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DEAR OLD STORIES
TOLD ONCE MORE.
FORTY BIBLE STORIES, WITH FINE ILLUS-
BY "FAITH LATIMER."
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AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY,
50o NASSAU STREET, NEW YORK.
BY AMERICAN FRACT SOCIETY.
THE HOLY CHILD -------------------------------------------------------PAGE 5
TIHE TWO BROTHERS --------------------------------------------------------- 9
GOING INTO 71HE ARK -------------------------------------------------------- 13
IN THE ARKK----- -------------------------------------------- 17
ABRAHAM AND LOY -------------------------- -------------------------------- z2
GOING OUT OF SODOM -------------------------------------------------- 25
ABRAHAM AND ISAAC --------------------------------------------------- 29
ELIEZER AND REBECCA ------------------------------------------------. 33
ISAAC AND REBECCA --------------------------------------------------- 37
JOSEPH SOLD- --------------- --..---------------.. ------------.---------------- 4
JOSEPH MADE AKNO lV ----------------------------------------------------- 45
JOSEPH AND JACOB ----------------..-.. -------------------------.. ....----- 49
MOSES -------------- -------------------------........ .... ......--............. 53
GATHERING .MANNA ---------------- ----------.. ----.. ---.------------- 57
THE BRAZEA SERPEINT ----- --------------------------..--------------------. 6r
RUTH AND NAOMI- ---------.. -------------------.-----------------------------. 6.
RUTH GLEANING -----.. .-------------------- ------------------------------... 69
SAMUEL AND ELI ---------------------------------------------.----.----- 73
SAMSON GRIND/I)-G ---------------- ---------- ---------...-- --.... .......--..... 77
DAVID ANOINTED ------------------------------------------------------------ 8gr
DAVID AT THE BROOK -------------- -------- ------- ---- ------------ 85
ELIJAH AND THE PROP/JETS OF AAL------------------------------- --------- 8
ELIyAH IN THE DESERT------------------------------------------------- 93
ELISHA AND THE CHILDREN-------------------------- ----------------- 97
THE BOY-KING-------------------------------------- ------------------------ 101
T.HIE PROUD KING ------------------------ ---------- --------------.--- -- ---. l-05
WITH THE LIONS--------------------------------------------------------- 109
HAIAAN AND MORDECAI- ---------. -------------------------------.---- 113
MARY AND JOSEPH ..------------.. ----------- ------- ---------------....-..... 117
HEALING THE SICK------------------------------------------------------ 121
CHRIST AND THE CENTURION ---------------------------------------------- 125
TOUCHING CHRIST'S GAR'lMEVTS----------------------------------------- 129
FEELDING FIVE THOUSAND--------------.-- ---------- ------------------------ 133
JESUS AND THE CHILDREN----------------------------------------- -------- 137
BLIND BARTIMEUS----------- ----------------------------------------- 141
7UI)AS ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 145
PETER -------------------- -------------------------. -------------------------- 149
ANANIAS------------------------------ ---------- ----------------------- 153
STEPHEN STONED--------------------------------------------.------------ 157
SAUL ON TIHE WAY TO DAMASCUS---------------------------------- ----- 161
THE HOLY CHILD.
DID you know that some of the best pictures in the
world are of a baby in his mother's arms? The greatest
artists have spent years in trying to paint the form of a
little child and the tender love in his mother's face look-
ing on the treasure in her arms. A lady once talking to
a roomful of children, said: Now, all of you that have
babes in your homes, hold up your hands." Nearly every
hand went up; then she said, "All who think your baby
the sweetest baby in the world, raise your hands." How
quickly the same hands went up again, like a flock of
white-winged doves rising in the air. Now is n't it a
happy thing that in every home the little one is so loved ?
But the babe in this picture is truly the most pre-
cious child that ever lived. The night he came to earth
there were shepherds in the fields watching their sheep
and lambs in the fold; suddenly a light shone on them
and an angel told where they would find this babe; and
then there was music in the air, for hosts of angels were
singing and rejoicing.
The shepherds went to the place where the babe was
lying in a manger where oxen were fed; and the stars
6 WORSHIP OF THE WISE MEN.
shone down on the strange sight, as with earnest eyes the
men gazed on the sleeping face, and gave thanks for such
a gift to the world.
A new and strange star was in the sky. Far off, in
an eastern land were men who had studied the stars
for years, called wise men, because they understood many
strange things. When they saw the star they started on
a long journey, and the star moved before them.
They crossed many a mile of desert and mountain, in
hot sunny days, and star-lit nights and dewy mornings,
before they found what they came to seek. What was it ?
They came to worship the same Child the angels
told of, and that the shepherds found in the manger.
The star guided them to the place, then it rested and
poured its silver rays on the very house where they found
the child and its mother. Perhaps the people joined
them when they saw that they were strangers with their
long pilgrim robes, their worn, dusty sandals, and each
with a traveller's staff in his hand.
They looked at the Child with wonder and love, then
they bowed before him as if he were a King, and opened
the treasures they had brought; they gave him more gold
than his little hands could hold or play with, and spices
and gums which were very costly. That was the way
that visitors came to kings: why did they so worship the
little one? The wise men believed he had come to be a
king to rule the earth; but they did not fully know that
ANGELS ENCAMPED AROUND HIM. 7
he was the King of heaven, who would live here a little
while and then go back to his throne again.
When they first came on their journey they went to
the city of Jerusalem and began to ask, "Where is the
child that is born a king? We have seen his star and
are come to worship him."
Herod, the king in that city, heard of their coming,
and why, and was afraid lest he should lose his throne;
he sent for the chief men to come and tell what they knew
of any expected king.
They said it was written long before, that in Bethle-
ham One should come who would rule. Then the cunning
king sent secretly for the wise men, and told them to go
to Bethlehem and search for the child, and when they
Found him to bring him word that he might go and wor-
A wiser, stronger King was keeping guard; angels
brought messages of safety as well as glad songs. They
whispered in dreams to the wise men, "Go home another
way; take no word to Herod." One said to the father,
" Arise, take the child and his mother to the land of Egypt,
for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him."
When the king got no word from the wise men, he was
angry and sent soldiers to destroy every little boy in
There were cries of sorrow in many homes, but the
One he sought was safe under the palm.trees far away.
8 WHAT WILL YOU GIVE HIM?
The shepherds and the wise men are not the only
ones who have rejoiced over the Babe of Bethlehem.
Ever since then the world has loved the picture of
the Holy Child, and in all countries there is one day of
the year when gifts are brought to children in remem-
brance of the Babe in the manger. There is a sweet
story that on that day the same One comes back and
( looks in the face of every little child sleeping in its cradle,
in every home, whether rich or poor.
But that is not half the truth; the same One, now
so glorious, looks every day not only in the face, but in
the heart of every one on earth; and he is so loving and
true that those who know him have ever since, like the
wise men, brought him their richest offerings.
Every good thing which makes you happy and glad
comes from him, and he loves you more than father or
mother or any other friend, or all others together?
All the gift he asks is that you will love him and
give him your heart. Surely you cannot help it when
you know how great and wise and loving he is, that by
him and for him was everything made, and that he will
give in return for your heart and love, treasures and joys
beyond all that is beautiful and precious on earth, and to
outlast the stars of heaven.
Can you tell the name of the Holy Child?
THE TWO BROTHERS.
How many men are in this picture? What are they
doing? Those two men lived nearly six thousand years
ago, aimc they were brothers. The one who stands with
hands which seem ready to strike a blow, and with such
an angry face, was the first little child ever born in this
world. His father and mother were the first people on
the earth, and once lived in a beautiful garden beyond
those great mountains; but they did not obey God who
made and put them there, and he made them leave the
lovely place, and work hard, and dig and plant to raise
food out of the ground.
After awhile a little child was sent to them, and his
mother held him in her arms and kissed him and sang
him to sleep just as your mother did with you before you
can remember. They called his name Cain, and watching
that first little child they must have been happier than
since they were driven out of the beautiful garden. After
some time another child was given, and they called him
Abel, and they were the first two brothers who ever lived.
Day after day they grew, they walked and talked and
ran and played as little boys do now, growing large and
o TLHE OFFERINGS.
strong until the rosy children were men, and play changed
for work. Cain worked as his father did, for he was a
farmer; but Abel was a shepherd, and took care of sheep
and lambs. Does it not seem as if they might have been
very happy together ?
What are they doing in the picture? How are they
dressed? Do you see they have on coi ts of fur? God
made the first coats that Adam and Eve had, and taught
them to kill the animal to wear its skir ; and the flesh
they were to burn as an offering to Him. He taught them
too, to worship him on one day in seven, for it was God
himself who made and kept the first Sabbath-day.
One Sunday the brothers came with their offerings
to God. Cain brought some of the best things which
grew in his garden, and laid them on the stone altar;
Abel brought the best lamb in his flock, and while it was
burning he knelt and prayed.
Cain's offering lay wilting on the stones while Abel's
was burned with fire, and the smoke rose up towards
heaven. Which one was the Lord pleased with ? Cain's
grew on the sin-stained earth from the labor of Cain's
own hand; Abel's was a lamb to whom God had given
life, and Abel gave it back with penitence and love. Cain
wanted to worship all his own way, and with his own
works; Abel worshipped in God's way, for He had taught
them that there must be blood shed before He could for-
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12 THE FIRST GRIA VE.
The putting on of skins for a robe, and shedding
blood for an offering, was the first picture-lesson God
gave, to teach that after awhile he would send into the
world One whose blood should be shed by his brother
man, and for His sake sin might be forgiven. Do you
know that was the same One who thousands of years
after, was the Holy Child in Bethlehem? Do you see
why God was pleased with Abel's offered lamb?
Do you know why Cain's face was angry as he
looked at his happy brother ? Their faces were only faint
pictures of their hearts. Abel's was full of peace and
love, but Cain's was full of rage.
He hated Abel more and more, and spoke angrily to
him, and one day in the field they had talked together
until he was in such a passion he killed his brother.
