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Title: Picture-Work
Author: Hervey, Walter L. (Walter Lowrie)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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PICTURE=WORK

by

WALTER L. HERVEY, Ph.D.



New York    Chicago    Toronto
Fleming H. Revell Company
London and Edinburgh

Copyright, 1896, by
W. L. Hervey

Copyright, 1908, by
Fleming H. Revell Company



CONTENTS.


                                                                 Page

   I. The Problem and One of Its Solutions                          5

  II. Types of Picture-Work                                         9

 III. A Picture-Book, and How to Use It                            22

  IV. Side-Lights                                                  26

   V. Stories and Story-Telling                                    31

  VI. Some First Principles: Unity, Reality, Order                 44

 VII. How to Learn How                                             56

VIII. Books, Pictures, and Illustrative Material                   71

  IX. False Picture-Work                                           82

   X. A Coöperative Study                                          87



Picture=Work.



I.

THE PROBLEM AND ONE OF ITS SOLUTIONS.


A friend of the writer, who has since attained to the dignity of a
teacher of teachers, relates to the honor of his wise mother that when
he was a boy she did not make him promise not to smoke or chew or play
cards--probably compassing these ends in other ways--but she did exert
her influence to lead him not to read Sunday-school books. For this
warning, he says, he has never ceased to be thankful. In these days of
supervising committees and selected lists, when standard literature,
undiluted, has found its way into the Sunday-school library, such a
course would not be warranted. But there are still thoughtful persons
who do not feel that in the matter of Sunday-schools they are out of
the woods yet.

"Do you know anything about Sunday-schools?" was asked of one of these,
a representative woman.

"I'm sorry to say that I do," was the reply.

And there are other signs that the number is increasing of those who
believe that in the choice of a Sunday-school the greatest care must be
exercised. Some there are, who, it may be through over-conscientiousness,
are fain to give up the search in despair, preferring to teach their
children at home.

There is probably no other Sunday-school that, in point of order, quiet
seclusion of classes, professional preparation of (paid) teachers, can
compare with the "Religious School" of Temple Emanuel in New York City.
But there is no intrinsic reason why the mechanical and pedagogical
difficulties might not one day be as successfully removed everywhere as
in this model school; and why they may not be removed in every grade.
In the infant classes, through the beneficent influence of the
kindergarten, there are already signs of promise. In the senior
departments the problem is less complicated. But in the classes where
is found "the restless, wide-awake, active, intense, ingenious,
irrepressible boy," or "the girl who is just beyond girlhood and yet
can scarcely be regarded as a woman," and her awkward, self-conscious,
misunderstood brother--here the problem remains, and no one denies that
it is a hard one. Who cannot at this moment see with his mind's eye a
picture of such a class--on the one side a vision of inattention,
insubordination, irreverence, on the other, incompetence, blindly,
consecratedly, painfully doing his--or her--best?

In all things relating to the common schools there is a quickening of
popular interest and of professional spirit. The time is at hand when
none but trained experts will be allowed to teach. Is the instruction
and guidance of young minds in matters pertaining to the Heavenly
Father and the things of the unseen world a task less difficult,
delicate, important, than the teaching of arithmetic and geography? The
question answers itself. It follows that the religious and moral
instruction of our children will one day be put on a firmer and more
scientific basis.

In this reform there are three steps: the securing of proper external
conditions for thought and feeling--in blunter words, the banishment of
hubbub; the systematic training of the teacher; the enrichment of the
lesson by giving to it reality, meaning, and life. The last of these
ends is the only one here under consideration. To this end there are
doubtless several ways. "Picture-work" is one of these, and, it is
believed, one of high importance. That it is neglected is beyond
question. To point out its value and set forth its method are the aims
of this little book.



II.

TYPES OF PICTURE-WORK.


In the Dresden Gallery, the writer once saw two children, brother and
sister, one ten and the other twelve, looking at the Sistine Madonna.
They entered the room, and without heeding the crowd there gathered,
almost instantly fixed their gaze upon the picture. For many minutes
they seemed to be under a spell. They were drinking in something. The
great picture was speaking to them--to their very souls. And they
understood something of its message. At all events they felt its
influence--which is much better than merely to understand.

More striking, because more unexpected, was the influence of a large
copy of the same picture upon a little boy not two years and a half
old. Although this child was passionately fond of pictures, no other
picture ever seemed to appeal to him as this one did. As soon as it was
brought into the house he instantly began to examine it, and pass
judgment upon it. He at once found the center of interest, the young
child and his mother, then pointed to the angels, the "grandfather,"
and lastly to the "lady," but returned always to the "dear little baby
Jesus." From this time the story of the birth of Jesus was the one
story most loved by the child. And a collection of thirty or more
madonnas ("mother-pictures," the child called them) by other great
masters was a never-failing source of delight to him.

Even very young children appreciate the best pictures and the best
stories. In fact the younger they are the better sometimes seems to be
their taste. Are we doing all that we may to gratify, and at the same
time to form, this taste?

But our term, "picture-work," includes more than pictures painted with
the brush. Literature is full of pictures no less beautiful in theme
and in execution, and even more important in meaning, than Raphael's
masterpiece. The story of the good bishop, Monseigneur Bienvenu, as it
is told for us in "Les Miserables," is a picture, and so are all such
stories. Literature is full of them. The Bible is a treasure-house of
masterpieces. More wonderful, too, are these story pictures, just as
they are, if told so that they can be seen and felt, than they could
ever be made with brush or pencil.

How may we gain the power to paint these pictures, helping when help is
needed, standing aside when our bungling efforts would only destroy the
interest and the charm--rub off, as it were, the delicate bloom?

To give help in finding the answer to these questions is the object of
the chapters that follow. Meanwhile we return to our present theme.
What is picture-work?

There is the main story and the telling of it--a work of art as we
shall see--and there are also the side-lights, without which no
story-teller can capture and hold his audience.

The story to be told, let us say, is the healing of the paralytic. But
before the story begins, the ground must be cleared. The oriental house
and bed must be pictured. Get a real specimen of each, if you can, of
course.[1] Provide yourself with pictures in any case, but first of
all, make an eastern house and bed yourself. A square paper box--a hat
box will do--with a hole cut in the top, ready to be torn up when the
time comes; a stairway made of paper, leading up the outside of the
house to the roof; a small piece of felt--an old bed-quilt will serve
equally well--with strings tied in each end, for the bed, to show how a
bed could be let down, rolled, and "taken up"; with these accessories
the teacher is ready to begin the work of sketching the real picture,
the story of the miracle.

          [1] See Chapter VIII., last heading.

Not merely for children, but for grown folk too is this kind of
picture-work a means of teaching. In a densely populated quarter of New
York City there is to-day a minister who is not content with mere
word-pictures. He brings into the pulpit the objects themselves--it may
be a candle, a plumb line, a live frog, an air pump. With him the
method is a success, as it has been with others. Does this seem crude?
So are the mental processes of every forty-nine out of fifty the world
over.

Dr. Parkhurst in the second of those memorable sermons with which he
opened the public campaign against Tammany, carried into the pulpit and
showed his congregation the very bundle of indictments with which he
was to strike the first blow for civic purity.

Ezekiel went still further, and not only used objects but actions to
enforce and illustrate his terrible sermon:

"To the amazement of the people, setting them all awondering what he
could mean, he appears one day before them with fire, a pair of scales,
a knife, and a barber's razor. These were the heads, and doom was the
burden of his sermon. Sweeping off, what an easterner considers it a
shame to lose, his beard, and the hair also from his head, this bald
and beardless man divides them into three parts; weighing them in the
balance. One third he burns in the fire; one third he smites with the
knife; and the remaining third he tosses in the air, scattering it on
the winds of heaven." Thus the prophet under divine direction foretells
the disgrace, division, destruction, dispersion of his people.

Not less striking is the story of Jeremiah's dramatic sermon as
graphically told by Dr. Guthrie, from whom the preceding account has
been quoted:

"The preacher appears--nor book, nor speech in hand, but an earthen
vessel. He addresses his hearers. Pointing across the valley to
Jerusalem, with busy thousands in its streets, its massive towers and
noble temple glorious and beautiful beneath a southern sky, he says,
speaking as an ambassador of God, 'I will make this city desolate and
an hissing' ... pauses--raises his arm--holds up the potter's vessel,
dashes it on the ground; and planting his foot on its shivered
fragments, he adds, 'Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, even so will I break
this people, and this city as one breaketh a potter's vessel.'"

It may have been the inspiration of such examples as these that moved
Beecher when, in the stirring days before the war upon the platform of
Plymouth Church, after taking up one argument after another against
abolition and answering it, he carried each one to the side of the
platform and threw it over into the pile with its predecessors, saying,
"That disposes of you." And in his famous Liverpool address, did he
not, when speaking of the freeing of the slaves, throw down and trample
upon actual chains?

At the heart of even the boldest of such instances of picture-work,
there lies a true and universal principle. And we may be sure that we
are more likely to err on the side of stiffness and conventionality
(which is often sheer laziness and ignorance), than on the side of
reality and life.

The unaided imagination--the power of the eyes to "see pictures while
they're shut"--will, however, often serve us more safely, and not less
surely. That was a vivid and memorable action-picture, drawn for us by
Bishop Vincent, at a vesper service at the close of a Chautauqua
Sabbath, in the "Hall in the Grove." "What if the Master himself were
again on the earth at this hour, here at Chautauqua, and should come up
the hill, through the trees yonder, and should stand between these
pillars and speak to us now...." The picture was complete and
irresistible. We all saw and realized all that we needed to see and
feel, in order to receive the lesson that followed.

