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of schools and scholars recently re- (pointed to be held on Sabbath evenported; but the subject had been ing, 22nd September. The visitation fully discussed at the two previous of societies at their business and premeetings of the South-Eastern Union. paratory meetings was agreed upon; A conversation took place on the and the subject of “The Co-operation practice of giving Sabbath scholars of Societies in organizing Sabbathrewards in the form of books, soirees, day Services for the Young and Preand excursions; and it was agreed to paratory Meetings for the Teachers," resume consideration of the subject was specially commended to the atat a future meeting. It was agreed tention of the committee. The that “the growing practice of closing following gentlemen were appointed Sabbath schools during the summer delegates to the Convention at Perth, months” should engage attention at —viz., Messrs. Colin Brown, John first meeting.
Steel, James H. Thomson, and AndPARTICK AND HILLHEAD SABBATH rew Fleming. A letter was read from SCHOOL UNION. The bi-monthly the secretary of the General Union meeting of this Union was held in calling the attention of this Union to the hall of Newton Place U.P. Church, the decrease in the attendance at Partick, on Thursday, the 8th August. Sabbath schools. The meeting exA communication from the Glasgow pressed its sense of the importance Sabbath School Union was read, re- of the subject, and suggested several ferring to the decrease of Sabbath reasons as accounting for the decrease schools and scholars in Glasgow of in the attendance. It was stated late. In the conversation which that in the east end of the city (the ensued, it was thought that such neighbourhood in which the shows decrease
did not apply to the district are located at the Annual Fair) imof this Union ; but, in the absence morality and drunkenness have inof statistics, it was considered not creased much of late; and it was possible to ascertain definitely. The suggested that the General Union subject of attendance was next taken should bring its influence to bear up; and it was agreed to recommend upon the authorities by representing the different Sabbath school socie- the degrading effect which the preties to have their entertainments sence of these exhibitions has on the about the same time, and endeavour population of that locality, that these to confine them to their regular scho- shows might be prevented from After this had been disposed of, the ence to those who may choose to remit from the General Union in apply for it. regard to the decrease of Sabbath schools and scholars in Glasgow was MISSIONARY INTELLIGENCE. considered. An interesting discus- FRUITS OF SOUTH SEA MISSIONS. sion took place on the subject. It — It has been stated on good authorwas thought that possibly the dimi-ity that in more than three hundred nution of schools and scholars was islands of Eastern and Southern Polyin some measure due to the greater nesia the Gospel has swept heathenism accuracy and correctness with which entirely away. The missionaries of the statistics were now procured. It the four great societies have gathered was also thought that the falling off four hundred thousand people under in the number of scholars might be Christian influences, of whom a quar. accounted for partly by the removal ter of a million are living still; and from the town to the country of the fifty thousand of these are communiparents, and partly (in the case of the cants. Polynesia, south of the equamore advanced) by the want of pro- tor, and Melanesia have been the per and sufficient means of imparting sphere of English missionary enterinstruction. It was suggested that prise, through the London, Wesleyan, the want of a continued or sustained and Church Missionary Societies; interest in Sabbath school teaching while Northern Polynesia and Mion the part of the teachers might ex- cronesia have been, or are being, plain the falling off. It was remarked evangelized by the American Board that the decrease in both items gave of Foreign Missions. In 1820 the no good ground for alarm or appre- American Board commenced its mishension as to the success of Sabbath sion in the Sandwich Islands, and in schools in Glasgow. At the close of 1870 rendered its last report: the the discussion it was agreed to have whole group having been evangelized a conference of the teachers, for the in half a century, and the native purpose of stimulating and encour- Church becoming self-supporting unaging them to greater activity during der native pastors. Being thus rethe coming winter. The financial lieved from the burden of sustaining arrangements of the Union were next and managing missions in the Sand. taken up, when it was agreed to soli- wich Islands, the American Board cit the sum of not less than five shil. was able to give more attention to lings from each society. The meeting, regions beyond, now called Microthough thinly attended, was alto- nesia. The same methods of evangether agreeable
and also, that the various secre- obtaining ground in future in any taries should use every endeavour to part of the city. It was also agreed prevent children alternating between to refer this subject to the Visitathe schools. It was also agreed that tion Committee, to be discussed the visiting and prayer meeting com- and considered by societies when mittees should hold meetings at an visited. early date to arrange their work. NORTH-WESTERN DISTRICT UNION. Delegates were appointed to repre- -This Union met on Tuesday, 13th sent the Union at the proposed Na- August, in one of the halls of Free tional Sabbath School Convention at St. Stephen's Church, under the prePerth.
