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increasing the difficulty of the questions, the more advanced would be led on to the full comprehension of a difficulty, which by themselves they would have been unable to answer; and while the same questions, a little varied, were afterwards proposed to the less intelligent scholars, the Teacher would not only discover who did, and who did not, receive what was imparted, but would fix the knowledge in the minds of the more advanced, and render it, as far as possible, clear to all.
42. The Teacher must impart knowledge “ BY QUESTIONING IT into THE CLASS,” and discover whether they have received it
IT out OF THE CLASS."
43. Skilful Teachers will divide their questions, on any subject, into three heads. They will ask,
Ist. The meaning of the words. 2nd. The meaning of the sentences. 3rd. The spiritual truth to be derived from the text of Scripture under consideration. (e. g. Luke ii. 10.) “And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”
Ist. What do you mean by an angel”? What do you mean by the word,“ tidings” ?
2nd. Who spoke to them? To whom did the angel speak? What did he say? Why need they not fear? What were the good tidings of great joy? To whom was it to be good news?
3rd. And is it good news to all people? Will all people be benefitted by it? Why did our Saviour say, « Woe unto thee, Bethsaida”? &c. &c. Are there none among us who had better never have heard of Jesus Christ?
44. The character of the questions will vary much, according to the knowledge of the class ; and it can only be ascertained by experience, what sort of questions ought to be asked; the first object of the Teachers is to become conversant with the subjects, to understand them themselves ; and then to take care that their scholars comprehend them also.
45. And no lesson should ever be read or repeated,
without the Teachers convincing themselves, by questioning, that the children perceive and comprehend the general import of that which they are saying. It is indeed difficult with very little children to make them properly understand that which it is quite right that they should learn by heart. Yet still it may be accomplished, in some measure at least.
For example, let us suppose that we were attempting to teach the Lord's prayer to very
little children. Who is our Father in heaven ? Where is God? Whose Father is he? Have you another father? Which is the best father? What does “hallowed” mean? Whose name should be made holy? Who should try to make it holy? Should you take God's name in vain, and use bad words ? Whose kingdom do we pray may come? Do all people pray to God? What do some people pray to ? Are they who pray to wood and stone God's people? Whose will should we try to do? Who does God's will in heaven? Which does it best-angels in heaven, or we upon earth ? Should you try to do God's will, as the angels do? Whom do we ask to give us our daily bread? Who gave you your dinner? But who gave you a mother to give you a dinner? What does “ Trespass” mean? Who can forgive us our sins ? If any one hurt you, should you try to hurt them? Why not ? What should you do? If you do not forgive others, will God forgive you? Who leads us into temptation ? Who can save us from the power of the devil? Who can keep us out of all evil? Whose is the kingdom? Which is best-heaven or earth? Whose is the power and the glory? What do you mean by “ Amen"? It is something in this way that we may lead even little children to divine truths.
(To be continued.)
No. II. Again, dear children, we will
back many a long year, and look on our own country as it was in other days,a wilderness of woods, sprinkled with rude towns, the best of the woodland villages by no means so comfortable or so well ordered as the poorest hamlet you can find in Britain now. When last we trod these paths together, we only gazed, as the raven might, on the fair island and its savage children: we heard afar the cruel strife between the barbarians and the strangers, but to-day we will look more closely on the land as it was found by the Roman-on its worship and its customs, its priests and
Even in those days there was a difference amongst the men of Britain: some were richer, and better clad, and more gently nurtured than others, even as some had darker locks and browner skins than their brethren. Generally those who dwelt near the sea were the richest, the best clad, and the most skilful, for to these the merchants, from wiser and happier lands, often came; but you will look and hearken for a little space with me.
