The Baldwin Library
THE GOOD VOICES.
A CHILD'S GUIDE TO THE BIBLE.
THE GOOD VOICES,
A CHILD'S GUIDE TO THE BIBLE.
THE REV. EDWIN A. ABBOTT, M.A.
HEAD MASTER OF THE CITY OF LONDON SCHOOL ;
AUTHOR OF "BIBLE LES*OONS.
MACMILLAN AND CO.
( The~ -Rigltt of Traaslatiuo and Reprnoduction is reserved.]
PRINTED BY R. CLAY SONS, AND TAYLOR,
BREAD STREET HILL.
I2 THE object of these simple stories
is to prepare little children for
the study of the Bible by im-
i_ buying them with the feeling
that at all times and in all circumstances,
whether in town or country, at work or at
play, they are living in the presence of a
Heavenly Father, who is continually speak-
ing to them with the Good Voices of Nature
No attempt is made to give a summary
of Sacred History, but rather to bring out
in an interesting way, intelligible to very
young children, some of the spiritual teaching
contained in that History ; so as to prepare
the little readers for treating the Book of
Books as something higher and holier than
a mere collection of battles, genealogies, and
portents. I think it is a mistake to en-
courage a child, without some such prepara-
tion, to turn over at random the pages of a
The illustrations will, I trust, speak for
themselves. If they please other little chil-
dren as much as they have pleased the
little child for whom this book was written,
M. C. will have ample reason to be satisfied.
MY DEAR CHILD,
AKE a good book and put it on
the table. There it lies quite
silent between its covers : it says
nothing to you, and seems to
have no voice. But now open the covers and
TO TIE LITTLE READER.
turn over the pages and look at them care-
fully. Now, each page in the book, if you
have learned to read, begins at once to have
a good voice. It cannot speak aloud, but it
speaks quietly to you, either some pleasant
story about giants and fairies, or else, perhaps,
about birds and flowers, or about the Good
God who is the kind Father of us all.
The whole world is like that book, and has
good voices. Everything in the world, not
only things that speak aloud, like men and
women, and birds and beasts; but all things,
books and pictures, clouds and stars, the
flowers in the garden, and the stones on the
road, all have good voices, and all have some-
thing to say to you.
Some of these voices, like the voice of the
thunder, are strange and hard even for grown-
TO THE LITTLE READER.
up people to understand; others are easy and
good for little children to hear. When the
sun shines in the ii,,'iiiin, making the streets
and fields bright and all the birds merry, has
he not a good voice, although you cannot
hear it with your ears, and does he not say
to you, God is kind, and likes to see all
things happy ?
But the best voice of all is the voice of
the Book called the Gospel, which tells us
about gentle Jesus, meek and mild, who looks
kindly on little children, and who first taught
us to call God our Father in Heaven.
The Good Voices often speak very softly
and quietly, and you will not be able to hear
them if you do not listen with all your might.
But, if you do listen, do you know what the
Good Voices will say to you? I will tell
TO THE LITTLE READER.
you. Look at that child in the picture lis-
tening to the murmuring of the shell. Just
as that small shell with its quiet mur-
muring reminds him a little of the loud
roaring of the far-off sea, so this great
and glorious world with all its different
voices reminds us a little, a very little, of
the greatness and the glory of the unseen
God, who is as much more great and
glorious than the world as the sea is
greater than that little shell.
If you want to be good, like the Good
God your Father in Heaven, you must try
to understand "THE GOOD VOICES."
TIHE VOICE OF THE STARS . . . . . 3
THE VOICES OF THE CLOUDS AND FIELDS . . . 6
THE VOICES OF THE LE.LVE3 AND TIlE SNOW-FLAKES . 9
THE VOICE OF THE HAND . . . . . . 12
THE VOICE OF THE YEAR . . . . . . 16
ANIMALS . . . . . . . . 21
THE VOICE OF PAIN ... . . . . 24
THE FATHER . . . . . . .. 27
THE CHILD THAT HAD NO FATHER . . . . 32
THE FATHER AND THE SERVANTS . . . . .35
GOD'S MESSENGERS .... . . . . 41
ABRAHAM . . . . . . . .. 48
JACOB . . . . . . . . 53
JOSEPH . . . . . . . . 57
M OSES . . . . . . . . 64
SAMUEL . . . . . . . . . 70
DAVID . . . . . . .. . 74
ANIEL . . . .
THE LAW . . . .
GOD'S SON . . .
WHAT JESUS TAUGII' .
JESUS HEALING SOULS . .
JESUS DEALING BODIES .
JESUS SUFFERING AND I.YING
THE SPIRIT . . . .
THE D1VIL, OR SLANDERER .
THIE KINGDOM OF GOD .
. . . . . 97
. . . . . 102
. . . 105
. . . . . 109
. . . . . 112
. . 115
THE GOOD VOICES.
THE VOICE OF THE STARS.
O to the window when it is dark,
and look up at the stars. Try
to count them. The longer you
look, the more stars you will
see. Every one of these stars is
much larger than it seems. Almost all are a
great deal larger than the earth on which we
live. They are all far away from us and from
one another, so far that, even if you could fly
like a pigeon, and could .fly for a whole year
THE GOOD VOICES.
without stopping, you could not reach them;
nor could you fly from one to another. Yet
there they are, hung in the air and kept from
They never stray from the paths in which
they move. Put your finger on the window-
pane, so as just to cover one of the stars, and
keep still, looking for two or three minutes.
You will see that the star seems to have
moved. Most of the stars seem to move like
the sun: a few move differently; but all of
them move evenly and regularly, not like a
crowd of boys at play, but like soldiers
marching where their captain bids them.
Who made the stars? God made them.
It is God that bids the stars move as He
wills: and they have obeyed Him and will
obey Him for thousands of years. When we
look up at the stars, they sometimes make us
feel that they are wonderfully and gloriously
made. Whenever we feel this, God is giving
the stars a Voice, and they speak to us
quietly in our hearts, and say, "God's works
are glorious and great."
THE VOICE OF THE STARS. 5
I told you that every one of the stars
is much larger than it seems. Iere is one,
that looks to you like a little dot; but if you
could see it closer, it would look like this
THE VOICES OF THE CLOUDS AND FIELDS.
11m,0 and look at the sky on a fine
evening when the sun is just
setting. If there are any clouds
in the air you will see that the
sun covers the clouds with red
and yellow and purple, as if he were giving
them beautiful clothes. Then look at the
VOICES OF THE CLOUDS AND FIELDS.
shapes of the clouds, and see how pleasant
they are to look at. Some are flat and hard-
looking, with borders of gold; some wreathe
and wind about like the steam that comes from
a railway engine; some are like long ringlets
of hair, some like a horse's mane; some are
like dots in rows, reminding us of a flock of
sheep in a field; but all of them do us good
to look at.
Then go into some park, or into the fields,
early on a fine spring morning, as early as
you can after sunrise, when the trees are fresh
in leaf. Look at the dew-drops, how they
sparkle on the grass-green and red and blue
and yellow. Listen to the birds--the robin,
the thrush, and the blackbird-how cheerfully
they sing, all differently and yet all sweetly.
