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within the memory of man from the timid posture of stranger merchants, to the high bearing of universal lords. The empire that dazzled us once, as surrounding the Great Mogul, more astounds us now, as meekly bowing under our own hand; an empire, of which the revenue exceeds by one-half that of “all the Russias," and of which the Governor-General has at his call an army, (subsidiaries included,) counting more than three hundred thousand men ! Has there ever been in God's rule of nations one mystery so deep, as that this assemblage of kingdoms, with a population so multitudinous, and military resources so inexhaustible, should be held in still submission by a country lying half the globe away, a country of whose natives there are not, on all that region, above thirty thousand bearing arms? The garrison of Paris is often more numerous than the entire force of European soldiers in India !
ESSENTIALS TO SUCCESS IN THE WORK OF
BY THE REV. JAMES HAMILTON.
A QUALIFICATION_or, rather, two qualifications in one, requisite in a Sunday Teacher-are familiarity with Scriptural truth, and felicity in expounding it. Should you ever visit the field of Waterloo, you could not do better than take Sergeant Cotton for your guide for this simple reason, that he has studied the subject. He was present in the battle himself; but he did not think that circumstance enough, for, as he confessed to us, his own share in the action did not give much enlightenment. But having made up his mind to offer himself to visitors as a conductor and interpreter, he spent eight months on the spot, reading every narrative of the battle on which he could lay his hands, conning the different maps and plans and despatches, and picking up all the anecdotes and incidents of which he could get hold, till he was familiar with the grand outlines of the engagement, and well furnished with its more curious details ; and then he entered on his avocation, an intelligent and accomplished guide. Ministers are guides. The children's pastor is a guide. The Sunday-school Teacher is a guide. And, just like the preacher, the Teacher should be fully furnished for his work beforehand. The grand outline of revelation should be so bold and vivid to his view, that, on the shortest notice, he could state it with unhesitating promptitude, and in the simplest terms; and he ought to be so versant in Scriptural details as to be able to variegate his instructions with endless instances from the Bible treasury. Before entering on his responsible office, it would be well for every intending Teacher to examine himself regarding his fitness. “Am I master of my subject? Do I fully understand the Gospel ? Do I clearly comprehend the way in which sinners are to benefit by that Gospel ? the way in which the Gospel is to do them good? And can I state off-hand the great truths of Scripture? Am I at home in its leading doctrines ? am I thoroughly acquainted with its most interesting and important passages ? May I safely offer myself now as a Bible guide ?” But besides knowing the truth, you need to tell it; and this is quite another thing. A man may be an adept in a science, and yet not “apt to teach” it. In Scotland we have had few mathematicians like Professor Playfair. His mind was mathematical. He lived in a world of plus and minus, and his imagination revelled in its own landscapes of cubes and spheres, enlivened with infinite series and impossible quantities. And in the Royal Society, or with brother sages like Hutton and Leslie, he could expound his discoveries ; but he was far too high and far too deep for the students in his college class.
This was the philosopher's infirmity. He would have been a still greater man had he superadded the teaching talent-had he been able, like the blind mathematician Euler, to make algebra an amusement, and render the abstrusest of the sciences attractive to a child. There is no reason why the same person should not be profound and popular; and indeed, the man who is shallow dare hardly be simple. Next to enlarging his own views, and establish. ing his own convictions, the Teacher's great study must be the art of communication-how to make the matter obvious and alluring to his pupils. And happily for you, my friends, the main part of what you have got to tell is narrative-of all things the easiest told, a story. But still there is boundless scope for ingenuity, and need for anxious thought, how to tell that story; and he would need to have a full heart and glowing lips who could make the story as fresh, and wonderful, and affecting, as the Bible gives it. If speaking to children, he would need to forget that there are old people in the world, and must forget that he is old. With all the reverence due to the mighty theme, and yet with the great plainness of speech, required by his unlearned auditory, he would need to brighten up each sacred narrative ; and nowise daunted by repeated failures, should never rest till he can paint in words a panorama, and repeat off-hand a pictorial Bible. And after a year or two of practice, should you learn this art of making the lesson plain and palpable, you will be better qualified to teach a Sabbath-school than Dr. Owen or Isaac Barrow would have been. Besides this talent for simplification, it is very