sidency of Mr. Gray, the Union's MIDDLE DISTRICT SABBATH SCHOOL president. The first business possessUNION.-The meeting of this Union ing any general interest was the conwas held on Tuesday evening, 13th sideration of the
forthcoming National August. Mr. Colin Brown, presi- Sabbath School Convention, to be dent, in the chair. It was agreed to held at Perth in September. It was resume the music class for Sabbath agreed that three or four gentlemen scholars early in November. The should be sent to represent the Northhalf-yearly prayer meeting was ap- Western Union at the Convention.
and interesting. gelization are being pursued in these FAIR WEEK EXCURSION.—During groups as were employed with so the Fair holidays a party of the work- much success in the Sandwich Islands, ing boys and girls belonging to Free and there is no doubt but ultimately St. George's Schools had a pleasant similar success will be realized. six days trip to the Lake of Men- Missionary News. teith, Perthshire; during which time MISSION TO NORTH AMERICAN they had daily trips to Aberfoyle, INDIANS.—At Simcoe reservation, Loch Ard, Callander, &c. The wea- Washington Territory, where are lother was delightful, and nothing cated the Kliquital and Yakima Inoccurred to mar the young folks' en- dians, once the most dangerous and joyment. The party numbered 63 warlike in the north-west, there are
We hope next year other now almost two hundred comfortable societies will organize similar excur- houses, with barns and out-buildings, sions; and we doubt not that the and two neat churches, all built by promoters of Free St. George's trip Indians. They own twelve thousand will give the benefit of their experi- | head of stock, and have several thou
sand acres of land under successful known as the German, but which
tiful England-more beautiful Wales! MORAVIAN MISSIONS.—The unob- When I go to my home there are some trusive body of Christians known as things that displease me very much. the Moravians have just completed Gentlemen who have made money the hundred and fiftieth year of their come over from England and spoil existence as a community. The an- the beautiful wildness of the Welsh niversary has been celebrated at Hern- landscape by changes which prove hut, in Saxony, for which purpose their own clumsy taste. I like to go deputies assembled from all the "col- through the old graveyard, and read onies” belonging to the denomination. the names of the grey-headed men Hernhut is the headquarters of the and women I knew when a little boy. Moravian brotherhood, which was Put that home feeling into your founded in 1722 by Count Zinzendorf, preaching: Give me a man who who endowed it with rich and exten- loves his home. In the Welsh, “To sive estates, from which it drew the be present with the Lord,' is literfirst means of subsistence. This re- ally to make my home with the
gious family has grown to such an Lord.' I would speak my most sweet, extent as to embrace with its system eloquent, and intense words for such of colonies almost the whole globe, a Society. It is a Society to make and is still successively pressing far- our home beautiful. Englishmen, ther into the heathen world. In you ought to love your home, and England it possesses thirty-six colon- work for your Society supremely, if ies, and the same number in America. for no other reasons, for this, that it The largest of its provinces is that is a Home Missionary Society.”
NOTES ON THE UNION'S LESSON SCHEME FOR 1872.
LESSON XXXVII.-SEPTEMBER 15. GOD'S CHILDREN SHOULD BE THANKFUL AND GLAD.-Deut. xxvi. 1. Among the observances of the Mosaic Law there was none more beautiful or natural than offering the basket of first-fruits. Three times in a year were all the males to appear before the Lord, in the place which He should choose, - viz., at the feast of unleavened bread-Passover; at the feast of weeks or first-fruits-Pentecost; and at the feast of ingathering—Tabernacles, (chap. xvi. 16.) Every man was to bring for himself a basket of first-fruits, (v. 2,) wheat, barley, grapes, figs, dates, &c., at the feast of Pentecost, when harvest was ended: therefore called the feast of first-fruits; embodying, in a more solemn way, the idea of our harvest. home. It taught people to acknowledge God as the Giver of all our mercies, and also to give to God the first and best we have. How happy the young man or woman who dedicates the days of youth to the service and honour of God! In verses 3, 4, are specified what the offerer was to say to the priest, and what the priest was to do with the basket, which seé.
2. Verses 5-10 contain a form of confession and thanksgiving which might be used by the offerer before the Lord. The substance thereof is an acknowledgment of the small beginnings from whence he and his nation had sprung, that he might not be proud of his acquired privileges and advantages, but might always be thankful to that God by whose grace he had been raised from a low estate to his present position. Jacob was but a poor Syrian, ready to perish, (v. 5.) He and his descendants were sorely used in Egypt, (v. 6.). But when the people cried unto the Lord, He brought them forth with a mighty hand, and gave them this land that floweth with milk and honey, (v. 7-9.). “And now, behold, I have brought the first-fruits of the land which Thou, O Lord, hast given me," (v. 10.) The offerer was, further (v. 10), when he had finished the service, to give glory to God : “ Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God.” Bringing the basket of fruits would mean nothing if not accompanied with a humble, reverent, thankful heart, which is what God chiefly looks to. And withal there was to be cheerfulness- a cheerful enjoy. ment of the gifts of God's providence by all concerned, (v. 11): “ And thou shalt rejoice,” &c. To trace the good hand of God in all our mercies, temporal and spiritual, will greatly increase our happiness and contentment.
