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IAUHT-BEARERS AND BEACONB.
ittt e got s ueco.
LIGHT-BEARERS AND BEACONS;
IExample anb W arning.
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY:
56, PATERNOSTER ROW; 65, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD;
AND 164, PICCADILLY.
I. INTRODUCTORY 3
II. THE TWO BROTHERS 8
III. NOAH AND THE UNBELIEVERS 13
IV. THE FATHER OF THE FAITHFUL I.
V. THE OLDEST RIDDLE 26
VI. THE USEFUL PAGE 30
VII. THE WICKED PRINCE 36
VIII. THE PIOUS PRINCE 40
IX. THE YOUNG MOCKERS 45
x. A STORY ABOUT PRIDE *52
XI. THE Two SERVANTS 57
~i aTeOra mnb beaons.
F you live near to the sea, or
^ have visited the seaside, you
have noticed tall towers, built
on rocks, or on the edge of the
cliffs, with large lanterns at
top. At night, strong rays
of light shine from these
-- lanterns. The bright light
is seen sparkling on the waves for a long
These towers are called LIGHTHOUSES: their
friendly rays show the right way in which
ships should sail, and how seamen should di-
rect their course. Sometimes they are known
as BEACONS, and warn of danger ahead.
Here is one which seems to say to sailors,
6 Light-bearers and Beacons.
"Take care! take care the water at this
place is very shallow; there is a deep quick-
sand, on which if your ship runs, it will be
It is as though another cried aloud: "A
ledge of rocks is sunk just below the surface
of the waves; if you do not steer aright, you
will be cast upon it, and dashed to pieces !"
And here is a third lighthouse, which
makes known to the sailors who are coming
home from a long voyage : "All right; sail
this way, you are on the safe course for port."
There are many such lighthouses and
beacons on our coast; but how can sailors
in the darkness of the night tell which is
right? To help them in this matter some
shed a red light, others blue, and others
dazzling white. But their reliance is on
their CHART, or map of the coast, on which
are marked all the rocky capes, and sand-
banks, and shallows, and points out where the
lighthouses and beacons stand. The. captain
of a ship must consult his chart, and he will
find it plainly marked thereon how to steer,
and what dangers lie in his way.
We are like sailors on the great sea of life.
Perhaps we have just begun a long voyage.
Each of us has a little ship to steer: our own
self. God has given us a chart. It is the
Holy Bible. In it are plainly set before us
moral lighthouses and beacons; that is,
accounts of men and women, whose conduct
we should follow or avoid.
'Steer your vessel by the chart. Consult it
often. It will direct you in the right course,
and keep you from the rocks, and sand-
banks, and whirlpools, where so many, who
have not attended to the chart, have made
shipwreck. Watch the first signs of danger.
Go not near a dangerous shore, and you will
be guided to a safe port at last.
Among the stories in this little book you
will find some characters which will be like
beacons, teaching you what you should shun;
and others, like bright lighthouses, pointing
out what you may safely follow: all of which
we will copy from the great chart-the Bible.
Great is our privilege to know
The Holy Scriptures in our youth;
Wise to salvation may we grow,
Through faith and knowledge of the truth.
Now may the Holy Spirit write
The sacred word on every heart,
To guide our youthful course aright,
That we may ne'er from God depart.
THE J'WO BROTHERS.
HE first chapters of the Bible contain
some sad accounts, which seem to us
like beacons-warnings of what we
should avoid. They tell us how Adam and
Eve lost their innocence, and with that lost
their happiness; how they were driven out of
the lovely garden in which they had lived,
and were sent to labour among thorns and
briars. We there learn about the first sin,
the first death, and the first grave.
Cain and Abel were the first two little boys
who were born into the world. If you had
seen them at play, you would not have
thought that one would grow up to kill the
other. Yet it was so.
We may think of them running about in
the grass, or picking the fruit and the wild
flowers which grew on the sides of the hills.
Then, when they were tired, they could lie
The Two Brothers.
down under the shade of a tree, and go to
sleep with their arms round each other's
But these little boys had sin in their
hearts. How was this ? Their parents had
not obeyed God, and sin had come into a
once happy world. All that were born were
born in sin.
These brothers were brought up to work,
and to worship God. And this was right.
We are not born only to play or to be idle.
When Abel was a young man he took care of
sheep. He was what we call a shepherd. In
lands where there are wild beasts some one
must watch the sheep and the lambs.
Cain was a "tiller of the ground;" we
should call him a farmer.
These two brothers went to make an
"offering" to God. This was the way in
which the first people who lived on the earth
used to worship and serve God.
Cain took fruit for his offering, and Abel
took a lamb. Cain meant to thank God for
all the good things he had to enjoy; and it is
quite right to thank Him for our food, and
all we have. But he did not go to God like
Abel, to ask for pardon of his sins. His offer-
10 Light-bearers and Beacons.
ing did not mean what his brother's did. He
did not go in God's way. He did not feel
that he was a sinner, nor loved God as Abel
God, who knows when we worship Him in
truth, was not pleased with Cain: "to him
and his offering He had not respect." God
saw that he was not sincere in what he did.
By faith Abel offered a more excellent
sacrifice than Cain;" he trusted in the mercy
of God, and had faith in the Lamb of God
who should be offered for sin.
When Cain saw that God did not own his
offering, he was angry. He could not be
kind to his brother. He looked on him with
a frown on his face, and anger in his heart.
We do not think that he at first meant to kill
Abel. But if we let bad thoughts come into
our mind, we do not know what we may do.
If we are angry with anybody, we should try
to be at peace, and to "make it up."
Soon after this time the two brothers went
into a field. But Cain took with him his
angry temper. Why did he not pray to God
Sto keep him from his evil passion ? It may
"be that his pride would not let him ask God
for help. We cannot be happy, nor can we
The Two Brothers.
hope that God will bless us, if we let bad
tempers rule in our hearts.
When in the field, "Cain talked with Abel."
This may have been only deceit. He might
seem to be very kind; but in a short time he
fell upon Abel, and killed him. Oh, what a
deed was that, to slay his young brother-his
good brother-who had never done him any
wrong, and whom he ought to have loved I
How must Cain have felt when he saw the
blood of Abel. and when he saw his brother
close his eyes in death! It was in vain for
him now to cry, "Dear Abel, speak to me
only once." There was no reply. It was of
no use now to raise his head from the ground,
and kiss his face. There was no sign,-and no
Here was the first death-and now was the
first grave dug on earth; but, happier thought,
now was heard the first song sung in heaven
by the first redeemed spirit I
God saw Cain do this evil deed; for we
cannot hide from God, nor get away from His
eye and hand. He sees all-hears all-knows
all. He looks upon us by night and by day ;
" God can see through the thick cloud," said
pious Job (xxii. 14). Oh yes,
12 Light-bearers and Beacons.
Asleep, awake, by night, by day,
When at my lessons, or my play,
Although the Lord I cannot see,
His eye is always fix'd on me.
