-Otrofnl t t fee
StSool Dialogur ;
LESSONS ON THE COMMANDMENTS,
THE WAY OF SALVATION.
ADAPTING IT TC THE USE OF THE GENERAL PROTESTANT EPISOPAL
SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION.
GENERAL PORpOSTANT EPISCOPAL S. S. UNION
efturcts l3oou aocteta,
THE CHILD ALONE.
GOD ALMIGTHY hath made me. He made the
heavens and the earth: the sun, the moon, and the
stars, are his work. He hath made of one blood
all men on the earth. He gives life to all: he
upholds all by his power: he supplies the wants
He is present every where. He sees me at all
times: he beholds all I do: he hears every word I
speak: he knows all the thoughts of my heart. He
keeps mne from harm by day; he watches over me
by night. He supplies all my wants, and is ever
doing me good.
What must I do for this great GOD, who made
me out of nothing, who does every thing for me ?
I must love him with all my soul: I must seek
to learn his will, and to do all he commands me.
1* '5 -
b SCHOOL DIALOGUES.
I will keep in mind his goodness; for he never
forgets me. I will pray to him, always; for he
knows what I daily want.
I will read his holy word; for it reveals his
commands, and shows me the way to heaven. I
will seek his favor; for nothing beside can make
What must I do for my parents? I will love
them; for they tenderly love me. I will try to please
them in all things; for they are ever seeking my
I will not repine at their commands; they know
what is best for me.
I will avoid what they forbid me; for they know
what will do me harm. Let me never grieve them;
for so I shall offend my Maker.
Let me always love and honor them; for GOD
my Creator commands it. He is angry with all
those who despise father or mother.
GOD is the Governor of all men.
He commands others to love me. If any take
what is mine, or speak falsely of me, or injure me
at all, he will observe it, and be angry with them.
SAnd has he not charged me to love others ? If I
do harm to any, if I speak falsely, if I am unkind;
will he not observe and be angry with me ?
Then let me be kind to others: let me not take
what is theirs, nor deceive them, nor injure them;
for GOD is ever near to me.
Let me do that to others which I wish them to do
to me; for this is his command to me and to all.
SCHO-OL DIALOGUES. 7
I shall not always remain upon earth: my body
must soon die, and turn to dust, but my spirit can
Birds, beasts, and fishes die, and never live
But my spirit is more noble than theirs; for
I can think, From whence am I ? Whither am I
going ? Who made me? and for what purpose I
But beasts cannot think; they know not whence
they came, nor for what purpose they were made.
If I expect pleasure, I am joyful; if pain, my mind
is full of sorrow: but they cannot expect future
joy, nor fear future pain. My spirit is therefore
nobler than theirs.
But whither will my soul, my spirit go, when
my body dies ?
It must live for ever. But will it be for ever
happy? Whither can it -go, but to my Creator ?
He hath given it, and to him it must return.
But will lie receive it to dwell in endless joy
He is good; but he is also righteous and holy:
have I always kept his commands? have I not
sinned against him?
Alas! I have forgotten him. He has been ever
good to me, but I have not loved him; he has
always preserved me, but I have lived without
I have taken his name in vain. I have neglected
his holy word. I have broken his sabbaths: I have
b SCHOOL DIALOGUES.
profaned his sacred day, by doing my own plea-
He has been better than a father to me; but I
have not even inquired, Where is GOD my Maker ?
I have sinned against my parents: instead of
obeying them, I have been often angry at their
I have been unkind to others. I have spoken
falsely of them; I have taken what was theirs. I
have too often injured them
My sins are many: surely my mind is wicked.
How can I dwell with the holy and just GOD, who
hateth all sin; who is angry with the wicked every
Yet where can I hide myself from him? And
can I endure his eternal frown ? or could I bear to
be banished for ever from him in whose presence
is fulness of joy, and at whose right-hand are plea-
sures for evermore ?
In the holy word of GOD I have read of his
mercy. He so loved the world, that he sent his
Son JESUS CHRIST down upon earth to save
Full of love and pity, he came down from hea-
ven, and dwelt among men. He constantly went
about doing good.
Righteous and holy himself, he yet gave his life
a ransom for sinners. He died for them on the
cross; but he arose and ascended to heaven. Thence
he now invites all to come and receive his mercy.
