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THE SABBATH SCHOOL AND THE CHURCH.
The Sabbath school and the church are not, or ought not to be, rival institutions; neither ought they to be distinct autonomies. One should be a part of the other.
The Sabbath school is a great bless ing, and it is capable of becoming greatly more so. Its excellence depends upon the manner in which it is conducted; and as all are deeply interested in it, a look at its defects, with a view to its improvement, is as legitimate as a contemplation of its excellencies.
The Sabbath school, as we have said, belongs properly to the church. It is ani institution for teaching revealed religion; and the teaching, even to the end of the world, of all that Jesus himself taught, he committed to men called and set apart for this work. This work they are to do, teaching the aged and the young; and however many helps they may have, they are still not to put the work beyond their own control.
The Sabbath school is, or should be, next to the family, the church's primary department, and should be kept as really under her spiritual guidance as are the preaching and the sacraments. It is not to usurp the place of the church-not to set up for itself, as an autonomy-not to assume a chieftaincy. There is some tendency toward usurpation. This tendency is natural, wherever anything great is in human hands. It is especially mani. fested where the union principle prevails; and there is something of it even where a church name is taken provided the organization is separate from the church. Where the church authorities duly make the Sabbath school their own, there, of course, usurpation is impracticable; but even there, watchfulness and wisdom both are needed.
Theoretically, the Sabbath school is auxiliary to the church; practically, it becomes a rival. It robs, in many places, the church of her children, i.e., of their presence in the sanctuary, and of their hearts' best affections. It even tends to turn them to the world —not professedly so, for it claims that it is bringing them to Christ, but really
so, as it sends them to other places than the house of God while God's people are engaged there in worship. We are told that this cannot be so, for three-fourths or more of the additions to the communion are from the present or former pupils of the Sabbath school. The fact we admit, but the credit is wrongfully claimed. These new communicants are, almost entirely, of the consecrated in infancy, the trained in pious families, the habitual attenders at church. If there was no Sabbath school, they would still become communicants. Quite as many of the children of the church would duly come to the Lord's table, even if there was no Sabbath school, as now come. The inain utility of these schools is, that they bring under religious instruction many children who have no home teaching in the truths of God. But of the many who are thus gathered in from the streets, how few become permanent and seful members of our churches! Some do; and every soul is precious. But what numbers, in our larger cities, of the young men who are habitual violators of the Sabbath, were once Sabbath school pupils!
How is this? One reason is, that Sabbath school instruction is too superficial. The teachers are not always the persons best adapted to communicate and impress religious truth. Some even need to be taught themselves the first principles of the oracles of God. The addresses are often light-a good boy, a bad boy, an anecdote, a startling providence-interesting, but feeble in their influence, are the themes. The terms, Jesus, Holy Spirit, new heart, occur abundantly; but as to what Jesus did, and what the new beart is, and the need of it, but slight impressions are made; and as to the “princi. ples of the doctrine of Christ," and the "going on to perfection,” there is but little of the one, and almost nothing of the other. Doctrinal religion is rather excluded. It is regarded as too sectarian for some, and too high, too deep, too difficult for all. We seem, when teaching the young, to forget that the doctrines of Christ, which are utterly beyond the reach of men both wise and prudent, may be revealed to babes. “HARK!" exclaimed Harry suddenly: " There's Hector growling and scratching at the side door. Run and let him in Susie."
HOUSELESS BY NIGHT.
A WINTER STORY.
Susie jumped up and opened the door, and in bounded a huge black dog.
“ Lie down, Hector! Down with you, sir !" cried Harry, as the dog leaped upon him, and rested his two fore paws on his shoulder.
But Hector would not lie down. He commenced fawning on Harry and pulling at the lappels of his jacket, as if he had something to tell him.
"For shame, Hector. Your paws are all wet. You've covered me with snow. Down, I tell you."
Thus repulsed, the dog dropped down and turned to Charlie. He seized Charlie's coat between his paws, and began to pull it gently. Every now and then he would utter a low, plaintive growl, looking earnestly all the time in Charlie's face.