When God said, "Where is Abel thy
brother?" Cain pertly and falsely replied,
"I know not: am I my brother's keeper ?"
This was a lie. How soon one sin leads to
another. But he soon found out that God
had seen what was done, and sentence was
passed upon him. He was sent to wander in
the wide world. But we do not find that he
was sorry for his sin, or that he asked God to
This is a sad short history. But it may
serve as one of the beacons of which we have
spoken. It seems to say, Take care of envy.
Envy leads to anger, and anger may lead to
murder,-the murder of a brother. Remem-
ber, "he who hates his brother is a murderer."
Ask God to give you His Holy Spirit, that
you may have a humble, gentle, loving heart.
And then, as we all sin in many ways, seek
for mercy, through faith in Jesus Christ. He
is our offering,"-" the Lamb of God which
taketh away the sin of the world."
NOAII AND THE UNBELIEVERS.
_H'.N the days of Noah the world was very
'"i;:,: wicked. The people sinned as if there
were no God to be honoured and obeyed.
They did not believe in His words or warn-
ings, but mocked the preacher who was sent
They lived to be so old that they forgot
they should die. But they did die, and at
a time when they thought no danger was near
We may suppose that it is a lovely morning.
The sun shines in the sky. Old and young
rise from their beds, and think that the day
will be spent as other days have been. There
are marriages and feasts, and many plans of
pleasure-even the most sinful pleasures-are
made. But what is that black spot in the
sky? Is it only a small cloud that will soon
14 Light-bearers and Beacons.
pass away? Oh, no! See, it grows large and
dark, and the rain begins to pour.
Rain, rain I hour after hour. All night, all
day it rains, in a manner that was never
known before, and shall never be known
again A week has passed, and yet it rains in
sheets and spouts. All the rivers, seas, and
fountains also cast up their waters. There is
water from above, and water from below.
Soon all the valleys are full, and then the
hills are covered. A flood is on the earth.
Where are the unbelievers now ? They are
all dead. They did not think that God would
or could drown the earth. Yet He has
But Noah and his family are safe. They
are in an ark, or large house, floating on the
waters. The deluge cannot touch them, God
has shut them in.
What a state for them to be in Alone on
the flood, and all beneath them dead As
they look out of the ark, and see the wide
waters, do they think that they never shall
see the green earth again ? Noah does not
fear. He knows that God, who told him to
make the ark, can keep him safely while in it,
and bring him out again. He has faith: he
Noah and the Unbelievers.
trusts in God. He is one of the brightest
examples of faith.
For one hundred and fifty days the waters
have been over the earth, and then the ark
rests on the top of a high mountain; but no
tree or shrub can anywhere be seen. There
is nothing but water, water, water, all around.
Noah now takes a raven, and sends it forth
from the ark to fly about to see if it can
find any dry ground. But it does not come
back into the ark. Perhaps it has found food
on the back of a dead animal, floating on the
Then Noah sends forth a dove; but there
is not a green spot or a leaf to be seen, and
the timid little thing returns, weak and tired,
to the ark. It taps at the door, and Noah
puts forth his hand, and draws it in. We
think we hear the kind words he speaks to
the gentle dove as he smoothes its weary
Is the heart of Noah now sad because there
is no sign of the waters passing away ? No;
faith and hope are not at an end: he waits
In a week he opens the door or window
again, and once more the little dove spreads
16 Light-bearers and Beacons.
her wings, and flies over the waters. The
good man follows it with his eye, and then it
is gone out of sight. But just as the setting
sun sheds a golden light over the flood, a
speck is seen in the sky. It is the dove flying
to her roost in the ark, with an olive leaf in
her mouth. It is not a dead, dry leaf, but a
bright and glossy one, plucked from a living
Oh, with what joy do Noah and his family
look upon that leaf I It tells them that the
water. is going away, that there is some dry
spot on the earth, and that the olive-trees
have begun to put forth their green leaves.
A third time Noah lets out the dove, and it
does not come back: then he knows that the
waters are nearly all gone.
Soon after this, Noah is told by God to go
out of the ark; and he and his family once
again tread on dry ground.
We think we can see them coming forth
With uplifted hands, and a song of praise on
their lips; whilst birds and beasts come
flocking out to the earth and air again. With
what joyous bounds did the beasts rush out
to freedom and the new grass; and what a
lively flapping of wings was heard as the
Noah and the Unbelievers.
birds flew out after their long roost in
the ark !
When we see a gentle dove, with its soft
eyes, we should remember that a dove was
the bearer of glad tidings to Noah in the ark.
When sin had brought a flood over the whole
world, which swept away a whole race of men,
except one family, a little dove seemed to say,
" God is mindful of His people; He watches
over those who love Him; His word of pro-
mise is sure."
If we had been in the world in the days of
Noah, should we have stood outside the ark,
and joined with those who mocked the good
man as he went in; or should we have been
saved as he was ? Oh, yes, we say, we should
have done as he did; we should have gone in
when we were asked. But how is it now?
There is a storm rising, and dangers are before
us. Are we looking to our chart ? Is good
old Noah a light-bearer to us? And do we
take warning from the wicked unbelievers ?
Jesus Christ is our ark. He will save all
those who by faith seek in Him a refuge. As
there was only one ark, so there is only one
Saviour. All who are not found in Him
must be lost 1
THE FATHER OF THE FAITHFUI.
OD was pleased, in early times, to teach
great truths by signs or types. By
means of things men could see, they
learned about things and affairs that should
come. Nearly all the signs pointed to a
Saviour. Among the types is that of a lamb.
This type was made plain to Abraham a
very long time before Jesus came into the
world. He had a son named Isaac. One
day a message came to him from God, telling
him to take a journey to Mount Moriah, that
he might offer a sacrifice.
Sacrifices were generally lambs, which were
killed and burnt on an altar. But Abraham
was told to take his dear son Isaac, and bind
and kill him on the mount. God, we may be
sure, did not intend that he should slay his
son, but he gave him this message to try if
he would obey him.
The Father of the Faithful. 19
Abraham, no doubt, knew that God was
too holy to do any thing that is wrong;
that he was too wise to make a mistake; and
too good and kind to cause any one to suffer
more than is needful. He therefore resolved
to do as he was told. But he would not tell
Isaac till they came to the chosen spot.
Early one morning he and his son and two
servants set off. The journey took them
three days. We cannot describe what were
the father's sad thoughts as they slowly went
along. At length they came to the foot of
the mountain. Here the servants were left;
and Abraham and Isaac went up the hill,
taking with them wood and fire for the
sacrifice. As they went along, Isaac asked
Abraham what he was going to offer: Where
is the lamb ?" Oh, how the question went to
the old man's heart! But he only said: God
will provide a lamb, my son."
