Tlhe Bjld mn Libran
I~wn i ii i 1111 1iiii 1 iiiiiiii n I
-, -. ,.
SUNDA Y READINGS FOR LITTLE FOLKS.
THE OLD CHURCH,
AND OTHER STORIES.
CASSELL & COMPANY, LIMITED
739 & 741 BROADWAY, NEW YORK
SSUNDA Y READINGS FOR LITTLE FOLKS.
THE STAR IN THE EAST, AND OTHER STORIES,
REAPERS AND GLEANERS, AND OTHER STORIES,
THE OLD CHURCH, AND OTHER STORIES,
THE CHAINED BIBLE, AND OTHER STORIES,
THE FIRST CHRISTMAS, AND OTHER STORIES,
THE PRODIGAL SON, AND OTHER STORIES.
By O. M. DUNHAM.
BIBLE STORIES FOR THE LITTLE ONES.
THE CHILDREN'S FRIEND, AND OTHER STORIES,
NOAH'S ARK, AND OTHER STORIES,
RUTH GLEANING, AND OTHER STORIES,
THE WISE KING, AND OTHER STORIES,
THE INFANT JESUS, AND OTHER STORIES,
JOSHUA COMMANDING THE SUN, AND OTHER STORIES.
THE OLD CHURCH.
"'CHARLIE, is not this like the pretty village where we
stayed last summer with mamma?" asked Gertrude.
"Yes; and the little church is as close to the
houses as the one we went to every Sunday."
I do believe," said Charlie, "the man inside the
gate is Dick, who was so kind to us when we went to
his house for the milk."
I wish," said Gertrude, "mamma would take us
there again this summer; shall we ask her?"
We will; I should be delighted to go again. Do
you know, Gertrude, this dear little village reminds
me of the chapter that was read in church this morn-
ing about Jesus taking a walk with His two friends
to Emmaus. That was a little village, too. Do you
think it was like this one?"
"Something like it, I dare say, though we must
remember that houses and churches were not built
then as ours are now."
"But what a pleasant walk that must have been!
and how astonished the two disciples would feel when
they discovered that Jesus had been their companion
all the way."
STHE poor stag, e'en while drinking, seems
To hear the huntsman's horn,
SAnd then he hears the hound's low screams,
Which on the ground are borne.
And yet, although he's wild with fright,
His thirst he must assuage;
And then, swift as an arrow's flight,
He'll flee the bloodhounds' rage.
Like the poor stag, so we are driven
By selfishness and sin,
To speak and act as we have striven
And tried not to begin.
We must, however, like the stag,
Stay as we onward run;
Our strength will surely droop and flag
To run the race begun,
Unless we are refreshed by strength,
Which God to us will give,
To do the right, and hope at length
A truer life to live.
.Z -:~ -.~
' .. .. .
THIS strange-looking place we see before us is part of
a street in Jerusalem, which, as I dare say you will
think, is very unlike our English streets.
Of all cities in the world there is not one more
interesting to us than Jerusalem, because there
Christ spent so much of His time preaching and
doing good. Historians tell us that the city has been
destroyed and rebuilt many times, and it is very
different now from what it was when Christ was
The streets are so dark and narrow that two
loaded camels can scarcely pass each other, and
instead of the road and footpath being nicely
paved, as ours are, they are quite rough, like a
mountain path. The houses, too, looking into the
street, are dark, unpleasant-looking places, with
very few windows, having the appearance of prisons
more than houses. Beads, crosses, paper-cutters, pin-
cushions, and boxes are offered for sale, and these
are chiefly made from the wood of the olive, or
from some old vine stock found in some of the gardens
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AT THE COTTAGE DOOR.
HELEN GREY has been reading the beautiful story of
the Prodigal Son, and, as she has finished it, is just
thinking it over. She thinks it was very foolish for
the young man to leave his happy, comfortable home,
and, for the sake of having money of his own, to go
to strange people who knew nothing about him. But
when he had been there some time, and spent all his
money, he found out his mistake, and wished he had
not been so foolish.
