacher can afford to neglect them; but that these are not to be compared in interest with the actions, the thoughts, the desires, and the hopes of men. History is more interesting than geography, and biography, if well told, than either. It is the human interest in them which makes dramas and works of fiction so fascinating, and a good teacher can always engage attention if he knows how to bring out vividly the action of his lesson. Besides this, the action of a lesson is that around which all spiritual truth centres. A teacher may drill his class in the geography or botany of Scripture, till they can read Palestine like a book; but such knowledge does not touch the heart, nor mould the character, nor save the soul. "A man is no nearer heaven," said old Fuller, "for having climbed to the top of Mount Tabor," -a saying which means more than
would appear at first sight, and is much to be pondered now-a-days.
Hint II.-Always illustrate your re lesson from the scenes and circumstances of modern life. Men are fundamentally the same in every age, and under every variety of circumstance and condition. The most important actions of the lives of men in our day have precisely their counterpart in the actions recorded of shepherds, and patriarchs, and kings, and common people, in the Bible. We eat and drink, and sleep, and labour, and travel; we cultivate the ground, we buy and sell, and marry and give in marriage; children are born and grow up, die, or play their part as women and men; we are sick, we grow old, we pass away, and all as did David, or Joshua, or Abraham, long ago. The history of the world, in fact, is continually repeating itself, and thus regarded we see the force of Solomon's pregnant saying, "There is nothing new under the sun."
Now to apply this-a good teacher will always endeavour to proceed from the well known to the less known, and from that to ideas which to his class are entirely new. Talk to a class who have never had the matter explained, about the judgment-hall of Pilate, and it conveys no definite idea; but take them to one of our own Court-houses, and describe the proceedings there, and you will have no difficulty in getting them to realise the scene in Jerusalem. So, illustrate the Lake of Gennesaret by a reference to our own-a storm, by recalling some dark days in the winter; travel, by the locomotion of various kinds
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going on about us. So deal with both incidents and scenery, and you will not only interest your class, but instruct them. Besides this, you will find your faith in the historic verity of Scripture strengthened, for no book so old as the Bible could stand such a test unless it were true.
Hint III.--Adapt your instruction to the age and capacity of your class. We have all a little world of our own in which we move. Our
thoughts and ideas are bounded by it, and anything beyond we cannot fairly grasp. Little children, as we all know, have their world, and so have boys and girls proper. Young men and women, too, have theirs, and an interesting world it is, with all the hopes and fears and responsibilities of budding man and womanhood stirring within them. Little children must be talked to as such, and not tormented with pedantic
modern history, metaphysical refinements, or philosophic distinctions. Talk to them about Pa, and Ma, and little brother, or sister or baby, and they will appreciate you; but if you are so foolish as to lay down a proposition and attempt to prove it, they will go to sleep.
On that form again is a class of boys. Sharp-eyed, mischievous little urchins most of them, with their heads full of tops and marbles, kites and cricket-balls; with a sprinkling, too, of knowledge about men and things in general. They go to school, and are learning geography and grammar, and are beginning to find out what a great world this is, and what a many things have been done upon it. Remember this when
you are addressing them, and try to bring your thoughts exactly-to use a mathematical term-to the same plane with theirs. Do not go too low, or they will laugh at you; do not, on the other hand, talk to them of things which they will not understand for years; if you do, they will vote you a bore. Take a true aim, and send your arrows home.
With young men and women, the style of instruction required varies very little from what would be demanded by adults. With them you may drop the parable now, and open the mysteries of the Kingdom. The grand truths of theology may be expounded, and their application pressed home. But avoid preaching. Nothing is so wearisome, so fruitless, and, in the end, so disastrous, as a continued strain, Sabbath after Sabbath, of mere exhortation. A teacher's business, it hardly need be said, is to teach, i.e., to communicate truth; and if he have no truth to communicate, his occupation is gone. But a teacher of young men and women, with the open Bible before him, need never be at a loss. To adapt instruction to your particular class, you must know your class. Their mode of life, their peculiar tempers, their occupation during the week, should all be familiar; and as a musician knows his instrument and is able to touch the keys aright, bringing out therefrom all pleasant harmonies, so should a teacher be able to handle his scholars. Some teachers have to exercise considerable relf-restraint before they can do their work efficiently. Young people are thrown as teachers into a school, fresh, perhaps, from the warm