Citation
What little hands can do, or, The children of Beechgrove

Material Information

Title:
What little hands can do, or, The children of Beechgrove a book of interest for Sunday and week day readings
Portion of title:
Children of Beechgrove
Creator:
Owen, M. C.
Jarrold and Sons
Place of Publication:
London
Publisher:
Jarrold and Sons
Manufacturer:
Jarrold and Sons
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Edition:
3rd ed.
Physical Description:
viii, 238, [10] p., [1] leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 17 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Bible stories, English -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Storytelling -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Aunts -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1874 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1874
Genre:
Publishers' catalogues ( rbgenr )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Date of publication from inscription.
General Note:
Frontispiece printed in colors.
General Note:
Publisher's catalogue follows text.
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Mrs. M.C. Owen.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
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This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026737786 ( ALEPH )
ALG8604 ( NOTIS )
71124027 ( OCLC )

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The Baldwin Library

University
RmB of
Florida









WHAT LITTLE HANDS CAN DO.













* At this moment his two cousins, Ellen and Annie, came into

the room; they looked bright, happy little girls.”"—Page 2.



WHAT LITTLE HANDS
CAN DO:

The Childyen of Begchgrave,

A BOOK OF INTEREST
FOR SUNDAY AND WEEK DAY READING.

By MRS..M. C, OWEN.

“*Qh ! what can little hands do
To please the King uf Heaven?
The little hands some work may try,

To help the poor in misery—
Such grace to mine be given!”

THIRD EDITION.

LONDON:
JARROLD AND SONS, 3, PATERNOSTER BUILDINGS.



AER, ORO AEEY

if Jo
axis axe
t Contents,
CHAPTER I.
t : PAGE '
Introduction - — - - I
CHAPTER II.
The Story of Mephibosheth, and how he be-
came Lame on both his Feet - - 7

CHAPTER III.
The Story of Mephibosheth—continued - 16

CHAPTER IV.
The Story of Mephibosheth—continued - 20

CHAPTER V.
Interesting Conversation - - 24.

CHAPTER VI.

The Story of Gehazi; his first Wicked
Thought, and its Consequences - 32

CHAPTER VII.
The Story of Gehazi—continued - / - 36



vi. CONTENTS.

CHAPTER VIII.

PAGE
An Errand of Mercy - - oe 4l
CHAPTER IX. .
A Disappointment - * - 46
CHAPTER X.
The Pleasures of Industry - - 51
. CHAPTER XI.
The Children’s Dorcas Meeting - - 59
CHAPTER XII.
Preparation, and its Pleasures - - 64
CHAPTER XIII.
The Story of Jonathan, and how he loved
David and saved his Life - - 69
CHAPTER XIV.
The Story of Jonathan—continued - 93
. CHAPTER XV.
The Story of Jonathan—continued - 78
. CHAPTER XVI.
Preparing for the Treat - - - 82
CHAPTER XVII.
The School Treat - -. , = 686
CHAPTER XVIII.
The School Treat—continued - - QI

CHAPTER XIX.
The Lost Child : - - - 98



CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XxX.
Different Kinds of Pleasure - -

CHAPTER XXI.

The Story of Naaman, and how his Leprosy
“ was Cured - e : 3

CHAPTER XXII.
Obedience to God ; or the Four Captive Boys

CHAPTER XXIII.
Obedience to God; or the Four Captive
Boys—continued - - -
CHAPTER XXIV.

The Burning Fiery Furnace, into which the
three Young Men were Cast and were
not Burnt - - - -

CHAPTER XXV. |
The Lions’ Den, or Daniel’s Trust in God -

CHAPTER XXVI.
The Happy Blind Woman - =

CHAPTER XXVII.
The Minute Bag. Visit to Old Sarah -

CHAPTER XXVIII.

Matt, the Idiot Boy - oe -
CHAPTER XXIX.

‘Improvement and Plan of Usefulness -
CHAPTER XXX.

Conversation and Arrangements - -

vit.

PAGE
105

109

123

13]

137

143

156
164
171

175



vill. CONTENTS.
CHAPTER XXXI.
The Story of a Disobedient Prophet who was
Killed by a Lion - - -

CHAPTER XXXII.
The Story of the Disobedient Prophet—con-
tinued : - : :

CHAPTER XXXIII.

The Story of the Disobedient Prophet—con-
tinued - : - -

CHAPTER XXXIV.

The other Disobedient Prophet—(foxah)
who was Swallowed by a Fish - -

CHAPTER XXXV.

The Story of Esther, the Beautiful Queen,
who saved all the Jews from being
massacred - - - -

CHAPTER XXXVI.
The Story of Esther—continued - -

CHAPTER XXXVILI.
The Story of Esther—continued - -

CHAPTER XXXVIII.
The Story of Esther—continued - oo

CHAPTER XXXIX.

The Ragged Ambassadors, and how they
deceived the Israelites - =

PAGE:

179

184

189

195

213





Wat JHTTLE JtAnps CAN Po.
; —_o0-—

Chapter Sirst.



INTRODUCTION.

NOTHER wet Sunday! how very tiresome ;”
exclaimed a little boy about nine years old,
_who stood looking out of a window, watching the
_ passers-by, during a steady and heavy rain. -“ We
_ have had so many lately, and I never know what to
do; we must not play, and we cannot read all day
: long.” At this moment Herbert Wilmot, hearing a
footstep, turned round and met the eyes of his aunt
Howard, with whom he had just arrived to spend a
month in the summer time.
“What is the matter, my dear boy?” asked his
aunt, seeing his sorrowful face. “Are you grieving
because we cannot go out this morning? .





2 What Little Hands can do.

“Yes, aunty. Is it not very tiresome, my first
Sunday at BEESUErOves and to have to stay in all
day?”

“Well, my dear Herbert, ” replied his aunt, laying
‘her hand kindly on his shoulder, “I will not say it

is tiresome, for I do not like to speak of the arrange- -

ments of God in that way; but I agree with you, it
is very disappointing that the first Sunday morning
in the country should. be so wet; but we will not,
therefore, make up our minds to a wet day. at this

season we often have very heavy rain followed .

quickly by bright sunshine, and we may have a very
fine afternoon and evening. You know I promiséd
your dear mamma, when J asked her to allow you
to visit me, to take great care of your health; and
as the doctor has forbidden you to go out when at
all damp, I must unwillingly keep you a prisoner
this morning as well as your cousins; but J intend
to remain at home with you myself, and I hope we
shall fod: means to pass a very happy and promanie
morning.”

Herbert’s face, which had been very gloomy,
brightened up a little on hearing his aunt intended
herself remaining at home, for he was very fond of
Mrs. Howard, and never found time hang heavily
when in her company. -

At this moment his two cousins, Ellen and Annie,

came into the room; they looked bright, happy:

little girls, of about ten and eleven years of age.



Bible Stories. 3

‘They seemed surprised that their mamma thought it
needful to remain at home herself, because they
knew she very rarely did so on account of weather ;
but as she only told them her intention, without
giving her reasons, they were quite satisfied to hear
|. the good news, and at once asked what they should
co. “Will you tell usa new Bible story, mamma?”
said Ellen ; “I do so like your stories.”

“J don't want to hear Bible stories,” interrupted
Herbert. “I know them all, and am quite tired of

— them.”



“Oh, Herbert! surely you don’t know a
mamma’s stories,” exclaimed Annie; “for you are
younger than we are, and we do not know all; and
there’s always something new to talk about when
she tells them. It is so nice, I am sure you will like
them.”

“Ym sure I shan’t, then; for I know them
already,” persisted Herbert, who still looked very
cross and uncomfortable.

“Well, my dears,” said Mrs. Howard, “we will
not dispute the matter, because we do not know
what Herbert knows, and he has not yet heard any
of our stories, so I do not think he can guwi‘e tell
how he will like them till he has tried ;” she added,
smiling, and drawing her little nephew to her
side. “So run now and fetch your Bibles, and
come and sit down, and when we have done our
reading, Herbert shall tell us how he likes our story.”



4 What Little Hands can do.

Mrs. Howard knew that Herbert had been what
we call a spoiled child at home, and she felt very
sorry for him; and while she hoped to see some
improvement in him before he returned to town
she did not intend needlessly to cross his wishes, as
she knew habits are stubborn things and cannot .be
very quickly cured; but she hoped, with God’s
blessing, he might himself see how unlovely over-
indulgence had made him, and also how much his
own pleasures were spoilt by always wishing to have
his own way, and never being willing to consider the
wishes of others. He was an only child, and had
delicate health ; and his every wish and desire had
been considered by loving parents and a fond
nurse, until the poor little boy seemed to suppose
the world was made for him alone. You may easily
understand that he was not a favourite among his
playfellows; and his little cousins, though kind
and affectionate children in general, were not par-
ticularly charmed when their mamma announced to
them that Herbert was to become their guest for a
month. Their fears that he would be “always
making himself disagreeable,” seemed likely to
prove true, when the first Sunday they heard him
oppose their mother’s Bible stories. However,
they remembered the hints their mamma had given
them about their behaviour to him, and they ran off
to fetch their books, hoping he would soon find ,
out his mistake. They then returned to the dining



The Lame Boy. 5

room, and took their seats by their mamma;
Herbert, as the youngest and the visitor, having the
post of honour by her side.

“Well, my dear Herbert,” said Mrs. Howard,
“suppose you tell us what stories from the Bible
you know, and’ then I shall be able to select one
that will be quite new to you.”

“Oh, I think I know them a,” repeated Herbert.
About Woah, and Abraham, and Moses, and David,
and aH of them.”

“Well, you have heard some very pretty ones if
you have heard about all you have mentioned. But
there are many more; and perhaps you have not
heard af the stories about each of the persons you
havenamed. ‘Tell me, now, if you remember a story
about a lame boy, to whom David was very kind?”

Herbert thought for a moment, and then was
obliged to own he did not remember ¢#a# story ; the
little girls declared they had not heard it either,
though their mamma said she thought they must
have poor memories, as she believed she had. told it
to them. “ However,” said she, “it will be quite
new to you also, so we will read it.”

“What was the name of the little boy, mamma?”
asked Annie ; “and how did he become lame?”

“Stop, my dear child; you are in too great a
hurry. The little boy’s name was a very long one,
and perhaps you will think it rather a hard one, it is
Mephibosheth, - ,



6 What Little Hands can de.

The children looked at each other as if they had
never heard such a strange name, and wondered how
a pretty story could belong to it. They then looked
at their mamma, who said, “If you open your
Bibles at the 4th chapter of the Second Book of
Samuel, and the 4th verse, we shall find the story
of Mephibosheth.”

She then read as follows :—







Chapter Second.

THE STORY OF MEPHIBOSHETH.

ND Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son that
was lame of his feet. He was five years
old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan
out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him. up and
fled. And it came to pass as she made haste
to flee, that he fell, and became lame, and
his name was Mephibosheth.”

She then continued—% You will all remember,
Saul was the first king of Israel, but he did
not honour and serve God; and God sent
Samuel the prophet to tell him that he had
rejected him from being king, and had chosen
Him a man after Elis own heart to be king.
This was David. And though he did not become
king then, or attempt to do so, yet Saul was jealous
of him from the time he knew he was one day
to be king; and he persecuted and tried to kill





8 What Little Hands can do.

David, but Jonathan, Saul’s son, loved David very
much indeed, and tried to protect him from his
father’s anger. But when he found he could no
longer preserve David from Saul’s jealousy, he sent
him away. But before they parted they went out
into a field together; and David made a promise
that he would not forget Jonathan, but would be
kind to him when he became king, and also would
shew kindness to Jonathan’s children after he was
dead. For a long time after this, Saul tried to hurt
and injure David whenever-he could; but at last,
Saul and Jonathan were both killed in a battle with
the Philistines; who, you will remember, were the
great enemies of the Israelites

“Well, when the news came that Saul and
his three sons had all been killed, I suppose
their friends expected the Philistines might come
and take their houses and lands, and perhaps
kill the children they had left at home, so the
nurse that took care of Jonathan’s little boy,
h.ephibosheth, took him up in her arms and
ran away to hide him .somewhere safely. -We
are not told where she took him, but no doubt it
was the best place she could think of in her fright;
and as she was running to hide him, she fell, with
the poor little Mephibosheth, and so hurt him that
he became lame. Perhaps she was afraid to let any
one know where he was hidden who might have
done him good, or perhaps nothing could be done



Shewing Kindness. 9

for the poor child; which it was we do not know,
but this we know, that he was lame all his life.
What a sad trial it was for him, and what a sorrow
for his poor nurse, when she saw him unable to run
about like other children, to remember the accident
that made him so. However, sometimes our
greatest trials turn out to be our greatest blessings,
and we shall find that it was so with Mephibosheth.

“Many years after Saul and Jonathan were killed,
when David was settled as king, he often thought of
all he had suffered from Saul, and how wonderfully
God had delivered him and taken care of him when
Saul wanted to kill him; and one day he said, ‘Is
there any one left of the house of Saul, that I may
shew him kindness for. Jonathan’s sake?’ David,

you see, did not forget his dear friend Jonathan ;
and he did not forget that he had promised to shew
kindness to his children after his death. This was.
very right of David; and now that God had made
hin king, he asked his servants whether there was
any one left of the house of Saul to whom he
might shew kindness for Jonathan’s sake.

“Now David’s servants knew a servant of Saul’s,
named Ziba ; so they brought him to David, and the
king asked him if there was any one of Saul’s family
to whom he might shew the ‘ Aindness of God? Mark
these words, dear children ; the king wished to shew
the indness of God to some one belonging to his
cruel enemy Saul! This was much more than



10 What Little Hands can do.

doing it for Jonathan's sake; he had been his

dear and kind friend, and it is always a pleasure

to serve the friends or the children of those

we love; but David did not ask for any of

Jonathan's family alone, but any of the house of .
Saw, that he might shew the ‘Azndness of God’

to him.

“He might well call it the ‘Aéndness of God,
for only God can teach us to love and be kind
to Gur enemies; and to those who have been unkind
to us. You know our own wicked hearts always
lead us to return evil for evil, and to be unkind to
those who are unkind tous. The Lord Jesus was
the only one who was always kind to His enemies,
and never returned evil for evil. You know when
the wicked people beat Him, and spat upon Him,
and smote Him upon the cheek, He bore it all like
a lamb, and prayed for His wicked murderers.
People who love Jesus try to follow His blessed
example, and to love those who hate them; and so
you see David did, though he had not the beautiful
history of the Lord Jesus to read as we have)
because he lived long before the Lord was born.
Still he loved God, and was taught by God’s Holy
Spirit to love his enemies; and so instead of wish-
ing to £zd/ every one that remained in his kingdom
belonging to Saul, he asked whether there was not
some one left of his family to whom he might shew
what? ‘ Zhe kindness of God. You see he did not



Kind Words. ; I

wait until he /owzd some one, but he thought about
it, and asked about it, which shewed his heart was
occupied with kind and loving thoughts.

“ Now we shall see what Ziba tells him. ‘And Ziba
said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son which
is lame on his feet.’ How pleased David must have
felt to find the only one left of Saul’s house, who he
hears of, is the son of his dearly-loved Jonathan.
He asked Ziba where he was, and desired him to go
and fetch him at once.

“Poor Mephibosheth! How astonished and
frightened he must have been when he heard
that David wanted to see him! Perhaps Ziba
‘old him the king wanted to shew him_ kind-
ness, but he came to the king and bowed down
before him. And what were the first kind words
David said to him? ‘Fear not!’ David remem-
bered Mephibosheth would be likely to be very
much afraid when he sent for him, because he
knew he was the grandson of the wicked Saul,
who had treated David so cruelly, and that there-
fore he had no right to expect any kindness from
David himself; but how delighted and surprised he
must have been when he heard the rest of what
David said to him. After telling him not to be
afraid he said, ‘I will surely shew thee kindness for
Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will give thee back
all the land of Saul thy grandfather, and thou shalt
eat bread at my table continually.’



12 What Little Hands can do.

“Was not this great love in David, dear children ?
not only to make Mephibosheth a rich man,
but to tell him he should eat bread at the king’s
continually. ‘This was the greatest honour he
ive him; it was treating him like his own














; ‘What is a servant, that thou
st look upon such a dead dog as Tam?’ You
ephibosheth was not proud; he speaks. of
a ‘dard dee’ Now of what use is a dead

vo use at all A femme dog may be of
t use to its master, but a wees’ dog can be of no
to any one, and is also a very ugly and di
biect to look at. Poor Mephibosheth m:
knew he had no right to expect Dawid to
é@ he belonged to the house of
knew he never could be of any
this?
en, God tells us,

ae













him, be

mse he was



* He



you know, dear cl
| mat (or : se







Hot Chee oF



Dining at the King's Table, Ly

it is a very great honour if a person is invited
to dine with the Queen exce in his life, and very
few people have the honour; but what would any
one think of dining at the Queen’s table aéz«uays
who did not belong to her family? This was what
David said Mephibosheth should do. ‘Then the
king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said unto
him, I have given unto thy master’s son all that be-
longed to thy master Saul and to all his house ; thou,
therefore, and thy sons and thy servants, shall till
the ground for him. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and
twenty servants.’ And Ziba promised king David
that he would do as he wished, and see after all the
land that.the king had given to Mephibosheth.
And then before Ziba left the king he again said,
‘As for Mephibosheth, he shall eat at my table as
one of the king’s sons.’

“ Now, dear children, just let us count how many
times the king speaks of this to Ziba; ¢Arce times
over he mentions it! Perhaps David wished
Mephibosheth to see the pleasure it gave him to
promote him to this honour for his dear father’s
sake. ‘So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, and
did eat bread at the king’s table continually, and
was lame on both his feet.’

“We may think how happy Mephibosheth now
was, being so loved and honoured by David;
and how often he would think and speak with
him of his dear father Jonathan, No doubt



14 . What Little Hands can de,

David told him how Jonathan took off his ow.
dress,.and gave it to him, with his girdle and his
bow. Perhaps David may have had some of these
~ things with him through all his wanderings, and may
have shewn them to Mephibosheth: he may have
told him also the curious plan that Jonathan
hit upon to let him know that Saul had deter-
mined to kill him, and how-he managed it; he
may also have told him that once, when he was
hiding in a wood from Saul, and was feeling very -
sad and very unhappy, and was almost ready to
think he never should be king, but was afraid Saul
would one day kill him ; that when he was in this sad
state, Jonathan came and found him in the wood, ‘and
strengthened his hands in God.’ 1 Sam. xxiii. 16.
This meant, that Jonathan tried to cheer, and encour-
age, and comfort David, by reminding him of Goa’s
promise that he should be king, and also reminding
him that everything that God said sould happen,
must happen. And you may suppose how happy
Mephibosheth must have been to hear the king
speak of his father in this way.

“David perhaps also told Mephibosheth how
once Jonathan nearly lost his life for eating a little
honey, when his father had made a law that no one
should eat anything that day; and he may also have
told him of another occasion, when Jonathan and
his servant gained a great victory over their enemies
while Saul and his soldiers were waiting for the



Pleasing Stories. 15

battle to begin; and how no one knew who had
beaten the Philistines till they courted the soldiers,
and found Jonathan and his servant were absent.
‘These and many more stories we may suppose
David had delight in telling the child of his beloved
friend, as he daily took his meals with him. And
we shall now see how Mephibosheth returned
David's love, and how tenderly attached he became
to him, though he could not serve him as others dic
on account of his lameness.”









Chapter Third. -



‘THe Srory oF MeprurBposHeTuo—continued,

LONG time after David had’ taken Mephibo-
sheth to his table, a sad trial fell upon the
king. He had a son named Absalom; he was a
very fine, handsome young man, and a great favou-
rite with the people; but I am sorry to say he was
not a good son to his father. He had given him a
great deal of troublé and sorrow, and at last he
tried to take the kingdom from him, and made the
“people think they were not properly cared for by the
king, and that if he were king he would take more
care of them. ‘Then he told his father a lie, and
said he was leaving home to do something for the
Lord; but he went away, and some wicked people
followed him and made him king instead of David.





The Rebllious Son. 17

‘ «This is what we call a redelion. It is a very
dreadful thing in a country, because it causes much
war and shedding of blood: but oh, how much
‘worse when a son rises in rebellion against his own
father! We may be sure God's judgment will come
upon a rebellious son, for He has commanded
children to honour their father and mother. (Zp/.
vi. 2.)

“When David heard that Absalom called himself
king, he told his servants they must run away with
him from Absalom. I suppose David did not want
to go to war with his son, for he loved: him very
much though he was acting so wickedly. So poor
David, and some friends and servants, all left their
own comfortable homes and beautiful city of Jerusa-
lem, and passed over the brook Kedron, and went
up amountain. Many of the people who lived in that
neighbourhood were véry sorry, and cried very
bitterly when they saw their dear king driven away
from his home by his wicked undutiful son. David
must’ have felt as unhappy as he did when he
was hiding from Saul in the woods and mountains,
pr even more so, because he must have known that
all his troubles were caused by his wicked son,
He had now no home and no food, and no clothes
but what people gave him, and the little they had
taken with them when they left home.

“ As David was going up a mountain, who do you

think he met? Why, he met Ziba, the servant of
7 oo



18 What Little Hands can do.

Mephibosheth, who had with him two asses saddled,
and upon them two hundred loaves of bread,
and one hundred bunches of raisins, and a hundred
of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine.* And the
' king asked Ziba what all these nice things were for;
and Ziba said to the king, the asses were for some
of his servants to ride upon, and the wine and food
were for those who were faint and hungry on their
journey. Do you think David thought of any one
else when he saw Ziba, or did he only think of the
present he brought to him? Oh, yes; David
thought of Mephibosheth; and he asked Ziba,
‘Where is thy master’s son?’ And what did Ziba
tell him? He said, ‘He is staying behind at
Jerusalem instead of coming with you, because he
thinks now he shall be able to get the kingdom for
himself!’

“What! Avephibosheth try to take away the king-
dom from David, who had been so very kind to
him! Oh, surely this could not be true. Well, we
must wait a little and see. »Ziba told David so, and
David believed him, and was so grieved and pained
to think that Mephibosheth could have acted so
ungratefully and wickedly, that he said to Ziba,
“You may have everything that I gave to

* My little readers must understand that in olden times wine
bottles were made of large sus, holding much more than our
glass bottles now do; so Ziba only took owe bottle of wine,
though he had so much bread and fruit.



Death of Absalom. 19

Mephibosheth!’ Was Ziba to have all the land
that had belonged to king Saul? Yes, every-
thing, David said, because he thought Ziba had
shewn great kindness and love in coming after him
with these provisions instead of staying behind to
help Mephibosheth to take the kingdom for himself.

“Poor David; how very sad he must have felt
to think, that not only his own son Absalom was
fighting against him, but that now Mephibosheth,
whom he had treated like a son, should also be in
rebellion against him. David wrote some psalms
which shew us how very unhappy he was at this
time. :

“ For some time after this, David had to flee from
his wicked son, Absalom; but at last his servants
went to battle with Absalom and his men, and God
allowed this wicked son to be killed. You re-
member, I dare say, how it happened? He was
caught by his fine long hair as he was riding under
an oak, and his mule ran away; and Joab, Davids
general, saw him hanging there, and killed him.
Poor king David was in very great sorrow when he
heard that his wicked son was dead; he wept
bitterly for him, and wished he had died instead of
Absalom. It is a dreadful thing to think of a son
being cut off while in rebellion against his father.”
(2 Sam. xviii. 33.)

¢

fe

a





Chapter Sourth,



Tue STORY OF MEpuiposHEeTH—continued.

HEN Absalom was dead, the people at
Jerusalem wished very much that David
would come back and take the kingdom again. So
he returned, with all his friends and servants, to
Jerusalem. Several people shewed their pleasure
in David’s return by going to meet him; who do
you think was one of the persons who did so?
Why, Mephibosheth! As soon as he heard David
was coming home, he went to meet him. But oh!
he looked such an untidy figure ; not at all fit to go
to see a king, for he had neither dressed his feet
nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes,
since David went away. Why was this? It was
on account of his great grief and sorrow at losing
David. It proved, that now David was gone, he did





The Ontruthful Servant. 21

not care for comfort or neatness, or anything else.
When the king saw him coming, looking this strange
figure, he said to him, ‘Why aie. you not go with
me, Mephibosheth ?’”

“And what did Mephibosheth say, do you think—
that he wanted the kingdom, as Ziba had said?
Oh, no! he told a very different story. He said to
David, ‘My lord, oh king, my servant deceived me;
for I said, I will saddle an ass, and ride on it to go
to the king, because I am lame; but he has told
you untrue and wicked things about me, but I am,
sure the king will understand the matter rightly, and.
will do what is right, for all my father’s house were
but dead men before my lord the king, yet thou
didst set me among those that eat at thine own
table ; what right, therefore, have I to cry any more
unto the: king ?’”

‘You see, poor Mephibosheth was still humble,
and had not been spoilt and made proud by all
David’s kindness to him; he still felt he had not
any claim upon it. And though he must have been
very much pained that David should have heard
such false things about him, he was quite satisfied
that the king should settle about his prdperty just as
he liked. I think David must have felt very much
vexed with himself for believing Ziba’s story so
quickly; he had been hasty in giving him his
master’s property. And now he found out his
mistake, he said to Mephibosheth, ‘Why speakest



22 Unselfish Love,

thou any more of thy matters? I have said, thou
and Ziba divide the land.’”

“ David did not like to hear any more about this
matter ; he felt he had been deceived, and that he had
done poor Mephibosheth a great injustice in doubting
his faithful love to himself. And I dare say, dear
children, you all know how very uncomfortable you
feel towards any one when you know you have been
unjust or unkind to them. This was how David
now felt; but what did Mephibosheth say when the
king told him he and Ziba were to share the land ?
Was he angry, or did he think it unjust? No; his —
true love for David now came out; he said yes, let
him take a; forasmuch as my lord the king is
come again in peace to his own house; he did not
care for land and money now; his joy was full to see
David back. Ziba might take all the land and all
the money, he would not quarrel about it; the king
was back again, and this was enough to make
Mephibosheth quite happy.”

“This was beautiful, unselfish love, and must
surely have made David feel very much ashamed
of himself for believing that Mephibosheth ever
wished to take the kingdom for himself during
his absence.”

“We do not read any more about Mephibosheth
after this, but I think David would never forget
their meeting on his return home, and would never
believe any more stories about selfishness or ingrati-



The True Davia. 23

tude in Mephibosheth ; and I hope it taught him to be
slow in believing all he heard, because it is particularly
important for a king to be very just; and we must
‘not always judge, you know, by appearances ; for, as
in Ziba’s case, they often deceive us. When the
Lord Jesus Christ, the true David, shall rule, we
read, ‘He shall o¢ judge after the sight of his eyes,
neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but
with righteousness shall he judge the poor.’ /sa. xi. 3.
This means that Christ will not look upon things as
they appear to be, but as they ready are, and will
make zo mistakes and do no one any injustice ; and
we know He values the love of our hearts more
than all our services. For He says to us, ‘ My son,
give me thine heart.’” (Prov. xxiii. 26.)





ns GAREW-REIANETENE ENE IRE EN

Ghayter Sifth.

INTERESTING CONVERSATION.

RS. HOWARD here paused, and looking
round to Herbert, said, “Now, Herbert,
you shall tell us how you like my story.” ;

“Very much indeed, Aunty,” replicd the child,
whose face had by this time lost all its gloom; ‘but
I think it was very wrong of David to believe Ziba’s
story.”

“Tt was, my dear, a sad mistake ; but, perhaps,
we can hardly be surprised at it, when we remember
the deep trouble and sorrow poor David was in.
Sorrow, you know, makes us generally very selfish ;
we are thinking so much of our own trouble, that
we do not pay much attention to other people, but
rather expect them to be thinking of us. This was
the case with David, and caused him many sorrow-
ful thoughts afterwards, I doubt not: but think, my
children, what a beautiful exariple of unselfishness in





Lhe Perfect Example. 25

sorrow we have in our blessed Lord Jesus. We
never find any trouble or pain made Him forget
others. In many instances we see this; but in one
or two it is very remarkable. When the soldiers
came to take Jesus, He thought of His disciples,
and said to the men, ‘If ye seek me, let these go
their way. John xviii. 8. And again, when on the
cross, in all the agony of that dreadful hour, the
Lord was not occupied with His own sorrow, but
with others; He thought of His beloved mother,
and told His dear disciple John to take care of her
and be as a son to her. john xix. 26, 27.
Though the Lord Jesus didnot plainly tell John to
take care of His mother, yet in the words, ‘Behold
thy mother, He evidently meant him to understand
that He put him in His own place as a son, to care
for her as He had done; and John quite understood
Him, for we read, ‘From that hour that disciple
took her unto his own home.’ John xix. 26, 27.
Thus you see, dear children, however wise and good
God's servants may be, we see some failure in all of
them. In the Lord Jesus Christ alone, do we find
a perfet example. He did aways those things
which pleased His Father.”

