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Ah! what terror and confusion
Will the hypocrite display,
Publish'd at the judgment day.
AH his zeal, and his professions,
While he labor'd in the cause,
Longing after man's applause.
Love to Jesus, pure and fervent,
Only of the world observant,
Oh! may I, my work fulfilling,
With a pure and lowly mind.
Holy, upright, meek, and kind.
Search me, O thou God all-seeing,
And, from ev'ry evil freeing,
For Sunday School Children. Sung at St, Georges
ONCE benighted and forlorn.
Shades of ignorance depart,
Now we read thy holy word,
JOURNAL OF EDUCATION,
Hail 1859! Three hundred thousand Sunday school teachers give tbee welcome! Precious season for renewed labor. Priceless trust from an enthroned Master, never duly to be estimated till we stand 'mid the thronging myriads at God's tribunal, and measure life on earth in the balance of eternity. Time rolls round another fold of his lengthy scroll, and presents it pure, blank, speechless before u With a voice of intensest power he bids us awake to the responsibilities of our sacred trust; and urges us, by all that is precious in earth and heaven, to meet the exigencies of immortal issues. Faith, with her keen vision, darting forward, pierces the wondrous mysteries "within the veil." She bids us glance at the countless figures, robed in white, that pace the golden floor of the eternal mansions. She summons us to 'listen to those bursts of rich melody which " rise and fall on the celestial air;" and stand entranced by the rapturous hallelujahs that rise, like flames of incense, from hearts on fire with love and adoration. And, as the third heaven unfolds before us, she tells us there to recognize the once wayward, sin-defiled, God estranged spirits, that came, in all their helplessness and ignorance, to hear the story of a Saviour's love, in the lowly circle of our Sabbath class. Under such auspices she summons us to work; lured by such prospects, she bids us toil. No lap of supineness, no couch of inglorious case is tho fitting place for toilers for God and souls. The sweet oases that ravish the eye, and court repose amid the dreary tracks of this world's wilderness, are not for those to lie down upon who would gain a crown of many stars. Untiring, indefatigable energy is the indispensable pre-requisite
Vol. Ix. A
for ultimate success. If the ascent be steep and rocky, the greater the demand for intense earnestness, and more determined footsteps.
"Who work for 'souls' they win not in an hour,
The seed of that great truth from which shall spring
Girding afresh, then, must he the key-note that strikes upon our ear, above all other sounds that vibrate on this morning of the advent of a new year.
First, then, let us brace ourselves for renewed effort by a cheerful retrospect of the past.
Secondly, let us gird ourselves for fresh toil, by a hopeful anticipation of the future.
I. Let us take a cheerful retrospect of the past. Brethren! are we not too prone to cast our eyes upon the dark side of the picture, and to keep them there? We gaze so fixedly upon the discouragements that lower around us; that we lose sight of the bright light that shines beyond. Oh! how much more reasonable—how much more strengthening, to fill our sphere of vision with all that we can cluster together of the bright and hopeful. By bringing discouragement with all her black crew so conspicuously in the foreground, the heart loses its stamina, and the arm becomes paralyzed. Whereas, did we but keep in view the spiritual greatheart that walks close beside us—did we but remember that Immanuel and we are co-workers—did we but keep faith's eye steadily fixed on those gates of pure pearl that shine so luringly before us—the lions might roar, without causing our hearts to quake; and the very obstacles that cross our way, the arch fiend's barricades to hew up our pathway to the skies, would only serve us as stepping stones to help us on to victory. In such an enterprise as we engage in, we should lay account to difficulty and discouragement. Aim, and effort to secure that aim, must ever be commensurate; and difficulties crowd and hedge up the way to the very boldest climber. The nature of our work is in itself a pledge that we shall have much to contend with. The higher we choose our degree along the scale of purpose, the more nerve and stout-heartcdness do we require to reach it. Material aims are at its basis, the spiritual, form its culminating point. If we choose the highest, the noblest purpose that the universe can offer—in shrinking from the demand of vigor and self denial imposed upon us, shall we blame the enterprise, and count it a fruitless warfare? Rather, shall we not blame ourselves? Will not the conclusion force itself upon us, that we have ohosen work too high for the feeblo state of our present spiritual perceptions, and demanding a firmer grasp of moral vigor? Material results are more speedily gained, just because they are material. Quick returns may come in where pounds, shillings and pence are the ultimatum desired. Bat the higher we ascend the scale, difficulties thicken. Most subtle and discouraging of all is moral evil to contend with—ever eluding the blow aimed against it, and beating its assailer baok, as though it would be conqueror. Ours is the highest of all moral purposes—the cleansing of a sin-steeped soul to the unsullied purity of angelic spirits. Wonderful aim! Mad and Utopian! Did God not summon us to the task ?" Who art thou, oh! worm Jacob," that thou shouldst thug become "a sharp threshing instrument having teeth," to thresh suoh mountains of difficulties? Truly brethren, we have cause not to be discouraged at so little being effected, but to# marvel, that through suoh feeble agency, God condescends to grant one token of success. Arc we then to give up our aim? Are we freely to confess, that it lies so far above our reach as to forbid a further prosecution of its demanded labor? No .' brethren, surely no !