I will pray to him; I will entreat him to pardon
SCHOOL DIALOGUES. V
my sins-to forgive my evil actions, and words,
and thoughts-and to make me holy, like himself.
And if I believe in the Lord JESUS CHRIST, when
I die he will then take me to heaven, to dwell with
him for evdrmore.
G. My dear John, will you be so good as to tell
me something about GOD : I know you have read a
J. I do not know much, myself, George, but I
will gladly tell you what I do know.
G. I thought you would; you have always been
so kind to me. I have learned more from you than
from any boy in the school.
J. My dear George, I feel a very great pleasure
in telling you any thing about GOD, or a future
state; for these are the great things. What will
play do for us? We must all die, and then whither
shall we go ?
G. Very true. I have never been easy about this
since Robert Jones died, about three months ago.
J. Well, with what shall we begin ?
G. Tell me about Him who gave me life, and
who supports me every moment. What is God ?
J. GOD is so great and so vast in his nature, that
we should never have been able to form any just
idea of him, had he not given us his holy word.
G. What description has he given of himself in
his holy word ?
J. The Scriptures teach us that he is a Spirit,
almighty, omniscient, or all-seeing, every where
present. He therefore sees all that we do, hears all
that we say, and knows even our thoughts.
G. Had GOD a beginning ?
J. No: he is eternal; without beginning or end.
He made the world and all things out of nothing
by his word, and he supports them by his power.
G. How powerful and how wise he must be to
form the earth, the trees, the beasts, the sky, the
sun and moon, and all things, out of nothing !
J. And how good he must be to provide food
always for the beasts, the birds, the fishes, and all
G. What is meant by GOD'S being just and true ?
J. It means that he does to every man that which
is right, rewarding them that obey him, and punish-
ing those who break his law: and that he fulfils
every word he speaks.
G. Does he now rule the world, and govern all
J. Yes: he is our Lord and Ruler now, and he
will be our Judge at last.
G. How may we obtain his favor? Has he
given us any law to obey ?
J. Yes: a good and righteous law, and one so
plain, that children like you and me can understand
it. But it is school time now: I will tell you more
about this law when we meet again.
OF GOD'S LAW, &c.
G. Good morning, John; I am glad I have met
with you. Come, let us go on with our yesterday's
subject. You promised to tell me about the law of
GOD: I long to hear respecting it.
J. Good morning to you, George: it gives me
pleasure to see you so willing to hear instruction
of this nature. The law of GOD contains ten com-
G. What are they ?
J. The first forbids idolatry: it is, Thou shalt
have none other gods but me.
G. What does this mean ?
J. That we must not worship any being or thing
as God, but Him alone.
G. Well, I believe I have never broken this com-
mand. I have never worshipped any other god.
J. Ah, George! I dare not say so. You may
not have bowed the knee before an idol, but have
you never loved any thing better than GoD ? Have
you not taken more delight in play than in GOD
and his word ? Your mind perhaps has been upon
your play from morning till night, while GOD has
not been once in your thoughts
G. Is it wrong for us to play then ?
J. By no means. But when we give our minds
so to play, as wholly to forget the GoD who made
us, and to serve him, do we not make play our
god, instead of the LORD ?
G. True: I have not considered this before.
What is the second command?
J. Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven
image, nor the likeness of any thing that is. in
heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the
water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down
to them, nor worship them: For I the LORD thy
GOD am a jealous GOD; and visit the sins of the
fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth
generation of them that hate me; and show mercy
unto thousands in them that love me, and keep my
G. What is the third command ?
J. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD
thy GOD in vain: For the LORD will not hold him
guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
G. What is it to take the name of GOD in vain ?
J. Among other things, to call out upon GOD or
JESUS CHRIST in common discourse, when you do
not intend to pray.
G. But this is what a great many do: I hear
people very often using the name of GOD in this
J. If every one in the world were to do this, it
would still be wrong. GOD says he will not hold
such guiltless; that is, he will account them pun-
ishable; and we know that every word of his shall
G. What is the fourth command ?
J. Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath
day. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all that thou
hast to do; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of
the LORD thy GOD. In it thou shalt do no manner
of work; thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, thy
man-servant, and thy maid-servant, thy cattle, and
the stranger that is within thy gates. For in six
days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea,
and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day;
Wherefore the LORD blessed the seventh day, and
G. What is the sabbath ? and what is remember-
ing to keep it holy ?