“Flow very frightened Ziba must have felt,
mamma, when he found out that David had
discovered his lie and deception, must he
note”

“Yes, indeed, my dear,” replied Mrs, Howard,



26 Lnteresting Conversation.

“we can easily imagine his feelings; he no doubt
flattered himself it would never be discovered, but
God's word is certain; ‘Be sure your sin wd find
you out.’ Mum. xxxii. 23. It does not say when,
it may be very soon, as in this case, or a long time
may pass; but God never forgecs sin, though we
may do so, and the day of reckoning will surely
come. Do either of you remember the case of
another servant, whose covetousness led him to
lying and deception, which was very quickly dis-
covered and brought a very dreadful punishment
upon him?”

The children thought for some minutes and
looked at each other: at last Ellen said, ‘I think
I ought to know, mamma, but I can’t recollect ; but
if you tell me which book the story is in, I think I
shall remember it.”

“Tt is in the 2nd Book of Kings,” replied Mrs.
Howard; “and we read it a very short time ago,
in our morning reading.”

“Oh! was it Elijah’s servant, mamma, when
his master cured the leper? JI forget his
name.”

“T see you have the right maz in your mind,
Annie, but in a confused way; it was Zvsha, not
Elijah, that cured Naaman, the Syrian, of his
leprosy ; and his servant was the one I referred to.
But you had better open your Bibles at the 5th
chapter of 2nd Kings, and find out the servant's



A Common Mistake. (27

name for yourselves, and then I think you will
remember it another time.”

The ciildren did so, and Ellen exclaimed, “Oh!
mamma, I have found it in the 2zoth verse. Gehazi
was the servant’s name.”

“Yes, my dear,” said her mamma, “and I should
‘hike you to try and tell me the story, unless,” added
she, “ Herbert can do so instead.”

And she looked at’ the little boy, who shook his
head, and was obliged to own he never heard that
story before, upon which his cousin Annie said,

“There, Herbert, you see you don’t know all the
bible stories as you—”

Her mamma, however, stopped her finishing her
sentence by saying, ““My dear Annie, is Herbert
the only child you could name who sometimes
thinks he knows rather more than he really does?”
Annie looked rather ashamed and hung down her
head, while her mamma: continued, “It is a mis-
take we are all very prone to make; and the older
and wiser we grow, we learn how many things there
are about which we ¢iink we know a great deal and
find we really know very little, And when we see
how often we make mistakes ourselves, it should
make us very gentle with others, particularly when
younger than ourselves. But now, Annie, you may
try and tell us the story of Gehazi.”

Annie begged her mamma would tell it them, as
they would all understand it so much better.



28 Interesting Conversation.

Mrs. Howard smiled, and agreed to do so. “ But,”
said she, “suppose, before we begin this story, we
sing a little hymn together.”

“Oh yes, mamma; that.will be very nice!” ex-
claimed both the little girls.

“Will you like to sing a hymn, Herbert, dear?”
said Mrs. Howard, taking her little nephew by the
hand and leading him to the harmonium.

“Ves, very much, Aunty,” replied the child.

“Which shall it be?” added she, as she took her
seat at the instrument, and looked round upon the
little group.

“Shall we sing, ‘Around the throne of God in
heaven,’ mamma? that is a very pretty one, I
think,” said Ellen.

“Ves, my dear, it is; we will sing that. first.”

They then together sang the following favourite
hymn :—

*¢ Around the throne of God in heaven,
Thousands of children stand :
Children whose sins are all forgiven,
A holy, happy band,
Singing glory, glory, glory. .

‘In flowing robes of spotless white
See every one arrayed ;
Dwelling in everlasting light,
And joys that never fade—

Singing glory, glory, glory.



“Glory! Glory!” 29

Once they were little things like you, °
And lived on earth below,
And could not praise, as now they do,
The Lord that loved them so,—
Singing glory, glory, glory.

** What brought them to that world above,
That heaven so bright and fair,
. Where all is peace, and joy, and love?
How came those children there,
Singing glory, glory, glory?

** Because the Saviour shed His blood
To purge away their sin;
Now wash’d in that most precious flood,
Behold them white and clean,

Singing glory, glory, glory.”

When it was finished, Herbert asked for another ;
and at his aunt’s desire, chose one himself. He
fixed upon the following, which was also sung. ,

‘« Among the deepest shades of night,
Can there be one who sees my way?
Yes; God is like a shining light,
That turns the darkness into day.

6‘ When every eye around me sleeps,
May I not sin without control?
No; for a constant watch He keeps,
On every thought of every soul.

“TF T could find some cave unknown,
Where human foot had never trod,
F’en there I could not be alone ; 7
On every side there would be God.”



30 Interesting Conversation.

When it was finished, Ellen said, “If Gehazi and
Ziba had known this hymn, mamma, perhaps they
would have been afraid to act so wickedly.”

“Well, my dear Ellen, I can hardly agree with
you,” replied her mother, “because I see so many
children and grown-up people too, who do. know
this hymn and many others like it, and many Scrip-
tures which teach the same solemn lesson that God
always sees us, and yet they try to deceive as much
as Ziba or Gehazi did. If that truth had acted
with power on their consciences, it certainly would
have prevented their falling into sin.”

“But what did Gehazi do?” said Herbert, “I
want to know.”

“Well, my dear,” said his aunt, “we will now
return to the sofa, and I will tell you the story of
Gehazi. But look, Herbert,” added she, as they
passed the window, “are we going to havea wet
day now, do you think ?”

“Oh no, aunty, the sun is coming out quite
brightly, and the garden looks nearly dry; how
different to the morning! oh, I am so glad!” cried
the child, skipping about with joy, “we need not
stay in the house all day long.”

“No, indeed, my boy; I hope we shall be able
to go out after dinner. I want to inquire for one or
two sick people, and you shall go with me, and your
little cousins will like to shew you our pretty lanes
about here; and then, as we come back, we will



A Short Morning. 34

look in at the school and see all the children; you
will, I am ae like to hear them sing and repeat
their verses.’

“Oh, thank you, aunty dear, that will be
beautiful !”

“But come,” said Mrs. Howard, “it is nearly
dinner-time, we shall hardly have time to tell you
the story of Gehazi.”

“ Dinner-time !” exclaimed all the children, “why
how very short the morning has been; I did not
think it was twelve o'clock !”

Mrs. Howard smiled, and looking at her little
nephew, said, with rather a droll face, “ Why,
Herbert, I thought Sunday was always such a very
long day; how is it the morning has been so
short ?” ;

“TJ don’t know, I am sure,” said Herbert; “I
can’t think how the time has gone; we seem only
just to have sat down.”

“Well, dear, I think ‘the secret is, you have been
fully occupied ; and time never passes so quickly as
when we are very busy, and it never seems to pass
so slowly as when we are idle and have nothing to
do. If youremind me, Herbert, to-morrow, I will
ell you a story about using up spare minutes ; but
now I will tell you about Gehazi.” Mrs. Howard
then proceeded as follows.

eB ECBO

AD &



CBRE GE ha Beet Sp ORG Feat
LES Se

Chapter Sixth.



Tuer Story or Genazi.—2 Kings v.



1



JEHAZI, my dear children, as you have al-
te ready found out, was the servant of Elisha,
the prophet of God; he had seen many miracles
performed by his master, but, evidently, did not par-
take of his master’s spirit. This teaches us the
solemn lesson, that living with God’s people and
enjoying many privileges, will never make us love
God, or the things of God; our hearts must be
changed before we can really love and serve Him.
“In the chapter to which we have referred, we
find Elisha had, by the power of God, cured
Naaman, the Syrian, of a dreadful disease called
leprosy: it was a terrible complaint which no
doctors could cure—only God could cure it; and
when he found he was made quite well, Naaman,
who was a very rich man, wanted to make Elisha a



The First Wicked Thought. 33

very handsome present to shew his gratitude; but
the prophet would not take anything, he wished to
shew Naaman that God gives freely, and that His
gifts, either for this life or for life eternal, can never
be purchased by anything that man can give. He
wished Naaman to understand that God must ever
‘be the giver; and man must be the receiver. And
Naaman understood this, for after offering the
prophet the present and finding he would not accept
it, he asked Elisha to géve Aim something ; What do
you think this was? it was two mules’ durden of
earth! What could'this be for? Why it was to
make an altar to the true God, when he reached
home, of the earth from the land of Canaan, which
was God’s own land. For this Naaman, you
must remember, had been a worshipper of zdo/s ;
but now he had learned that the God of Israel was
the only true God, for only He could cure the
leprosy, and so he wished to build an altar to Him,
You may be sure Elisha was very glad to give
Naaman this present, and after this he started on |
his long journey. Now Gehazi had seen the. pre-
sent that Naaman had offered -to Elisha, and he
thought to himself, What a pity my master has let
this Syrian go home without taking any of his
presents! This was his jrs¢ thought, then came
the next wicked one—I will run after him and take
something from him, You see, Gehazi should have
checked the jst thought, it was a covetous one,
D



34 ~The Story of Gerasi

and snewed he had no care that the poor Syrian
idolater should know that the gift of God was with-
out money and without price; then followed the
next wicked thought, and then! What came after
that? he ran after Naaman’s chariot. Naaman saw
Gehazi running after him, and got down to meet
him. He thought he was come with some message
from his master, and he felt so grateful to Elisha
that he wished to shew his respect for him, and his
willingness to serve him, and his wish for his wel-
fare, so he got down, and he asks Gehazi ‘Is all
well?’ Gehazi said ‘Yes, al‘ is well.’ And what
more did he say? Ah! now he had to tell a Ze; thus
a wicked thought is the beginning of a whole list
of sins. Think of this, my.dear children, and refuse
the first ¢hought of sin. Gehazi said to Naaman,
‘Two visitors (sons of the prophets) have just arrived
at my master’s house, and he begs you to give them
a talent of silver, and two changes of garments.’
Was there any truth in this message? no not one
bit, it was a direct lie; but Naaman wus well
pleased to serve Elisha in any way, so he said ‘ Yes,
[ll gladly send him more than that;’ and he gave
two of his own servants ¢wo talents of silver (you
remember Gehazi had only asked for ove) and two
changes of raiment, and told them to carry them
home for Gehazi, and they did so. And when they
came to the tower belonging to Elisha’s house, he
took the things from the servants and they went



God Sees All, 35

back to their master: then Gehazi put the things
carefully away in the tower, and very likely thought
to himself how cleverly he had managed the matter,
and that no one knew anything at all about it.
Was this true? Oh, no! God saw it all. Even
the first wicked thought in his heart, God knew.
And Gehazi might have remembered that God told
his master many things that nobody else knew, and
that he might tell him all this matter ; but I suppose
he did not think of this, for sin blinds our minds
terribly, and often makes us do the most foolish
things, as we shall see with Gehazi.”







Ghapter Seventh.



Tue Story oF GEnazi—(continucd. )

O when he had put all the things that
Naaman had given him, very safely away in
the tower, he went as usual to wait upon his master .
and see if he wanted anything. What do you think
Elisha said to him, when he came in? He asked
him where he came from. What a question for
Gehazi! how he must have trembled before the
searching eye of his master. Did he fall down
before him and. tell him all the truth? Ah, no!
that would have been the best thing he could have
done; and, perhaps, he wished he could do so; as,
I dare say, you have all of you felt sometimes, when
you have done wrong. You w#sh you could tell the
whole truth, but you feel afraid, and then Satan
makes you think it is too late, and you had better
cover up one sin by another and deny your fault,
and so one sin leads to another.





The Sin Found Out. 37

“The thing to fear, therefore, dear children, is
the fst wicked thought or inclination. What did
Gehazi now do? Why, he gave a most’ foolish
answer—he told the prophet he had not been any-
where! Did he forget his master was a prophet of
God, do you think? It would look rather like it,
to give him such a silly answer. Did he not re-
member all the miracles Elisha had done by the
power of God? How he raised the dead, made the
iron swim, multiplied the widow’s oil, cured the
leprosy, and many other wonderful things he may
have seen; and did he think such a master could
be deceived so easily? Ah, well; as we said before,
sin is a very deceiving thing, and cleverly as Gehazi
had managed all this matter, he had now to find out
that his master was cleverer still; and you must try
and fancy how he felt when Elisha said to him,
“Went not my heart with thee when the man turned
again from his chariot to meet thee?’

“Now, indeed, ‘his sin had found him out.’
How short a time had he enjoyed his treasures!
He had not had time to spend any of the money, or
to wear any of the clothes: he had not had time even
to pay one little visit to the tower to /vok at his trea:
sures, before all his wickedness was brought out;
and he had only to stand there and hear his awful
doom and punishment from the lips of that master
whom he had tried to deceive!

“And Elisha said, ‘The leprosy, therefore, of



38 The Story of Gehasi.

Naaman, shall cleave unto thee and unto thy seed
for ever!’ What fearful words, dear children, were
they not? And you must remember, leprosy was a
worse thing for Gehazi than for Naaman.”

“How, mamma, was that? I thought Naaman
could never have been cured except by God’s
power,”’ said Ellen. ;

“Quite true, my dear. I am not surprised that
my remark should puzzie you a. little, but I will
explain it, and then I think you will agree with me
that it was a heavier affliction for Gehazi than even
for Naaman, though in both cases the sad disease
was incurable by human means,

“ Gehazi, you know, was a_/ew, and Naaman was
2 Gentile. Now, Ellen, does that help you to
answer your own question?” asked Mrs. Howard.

“No, mamma; I do not think it does.

“Was it because Elisha said Gehazi never should
be cured, and Naaman may ave hofed for a cure,
aunty, dear?” said little Herbert, looking up ina
questioning way in Mrs. Howard’s face,

“No, my little man, that was net the reason ;”
replied his aunt. “Though you are quite right in
thinking that would have made a difference 7 there
had been any room for Aoge of relief in Naaman’s
case, but I rather think he had no such hope;
because, as he was a heathen, and had never heard
of the true God, he is not likely ever to have heard
of such a thing as leprosy being cured.”



The Leper. 39

. How did he know Elisha could cure it then,
aunty ?”

“Oh! I see, darling, you have not heard the story
about Naaman. I did not think of that, or I would
have begun at the beginning ; but it is now too late,
so we must leave it till another day. And I will
only tell you now, that he heard leprosy was cured
in the land of Israel through a little Jewish girl that
he had carried away in war from that country, and
taken home to wait upon his wife. The reason why
it was worse for a Jew to be a leper than it was for
a Gentile, was because God made laws about leprosy
that all the Jews had to obey. Among them, a leper
had to live alone, far from any one, and wear a cover
upon his upper lip; and wher any one happened to
come near him he had to call out, ‘unclean!
unclean!’ to tell them he was a leper, and they
must not come nearer.. Now, Naaman was a great
general, and much loved and valued by the king his
master, and able to live at home with his wife, and
only had to bear the sad disease; but no sorrow-
ful consequences. Now, do you understand the
difference ?”

“ Oh, yes, quite ;” exclaimed the children.

“ And did Gehazi turn a leper af once?” inquired
Herbert.

“Ves, my dear. If you look at the last verse of
the chapter you will fd, as soon as Elisha had
pronounced his dreadful sentence upon Gehazi, that

y



40 The Story of Gehaszt.

‘he went out from his presence a leper as wile as
as snow!’”
““Oh! how dreadful, aunty.”

“Very dreadful, indeed, my child. And oh, how
Gehazi must have wished he had never had the
covetous thought, that he had never told the lie to
Naaman, or tried to deceive his master; but that he
had, instead of this, remembered those solemn
words, ‘ Zhou God seest me!’ Let us all try to
remember them, my dear children, and fear the first
step in sin. But now run away and prepare for
dinner, or you will not be ready when the bell
rings.”

Mrs. Howard then kissed them all, and they ran
off, greatly pleased with the way in which they had
passed the wet Sunday morning. '







Ghaptey Eighth,

Aw Errand or MERcy.

|FTER dinner the children were quickly ready
WES to accompany Mrs. Howard in her walk ;
and as their way lay through some beautiful Devon-
shire lanes, with the hedges full of pretty wild
flowers, the little visitor from the busy streets of
London, greatly enjoyed his ramble.

Mrs. Howard directed her little girls to take
care of Herbert, and show him some ducks in a
pond, while she went in to see her aged
friend, Mrs. Gregory, who had long been a great
sufferer, and confined to her bed for many years,
While Mrs. Howard was conversing with her,
a heavy shower coming on, the children were
called in for shelter. The old lady greeted the
two little girls with pleasure, and evidently was
no strange: to them. Herbert looked about, as if





42 An Errand of Mercy.

he wondered at finding himself in so new an
atmosphere.

After the shower had passed, the little party
returned homewards; not forgetting, however, to
call at the school, as Mrs. Howard had promised, ©
that Herbert might see all the happy children
singing and reciting together. When they reached
home it was tea time.

While making tea, Mrs. Howard asked Herbert
if he had enjoyed his walk. He replied that he had
done so, only it was very stupid sitting so long in
that old woman’s cottage. What do you go to see
her for, aunty ?” said he.

“My dear child,” said Mrs. Howard, “poor Mrs.
Gregory is a sufferer, and has long been one, and we
feel it a pleasure and a privilege to minister to her
in any way we can. She is a very patient and
happy christian, who is longing to depart and be
with her Master; but till He sees fit to remove her,
she desires to glorify and honour Him in suffering
here.”

“ But what's the use of Ellen and Annie going to
her, aunty? they cannot do anything for her, I am
sure.”

“Indeed, my dear boy, you are quite mistaken;
they greatly cheer the old woman by their visits, and
they are as fond of going to her as she is to have
them; and I like them to go, for they may learn
taany lessons from seeing her.”



. An Aged Superer. 43

“What lessons, aunty? I don’t know how a poor
old woman like that can teach young ladies.”

“JT will tell you then, my dear boy. They see
that Mrs. Gregory is very poor, very old, and
very suffering, and yet that she is very contented,
and patient, and happy; and they know that this is
the result of God’s grace in Mrs. Gregory, for she
was a very different person once, as all her neigh-
bours can tell you; but it pleased God to teaeh her
what a sinner she was in His sight, and how unable
to save herself, And it also pleased Him to shew
her, that what she could never do to save herself
from eternal ruin, the Lord Jesus had done for her.
That He had paid the heavy debt she owed, and
that now there was nothing .but peace and joy for
her. And since God’s Holy Spirit has taught her
this, she has been quite a new creature, and as
‘happy as the day is long, only waiting the summons
to her heavenly home. Though she is a great
sufferer, when your little cousins go to see her, it
cheers her, for she is very fond of them, and she
will tell them a hymn or a verse of Scripture, and
‘sometimes they tell her one, which pleases her
greatly. Then, occasionally, I send her a little
‘present by them, and sometimes they take a message
or do an errand for her; and all this not only helps
the poor old lady, but gives them the pleasure of
serving others.”

“JT don’t think chat isa areat pleasure, aunt; T



44 An Errand of Mercy.

like other people to wait upon me,” said Herbert.
“Tt’s only servants and poor people that have to
serve others, and of course it is their duty.”

His aunt was very sorry to hear her little nephew
speak in this way, but she knew it was the result of
his training at home, where, as I before said, he was
so over-indulged, that he thought of nothing but
himself; and she was very anxious while with her he
should learn the happiness of living for others; but
she knew she could not teach him this all at once,
so she only said, “I see, my dear boy, you have
never tried the plan of trying to make others happy,
or you would not say there was no pleasure in it;
but I hope some day you will do so, and then 1 .
think you will agree with me, there is no greater
source of happiness in this world than in being
useful to others.”

These words sounded very strange to Herbert,
but as his little cousins came into the room, and
tea was by this time quite ready, they all took
their seats without any further reference to poor
Mrs. Gregory.

The weather being quite fine, the children had
the satisfaction of going out in the evening; and on
returning home Herbert asked his aunt to tell them
another Bible story, one of those that David may
have told Mephibosheth about Jonathan, he should
like best; but Mrs. Howard said she thought he
had heard quite enough for that day, and as it was



A: Story Deferred. AS

nearly bed time, he had better have his supper with
his little cousins, and wait till the next day to hear
the story which she would then tell him with great
pleasure.





Chaptey Hinth.



A DISAPPOINTMENT.



HE next morning Herbert did not forget to
remind his aunt of her promise to tell him
snothes story; but Mrs. Howard said, “My dear
boy, I will not forget it, but this is not the time for
it; I have many things to attead to this morning.”

“T thought it was holiday time, aunty, and you
had no lessons?”

“That is quite true, my love. We have put aside
our lessons for a whole month, but we must not,
therefore, be idle; there are a great many things to
be done, and you may either come and help me, or
you may amuse yourself with your cousins.’

“JT wanted to hear the story,” muttered Herbert.

“That, my dear, you cannot now do; but you
may run in the garden and play, and when you are
tired, come to me, and I will find some nice
little job for you to do for me.” So saying,






‘Willing Helpers. 47

Mrs. Howard went to the door and called her little
girls, and told them to take their little cousin and
amuse him in the garden.

“Oh, mamma, may we not help you?” exclaimed
both Ellen and Annie; “there is so much to .be
done this morning, and: you always let us help
you !”

“Yes, my dears, I know you like to assist me, but
as Herbert is a stranger here, he would like to play,
so you can play with him this morning.”

“Oh, but let Herbert help you, too, mamma ;”
interrupted both at once. “Iam sure he will like
it; won't you, Herbert?” said they, turning round
to their little cousin.

“JT want to hear the story aunt promised to tell
me,” persisted Herbert.

“Oh, never mit d that now, dear,” replied Annie ;
“you know we caniiot a:ways have what we want,
and you shall hear the story in the evening.”

However, as Herbert seemed unwilling to do
anything but listen to the story, Mrs. Howard said,
“Well, my dear Herbert, I am sorry to see you so
unamiable, but I cannot lose any more time now;
and I am going to the garden with your cousins, if
you like to come and help us, you can, and if not;
you can remain here and amuse yourself.”

So saying, Mrs. Howard left the room with her
two. little girls.

“low very disagreeable Herbert is, mamma!”



48 A Disappointment.

said Ellen; “I do not know what we shall do with
him for a whole month.”

“ My dear,” replied her mamma, “I have already
told you your cousin is to be much pitied, and I
hope you will try and be very kind and patient with
him. He is the only one at home, and has had
very delicate health ; and his mamma has feared she
would not have him long, and has tried to meet
every wish and fancy that he has expressed. I think
this is a great mistake; for instead of making him
really happy and cheerful, it makes him a trouble
both to himself and other people. But I hope he will
not have come to us in vain; and if he return home
a happier little boy, with more power of enjoying
life himself, and some love for making others happy,
I am sure we shall all feel rewarded for any little
trouble we have taken with him. Remember, my
dear, with you the case has been very different;
you have been blessed with very good health, and
living in the country in the way we do, you have
always had many objects of interest round you, and
have never known what it is to be by yourself, and
only yourself to think of.”

“But why does not Aunt Ellen teach Herbert to
think of others, and to give up his own will,
mamma?”

“People have different opinions upon these
matters, my dear. Some parents think children of
your age are too young to be made useful; and



Work, a Pleasure, 49

because they cannot do things very qe//, they do
not let them do them at @Z/.”

“JT am sure you do not think so, mamma, for
you always like us to be usefully employed.”

“No! my dear child, I certainly do not agree with
those who think children cannot be expected to
think of others, or to do anything for them while
young. On the contrary I think, with a little in-
struction, they can be made very useful; and I am
quite sure they (like grown-up people) are never so
happy as when usefully employed. You know the
little hymn says,—

‘For Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do.’

_“ And another reason for teaching young children
to be useful is, that they require so much care
and kindness from other people themselves,
that they learn to be very selfish, and to think,
as your little cousin does, that everybody’s
business is to attend to them, unless they are
at an early age taught to feel how much they owe
to other people, and how pleasant it is to try and do
something for them in return. Moreover, our hearts
are so naturally selfish, that we cannot too early
seek to cultivate an opposite spirit; and this is not
a difficult task, for God has graciously ordered it
that labour has its own reward in success; and I
think you have found out already how pleasant it is

E



50 A Disappointment.

to feel you have succeeded in something you have
‘attempted to do for another.”

“Oh! yes, mamma,” said Annie; “I always feel
so much happier when I have been doing something
of af use than when I have been idle, or only
pleasing myself.”

“Well, my dear, I hope Herbert will soon find
out this secret ; and taking no notice of his humour
will, perhaps, be the best way to help him to recover
himself; so you ‘may pick some peas for dinner,
Ellen, as the cook is busy this morning; go and ask
for the garden basket: and you, Annie dear, may’
give the fowls their corn, and then come to me in
the front garden; I am going to speak to the
gardener.”

‘2

CAN eZ







Chapter Centh.



THe PLEASURES OF INDUSTRY.



ILE the little girls ran off on their different
errands, Mrs. Howard went to speak to
TAORAS who was mowing the grass. She told
him that she expected to have the school children
the next day, and then they should like a large dish
of strawberries for tea. “The children can help
you to pick them if they are pretty nipe, Thomas;
only I am afraid they may pick those that are not
quite ready.”

“Oh, ma’am,” replied the man, “I think they
may come. They always like to help, and I will
just see that they do not pick those that are unripe.”

“Very ue then, they shall come after dinner
to-morrow.”





52 The Pleasures of Industry.

Thomas touched his hat, and his mistress went
into the house, where she met Annie, who had just
returned from the fowl house.

“Oh, mamma, there are four eggs in the nest;
may I go and take them out?” exclaimed the child.

“Yes, my love, here is the key,” said her mamma.
But at this moment her eye rested upon Herbert,
who was standing peeping out at the dining-roon1
door, looking very miserable. “Perhaps, Annie,
Herbert might like to see the fowls and help you
to bring in the eggs.”

“Will you come, Herbert, dear?” said Annie,
going up to her cousin and taking his hand.

He did not answer, but slowly went with his
cousin; his aunt merely adding, “Take care and
carry the eggs very carefully, one in each hand,
Annie; and be sure and don’t break them.” Mrs.
Howard, in passing the passage window, saw that
Ilerbert had quickened his steps, and raised her
heart in prayer for her dear little nephew, that God
would bless his visit to her, and enable them to act
in wisdom towards him. She then sat down to
write a note. As she was folding it up, Annie and
Herbert came in at the window, each carrying two
fine eggs, one in each hand.

“ Look, aunty,” said Herbert, “here are two such
fine ones, and this one is quite warm—the large
grey fowl had only just left the nest.”

“ There’s a useful little man,” said Mrs. Howard,



An Acceptable Present. 53

kissing the little face which had by this time lost
its unhappy look; “and now, Herbert, would you
like to carry your eggs a little further, and bring
them into the china pantry? and then I will shew
you where we keep them.” His aunt then crossed
the passage to the china closet, where she opened a
cupboard and shewed Herbert a shelf with a long
row of eggs upon it. “ Now,” said she, “we will
write the day of the month upon these new eggs
and put them at this end of the row, and then when
Mary wants eggs for her pudding, she will take
them from the other end, and so all will be used in
their turn. But bring me a basin, Annie, and you
shall take in the eggs that Mary will want to-day
into the kitchen; and then, if you like, you may
take a little basket to Mrs. Browning, I hear she is
not quite so well this week,”

‘Oh, thank you, mamma; what will you send
her?”

“Bring the basket first, and then you shall see,
my love.”

Annie ran off, and was soon back with a covered
basket in her hand; in which her mother placed two
eggs, a little pat of butter, a little rice, and a
_ small basin with some strong broth which was
in a jelly, being cold, but which she thought
would make the poor woman a nice dinner when
warmed,

Annie ran off. “Would you like to go, Herbert,



54 The Pleasures of Industry.

or would you like to run and see what Ellen is
doing in the garden ?”