No wonder, after that, he felt ashamed to go back
to his father; but Helen is thinking how wonderfully
kind the father was to take his wandering son back
again, and be so pleased, too, to have him at home
again. Some fathers would have been very angry,
and would have told their son to stay away, after
Helen is thinking, too of her own brother,
who left them two or three years ago to be a
sailor, and she knows her father and mother are think-
ing of him also. Willie would go to sea, although it
nearly broke his mother's heart, and they have never
seen him since. Helen believes, however, that when
Willie returns, he will, like the Prodigal, have become
wiser, and if so they may all be happier than they
ever were before.
How tired this poor man looks, standing with his
hands in his pockets. He and his companion have
been out all night trying to catch fish, and have
scarcely caught any, and they both feel weary and
dispirited. Their wives and children at home are
anxiously looking out for father, and thinking what
a good breakfast there will be when the fish comes
in. The men know this, and as they both love
their little ones very much, they can't bear the idea
of going home with their nets empty. The man
standing is telling the other he believes he has just
seen a shoal of fish, and although they are both very
tired they will try again. So the man is going
down to get his nets and fishing-tackle in readiness
again, which they had put away in despair.
The poor men are disappointed not only that they
have no food for their families, but because they have
none for sale. When they are successful, as they
often are, and catch plenty of fish, they sell it to the
market-people and to the shops, and in this way
obtain money to keep themselves and their children,
and make their homes comfortable. So we shall all
be very glad if their patience is rewarded by having
their nets quite full.
THERE was once a king of Israel called Ahab, who
displeased God very much by his wickedness and
idolatry. During his reign there was a great scarcity
of water, no rain fell for three years, so that the king
and his people were very much distressed.
A good man lived at this time called Elijah, and he
knew that this trouble was coming upon the land, and
had warned Ahab of it. As soon as he had delivered
his message, God told him to go far away to a quiet
spot where no one else lived, near a brook. We don't
know exactly how long he remained in this valley,
but the whole of the time he was there the ravens
supplied him with as much food as he required, and
he drank from the water in the brook. After a time,
however, the brook became dry, when Elijah went to
Sarepta, and dwelt for some time with a widow and
her son. Owing to the scarcity of rain, the poor
woman had very little food for her child and herself,
but during Elijah's visit the flour and oil she had, of
which she made her bread, became no less, so that she
and her son and Elijah were kept alive.
A short time after, the boy became ill, and died,
when Elijah in some wonderful way made him well
again, which made the poor widow very happy.
THE WOODMAN AND THE TREE.
THE woodman standing with his axe in his hand is
just preparing to cut down the beautiful large tree
we see close by, and not very easy work he will find
it, judging from the thickness of the trunk.
The gentleman standing by the woodman is saying
how sorry he shall be for the tree to come down, it is
one that he has known ever since he was quite a little
boy, around which he used to play with his sisters
and brothers and friends. Some of the friends, and
some of the sisters and brothers, are now dead, and
for their sakes the gentleman would have liked the
tree to stand as long as he lived.
He is telling the woodman that either his grand-
father or his great-grandfather planted the tree close
to his own house, which was then standing. Now
the house is taken down to make room for other trees,
because you see this is quite a forest where the men
are talking; but the tree has gone on growing until
now it is one of the largest to be green. The wood-
man has already begun chopping; do you see the
place where the axe has been ? So no doubt when
they have talked a little longer, the chopping will
begin again, and down the noble tree will fall.
ARCH OF TITUS AND COLOSSEUM, ROME.
"WHAT old-looking place is this, mamma ? and where
is it to be seen?"
This arch, Charlie, is part of a very large build-
ing in Rome, called the Colosseum, and was built
by two Roman emperors named Vespasian and Titus.
It is called the Arch of Titus, in honour of the
"What was the Colosseum used for, mamma ?"
"It was used by the Romans for their gladiatorial
fights, which were fights between men, generally
slaves trained for the purpose, and other perform-
"But did the men kill each other, mamma? and
what did they fight for? Had they quarrelled ?"
