Page images
PDF
EPUB

really perfect; if he had no fault. Yes, he had his faults and weaknesses as other good men have. One fault arose partly, if not wholly, from his extreme sensitiveness. His heart was tender as a woman's. Opposition and insult which would have touched some men but slightly would pierce him to the very quick, and cause him days and weeks of bitterness and uurest. Where some men would have brushed these annoyances aside as so many cobwebs, and have gone resolutely on in the path of duty, to Mr. Winsome they were serious and formidable barriers. If he had only had the sublime courage which looks steadily in the face of all obstructions and all "obstructionists” and says "none of these things move me,” and yet retained his childlike tenderness of soul, bis success would have been even greater than it has been. Still, take him all in all, he is a "good man,” an invaluable worker, and a sterling friend, one whom I would " grapple to my soul with hook of steel.”

BAND OF HOPE PAPER.

THE DUTY OF SUNDAY-SCHOOL TEACHERS IN

RELATION TO TEMPERANCE.

over

B

VER. RICHARDSON, the celebrated physician, presided

a special meeting of officers and teachers of Sunday schools held in Exeter Hall, London, under the auspices of the United Kingdom Band of Hope Union. The following is extracted from the address be

delivered on the occasion :“I want to urge upon you as Sunday-school teachers your duties in helping us in our work. You have none of those difficulties to contend with in those you teach (that is, the difficulties amongst the middle-aged and the over middle-aged class of the community which the Dr. bad been enumerating). You have the young and virgin soil to work upon. He laughs at wine who never felt its need, and you are teaching those who have never been embarrassed by the necessity which is common to so many. I think I cannot too strongly impress upon you your duties in regard to the young. Quite independently of this special mischief which you have to guard them against, there are the social and moral lessons intermixed with your work bearing on temperance which I would most solemnly enforce upon you as a part of your great duty, and as supplementing the rudimentary work of moral teaching which belong to a past age.

I want you to remember seven great points of this subject of temperance and the uses of alcohol,

I would ask you first to teach your pupils that it is an entire fallacy, to suppose that alcohol in any of its forms as intoxicating drink is the gift of God to man. It is no such thing. I know this to be a persuasive argument. Men will tell you of the vast acreage of grape fields, and of miles of fields of waving barley, a'd speak of these as gifts. They are gifts as fruit and grain, I admit: they are not gifts as fermented laboratory and chemically produced alcohol. Man invented alcohol, and produces it by as distiactly chemical a process as I might use to produce chloroform or any of those other agents which are good in their right place, but are very dangerous when they are not so used. No; there are a great many ageats in Nature which we may say are natural gifts which stand in this light far before alcohol, such as opium, strychnine, arsenic, if you

like. But we cannot think that these agents, though they be nature-produced, are intended to be used by us as agents to demoralise our Nature. How much less, then, is that the case with an agent which man produces as a secondary product from Nature ! Do, I pray you, enforce upon those who are under your care that it is an entire fallacy, having no foundation in science at all, that alcohol is a gift from Nature to man. In the whole range of the vast production of living natural things there is not a single fluid of any kind whatever by which they are built up and through which they live in perfect life and action, in development of life and strength, except the one fluidwater. Think you that God is so unwise as to make man a distinctive thing from all this scheme of Nature, and to give him to take that which belongs to no other part of the great scheme of life? Not at all. If so, how would live those multitudes of men who have never seen this agent, how those who lived before it was discovered ? Keep this thought in your minds, that in the whole scope and scheme of physiological life one fluid is the simple natural drinkviz., water.

“Secondly, teach the young that, if the habit of drinking intoxicating beverages is never indulged, it is never felt as a want. This is a prime argument to use with the young, that those who have long abstained are those who least feel the want of alcohol. And here is a curious physiological fact which I have discovered, that the effects of alcohol are what we should call cumulative ; that when it once enters into the body it creates a desire for itself. I do not know in what way this oceurs, but such is the fact. It is as if the tissues which are saturated with it thirsted for it more, and so long as a man is taking even a small quantity of alcohol, so long as his system is under its influence ever so little, this taste is always present. Hence the fallacy of what is called moderate drinking as a safety against excessive drinking. There is, I assure you, no safety for a moderate drinker; but when the body is completely emancipated from the presence of this agent, when no tissue is touched by it, then, in a little time, all the parts acquire freedom, and total abstinence is a complete fact. See how important it is, therefore, to

66

instruct the young never to acquire the habit of taking wine or strong drink.

“Thirdly, I want you to impress upon the young that if this habit be indulged, the difficulties of throwing it off are tenfold increased ; that the danger is always imminent that what is called moderation will pass into excess, and that the results of an intemperate life will be theirs.

“ Fourthly, you may further teach by history and by examplebut always better by example—that the hardest work, mental and bodily, is best carried out without the stimulating, effects of this agent which so many look to for support in all their labours.

A fifth point is that alcohol has no claims in a scientific sense to be considered as a sustainer either of bodily or mental life or work. It has no kind of claim as a food, and you will do well to let your scholars know at once (for it is a simple question) what is a food.

Sixthly, you can show that in alcohol there is nothing that can build up any tissue, or supply any force ; nay, you can tura round and prove by demonstration upon demonstration that this agent destroys healthy tissue and reduces force. You can show that men travelling in the northern regions in extreme cold, exposed to all the hardships and severity of frost-that such men travel betier, work better, preserve health better, if they are not under the influence of that which goes with the cold to produce their destruction.