“TJ will go in the garden, aunty, please,” said the
child. |

“Very well, my dear, do so, and I will come
shortly.”

Mrs. Howard then ordered dinner, told Mary she
should want some large cakes made for the children’s
tea party on the next afternoon, and then, taking a
large pan in her hand and a basket on her arm, she
proceeded to the garden, where she found Herbert
busily employed picking peas with his cousin Ellen.

On seeing his aunt, he ran up to shew her his lap
was nearly full. “I have picked all these mpse//,
aunty, dear; and Ellen says I may help her to shell
them in the arbour.”

“That will be very nice, I think,” said Mrs. Howard,
“and as the same idea occurred to me, you see I have
brought a pan to shell them into, and also some
lunch for some hungry children,” added she, smiling.
She then led the way to the arbour, where she
placed her basket upon the table and shewed the
children how to shell the peas, putting all the shells
into the basket and all the peas into the pan, “and
be sure and pick up any you may drop, because 1
do not like waste, you know, in anything,” said she,
smiling. ;

The two children sat down, much pleased with
this arrangement, and having taken out the lunch



Visitors Expected. 53

and eaten it, they began the business of shelling the
peas.

Mrs. Howard then went to the study, where she
locked up all the school-books, slates, and inkstands,
where she was soon joined by Annie, who had just
returned from her errand. “Well, my love, how
did you find poor old Mrs. Browning, to-day ?’

“Oh, she seems rather better, mamma, and very
much obliged to you for sending her such a nice
dinner. Now may I help you to get this room ready?”

“T am just putting away the things we shall not .
want, as you must turn out all your little presents
here this afternoon, you know; and then we must
see what pieces we have left to work up, for I think
we shall want several more things.”

“Qh, you know, Aunt Louisa said she would
send up some this afternoon by my cousins; and
they have some of their own, I know, for they
shewed me a large bag of pieces, which they have
been collecting from their friends all the year for
the school.”

“ Are all three of your cousins coming ?”

“Yes, mamma, Charlie said he would come with
his sisters, because he can make bookmarkers and
paper pillows.”

“T am glad to hear it, my love; perhaps seeing
another little boy at work may make Herbert take a

‘ fancy to it; or if not, he will have a nice playfellow
in the garden,”



56 The Pleasures of Industry.

“Oh, I wish to-morrow were come, mamma,”
exclaimed the little girl, jumping and skipping
about; “it will be so nice to see all the little
children so pleased and happy.”

“Well, my dear Annie,” said her mother, “T
cannot say I join in your wish, that to-morrow were
here; for as we are by no means ready for your
company, it would rather alarm me to see them all
appear.”

Annie laughed at the idea of seeing forty school
children come in without things being ready for them, _
and assured her mother that, on second thoughts, she
did ot wish the next day were come; “but what
shall I do now, mamma?” said she.

“Well, on this table I would lay all the pieces for
doll-dressing, I think; and on that table, all your
pieces of coloured cloth and flannel, for penwipers
and bags. All the waste paper, envelopes and
letters, and such pieces, put in my rubbish basket ;
and here, I have six pieces of new chintz for the
pillow cases; then bring the little needle books,
pincushions, and bookmarks you have made, and
set them upon the mantelpeice with all the dolls
that are dressed, and those yet to be dressed, and
ali the little pictures and magazines in my portfolio ;
and then if you bring your own work boxes and
mine, I think we shall have all we shall require.”

“Ves, mamma, I will.” And off ran the happy
child, and soon returned with her arms full of all



A Dorcas Meeting. 57

the required additions, which, with her mother’s
help, were all soon arranged in their proper places,
and little Annie looked round with great.satisfaction.
She then counted the chairs, to be quite sure there
were enough for her “ Dorcas meeting,’ as she was
pleased to call it.

“T- do not think it deserves the name of a Dorcas
meeting, Annie, though it is for needlework ; because,
you see, it is not for making cothes, and you know
Dorcas made clothes for the poor.”

“Ves, mamma, I remember; but this work is for
the poor children, so I think it will do to call it a
children’s orcas meeting.”

“Very well, my dear, so it shall be if you wish
it; but do you know, I think in the long winter
evenings we might have. avea/ children’s Dorcas, and
make children’s clothes. What do you think of
that ?” ‘

“Oh, it would be beautiful! only you must cut
~ out and fix the work, mamma.”

“Oh yes, I think I must undertake that part of
the business,” said mamma. “T once was at such a
meeting, and the children accomplished a great deal
of work for their poorer neighbours.”

Annie again declared the idea was a capital one,
and having arranged everything, ran off to the
garden to announce to her sister her mother’s
proposal, “Have you finished the peas, Ellen?”
said she.



58 The Pleasures of Industry.

“Why, I should think it was time to ea them
now, Annie; for Herbert and I have had a long
game since we took them in to Mary.”

Then they all had a run together down the garden
to shew Herbert the two cows in the meadow, and
then returned to the house to prepare for dinner,
which they found was very nearly ready,





ee eee

Ghapter Gleventh.

Tue CHILDREN’s Dorcas MEETING.

HE dinner things were hardly cleared away

before the children declared their cousins
were coming up the hill, and they ran joyfully to
meet them ; they soon returned with two little girls,
Louisa and Edith, a little older than themselves,
being about twelve and fourteen, and their brother,
a fine little fellow about ten.

“Cood afternoon, my dears,” said Mrs. Howard,
advancing affectionately to meet them ; “so you are
kindly come to help Ellen and Annie to prepare the
presents for to-morrow !”

“Yes, dear aunt; and we have brought such a
large basket of pieces, and mamma sends a dozen
more little dolls and some little tiny books, which
she thinks will please the boys.”

“And Charlie has come to help us too,” said





60 The Children’s Dorcas Meeting.

Mrs. Howard; “well, I have a nice little companion
for him to-day. He does not know this little
nephew of mine from London; you had better run
in the garden and make acquaintance, I think, |
while your sisters go and take off their bonnets.”

The two boys soon disappeared, and the four
girls adjourned to the school room, where they were
soon deeply involved in the mysteries of doll-
- dressing. While they are discussing the various
colours and materials, we will just tell our little
readers what all this preparation is for.

Mrs. Howard’s husband was in India, and:since
her return home, on account of her health, about
three years before, she had devoted herself very
much to the training and teaching of her two little
girls. We have already heard some of her thoughts
on education. She felt she could not begin too
early to check the tendencies of our fallen nature in .
her children, for she did not believe, as many do,
that children will naturally love what is good unless
taught to love evil; but she knew from Scripture,
that from their infancy they will shew evil tempers
and passions, and would need all the constant
prayerful training she could give them to lead them
to love what is good. So, as we already have heard,
she tried to cure them of selfishness by constantly
keeping alive their interests for others, in little ways
in which she taught them to assist them themselves,
or in making them her helpers in similar things in





The School Treat. 61

which she was herself engaged, though beyond their
powers alone. The children had, by this means,
many more interests than what belonged to them-
selves, and their hearts and sympathies were
enlarged. One of these interests was the village
school. Mrs. Howard paid a weekly visit there, in
which she was generally accompanied by one or
both of the children, who soon knew the best
scholars and the neatest workers, and the best
behaved children. If one were missed, enquiry was
made into the cause, which was often followed by a
visit to the cottage home of a sick child.

And once in the summer it was the great treat of
Mrs. Howard’s children, to have all the school to tea in
their garden. So during the year they had an object
of interest, In making numbers of little presents,
which were carefully stowed away till the annual
visit came; when each child, whether boy or girl,
received some little token of love and interest from
the children at Beechgrove. ‘To complete - the
necessary number and a few more, their cousins
always joined them for an afternoon’s work ; and as
they were rather older than Ellen and Annie, they
were supposed to have more knowledge of how to
make pretty things; and this afternoon had been
fixed upon to complete the number of presents re-
_ quired for the next.day. Then, all old pictures and
scraps, which were saved during the ‘year, were
produced on this important occasion ; and many a



62 The Children's Dorcas Meeting.

pretty contribution’ for a cottage picture book was
sent home for the amusement of a younger child, by
an elder brother and sister,

Another thing Mrs. Howard was very particular
about, was éd/eness. She never liked to see even a
little child de. She liked to see them playing or
amusing themselves as they liked best 3 for she used
to say, “An idle child would soon be a cross child,
and perhaps something worse.”

We must now return and look at our party in the
schoolroom. “ Many hands,” they say, “make
light work ;” and this would appear to be true, by
the large addition made to the table of Jinished
things. The two boys have also come in, to know
what there was for them to do. Mrs. Howard had
set them to sort and divide the pictures, and then
she shewed them the box full of papers, torn up
very small indeed, which she kept to fill pretty
chintz cases with for pillows.

“What funny pillows, Aunty,” said Herbert ; “I
don’t think 7 should like to sleep upon one of
them.”

“Very likely not, my dear, because you have a
better one; but to the poor, they are very valuable:
and I can assure you I know some ladies who
always use paper pillows themselves because they
are so cool, who have plenty of feather ones,”

“Why, aunt, I could make one all alone.”

“Yes, my dear, to be sure you could; and much



Paper Pillows. 63

younger children than you are have made them; it
only requires a large bag or box to put the paper into
as you tear it, and be careful to make no litter about
the room.”

“J will shew mamma when I go home, and ask
her to let me make a paper pillow all myself for
some one who has not a better one.”

“Do, my dear boy; I am sure dear mamma will
be very pleased to see you so nicely employed.
And perhaps your own nurse might like one asa
keepsake. Think how much she has done for you
when you could do nothing for yourself; and how
pleased she would be to have something of your
making for a keepsake, when you are grown a big.
boy.”

Herbert seemed struck with the idea, and re-
peated his intention of carrying it out as soon as he
went home.

yes

AS £.
CRLRD
*S





Chapter Gwelfih.

PREPARATION, AND 1TS PLEASURES.

AY five o’clock, Ellen thought they must have
E things enough prepared. So she commenced
counting, and arrayed in a long row on the mantel-
piece, fifteen little farthing dolls, all attired in very
gay costume; twelve larger ones, sent by her aunt
Louisa, for which they selected the smartest dresses
their store afforded, these took their place by the side
of the others; then six penwipers of scarlet-and-black, °
were arrayed in arow on a side table ; next came eight
little needle boxes; and then twenty-two pincushions,
of various shapes and sizes; for Mrs. Howard thought
every tidy little girl should carry a pincushion, as it
not only made her independent of others when
she wanted a pin, but made her careful in picking
up pins if she had a pincushion to put them in,





Nothing Wasted. 65

and: then she was alse able to help a less tidy
neighbour when in want of one. So every little
girl was to have a pincushion in addition to the other
present; then twelve pretty bookmarkers were
ranged in order, with different texts and mottoes on
them; and twenty-five pretty little books followed,
and many parcels of scraps and pictures; so that
with the six paper pillows, the table presented quite
a gay appearance.

When they decided they had quite enough, the
clearing away of scraps was begun. Herbert was
about to throw away all the cuttings of cloth. But
Ellen stopped him, saying, ‘Oh, Herbert, do not
throw away one bit of cloth.”

“These bits of selvidges are of no use, I am
sure, Ellen,” replied Herbert.

“Oh, indeed they are; in the winter, the poor
women like little capes for the school children, and
my aunt and cousins make many for them, and
this, winter mamma says I may try and see if I can
manage one. When you go to the school, I will
shew you the capes, and you will see how tidy they
are; for though they do not need them this summer
weather, some ‘of the children still wear them be-
cause they have nothing else. Then the edges of
the cloth do for something else, Herbert. Some
clever people make very warm rugs, by knitting in
all the pieces with thread ; and they look so warm

and pretty, with a grey centre and red-and-black
F



66 Preparation, and its Pleasures,

borders—you would never guess how nice they
look. I will try and shew you one before you go
home, and then you can ask Aunt Ellen to give you
all her scraps, and you can keep them for some
poor woman, and I will give you a little pattern,
and then she could try and make one. Now,
all the bits of silk and ribbon we will put. into
my piece box, and another day you shall see what
we will do with them; the papers are all used up,
I see, so we mt put back the basket in its place to
begin again.’

Herbert carried it Baek to its place; and as Ellen
pronounced the room guzife tidy now, they went into
the dining-room, where they found Mrs. Howard
making the tea—

“T hope you have left the school-room quite tidy,
my dears,” she remarked. .

“Oh yes, aunt,” said xlerbert; “Ellen would put
everything away. I wondered she did not leave it
for the servant, as I do at home.”

“We have but two servants, my dear child, and,
therefore, we each try to save work and not to make
it: but if I had a great many servants, I should still
like my children to do everything they could for
themselves, and to be independent.”

“ But why, aunty? If you had plenty of servants
you need not do things yourself, like poor people ;
it looks as if you couldn’t afford it, and nobody
would take you for a lady !”



“ Rnowledse ts Power” 67

Mrs. Howard could not help laughing at this
terrible conclusion that Herbert had arrived at 3 but
she replied, “ Well, my dear boy, I understand what
you mean, and I am very thankful for the help we
have from Mary and Thomas; and in the present
state of society in this country, it would be almost
impossible to do without servants; but still, my
love, we must remember God’s word says, ‘ Riches
make to themselves wings and fly away.’ Now, I
always think it right to teach my children to do all
they can for themselves; because much of their
- future happiness may depend upon being able to
help themselves and others also. You know, there
is a very true saying, ‘Knowledge is power:’ we
need never be afraid of knowing too much of what
is good and useful. “My dear mother, I remember,
used to say. tome when I was a child, ‘My dear,
have a little help in yourself? and many, many times
have I thanked her since for the advice. Then,
Herbert dear, as to what people think of us, it does
not much matter; they may very often think too
well of us, and sometimes the reverse ; but never be
ashamed of anything but si. Let it be your one
desire to be approved by God, and never mind
losing the approval of those’ who will only esteem
you because you are rich and have servants to wait
upon you.” :

After tea, the cousins amused themselves for some
time in the garden+ and then the Beechgrove party |



68 Preparation, and its Pleasures.

accomnpanied the others part of the way home, and
then took leave of them, charging them to be there
in good time next day, to join the school children.
As they returned to the house, they saw their mamma
sitting at the window enjoying the lovely sunset
They were soon by her side.

“Ts it not a lovely evening, mamma? Don’t you
think we shall have a fine day to-morrow?” were
questions which quickly followed each other.

“Ves, my dears, I think there is every promise of
a fine day, and I am glad of it; for I should be very
sorry for the poor children to be disappointed.”

For a few minutes all seemed disposed for silence,
and were occupied with the beautiful tints of-the
setting sun, which cast a golden hue on all around.
When they had been sitting quietly some minutes,
Mrs. Howard remarked, “I think, Herbert, there
would be just time, before the prayer-bell rings, for
a story, if you are not too tired to enjoy it.”

“Oh no, aunt, not at all too tired, if you will tell
us one.”

“What shall it be?”

“T should like best to hear what David may have
told Mephibosheth.”

“Very well, my dear, it shall be about Jonathan,
for he was a very lovely character.”

Mrs. Howard then begun as follows.

meee Se





Chapter Thinteenth.



Tur Story oF JONATHAN.—1 Sam, xviil,

HAVE already told you that Jonathan was
the son of Saul. The first time we hear of
his meeting David, was after he had returned from
killing Goliath, which you remember. We read, ‘It
came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking
to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the
soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own
soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let
him go no more home to his father’s house. Then
Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he
loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped
himself of the vode.that was upon him, and gave it
to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and
to his dow, and to his girdle.’ What a beautiful
description of unselfish love! wothing was too much
to give to him he loved.







70 The Story of Jonathan.

“So you know it was with a greater than Jonathan.
Our blessed Lord laid down even His own life for
those whom He stylec Flis Siends and His brethren.
And those who know Him, ought, we are told, to
lay down their lives for the brethren. It must
have pained the kind heart of Jonathan to see how
his father hated David: and you may suppose how,
he felt, when ‘Saul spake to Jonathan and all his
servants, that they should 424 David.’ (chap. xix. 1.)
Jonathan kill David, in whom he so much delighted?
Quite impossible! What did he do then? Why, he
told David that his father wished to kill him; and
then proposed to him to hide ina field until next
morning. And he promised to talk to Saul about
him, and see if he seemed veaZ/y determined to kil
him, and then to let David know. Jonathan did as
he promised, and talked to his father about David; and
reminded him how kind and good he had been, and
how he had killed the great giant that everyone so
feared, and he begged Saul not to slay him without
acause. Jonathan spoke so nicely and wisely to
his father, that Saul’s heart seemed touched ; and he
felt sorry, and perhaps ashamed, of his wicked
desire to kill the young man; and he said, ‘As the
Lord liveth, he shall zo¢ be slain.’

“Oh! can you not fancy how very happy it made
Jonathan feel, to hear his father say these words
about his beloved friend? ‘You can easily imagine
how quickly he went to find David, and to tell him



Jealousy of Savd. qT

that he might come out of his hiding place, for his
life was now quite safe, and Saul did not want to
Kall him.

“And you can think how grateful David felt to
Jonathan, for all his love and care for him. This
was the first time he saved his friend's life, but it.
was not the /as¢t time, as ycu shall hear, After
Jonathan had told David he was not to be killed, he
took him to Saul, and he was in his presence just as
he was before. I suppose Saul did not know that
David had been told he wanted to kill him, or he
must have felt very uncomfortable at having him
~ with him again.

“Some time after this, the Philistines fought

‘against the Israelites; and David went to battle
with them and slew a great many, and the rest ran
away from him. No doubt they remembered their
great champion Goliath being killed by that same
young hand, and they thought they should be killed
also. Do you not think Saul must have been very
much pleased with David, for fighting for him so
bravely against the Philistines ?

“T think he ought to have been very pleased,
but, I am sorry to say, he was sea/ous of David; and
you remember we are told, that ‘Jealousy is cruel
as the grave.’ And so it was with Saul. He had
an evil Spirit upon him, and David was playing his
harp to do him good, for his soft music often made
Saul much better. Saul was sitting with his javelin







92 The Story of Jonathan.

in his hand, which was a small short dagger; and
with this javelin he tried to smite David to the wall
to kill him! Was not that very cruel of Saul?”
Did God allow him to be killed? No, David saw
his danger, and slipped away out of the room, and
the javelin stuck 2 the wall! Ah, you see no one
can hurt a child of God, unless God aows it. You
remember, in Job’s case, Satan could not go a bit
further in injuring Job than God permitted.

“So David fled, and escaped that night; and his
wife Michal, who was a daughter of Saul, and
sister of Jonathan, said to him, ‘If you do not
leave home to-night, you will be surely killed to-
morrow.’ So she let him down from a window,
and he escaped to a place named Naioth, in
Ramah. ‘

“ Flow, do you think, Michal knew David would
be killed in the morning? I will tell you. When
Saul found the javelin was sticking in the wall, and
that David had gone out of the room, he supposed
he would go home; so he sent men to watch his
house all night, that they might kill him in the
morning. But his wife suspected the plan, and sent
him away. Some one told Sax David was ill in
bed, so Saul said, ‘Bring him up to me in the ded,
that I may kill him.’ Did you ever know such
cruel hatred ?”



SET Fe





Chapt SHowrteenth,

THE Story oF JoNATHAN—( continued).



are not told where Jonathan was when Saul
‘tried to kill David; but David soon found
him and told him about it, and said to him, ‘What
have I done? What is my iniquity, and what is my
sin. before thy father, that he seeketh to kill me?’

“Tonathan could not believe David’s story. He
said ‘God forbid—thou shalt not die. My father
never does anything, great or small, without telling
me; and why should he hide this thing from me?
It is not so.’

“Jonathan could not believe that Saul really
meaat to kill David. But David answered, ‘ Your
father knows it would grieve you; and that must be
the reason why he does not like to tell you, because





a4. The Story of Jonathan,

he knows how you love me. But, truly, as the Lord
liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but one step
between me and death,’

“T suppose Jonathan felt that what David said
was, perhaps, true; but he offers to do whatever he
can for him. What did David ask him to do? He
said, Saul would expect to see him at table the next
day, and finding his place empty would, perhaps,
inquire for him. So he asked Jonathan to allow
him to hide himself for three days in the field, and
if, when he excused David’s absence to his father,
Saul merely answered, ‘Very well, Jonathan was to
know that his father did not any longer wish to kill
David; but if he were very angry at his absence
from table, then Jonathan was to be sure he still
determined to kill him.

“Poor David said to Jonathan, after he had
arranged this plan, ‘If yow think I have done wrong
and deserve to die, slay me thyself; for why shouldest
thou bring me to thy father? And Jonathan
answered, ‘Far be it from thee; for if I knew that
my father certainly meant to kill thee, would I not
tell thee? Then David wondered how Jonathan
should let him know whether Saul was angry or not.
And he was also afraid whether his father might not
be angry with Jonathan, for excusing David.

“Jonathan proposed they: should go out into a
field, where they made a solemn covenant or agree-
ment, that Jonathan would tell David all he could



A Clever Plan. 75

find out about his father’s plans. And David, on
his part, promised, if they never met again, he
would remember Jonathan; and when he came to
be king, would shew the ‘kindness of the Lord’ to
him while he lived, and to his children after him;
and you have already heard how faithfully he ful-
filled this promise in his kindness to Mephibosheth.

“Now, I must tell you the clever plan these two
dear friends arranged for conveying the news to
David. Jonathan might not be allowed, perhaps,
to go to David: or his doing so might have revealed
his hiding place to Saul; so it was agreed he should
remain in concealment for three days, and then he
was to go to a certain place where there was a large
stone. Jonathan said, ‘Thou shalt remain by the
stone, and I will shoot three arrows on the side
thereof, as though I shot at a mark; and behold I
will send a lad, saying, Go find the arrows. If I
expressly say to the lad, Behold, the arrows are on
this side of thee, take them; then come thou, for
there is peace to thee and no hurt, as the Lord
liveth: but if I say thus unto the young man,
Behold, the arrows are deyond thee—go thy way, for
the Lord hath sent thee away.’

“So, after they had settled this plan, Jonathan
returned home, and David went to hide in the field.
You may fancy how anxiously both of them waited
for the third day. No doubt, David committed his
path to God, who had so delivered him before.



76 The Story of Jonathan.

“ As they expected, Saul inquired of Jonathan the
second day where David was, that he did not come
to table; and when Jonathan apologised for his
absence, his father was very, very angry with him;
and told him, while David lived, he would never
come to be king. This was, no doubt, why Saul
so hated him. But did this matter to Jonathan?
Oh, no! he was a man of faith, He knew it was
God’s purpose that David should be king after Saul;
and he was quite satisfied to be ext to him. When
he saw his father so very angry, he asked what evil
David had done, that he should be killed. This, I
suppose, made his father more angry: For what do
you think he did? He actually cast a javelin at
his son, to kill him, just as he did before at David.

“By this shocking act, Jonathan saw clearly that
his father had made up his mind to kill David; and
he rose from the table in great anger, and eat no
food that day, because he was so grieved and
shocked at the unjust treatment of his beloved
friend.

“ At last, the third morning arrived; and Jonathan
‘called a little boy to wait upon him, and went out
at the appointed time to the field he had agreed
upon with David. And he said to the boy, ‘Run,
and find out the arrows that I shoot.’ And as he
went, he shot an arrow beyond him; and when
_the lad was come to the place where the arrow was
shot, Jonathan cried after the lad, and said, ‘Is



The Parviz. a7

not the arrow beyond thee?’ And Jonathan cried
after the lad, ‘Make speed, haste, stay not.’ And
Jonathan’s lad gathered up the azrows and came to
his master. But the lad knew not anything, only
Jonathan and David knew the matter.

“Poor David, when he heard the words to the
lad, how sad he must have felt! He knew he
must part from the one who loved him as his
own soul. Did they see each other to say good
bye? Yes, you shall hear. Jonathan sent the
boy home with his bow and arrows, and when he
was quite gone, David came out of his hiding
place, and they kissed one another, and wept over
one another; and at last, Jonathan reminded
David of the covenant they had made before .
God, to remember each other—and then said,
‘Go in peace.” And David departed, and Jonathan
- returned home to the city.”

oe



eu ee ae De





Chapter Hifteenth,

Tue Story or JonatHan—(continued ).

FTER this sad and sorrowful parting, the two
_ dear friends did not meet for some time.
Jonathan, no doubt, knew how his father was
hunting David, like a. partridge on the mountains ;
but he could not do anything to help him. But
one day he managed to And out his hiding place,
and he went to him, ‘and strengthened his hands



. in God. And he said unto him, Fear not, for the

hand of Saul my father shall not jind thee; and
thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next
unto thee, and that also Saul my father knoweth.’
‘And David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went
to his house.’

“This was the last occasion on which these two
devoted friends met. The next time David. heard



Death of Saul. 19

of Jonathan, that we read of, was, when a messen-
ger told him that Saul and Jonathan were both
dead,

“You may suppose what David felt on hearing
this news. He made a most touching lamentation
over them. He did not rejoice that his enemy
was dead, because Saul had been the Lord’s
anointed king; and he felt it was a solemn thing
for him to be killed by the ungodly. He said in
his lamentation, ‘I am distressed for thee, my
brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been
unto me: thy Hove to me was wonderful, penis
the love of women.’

“No doubt, David felt he should never find
another friend to love him as Jonathan had done.
And now that you have heard this story, I think
you will better understand his love to Mephibosheth,
the son of this beloved friend and brother.”

“Oh yes,” responded the three children, “he must
have been very glad to find out poor Mephibosheth.
And I am sure Mephibosheth must have been very
pleased to hear this story about his father.”

“Why, aunty, did Jonathan give David his sword
and his bow?” asked Herbert.

_ “To shew his great love for him,
Howard.

“But, aunty, I don’t think that shewed such very
great love.”

“Yes, my boy, it did; he stripped himself, as I

”

replied Mrs.



80 The. Story of Jonathan.

before said, for his friend. But tell me, wy you do
not think it shewed great love?” added she.

“ Because, aunty, I think if I had loved him very
much indeed, I would have given him the arrows as
well as the bow.’”*

Though the little fellow made the remark with all
gravity, clearly shewing how poor he thought the
present of the doz alone, it quite upset the gravity
of his aunt and cousins; but though the latter
laughed rather unmercifully at his objection, his
aunt soon recovered herself, and kissing his fore-
head, said, “I am glad to see you think about what
you hear, Herbert, it is the only way to learn.
When we read of a dow, the arrows are always
included, my dear, simply because the one would
be quite useless without the other. So, saying
Jonathan gave him his dow, is really the same as
saying he gave him his bow aud arrows. Do you
understand, Herbert >?”

“Yes, thank you, aunt,” replied the child.

Mrs. Howard then told her little girls, that
though she could excuse their smiling at their
cousin’s amusing censure on Jonathan’s present
to his friend; yet it was by no means a kind or
polite thing to laugh at anothei’s mistake. If you
think for a moment, I am sure you will feel this;
for you know it is not at all pleasant. to be laughed



* This was the rea/ expression of a child to the writer.



The Golden Rule. : 81

ai; and true love, you know, will always lead us
“to do unto others as we would they should do
unto us.”

The children kissed their cousin, and. assured
him they did not mean to be unkind,

The prayer bell now reminded them it was
getting late; and rising, and closing the window,
they all obeyed the summons for evening worship.





Chapter Sixteenth,

PREPARING FOR THE TREAT.

HE next morning the children awoke early,

a] «full of anticipation; and were somewhat
disappointed to find a dull, hazy morning. But on
inquiring Mrs. Howard’s opinion as to the proba-
bilities of a fine day, they were relieved to find that
she had more confidence ina dull, hazy morning
tLan in a very brilliant one, which sometimes be-
comes overcast before noon.

She thought the sun would be very bright by
- dinner time. And she was quite right.

The children found plenty of work to fill up the
long morning; they helped to cut up cake and
bread-and-butter ; dusted all the regiments of little
mugs, that only appeared upon this grand occasion ;





No Appetite for Dinner. 83

gathered the strawberries ; put all their playthings
in apple-pie order; and amused themselves by
looking over everything again and again, that
nothing might be wanting at the time. ,

Ellen had been down to the school to borrow a
number of hymn books. Then their mamma had
two or three pretty little pieces for them to sing,
which they were to remember verse by verse.