J. The sabbath is one day in seven, which GOD
commands us to give up wholly to him. To keep
it holy is, to do no worldly business on that day,
but to read Goo's word, to talk about holy things,
and to attend upon the public worship of GOD.
G. To do no worldly business! Do not many
people around us work on Sunday ? They canhot
have heard of this command.
J. Many who know this command, do business
on the sabbath, because they love money better
than they love GOD. But GOD will bring them to
judgment for this when they die.
G. Well, I think I have never broken this com-
mand, for I have never worked on the sabbath.
J. But have you never played on the sabbath ?
This is breaking the sabbath.
G. Ah! I have spent too many sabbaths in fool
J. These four commands relate to GOD, and are
often called the First Table of the Law the other
six are called the Second Table, and have relation
to men. But the bell rings for school; I must leave
them till another time.
G. Let that be after school then.
J. Very well. Good morning.
THE SUBJECT CONTINUED.
JOHN. GEORGE. CHARLES.
G. Come, now fulfil your promise. I have
brought Charles too, as he wishes to hear some-
thing about things of this kind.
J. The fifth of GoD's commands is, Honor thy
father and thy mother, that thy days may be long
in the land which the LORD thy GOD giveth thee,
G. What does that mean?
J. It means, that you should love and revere
them, and do every thing they bid you with a will-
G. But suppose I were to be sullen, and cry when
they bid me do any thing, and afterward do it,
would that be a sin ?
J. Yes, for then you would not do it with a
willing mind ; you would only do it lest they should
punish you; it would be plain, then, in the sight of
GOD, that you did not love them.
G. Well, I cannot break this command now, for
my father and mother are at home.
J. But your parents have placed your teacher
over you in their place. If you do not obey him,
the sin is just as great, if not greater; for then you
disobey both your teacher, ard your parents who
have placed you under his care.
C. Alas! I have no parents! My father and
mother are both dead.
J. My dear lad, ask your Maker to be your
parent. He is a father to the fatherless, and he
will be a father to you if you seek him. And
those good friends who have the charge over you,
you are to consider as your parents.
G. What is the next command ?
J. The sixth command is, Thou shalt do no
G. Well, I think I have not broken this com-
J. I suppose you have never killed any one; but
have you never been angry with any one without
cause ? and that so as to be almost ready to kill
C. Yes, he has indeed, for he has often beaten
me, when I have done nothing to him.
J. Then you have broken this commandment in
the sight of GOD. Do not you recollect what the
Saviour says, He that saith to his brother, Thou
fool, is in danger of hell fire ?
G. My dear John, you always find me out.
What is the seventh command ?
J. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
C. And what is the eighth ?
J. Thou shalt not steal.
G. I have never stolen, I am sure.
J. What! not a play-thing, nor a pen, nor a top ?
G. What! is it stealing to take a pen, or a top ?
J. Yes, indeed. Will not the desire that makes
you take a top because you want it, urge you here-
after to take a shilling or a dollar ?
G. Ah, I have never thought of this. What is
the ninth command ?
J. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy
G. I hate falsehood. I cannot endure those who
J. Very good: but have you never made the best
of your own side, and the worst of your school-
fellows', when you have brought a complaint
against them ?
C. I am sure he has done that, for he went to
our teacher last week, and told him I had called
him ill names; but he forgot to say, that he had
beaten me first.
J. That was bearing false witness. When, in
telling a tlIing, you conceal something, which, if
mentioned, would quite alter the case, you bear
false witness against your neighbor.
G. You are finding me out here too. What is
the last of the ten co:,nnands ?
J. Thou shalt not covet that which is thy neigh-
G. Well, I am not rich, nor do I want to be so.
I don't want any body's money.
J. And do you never want another boy's marbles
or his kite ?
C. He took away a marble that I had, and then
told me that if I told our teacher he would beat
J. George, this was something beyond coveting;
this was actual robbery.
G. But do you think GOD will ever call us to
account fir these little things ?
