« السابقةمتابعة »
truth, had not anticipated a blessing on their labours before they were begun. What they witnessed, however, on that occasion forcibly remiaded them of the promise,
Before they call, I will answer; and, while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” Since that time, the attention io religion among the pupils, and in the congrega. tion, has been such, as to render the commencement of the course of historical instruction impracticable. The design, however, is still kept in view; but though the immediate a cornplishment of it is in itself desirable, yet the Pastor would rejoice in being compelled to postpone it, until not only all the youths thus associated, but all the congregation, were introduced into the family of Cbrist.
With regard to that part of the courge already commenred, the following advantages are conceived to attepd it.
The pupils commit to memory a large number of the most important passages of the Scriptures. These will probably be reiained through life.
They are led to examine these passages, with a di. rect, reference to the important truths which they commupirate.
They investigate all the dnetrines of the Scriptures for themselves, and the scriptural evidences by which they are supported.
Their attention being secured ; the best opportunity is furnished to apply the truths thus taught immediately to their own bearts.
The Spirit of God may be expected to bless bis own truth. On this point the language of Experience is already decisive.
With regard to the advantages, which may attend the proposed course of historical instruction ; as it is not yet commenced, nothing need be said respecting it."
Of the classes in the Old South Congregation, the Pastor of
that Society has, at our request, furnished us with the following account.
“ 'There are two classes ; one of young ladies of fifteen years of age and upwards, consisting of about ninety
members; the other of young men of sixteen years of age and upwards, consisting of about forty-five members. They were established about three months since, and meet, at present, once in four weeks, on the same day; the female class in the afternoon, and the young men's in the evening. The meetings will probably be soon increased to once a fortnight. They both meet on the same day, and recite the same lessons, for the convenience of the Pastor. The class for young men was commeneed at their special request. The method of instruction is the followiug The pastor first delivers a course of lectures, six or seven in dumber, on the authenticity, credibility and inspiration of the Scriptures, and the man. ner in which they should be read and studied by private Christians. Or each of these irctures, after delivering it, he gives them an abstract, of which they take notes with a pencil, which are written out as soon as convenient with a book prepared for the purpose, with such enlargments from the lecture as they way have retained in their memories; and carefully studied previous to the next meeting. After the lecture has been delivered and the ab-tract given, the classes are examined by the Pastur ou the preceding lecture, and the exercise concluded with a practical application of the subject recited, to the conscience and the beart. After this preliminary course is finished, it is intended to commence with the book of Genesis and go through, in the first place, with the histurical parts of the Bible, then with the Epistles, and with the other parts in such order as shall be found most expedieut. In this part of the course the following meth. od will be pursued. For example, let the two first chapters of Genesis be assigned for one lesson. The Pastor will at one meeting of ibe class notice and give the explanation of the various difficulties that may occur to the attentive reader; he will then mention the several doctrines taught in these chapters with the evidence they furnish of their truth, occasionally referring to other parts of the sacred volume. where they may be more fully or distinctly revealed. Of these remarks the members of the class will take notes in the manner before descri. bed. At the next meeting. after the lecture on the two or three subsequent chapters has been delivered, the class will be examiued on the chapters which were the subject
of discussion in the previous lecture, by questioning them—first upon the chapters themselves as contained in the Bible, noticing as they oceur the difficulties of which the solution had been given at the last meeting; and then upon the account which had been given of the doctrinal instruction communicated in this portion of the word of God. After which the exercise will be concluded with a practical application. In studying the New Testament the References and Key appended to the edition lately published in this City by Mr. Wilbur will probably be used.
Without intending any reference to other methods of communicating biblical instruction to the young, the following may be stated as some of the advantages of the method which has just been described.
I. It compels the Pastor to study the Scriptures them. selves with care, and may furnish him with materials for lecturing at a future period to his Congregation ; a method of preaching by far too much neglected at the present day
II. It furnishes the members of the class with information respecting the evidences of revelation, the manners and customs of the people to whom the Seriptures were originally communicated, &e. &e. which, though not essential to salvation, will be gratifying and profitable to them through life.
III. It exercises the judgment as well as the memory and the conscience, and nay therefore contribute to their intellectual as well as moral improvement.
IV. It brings the doctrines of the Bible before their minds in the order and connexion. and in the very aspeet in which they are communicated by the Holy Spirit.
V. It is calculated to induce a habit of attention to the instruction imparted in every part of the sacred Scriptures when perusing them in course, and thus to correct the very common practice, even among
Christians, of reading their Bibles without observing the sentiments intended to be communicated by the Holy Spirit.
VI. It furnishes the Pastor with on opportunity of making a practical and personal application, to this interesting portion of his flock, of every part of the sacred volume."
It gives us no small pleasure to detail the successful efforts of Boston Ministers, in collecting around them Zion's HOPES, expanding their memories, enriching their understandings, elevating and refining their taste, and what is of still higher importance to youth as im. mortal beings, impressing the conscience, and by the bles. sing of God, purifying the heart, and controlling the wilt. Other Congregations are adopting similar meth. ods of instruction, and we hope to be favoured with a full account of their efforts and their success or futura numbers.
LEARN TO STOOP,
(Related in a Letter from Dr. Franklin to Dr. S. Mather.)
“ The last time I saw your father was in 1724. On taking my leave, he shewed me a shorter way out of the house, through a narrow passage, which was crossed by a beam over lead. We were still talking as I with. drew, when he said hastily, Stoop! Stoop! I did not un. derstand bim till I felt my head hit against the beam. He was a man who never missed an occasion of giving instruetion; and upon this he said to me, You are young, and have the world before you ; STCOP as you go through it, and you will miss many hard thumps. This advice, thus beat into my head, has frequently been of use to me; and I often think of it when I see pride mortified, and misfortunes brought upon people, by iheir carrying their heads too high.”
Dr. Gifford, as he was one day showing the British Museum, to strangers, was very much vexed by the profane conversation of a young gentleman, who was pres. ent. The Dr. taking an ancient copy of the Septuagint, and shewing it him, “O!" said the gentleman, “ 1 ean read this." 66 Well,” said the Dr. " read that passage;" pointing to the third commandment. Here the gentle. man was so struck, that he immediately desisted from swearing."
The following Hymn, from the pen of Rev. J. NEWTON, 15
j inserted, as adapted both to the season, and to one Essay in the present Number.
See how winter's icy hand
TO READERS AND CORRESPONDENTS.
We thank the Christian friends whose communications have enriched the present number of the Monitor. We hope to receive from them other articles as often as their multiplied labours admit of their contributing. We shall probably introduce more miscellaneous matter in succeeding numbers than we have yet done. We wish to glean frequently in the field of human science, but to lay all our sheaves at the feet of Christ.
We renew our request that able pens would condescend to use this publication as the medium of addressing that portion of the young for whom it was principally designed, and also to give hints to parents, &c.