One o'clock at last came; but, strange to say,
Mrs. Howard seemed the only one who wanted any
dinner, the children all declaring they had no
appetite. Herbert seemed to have caught the
infection from his cousins, and had been so busy
all the morning, that he had really forgotten himself,
and had not once wished for anything different to
what his aunt and cousins desired. This struck
Ellen and Annie very much, and upon remarking it
to their mamma, she replied,

“JT am very glad to hear it, my dears; but I
think you, will generally find the best. way to cure a
selfish or bad-tempered child is to try and find them
constant occupation and interest for others. Activity
in itself, is useful to the mind; and when it is for
some one else, it helps at the same time to lead
the thoughts away from self, which is a great ad-
vantage.”

The little girls seemed glad to think their mamma’s
plan was succeeding so well with their cousin, whom,
we must own, they did not particularly admires they



84 Preparing for the Treat.

begun to hope he might be a more pleasing com- -
panion before he went home. As soon as dinner

was over, our young friends ran to the gate to see

if the long train of children was in sight; but, alas,

alas, there was nearly another hour to wait before the

appointed one of three arrived. So Mrs. Howard,

knowing that time never seems to pass so quickly”
as when we are very busy, called the children to the

window, and gave them each a little book which she

advised them to read; adding, she should like to

hear what they were about in the evening, as she

had been told they were three beautiful stories,

The three children ran off to the arbour to try
and follow her advice. The little girls managed
pretty well to think about what they were reading ;
but with Herbert, the case was different; he de-
clared it was impossible to read, so very soon
throwing down his little book, he made his escape,
and seeing Thomas near, with a basket in his hand,
ran off to see what he was about. To his great
delight, he found he was going to pick some ripe
gooseberries, and he invited him to help him.
Herbert did not need pressing. Thomas told him .
he must not eat them, because he might make
himself ill; as he would have some for tea when
the children came, and he knew Herbert was not a
very strong boy, and not being accustomed to live
among fruit trees, he was afraid he might eat too
much,



The First Arrival. 85

However, Herbert promised he would eat very
few, only just about zwelve gooseberries. So. they
proceeded to work.

The little girls found it rather pleasant to sit still
a little, for they had been running about all the
morning; and their little books were so very in-
teresting, that they really were surprised when they
heard the bell ring at the gate; and they quickly
bounded off, fearing the children had come, and
they had intended being down at the gate to receive
them. However, it was only their three cousins
who had arrived.

The children were very pleased to see them, and
after taking them into the school-room and dining-
room, to see how nice and pretty everything looked,
they went to look for their mamma, whom they found
resting in her own room. Upon looking at her
watch, Mrs. Howard found it was just three o’clock,
so they all walked down the lawn, to wait for the
long train to appear.

Herbert having eaten guzte a dozen gooseberries,
was rather tired of sicking them, and seeing his
cousins across the garden, soon joined them.





Chapter Seventeenth.

Tue ScHOOL TREAT.

ERBERT had hardly done so, when the

children all came in sight, and he very soon
had the pleasure of holding back the large gate
while they all-passed through; they then all gathered
on the grass and took their seats, when Thomas
placed a large table with fruit upon it in the middle
of the lawn; and with Mrs. Howard’s help, Ellen
and Annie with their cousins divided it among the
children. When they were rested and refreshed
with their fruit, they all stood up and sung the
following pretty piece of poetry.



“*Morn amid the mountains,
Lovely solitude ;
Gushing streams and fountains,
Murmur—God is good, God is good.



Cricket and Croquet. 87

‘* Now the glad sun breaking,
Pours a golden flood ;
Deepest vales awaking,
Echo—God is good, God is good.

‘* Hymns of praise are ringing,
Through the leafy wood ;
Songsters sweetly singing,
' Warble—God is good, God is good.

«« Wake and join the chorus,
Man with soul imbued ;
He whose smile is o’er us,
God! our God is good, God is good !”

After the singing was over, the question arose,
What would be the best amusement to begin with?
As they numbered about fifty, they separated into
parties for different games. Some of the elder boys

‘declared nothing equalled cricket. They knew,
from former occasions, that Mrs. Howard possessed
bats and stumps; though only used when some of
her numerous little nephews visited her, or on this
annual occasion.

The cricketers being drawn off into se adjoining
field, another party was formed for croquet ; which
Ellen and Annie thought, from their own pleasure
in it, must be a general delight; but as the school
children had all to be taught this game, it did not
seem quite such fun at first; though after they
understood it, they seemed to agree with their











88 The School Treat.

young hostesses, that it was a capital game, and
none seemed to wish to exchange it for the better-
known pleasures of battledoor and shuttlecock, hide-
and-seek, or any of the other favourites that were
selected for the many little ones who were not able
to join either cricket or croquet.

As there was a discovery of hay making in the
next fieldto Mrs. Howard’s, some thought nothing so
charming as a romp in the hay, and asked leave to gO.
This was given, and very soon some of the children
were busily employed there. The men, kindly
entering into the children’s pleasure, gave them
some forks to help to fill the cart; and then two of
the elder boys were allowed to drive it across the
meadow, with.a group of little ones sitting and lying
on the top, who were making the air ring with their
merry voices. Then we must not forget that Annie
secretly invited some of her favourites to go with her
quietly and take a peep at all the grand display of
dolls and presents in the school room, where the
little girls gazed with wonder and delight upon the
variety of beautiful things before them, and thought
which they would like, and which they hoped might
come to their share. Annie promised she would
try and give each the one they most admired, if she
could manage it. They then ran back to the
garden, where their absence had not been dis-
covered by their numerous company.

Mrs. Howard went from one party to another,



The Duck Pond. 89

entering into the pleasure of each, and taking part,
first in one game then in another. Many invitations
she received from the little ones, to be their special
partner.

While all the merriment was at its height, 4
scream was heard, when every eye turned towards
the side from whence the sound proceeded. Mrs.
Howard hastened forward to find out the cause of
the alarm. It was not at once discovered, as a turn
round some shrubs shut out from sight of the lawn
the little farm yard, containing cow house, duck
pond, fow! house, &c. When, however, Mrs. Howard
reached the gate of the yard,.the cause of alarm
was soon seen. Three little boys were close by the
edge of the duck pond. Harry Stokes, a little
fellow of about seven years old, was looking a
miserable figure. It was very easy to see he had
been paying a visit to the ducks in the pond, as his
clothes were all soaking and his curly hair hanging
like rats’ tails over his face. ‘Two of his little
companions, Willy Thompson and Johnny Taylor,
were busily trying to wipe and dry his face ‘and
hands when Mrs. Howard came up, followed by a
large number of the children. She at once saw how
the matter stood, and finding the child was safely
out of the water, her fears were relieved.

“What has happened, my dears? Why, Willy,
what has made Harry such a figure >”

The three boys all began crying and explaining at





90 The School Tréat.

once, so that it was quite impossible to understand
how the accident had happened. She said, therefore,
“Well! I must take Harry in to Mary and see if we
can dry his clothes, and then you shall tell me how
it all happened.”





Full Text









The Baldwin Library

University
RmB of
Florida



WHAT LITTLE HANDS CAN DO.










* At this moment his two cousins, Ellen and Annie, came into

the room; they looked bright, happy little girls.”"—Page 2.
WHAT LITTLE HANDS
CAN DO:

The Childyen of Begchgrave,

A BOOK OF INTEREST
FOR SUNDAY AND WEEK DAY READING.

By MRS..M. C, OWEN.

“*Qh ! what can little hands do
To please the King uf Heaven?
The little hands some work may try,

To help the poor in misery—
Such grace to mine be given!”

THIRD EDITION.

LONDON:
JARROLD AND SONS, 3, PATERNOSTER BUILDINGS.
AER, ORO AEEY

if Jo
axis axe
t Contents,
CHAPTER I.
t : PAGE '
Introduction - — - - I
CHAPTER II.
The Story of Mephibosheth, and how he be-
came Lame on both his Feet - - 7

CHAPTER III.
The Story of Mephibosheth—continued - 16

CHAPTER IV.
The Story of Mephibosheth—continued - 20

CHAPTER V.
Interesting Conversation - - 24.

CHAPTER VI.

The Story of Gehazi; his first Wicked
Thought, and its Consequences - 32

CHAPTER VII.
The Story of Gehazi—continued - / - 36
vi. CONTENTS.

CHAPTER VIII.

PAGE
An Errand of Mercy - - oe 4l
CHAPTER IX. .
A Disappointment - * - 46
CHAPTER X.
The Pleasures of Industry - - 51
. CHAPTER XI.
The Children’s Dorcas Meeting - - 59
CHAPTER XII.
Preparation, and its Pleasures - - 64
CHAPTER XIII.
The Story of Jonathan, and how he loved
David and saved his Life - - 69
CHAPTER XIV.
The Story of Jonathan—continued - 93
. CHAPTER XV.
The Story of Jonathan—continued - 78
. CHAPTER XVI.
Preparing for the Treat - - - 82
CHAPTER XVII.
The School Treat - -. , = 686
CHAPTER XVIII.
The School Treat—continued - - QI

CHAPTER XIX.
The Lost Child : - - - 98
CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XxX.
Different Kinds of Pleasure - -

CHAPTER XXI.

The Story of Naaman, and how his Leprosy
“ was Cured - e : 3

CHAPTER XXII.
Obedience to God ; or the Four Captive Boys

CHAPTER XXIII.
Obedience to God; or the Four Captive
Boys—continued - - -
CHAPTER XXIV.

The Burning Fiery Furnace, into which the
three Young Men were Cast and were
not Burnt - - - -

CHAPTER XXV. |
The Lions’ Den, or Daniel’s Trust in God -

CHAPTER XXVI.
The Happy Blind Woman - =

CHAPTER XXVII.
The Minute Bag. Visit to Old Sarah -

CHAPTER XXVIII.

Matt, the Idiot Boy - oe -
CHAPTER XXIX.

‘Improvement and Plan of Usefulness -
CHAPTER XXX.

Conversation and Arrangements - -

vit.

PAGE
105

109

123

13]

137

143

156
164
171

175
vill. CONTENTS.
CHAPTER XXXI.
The Story of a Disobedient Prophet who was
Killed by a Lion - - -

CHAPTER XXXII.
The Story of the Disobedient Prophet—con-
tinued : - : :

CHAPTER XXXIII.

The Story of the Disobedient Prophet—con-
tinued - : - -

CHAPTER XXXIV.

The other Disobedient Prophet—(foxah)
who was Swallowed by a Fish - -

CHAPTER XXXV.

The Story of Esther, the Beautiful Queen,
who saved all the Jews from being
massacred - - - -

CHAPTER XXXVI.
The Story of Esther—continued - -

CHAPTER XXXVILI.
The Story of Esther—continued - -

CHAPTER XXXVIII.
The Story of Esther—continued - oo

CHAPTER XXXIX.

The Ragged Ambassadors, and how they
deceived the Israelites - =

PAGE:

179

184

189

195

213


Wat JHTTLE JtAnps CAN Po.
; —_o0-—

Chapter Sirst.



INTRODUCTION.

NOTHER wet Sunday! how very tiresome ;”
exclaimed a little boy about nine years old,
_who stood looking out of a window, watching the
_ passers-by, during a steady and heavy rain. -“ We
_ have had so many lately, and I never know what to
do; we must not play, and we cannot read all day
: long.” At this moment Herbert Wilmot, hearing a
footstep, turned round and met the eyes of his aunt
Howard, with whom he had just arrived to spend a
month in the summer time.
“What is the matter, my dear boy?” asked his
aunt, seeing his sorrowful face. “Are you grieving
because we cannot go out this morning? .


2 What Little Hands can do.

“Yes, aunty. Is it not very tiresome, my first
Sunday at BEESUErOves and to have to stay in all
day?”

“Well, my dear Herbert, ” replied his aunt, laying
‘her hand kindly on his shoulder, “I will not say it

is tiresome, for I do not like to speak of the arrange- -

ments of God in that way; but I agree with you, it
is very disappointing that the first Sunday morning
in the country should. be so wet; but we will not,
therefore, make up our minds to a wet day. at this

season we often have very heavy rain followed .

quickly by bright sunshine, and we may have a very
fine afternoon and evening. You know I promiséd
your dear mamma, when J asked her to allow you
to visit me, to take great care of your health; and
as the doctor has forbidden you to go out when at
all damp, I must unwillingly keep you a prisoner
this morning as well as your cousins; but J intend
to remain at home with you myself, and I hope we
shall fod: means to pass a very happy and promanie
morning.”

Herbert’s face, which had been very gloomy,
brightened up a little on hearing his aunt intended
herself remaining at home, for he was very fond of
Mrs. Howard, and never found time hang heavily
when in her company. -

At this moment his two cousins, Ellen and Annie,

came into the room; they looked bright, happy:

little girls, of about ten and eleven years of age.
Bible Stories. 3

‘They seemed surprised that their mamma thought it
needful to remain at home herself, because they
knew she very rarely did so on account of weather ;
but as she only told them her intention, without
giving her reasons, they were quite satisfied to hear
|. the good news, and at once asked what they should
co. “Will you tell usa new Bible story, mamma?”
said Ellen ; “I do so like your stories.”

“J don't want to hear Bible stories,” interrupted
Herbert. “I know them all, and am quite tired of

— them.”



“Oh, Herbert! surely you don’t know a
mamma’s stories,” exclaimed Annie; “for you are
younger than we are, and we do not know all; and
there’s always something new to talk about when
she tells them. It is so nice, I am sure you will like
them.”

“Ym sure I shan’t, then; for I know them
already,” persisted Herbert, who still looked very
cross and uncomfortable.

“Well, my dears,” said Mrs. Howard, “we will
not dispute the matter, because we do not know
what Herbert knows, and he has not yet heard any
of our stories, so I do not think he can guwi‘e tell
how he will like them till he has tried ;” she added,
smiling, and drawing her little nephew to her
side. “So run now and fetch your Bibles, and
come and sit down, and when we have done our
reading, Herbert shall tell us how he likes our story.”
4 What Little Hands can do.

Mrs. Howard knew that Herbert had been what
we call a spoiled child at home, and she felt very
sorry for him; and while she hoped to see some
improvement in him before he returned to town
she did not intend needlessly to cross his wishes, as
she knew habits are stubborn things and cannot .be
very quickly cured; but she hoped, with God’s
blessing, he might himself see how unlovely over-
indulgence had made him, and also how much his
own pleasures were spoilt by always wishing to have
his own way, and never being willing to consider the
wishes of others. He was an only child, and had
delicate health ; and his every wish and desire had
been considered by loving parents and a fond
nurse, until the poor little boy seemed to suppose
the world was made for him alone. You may easily
understand that he was not a favourite among his
playfellows; and his little cousins, though kind
and affectionate children in general, were not par-
ticularly charmed when their mamma announced to
them that Herbert was to become their guest for a
month. Their fears that he would be “always
making himself disagreeable,” seemed likely to
prove true, when the first Sunday they heard him
oppose their mother’s Bible stories. However,
they remembered the hints their mamma had given
them about their behaviour to him, and they ran off
to fetch their books, hoping he would soon find ,
out his mistake. They then returned to the dining
The Lame Boy. 5

room, and took their seats by their mamma;
Herbert, as the youngest and the visitor, having the
post of honour by her side.

“Well, my dear Herbert,” said Mrs. Howard,
“suppose you tell us what stories from the Bible
you know, and’ then I shall be able to select one
that will be quite new to you.”

“Oh, I think I know them a,” repeated Herbert.
About Woah, and Abraham, and Moses, and David,
and aH of them.”

“Well, you have heard some very pretty ones if
you have heard about all you have mentioned. But
there are many more; and perhaps you have not
heard af the stories about each of the persons you
havenamed. ‘Tell me, now, if you remember a story
about a lame boy, to whom David was very kind?”

Herbert thought for a moment, and then was
obliged to own he did not remember ¢#a# story ; the
little girls declared they had not heard it either,
though their mamma said she thought they must
have poor memories, as she believed she had. told it
to them. “ However,” said she, “it will be quite
new to you also, so we will read it.”

“What was the name of the little boy, mamma?”
asked Annie ; “and how did he become lame?”

“Stop, my dear child; you are in too great a
hurry. The little boy’s name was a very long one,
and perhaps you will think it rather a hard one, it is
Mephibosheth, - ,
6 What Little Hands can de.

The children looked at each other as if they had
never heard such a strange name, and wondered how
a pretty story could belong to it. They then looked
at their mamma, who said, “If you open your
Bibles at the 4th chapter of the Second Book of
Samuel, and the 4th verse, we shall find the story
of Mephibosheth.”

She then read as follows :—




Chapter Second.

THE STORY OF MEPHIBOSHETH.

ND Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son that
was lame of his feet. He was five years
old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan
out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him. up and
fled. And it came to pass as she made haste
to flee, that he fell, and became lame, and
his name was Mephibosheth.”

She then continued—% You will all remember,
Saul was the first king of Israel, but he did
not honour and serve God; and God sent
Samuel the prophet to tell him that he had
rejected him from being king, and had chosen
Him a man after Elis own heart to be king.
This was David. And though he did not become
king then, or attempt to do so, yet Saul was jealous
of him from the time he knew he was one day
to be king; and he persecuted and tried to kill


8 What Little Hands can do.

David, but Jonathan, Saul’s son, loved David very
much indeed, and tried to protect him from his
father’s anger. But when he found he could no
longer preserve David from Saul’s jealousy, he sent
him away. But before they parted they went out
into a field together; and David made a promise
that he would not forget Jonathan, but would be
kind to him when he became king, and also would
shew kindness to Jonathan’s children after he was
dead. For a long time after this, Saul tried to hurt
and injure David whenever-he could; but at last,
Saul and Jonathan were both killed in a battle with
the Philistines; who, you will remember, were the
great enemies of the Israelites

“Well, when the news came that Saul and
his three sons had all been killed, I suppose
their friends expected the Philistines might come
and take their houses and lands, and perhaps
kill the children they had left at home, so the
nurse that took care of Jonathan’s little boy,
h.ephibosheth, took him up in her arms and
ran away to hide him .somewhere safely. -We
are not told where she took him, but no doubt it
was the best place she could think of in her fright;
and as she was running to hide him, she fell, with
the poor little Mephibosheth, and so hurt him that
he became lame. Perhaps she was afraid to let any
one know where he was hidden who might have
done him good, or perhaps nothing could be done
Shewing Kindness. 9

for the poor child; which it was we do not know,
but this we know, that he was lame all his life.
What a sad trial it was for him, and what a sorrow
for his poor nurse, when she saw him unable to run
about like other children, to remember the accident
that made him so. However, sometimes our
greatest trials turn out to be our greatest blessings,
and we shall find that it was so with Mephibosheth.

“Many years after Saul and Jonathan were killed,
when David was settled as king, he often thought of
all he had suffered from Saul, and how wonderfully
God had delivered him and taken care of him when
Saul wanted to kill him; and one day he said, ‘Is
there any one left of the house of Saul, that I may
shew him kindness for. Jonathan’s sake?’ David,

you see, did not forget his dear friend Jonathan ;
and he did not forget that he had promised to shew
kindness to his children after his death. This was.
very right of David; and now that God had made
hin king, he asked his servants whether there was
any one left of the house of Saul to whom he
might shew kindness for Jonathan’s sake.

“Now David’s servants knew a servant of Saul’s,
named Ziba ; so they brought him to David, and the
king asked him if there was any one of Saul’s family
to whom he might shew the ‘ Aindness of God? Mark
these words, dear children ; the king wished to shew
the indness of God to some one belonging to his
cruel enemy Saul! This was much more than
10 What Little Hands can do.

doing it for Jonathan's sake; he had been his

dear and kind friend, and it is always a pleasure

to serve the friends or the children of those

we love; but David did not ask for any of

Jonathan's family alone, but any of the house of .
Saw, that he might shew the ‘Azndness of God’

to him.

“He might well call it the ‘Aéndness of God,
for only God can teach us to love and be kind
to Gur enemies; and to those who have been unkind
to us. You know our own wicked hearts always
lead us to return evil for evil, and to be unkind to
those who are unkind tous. The Lord Jesus was
the only one who was always kind to His enemies,
and never returned evil for evil. You know when
the wicked people beat Him, and spat upon Him,
and smote Him upon the cheek, He bore it all like
a lamb, and prayed for His wicked murderers.
People who love Jesus try to follow His blessed
example, and to love those who hate them; and so
you see David did, though he had not the beautiful
history of the Lord Jesus to read as we have)
because he lived long before the Lord was born.
Still he loved God, and was taught by God’s Holy
Spirit to love his enemies; and so instead of wish-
ing to £zd/ every one that remained in his kingdom
belonging to Saul, he asked whether there was not
some one left of his family to whom he might shew
what? ‘ Zhe kindness of God. You see he did not
Kind Words. ; I

wait until he /owzd some one, but he thought about
it, and asked about it, which shewed his heart was
occupied with kind and loving thoughts.

“ Now we shall see what Ziba tells him. ‘And Ziba
said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son which
is lame on his feet.’ How pleased David must have
felt to find the only one left of Saul’s house, who he
hears of, is the son of his dearly-loved Jonathan.
He asked Ziba where he was, and desired him to go
and fetch him at once.

“Poor Mephibosheth! How astonished and
frightened he must have been when he heard
that David wanted to see him! Perhaps Ziba
‘old him the king wanted to shew him_ kind-
ness, but he came to the king and bowed down
before him. And what were the first kind words
David said to him? ‘Fear not!’ David remem-
bered Mephibosheth would be likely to be very
much afraid when he sent for him, because he
knew he was the grandson of the wicked Saul,
who had treated David so cruelly, and that there-
fore he had no right to expect any kindness from
David himself; but how delighted and surprised he
must have been when he heard the rest of what
David said to him. After telling him not to be
afraid he said, ‘I will surely shew thee kindness for
Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will give thee back
all the land of Saul thy grandfather, and thou shalt
eat bread at my table continually.’
12 What Little Hands can do.

“Was not this great love in David, dear children ?
not only to make Mephibosheth a rich man,
but to tell him he should eat bread at the king’s
continually. ‘This was the greatest honour he
ive him; it was treating him like his own














; ‘What is a servant, that thou
st look upon such a dead dog as Tam?’ You
ephibosheth was not proud; he speaks. of
a ‘dard dee’ Now of what use is a dead

vo use at all A femme dog may be of
t use to its master, but a wees’ dog can be of no
to any one, and is also a very ugly and di
biect to look at. Poor Mephibosheth m:
knew he had no right to expect Dawid to
é@ he belonged to the house of
knew he never could be of any
this?
en, God tells us,

ae













him, be

mse he was



* He



you know, dear cl
| mat (or : se







Hot Chee oF
Dining at the King's Table, Ly

it is a very great honour if a person is invited
to dine with the Queen exce in his life, and very
few people have the honour; but what would any
one think of dining at the Queen’s table aéz«uays
who did not belong to her family? This was what
David said Mephibosheth should do. ‘Then the
king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said unto
him, I have given unto thy master’s son all that be-
longed to thy master Saul and to all his house ; thou,
therefore, and thy sons and thy servants, shall till
the ground for him. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and
twenty servants.’ And Ziba promised king David
that he would do as he wished, and see after all the
land that.the king had given to Mephibosheth.
And then before Ziba left the king he again said,
‘As for Mephibosheth, he shall eat at my table as
one of the king’s sons.’

“ Now, dear children, just let us count how many
times the king speaks of this to Ziba; ¢Arce times
over he mentions it! Perhaps David wished
Mephibosheth to see the pleasure it gave him to
promote him to this honour for his dear father’s
sake. ‘So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, and
did eat bread at the king’s table continually, and
was lame on both his feet.’

“We may think how happy Mephibosheth now
was, being so loved and honoured by David;
and how often he would think and speak with
him of his dear father Jonathan, No doubt
14 . What Little Hands can de,

David told him how Jonathan took off his ow.
dress,.and gave it to him, with his girdle and his
bow. Perhaps David may have had some of these
~ things with him through all his wanderings, and may
have shewn them to Mephibosheth: he may have
told him also the curious plan that Jonathan
hit upon to let him know that Saul had deter-
mined to kill him, and how-he managed it; he
may also have told him that once, when he was
hiding in a wood from Saul, and was feeling very -
sad and very unhappy, and was almost ready to
think he never should be king, but was afraid Saul
would one day kill him ; that when he was in this sad
state, Jonathan came and found him in the wood, ‘and
strengthened his hands in God.’ 1 Sam. xxiii. 16.
This meant, that Jonathan tried to cheer, and encour-
age, and comfort David, by reminding him of Goa’s
promise that he should be king, and also reminding
him that everything that God said sould happen,
must happen. And you may suppose how happy
Mephibosheth must have been to hear the king
speak of his father in this way.

“David perhaps also told Mephibosheth how
once Jonathan nearly lost his life for eating a little
honey, when his father had made a law that no one
should eat anything that day; and he may also have
told him of another occasion, when Jonathan and
his servant gained a great victory over their enemies
while Saul and his soldiers were waiting for the
Pleasing Stories. 15

battle to begin; and how no one knew who had
beaten the Philistines till they courted the soldiers,
and found Jonathan and his servant were absent.
‘These and many more stories we may suppose
David had delight in telling the child of his beloved
friend, as he daily took his meals with him. And
we shall now see how Mephibosheth returned
David's love, and how tenderly attached he became
to him, though he could not serve him as others dic
on account of his lameness.”






Chapter Third. -



‘THe Srory oF MeprurBposHeTuo—continued,

LONG time after David had’ taken Mephibo-
sheth to his table, a sad trial fell upon the
king. He had a son named Absalom; he was a
very fine, handsome young man, and a great favou-
rite with the people; but I am sorry to say he was
not a good son to his father. He had given him a
great deal of troublé and sorrow, and at last he
tried to take the kingdom from him, and made the
“people think they were not properly cared for by the
king, and that if he were king he would take more
care of them. ‘Then he told his father a lie, and
said he was leaving home to do something for the
Lord; but he went away, and some wicked people
followed him and made him king instead of David.


The Rebllious Son. 17

‘ «This is what we call a redelion. It is a very
dreadful thing in a country, because it causes much
war and shedding of blood: but oh, how much
‘worse when a son rises in rebellion against his own
father! We may be sure God's judgment will come
upon a rebellious son, for He has commanded
children to honour their father and mother. (Zp/.
vi. 2.)

“When David heard that Absalom called himself
king, he told his servants they must run away with
him from Absalom. I suppose David did not want
to go to war with his son, for he loved: him very
much though he was acting so wickedly. So poor
David, and some friends and servants, all left their
own comfortable homes and beautiful city of Jerusa-
lem, and passed over the brook Kedron, and went
up amountain. Many of the people who lived in that
neighbourhood were véry sorry, and cried very
bitterly when they saw their dear king driven away
from his home by his wicked undutiful son. David
must’ have felt as unhappy as he did when he
was hiding from Saul in the woods and mountains,
pr even more so, because he must have known that
all his troubles were caused by his wicked son,
He had now no home and no food, and no clothes
but what people gave him, and the little they had
taken with them when they left home.

“ As David was going up a mountain, who do you

think he met? Why, he met Ziba, the servant of
7 oo
18 What Little Hands can do.

Mephibosheth, who had with him two asses saddled,
and upon them two hundred loaves of bread,
and one hundred bunches of raisins, and a hundred
of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine.* And the
' king asked Ziba what all these nice things were for;
and Ziba said to the king, the asses were for some
of his servants to ride upon, and the wine and food
were for those who were faint and hungry on their
journey. Do you think David thought of any one
else when he saw Ziba, or did he only think of the
present he brought to him? Oh, yes; David
thought of Mephibosheth; and he asked Ziba,
‘Where is thy master’s son?’ And what did Ziba
tell him? He said, ‘He is staying behind at
Jerusalem instead of coming with you, because he
thinks now he shall be able to get the kingdom for
himself!’

“What! Avephibosheth try to take away the king-
dom from David, who had been so very kind to
him! Oh, surely this could not be true. Well, we
must wait a little and see. »Ziba told David so, and
David believed him, and was so grieved and pained
to think that Mephibosheth could have acted so
ungratefully and wickedly, that he said to Ziba,
“You may have everything that I gave to

* My little readers must understand that in olden times wine
bottles were made of large sus, holding much more than our
glass bottles now do; so Ziba only took owe bottle of wine,
though he had so much bread and fruit.
Death of Absalom. 19

Mephibosheth!’ Was Ziba to have all the land
that had belonged to king Saul? Yes, every-
thing, David said, because he thought Ziba had
shewn great kindness and love in coming after him
with these provisions instead of staying behind to
help Mephibosheth to take the kingdom for himself.