desirable that a Teacher should have a warm and hopeful disposition. No doubt a phlegmatic Teacher, if he be serious and faithful, will be more successful than his sanguine colleague who is withal light-hearted and desultory; but it is quite possible to be vivacious without being frivolous, and hopeful without being romantic or visionary. In order to gain the hearts of children, it is needful to be fraught with expectation and fervour. Their sunny temperament shrinks away from all that is dark and gloomy; and, what is worse, if they have a sombre Teacher, by an inevitable association of ideas, his shadow is apt to rest ever after on every religious subject. The Gospel is pure and genuine gladness. It is God reconciled; it is peace in the conscience; it is the blessed prospect of glory. And did we tarry under its constant shining, its hopefulness should gild our countenances, and beam on all our movements. The Christian and Christian Teacher should be an embodied gospel, and if despondency or severity be our habitual temperament, we may be devout, but we are not evangelical. We have got a wrong version of the Christian revelation, and are giving forth an erroneous view of it. But more than this, few have ever effected anything important, as Reformers or Evangelists, who did not carry with them a genial atmosphere, and look at the brightest sides of things. The philanthropist is one who takes up a lump of rusty ore, and espies in it a bar of precious metal. He is one who dredges rags from the kennel, and sees them converted into sheets of virgin paper, ready for the poet's pen or the artist's pencil. He is one who sees in an island of dirty savages a commonwealth of intelligence and piety not come as yet; and who discovers in a convict-ship a gymnasium for moral discipline, and the probationary school from which many a renovated and ennobled character may emerge.
And he is one, who in a ragged class would detect the possible germ of many a virtuous and many a lovely thing—so many problems for Christian zeal, and so many trophies for all-conquering and all-transforming grace. Luther, and Knox, and Howard, and Eliot, and Williams, all were sanguine men. They saw everything in rose-light-in a warm light borrowed from the promises of God, and from the bright results to which their ardent faith looked forward. And if you would be a successful Teacher, you must be sanguine. You must shed on your class some of this borrowed rose-light. You must not be daunted by any difficulty. You must not even be startled by any outbreak of depravity. And you must not despond, though hopes be only raised in order to be dashed again. Still look at the turbulent spirits and sulky truants before you; but look at the Christian citizens and affectionate disciples into whom you hope to see them transformed. They are yet to be your joy and crown: take pains with them, therefore, though they be your present grief and cross. Hope the best, and this very hope will end in something good.-English Presbyterian Messenger.
ON THE BLESSEDNESS OF BEING LEFT
ALONE WITH JESUS.
MARK vi. 31. “Behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and
speak comfortably unto her”—(margin, “to her heart.") HOSEA üi. 14.
1. Thus it was that when Moses was withdrawn from Pharaoh's palace, and was keeping his father-in-law's flock “in the desert,” even in Horeb, there the Lord appeared to him in the burning bush, and “spake comfortably” unto him. (See Exodus ii. 1, 7, 8.)
II. It was when Hagar had fled from Sarai, her mistress, that the angel of the Lord found her “in the wilderness,” by a fountain of water, and there spake comfortably' unto her. (See Gen. xvi. 7-11.)
III. Again, when she was driven out from Abram's house, and wandered “in the wilderness of Beersheba,” there the angel of the Lord called to her out of heaven, and spake "comfortably unto her.” (See Genesis xxi. 14, 17-19.)
IV. It was when Jacob was sent away from his father's house, as he fled to Haran, that he lay down to sleep, and had only “the stones for his pillow :" but as he dreamed the Lord appeared to him, and spake very “friendly” unto him. (See Gen. xxviii. 13—15.)
V. When Elijah had withdrawn himself “a day's journey into the wilderness, as he sat all alone under a juniper tree, and in the bitterness of his spirit even “ requested for himself that he might die,” how “comfortably" the angel of God spake to him there ! (See 1 Kings xix. 4—8.)
VI. Or when alone in the cave of Horeb, under the deepest sense of his solitariness, as the only prophet of the Lord left in the land, how comfortable “to his heart” were the words of the Lord—not in the wind not in the fire-not in the earthquake—but in the “still small voice”! (See 1 Kings xix. 9–18.)
VII. As the eunuch of Ethiopia was returning in his chariot from Jerusalem by the way to Gaza, " which is desert,” God spake to him by the mouth of Philip so