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Pause not to dream of the future before us!
Unintermitting, goes up into heaven!
Till from its nourishing stem it is riven.
“ Labour is worship!"—the robin is singing ;
Speaks to thy soul from out Nature's heart.
Only man, in the plan, ever shrinks from his part.
Labour is life!--'Tis the still water faileth ;
Flowers droop and die in the stillness of noon.
Play the sweet keys, wouldst thou keep them in tune.
Labour is rest-from the sorrows that greet us ;
Rest from world-syrens that lure us to ill.
Droop not, though sin, shame, and anguish are round thee !
Rest not content in thy darkness—a clod!
Let thy great deeds be thy prayer to thy God!
F. Osgoon. NOTICES OF BOOKS.
The Sunday-school Service-Book. Boston. 1845. This little work, designed for the use of Sunday Schools, is prepared by the Hon. Stephen Phillips, vice-president of the Boston Sunday-school Society. It consists of a number of Religious Services for the Sunday School; and a copious and valuable collection of hymns for the school.
We learn from the preface, what indeed we had been to some extent aware of previously, that it has been usual in the American Schools connected with our denomination, to have a printed form of service, in which the superintendent, teachers, and children all take part. The compiler of the Service-Book objects to extemporaneous prayers in the school ; and certainly if any form of prayer would be more likely to fix the attention of the children, it would be most desirable to adopt it. The great difficulty that must have met every superintendent is, to interest the scholars in the devotional exercises of the school, and to the accomplishment of this object, every minor consideration should be sacrificed. We are not sure, however, that the substitution of a printed service for the extemporaneous prayer will secure the attention of the young ; there is always a tendency to rhyme over, parrot-like, words that are familiar. Older persons than children must have felt this tendency, even in the repeating of the Lord's prayer. Perhaps a combination of the two modes of conducting the religious services might be found most useful. In every case, the more brief the exercises, the more likely are the children to join in them.
We believe that many superintendents and teachers will be glad to see how the Sunday School is conducted, according to the plan laid down in Mr. Phillips's work, which we have seen most favourably noticed in the several Unitarian newspapers and magazines, published in Boston ; and we therefore subjoin one of the services. It is to be observed, that each service is directed, in all its parts, to one particular subject; the one we copy has reference to “ Early Piety," another to "the Holy Scriptures,” another to “the Beatitudes," &c.; and it is also to be remarked, that there is, on each Lord's day, not merely the class lesson conducted by the teacher of every class, but the “ Lesson for the Day” given by the superintendent, or some one for him, to the whole school. The hymns and general lesson should be chosen to suit the subject of the other parts. The devotional exercise from the Scriptures, is intended to be read in separate passages; one passage by the superintendent alone, and the succeeding passage by the teachers and scholars together. The prayer is to be read in separate passages, as indicated by the marks of separation ; each passage to be read first by the superintendent, alone, and then repeated by the teachers and scholars. "The Lord's prayer to be said simultaneously by all present.
II.-Lesson from the Scriptures. Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth ; while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when ye shall say, We have no pleasure in them. Know ye the God of your fathers, and serve him with a
perfect heart, and with a willing mind. If ye seek him, he will be found of you ; but if ye forsake him, he will cast you off for ever. Acquaint now yourselves with him, and be at peace; thereby good shall come unto you. Delight yourselves in the Lord, and he shall give you the desires of your hearts.
What doth the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul; to keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes? What doth the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
Children, sin not. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin. Take heed lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. If sinners entice you, consent not. Enter not into the path of the wicked, go not in the way of evil men; avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. Walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. Walk after the Lord your God, and obey his voice, and cleave unto him. Be followers of God, as dear children.
Children, let no man deceive you; he that doeth righteousness is righteous. Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think of these things; and these things which ye have both learned and received, do.
Children, keep yourselves from idols. Love not the world, neither the things of the world. If any one love the world, the love of the Father is not in him ; ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord ; for this is right. Learn first to show piety at home, and to requite your parents ; for this is good and acceptable before God.
Children, love one another; be kindly affectioned; have fervent charity among yourselves.
III.-Devotional Exercise, from the Scriptures.
VI.–Prayer. Our Father who art in heaven !- In the morning of life may we give our hearts to thee !–With the purity and strength of our youthful affections,may we love and serve thee!—May it be our earliest resolution, and wilt thou help us to keep it,--never to forget, and never to forsake thee !—May we not cast off fear, nor restrain prayer before thee;—but, as often as we meet in the Sunday School,-and in thy house of prayer,—daily, when we enter our chambers,—and in every moment of trial and temptation,-may our hearts commune with thee!-May we examine our hearts, -and keep them with all diligence!—May we take heed to our ways, according to thy word !—May we refrain our tongues from evil,--and keep our lips from speaking guile!—May we abhor that which is evil,—and cleave to that which is good ! – May we be faithful to the least of our duties,—and whatsoever our hands find to domay we do it with our might, and to thy glory!-May we keep ourselves unspotted from the world !_We ask not that thou shouldst take us out of the world,—but that thou shouldst keep us from the evil !—May we abstain from all appearance of evil ;—may we not follow a multitude to do evil ;—may we beware of evil workers !-May our conversation be as becometh the gospel of Christ,-and may we prove ourselves his disciples by having his spirit-and by keeping his commandments !—Thus may we be prepared for all the events and duties of life,—for the great change of death,—and for the retributions of eternity,-through thy mercy in Jesus Christ. Amen.