“Poor David; how very sad he must have felt
to think, that not only his own son Absalom was
fighting against him, but that now Mephibosheth,
whom he had treated like a son, should also be in
rebellion against him. David wrote some psalms
which shew us how very unhappy he was at this
time. :

“ For some time after this, David had to flee from
his wicked son, Absalom; but at last his servants
went to battle with Absalom and his men, and God
allowed this wicked son to be killed. You re-
member, I dare say, how it happened? He was
caught by his fine long hair as he was riding under
an oak, and his mule ran away; and Joab, Davids
general, saw him hanging there, and killed him.
Poor king David was in very great sorrow when he
heard that his wicked son was dead; he wept
bitterly for him, and wished he had died instead of
Absalom. It is a dreadful thing to think of a son
being cut off while in rebellion against his father.”
(2 Sam. xviii. 33.)

¢

fe

a


Chapter Sourth,



Tue STORY OF MEpuiposHEeTH—continued.

HEN Absalom was dead, the people at
Jerusalem wished very much that David
would come back and take the kingdom again. So
he returned, with all his friends and servants, to
Jerusalem. Several people shewed their pleasure
in David’s return by going to meet him; who do
you think was one of the persons who did so?
Why, Mephibosheth! As soon as he heard David
was coming home, he went to meet him. But oh!
he looked such an untidy figure ; not at all fit to go
to see a king, for he had neither dressed his feet
nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes,
since David went away. Why was this? It was
on account of his great grief and sorrow at losing
David. It proved, that now David was gone, he did


The Ontruthful Servant. 21

not care for comfort or neatness, or anything else.
When the king saw him coming, looking this strange
figure, he said to him, ‘Why aie. you not go with
me, Mephibosheth ?’”

“And what did Mephibosheth say, do you think—
that he wanted the kingdom, as Ziba had said?
Oh, no! he told a very different story. He said to
David, ‘My lord, oh king, my servant deceived me;
for I said, I will saddle an ass, and ride on it to go
to the king, because I am lame; but he has told
you untrue and wicked things about me, but I am,
sure the king will understand the matter rightly, and.
will do what is right, for all my father’s house were
but dead men before my lord the king, yet thou
didst set me among those that eat at thine own
table ; what right, therefore, have I to cry any more
unto the: king ?’”

‘You see, poor Mephibosheth was still humble,
and had not been spoilt and made proud by all
David’s kindness to him; he still felt he had not
any claim upon it. And though he must have been
very much pained that David should have heard
such false things about him, he was quite satisfied
that the king should settle about his prdperty just as
he liked. I think David must have felt very much
vexed with himself for believing Ziba’s story so
quickly; he had been hasty in giving him his
master’s property. And now he found out his
mistake, he said to Mephibosheth, ‘Why speakest
22 Unselfish Love,

thou any more of thy matters? I have said, thou
and Ziba divide the land.’”

“ David did not like to hear any more about this
matter ; he felt he had been deceived, and that he had
done poor Mephibosheth a great injustice in doubting
his faithful love to himself. And I dare say, dear
children, you all know how very uncomfortable you
feel towards any one when you know you have been
unjust or unkind to them. This was how David
now felt; but what did Mephibosheth say when the
king told him he and Ziba were to share the land ?
Was he angry, or did he think it unjust? No; his —
true love for David now came out; he said yes, let
him take a; forasmuch as my lord the king is
come again in peace to his own house; he did not
care for land and money now; his joy was full to see
David back. Ziba might take all the land and all
the money, he would not quarrel about it; the king
was back again, and this was enough to make
Mephibosheth quite happy.”

“This was beautiful, unselfish love, and must
surely have made David feel very much ashamed
of himself for believing that Mephibosheth ever
wished to take the kingdom for himself during
his absence.”

“We do not read any more about Mephibosheth
after this, but I think David would never forget
their meeting on his return home, and would never
believe any more stories about selfishness or ingrati-
The True Davia. 23

tude in Mephibosheth ; and I hope it taught him to be
slow in believing all he heard, because it is particularly
important for a king to be very just; and we must
‘not always judge, you know, by appearances ; for, as
in Ziba’s case, they often deceive us. When the
Lord Jesus Christ, the true David, shall rule, we
read, ‘He shall o¢ judge after the sight of his eyes,
neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but
with righteousness shall he judge the poor.’ /sa. xi. 3.
This means that Christ will not look upon things as
they appear to be, but as they ready are, and will
make zo mistakes and do no one any injustice ; and
we know He values the love of our hearts more
than all our services. For He says to us, ‘ My son,
give me thine heart.’” (Prov. xxiii. 26.)


ns GAREW-REIANETENE ENE IRE EN

Ghayter Sifth.

INTERESTING CONVERSATION.

RS. HOWARD here paused, and looking
round to Herbert, said, “Now, Herbert,
you shall tell us how you like my story.” ;

“Very much indeed, Aunty,” replicd the child,
whose face had by this time lost all its gloom; ‘but
I think it was very wrong of David to believe Ziba’s
story.”

“Tt was, my dear, a sad mistake ; but, perhaps,
we can hardly be surprised at it, when we remember
the deep trouble and sorrow poor David was in.
Sorrow, you know, makes us generally very selfish ;
we are thinking so much of our own trouble, that
we do not pay much attention to other people, but
rather expect them to be thinking of us. This was
the case with David, and caused him many sorrow-
ful thoughts afterwards, I doubt not: but think, my
children, what a beautiful exariple of unselfishness in


Lhe Perfect Example. 25

sorrow we have in our blessed Lord Jesus. We
never find any trouble or pain made Him forget
others. In many instances we see this; but in one
or two it is very remarkable. When the soldiers
came to take Jesus, He thought of His disciples,
and said to the men, ‘If ye seek me, let these go
their way. John xviii. 8. And again, when on the
cross, in all the agony of that dreadful hour, the
Lord was not occupied with His own sorrow, but
with others; He thought of His beloved mother,
and told His dear disciple John to take care of her
and be as a son to her. john xix. 26, 27.
Though the Lord Jesus didnot plainly tell John to
take care of His mother, yet in the words, ‘Behold
thy mother, He evidently meant him to understand
that He put him in His own place as a son, to care
for her as He had done; and John quite understood
Him, for we read, ‘From that hour that disciple
took her unto his own home.’ John xix. 26, 27.
Thus you see, dear children, however wise and good
God's servants may be, we see some failure in all of
them. In the Lord Jesus Christ alone, do we find
a perfet example. He did aways those things
which pleased His Father.”

“Flow very frightened Ziba must have felt,
mamma, when he found out that David had
discovered his lie and deception, must he
note”

“Yes, indeed, my dear,” replied Mrs, Howard,
26 Lnteresting Conversation.

“we can easily imagine his feelings; he no doubt
flattered himself it would never be discovered, but
God's word is certain; ‘Be sure your sin wd find
you out.’ Mum. xxxii. 23. It does not say when,
it may be very soon, as in this case, or a long time
may pass; but God never forgecs sin, though we
may do so, and the day of reckoning will surely
come. Do either of you remember the case of
another servant, whose covetousness led him to
lying and deception, which was very quickly dis-
covered and brought a very dreadful punishment
upon him?”

The children thought for some minutes and
looked at each other: at last Ellen said, ‘I think
I ought to know, mamma, but I can’t recollect ; but
if you tell me which book the story is in, I think I
shall remember it.”

“Tt is in the 2nd Book of Kings,” replied Mrs.
Howard; “and we read it a very short time ago,
in our morning reading.”

“Oh! was it Elijah’s servant, mamma, when
his master cured the leper? JI forget his
name.”

“T see you have the right maz in your mind,
Annie, but in a confused way; it was Zvsha, not
Elijah, that cured Naaman, the Syrian, of his
leprosy ; and his servant was the one I referred to.
But you had better open your Bibles at the 5th
chapter of 2nd Kings, and find out the servant's
A Common Mistake. (27

name for yourselves, and then I think you will
remember it another time.”

The ciildren did so, and Ellen exclaimed, “Oh!
mamma, I have found it in the 2zoth verse. Gehazi
was the servant’s name.”

“Yes, my dear,” said her mamma, “and I should
‘hike you to try and tell me the story, unless,” added
she, “ Herbert can do so instead.”

And she looked at’ the little boy, who shook his
head, and was obliged to own he never heard that
story before, upon which his cousin Annie said,

“There, Herbert, you see you don’t know all the
bible stories as you—”

Her mamma, however, stopped her finishing her
sentence by saying, ““My dear Annie, is Herbert
the only child you could name who sometimes
thinks he knows rather more than he really does?”
Annie looked rather ashamed and hung down her
head, while her mamma: continued, “It is a mis-
take we are all very prone to make; and the older
and wiser we grow, we learn how many things there
are about which we ¢iink we know a great deal and
find we really know very little, And when we see
how often we make mistakes ourselves, it should
make us very gentle with others, particularly when
younger than ourselves. But now, Annie, you may
try and tell us the story of Gehazi.”

Annie begged her mamma would tell it them, as
they would all understand it so much better.
28 Interesting Conversation.

Mrs. Howard smiled, and agreed to do so. “ But,”
said she, “suppose, before we begin this story, we
sing a little hymn together.”

“Oh yes, mamma; that.will be very nice!” ex-
claimed both the little girls.

“Will you like to sing a hymn, Herbert, dear?”
said Mrs. Howard, taking her little nephew by the
hand and leading him to the harmonium.

“Ves, very much, Aunty,” replied the child.

“Which shall it be?” added she, as she took her
seat at the instrument, and looked round upon the
little group.

“Shall we sing, ‘Around the throne of God in
heaven,’ mamma? that is a very pretty one, I
think,” said Ellen.

“Ves, my dear, it is; we will sing that. first.”

They then together sang the following favourite
hymn :—

*¢ Around the throne of God in heaven,
Thousands of children stand :
Children whose sins are all forgiven,
A holy, happy band,
Singing glory, glory, glory. .

‘In flowing robes of spotless white
See every one arrayed ;
Dwelling in everlasting light,
And joys that never fade—

Singing glory, glory, glory.
“Glory! Glory!” 29

Once they were little things like you, °
And lived on earth below,
And could not praise, as now they do,
The Lord that loved them so,—
Singing glory, glory, glory.

** What brought them to that world above,
That heaven so bright and fair,
. Where all is peace, and joy, and love?
How came those children there,
Singing glory, glory, glory?

** Because the Saviour shed His blood
To purge away their sin;
Now wash’d in that most precious flood,
Behold them white and clean,

Singing glory, glory, glory.”

When it was finished, Herbert asked for another ;
and at his aunt’s desire, chose one himself. He
fixed upon the following, which was also sung. ,

‘« Among the deepest shades of night,
Can there be one who sees my way?
Yes; God is like a shining light,
That turns the darkness into day.

6‘ When every eye around me sleeps,
May I not sin without control?
No; for a constant watch He keeps,
On every thought of every soul.

“TF T could find some cave unknown,
Where human foot had never trod,
F’en there I could not be alone ; 7
On every side there would be God.”
30 Interesting Conversation.

When it was finished, Ellen said, “If Gehazi and
Ziba had known this hymn, mamma, perhaps they
would have been afraid to act so wickedly.”

“Well, my dear Ellen, I can hardly agree with
you,” replied her mother, “because I see so many
children and grown-up people too, who do. know
this hymn and many others like it, and many Scrip-
tures which teach the same solemn lesson that God
always sees us, and yet they try to deceive as much
as Ziba or Gehazi did. If that truth had acted
with power on their consciences, it certainly would
have prevented their falling into sin.”

“But what did Gehazi do?” said Herbert, “I
want to know.”

“Well, my dear,” said his aunt, “we will now
return to the sofa, and I will tell you the story of
Gehazi. But look, Herbert,” added she, as they
passed the window, “are we going to havea wet
day now, do you think ?”

“Oh no, aunty, the sun is coming out quite
brightly, and the garden looks nearly dry; how
different to the morning! oh, I am so glad!” cried
the child, skipping about with joy, “we need not
stay in the house all day long.”

“No, indeed, my boy; I hope we shall be able
to go out after dinner. I want to inquire for one or
two sick people, and you shall go with me, and your
little cousins will like to shew you our pretty lanes
about here; and then, as we come back, we will
A Short Morning. 34

look in at the school and see all the children; you
will, I am ae like to hear them sing and repeat
their verses.’

“Oh, thank you, aunty dear, that will be
beautiful !”

“But come,” said Mrs. Howard, “it is nearly
dinner-time, we shall hardly have time to tell you
the story of Gehazi.”

“ Dinner-time !” exclaimed all the children, “why
how very short the morning has been; I did not
think it was twelve o'clock !”

Mrs. Howard smiled, and looking at her little
nephew, said, with rather a droll face, “ Why,
Herbert, I thought Sunday was always such a very
long day; how is it the morning has been so
short ?” ;

“TJ don’t know, I am sure,” said Herbert; “I
can’t think how the time has gone; we seem only
just to have sat down.”

“Well, dear, I think ‘the secret is, you have been
fully occupied ; and time never passes so quickly as
when we are very busy, and it never seems to pass
so slowly as when we are idle and have nothing to
do. If youremind me, Herbert, to-morrow, I will
ell you a story about using up spare minutes ; but
now I will tell you about Gehazi.” Mrs. Howard
then proceeded as follows.

eB ECBO

AD &
CBRE GE ha Beet Sp ORG Feat
LES Se

Chapter Sixth.



Tuer Story or Genazi.—2 Kings v.



1



JEHAZI, my dear children, as you have al-
te ready found out, was the servant of Elisha,
the prophet of God; he had seen many miracles
performed by his master, but, evidently, did not par-
take of his master’s spirit. This teaches us the
solemn lesson, that living with God’s people and
enjoying many privileges, will never make us love
God, or the things of God; our hearts must be
changed before we can really love and serve Him.
“In the chapter to which we have referred, we
find Elisha had, by the power of God, cured
Naaman, the Syrian, of a dreadful disease called
leprosy: it was a terrible complaint which no
doctors could cure—only God could cure it; and
when he found he was made quite well, Naaman,
who was a very rich man, wanted to make Elisha a
The First Wicked Thought. 33

very handsome present to shew his gratitude; but
the prophet would not take anything, he wished to
shew Naaman that God gives freely, and that His
gifts, either for this life or for life eternal, can never
be purchased by anything that man can give. He
wished Naaman to understand that God must ever
‘be the giver; and man must be the receiver. And
Naaman understood this, for after offering the
prophet the present and finding he would not accept
it, he asked Elisha to géve Aim something ; What do
you think this was? it was two mules’ durden of
earth! What could'this be for? Why it was to
make an altar to the true God, when he reached
home, of the earth from the land of Canaan, which
was God’s own land. For this Naaman, you
must remember, had been a worshipper of zdo/s ;
but now he had learned that the God of Israel was
the only true God, for only He could cure the
leprosy, and so he wished to build an altar to Him,
You may be sure Elisha was very glad to give
Naaman this present, and after this he started on |
his long journey. Now Gehazi had seen the. pre-
sent that Naaman had offered -to Elisha, and he
thought to himself, What a pity my master has let
this Syrian go home without taking any of his
presents! This was his jrs¢ thought, then came
the next wicked one—I will run after him and take
something from him, You see, Gehazi should have
checked the jst thought, it was a covetous one,
D
34 ~The Story of Gerasi

and snewed he had no care that the poor Syrian
idolater should know that the gift of God was with-
out money and without price; then followed the
next wicked thought, and then! What came after
that? he ran after Naaman’s chariot. Naaman saw
Gehazi running after him, and got down to meet
him. He thought he was come with some message
from his master, and he felt so grateful to Elisha
that he wished to shew his respect for him, and his
willingness to serve him, and his wish for his wel-
fare, so he got down, and he asks Gehazi ‘Is all
well?’ Gehazi said ‘Yes, al‘ is well.’ And what
more did he say? Ah! now he had to tell a Ze; thus
a wicked thought is the beginning of a whole list
of sins. Think of this, my.dear children, and refuse
the first ¢hought of sin. Gehazi said to Naaman,
‘Two visitors (sons of the prophets) have just arrived
at my master’s house, and he begs you to give them
a talent of silver, and two changes of garments.’
Was there any truth in this message? no not one
bit, it was a direct lie; but Naaman wus well
pleased to serve Elisha in any way, so he said ‘ Yes,
[ll gladly send him more than that;’ and he gave
two of his own servants ¢wo talents of silver (you
remember Gehazi had only asked for ove) and two
changes of raiment, and told them to carry them
home for Gehazi, and they did so. And when they
came to the tower belonging to Elisha’s house, he
took the things from the servants and they went
God Sees All, 35

back to their master: then Gehazi put the things
carefully away in the tower, and very likely thought
to himself how cleverly he had managed the matter,
and that no one knew anything at all about it.
Was this true? Oh, no! God saw it all. Even
the first wicked thought in his heart, God knew.
And Gehazi might have remembered that God told
his master many things that nobody else knew, and
that he might tell him all this matter ; but I suppose
he did not think of this, for sin blinds our minds
terribly, and often makes us do the most foolish
things, as we shall see with Gehazi.”




Ghapter Seventh.



Tue Story oF GEnazi—(continucd. )

O when he had put all the things that
Naaman had given him, very safely away in
the tower, he went as usual to wait upon his master .
and see if he wanted anything. What do you think
Elisha said to him, when he came in? He asked
him where he came from. What a question for
Gehazi! how he must have trembled before the
searching eye of his master. Did he fall down
before him and. tell him all the truth? Ah, no!
that would have been the best thing he could have
done; and, perhaps, he wished he could do so; as,
I dare say, you have all of you felt sometimes, when
you have done wrong. You w#sh you could tell the
whole truth, but you feel afraid, and then Satan
makes you think it is too late, and you had better
cover up one sin by another and deny your fault,
and so one sin leads to another.


The Sin Found Out. 37

“The thing to fear, therefore, dear children, is
the fst wicked thought or inclination. What did
Gehazi now do? Why, he gave a most’ foolish
answer—he told the prophet he had not been any-
where! Did he forget his master was a prophet of
God, do you think? It would look rather like it,
to give him such a silly answer. Did he not re-
member all the miracles Elisha had done by the
power of God? How he raised the dead, made the
iron swim, multiplied the widow’s oil, cured the
leprosy, and many other wonderful things he may
have seen; and did he think such a master could
be deceived so easily? Ah, well; as we said before,
sin is a very deceiving thing, and cleverly as Gehazi
had managed all this matter, he had now to find out
that his master was cleverer still; and you must try
and fancy how he felt when Elisha said to him,
“Went not my heart with thee when the man turned
again from his chariot to meet thee?’

“Now, indeed, ‘his sin had found him out.’
How short a time had he enjoyed his treasures!
He had not had time to spend any of the money, or
to wear any of the clothes: he had not had time even
to pay one little visit to the tower to /vok at his trea:
sures, before all his wickedness was brought out;
and he had only to stand there and hear his awful
doom and punishment from the lips of that master
whom he had tried to deceive!

“And Elisha said, ‘The leprosy, therefore, of
38 The Story of Gehasi.

Naaman, shall cleave unto thee and unto thy seed
for ever!’ What fearful words, dear children, were
they not? And you must remember, leprosy was a
worse thing for Gehazi than for Naaman.”

“How, mamma, was that? I thought Naaman
could never have been cured except by God’s
power,”’ said Ellen. ;

“Quite true, my dear. I am not surprised that
my remark should puzzie you a. little, but I will
explain it, and then I think you will agree with me
that it was a heavier affliction for Gehazi than even
for Naaman, though in both cases the sad disease
was incurable by human means,

“ Gehazi, you know, was a_/ew, and Naaman was
2 Gentile. Now, Ellen, does that help you to
answer your own question?” asked Mrs. Howard.

“No, mamma; I do not think it does.

“Was it because Elisha said Gehazi never should
be cured, and Naaman may ave hofed for a cure,
aunty, dear?” said little Herbert, looking up ina
questioning way in Mrs. Howard’s face,

“No, my little man, that was net the reason ;”
replied his aunt. “Though you are quite right in
thinking that would have made a difference 7 there
had been any room for Aoge of relief in Naaman’s
case, but I rather think he had no such hope;
because, as he was a heathen, and had never heard
of the true God, he is not likely ever to have heard
of such a thing as leprosy being cured.”
The Leper. 39

. How did he know Elisha could cure it then,
aunty ?”

“Oh! I see, darling, you have not heard the story
about Naaman. I did not think of that, or I would
have begun at the beginning ; but it is now too late,
so we must leave it till another day. And I will
only tell you now, that he heard leprosy was cured
in the land of Israel through a little Jewish girl that
he had carried away in war from that country, and
taken home to wait upon his wife. The reason why
it was worse for a Jew to be a leper than it was for
a Gentile, was because God made laws about leprosy
that all the Jews had to obey. Among them, a leper
had to live alone, far from any one, and wear a cover
upon his upper lip; and wher any one happened to
come near him he had to call out, ‘unclean!
unclean!’ to tell them he was a leper, and they
must not come nearer.. Now, Naaman was a great
general, and much loved and valued by the king his
master, and able to live at home with his wife, and
only had to bear the sad disease; but no sorrow-
ful consequences. Now, do you understand the
difference ?”

“ Oh, yes, quite ;” exclaimed the children.

“ And did Gehazi turn a leper af once?” inquired
Herbert.

“Ves, my dear. If you look at the last verse of
the chapter you will fd, as soon as Elisha had
pronounced his dreadful sentence upon Gehazi, that

y
40 The Story of Gehaszt.

‘he went out from his presence a leper as wile as
as snow!’”
““Oh! how dreadful, aunty.”

“Very dreadful, indeed, my child. And oh, how
Gehazi must have wished he had never had the
covetous thought, that he had never told the lie to
Naaman, or tried to deceive his master; but that he
had, instead of this, remembered those solemn
words, ‘ Zhou God seest me!’ Let us all try to
remember them, my dear children, and fear the first
step in sin. But now run away and prepare for
dinner, or you will not be ready when the bell
rings.”

Mrs. Howard then kissed them all, and they ran
off, greatly pleased with the way in which they had
passed the wet Sunday morning. '




Ghaptey Eighth,

Aw Errand or MERcy.

|FTER dinner the children were quickly ready
WES to accompany Mrs. Howard in her walk ;
and as their way lay through some beautiful Devon-
shire lanes, with the hedges full of pretty wild
flowers, the little visitor from the busy streets of
London, greatly enjoyed his ramble.

Mrs. Howard directed her little girls to take
care of Herbert, and show him some ducks in a
pond, while she went in to see her aged
friend, Mrs. Gregory, who had long been a great
sufferer, and confined to her bed for many years,
While Mrs. Howard was conversing with her,
a heavy shower coming on, the children were
called in for shelter. The old lady greeted the
two little girls with pleasure, and evidently was
no strange: to them. Herbert looked about, as if


42 An Errand of Mercy.

he wondered at finding himself in so new an
atmosphere.

After the shower had passed, the little party
returned homewards; not forgetting, however, to
call at the school, as Mrs. Howard had promised, ©
that Herbert might see all the happy children
singing and reciting together. When they reached
home it was tea time.

While making tea, Mrs. Howard asked Herbert
if he had enjoyed his walk. He replied that he had
done so, only it was very stupid sitting so long in
that old woman’s cottage. What do you go to see
her for, aunty ?” said he.

“My dear child,” said Mrs. Howard, “poor Mrs.
Gregory is a sufferer, and has long been one, and we
feel it a pleasure and a privilege to minister to her
in any way we can. She is a very patient and
happy christian, who is longing to depart and be
with her Master; but till He sees fit to remove her,
she desires to glorify and honour Him in suffering
here.”

“ But what's the use of Ellen and Annie going to
her, aunty? they cannot do anything for her, I am
sure.”

“Indeed, my dear boy, you are quite mistaken;
they greatly cheer the old woman by their visits, and
they are as fond of going to her as she is to have
them; and I like them to go, for they may learn
taany lessons from seeing her.”
. An Aged Superer. 43

“What lessons, aunty? I don’t know how a poor
old woman like that can teach young ladies.”

“JT will tell you then, my dear boy. They see
that Mrs. Gregory is very poor, very old, and
very suffering, and yet that she is very contented,
and patient, and happy; and they know that this is
the result of God’s grace in Mrs. Gregory, for she
was a very different person once, as all her neigh-
bours can tell you; but it pleased God to teaeh her
what a sinner she was in His sight, and how unable
to save herself, And it also pleased Him to shew
her, that what she could never do to save herself
from eternal ruin, the Lord Jesus had done for her.
That He had paid the heavy debt she owed, and
that now there was nothing .but peace and joy for
her. And since God’s Holy Spirit has taught her
this, she has been quite a new creature, and as
‘happy as the day is long, only waiting the summons
to her heavenly home. Though she is a great
sufferer, when your little cousins go to see her, it
cheers her, for she is very fond of them, and she
will tell them a hymn or a verse of Scripture, and
‘sometimes they tell her one, which pleases her
greatly. Then, occasionally, I send her a little
‘present by them, and sometimes they take a message
or do an errand for her; and all this not only helps
the poor old lady, but gives them the pleasure of
serving others.”

“JT don’t think chat isa areat pleasure, aunt; T
44 An Errand of Mercy.

like other people to wait upon me,” said Herbert.
“Tt’s only servants and poor people that have to
serve others, and of course it is their duty.”

His aunt was very sorry to hear her little nephew
speak in this way, but she knew it was the result of
his training at home, where, as I before said, he was
so over-indulged, that he thought of nothing but
himself; and she was very anxious while with her he
should learn the happiness of living for others; but
she knew she could not teach him this all at once,
so she only said, “I see, my dear boy, you have
never tried the plan of trying to make others happy,
or you would not say there was no pleasure in it;
but I hope some day you will do so, and then 1 .
think you will agree with me, there is no greater
source of happiness in this world than in being
useful to others.”

These words sounded very strange to Herbert,
but as his little cousins came into the room, and
tea was by this time quite ready, they all took
their seats without any further reference to poor
Mrs. Gregory.

The weather being quite fine, the children had
the satisfaction of going out in the evening; and on
returning home Herbert asked his aunt to tell them
another Bible story, one of those that David may
have told Mephibosheth about Jonathan, he should
like best; but Mrs. Howard said she thought he
had heard quite enough for that day, and as it was
A: Story Deferred. AS

nearly bed time, he had better have his supper with
his little cousins, and wait till the next day to hear
the story which she would then tell him with great
pleasure.


Chaptey Hinth.



A DISAPPOINTMENT.



HE next morning Herbert did not forget to
remind his aunt of her promise to tell him
snothes story; but Mrs. Howard said, “My dear
boy, I will not forget it, but this is not the time for
it; I have many things to attead to this morning.”

“T thought it was holiday time, aunty, and you
had no lessons?”

“That is quite true, my love. We have put aside
our lessons for a whole month, but we must not,
therefore, be idle; there are a great many things to
be done, and you may either come and help me, or
you may amuse yourself with your cousins.’

“JT wanted to hear the story,” muttered Herbert.

“That, my dear, you cannot now do; but you
may run in the garden and play, and when you are
tired, come to me, and I will find some nice
little job for you to do for me.” So saying,



‘Willing Helpers. 47

Mrs. Howard went to the door and called her little
girls, and told them to take their little cousin and
amuse him in the garden.

“Oh, mamma, may we not help you?” exclaimed
both Ellen and Annie; “there is so much to .be
done this morning, and: you always let us help
you !”

“Yes, my dears, I know you like to assist me, but
as Herbert is a stranger here, he would like to play,
so you can play with him this morning.”

“Oh, but let Herbert help you, too, mamma ;”
interrupted both at once. “Iam sure he will like
it; won't you, Herbert?” said they, turning round
to their little cousin.

“JT want to hear the story aunt promised to tell
me,” persisted Herbert.

“Oh, never mit d that now, dear,” replied Annie ;
“you know we caniiot a:ways have what we want,
and you shall hear the story in the evening.”