Think of the sorrow of his mother and father; they had
seen the dead lambs they offered, but death was not in
their home until their tears fell on Abel's dead face, and
they washed the wounds made by his brother's hand.
Was Cain sorry? God asked, "Where is Abel thy
brother ?" Ah! Cain told a lie, for he said, "I know not."
Then he who could kill and lie, insulted God, for he said,
" Am I my brother's keeper ?" If ever you are angry, and
your hand raised to strike, your lip ready to speak rudely,
think of Cain the murderer.
GOING INTO THE ARK.
How many different animals can you count going in
pairs in such a quiet procession ? No one seems to be
driving them, but all seem to take their places and walk
up that solid looking bridge.
Who are those people standing there? Are they go-
ing in too? What does it mean? What building are
they all entering? It looks like a house on a ship on dry
ground. That is exactly what it was, an immense house
with three stories, a sloping roof, a large door; and under
the lower story of the building, it was like a flat-bottomed
boat. Who made it?
Do you see that old man with a staff in his hand?
That is Noah, the only good man then in the whole
world; all the people were so wicked that God told Noah
he would destroy them all. He told him to make an ark
and showed him exactly how, the kind of wood to use, the
number of stories, how long, how broad, and the right
shape to float on water. He said that he would bring a
flood to drown all people except Noah's family and some
of every kind of animal.
Noah did exactly as he was told; he must have hired
14 THE ANIMALS.
many men to work for him, to hew the great beams, to
fasten them together, to build the strong sides, to lay the
floors and to put on the tight roof over all. Summer and
winter passed many times, and year by year the great ark
was rising up in sight of all the people. What did they
think of it? When God told Noah of the flood, he said
it would come in one hundred and twenty years. Noah
believed and obeyed God, he preached to the people but
not one of them would hear and believe. The very men
who worked on the ark laughed at it and while they drove
the nails and made a safe refuge from the storm they
made fun of the man who paid them to do the work. The
sky was blue and the sunshine bright every day, and they
thought, the ark will never be of any use." Finally the
last nail was driven, the years gone by, the house all ready.
There was food enough stored away in the ark for all that
were to be kept alive.
Then God said to Noah, Come thou, and all thy
house, into the ark." Not one child of Noah's was to be
left out. How many were to go into the ark? Noah and
his wife had three sons, and each son had a wife. How
many does that make? In those days people lived to a
very great age and we could not call the sons young men,
for each of them had lived a hundred years and Noah
himself was six hundred years old, when they all stood
ready to go into the ark.
The animals were all ready too; you do not wonder
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16 THE DOOR WAS SHUT.
perhaps, that the patient willing lambs should stand and
go just in the right place, but would you think those crea-
tures with the great horns and long sharp tusks would be
very gentle and orderly? Who made all those animals?
He told Noah all about the ark, and of the animals he
said, they shall come to thee." Could not the One who
made them make them want to take every step as he
planned it? If he knows when a sparrow falls to the
ground did not he know how every great hoof and every
little nimble foot would step over the planks of Noah's
bridge ? and how they would go into the very staii. -Z
and made ready for each one? So when the time came,
" they went in," two and two just as you see in the picture.
The birds too came swiftly through the air, and went in
just as the hand which made them guided each fluttering
Do you suppose the people stood and gazed at Noah
and his family and the strange company going into the
ark ? They were all busy with their own plans of business
or pleasure spending their days as if they were to live for
ever, and no doubt they looked at the clear sky and the
green grass and the strong mountains and made fun of
the old man who had preached to them in vain.
Noah did not care for that; he had done exactly as
God had told him and with perfect trust he looked around
at all in the ark and was safe, for "the Lord shut him in."
IN THE ARK.
IN a beautiful cemetery on a white marble stone is
the name of the little boy buried there, and beneath that,
one sweet word tells what the father and mother feel and
know about their darling son. That same word, SAFE
might have been written on the door of the ark. Noah
and all within were safe, because the Lord shut him in."
Even the men who made that door could not open
it, no fury nor fear could break into the place closed and
guarded by God's own hand. Those who laughed and
mocked must have looked with longing eyes at that safe
refuge when the storm began, for the sky became black
with heavy clouds, and poured down its rain. Every
stream overflowed, and foaming waves came dashing over
all the land.
The cries of terror were not so loud as the roar of
rushing waters, while the people tried in vain to find some
escape. Day and night, day and night it rained, and the
waters roared and swelled, and yet it rained. In the ark,
all was peace and safety; outside, there was one great sea
of waters, for the green hills were covered. Still it rained,
18 HOW THE DA IS WERE SPENT
and the high mountains were covered, and every living
thing outside the ark was drowned.
After forty days and nights the rain ceased, but it
was one hundred and fifty days before the waters began
to be less and less. Then the ark, which had floated on
the sea, gently settled between two high points of a
mountain, and rested safe and firm until all the water had
dried from the earth.
What were they doing all those months in the ark?
The dear old Book which gives us all these pictures,
paints them so plainly that we can see how real all the
people were, and know just what they did. Let us look
into the ark and think what the eight people did, and how
long they stayed there. Don't you think they found a
great deal to do ? Who kept their great house clean and
in order? How many animals did they have to feed?
There is a little girl who has some canary-birds and
gold fishes, some pigeons and chickens, and how busy she
is every morning caring for her pets. But think of all
those animals in one house. There was the grain to
measure and give out, fresh water to bring for those great
thirsty beasts, the right kind of food to give to each living
thing. Do n't you think the sons' wives had some pleas-
ant work, and each loved some one of the animals better
than the rest? Did the pet lambs know the voice that
called them to come for a drink? Did the chickens and
birds come hopping to the hands that fed them every day?
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20 THE DO VE.
The ark was a safe, happy, busy home, and they lived
in it exactly a year.
Did they know when Sunday came? Yes, indeed,
they had the church in the house, for Noah did not forget
the God whose love preserved them all alive.
When the waters began to be less, Noah opened the
window and sent out a raven. It flew back and forth,
waiting for the waters to dry up, and looking to find some
dead bird, or bit of food.
After seven days he sent out a dove, one of the
gentle birds they all loved; she found no place to rest as
she flew over the lonely waters, and she came fluttering and
panting back to the open window, and Noah's kind hand
reached out and pulled her in. In seven days more, the
next Sunday, he sent the dove out again. She spread
her wings and flew far away; when evening came she
flew back to the open window again, bringing in her
mouth a shining, dark green leaf, fresh from an olive-tree.
Then Noah knew the waters were gone, and fields and
trees were green again. He waited until another Sunday
then sent the dove again. Evening came and they
watched and waited for her in vain; she had found a
place to build her nest, and they knew that in some valley
she waited for her mate.
Soon after this God told Noah to bring his family
and every living thing with him, and go forth out of the
ABRAHAM AND LOT.
How earnestly those two men are talking to each
other. How they look right into each other's eyes. What
are they saying? They surely are not angry. No, that
is exactly what the old man says : Do not let us be an-
gry, for we are brethren." What do you suppose they
were talking about?
The taller one was named Abraham and he was un-
cle to the younger one, named Lot. They had lived and
travelled together for years, and both of them were rich
in gold and silver, cattle and servants, men and women.
When they travelled they took them all with them. They
went in a company called a caravan, with their clothes
and goods packed in great bundles on the backs of camels,
the wives and children riding on asses with servants to
lead them, the flocks of sheep and goats and herds of
cattle driven along by the herdsmen who attended to them,
and besides these, great folded tents ready to set up
wherever they wanted to stop. So they had lived for
some years: for when Abraham was seventy-five years
old he left his home because God told him to go out to
another country. All this time Abraham and Lot had
22 LOT TOOK HIS CHOICE.
been growing richer. It took so many tents for them all,
they were crowded too closely, their flocks were so large
there was not pasture-room, nor wells to give water to all
The herdsmen quarrelled about it, and the other peo-
ple who lived in that country knew how the servants dis-
puted at the wells and in the fields. That was why
Abraham said: Let there be no strife between us." He
knew a better way than to quarrel. See how he held out
his hand as he said, Let us separate. If you want to go
to the left, I will take the right; if you choose the right,
I will go to the left."
Did Lot say, "' 0 uncle, you are too kind, vou are old-
er and must have your choice "
No, indeed; Lot looked to the east and saw a beauti-
ful and fertile plain, with its green fields well watered like
a smiling garden. There was a city near by where the
people were very wicked, but Lot thought more how his
cattle would fatten than of the company for his family.
Lot took his choice. He was pleased with the plain and
took it all, and pitched his tent toward Sodom, the wicked
city. Abraham let God choose for him, for He came and
told him where to live.
God so often talked with Abraham that he is called
the friend of God. Where God chose he went and pitched
his tent; and built an altar to God-as he always did
wherever he lived even for a little while.
- - -
24 ABRAHAMI RESCUES LOT.
There was no altar in Sodom and Lot got into trouble.
On the very plain which Lot chose there was a great
battle, for five chiefs came with all their soldiers, and
fought with the people that lived there. They took all
the fine cattle and money, and whatever else they could
carry away, and took Lot himself and many of his peo-
ple prisoners. One of them escaped and told Abraham.
How quickly he was ready to help Lot. He armed his
own servants, three hundred and eighteen men, and at
night marched suddenly to the camp, slew many of the
invaders, rescued Lot and his people and brought them
and the goods safely home.
The king of Sodom wanted Abraham to keep all the
goods himself. No!" he said, I will not take anything."
Abraham is spoken of in the Bible a hundred times;
nine times, we know, God talked with him either in a vis-
ion or by angel messengers. One night he sat before his
tent, enjoying the cool evening air, and while his flocks
and servants slept, God talked with him. He told him
to look at the stars and see if he could count them. Then
he said so countless should be his children's children.
Abraham and his wife were old people then without a
child; but he believed God, and God showed him that
from his family should come One to save the world.
