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were not applicable to any of the congregations in the Province of Ulster.
Scotland, and a Scottish Missionary Society have surely some claim on the Christian benevolence of the Presbyterian population of the North of Ireland ; and would we acknowledge the justice of that claim as we ought to do, the calls of the Society for subscriptions, to enable it to continue its prosperous career, would not be so urgent at present. If the Church of Scotland, in the days of Josiah Welsh, Robert Blair, James Hamilton, and John Livingston, had been indifferent about the spiritual wants of our forefathers, those pious and eminent divines would not have forsaken their own country, and subjected themselves to persecution, that the inhabitants of Ulster might enjoy the blessings of the Gospel, and of religious liberty. Would we look to America, we might be provoked to a godly jealousy and holy emulation in the support of Missions. While a spirit of lukewarmness prevades this country, the zeal of the apostolic ages seems to be rerevived among our Presbyterian brethren in the United States. While too many in this country are affected with a spirit of carelessness and indifference about the progress of the Gospel, there a lively interest prevails. The simplicity and fervour of the early ages of the Church, characterizes their Synodical meetings, and both people and ministers are calling on the Lord to fulfil his promise, that “all kings shall fall down before him; all nations shall serve him.” (Ps. Ixxii. 11.) A missionary spirit is in that land; a spirit of fervent prayer for the suocess of the Gospel. Here, a spirit of unbelief restrains us from joining as we ought in extending the knowledge of Christ Jesus. There, the promises of the Almighty are credited,--they expect, that, as the God of Heaven has promised to bless the labours of his seryants, they shall be effectụal in pulling down the strong holds of sin and Satan, and in building up a people for the Lord. There they expect succéss,--their contributions are given with a liberal hand, and their earnest and persevering prayers are answered by the Lord. Our Societies have laboured long, and until lately with small success. In America they have had abundant reason to bless the Lord for what he has done by their hands ; they are strengthened in the work of the Gospel, and relying as they do on the Almighty to fulfil his promises, calling for the assistance of the Holy Spirit to bless their endeavours, they must and will go on conquering, and to conquer.
And so must it be with us, if we expect that the Lord
shall make us instruments in the conversion of the Heathen.
Let our Clergymen then who have not hitherto been active in supporting a Missionary Society, establish meetings in their congregations for the purpose of collecting subscriptions, and assembling together in prayer to God for a blessing on their labours ; let our Elders bring the subject before the attention of the inhabitants of the districts in which they reside', by the distribution of tracts, and their diligence in procuring contributions for the Society. In the meantime, to meet the present demands of the Society, it is absolutely necessary that sermons should be preached throughout the country, and collections taken up in aid of its funds. Let the congregations which are engaged in this good cause in'crease their diligence ; let their contributors examine whether they may not be indulging in some superfluities or luxuries which might be dispensed with, and so would they be enabled to dedicate a greater portion of their riches to the cause of the Gospel. Let collectors esteem it an honour to be persevering and importunate in begging for a world lying in ignorance and crime. Our Visitation Presbyteries should
* Douglas on Prayer.
diligently inquire from the congregations under their care, what interest they take in the cause of religion in other countries ? Let them stimulate the negligent, encourage the awakened, and by every means in their power advance the cause of religion, both at home and abroad.
Think of the vast extent of the British Empire. It conprises upwards of one hundred millions of subjects; the greater number of whom are idolaters; and wliy, may I ask, has God given as such power but to employ it so that wherever it is felt“ mankind may feel our mercy too." Shall we enjoy the advantages of commerce which an Empire so extensive affords us; shall we revel in the luxuries of the East and the West; shall we think only of gain from every quarter without attending to the spiritual wants of our fellow-subjects; can we do so and remain guiltless of the blood of our fellow-creatures.! We cannot act in this manner and expect that the Almighty who
governs all things, and who employs human means in the evangelization of the world, will view our conduct with approbation. Unless we ovince our sense of the favours of Providence, and endeavour with all our might to fulfil our duty, we must expect that our power will decay-that the soeptre shall depart, and the kingdom devolve to another more faithful than we have been.
