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LET NOTHING MAKE THEE SAD.
Or too regretful;
Nor seek earth's favour,
PAUL FLEMING, (1609-1640.)
REPORT OF SABBATH OBSERVANCE COMMITTEE.
RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION ROOMS,
30th March, 1871. Your Committee, having in view the important object for which they were appointed, have had three Meetings during the past year, at which the subject of obtaining statistics of the number of shops kept open on Sabbath in Glasgow had the prominent place in their consideration. Your Committee, at an early stage of their proceedings, carrying out a suggestion made at your Board, agreed to seek the co-operation of the Glasgow Working Men's Sabbath Protection Society, and a SubCommittee was appointed out of their number to meet with that Society, by appointment, at one of their ordinary meetings. Thereafter the two Committees, in co-operation, adopted means for securing statistics, on the correctness of which dependence might be placed.
These statistics, after considerable delay, over which your Committee had no control, they are at length, through the kindness of friends, enabled to lay before you ; and they feel assured that the result is one which fully justifies the friends of the Sabbath, and among that number particularly Sabbath school teachers, in being alarmed at the continued increase of this form of Sabbath desecration. Your Committee would specially direct attention to the sale of fruits and confections, which, of all the others, shews the largest increase; and is, in their estimation, as a temptation in the way of children, a source of much evil, and a hind. rance to Sabbath school work.
In 1857 this branch shewed 316 shops open on Sabbath ; in 1860 the number was 389; while in May, 1870, it reached that of 546; being nearly a-half more, as compared with 1860, and two-thirds above 1857. In all, 16 classes of business are represented in this traffic. 7 of these shew an increase, as compared with 1860, of 254, besides 2 new classes, consisting of 4 bakers and 1 Turkish bath, not represented in preceding years. 6 classes show a decrease, as compared with 1860, of 109; leaving a nett increase, in comparison with that year, of 150 shops; and, as compared with 1857, the nett increase on shops of all classes is 532.
Your Committee feel that the subject is one worthy of grave consideration on the part of Sabbath school teachers, and calling for some suitable action on the part of the Union Directors.
TABLE Shewing the number of Shops and other Places of Business open within
the City of Glasgow, and doing business on Sabbath, 2nd February, 1857, Sabbath, 3rd June, 1860, and Sabbath, 22nd May, 1870.
1857. 1860. 1870. Fruits and Confections,
316 389 546 Groceries and Provisions,
269 266 322 Milk,
423 591 586 Barbers,
65 52 21 Eating-Houses,
34 Oyster and Fish Stores,
9 News Rooms,
3 Pie Houses,
32 26 20 Tobacconists,
24 36 40 Green Grocers,
99 115 85 Fleshers,
1 25 22 Coal Dealers,
4 23 Druggists,
165 179 Bakers,
4 Turkish Bath,
ON CONFORMITY TO THE WORLD, A CORRESPONDENT sends the following :-It must be apparent to every thoughtful mind that there is in the Church at present, amid much that is good and earnest, a lamentable amount of levity and conformity to the world. The aim of too many professing Christians seems to be, not so much a daily growing in grace, and the bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit, as how much it is possible for them to mix in worldly amusements, and yet maintain the name and character of Christians. Of late this spirit has taken a more offensive form; things which formerly were looked upon as the most worldly of all being now done, if we may so speak, under the very patronage of the Church. not find Sabbath school teachers, Church choirs, and Christian young men's societies, having annual re-unions, not, as one might expect, to
encourage each other in the service of Christ, and to seek how they may serve bim more, but to fritter away an hour or two in foolish talking and jesting, and this followed up by a dance, carried on till far in the morning? Why should such things be? Surely it is not at the midnight revel a Christian finds strength for the life-long battle against sin; it is not in such frivolous amusement the Sabbath school teacher will find a true preparation for his interesting and important work; no, but it is there the adversary of all good is to be found in his most seductive and alluring form ; it is there the works of the flesh are manifest; and it is there health is impaired and souls are imperilled. These dancing routs are indefensible on any ground whatever ; physically they are most injurious to health, as many have found out, when too late, and morally their effect is evil, and only evil; and it is little short of solemn mockery of the Saviour to constitute, as is often done, in His name, meetings utterly antagonistic to all that is good and pure. There is, surely, in these days a loud call to all who profess Christ to see to it that their every day conduct is in keeping with their profession. Those who seek their highest good on earth may try to find it in every haunt of folly; but Christians have no right to be there; they are specially called to come out from the world, and to be separate; they are warned against rioting and wantonness; they are commanded to love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, for if any man love the world the love of the Father is not in him. Sabbath school teachers, ponder these things, and manfully resist every encroachment of the enemy. Let it be known that the service of Christ and the service of the world can never be joined; and if a few hypocritical friends should leave your ranks, the loss will be theirs and not yours, for with a purer and holier service you may confidently expect a much larger blessing.
IN THE PRESENCE OF DEATH. ADONIRAM Judson, the illustrious American missionary, was a minister's
He was very able and very ambitious. He was early sent to college. In the class above was a young man of the name of E- brilliant witty, and popular, but a determined Deist. Between him and the minister's son there sprang up a close intimacy, which ended in the latter gradually renouncing all his early beliefs, and becoming as great a sceptic as his friend.