We are sure of this, for Jesus says, "Abraham rejoiced to
see my day, and he saw it and was glad."
GOING OUT OF SODOM.
THREE sad, lonely people going under the arch of a
wall, a city gateway; behind them is one standing; still
further, lightning and smoke and storm seem to fill the
air. It is the man who "took his choice," and chose the
rich plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
He is going away now. Did he choose to go? Lot
had lived in Sodom sometime, and one evening as he sat
in the gate where the rulers often sat, two angels came,
and he took them to his house, for he did not live in a
tent then. He washed their feet and made a feast for
them. They did not come to rest and sleep under his
roof, they came with a strange message: to tell Lot to
get away from that wicked place, for God was going to
destroy it. Save all your children, bring all your family
out of the city," said the angels.
Lot went out in the night to see his daughters, for
they had married and lived in Sodom. But they would
not believe him, and to their husbands he seemed "as one
that mocked." When it was nearly morning, the angels
hurried Lot: "Arise, take your wife and these two daugh-
26 REMEJIBER LOT'S WIFE.
Lot lingered; how he hated to go and leave so
much! But the angels took hold of him, of his wife, of
his daughters, and brought them to the outside of the
city. Escafe for your life !" one of them said; look not
behind you, flee to the mountain, stay not in the plain !"
How merciful God was! Even then Lot begged: I can-
not go to the mountain, I shall die there; here is a little city,
save that, and let me stop there." How kind it was to
save that little city; but God did it. "Haste, escape thee,"
the angel said. Lot and his company walked on towards
the little city. How his wife hated to leave that beautiful
home! her unwilling feet were on the road out of Sodom,
but her heart was there. She had heard the angel's
words, but she turned, she looked back, she stayed, God's
finger touched her, she was stiff and dead!
Just as the sun arose, the three travellers entered
the gateway of the little city--a poor man, staff in hand,
and two motherless girls, with nothing left but the few
things each could carry in a little bundle; and they had
to make their home for a while in a cave. Lot's house,
his fields, gold, silver, servants, cattle, oxen, camels, sheep,
were all buried under a smoking sea; for as soon as
Lot escaped, God rained down brimstone and fire upon
Sodom and the cities around and upon all the plain.
Between him and them was his wife, a pillar of salt,
standing like a rock, on the way from destruction, led
out, but not saved. \We do not know what was her
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28 ABRAHAM'S PRAYER.
name, nor her age, nor where she was born; but we
know this is her story, and that once when Jesus was on
earth he said, Remember Lots wife!" What He bids
us remember we ought never to forget.
Abraham knew of Lot's trouble. He was afar off,
but not so far but that when he looked toward the plain
he saw that the smoke of the country went up like the
smoke of a furnace. He knew what the sight meant. It
was for Abraham's sake that Lot was spared. God told
him he would destroy those cities; Abraham, thinking of
Lot, begged him to spare them. Abraham said, If there
are fifty righteous in Sodom, will you not spare it for fifty ?"
Yes, God said that he would spare it if he found fifty.
Then Abraham asked, Will you spare it even if it lack
five of being fifty ?" So Abraham prayed for forty, for
thirty, for twenty, and at last God promised that if there
were ten righteous he would spare Sodom. Could ten be
found ? Even Lot's wife was not righteous, nor his mar-
ried daughters; not even so many as floated in the ark
could be found who worshipped God. Lot had lived for
years in Sodom; we read that he was vexed with the wicked,
but we do not read that like Abraham he built an altar.
We do not know that he ever tried to teach the
people of Sodom to know and serve his God.
There were not ten righteous there; if they could
have been found, we should never have had the picture of
of these sad, stricken ones, and Sodom in flames.
ABRAHAM AND ISAAC.
FATHER and son are walking along together: the
father is Abraham, called the friend of God," because the
Lord so often talked with him.
When he was one hundred years old, God sent him
a son, and he named him Isaac.
When Isaac was almost a man grown, God said to
Abraham, "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom
thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah."
The next morning Abraham rose very early, put his
heavy sandals on his feet, saddled his ass to carry some
food for them, took two of his servants and a great bundle
of wood, and started for the mountain. The third morn-
ing of the journey they could see the place. Abraham
said to the servants, Stay here with the ass, and we will
go and worship, and come again to you."
That was what Abraham went to the mountain for,
to worship, and he was doing exactly as God told him to
do. He took the bundle of wood and laid it on Isaac's
shoulder; in that vessel in Abraham's hand was all he
needed to make a fire, and a knife was in his belt. That
was the way to worship God then; to build an altar and
30 WHERE IS THE LAMIB.'
kill a lamb or a goat and lay it on the wood, and then
burn it all together before God.
Isaac had been wondering what they were going for.
See how he looks in his father's face. Father," he says,
" here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for
a burnt offering ?" Do you see Abraham's finger pointing
to heaven as he answers, My son, God will provide him-
self a lamb."
They went on to the place; Abraham took the wood
and put it in order in a square pile; then he took hold of
Isaac's hands and tied them together; he lifted him up
and laid /iim upon the altar. Then Isaac knew what it
meant. God had told Abraham to offer up his son; he,
that dearly loved son, was to be the burnt offering!
It must have been with an aching heart that Abra-
ham had taken every step of that journey, but he believed
God knew best, and that He could even raise Isaac to life
again if He chose.
Abraham, Abraham! lay not thy hand upon thy
son; now I know that thou fearest God." How well
Abraham knew the voice that had so often spoken to him
before. The sharp knife only cut the bands that bound
the boy, he sprang from the altar and stood by his father's
side. They heard a rustling in the low bushes, and lo! a
a ram was caught there by his horns. Abraham took the
ram and offered it up instead of his son. Was not that
happy worship for both father and child ?
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32 THE LORD WILL PROVIDE.
They named the place after the very words Abraham
used when Isaac asked him that question. It is a hard
name, but your little rosy lips can say it if you try, and
your young heart must try to keep the meaning. How
hard it was for Isaac to be bound, how hard for Abraham
to do it, but they both believed God, and knew how to
obey. They named the place .e-hio-vak/z i-reh," and it
means, The Lord will provide." It was a picture of
what God himself did, providing a sacrifice.
To that very place, long 'ifter, another only and be-
loved Son was led; on his shoulder were two great beams
of wood, and a crowd hooted and mocked him as they
went. On that spot they did not build the same altar as
Abraham's; the larger piece of wood was driven in the
ground, the other crossed it, and on them the Son was
nailed and there he died.
It was the Holy Child, the Father's well-beloved Son,
who had spent his life going about doing good, had shown
the whole world how to live, and then on the cross he
died. He was the offering for sin once and for ever:
there is now no need of altars or of burnt offerings, for
every one who will believe and obey, may know that for
forgiveness and every mercy we need and go to Him for,
tlie Lord will provide.
ELIEZER AND REBECCA.
DID you ever hear a fairy story about a young girl
who went to the well, and a wrinkled old woman asked her
for a drink? She kindly drew water for her; and the old
woman, who was a fairy in disguise, told her to go home
and she should be paid. She began to talk, and gold and
jewels fell from her lips.
Now that is only a made-up story to teach that kind
deeds and pleasant words are like shining jewels. This
picture is better than a fairy story, for it is every bit true,
and the beautiful woman you see at the well really re-
ceived some jewels and a great deal more, which made
her whole life happy.
That old man was a servant of Abraham, named
Eliezer, and he was trusted with the care of all Abraham's
riches. Abraham was very old, Isaac had grown to be a
man, Sarah, his old mother, had died, and in the home
they were sad and lonely. Abraham wanted Isaac to
have a young, good wife to cheer them up; but he could
not think of his marrying any of those heathen women
34 AT l7 E WELL.
One night he called his servant and said, I want you
to go to my country and my people, and bring a wife
for Isaac. God will send his angel before you." So
Eliezer took ten camels from the herd, and servants to
wait on him and them, and travelled to the place where
Abraham's brother and relatives lived.
They got there safely, and stopped; the tired camels
kneeled down to rest outside the city by a well, just at
evening-time, the hour when all the young women came
with jars or pitchers on their shoulders or on their heads,
to draw water. Eliezer sat down by the well; he bowed
his head and prayed God to send the right one to the well
and that when he said to one, Give me a drink," that she
might give to him and to the camels too, and that she
might be the very one chosen to be Isaac's wife.
He looked up, and a beautiful young woman had
just filled her pitcher. Let me drink," he said; she held
her pitcher and gave him what he asked. Let me draw
for your camels, too," she said; and the man watched and
wondered while she filled her pitcher again and again,
pouring the water into the trough where the camels could
bend their long necks and stoop and drink.
Eliezer took out a heavy gold ornament for her head,
and a pair of gold bracelets for the hands that were so
useful, and asked, Whose daughter are you ? Is there
room in your father's house for us to sleep?" She told
her father's name, and then he knew she was the grand-
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36 INA HiER IHOAJE.
daughter of Abraham's brother. He bowed his head and
gave thanks, and Rebecca ran and told those at home.
Her brother saw the jewels, and heard what she said, and
he went to Eliezer. Come in, thou blessed of the Lord,'
he said. Was not that a real welcome?
They ungirded the camels and fed them, and bathed
the tired feet of all the travellers and had supper for them
all. But Eliezer would not eat until he told his errand.
Then father and mother and brother, the whole family
listened while he told them how Abraham had sent him,
and what for, how he prayed at the well, and Rebecca
came, how quickly she served him, and how he gave
thanks. Her father and brother answered for her that
the Lord seemed to have chosen her for Isaac: "Take her
and let her be thy master's son's wife."
Eliezer was so glad he bowed down to the earth;
then he went to the packs they had brought, and took out
beautiful jewels of silver and of gold, and some rich gar-
ments, and gave them to Rebecca; then he gave some
precious things to her mother and her brother. They
had a joyous feast, and then they rested and slept.