They then came to the place, which was
very wild, open country, though afterwards
Solomon built his beautiful temple on it.
With stones, earth, and wood, they soon made
a rough-looking altar. With a trembling
voice, Abraham now told his son the message
God had given to him. Isaac was a pious
20 Light-bearers and Beacons
youth. He knew that God should be obeyed.
He consents to die; and the father "took the
knife to slay his son."
But there came a voice from heaven, saying,
"Abraham! Abraham! lay not thine hand
upon the lad." He drops the knife, unbinds
his son, and looking round sees the ram caught
by its horns in a thicket. He takes the ram,
and offers it as a sacrifice on the altar, while
he and Isaac present to God their praise.
They soon return to their waiting servants;
but before they leave the place, Abraham
gives it a name, Jehovah-jireh."
Jehovah is the name of God: jireh signifies
"will see," or "provide;" and by giving this
name to the place he may have meant that,
I. God would provide a sacrifice for sin.
It was near to this spot that, many ages
afterwards, our Lord Jesus Christ was cruci-
fied. All the lambs which were offered by
the Jews on Mount Moriah and in Solomon's
temple were types, and pictures, and signs of
Him. And therefore it was that John the
Baptist pointed to Jesus, and said, "Behold
the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin
of the world." As though he had said, All
The Father of the Faithful. 21
the lambs which have been killed every
morning and evening, for hundreds of years,
were only types of Him whom you now see.
He has come to take away sin by dying as a
sacrifice, only through Him can we be for-
Abraham was led, by the Holy Spirit of
God, to foresee things that should come. It
was as though he knew there would be One
to die for sinners; and so he called the place
Jehovah-jireh: "The Lord will provide," that
is, a Lamb for sacrifice.
Let us never forget that we are sinners;
and that it is only the blood of Jesus Christ
that can take away the guilt of our sin.
But this name may teach us that-
ii. God will provide for those who obey Him.
Abraham obeyed, though the command was
a very trying one. To part with a child when
God calls it away by death, always wounds a
parent's heart; but, oh, how .painful to be
called to sacrifice a child Abraham had
strong faith. He believed that God would
provide some way to raise up Isaac from the
dead, rather than what lie had promised
about him ah uld fail. And God did provide
22 Light-bearers and Beacons.
in a wonderful way indeed. Isaac was spared.
God was glorified; and Abraham stands before
us as one of the great light-bearers of faith-
the father of the faithful; showing what great
things faith can do, and what great things it
can suffer. The light of his bright example
shines over the wide ocean of time. It seems
to say to us: "Believe in God: do what he
tells you, whatever may be the cost; being
quite sure that He will keep and deliver you:
all shall be right in the end."
A true story may illustrate this truth.
A minister, named Cooke, of Maidenhead,
was walking through a prison, when among
others there was confined a man who sat
reading the Bible. "If you had attended to
what that holy book declares," said Mr. Cooke
"I do not think you would be a prisoner
here." The man looked up, and quietly
answered: "It is because I did mind what
This blessed book says, that I am now shut up
in gaol." "That is strange indeed," observed
Mr. Cooke; "but be assured that if the Bible
has been the means of bringing you to this
place, the Lord will provide a way for leading
you out again. But I should like to know
how it was as you say."
The Father of the Faithful. 23
"I was a grocer in a small town," said he,
"and lived in the fear of th Lord. It was so,
that a new lord of the manor came to live in the
adjoining park; and one Sunday morning his
livery servant knocked at my shop-door, and
said his master wanted some goods I sold.
I told him that I did not serve on Sundays;
that I felt honoured in serving his master at
other times, but he must excuse me declining
to do so on the Lord's day. "It will be the
worse for you if you refuse," said the man,
very roughly, and went away. But in a short
time he came again, and said that his master
was very angry, and demanded that he should
at once have what he wanted, and which was
for some company who were to dine at the
park on that day. I was, however, civil, but
firm, and the servant a second time went
away unserved. It was not long before I felt
the wrath of the lord of the manor. He let a
large new shop nearly opposite my house, to
a showy, bold man, who opened it in direct
opposition to me. Through the money lent
him by the squire he sold his grocery at a
lower rate than I could buy them. His shop
was opened on Sunday, and many were the
under-hand ways employed to ruin me. At
24 Light-bearers and Beacons.
last they were successful: I was ruined. I
could not pay the rent on the day it was due;
no time was allowed me; my goods were
seized; I was arrested, and sent to prison,
and my family turned out of house and home
The prisoner was now overcome with sorrow,
as he told of his wife and little ones in their
trouble, and then added it was a great sacrifice
he had made, but he felt sure that the hand
of God would be seen, and that He would
provide, showing that He was still "Jehovah-
Mr. Cooke gave the poor man some money,
and told him still to trust. On his return
home he made inquiry, and found that it
was all true what had been told him. He
then went to several liberal Christian friends,
and collected a sum, enough to enable him,
not only to pay the grocer's rent and debts,
but to set him up in business again.
It was only a small shop, and not in the
best part of the town; but the man was con-
tented and happy. He could keep the Sab-
bath, and live in a humble way of life. Many
who knew his case did all they could to
recommend him m business.
The Father of the Faithful. 25
Months passed, when one week day the
livery servant again appeared. His message
was that the good man should go without
delay to the park, for the squire was very ill
in body and very sad at heart, and wished
very much to see him. On arriving, he was
taken at once to the bedside of the afflicted
gentleman, who held out his hand, and asked
that he should be forgiven. He confessed
how badly he had acted, and then told the
grocer to kneel down and pray for him. It
did not want any entreaty for him to do this
and as he prayed for mercy through Jesus
Christ for himself and the squire too, many
were the tears and sighs of the latter.
Before he left the park the grocer learnt
that the man who had been put into the rival
shop had wronged the squire of a large sum
of money, and had run away from the town
leaving the house empty. In a short time
after, the same shop was occupied by the
pious grocer, who had been placed in it by
the penitent squire. Here he lived for many
years to show that though the Lord may see
fit that faith should be tried, yet in the end
it shall be found that He is still the Lord who
watches over and provides for His people.
THE OLDEST RIDDLE.
RIDDLE is a sort of puzzle in words
a saying expressed in a way which
makes it appear to be something else
than what it really is; the real meaning has
to be guessed or found out.
In former times the people were often
taught in riddles. The oldest riddle known
to us is found in the book of Judges (xiv 14):
" Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of
the strong came forth sweetness," which we
will now consider.