"You may well ask that question, Charlie; but I
am sorry to say these men fought with each other for
nothing but the amusement of the spectators who
chose to be present. Sometimes these poor men,
instead of fighting with other men, fought with wild
beasts that had been kept without food on purpose to
make them more savage, and when the men showed
any cowardice they were often killed with tortures.
So now, my boy, if ever you should see the Colosseum,
you will think of the cruelty that was once allowed to
be committed within its walls."
OuR picture is not a cheerful one, it is a very,
very sad one. It is a dark, cold, cheerless night, and
this poor woman has been out all day begging food
for herself and her children. The policeman tells her
she must "move on," or he will put her in prison.
She is thinking it would be better to be in prison than
in the miserable place she knows as home.
Her husband, who is a drunkard, instead of bring-
ing money to buy food, and shelter, and coal for his
wife and children, spends the little money he earns in
drinking with his bad companions.
We all have a horror of slavery, and have often felt
thankful that dear old England is a land of liberty.
Pictures like this, however, remind us that even in
England there are some people who are as truly slaves
as the poor negroes, who, in some countries have been
treated so cruelly. The husband of this poor woman
is a slave to his sin of drunkenness. And when any of
us allow bad habits and wicked actions to master us
we become their slave. There is no harder taskmaster
than sin, and though it may appear difficult to under-
stand, it is quite possible for a negro with a selfish,
hard master to be less a slave than a free-born English-
man who has allowed his evil passions to master him.
A JEWISH SYNAGOGUE.
You all know that in the Bible we read a great deal
about the Jews, who were very important as a nation
in the early history of the world. They believed
that God had selected them above all other nations to
make known His will, and that He loved them more
than any other people, which was a great mistake.
We know that God loves all the creatures He has
made, and we may all learn what God wishes us to
do if we ask Him.
The place in which the Jews worship, instead of
being called a church or chapel, is called a synagogue,
and wherever a number of Jews are to be found,
there is sure to be a synagogue.
The one in the picture is one of the largest and
most important in London. Its architecture is very
beautiful, and those who have seen it say the build-
ing of it must have cost a great deal of money.
At one time the Jews were treated very cruelly by
some nations; they were hated because of their
religion, and were not allowed the same privileges
as other people. In some countries this cruel state
of things still exists, but in England all are allowed
to belong to the form of religion they believe to be
the best, so that Jews may be as happy in England as
any other people,
.' IN -- _2 '~ .
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PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD.
ONE day Jesus had been talking to the people a
long time, trying to make them feel the importance
of being sincere, and honest, and charitable, which
means hiding each other's faults instead of making
them known as much as possible; and when Christ
talked to the people He did not preach long, dry
sermons, but spoke in parables, or little tales, which
even the children could understand.
He once spoke about a householder, who planted a
vineyard, and let it out to husbandmen, and then
went into a far country. And when the fruit was
ripe, the master sent his servants to the husbandmen
that they might receive the fruits which belonged to
him. The wicked men beat one servant, killed
another, and stoned the third. Then the master
sent other servants, who were treated in the same
cruel manner. So at last the householder said, "They
will reverence my son, if I send him; he shall go."
But no, as soon as the wicked men saw the son they
said, "Come, let us kill him;" and they took him
out of the vineyard and slew him.
In this parable it will be seen that Jesus likened
Himself to the householder's son.
AMONG THE FLOWERS.
HERE is Cousin Margaret,
With her sweet, bright face;
She's kind, and good, and loving,
And her beauty has such grace.
Mag says, of all the flowers,
She loves the lily best,
Because it is so pure,
And all in white is drest.
And next she says she loves the rose,
Which is the queen of flowers,
The pride of dear old England,
And the grace of all her bowers.
And next Mag loves the primrose,
With its modest face of gold,
Though, like the moon, the primrose seems
So quiet and so cold.
She says the flowers were sent to us
To make the world more fair,
And also to remind us
Of our Father's loving care.
