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Many of the marginal readings, which are usually Hebraisms considered incapable of an English rendering by our translators, are proved by modern researches in the East, to be pregnant with meaning, and strikingly consonant with the language of Orientals in the present day. But it must never be forgotten, whilst we are anxious to settle, even to a shade, the meaning of every term of scripture, that the Bible is not so much a book of words, as of doctrines. We have no right to build an opinion on a mere expression, or an isolated phrase; and it has often struck us as very remarkable, and illustrative of this point, that not only did our Saviour, but his adversary in the wilderness, argue from the word of God; the only difference being, that our Saviour took its whole scope and bearing, whilst the latter had his “favorite texts.” The Bible is a whole, and must be judged of as such, just as we judge of nature, which, in some isolated localities and departments, is even horrible and repulsive to the human mind ; another analogy which may prove useful to those whose faith may be staggered by an occasional passage of Holy Writ, which, though neither pleasant nor palatable, may be an excellent oil to the bruised and broken spirit of some poor wanderer, or heinous backslider. Bearing in mind then, this important principle, that a knowledge of facts is requisite to the proper understanding of Scripture, the Sunday school teacher should be both a studious and diligent reader, and a careful observer; not that it is always necessary to be deeply versed in all subjects ; but he should know just so much as will enable him to know more; his head should be a kind of index rerum, directing him to such sources of information as will themselves afford him the required assistance, or open up new fields for investigation. Above all things he must be a thinking man, knowing the proper use and application of every item of information he may pick up, and always remembering that tuition is a two-fold work—that he has to put in and draw out-to instruct and to educate-to instil information, to see it properly elaborated in the mind, and to lead it out again towards its proper, practical end.
The teacher must study punctuality in his attendance and all other duties; he must not think, because his engagements are in the first instance voluntary, that they are to be lightly set aside. Our experience has shewn us that this duty is sadly neglected in the Sabbath school. Indeed it has found its unwitting advocate in the author of that well-known hymn
“The clock has struck, I cannot stay ;” The efficient teacher will not surely wait till the clock strikes before he sets out for school ; though such a practice seems to be rather the rule than the exception. He must combine certainty with punctuality, never neglecting to attend in his proper turn, but considering himself under the most solemn engagement to be present, however gratuitous his first tender of assistance may have been. But above all things, he should study
Singleness of object. All his powers, mental and bodily, are to be collected and concentrated upon one point-the winning of souls to Christ. He goes upon his Father's business, to instruct, enlighten, convert, sanctify, and save the souls of the children committed to his care. How full of meaning is that Divine declaration
_“If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” Full as it may be he wants it all; he wants it to shine into his own dark heart, to give him the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ ; to show him his own besetting sins, that, forwarned, he may be forearmed; to shed its radiance on the sacred oracles, bringing out new beauties, and leading him to its source in God. With such a lamp upon his path, with such a singleness of eye, and oneness of object, he cannot well go astray. Looking to Jesus, he will run the race set before him well, and find if faithful to his own soul, and the souls of his little ones, that He who has promised his blessing on such labors, will be faithful too, and accomplish in him all the good pleasure of his goodness.
In connection with this singleness of object, there must be great simplicity of idea, of language, and of illustration. Theological jargon is of all things most out of place in the Sunday school ; metaphysics and moral philosophy are almost as bad ; and yet though these things are avoided in name, they are in effect often introduced. The apostolic rule, ‘we use great plainness of speech,' should never be departed from ; and it will be found, that no language is more easily understood by children, than the language of our English Bible. In the whole course of our experience, which has not been a very limited one, we have met with but two or three books out of many times that number, designed to simplify
Scripture doctrines or narrative, which are as intelligible to children as our noble translation of the Scriptures.
No one is more sensible of the imperfect character of these hints than ourselves. But the subject is so comprehensive, that we could not at present carry it out without wearying the patience or many of our young readers. If any practical good result from our observations, we shall be more than satisfied-we shall feel abundantly grateful to the Giver of all wisdom, that he has enabled us to speak even a word in season.
“ HE THAT HATH FRIENDS, MUST SHEW HIMSELF
FRIENDLY.” “Oh Harriet,” said Louisa Egerton to her sister, as they were quietly engaged with their needle-work, one pleasant summer morning, “I forgot to tell you, that when I was walking out yesterday, I met Mary Graham.”
“And what did she say?” remarked Harriet. “Say!” repeated her sister, “she did not say anything, for she walked past without taking the slightest notice of me. I am sure she must have seen me, for we were so close to each other : but she looked as proud and consequential as possible. Miss Pemberton was with her, and they seemed so excessively friendly ; I suppose Mary is quite elated by having so grand an acquaintance.”
