Methodist Sunday School teachers in 1898-99 had a book chockfull of good ideas for lessons. Included in the book were at least two lessons for every Sunday of the year. I am wondering if other denominations found a copy of the book to accidentally use?!! The book was 25 cents for one year. If you bought six copies, the price went down to 20 cents! Seems like a bargain…right?
“Picture Lesson Paper”
An entire book for 25 cents in 1898-99…I better not mention what I recently paid for it…but the price was close to $20 and I thought that was a bargain! And the cover was missing!
Times…They are a Changin’!
I found this book in yet another antique store…I might need to stay out of those places! This particular book was way in a back corner of a shop in Jefferson, Texas. Jefferson is an ideal place to shop for antiques if you happen to be in East Texas. Very old and ornate houses, an original downtown area, many Bed & Breakfast homes, an old hotel…and even a ghost tour at night complete the “long ago” atmosphere of Jefferson. I thought that this book was a real find…my husband thought that I was losing my mind. I already have the stack of vintage magazines. Oh well!
The lessons seem so innocent…so sweet…so needed today. It seems like young children today spend more time thinking about when they will get a cell phone, than time thinking about goodness and grace. Not all children, but maybe too many are appearing to take the questionable path. Some seem to be reluctant to try to commit to good will. The world does needs more good will, not less!
The following are a sampling of the Sunday School lessons from 1898-99…
1. January 29, 1899
” A little boy was playing in a park where there was a fountain. He kept running to the fountain for a drink. His mother said to him, “Harry, what make you drink so much?”
“O, mamma,” he said, “I keep getting thirsty again. Every drink of water wants another drink after it goes down.”
So it is when we try to satisfy our hearts with the pleasant things of life, forgetting Jesus’s love. Everything we try wants something else to come after it, and we are always thirsty for something else til we come to Jesus to be satisfied with the water of life.”
May 31, 1899
“How nice!” said Arthur, as he peeped into the butler’s pantry. ” I will step up on this stool and look at the lovely cakes. Mamma says I must not touch them, but it is not wrong to take a good smell of them.” The little hands wanted to break off a piece, so Arthur said, “Little hands, you must go behind me and stay; I am afraid you will do some mischief.” He put his hands behind him and held them fast; but the cakes smelled so good that he kept getting nearer and nearer, until his lips touched one of them, and before he could think much about it he had taken one bite, and then another, and another, until he had nibbled three cakes. He heard someone coming and hid behind the door.
“Who has spoiled my cakes, I wonder?” said his Mamma. Arthur began to feel troubled. He looked at his hands.
“You did not do it, little hands, did you?” said Arthur to himself.
“I am afraid my boy has done this,” said his Mamma and she called, “Arthur, Arthur”
Arthur stepped from behind the door, held out his hands, and said, “My little hands did not touch it, Mamma.”
“Who do you think has done it?’ said his Mamma.
Arthur would not tell a wrong story. The tears began to roll down his cheeks as he said, “Your little boy, Mamma.”
“I am glad you have told me the truth, my dear child,” said she. “The little hands would not have been to blame if they had touched it. It would have been Mamma’s little boy.” It was a lesson for Arthur, and he never did such a thing again.
June 18, 1899
Edith is only a school girl and not very wise, but she has some of the wisdom that is better than any to be gotten from books. So she does not spend her time fretting over things she does not have. She enjoys what she has.
“Don’t you wish you were going to the seashore?” asked Margaret.
“I would like it,” said Edith; “but I’m glad I’m going to Grandpapa’s. I always have a good time there.”
“Wouldn’t you like to have a new dress like Mary’s?” said Jessie.
“Yes, but I like mine just as well,” was the answer.
Edith has “the little sprig of content” which gives a rich flavor to everything.
August 21, 1893
Listen, children, can you tell?
Do you know the story well-
How the hungry world is fed,
How we get our daily bread?
In early spring the farmer said:
“The hungry children must be fed,
And I must raise their daily bread.
“I’ll plow the field and harrow it so,
And then the seeds of wheat I’ll sow;
The sun and rain will make them grow.”
“And when the summer days have flown,
Those tiny seeds that I have sown
Will into waving wheat be grown.”
“The wheat I’ll reap, into bundle binds
Then some good miller I will find,
Who into flour my grain will grind.”
“Then the baker’ll buy the flour,” he said,
“And mix it well to make good bread;
And so the children will be fed.”
December 25, 1898
“Peace on Earth!”