Pleasant and important, therefore, are the duties of teachers. The directing of tender affections, and the development of youthful powers, are intrusted to their hands. If they perform their duties faithfully, they may have the satisfaction of seeing the pupils of their charge useful among men, devoted to right, and obedient unto God. Such an office is lovely. It is more than lovely, it is holy. It blesses him who fills it. It exalts his affections, ennobles his purposes, and enlarges his heart.
Do we not see the fruit of this labor in our own school? In the kindness and love of the children for each other, in their faithfulness in the duties of the school, and in their respectful and affectionate bearing towards their teachers and all others, do we not recognize some of the fruits of Sabbath school culture? And may we not expect that such children will be beloved, honored, and useful among men?
Do we not also see some of the fruits of these influences in the fraternal regard of teachers for each other, in their devotion to their duties as teachers, and in their distinguishing virtues as Christians? Have we not, especially, seen the fruit of these influences in the enduring patience, calm hopefulness, and cheerful trust, of one of our number whom we have just followed to her resting-place? The Lord make us faithful, that our end may be like hers.
“O Memory! thou wak’ner of the dead!
Thou only treasurer of vanished past!
How welcome art thou, when bright hope is fled,
And sorrow’s mantle o’er the soul is cast!
Back o’er those days too beautiful to last,
Thy gentle hand will lead the saddened thought;
And though the tears may trickle warm and fast,
Yet thy sweet pictures with such peace are fraught,
The heart, beguiled, exclaims, ‘This is the fount I sought.’”
Memory! Who has not felt its influence! Who of us would wish to part with its delights and quiet teachings! Beautifully adapted is the twilight hour to the cherishing of the recollections of the past. It is then that the hum of busy life is hushed, and all nature seems resting from its toil. Then, in undisturbed peace, rise before us the loved ones we have cherished, and whose memories, like guardian angels, always attend us. We recall every affectionate word and kindly deed, however trivial or little heeded at the time. And how sweet then are our thoughts, and our recompense, if we have never caused them an unhappy moment! Half the bitterness of affliction is removed by such blessed memories. Then let us make them ours. Let us so live that it shall be possible for us to cherish them. Then will they bring to us many happy hours, and sweet solace to the suffering heart. Each moment, as it flits by, enters its record upon the tablet of memory, to be read with joy or sorrow at some future moment.
Then let each moment find some worthy deed to perform, or kind word to be spoken, that shall cause a glow of pleasure and satisfaction when memory recalls it. All memories are not alike pleasing; yet each may have its mission to perform. Past sin may bring pain with its recollection. It comes as a warning, lest we should transgress again. If, then, we would treasure up for ourselves pleasant memories for the future, we must guard well the present moment.