Look at the trees-the strong broad oak, the
tall elms, the white flowers of the horse-chest-
nut, the birch with its white trunk and delicate
boughs like waving hair, and the willow droop-
ing over the water. Then look up at the great
bright blue sky above, and down again at the
green grass dotted with daisies and buttercups,
8 THE GOOD VOICES.
and think to yourself, God made all these
Whenever we look at these things in this
way, God gives them a Voice, and they speak
to us quietly in our hearts, and say, Are
not God's works full of beauty ? "
THE VOICES OF THE LEAVES AND THE
iO not think that God takes care
about the great things in the
world and not about the little
things as well.
-____J I Take up a little daisy, and
look closely at it. See how carefully the
little fringe of white is set all round the
yellow part in the middle. Now pick the
fringe to pieces and see how carefully each
THE GOOD VOICES.
little piece is made. Then take the yellow
part and pick it to pieces; you will find that
each little yellow piece is a stalk carefully
made by itself.
Think of this. Every time that you
look at a little daisy like this, God speaks
to you with the Voice of that little daisy,
and says to you quietly in your heart, I
take care of little things as well as of great
things; I take care of the sun and moon and
stars, but I take care of the little daisies
Now look at a lump of snow. If you cannot
see one now, at all events you can remember
how it looks. What do you see ? Nothing
but a lump of white stuff. Well, but if we
take a little piece of this snow and look at it
more carefully through a glass that makes
things look bigger, we shall see something
more than a white lump : we shall see a lot of
pretty patterns, crosses, and diamonds, and
others that we never dreamed of, all hidden
in this lump of snow.
What does God tell us by this ? He gives
VOICES OF LEAVES AND SNOW-FLAKES. 11
a Voice to that little lump of snow, and it
says to us, "There are a great many more
beautiful things in God's beautiful world than
little children can see. The more you look
at God's works, the more beautiful they will
Here are some pictures of the pretty snow-
THE VOICE OF THE HAND.
PIEN your hand and look at it.
It will teach you something.
Perhaps you say, How can
such a common thing as that
teach me anything? Trees and
clouds and stars are grand and beautiful:
they can teach us many things; but what can
I learn from my little hand? I will try to
THE VOICE OF TIHE HAND.
Look at the hands of the child and of the
monkey, and see whether you can find any
difference between them. Perhaps you say,
" There is very little difference between the
child's hand and the monkey's; I would as
soon have the monkey's hand as my own."
But now look very carefully at the monkey's
thumb. It is much shorter than yours. The
top of his thumb only just reaches to the
place where his fingers begin. So you see
he cannot use his thumb, as you can use
You can join the tip of your thumb
with the tips of all your fingers; he cannot;
he can only bring the thumb and fingers
pretty close together, without making them
meet. You can easily pick up a pin from
the floor with your thumb and fingers; the
poor monkey cannot. He can catch hold of
the branches of trees with his long fingers,
and swing from one to the other: but he
cannot take tight hold of little things as
Now just think for a moment what would
THE GOOD VOICES.
become of men if they had the same kind of
thumbs as that monkey has. Try and take
up and hold a pen or a stick in your fingers
without the help of your thumb : do you
not feel how helpless you are, how weak
your hand seems ? Can you guide your pen
rightly, or can you hold your stick firmly ?
I am sure you cannot. So, you see, by just
making your thumb a little longer than the
monkey's thumb, God has helped you to write
and draw and paint, and to work with all
sorts of tools, in a way impossible for the
Now, if you had not thought of this, you
might have said, There is nothing very wise
in making a child's hand: but now you see
there is a great deal of wisdom. All God's
works are full of wisdom in the same way.
He makes everything so that it may do just
what it is intended to do. The monkey's hand
lie makes fit for swinging from branch to
branch, and IHe makes men's hands fit for
doing all sorts of wonderful works that no
beasts can do.
THE VOICE OF THE HAND. 15
Now, you see, even your little hand, as
well as the clouds and stars, can teach you
something. It has a Voice as they have,
and it says to you, "Trust in God, for He
is very wise."
/ _. ,- _
THE VOICE OF THE YEAR.
F you can read these little lessons,
I am quite sure you can answer
this question: How old are
you ? Perhaps you are only
five or six years old; but, even
if you are so young, you can remember the
difference between winter and summer. In
winter you know that the days are very short
and the nights very long, so that you have to
get up when it is almost dark. As the spring
comes on, the days become longer, and the
THE VOICE OF THE YEAR.
nights shorter, till at last they are equal: then,
as the summer draws near, the days become
longer, longer than the nights, so that the
night in summer is as short as the day was
in winter. Then, after that, the nights begin
to grow longer and the days shorter, till we
come round to winter again.
Now, if a little boy notices the days and
nights for only a short time, for only eight
or nine months, for example, he might say,
" The days and nights change in a very funny
way: sometimes the days are longer than the
nights, at other times the nights are longer
than the days; there is no rule about them."
But lie would be wrong. If he went on
noticing a little longer, lie would see that
there is a rule, and that the year comes round
again, like the hole in a humming-top, to the
same place from which it started.
I will shew you the little boy's mistake by
a picture. Look at this dotted line .... Is
it a straight line, or bent, or what ? Perhaps
you hardly know. But now look at the
dotted line at the top of the picture at the
THE GOOD VOICES.
beginning. There you can see more of the
line, and you notice now that it is not straight,
but bent; it is part of a round line, which we
call a circle. You could not tell that, when
you saw a little bit of the line ; but now
that you see much more of it, you see that
it is a circle.
Now God's works are like that circle. When
we see only a little bit of them, the little bit
often looks like that dotted line, and we can-
not tell what it is like, whether it is ,..i itill
or ugly, regular or irregular. But when we
see more, then we find that His work is
beautiful and according to rule.
Many of God's works shew at once that they
are according to rule, or regular; and we are
so accustomed to the regularity that we hardly
notice it. For example, acorns always make
oaks, and chestnuts chestnut trees ; a stone
falls always downwards; grass is green, and
never red or blue. Your own body shews you
that God likes order and regularity. You see
that one side of your body is exactly like the
other, eve like eye, hand like hand, foot like
TIHE VOICE OF THE YEAR.
foot, and so on: even where the likeness is
not exact, there is some likeness. Pull a leaf
from an oak or a plane tree. You will see
that the leaf is divided into two halves.
Look how very like the two halves are,
though they are not quite the same.
Now, what I want you to remember is this,
that God does not do His works at random, or,
like a foolish child, without care and order.
He does not change His mind. ie loves order.
If there were no order in the world, what
would become of us ? If to-day the sun rose
at five o'clock, and to-morrow at nine o'clock,
what would men do ? How would they know
when to get up ? What would that little
lark, in the picture, do, that gets up every
morning before all the other birds, to say good
morning to the sun ? If winter came to-day,
and summer to-morrow, and spring next day,
how would you know what clothes to wear, and,
besides, what would become of the harvests ?
