In Article XX, Sections 2 and 3, our Manual lays down very clearly the course of instruction to be followed in the Sunday school; but the clause, "The next lessons shall consist of such questions and answers as are adapted to a juvenile class," seems to require a broader interpretation than is often given it. What method of teaching is best adapted to a juvenile class? What appeals most to the child mind? What method did our Master use to instruct the infant thought of the world? The answer will be found by looking in a Bible concordance under the word "parables." Our Leader refers to this method of awakening interest on page 363 of Science and Health, in her reference to the parable of the two debtors.

All mothers and teachers who have lived and worked with children will testify that a story arouses the interest, concentrates the attention, enlists the sympathy, and renders the listener wide-awake. Who that has been in touch with childhood does not know this, and that we very much need to beget this alertness in our Sunday school classes? To illustrate, let us suppose that the class is studying the first commandment and that the teacher, in trying to bring out the thought of obedience, asks, "Did Jonah keep the first commandment?" If this question has been asked the previous Sabbath, the children have probably been begging their parents during the week to read them this story, and are prepared to answer the question. Perhaps another Sunday they discuss how Moses kept the first commandment, etc, Here the result of disobedience and self-will is contrasted with the power of obedience, and the real meaning of the first commandment is impressed indelibly upon the child. Or, if the class is studying the sixth commandment, perhaps the story of Cain may be brought up, and the question be asked, "What killed Abel?" Then the child who has been made familiar with this Bible story realizes that Cain surely did not "stand porter at the door of thought" (Science and Health, p. 392). He let envy enter consciousness, and the little ones will be made to see that when they let envy enter their thought they may be tempted even as was Cain. Suppose the ninth commandment is being considered, and the story of Elijah's raising of the widow's son is taken as an illustration. Elijah knew that God's reflection could be manifest only in life, and knowing this he could not bear false witness against God's child, for he loved his neighbor and through love's eyes he could see only the perfect reflection. This thought is brought out in our Leader's poem on "Love" (Poems, p. 7), where we read: "For Love alone is Life."

These examples might be multiplied, and as the Scripture stories and parables are thus vitalized, large portions of the Bible will gradually become familiar. In our text-book, Science and Health, we read, "As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life" (p. 497); and it can become the guide of our Sunday school scholars only as it is thus wisely and continuously used. The accomplishment of this end will be a matter of individual demonstration for the Sunday school teachers. The vital teaching of the parable should never be lost sight of. The telling is not to be made a matter of entertainment, nor interfere with the specific teaching outlined, but simply made a means for the presentation of the truth in a way that is peculiarly adapted to the little child's interests and needs.

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June 8, 1912

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