The labours of the Society are principally directed to the East and West Indies. In the West Indies particularly, bruch has been achieved, but much still remains to be done. Dur contributions and our prayers may relieve the Society from its present embarrassment, and enable it to pursue the advantages it has already obtained, thereby making some atonement for the anhallowed and criminal bondage in which we have too long held the sable sons of Africa. The Di. rectors of the Society look anxiously to Ireland for assistance, let them not look in vain; shall we, for the value of a few pounds, deprive such men as Blyth, and Watson, and Cooper, and Stephenson, and Mitohell, of their only support in life. They have given up the world for Christ's sake- they have left their relations, their friends, and all the social endearments of home, and are spending themselves in an unhealthy climate in the service of the Church of God. When they have dedicated themselves to the work, surely we ought to enable them to proceed we ought to encourage them on the way. As God has been liberal to us, let us of our riches contribute effectually towards the spread of the Gospel in the dark places of the earth. We are but stewards, let us be faithful. Wie may indeed withhold our mite, but if we do, is our reason a good one-is it such as will satisfy our Lord when he will call us to give an account of our stewardship?
I am, Sir, &c.
AN ORTHODOX PRESBYTERIAN. -, August 12, 1830.
MR. GALL'S SYSTEM OF SCRIPTURE EDUCATION.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX PRESBYTERIAN,
The friends of Sabbath School Education have been much gratified by the visit of Mr. Gall, announced in-your Number for August. Wherever he has exhibited the effects of his system, he has surprised and delighted his audience. Its extreme simplicity, and, at the same time, its irresistible efficacy, have never failed to call forth the wonder and admiration of those who are qualified to judge of its-merits. For my own part, I can scarcely command words adequate to convey my opinion with respect to it; and I have no doubt, that, by the blessing of God, its general adoption in this country would form a new era in the history of our Sabbath Schools.
With such views of the “ Lesson System of Teaching the Scriptures,” I feel myself called upon, by a sense of public duty, to embrace the opportunity which your pages afford, of recommending it most warmly to all who superintend the religious instruction of the young, and of promoting as much as possible its introduction into public seminaries and private families. And I know not how I can better discharge this daty than by giving a brief general view of the system itself. I feel that information is all that is required to secure its universal adoption by those who are conscientiously and prayerfully engaged in the communication of religious knowledge; and, therefore, I am encouraged to hope, that the following outline of its principal features may contribute, in some degree, to its more general and successful diffusion.
And, in the outset, I ask Sabbath School Teachers, what is their object in prosecuting the work in which they are engaged? It surely cannot be the mere imprinting of words and phrases, or even of ideas, upon the memories of their pupils; for all this might be done, and the heart might never be influenced, or the conduct regulated. The experience of every teacher. must convince him, that it is quite possible for the child to repeat with extreme correctness immense portions of the Scriptures without attaining to any of the religious knowledge which these portions were intended to communi
cate; and that even although he may attain in some degree to the possession of this knowledge, he may be utterly unable to make any use of it in the ordinary affairs of life. The great end, therefore, which every Sabbath School Teacher ought to keep steadily in view, is, not how he can cause his pupils to commit to memory the greatest number of chapters, nor how he can convey to their minds the greatest quantity of information, but how he can make the information which he commuricates to bear most effectually upon their general deportment. This ought to be the engrossing object of his most zealous ·labours, and of his most fervent prayers.
Now the attainment of this object is the point upon which Mr. Gall has concentrated all his energies. I shall exhibit his plan most iclearly by an example. Let us therefore supрове him surrounded by a class, and let the subject of his instructions be Luke iv. 38, 39: “ And he (Jesus) arose out of the Synagogue, and entered into Simon's house. And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose, and ministered unto them.” Now it is manifest that the pupils might read these verses with perfect accuracy, and yet that they might not derive a single idea from them, and it is no less evident that they might derive from them the various ideas which they are calculated to convey, and yet that they might obtain no practical improvement whatever.
The great object accordingly which Mr. Gall would propose to himself would be, to make the passage
their general deportment, so that not only their understandings should be informed, but also that their lives should be regulated. This is the highest -summit to which human effort can teach them to aspire, and to it they are conducted by the Lesson System in three steps. In the first step:they are taught to turn their attention to the passage, and thus to obtain from it the knowledge which it directly reveals. And this is accomplished by asking them squestions founded upon each of the principal words or phrases, and by causing them to search out the answers. Thus, in the supposed case before us, Mr. Gall would raise questions upon the words, he, sarose, synagogue, entered, Simon's, house, &c. and he would ask, Who arose out of the synagogue ? What did he do? Out of what did he arise ? When lie arose out of the synagogue, what did he do? Into what did he enter? Into whose house did he enter ? &c. When each of these questions is put, the pupil is obliged to turn his mind to the verses, and to exercise his