Our Father who art in heaven !–Hallowed be thy name.—Thy kingdom come.-Thy will be done,-on earth, as it is in heaven.-Give us this day our daily bread.–Forgive us our trespasses,—as we forgive those who trespass against us.—Lead us not into temptation. Deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom-and the power—and the glory—for ever.
The Lord preserve you from all evil, the Lord preserve your souls ! The Lord preserve your going out, and your coming in, from this time forth, and even for evermore! Amen,
The Governess and her Pupils; or, Stories illustrative of the Parable of the
Sower. By the Authoress of A Memoir of Catharine Jane. Belfast. 1845. This little book was presented to us by a friend who characterized it as being "highly evangelical," and stated that it was the production of a lady who conducts the infant school in connexion with the Bel. fast Academy. We have bestowed on this little work an attentive perusal, and have ascertained that the religious opinions contained in it are the very reverse of evangelical, being highly Calvinistic. The writer, in her preface, insists on the duty of constant religious instruction, and we presume that her opinions are strenuously and daily inculcated in the school in which she presides. We also presume, if it be generally known that such is the fact, parents who wish that the early religious instruction of their children should be simple and scriptural cannot approve of a system of which we subjoin a few specimens:
“The dialogue,” the writer informs us, “is a specimen of the method I use in conveying religious instruction; it has been attended with some success, and may assist some parents in making the Scriptures interesting to children, for it is a fact we must never forget that the mind of every child of Adam is naturally averse from all good.”
We would respectfully remind the writer that children are created by God, that he is their Father, not Adam, and it is of them that the Son of God speaks when he says, “of such is the kingdom of Heaven.” We are, therefore, compelled to deny, "that they are by nature averse from all good.” The dialogue proceeds as follows:
“Robert. 'Do you know, Ma'am, on Sunday, when I am in church, listening attentively at church, and think I shall be able to tell you much of the sermon, it seems all at once to fly out of my mind, and I can scarcely recollect even the text; do you really think it is the Devil who takes the word out of my heart?'
“I am sure of it, my dear, for Jesus says so, and it is an awful thought how busy he is, even with children, to try to keep them from the Redeemer, because he knows the willingness of the Lord to receive them; you have no idea of the malignant pleasure he feels when any of you mind his suggestions, and is it not sad how
often you help him?'- Well, 1 am sure I shall not be so careless again,' said Bessie, when I just remember the Devil, like a bird, waiting to catch up the seed sown.”
We pass over the story of the Widow's Son, and proceed to that of Emily Brown, who was converted by a sermon preached by a good clergyman called Black, and became a Blackite, but who, when Mr. Black removed to a distant parish, and was succeeded by what the writer obscurely terms “a formal moral preacher,” fell off, removed to Cheltenham, married, became gay, and to the author's surprise and grief, dances at a ball all night; she who had once been the hopeful and serious Emily Brown.
“Oh, ma'am,' said Bessie, 'this is not so dismal a story as the former one.' It is dismal, Bessie, for you have no idea what a dreadful enemy the world is to the soul. People appear to feel the temptations of the Devil, but do not dread his ally, the world. Do you remember what it says in the catechism you are to renounce? “Yes; the Devil and all his works—the pomps and vanities of this wicked world, &c.' 'Well, the world, you know, it says, lieth in wickedness. It literally means, in the arms of the wicked one.'”
What ideas, we would ask, must arise in the mind of a child, from such teaching as this? Can any parent wish his child to be brought up in the fear of the devil, rather than in the love of God? Is it right to teach children that an invisible, malignant demon is constantly beside them, who knows their thoughts, prompting them unceasingly to sin? Does the writer really believe that there are two omniscient and omnipresent beings, the one good, and the other evil ? And fu ner, we would inquire on what grounds this writer condemns moral preaching? What was the teaching of Christ ? What are the commandments? That moral teaching is altogether to be condemned, may be inferred from the following observation, page 92:-“ It is all very fine, giving accounts of amiable and disinterested people, such as we read of in the ‘Parent's Assistant,' &c.” Can this writer seriously intend that we shall substitute her system, and renounce Maria Edgeworth, as a "Parent's Assistant"ị The force of self-esteem can no farther go.
One word more as to dancing, of which such horror is expressed; a knowledge of which can only be acquired by the sacrifice of Christianity, we are informed. It may encourage serious parents, who, nevertheless, persevere in having their children taught to dance, that this healthful and invigorating exercise is not prohibited under the Jewish or Christian dispensation. It was prohibited by the Jews in