“He's got something out of doors for you," said Susie. “Perhaps it's a wood-chuck."
“Let's go and see,” exclaimed Harry, starting up.
When Hector saw the boys rise to their feet, his delight was evident. He rau to the hall, where their caps and tippets were hanging, and stood wag ging his tail, and now and then giving à sharp, short bark, while they put them on.
“ Where are you going, boys ?” asked their mother, coming in at that moment. “It's getting near bed time, Harry."
“I know it, mother, but Hector has found something in the snow. We think it's a wood-chuck, and we are going out just one minute to see.”
« Well, hurry back. It's very cold. Shut the door tight after you, or the snow will blow into the entry."
Charlie and Harry ran after the dog, who bounded through the yard so fast they could scarcely keep up with him. Outside the gate and down the open road he led them on the run. They were full a quarter of a mile down the road before they stopped to take breath.
There was a little piece of wood here, through which the road ran to
the village, two miles distant. Hector bounded in among the trees, but stopped when he found the boys did not follow.
“ I'm not going any further to-night, old fellow," said Charlie. " It's too dark to go hunting."
At this moment Hector's excitement redoubled. He ran back to the boys, and then forward a few steps, turning back his head to see if they followed him. At last he came and crouched at Harry's feet, and uttered a low coaxing whine, which said as plainly as words could have done, “Please come a little farther."
“Let's go in and see what he's got," said Harry. “It isn't dark, for there's a moon behind the snow clouds, and we can see well enough."
So they went in after Hector. Not more than three or four yards before they saw two human figures in the snow. The dog leaped forward and commenced licking the hands of a little boy, who sat near the trunk of a tree, with the head of a smaller boy lying in his lap.
“ Who are you?" asked Harry in surprise, when he saw them.
“I'm so cold," answered the boy, in a voice broken by sobs, “and Otto is going to sleep so sound I can't wake him up."
“They are freezing to death, Harry," cried Charlie. “People always grow sleepy when they freeze. We must help them out of the snow, and get them home quick.”
Harry seized the boy who had spoken under both arms and pulled him upon his feet, while Charlie lifted the other, who was almost insensible, and only murmured faintly when he was raised up.
The older of the two could scarcely stand, but staggered about as if his feet and legs were quite numb.
"Take hold of my arm," said Harry, “and we'll get to a fire in two minutes. Can you manage with the other fellow, Charlie ?"
“I guess so, with Hector's help,” he answered. “Run to the house as fast as you can, and ask some one to meet me."
Harry tucked the boy's hand under his arm, and started off briskly, half dragging him along over the snow. Charlie had more trouble with his charge, for though the boy was not heavy, he was rather too large for Charlie to carry. So he called Hector, and placing the helpless child on the dog's back, he held him on with both hands while Hector, as if he knew exactly what was expected of him, walked slowly and carefully toward the house.
Before they were half way there, however, Charlie's father met them with a lantern, and taking the halffrozen child in his arms, carried him within doors.
The eldest boy, whose name was Fritz, was soon made comfortable, and was able to eat some hot supper, and tell their story. Poor little Otto revived after a while, and at length was able to sit up and comprehend where he was.
Then Fritz told how they came out in the storm. They were too little street musicians, who played each a violin, and got pennies from people for their music. But a cross old Jew was their master, who furnished them and a dozen other boys with their instruments, and then took from them at night all they had earned during the day, giving them in return their supper and lodging, and a meagre breakfast.
“And if we didn't get so many pennies every night, he gave us nothing at all to eat,” said Fritz. “So Otto and me agreed to run into the country this Christmas time. We didn't think it bad to take our violins with us, because our master was so cruel, and we
had paid the worth of them many times over. We told no one about it except one of the boys, who carried a hand organ, and he would have come with us if we had waited until after Christmas. His organ was too heavy to carry on such a long tramp, and he said he could take such a handful of pennies on the holidays, that he wanted to wait, that he might have them to come away with. So Otto and I came by ourselves. We have been a week on the road now, playing our violins all the way, but we didn't get many pennies, and to-night we had no supper, and no money to pay for lodging, and so we got cold and hungry, and lost our way in the wood. We used to bave a nice Christmas once," added Fritz, " when my father and mother were alive, but they died when Otto was very little, and then we lived in the streets, till the Jew picked us up, and taught us to play."