The next morning Eliezer said, Send me away to my
master." The home folks began to think, How can we
give up Rebecca ?" They said, Let her stay a few months,
then she may go and be Isaac's wife." But Eliezer said,
" Hinder me not." So they said, Call Rebecca and ask
her." Do you suppose she was ready and willing to go ?
ISAAC AND REBECCA.
REBECCA'S mother and brother said, Wilt thou go
with this man ?" She answered, I will go." They sent
with her a woman named Deborah, who had always
waited on her and used to be her nurse when she was a
child, and also some other maid-servants, and they quickly
made all things ready for the journey.
With kisses and blessings and parting prayers, per-
haps with tears, they bade Rebecca good-by, for the
daughter and sister was leaving her old home, and her
father's care, and her mother's watchful eye to go to a
new, strange home. She was going to be the wife of a
man she had never seen; but he was a servant of God,
and it seemed as if God had called her to go, and she was
willing. They all stood ready before the tent; the camels
knelt, Rebecca was lifted to the cushioned seat where
she was to ride, Deborah and Eliezer were near to Re-
becca, and so they all started on their way.
It was a long journey over hills and plains, and
through some groves of great oak-trees. The sun had
set on the last day, and shadows of evening gathered,
when Eliezer told Rebecca they were almost there, and
38 THE BRIDE.
pointed out the place. As they came nearer, they saw
a man walking alone towards them, and Eliezer said, It
is my master." Isaac had gone out in the fields alone in
the evening to pray and to think. Do n't you suppose he
often asked the Lord to send him the wife that Eliezer
had gone to seek? It may be he asked that she might
be kind-hearted and sweet-tempered, and might love him
dearly, but above all that she should be really good, and
love and serve the God of his father.
Perhaps he heard voices far off, or the tramp of many
heavy feet, or the tinkling of bells which the drivers used
to hang about the camels' necks. He looked; the com-
pany came nearer. Rebecca got down from her high seat
and put on a veil, and with her maids lingered modestly
behind. Eliezer quickly told his young master all, her
name, her father's name, and all the story of his journey.
Isaac came to her where she stood with downcast
eyes and blushing cheeks, as Eliezer presented her to her
bridegroom. Isaac took her hand cordially in both his
own, and led her into his mother's tent. She became his
wife, and he loved her.
Happy Rebecca! her beautiful face and handsome
form were not all that Isaac found to love. An affection-
ate daughter, a loving sister, a willing friend, one so ready
to serve a tired stranger as she was at the well-side, one
so ready to go because God seemed to call, was worthy to
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40 -A PEA CEFUL HO1ME.
Isaac lived by a well too: his flocks of sheep were
on the hills close by, the white lambs gambolled on the
grass before his door, the cattle feeding on the hillsides
were his own, servants stood ready to do as Rebecca bade
them, the tents of his own people, ready to serve or to
defend, were all around them.
Isaac and Rebecca had a peaceful happy home, and
the tent where there had been grief and sorrow after the
mother's death, where Abraham and Isaac had wept and
been so lonely, began to be cheerful with the sound of
glad voices and words of thankfulness.
Isaac lived a quiet shepherd life, he shared in no
great battles, and no cruel wars; he planted his fields, and
"Lhe grain came up a hundred fold; because the Lord
blessed him, he kept gr,'\\iu g richer until he had great
flocks and herds, and more and more servants and pos-
The good wife too, was busy in the home; she could
spin and weave, and knew how to use the flax and wool
from the flocks, and the goats'-hair; her home was bright-
ly furnished, garments were made, and her household were
clothed in linen and in scarlet because she worked willing-
ly with her hands.
HAVE you a brother? Does he love you and always
treat you kindly ? The good old Book where we get all
these pictures says a great deal about brotherly love. But
it shows what some brothers did whose hearts were full
of hate instead of love.
Do you see the boy in the picture, that those men
seem to be looking at so sharply? His name was Joseph;
and he had eleven brothers. The youngest, a little one,
stayed at home and probably loved Joseph, but the other
ten all hated him. What could have been the reason?
He was his father's beloved son, and they knew it, and
could not speak peaceably to him; once Jacob their father
made for Joseph a beautiful coat, of brighter colors, and
handsomer than they had ever worn; and it made them
Joseph had some strange dreams, and he told them.
His brothers did not have much friendly talk with him;
and once when he wanted to tell them something, he said,
" Hear, I pray you. I dreamed that we were binding
sheaves in a field, and lo! my sheaf arose and stood
4z .LV 77/E PIT.
upright; and behold, your sheaves stood round about, and
bowed to my sheaf."
How angry they were! Shalt thou reign over us ?"
they said, and hated him more than before.
He dreamed again, and told his brothers and his
father too: Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; the
sun and the moon and the eleven stars bowed to me."
His father said, Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren
indeed come to bow down to thee ?" But Joseph's words
were remembered by him, like those of another beloved
Son whose mother kept his sayings in her heart.
Old Jacob the father had such great flocks of sheep
that there was not enough pasture-land close by, and he
sent part of them to feed in the fields of Shechem, many
miles away, and his sons to lead and watch them. After
they had been gone some time, he said to Joseph, "Go
and see if it be well with thy brethren, and bring me word
again." Joseph took the long journey alone, and when
he got to Shechem he found they had gone to Dothan,
and he followed them there. While he was still far off
they saw the gay coat, bright in the sunshine, and said
one to another, Look, this dreamer cometh." At first
they said, "Let us kill him and cast him in some pit,
and say some evil beast has eaten him; then we will
see what will become of his dreams." The eldest brother
Reuben said, Let us not kill him, but cast him into this
pit." Reuben wanted to save the boy after all.
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When Joseph came to them, they stripped off his
coat, and with rough hands cast him into a pit. Then
they sat down to eat their dinner. While eating, they
saw coming down the road close by a long train of
merchants carrying goods down to the land of Egypt.
They had bundles filled with spices and perfumes and
other treasures, and they sat on these packs on the
camels' backs: they traded in anything which they could
sell for more money.
One of the brothers said, "Come, let us sell our
brother." They all agreed, and very soon they drew him
from the pit and showed him to the traders. Their sharp
eyes saw Joseph's rosy face, his plump arms, his strong
round limbs almost a man's in size: they whispered and
winked, they knew he would bring a good price in a slave-
market, and they quickly made a bargain and counted out
For twenty pieces of silver Joseph was sold. What
did they do with the coat? They killed a kid and dipped
the coat in the blood. When they went home they took
it to their father, saying, This have we found." With
two pieces of money in each girdle, the price of innocent
blood, they saw Jacob's grief and tears.
We cannot tell a word of the slave-boy, footsore and
homesick, going three hundred miles-well fed, to be kept
stout and ruddy; the most precious thing in all the cara-
van, the beloved son; the heaviest burden, his heavy heart.
JOSEPH MADE KNOWN.
THE beloved son and the hating brothers parted by
the pit in Dothan. The next time they met it was in
a palace in Egypt! Joseph had seen many changes in
that time, but "the Lord was with him."
He remembered what his father had taught him, not
Bible verses, for the man who wrote the beginning of the
Bible was not then born; but Jacob had surely told him
of the very words of God to him when he slept with a
stone for his pillow, and of God's promises to Abraham.
Joseph had been in prison, but even there he was highly
favored, because he was true and faithful. God helped
him to tell the meaning of two dreams that two pris-
oners had; and years after, the king dreamed dreams his
wise men could not explain.
He heard of Joseph, and sent for him. Joseph cast
off his prison clothes, and hurried to the king. Pharaoh
the king told the dreams, and God showed Joseph the
meaning. It was that there should be seven good years
of plenty in Egypt-great harvests and full crops of
grain; then, seven years of famine. Joseph told Pharaoh
he should choose a wise man to set over the whole land,
and have everybody bring to him of their plenty, and lay
up treasures of food for years of want. Joseph was the
man chosen to set over all the land. He gathered up
corn until all the great storehouses were filled.
The famine came, all over the land. There was want
and hunger in Jacob's house too, and he said to his sons,
" There is bread in Egypt; go down and buy, that we
may live and not die." In Egypt!" they looked in each
other's faces; what did they remember?
All but the youngest went to buy. The ten brothers
came before the ruler of the land, and they all bowed
their faces down to the ground before him. He spoke
roughly, and asked many questions; then he had one of
them put in prison, while he sent the others home with
some corn, and to bring the youngest brother from home.
They said to each other, "We are guilty concerning our
brother, when he cried and we would not hear." They
did not know the ruler understood the Hebrew language,
though he seemed to be an Egyptian, and that he turned
away to hide his tears.
Then he ordered their sacks to be filled with grain,
and their asses saddled and loaded, and they started for
home. Every man found his bundle of money given
back in his sack of corn; and Jacob when he heard it
was sad and afraid, but he could not be willing for Benja-
min his youngest to go. The famine grew worse, the
grain was all eaten, there were wives, children, and cattle,
rl-- -- 5!i
48 1 AM JOSEPH /"
all hungry again. "Go," said Jacob, "take the best fruits
of the land and carry the man a present, a little honey
and some spices and nuts, and take double money in your
hand, and carry back the money found in your sacks."
Jacob gave his blessing and his prayer, and they took
Benjamin and started.
In Egypt they were asked to eat bread at the ruler's
table; water was brought to wash their tired feet, and
their asses were fed and put away. They gave the presents
to the ruler, and bowed themselves before him. Is your
father well? Is he yet alive?" Then he embraced Ben-
jamin, and his heart was so full he went away to weep.
He bathed his face, and came back to give them a feast.
When they left, he commanded the money to be put in
the grain-bags, and his own silver cup in Benjamin's.
What fear, what sorrow when it was discovered, and they
were all brought before him again!
They told their trouble once more-their father's
sorrow, one child long ago torn in pieces, and now trouble
to Benjamin. The ruler sent the servants away; he
wept aloud; he said, I am Joseph! doth my father yet
live?" How they trembled! Joseph stretched out his
hands and they saw the ring, a sign of power, gold chains
on his neck, jewels on his head, and royal robes. But they
were not angry hands that Joseph stretched out. Come
near, I pray you," he said, just as when he told them his
JOSEPH AND JACOB.
