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the school they are lost to religious influence. This means that the sole religious impression of many lives must be made by the Sunday school, if ever made. In considering the place of the Sunday school in religious education and the place of worship in the school, we cannot ignore this large number to whom the school is to be the sole representative and source of religious instruction, influence, and experience.

The report says: "The primary object of the Sunday school is felt to be the lesson study." We must not regard the mere increase of religious facts or truths as the supreme purpose. The facts of Bible history, biography, and geography may be forgotten, but the acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Saviour and Friend is a permanent element in life's experience, and to have missed this is to have missed the purpose of God in human life.

The present awakening will bring better teaching of the Bible. Will it also bring a deepening of the religious experience of the pupil ? The improvement of the lesson study in a measure depends upon the worship of the school. The character of the devotional exercises largely determines the religious atmosphere of the school and also the results of lesson study. They either prepare the child for lesson study, or in a large measure destroy the opportunity for religious impression of the truth taught in the class. The worship after the lesson study either dissipates the impressions of the truth or gathers them into a personal consecration of the life to God's service. Worship focalizes the teaching of the Word upon the personal attitude to Christ. It brings to knowledge and sentiment the eternal NOW of God. It is not sufficient that an annual attempt should be made at decision day for the deep religious impression. Every service should seek to make an abiding impression upon the religious life and add to the religious experience. The worship of the Sunday School should lead perceptibly and intelligently to the consciousness of the presence of God and to fellowship with him.

The pastor does not generally occupy that place of importance in the Sunday school which is his by right of position and ability. In many schools he has little or no opportunity to spiritually influence the pupils. He comes into contact with many young people only as pupils in the school. They do not attend the church service and the Sunday school is the only place where he can see and influence them. The modern pastor is trained to know the possibilities of Sunday school work and the methods of obtaining the desired impression upon the child mind. The largest place of influence, reaching as it does the entire school, is in this devotional service.

The reading of the Scriptures in the average Sunday school is not surcharged with vital life. Much of it is not adapted to the minds of the pupils. I have failed to find a consciousness of any impression for good made by the reading of the Bible in the Sunday school. The average lesson has no point of contact with the child mind. Choice passages memorized and repeated as a part of the service have been consciously valuable. A short portion with judicious comment has also been helpful.

All attempts to prepare liturgical enrichment for Sunday school use must be marked by a combination of simplicity which will appeal to the understanding of the child and that dignity which the subject demands. This cannot be created, but must be taken again from the rich store of past ages.

In the prayers of the school the problem is to lead the children in prayer into petitions and things in which they are and should be interested and to furnish with prayer thoughts and vocabulary. This demands more thought and preparation than can be given by the leader. Here, again, the demand is for the rich prayers of confession, petition, and thanksgiving which are the common heritage of all Christendom. The more needful is this thoughtful leadership for the fact that so many have no other opportunity to learn to pray.

We can see in the awakening of the church, in the increased interest of both pastors and superintendents, and in the widespread recognition of weakness in our present methods every cause for optimism. Men engaged in propaganda must be optimistic, and are. The conditions which are deplorable cannot stand before an enlightened leadership, and the organization of the religious forces is becoming more effective in providing this leadership. May God hasten the day when His worship in our schools may be truly inspirational and full of intelligent reverence and love.



Worship is an outward form of an inward state. It is like the flowering of a delicate, and not altogether common plant called reverence, whose roots strike deep into the soil of childhood. Its germ is found in that first faint sense sublime of a presence whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, and the round ocean, and the living air, and the blue sky, and the mind of man.

It is a tender plant, needing careful nurture and an atmosphere

of religious feeling. It cannot be forced by precept nor by formal instruction. It thrives best in a home where a mother's daily reverent look and habitude teach her own simple version of the Christian faith, and where a father's religion is not a parade duty performed on Sunday. It does not grow apace in a climate where doubt and suspicion of the good in others exists, and the failings of the preacher in the pulpit, and the teacher at the desk are freely discussed, nor in a country where there is no respect of age or condition; where children do not rise up before the hoary head as a crown of honor; where the chief magistrate of the land is familiarly spoken of as "Teddy."

The Sunday school has a difficult problem before it in attempting to foster the spirit of worship where it must supply the deficiencies of the home training and of community ideals. It can only furnish a favorable climate during the hour of the session, and hope for some abiding results. The atmosphere of the room and hour is more potent than any teaching in fostering the feeling of worship. Disorder, confusion, and hurry, and often, I fear, the pictorial and musical accompaniments of the Sunday school lesson, are fatal to the inner collectedness which expresses itself in adequate forms of worship.

