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(1.) The Bible is being studied with a profounder sense of its utter reality.

(2.) There is a growing feeling that the Bible must be studied less in fragments and more as a whole.

(3.) In some churches there has been a definite effort towards some system or course of study and the construction of manuals. The Presbyterian Church (South) has adopted a complete course of study for its schools, by formal action of its General Assembly.

The Lutheran Church, while holding, in the main, to the International System, as does the Methodist, is finding itself obliged to modify this in the interest of a more careful grading in the primary and advanced departments.

Many of the leading denominations report an effort to grade their schools, but in only two or three cases does this grading go beyond the adaptation of the uniform system by means of graded lesson-treatment.

The Episcopal Church has never used the International System, but the Joint Diocesan Lessons, modeled on the International, but recognizing the Christian year, have been used in the large majority of parishes. Besides this system, there have been used a great variety of manuals, so that the condition of instruction is most unsettled. In 1900 the idea of a subject-graded curriculum was advocated as a natural sequence of child-study, and the adaptation of the subject-matter of religious education to the child's development. Suggested curricula were put forth. A study of over thirty subject-graded schemes used in various schools showed a remarkably general agreement, indicating that the main outline hit upon was psychologically and pedagogically sound.

The manuals set forth by this commission are at least valuable as a beginning. Certainly, it cannot be supposed that they represent an ideal, but they may point the way towards text-books that shall more worthily meet the requirements of religious education.

Much is involved in any radical and sweeping changes. The International or Uniform Lessons are too strongly intrenched in the traditions and honest preferences of a vast majority of our Sunday schools, and have played too important a part in the last generation, to be easily set aside. But even in this great system, under its earnest and inspiring leaders, there has been an effort made to adjust and harmonize its uniformity with the best educational principles. Meanwhile, existing systems, like the International, the Blakeslee, and the Joint Diocesan, are steadily seeking to improve the quality of their work.

6. Large Organization. There is a marked tendency towards.

more careful organization of the school and the church. The individual school here and there may be highly organized, and it is probably true that every successful school is managed with thoroughness. But this is not the common condition, and this tendency to bring every school into closer corporate union with all other schools is a most important feature.

I desire to call attention to the practical importance of organization within each denomination. An interesting movement is now starting in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Every presiding elder is urged "to make himself familiar with the modern Sunday school, and so be able to inspire his pastors with enthusiasm, to hold frequently Sunday school institutes in his district, grouping several churches, and bringing together pastors, and superintendents, and teachers for the discussion of practical problems concerning their work." Lists of subjects are given for such conferences, and a carefully selected list of helpful and inspiring books. Every school is urged to provide itself with a full library of the best books covering all phases of the subject.

At the last General Convention of the Episcopal Church, a jointcommission on Sunday school Instruction was appointed with a view to a thorough investigation of the matter. Some forty diocesan commissions or organizations already exist. This movement is developing the more elaborate organization of each diocese, through its archdeaconin and deanerin. This same demand for more detailed organization is being felt in other communions also. The effort to knit together in firm, corporate life the schools of each denomination is highly important.

One of the greatest contributions made by the International Lesson Committee to the religious life of our time has been this bringing together of those churches using their lessons.

7. Sunday School Exhibits. The exhibit, as presented during this convention, contains full specimens of Sunday-school apparatus, literature, and methods of teaching as used by Protestants, Romanists and Jews. The value of such exhibits is at once conceded. One great exhibit' already embraces over 10,000 individual helps, including almost every article demanded in Sunday school equipment. It is hoped that this special exhibit can be enlarged into a complete museum, representing the evolution of Sunday school methods for the last fifty years. Meanwhile, other exhibits have been started elsewhere. Every great center of Sunday school influence should possess some such collection. It is of the greatest educational value and helpfulness.

1 New York Sunday School Commission Exhibit, 29 Lafayette Place.

The development of manual work in the Sunday school, as seen in map-modeling, map-drawing, and models of Oriental utensils, houses, etc., is of great importance. And the large exhibit, or the model, or exhibit-room of the individual school, is destined to play an important part in the religious education of the future.

