THE first is that of pious example. David said, “Come, ye children, hearken unto me I will teach you the fear of the Lord.” You are not ashamed to tread in the footsteps of David, are you? You will not object to follow the example of one who was first eminently holy, and then eminently great.
Shall the shepherd boy, the giant-slayer, the sweet psalmist of Israel, and the mighty monarch, leave footprints in which you are too proud to tread?
Ah, no! you will be happy, I am sure, to be as David was. If you want, however, a higher example even than that of David, hear the Son of David while from His lips Flow the sweet words, “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” I am sure it would encourage you if you always thought of these examples. You who are teaching children, are not dishonored by that occupation; some may say, “You are only a Sunday-school teacher,” but you are a noble personage, holding an honorable office, and having illustrious predecessors. We love to see persons of some standing in society take an interest in Sabbath-schools. One great fault in many of our churches is that the children are left for the young people to care for; the older members, who have more wisdom, taking but very little notice of them; and, very often, the wealthier members of the church stand aside as if the teaching of the poor were not (as indeed it is) the special business of the rich. I hope for the day when the mighty men of Israel shall be found helping in this great warfare against the enemy. In the United States we have heard of Presidents, of Judges, Members of Congress, and person,; in the highest positions, not condescending, for I scorn to use such a term, but honoring themselves by teaching little children in Sabbath-schools. He who teaches a class in a Sabbath-school has earned a good degree. I had rather receive the title of SST. than MA., BA., or any other honor that ever was conferred by men. Let me beg you, then, to take heart, because your duties are so honorable. Let the royal example of David, let the Godlike example of Jesus Christ inspire you with fresh diligence and increasing ardor, with confident and enduring perseverance, still to go on in your blessed work, saying as David died, “Come, ye children, hearken unto me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord.”
The second is the encouragement of great success. David said, “Come, ye children, hearken. unto me ,” he did not add, “perhaps I will teach you the fear of the Lord,” but, “I wilt’ teach you.” He had success; or, if he had not, others have. The success of Sabbath-schools! If I begin to talk of that, I shall have an endless theme; therefore, I will not commence. Many volumes might be written on it, and then when all were written, we might say, “I suppose that even the world itself could not contain all that might be written.” Up yonder, where the starry hosts perpetually sing God’s high praises, up where the white-robed throng cast their crowns before His feet, we shall behold the success of Sabbath-schools. There, too, where infant millions assemble Sabbath after Sabbath, to sing, — “Gentle Jesus meek, and mild,” we see with joy the success of Sabbath-schools. And up here, in almost every pulpit of our land, and there in the pews where the deacons sit, and godly members join in worship, there is seen the success of Sabbath schools. And far away across yonder broad ocean, in the islets of the South, in lands where those dwell who bow before blocks of wood and stone, there are the missionaries who were saved in Sabbath-schools, and the thousands, blessed by their labors, contribute to swell the mighty stream of the incalculable, I had almost said infinite, success of Sabbathschool instruction. Go on with your holy service; much has been done already, but more shall yet be done. Let all your past victories inflame you with fresh ardor, let the remembrance of your triumphs in previous campaigns, and all trophies won for your Savior on the battle-field of the past be your encouragement to press on with the duty of the present and the future,