IT was twenty-two years from the time Jacob sent
Joseph the hated boy to look after his brethren, until they
all stood before Joseph the governor in the palace. Was
Joseph angry then ? No, he said to them, Be not angry
with yourselves, for God did send me before you to pre-
serve life. There are yet five years of famine; haste and
go up to my father and say unto him, Thus saith thy son
Joseph: God hath made me lord of all Egypt; come down
unto me, tarry not." Joseph kissed each one of his broth-
ers, but most of all Benjamin, and they all talked and
cried so loud, it was soon told the king that all those
strange-looking men who had been coming there from
Canaan were Joseph's brothers. The king told Joseph
to have his father and all his people come there to live,
and that he should send them food and wagons to bring
them to the best part of his land.
Had Joseph forgotten the coat of many colors? He
gave each of his brothers a suit of clothes, but to Benja-
min five suits. He sent his father ten asses loaded with
the good things of Egypt, and ten more with food for
him on his journey; and wagons enough to bring all
50 THE .0OURNEY
their families. The brothers went home and told Jacob
their father, Joseph is yet alive, and is governor over all
the land of Egypt."
He could not believe it, it seemed too strange to be
true; but when he saw the great wagons, and the train
of asses loaded with presents from his son, his heart
revived, and he said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet
alive. I will go and see him before I die."
What busy days they had then The king had sent
word, Regard not your stuff, for the good of all the land
of Egypt is yours." But there were some treasures in
the old stores in the tents; perhaps some of the home-
weaving done by Rachel's hands, some old staff, or a ring,
a worn bracelet handed down, or a wedding garment. All
must be packed, tents folded, cattle gathered; and mean-
time the children were busy too, looking once more where
they had played by the well, under a shady tree, or a cool
rock. They were soon all ready; wives, children, cattle;
grandfather and the women and little ones in the wagons,
the men with the cattle and asses and loads of goods and
provisions to last for the journey.
They stopped to rest at a place which Jacob loved
under the great shadow of a tree that his grandfather
Abraham planted, where he had prayed and worshipped.
There God had talked with Isaac his father, and said, I
am with thee." There in the night, while all the rest
were sleeping, God called, Jacob Jacob!" He answered,
N .---.- --___ '
1, ,;r Of 4.I
52 FEAR NOT, I AM WITH THEE."
and God said, I am the God of thy father; fear not to
go down into Egypt. I will go down with thee."
Thankful old man his years of sorrow seemed few,
and even the desert was to him a happy place, for as they
crossed it God was with him, taking him to the son
he had thought was dead, and carrying with him all he
loved on earth. It was a long train, sons and their
wives, and the children: sixty-six souls in all went down
One son hurried on before to tell Joseph they were
coming. Joseph ordered out his elegant chariot and went
to meet his father. When he was near he got out of his
chariot and his father out of his wagon, and they clasped
their arms around each other's necks and wept together
tears of joy. See how the bent old man looks up in the
face of his son, Joseph brave and strong, blessed, because
he had been faithful and true in every place from the
prison to the throne. The brothers and their wives looked
on and heard Jacob's trembling voice saying, Now let
me die, since I have seen thy face." But God gave him
seventeen happy years in Egypt with all his loved ones,
for with Joseph's wife and two sons there were seventy
in all Jacob's family. Ask your mother to tell you how
they lived, and 'some of the words Jacob said before he
died, and how with a great funeral they carried his body
back to Canaan and in the cave Abraham bought buried
him with Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca.
THAT handsome lady, with jewels on her head and
around her neck and arms, is the daughter of a king.
She came with her maid-servants to walk on the bank of
a beautiful river and take a bath; they saw a strange-
looking basket on the shore among the tall green flags
growing in the edge of the water, and she sent her maid
to bring it to her. That is the basket one of the maids
is holding. In it was a little babe; and when the king's
daughter looked into the babe's face, there were tears on
its cheeks, and it was crying.
How came a baby there ? The king's daughter knew,
for she said: This is one of the Hebrews' children."
The king of Egypt at that time did not like the Hebrew
people, and he was afraid they would get to be greater
and stronger than his own people. So he made a law
that all the little boy babies should be cast into the river.
This baby was so plump and fair his mother could not
bear to give him up. She kept him hid somewhere for
three months; but he grew so large and cried with such
a strong voice she could no longer hide him. To the
river he must go; but she could not cast him in for the
54 A M10 OTHER'S P RA J YES.
great crocodiles to eat, nor to be drowned. She made a
basket called an ark, weaving the tall flags or willows
in and out in the shape of a cradle; then she plastered
it all over with pitch to keep the water out.
Then she put the child in his ark; he was surely
all wrapped and folded around with her prayers that God
would watch and keep the little sleeper in his strange bed,
and still praying and trusting she left him and went to
her lonely home. His sister stood not far off on the hill
above the river bank to see what would become of the
child. She saw the handsome lady come, saw the maid
get the basket, she heard her baby brother's voice as he
cried, and she ran down and heard the princess as she said,
"This is one of the Hebrews' children."
"Shall I go," she said, "and call to thee a nurse of
the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for
thee?" "Go." She did not need to be told more; she
ran and called her own mother. Quickly a woman stood
before the princess "Take this child away and nurse it
for me, and I will give thee thy wages." Was ever baby
held tighter to a mother's breast than that little one?
The princess did not know it was the baby's mother, but
the king's daughter could find a way to keep the Hebrew
nurse and baby safe from being destroyed. Fondled in
his own mother's arms, who was hired to nurse him and
paid with the king's money, the babe grew strong and
oz VX- ~ 2
56 ", THE LORD, WILL HOLD THY HAND."
The princess called him her son and named him
Moses, for she said, Because I drew him out of the wa-
ter :" and that is the very meaning of his name.
God answered his mother's prayers: He sent the
princess to find him before the dark night or any hungry
beast came; He made her see that it was best to hire a
Hebrew nurse for the baby; He planned it all that the
sister should watch and the mother be called, and that
Moses should grow up and be taught in the palace. Is
there anything prettier than a baby's hand, soft and dim-
pled, helpless and innocent? Just such a little hand was
lifted up as the princess looked at the stranger baby.
God watched and kept that little hand; it learned to write,
and the first five books of the Bible are the work of that
same hand. It held a shepherd's crook and led great flocks
for forty years, after Moses had lived in the king's palace
forty years. Then the same hand carried a rod which
God gave him and did with it great wonders and signs.
The rod was lifted over the sea and it became dry land
to let the people walk over with Moses as their leader;
it struck a rock and water gushed out for thirsty thou-
sands to drink; in battle the hand lifted up the rod, and
Moses' army conquered. That same hand received from
God two tablets of stone on which God himself wrote
the laws which we all should learn and obey.
NEARLY every person in that picture seems to be
picking up something. What is it? That is exactly
what the people said who first saw those round, white
crumbs lying on the ground.
There were thousands of hungry people in a wild
country; it was in some places very rocky, and barren,
sandy ground where they walked, no fresh juicy fruits
growing by the way, no fields where they could gather
corn. They were travelling to another land, and did not
stay long enough in one place to raise a crop of wheat.
Moses was their leader, and God had said to him,
"I will rain bread from heaven for you." The hungry
people did not understand it, but in the morning they
looked out and the earth was covered with something
white, like frost upon the ground. What is it?" they
said; and Moses answered as God had told him, This
is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat."
How busy they were picking it up, even the little
children looking and wondering that bread should come
down like rain. Moses told them they should have a
58 FED, FORTY YEARS.
measure for each person, and for those in the tents who
could not come to get it, some one else must gather.
There were many thousands to be fed; was there
enough for all? There was every day exactly enough.
Could any but God have worked such a miracle ? Could
they leave any over and save it for the next day ? Moses
told them not to do so, but they tried and it was spoiled,
and worms were in it. If any was left on the ground not
picked it, when the sun shone out, it melted away and
was gone. On the day before Sunday they were told to
gather twice as much, and put away half for Sunday.
That day it did not spoil, for God kept it for them, and
on Sunday there was none to gather. The next morning
after Sunday it lay on the ground all the same, and the
next and the next; wherever they were, every morning
except Sundays, for forty years, they had this food, until
they went into the land God promised to take them
into, where they had fields and vineyards and plenty of
The name of this bread from heaven was manna,
and the word means, "What is this ?" It had a sweet taste,
like cakes made with honey in them. They did not eat it
just as it came down; they sometimes pounded it in a
mortar to make it fine like flour, or ground it in a mill,
which was two stones, with the manna put between them;
and turning the upper one round and round on the other
the manna was crushed. Then they baked it in pans,
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St . .
;y' > 41
6o "I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE!"
and made cakes, which tasted sweet and rich like a kind
of food they were fond of, made with fresh olive-oil.
Was not God very kind to feed the people out of his
own hand, to see that each hungry child got exactly its
own share? Do you think the people must have been
very thankful every day, and felt like singing songs of
gladness as they gathered fresh manna every morning?
Has he ever done anything so good for you ? You were
never in a desert and very hungry; but has he not given
you enough every day of your life?
Did you know that the manna was given partly for
you? All these stories are not made up to fill a story-
book; they are God's pictures, and teach us many things.
When Jesus was here he talked about the manna. He
said those who ate manna were hungry again, and had
to gather it fresh every day; but he said, "I am the
Bread of Life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger."
Did you ever feel as if there was something wanting in
your heart? that home and friends did not seem enough
to keep you always from wrong-doing and sorrow? Then
your soul was hungry, and you wanted the love of Jesus
which can make you happy here and for ever.
Those who truly are his children are thankful and
satisfied. That is what he meant when he talked about
the manna, and said, I am the Bread of Life/"
THE BRAZEN SERPENT.
Do you suppose the people were all thankful as they
gathered the manna? God gave them water too, in the
wilderness; were they thankful for that ?