Poon William Smith is lying in bed, and has been
unable to leave it for many long months. His wife
died long ago, and his two sons are living with their
wives and children in another part of the country, so
that the poor old man is almost friendless in the world.
He occupies one room in a house that is appropriated
to lodgers, and pays the weekly rent for this out of a
small sum he saved when he was able to work. What
would become of him he does not know, if it were
not for the attention bestowed on him by the kind
young woman to whom he is speaking. She is also
one of the lodgers in the house, being engaged in
business in the city, so that he only sees her morning
and evening. Before she leaves every morning she
goes in to see him, and asks if he has all he needs for
the day, and in the evening makes his room tidy, and
then reads and talks to him.
You may be sure old William is very grateful to
kind Lily Jaques, who is almost like a daughter to
him, and thanks God every day for sending such
a good friend to him. And he knows that if she
has no other reward, she will always have pleasure in
feeling that she helped one of God's creatures to
bear the suffering sent to him, and added brightness
to his last days.
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THE beautiful place we see before us is a city of
Palestine, called Shechem, the ancient capital of
Samaria. As you see, it lies in the valley, and at
the top of the hill to be seen in the distance is
Samaria, the place so well known to us as the scene
of Christ's interview with the woman at Jacob's well.
The hill upon which Samaria stands was bought
by Omri, a king of Israel, and he it was who built
the city. He made Shechem the capital, though now
it is known by the name of Nablous.
The religion of the Samaritans was, in some
respects, different from that of the Jews, and, owing to
this fact, a strong feeling of animosity had arisen
between the two nations. In the New Testament
time the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans,
and the Samaritans in turn hated the Jews. I dare
say you remember how angry the Jews were that
Christ should think of even speaking to the Samari-
tan woman; and she, who had always been treated
with pride and scorn by the Jews, was amazed at
Christ's kindness and condescension. We know,
however, that Christ loved all nations alike, and
wished that not one more than another should come
to know the truth.
IN old times, and in some Eastern countries, even
until quite a late period, the threshing of wheat was
accomplished by animals treading the grain out with
their feet, as you see these oxen are doing. The corn
is spread out to form a thick carpet, when the animals
are made to trample over it repeatedly, and in this
way the grain is separated from the husks. Now in
nearly all countries machines are used for the purpose,
which are a very great improvement upon the former
The cultivation of wheat and other seeds has been
known by people in very early times. Cain was a
tiller of the ground, and even in the garden of Eden
Adam's occupation was the care of the beautiful
garden God had given him as a dwelling-place. I
dare say, too, you remember that during the time of
the famine in Canaan, Jacob sent his sons to Egypt
to buy corn, so that the ancient Egyptians must have
been skilful in cultivating the ground. When the
brothers of Joseph returned to their father, their sacks,
which they brought empty, were filled with grain.
It was a law among the Hebrews that the mouths
of the bxen should not be muzzled when beating out
the corn, which makes us think that, though the
people made the animals work, they treated them
kindly and with consideration.
How pretty these donkeys look, mamma, don't they ?
I do wish I had one of my own. I believe one of
these would carry me quite nicely, and not be so.
stupid as some have been that I have ridden on," said
"I think," said mamma, these are Eastern asses,
which are much superior to the asses in our country."
"Don't we read about asses in the Bible, mamma?"
Yes, my dear, several times. For many years the
horse was unknown as a domestic animal, so that the
good, patient donkey was used for doing the work
that is now performed by the horse. Afterwards,
however, when the horse was introduced from the
north of" Asia, the ass became an object of less im-
portance, being employed chiefly by the poor."
"Did not Christ ride upon one, mamma, when He
entered Jerusalem? "
"Yes, dear, and that is why Zechariah says,
'Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, lowly, and
riding upon an ass.' When the sons of Jacob went
to buy corn in Egypt, they took asses with them; and
Joseph sent the same animals along with camels
to bring his father Jacob to Egypt. So you see,
Willie, although asses are not considered by us to be
of great value, it has not always been the case."
IN THE CORN-FIELD.