Poor little boys! They were houseless wanderers indeed, that night they had a good supper and a warm bed, the first for a long time.
Mr. Mason kept them till after Christmas, and Mrs. Mason fitted them out each with a warm suit of clothes for a Christmas present.
And when the new year began they had found homes in farm houses not so far apart but they could see each other often. They are now learning to be farmers, and I hope they will grow up good and useful men. As for Hector, he has ever since been the hero of the story of how he saved the lives of two houseless little boys who were lost in the snow.
-A. S. M. in Congregationalist.
DENOMINATIONALISM. THERE is a class in our churches so well doubted. The man who has so extremely liberal that they fear to do much philanthropy that there is no anything for the peculiar advancement room for patriotism, is not a real phiof their own denomination lest they lanthropist. He who is so full of love should give some offence to somebody to his fellow men and neighbours that else. They are anxious to stand high there is no room left for peculiar attachin the esteem of other denominations, ment to his own family, is not always and suppose the best way to secure the best neighbour. The best way to that end is to neglect and disparage advance the general interest is without their own. They profess to love the injuring any part to make a speciality whole church so much that they have of the home interest and look particuno room for any peculiar love to any larly to the well being of those near part. Their love to the whole may be him. So he best advances the general
cause of Christianity who, without injuring other denominations, cherishes a special interest in his own, and labours most earnestly and heartily for its peculiar welfare and advancement. If each one will work well at home, and see that the interest near him is well cared for, the general interest will not suffer. Men who have an honest preference for one denomination, as they profess to have, by joining it, must of necessity prefer its advance
ment. This will not require that any obstacle should be thrown in the way of others. Attend to your own without meddling with others, is a good motto. To worship with another congregation on occasion may not be at all objectionable, but never to neglect your own, is the only consistent course of duty. My regiment first, while the whole army has my good will; nay, because the whole has my good will.
Things NEW AND OLD. By John
Spencer. AND TREASURY OF SIMI-
92, Faringdon Street. We have been somewhat tardy in calling attention to this dual work, and would wish to compensate for the lateness of our notice by the loudness of our praise. Books should be storehouses of thoughts and facts, and of all precious truths. Here we have treasures collected from the writings and sayings of the learned in all ages, down to the year 1658—the date of the earliest edition of the work. Pythagoras showed his modesty in declining the then honourable but am bitivus name of sophist, and preferring to be called a philosopher, or lover of wisdom. John Spencer evinced equal modesty in styling himself a "lover of learning and learned men." He established his claim to be considered such by collecting these siiniles, sentences, etc., from no less than seven hundred authors. Nothing more is told us about himself, except at the foot of one of the pages, where he gives his residence as being formerly at Utcester (Uttoxeter), Staffordshire, but now at Sion College, London, in the capacity of librarian—"not in the least worthy to be such.” At that time there was a distinguished occupant of a chamber in Sion College who deemed the librarian " worthy," and who warmly commended him for adventuring on his literary design, “although no scholar
by profession." And so we have that Preface to the Reader, from the ever famous Thomas Fuller, which reviewers of the first edition of this volume have been so fond of quoting. Our selection shall be from the last paragraph pertaining to the title--Things Old and New. “Only to propound things new and new doth please rather than profit, and more tickle the itch of the ears than satisfy the appetite of the soul. On the other side, to present us with things old and old doth show a lazy writer and will make a weary reader. Such books are like an imperfect map of the world wherein all America is wanting. This author hath endeavoured to compound both together, and I hope with good success: and like as changeable taffeta, having the warp and woof of different colour, seemeth sundry stuffs to several standers-by, so will this book appear with wrinkles and gray-headed to the lovers of antiqnity, but smooth and downy to such to whom novelty is most delightful."
