Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

judgment in finding out the particular portion which constitutes the answer. After the passage has been gone over in this manner, another series of questions is put, for the purpose of connecting its different parts--of leading the pupil to more comprehensive views of the whole, and of causing him to exercise his discriminating powers more vigorously than be fore. Of these questions the following may serve as examples : Who was ill? Where was she? Who was her daughter? To whom was her daughter married ? Where had Jesus been? &c. “These and similar questions,' says Mr. Gall, 6 to which the child himself must find answers, have the effect of throwing him invariably and successively back upon his own mind, for the purpose of searching, contrasting, and combining the words he has repeated, in order to prepare the answer; and thus strength and energy of mind are produced, as well as a clear and comprehensive view of the whole subject.”.

After these objects have been attained, Mr. Gall proceeds to require from the children, explanations of the most difficult words and expressions in the passage. Should a word occur, however, which they do not understand, he contrives, if possible, to lead them gradually to a knowledge of its meaning: Thus if they could not tell what is meant by the woman's minis. tering unto them, he would not explain it directly, but would guide them to discover it for themselves. The following extract from his “ End and Essence,” will illustrate his plan: “Teacher. What is meant by the woman's ministering unto them ? Scholar. I cannot tell. T. What would you say the person was who was engaged in ministering to another ? S. A Minister. T. And what is a Minister ? $. One who preaches. T. Do the King's Ministers preach ? S. No.

T. There must then be some other reason why these persons are called Ministers.--What do the King's Ministers do for him? S. They serve him. T. And what do Christ's .Ministers do for him when they minister to his people ? S. They serve bim. T. And what did the woman do when she ministered to Christ and his disciples ? S. She served them. T. What then is meant by ministering? S. It means serving, or giving them what they require." :;

After these catechetical and explanatory exercises, the children will be able not only to derive from the passage the ideas which it directly conveys, but also to relate in their own words the various circumstances which it details. Here, then, they have advanced one step towards the great object to which they are taught to aspire. Mr. Gall then proceeds to conduct them a second step. And in doing so, he simply divides the

verses into the several statements which they contain, and he teaches the children to derive a practical lesson from each statement. Thus, in the passage before us, we are told that Christ arose out of the synagogue, that he entered into Simon's house, that Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever, that the people in Simon's house prayed for her,--that in consequence of their prayer, Jesus stood over her, and rebuked the fever,--that at his word the fever left her,--that when she was cured she arose and ministered to Christ and his disciples,--and that she did so immediately. Having thus dissected the verses in his own mind, Mr. Gall takes up each statement successively, and requires his pupils to derive the practical lesson which it is calculated to convey, and this in general will be an easy exercise if the following direction be observed. When any circumstance is mentioned, let the inquiry be instituted, -Was it right or wrong? If right, then the practical lesson which it suggests is, that it is to be imitated; but if wrong, that it is to be avoided, and the contrary followed. Thus in the case before us, Mr. Gall would say to his pupils,-"Christ arose out of the synagogue and of course he attended the Jewish Church,—What do you learn from this ?” They would readily answer," It teaches us that we also like him should attend public worship.” He would then proceed to the second statement in the passage, and say, "Jesus left the synagogue, and entered into Simon's house, for the purpose of rest and refreshment, as we find from the 39th verse, -What do you learn from this?” The answer would suggest itself immediately, and they would reply, " It teaches us that it is proper for us to attend at seasonable times to our rest and refreshment.”. And in this manner he would proceed with the following statements until the passage has been exhausted. .

After these exercises, the pupils have passed through the second stage of their progress. They have not only attained to the various ideas individually which the verses contain, and to a comprehensive and connected view of the whole, but they have also acquired the practical information suggested by them. Mr. Gall would then proceed to direct them to the third step of their advancement; and, in doing so, he would merely sum up the knowledge which they have ob. tained, and endeavour to bring all to bear upon their hearts, and upon their conduct. This is the great object at which all along he has been aiming, and for which all the previous exercises of the children have been preparatory. Now, for the attainment of this object, Mr. Gall would suppose them

placed in circumstances similar to those detailed in the paso sage, and he would ask them how they ought to act in these circumstances ? , The following will serve as a specimen of the questions to which the verses before us would naturally lead. Teacher. If any of our friends were in affliction, what should we do? Scholar. We should pray to God for its removal, and that it may be blessed to them and to ourselves. T. From what do you draw that lesson ? S. From the conduct of those who were in Simon's house, who, when the woman was afflicted, besought Christ for her. T. But suppose we were afraid that our prayers would be of no service to our afflicted friends, what ought to encourage us ? S. We ought to be encouraged by the fact, that such prayers have been answered. T. Whence do you draw this lesson? S. From our Saviour's rebuking the fever of Simon's wife's mother, and causing it to leave her, when entreated in her behalf. T. If we ourselves were afflicted, what should make us patient and submissive.? S. The reflection, that all our sufferings are in the hands of Christ, and that he can continue or remove them as he pleases. T. From what do you draw this lesson? S. From the circumstance, that when our Sawiour rebuked the fever, it left the woman.