Lastly, I would press upon you to teach in your Sunday schools as regards alcohol, that in approaching the subject of temperance, and in showing the uselessness of the most mischievous of all agents within the reach of man, you are promoting a good which extends beyond your own time. I would have you teach that it is a part of the duty of every man to make a heaven even on this earth. I would have you specially show that no such blissful habitation on earth can be while this terrible blot, this constant producer of disease, of crime, and of premature death, exists in our homes, runs down, as it were, through our domestic shrines, and fills the lower parts of our population with want, depravity, and death. Hold forth to the young that there is a future even in this world which partakes of heaven. Tell them how best to remove this one great obstacle to the possession of that future, and your labours will have a rich and immortal reward."

M

WILD FLOWERS. Y DEAR CHILDREN,-I should like to say a word to you

about the flowers. Perhaps many

of you have been out with your parents or Sunday-school teachers on excursions during the past summer months. You have left the hot and

sultry town, the workshop, and the school, and have gone out for a day into the country to see the green fields, the woods, and the parks. You gathered the wild flowers as you ran about in glee, and weaved the daisy chain as you sat down to rest. Some of you have glided over the waters of the miniature lake or fed the graceful swans by the side of the pond, and you were very happy. But do you ever think of Him who gives such blessings, and who scatters the flowers with such a liberal hand ?

Is there no lesson you could learn from these lovely flowers that grow by the wayside, that deck our fields, and decorate our hedgerows ? A French writer has said that wild flowers are the alphabet of angels, whereby they speak mysterious truths o'er hill and dale. But to the Christian the wild flowers are more than the language of angels. they are the footprints of Deity, the voice of a benevolent Creator speaking not only mysterious truths, but plain and simple facts; they tell us of a loving Father in heaven who cares for His children on earth.

Take the common daisy, which is found in almost every land, and blooms in our own country in every month of the year ; examine its construction, how every part is in just proportion, how perfect its symmetry, how neatly the petals are arranged, with the edges so nicely scalloped and tinted. This will give you some conception of the formation of flowers, for all are made on one common principle, and all have certain parts alike, showing to us that it was one great mind that designed them all. When we consider this, and notice their great diversity, their endless variety, their different colours and many sizes, yet all so perfectly made without a mould to form them, a machine to cut them, or a pattern to copy from, and in the case of wild flowers without even a man to till the ground, how can we help but admire the wonderful works of God ? The flowers are a proof to us that God loves beauty, taste, and ornament, or why has He made

From the wild flowers we may learn many lessons of faith, and hope, and love. They teach us also God's care for His children. Are We poor, and do we fear lest we should not have food and raiment ? Leto

us consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin ; yet even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, will He not much more feed and clothe us? If He so notice little flowers as to give them such reautiful colours, feed them

them?

with gentle rain, and refresh them with the pearly dew, will he not also take care of those whom He has made to know Himself and enjoy His favour? The rich man may form his parterre and wall bis garden round, but the wild flower is the common inheritance of all; it grows by the wayside, in the hedgerows, on the mossy, bank, among the grass in the field and at the cottager's door. Children gather these flowers and are full of joy. At sight of them we know that summer is near, and now the summer has passed away and the flowers are gone, we are looking forward beyond autumn and winter to the springtime, when they will return again. You children, like flowers, will die, and, like flowers, you also will live again. Are you prepared for the great change? That you may be transplanted from among the thorns and briars of earth to adorn the bowers of the Eden above is the wish of your humble friend.

A SUNDAY-SCHOOL TEACHER.

SUNDAY-SCHOOL DEPARTMENT.

SCRIPTURE LESSONS FOR SUNDAY SCHOOLS.

SEPTEMBER.
MORNING SUBJECTS.

Golden Texts
SUBJECT.

for Repetition. 1 FOR READING,

THIRD QUARTER. 2 The Final Plague

Exod. xi.

Heb. x. 31. 9 The Lord's Passover... Exod. xii 1-14,29-36 1 Cor. v. 7. 16 The Flight from Egypt... Exod. xiii. 17toxiv.9 Ps. cvii. 14. 23 The Sea Divided.... Exod. xiv. 10-31 | Pe. ix. 16. 30 | Moses' Song.......

Exod. xv. 1-21 ... | Ps. lxvi. 16.

AFTERNOON SUBJECTS.

Golden Texts SUBJECT. | FOR READING.

for Repetition. THIRD QUARTER. 2 Paul at Corinth

Acts xviii. 1-17 ... Rom. xii. 11. 9 Paul at Ephesus... Acts xviii. 24toxix.12 Ephes. ii. 1. 16 | Power of the Word ......... Acts xix. 13-28 ... Heb. iv. 12. 23 Paul at Miletus

Acts xx. 17-38 ... 2 Cor. iv, 5. 30 Review’of the Quarter's Lessons

Ephes. ii. 13.

OCTOBER.

MORNING SUBJECTS.

Golden Texts

for Repetition.
FOURTH QUARTER.
Jehovah feeds His People Exod. xvi. 1-18... John vi. 33.
Israel at Rephidim.. Exod. xvii.

SUBJECT.

FOR READING,

7 14 21 28

1 Cor. x. 4. Israel at Sipai...

Exod.xix. 1-11,20-25 Gal. iji. 24. The Ten Words

Exod. xx. 1--21.... Matt. v. 17.

« PreviousContinue »