All the great and good men spoken of in
the Bible had some defects and sins; and the
record of them is intended to warn us; they
serve as beacons. The holy book does not
cover up what was bad in them. We see
this in the case of Samson, who spoke this
riddle, and who for twenty years was a judge
in Israel. In some things he stands before
The Oldest Riddle. 27
us as a warning and a beacon, to which we
do well to take heed.
In his days there was a strong and warlike
people, the Philistines, who much troubled
the people over whom Samson ruled. Strange
as it seems, Samson married a wife from
among them. On his wedding-day, according
to the custom of the times, he gave a riddle
to the company for them to find out. It
seems that once, when about to visit his
intended wife, a lion sprang upon him; but,
unarmed as he was, he killed the beast.
Some days after, Samson went to the vine-
yard to see the slain lion; but the birds and
beasts had eaten the flesh, the hot sun had
dried the carcase, and the bees had made a
hive of it, filling it with honey. Samson
gathered this honey, and gave it to his
parents. So that "out of the strong came
He told the people that they might have
seven day; to guess the riddle. At the end
of that time they could not make it out; for
who could have thought of sweet honey
coming out of a dead lion ? They afterwards
found out the secret in a very unfair way.
But we need not dwell on the account any
28 Light-bearers and Beacons.
longer; it will be better for us to see if we
can learn any truth from it. We think we:
can,-it is this: God can turn what is un-
pleasant and hurtful into a blessing: a dead
lion may be made to yield honey.
There is the history of Joseph and his
brethren-how he was sold into Egypt, and
put into prison, and how all his trials led to
the saving of the people when a long famine
came. But we will now tell a true story of
what took place some years ago.
A stage-coach was slowly passing over one
of the high mountains in America. When
near the top it was turned over, and a young
naval officer had his thigh broken. He was
carried into a log-cabin, and there he lay
for six months. It seemed as if all his fair
prospects were at an end. He thought he
would not be able to walk the deck of a
To pass away the time in his lonely state-
far away from home and friends-he began to
study matters about the ocean, and to make
maps of the different seas, showing the great
currents of water and of the winds, so that
dangers might be shunned, and the way
marked out where ships could sail in safety.
The Oldest Riddle.
Through his labours m this way, very many
vessels have been kept from wreck, and hun-
dreds of lives have been saved.
If this officer had given the world millions
of money, he could not have been a greater
blessing to it than he was by his discoveries
about the winds and waters. Then, we may
add, that it was while he was thus laid aside
he was led to seek Jesus as his Lord and
Saviour, and in that log-house he gave his
heart to Him. The broken leg was made a
double blessing-a blessing to the world and
so himself. "Out of the eater there came
forth meat." We thus see how we may turn
our losses and trials to a good account. And
how from our troubles and afflictions and
pains our sweetest comforts are made to flow.
God can make all things work together for
The lion that on Samson roar'd,
And thirsted for, his blood,
With honey afterwards was stored,
And furnished him with food.
Believers, as they pass along,
With many lions meet,
Brt gather sweetness from the strong,
And from the eater meat.
THE USEFUL fAGE.
U N one of the chapters of the first book
P of Samuel (xx. 35-42) we have a short
notice of a youth, or young man. We
cannot tell his name, nor where he was born,
nor who were his parents, nor how old he
was. One verse speaks of him as a "lad,"
and another as a "young man." Perhaps he
was a youth fast growing to manhood. All
that we learn about him is found in a few
verses. We there see that he was a foot-
boy, or, as some would now call him, a-page.
His master was Jonathan, a prince, the son
of King Saul, and David's dear friend. Saul
was angry with David: the hateful spirit of
envy had laid hold of him, and he sought to
take his life. How sad that a king should so
forget himself, as, in his anger, to cast a spear
at his own son, and to seek to kill that son's
friend he who had slain the giant Goliath
The Useful Page. 31
and saved the country from ruin. So true it
is, as says the holy book: Wrath is cruel;
but who is able to stand before envy?"
(Prov. xxvii. 4).
Jonathan did all he could to save his
friend, and sent him away to hide in a wood.
He told him that on a certain day he would
come near to where David could see him,
bringing his bow and arrows with him, as if he
were going to "shoot at a mark." His young
page was also to be with him, and when he
had shot three arrows, he would send him to
pick them up; and if, as the lad went to fetch
them, he shot one more arrow over the lad's
head, so as to go beyond him, David was to
know that he must make his escape without
delay. Jonathan did all that he said he would
do;-but now about the page. There are a few
things to be noticed, by which it will appear
that he is one of the little light-bearers.
i. We think he must have been an active
and industrious lad, and was willing to work.
It looks well that he had got a place in the
service of a prince. There are some strong
boys who live upon, and wear out, their
parents and friends. They think they ought
to be kept by others, and not work for them-
32 Light-bearers and Beacons.
selves. They are too proud to labour, or too
idle. In every condition of life, even if our
friends are "well off," as we say, we should
seek to be active and of use in the world.
There is something for us all to do.
Cicero, a wise man of the olden times, said,
" An indolent man draws his breath, but does
not live." And the Bible declares, "In all
labour there is profit;" for "if any man will
not work," either in learning, at his books, or
at his business, "neither should he eat." No
one is so unhappy as he who hath nothing to
do. If we do not need to work in order to
earn our bread, we need it for the sake of
health and comfort.
Idle people seldom prosper. "That man
never gets on in the world," said a gentle-
man pointing to a ragged person. Oh, no,"
replied his friend, "he always had a bad I."
"A bad eye! how did he get it?" asked the
gentleman. "No, not a bad eye, but a bad
I." "What do you mean ?" Oh, his bad I
is idleness. He wants a good I, industry."
II. We see that Jonathan's page was a use-
ful lad. The princely master must have had
confidence in his page, and trusted him more
than he did other servants, and therefore
The Useful Page. 33
took him with him on this occasion. He was
useful in helping to save David from death.
We could find many who would say of their
children, "My little boy is so handy and
obliging that I do not know what I should
do without him;" or, "My young daughter
is as good to me as my right hand." How
pleasant it is to hear parents and friends say
such words! How much better than to
speak of them thus: "Oh, they are good for
nothing; we do not know what to do with
them. They are the great sorrow of our
Never be content in being of no use. God
has made every creature and every object to
be of service, and to promote the good of
If we have to work for our living, let
us give heed to the words of Solomon:
"He that waiteth on his master shall be
honoured;" that is, if we do our duty to
those who are placed over us, we are likely
to obtain their esteem. And this is the way,
under God's blessing, to live to some purpose
in the world. We could tell you many true
stories of those who were once poor, and had
to work hard, who rose to honour and posi-
34 Light-bearers and Beacons.
tion in life. Some of those whose names are
well known in English history have "risen
from the ranks." One was a footman, another
was a groom, and a third was a page, who
became a secretary of state. A tailor rose to be
an earl; a stocking-maker to be a lord; the son
of a penny barber was the chief justice of
England; and more than one of the lord
mayors of London was a charity-school boy.
