Showing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): By our making the Sabbath dreary, many young minds may be prejudiced against religion…This is a sad result, but a frequent one. Sunday-school teachers can make their classes so tiresome to the children that they will hate Sunday; they can fritter away the time in school without bringing the lads and lasses to Christ, and so do more hurt than good.
HENRY VENN (1724-1797): I once thought it absurd to teach children the Catechism, which they did not comprehend. So I determined to address their understandings. I got them round me, talked to them in a familiar way, and all went on well. But I compared them with a stupid maid-servant, who had been educated in the old way: and found to my surprise that she was the best! So I altered my opinion.
ISAAC WATTS (1674-1748): Instruction by [catechism] question and answer seems to be the plainest and easiest manner wherein the knowledge of religion can be conveyed to the minds of those that are ignorant, and especially of the younger parts of mankind. This will appear in several respects: Hereby the principles of Christianity are reduced into short sentences, which are much more easy to be understood by children, as well as to be treasured up in their memories…This way of teaching has something familiar and delightful in it, because it looks more like conversation and dialogue. It keeps the attention fixed with pleasure on the sacred subject, and yet continually relieves the attention by the alternate returns of the question and the answer. The curiosity of the young mind is awakened by the question to know what the answer will be.
C. H. SPURGEON: Dr. Watts’s Catechism, which I learned myself, is so simple, so interesting, so suggestive, that a better condensation of Scriptural knowledge will never be written; and the marvel is that such a little miracle of instruction should have been laid aside by teachers. While I am writing, one question and answer comes to me with special freshness:
“Who was Isaiah?”
“He was that prophet who spake more of Jesus Christ than all the rest.”
J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): Some honour a catechism more than the Bible; or fill the minds of their children with miserable little story books, instead of the Scriptures of truth. But if you love your children, let the simple Bible be everything in the training of their souls; and let all other books go down and take the second place. Care not so much for their being mighty in the catechism, as for their being mighty in the Scriptures. This is the training, believe me, that God will honour…Fill their minds with Scripture.
JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): Go through the life of Christ, and all the historical parts of Scripture.
C. H. SPURGEON: The Holy Scriptures may be learned by children as soon as they are capable of understanding anything. It is a very remarkable fact, which I have heard asserted by many teachers, that children will learn to read out of the Bible better than from any other book.
J. C. RYLE: See that your children read the Bible reverently. Train them to look on it, not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, written by the Holy Ghost Himself―all true, all profitable, and able to make us wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
BROWNLOW NORTH (1810-1875): Teach them to commit to memory large portions of Scripture.
HENRY VENN: Make them get Scripture by heart.
JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): And thou shalt teach them diligently, Deuteronomy 6:7. [In the] Hebrew―Thou shalt whet or sharpen them, as one would sharpen a stake when he drives it into the ground: or as one would set an edge stone upon a knife, by oft going over the whetstone. A learned Hebrician observes a near affinity between the word [teach] here used and another word that signifies to repeat, and inculcate the same thing.
GEORGE SWINNOCK (1627-1673): A frequent mention of things is the best art of memory.
HANNAH MORE (1745-1833): I tell them the same thing over and over and over again.
C. H. SPURGEON: Get the truth concerning the Lord Jesus into the children’s minds…Take Paul as an example: “I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ, and him crucified,” I Corinthians 2:2. That is feeding the kids beside the shepherds’ tents, when you teach your children Christ, much of Christ, all of Christ, and nothing else but Christ. Mind you stick to that blessed subject. And when you are teaching them Christ, teach them all about His life, His death, His resurrection; teach them His Godhead and His manhood…Take care that you feed your flock upon the doctrine of the atonement―teach them the atoning sacrifice, and justification by faith, and imputed righteousness, and union with the risen Head, and the coming of the great One, wherein we shall receive the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body from the grave…Now, whether you use the regular lessons or not, do seek to bring your scholars to Christ.
MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven, Matthew 19:14. We have here the welcome which Christ gave to some little children that were brought to Him.
C. H. SPURGEON: Labour to teach the child always to have an eye to God; write on his memory these words, “Thou God seest me.” Bid him remember that his every act and thought are under the eye of God. No Sunday-school teacher discharges his duty unless he constantly lays stress upon the fact that there is a God who notices everything that happens…Recollect that you are teaching for God.