J. Indeed he will. No matter whether the ao-
tion be great or small; GOD views the heart. If
you now take away a little boy's marble, would
you int hereafter take away a poor orphan's estate
if you were able ?
G. But has GoD given this law for every body to
keep? The heathen never have read it, how then
can GOD have given the law to all ?
J. True, they have not read the law as written
18 SCHOOL DIALOGUES.
in the Scriptures, but they have the substance of
the law written in their hearts.
C. How ? I do not understand you.
J. The substance of this law is, Love GOD with
all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself. This
GOD has written in the hearts of all.
G. Explain this a little more fully.
J. When Lochun, our bearer,* cheats his neigh-
bor or injures him, do you suppose that he himself
thinks this right ?
C. I suppose not; for when Komel, the other
bearer, took a little of his tobacco, he complained
what a wicked fellow he was, and called him all
the ill names he could.
J. Why did he this, but because he thought it
wrong for another to take any thing belonging to
himself. If he loved his neighbor, then, as well as
himself, he would think it equally wrong to take
any thing of his.
G. But how does this prove that he has the law
written in his heart ?
J. Does he not think that a thief does wrong, at
least the thief that steals from him ? Then he has
this part of the law written in his heart, though his
covetousness makes him wish to cheat another.
C. This may be true of stealing, and such th ings;
but how can the heathens learn from their own
reason, that they ought to love GOD ?
J. If one of them were to pick up a child when
Bearers are men employed in India to carry burdens.
starving, and to supply him with every thing he
needed till grown up, would he not think that the
child ought to love him ?
G. Of course he would.
J. Now they know that GOD who made them,
keeps them alive, and supplies their wants; if they
think at all, then, they must think that they ought
to love and serve him.
G. Very true. One would suppose, also, that
when they are bowing down before wooden or stone
idols, they must reflect that the stone or the block
of wood cannot hear them, nor have done any thing
J. They would certainly think so, if they were
to think rightly. But this may show you that GoD
has written his law on the hearts of all, and that
all will be without excuse in the day of judgment.
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.
JOHN. GEORGE. CHARLES.
G. Good morning, John. "Day of judgment,"
What is that ? I have been thinking of it ever since
J. You remember my telling you that GOD will
fulfil every word which he has spoken, and reward
all according to their deeds.
G. Yes, I do; but when will he do this ?
J. He has appointed a day when he will judge
the world This is called the day of judgment.
G. And when will this great day come ?
J. That no one can tell. It will be at the end of
the world; but no one can tell when that will be.
C. Then I need not be afraid; it may be many
J. My dear Charles, do not deceive yourself:
however long that day may seem to be delayed, it
will surely come. But at death your soul and
mine will go to the judgment-seat of GoD, and from
thence either to heaven or hell.
G. And is our state fixed for ever when we die ?
J. Yes, after death nothing can alter the state of
the soul. As the tree falls so it lies. The day of
your death is to you the day of judgment, and you
know not how soon that may come.
G. But will GOD bring every one to judgment,
children as well as others ?
J. He certainly will. The Scriptures say, Both
small and great shall stand before GoD."
G. And does he know all that we have done ?
J. Yes, and all that we have said too, and even
all that we have thought; for he searcheth the
hearts of the children of men.
C. But can we not run away and hide ourselves?
J. My dear boy, how can we run away and hide
ourselves from Him who is present every where?
G. What will GoD do, in that day, to those who
have forgotten him, and broken his commands ?
J. He will cast them into hell; for the Scripture
says, "The wicked shall go away into everlasting
G. What is hell?
J. No one can fully conceive. The Word of GoD
says, "that it is a place burning with fire and brim-
stone, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not
quenched ;" and that those who are cast into hell
can never come out from thence.
C. But they will soon die in that great fire.
J. No, never. At the day of judgment their
bodies will be raised, and then both body and soul
will be cast into hell; and the smoke of their tor-
ment ascendeth for ever and ever."
G. But may not GOD forget our sins? or may he
not at last go from his word ?
J. He cannot forget our sins; and while he has
said, The soul that sinneth shall die," he has also
said, Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my
word shall not pass away."
G. What then shall I do ? I have neglected his
commands. I have lived till now without once
intending to obey him.