Such prizes, however, are not to be gained by
all; we cannot all be officers, some must be
private soldiers. In most cases we must con-
tinue in the state of life into which it has
pleased God to call us. But remember this:
"Honour and shame from no condition rise,
Act well your part, for there true honour lies."
in. We cannot speak with certainty, we
can only hope, that Jonathan's page was a
pious lad,-that there was "in his heart some
good thing toward the Lord God of Israel." He
lived in a land where there were many good
people. We do not think that he had been
taught to fall down before idols. Nothing
makes people really good but true piety.
One thing is certain: if he was not a reli-
gious boy, the mcst important thing was
wanting after all. You remember that a
The Useful Page. 35
young man came to Jesus, who said that he
had been from his youth dutiful and gentle,
and attentive to the duties of religion. As
Jesus looked on his anxious face, He loved
him;" and yet said, "One thing thou lackest."
Though people thought so well of him, and
he thought so well of himself, he wanted
"the new heart" and "the right spirit,"-he
needed to be converted, and to be willing to
give up all for Jesus. And when Mary sat
at her Master's feet, to hear His words, and
Martha was careful and cumbered about
many things," He said words of the same
meaning: "One thing is needful."
Come, then, let us lead you to Jesus for
this "one thing,"-this best of all things,
and which He only can give. Ask Him for
His Holy Spirit's teaching, and saving grace.
It is possible for you to be industrious and
useful in the world, and yet only live for self,
and not for Jesus. You may obtain a good
name among others, and yet at last not find
your name written in the Lamb's book of life.
You hope to go to heaven when you die; we
devoutly hope you may. But there is only
one way: love, trust, and obey the only
Saviour, and it will be well with you for ever.
THE WICKED PRINCE.
HE name of this wicked prince was
Absalom. A full account of his life
will b- found in the Second Book of
Samuel, chapters thirteen to eighteen.
He was the son of David, king of Israel;
and is said to have been a very handsome
young man. He was born to high rank and
riches, and grew up to be vain and self-
The first act of his life known to us was
the murder of a brother. Though he did not
commit the dreadful deed himself, he got
others to do it. No sooner was this done,
than the guilty young man fled from his
country, and took refuge in a land of idola-
ters. Oh, how uneasy is a guilty mind! But
we do not think he improved his morals by
living away from his father and his God.
After three years, Joab, one of his father's
The Wicked Prince. 37
best captains, spoke on his behalf, and the
old king forgave him, and took him again
into his favour. He came to the king, and
bowed himself on his face to the ground; and
the king kissed Absalom."
Instead of showing himself grateful for his
father's act of mercy, or giving any signs of
penitence, he formed a wicked design to get
the throne of his parent. By false words he
won over a great number of the people to his
side, and got them to join in his plot. David,
to escape from his own bad son, fled from his
palace. We read of the old king weeping as
he went up the ascent of Mount Olivet, and
had his head covered, and went barefoot; and
all the people that were with him covered
every man his head-(which was a sign of
sorrow)-and they went up, weeping as they
The judgment of God, however, overturned
the designs of this unnatural son, brought the
advice of his wisest counsellors to nought,
and at length caused his hair, that ornament
of his person in which he took so much pride,
to be the means of his destruction.
As Absalom rode upon a mule, the mule
went under the thick boughs of a great oak,
38 Light-bearers and Beacons,
and his head caught hold of the oak, and he
was taken up between the heaven and the
earth, and the mule that was under him went
away." At this moment Joab came up, and
thrust three darts through his heart, and
other soldiers coming to the spot also struck
him with their swords and spears. "And
they took Absalom, and cast him into a great
pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap
of stones upon him."
When his father heard of the sad death of
his son, he wept and cried, "Oh, my son
Absalom my son, my son Absalom Would
God I had died for thee, 0 Absalom, my son,
Absalom's grave is to be seen to this day;
and it is said that the Jews as they pass near
the place throw stones at it, to express their
horror at his wicked deeds.
Let Absalom be as a beacon, to warn us
from rocks on which many are dashed.
1. The danger of pride. How .weak and
wicked are those young persons who are vain
of their beauty; for we know that it is not in
our power to "make one hair of our head
either white or black (Matt. v. 36). Favour
The Wicked Prince.
is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but he that
feareth the Lord shall be praised" (Prov.
2. The danger of disobedience. You must
honour your parents; for oh, how dreadful to
seek their ruin and overthrow !
3. The danger of ambition. It was the
indulgence of this passion that led Absalom
to be a rebellious son. Let us rather seek to
be good than great; and to this end let us
ask for Divine grace, that we may become
more and more like Jesus. As sinners there
should be no place for pride in our hearts. It
becomes us to humble ourselves in the sight
of God on account of our sins, and to entreat
His mercy, for the sake of our Lord Jesus
Christ, who "humbled Himself, and made
Himself of no reputation;" who "took upon
Him the form of a servant," and for us died
the shameful and painful death of the cross.
To thy father and thy mother
Honour, love, and reverence pay;
This command, before all other,
Must a Chrisbian child obey.
Help me, Lord, in this sweet duty,
Guide me in Thy steps divine;
Show me all the joy and beauty
Of obedience such as Thine.
THE fIOUS PRINCE.
T Bible teaches us by example as well
-:'" by precept. It not only exhorts
Sthe young to "remember their Creator
in the days of their youth," but it tells them
of those who, in early life, did give their
hearts to God. Among the instances of piety
recorded, that of Josiah well deserves atten-
tion. The light of his example has come
streaming over more than two thousand five
hundred years of life.
In Josiah we see the piety of a youth.
"While he was yet young he began to seek
after the God of David his father (2 Chron.
xxxiv. 3). Youthful pisty is lovely and
desirable in itself. It is the way to be
useful, happy, and wise. What honour it
secures now and what promises are made
to those who possess it! "I love them that
love Me, and those that seek Me early shall
The Pious Prince.
find Me" (Prov. viii. 17). God claims the first
and best of all we have, and all we are; and
He has a right to all
The firstling of the flock was given,
By Israel, to the God of heaven ;
So let us yield to Him the prime
Of our first love and youthful time.
In Josiah we see the piety of a prince.
Those who live in a palace are often more
exposed to sin than those who live in a
cottage. At a very early age Josiah came to
the throne of Judah. There was no person
greater than himself, to control or call him to
an account. The pleasures of the world were
at his commaLd; and yet, through the grace
of God, he could give up all those that were
sinful, that he might "cleave unto the Lord."