They were once in a very dry desert, the sun was
hot on their heads, the dust choked their throats and there
was no water. Moses and his brother went and prayed
to God. He told Moses to take his rod and stand near
the rock and speak to it, and it should give forth water.
They called all the people together, and Moses lifted
up his hand and with his rod struck the rock, and the
water gushed out and flowed in such streams that all
the thousands had enough to drink and to give their
But that was not all of God's kind care; he kept
their clothes from wearing out while they could not
buy or make any more on their journey. When you go
to the country and climb over rocks or play in the sand,
don't your feet get very tired and sore, and your shoes
soon worn and all cut out? These people were so long
in the wilderness that the little children grew to be men
and women, and yet in forty years their clothes did not
62 TENDER MERCIES.
tear nor wear out; they walked miles and miles over the
rocks and the rough places, but their feet did not swell and
get bruised nor their shoes grow old and worn.
God kept the wild beasts away from them too. He led
them by a great pillar which went before them, which was
a cloud in the daytime and a pillar of fire at night. When
it moved forward they were to follow, and when it rested
they stopped and put up their tents and stayed awhile until
the cloud moved again.
Were those people always good? Did they obey
Moses and do as God commanded them? Oh, no, they
often did wrong, they got tired and complained. They
talked about Egypt where they used to be slaves, where
the king used to have their babies killed, and they said,
"We remember the fish we used to have to eat, and
the cucumbers and the melons. Oh! we are so sick of
this light bread." Did God hear them complain? This
is the way he punished them. He sent serpents into their
camp, poisonous serpents; and they bit the people, they
fastened their sharp fangs in their flesh, and many died.
What thirst and fever in those who were bitten; the
people knew they had been wicked; they cried to Moses,
"We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord
and against thee; pray unto the Lord that he take away
the serpents." Moses prayed, and God heard him. He
told him what to do. He was to make a serpent of brass
and put it up on a pole, and if any who had been bitten by
I--- --;'- ----
04 LIFTED UP.
a real serpent would only look at the serpent of brass he
would be cured. Moses did so: how he must have hur-
ried to get it made and set up. Then the word spread
through all the camp: Come and look and live. Some
were able to walk and come near, some were so nearly
dying their friends had to carry them near, but if they
could only turn their eyes and look, they lived.
Do you suppose any said, It's of no use! too late!
there is no hope for me"? Were there any who said, I
have only a little bite, it does not hurt bad enough yet"?
or any who said, I do n't believe just looking will save
me. I will not try"?
As Jesus called himself the Bread of Life to cure hun-
gry souls, so he talked about the Brazen serpent. Did
you know that when trouble and sin first came into this
world it was in the form of a serpent? Ever since, in
every heart there is a disease worse than those fiery poisons
in the wilderness. Jesus is the only cure, and that is what
he meant when he said, As Moses lifted up the serpent in
the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted
up" on the cross, that whosoever would believe in him
should be cured of the deadly disease of SIN.
Are you one of those for whom he died?
Do you love him? And have you given him your
soul, to heal and to save?
RUTH AND NAOMI.
DOES that woman sitting on the bank look to you
as if she had seen a great deal of sorrow? Is not hers a
sad(-looking face? Does it not seem as if the younger one,
whose hand rests so kindly on her shoulder, might be say-
ing some sweet loving words to her? Would you like to
hear all the story, and know the very words the young
woman said ?
The oldest woman is named Naomi. Years before,
there was a famine in Judea where she lived; and with
her husband and two grown sons she went to live in
the country of Moab, where they hoped to find plenty
and a happy home. The two sons married there: one
married Orpah, the other Ruth. But sorrow came to Na-
omi: first her husband died; in ten years her two sons
had both died, and the three sorrowful women were all
lonely widows. Naomi thought about her home in the
town of -Bethlehem in Judea, where they worshipped
God, and felt that there was nothing in the strange gods
and idol worship of Moab to comfort sorrow.
She resolved to go back to Bethlehem, and her two
daughters-in-law started with her on the road to Judea.
66 THYI GOD, MIfY GOD.
After a while they rested a little by the way, and she said
to them, Go, return each to her mother's house. The
Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead,
and with me." Then they kissed each other and wept.
Naomi thought if they went back, they were both young
and could make new friends, and she tells them she can-
not give them homes in Bethlehem, for she has no more
sons to love them in place of her dead sons whose graves
are in their own land. At last Orpah said Good-by
to her, and turned away towards the places she knew so
well in childhood, and we never see or hear of her again.
Not so Ruth; the words she spoke will be said over
and over again for ever. As Naomi saw Orpah going
away she said to Ruth, "Thy sister-in-law is gone back
unto her people and unto her gods." That did not change
Ruth's mind; she had decided. No doubt she had
watched Naomi in all her grief, had heard her pray, had
found that the God in whom her mother believed could do
more for her soul that the idol gods she had been taught to
worship. When Naomi begged her to go home, she said,
" Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following
after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go, and where
thou lodgest I will lodge; thy people shall be my people,
and thy God my God."
She thought of the time when she must die. She
had seen three of their family buried, why should she not
think of death? She said, Where thou diest will I die,
68 BETHL EHEI.
and there will I be buried; the Lord do so to me and
more also, if aught but death part thee and me." Surely
Naomi loved the gentle daughter-in-law more than ever,
when she saw that she was steadfastly minded to go
with her, and she said no more of parting. They took up
their bundle and the water-jar and went on together.
The God whom Kuth had chosen watched over every
step of the way. After two days they came to Bethle-
hem. How Ruth looked around a;s she went by Nao-
mi's side through the city gates at evening. The peo-
ple were there after the day's work, sitting to rest and
talking as in the old time. Some thought that changed
bent widow coming in like a traveller was one they used
to know: "Is this Naomi?" Naomi means pleasant.
" Call me not so," she said; call me Mlara," (meaning bitter,)
"for the Lord has given me bitter days since I left here."
A few words told all her story : I went out full; I come
again empty." Did n't the lonely women and( the bundle
on the staff prove how true it was ?
There was a bit of land that had belonged to Naomi's
husband; it may be there Naomi found a place where she
and tired Ruth could rest and sleep; and then, when rested,
Ruth began her work. It was in the month of April, the
beginning of barley harvest; and somewhere in the fields
of barley, Ruth, young and strong, could go and work
among the reapers.
HoIPE was not all dead in Naomi's heart; she knew
they would be fed at least. She had told Ruth much
about their country and its laws : in harvest-time the Jews
always left some of the grain in the corners of the fields,
and they did not pick up all the stalks very carefully;
in the vineyards they left some grapes, and on the olive-
trees some berries. All these were left for the poor, the
stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. Were not these
lonely women all these? There was food enough for
them by going to the fields for it.
Ruth went to a field that belonged to a rich man
named Boaz; the reapers were. busy cutting the grain,
there were women gathering it and binding it into sheaves,
and a chief servant to oversee all the work of the field.
Ruth followed after the reapers, picking up some scattered
ears or forgotten sheaves. Before noon the owner of the
field, Boa., came out from Bethlehelm he bowed, and
said to his reapers, The Lord he with you," and they
answered him, The Lord bless thee."
As he looked over the field he saw the pretty stranger,
and asked the overseer who it was. He told him it was
the widow who came back with Naomi out of the coun-
try of Moab. He told how she had asked him, I pray
you, let me glean and gather after the reapers ;" and that
she had been there since the early morning.
Boaz's kind heart made him go to her. He had
heard her story; he spoke, and called her My daughter."
He told her not to glean in any other field, to stay by his
maidens, and when she was thirsty to go and find water
as it was drawn for his reapers. She bowed low before
him and said, Why have I found grace in thy sight,
seeing I am a stranger?" He told her that he had heard
of all she had done for her mother-in-law, and all she had
left to come to a strange land. He knew what she had
chosen, and he said, The Lord recompense thy work,
and a full reward be given thee of the Lord, under whose
wings thou art come to trust." Was she not getting a
reward every hour? He told the reapers to watch her kind-
ly, and drop some sheaves for her. At evening she went
home with her arms holding as much as she could carry.
"Where hast thou gleamed to-day, my daughter?"
asked Naomi; and when she heard Ruth's story, she said
of Boaz, Blessed be he of the Lord; he is next of kin
to us." Ruth gleaned every day in the same fields
all through harvest-time.
Naomi knew that after all the wheat was gathered,
there would be a feast in the threshing-floor, and that Boaz
would stay there all night to watch his stock of wheat.
She told Ruth she should go there, and Boaz would tell
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72 HOUSE OF1 BRkEAD.
her what to do. After the feast she went softly to Boaz
and said, I am Ruth; thou art a near kinsman." Yes,
Boaz had been thinking of that, too. 1 I said, Blessed
be thou, my daughter, for thou followest not young men,
whether poor or rich." Boaz was so much older than
Ruth he spoke like a father. But," he said, there is a
kinsman nearer than I; if he will do his part, well, if not,
then I will." As she was going away he said, Bring the
veil that thou hast upon thee;" then he measured six
measures of barley and put in the veil, saying, Go not
empty unto thy mother-in-law."
The next day Boaz went to the citv gate. He saw
the other kinsman coming; "Ho," he said, sit down
here." Then to ten of the elders of the city he said, "Sit
ye down here." Then to the kinsman, Naomi, the widow
who came back from Moab, has a piece of land to be
bought back by the nearest of kin; but it must also be
redeemed of Ruth, and you must make her your wife."
" I cannot do it," said the kinsman. Then I will do it,"
said Boaz, and to the elders, "Ye are witnesses that I have
bought back all that was Naomi's husband's, and that I
take Ruth to be my wife." So Ruth was loved and cared
for. Do you think she was ever sorry for her choice ?
By the next year's harvest a child was in the house
of Boaz and Ruth, and Naomi took the baby in her
arms and nursed it, rejoicing. From her child and fam-
ily came Christ the Babe of Bethldeem."