But the imagination must be strengthened and fed by plenty of sense
material. It can be trusted to respond with its pictures, provided it
has been given material enough and provided these materials are
skilfully brought to mind. In the following extract from the wonderful
"Story of Jesus,"[2] which should be in the hands of every parent and
teacher, we find a type of picture-work which illustrates this point,
for it quickens and makes many calls upon the imagination: "Imagine
traveling through a state no larger than Vermont, and finding not only
apples and pears, quinces and plums, waving corn-fields, maples and
cedars, but orange-trees fragrant with snowy blossoms, and heavy with
golden fruit in January; figs and dates, pomegranates and bananas--all
within a day's journey! The fields over which you pass glow like
gorgeous Persian carpets...." This is a part of the author's picture of
Palestine.

          [2] See Chapter VIII.

And here is a bit of Archdeacon Farrar's graphic word-picture of
Nazareth, where Jesus spent nearly thirty years of his life on the
earth:

    "Gradually the valley opens into a little, natural-looking
    amphitheater of hills, supposed by some to be the crater of an
    extinct volcano; and then, clinging to hollows of a hill, which
    rises to the height of some five hundred feet above it, lie, like
    'a handful of pearls in a goblet of emerald,' the flat roofs and
    narrow streets of a little eastern town. There is ... a clear,
    abundant fountain, houses built of white stone, and gardens
    scattered among them, umbrageous with figs and olives, and rich
    with the white and scarlet blossoms of orange and pomegranates. In
    spring, at least, everything about the place looks indescribably
    bright and soft; doves murmur in the trees; the hoopoe flits about
    in ceaseless activity; the bright blue roller-bird, the commonest
    and loveliest bird in Palestine, flashes like a living sapphire
    over fields which are enameled with innumerable flowers."

Who having once read, seen, and felt this picture can ever forget it or
fail to feel the atmosphere of this place? It is thus we come to
realize that Jesus Christ was really once a boy, a young man, a human
being, on the earth. Even here, however, all possible helps in the form
of pictures, maps, etc., must be called in as aids to the picturing
power of the mind.

The number of "likes" in the two foregoing selections (there are at
least eight of them expressed or implied) suggests the remark of a
humble woman regarding the parables, "I like best the likes of
Scripture." This word lies at the root of all picture-work. Whether in
the parables of Jesus, who was the prince of teachers, or in the
discourses of great preachers whose sermons teem with "likes," or in
the story-teller's skilful comparison of place with place, people with
people--Palestine with Vermont as to size, with England, Scotland, and
Wales as to its divisions--Galilee, Samaria, and Judæa being "united
because they had one government, one ruler; separate because of their
peculiar characteristics, their definite boundaries, and jealous claims
to special privileges"--in all the notion of likeness is the central
point of the thought.

We never can know anything without having something to know it with. A
"like" is the key that enables us to unlock and to enter the door of
the unknown.

It is through picture-work also--to go a step further--that we come to
have revealed to us our own characters. This type of picture-work is at
once the most difficult and the most important of all. An example of
such picture-making is chosen from an account written by Miss Wiltse,
setting forth her method of making stories in order to suit the needs
of specific cases among her pupils. Not every one has the love or the
genius of Miss Wiltse, and no one can hope to win such success as hers
at once; but it may be that by catching some of her spirit, studying
her plan, and patiently practicing, we may learn this royal way of
reaching the hearts of our children.

"There was in my kindergarten," she writes, "a little boy whose deceit
and cruelty were quite abnormal; he would smile in my face with
seraphic sweetness while his heavy shoe would be crushing his
neighbor's toes.... He seemed incorrigible. At last I wrote a story
entitled 'The Fairy True Child,' into which I put my strongest effort
to reach this untruthful child. I told it to the class, and before it
was concluded this boy's head was low upon his breast, his cheeks
aflame with conscious guilt. No direct reference was made to him; no
other child thought of him in connection with the story. The next day
he asked to have it repeated, and his conduct was noticeably better;
the story became his moral tonic, and one glad day he threw his arms
about me, saying he wanted to keep his Fairy True Child always.

"Another child who was feeble-minded was helped to be free from his
mental inertia and day-dreaming by a story written expressly for him,
in which 'I AM THAT WHICH WILLS' was pictured as a fairy, coming softly
to the little boy whose power to try was lost, kissing his eyes,
breathing softly upon his lips, putting her finger softly upon his
ears--making each more ready and attentive--and finally enthroning the
little boy's own fairy in its place in his brain, where the fairy grows
more and more princely, and the little boy more and more manly, trying
hard, so very hard, to keep the dear little fairy on his throne."

Here, then, we have some of the types of picture-work: the picture and
the story, the parable in its various forms, and the word-picture--whether
of things or actions; illustrations or side-lights, the "likes" with
which a skilful teacher illumines his teaching, and the objects, models,
maps, and sketches on pad or blackboard, with which he re-enforces the
lagging imaginations of his hearers.

What, then, is a picture? A picture is anything that helps us to see
more clearly, feel more heartily, and act upon more faithfully the
truth which is not or cannot be immediately present to our senses. The
truth to be pictured may be the truth of people, places, and
actions--external things; it may be the truth of character and of inner
life--the things that are unseen, which we could never see at all
except by the aid of real things or pictures of real things; just as,
for example, our idea of God is built out of our experience of
mountains, flowers, thunder-storms, our mother's tenderness, and our
father's strength. These pictures may be drawn or painted; they may be
expressed in words or in deeds, with pen or brush, with actions, with
things.

Where to find our materials and how to use these tools with economy and
effectiveness are the questions that next claim our attention.



III.

A PICTURE-BOOK, AND HOW TO USE IT.


The Bible is a picture-book. It is history, literature, logic,
philosophy; but, more than all these, for children and all who have the
heart of childhood, it is a store-house of pictures.

The first thing needful for a teacher, if he would touch his pupils, is
to see these pictures himself. This, we must admit, is seldom done. For
it is one of the sad things about the human mind that it possesses the
power to read the words that set the picture forth without seeing the
picture, and without being touched by the emotion which only the
picture can arouse. We can seem to pray the Lord's Prayer, for example,
while in reality we are merely making articulate--sometimes
inarticulate--sounds.

"I believe it would startle and move any one," said Robert Louis
Stevenson, referring to the gospel of St. Matthew, "if he could make a
certain effort of imagination and read it freshly like a book, not
droningly and dully like a portion of the Bible."

Who of us has not been thus startled and moved? It may have been on
hearing a story read by one who read as though he had seen the men and
the events face to face. It may have been by being helped to realize
and see by pictures or by being ourselves on the ground made sacred by
the story, or, perchance, by being in the same case as those described.
It may have been on reading the old stories "freshly, like a book,"
perhaps after many years, when the old-time droning and the dulness are
forgotten, and the simple beauty and power of the old stories come home
to us. At such times we say, This is the very Word of God. Were ever
pictures painted like these?

Thomas Hardy says of one of his characters that, like every healthy
youth, he had an aversion to the reading of the Bible. Some of us know
what that means, though we did not know it was _healthy_. Better, we
might almost say, that the child spent his time in some other way than
to read the Bible or be taught it, only to conceive a dislike for its
stories. Better a child never went to Sunday-school than that he should
go to have interest deadened. He may wait many a year before the
freshness returns.

"Two grand qualifications are equally necessary in the education of
children," said Horace Mann, "love and knowledge." The teacher of the
Bible must indeed _know_--not know about, merely, but be personally
acquainted with--the old patriarchs, their dress, occupation, country,
way of life, and character; the judges, likewise, the prophets and
kings, the children of Israel as a people, the apostles and their
friends, and, above all, Christ himself. Does it make little difference
whether we think of Christ as an oriental or as an Italian; whether as
clad in the turban and flowing white robes of the East or in more
conventionalized attire; whether as he is pictured for us in the vivid
and startling colors of the artist Tissot, or in the cold conventional
steel of our grandmother's best parlor; or the base wood-cuts of some
modern lesson leaves?

To us as well as to our Lord himself it makes a vital difference
whether his youth was spent amid arid wastes--as many of us picture
Palestine--or in the peaceful beauty of such a retreat as that
described for us in Archdeacon Farrar's picture.

We must indeed have knowledge, as full, as exact, as personal as it can
be made for us or as we can make it for ourselves. And from this will
come _love_. The more full, exact, and personal our vision, the more
deep-seated will be our love. We should therefore seek our knowledge at
first hand. We should look upon "helps" as we regard crutches--good
until we can walk alone; bad the instant they keep us from using our
own powers, seeing with our own eyes.

In picture-work, as in everything else, love is the principal thing. A
teacher of little children, whose privilege it is to help them to enter
into loving appreciation of buds and leaves, soil and roots, winter and
how everything prepares for it, spring and how it wakes everything to
new life, must herself love nature. No "science" falsely so called will
suffice. "_Do you really love nature?_" as President G. Stanley Hall
has said with an indescribable emphasis on every word, is the question
of questions to ask such a teacher. "_Do you really love the pictures
of the Bible?_" is likewise the question of questions for the parent
and teacher whose high privilege it is to lead children from the first
of their acquaintance to love the great Picture-Book.



IV.

SIDE-LIGHTS.


"Can you apply a parable?" says one of Robert Louis Stevenson's
characters. "It is not the same thing as a reason, but usually vastly
more convincing."

The spiritual truth which we would have enter the child's mind--how is
it to gain admittance? Not by a surgical operation; much less by the
use of a foreign language or--what is quite the same thing--of abstract
language. Not by any direct means, but indirectly, by objects,
scaffolding, types, the story, and the illustration.

"Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact, and no
spiritual fact can be understood except by first knowing the natural
fact, which is, as it were, its double." It is so with the child, it is
no less true of grown folk. If it were not for the world of nature--of
boundless horizon, ceaselessly flowing rivers, of deaths and
resurrections, of parasites--we should be powerless to grasp the truths
of the world of spirit. The circle in the water, for example, the
apples on the plate, one specked, then all rotten, these all are but
letters of the alphabet by which we spell out _Influence_.

There must first be in the thing-world--to give one more example--the
"rolling-stone," "the last straw," "the bird in the hand," "the
leaven," the ore, worth seventy-five cents as ore, worth four dollars
as bar-iron, worth $400,000 when worked up into hair-spring, before we
can understand, or explain, or talk about the corresponding things in
the realm of the unseen. Which is only another way of saying that he
whose mind is not filled with the truths of nature is but ill furnished
for understanding the truth of God.