In Josiah we see the piety of one who had
ungodly parents and bad examples. His
grandfather, Manasseh, had led the people
into all kinds of profane practices; and
Amon, his father, lived and died an idolater.
Nearly all the priests had become corrupt,
and served at the altars of the idols; and the
nation in general had forsaken the service of
the true God. It is difficult to be pious
when all around us are sinful, and when
42 Light-bearers and Beacons.
nothing but evil meets our eyes. What
should we be if the book of God were lost,
His house closed, or turned into an idol
temple, and there were none to lead us into
the right path ? And yet this was the situa-
tion of this royal youth. Who, then, taught
him, and made him decided for God ? It was
the Holy Spirit, or he would have been as
wicked as any in the land in which he lived.
In Josiah we see the piety of an orphan.
When he was only eight years old he lost his
father. In eastern countries, and in former
times, mothers had very little power; and
perhaps the mother of the young orphan was
herself an idolater, and would only lead her
son astray. But God raised him up a pious
friend in Hilkiah, the high priest, who
appears to have brought him up in the fear
of the Lord. May every orphan who reads
the account of Josiah cry with all his heart
to God, "My Father, Thou art the guide of
my youth" (Jer. iii. 4).
Josiah was an example of active, zealous
piety. In the twelfth year of his reign, he
broke down the images that he found in the
land. A few years later he took a journey
through his kingdom to destroy all the altars
The Pious Prince.
of idolatry. Then he caused the Temple to
be repaired. He also restored the observance
of the Jewish feasts and sacrifices, and gave
thousands of lambs and oxen for passover
and burnt offerings. While they were cleans-
ing the Temple, the copy of the law of God
was found, which he caused to be read in the
hearing of all the people. In these ways he
showed his deep concern for the honour and
worship of God, and thus was made a great
blessing in his own day.
Youthful reader! in studying the character
of the Jewish prince, remember that true
piety is much the same in every age, whether
seen in a palace or in a cottage home. When
the Holy Spirit converts the heart, the same
graces appear in the life-at all times and
in all places. And then, too, consider that
under the Gospel you have clearer light than
that which shone upon Josiah. To you is
made known the glorious truth-" God is
love. In this was manifested the love of
God toward us, because that God sent His
only begotten Son into the world, that we
might live through him. Herein is love, not
that we loved God, but that He loved us, and
sent His Son to be the propitiation for our
44 Light-bearers and Beacons.
sins (1 John iv. 8-10). Receive these words
into your hearts.
O that the Saviour's heavenly law
My constant rule might be,
To do to others as I would
That they should do to me.
No vexing speech, nor act unkind,
Would then from me proceed,
But love and gentleness direct
My every word and deed.
How shall I, a sinful child,
To pride and wrath inclined,
Subdue my nature, and attain
This lovely, gracious mind !
Oh! blessed Jesus, unto Thee
Alone for grace I seek,
Who wast on earth the lowly One,
The gentle and the meek.
De Thou my Teacher and my Guide,
So shall my practice be
To do to others as I would
That they should do to me.
THE YOUNG MOCKERS.
Swas Sunday morning, and two boys
were on their way to school. As they
turned the corner of the village street,
they met a poor old woman. Her dress was
thin, though it was winter time; her shoes
were worn; and an old black bonnet was
on her head.
The sight of the aged woman might have
led the boys to pity her, and help her over
the stile, which she was vainly trying to get
over. "Now for a bit of fun," said one lad to
the other; and they began to mock as she
tried to climb the five-barred gate. As often
as she raised herself her foot slipped; and
once she fell to the ground, which was fol-
lowed by a loud laugh from the boys.
She looked around to see if there was any
one who would assist her. Her long grey
hair was blown about by the wind; and she
46 Light-bearers and Beacons.
tried to wrap about her the thread-bare cloak
that hung from her shoulders. And yet two
Sunday-school boys could find it in their
hearts to mock a poor old woman in her
trouble! Shame, boys 1 We are ashamed of
Just at this moment their teacher came
along, and hastened to assist the poor old
creature. She was soon helped over the
stile; and as he bade her "good morning,"
he quietly placed a fourpenny piece in her
hands. She looked at him, and the tears
started to her eyes, while with clasped hands
she raised her face to heaven, and faintly
cried, "May the good Lord bless you, my
dear young gentleman, for your kindness to
a poor old widow."
In a few minutes after, the teacher and the
boys met in class. Without telling them that
he had overheard their mocking words, he
first gave them a text to learn: "Thou hast
seen it; for Thou beholdest mischief and
spite, to requite it with Thy hand: the poor
committeth himself unto Thee" (Psalm x. 14).
The teacher then said that they would read
together part of the second chapter of the
Second Book of Kings; and they read the
The Young Mockers. 47
account of the young people of Bethel, who
mocked Elisha as he was on his way. "Go
up, thou bald head! go up, thou bald-
"First," said the teacher, "let us notice the
SIN of these young persons.
"Elisha was an old man, and he claimed
their respect. Though baldness was held to
be a reproach, it was only the ignorant who
so regarded it. These lads-for they were not
mere children-should have known better.
He had been a kind and useful man. On
one occasion, when at Jericho, he found that
the waters were impure, and the country
round about was barren. The people came
to Elisha, as the servant of the Lord, to seek
his help. He told them to bring some salt.
The prophet then 'went forth unto the spring
of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and
said, Thus saith the Lord, I have healed these
waters; there shall not be from thence any
more death or barren land.' This simple act
was made, by Divine power, the means of
bringing health and comfort to the people.
We may suppose that as Jericho was not
many miles from Bethany, the young mockers
must have heard of this miracle of mercy;
48 Light-bearers and Beacons.
and yet they provoked God to send a miracle
"Elisha was also a poor man; and 'he that
mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker.'
It was very rude conduct to run after this
poor stranger, and to call him insulting names.
And it was as cruel as it was rude.
"Elisha was a pious man. The city of
Bethel, or, as the words mean, 'The house
of God,'-the spot where Jacob talked with
God,-had now become a place of idols, where
a golden calf had been set up, and before
which the people bowed down. No doubt
these young people did not love or know the
true God; but Elisha was known as the
follower of the Lord.
"Then, too, he was a prophet. They mast
have heard that he was once the servant of
Elijah, who had gone up to heaven in a
chariot of fire; and so they mocked, Why
don't you go up like your master did, you old
bald-head?' This was not only an act of
rudeness to the prophet, but an insult to the
power of God.
"Now notice their PUNISHMENT.
"It was sudden. It is said that 'Elisha
looked at them;' perhaps that they might
The Young Mockers. 49
go away, or that they might stop their wicked
tongues. Then he cursed them, but not in
anger, or God would not have answered
"It was severe. Two fierce she-bears-and
the bears of Syria are very fierce,1-came out
of a wood, and taree them.' Perhaps some
were only wounded, and others were killed.