Or if wheat-seed sometimes produced onions
and turnips produced mustard, what would
men do for bread, and sheep for pasture ?
20 THE GOOD VOICES.
You see, then, that our happiness depends
on God's orderly way-. We ought to be very
glad that God is so orderly, and does not
change His mind. God tells us every day by
His works that lie loves order; and, if in any
of His works we cannot see order, we ought to
say, That is because we only see part of I is
work. We only see the dotted line; if we saw
the whole line, we should find that it was
regular and orderly."
--OOK at your cat when it is sit-
ting quietly purring before the
fire. Does it not seem happy ?
Or look at a dog frisking round
its master, barking and wagging
its tail, or lying quietly by its master's side.
Does not the dog seem happy ? Look again
at the sheep and cows and horses in the fields,
feeding or lying down. Or look at the birds
hopping from twig to twig, and chirping or
singing: look at the butterflies flying in the
THE GOOD VOICES.
sunshine from flower to flower. Do they not
all seem happy ? Sometimes they are not
happy when they are ill, or hurt, or frightened,
or have not enough to eat, but that very
seldom happens. For the most part they seem
full of happiness.
Now think of your own self, for you also are
an animal. Do you know what an animal is ?
An animal is anything that breathes; and,
since you breathe, you are 'an animal. Now,
is it not pleasant to you to run and jump and
play ? Do you not like to see and hear and
feel ? Is it not pleasant to be alive and to be
well ? Perhaps you hardly know how much
more pleasant it is to be well than to be ill.
But now, ask some one, if you like, to give
you a good pinch, and then think to yourself,
" How should I like to feel all day as though
some one were pinching me?" Sometimes
you are ill, and then you are in pain: but
most children are not often ill. God might
have made it painful for us to see and hear
and feel, but lie has made it very pleasant,
for IHe is very kind.
Whenever we feel happy, and whenever we
see other creatures happy, God says to us
quietly in our hearts, I wish you to be
happy, for I am very kind. I paint the
wings of the butterfly, so that he is a pleasure
to look at: but I do more than that. I make
him glad in the sunshine and amid the lovely
flowers: and I send him to you, my dear little
children, to tell you that God loves to see all
THE VOICE OF PAIN.
r n IOMETIMES we are not happy;
sometimes we are in pain. If
you are careless, and do not
look where you are going, you
fall down and hurt yourself; if
you disobey your parents and play with fire,
you may scorch or burn yourself to death; if
THE VOICE OF PAIN.
you are greedy and eat more than is good for
you, you make yourself sick and ill. When
God pains us in these ways, He says to us,
" You must be careful; you must be obedient;
you must not be greedy."
But sometimes we are pained without fault
of ours. Some little children are born blind,
or lame, or deaf; others are born feeoble and
sickly, so that they never know what it is to
be quite well. And all of us know what it is
to be in pain sometimes-to have a headache,
or ear-ache, or some other little illness. What
does God teach us when lie pains us in this
way? I think lie says to us, "I have not
sent you into the world merely to make your
bodies happy. You cannot have everything
that you like."
Little children are much more helpless and
feeble when they are babies, than young horses
and cows, and most other young animals.
Babies have many more pains and illnesses,
and want much more care and attention than
butterflies or birds. When a duck hatches her
brood, the little ducklings run down the same
THE GOOD VOICES.
day to the water and swim at once; but a
baby is often more than a year old before it
can walk. Why does God make you so help-
less when you are little babies ? I think it
is to make your father and mother take great
care of you and love you very much, and also
to make you love your father and mother very
much when you grow up to be old and to know
what they did for you.
The hen loves her little chickens very much,
and will fight for them against a cat, or even
against a grown man. But as soon as the
little chickens grow up, they forget their
mother, and the mother forgets them. But
your mother and father will never forget you,
and you will never forget them.
-POD tells us, through the stars and
the clouds and the daisies, that
HIe is great and that all Iis
works are beautiful; and lie
tells us by our bodies that He
wishes our bodies to be happy. But IHe also
tells us something better than that.
If your body were ever so happy, if you
had everything that you liked to eat, and
all the toys you wanted, and a pony to ride
THIE GOOD VOICES.
on, would you be sure to be quite happy ?
Perhaps you say Yes." But what if your
father were all the while angry with ycu, and
your mother did not love you, and your
brothers and sisters disliked you? Would
you be happy then, even though you had the
prettiest pony in the world ? I do not think
you would. You might be happy for a day
or two, while you were full of the thought of
your pony and could not think of your father
and mother; but soon you would feel un-
satisfied and uneasy.
Your body would be satisfied, but some-
thing else in you would not be satisfied.
Something else in you would say, I want
my father and mother to love me." You
cannot see this "something else:" you can-
not touch it or hear it; but it has a name,
and is called a soul." Everyone has a soul
as well as a body. A child's soul is that
thing in him which says, I want to be loved
by my parents."
Now listen, while I tell you the best news
I know about God. God does not want only
our bodies to be happy, lie wants our souls
to be happy, also. How does lie tell us this ?
I will try to shew you.
Once upon a time there was a little child.
He had been blind and always ailing ever
since he had been born, so that lie could not
see the blue sky or the sun, nor go out into
the fields to enjoy the fresh air and to play
at merry gaines, but had to lie on his bed
all the day long. Yet, though God could not
speak to this poor blind child through the
stars or the clouds or the flowers in the fields,
lie spoke to him in another way. This little
boy had a father who was very kind to him,
making toys for him, and telling him stories,
and amusing him in every way. lie brought
the boy a tame singing bird, and used to
bring him home fresh flowers to smell; and
sometimes when the little fellow was in very
great pain, so that he could not help crying
out, his father used to take him up in his
arms and kiss him.
Sometimes the father used to speak to his
on about God, how God made all things,
THIE GOOD VOICES.
beautiful things that the child could never
see, the sun and moon and the stars. One
day, seeing a rainbow through the window,
he began to speak to the child about it, how
beautiful it is, and how God speaks to us by
the rainbow, and tells us that He loves things
brighlit and beautiful. Tell me, then," said
the child, what a rainbow is like." So the
father began to describe the beautiful colours
of the rainbow, purple and red and orange
and green. But presently he remembered that
the poor boy did not know even what a colour
was like, so that all the description was non-
sense to him. Then he left off speaking, for
he felt very sad. But the child said to him,
"Did God make you, Papa ? Yes, my
darling." Then the child thought to himself
(though he could not put the thought into
words at the time) something like this: If
God made my father, I know God must be
good and loving, for my father is good and
loving, and I would sooner that God made
him than that lie made all the rainbows in
You see how God taught that blind helpless
child. To every little child that has a kind
father and mother, God says quietly in the
little child's heart, If your father and
mother are so kind, do you not think I am
very kind, for I gave you both your father
and your mother ? "
Look at that foxglove in the picture below.
Just as lie bright sun makes the foxglove
shoot forward to the light and upward to the
sky, so the good God, our lFather, by His lovo
and kindness, draws us toward IHim, and lifts
up our hearts to Him in heaven above.
