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that ought to be brought into your Sabbath school, and to induce their parents to send them. Some of this labor will devolve upon you. The teachers cannot do it all. They will want your influence, which when personally exerted, will do more than that of any other man. The poor and the ignorant will have their difficulties and objections. Their children have no decent clothes they have no books, &c. &c., These difficulties are easily surmounted. They can be clothed, books can be given them, their reluctance can be overcome, and it will depend very much upon your personal agency, how many of them shall be brought into the school, and rescued from the filth and ignorance and vice, in which they were perishing. What you cannot do yourself to make them decent and comfortable, you can induce others to do, and thus by the grace of God many of them may be saved.

. From the Sabbath school, the way is short and plain to the Bible class. If it is your duty to catechise the children of your congregation, and to see that they are well taught in the Sabbath school room, it is no less so, familiarly to instruct the young people in the doctrines and duties of our holy religion, in the Bible class. To do justice to this branch of the “ Pastoral Care” would require a volume, instead of a few hints at the close of a letter. In some of the rural congregations of New England, the greater part of the adults, who attend public worship, are in the habit of forming themselves into classes during the intermission, for mutual instruction in the word of God; and it is one of the most delightful spectacles

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that I ever witnessed. In these classes, those who are the best qualified are expected to take the lead. Perhaps you remember an aged and pious aunt of mine, in the town where our family originated. When she was a widow" of more than 6 fourscore years,” she might be seen every Sabbath at the head of her class, consisting of “mothers in Israel,” some of whom were nearly as old as herself! Where this custom prevails, it is not expected that the pastors will regularly teach any of the classes ; though it is exceedingly gratifying to see them occasionally moving about from one part of the house to another, and to unite with them as they offer prayer for the blessing of God upon this method of studying the Scriptures.

Such Bible classes as a pastor is expected to organize and instruct, are composed chiefly, if not exclusively, of the young; and in most parts of the land, certainly in our own denomination, the minister would be thought extremely delinquent, who should not have one or more of these classes always under his care. I have no very definite plan to propose for your adoption, either in organizing or teaching such classes. The more common way is, to invite the young people of both sexes to meet their pastor statedly for religious instruction. Another method is, to meet the two sexes separately. I have tried both, and each has its peculiar advantages. I have reason to believe that I never did more good in this department of pastoral labor, than in a class of young ladies at P, where I passed the most eventful years of my ministry. I cannot say how others may view the subject, but as far as I may be allowed to judge from my own experience, it is better occasionally to change from one form of organization to another, than to adhere exclusively to any. The young are fond of variety, and it is often wise to gratify them.

The same remark holds true, in regard to modes of teaching. Though your object ought always to be the same, viz. the religious instruction, awakening and conversion of your youthful charge, no exclusive method of bringing the truth to bear upon their minds is prescribed in the Scriptures. This year you may take up the shorter, or the larger catechism, giving out one or more questions for each lesson, requiring the class to study the answers thoroughly, and to look out the references. The grand aim of this exercise should be to indoctrinate them not to dictate what they shall believe—not to intrench in the slightest degree upon the sacred right of private judgment, but to induce them to search the Scriptures for themselves, that they may be early “rooted and grounded in the truth.” The next year you may, if you think it expedient, vary the exercise a little, by giving out questions, referring to authorities, and appointing a certain number of the class to bring in written dissertations, or leaving it optional with such as may choose to write. I once tried this method for a few months with considerable advantage. It elicits the views of the older and more intelligent members of the class ; wakes up a new interest in the minds of all, and affords you an excellent opportunity, in summing up, to enlarge upon the difficult


parts of the subject, obviate objections, and settle fundamental principles. Another method is, to take up a Gospel or an Epistle, give out a chapter or part of a chapter for a lesson, and pursue this course till the book is finished. By preparing yourself for a critical and practical exposition of each lesson before it is dismissed, you will secure the double advantage of enriching your own mind with divine knowledge, and imparting it to the juvenile members of your church and congregation. I might easily enlarge on this head, and recommend other methods of imparting Bible instruction to your classes ; but your own good judgment enlightened by experience will suggest them.

There are then, my dear E., as we have seen, three nurseries of the church, the family, the Sabbath school, and the Bible class, on which you should keep your eye and the care of which, will either mediately or immediately devolve upon you as the pastor. If you are faithful and God adds his blessing, though you should not live to gather the full harvest, some other man will no doubt enter into your labors, and reap it after you, that “ both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together."

I am very affectionately, &c.



Allow me once more to remind you, that although the care of the whole congregation was committed to you, when you was ordained, you are especially to consider yourself as the pastor of the church. There is a sacredness in this latter relation, which does not pertain to the former. The Pastoral Care is an office divinely constituted “ for the edification of the body of Christ, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” That tender charge of the “good shepherd,” “ Feed my sheep-Feed my lambs," is full of meaning; and the flock which he has given you to watch over, as an under shepherd, will need your constant care and vigilance. It is a howling wilderness through which you are to lead them, into those “sweet fields, that lie beyond the swelling flood.”

You are to guard them, not only against the “ wiles of the devil, who as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,' but against “ wolves in sheep's clothing;" those false teachers who, “if it were possible, would deceive the very elect.

“Of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women, laden with sins, led away with divers lusts; ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

I know that if “the enemy should come in like a flood,” you cannot meet him at every assailable point,

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