How may we gain this power to enrich our teaching with side-lights?

1. By studying the great masters of the art of illustration. Beecher,
Spurgeon, Dr. Parkhurst, are all worthy of emulation. Beecher testifies
that in his early preaching the power to illustrate was only latent. He
found that he was not reaching his hearers and he began to search for
"likes." He went about his farm, upon the streets, among mechanics, in
fact everywhere, with the thought of the next Sunday's sermon in his
mind, saying, "What is this like? what will that illustrate?" A glance
at his sermons shows them full of side-lights from business, life at
sea, from the farm and the home, from mechanical processes, as the
cutting and polishing of precious stones, and very often from nature.

In a recent sermon Dr. Parkhurst illustrated his single point from
botany, physics, physiology, a ship, and from the actual experience of
two men engaged in a life-and-death struggle with the same appetite.

But the power of these great preachers is only the reflex of the method
of Christ himself. No man had greater power in picture-work. In range,
fertility, aptness, and result, the word-pictures of Jesus stand alone
in the history of teaching, just as in respect of beauty and power they
stand alone in literature.

2. The power of picturesque speech is acquired through earnestness and
love of truth, as well as through rich experience of nature and of
common life. This is hinted at by Emerson: "A man's power to think and
to speak depends on the simplicity of his character, that is, upon his
love of truth.... Picturesque language means that he who employs it is
a man in alliance with truth and God. A man conversing in earnest, if
he watch his intellectual processes, will find that a picture arises in
his mind, contemporaneous with every thought, which furnishes the
vestment of the thought. Hence good writings and brilliant discourse
are perpetual allegories. This imagery is spontaneous, provided one
have lived sufficiently to fill his mind with the raw materials of such
pictures. One bred in the woods shall not lose his lesson in the roar
of cities.... At the call of a noble sentiment, again the woods wave,
the pines murmur, the river rolls and shines, and the cattle low upon
the mountains, as he saw and heard them in his infancy. And with these
forms, the spells of persuasion, the keys of power are put into his
hands." And as it is with contact with nature, so it is with first hand
experience of life in any form.

3. Practice. The effects of practice have already been cited in the
case of Beecher. It is one of the mournful facts of human life that so
many powers that might have been brought out by practice always remain
in the latent state. Practice story-telling, practice finding "likes,"
and you will find before long that there is growing up in you a new
power, just as if you were to discover in your organism a stop, by
pulling which you could jump ten feet in the air. "Practice is nine
tenths. A course of mobs is good practice for orators. All the great
speakers were bad speakers at first." And a course of nephews and
nieces is the best of practice for story-tellers, and for those who
would be adepts in the use of side-lights.

A word of caution. Great care must be used not to make the stories and
illustrations more prominent than the truth we wish to illustrate. Dr.
William M. Taylor tells of a conversation with a carpenter in which he
advised him to use certain decorations. "That," said the carpenter,
"would violate the first rule of architecture. We must never construct
ornament but only ornament construction." So it is in story-telling.
Never tell a story for its own sake, merely, but for the sake of the
truth that lies embedded in it. A story or an illustration must grow as
naturally out of the subject as a flower grows out of a plant.



V.

STORIES AND STORY-TELLING.


That was a profound and true saying uttered by President G. Stanley
Hall not long ago, that "of all the things that a teacher should know
how to do the most important, without any exception, is to be able to
tell a story." And a student pursuing a university course in education,
after seeking to know what stories to choose, where to find them, how
and to whom and wherefore to tell them, touched the same truth when he
said, "It gradually dawned upon me that if I knew how to tell a story,
I had mastered the main part of the art of teaching." For to know a
good story is to have literary and pedagogic taste; to adapt or make a
good story for children is both to know the secret of the mind of a
child and to have creative power; to tell a good story is to be a
master of a noble art.

The child's thirst for stories--has it no significance, and does it not
lay a duty upon us? And yet the insatiableness of the child's thirst is
often paralleled by the inadequacy of the teacher's power to satisfy
it, and by the parent's despair at being so bankrupt of material.

In his admirable suggestions for making the Sunday-school able to
appeal to the interest and the respect of boys and girls who are no
longer children, and whom to treat as children is an offense against
good taste and Christian charity, Bishop Vincent recommends, among
other things, "lectures and outlines, and independent statements by
individual pupils and teachers." Story-telling, both by teachers and
pupils, is here suggested as a means of further enrichment.

The "wholes" of Scripture narrative, whole books, whole lives, whole
stories _told as wholes_ by the teacher or by a single pupil, and
not picked out piecemeal by the teacher from halting individuals--these
are the things that in the class give interest and that in the mind
live and grow and bear fruit. "Moral power is the effect of large
unbroken masses of thought; in these alone can a strong interest be
developed," and from these alone can a steady will spring.

He who has never read or heard as a whole, at one, or at most, two
sittings, the story of an entire book of the Bible, as Jonah, Daniel,
Job, or one of the Gospels, has missed one of the chief sources of
interest and power.

Our course through the Bible--incident by incident, verse by verse,
here a little, there a little, years of "lessons," but no idea even of
the life of Christ as a whole--is not unlike the toilsome road
traversed by the boy "reading" Cæsar as his first Latin author: so many
separate, mutually repellant parts, but no wholes, no idea of what it
is all about; or it may be compared to the route of the milk-man--a
stop at every other house, and never a good run.

Not one of these plodders, the Sunday-school pupil, the young Latin
student, the milk-man's hack, can be looked upon as a model of
spiritedness or of continuity.

A teacher of English in the old days, when literature was used chiefly
as a clothes-line on which to air grammatical linen, was once guilty of
giving out a lesson in Washington Irving--so many constructions,
figures, analyses, so many pages, and no more. The end came in the
_middle_ of the ride of the headless horseman. But by the time the
next class studied Irving the teacher had met with a change. The limit
of the first lesson was set according to the structure of the story.
The pupils were told to read the story.

"Only read it!" said they. "Aren't we to do anything with it?"

"No," said the teacher, "you are to read it _for fun_."

Should one be in danger of being misunderstood in saying that we do not
have enough of reading the Bible for fun, for the pure enjoyment of its
stories and of its matchless pictures? The rest will come in due
course. It will come just so surely as the story is _realized_.

But important as reading is, telling is incomparably better. The eye of
the teacher is then fixed on the class, not on the book; the tone is
conversational, the hand is free to gesture and to draw. One can grasp
the whole of the story and the whole of the situation. One can bring
out dramatic power. For there are few stories that do not have some
dramatic quality, both in the making and in the telling. The following
points kept in mind will aid the teacher:

1. The story must have a beginning, concrete, interest-compelling,
curiosity-piquing. "All things have two handles; beware of the wrong
one."

2. It must have a climax, properly led up to, easily led down from; and
that never missed.

3. Many good stories have rhythm, recurrence, repetition of the _leit
motiv_. "The Three Bears" is a favorite for this reason, among
others. The commands of the Lord to Moses were regularly repeated
thrice in the Bible story; in the book of Daniel the sonorous catalogue
of flute, harp, sackbut, and the rest, comes in none too often for the
purposes of the story-teller.

4. All good stories have unity; parts well subordinated; the main
lesson unmistakably clear; the point, whether tactfully hidden or
brought out by skilful questions, never missed.

This use of stories by exactly reproducing them is naturally the
teacher's first method. There follow naturally the _adaptation_ of
stories and the making of _original_ stories. The latter way must
be dismissed with a single word of caution. Beware of a certain fatal
facility in reeling off "made-up" stories. Have you not heard such
teachers and such stories? The latter at least are not true, or
healthy, or wholesome. They are about unreal people who do unnatural
things. They are a poor, ragged device for covering the nakedness of
barefaced moralizing.

No one who has tried to tell Bible stories to children, whether young
or old, can fail to appreciate the need of adaptation: of enrichment
and expansion on the one hand, of condensation on the other. Suppose
the story to be told is the parable of the Good Samaritan. There must
first be preliminary work. The minds of the children must be made
ready, not merely for the lesson, as, for example, by a talk on the
meaning of "neighbor," but also for the story. This latter kind of
preparation for three reasons:

1. To give your hearers something of the same knowledge about the road
from Jerusalem to Jericho, the relations of Jews and Samaritans, the
standing and dignity of high priests and Levites possessed by those who
heard the parable from the lips of Jesus.

2. To give the setting of the story--time, place, people, customs,
atmosphere.

3. To make the language, the steps, the moral, as intelligible to your
hearers as they were to the young lawyer to whom the story was first
told.

The need of the first way of filling in the picture is brought out by
Mrs. Gaskoin in the "Children's Treasury of Bible Stories," Part III.:

    "Pages might be written about this parable, for every line is full
    of teaching, wrapped in beautiful words. But my object just now is
    only to draw your attention to the circumstance that the third
    person who passed the wounded man--and the only one who cared about
    his sufferings and took pains to relieve them--was a Samaritan. On
    this the point of the story turns. First a priest, and then a
    Levite, whose very offices alone should have made them ready
    helpers, had shunned their poor countryman, and had passed on
    without even a word of sympathy. But the person who did pity him,
    and, indeed, showered kindnesses upon him, was, not only neither
    priest nor Levite, not only a mere stranger--but a Samaritan. Now
    to say this was the same thing to the "lawyer" who was listening to
    the tale as to say that he was an enemy. The Lord could have chosen
    no stronger expression; in using it he spoke quite as plainly as
    when, once before, his words had been these: 'I say unto you which
    hear: Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them
    that curse you!' Clearly, then, it is only by understanding how the
    Jews felt toward the Samaritans, that we can grasp what the blessed
    Savior meant when he said that every disciple of his must love his
    'neighbor' as himself."