I am treading the paths of a far-spreading wood, on a clear autumn day; the flaky boughs of some of the trees are already crimson, and clusters of empty acorn-cups lie half hidden among the brown and yellow leaves at my feet. Here and there a little brook gushes up beneath the mossy roots of the trees, and goes its way, fretting through the wood; you can watch its course by the fringe of rushes. Now and then, where the trees let in the sunbeams, you may see on the purple flower of the wild scabious a beautiful butterfly, red, and golden brown, the last of the year; you might almost mistake it for a flickering leaf of the bramble, that turns so crimson before it falls, as it basks in the sunshine, quietly opening and shutting its bright-coloured wings. The fingery fern-leaves that cluster here and there over a mossy stone are growing crisp and brown, and every thing tells us that winter is not far away.
We have passed the thickest of the wood, and are drawing near a British town. How unlike the towns of these days! There is a wall around it, but not of brick or stone-a rude bank, a deep ditch, and the thick brown trunks of trees, make, altogether, a fence you might not care to pass. Many trees of the wood remain still within the village, stretching their knotted arms and green shadows over the reeded huts.* A little while since, in the open glades around, you might have seen patches of ripe corn, yellow as gold; for this town is not very far from the sea, and the people have learned to sow and reap from their neighbours. Pits and caves, in the wood, are their barns when the harvest is gathered in. Far inland, and towards the north, you would find no corn-fields.
To-day there is a feast in the village, and many have met to rejoice. Yonder are some of the chief men in Britain ; their outer dress a square cloak, plaided with bright colours, the vest beneath fastened with a shining girdle; their ornaments, chains of brass, iron; and amongst the women, you may notice one or two with strings of dark-coloured pearls, from British oysters, hanging beneath their blue and green mantles. Not far off, there are pits or ovens, in which the meat is prepared; fire being kindled within, till the stones with which they are lined are heated, and then the meat is put in and covered over. When it is cooked, some of it will be brought to the guests on great skewers, and some
* London, in the time of the Britons, must have been a town very much of this description, occupying the rising ground on the bank of the Thames, bounded in part by a great lake or fen, (now Finsbury,) and in part by a vast forest and marshes. Many centaries later, the great forest covered the country, within a few miles of the river.
in strong baskets. Thin cakes of bread are brought also, in beautifully woven baskets of rushes, or osier and willow twigs. A kind of mead, (honey wine,) and something rather like the beer of these days, (but which you would not, I dare say, wish to taste,) will be drunk from the large horns yielded by the herds of cattle that roan through the woods and pastures around.
Sitting near the chief of the village, beneath that great oak tree, you may notice a man in long white raiment, gathered in folds on his shoulder, beneath a curiously wrought golden brooch. He is one of the Druids, (the wise men and the priests of the land,) and he holds a small harp in his hands. The eyes of all are fixed on him as he begins to sing to its wild music
It was night : dull and misty was the night, the cloud lay on the hills; the stream in the valley murmured ; the wolf was bowling in the wood;
The owl was hooting from the tree, the yellow leaves fell at the sound: there was silence in the huts, the spear leant on the wall.
There were voices in the night, and the trampling of many foes; the owl fled hooting from the tree, and the spear clashed on the floor.
The son of the mighty, at the sound, the son of the mighty awoke; the spear glittered in his hand, on the eyes of the sleepers it flashed.
They awoke with the spears at their side, two hundred awoke in the gloom; the foe came onward in the night, but the spears were shining on high.
Sharp and bright were the spears, and the spear-men were mighty of arm: the wolf returned not to his cave, for he died on the glittering spear,
On the glittering spear of the mighty he died; the son of the mighty is here: for this shall the song of his praise be heard, for this shall the harp be awakened.
Of an old battle he sings—of a sudden strife-when a tribe they loved not came upon them in the night, to kill and take possession, but they were driven back, and slain by him who sits at the feast to-day: and the harper loves such deeds of war, and would keep up their memory in the hearts of the people. On the eve of many a deadly fight, his voice has been heard in the huts of Britain. I told you that he was a Druid; and if
will me deeper into these fading woods, we shall find some of his brethren. Yonder I see their white raiment amongst the brown stems of the oak trees. The elder amidst them is girt with a golden girdle, and a crescent of