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IN THE training of a soul in moral and religious truth, certain guiding principles should be taken account of and should direct the processes of the teacher. At the outset let us agree upon one guiding principle that, is farreaching in its significance. The mind must be trained in the formation of right judgments be

A Fundamental

fore it can adequately deal with religious truth. The soul, by training, becomes a keen instru

ment of thought. It acquires the power to separate and to combine, to analyze and to synthesize the data furnished by the senses and also the data furnished by its own activities. This training is a prerequisite to the proper use of religious truth. But this training can come only by the proper exercise of the thoughtpowers of the soul. I would so have it that this training should be secured by judicious exercise in secular truth and in the more elementary aspects of religious truth.

To make this training effective the teacher must multiply incidents that occasion right judg

How This Law is Exercised

ment. Test your class frequently upon common incidents in human life. These incidents should aim to figure to the mind some moral or religious truth, such as conscientiousness, truthfulness, humility, etc. Make these tests at first very simple, and let them become increasingly complex. Note always how the emotional aspects of the case condition the judgment of the pupil. Your work is not well done until the pupil has the power to discern between the decision that judgment enforces and the decision that the feelings suggest. Note, too, how readily the pupil at first is led astray in his judgment by confusing real elements with accidental elements of the problem. The young lady, fresh from school, who was unable to compute the cost of thirteen pounds of meat at nine cents a pound, provided one-third of the meat was fat, is not the only person whose mind goes astray on "the fat."

John was twelve years old. One morning his mother called him at seven-thirty. John sprang out of bed, dressed promptly, and presented himself on time at the breakfast table. While eating his breakfast his mother said: "John, before you go to school I want you to go on an errand for me." "All right, mother dear," said John. After breakfast John went out and played with his comrades until school-time. At nine precisely

he was lined up, cheerful, and serenely happy at school. He was industrious, polite, and orderly all the morning in school. At noon he went home. His mother said: "John, why did you fail to go on that errand for me this morning?

A Study of

again on time.

John looked his mother in the eye and said: "I forgot." At one-thirty he was in school During the afternoon, as a boy in the next grade below passed John's desk, in some way John's foot tripped the smaller boy. There was some confusion, and the teacher turned to John and said: "John, how did you happen to do that?" John answered promptly: "It was an accident, teacher." Evidently the teacher was of a different mind. She said to him: "You may remain after school; I want to see you." John remained. He reached home half an hour late. "Why, John, you are late; what is the cause?" asked his mother. "Oh, I was talking to the teacher," said John. What do you think of John?

As you read this over did you notice the change in your opinion sentence after sentence? Read it again and note at what places in the story you approved, and at what places you did not approve, of John's conduct. What was your final judgment based upon? Did you count up all the commendable things John did, and also count

up all the non-commendable things John did, and then strike a balance? What really did determine your final judgment? Did you take into account all his acts, or did you judge him for his last remark to his mother? How should we arrive at a conclusion in a case like this?

The Final

You will notice that the story ends with an appeal to judgment. This seems to me to be a most important thing to keep in mind. It is what the soul does as a result of bringing a group of related ideas into consciousness that is significant. All of these ideas should be weighed, their relative significance and importance determined, and the judgment at the end should announce the verdict of the soul upon the facts in evidence. A training to this end is most important. It stands opposed to those excessive memory efforts which we have heretofore seen are at war with all good teaching. It also stands. opposed to hasty generalizations,-the tendency, all too common, of leaping to conclusions without a proper consideration of the facts that determine what the conclusion should be. I believe that Sunday-school teachers are very much open to this criticism. They state a fact or two and then expect the pupils, on this meager basis of concrete material, to arrive at a uniform

What the Law

law governing religious conduct. Nothing is gained by such processes, and much is lost. This training stands opposed also to a form of reasoning which is capable of much mischief. I refer to the form of reasoning called reasoning by analogy. Some object of the physical world is made to represent some object of the spiritual world, and what is true of the object in the physical world is by analogy said to be true of some object in the spiritual world.

I once heard a minister preach a sermon on the admonition, "Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." He discussed snakes to perfection, and then turned all the detailed statement concerning snakes into detailed spiritual guidance. He did the same thing with the doves, and when the doves and the

A Wrong

snakes did not quite behave as he thought a Christian ought to behave, he pointed out the fact that perhaps if we knew the serpent and the dove well enough, we should find that they actually did behave in such a way as to become perfect models for religious guidance! What I wish you to see here is that a lot of gratuitous information was read into the text, and the impression left on the mind of the hearer was anything but helpful or wholesome or inspiring.

I think that we are inclined to strain Bible

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