THE CHILD THAT HAD NO FATHER.
LITTLE child, that had lost his
father w hen lie was quite a baby,
was one day told in school that
God is our Father," and loves
us as a father loves his little
children. lie went home from school very
sadly, thinking to himself, What do I know
about a father ? My schoolfellows may say
THE CHILD THAT HAD NO FATHER. 33
Our Father,' but I cannot understand it, be-
cause I never knew what a father's love is."
He was saying this aloud to himself, sit-
ting by the side of a little pond, when he
heard footsteps behind him, and there was his
teacher, who had heard all that he was saying.
"Do you see the picture of the sun in the
still surface of the pond ? said the teacher.
You cannot look at the sun in heaven
without being dazzled, though it is shining
through a little cloud; but the picture in the
water shews you the brightness of the sun
without dazzling you. Just in the same way
God in heaven shews Himself to little children
by their father on earth." The little boy
began to cry. "I have no father," he said,
so I have nothing to shew me the bright-
ness of God."
The teacher threw a handful of stones into
the pond. "Do you see how the surface of
the pond is troubled? You cannot see the
same picture that you saw just now; yet the
sun's brightness is still on the water: only
instead of that one large picture there
34 THE GOOD VOICES.
are a lot of small bits of the picture :-
but, though they are small, they are many,
shewing us how bright the sun is. Just in
the same way God has troubled the surface
of your life, and taken away your father; but
He has given you kind friends on all sides,
and from their kindness and their love you
will be helped to understand the kindness and
love of the Father in heaven. "
THE FATHER AND THE SERVANTS.
OR many thousands of years God
taught men about Himself
through the clouds and the
stars and the flowers, and also
through fathers and mothers
and brothers and sisters; yet all this teach-
ing was not enough. Why not ? I will snew
you. But first I must tell you a story.
There was once a kind father, who took
THE GOOD VOICES.
good care of his little boy, and gave him
plenty to eat and drink and plenty of pretty
toys. But he would not let him eat and
drink anything unwholesome, or more than
was good for him, even though the child
cried for it. When the little fellow was old
enough, the father began to teach him to
read. But the boy did not like learning at
all, and he did not know how useful and
pleasant it is to read, and so he thought his
father was very unkind in making him learn.
So, whenever his father came into the room
to teach him, the child would try to hide or
to run away ; and if he was obliged to read,
he used to cry, and fret, and read very badly;
sometimes he would not read, and then he was
punished. At other times, when his father
was away, lie used to neglect the lessons that
his father gave him to do; and if he could
find anything nice to eat left about, he used to
steal it. Then, he used to feel ashamed and
uneasy, and he dared not look his father in
the face. So, by little and little, he became
frightened of his father and did not love him
THE FATHER AND THE SERVANTS.
as before. Often he used to say to himself,.
" I wonder why my father will not allow me
to be happy and to do just what I like. He
will not let me eat and drink nice things, nor
as much as I want, and he makes me learn
hard lessons. I do not think he loves me."
Sometimes the little boy's parents used to
go away from home. At such times they used
to speak to the nurse and say, Take care that
our little boy does not forget his reading;
mind and give him a little lesson every day,
and do not let him eat or drink too much so
as to make himself ill and a glutton." But
when they had gone away, the servant used
sometimes to forget to give the little boy his
lessons; or else, she was very busy, and did
not take the trouble to make time for the
reading. So, very often, the little boy had
no reading lessons. That pleased him very
much, and he said to himself, The servants
are kinder than my father; they let me eat
green apples and as much sugar as I like,
and besides, they do not make me learn those
hard lessons. I am not afraid of them. I
THE GOOD VOICES.
like them better than I like my father, because
they let me do as I like, and my father will
not. If I want anything nice, I shall not ask
my father, I shall go to them."
Now this is just what happened to grown-up
men and women hundreds of years ago. God
wished to teach them, as He wishes to teach
us, to be kind to each other, to be industrious,
and brave, and wise. So He gave them all
sorts of work and lessons. lie taught them
how to plough, so as to earn their bread,
and he taught them how to weave, so as
to make clothes to keep them warm. He
taught them also to fight against savage
beasts; and he shewed them, when they were
in pain with illness or suffering, that it is
pleasant to be pitied; and in this way He
taught them that men must pity others just
as they like to be pitied themselves.
But, like that foolish boy, men did not
like learning these lessons. They said, "Why
does not God let us do as we like ? Why
does He want to make us learn these hard
lessons ? He tells us to be kind to each
THE FATHER AND THE SERVANTS.
other; and he makes us uneasy when we are
not kind. This lesson is too difficult. We
are afraid of this God, for He does not seem
to like us, and we cannot understand Him.
Perhaps there is some other god whom we
can understand better."
Then they looked all round on God's beauti-
ful world, trying to find out some god whom
they could understand. They saw that God's
works were full of power and wisdom and
beauty, and they said, God is Power," God
is Wisdom," "God is Beauty." So they made
images, such as you see in the picture at the
beginning, of wise and powerful men, and of
beautiful children and women, and they said,
"These are gods; we can understand them
and are not afraid of them."
Then they came to think one god might
wish one thing, and another god might wish
something else quite the opposite, and that
one god might fight against another, and that
a god might do wrong.
Next they came to think that there might
be bad and cruel gods that liked to do harm
40 THE GOOD VOICES.
to men. We must worship these cruel
gods," they said, or else they will hurt us."
So sometimes they made horrible images of
ugly gods, and tried to bribe these gods that
were no gods, by offering them the blood of
their innocent little children.
Here below are pictures of some of these
OU see then that the beautiful
world could not teach men
enough of the truth about
God. What then did God do ?
1 Hlie breathed the truth into the
hearts of different men, and sent them to
tell the truth to others. He did not tell
THE GOOD VOICES.
all the truth at once, because men could
not have understood it.
To one man He said, I do not wish men
to do wrong; I wish them to be innocent
and good:" to another He said, "I hate
murder, and I will punish the wicked: to
another, I protect all those that trust in
me:" to another, "Men must not worship
images, but the One God:" to another, "I will
pull down the proud and raise up the hum-
ble :" to another, I look at the inside, at the
hearts of men, not at the outside: to another,
" I will purify men from their sins, and make
them good and honest:" to others, I will
send some one to save men from all evil."
Many of the men into whose hearts God
breathed these truths were called Prophets.
A Prophet is a man sent by God to tell men
what God wishes, and what God is going
You see, in the picture at the end, a sailor-
boy high up on the mast of a ship. Just as
that sailor-boy can see farther off than the
men on deck when a ship or cloud is coming
near, so a Prophet can see, more clearly than
others, what God is bringing or going to
bring to men.
Here is a story about a Prophet whose name
was Elijah. In his time the king and queen,
and almost all the people, had left off worship-
ping the true God, and used to worship false
gods of wood and stone. Elijah was a brave
man, and he told the wicked queen and the
king (whose name was Ahab) that they were
wrong, and that God would punish them.