Those that were slain we know about their
bodies; but what shall we say about their
"It must have been a sad sight as the dead
were slowly carried into Bethel that day.
Forty-two were killed or torn. What weep-
ing mothers there were who saw their sons
bleeding, dying, dead,-those who had been
so cheerful in the morning, and who had left
home full of mirth, in what state were they
What would be the feelings of your parents
and teachers if they saw only one of you cut
down by the judgment of God ? But how
terrible if forty-two were destroyed ?
1 This kind of bear is known as Ursus Syriacus, or the
Syrian bear. It is of a white colour, has a stiff mane of hairs,
long ears, and is from four to five feet long. Though
Formerly very common in Syria, it is now not often found
50 Light-bearers and Beacons.
"What is the LESSON we are taught by this
history? It is this:-
"God will punish young sinners. Because
sentence against an evil work is not executed
speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of
men is fully set in them to do evil.' Because
He does not at once take wicked people out
of the world, they seem to forget that He
sees them, marks their bad conduct, and will
punish them if they do not repent. Though
hand join in hand,' like those in Bethel who
were united in sin, 'the wicked shall not go
unpunished.' A scoffing youth often grows
up to be a hard-hearted sinner. What but
shame and ruin can we expect from those
who in early life mock the servants of God.
"Many things would seem to us now very
strange, if we were not told in the Bible,
that we are soon to enter into another world
where God will punish the wicked. But now
there is hope for the most sinful, if they turn
from their wicked ways, and, looking unto
Jesus, seek His grace, that mercy, gentleness,
and holiness may adorn their lives."
At this moment the school-bell rang, and
lessons were closed. It is hoped the young
The Young Mockers. 51
mockers of the old woman will remember'
what they heard from their teacher about
the mockers of Bethel.
Our evil actions spring
From small and hidden seeds,
At first we think some wicked thing,
Then practise wicked deeds.
Oh for a holy fear
Of every sinful way,
That we may never venture near
The path that leads astray.
,A STORY ABOUT PRIDE.
t HE wicked are often caught in their
own snare, and into the pit which
they dig for others they fall them-
selves. It was so with Haman, who met with
the same punishment that he intended to
bring upon others.
Haman was a man of high rank, having
been raised by the king of Persia above all
the princes of the land. But his honours did
not make him happy; for those only are
blessed who love and fear God, which Haman
The Jewish people, in the days of this man,
were held in bondage by the king of Persia,
having been carried away from their own
land. Amongst these Jews was one named
Mordecai, who, knowing the hatred of Haman
towards his suffering fellow-countrymen, re-
fused to bow before him in a kind of worship.
A Story about Pride. 53
The proud Haman was filled with wrath, and
resolved to be revenged upon Mordecai, and,
if possible, to destroy not only him, but all
the Jews that were in Persia. He persuaded
the king, by false and deceitful words, to
agree to his cruel design; and orders were
sent into all parts of the land to slay the Jews
on a certain day.
It was so that the king loved a young
Jewess named Esther, the cousin or niece of
Mordecai, who, after the death of her parents,
had been brought up by him as his own child.
Esther, though only a captive orphan Jewess,
was chosen by the king to be his queen. Her
Jewish name was Hadassah, but it was
changed to Esther, which in the Persian
means "a star."
When she heard of the king's decree she
was full of sorrow, because she knew that,
being a Jewess, (although the king had not
been told to what nation she belonged,) she
should die as well as the rest of her people,
and so would her kind friend Mordecai.
Esther wished to tell the king her trouble,
and at length, after fasting and prayer to God,
she went into the king's presence without
being sent for, which was against the law;
54 Light-bearers and Beacons.
" But," said she, "if I perish, I perish." The
king, so far from being offended, received her
with great kindness, and promised to give her
whatever she desired. She meekly asked that
the king and Haman would partake of a
banquet, or grand supper, that she had pre-
pared. At this feast the king again told
Esther, so much did he love her, that he
would give her whatever she might ask, even
to the half of his kingdom. But Esther only
begged that he and Haman would repeat their
visit on the morrow. Now see how wonder-
fully God brought the sinful purpose to light,
and saved the Jews from death.
That very night the king could not sleep,
and, in order to entertain and relieve his
mind, he sent for the records or the accounts
of the events of his reign. When they were
read to him, he found it written that Mordecai
had once found out a plot that had been laid
to take away the king's life, for which crime
the rebels were hanged on a tree. The king
of Persia asked what reward had been given
to Mordecai for this great service. The
servants said "None." Then the king sent for
one of his counsellors, to consult with him as
to the honour that should be given to
A Story about Pride.
Mordecai; but Haman just at that moment
came to the palace to get permission to hang
this very man Mordecai on a gallows, or high
column of wood, he had made for him, and
the king asked him, "What shall be done
to the man whom the king delighteth to
Haman thought, "Who can this man be ?
It must surely be myself that the king will
honour !" He then said, "Let the royal robes
be brought which the king useth to wear, and
the horse that the king rideth upon, and the
crown royal which is set upon his head; and
let this dress and horse be given to one of the
king's most noble princes, that they may
array the man therewith, and bring him on
horseback through the streets of the city, and
proclaim before him, 'Thus shall it be done
to the man whom the king delighteth to
honour.'" How greatly was Haman astonished
when the king told him to make haste, and
do all this to Mordecai !
After it was done the king and Haman
again came to the feast that Esther had
prepared for them; and then she told the
king of Haman's wicked design to kill her
and all her people, and begged him not to
56 Light-bearers and Beacons.
allow it to be done. The king was so angry
that he at once ordered Haman to be hung
on the same gallows he had got ready for
Thus God saved His people from the hands
of the enemy, and punished the man who had
cruelly designed to destroy them.
We see in the character of Haman-
1. Pride. He wanted every one to bow
before him, and was unhappy because only
one poor Jew did not do so.
2. Malice. A very sad passion; it is con-
cealed hatred, and hatred is often concealed
murder; and "we know that no murderer
hath eternal life abiding in him" (1 John
3. Cruelty. Was it not cruel to plan to kill
so many people, many of whom he had never
seen, and only one of whom had offended
him? How unlike the conduct of Jesus, who
came not to destroy men's lives, but to save
Against all these unholy passions let the
history of Haman be a beacon, to warn us
that we make not shipwreck on the rocks on
which he was lost.
THE TWO SERVANTS.
E have in the same history, and in the
SV same chapter, an account of two ser-
vants. They stand in contrast. One,
a young girl, carried away from all her
religious privileges; the other, a serving man
to a pious prophet, in a land where God's
truth was known. One was a little light-
bearer; the other a beacon to warn us of the
ways of sin: (see 2 Kings v.)