3. In verses 12-15 is added another interesting form of prayer, apparently unconnected with the foregoing, to be said (we presume publicly) " before the Lord thy God” once in three years. Every third year (chap. xiv. 28, 29) a second, or additional, tithe seems to have been taken of all the increase of that year, and left in the hands of the individual, to dispose of it for the support of " the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow." Hence the solemn declaration required to be made before the Lord, that the whole of this tithe, or tenth part, had been employed in the prescribed way, and that no portion of it had been used for any unclean or superstitious purpose, (v. 13, 14.) To which was to be added a prayer for a continuance of the Divine blessing (promised to their fathers) upon the whole people and the good land which the Lord had given them, (v. 15.) Is there not here & clear acknowledgment of the principle of " systematic giving?”—a fund left in our own keeping over and above all legalized charity, and for which each individual is accountable to God-a plea for each of us periodically to ask ourselves the question, Have I given away as the Lord has prospered me?
4. The terms of the covenant between God and the people are here repeated, (v. 16-19.) It is essentially this: (1.) The statutes and judgments which had now been committed to the people of Israel were the commandments of the Lord their God, and therefore binding upon them heart and soul. (2.) The people had solemnly owned and confessed Jehovah to be their God, and engaged to hearken unto His voice. (3.) The Lord himself had, as He had promised, avouched them to be His peculiar people, and all that they might keep His commandments; and (4.) in order that He might exalt them above other nations, to be an holy people unto the Lord.
LESSONS. 1. Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase, (Prov. iii. 9.)
2. By the sovereign grace of God we are what we are, (1 Cor. xv. 10.)
Memory Excercise—Shorter Catechism 37.-Psalm c. 1-5.
Text for Non-Reading Classes. “ And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.”—Deut. xxvi. 11.
LESSON XXXVIII.-SEPTEMBER 22.
BLESSINGS FOR OBEDIENCE.—Deuteronomy xxviii. 1-14. I. Notice the condition on which the blessings would be given. It is specified in verses 1, 2, 9, 13, 14. It was obedience : “ If thou wilt hearken diligently un. to the voice of the Lord thy God;”. “If thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in His way.” This was the one condition of blessingthe only road to peace and happiness. And so it is still, obedience to God's law will always bring peace. The way of transgressors is hard. Illustrate this by reference to any of the commandments. The thief finds his work hard. The drunkard reaps the reward of his evil ways. Whereas godliness is profitable unto all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come, (1 Timothy iv. 8.) Notice the extent of this obedience. It embraced all God's commandments—they were not to turn aside from any of the words of God. Illustrate this by reference to the statement of James : “He that offendeth in one point is guilty of all,” (James ii. 10.) God requires complete, entire obedience.
If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments,” (Matthew xix. 17.)
II. Notice the blessings. They were mainly of a temporal nature; for in the old dispensation outward prosperity was more connected with obedience than in the new.
(a.) The blessing was to be over the whole nation, (v. 3.) Dwellers in cities would share in it as well as those in the country.
(6.) The blessing would extend to themselves, their land, and their substance, (v. 4.) Notice how in Egypt God multiplied and increased the nation, and how the land promised was a land “flowing with milk and honey.'
(c.) Their provisions would be blessed, (v. 5.) Their very food would be blessed of God, and would nourish and strengthen their bodies. Without God's blessing our very food will prove a curse to us.
(d.) They would be blessed in peace and in war, (v. 6, 7, 13.) The Lord would be with them in their going out, and in their coming in, i. e., when following their ordinary avocations; and should war arise, He would cause their enemies to flee before them. Read the Book of Judges, and see how, when they sinned, they became an easy prey to their enemies, but, as soon as they repented, He made them victorious over all their enemies. Victory was always sure if the people were walking in God's ways.
(e.) The blessing of plenty would follow on obedience, (v. 8.) Their harvests would be good, and their storehouses overflowing. In Ahab's time God punished the land by drought. Famine was one of His scourges. He gives plenty, or He sends famine, not capriciously, but to bless or to punish a land.
(f.) The dread of them would be upon all nations, (v. 10.) Their whole history shews how true this was. Just in proportion as they obeyed God's commandments did they hold their own against all comers.