C. Alas! I too have broken his laws; I have many
times spoken falsely, and taken GoD's name in vain.
J. We have all sinned against GOD, and we justly
deserve his righteous anger. But the great question
is, How can we be saved from it ?
G. It is indeed. Who can dwell with everlasting
C. I also wish to know this; I am certain iny sins
cannot be hidden from GOD.
J. Come to me to-morrow morning, and I will
tell you what I have learned about the way of life.
JOHN. GEORGE. CHARLES.
G. Good morning, John: Charles and I have
been waiting for you. We cannot feel easy till we
know how we can be saved from GOD'S anger.
J. Do you recollect any answer to that question,
"Who is JESUS CHRIST?"
G. Yes: "The Son of GOD, and the Saviour of
J. It is he then who can save you.
G. I want to have this explained. How is he
able to save me ?
J. GOD so loved the world, that he gave his only
Son, JESUS CHRIST, to die in the room of sinners.
6. But how could he die when he was the Son
J. He could not suffer for sinners, without be-
coming a man like them.
G. And would he do this? Would he leave his
heavenly glory, and come down upon earth to
suffer death in the room of sinners ?
J. He would indeed; for he has done it. He so
pitied sinners, that he came down from heaven,
suffered and died, to save them from hell.
C. Astonishing! Where was he born?
J. In Judea, about 1800 years ago.
G. But in what way does he save sinners ?
J. He became man; and though he himself was
without sin, he chose to suffer the punishment due
to our sins.
G. Explain this a little more to us.
J. You know it is the law of our school that any
thief shall be severely punished. Now, suppose
you had stolen something, and I, pitying you, were
to offer myself to be punished in your room; if my
teacher consented to this, you would be saved from
G. Oh, now I understand. We have broken
GOD's law, and he was justly angry with us. JESUS
CHRIST so pitied us that hle became man, and bore
the punishment due to our sins.
J. Just so; and GOD the Father so loved us, that
for this purpose he sent him into the world.
G. What surprising love, that GOD should thus
send his Son to die for sinners! Tell us something
more abput the Saviour. What did he while upon
J. He went about doing good! He healed the
sick, he gave sight to the blind, caused the dumb to
speak, raised the dead to life, and preached the glad
t~Jings of mercy to all who came near him.
G. That. was like a Saviour. But who could put
him to death ? Surely every body must love him.
J. All who loved GOD did love him, but those
wno loved wickedness, hated him ; as they will you,
if you seek to be saved by him.
G. I do not care for that, if he will but save me.
But what fault could they find with him ?
J. None; yet they seized him, and brought him
before Pontius Pilate the Roman governor; and
procured persons to witness falsely against him.
G. But he could easily have cleared himself, and
have struck his accusers dead.
J. He could have done this, it is true, but he bore
all in silence. Though he was sinless, we were
guilty, and he came into the world to die for us.
He, therefore, suffered the judge to pass sentence of
death upon him.
G. Cruel judge! In what manner did they put
JEsus to death ?
J. Having scourged and mocked him, they led
him out of the city, and nailed his hands and feet
to a cross; and there they left him to expire be-
tween two thieves.
G. How could he suffer himself to be thus
treated when he had spent his whole life in doing
J. You forget that he suffered this for our sins.
He, therefore, not only bore these dreadful suffer-
ings, but prayed for his murderers, saying, Father,
forgive them; they know not what they do." After
he was dead, he was laid in a new tomb by one ot
his disciples, over which his enemies placed a great
stone, and sealed it, that he might not rise again.
G. Rise again Did he rise from the dead then ?
J. Yes: he had power to lay down his life, and
to take it again. On the third day he burst the
bands of death, and rose from the grave.
G. And where did he go?
J. After staying on earth with his disciples forty
days, he ascended into heaven in their sight, where
Ie is now sitting at the right hard of GOD.
G. What is JESUS CHRIST doing in heaven?
J. He sits at the right hand of GOD to plead for
all those who desire to be saved.
G. To plead for them what does that mean ?
J. Suppose you had been guilty of stealing, and
I had suffered the punishment due to you, I could
then say to my master, "Sir, have the goodness to
forgive this poor boy for my sake. True, he is
guilty, but I have borne his punishment; forgive
him for my sake." This would be pleading for you.
