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VOL. XIV.-VOL. II., NEW SERIES.
EDITOR AND BOOK-STEWARD,
METHODIST NEW CONNEXION BOOK-ROOM,
42, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.
SINCE Robert Raikes gathered some rude lads from the streets of Gloucester one Sabbath-day, and gave two women one shilling each to teach them to read the Scriptures and repeat the Church Catechis, education has made wonderful advances. It is now become a great national question, and secular instruction is so cheap that the poorest families in the land may become more learned than Doblemen and princes were in former times. All who love their country and their kind will rejoice in this. Yet the labours of the Sabbath-teacher, the devout parent, and the Christian Editor are not superseded; nor can any future advance in secular education dispense with their peculiar duties, or diminish, in the least degree, the force of their special obligations. Our task may, indeed, as was fitting, be divested of its secularity, and thereby afford to us a wider scope for a nobler aim—the formation of character and the salvation of the soul. In this work the Bible is our text book, and skill to illustrate and apply its truths is the grand qualification for those entrusted with the sacred charge of educating the young.
We aspire to aid in this work, and hence so large a space is devoted to unfold the truths and doctrines of the sacred volume. The Bible is not only true, but truth—" Thy word is truth.” It is truth in its concentration, in its essence, and ultimate principles, from which beams radiate as from a centre, and impinge on all the great facts of time and eternity, in the vast universe of matter and of mind. Hence the angels desire to look into it; and in proportion as our minds become purified and ennobled, shall we delight to ponder its eternal verities.
A highly-esteemed friend has requested us to embrace “ The New Testament” in our Scripture Lessons. This has been done already
in part; for, indeed, the facts of the Old Testament form the groundwork of those developed truths which shine with a brighter lustre in the more perfect economy; and it was from the beginning our intention, should life be spared, to comprise both parts of the Divine revelation. Our chief difficulty is the want of space to compress matter sufficient to illustrate one cognate chapter from each within a single lesson. We purpose, however, to meet the wishes of our friends as far as possible, by a divergence, in some degree, from our present plan, and include readings and illustrations of both Old and New Testaments—selecting such portions of the New Testament as have special reference to the Old. The Epistle to the Hebrews seems the best adapted for a trial, as it is full of references to historical facts, predictions, and types of the Jewish dispensation; and therefore, after the month of January, which will complete our comments on “The plagues of Egypt,” we propose to begin with the above Epistle, and go through it. We undertake this, however, in the hope that all our schools will adopt our lessons.
We heartily thank ministers, teachers, scholars, and friends in general, for the support they have hitherto rendered us. Amidst scanty means and many privations they have wonderfully maintained our circulation. We ask their continued aid, and hope the coming year will find us all a wider field of labour, and yield more abundant usefulness; then we will unite together in giving God the praise.
Crescent, Albany-road, London, S.E.