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have changed a good deal since the work was written; and it is very evident that, though he had come, when he wrote, theoretically, at least, to receive something of the doctrine of the New Church as revealed by Swedenborg, he had not so digested it inwardly, and learned its real practical nature and bearing, as to be in a condition to present it judiciously and in a proper light to others. He says of himself, in his introduction, “I begin to see men as trees walking.” It is not when one sees things thus that he is in a state to teach truth to others.
Whatever of good may have come to Mr. Colby in the, to him, so wonderful experience, recorded in a passage we will presently quote, it must be, we think, quite clear to New Churchmen, that one who entertains the views of the new birth expressed in the passage, ought to become more mature before assuming to teach others. The passage referred to is this: “On Sunday morning, April 23, 1865, about sunrise, I was standing alone on Boston Common, and the Lord Jesus Christ breathed on me; and I have never since doubted the Deity of my Redeemer. If a whirlwind had taken me a mile into the air and landed me back safely on the same spot, it would have been no better evidence to me. I know I am born of God, and have been growing in grace from that moment. I hated my sins from that moment, and my conversion consisted in believing in the Deity of Christ, and the surety of all His promises ; and since then I have loved what I before hated, and I have hated what I before loved; for I had rolled sin as a sweet morsel under my tongue ; I had loved myself and the world supremely; but now I love God supremely, and my neighbor as myself. Perhaps there are no two conversions exactly alike. Doubtless many persons, who are not so selfish and wicked as I was, may be converted without knowing the exact time of the new birth they may have first the blade, then the ear, and then the full, ripe corn but desperate diseases require desperate remedies, and where sin abounds, there grace much more abounds. Old, hardened sinners, such as I was, must have sudden changes." - p. 45. A Manual, of New Church Doctrine, Designed for Sunday School
and Home Instruction. By John Doughty, Pastor of the New Jerusalem Society of San Francisco.
As we looked through this little “ Manual” we could not avoid a feeling of regret, that so much valuable thought, so much time and labor bad been expended to produce a book, which, from long experience in Sunday and Common Schools, we feel confident will never prove generally useful and interesting, at least so long as children's minds remain essentially as they are at present. This rigid stereotype form of question and answer, both of which must be to a greater or less extent committed to memory, seems to us perfectly antagonistic to the very structure of the child's mental constitution. We have tried many books of this character, both in Sunday-schools and week-day schools; but after a fair trial have always thrown them aside, from the conviction that the living question, suggested by the wants of the class at that very moment, invariably produced far more satisfactory results. Besides, an inefficient teacher, and unfortunately there are many such, is made still more so by a book of questions and answers; for it has a tendency to make him lean more and more upon the book, and less and less upon his own efforts, and the consequence of this is that the hour spent in Sundayschool is very dull, and productive of little or no good to the pupils.
On the other hand, a good teacher, or one who is thoroughly alive to the great work he has undertaken, will, as a general rule, have nothing to do with printed questions and answers ; for he knows that the questions which might do very well for one class, might not be at all suited to another class, even of the same ages; and that the question which might be fully understood by a part or one of a class, might be unintelligible to the others. In fact, a teacher who is fully up to his work, will often find that he has got to present his subject to his class in as many different forms as the class contains differently constituted minds. Now what could such a teacher do with a printed set of questions and answers ?
If, however, there must be in our Sunday-Schools “Manuals" or “ Catechisms,” Mr. Doughty seems to have made as good a one as the nature of the case permits.
The Sower's Reward. A Story of Domestic Life. By the author
Mary Powell.” 1 vol. Octavo. Paper covers. The following is part of a notice attached to the cover of the book :
" This charming story of religious domestic life opens among a number of French and English, travelling in a diligence in a beautiful part of France. Mr. Ilobson and daughter, Adeliza, and Meurice, with the Villanos, being the principal actors. The latter lead a Bohemian life, travelling from place to place, without friends, until Meurice - who comes to them none too soon — assists and cheers them with words of hope, comfort, and wisdom. Professor Villanos is informed of the distressed condition of his wife by her friends; and the story goes to prove how much religion may do for those who read and learn, told in a quiet and agreeable manner, making it an excellent companion to while away a couple of hours. Published by T. B. Peterson & Brothers, Philadelphia, Penn. Price only twenty-five cents.”
We fully endorse the preceding extract; and feel quite ready to assure any one disposed to read it, that the time so employed will not be considered as wasted.
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