G. And does JESUS CHRIST thus plead for sinners?
J. Yes, for every sinner who comes to him,
whether old or young. If you then wish to, be
saved from hell, go and beg of JESUS CHRIST to
intercede with GOD the Father for you.
G. But will he hearken to such a wicked child as
I am ? I have never even wished to please him.
J. Will he? Yes, indeed, he will. Do not you
know that he came down from heaven on purpose
to save sinners ? If you are willing to be saved, he
is a thousand times more willing to save you.
G. I am sure that I am willing to be saved. Who,
do you think, can bear the thought of falling into
hell and remaining there for ever ?
J. True, my dear George, but let me beg you not
to deceive yourself: many wish to avoid hell, who
have no desire to be saved from sinning against GoD
Are you willing to leave off your evil ways?
G. I am indeed; for I grieve that I have lived so
many years without wishing to please GOD, and
have so often broken his commands. I wish never
to do this again, but I dare not say that I shall not,
I am afraid I shall if other boys entice me.
J. Have you never heard about the HOLY SPIRIT ?
G. I recollect your telling me once that the
FATHER, the SON, and the HOLY GHOST, are one GoD.
Are the HOLY GHOST and the HOLY SPIRIT the
J. Yes. The HOLY SPIRIT makes a sinner willing
to leave all his sins, come to C fHRIr for mercy, and
to obey GOD'S will.
G. But are not men willing to have GOD for their
friend, without his making them willing?
J. Ask yourself. Did ever you desire this ? Have
you not lived all these years without caring at all
about GOD ?
G. Alas! I have indeed; but I hope I shall never
live so another year.
J. Now GOD has promised to give his HOLY SPIRIT
to all that ask him.
G. Then I will beg him to give his HOLY SFIRIT
J. If you entreat him with your whole heart, he
will certainly hear you. And if you obtain the HOLY
SPIRIT, he will enable you to understand the Scrip-
tures, and make you willing to give yourself up
wholly to CHRIST. He will take away your love to
sin, and make you fit for heaven, where you will go
when you die.
G. Heaven What is heaven?
J. The place where GOD and the angels dwell,
and whither JEsus CHRIST leads all those that follow
G. But why must a person be made fit for heaven?
J.. In heaven there is no sin. All who are there
love GOD, and deliglit in obeying him. How then
can any one dwell there, if, instead of loving GOD,
he deliglit in breaking his commands ?
G. Then a swearer, a liar, a hater of GOD, would
find nobody there like himself: to him heaven
would become tiresome.
J. It would indeed; aind on this account. the
Scriptures say, "Except ye be converted, ye shall
in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." For
any one to be converted, is to have his heart changed;
without which no one really comes to JESus CHRIST
as the Saviour,
G. But why cannot any one come to the Saviour
without his heart being changed ?
J. Will any one come to the Saviour while he
thinks he needs him not? while he thinks that sin
is not evil? or that his sins are too few and too
trifling for GOD to notice; or that GOD will never
call him to a strict account for them?
G. He will not, of course.
J. You will see this more clearly by calling it a
change of mind, instead of a change of heart. Can
the person who disliked the ways and the commands
of CHRIST, really love and keep them without
changing his mind respecting them?
G. But are not all who are born in a Christian
country Christians by birth?
J. No one becomes a true Christian by birth.
They are made Christians by profession, or, in
name, when they are baptized. The name which
is then given them is called their Christian name;
but they must be afterward transformed by the
renewing of their mind, and become new creatures
m CHRIST JESUS, loving GOD with all their heart,
and their neighbor as themselves. Such Christians
are not born of blood, nor of the will of the flesh)
nor of the will of man, but of GOD.
G. But why cannot a person be born a Christian,
as well as a Mussulman or a Hindoo?
J. My dear George, no man can really believe in
JESUS CHRIST without forsaking all sin. But neither
the Hindoo nor Mussulman religion requires this,
nor indeed any religion but that of CHRIST.
G. 0! I now understand you: a man remaining
in a state of sin, may be a Mussulman or a Hindoo;
but a man cannot be a Christian without a change
J. Just so. Therefore the Scripture says, If any
man be in CHRIST JESUS, he is a new creature."