However, as Herbert seemed unwilling to do
anything but listen to the story, Mrs. Howard said,
“Well, my dear Herbert, I am sorry to see you so
unamiable, but I cannot lose any more time now;
and I am going to the garden with your cousins, if
you like to come and help us, you can, and if not;
you can remain here and amuse yourself.”

So saying, Mrs. Howard left the room with her
two. little girls.

“low very disagreeable Herbert is, mamma!”
48 A Disappointment.

said Ellen; “I do not know what we shall do with
him for a whole month.”

“ My dear,” replied her mamma, “I have already
told you your cousin is to be much pitied, and I
hope you will try and be very kind and patient with
him. He is the only one at home, and has had
very delicate health ; and his mamma has feared she
would not have him long, and has tried to meet
every wish and fancy that he has expressed. I think
this is a great mistake; for instead of making him
really happy and cheerful, it makes him a trouble
both to himself and other people. But I hope he will
not have come to us in vain; and if he return home
a happier little boy, with more power of enjoying
life himself, and some love for making others happy,
I am sure we shall all feel rewarded for any little
trouble we have taken with him. Remember, my
dear, with you the case has been very different;
you have been blessed with very good health, and
living in the country in the way we do, you have
always had many objects of interest round you, and
have never known what it is to be by yourself, and
only yourself to think of.”

“But why does not Aunt Ellen teach Herbert to
think of others, and to give up his own will,
mamma?”

“People have different opinions upon these
matters, my dear. Some parents think children of
your age are too young to be made useful; and
Work, a Pleasure, 49

because they cannot do things very qe//, they do
not let them do them at @Z/.”

“JT am sure you do not think so, mamma, for
you always like us to be usefully employed.”

“No! my dear child, I certainly do not agree with
those who think children cannot be expected to
think of others, or to do anything for them while
young. On the contrary I think, with a little in-
struction, they can be made very useful; and I am
quite sure they (like grown-up people) are never so
happy as when usefully employed. You know the
little hymn says,—

‘For Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do.’

_“ And another reason for teaching young children
to be useful is, that they require so much care
and kindness from other people themselves,
that they learn to be very selfish, and to think,
as your little cousin does, that everybody’s
business is to attend to them, unless they are
at an early age taught to feel how much they owe
to other people, and how pleasant it is to try and do
something for them in return. Moreover, our hearts
are so naturally selfish, that we cannot too early
seek to cultivate an opposite spirit; and this is not
a difficult task, for God has graciously ordered it
that labour has its own reward in success; and I
think you have found out already how pleasant it is

E
50 A Disappointment.

to feel you have succeeded in something you have
‘attempted to do for another.”

“Oh! yes, mamma,” said Annie; “I always feel
so much happier when I have been doing something
of af use than when I have been idle, or only
pleasing myself.”

“Well, my dear, I hope Herbert will soon find
out this secret ; and taking no notice of his humour
will, perhaps, be the best way to help him to recover
himself; so you ‘may pick some peas for dinner,
Ellen, as the cook is busy this morning; go and ask
for the garden basket: and you, Annie dear, may’
give the fowls their corn, and then come to me in
the front garden; I am going to speak to the
gardener.”

‘2

CAN eZ




Chapter Centh.



THe PLEASURES OF INDUSTRY.



ILE the little girls ran off on their different
errands, Mrs. Howard went to speak to
TAORAS who was mowing the grass. She told
him that she expected to have the school children
the next day, and then they should like a large dish
of strawberries for tea. “The children can help
you to pick them if they are pretty nipe, Thomas;
only I am afraid they may pick those that are not
quite ready.”

“Oh, ma’am,” replied the man, “I think they
may come. They always like to help, and I will
just see that they do not pick those that are unripe.”

“Very ue then, they shall come after dinner
to-morrow.”


52 The Pleasures of Industry.

Thomas touched his hat, and his mistress went
into the house, where she met Annie, who had just
returned from the fowl house.

“Oh, mamma, there are four eggs in the nest;
may I go and take them out?” exclaimed the child.

“Yes, my love, here is the key,” said her mamma.
But at this moment her eye rested upon Herbert,
who was standing peeping out at the dining-roon1
door, looking very miserable. “Perhaps, Annie,
Herbert might like to see the fowls and help you
to bring in the eggs.”

“Will you come, Herbert, dear?” said Annie,
going up to her cousin and taking his hand.

He did not answer, but slowly went with his
cousin; his aunt merely adding, “Take care and
carry the eggs very carefully, one in each hand,
Annie; and be sure and don’t break them.” Mrs.
Howard, in passing the passage window, saw that
Ilerbert had quickened his steps, and raised her
heart in prayer for her dear little nephew, that God
would bless his visit to her, and enable them to act
in wisdom towards him. She then sat down to
write a note. As she was folding it up, Annie and
Herbert came in at the window, each carrying two
fine eggs, one in each hand.

“ Look, aunty,” said Herbert, “here are two such
fine ones, and this one is quite warm—the large
grey fowl had only just left the nest.”

“ There’s a useful little man,” said Mrs. Howard,
An Acceptable Present. 53

kissing the little face which had by this time lost
its unhappy look; “and now, Herbert, would you
like to carry your eggs a little further, and bring
them into the china pantry? and then I will shew
you where we keep them.” His aunt then crossed
the passage to the china closet, where she opened a
cupboard and shewed Herbert a shelf with a long
row of eggs upon it. “ Now,” said she, “we will
write the day of the month upon these new eggs
and put them at this end of the row, and then when
Mary wants eggs for her pudding, she will take
them from the other end, and so all will be used in
their turn. But bring me a basin, Annie, and you
shall take in the eggs that Mary will want to-day
into the kitchen; and then, if you like, you may
take a little basket to Mrs. Browning, I hear she is
not quite so well this week,”

‘Oh, thank you, mamma; what will you send
her?”

“Bring the basket first, and then you shall see,
my love.”

Annie ran off, and was soon back with a covered
basket in her hand; in which her mother placed two
eggs, a little pat of butter, a little rice, and a
_ small basin with some strong broth which was
in a jelly, being cold, but which she thought
would make the poor woman a nice dinner when
warmed,

Annie ran off. “Would you like to go, Herbert,
54 The Pleasures of Industry.

or would you like to run and see what Ellen is
doing in the garden ?”

“TJ will go in the garden, aunty, please,” said the
child. |

“Very well, my dear, do so, and I will come
shortly.”

Mrs. Howard then ordered dinner, told Mary she
should want some large cakes made for the children’s
tea party on the next afternoon, and then, taking a
large pan in her hand and a basket on her arm, she
proceeded to the garden, where she found Herbert
busily employed picking peas with his cousin Ellen.

On seeing his aunt, he ran up to shew her his lap
was nearly full. “I have picked all these mpse//,
aunty, dear; and Ellen says I may help her to shell
them in the arbour.”

“That will be very nice, I think,” said Mrs. Howard,
“and as the same idea occurred to me, you see I have
brought a pan to shell them into, and also some
lunch for some hungry children,” added she, smiling.
She then led the way to the arbour, where she
placed her basket upon the table and shewed the
children how to shell the peas, putting all the shells
into the basket and all the peas into the pan, “and
be sure and pick up any you may drop, because 1
do not like waste, you know, in anything,” said she,
smiling. ;

The two children sat down, much pleased with
this arrangement, and having taken out the lunch
Visitors Expected. 53

and eaten it, they began the business of shelling the
peas.

Mrs. Howard then went to the study, where she
locked up all the school-books, slates, and inkstands,
where she was soon joined by Annie, who had just
returned from her errand. “Well, my love, how
did you find poor old Mrs. Browning, to-day ?’

“Oh, she seems rather better, mamma, and very
much obliged to you for sending her such a nice
dinner. Now may I help you to get this room ready?”

“T am just putting away the things we shall not .
want, as you must turn out all your little presents
here this afternoon, you know; and then we must
see what pieces we have left to work up, for I think
we shall want several more things.”

“Qh, you know, Aunt Louisa said she would
send up some this afternoon by my cousins; and
they have some of their own, I know, for they
shewed me a large bag of pieces, which they have
been collecting from their friends all the year for
the school.”

“ Are all three of your cousins coming ?”

“Yes, mamma, Charlie said he would come with
his sisters, because he can make bookmarkers and
paper pillows.”

“T am glad to hear it, my love; perhaps seeing
another little boy at work may make Herbert take a

‘ fancy to it; or if not, he will have a nice playfellow
in the garden,”
56 The Pleasures of Industry.

“Oh, I wish to-morrow were come, mamma,”
exclaimed the little girl, jumping and skipping
about; “it will be so nice to see all the little
children so pleased and happy.”

“Well, my dear Annie,” said her mother, “T
cannot say I join in your wish, that to-morrow were
here; for as we are by no means ready for your
company, it would rather alarm me to see them all
appear.”

Annie laughed at the idea of seeing forty school
children come in without things being ready for them, _
and assured her mother that, on second thoughts, she
did ot wish the next day were come; “but what
shall I do now, mamma?” said she.

“Well, on this table I would lay all the pieces for
doll-dressing, I think; and on that table, all your
pieces of coloured cloth and flannel, for penwipers
and bags. All the waste paper, envelopes and
letters, and such pieces, put in my rubbish basket ;
and here, I have six pieces of new chintz for the
pillow cases; then bring the little needle books,
pincushions, and bookmarks you have made, and
set them upon the mantelpeice with all the dolls
that are dressed, and those yet to be dressed, and
ali the little pictures and magazines in my portfolio ;
and then if you bring your own work boxes and
mine, I think we shall have all we shall require.”

“Ves, mamma, I will.” And off ran the happy
child, and soon returned with her arms full of all
A Dorcas Meeting. 57

the required additions, which, with her mother’s
help, were all soon arranged in their proper places,
and little Annie looked round with great.satisfaction.
She then counted the chairs, to be quite sure there
were enough for her “ Dorcas meeting,’ as she was
pleased to call it.

“T- do not think it deserves the name of a Dorcas
meeting, Annie, though it is for needlework ; because,
you see, it is not for making cothes, and you know
Dorcas made clothes for the poor.”

“Ves, mamma, I remember; but this work is for
the poor children, so I think it will do to call it a
children’s orcas meeting.”

“Very well, my dear, so it shall be if you wish
it; but do you know, I think in the long winter
evenings we might have. avea/ children’s Dorcas, and
make children’s clothes. What do you think of
that ?” ‘

“Oh, it would be beautiful! only you must cut
~ out and fix the work, mamma.”

“Oh yes, I think I must undertake that part of
the business,” said mamma. “T once was at such a
meeting, and the children accomplished a great deal
of work for their poorer neighbours.”

Annie again declared the idea was a capital one,
and having arranged everything, ran off to the
garden to announce to her sister her mother’s
proposal, “Have you finished the peas, Ellen?”
said she.
58 The Pleasures of Industry.

“Why, I should think it was time to ea them
now, Annie; for Herbert and I have had a long
game since we took them in to Mary.”

Then they all had a run together down the garden
to shew Herbert the two cows in the meadow, and
then returned to the house to prepare for dinner,
which they found was very nearly ready,


ee eee

Ghapter Gleventh.

Tue CHILDREN’s Dorcas MEETING.

HE dinner things were hardly cleared away

before the children declared their cousins
were coming up the hill, and they ran joyfully to
meet them ; they soon returned with two little girls,
Louisa and Edith, a little older than themselves,
being about twelve and fourteen, and their brother,
a fine little fellow about ten.

“Cood afternoon, my dears,” said Mrs. Howard,
advancing affectionately to meet them ; “so you are
kindly come to help Ellen and Annie to prepare the
presents for to-morrow !”

“Yes, dear aunt; and we have brought such a
large basket of pieces, and mamma sends a dozen
more little dolls and some little tiny books, which
she thinks will please the boys.”

“And Charlie has come to help us too,” said


60 The Children’s Dorcas Meeting.

Mrs. Howard; “well, I have a nice little companion
for him to-day. He does not know this little
nephew of mine from London; you had better run
in the garden and make acquaintance, I think, |
while your sisters go and take off their bonnets.”

The two boys soon disappeared, and the four
girls adjourned to the school room, where they were
soon deeply involved in the mysteries of doll-
- dressing. While they are discussing the various
colours and materials, we will just tell our little
readers what all this preparation is for.

Mrs. Howard’s husband was in India, and:since
her return home, on account of her health, about
three years before, she had devoted herself very
much to the training and teaching of her two little
girls. We have already heard some of her thoughts
on education. She felt she could not begin too
early to check the tendencies of our fallen nature in .
her children, for she did not believe, as many do,
that children will naturally love what is good unless
taught to love evil; but she knew from Scripture,
that from their infancy they will shew evil tempers
and passions, and would need all the constant
prayerful training she could give them to lead them
to love what is good. So, as we already have heard,
she tried to cure them of selfishness by constantly
keeping alive their interests for others, in little ways
in which she taught them to assist them themselves,
or in making them her helpers in similar things in


The School Treat. 61

which she was herself engaged, though beyond their
powers alone. The children had, by this means,
many more interests than what belonged to them-
selves, and their hearts and sympathies were
enlarged. One of these interests was the village
school. Mrs. Howard paid a weekly visit there, in
which she was generally accompanied by one or
both of the children, who soon knew the best
scholars and the neatest workers, and the best
behaved children. If one were missed, enquiry was
made into the cause, which was often followed by a
visit to the cottage home of a sick child.

And once in the summer it was the great treat of
Mrs. Howard’s children, to have all the school to tea in
their garden. So during the year they had an object
of interest, In making numbers of little presents,
which were carefully stowed away till the annual
visit came; when each child, whether boy or girl,
received some little token of love and interest from
the children at Beechgrove. ‘To complete - the
necessary number and a few more, their cousins
always joined them for an afternoon’s work ; and as
they were rather older than Ellen and Annie, they
were supposed to have more knowledge of how to
make pretty things; and this afternoon had been
fixed upon to complete the number of presents re-
_ quired for the next.day. Then, all old pictures and
scraps, which were saved during the ‘year, were
produced on this important occasion ; and many a
62 The Children's Dorcas Meeting.

pretty contribution’ for a cottage picture book was
sent home for the amusement of a younger child, by
an elder brother and sister,

Another thing Mrs. Howard was very particular
about, was éd/eness. She never liked to see even a
little child de. She liked to see them playing or
amusing themselves as they liked best 3 for she used
to say, “An idle child would soon be a cross child,
and perhaps something worse.”

We must now return and look at our party in the
schoolroom. “ Many hands,” they say, “make
light work ;” and this would appear to be true, by
the large addition made to the table of Jinished
things. The two boys have also come in, to know
what there was for them to do. Mrs. Howard had
set them to sort and divide the pictures, and then
she shewed them the box full of papers, torn up
very small indeed, which she kept to fill pretty
chintz cases with for pillows.

“What funny pillows, Aunty,” said Herbert ; “I
don’t think 7 should like to sleep upon one of
them.”

“Very likely not, my dear, because you have a
better one; but to the poor, they are very valuable:
and I can assure you I know some ladies who
always use paper pillows themselves because they
are so cool, who have plenty of feather ones,”

“Why, aunt, I could make one all alone.”

“Yes, my dear, to be sure you could; and much
Paper Pillows. 63

younger children than you are have made them; it
only requires a large bag or box to put the paper into
as you tear it, and be careful to make no litter about
the room.”

“J will shew mamma when I go home, and ask
her to let me make a paper pillow all myself for
some one who has not a better one.”

“Do, my dear boy; I am sure dear mamma will
be very pleased to see you so nicely employed.
And perhaps your own nurse might like one asa
keepsake. Think how much she has done for you
when you could do nothing for yourself; and how
pleased she would be to have something of your
making for a keepsake, when you are grown a big.
boy.”

Herbert seemed struck with the idea, and re-
peated his intention of carrying it out as soon as he
went home.

yes

AS £.
CRLRD
*S


Chapter Gwelfih.

PREPARATION, AND 1TS PLEASURES.

AY five o’clock, Ellen thought they must have
E things enough prepared. So she commenced
counting, and arrayed in a long row on the mantel-
piece, fifteen little farthing dolls, all attired in very
gay costume; twelve larger ones, sent by her aunt
Louisa, for which they selected the smartest dresses
their store afforded, these took their place by the side
of the others; then six penwipers of scarlet-and-black, °
were arrayed in arow on a side table ; next came eight
little needle boxes; and then twenty-two pincushions,
of various shapes and sizes; for Mrs. Howard thought
every tidy little girl should carry a pincushion, as it
not only made her independent of others when
she wanted a pin, but made her careful in picking
up pins if she had a pincushion to put them in,


Nothing Wasted. 65

and: then she was alse able to help a less tidy
neighbour when in want of one. So every little
girl was to have a pincushion in addition to the other
present; then twelve pretty bookmarkers were
ranged in order, with different texts and mottoes on
them; and twenty-five pretty little books followed,
and many parcels of scraps and pictures; so that
with the six paper pillows, the table presented quite
a gay appearance.

When they decided they had quite enough, the
clearing away of scraps was begun. Herbert was
about to throw away all the cuttings of cloth. But
Ellen stopped him, saying, ‘Oh, Herbert, do not
throw away one bit of cloth.”

“These bits of selvidges are of no use, I am
sure, Ellen,” replied Herbert.

“Oh, indeed they are; in the winter, the poor
women like little capes for the school children, and
my aunt and cousins make many for them, and
this, winter mamma says I may try and see if I can
manage one. When you go to the school, I will
shew you the capes, and you will see how tidy they
are; for though they do not need them this summer
weather, some ‘of the children still wear them be-
cause they have nothing else. Then the edges of
the cloth do for something else, Herbert. Some
clever people make very warm rugs, by knitting in
all the pieces with thread ; and they look so warm

and pretty, with a grey centre and red-and-black
F
66 Preparation, and its Pleasures,

borders—you would never guess how nice they
look. I will try and shew you one before you go
home, and then you can ask Aunt Ellen to give you
all her scraps, and you can keep them for some
poor woman, and I will give you a little pattern,
and then she could try and make one. Now,
all the bits of silk and ribbon we will put. into
my piece box, and another day you shall see what
we will do with them; the papers are all used up,
I see, so we mt put back the basket in its place to
begin again.’

Herbert carried it Baek to its place; and as Ellen
pronounced the room guzife tidy now, they went into
the dining-room, where they found Mrs. Howard
making the tea—

“T hope you have left the school-room quite tidy,
my dears,” she remarked. .

“Oh yes, aunt,” said xlerbert; “Ellen would put
everything away. I wondered she did not leave it
for the servant, as I do at home.”

“We have but two servants, my dear child, and,
therefore, we each try to save work and not to make
it: but if I had a great many servants, I should still
like my children to do everything they could for
themselves, and to be independent.”

“ But why, aunty? If you had plenty of servants
you need not do things yourself, like poor people ;
it looks as if you couldn’t afford it, and nobody
would take you for a lady !”
“ Rnowledse ts Power” 67

Mrs. Howard could not help laughing at this
terrible conclusion that Herbert had arrived at 3 but
she replied, “ Well, my dear boy, I understand what
you mean, and I am very thankful for the help we
have from Mary and Thomas; and in the present
state of society in this country, it would be almost
impossible to do without servants; but still, my
love, we must remember God’s word says, ‘ Riches
make to themselves wings and fly away.’ Now, I
always think it right to teach my children to do all
they can for themselves; because much of their
- future happiness may depend upon being able to
help themselves and others also. You know, there
is a very true saying, ‘Knowledge is power:’ we
need never be afraid of knowing too much of what
is good and useful. “My dear mother, I remember,
used to say. tome when I was a child, ‘My dear,
have a little help in yourself? and many, many times
have I thanked her since for the advice. Then,
Herbert dear, as to what people think of us, it does
not much matter; they may very often think too
well of us, and sometimes the reverse ; but never be
ashamed of anything but si. Let it be your one
desire to be approved by God, and never mind
losing the approval of those’ who will only esteem
you because you are rich and have servants to wait
upon you.” :

After tea, the cousins amused themselves for some
time in the garden+ and then the Beechgrove party |
68 Preparation, and its Pleasures.

accomnpanied the others part of the way home, and
then took leave of them, charging them to be there
in good time next day, to join the school children.
As they returned to the house, they saw their mamma
sitting at the window enjoying the lovely sunset
They were soon by her side.

“Ts it not a lovely evening, mamma? Don’t you
think we shall have a fine day to-morrow?” were
questions which quickly followed each other.

“Ves, my dears, I think there is every promise of
a fine day, and I am glad of it; for I should be very
sorry for the poor children to be disappointed.”

For a few minutes all seemed disposed for silence,
and were occupied with the beautiful tints of-the
setting sun, which cast a golden hue on all around.
When they had been sitting quietly some minutes,
Mrs. Howard remarked, “I think, Herbert, there
would be just time, before the prayer-bell rings, for
a story, if you are not too tired to enjoy it.”

“Oh no, aunt, not at all too tired, if you will tell
us one.”

“What shall it be?”

“T should like best to hear what David may have
told Mephibosheth.”

“Very well, my dear, it shall be about Jonathan,
for he was a very lovely character.”

Mrs. Howard then begun as follows.

meee Se


Chapter Thinteenth.



Tur Story oF JONATHAN.—1 Sam, xviil,

HAVE already told you that Jonathan was
the son of Saul. The first time we hear of
his meeting David, was after he had returned from
killing Goliath, which you remember. We read, ‘It
came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking
to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the
soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own
soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let
him go no more home to his father’s house. Then
Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he
loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped
himself of the vode.that was upon him, and gave it
to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and
to his dow, and to his girdle.’ What a beautiful
description of unselfish love! wothing was too much
to give to him he loved.




70 The Story of Jonathan.

“So you know it was with a greater than Jonathan.
Our blessed Lord laid down even His own life for
those whom He stylec Flis Siends and His brethren.
And those who know Him, ought, we are told, to
lay down their lives for the brethren. It must
have pained the kind heart of Jonathan to see how
his father hated David: and you may suppose how,
he felt, when ‘Saul spake to Jonathan and all his
servants, that they should 424 David.’ (chap. xix. 1.)
Jonathan kill David, in whom he so much delighted?
Quite impossible! What did he do then? Why, he
told David that his father wished to kill him; and
then proposed to him to hide ina field until next
morning. And he promised to talk to Saul about
him, and see if he seemed veaZ/y determined to kil
him, and then to let David know. Jonathan did as
he promised, and talked to his father about David; and
reminded him how kind and good he had been, and
how he had killed the great giant that everyone so
feared, and he begged Saul not to slay him without
acause. Jonathan spoke so nicely and wisely to
his father, that Saul’s heart seemed touched ; and he
felt sorry, and perhaps ashamed, of his wicked
desire to kill the young man; and he said, ‘As the
Lord liveth, he shall zo¢ be slain.’

“Oh! can you not fancy how very happy it made
Jonathan feel, to hear his father say these words
about his beloved friend? ‘You can easily imagine
how quickly he went to find David, and to tell him
Jealousy of Savd. qT

that he might come out of his hiding place, for his
life was now quite safe, and Saul did not want to
Kall him.

“And you can think how grateful David felt to
Jonathan, for all his love and care for him. This
was the first time he saved his friend's life, but it.
was not the /as¢t time, as ycu shall hear, After
Jonathan had told David he was not to be killed, he
took him to Saul, and he was in his presence just as
he was before. I suppose Saul did not know that
David had been told he wanted to kill him, or he
must have felt very uncomfortable at having him
~ with him again.

“Some time after this, the Philistines fought

‘against the Israelites; and David went to battle
with them and slew a great many, and the rest ran
away from him. No doubt they remembered their
great champion Goliath being killed by that same
young hand, and they thought they should be killed
also. Do you not think Saul must have been very
much pleased with David, for fighting for him so
bravely against the Philistines ?

“T think he ought to have been very pleased,
but, I am sorry to say, he was sea/ous of David; and
you remember we are told, that ‘Jealousy is cruel
as the grave.’ And so it was with Saul. He had
an evil Spirit upon him, and David was playing his
harp to do him good, for his soft music often made
Saul much better. Saul was sitting with his javelin




92 The Story of Jonathan.

in his hand, which was a small short dagger; and
with this javelin he tried to smite David to the wall
to kill him! Was not that very cruel of Saul?”
Did God allow him to be killed? No, David saw
his danger, and slipped away out of the room, and
the javelin stuck 2 the wall! Ah, you see no one
can hurt a child of God, unless God aows it. You
remember, in Job’s case, Satan could not go a bit
further in injuring Job than God permitted.

“So David fled, and escaped that night; and his
wife Michal, who was a daughter of Saul, and
sister of Jonathan, said to him, ‘If you do not
leave home to-night, you will be surely killed to-
morrow.’ So she let him down from a window,
and he escaped to a place named Naioth, in
Ramah. ‘

“ Flow, do you think, Michal knew David would
be killed in the morning? I will tell you. When
Saul found the javelin was sticking in the wall, and
that David had gone out of the room, he supposed
he would go home; so he sent men to watch his
house all night, that they might kill him in the
morning. But his wife suspected the plan, and sent
him away. Some one told Sax David was ill in
bed, so Saul said, ‘Bring him up to me in the ded,
that I may kill him.’ Did you ever know such
cruel hatred ?”



SET Fe


Chapt SHowrteenth,

THE Story oF JoNATHAN—( continued).



are not told where Jonathan was when Saul
‘tried to kill David; but David soon found
him and told him about it, and said to him, ‘What
have I done? What is my iniquity, and what is my
sin. before thy father, that he seeketh to kill me?’

“Tonathan could not believe David’s story. He
said ‘God forbid—thou shalt not die. My father
never does anything, great or small, without telling
me; and why should he hide this thing from me?
It is not so.’

“Jonathan could not believe that Saul really
meaat to kill David. But David answered, ‘ Your
father knows it would grieve you; and that must be
the reason why he does not like to tell you, because


a4. The Story of Jonathan,

he knows how you love me. But, truly, as the Lord
liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but one step
between me and death,’

“T suppose Jonathan felt that what David said
was, perhaps, true; but he offers to do whatever he
can for him. What did David ask him to do? He
said, Saul would expect to see him at table the next
day, and finding his place empty would, perhaps,
inquire for him. So he asked Jonathan to allow
him to hide himself for three days in the field, and
if, when he excused David’s absence to his father,
Saul merely answered, ‘Very well, Jonathan was to
know that his father did not any longer wish to kill
David; but if he were very angry at his absence
from table, then Jonathan was to be sure he still
determined to kill him.

“Poor David said to Jonathan, after he had
arranged this plan, ‘If yow think I have done wrong
and deserve to die, slay me thyself; for why shouldest
thou bring me to thy father? And Jonathan
answered, ‘Far be it from thee; for if I knew that
my father certainly meant to kill thee, would I not
tell thee? Then David wondered how Jonathan
should let him know whether Saul was angry or not.
And he was also afraid whether his father might not
be angry with Jonathan, for excusing David.

“Jonathan proposed they: should go out into a
field, where they made a solemn covenant or agree-
ment, that Jonathan would tell David all he could
A Clever Plan. 75

find out about his father’s plans. And David, on
his part, promised, if they never met again, he
would remember Jonathan; and when he came to
be king, would shew the ‘kindness of the Lord’ to
him while he lived, and to his children after him;
and you have already heard how faithfully he ful-
filled this promise in his kindness to Mephibosheth.

“Now, I must tell you the clever plan these two
dear friends arranged for conveying the news to
David. Jonathan might not be allowed, perhaps,
to go to David: or his doing so might have revealed
his hiding place to Saul; so it was agreed he should
remain in concealment for three days, and then he
was to go to a certain place where there was a large
stone. Jonathan said, ‘Thou shalt remain by the
stone, and I will shoot three arrows on the side
thereof, as though I shot at a mark; and behold I
will send a lad, saying, Go find the arrows. If I
expressly say to the lad, Behold, the arrows are on
this side of thee, take them; then come thou, for
there is peace to thee and no hurt, as the Lord
liveth: but if I say thus unto the young man,
Behold, the arrows are deyond thee—go thy way, for
the Lord hath sent thee away.’

“So, after they had settled this plan, Jonathan
returned home, and David went to hide in the field.
You may fancy how anxiously both of them waited
for the third day. No doubt, David committed his
path to God, who had so delivered him before.
76 The Story of Jonathan.