THE little girl tying the sheaf of corn seems very
bright and happy, although she is quite alone. Most
likely the workmen are not far off, taking refresh-
ment, so the little girl is quietly going on tying the
sheaves that yet remain to be done. Her father is the
owner of the field, and she is looking pleased because
she knows how rejoiced he will be that the harvest-is
A large, rich corn-field, with its sheaves of newly-
cut corn gracefully bowing their heads, is one of- the
most glorious sights we can behold. We are re-
minded of the promise made in the Bible, That
seed-time and harvest shall not fail," and we are full
of gratitude to God, who has supplied us with the
"staff of life" for another year.
In the days of Old England the harvest was a time
of very great rejoicing, both. among masters and
servants; all seemed to be hnapy together in the
prospect of plenty that lay before them. The grain
last cut was taken home in its wagon, called t he sth'ck-
cart, at the top of which was mounted a sheaf dressed
gaily in imitation of the goddess Ceres. Th reapers
tripped round the cart hand-in-hand, singing harest
songs, or sometimes only shouting joyfully "Huriah!"
"WHAT shall we do? How can we possibly live,"
said Effie Graham, "without dear mamma? Poor
papa! it will nearly kill him! Oh, dear! if only
brother Jack would come, he would help us; but he
won't be long, he knows how ill dear mamma is, and
he will think of neither sleep nor food until he
Such are the musings of poor Effie as she sits in
her room, to which she has run for a few minutes
from her mamma's sick-room.
The same night, Effie's mamma died, and you may
be sure Effie, and her papa, and Jack, and all the
young ones, were overwhelmed with grief. The
days went by, however, and Effie, for the
sake of her .papa, whose loss she knew was worse
than hers, and for the sake of her brothers and
sisters, determined not to indulge in her own
sorrow. She attended to her little sisters and
brothers with unceasing I~e and energy, and became
to her papa such a treasure and comfort that he told
her he often thanked God for giving her to him.
A STATELY CHURCH.
WHAT a noble church this is, with its lovely spires
and stained windows, and carved work! and how
prettily the ivy, and moss, and trees, are growing up
the sides of it!
It is a matter of very little importance where we
worship God; whether it be in our owe home, in
church or chapel, in some lonely garret, or within no
walls of any kind, but under the broad canopy of
heaven, we may always be sure that God will hear
us, if we approach Him in sincerity. For this reason,
some think that money is uselessly spent in decorating
and making beautiful our churches and chapels; that
buildings quite free from ornament would answer the
purpose quite as well. However, like the Mary we
read of in the Bible, who broke the box of precious
ointment on the head of Jesus, others feel that nothing
too beautiful can be given to the service of God. The
disciples reproved Mary Magdalene, saying that the
money ought to have been given to the poor, but
Christ would not have her rebuked. He said she had
"loved much," and in this way had proved her love.
No doubt the money with which she bought the
alabaster box of ointment was what would have fed
and clothed her for many days; but she willingly
deprived herself of a few real necessities to prove
her deep love for her Master.
JESUS BLESSING LITTLE CHILDREN.
"I DO believe all you children can tell at once what
this picture is intended for, you have heard the
beautiful story so many times. As you are the
youngest, Nellie, let us hear what you have to say
I think, mamma, this is Christ blessing the little
children, and the women are the mothers who have
brought their little ones to Him."
"You are quite right, Nellie; I see you have not
forgotten what I read to you."
"Mamma, were the children different after they
had been to Jesus? were they any better than they
were before ?"
"Not exactly that, Nellie dear; but no one can live
with, or be very near to any one who is very good,
without being infected, as it were, by the goodness."
I don't quite understand."
Well, don't you think, Nellie, the reason the
mothers brought their children to Christ was that
they had noticed the beauty of His character, and
thought how much they should like their-children to
become like Him? They loved Him both for His
words and deeds, and just as we like to share our joy
with those we love, so these mothers brought their
greatest treasures to have the gentle touch and smile
AN 1.IBTRUCTIVEt MAP.
the inquiri# mind all .' tl"Ptbfnl inonnmation are impinant, and whatever imparts knowle
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