Soon afterwards he heard that the queen
intended to kill him; so he ran away out of
the country a long way off into a lonely
wilderness, where he lived by himself in a
Here he thought over all that had hap-
pened, how all the people had turned from
the true God to the false gods, and how,
though he had done many wonderful works,
yet no good seemed to have come of them.
All that he had done seemed useless, and
he, the Prophet of God, had to run away
from the anger of the queen, as though he
THE GOOD VOICES.
were a cowardly slave. So he said to him-
self in the darkness of his cave, Why does
not God make the people believe in Him ?
Why does he not come down from heaven
working some mighty wonder, tearing the sky
open, or overturning the hills, or shaking
the whole earth, so as to force everyone to
say, 'This is the true God coming down from
heaven'? All that I have done is useless.
I am tired of living and doing no good. Suffer
me to die, 0 God."
Then that Breath of God of which I spoke
just now to you said to him, Go out of this
dark cave where you can see nothing, and
listen to what God will teach you outside."
Then Elijah went out, and first he heard a
terrible whirlwind raging round the moun-
tain, uprooting the trees and dashing the
rocks about ; so he thought to himself, "God
is here." But the Voice said to him, "No;
God is not here." After that, he saw a
fearful earthquake making the earth tremble
and wave like the ripples of a river blown
by the wind. Surely," said Elijah to him-
self, God must be in this fearful earth-
quake." But the Voice said, No; God is
not here." Then Elijah saw a vast fire, larger
and brighter than any fire you ever saw or
will see, burning up everything that came
in its way; and he said, At last God is
coming : He must be here." But the Voice
said once more, "No; God is not here."
Then suddenly there came a still small Voice,
speaking so solemnly and awfully that Elijah
felt as though the words pierced through his
very heart, and now he knew that this was
the very Word of God: so he covered his face
in his cloak and listened, and the Voice said,
" What are you doing here, Elijah ? Then
Elijah repeated what he had said before,
that all the people had turned from the true
God, and that he had been obliged to run
away to save his life.
Then the Voice answered, "Go, and tell
another man, whose name is Elisha, that he
is to be prophet in your place. And do not
fret or be anxious as though I cannot do what
is best. There are other kings besides Ahab,
THE GOOD VOICES.
and other prophets besides you. You think
too much about yourself, and do not trust
enough in Me. There are thousands of your
countrymen of whom you know nothing, who
worship Me and do not worship false gods."
So Elijah went and did as God told him, and
another prophet, named Elisha, came to speak
to the people. As for Ahab, the bad king,
he was killed in battle, and the wicked queen
was also killed soon afterwards.
God taught Elijah, and He teaches us, that
His works are mostly quiet and orderly, and
very often slow. We must not be impatient
and say, Why does not God send a whirl-
wind, or an earthquake, or a fire to make all
people good ?" We must try to listen to Him
when He speaks to us in our hearts in His
own way with a still small voice.
God speaks to you not only through the
clouds and stars but also through all good
people and good books. There is a volume
called the Bible that contains a great number
of good books in which God speaks to us.
These books were written at different times
GOD'S MESSENGERS. 47
by many different people,-priests and pro-
phets, soldiers and kings, shepherds and
fishermen; but God speaks to us through
all of them. I am now going to tell you
something about the Voices of the Bible.
Here is the picture of the sailor-boy on the
sloping mast of a ship tossing on the sea.
How different it is from the picture of Elijah
at the beginning The sailor-boy sees clouds
and ships; but the Prophet sees something
that no eye can see, the will of the unseen
TOLD you that God breathed
some of the truth about Him-
self into the hearts of different
men. Now I am going to tell
you about one of these men,
whose life is written in the Bible. His name
In Abraham's time many people had made
images of false gods, and worshipped these
images. And, as I told you before, they used
sometimes to kill their own little children
and offer the blood to these dumb images,
hoping by this means to make the false gods
kind to them.
Now Abraham believed that there were not
many gods, but that there was one God, and
that THe was very good: and Abraham trusted
in God because he felt sure that God would
always do what was right. God loved Abra-
ham, and promised to take care of him.
At first Abraham had no child. But God
promised him that he should have a child, and
that his grandchildren and great-grandchild-
ren should increase till they became a great
nation. Abraham believed this, although it
seemed very unlikely, and although nobody
thought he would have a son at all. At last
he had a son, and called his name Isaac.
You may be sure Abraham loved his son
very dearly and took great care of him. For
he had long wished for a son in vain, and
his wife Sarah had given birth to no other
THE GOOD VOICES.
son but Isaac; and, besides, if Isaac (lied,
all the great promises of God would come
to nothing. But one day Abraham was
thinking of God, how good and kind God is,
and how men ought to be willing, if God
wished, to give up everything, money, or
houses, or lands, or anything. Then it oc-
curred to him, Should I be willing to give
up my darling Isaac to God ? Other people,
that worship bad gods, kill their children to
please their gods; should I be willing to do
as much for the good God ? Then God said
to him, "It is right that you should give
up even your dear son to me." So Abraham
was very sad, but he said, "If God says
it is right, it must be right, and I must
So next morning he got up early with
Isaac, and set out to go to the top of a
mountain, where he intended to kill Isaac
and offer him up to God. Isaac walked up
the hill, not knowing what his father was
thinking about, but supposing that Abraham
was going to offer up a sheep or a cow. For
you must know that in the old times, when
people said their prayers, they used often to
kill and offer up some animal to God, as
much as to say, 0 God, I am yours, for you
made me. But I cannot give myself to you,
so I give the life of this animal instead."
They used to call this sacrificing. So Isaac
said, Father, where is the animal for the
sacrifice ? "
This made Abraham sadder than ever, but
he looked at his dear innocent child, and said,
" God will provide a lamb for the sacrifice."
Then they went on to the top of the hill, and
you may fancy how terrified poor Isaac was,
and how sad Abraham was, when Isaac was
blindfolded, and Abraham standing with the
knife ready to kill his darling son.
But just when Abraham was going to strike,
God said to him, Do not kill your son. You
have given up your son to me in your heart.
I am good, and if you want to give your son
to me, the right way is to make him good
that he may obey me. Look at that ram in
the thicket. Kill that instead of Isaac."
THE GOOD VOICES.
So Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw a
ram caught by his horns in a thicket: and he
took it and killed it instead of Isaac, and said,
" 0 God, I am yours, and Isaac is yours: we
both belong to you; but we must not kill
ourselves to give ourselves to you, so we kill
this ram instead : we ask you to take this as a
sign that we want to give ourselves to you."
Then they went down the mountain and
Thus God taught Abraham that we must
love God better than anyone else, and that we
must be ready to give up everything to please
Him, but God does not wish us to do wrong in
order to please Him.
WILL now tell you a story about
another of God's servants called
Jacob. At first he was not at
all good. lie told a lie to his
i father, and behaved unkindly and
deceitfully to his elder brother. But God pun-
ished him for this. Jacob was obliged to go
away from his comfortable home for fear he
THE GOOD VOICES.
should be killed by his elder brother whom he
had deceived. Then, when he found himself
away from his home, all alone in the dark
night, he was sorry for what he had done.