The Publisher of this rare book has not been content to give a mere reprint, but has secured careful editing —the verifying of Scripture references -explanations of obsolete words and arrangement of things in alphabetical order—and copious indexes. A wellwritten Introduction on the use of illustration by the Rev. J. G. Pilkington, M.A., of St. Asaph, is prefixed. And thus we have one of the best and certainly one of the cheapest volumes ever published.
A CANDID EXAMINATION OF THE RITE
OF CONFIRMATION AS PRACTISED IN
don: Jackson & Walford. This most lucid pamphlet is written as the result of a long cherished conviction that the grounds of English Non conformity are generally misunderstood. He regards matters of doctrine as of sar greater magnitude than questions of church government, and he places beliefs and ordinances above all controversies concerning the desirableness of a state church, and the value of diocesan episcopacy. He thinks the order for prayer and the litany are such as the bulk of orthodox dissenters can gladly unite in using, but that the remaining offices, such as the orders of communion, baptism, confirmation, visitation of the sick, burial of the dead, and ordination, are so imbued with the sacerdotal and sacramentalian spirit, that only the force of habit can render them acceptable, or even inoffensive, to a sincere Protestant; at any rate they are an invincible stumbling-block to a Protestant Dissenter. He signifies his intention to point out wherein lies the offence of the Book of Common Prayer, and selects, as his first theme, the Confirmation service, for reasons afterwards assigned. To insure accuracy in giving the Anglican view of the confirmation rite, he refers to the highest church authorities both early and late, beginning with Hooker and Jeremy Taylor, and ending with Deans Alford and Goulburn, and Drs. Hook and Vaughan. He candidly admits the antiquity of the ceremony, but denies its Scriptural and apostolic authority. To justify this denial he patiently examines all supposed sanction of it which is deduced by its advo cates from the New Testament, and shows wherein the evidence cited fails in proving it. Throughout the sections devoted to this examination the writer is calm, logical, and powerful in his reasoning; but when he reaches his longest section he sets forth, in eight instances, the serious evils in the rite itself which demand consideration. This is so excellent a production that we are led eagerly to anticipate any others that may succeed it from the same skilful pen.
SERMON THOUGHTS: ANALYSING AND
ILLUSTRATING BIBLE Texts, IN
London: E. Stock, Paternoster Row. To common people a human skeleton would be worse than a scarecrow, while to an anatomist it might be an object of attraction, and a subject for scientific study. To ordinary readers outlines of sermons are not pleasant to behold, and few, except those who are “ of the same craft” with the inakers of them, can be expected to examine them. This little work is a volume of skeletons, and is no doubt printed for the behoof of ministering brethren. The “Thonghts," we are told, are the substance of so many sermons preached during the last year, and are published in the hope of provoking “other thoughts, nobler, devouter, and worthier." We join their anonymous author in this hope, for there is urgent need of rising from the positive to the comparative state. He may be a man of ability in the exercise of preaching, but we feel bound to say, judging from these specimens, that he either never learned, or has quite ignored, the science of sermonizing. To most of them there is not a word of introduction; and though to use much ceremony before coming to the matter is wearisome, “to use none at all," says Lord Bacon, “is blunt." In many instances the divisions do not contain any portion of the matter in the text, and so are no divisions at all; while everything in the shape of application seems wholly omitted. Moreover, these outlines fail in their professed end-the analysis and illustration of Bible texts; and they are wofully wanting in evangelical doctrine and saving truth. How any discourses of which these thoughts are the substance can be made efficacious in converting souls and feeding the church of God passes our conception. Have they, then, no merit? We should be unjust were we to imply that they are deficient in certain qualities which are fitted both to captivate and satisfy many minds. There is a boldness in some of the conceptions, a breadth in some of the references, and a free-andeasy mannerism in their style of utterance, which remove them far beyond what is common-place. From the