A striking example of the mode of using a full knowledge of customs and
people to enrich the story is given by the same author in the following
vivid word-picture of the thrilling experience of Zacharias. After
describing the method of choosing by lot the priests to take charge of
the temple services, the narrative continues:

    "To Zacharias, however, one autumn, the coveted lot did fall, and
    leaving his quiet home, he went up to Jerusalem, and there entered
    at once upon his sacred duties. They lasted for eight days,
    including two Sabbaths.... Every morning at nine o'clock, and every
    afternoon at three, a priest entered the Holy Place to sprinkle the
    incense-offering on the golden altar. He was accompanied by an
    assistant priest, who withdrew as soon as he had made the necessary
    preparations. The privilege of sprinkling the incense-offering,
    like the other priestly functions, was bestowed by lot. One day,
    during his week of attendance in the Temple, the lot fell upon
    Zacharias. So, in his white robes, with bare feet and covered head,
    he went slowly up, through court after court, to the entrance of
    the Holy Place. Then a bell rang, all the other ministrants on duty
    in the Temple took their places, and the people assembled in the
    various courts composed themselves for prayer. Zacharias
    disappeared within the sacred enclosure, and in due course his
    attendant left him alone there, separated from the Holy of Holies
    itself only by the splendid Veil-of-Partition. Silvery clouds of
    fragrant smoke presently arose from the kindled incense--then,
    kneeling before the altar, he paused, in prayer and adoration.
    Suddenly he became aware that he was not alone. Lifting his eyes he
    saw, to the right of the altar, a glorious angel, who thus
    addressed him, dispelling his gathering fear: 'Fear not, Zacharias,
    for thy prayer is heard, and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a
    son, and thou shalt call his name John.' ... 'Whereby shall I know
    this?' he asked, hesitatingly. And the angel, answering, said unto
    him, 'I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God, and am sent
    to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings. And behold
    thou shalt be dumb and not able to speak, until the day that these
    things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words,
    which shall be fulfilled in their season.'

    "Meanwhile the people were anxiously waiting for Zacharias to
    return. His reappearance would be the signal for the laying of the
    sacrifice upon the altar, accompanied by a joyous outburst of the
    beautiful Temple music. Great, then, was their uneasy wonder at the
    unusual delay. But at last he did appear."

An illustration of what is meant by re-telling the old story in a
modern way for modern hearers is found in the following characteristic
extract from a sermon of Dr. Parkhurst's on the text, "And he arose and
came to his father":

    "The prodigal had not enjoyed nearly as much as he expected--what
    he had arranged to enjoy. His scheme had collapsed; his experiment
    broken down. Going away from home and living as though he had no
    home had not worked as he expected that it was going to. Lonely,
    ragged, hungry, he thought the thing all over and said to himself:
    'I think I had better go home.' He had let go of home, but home had
    declined to let go of him. He had been his father's boy for twenty
    years or more, and his experience in the far country had not been
    quite able to cure him of it. Home still had a pull upon him."

While many of the stories both of the Old and of the New Testament need
expansion rather than contraction--think of trying to bring the
masterly story of Jonah or the wonderfully simple tale of the
Shunemite's son into any smaller compass!--yet the need of condensing
the long stories, of Abraham, Joseph, David, Daniel, for instance, is
obvious, for we must give the children a picture of the whole life and
character of these great and simple figures. To this end selection and
suppression are necessary.

The various books mentioned in a later chapter are all more or less
successful in the attempt to recast the old original story. So perfect
is the original form, however, that the task is one of extreme
difficulty. Yet it must be attempted by every teacher, and it is
certainly worth a trial. The following suggestions may prove helpful in
both modes of adaptation:

1. Use direct discourse. It will require an effort to keep yourself
(in your embarrassment) from taking refuge behind the indirect form,
saying, for example, "And when he came to himself he said _that he
would_ arise and go to _his_ father and tell him _that he had_ sinned."

2. Choose actions rather than descriptions, the dynamics rather than
the statics of your subject. Those of us who have grown away from
childhood tend to reverse the true order, to place the emphasis on the
question, "What kind of a man was he," and not on, "What did he do."
Let what he did tell what he was. Your story will thus have "go," as
all Bible stories have.

3. Use concrete terms, not abstract; tell what was done, not how
somebody felt or thought when something was being done; be objective,
not subjective.

4. A story-teller should, in short, have taste. To form this taste it
is indispensable that he should not read, but _drink in_ the great
masters: Homer, Chaucer, Bunyan, Hawthorne ("The Wonder Book," for
example), and above all the Bible itself. No one can absorb these
without unconsciously forming a pure, simple style and getting a more
childlike point of view and way of speech. Modern writers and modern
ways of thinking are, in general, too reflective, self-conscious,
subjective, and, where children are concerned, too direct, bare,
"preachy."

5. But the secret of story-telling lies not in following rules, not in
analyzing processes, not even in imitating good models, though these
are all necessary, but first of all in being _full_--full of the
story, the picture, the children; and then, in being morally and
spiritually up to concert pitch, which is the true source of power in
anything. From these comes spontaneity; what is within must come out;
the story tells itself; and of your fulness the children all receive.

Finally, the points of practical story-telling may be thus outlined:

1. See it. If you are to make me see it you must see it yourself.

2. Feel it. If it is to touch your class it must first have touched
you.

3. Shorten it. It is probably too long. Brevity is the soul of
story-telling.

4. Expand it. It is probably meager in necessary background, in
details.

5. Master it. Practice. Repetition is the mother of stories well told;
readiness, the secret of classes well held.

6. Repeat it. Don't be afraid of re-telling a good story. The younger
the children are, the better they like old friends. But every one loves
a "twice-told tale."



VI.

SOME FIRST PRINCIPLES: UNITY, REALITY, ORDER.


_Unity._

One of the greatest of American preachers never goes beyond "firstly."
He makes but one point in each sermon. But he makes that point, drives
it home, burns it in, wears a crease in the brain that nothing can ever
iron out. Every picture--and those sermons are full of pictures--bears
upon that one point, and every argument and lesson, for which the
pictures have been laying the foundation, is a part of the same unity.
You never hear him say, "And we learn further," but always, "The same
truth comes out in another way." One is never more than two bases away
from the home plate. It is not a cross-country run, but a game of score
and tally.

At the opposite pole from this intensive method is the typical
Sunday-school lesson. The typical Sunday-school lesson is--is it
not?--hodge-podge. Does the last lesson always bear upon the lesson of
to-day? Is to-day's aim single? Do you hold before your mind the one
point, the one picture, that your pupils shall carry away with them as
an everlasting possession, or do you have in mind to display so many
pictures, so many points, that some must needs take effect?

It is easier--at least it is lazier--to provide _many things_ than
to prepare _much_. One can rake over an acre more easily than dig
one post-hole. And the deeper you go the harder grows the digging. But
it's the last six inches of hole that makes firm the top two feet of
post.

Now pictures help toward unity of aim in a lesson in two ways: they
help to elaborate the one main point--twenty illustrations of one
point, not twenty points from one illustration; they help to teach us
the law of unity, for a true picture has but one theme, is always
simple.


_Reality_.

"The great trouble with the stuff taught in our schools is that so much
of it always remains _stuff_, and never gets worked up into _boy_." So
said Dr. Parkhurst, in a sermon from the text, "Taste and see that the
Lord is good." The only way to work up the raw materials of a boy into
real boy is to bring him into touch with them, to have him taste, see,
handle. But in order to be tasted these materials must be real. And to
make them real is the first duty of the teacher. It is also his hardest
task. For consider what it costs to make a thing so real to yourself
that it can't help being real to some one else! Ah! there's the rub. It
costs to do that--costs time, pains, life.

How long did the Lord make Ezekiel lie on his left side, and how long
on his right side, without the relief of turning over from one side to
the other, before he judged him ready to deliver his message with a due
sense of the reality of its import? Three hundred and ninety days "for
the iniquity of the house of Israel," forty days more "for the iniquity
of the house of Judah"; each day for a year. After that there was no
lack of a "realizing sense" in Ezekiel. He had "been there" himself.
And was it by way of mere luxury or was it from pedagogical necessity
that the Lord showed himself last of all to Paul also, and sent him
into the desert, for a year or more, to think it over and get a real
grip on the experience? It was a true instinct that made Thomas, the
doubting one, want to reinforce a sight-picture by a touch-picture. A
dose of the same "doubt" would be a tonic to much of the pale "faith"
in the world.

When I was a boy I wrote, after the fashion of the day, an "essay" on a
subject about which I had the slenderest knowledge. A tannery lay on my
way to school, and the tanner would have been friendly and
communicative, but the encyclopedia article, "Leather," was my sole
authority. You may imagine the result: a cold, dead thing, not in the
least savoring of real leather. On the other hand, when I became a man,
I traveled a thousand miles merely to see, and hear the voice of, a
master whom I admired and whose picture I wished to have hanging in my
mind. Who has not, when freed from the dead atmosphere of the schools,
done a like thing? And with what gain to the precious sense of reality!

The whole country, not long since, was touched--many people were
shocked--by the news that a Christian minister had dared to see with
his own eyes the evils he was fighting, the existence of which he had
been challenged to prove. Many good people at that time thought he had
made a mistake. He said, "It is necessary that some one see these
things. Do you think that I would be so base as to ask another to do
what I would not do myself?" The result has proved the soundness of
this position. No one now doubts that Dr. Parkhurst was in the right.
For not only were the facts shown to exist as alleged, but (and this is
the point) the man himself who had seen them was so filled with a
burning sense of their terrible reality, that he clung to his point
with an everlasting grip, carried it triumphantly, and laid the
foundations of our "civic renaissance."

The vast audience who heard Bishop Thoburn, missionary to India for
thirty years, at Chautauqua, was stirred to its depths by the simple
power of the man. What was the secret of his power? It did not lie in
his bodily presence; it grew out of what the man had done. He was a man
of action. He had given his life, and had lived. His speech was of that
which he had lived. You felt that he had a right to speak--for every
sentence had behind it weeks of real life.