But still he trusted in God, and said his
prayers before lie lay down to sleep : and then,
though he had no bed-room or bed-clothes,
and nothing but a stone for a pillow, he lay
down peacefully and went fast to sleep.
While he was asleep lie saw a wonderful
sight. There seemed to float before him a
number of bright forms with wings, such as
we call angels, which came down from heaven
to earth to shew him that God was near him
in the dark as well as by day, and would take
care of him.
And God did take care of him, and made
him a good man in the end. First of all
Jacob lived with a relation of his, called Laban,
who had a great number of sheep, and Jacob
said to Laban, If you will give me your
daughter Rachel to be my wife, I will take care
of your sheep, and be your shepherd for seven
But Laban cheated and deceived Jacob,
just as Jacob had cheated and deceived his
own father and brother, so that Jacob had
to be Laban's servant many more years than
he had intended; and while he was waiting
all that time as a servant, Jacob said to him-
self, "What a shame it is to cheat and to
deceive people! I will not deceive anyone
else as I deceived my father, for I do not
like to be deceived myself."
But God blessed Jacob and took care of
him, so that after many years he was able to
go back home with Rachel and twelve sons;
and he took with him great flocks of sheep
that had been given to him as his wages.
On his way home he met his elder brother,
whose name was Esau, and Esau had a number
of soldiers with him. Then Jacob was very
frightened, and said, How sorry I am that I
behaved so badly to Esau: I will never behave
so again. I will give him as many of my
sheep as he likes to take for himself." But
Esau was kind and good-tempered, though he
was not industrious or steady; so he would
THE GOOD VOICES.
not take any of Jacob's sheep, and did no
harm to his brother.
Thus Jacob came safe home to his own
country, and God had taught him two things
-to be honest, and to trust in God. But God
had not finished teaching him, as you will see
by the next story.
In the picture at the beginning you cannot
see the angels very clearly : they are almost
like shadows. But now here is a picture of a
little child-angel, such as we hope we shall see,
when we see things clearly in heaven.
-:E "a -
NE of Jacob's twelve sons was
called Joseph. He was kind
and clever, but a little con-
ceited. His father liked him
better than all the rest of his
brothers, and gave him a handsome dress of
many colours. It was very foolish of Jacob
THE GOOD VOICES.
to favour Joseph in this way; and you will see
that it brought a great deal of trouble in the
end, both on Jacob and on Joseph. Meantime
it made the other brothers angry, all except
Benjamin, the youngest, who was very fond
One day, Joseph told his brothers that he
had had a dream, in which it seemed to him
that his father and mother and all his brothers
had bowed before him, as though he were a
king. This made the brothers still more angry,
and they called Joseph "the dreamer." Even
Jacob was vexed, and scolded Joseph a little.
Soon after this, Jacob sent Joseph to look
after the rest of the brothers, who were in
some fields, many miles away, taking care of
their sheep. When the brothers saw Joseph
coming, they said, Now we will kill this
dreamer." But afterwards they said, No, we
will not kill him, but sell him for a slave to
these travellers whom we see yonder, travelling
on the road that leads to Egypt." Then said
one of them, But what shall we say to our
father when he asks us where is Joseph '?
" Oh! said another, We will sprinkle
Joseph's fine dress with goat's blood, and then
we will show it to our father, all torn and
stained with blood, and he will believe that
Joseph has been killed by a wild beast."
So that was what they did. They sold Joseph
for a slave, and they brought their father the
fine dress of many colours, and said, Look at
this dress : is it not the fine dress you gave to
Joseph, so much finer and better than the
dresses you gave to us ? When Jacob saw it,
he said, Joseph is dead,"-and he felt as
though his heart was broken.
Meanwhile, poor Joseph was being carried
away upon a camel, looking back in vain to the
hills of his dear country. Often he said to
himself in Egypt, I wish I had not been so
conceited; I wish I had not made my brothers
dislike me : then I should be back in my old
home with my dear father, instead of being a
slave here." But he was a good boy, and
instead of doing nothing but grumble and fret,
lie did his work with all his might. lie
prayed to God, and tried to do what was
THE GOOD VOICES.
right. Almost everybody liked him; but at
last a wicked woman accused him of doing
wrong, so that he was thrown into a dark
prison. Yet, even in the prison he trusted
in God and tried to do right, so that the jailer
and his fellow-prisoners liked him.
At last the king of the country was in
great trouble, and wanted a wise man to help
him. Then one of the king's servants, who
had been a prisoner along with Joseph, said
to the king, There is no one that can help
you so well as Joseph." So Joseph was sent
for out of the prison, and he told the king all
that he wanted to know-how a great famine
would fall on the land of Egypt, and corn
would be very dear; but first there would be
a time of great plenty. So, by Joseph's advice,
the men of Egypt did not waste the corn
when it was cheap, but stored it up to be
ready when the famine came.
Then everyone thanked and loved Joseph.
The king gave him a gold chain to wear round
his neck, and said to him, "You shall be the
chief ruler in Egypt, next to me." So Joseph
ruled over the people, and the people liked
him to rule, because he ruled well.
After a time the famine came, and corn was
very dear, not only in Egypt, but also in the
country where Jacob was living with Joseph's
brothers. So one day Jacob said to his sons,
" I hear that the people in Egypt have plenty
of corn, while we are almost starving. Go
down into Egypt and buy corn. But I will
not let my youngest son Benjamin go down
with you, for fear I lose him as I lost my dear
son Joseph." When the brothers went down
to buy corn in Egypt, the Egyptians said,
"Who are these foreigners ? We will bring
them before our ruler Joseph, that he may find
out who they are."
Joseph knew his brothers at once when they
were brought before him; but he did not tell
them that he knew them. IHe said to them.,
"Who is your father ? How many brothers
have you ? Then, when he heard that Jacob
and Benjamin were alive, he could hardly help
crying for joy. But he said to them, I will
not believe you unless you bring me your
TIHE GOOD VOICES.
youngest brother here, the one you call Ben-
jamin. Go home and bring him. Meanwhile
I shall keep one of you here in prison."
When the brothers brought back word that
the ruler of Egypt would not believe them
unless they took Benjamin down into Egypt,
Jacob said, I will not let him go; I have
lost Joseph, and now another of my sons is
gone, and you wish me to lose my little
Benjamin. If I do, I shall die with sorrow
-I will not let him go."
But at last, when they were nearly starving,
Jacob said, If it must be, it must be: take
Beiij;niul and buy us some bread in Egypt."
When they came down to Egypt, Joseph was
very glad to see them; but he said, "Though
I do not want to be unkind to them, yet it is
right that they should feel what it is to be
miserable, as they made me miserable." So
he told one of his servants to put his silver
cup into Benjamin's box. Then, when the
cup was found there, all the brothers were in
great trouble, for they thought they would
all be made slaves, as Joseph had been made
a slave. They had been sorry, even before,
for what they had done: now they were still
more sorry. But in the midst of their sorrow,
Joseph said, I am your dear brother Joseph.