G. But what will become then of all those born
in a Christian country? .all of them have not their
minds renewed; for many swear and lie, and break
SCHOOL DIALOGUES. 29
J. The Scripture says, that the unrighteous shall
not inherit the kingdom of heaven. CHRIST at his
second coming will therefore say unto such, De-
part from me, I never knew you, ye workers of
G. But will JESUS CHRIST come again?
J. Yes-not to suffer again 3 but to call men to
account for breaking his commands, and slighting
G. Will he be the Judge at the last day ?
J. Yes. It is before the judgment-seat of CHRIST
'hat we must all stand.
G. O, how happy will they be who now come to
him for mercy! What will he do to them when they
stand before him ?
J. Do! He will welcome them to his arms, and
say, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the
kingdom prepared for you."
G. And what will he say to the wicked ?
J. To them he will say, "Depart from me, ye
cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil
and his angels."
G. I thank you, my dear John, for telling me all
these things. I will go to JESUS CHRIST, and beg
him to forgive my sins, add give me his Holy Spirit.
J. Do my dear George, and then you will be
happy for ever.
JOHN, THE PLOUGHMAN.
IN a very retired part of the country, at a hamlet
which contains only a few cots, scattered amidst
trees, and fields, and barns, lives John May, the
ploughman, opposite the small village church. As
we lift up the latch and enter the garden gate, a
little border of flowers is seen on both sides of the
path, separated into small divisions, in which John's
children have the pleasure of cultivating flowers
or fruits for themselves, when their daily labor is
concluded. Further on, useful vegetables and fruit
trees appear, promising to repay the gardener's toil.
Toward the top of the garden a buzzing noise
announces the nearness of the industrious bees;
( 30o >
JOHN, THE PLOUGHMAN.
they are going and returning from their hives, all
active, laborious, and cheerful: little instructors!
ye teach us our duty by your examples.
The scraper and the rush mat placed beside the
door, remind us that cleanliness and decency may be
observed even in a cottage. As we enter the rustic
dwelling, every thing is neat, orderly, and comfort-
able; three or four chairs, some benches, and a
table, compose the principal furniture. A few
books, carefully covered with brown paper, on a
little shelf in the corner, form the library, among
which is the old family Bible, well worn, yet care-
fully preserved. Some flowers on the mantel-piece,
and a few pictures placed against the wall, are the
ornaments of the interior.
Such is the cottage of John, the ploughman,
whose history we shall now sketch. When fohn
was young, about forty years ago, very few people
could read in his part of the country, and both his
parents were quite ignorant of their letters. At
about twelve years of age he went out to service to
a farmer in the neighborhood, as a ploughboy.
One of the men with whom he worked was a
Scotchman, who could read very well, and was
often talking of what was said in the Bible, and
other good books. This excited an earnest desire
in the boy's mind to gain a knowledge of reading,
and at last he asked the Scotchman to teach him,
begging with the greatest earnestness, even to tears,
that he might enjoy this favor. What a blessing it
is. that in our time the poorest have an easy oppor-
JOHN, THE PLOUGHMAN.
tunity of gaining instruction without paying for it!
John's request was kindly granted, and lthe very
next morning he arose an hour earlier to begin
learning his book. This he continued for a long
time, and found pleasure and improvement from
searching the sacred Scriptures. At length he was
led not only to read, but to pray over, and to obey
the Bible. Thus he was taught by the Spirit of
GoD to see and feel his own sinfulness, and to apply
to the Lamb of GOD wAhich taketh away the sin of
the world. He became a true Christian, by faith
in JESUS CHRITr; he loved mercy, he walked
humbly with God, and strove to do his duty to all.
Though poor as to the world, he had a treasure in
heaven greater than earth can give. The soul of a
peasant and of a prince are of equal value in the
eyes of GoD.