Who has not felt the same when listening to one who speaks of that
which he does know? And who has not felt the difference when trying to
listen to one who talks, but whose words are not loaded with life?

You must have seen, acted, felt, if you would make your hearers see and
feel and act. Talk is cheap, especially borrowed talk. It is not the
story in the lesson quarterly that you can build into the lives of your
class; it is the story in you. It is the picture that has become a part
of your life, that will be most likely to be built into the fabric of
theirs.


_Order._

The way in which a subject lies in the mind of an ordinary,
unregenerate adult, one may be safe in saying, is just the wrong
way--the way in which it should not be presented to a child. The order
of exposition is in general the reverse of the order of acquisition.
The natural man who has forgotten how things look to the eyes of a
child has a tendency to put things wrong end to; word first, thing
last; precept first, example last; to plunge _in medias res_ without
introduction--in short, to put the mental or spiritual cart before the
horse. And it requires self-sacrifice to reverse the order, enter into
the limitations of a little child's mind, see with his eyes, think his
thoughts.

It is a favorite simile among writers on education that the mind is not
unlike a field, and that the steps of instruction answer to the
successive stages of the farmer's work. First there is the preparation
of the soil, then come the planting, the cultivating, and in due time
the harvest, the mill, and the market. Two of these steps, the
preparing and the applying, concern us here; the work of presenting and
elaborating is a theme by itself, and has been treated in a separate
chapter.

1. Preparing the ground: Approach.

The art of "getting a good ready" is an art worth mastering. In sermon
or Sunday-school lesson alike the beginning is the main concern. It is
a good plan to seem to waste time at the start. Nine tenths plowing,
harrowing, marking out, one tenth sowing, and (as we shall see) no
looking for a crop at all, is a just proportion for the most of our
lessons. We shall be always safe in counting upon a sufficient number
of stony-ground hearers to justify us in clearing the ground, and
making it mellow with interest and expectation. And even those who
would receive the word with gladness cannot take it in unless they have
something to grasp it with, cannot hear without something to hear with.
And this must be given them by the teacher.

We are here at the very heart of the science of teaching. A little
two-year-old child will serve us as an example. He is to be put in bed
in a strange room, and is to go to sleep alone. Spring the idea upon
him and he will reject it. Prepare him for it, by telling him a story
of a little boy who went to bed in a new room, a new bed, and all
alone, and he is eager for the hour of bed-time. When the time comes,
the picture already in his mind, of a little boy, a new room, a
peaceful going to bed, welcomes the actual experience, point for point.
The wise mother has made a nest for the experience.

So might a teacher prepare the minds of his pupils to receive the idea
of ninety millions of miles.

"If any one there in the sun fired off a cannon straight at you, what
should you do?"

"Get out of the way," would be the answer.

"No need of that," the teacher might reply. "You may quietly go to
sleep in your room, and get up again; you may learn a trade, and grow
as old as I am--then only will the cannon-ball be getting near, then
you may jump to one side! See, so great as that is the sun's distance!"

So writes a German teacher--explaining the law of apperception, of
making a nest for the idea.

We cannot understand--cannot even see or hear--the absolutely new.
Every new plan or way of looking at things, or doctrine, is received
into the mind on one condition only--that it be introduced by a comrade
already there. Then when the new idea calls from without, its fellow
answers from within, and an entrance is effected.

The bearing of this upon our theme is illustrated by the plan of a
school principal, recently described to me, to eradicate the plague of
stealing that had broken out in the school. He talked to the pupils of
giants, drew out the children's ideas, and by effective picture-work
made the creatures out to be an ugly, uncanny crew. He then was ready
to declare to the children that he had discovered a giant in the
school, and in due time told them his name--Selfishness, I think it
was--and then described his evil works. The moral of this story is that
the plan worked, and stealing disappeared from the school from that
day.

Who of us teachers might not be emulous of becoming thus skilful in
mellowing the soil and making it warm in the genial sunshine of true
picture-work?

2. Gathering the crop: Taste.

qIf deliberation is a virtue at the start, brevity and patience
are a necessity at the finish. When the teacher has planted an
interest-awakening picture in the minds of the children, his main work
is done. He may safely leave them to make the application. He has
supplied the cause; the effect will take care of itself. It is often
convenient and suggestive to remember that children are not fools. "A
child knows a thing or two," 'tis said, "before he knows much of
anything." And one of the very first things he knows is how to put his
finger on the moral in a story; and he can feel it long before he knows
it. But that is when he is left to himself. If you take the helm, ten
to one he'll know without feeling, which is the curse of us all.
Better, if we must choose, that he feel without knowing in terms, than
indulge in mere intellectual casuistry.

In your childish haste to have a crop or to see what was going on under
ground, did you ever unearth the newly-planted row of peas? And was
that row ever so green and straight and thick-standing as those that
had been let alone? But the plants of love to God and moral taste are
tenderer than these. They must be shined upon, warmed, and watered many
days before they are ready to give an account of themselves. Love is a
silent thing before it is outspoken. True feeling has few words, is not
self-conscious, likes not to be asked questions. In its own good time
it wells up and finds vent in deeds, and even in words.

The deepest thing a teacher does is to form taste. But all taste grows
slowly, by unconscious accretion. The Chinese money-changer sets his
apprentice at work handling good money only. For ten Years he touches
nothing else. He can then detect a counterfeit coin. How? Perhaps he
cannot tell how. His way is surer, deeper. He feels it. He has taste.
So with the building of the taste for good books, for pictures, for
nature. It is a slow process--many a book to be absorbed, picture seen
and loved, and mountain and flower and sunset gazed upon, before taste
is formed.

And the taste for godliness, for religion, is no exception. It is the
finest and rarest of all tastes, and hence is the slowest and quietest
of all in its development.

But did you ever see, in the hot house, shall we say, of the
Sunday-school, seed sown, harvest reaped, yes, and cakes taken from the
oven, within the limits of a single half hour? Does the figure halt, or
was it a miraculous quickening of the processes of nature, or was it in
truth a great mistake and a sin against natural spiritual growth?

There need be no fear, then, that the children will not feel, and in
time know, the meaning, for them, of their stories and pictures. And a
wise teacher well knows the ways of helping them: by questioning,
_not_ directly, and by hiding the moral so near the surface that
it will come forth of itself.



VII.

HOW TO LEARN HOW.


The foregoing chapters have dealt chiefly with the theory of
picture-work, answering the questions what and why. But practical
teachers will go a step further and ask where to find and how to use
materials, what to do first, what next, in becoming expert in using and
making pictures, stories, and illustrations; in short, how to learn
how. Those who are not of the practical sort should omit this chapter,
and no one should expect to enjoy or profit by it who has not the time
and the will to go through the exercises described.

_Models._ A study of some of the remarkable pictures of secular
literature will reveal many points in story-telling.

Mark how Chaucer made such a picture of his Canterbury pilgrims that
not only the color, the action, and the characters of the scene, but
also the very atmosphere of the jolly crowd has been clear and vivid
for more than four centuries.

Macaulay boasted that he would write a history which would supersede
the latest novel on the tables of the young ladies of the day. How did
he accomplish this? Read his "History of England" and learn the secret
of the power to picture.

Study George Eliot's "Silas Marner" to learn how to tell a story. The
interest never flags, the proper perspective is always maintained,
light and shade are in due proportion, and the lesson to be learned is
taken, not as a bitter dose, but as one drinks in the fresh air of a
clear May morning.

Study pictures of Bible scenes by great masters to see what aspect of
the scene--what moment of the event--the painter chose as the climax of
interest and meaning. Although the aim in Sunday-school work is
spiritual and not artistic, the heart will be reached more surely if
the eyes are appealed to and a subordinate artistic aim is kept always
in mind.

What is the favorite view-point in picturing Noah's ark (the
procession--a source of never-failing interest to old and young--is a
conspicuous feature); in Abraham's sacririfice (Andrea del Sarto seizes
the moment when Abraham is about to slay Isaac and the ram appears in
the thicket); in the early life of Moses? Note also the subjects in the
life of Christ oftenest chosen by the artist.

In what parables does Christ choose a definite locality well known to
his hearers, definite characters, a definite point and only one, a
definite purpose, and a clearly defined and applied moral? In the
presentation of which parables do we _not_ find simple language,
direct discourse, a dramatic style, and a question in order to drive
home the point?

Try the effect of substituting in any one of the parables indirect
discourse for direct, statements for questions.

Make a study of the Sermon on the Mount with a view of finding
opportunities for picture-work.

On how many and on what occasions did Jesus use objects in his
teaching? Might he not have gotten along without using the objects
themselves on those occasions? What seems to have been his purpose?
What was the result?

_Seeing._ Suppose that you were an artist searching in the Bible
for scenes to paint:

1. What picture would you find in Matthew VIII., verse 1? verse 2?
verse 3? verse 4? Can you see (and hear) each of these?

2. What is _the_ picture in the whole passage (verses 1-4)? How
many elements has it, in respect of number, form, color, sound,
atmosphere?

3. Which of these should be chosen in telling the story to children,
and in what order?

4. How many pictures are there in verses 5-13? What is the central
picture?

5. In verses 23-27. How many pictures are there in this passage? Which
is the central picture? How would you lead the pupils to see it? What
first? what next? what last?

6. In Matthew, chapters ix. and xiii. How many separate pictures are
there? Which are the most important to try to see? What objects,
pictures, drawings, maps, would you use in making it real to your
class?

_Construction._ In the previous chapter there was brought out the
need of adapting the stories of the Bible to the comprehension of
modern hearers. Suggestions were given both for cutting down and
filling in.

Choose a story, as of the brave Hebrew boys who stood by what they
thought was right even in captivity; the young king who asked God to
give him wisdom and whose way of ruling showed that his request had
been granted; the shepherd boy whom the Lord chose; or choose an
incident, or a period of a year of the life of Christ (as the "Year of
Beginnings," the "Year of Popularity," the "Year of Opposition").