—for the remedy lies close at hand. Blessed! thrice blessed is the man, that sees his aim so rise in magnificence before him, that, but to stand allied with it, seems to overwhelm him with its crushing weight. Then, only then, is he likely to rise, in the strength of Omnipotence, to a full appreciation of its nobleness, and a vigorous grasp of its requirements. No! brethren, never give up; never turn a look backward; to retreat, were madly to throw away a guerdon, which, in the light of the judgment day, shall pale earth's costliest diadems. A baptism of the Holy Ghost—an infusion of tho spirit of Jesus—these arc the grand, the only desiderata for the work. Endowed with these, manfully shall wo toil: right royally shall we be crowned! Spiritual agents then will harmonise with spiritual work. And let us extract the sting from every discouragement by this one consideration—the complex nature of our engagement. We are to bo trained as well as the spirits we teach by this marvellous co-operation with God in work. Does our faith lack grasp? will surely be tried. Does our zeal, like dying embers, threaten to go out? Why wonder, if the resuscitating fire should prove a refining test! We know this, that God will discipline his agents while they carry on his work, and by means of that very work. And this, in itself, is an honor—a means of moral elevation. Standing in the vineyard of the Lord, we place ourselves under this higher course of moral training. Let us remember, friends, that spiritual results are not necessarily lacking, because they may be intangible. Who can doubt, that the eye of the Master, on looking back upon the past year, sees a glorious return from our feeblest efforts? What an attack upon moral evil has been made! What an onset against Satan, in the confrontation of three hundred thousand banded antagonists! And what vast explosions of mines, deeply laid by the foul designer, may have resulted from the counter-mining of theengines of eternaltruth. Ah! brethren, till wecan penetrate that vast world of thought, and purpose, and deed, that lies open and revealed to Omniscience alone—never dare we say, that nothing has resulted as the reward of our labors. Hidden the truth may be, but not perished; even now it may be germinating in hearts where we little suspect it. Nothing has as yet come to the surface; no blade, no ear; no! not even the breaking of the sod. Never mind, the eye of the Great Husbandman watcheth it, and "the day shall declare it." While that pledge continues, "My word shall not return unto me void; it shall accomplish that which I please; it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it," we can afford to bide each passing storm that o'erclouds our prospects, and wait for eternity to vindicate our trust.
II. Let us gird ourselves for fresh toil, by a hopeful anticipation of the future. Under God, sanguine men have been the saviours of our race. No enterprise was ever projected, none ever brought to a successful issue, but by men who leaped to the conclusion, and who bridged torrents of opposing forces by the all-sustaining energy of their faith. "A lion in the way" cry cool timidity and caution: while a Sampson's veins are tingling to grapple with its strength, and to bathe his hands in its blood.
Doubts and questionings are as clogs upon the wheels of success, while a sanguine, buoyant, hopeful spirit, is the very steam that propels the engine. "Face a difficulty, front it boldly, and it cowers at your feet." Brethren! there is many a difficulty before us. 1859 comes in with the same terms that all its predecessors have presented. But we go forth armed! Not one of us marches upon this warfare at our own cost, or needs not. Full provision—adequate supply for every exigency, unparalleled support for extraordinary emergencies—these are the pledges of our Master. Shall we not therefore go forth hopefully, boldly, joyfully? We know for whom we toil. We know who nerves our arm, and we can guess, though never fathom, the inexhaustibility of his resources. This is our hope for the future—the knowledge of our Master's character; full confidence in the principles upon which he acts. Has he ever failed us in the past?—that very experience is a guarantee that he will never fail us in the future. We have seen more deeply into his character, and we find that the principles of his government are unshaken as the everlasting hills. Bring out of his vast treasury of truth all the promises and pledges that his right hand hath ever written—inscribe beneath them, in im