We will first look at "the little maid of the
house of Israel," and we shall observe in her
conduct some things which the young will do
well to remember.
1. It is certain she was a modest little girl.
This appears in her manner of giving advice:
it was in the form of a wish. It would not
have become her station to have boldly gone
into the presence of her master, a great Syrian
lord, to tel1 him what he should do. "She
58 Light-bearers and Beacons.
said unto her mistress." This was quite
right; what she had to say was best spoken
to her. When we are gentle and modest
in our way of giving advice, it is likely
to be received well, and to be useful; but
a bold and pert way in offering counsel is
likely to lead to its being refused. However
good our motive, we do not obtain our end.
Jesus says, Learn of Me; for 1 am meek and
lowly of heart."
2. It is clear she was a benevolent little girl,
She had been stolen from her home and her
parents, and had been made a poor slave girl.
Yet she did not show any anger against her
master. She was willing to do good to him
who held her in slavery. If, like many young
persons, she had been sullen and unforgiving,
Naaman would not have been cured of his
disease. But how sweet was the spirit she
showed in these words, Would God my lord
were with the prophet that is in Samaria!"
How plainly does her conduct teach us to
return good for evil I
3. We can also well suppose that she was
truthful. When Naaman heard what his
young servant had said, he left his home, and
took with him silver, gold, and garments, with
The Two Servants.
horses and chariots, and went a journey of
more than a hundred miles; and all upon the
simple word of a slave girl. If she had not
been in the habit of speaking the truth,
would he have gone to this expense an-
trouble ? No; but he knew he could rely on
what she said, that she loved to tell the truth,
and he believed her word.
4. It may be hoped that she was a pious
little girl. A heathen land was now her
home. She had no parents or teacher to
instruct her. Yet she had not forgotten the
prophet, and his power to heal. If we were
carried away into a land of idols, and cut off
from Divine worship, how would it be with
us ? Should we, like her, be able and willing
to speak of our Lord Jesus Christ, a greater
prophet than Elisha, and tell of His precious
blood, which alone can take away the leprosy
of sin ?
5. Then she was a useful girl. When all
the physicians in Syria had failed, she led her
master to a cure. She was of more use to
him than the king's favour and all his bags
6. She was a little missionary. May we
not call her the first female missionary to a
60 Light-bearers and Beacons.
heathen land? She shone like a bright little
star in a dark sky.
Here, then, are lessons for all; and in
particular may the young, while they read
of "the little captive maid from the land of
Israel," learn to be modest, kind, truthful,
useful, and pious! And as they have greater
privileges than she enjoyed, may they re-
member that even more is expected of them.
We now turn from this pleasant story to
the account of Gehazi; and first we ask,
1. What he was ? He was a servant. This
was no disgrace. Some persons are called to
fill high stations in life; some have to take
lowly ones. No one should be ashamed of
his humble lot. Many servants have been
the means of doing much good; such as
Joseph, Obadiah, and Nehemiah, and the
little captive maid, of whom we have just
read. But, in sad contrast, we find Gehazi,
the servant of the man of God, who did what
he could to dishonour the holy name. He
had, no doubt, the teachings of the good
prophet, and the benefit of his prayers and
examples. If we have pious masters we
should be thankful for them; and should be
The Two Servants.
concerned to improve our advantages: if we
do not, we shall be more guilty than others
who are not so favoured.
2. What Gehazi was not? He was not
pious; though his master feared God, he did
not. It will not do for us to trust in the
piety of others. We must love and fear God
ourselves: each of us must be born again,
must believe in Jesus Christ, who loved us
and gave Himself for us. Each one must
repent of his own sins, and must seek to live
a holy life. Many godly parents have had
ungodly children. David had a wicked son,
Absalom; and Hezekiah had Manasseh. Then
we find Gehazi was not honest or truthful,
It may be said that he did not really steal;
but he was guilty of deceit and fraud, which
in effect are often the same as thieving. Many
who do not possess real piety are yet very
honest persons; but Gehazi feared not God
or man, or he would not have got another's
goods by falsehood and deceit.
3. What Gehazi did. He coveted what did
not belong to him. This was wicked, for we
are taught to be content with such things as
we have; and, besides, he had such a good
example before him. Perhaps he thought
62 Light-bearers and Beacons.
that with Naaman's money he would be his
own master; set up for himself in life, and not
be any longer a servant. Elisha had refused
to take a reward or gift for the cure of the
leprosy of the great captain, that he might
show the freeness of the mercy of God; that it
was to be "without money and without price:"
surely, then, the servant had no right to take
any gift. He also told lies: first to obtain
the silver and the garments, and then to
cover his first lie, "Thy servant went no
whither." How could he look Elisha in the
face, and say that? Surely he must have had
some guilty fears, and deep crimson must
have covered his face. Did he not tremble at
the thought that God had seen it all ?
We can never know when or where we shall
stop when we once begin to sin; for the
beginning of sin is "like the letting out of
water." At first it falls in single drops, but
soon bursts forth, and carries all before it.
So, when one lie is told, it leads to another,
and another, until at last all ends in exposure
4. What Gehazi suffered. His punishment
was severe and painful; and it soon followed
his sin. He had not time to enjoy his money,
The Two Servants.
or to wear the fine garments. Like as we
read in history of king Crcesus, who, by
violence and wrong doing, got together great
riches, which tempted his foes to attack him.
His enemies quickly overcame the king, and
melting some of his gold, poured it down his
throat, and killed him. His death answered
to his crimes.
Gehazi became a leper as white as snow."
He got the great man's leprosy as well as his
gold. The leprosy was a disease that could
not be cured except by miracle. The person
afflicted with it was said by the Jewish law to
be unclean. He was not allowed to live with
his family, but often was forced to wander
about without a home, and find a resting-
place among the tombs. He must not even
touch any one; a father could not take his
child by the hand, nor a mother kiss her little
ones. The lepers became poor outcasts. This
punishment of leprosy, then, seems to have
been a proper one for Gehazi. His lies made
him what he became. Nothing is more offen-
sive to a truly pious mind than a lying
tongue: it is what God abhors, and what He
Gelazi stands before us as a warmnig:-Do
64 Light-bearers and Beacons.
not covet. Many young persons when they
see others dressed in fine clothes, or with
plenty of money in their pockets, and behold
them ride in a carriage, long to be like them,
and allow discontent and envy to enter their
minds, and make them unhappy. When you
are tempted thus to sin, think of the prophet's
servant: how he was led into deceit, false-
hood, fraud, and robbery; and how he lost
his health, character, situation, peace of
mind, and, unless he repented, his soul for
LONDON: KNIGHT, PRINTER, MIDDLE STREET, E.C.
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