The Sunday School and it’s Work --Part 2

The Sunday School and it’s Work
Part 2

Ormer G. C. Sprunt

The Memorizing of Scripture

Read 2 Timothy 3:15

The memorizing of the Word of God is of the greatest importance. It has been proven that people of all ages can memorize the Scriptures. Young people find it easier, of course, than those who are well on in years.

Seeking to store the minds and hearts of the boys and girls with the Scriptures is a matter of great responsibility. It means much, because it lays the foundation for the Spirit of God to work upon. Bishop Baldwin in his book, “Life in a Look,” says that “the Word and the Holy Spirit are the two great agents in the salvation of men.” Dr. Oscar Lowry in his book “Memorizing of Scripture for Soul-winning,” says that “the Spirit of God and the Word of God are closely associated, for the Spirit makes the way of escape by applying the Word of God,” and “The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to convict the sinner and to show the sinner his need of a Saviour.”

A few years ago, a young woman from out of town and her husband were doing business in the city. In the course of conversation she told me that she had just got saved. She said that after coming to the city she met a woman who was seeking salvation through the Oxford Group. She herself was brought up in a Sunday School where she had learned goodly portions of the Word of God, but was not saved. She tried to point this woman to God’s way of salvation. While quoting the Scriptures she had learned in childhood, she herself was convicted of sin. After going home and getting alone, she was in real soul trouble and so much so, that same night, she accepted Christ as her own personal Saviour. It was through the Scriptures she had learned as a girl in the Sunday School.

Timothy, the young man to whom Paul the Apostle was writing, was no doubt saved under Paul’s preaching; but he is reminded here of the interest and care of others when he was a child. We learn from the first chapter who were the responsible ones for his early training. It was his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois.

Notice that it was “from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures.” It was not merely as a child, but from a child. Now that has a great deal of weight and I want you to notice too that it was “able to make wise unto salvation, through faith in Jesus Christ.”

Sometimes children are given memory verses to learn such as, “Pray without ceasing,” “Honour the Lord with the firstfruits of thine increase,” “If any man love Me, let him keep My commandments,” “Son, give Me thine heart,” which are all God’s Word, but more suitable for those who are saved. Memory verses should be given that would lead one to a knowledge of Christ — “to make wise unto salvation.” Verses that are difficult to understand are sometimes given, and ought not to be. One young man told me when he was a child he was given the verse to learn, “I am Alpha and Omega,” and for a long time he wondered what that meant. One day he was out in the country and he heard someone speak of a field of alfalfa and he thought that was what Alpha meant.

It is also sad when you have to pay scholars to learn their memory verses. I have had some come into the store asking what I would suggest they should buy to get the scholars to learn their memory verses. If the day-school teachers had to do a thing like that, they wouldn’t get very far, would they?

I think scholars ought to go to their Sunday School prepared to repeat their memory verses. It would help greatly if the teacher was there ahead of time before the hour of commencement, not only to welcome the scholars, but also to inquire if they have learned their memory verses, and if not, to insist that they do so before the lesson begins.

It is a very responsible position for a teacher to have the care of the scholar for a brief hour once a week. All children have not the care of a godly mother and grandmother as Timothy had. Therefore, how important it is that we get the children to memorize the Scriptures!

Where I am interested, we have this plan: At the close of the session we ask each class to rise and repeat their memory verse. This works splendidly.

Spurgeon said, “Store the minds of boys and girls with the Word of God. You may not see any results. It may just lie there as stones upon the ice in winter, but when the warmth of spring comes and melts the ice, the stones sink in, and so it is with the Word of God.” When that lad and girl grow up and you begin to wonder and think that it is all of no use, they are brought under the sound of the Gospel at some special meetings and it may be that when the warm rays of Calvary shine upon those hearts, they will melt and the Word will sink in, taking effect.

I believe that the work of the teachers would be greatly strengthened if they taught the scholars to repeat portions of Scripture, remembering that a few Scriptures memorized are better than many Scriptures imperfectly learned.

The teachers of the three schools in connection with our assembly, towards the end of the year, select a chapter that is to be learned for the special prize at the end of the year. That chapter is divided into sections to suit the age of the scholars. Any that want to learn the whole chapter are encouraged to do so. We have had children as young as six years repeat the whole of the first chapter of John’s Gospel of fifty-one verses correctly, without a single mistake.

In order to get that prize, we hold up the standard of perfection. It is a matter of opinion as to whether it should be said before the whole school, or whether it is just said among the teachers. We have it repeated before the whole school, and we insist upon perfection in order to get the special prize. Some may think this is hard, but we have made inquiries of the scholars themselves, and they prefer the standard of perfection. Some ex-scholars, who are now teachers, were asked, and they say it is the only way.

A little Catholic boy one time was attending a Sunday School, where he was given a Bible. The priest said that it was a bad book and tried to take it from him. He didn’t want to give it up, but was forced to do so. At the same time, he said “I thank God that you cannot take away the twenty chapters that I have in my heart.”

When we think of the responsibility that it placed upon us, how much more important it is to see that the children memorize the Word of God! When our children were small, we used to teach them to repeat a verse of Scripture on their knees before getting into bed. We don’t believe in teaching them prayers apart from, “Oh God, show me I am a lost, guilty sinner and on my way to hell.” After they were finished, we had them repeat a verse of Scripture, usually the memory verse for the coming Sunday, which had to be learned first. Then they could repeat any Scripture they wanted to before getting into bed.

When we see error abounding on every hand, and increasingly so, we should be more careful to see that the children memorize the Word of God. Get the Word in and God will see to it that it will prosper. He said, “My Word shall not return unto Me void” (Isa. 55:11).