When John was arrived at manhood, he married
Susan, the vicar's servant, who was very kind to
her poor old mother, and had always been esteemed
a very steady, industrious, pious girl. They have
now lived happily together for many years, and the
blessings of Providence and grace have attended
them. Though they have often found the times
hard, and been fearful lest they should not be able
to support an increasing family, yet, as John says,
"The Gon who does not forget one sparrow-who
feeds the ravens, though they have no storehouse
nor barn-who hears the young lions when they
cry-and who clothes the lilies--as supplied, and
will surely supply all our wants out of his exceeding
JOHN, THE PLOUGHMAN.
fulness in CHRIST JESUS our Lord. Our heavenly
Father having given us CHRIST, the greatest of all
gifts, will not withhold any thing that is really good
John has a family of five children, whom he
endeavors to bring up in the nurture and admoni-
tion of the LORD. They always rise early in the
morning, for time is too valuable, especially to the
poor, to be lost in sleep and laziness. The children
are taught to say their prayers every morning and
evening, kneeling by their bed-sides. At breakfast
time one of the girls asks a blessing, and one of the
boys returns thanks. "We can't praise GOD too
much," says John; "for while we are eating a
comfortable, though homely meal, many poor crea-
tures are starving, or have no health or appetite to
enjoy food." When breakfast is over, little Nancy
runs for the Bible, and brings it to her father with
a smile. One of the children then reads a chapter
or psalm, and John explains the meaning to them
in his humble way. Then they all kneel down,
and John prays to GOD with humility and fervor.
Sweet scene if angels look down on earth from
their exalted seats, they pass over the mansions of
the great and proud, to behold the bended knees,
and to hear the ardent lowly prayers of cottage
John then goes to his work with a cheerful, thank-
ful heart; while the children stay to read and say
their lessons to their mother. When this is done,
the boys join their father, and proceed to their work
34 JOHN, THE PLOUGHMAN.
in the fields; while the girls sew and knit, or do
what their mother orders them at home. John
impresses it upon the minds of his children, that
they must be diligent in business, and seek to pro-
mote their master's interest as well as their own.
He often says, Good children make good servants,
and he who truly serves GOD will serve his earthly
At the close of the day, when work is finished,
they come home to their cottage; work in their
little gardens, or read their Bibles, or some useful
books. They are humble, peaceable, amd happy,
and are beloved by all their neighbors. They then
retire within the cottage, and sing a psalm or hymn
together; for, as John says, "It would be a shame
if the birds did more in praising GOD ALMIGHTY,
than we who have souls as well as bodies, and who
depend on his kindness as much as the ro:hin red-
breast and the black-bird." They close the day by
prayer, and retire to rest on straw beds, in their
little cottage, with greater pleasure and gratitude
than princes in splendid palaces, on beds of down.
He 's up in the morning before the cock crows,
For he should not he idle, he very well knows;
And when the sun sets, and his work is done soon,
He finds his way home by the light of the moon.
It would do your heart good to see how neat and
tidy Susan makes the children to go to the Sunday
school. She says, "My children shall always be
clean and neat, but never fine and dressy." She
JOHN, THE PLOTGHMAN,
always takes care that the children go to school
early, for she says, It would be a shame for any
mother not to get her children ready in time, when
they are going to get that instruction, for nothing,
which is worth more than all the world. For what
is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world
and lose his own soul?"
John and Susan are very particular about the
Lord's day. They get every thing ready on Satur-
day night, so as to have nothing to disturb their
minds on the Sabbath. John often says, To my
mind, it seems we have no right to use this day as
we choose; is it not called the Lord's day, and shall
1 dare to call it my own, or to spend it in my own
pleasure? Surely, Goo wlho gives me all my days
and every blessing, has a right to claim one day for
himself, and I will cheerfully give it up to him. 0,
what do I owe to Him whose day this is; it re-
minds me of my risen Saviour, and of his death on
the cross to save me, a poor sinner; and I must be
a wicked wretch indeed not to love his day, and his
service. Blessed Sabbath!
'T is like a little heaven below,
John tries to make the Lord's day a cheerful day.
Early in the morning, and between services, and
in the evening, the voice of praise is heard in his
cottage. John often says, If we loved JESUS CHRIST
more, we should praise him better, and we should
have such peace and joy as would really show that
36 JOHN, THE PLOUGHMAM.
wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness, and ah
her paths are paths of peace."
John and his wife end the Lord's day in prayer
together: they pray for each of their children by
name, for their minister, and for the spread of the
everlasting Gospel. Then they retire to rest in
How sweet a Sabbath thus to spend,
In hope of one that ne'er shall end I