I know you are sorry for what you did to me.
I am very fond of you, and I want you all
to come down and live comfortably with me in
Egypt." So Jacob and all his eleven sons
came down into Egypt, and there they lived
all the rest of their lives.
Thus God took care of Joseph, and made
both him and Jacob happy in the end, in spite
of all their troubles. God takes care of those
that trust in Him, and keeps off evil from
them, just as the shield in this picture keeps
off the arrows of the enemy:
FTEII all the sons of Jacob were
dead, their children and grand-
children still remained in Egypt,
and their numbers became so
large that they were now a
nation, called the Israelites. The E .v1't iain
at first liked the Israelites, but in time they
said, These Israelites will take away our
land if they increase so quickly. How can
we prevent them from increasing and be-
coming powerful?" Then the King of Egypt
said, "We will treat them like slaves, and set
them heavy work to do, and we will kill all
the little Israelite boys as soon as they are
born." So he gave orders that this should
be done. You may fancy how sad and angry
the Israelites were when they heard of this
cruel order. But they were too weak to resist,
and it seemed as though there was no one to
help them. But God helped them at last, as
you will see.
Just about this time a little Israelite boy
named Moses was born. The poor mother
kept him hid at home for three months; but
at last she said: Some of the Egyptian
officers, who come spying into our houses,
will come in suddenly and see little Moses,
and kill him. I will put my little baby in a
basket among the ree:ls, near the river's bank.
If he floats down on the river, somebody may
see him and take pity on him, for they will
not know he is an Israelite baby."
THE GOOD VOICES.
The mother did as she said, and the king's
daughter came down to the river and saw
the basket. She took out the little baby,
who cried so pitifully that the princess could
not help feeling sorry for it. So she said, I
should like to rear this pretty baby; where
can we find a nurse for it ? Now all this
time the sister of M.,:-s was stopping near
the basket, watching to see what became of
it; and, hearing the princess say this, she
stepped forward and said, I know an Israelite
woman who will take care of this baby." So
Moses was given back, to be nursed by his
own mother; and I need not tell you how
glad she was to have her darling baby back
When Moses grew up he was treated by the
princess of Egypt as though he were her own
son. But he knew that he was an Israelite,
and could not help being sorry and angry
when he saw his countrymen beaten and
treated like slaves by the Egyptians. One
day, seeing one of his countrymen struck by
an Egyptian, he lost all patience and killed
the Egyptian. IHe buried the body in the
ground; but it was found out, and Moses had
to run away from Egypt and live in a great
sandy desert called Arabia. Here Moses waited
for many years, keeping sheep, as you see
him in the picture, and doing nothing for the
poor Israelites, who were all the while groan-
ing and praying for help.
You may say, Why did God let Moses
waste his time in this way ?" But Moses
was not wasting his time; for God was teach-
ing him to be patient and wise, so that he
might help his countrymen. While Moses
was waiting, he was quietly doing a, great
work. That is why, in the picture at the
beginning, I have shewn you Moses, not
doing any of his wonderful works, but simply
looking at the sky, the mountains, and his
sheep, and listening to what God taught him.
Then, in good time, God spoke to Moses in
the desert, and said: "I have heard the cries
of your poor countrymen: go and help them,
and lead them out of Egypt into a land of
their own. I will help you, and my help is
THE GOOD VOICES.
more than the help of men. Men change and
become weak and perish; but I never change:
I am, and have been, and always shall be, the
So Moses went back to Egypt, and, after
many difficulties, he led his countrymen out
of their slavery into the desert. The men of
Egypt pursued them with a great army: but
God caused the sea to rise, so that the army
was covered over by the water, and every man
was drowned. But the men of Israel had
passed safe across into the desert or wilder-
ness. For forty years they wandered in the
wilderness, and Moses taught them what he
had been taught by God, that God is One and
always the same. IHe also gave them good
laws, and trained them to behave like freemen
and not like slaves. After that, he brought
them to a beautiful country of their own,
called Palestine, the same country in which
Abraham and Jacob had lived before.
Thus, you see, from the story of Moses,
that God hates cruelty and oppression, and
that lie will not suffer the bad to oppress
the good for ever. Besides, you learn from
Moses that God is One, and never changes.
Who would have thought that the little
baby whom you see in the picture, left alone
in his cradle on the dangerous river, would
have grown up to be the ruler of a great
nation ? But God was with him and took care
OW I am going to tell you a
story how God spoke, not as
in the last stories to a grown-
up man, but to a little child not
much bigger than you are. The
child's name was Samuel, and he used to help
to take care of the church or temple.
How came he there ? I will tell you. His
mother Hannah for a long time had no child.
She was very sorry for this, and prayed to
God, saying, "If I have a child, I will take
him into the temple to serve God there." So,
after Samuel was born, she did not forget her
promise; but as soon as he was old enough,
she took him to the Priest in the temple, and
there she used to come to see him every year.
The name of the Priest was Eli. Eli was a
good man, but Eli's sons, who were grown
up, were very wicked; and they not only
were wicked themselves, but they made other
people wicked also. It was very wrong of
Eli not to prevent his sons from doing wrong,
for people said, If the Priest's sons may do
wicked things, what harm is there in our
doing the same?"
Now Samuel heard what the people said,
and he saw how much mischief Eli's sons were
doing; and though he was very young, he
knew that it was wrong, and he was very
sorry. One evening, he lay down as usual in
the church (for both he and Eli used to sleep
THE GOOD VOICES.
there), and tried to go to sleep. Suddenly, he
heard a voice calling Samuel !" He jumped
up and ran to Eli's bed-side, saying, Here
I am." But Eli said, "I did not call you,
Samuel; go and lie down again." Soon after
he had lain down, he heard the same voice
again-" Samuel !" But when he ran to Eli,
lie found that Eli had not called him. So he
went once more to lie down, and Eli said to
him, "If you hear that voice again, it is the
voice of God, and you must say, Speak,
Lord, for I am listening.' "
Presently Samuel heard the voice again. So
le said, Speak, Lord, for I am listening."
Then God spoke to Samuel, and said: I will
punish Eli and his family very severely, so
that all the men of Israel shall take warning.
For Eli's sons have behaved wickedly, and Eli
has not prevented them."
All this took place soon afterwards. Eli's
sons were killed in a battle, in which the
Israelites were shamefully defeated. Eli, sud-
denly hearing the bad news, fell from his seat,
and broke his neck, and died. But as for
Samuel, he grew up to be a good and great
Prophet, and lie taught the men of Israel that
God punishes the wicked, even though they
are great and strong, but helps the good, even
though they are very weak.
If Samuel had not been a very good boy,
he would not have been able to hear that
Voice. God speaks to you every day, not
aloud, but quietly in your heart. If you want
to hear what God says, you must try to be
good; and never forget to say your prayers
before you lie down to sleep.
OW I am going to tell you another
story, about a shepherd-boy who
became a king of Israel. His
name was David. Even when
he was a boy, God taught him
to trust, not in his own strength, but in God.