If the service of song and praise and prayer is to be a genuine thing, it must voice, simply and reverently, the feelings and ideas which are possible to boys and girls, and must be guided by one who feels the meaning of it all.

The simple faith of childhood in a God who is the giver of all good, ready to hear the cries of those who call unto Him, should be regarded as the most precious possession. It is sometimes lost through the doubt which creeps in when prayers for temporal good are encouraged. The Great Teacher taught his class how to pray in a form of prayer which expresses universal, and not particular, needs. The great forms of petition which voice the highest needs of the human soul, awaken aspiration, and give a vision of the fountain of life are those which may be appropriated by the devout soul anywhere, and the normal boy or girl responds to the fine expression of that hunger and thirst after righteousness which is a real desire of the soul.

I should like to teach boys and girls of to-day to pray the prayer of Socrates of old: "Grant me to be beautiful in the inner man, and all I have of outer things to be at peace with those within. May I count the wise man only rich, and my store of gold be such as none but the good can bear. Need we anything more? For myself, I have prayed enough."

With the true prayer belongs, as body to spirit, the outer posture

and attitude of prayer. The folded hand and the head bowed before the Highest in Heaven react upon the consciousness and stir the appropriate feelings. The Guides to Goethe's Pedagogic Province believe that reverence is a most difficult and necessary thing for man to attain, and insist, among the boys of the Province, upon the attitude which expresses the threefold veneration for what is above us, for what is beneath us, and what is around us. The venerable guides to this Pedagogical Province explain that through assuming the attitude of respect and reverence the feeling becomes permanent. The highest punishment is to be declared unworthy to show reverence, to exhibit themselves as rude and uncultivated natures.

The reality of the feeling in the Sunday school service is the chief thing, but it can never flourish apart from the appropriate form.

Another great factor in stirring the feeling of reverence is song. It is the language of spirituality, the speech of the heart. It makes the most direct appeal to feeling. The tired soldier quickens his step to the sound of the Marseillaise. The very gates of Heaven seem to open through the singing of "Jerusalem the Golden." The restless child is soothed by the lullaby, and drops to sleep with glimpses of holy angels guarding his bed. But there are songs and songs. Songs of peace and songs of war, songs of triumph and victory, exciting and turbulent songs, gentle hymns of love and trust, and the old, majestic hymns of the faith. The Sunday school may wisely limit itself to those songs and hymns which most directly arouse the spirit of worship through melody, rhythm, and word content. Intelligible to the understanding the ideas must be, and the melody appropriate to the thought.

The great hymns of the Church are the blessed heritage of our Sunday schools. Does not the vision of the "noble army of men and and boys" who "trod the steep ascent to heaven, 'mid peril, toil, and pain" awaken always the desire to "follow in their train?" The song, the service of prayer, with the devout attitude and quiet tone, create the atmosphere in which seeds of reverence may grow. So does the divinest in man spring up into eternal life.




Community Bible-study is Bible-study carried on by the people of the community outside of the Sunday school, and without regard to church membership, or anything else but a desire to study the Bible. It is undenominational-a popular union movement. Hundreds of letters from almost every state in the Union, and from Canada, show that the country is full of this week-day, popular Bible-study by communities, by villages, neighborhoods, groups of people interested in the Bible for a hundred different reasons, and including the adherents of all denominations, and of no denomination, those who have been out-and-out disbelievers in Christianity as they have seen it, and, in some cases, Roman Catholics and Jews.

It should be said that there are no full statistics. The most interesting are the individual classes, having no connection with any other organization, and so not reported anywhere. While this report is based on a wide investigation, it is certain that not half of the small, individual community classes have been discovered.

A word must be said about the Young Men's Christian Associations, which lead in promoting this work. The associations report 38,000 men and boys studying the Bible in their classes this winterreal study, too. Sixty of the associations have taken up the training of teachers for their various Bible classes. In Buffalo, for instance, there is a class the membership of which is limited to those who will lead classes of three or more men outside of the building. It has sixty members, of many denominations, who are teaching sixty outside classes. In the Y. M. C. A. shop classes in Cleveland there are 2,500 different men attending noon and midnight shop Bible classes. There are also classes in street-car barns at all hours to accommodate the men. One is at 4:30 in the morning. Other associations have classes in roundhouses, flagmen's shanties,. in the army and navy, in fire-engine houses, police headquarters, and underground in mines38,000 men of them studying the Bible. In the college associations there are 24,000 more in weekly Bible classes, making 62,000 in all. In Ohio one-fourth of the men in forty-one colleges and professional schools are enrolled in Y. M. C. A. Bible classes.

Look next at University Extension work in Bible-study. There

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