Oh, that is the reason then that we have so seldom seen her lately," replied Harriet; and if she choose to be so stiff, the less intercourse we have with one another, the better.”
Yes, I am sure I shall not intrude myself upon her acquaintance,” rejoined her sister, while a slight expression of contempt passed over her features, “I shall let her see that I can be as distant as she is.”
Her cousin Annie, who had been a silent listener to the preceding remarks, now looked up from her drawing, and said in a tone of surprise, “I thought that Miss Graham was one of
“Well,” replied Louisa, “and so she is. Why are you so surprised; are you acquainted with her?”
“Oh no,” said Annie, “but”- -and then she hesitated; for she hardly knew how to go on. “I mean," she continued,
rather timidly, “that if Miss Graham is really your friend, I wonder that you should so easily believe she was to blame in not speaking to you. It is very probable she might not have seen you.”
“Oh no,” answered Louisa, impatiently," it was impossible she could help seeing me.
The truth is, she has found a newer, and a more fashionable friend, and she was not therefore anxious to acknowledge the intimacy with me."
“But, Louisa,” persisted her cousin, "you cannot be certain that you are right; it is at least possible that you may be mistaken, and Miss Graham is surely entitled to the full benefit of that doubt. I do not think she can ever have been your friend, if so trifling an incident as this is sufficient to destroy your confidence in her.”
“You may call it trifling,” replied Louisa, “but I do not. The minutest circumstance is often as sure an index of a person's feelings, as the most direct avowal of them would be; and if a person can behave coldly to you at one time, she will do so again, if it suit her purpose.”
“Yes,” said Annie, “but your charge against Miss Graham, is after all, only based upon an “if;" and will it not be wiser to wait and see whether your surmises are correct, before you pass such hasty censures on her conduct. I always thought that real friends reposed the most perfect confidence in one another's affection ; and that it was unjust to doubt their love, unless you had the most undeniable proof of its withdrawal.”
“ Then I suppose you do not think that I have had sufficient evidence of Mary Graham's caprice?" remarked her cousin, proudly.
“I am unacquainted with Miss Graham,” replied Annie, gently, “ but I think that if you have hitherto had no reason to complain of her friendship, it would be very ungenerous to alter your opinion respecting it, from this solitary instance of apparent neglect.”
Louisa coloured. Perhaps she felt there was more truth in her cousin's remarks than she chose to acknowledge. “Well Annie,” she said, “ you might not care if you thought you were treated unkindly, but every body is not like you. My feelings are so very sensitive that I cannot bear the least coldness from
Persons of an opposite temperament, pass much more comfortably through life, for they are not so deeply impressed by the neglect or ill treatment which may be manifested towards them.
Annie felt rather offended at this insinuation of her want of feeling ; and she replied with some warmth, “It is certainly best not to be so very sensitive, if it only excite us to an uncharitable judgment of another's conduct. I am sure Katherine would
“And who is Katherine,” interposed Harriet, desirous of introducing a more pleasant subject, as her sister and cousin appeared likely to disagree about the present one,
“ did she live near you when you were at home?”
“Yes,” replied Annie in a softened tone, “her father's pretty cottage adjoined my uncle's parsonage, and so we very often saw each other. We used to take our lessons together in the morning, and in the evening we generally went for a long walk, except in the winter, and then Katherine often brought her needle-work, and sat with us, while I read aloud to her and my aunt. She is such a nice, amiable girl, and so clever ; I am sure you would like her very much. Oh, I was so sorry to leave her when I came here, for we had seldom been parted before.”
Perhaps she will forget you, now you are away from her,” remarked Harriet, playfully, “ for friends seem so very inconstant now-a-days."
“Oh no,” responded Annie, eagerly, “ I am sure she will not forget me; I have had too many proofs of her affection, to fancy that. It would make me quite miserable even to think of such a thing."
Louisa smiled. “Well, my romantic little cousin,” she said, “ I hope you will never be disappointed ; but we really must not chatter any longer, or else we shall not be drest in time for dinner."
The cousins separated ; and when Annie was alone in her own room, her thoughts soon reverted to her early friend Katherine, and the many happy hours which she had passed in her society ; and so deeply interesting was the subject, that she did not wake from her reverie until roused by the sound of the dinner-bell.
Annie Mansfield was an orphan. Her parents died when she was very young, but she found a happy and peaceful home in the