This made David very brave, for he felt in
himself, "Whatever may happen to me, God
will do what is best. As long as I do what
is right, I need not fear anything."
Once, while he was keeping his flock, a
lion came and snatched up a lamb, and was
carrying it away. But David by himself at-
tacked the lion and killed him, and rescued
the lamb. At another time he killed a bear
in the same way.
Soon afterwards the men of Israel had to
fight a great battle. They were all trembling
with fear; for on the enemy's side there was an
enormous giant, armed with heavy armour,
and so tall and strong that when he stalked
up and down between the two armies, saying,
" Who is there of all you cowardly Israelites
that will come and fight me ?" not a single
man of Israel was bold enough to come for-
ward and say I will fight you." But while
this proud giant was boasting of his strength,
and cursing the true God, it happened that
David came up; for he had been sent by his
father to carry some loaves to his brothers
in the army. Hearing the giant's boasts and
curses, and seeing all the Israelites running
THE GOOD VOICES.
away from the giant, he said to himself: "Is
it right that this giant should curse God, and
that nobody should fight with him ? It can-
not be right. I will fight him. God helped
me against the lion and the bear, and He
will help me to kill the giant."
Some of his friends said to him, If you
are determined to fight the giant, let us lend
you some armour, a helmet and a coat of
mail and a sword." But David said, "No,
I will have no armour, for I am not used to
it; I will have nothing but my shepherd's
crook and my sling, and five smooth round
stones." When they began to fight, the giant
scoffed at David, saying, You are only a
boy and not a man; and do you think you
can beat me like a dog with your shepherd's
stick ? Come here and I will kill you, and
give your flesh to wild beasts." But David
said: You trust in your spear and your
shield and your armour, but I trust in the
true God, who helps good men and hates op-
pressors. I believe God will help me to kill
you, that all men may know that God helps
the good." Then the giant rushed up, and
everyone thought that the shepherd-boy must
be killed; but David, before the giant could
strike, aimed a stone from his sling and struck
him in the forehead, so that he fell fainting to
the ground. Then David ran up and seized
the giant's sword (for David had none of his
own), and cut off the giant's head.
A few years afterwards the king of the
Israelites was killed in battle, and the people
chose David king in his stead.
Thus God by David's story teaches you and
me that IHe helps the good and punishes the
bad. lHe may not do it at once, as lie did to
David, but He does it in the end. By God's
hand the shepherd's sling was made to con-
quer the giant's sword.
OW I am going to tell you a
strange story, how one of God's
servants was saved from a ter-
rible death. His name was
Daniel. His countrymen had
been. carried away prisoners out of their own
country, and had been made to live in a
foreign land where the king and all the
people worshipped false gods.
Although Daniel belonged to a nation
that had been conquered, yet, because of his
wisdom, he was honoured by the king of the
land, and was made a magistrate. But some
wicked men, knowing that Daniel used every
day to say his prayers to the true God, said
to themselves, If we can persuade the king
to punish all that say prayers to God, Daniel
will be punished." So they persuaded the
king to send round an order, that anyone
that said his prayers for thirty days should
be put into a den where they kept a number
of hungry savage lions.
When Daniel heard of this order, he did
not alter his conduct at all, but said his
prayers just as before, as you see in the
picture at the end. So he was accused before
the king; and as he had broken the order,
the king, though unwillingly, felt obliged to
send him to the den of lions.
The den was strewn with bones, and stained
with blood of men that had been devoured
by these lions: but when the lions saw
Daniel, spite of their savageness and hunger,
80 THE GOOD VOICES.
they did not venture to touch him. So the
next morning, when the king went to the
lions' den and called to Daniel, expecting to
receive no answer, he was rejoiced to hear
Daniel's voice, saying to him, God has shut
the mouths of the lions, so that they have
done me no hurt."
Then Daniel was taken out of the lions'
den, and the king and all the people that
heard his story said, The God whom Daniel
worships is a mighty God, and takes care of
His servants. He delivers and rescues, and
works wonders in heaven and earth."
SPOKE to you about a great
Messenger of God, a Prophet,
whose name was Moses, and I
told you that the nation to
which Moses belonged was
called the nation of Israel, and the men were
We have seen that God was very kind to
the Israelites. When they were made slaves,
and ill-treated by another nation more power-
ful than themselves, God set them free, and
THE GOOD VOICES.
brought them safe to a beautiful country of
their own. But, though God was kind to
them, He would not let them do as they liked.
On the contrary, He was strict with them,
and He told Moses to give them laws to
show them what was right.
The Laws of Moses said that men must not
worship false gods, nor hurt one another by
word or deed, for example, by killing or steal-
ing. You will read more about the Ten Laws
some other day. Meanwhile I will tell you
what the last of the Ten Laws said. It said,
"You must not covet;" that means, You
must not want to take away anything that
belongs to anyone else." If your brother or
cousin has a book or toy, and you say to
yourself, "I should like to take away that
toy or book, only I dare not, for I should
be punished," then you are coveting, and
you have broken the Tenth Law of Moses.
When the men of Israel received these Laws,
they said, These are good Laws; we must do
as they tell us." But when they came to try,
they found it was not easy. The Laws said,
"You must not covet; that is, you must not
want to take away your neighbour's farm, or
his cattle:" but sometimes men said, "We
want our neighbour's farm, and we must have
some of his cattle, for we have not enough
of our own." So, you see, they coveted, and
sometimes they did more; they stole.
I will tell you a short story of a man that
coveted. There were once in the land of Israel
two farmers, whose farms were close together.
One was a rich farmer, and had a large farm,
and plenty of cows, and so many sheep and
lambs that it would have taken you an hour
to count them. The other was a poor farmer,
with one small meadow, in which he kept one
little lamb. All the rest of his flock had been
sold, because he was so poor; only this one
lamb remained. The poor man's children were
very fond of it, and they used to pick clover
for it to eat, and hang garlands of flowers
round its neck, and play with it; and it was
so tame that it would follow them like a dog.
It happened one day that the rich man was
going out into his farm to tell the butcher to
THE GOOD VOICES.
kill some of his lambs. As he was walking
past the poor firmer's meadow, he heard the
little lamb bleat, and he turned and looked at
it over the stone wall, and said to himself,
" Why should I kill one of my own lambs,
when I can perhaps get this one ? I will send
my servants to steal the creature away."
Then God sent one of His Prophets, and the
Prophet said to this selfish man: What is the
use of your going to church and saying prayers
to God ? God does not like your church-going
and your prayers, as long as you do what is
wrong. Cease to do evil, learn to do good;
then God will listen to your prayers."
Then this selfish man was filled with sorrow,
and he determined to try to do right. But he
said to himself: "It is easy to go to church
and to say one's prayers, and it is not very
hard to keep my hands from stealing, and
my lips from swearing. But how can I keep
my heart from coveting ? God may change
my heart, but I cannot."
So he knelt down and said to God: The
Laws tell me what is right, but they do not