Mr. Gall then proceeds to apply the practical knowledge at which his pupils have arrived in teaching them to pray. Your limits, however, will not allow me to descend into this most interesting department of his labours. I must, therefore, refer your readers to his various publications, and particularly to “The Elements and Practice of Prayer,” and to “ The End and Essence of Sabbath School Teaching, and Family Religious Instruction," and to his “ Helps to the Gospels and Acts," where both the details of the System will be found clearly and forcibly developed. - Mr. Gall's System recommends itself, and therefore it is unnecessary for me to recommend it. It has been received with universal surprise in the principal cities of the British Empire; it has found its way across the Atlantic, and has led to a complete revolution in the Sabbath Schools of America; it has obtained the unqualified sanction of the most learned and pious men, wherever it has travelled; and what is more surprising than all, when I consider the bitter and determined hostility to every thing good which is so frequently evinced, its author assures us, that he“ bas never beard an objection yet."

Mr. Gall's System, I have said, recommends itself, and therefore it is unnecessary for me to recommend it. It rei

commends itself as admirably calculated to invigorate the mind by the incessant. drilling to which it subjects it, to fertilize the intellect by unwearied cultivation, to treasure up in the memory an exhaustless store of religious knowledge, in. stead of an uninteresting catalogue of words and phrases ;: to communicate a facility of drawing upon these resources for direction and for consolationamid the ever varying circumstances of life, and to cause all to bear upon the great end, “ that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

- I conclude, by expressing my hope, that as the “ Liesson System” has recommended itself, by its unparalleled efficacy to the universal approbation of the wise and the good of our day, it will carry the same recommendation upon its front, down to the remotest posterity and that it will tell upon the immortal destinies of generations yet unborn. BELFAST, 18th October, 1830.

W. M. rammermonnonmiamimmeil sinnsson LETTER FROM THE REV. 1. MONTGOMERY,

[The following article came too late for insertion, in our last Number. Vye have since forwarded Mr. Montgomery's letter to “ A Member of the Established Church ;” and we subjoin his reply. With the nature and extent of Mr. Montgomery's serious temporal losses, we profess to be utterly unacquainted, and, in our simplicity, may entertain some serious doubts upon the subject; but we feel bound, when we insert his letter, to give his full statement. ----EDIT.] .it

TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX PRESBYTERIAN..." ŞIR, 1 .

,

, . 's In your last Number, a writer, who signs himself A Member of the Established Church,refers to an obser-> vation alleged to have been made by me, at Cookstown, during the Synod of 1828, concerning what he terms “The Ubiquity of Christ.”. Your Correspondent appears to be a person of a Christian temper-seems anxious for my conversion to the true faith," and calls upon me, either to defend the assertion attributed to me, or to confess my error 'in not worshipping the Son of God. I trust that I am duly sensible of his friendly feelings; and I now make a proposal, his acceptance of which will lay me under additional obligations...

"','y se I hereby invite your Correspondent to give his REAL NAME to the public; and, on his doing so, I shall not merely answer his call upon the subject of ” The Ubiquity of Christ, but likewise enter into a friendly discussion with him, on all points, both of Doctrine and Discipline, which are in dispute between

the Orthodox Episcopalians and New-Light Presbyterians of this country. Should he, in the course of our correspondence, convince me that I am in error, and lead me to“ a knowledge of the truth,” I shall be infinitely his debtor. He may thus be the happy instrument of rescuing me from the reproach of man, prevent the serious temporal loss attendant in these sad times, upon the maintenance of unpopular opinions, and finally secure me from the awful forfeiture of future happiness..

In the meantime, however, he must pardon me for declining a contest with a concealed and nameloss adversary. Let him drop his mask, and come fairly before the world, so that we naay stand upon equal ground; and I pledge myself to meet him promptly, at least, though it may be unsuccessfully. .

Trusting to your justice, for the insertion of this in your : Number for the current month,

I am, Sir, yours, &c.

H. MONTGOMERY. BELFAST, 24th September, 1830.

REPLY, BY “A MEMBER OF THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH."

TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX PRESBYTERIAN.

SIR,

SOME time ago, the Rev. Henry Montgomery publicly avowed his belief in the OMNIPRESENCE OF THE WORD, our Saviour, the LORD JESUS CHRIST, as I have already stated, in my letter to you, which you published in your Eleventh Number. From this admitted" omnipresence I inferred, that, in THE WORD we live, and move, and have our being, and from his having been the Creator of all things that were made, “ visible and invisible," and his being possessed of an intimate knowledge of God the Father, I showed that he is acquainted with the real essences, attributes, qualities, and properties of every thing in the universe, and therefore omniscient. By a similar chain of reasoning, I proved him, as I humbly.conceive, to be omnipotont, and possessed of all the other attributes of Deity, and I pointed out, with every due respect to Mr. Montgomery, the propriety of his either refuting my arguments or (if he should find them unanswerable) joining in the worship of THE WORD, the LORD God, his Creator. Mr. Montgomery has not replied to my reasoning, but he proposes, it seems, to do so, if I shall assign my name, and throw off, what he is pleased to term, “my mask.” On this subject, Sir, I hope you will allow me to say, that if Mr.

« ForrigeFortsett »