“ As they expected, Saul inquired of Jonathan the
second day where David was, that he did not come
to table; and when Jonathan apologised for his
absence, his father was very, very angry with him;
and told him, while David lived, he would never
come to be king. This was, no doubt, why Saul
so hated him. But did this matter to Jonathan?
Oh, no! he was a man of faith, He knew it was
God’s purpose that David should be king after Saul;
and he was quite satisfied to be ext to him. When
he saw his father so very angry, he asked what evil
David had done, that he should be killed. This, I
suppose, made his father more angry: For what do
you think he did? He actually cast a javelin at
his son, to kill him, just as he did before at David.

“By this shocking act, Jonathan saw clearly that
his father had made up his mind to kill David; and
he rose from the table in great anger, and eat no
food that day, because he was so grieved and
shocked at the unjust treatment of his beloved
friend.

“ At last, the third morning arrived; and Jonathan
‘called a little boy to wait upon him, and went out
at the appointed time to the field he had agreed
upon with David. And he said to the boy, ‘Run,
and find out the arrows that I shoot.’ And as he
went, he shot an arrow beyond him; and when
_the lad was come to the place where the arrow was
shot, Jonathan cried after the lad, and said, ‘Is
The Parviz. a7

not the arrow beyond thee?’ And Jonathan cried
after the lad, ‘Make speed, haste, stay not.’ And
Jonathan’s lad gathered up the azrows and came to
his master. But the lad knew not anything, only
Jonathan and David knew the matter.

“Poor David, when he heard the words to the
lad, how sad he must have felt! He knew he
must part from the one who loved him as his
own soul. Did they see each other to say good
bye? Yes, you shall hear. Jonathan sent the
boy home with his bow and arrows, and when he
was quite gone, David came out of his hiding
place, and they kissed one another, and wept over
one another; and at last, Jonathan reminded
David of the covenant they had made before .
God, to remember each other—and then said,
‘Go in peace.” And David departed, and Jonathan
- returned home to the city.”

oe
eu ee ae De





Chapter Hifteenth,

Tue Story or JonatHan—(continued ).

FTER this sad and sorrowful parting, the two
_ dear friends did not meet for some time.
Jonathan, no doubt, knew how his father was
hunting David, like a. partridge on the mountains ;
but he could not do anything to help him. But
one day he managed to And out his hiding place,
and he went to him, ‘and strengthened his hands



. in God. And he said unto him, Fear not, for the

hand of Saul my father shall not jind thee; and
thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next
unto thee, and that also Saul my father knoweth.’
‘And David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went
to his house.’

“This was the last occasion on which these two
devoted friends met. The next time David. heard
Death of Saul. 19

of Jonathan, that we read of, was, when a messen-
ger told him that Saul and Jonathan were both
dead,

“You may suppose what David felt on hearing
this news. He made a most touching lamentation
over them. He did not rejoice that his enemy
was dead, because Saul had been the Lord’s
anointed king; and he felt it was a solemn thing
for him to be killed by the ungodly. He said in
his lamentation, ‘I am distressed for thee, my
brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been
unto me: thy Hove to me was wonderful, penis
the love of women.’

“No doubt, David felt he should never find
another friend to love him as Jonathan had done.
And now that you have heard this story, I think
you will better understand his love to Mephibosheth,
the son of this beloved friend and brother.”

“Oh yes,” responded the three children, “he must
have been very glad to find out poor Mephibosheth.
And I am sure Mephibosheth must have been very
pleased to hear this story about his father.”

“Why, aunty, did Jonathan give David his sword
and his bow?” asked Herbert.

_ “To shew his great love for him,
Howard.

“But, aunty, I don’t think that shewed such very
great love.”

“Yes, my boy, it did; he stripped himself, as I

”

replied Mrs.
80 The. Story of Jonathan.

before said, for his friend. But tell me, wy you do
not think it shewed great love?” added she.

“ Because, aunty, I think if I had loved him very
much indeed, I would have given him the arrows as
well as the bow.’”*

Though the little fellow made the remark with all
gravity, clearly shewing how poor he thought the
present of the doz alone, it quite upset the gravity
of his aunt and cousins; but though the latter
laughed rather unmercifully at his objection, his
aunt soon recovered herself, and kissing his fore-
head, said, “I am glad to see you think about what
you hear, Herbert, it is the only way to learn.
When we read of a dow, the arrows are always
included, my dear, simply because the one would
be quite useless without the other. So, saying
Jonathan gave him his dow, is really the same as
saying he gave him his bow aud arrows. Do you
understand, Herbert >?”

“Yes, thank you, aunt,” replied the child.

Mrs. Howard then told her little girls, that
though she could excuse their smiling at their
cousin’s amusing censure on Jonathan’s present
to his friend; yet it was by no means a kind or
polite thing to laugh at anothei’s mistake. If you
think for a moment, I am sure you will feel this;
for you know it is not at all pleasant. to be laughed



* This was the rea/ expression of a child to the writer.
The Golden Rule. : 81

ai; and true love, you know, will always lead us
“to do unto others as we would they should do
unto us.”

The children kissed their cousin, and. assured
him they did not mean to be unkind,

The prayer bell now reminded them it was
getting late; and rising, and closing the window,
they all obeyed the summons for evening worship.


Chapter Sixteenth,

PREPARING FOR THE TREAT.

HE next morning the children awoke early,

a] «full of anticipation; and were somewhat
disappointed to find a dull, hazy morning. But on
inquiring Mrs. Howard’s opinion as to the proba-
bilities of a fine day, they were relieved to find that
she had more confidence ina dull, hazy morning
tLan in a very brilliant one, which sometimes be-
comes overcast before noon.

She thought the sun would be very bright by
- dinner time. And she was quite right.

The children found plenty of work to fill up the
long morning; they helped to cut up cake and
bread-and-butter ; dusted all the regiments of little
mugs, that only appeared upon this grand occasion ;


No Appetite for Dinner. 83

gathered the strawberries ; put all their playthings
in apple-pie order; and amused themselves by
looking over everything again and again, that
nothing might be wanting at the time. ,

Ellen had been down to the school to borrow a
number of hymn books. Then their mamma had
two or three pretty little pieces for them to sing,
which they were to remember verse by verse.

One o'clock at last came; but, strange to say,
Mrs. Howard seemed the only one who wanted any
dinner, the children all declaring they had no
appetite. Herbert seemed to have caught the
infection from his cousins, and had been so busy
all the morning, that he had really forgotten himself,
and had not once wished for anything different to
what his aunt and cousins desired. This struck
Ellen and Annie very much, and upon remarking it
to their mamma, she replied,

“JT am very glad to hear it, my dears; but I
think you, will generally find the best. way to cure a
selfish or bad-tempered child is to try and find them
constant occupation and interest for others. Activity
in itself, is useful to the mind; and when it is for
some one else, it helps at the same time to lead
the thoughts away from self, which is a great ad-
vantage.”

The little girls seemed glad to think their mamma’s
plan was succeeding so well with their cousin, whom,
we must own, they did not particularly admires they
84 Preparing for the Treat.

begun to hope he might be a more pleasing com- -
panion before he went home. As soon as dinner

was over, our young friends ran to the gate to see

if the long train of children was in sight; but, alas,

alas, there was nearly another hour to wait before the

appointed one of three arrived. So Mrs. Howard,

knowing that time never seems to pass so quickly”
as when we are very busy, called the children to the

window, and gave them each a little book which she

advised them to read; adding, she should like to

hear what they were about in the evening, as she

had been told they were three beautiful stories,

The three children ran off to the arbour to try
and follow her advice. The little girls managed
pretty well to think about what they were reading ;
but with Herbert, the case was different; he de-
clared it was impossible to read, so very soon
throwing down his little book, he made his escape,
and seeing Thomas near, with a basket in his hand,
ran off to see what he was about. To his great
delight, he found he was going to pick some ripe
gooseberries, and he invited him to help him.
Herbert did not need pressing. Thomas told him .
he must not eat them, because he might make
himself ill; as he would have some for tea when
the children came, and he knew Herbert was not a
very strong boy, and not being accustomed to live
among fruit trees, he was afraid he might eat too
much,
The First Arrival. 85

However, Herbert promised he would eat very
few, only just about zwelve gooseberries. So. they
proceeded to work.

The little girls found it rather pleasant to sit still
a little, for they had been running about all the
morning; and their little books were so very in-
teresting, that they really were surprised when they
heard the bell ring at the gate; and they quickly
bounded off, fearing the children had come, and
they had intended being down at the gate to receive
them. However, it was only their three cousins
who had arrived.

The children were very pleased to see them, and
after taking them into the school-room and dining-
room, to see how nice and pretty everything looked,
they went to look for their mamma, whom they found
resting in her own room. Upon looking at her
watch, Mrs. Howard found it was just three o’clock,
so they all walked down the lawn, to wait for the
long train to appear.

Herbert having eaten guzte a dozen gooseberries,
was rather tired of sicking them, and seeing his
cousins across the garden, soon joined them.


Chapter Seventeenth.

Tue ScHOOL TREAT.

ERBERT had hardly done so, when the

children all came in sight, and he very soon
had the pleasure of holding back the large gate
while they all-passed through; they then all gathered
on the grass and took their seats, when Thomas
placed a large table with fruit upon it in the middle
of the lawn; and with Mrs. Howard’s help, Ellen
and Annie with their cousins divided it among the
children. When they were rested and refreshed
with their fruit, they all stood up and sung the
following pretty piece of poetry.



“*Morn amid the mountains,
Lovely solitude ;
Gushing streams and fountains,
Murmur—God is good, God is good.
Cricket and Croquet. 87

‘* Now the glad sun breaking,
Pours a golden flood ;
Deepest vales awaking,
Echo—God is good, God is good.

‘* Hymns of praise are ringing,
Through the leafy wood ;
Songsters sweetly singing,
' Warble—God is good, God is good.

«« Wake and join the chorus,
Man with soul imbued ;
He whose smile is o’er us,
God! our God is good, God is good !”

After the singing was over, the question arose,
What would be the best amusement to begin with?
As they numbered about fifty, they separated into
parties for different games. Some of the elder boys

‘declared nothing equalled cricket. They knew,
from former occasions, that Mrs. Howard possessed
bats and stumps; though only used when some of
her numerous little nephews visited her, or on this
annual occasion.

The cricketers being drawn off into se adjoining
field, another party was formed for croquet ; which
Ellen and Annie thought, from their own pleasure
in it, must be a general delight; but as the school
children had all to be taught this game, it did not
seem quite such fun at first; though after they
understood it, they seemed to agree with their








88 The School Treat.

young hostesses, that it was a capital game, and
none seemed to wish to exchange it for the better-
known pleasures of battledoor and shuttlecock, hide-
and-seek, or any of the other favourites that were
selected for the many little ones who were not able
to join either cricket or croquet.

As there was a discovery of hay making in the
next fieldto Mrs. Howard’s, some thought nothing so
charming as a romp in the hay, and asked leave to gO.
This was given, and very soon some of the children
were busily employed there. The men, kindly
entering into the children’s pleasure, gave them
some forks to help to fill the cart; and then two of
the elder boys were allowed to drive it across the
meadow, with.a group of little ones sitting and lying
on the top, who were making the air ring with their
merry voices. Then we must not forget that Annie
secretly invited some of her favourites to go with her
quietly and take a peep at all the grand display of
dolls and presents in the school room, where the
little girls gazed with wonder and delight upon the
variety of beautiful things before them, and thought
which they would like, and which they hoped might
come to their share. Annie promised she would
try and give each the one they most admired, if she
could manage it. They then ran back to the
garden, where their absence had not been dis-
covered by their numerous company.

Mrs. Howard went from one party to another,
The Duck Pond. 89

entering into the pleasure of each, and taking part,
first in one game then in another. Many invitations
she received from the little ones, to be their special
partner.

While all the merriment was at its height, 4
scream was heard, when every eye turned towards
the side from whence the sound proceeded. Mrs.
Howard hastened forward to find out the cause of
the alarm. It was not at once discovered, as a turn
round some shrubs shut out from sight of the lawn
the little farm yard, containing cow house, duck
pond, fow! house, &c. When, however, Mrs. Howard
reached the gate of the yard,.the cause of alarm
was soon seen. Three little boys were close by the
edge of the duck pond. Harry Stokes, a little
fellow of about seven years old, was looking a
miserable figure. It was very easy to see he had
been paying a visit to the ducks in the pond, as his
clothes were all soaking and his curly hair hanging
like rats’ tails over his face. ‘Two of his little
companions, Willy Thompson and Johnny Taylor,
were busily trying to wipe and dry his face ‘and
hands when Mrs. Howard came up, followed by a
large number of the children. She at once saw how
the matter stood, and finding the child was safely
out of the water, her fears were relieved.

“What has happened, my dears? Why, Willy,
what has made Harry such a figure >”

The three boys all began crying and explaining at


90 The School Tréat.

once, so that it was quite impossible to understand
how the accident had happened. She said, therefore,
“Well! I must take Harry in to Mary and see if we
can dry his clothes, and then you shall tell me how
it all happened.”




Chapter Eighteenth,



THE ScHOOL TREAT—continued,



RS. HOWARD then proceeded to the kitchen.

| were Harry was found to be so wet through
that the only thing to be done was to undress him
and put him to bed while his clothes were dried.
Mary undertook to see to this, so Mrs. Howard left
him in her care while she went to inquire from Willy
and Johnny how it happened. After some difficulty;
they told her they were all playing at ball, when
Johnny remembered that last year they had seen the
ducks in the water. He told Willy and Harry
about it, and said how nice it would be.to see if
they were there still, and then proposed they should
leave.off their play and go and look, as he knew the.


92 The School Treat.

way very well. The three little boys had wandered
off from the others in search of the pond, and
succeeded in finding it; and while kneeling down
by the side, to try and reach the ducks, little Harry
had slipped in; but being close to his companions
they managed to catch hold of him, but not before
he had a good ducking.

Mrs. Howard told them, they should not run
away without asking leave, and said she would have
been very pleased to shew them the ducks if they
had asked to see them.

The poor children seemed very much distressed,
but Mrs. Howard only added, “Well, we must be
very thankful to God that Harry was not seriously
hurt; and I hope it will be a lesson to you all,
because you are older than Harry and should have
set him a good example. Now, you see, he must
lose some of his time in the garden, while his
clothes are being dried; but you had better run
away and play, as you have stopped all your
companions, you see.”

The little boys said they were sorry and they
would stay with Harry. But Mrs. Howard thought
they ‘had better not, and said she would find him
some amusement.

They then returned to their play, while she went
to see after Harry. She found him comfortably in
bed, though rather frightened and still crying. She
took him some pictures and a little book, and told
More Visitors. 93

him he should soon get up and play again. She
then returned to the garden when she found all as
busy and merry as if nothing had interrupted their
amusement. At this moment, she was told a lady
wanted to see her; so she returned to the house
and found Mrs. Clarence, who had recently come
to live in her neighbourhood, upon whom Mrs.
Howard had called, and she was now come to
return it. She had a daughter and a son with her,
about fourteen and fifteen years of age. Murs. Howard
greeted them kindly, and after chatting a few minutes,
she said,

“This is quite a gay day with us, for my little
girls have their yearly treat of having all the school
children to tea, Iam glad you happened to come
in, and I hope you will stay and take tea if you will
not object to such a large company.” “

The young people appeared much pleased with
the idea, and Mrs. Clarence having agreed, Mrs.
Howard led the way to the garden, where they went
round and saw the many happy groups. Charles
and Matilda Clarence soon joined the croquet party.
Mrs. Howard told Mrs. Clarence of the little boy
in bed, and begged her *o excuse her while she went
to see after him, as it was nearly tea time. She
found her a seat where she could watch the merry
children, and then went to the kitchen and finding
Harry’s clothes were dry, she took them upstairs
and dressed him and then brought him down to the
94 The School Treat.

garden, telling him to be sure and not go anywhere
again without asking leave.

Soon after Harry had returned to the garden, the
tea bell rung, and the children began to assemble
on the lawn, where Mary and Thomas had spread
three long tables, which looked exceedingly inviting
with the large dishes of strawberries, gooseberries,
cake, and buns, and several bunches of beautiful
flowers. The children all took their séats in a quiet
orderly manner. And Mrs. Howard having asked
God’s blessing upon their meal, they soon did
justice to all the nice things with which the tables
were covered. After tea, the games were resumed ;
and the children did not seem tired when the great
bell again summoned them to the house; this time
it was to the school room, where they -were all
ranged in rows. They then sung that favourite
piece with the little ones :

** Now Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow ;

And every where that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go.

*‘Tt followed her to school ene day,
And that’s against the rule,
It made the children laugh and play,
To see a lamb at school.

*¢Tn vain the teacher turned it out,
Yet still it lingered near,
And waited patiently about,
Till Mary should appear.
The Little Lamb, 95

“And then it came to her and laid
Its head upon her arm,

As though to say, I’m not afraid,

You'll keep me from all harm.

‘¢ What makes the lamb love Mary so?
The eager children cry.
Oh! Mary loves the little lamb,
And that’s the reason why.

** And you each gentle animal,
In confidence may bind ;
And make it follow you about,
If you are always kind.”—Jnjant’s Magazine.

Mrs, Howard then gave them a short address,
inviting them to the Saviour who had laid down His
own life for them, and reminded them they could
never find true happiness and peace till they found
it in Christ alone. She then asked for some texts
from the children to shew why she was right in
seeking to lead them to Jesus while young. Many
nice answers were quickly given—amongst which
were, “ Remember now thy Creator in the days of
thy youth,” &c. ecles. xi. 1.

“T love them that love me, and those that seek
me early shall fnd me.” Prov, vill. 17.

“ Behold, wow is the accepted time. Behold, now
is the day of salvation.” 2 Cor. vi. 2. . ‘

After this, she offered a short but earnest prayer,
that God would graciously bless all the little party,
and make them to know and follow.Christ in their
96 The School Treat.

youth; and that they might be kept from the evil
‘around them, and be found “ Waiting for God’s Son
from heaven, even Jesus, who delivered us from the
wrath to come.” 1 Thess. i, 12.

They then all united in singing the following
hymn :—

“See! when the gentle Jesus reigns
In little children’s souls,
Then the sweet law of /ove constrains,
And grace alone controls.

“The blessed light of truth divine
He doth to each impart,
And pours the gospel oil and wine
On every wounded heart.

‘Jesus, the Lord, is full of love,
How mild are all His ways ;
He hears His children’s prayers above,
And loves their notes of praise.

‘Through life He guides them by His word,
And if they come to die,
Loosens the little silver cord,
And lets the spirit fly.

“Thus from the gloomy world they rise,
To Jesus borne along,
And then above the starry skies,
They join the heavenly throng.
The “ Lamb of God.” 97

“There they behold the Saviour’s face,
The Lamb who died for them,
And sing the wonders of His grace

Who did their souls redeem.

‘« And there they dwell for evermore,
Before Immanuel’s throne,
And love, and worship, and adore,
The holy Three in One.”



HH.


Chapter Hinetegnth.

Tue Lost CHILD.

\

HEN the hymn was finished, Mrs. Howard
told the children, that before the presents
were distributed, Thomas wanted them all to follow
him. “But before you go, I must count heads,”
said she, smiling, “that I may know there are no.
more wanderers to the duck pond. Let me see,
there were forty from the school, were there not ?”

“Ves, ma’am,” sounded on many sides.

“Very well,” she continued, “you can count
that table, Ellen, and Annie can see how many
there are at the other, while I will reckon those at.
this table.”

Each begun their task; but when finished, they
could only make out thirty-nine among the three.


Little Esther. 99

They tried again and again, but no one could make
more than thirty-nine.

As everyone was sure forty had come, Mrs, Howard
became rather anxious, and said, “Can you not
recollect, children, any one who came who is not
here? Look round and try.” ,

The children did so, and in a few minutes Susan
Blake exclaimed, “Oh! little Esther Pope is not
here.”

This was a little child of four years old, whose
sick mother had asked Susan Blake to take care of
her. They looked around, and sure enough no little
Esther was to be seen. The children looked much
alarmed. Mrs. Howard said, “ Now, do not speak
all at once; but any one who can remember seeing
Esther, tell me where they last saw her.”

The children looked at each other, but no one
spoke. At last, Tommy Smith said, “She went
with us to the hay field.” of

“Oh! yes, so she did,” said several others.

“Well, then,” said Mrs. H., “we must go and
search the hay field before we do anything else.”

They hurried off as fast as possible, and hunted
up and down. The hay makers were asked, but
did not remember seeing little Esther. Some one
thought the child must have wandered home, but
then they remembered she did not know the way
up, and that was why her mother had put her under
the care of Susan Blake. This poor girl was in
I0o The Lost Chitd.

great trouble. She was so much older than Esther,
that they had been playing in different games; so it
was not to be wondered at that she had lost sight of
her. The unfortunate azck pond came into some
minds, but though several went with Thomas to
look there, ne traces of the child could be found.
At this moment, when Mrs. Howard was feeling
really anxious, Thomas crossed the field, looking so
happy that his mistress felt sure he had good news
for them.

“Well, Thomas, have you found our stray lamb?”

“Ves, ma’am,” said “Chomas, touching his hat,
“thank God I have; and ’tis such a pretty sight,
that I came to ask you just to step across to the
hay stack to see it.”

Ves, Thomas, willingly,” replied Mrs. Howard ;
“if you lead the way we will follow.”

The man did so, and going round to the other
side of the stack; he stood back, and putting his
finger to his lips to shew the children they must not
make a noise, pointed out the little toddling child,
who had unknowingly caused them so much anxiety,
sweetly sleeping under the shade of the stack; and
in its arms, cuddled up very tight, a little £idex,
which seemed in as quiet repose as the child.

“T quite agree with you, Thomas,” said his
mistress, “it is a very pretty sight; we must not
frighten the poor little thing by standing round her
when she wakes.”
The Cherry Tree. IOL.

Some one wondered how the child came there all
alone, when another remarked, she was probably
playing with the hide-and-seek party when little
Harry's scream called them so hastily to the duck
pond: and as nobody came to “find” the little girl,
she had made acquaintance with pussy; and overcome
with heat and fatigue, had fallen into this long sleep.

Mrs. Howard called Susan Blake forward, and

said, “We will all go away, Susan, and then you
gently wake her and take her to the kitchen, where
Mary will give her some tea, and then you can
join the others. And now, my dears,” added she,
turning round to the whole company, “you may
follow Thomas, who wants you for a few minutes;
and when the bell rings, Ellen dear, you can lead -
them all in to the school room.”
_ Mrs, Howard then offered her arm to Mrs.
Clarence ; but as Charles and Matilda expressed a
wish to see the end of the children’s amusements,
they, witn Annie, Ellen, and Herbert, followed the
whole troup of children, with Thomas at their head,
to the bottom of the garden; after passing long
rows of peas, beans, potatoes, gooseberry bushes,
and strawberry beds, they came to a row of large
trees covered with beautiful ripe cherries. Thomas
stopped, “ Now,” said he, “I am going to shake
this large tree, and you may all see how many
cherries you can pick up; each may fill their pinafore
to take home to mother fora pudding.”
102 Xhe Jost Child.

The children shouted for joy, and were soon busy
at this new suid pleasing amusement; talking and
laughing went on as fast as gathering. When the
bell rang, the question was asked, what was to be
done with the cherries while they went in for their
presents? Thomas thought they must all be put
together and divided afterwards. He fetched two
large baskets, and each child put in his cherries.

They then all fell into a long row of two and two,
and walked to the house, singing the children’s
marching song :—

“‘Come, let us march and sing,
And music’s voice obey ;
We shall not tire if all conspire,
With songs to cheer the way.

“The pleasures of this hour,
No discord will allow ;
With one design we'll all combine,
To raise our song of joy.”

When they were all assembled outside the house,
they went into the school room, where they found
Mrs. Howard and Herbert on one side the table,
while Ellen and Annie with Charles and Matilda
Clarence took their stand on the other side; and
while Mrs. Howard and Herbert gave the boys the
books, pen-wipers, book-markers, and pictures; the
young ladies divided the dolls, and needle-books,
and pincushions among the little girls. When
A Kitten and a Doll! 103

little Esther Pope’s turn came, she appeared with
pussy still hugged up in her arms.

Ellen said, “Why, Esther, I think you and pussy
love each other so much, you ought to live together,
and then you can have another nap under a shady
tree. Would you like the kitten or a doll best for
your present ?”

“Oh! the kitten, miss, please,” said little Esther,
looking greatly delighted at the question.

“Very well, then; it’s my own kitten, so I will
give it you, if your mother will let you have it: but
you must give it’ a little milk, and I need not tell
you to be kind to it.”

“Oh no, Miss Ellen, i will give it some of my
breakfast and tea every day.”

“Very well, my dear, I am very glad to give
pussy to such a kind little mistress. I will try
and find you a little bit of blue ribbon to tie round
her: neck, and then you will be almost like ‘ Mary
and her little lamb.’ But you must have a doll
too, I think,” added Ellen, whe put a very smart
one into the little thing’s hand, as she passed out
of the window at the other end of the room to the
lawn, where the children were all assembling, ready
to return home.

The six paper pillows were sent home to some
sick mothers and grannys; and also many small
parcels of pictures for little ones, with pieces of
cake. Each child was so full handed, that when
104 The Lost Child.

Thomas appeared, carrying the large basket, he
declared there was no room for the cherries!

The children were obliged to own this was true.
While they were thinking how to manage, Thomas
said they had better come up to-morrow morning
before breakfast, and then he would divide them.

Mrs. Howard thought that would be the best
plan. The children then all thanked their kind
friends, and wished them good night ; and Herbert
having run on to open the gate for them, the
merry little party set off; and it would have been
difficult to say who appeared the happier children,
the givers or the receivers.




Ghaptey Twentieth.

DIFFERENT KINDS OF PLEASURE.

FTER she had wished each child good night,
Mrs. Howard (with Mrs. Clarence) returned
to the drawing-room, where the young people, who
had by this time become quite well acquainted, soon
joined them. ,

‘““We have had a very delightful evening, Mrs.
Howard; and I am very much obliged to you for
allowing us to join your party.”

“T am very glad, my dear madam, you happened
to come in; in the ceuntry we generally know each
other, and it is pleasant to join in any little arrange-
ments for the benefit and good of our poorer
neighbours. Your children, I dare say, have left
many interests behind them, and will, perhaps, be
glad to find some new ones.”

“The latter part of your remark, I believe, is


106 Differeni Kinds of Pleasure.

true; but I think I can hardly say they have left
many interests in town. You see, they are very
young, and have had only time to attend to their
studies, and have required the attention of others.”

Mrs. Howard said, smiling at the young folks,
“Well, I suppose I have rather odd notions; but I
think children are never too young to have interests
in others, and never too young to do something for
them. I consider it an important part of education
to cultivate this idea.”

Mrs. Clarence and her children looked surprised
at this remark. Mrs. Clarence added, “Well, I
believe I have generally supposed they must finish
their education before we think of children doing
much for others.”

“T fear, my dear madam,” said Mrs. Howard,
‘we should find it a very difficult task if we did
not begin until then; but, perhaps your young
people will like to pay my girls a visit, and then we
shall be able to tell them of several plans that I think
will give them pleasure to assist in, which are not
beyond their years. Matilda is your eldest, I
believe.”

Mrs. Clarence said she was: but she had two
younger girls and two little boys.

“Oh! I hope we shali see them all soon,” replied
Mrs. Howard. After this they al! took their leave.

When they were alone, Mrs. Howard asked her
little nephew how he had enjoyed his afternoon. —
Giving Pleasure. 107

“Very much, thank you, aunty dear,” replied the
child.

“Have you ever been at such a large children’s
party, Herbert, before ?”

“No, never; I liked to see all the children look
so happy when we gave the presents to them.”

“Ves, dear, you see there is great pleasure in
making others happy, which you fancied could not
be the case. ‘I think I have heard you have very
large birthday parties at home, have I not?”

“Ves, aunty, but it is very different to fis ;
then I have all the presents given to me. Such
beauties they are, sometimes.”

“Ves, my dear, it is a very different occasion, I
suppose you have not enjoyed this afternoon quite
as much as you do your birthday?”

“Ves, aunt, I think I have, quite as much, I
like having the presents, of course; but I liked to
see how very happy the poor children looked when
I passed them round the little gifts.”