Subdivide each of these into smaller stories or incidents (Daniel, for
instance, had three great tests, each complete in itself, and lived
under three kings), then combine into a whole, applying the principles
of story-telling and of adaptation.

Test your story by telling it to a child or a group of children. Tell
the same story not once but many times.

_Choice._ Do not pad. Avoid diffuseness. Put in only those details
that are salient--that leap out at you--that are necessary to the
picture and the meaning. Any one can put in everything. It is only the
born story-teller, or the one who will sit down by the side of a child
and patiently observe the points that the child sees and likes to hear,
that can be trusted to put in and to leave out just the right points.

Try writing out the story of Jonah, without the book. Compare your work
with the original. How might you have been less diffuse? What necessary
points did you omit? Did you use more or fewer general terms than the
original? Were your words and expressions so picturesque as those in
the text?

_Examples._ By way of illustrating the meaning of the foregoing points,
it may be interesting to note the difference in concreteness, _i.e._,
in the _picture_, to be found in the following paragraphs, all of
which are intended to mean practically the same thing.

(_a_) One bidden to obey and refusing, but afterward obeying, is a
better example of obedience than one who obeys in word but not in deed.

(_b_) Some one who was requested to do something refused in word, but
obeyed in deed; another complied, but only in word. Which was the
better example of obedience?

(_c_) If some one in authority should tell some one to do something and
he should refuse but afterward comply, and should tell another to do
something and he should say that he would without doing so, which of
these really would perform the will of the one who gave the command?

(_d_) A certain man had some children. One day he told one of them
to go and do some work that he wanted him to do. But the child said
that he wouldn't, etc.

(_e_) Compare with these the same thought clothed in the concrete
and picturesque words of our Lord himself:

"But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the
first, and said, Son, go work to-day in my vineyard.

"He answered and said, I will not: but afterwards he repented, and
went.

"And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and
said, I go, sir: and went not.

"Whether of them twain did the will of his father?"

It would be equally possible to take the same clear-cut, dramatic
picture and load it down--smother it--with words. But this kind of
picture-work it is unnecessary to illustrate.

_Expression._ Read each of the parables of Jesus, picturing in your
mind everything that can be seen, heard, or felt. "Put yourself in his
place" regarding every one spoken of. When you have thus pictured the
story, and while you are picturing it, read aloud, or tell the story.
The expression will take care of itself--_if only you see and hear_. In
this simple principle is contained the whole art of expression, _i.e._,
of giving forth something which is within.

_Environment._ What kind of country was Palestine? If Palestine were
taken up from the shore of the Mediterranean and planted on your state,
where would Dan and Beersheba lie respectively? Wherein did its
divisions differ, in respect of people, surface, products, occupations?

The four routes of Christ's principal journeys are given as follows:
Bethlehem to Jerusalem, 6 miles north; Bethlehem to Egypt, 250 miles
southwest; Nazareth to Jericho, 60 miles southeast; Nazareth to
Jerusalem, 65 miles south. Trace these routes on a sand map and on the
blackboard. Describe the country passed through, the occupations of the
people, the mode of travel, the length of time required.

Account for the roughness of the road from Jerusalem to Jericho.

What kind of place was Cæsarea Philippi, and what kind of stream is the
Jordan at that point?

_Sketching._ The teacher should practice until he can make, with
the flat crayon, something that looks like a mountain, a road, a
tree--a scumble for the foliage and a stroke or two for the trunk, a
man--two strokes will do for him (some teachers prefer to cut out
pictures and pin them on the board). It must be admitted that this
method of trial and error is dangerous. But there are self-taught
teachers who do pretty well.

_Map-drawing._ To learn to sketch a map is a more hopeful task. Every
one should be able to follow on pad or blackboard a campaign, a flight
into Egypt, and a march up into Canaan; and to trace the journeys of
Jesus and of Paul.

The following directions will be found helpful in drawing, free-hand
and with only two construction lines, the map of Palestine:

Draw a horizontal line, and on it with the span of the hand, or with
any convenient unit, measure three units, indicating their extremities
by the figures 1, 2, 3, 4, from left to right. At the right extremity
of this line, which we designate 4, draw a vertical line five units in
length (4-9). From the upper extremity of this line draw to the left a
line parallel to 1-4, one unit in length (9-10). Join points 1 and 10
with an irregular line, thus indicating the coast. A perpendicular let
fall from 10 to 3 would indicate the course of the Jordan, the source
lying nearly opposite 8, the Sea of Galilee opposite 7, the Dead Sea
between 4 and 5; and Judæa, Samaria, Galilee, and Phoenicia will
each occupy, roughly speaking, one and a half units. The principal
mountains, cities, routes, may be indicated by initials, signs, or in
any other appropriate ways. Each unit being 40 miles in length, the
dimensions of Palestine and its parts may be derived. This same system
may, of course, be used in drawing any map.

Miss Lucy Wheelock says that "the most satisfactory map is one which
the teacher makes herself, drawing the outlines with a blue marking
crayon on a sheet of white silesia, or finished cotton cloth, and
putting in thin strips of wood or rollers at top and bottom, so that it
will hang easily."

_The sand table_, especially with work for younger children, is
indispensable. This every one can learn to make and manage and can fit
out with the needed materials. Let no one shrink from the simple task
of getting together the equipment and learning to model a map of
Palestine.

The following description of the way of making a sand map of Palestine
has been kindly furnished by Miss Juliet E. Dimock of Elizabeth, N.J.,
whose theory and practice in primary classes are alike admirable:

"Any carpenter will make for you a board, four feet six inches long,
and two feet six inches wide, with a raised edge of one and one half
inches. Paint the surface a bright blue, to represent the waters of the
Mediterranean. Procure about fifty pounds of molders' sand from a stove
foundry. The new sand is preferable to that which has been used for
casting, owing to its lighter color. Study a good map of Palestine
until you have a clear idea of the coast-line, the sea-coast plain, the
mountain region, with its principal peaks, the Jordan valley, and the
eastern table land."

(A relief map is desirable as a guide. The relative heights of
mountains are given in Hurlbut's "Bible Geography." A cross-section of
Palestine showing relief is given in the "Bible Study Union Lessons,"
Old Testament History, Progressive Grade, First Quarter, Appendix pp.
(V.), (VI.). The Bible Study Publishing Co., 21 Bromfield Street,
Boston, Mass.)

"Cut a paper pattern of the rivers and have them cut out of tin by a
tinsmith. Use mirrors for the waters of Merom, the Dead Sea, and the
Sea of Galilee, and white cord for the roads.

"When you are ready to go to work, place the board on a table and empty
upon it your box of sand, which should be dampened until it can easily
be molded by the hand. Raise the head of the board, until the children
can see your work; if the sand is damp enough to keep its place, it can
be inclined at an angle of forty-five degrees. At first the children
will be interested in seeing you form the map; the coast-line, with its
"camel's hump" for Mt. Carmel, the mountains, with snow-capped Hermon
towering above them all, the seas, rivers, roads, and finally the white
paper boats on the Mediterranean.

"Take five minutes every Sunday for a supplemental lesson on the
history of the land, beginning with the first settlement of the country
by the Canaanites, the family of Noah's grandson. Use the map also,
whenever it is possible, to illustrate the lesson for the day; either
as a map, or by building up the sand into a city, a garden, a temple,
or a palace. The supplemental course might begin with the Garden of
Eden, with as great a variety of trees, flowers, and animals, as may be
easily obtained. And by turning the board around, the map of the
ancient world may be made, and the stories of Noah, Babel, and Abram's
journey from Ur of the Chaldees. Use small objects to make the places
on the map, and replace them with initial blocks when the children are
sufficiently familiar with the story to tell it to you. A very little
ingenuity on the part of the teacher will suggest the objects to be
used, which can be readily cut out of colored card-board.

"After school, return the sand to its box and pour at least a quart of
water over it. It will then be in good condition for next Sunday's
use."

_Specifics._ True picture-work has, as we have seen, a true bearing
upon the question, How to help children conquer their faults. "Don't,"
even "Please don't," is ineffectual and unpedagogical. So is every
means that is direct and negative instead of indirect and constructive.
It is a thousand times easier to empty a tumbler of air by filling it
with water than by the use of the air pump.

And so, just as we know that singing has a marvelous power to sweeten
and calm the spirit of a young child, so a story is often the shortest
and the most effective means to bring him to himself. A story is a
specific. The right story will heal its proper disorder. There is
danger here, 'tis true; "the intent to teach," as Herbart writes,
spoils it all. Stories should be given as food rather than as medicine.
There is all the greater need, therefore, for practice.

Find, adapt, make up stories to meet the needs of a child who is idle;
of one who is mean, lacks self-control, is slovenly, careless,
untruthful, etc.

_Texts._ On the other hand, it is just as necessary that illustrations
attach themselves to their proper principles, as that principles find
the concrete key that will serve as their open sesame into the child's
mind.

Mr. Barrie tells of a newspaper writer who never conversed five minutes
with a friend without getting a suggestion for a leader or a "story."
The teacher ought to be no less fertile in finding texts, and in
pressing everything he meets--whether in books, in newspapers, or on
the street--into the service of the Sunday-school lesson.

For example, the street car on which you ride to school or to business
in the morning suddenly stops. It stands still three, five, fifteen
minutes. You are late. Twenty others are late. Reason, a careless
truck-driver has driven an inch too near the track. What does this
illustrate?

A pound of cotton, worth a few cents, may be made into yarn and become
worth more; into chintz and be worth still more, etc. What is the truth
hidden in this fact?

A thoughtful teacher, in reply to the question, "What stories have you
found especially helpful?" contained in the blank on story-telling
(Chapter X.), gave the following:

"Cato's words, 'Carthage must be destroyed' (the power of words);
Hercules at the parting of the ways (the necessity of choice);
Macbeth's 'I have lived long enough' (the end of a wasted life); The
Ancient Mariner--'He prayeth best' (the secret of prayer); the parable
of the wicked husbandmen (irreverence)."



VIII.

