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It is with much pleasure that the Committee of the Sunday School Union note the gratifying fact that THE UNIFORM LESSON SYSTEM which they have been constantly advocating for so long a period is becoming generally adopted.
By the present arrangement, the same Lesson-The Internationalwill be under the consideration of teachers and scholars all over the world, simultaneously. The Committee in London, in concert with that of America, have selected a course which, during one part of the day, will thus bring the schools of America into union with those of England, Canada, Australia, and the Continent of Europe.
The selection for the Elementary classes contains, in addition to the Scripture portion, THE GOLDEN TEXT-so called because it contains the central truth of the lesson-which should be committed to memory by the scholars.
The advantages of the system consist partly in this, that while the Scripture classes are reading the appointed lesson from the Bible, and the Infant class is being taught the text selected from that lesson by means of the 'Letter-box," or Infant Class Texts, the intermediate classes can be occupied upon the same subject by means of this little book, or by the detached single leaves, each of which contains one Sunday's portion, and may be taken home by the scholars at the close of the day.
By these means—
I. Every teacher can join in a definite plan, and make the teaching consecutive and systematic.
II. All the classes in the school will be "Scripture classes."
III. The Notes on the Lessons, and the various illustrations and hints supplied in the magazines and the Sunday School Chronicle, will be available for all; and where a preparation class exists, every teacher in the school, being engaged upon the same lesson, will have an equal interest in regularly attending that class.
IV. A sympathy of mind and feeling will be created throughout the school; all the exercises can be brought into accordance with the one subject; and the expectation may be confidently entertained that, under the Divine blessing, useful and permanent impressions will thus be made upon the hearts of the scholars.
For schools where a Box of Movable Letters cannot be obtained, or for the use of small classes of children unable to read in any Lesson Book, the Infant Class Texts are printed in large type, and published monthly, price One Penny.
The Notes on the Lessons are published at One Penny monthly, a month in advance; and will be found to afford valuable aid to all the teachers, whether of Infant, Elementary, or Scripture classes, in explaining, illustrating, and enforcing the lesson of the day.
Further illustrations will be found in the Sunday School Teacher (2d. monthly), and Sunday School Chronicle (1d. weekly).
The Box of Movable Letters will be found a valuable auxiliary for use in the younger classes, as affording an interesting means of communicating instruction. For full particulars see catalogues. The prices are as follows:-A Deal Box, containing 350 letters, numbers, stops, &c., &c., 20s.; Large Oak Box, containing 700 letters, &c., fitted with two keys and reversible lid, for use as a black-board, 50s. Specimens may be seen at the Society's Depôt, 56, Old Bailey, London, E.C.
A "Pocket Lesson Book" is issued quarterly, price One Penny, or Sixpence per dozen, containing the subjects for each Sunday morning and afternoon,—the Golden Texts, the Lesson Verse, and the References for Home Readings; forming a convenient Pocket Companion for the Teacher and the Scholar.
These little books are well calculated to promote an active sympathy on the part of the scholars with the work of preparation.
Pictorial Lesson Papers are published month by month, containing the Golden Texts, Lesson Verses, and the References for Home Readings. Bible questions upon the subject of the lessons are also attached, which may be answered on the reverse side of the papers, the whole being surmounted with a pictorial illustration of the lesson, Price 4d. per packet, containing Twelve for each Sunday in the month.
Ir is presumed that every teacher will be supplied monthly with the Notes on the Scripture Lessons, and that he will, by the study of them, and by regular weekly attendance at the preparation class, make himself master of the subject, and thus be thoroughly prepared to teach the lessons for the day.
It should be remembered that, in consequence of the limited space at command, in some cases a large portion of the lesson selected for the elder classes is necessarily omitted. The teacher, therefore, may have to introduce the subject, or supply a connecting link in the middle. When a short line is inserted, it is to show that either the selection is from two separate chapters, or the continuity of the reading is broken. This gives a larger scope in the selection, and with care will make the lesson more interesting both to the teacher and scholar.
1. The children should be encouraged to commit to memory during the week the Golden Text and the Lesson Verse.
2. Each scholar being provided with the lesson, the teacher should announce the appointed subject, and briefly introduce it in a lively and attractive manner, by the aid of some well-chosen illustration which shall naturally lead on to the main facts or doctrines of the lesson to be taught; thus tending to secure for it the interest and attention of the class.
3. The lesson may then be read by the scholars simultaneously or individually, the teacher reading a portion in turn.
4. The teacher having previously divided the lesson into sections according to its character and meaning, the first section should be read again, and, by suitable questioning, explanation, and illustration, its meaning made plain to the scholars. The other sections should be dealt with in a similar manner. Examination by questions should
follow each section.
5. In the foregoing exercises the leading practical truth or truths which the teacher desires to impress on the mind and heart should be constantly kept in view, and gradually brought out as the lesson is proceeded with. The close of the teaching will consist of a brief and earnest attempt to press home the practical application of these truths in the most forcible and affectionate manner.
If these suggestions be duly considered, and, as far as applicable to each particular case, be carried out with an earnest spirit, a loving heart, and in prayerful dependence on the Holy Spirit, teachers will not fail to secure the blessing of Him who hath said, "My word shall not return unto Me void."
NEW YEAR'S COUNSELS.
Fear God, and keep his commandments.-Ver. 13.
Ecclesiastes xii. 1, 8-14.
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity. And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.
The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.
And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter : Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.