SAMUEL AND ELI.
THE name of that little boy is Samuel, and he stayed
all the time with that high-priest named Eli. The boy's
name means Asked of God;" his mother named him,
and there is a sweet story about his very name. The
people used to go up to the holy place where the priest
was, once a year to make sacrifices, and a good woman
named Hannah went up with her husband. She had
never had any children, and the other women had so
teazed and fretted her that she was wretched; she went
to God in her trouble, and promised if he would give
her a son she would give him back to the Lord all the
days of his life.
She went up to the house of God to pray. Eli saw
her lips moving, but she spoke no word. He thought she
had been drinking, and reproved her; but she said, No,
I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have poured out
my soul unto the Lord." Eli answered, "Go in peace,
and God grant the prayer thou hast asked of him." She
believed it would be so, and went home, her face no more
The next year when her husband went up to the
74 ".SPEAK, LORD, THY SERVE ANT IHEARE Il."
feast, Iannah could not go. Can you think why? Her
prayer had been answered and instead of going to the tab-
ernacle to worship she sang sweet songs to the baby in
her arms, and her face looked down into his clear eyes,
her own bright and glad in her new mother-love. She
stayed at home several years, until little Samuel could do
without his mother's hand to wash and dress him, and he
could help i-eli in some of his work. Then she took him
to the Holy Place to keep the vow she had made to God
if he would only hear her prayer. She had told him all
about God, and that he was to stay there; but I 'm sure
there were tears in their eyes when they said Good-by.
Samuel stayed with Eli. His little feet could step quick-
ly and wait on the aged priest ; he could help with the light-
ing of the lamps for service, for opening the doors-which
were heavy curtains, and in many ways.
One night while little Samuel was asleep a voice
called his name. He ran to Eli; but Eli said, I called
not; lie down again." Again he heard his name; he
went to Eli and said, Here am I, for thou didst call me."
He said, I called not, my son; lie down again." The
third time he was called, Eli knew that the Lord was
speaking to the boy who had been asked of Him and
given back to Him, and he told him if he was called again
to say, Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth."
Then the boy lay very still, and when he heard his
name he answered as Eli said. Then God talked with the
76 THE LORD IWAS WITH HIM."
child and told him what He would do, and how Samuel
should serve Him. Samuel lay awake until the morning
light, and then went to his usual work. How God hon-
ored that little child of a praying mother; and how he
loves every child who loves to serve him.
Do you think Samuel forgot his mother? Once a
year she came to the Holy Place, and each time brought
him a little coat. How many tender and loving thoughts
and prayers were woven in that little coat that Hannah
brought, while she spun the thread, and wove the cloth,
and cut and sewed the garment, and embroidered it like
the coats of the priests. She gave back her only child to
the Lord; but how richly He pays back every gift to Him:
He sent to her afterwards five more children to love and
pray for, three sons and two daughters.
Samuel lived to be an old man, a prophet of God.
He whose childish hands helped to light the lamps and
pour the oil and fold the curtains, as a man anointed kings;
his hands were lifted in prayer for the whole nation, and
saved them in times of war, his voice asked for blessings
the people felt he could gain for them, and he had schools
to teach others to be prophets. When he died, an old
man, the whole nation was in sorrow.
THIS is a strange picture. That man is blind; he is
a prisoner; there are chains on his feet, on his wrists,
fastening him to a strong bar. It is in a prison: see the
stone walls and stone archway over the entrance to the
prison. The man leans over as if those sinewy arms and
legs were tired; and they must be, for dragging those
heavy brass chains, he has to walk round and round on
that stone floor, stepping just so far in his blindness, and
pushing round and round the bar that turns the great
upper stone of the mill.
A man is behind it pouring in the grain to be ground,
and by his side a bag holding more grain. See that girl
pointing to him and laughing, and those other faces peer-
ing in. He cannot see them, but he can hear their
words and laughter. Who is he?
That is Samson, the strongest man that ever lived.
Like Samuel, he was a child of prayer: he grew and the
Lord blessed him." An angel had told his mother that
his hair must never be cut, and she promised that no
razor should come on his head. He was a Jew, and a
people called Philistines were the Jews' enemies; but God
78 HEAPS UPON HEAPS SLAIV.
made Samson so strong, to help to deliver the Jews from
them. He was going through the woods once when a
lion came out; Samson seized him with his hands and
killed him. Soon after he married a Philistine woman,
and at the wedding feast he gave a riddle, and promised
thirty men a suit of clothes each if they could guess it.
He told his wife the meaning, and she told it to the
men: when they told Samson he went out and killed
thirty of their men and took their clothes to give to those
who answered his riddle. Of course they were angry at
Samson, and his wife's father took her away from him.
Then Samson caught three hundred foxes and tied
them together two and two by their tails, and a burning
torch or firebrand between each pair, and started them
running through the fields where the standing grain was
ripe, and burned it. Then they took Samson's wife and
father and burned them!
After this Samson killed so many of them that they
gathered an army to fight him. The Jews were afraid
when they saw this, and three thousand of them went to
a rock where Samson was, and bound him and gave him
to the enemy. When the Philistines saw him in their
hands they shouted with joy; but Samson burst the ropes
as if they were threads. He picked up the jawbone of an
ass, and with that in his hand he killed a thousand men.
He was a judge of Israel for twenty years.
He went once to see a woman in one of the chief
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cities of the Philistines, named Gaza, which means, the
strong." When the Philistines knew that Samson had
gone into Gaza, they fastened the great gates of brass,
thinking he could not escape, and they would kill him in
the morning. At midnight Samson went out, pulled up
the gate, took it on his shoulders and carried it away.
Once while Samson was asleep, a woman who had
been hired to do it, cut off his long hair. Then his
strength was gone; the Philistines took him and put out
his eyes, brought him to the very city from which he
carried the gate, "bound him with fetters of brass, and
he did grind in the prison-house." Weeks and months
passed; his hair grew long again, God was giving him
back his strength. There was a great feast in honor of a
heathen god, and they came to their temple with music
and rejoicing, glad, most of all, that they had Samson in
chains. Bring him out; let him make sport for us,"
they cried. They led out the blind prisoner, they cheered,
men and women, lords and ladies; crowds in the courts
and on the open roof could see where Samson stood. Two
great pillars held up the roof. Samson asked a boy to
lead him where he could lean on the pillars. He prayed
to God, Strengthen me--only this once." He clasped
the pillars, one with each arm, they tottered; he bowed
himself, they fell, the roof fell in one crash of ruin. Sam-
son died, and with him thousands of the enemies of Israel.
WHo was the little boy whose mother took him to
live with the old priest in the Holy Place ? Who spoke to
the child in the night?
God often spoke to him, and when he was an old
man He said to him, Fill thy horn with oil, and go to
Jesse in Bethlehem. I have provided a king among his
sons." Samuel went to Bethlehem, and Jesse called his
sons to come. The oldest, tall and handsome, stood up,
and Samuel thought, "This is the one ;" but the Lord said,
" Look not on the outward appearance, the Lord looketh
on the heart."
The next son was called up; No, not he;" and so
seven of the sons of Jesse were gathered before the old
prophet. "Are these all thy children ?" asked Samuel.
"There is one more, the youngest," said Jesse, "and he
is keeping t-he sheep." Send and fetch him," said Samuel.
So they called the youngest son, named David, which
He came in, with his rosy cheeks and fresh, fair face,
and bright eyes glancing around, and wondering why they
82 B" BELOVED OF THE LORD."
had sent to the fields for him, and what the old prophet
was doing, and why the seven brothers and father and
mother were standing all around. He had in his hand
his shepherd staff, and hanging at his side the leather
bag or scrip which shepherds always wore. Samuel knew
this was the one, for in some way the Lord said to him,
"Arise, anoint him, for this is he."
When one man was chosen to be a high-priest or a
king, the priest who set him apart carried in a horn some
sweet oil from the Holy Place, and poured it on the head
of the person. So David stood before Samuel, his hands
folded across his breast, while Samuel poured the holy oil
on his head, and it ran down on his clustering hair and
on his garments; and while the sweet smell filled all the
air, Samuel prayed that he might indeed be the chosen
one of the Lord, kept and guided by Him.
But something came upon David, better than the
holy oil upon his head. That very day Samuel went back
to his home, and David back to his flocks; no one except
those who saw the anointing knew that David was to be
the king, for Saul who was then king would have been
very angry. But David's heart was filled with more love
and wisdom than he had ever known before; as he loved
and led the lambs in his fold, so he knew the Lord would
watch and lead him. He was more tender and faithful
to his flock than ever, and he saw his Heavenly Father's
care in the green pastures and the still waters, in the
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84 "A IMAN AFTER AIFN0E OWN HEART "
morning light and the evening shadows, His power and
wisdom in the rising sun and in the shining stars. In the
fields of Bethlehem, with his harp for company, and his
thoughts led by the Spirit of the Lord, David was learn-
ing to sing the sweet songs and write the earnest prayers
that we have in the book of Psalms.
But David's harp-playing and sweet voice were not
all unknown. Saul the king was not happy, for he had
been doing wrong; he seemed troubled and afraid, and
his servants said, Try and find a man who can play well
on the harp, and sing, and see if music will not charm
away the king's trouble." Some one told Saul that Jesse
of Bethlehem had a brave and handsome young son, who
could play well on the harp. So Saul sent messengers to
Jesse, saying, Send me Iavid thy son, who is with the
sheep." Jesse made utp a present and sent it by David to
"the king. Iavid went into the palace and played before
Saul; and he was pleased and seemed well, as if the sweet
music had driven away the evil spirit that had tormented
him. lie loved David, and made him his armor-bearer,
to go with him and carry his weapons.
He sent back to Jesse a message, saying, Let David,
I pray thee, stand before me, for he hath found favor in
DAVID AT THE BROOK.