He was only twenty years of age; and you may be sure it was a terrible distress and consternation which filled the home circle when, during the recess, he announced that he was no longer a believer in Christianity. More than a match for his father's arguments, he steeled himself against all softer influences; and with his mind made up to enjoy life and see the world, he first joined a company of players at New York, and set out on a solitary tour.
One night he stopped at a country inn. Lighting him to his room the landlord mentioned that he had been obliged to place him next door to a young man who was exceedingly ill, in all probability dying, but he
hoped that it would occasion him no uneasiness. Judson assured him, that beyond pity for the sick man he should have no feeling whatever. Still the night proved a restless one. Sounds came from the sick-chamber- sometimes the movements of the watchers, sometimes the groans of the sufferer—and the young traveller could not sleep.
“ So close at hand, with but a thin partition between us,” he thought, " there is an immortal spirit about to pass into eternity, and is he pre
And then he thought, “For shame of my shallow philosophy! What would E-, so intellectual and clear-headed, think of this boyish weakness?"
And then he tried to sleep, but still the picture of the dying man rose up to his imagination. He was a "young man," and the young student felt compelled to place himself on his neighbour's dying bed, and he could not help fancying what, in such circumstances, would be his thoughts.
But the morning dawned, and in the welcome daylighit his “superstitious illusions” fled away. When he came down stairs he inquired of the landlord how his fellow-lodger passed the night.
He is dead!” was the answer. Dead!” “ Yes : he is gone, poor fellow; the doctor said he would probably not survive the night.” “Do you
know who he was?” Oh yes, it was a young man from Providence College ! a very fine fellow; his name was E
Judson was completely stunned. Hours passed before he could quit the house; but when he did resume his journey, the words “Dead! Lost ! Lost !” were continually ringing in his ears. There was no need for argument. God had spoken; and from the presence of the living God the chimeras of unbelief and the pleasures of sin alike fed away. The religion of the Bible he knew to be true; and turning his horse's head toward Plymouth, he rode slowly homeward, his plans of enjoyment all shattered, and ready to commence that rough and uninviting path which, through the death-prison at Ava, and its rehearsal of martyrdom, conducted to the grave at Maulmain.—Dr. James Hamilton.
ITALIAN SABBATH SCHOOLS. In a series of articles now in course of publication, Miss E. J. Whately gives an interesting account of her visits to Italian Sabbath Schools. Wherever, she says, the work of evangelization has gained a footing, something has been effected in the way of Sabbath teaching.
At Milan I saw two schools of this kind, one in connection with the Waldenses, the other with the Free Italian Church, as it is called. The former was entirely conducted by the admirable and devoted Waldensian pastor. He stood in a circle of boys and girls, read a chapter of the New Testament with them, and questioned and explained as he went, with a simplicity and liveliness of illustration which could not fail to interest and
touch them, concluding with a simple hymn and prayer. He then distributed some copies of a little periodical, or children's paper, containing anecdotes, stories, and hymns suited to children. Several of our favourite English hymns have been well translated, or rather adapted and imitated, in Italian; and very pleasing it was to hear the young voices singing Tal ch'io sono (“Just as I am") and Bello it di (“Happy Day") with animation and correctness.
The school in connection with the Italian Church is a large one. It commences before the usual morning service. The children were arranged in order, and were first questioned by the master of the week-day school on the verses they had learned by heart, after a prayer had been repeated by one of the boys. The evangelist, who takes the principal part in conducting the school, then came in, and questioned and explained a chapter which they had been evidently preparing in regular course.
The answering was for the most part very good, the manner of the teacher was very happy, and his exhortation at the end one likely to be useful and interesting to the children. On the whole, my impression of both schools was favourable, though I regretted in both the want of more teachers. The whole seemed to rest on one person, and in the case of his illness or absence the work of the day must be suspended. But, perhaps, in & country so imperfectly evangelized, and where the converts, even of some years' standing, have had so few advantages, it could hardly be expected that the work should escape the evil of too much centralization.
In another Italian town where I spent a Sunday, the large week-day and Sunday schools, in connection with an important Protestant congregation, were mainly under the superintendence of one lady—not an Italian by origin, though born and bred in the country. It was a very happy union of northern steadiness and southern fire and animation; and seldom have I seen any worker apparently so entirely fitted for her post.
As I write, my mind's eye pictures to me the large school-room, with its well-filled benches, and the directress standing at her reading-desk at the upper end of the room, her bright penetrating eye glancing over the whole of her little flock, and evidently taking cognizance of every little Vittoria, Cesira, and Adele among the groups of young ones.
The opening prayer was simple and fervent, and peculiarly impressive. Then a hymn was sung, verses and texts repeated, and questions answered ; and then the lady turned to a chupter in St. Matthew's Gospel, (apparently read in course,) which she read through herself, stopping to comment on every two or three verses. Her remarks were very appropriate, practical, and simple. On the whole, I thought it one of the best organized schools I had seen.
(By Professor E. E. Edwards, A.M.) We speak not of those that slumber beneath the sods of the valley, but of those that have a name among the living, yet are spiritually cold and pulseless. Nor do we refer to those included under the Scripture metaphor as dead in trespasses and sins, but to a class of persons correct