BOOKS, PICTURES, AND ILLUSTRATIVE MATERIAL.


The teacher should be a capitalist. He should not run dry every Sunday,
and fill in during the week only enough for the next lesson; as a
schoolboy who fills his mind with facts and empties it on examination
day. The true teacher is independent of the "Quarterly." He uses it but
does not lean on it. For the facts there given are, as a rule,
isolated, and so half dead; the illustrations are at best warmed over.
Neither can give a strong head of steam. There is not enough, and what
there is is cold.

Other remedies for this condition are suggested elsewhere. Here it is
urged that the teacher must be a reader of books. The following are
given as types. They have been selected after searching the lists of
many publishers, and are recommended only after a personal examination:


_Books Telling the Story of the Bible._

There are many Bible stories for children, some of them good, but most
of them far from ideal when both the story and the pictures are
considered. Those with highly colored, gaudy pictures should be shunned
as they tend to give low ideals morally and spiritually as well as to
corrupt the child's artistic taste. To publish a story of the Bible
with illustrations taken only from great masters is a good work waiting
for some one who wishes to be of service to the world.

"The Story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation," by Charles Foster.
Charles Foster Publishing Co., Philadelphia, Pa. 75 cents.

Of the many Bible stories published this is the most complete and the
most popular. In the matter of pictures, however, it is poor.

"Children's Treasury of Bible Stories," by Mrs. Herman Gaskoin.
Macmillan & Co. Three parts, 18mo, 30 cents each.

The best Bible story we have found. It is most suggestive and
interesting, showing how to picture Bible scenes.

"Stories from the Bible," Rev. Alfred J. Church. Macmillan & Co. 256
pp., $1.25.

Excellent as giving a condensed account of the Bible narrative in Bible
language. The teacher who uses these stories will often find it
necessary to supplement them with suitable introductions and
side-lights.

"The Sweet Story of Old," by Mrs. Haskell. Dutton. 4to, 50 cents.

A small book of Bible stories for young children, with pictures which
are quite good.

"First Steps for Little Feet," by Charles Foster. Charles Foster
Publishing Co. 50 cents.

Bible stories told in simple language for the youngest children. Fair
outline pictures.

"The Story of Jesus," by Louisa T. Craigin. Illustrated with one
hundred full-page illustrations from the designs of Alexander Bida,
together with many other pictures of the Holy Land. Fords, Howard &
Hulbert. $10.00.

A beautiful and sympathetic account of the life of Jesus, especially
rich in descriptions of Palestine and in other materials for
word-pictures. The numerous pictures of landscapes and scenes from the
life of Christ are helpful.

The same in paper covers in 15 numbers, 50 cents each.

"From Olivet to Patmos." The First Christian Century in Picture and
Story. By Louisa Seymour Houghton. American Tract Society. $1.50.

"The Life of Christ in Picture and Story," by Louisa Seymour Houghton.
American Tract Society. $1.25.

The last two books contain some poorly executed but well-chosen
pictures of Bible lands, showing architecture, costumes, street scenes,
etc.


_Books About Palestine._

"The Land and the Book," by W. M. Thomson. Harper & Bros. $8.00, $6.00.

Recommended by a high authority as the best book on Palestine for a
teacher who can own only one.

"Boy Travelers in Egypt and the Holy Land," by T. W. Knox. Harper &
Bros. $3.00.

"Sinai and Palestine in Connection with their History," by Dean
Stanley. A. C. Armstrong. $2.50.

An excellent standard work.

"Pictured Palestine," by James Neill. Anson D. Randolph. $2.25.

Shows the contrast between eastern life and our own. Very good pictures
illustrating many phases of oriental life.

"In Scripture Lands." Scribner's. $3.50.

Beautiful pictures.

"Earthly Foot-Prints of the Man of Galilee," by Bishop John H. Vincent,
D.D., LL.D., Jas. W. Lee, D.D., Robert E. M. Bain. New York and St.
Louis: N. D. Thompson Publishing Co. $4.75.

Four hundred fine, large photographic views and descriptions of places
connected with the earthly life of our Lord and his apostles.


_Books on the Use of Stories and Illustrations._

"The Use of Stories in the Kindergarten," by Anna Buckland. Ginn & Co.
15 cents.

"The Place of the Story in Early Education," by Sara E. Wiltse. Ginn &
Co. 132 pp., 50 cents.

Two suggestive and helpful essays that every teacher should read.

"Yale Lectures on Preaching," by Henry Ward Beecher. Fords, Howard &
Hulbert. $2.00.

An inspiring book. The chapter on "Rhetorical Illustrations" is
especially applicable, but the entire work, although written for
preachers, has rich stores of instruction and guidance for teachers.

"The Art of Illustration," by C. H. Spurgeon. Wilbur B. Ketchum. $1.25.

A book by a master giving the secret of his art.


_Stories and Themes._

"Parables from Nature," by Margaret Gatty. Macmillan & Co. 2 vols.,
18mo, $1.50.

A wonderful book, in which nature is used to typify spiritual truths.
It should be owned by every mother and teacher.

"Parables. Laws of Nature and Life, or Science applied to Character,"
by Louisa Parsons Hopkins. Lee & Shepard. 15 cents.

Brief and suggestive.

"Stories of the Saints," by Mrs. C. Van D. Chenoweth. Houghton, Mifflin
& Co. $1.00.

Supplies a want which should be more "felt" than it is. Is it not as
important that our children should know the story of Christian saints
and martyrs as that of Greek gods and heroes?

"Kindergarten Stories and Morning Talks," by Sara E. Wiltse. Ginn & Co.
212 pp., 75 cents.

"Stories for Kindergartens and Primary Schools," by Sara E. Wiltse.
Ginn & Co. 50 cents.

"A Brave Baby and Other Stories," by Sara E. Wiltse. Ginn & Co. 50
cents.

These three books are storehouses of inspiration and models of
story-telling.

"Child Stories from the Masters," by Maude Menefee. Kindergarten
Literature Co., Chicago. $1.00.

An excellent selection of themes from poets, dramatists, and the Bible.
The teacher will do well to study the originals and try to improve upon
the stories given.

"Child's Christ-Tales," by Andrea Hofer. Woman's Temple, Chicago.
$1.00.

Choice illustrations from the masters. Suggestive tales and parables.

"The Kindergarten Sunday-School," by Frederika Beard. Kindergarten
Publishing Co., Woman's Temple, Chicago.

An attempt to solve the infant class problem. Three series of lessons,
each having sequence and unity. Suggestive in its plan, and likely to
help teachers to improve upon the models given.


_Books to be Read for the Sake of a Better Understanding of Child
Nature._

"Study of Child Nature," by Elizabeth Harrison. Chicago Kindergarten
Training School. $1.00.

"Children's Rights," by Kate Douglas Wiggin. Houghton, Mifflin & Co.
$1.00.

"A Boy's Town," by W. D. Howells. Harper & Bros., New York. $1.25.

"Being a Boy," by Charles Dudley Warner. Houghton, Mifflin & Co. $1.25.

"The Story of a Bad Boy," by T. B. Aldrich. Houghton, Mifflin & Co.
$1.25.

"The Mill on the Floss," by George Eliot. Harper & Bros. Popular ed. 75
cents.

"Cuore, An Italian Schoolboy's Journal," by Edmondo de Amicis. N.Y.
Crowell. Illustrated edition. $1.50.


_Pictures and Books from which Pictures may be Culled._

"The Life of Christ as Treated in Art," by F. W. Farrar, D.D., F.R.S.
Macmillan & Co. $8.00, $5.00.

"The Christ Child in Art," by Henry Van Dyke. Harper & Bros. $4.00.

"Sacred and Legendary Art," by Mrs. Anna Jameson. Longmans, Green & Co.
2 vols., 16mo. $2.50.

"The History of Our Lord as Exemplified in Works of Art," by Mrs. Anna
Jameson. Illustrated. 2 vols. Longmans, Green & Co. $8.00.

All the above are standard works and are excellent.

"The Earthly Footprints of Our Risen Lord," by Fleming H. Revell. 4to.
$1.50.

A continuous narrative of the four gospels according to the revised
version, illustrated by numerous half-tone pictures. The selection is
not so choice as one could wish, yet many of the pictures are by the
best artists, and present a consecutive pictorial story of the life of
Christ.

"The Photographs of the Holy Land." Globe Bible Publishing Co.,
Philadelphia. $3.00. The same in cheaper style in eight portfolios at
10 cents apiece.

Photographs of classic and modern pictures of the child Jesus and of
other Biblical subjects. Unmounted, card size, 3-3/4 cents each;
cabinet size, 7-1/2 cents each. A catalogue in German will be sent on
application. R. Tamme, Dresden, Germany.

There is no duty on pictures.

Blue print copies of pictures of Biblical scenes by the old masters and
by modern artists. Mr. Alfred A. Hart, 221 West 109th Street, New York
City. Card size, one cent each.

Clear, durable, excellent; of a kind likely to develop good taste. The
low price makes it possible to encourage children to make collections
of their own. A single secular school has used over twelve thousand of
these pictures.

The Christmas catalogues of publishers often contain serviceable
pictures.

The standard histories of art are full of illustrative material. The
teacher should be ever on the alert.


_Objective Helps; Blackboard Sketches._

Cards for children to prick and sew. Bible Study Publishing Co., 21
Bromfield Street, Boston, Mass.

Scroll of history. See "The Modern Sunday School," p. 297. John H.
Vincent.

Sunday-school Museum. Read description of one at Akron, in "The Modern
Sunday School," p. 301.

Illustrative Blackboard Sketching, by W. Bertha Hintz. E. L. Kellogg &
Co. 53 pp. 30 cents.

A helpful guide designed for those entirely ignorant of the art of
drawing, who nevertheless like to work out their own way of putting a
lesson, for the eye as well as for the ear, in preference to ready-made
blackboard exercises and "pictured truth" at second hand.



IX.

FALSE PICTURE-WORK.