II. In closing, I desire to call attention to several things which bear more particularly on the future..

1. The Home. The religious life of the past quarter of a century has seen a distinct decline in the religious life of the home. The present indication seems to point to better things. Two immediately productive causes for this improvement are the Cradle-roll and the Home Department. These work upon the finer sentiments of parents and children. They produce their results less by direct exhortation than by the creation of interest and appeals to the spiritual imagination.

2. Week-day Lessons. It is a question already asked, and destined to come more to the front in future, whether an effort should not be made to secure a week-day session of the Sunday school. Some arrangement may be found by which the children can be assembled in grades, on different days, and so brought under more careful instruction. In most parishes the pastor is to-day too little in touch with his children. Some such departmental work on week-days might lead to a real enrichment of the Sunday worship in behalf of children.

3. Finally, the Spiritual Life of the Child. I am not here speaking of the evangelizing work of the school. The period of personal religious interest, the espousal of Christ, whether we associate it with Decision Day, or with Confirmation and First Communion, is never to be forgotten. Granted this, I have in mind something that this only emphasizes and that is worship.

The Sunday school has sometimes been called the children's church. And in a vast number of cases it has been practically the only church the child knew, and the teacher the only preacher. But that this describes the Sunday school in any true sense cannot be allowed.

The school is not the church. School prayers are not worship in any other sense than private devotion may be called worship. The Sunday school prayer should lead to and train for the service of the church. Much has been written on the child at study. We must turn our attention to the child at worship. The two things are distinct operations of the soul. If our school lessons are to be made pedagogically sound, our hymns and prayers and ceremonies of worship must be made equally true to the child.

Religion must not miss the ministry of beauty and form, and the

reverent play and expression of rich and holy ceremonies of worship belong by right to the child.

My plea is for the child and his right to the richest heritage our Christian faith can bring into his life. For human nature is older than any one church or any one point of view, and let us remember that though each child passes on, yet the child is ever with us. We may well take up, therefore, this comparatively untrodden field of investigation, and ask how we can best lead the child, through worship, into the presence of his Father, and, if necessary, how we can adjust our older and fixed formulas of worship to the needs of that earlier age.






The Church has two duties. One is the duty of instruction. tianity and Judaism both rest upon an intelligent grasp of certain principles which make their appeal to the intellect. These are embodied, not only in lives, but in books, and especially in The Book. They must be studied. The second duty is that of inspiration. The Church must inspire men so to relate these principles to their lives that they shall no longer lie without, but within, -a part of life itself. It is essentially the evangelistic, the spiritual. The problem is, How is the church to fulfill these two functions under the present conditions?

The recognition of the function of inspiration is old and familiar. Never, perhaps, was it more emphasized than in this country for the past 150 years. A vast congeries of agencies sprang up to fulfill it; in the non-liturgical churches the continuous ministrations of the pulpit and the prayer-meeting were supplemented by the intermittent ministry of the revival. In the liturgical churches the continuous influence of the ritual was and is relied upon. Then came in the Sunday school, and the religious instinct seized upon it as still another means of religious inspiration. Its instructional character was made distinctly secondary to its religious.

Here lies the problem. For us, inspiration is the old and familiar function of the Church. Instruction is the new. The old has its channels well worn, but the stream in them is sometimes narrower than one could wish. The new will soon be a full flood, with few well-worn channels in which it can flow. How can we turn this new flood into the old channels? How can we so use the instruction upon which the Church will, we believe, lay great stress in the near future, so that it shall increase rather than diminish the power of the Church for inspiration? How shall we absorb the new partial truth, and not let the old partial truth go?

Let us recognize, in the first place, how very far apart these two functions of the Church are. Inspiration cannot be gained by instruction, nor can instruction be gained by inspiration. To try to mingle the two in one operation is to invite the failure of both. Probably the fundamental difficulty with the Sunday school has lain at this point. The

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