Let the Sunday-school for the children teach Christ first, Christ last, Christ in the middle, Christ all the time. And the school that shall be so single-eyed for the Master, shall have the full beam of His eyes which smile as the sun shining in its strength ever upon them.
Bring the little ones to Christ. Lord Jesus, we bring them today, the children of our Sunday-schools, of our churches, of the streets. Here they are; they wait Thy benediction. The prayer of Jacob for his sons shall be my prayer while I live, and when I die: The angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads.
Learn to teach the children to look at this world as a beautiful symbol of Jesus; every thing, Jesus; Christ, all; Christ, in all. So shall you educate the imaginations of the children to receive, and their memories to retain and to use, that Christian truth; and you yourself shall be lifted up, as on angels wings, to see with John things which are unspeakable, but which the sanctified imagination realizes.
It is quite likely that the modern contrivances for making Sunday-schools amusing have given them a distaste for the more solemn services of the sanctuary. If so, the amusement is a sin. The schools should feed the church. Children ought to be led by one into the other, exposed to the preaching of the gospel, taught the ways of Gods house, and brought up under its influence, with all its hallowed and elevating influences.
Begin in prayer; continue in prayer; end in prayer. All the help that we have in the conversion of the children comes from God. We cannot convert their souls, but God can by the influence of His Spirit. When we study our lessons, let us go first for illumination to God, that we may so impress it on the minds and hearts of those we are teaching, that they may bring forth fruit for salvation; that they may see our earnestnesssee that our desire is for their conversion. Let us pray individually for each one of our scholars.
The hope of the nation and of Christendom, and of the lands called heathen, alike is to be found in the indoctrination of little children in the knowledge of Gods truth; for the missionaries will tell you that the adult heathen population of to-day are to die heathen; the minister will tell you that the adult, virtually heathen population of Christian lands to-day are to die in that condition, unless God showers down altogether unprecedented gracewith only such occasional exceptions as confirm this general and terrible law. If this be so, the hope of Christianity is in childhood. Towards childhood must be directed the work of the sappers and miners of the church. Here is the weak point of the enemys fortress. Here let the breach be made, and his topmost turret shall be laid low.
It is a grand thing to train the human mind in the academy and in the college and university to great intellectual achievements. It is a grand thing for you to leap, as it were, by the lightning of your thought, from crag to crag of discovery. It is well to make paths for tender feet through the morasses and over the mountains of study. These bring honor and power. But it is also well to remember that the diplomas of colleges and universities can never bring pardon for sin; that all the scholarships and all the titles in the world can never bring peace to the dying. Oh, brethren, it is this discipleship with the Man of Galilee who trod the wine-press alone, and carried His cross up Calvarys hill; this discipleship with the man Christ Jesus, that constitutes the moral and spiritual power in our work. That power it is yours to impart to the children under your care. Aye, this is grander than all human achievements.