THREE of David's tall handsome brothers were sol-
diers in Saul's army. Saul's soldiers were encamped on
the side of a mountain, in their long rows of tents, getting
ready to fight against the Philistines, who were encamped
on another mountain opposite to them. David had gone
back from the palace to feed his father's sheep again.
Jesse sent him to the army to carry some parched corn
and loaves to his brothers, and a present to their captain.
David rose early in the morning and left the sheep with
a keeper, and as he got there he heard the shouts of the
two armies drawn up opposite to each other in battle array.
He ran in and spoke to his brothers; just then he
heard a rough, loud voice shouting from the Philistine
camp. It was a giant, who stepped out before them all,
and shouted, "Choose you. a man and let him come down
to me. If he can kill me, we will be your servants; if I
kill him, then shall ye be our servants." When the people
saw and heard him, they were all afraid and ran from
him. So the giant had done every morning and evening
for forty days. When David heard it he said, "Who is
this, that he should defy the armies of the living God?"
86 /HL LORD IS THY KEEPER."
David's words were soon repeated to King Saul, and
he sent for David. David said calmly to the king, Thy
servant will go and fight with this Philistine." Saul an-
swered, You are only a boy, and he is a man of war from
his youth." David told him how a lion and a bear had
come among his father's sheep, and he had killed them.
He was not boasting of his own strength, for he said, "The
Lord, that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out
of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand
of this Philistine."
Saul wanted David to wear his coat of armor: he put
his brass helmet on his head, and a coat-of-mail, and gave
him his sword. Saul was a tall, large man, his coat and
helmet did not fit David; he could not fight nor run in
them, and he took them off. How did David expect to fight?
The giant was large and strong; he looked as if he could
take David in one hand. He wore a helmet of brass on
his head, a heavy coat of brass, brass coverings on his
great legs, and a plate of brass between his shoulders.
His spear was long and sharp and heavy, and a servant
carrying a shield marched along before him. Could Da-
vid meet all that ?
In sight of the men on the bank David went down to
the brook; he had his shepherd's staff in his hand; he
stooped and picked up five smooth stones out of the brook,
and put them in the shepherd's bag hanging from his neck,
on one side; he held his sling in his hand. He went on,
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88 GOD IS OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH.
down in the valley near to the giant. Goliath the giant
came striding down the other side, his shield-bearer going
before him. When he saw the rosy-cheeked boy, with no
lance nor sword, he said, Am I a dog, that thou comest
with staves?" Then he cursed him in the name of his
heathen gods. He said proudly to David, Come to me,
and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air and to
the beasts of the field." David said, Thou comest to me
with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield; but I
come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God
of the armies of Israel whom thou hast defied. This day
will the Lord deliver thee into my hand; and I will smite
thee and take thy head from thee."
The giant drew nearer, so did David. He put his hand
in the bag, took out a stone, put it in his sling, whirled it
quickly round his head, and slung it; the stone flew swiftly
through the air, and struck straight apd deep into the fore-
head of the giant; he fell heavily upon his face on the
ground. David ran, jumped on him, took Goliath's own
sword from his hand and cut off his great head. The
Philistines saw he was dead; they ran away in fear, and
the army of Israel ran after them, shouting and rejoicing
in the victory.
ELIJAH AND THE PROPHETS
ELIJAH was a prophet of God, but many of the
people worshipped an idol named Baal. They had even
built temples for the idol, and had hundreds of prophets
to help in his service.
Elijah wanted to show the people how\ vain was such
worship, and he asked the king to call all the people and
false prophets, and have them meet on a ridge on the
side of a great mountain close by the sea. They came,
soldiers with helmets and lances, crowds with banners,
and four hundred and fifty Baal priests in their gay robes.
Elijah said to the crowd, Now choose: if the Lord be
God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him. Let us
take two bullocks; let the prophets choose one bullock
for themselves, and cut it in pieces and lay it on wood,
but put no fire under; and I will dress the other bullock
and lay it on wood, and put no fire under; and call ye on
the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the
Lord, and the God that answereth by fire, let him be
yo A DEAF GOD.
God." They agreed to this, for they said, It is well
They took one of the bullocks in the early morning,
and cut it in pieces and laid it on their handsome altar.
Then they began calling," 0 Baal, hear us." IMainy voices
joined in the call, over and over again. Baal was the
sun-god, and they thought all light and heat came from
him. Then as the sun rose up higher and higher in the
sky, why should he not kindle the wood and burn up the
sacrifice to himself with rays of his own heat? They
danced around the altar, the sun went up higher and
higher, and shone hot on their heads at noon; they called
louder, they shrieked all together, O Baal, hear us," but
no answer came.
Elijah stood waiting, the only prophet of God, alone,
watching until they had made a fair trial. Cry aloud,"
he said, "perhaps your god is asleep and must be awaked."
They leaped up on the altar, jumped against their own
sharp lances and cut themselves, and showed their blood
trickling down upon the altar. They went on crying,
praying, leaping, cutting themselves, from early morning
until three o'clock in the afternoon.
Their trial had failed. It was the hour for the Jews'
evening sacrifice. Elijah had found on the mountain an
old, broken-down altar; he took twelve of the stones and
piled them up, then he dug a trench all round it, he laid
the wood ready to burn, he cut the flesh in pieces and
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92 "W ILE THEY ARE YET SPiEAAANG."
laid it on the wood. Then he had them pour water all
over the altar and the wood, and it ran down and filled
the trench. Then he came near, as you see in the picture,
and lifted up his hands and prayed. An hour before
there were hundreds of voices shrieking in wild confusion;
now they all stood in silence, watching to see what he
would do. His voice rose up calm and clear: Hear me,
0 Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou
art the Lord God."
Quicker than )ou can read the prayer, the answer
came; fire-fire--the fire of the Lord from heaven. The
people saw it as it fell; it burned the sacrifice, the wood
crackled and blazed, the flesh was consumed, the stones
were hot, the water in the trench disappeared as the
flames leaped all round the altar, the smoke rose and
rolled in clouds, and hid the face of the sun above them.
When the people saw it they said over and over, "The
Lord, he is God." Then they knew the prophets of Baal
had taught them falsely. Elijah said to the people,
" Take the prophets of Baal, let not one escape." They
obeyed Elijah; they seized them, dragged or hurled them
down the mountain-side to a brook that flowed into the
sea, and there they killed them every one.
ELIJAH IN THE DESERT.
DID not our God care for his prophet in that wild
day on the mountain ? The four hundred and fifty false
priests were all destroyed; the one prophet amid soldiers
and false prophets was safe, and God came down in fire
to answer his prayer.
The queen was very angry when she heard that her
prophets were put to death, for it was to please her that
King Ahab had built temples and images to Baal. She
sent word to Elijah that by the same hour the next night
she would make his life as the lives of those who had
been killed at his command.
Elijah was afraid; he must flee for his life, to get
away from this angry heathen queen. He went that very
night, and travelled until he was a hundred miles away;
then he went on, a day's journey into the wilderness and
lay down under a tree. There are iot many trees in the
desert, but this was a kind of broom-tree, with branching
shade, which grows in a few places where travellers can
Poor tired Elijah! in his trouble he prayed a strange
prayer: Now, 0 Lord, take away my life." He was like
94 "HE GIVE THi HIS BELOVED SLELP."
a fretful child whose mother would sing him to sleep and
give him some food when he awoke. How tenderly the
wise Heavenly Father treated his tired and frightened
servant. You see in this picture how he lay under the
juniper-tree, and while he sept an angel came bringing
a cruse of water for his thirst and bread for his hunger.
He slept so soundly the angel had to touch him and say,
" Arise and eat." He looked, and there was a cake baked
on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. He ate and
was refreshed, and then lay down and slept again; after
a while the angel touched him again and said, Arise and
eat, the journey is too great for thee." He then went to
a mountain, and stayed forty days and nights in a cave
without any food, for God had given him strength to last
while he stayed there alone. God came and talked with
him in that cave, out of the reach of his enemies.
It was this same Elijah who was fed in the famine
which lasted three years and a half. Six months he lived
alone by a little brook, and morning and evening ravens
came and brought him bread and meat, and he drank
water out of the brook. When that dried up, God told
him to go to a place many miles away across the country,
for He had commanded a widow woman to feed him there.
He went, and as he came into the gate of the city he met
the very woman gathering sticks. He spoke to her and
said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that
I may drink." As she was going for the water he asked
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96 NO WVANT TO THEA! THAT FEAR 11H."
too if she would bring him a morsel of bread in her hand.
That does not seem much, does it? to give to a tired old
man! No, not much in a time of plenty, but the poor
woman answered, I have not a cake; only a handful of
meal in a barrel and a little oil in a cruse, and I am gath-
ering two sticks that I may go in and dress it for me and
my son, that we may cat it and die."
Elijah said, Fear not, make me a little cake first
and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy
son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel: The barrel
of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail,
until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth."
The woman believed him ; she did as he said ; the prophet,
the widow, and her son, were all fed from that handful of
meal which never grew less, and the unfailing oil, until
the famine was ended.
God cared for his servant: he was fed by the ravens,
the widow and the angel, all in times of want and trou-
ble. Trust in the Lord and do good, so shalt thou dwell
in the land and verily thou shalt be fed."
ELISHA AND THE CHIL-
DID you ever see a bear ? How would it feel to have
those sharp teeth bite your arms and cheeks ? How long
would it take those claws to tear a child in pieces ? There
was a prophet named Elisha. He was passing through
the edge of a town near a wood. There was a crowd of
children playing there, and as they saw him coming they
called out mockingly, Go up, thou bald-head! Go up, thou
He turned back and looked, and cursed them in the
name of the Lord. Then those two great hungry bears
came out of the wood. What could the children do?
They were too frightened to run; they fell down; some
were pale with fear; some held their breath and spoke not
one word; some hid their eyes, and no doubt some
shrieked in fright. But it made no difference to the fierce
bears what they did; the great overgrown boys and the
little children were all alike when the bears had them.
They made sure and quick work of it too, for forty-two