A book on helps, to be truly helpful, must deal with negative as well
as with positive matters--those things which we ought to leave undone
as well as those we ought to do. Any treatment of true picture-work is
lacking in completeness, not to say in candor, which does not say a
word about false picture-work.

If there were only some way of crawling into the inside of the
children's brains, and marking the effect of the alliterations,
juxtapositions, and symbolisms of what goes by the name of
picture-work! Can't we devise a meter for estimating the precise
emotional and spiritual value of a board filled with marks in various
colors in the form of anchors, hearts, keys, crosses, not to mention
other less sacred things?

I once saw a "chalk talk" given to two hundred Sunday-school children.
_Dramatis personæ_: three parrots; one unrecognizable, it was so badly
drawn; a second, indifferent; the third, capital, a speaking likeness.
The last was perched on S. T. Moral: "Honesty is the best policy." The
children were as delighted as if the text had been taken from the Bible
and as interested in the display as if it had possessed the slightest
value.

"But," it is urged, "the children are always interested in such things."
Yes, and they would be more interested still if you showed them a monkey
or displayed red, green, and blue lights. The law of interest tells us
what shall _not_ be placed before the children--"Nothing that is not
interesting"--but as a guide to what we _shall_ give them it tells but
half the story. The other half is, "_Not everything that is interesting,
and not anything just because it is interesting_."

Let this caution not be misunderstood. The children must use their
eyes. To expect children to follow your stories by ear, and make up
their mind-pictures out of whole cloth or from the few objects and
pictures that can be shown them, or to remember texts and lesson points
out of hand, is to suppose them ready to graduate into the senior
department. Let us have more blackboards. An individual board for every
pupil, if possible, and the more use--wise use--of blackboards the
better. But many "blackboardists" have yet to learn that it is possible
to be apt without being alliterative, that one may be extravagant
without being effective, sensational without being spiritual. In short,
they seem not to understand that common sense applies even to
blackboard work.

What are the points in good blackboard work? To be quite dogmatic, for
the sake of brevity, good blackboard work is:

1. Simple. "Blackboard ingenuities, dissolving from acrostic into
enigma, and from enigma into rhyme are not necessary" and they are
harmful besides. They distract, distort, make dizzy. The best
blackboard work has the fewest lines, the most unity in its variety,
the least approach to anything like a maze.

2. Clear. The best blackboard work is that which is easiest to follow,
hardest to forget.

3. Varied. Our stock symbols are worked to death. Is it _right_ to
use the cross as commonly as you would a letter of the alphabet? Find
something new or give the blackboard a vacation. It is not necessary
that there be a quarter hour on every day's program for blackboard
work. Who has not spent a "bad quarter of an hour" when the "exercise"
was perfunctory?

4. Descriptive. All maps and plans, sketches of roads and rooms, of
mountains and rivers, are good, because they help us to form for
ourselves the picture which we must see in order to grasp the meaning
of the story. For example, we may illustrate the Mount of
Transfiguration; first with four figures, then six, then four; the
winding road to Emmaus, two figures--straight lines, merely--and a
little farther on, a third; the upper room, its occupants represented
by marks or initial letters. Anything is helpful that gives a notion of
position, number, form, contrast, sequence, change.

5. Free, living, personal. The best blackboard work is that which is
freest. Children are impressionists. For them the broad side of the
crayon is better than the point; two strokes better than twenty.

The best blackboard work is that which grows before the children's
eyes, which is made, not unveiled. Two minutes of rough sketching in
the lesson hour is better than two hours of patient putting in of
finishing touches beforehand.

The best blackboard work is that which is original, personal. That
which is given in the "lesson helps" is just what you should not use.
It is not yours. If it does not help you to find your own way, it is
useless--and worse than useless, because it tempts you to borrow
without inspiring you to create.

6. In fine, the mission of the blackboard, as of all picture-work, is
to help us to see the truth in the world or the truth in our own selves
by showing us a truth that is easier to see or that is nearer at hand
than that which we would learn.

Like all picture-work, it fulfills its mission when it serves as a
scaffolding, when it is kept subordinate. It fails when it obscures the
truth, not helps to build it. False picture-work is anything that
stands in the way of our seeing truth; as when we cannot see the woods
for the trees--cannot see the Sunday-school lesson for the bizarre
exhibitions on the blackboard.



X.

A COÖPERATIVE STUDY.


In order to find out what Sunday-school teachers are doing in the
matter of stories, illustrations, and picture-work generally, the
writer prepared and distributed to a thousand teachers the following
blank:

    _One response NOW is worth twenty a month hence._

    STORY-TELLING.

    _To Sunday-school Teachers:_

    For the purpose of devising means for the better preparation of
    Sunday-school teachers, the President of the Teachers College, New
    York, requests the teachers in your Sunday-school to answer the
    following questions.

    To save time and trouble use both sides of this sheet.

    Whenever possible answer by crossing out the term that does not
    apply.

    In every case where the answer is based on experience with
    children, state the age of the children.

    Please do not hesitate to return this blank, even if you have
    answered but a few questions.

    _Sources._--To illustrate the lesson do you use Bible stories,
    stories from good literature, or stories invented by yourself?

    _Subject._--Do you find your children more interested in stories
    of people or of nature?

    _Kind._--Which of the stories have you found more effective, modern
    or classic? Stories told or read? True or fictitious? Those based
    on poetry or prose? Stories in which the moral is set forth or
    hidden?

    _Experience._--What stories are you going to use in the
    Sunday-school lesson for next Sunday?

    _Precept._--If you do not use stories, what other means do you
    employ to enforce religious and moral lessons? Do you "moralize,"
    and if so, with what obvious result?

    _Environment._--What means do you use of making the dress,
    customs, etc., of Bible people seem real to children?

    _Picture-work._--Do you use blackboard illustrations? What
    other objective helps?

    _Examples._--What stories have you found especially helpful?

    _Purpose._--What is your purpose in using stories in the
    Sunday-school?

    _Principles._--Do you succeed in having such unity in the lesson
    that the stories all contribute to one main thought? Mention five
    requisites for a good story-teller.

    Mention five qualities in a good story.

To these questions fifty-eight replies were received. Very few,
however, gave the ages of the children, and the smallness of the number
of replies--which after all is by no means discouraging--tends to
vitiate the data as bases for generalization.

Space forbids giving more than a single group of typical answers. Some
of the most helpful of the suggestions have been embodied in the
foregoing. Further replies from thoughtful teachers will be welcome.

    _Question_--Mention five requisites for a good story-teller.

    _Answers:_

    Sympathetic voice, manner, and face.

    More knowledge of the subject than one wants to use.

    The teacher must be interested, bright, imaginative, clear in
    thought and expression.

    Clear apprehension of the point to be made, clear knowledge of the
    subject, understanding of the peculiarities of his hearers, tact in
    making application, and dramatic power.

    Power in word-painting--with a sense of perspective.

    Unconsciousness of self.

    A gift for mimicry.

    Graphic description.

    Sympathy with children.

    Power to hold attention and keep to the main thought.

    Animation, personal magnetism, originality, wit.

    Conciseness, force.

    Pleasant manner.

    Ability to repeat a story without hesitation.

    Power to put one's self into the time, circumstances, etc., of the
    story.

    Love of story-telling.

    Quiet manners.

    Gestures, good voice.

    Small [easy?] words.

    Ability to make the children help tell the story, by making them
    gesture, point, express sorrow, surprise, etc., and answer
    questions.

    A good story-teller asks intensely interesting questions at exactly
    the right point.

A passage from Herbart forms a fitting close to this study:

    "The intent to teach spoils children's books at once; it is
    forgotten that every one, the child included, selects what suits
    him from what he reads, and judges the writing as well as the
    writer after his own fashion. Show the bad to children plainly, but
    not as an object of desire, and they will recognize that it is bad.
    Interrupt a narrative with moral precepts, and they will find you a
    wearisome narrator. Relate only what is good, and they will feel it
    monotonous, and the mere charm of variety will make the bad
    welcome. Remember your own feelings on seeing a purely moral play.
    But give to them an interesting story, rich in incidents,
    relationships, characters, strictly in accordance with
    psychological truth, and not beyond the feelings and ideas of
    children; make no effort to depict the worst or the best, only let
    a faint, half-conscious moral tact secure that the interest of the
    action tends away from the bad toward the good, the just, the
    right; then you will see how the child's attention is fixed upon
    it, how it seeks to discover the truth and think over all sides of
    the matter, how the many-sided material calls forth a many-sided
    judgment, how the charm of change ends in preference for the best,
    so that the boy who perhaps feels himself a step or two higher in
    moral judgment than the hero or the author, will cling to his view
    with inner self-approbation, and so guard himself from a coarseness
    he already feels beneath him. The story must have one more
    characteristic, if its effect is to be lasting and emphatic; it
    must carry on its face the strongest and clearest stamp of human
    greatness. For a boy distinguishes the common and ordinary from the
    praiseworthy as well as we; he even has this distinction more at
    heart than we have, for he does not like to feel himself small, he
    wishes to be a man. The whole look of a well-trained boy is
    directed above himself, and when eight years old his entire line of
    vision extends beyond all histories of children. Present to the boy
    therefore such men as he himself would like to be."


Printed in the United States of America.



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~Seed for Spring-time Sowing~ A Wall Roll for the use of Primary,
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PRATT, 75c.

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~How to Conduct a Sunday School~ 12mo, cloth, net $1.25.

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~Thirty Years at the Superintendent's Desk~ Lessons Learned and Noted.
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_FOR THE BEGINNERS_

~Kindergarten Bible Stories~ Old Testament. Illustrated, 12mo, cloth,
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  ~By LAURA ELLA CRAGIN~

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  ~By MARY STEWART~

      There is a touching beauty and clearness about Miss Stewart's
      pictures of the Christ life which will ineffaceably impress
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      *      *      *      *      *      *



Transcriber's note:

Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note.
Irregularities and inconsistencies in the text have been
retained as printed.





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