“Tam glad to hear it, my dear Herbert. The Lord
Jesus said, you know, “It is more blessed to give than
to receive.’ It is not more agreeable to our natural
hearts, for they are selfish and wicked: but it is a
better part. We are told, ‘ God giveth to all, life,
and breath, and all things.’ If we wish to be like
God, we shall try to think of the good of others, and
not of our own. Only think, dear, what a different
world this would be, if we ad tried to make others
108 Different Kinds of Pleasure.

happy instead of ourselves! But,” said Mrs. Howard,
as they entered the house, “I suppose you are quite
tired and ready for bed, my dears.”

“TI am rather tired, certainly, mamma,” said
Ellen; but I am not ready for bed. Wasn’t it nice,
mamma, to see all those children enjoy themselves
so much ?”

“ And didn’t they all behave nicely?” were asked
by both the little girls at once.

“Ves, my dears, it was a great pleasure to see so
many happy; and I think, considering the number,
and how young some of them are, they behaved
sery well, and did Miss Stevens great credit.”

“ Are you too tired, aunty, to tell us a story to-
night?” asked Herbert.

“No, my dear boy, not if it is not a very long
one. We have about half an hour before prayer
ame. What would you like to hear about?”

“You said you would tell me another day about
Naaman, who had the leprosy, and went to Elisha
to be cured.”

“Oh yes, so I did; well, that will just do: because,
as I told you the end of the story about Gehazi, the
first part will not take us very long.”


Chapter Twenty-first.



Tue Srory oF NAAMAN.



AAMAN was a great general of the king of

Syria, and had won many victories for the
Syrians; so that the king his master honoured and
valued him very much indeed: but, as you know,
be was afflicted with the dreadful disease of leprosy,
for which there was no cure, because the Syrians did
not know or worship the true God. He did not
live alone, because he was not a Jew. Once, when
he had been leading the armies of Syria against the
Israelites, among the prisoners which were taken in
the battle he saw a little Jewish girl, who, he
thought, would make a nice little waiting maid
for his wife. When this little girl found her master
was a leper, she knew he never could be cured
in his own country; but she remembered there


IIo The Story of Naaman.

was a prophet in Aers who could cure him; so
she said to her mistress, ‘I wish my master were
in my country, for then he might be cured of ‘his
leprosy by the prophet !

“Such a wonderful speech as this soon reached the
king’s ears; and he thought, if it were possible for
his favourite general to be cured, it should be done.
But how to set about it he hardly knew. He
thought, if anyone could really cure leprosy in a
country, it must be the king; so he sat down and
wrote a letter to the king of Israel, and he:said in
the letter, ‘Behold, I have sent to thee my servant
Naaman, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy.’
And then he sent Naaman off with the letter; and
he took with him a handsome present for the king
of Israel. He took ten talents of silver, six thou-
sand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment.

* When he arrived in Samaria, he took the letter
to the king, who seemed in great trouble when he
read it, for he tore his clothes, and said, ‘Am I God,
to kill and make alive, that this man doth send to
me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore
consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a
quarrel against me.’ 2 Kzngs v. 7.

“You see, the king knew leprosy was so incurable,
that he might just as well have been asked to bring
a dead man to life; and he thought the king of Syria
wanted to pick a quarrel with him, by asking him
to do an impossible thing, and then make war with
Llisha the Prophet. 11"

him for refusing it; and this caused him to rend his
clothes and appear in such distress. His servants
knew what made the king so unhappy, and it was
very soon known all over the city; and among
others, Elisha the prophet heard that the king was
in gréat trouble about this leper. So he sent him a
message, saying, ‘Why hast thou rent thy clothes?
Let him come now to me, and he shall know there
is a prophet in Israel.’ 2 Kings v. 8.

“You may fancy how delighted the king of Israel
was to receive this message from Elisha. He sent
Naaman to him at once. ‘So Naaman cate, with
his horses and his chariot, and stood at the door of
Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him,
saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy
’ flesh. shall come again t¢ thee, and thou shalt be
clean.’ Oh! what glorious news for the poor leper;
only to go and wash seven times, and then he would
lose his dreadful disease and be quite well! Can
you not fancy how gladly he would hasten to inquire
where the Jordan was, that he might go at once?
as fast as possible? What will you say when I tell
you, that instead of hastening off with a glad heart
to obey the simple command of the prophet,
‘Naaman was zwrofh, and went away, and said,
Behold, I thought he will surely come out to me,
and stand and call cn-the name of the Lord his
God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover
the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, r-vers of
I12 The Story of Naaman.

Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel P
may I not wash in them and be clean? So he
turned, and went away in a rage.’

“Could you have believed, that after so long
suffering from this dreadful complaint he would turn
away so quickly, when the means of cure was so
simple? It seems scarcely possible—yet so we
know it was. He was too proud to be treated in
this way; he thought he was a great man, and ought
to be cured as a great man, instead of remembering
his loathsome state, and being content to take the
low place. This shews us how differently the
Gentiles felt about leprosy to the Jews. A poor
Jew, who was in Naaman’s state, would not have
been too proud to be cured in any way; but Naaman,
you see, was ready to return home uncured. But
though #e was so silly and so proud, he had some
servants with him who were a little wiser than their
master, and they saw how sad it would be for him
to return as bad as he came, when the cure was so
simple. So they tried to persuade the proud man
to think again about the matter, before he turned
his back on the only thing that could heal him, -

““And his servants came near, and spake unto
him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid
thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have
done it? how much rather then when he says, Wash
and be clean?’

“They knew quite well, that if Elisha had told
The Leper Cleansed. 113

their master to pay a very large sum of money or
to do some great work, he would have gladly done
it. They saw it was only his pride that made him
despise such a simple thing. Did he listen to his
servants? Yes, I am happy to say he did. ‘He
went down and dipped himself seven times in
Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God.’
And what happened, do you think? Was he
disappointed? Ohno! no one who simply trusts
God’s word is ever disappointed: ‘His flesh came
again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he
was clean!’ Quite clean, without one spot of
leprosy! Oh, how joyful and thankful he must
have been, that he had not followed his own proud
heart, but listened to his servants’ good advice.

“When Naaman saw that he was really healed,
we may hope he felt more humble—we know he
felt grateful, for he returned to Elisha ‘and came
and stood before him.’ This shows he now looked
up to the prophet, and did not expect him to come
down and wait upon him; and he said to him, .
‘Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the
earth, but in Israel; now, therefore, take a blessing
of thy servant. But Elisha said, As the Lord liveth,
before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he
urged him to take it; but he refused.’ As I told
you before, Elisha desired Naaman should learn
that the gifts of God are without money and without
price.

I
114 The Story of Naaman.

“When Naaman found that Elisha would not
fake any present from him, he asked him to give
him something; and a very strange thing it was
that he wished for. Can you tell me what it was?
It was two mules’ burden of earth /”

“That was a strange thing,” said Herbert; “but
why could he not get that at home?”

“T will tell you, my dear. Naaman had resolved
not again to worship any of the idols of his own
country, but to worship the Lord. His words are,
‘For thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt
offering nor sacrifice unto other gods but the Lord ;
(ver. 17.) and he wanted to build an altar of the
earth thus taken out of the land of Canaan, because
that was the country that the Lord had chosen for
His habitation in the midst of His people Israel.
When he had received the two mules’ burden of
earth, he set out on his homeward journey, which
is where the terrible story of Gehazi comes in.”

“Thank you, mamma,” said Annie; “but can you
tell us why Naaman so despised the river Jordan?
I should have thought he would like to see it, and
to think of the many things that happened there.”

“You forget, my love, that Naaman was a Gentile,
that he knew nothing of the true God or his works;
and, therefore, had no interest, such as you feel, in
the Jordan. He had the natural jealousy of a
Gentile, and thought the large rivers belonging to his
country were much more noble and grand than the
Cleansing from Sin. 115

small river Jordan: in his pride of heait he thought
it would not be so humbling to wash in ¢hem as in
Jordan. Then, no doubt, he felt he had come a
long journey, and it seemed foolish to do nothing
more than take a bath at the end of it.

“ Naaman’s cure and pride always reminds me of
‘the foolishness of preaching,’ by which it is the will
of God now to save poor lost sinners. Many who
would work hard to save their own souls, cannot
accept the good news, that they have only to deHeve
on the Lord Jesus Christ, who has done the whole
work for their redemption on the cross. This is as
humbling a doctrine to proud man now, as the
message to wash in Jordan was to Naaman. Still,
we know that.as ¢hat only cured him, so the apostle
tells us, ‘There is no other name given under
heaven among men whereby we must be saved, but
the name of Jesus Christ.’ Acts iv. 12. Ifa sinner

-1s washed in His blood by faith, he is as perfectly
cleansed from sin as Naaman was from his leprosy.
For we read, ‘The blood of Jesus Christ His Son
cleanseth us from all sin’ 1 John. 7.

“T have a very beautiful poem, my dears, de-
scribing the wretched state of a young Jewish noble,
who was a leper; which, though rather beyond your
understanding, I will read to you; as I think, with
a little explanation, you will be able to enter into
some of its beauties, and it will impress upon your
minds the miserable state of a leper.” Mrs. Howard
116 The Story of Naaman.

then went to the bookcase and took down a book,
from which she read the following poem.

THE LEPER.

***Room for the leper! room !’ and as he comes

The cry passed on—‘ Room for the leper ! room !’
‘Room for the leper !’ and aside they stood,
Matron and child, and pitiless manhood—all
Who met him on his way—and let him pass.
And onward, through the open gate he came,
A leper, with the ashes on his brow,
Sackcloth about his loins, and on his lip

A covering ; stepping painfully and slow,
And with a difficult utterance, like one
Whose heart is with an iron nerve pat down,
Crying ‘unclean ! unclean !”

“?'Twas now the depth
Of the Judean summer, and the leaves,
Whose shadows lay so still upon the path,
Had budded on the clear and flashing eye
Of Judah’s loftiest noble. He was young ~
And eminently beautiful, and life
Mantled in eloquent fulness on his lip,
And sparkled in his glance ; and in his mien
There was a gracious pride, that every eye
Followed with benisons—and this was he.
With the soft air of summer there had come
A torpor on his frame, which not the speed
Of his best barb, nor music, nor the blast
Of the bold huntsman’s horn, nor aught that stirs
The spirit to its bent, might drive away.
The blood beat not as wont within his veins ;
The Leper. TI7

Dimness crept o’er his eye; a drowsy sloth
Fettered his limbs like palsy, and his past,
With all its loftiness, seemed struck with eld.
Even his voice was changed—a languid moan,
Taking the place of the clear silver key ;

And brain and sense grew faint, as if the light
And very air were steeped in sluggishness.

He strove with it awhile, as manhood will,
Ever too proud for weakness, till the rein
Slackened within his grasp, and in its poise
The arrowy jereed like an aspen shook.

Day after day he lay as if in sleep;

His skin grew dry and bloodless, and white scales,
Circled with livid purple, covered him.

And then his nails grew black, and fell away
From the dull flesh about them, and the hues
Deepened beneath the hard unmoistened scales,
And from their edges grew the rank white hair,
And Helon was a leper!



‘¢ Day was breaking
When at the altar of the temple stood
The holy priest of God. The incense lamp
Bumed with a struggling light, and a low chant
Swelled thro’ the hollow arches of the roof
Like an articulate wail, and there alone,
Wasted to ghastly thinness, Helon knelt.
The echoes of the melancholy strain
Died in the distant aisles; and he rose up,
Struggling with weakness, and bowed down his head
Unto the sprinkled ashes, and put off
His costly raiment for the leper’s garb ;
And with the sackcloth round him, and his lip
Hid in a loathsome covering, stood still,
Waiting to hear his doom :—
118

The Story of Naaman.

**¢Depart! depart! oh child
Of Israel from the temple of thy God;
For He has smote thee with His chastening rod.
And to the desert wild,
From all thou lovest, away thy feet must flee,
That from thy plague His people may be free.

***Depart, and come not near
The busy mart, the crowded city more,
Nor set thy foot a human threshold o’er;
And stay not thou to hear
Voices that call thee in the way; and fly
From all who in the wilderness pass by.

“*« Wet not thy burning lip
In streams that to a human dwelling glide,
Nor rest thee where the covert fountains hide;
‘Nor kneel thee down to dip
The water where the pilgrim bends to drink,
By desert well, or river’s grassy brink,

**¢ And pass not thou between
The weary traveller and the cooling breeze;
And lie not down to sleep beneath the trees
Where Auman tracks are seen;
Nor milk the goat that browseth on the plain,
Nor pluck the standing corn, or yellow grain.

‘*¢ And now depart! and when
Thy heart is heavy and thine eyes are dim,
Lift up thy prayer beseechingly to Him
Who, from the tribes of men,
Selected thee to feel His chastening rod ;
Depart, oh leper! and forget not God?’
The Leper. . 119

“* And he went forth—alone; not one, of all
The many whom he loved, nor she whose name
‘Was woven in the fibres of the heart
Breaking within him now, to come and speak
Comfort unto him. Yea, he went his way,
Sick and heart-broken, and alone to die;

For God hath cursed the leper!

*¢Tt was noon,
And Helon knelt beside a stagnant pool
In the lone wilderness, and bathed his brow,
Hot with the burning leprosy; and touched
The loathsome water to his parched lips,
Praying he might be so blessed-—to die!
Footsteps approached, and with no strength to flee
He drew the covering closer on his lip—
Crying ‘Unclean! unclean ! and in the folds
Of the coarse sackcloth, shrouding up his face,
He fell upon the earth till they should pass.
Nearer the stranger came, and bending o’er
The leper’s prostrate form, pronounced his*name.
‘ Helon !’—the voice was like the master tone
Of a rich instrament—most strangely sweet ;
And the dull pulses of disease awoke,
And for a moment beat beneath the hot
And leprous scales with a restoring thrill—
‘Felon, arise? and he forgot his curse,
And rose and stood before Him.



“Love and awe
Mingled in the regard of Helon’s eye,
As he beheld the stranger. He was not
In costly raiment clad, nor on his brow
The symbol of a princely lineage wore;
120 The Story of Naaman.

No followers at his back, nor in his hand
Buckler, or sword, or spear ;—yet in his mien
Command sat throned serene; and if he smiled,
A kindly condescension graced his lips,

The lion would have crouched to in his lair ;
His garb was simple and his sandals worn,

His statue modelled with a perfect grace,

His countenance the impress of a god,
Touched with the open innocence of a child;
His eye was blue and calm, as is the sky

In the serenest noon; his hair unshorn

Fell on his shoulders, and his curling beard
The fullness of perfected manhood bore.

He looked on Helon earnestly awhile

As if his heart was moved; and stooping down,
He took a little water in his hand,

And laid it on his brow, And lo! the scales fell from him, and his blood
Coursed with delicious coolness thro’ his veins,
And his dry palms grew moist, and on his brow
The dewy softness of an infant’s stole.

His leprosy was cleansed, and he fell down
Prostrate at Jesus’'feet and worshipped Him.”

WILLIS.

‘The children were quite able, with a little ex-
planation, to understand most of the poem, and all
agreed they should never forget poor Helon, or read
of leprosy without thinking of him and Naaman.

“To impress the sad character of this disease
upon your minds even more,” said Mrs. Howard,
“TY will read you a description of the complaint
Leprosy. T21

which I met with the other day, from a very trust-
worthy source, that so struck me, that I shall not
soon forget it; and it has increased power when we
bear in mind that God selected this fearful disease
as a type of sim, that leprosy of sowd from which,
by nature, we each of us suffer.”

While speaking, Mrs. Howard rose and took up
a book, which was lying on the table, and read as
follows :— ae :

“The disease of leprosy is said to begin within the
body,—in the marrow, bones, and blood. A sanious
moisture is thrown out. Then it makes its appear-
ance in small spots on the skin, These increase in
number and in size, and at last completely cover
the whole body, making the leper a disgusting
spectacle.

“ One speaks of it in these terms :—‘ The disease
advances from one stage to another. with slow and
certain ruin. Life still lingers amidst the desolation.
The joints, and hands, and feet lose their power,
and the body collapses or falls together in a form
hideous and awful. There is a form of the disease
_ in which it commences at the extremities ; the joints
separate ; the fingers, toes, and other members one
by one fall off; and the malady thus gradually
approaches the seat of life. The wretched victim
is thus doomed to see himself dying piecemeal,
assured that no human power can arrest for a :
moment the silent and steady march of this foe to
122 The Story of Naaman.

the seat of life. The disease is contagious and
hereditary. It is easily communicated from one to
another, and is transmitted to the third and fourth
generation.’

“ Another, who was an eye-witness, thus describes
it:—‘Its commencement is imperceptible. There
appear only some few white spots on the skin. At
first they are attended with no pain or inconvenience;
but no means whatever will remove them. The
disease imperceptibly increases for many years.
The eyebrows swell; the nose swells; tumours
appear on the jaws; the points of the fingers, as
also the feet and toes swell; the nails become scaly;
the joints of the hands and feet separate and drop
off. In the last stage of the disease the patient

becomes a hideous spectacle, and falls to pieces.’”
British Herald.

When Mrs. Howard had’ finished reading, the
children looked very sad and solemnized; but
further conversation was prevented by the bell
ringing, and by the time evening worship was
concluded, they were all quite ready for bed (a fact
that few children generally allow), and they were
soon after fast asleep, dreaming of the wonderfully
interesting incidents of the day.


SShES

Chapter Twenty-seond.

OBEDIENCE TO GOD; OR THE Four
Captive Boys.

WHE next morning, when Mrs. Howard met
| her little nephew at the breakfast table, she
foie he looked rather pale; and finding he
did not eat much breakfast, she asked him if he felt
poorly.

“ Not much, thank you, aunty; but Ido not feel
quite well.”

“T think, perhaps, you ate too much fruit yester-
day, dear. Does mamma let you eat fruit at
home?” asked Mrs. H.

“Ves, strawberries and currants; but cherries
she does not like me to eat, because they make me
poorly.”

“Oh, why did you eat any then, Herbert?”


124 The Four Captive Boys.

exclaimed both his little cousins, “‘ when you knew
your mamma, did not wish it?”

“Because I liked them, and mamma was not
here.”

The two little girls looked at each other in
astonishment, and then they looked at their mother
to see what she would say. She understood their
look, and remarked,—

“But, Herbert dear, surely you do not mean to
say you only try to do right when your mamma is
near to see you? I always tell my little girls they
should be much more careful to think of my wishes
and obey me when I am away than when I am at
their side.”

“Oh, aunty !” replied Herbert, looking very much
astonished at this strange doctrine.

“Ves, indeed love,” replied his aunt; because
obedience to parents is a duty God commands: and
He is always able to see us whether other people do
ornot. So if we obeyed Azm, we should be always
equally careful to do what we know is right. If you
only do what your parents wish when you are wh
them, I should be afraid you only did it zen because
you must, and not because you wished to be good and
obedient. The apostle Paul felt sure that the
Christians at Philippi, who had been very obedient
to his wishes when he was zh them, would be
much more careful to do what was right when he. was
absent. Vow will see this if you get your bible and’
Another Bible Story. 12 5

look at Pril. ii. 12, And I hope you will try and
remember this, and make it your example. I know
it is very difficult to little children to refuse nice
things to eat when there is no one near to prevent
them ;.but a child that remembered God’s eye is
upon him, would try and do so, however hard he
found it.

“Can anyone remember a story in the bible,
where four children honoured God in not eating
nice things when they were offered to them, and
begged for dry bread and water instead—and how
God honoured and rewarded them?” said Mrs.
Howard, looking round upon the little group. All
were silent fora moment; Ellen and Annie owned
they could not tell, and Herbert said if there was a
story about zat in the bible, he thought his aunt
might find one about anything.

Mrs. Howard smiled, and said, “Well, my dear
boy, I think there are very few things that we
cannot find either a warning or an example about
in God’s wondrous book. And I am not surprised
at this, because we are told that the Scriptures are
given us o” purpose that the man of God may be
‘perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.’
And, also, we are told the Holy Scriptures are
profitable or useful ‘for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness.’ 2 Zim. iii, 16, 17.
And I think I cannot better impress upon your
minds this lesson of obedience, to what you know
126 The Four Captive Boys.

is right even when away from control, than by telling
you the story of the four captive boys, who honoured
God in most difficult circumstances, and whom God
honoured according to His own word.—‘ Them that
honour me I will honour, and those that despise
me shall be lightly esteemed.’”

“Oh, thank you, aunty!” exclaimed Herbert,
“another story! I do so like your stories, and I
don’t think I shall ever forget them.”

“T hope not, dear,” replied his aunt, rising from
the table, “because you know, though I tell you
them in a simple way, they are from God's own
book, and therefore ought to be remembered.”

Mrs. Howard then took her bible, and told the
children to find the 1st chapter of Daniel, when she
begun the story of

Tue Four CartivE Boys.

“Vou know, dear children, that God’s people
Israel, who ought to have worshipped the true God,
often fell into idolatry and. worshipped idols. God
sent many prophets to tell them He should punish
them if they did not repent: but they still went on
sinning, and at last God sent Nebuchadnezzar, king
of Babylon, to fight against Jerusalem ; and he took
the king Jehoiakim and all the people of Israel into
his hand, and he carried them all prisoners to
Babylon. When he got home, he told one of his
King Nebuchadnezzar, 127

servants to look over the Jewish captives, and take
some of the finest, strongest, and healthiest of them
from the poor captive A7ng’s family, and separate
them from the rest of the prisoners.

“ Now what do you think Nebuchadnezzar meant
to do with these boys? To kill them? Oh, no!
He intended to feed and bring them up very well,
and to educate them very well, and to teach them
the language spoken in Babylon; and then he meant
to choose the wisest and most beautiful to stand
before him. The Jewish youths were often very
handsome, and were different to the people of
Babylon, so I suppose the king considered they
would be an ornament to his court.

. “The king was so anxious that these captives
should have the best food, that he arranged himself
that they should eat and drink the same things that
he did. And this was to be done for three years,
and then he would see them himself and choose
those whom he liked best.

‘““No doubt the captives were very pleased to
find such a comfortable lot in a strange country, so
different to what they expected. We are not told
how many children Ashpenaz separated from araong
the prisoners; but no doubt a good number: but
we are told.the names of four of them—they were
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; these
were their /ezish names, that their parents had
given them at home; but Ashpenaz changed their
128 The four Captive Boys.

names, and he called them Belteshazzar, and
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.”

“Oh! mamma, I remember them,” exclaimed
the two little girls, “they were cast into the fiery
furnace and not burnt.”

“They were, my dears; but that is not the part
of their history I now wish you to hear.”

“ What did Ellen say, aunty,” inquired Herbert,
“they were thrown into the fiery furnace and not
burnt 2”

“Yes, my boy; and though it may seem im-
possible to you, yet, you know, with God nothing is
impossible: and that part of their history is another
proof of how God delights to honour those who
honour Him.” ,

“I should like to hear that story best, aunty,”
said Herbert.

“We will finish what we have begun first, dear ;
but you shall hear about the other afterwards.
What I am going to tell you about happened when
they were chzldren, and therefore is the more
beautiful and instructive for children, and the other
happened when they were grown up: Now, to
return to our story. When Ashpenaz had given the
four children their new names, he put them under
the care of Melzar.

“When Daniel found they were to be fed upon
this beautiful food and wine from the king’s table,
you may fancy he and his companions would be
forbidden Food. 129

very pleased, and think themselves very fortunate
and well off. But how surprised you will be to hear
that instead of this, Daniel made up his mind he
would not eat anything from the king’s table if he
could help it. How strange! Why was this? Did
he not like it? Oh yes, no doubt he did; but I
will tell you the reason.

“ Daniel knew he was a Jeuitoh boy, and that his
parents were /ews, God’s own people; and that God
had given His people laws about a great many
things that he had not given to other people. Some
of these laws were about things to eat; and Daniel
knew that the king of Babylon would eat many
things that an obedient Jew ought not to
eat, and could not eat without being defiled or
unclean in Goa’s sight. So ‘Daniel purposed in
his heart that he would not defi/e himself with the
king’s meat.’ Dan, i. 8.

“Tt sounds very strange to hear a young captive
think the dest feod in the country from the king’s
table would defile him! Was he not’very proud?
Oh, no! Daniel was not proud, but he wished to
be obedient to God. You must remember what sad
circumstances Daniel was in. He was not at home,
with his parents teaching him God’s holy law and
helping him to obey it, but he belonged to those
Jews, who on account of their sin God had sold to
be slaves among strangers. So if anybody could

have been excused for eating forbidden food, these
K
130 The Four Captive Boys.

children might have been forgiven. But Daniel had
been taught God’s word and law, and therefore he
felt responsible himself to obey God, although xo
one else did so. He did not say, ‘I know if we were
in our own land we should not eat this food; but
then, we cannot do as we wish; we are prisoners,
and must take what is given us; and my mother
and father are not here, so ¢hey won't know ; and it
is so very nice, I do not like to give it up, and
perhaps we shall be starved if we don’t eat this.
Or he did not say, God has brought us into this
place, and therefore He wzshes us to eat these
things. No, ‘Daniel purposed in his heart that he
would not defile himself with the king’s meat.’
Beautiful words, dear children, when you consider
the peculiar circumstances in which he was.

“T think, Herbert, it was harder for Daniel to give
up all the nice dinners from the king’s table, than
for you to give up the cherries, which you knew
mamma would not like you to eat.”

Her little nephew looking rather ashamed at this
application to himself, his aunt proceeded—“ What
do you think poor Daniel did? How should you
think he got over his difficulty? Well, I suspect he
Jirst prayed to God about it, and then very likely he
talked the matter over with his three companions ;
I think, perhaps, they had not thought about it
before, but certainly they did not disagree about it,
as we shall see.”


Chapter Cwenty-Thind.

OBEDIENCE TO GOD; OR THE FOouR

CarrivE Bovs—continued.

ANIEL told his trouble to Ashpenaz, and

asked him to give them some plain food.
What did he say? Was he angry with the poor
boys? Did he think them proud and troublesome ?
No! something very different. ‘Now, Gop had
brought Daniel into favour and tender love with
-Ashpenaz. Notice this, my dear children, Daniel
had already become a very great favourite with his
new master: no doubt his conduct in other ways
had been good and honouring to God. And He
who sees the Zear¢t saw that Daniel had purposed zz


132 | The. Four Captive Boys.

his heart, that he would not defile himself with the
king’s meat nor with the wine which he drank.
And God also saw the difficult task he had to
perform, and He had graciously gone before him
and smoothed his way by thus making Ashpenaz so
fond of him, that he would be willing to do what he
wanted. What does he tell Daniel? ‘And he said
to him, I fear my Lord the king, who has appointed
your méat and your drink; for why should he see
your faces worse looking than the children which
are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger
my head to the king.” This was as if he had said
to Daniel, 7 should be very willing to grant your
request, only I fear the king who gave me orders to
feed you like the others; and of cotirse, when he
sees you all together, if you are fed for three years
upon common, poor food, you will not look half
so healthy and strong as those that have been fed
upon the best food from the king's table, and then
when the king finds out I have not obeyed his
orders, he will be so angry that he will very likely
cut off my head!

“Surely now, when Daniel has fred to do what
he thinks right and finds it will endanger Ashpenaz’s
life, he will be willing to eat the nice food and wine,
and be satisfied? Oh, no! he knew the true God;
no doubt he had heard many many wonderful
miracles God had done for His people in trouble if
they looked to Him; and no doubt he thought the


A Ten Days Trial. 133

same God could come in and help him now. So
he said to Melzar, whom Ashpenaz had put over
him, ‘ Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days ;
and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to
drink. Then let our countenances be looked at,
and the countenances of the children that eat of
the portion of the king’s meat; and as thou seest,
deal with thy servants.’

“ Pulse, dear children, was a kind of plain,
common food, such as bread or potatoes with us.
So it was like saying, Give us nothing but bread
and water for ten days, and see if we do not look
as well as those who eat the king’s meat; and if we
‘do look as well, then let us have it always; and if
we do not look so well, then give us the king's
meat,

“Surely, Daniel thought, God can bless the pulse
and water, and make us grow strong and healthy
upon it as much as on the other food. So I
suppose Melzar thought ex days would not do any
harm; and perhaps he thought that would satisfy
them, and that then they would give up their strange
notion; or perhaps they would look very thin and

. half-starved, and be obliged to eat the meat. How-
ever this was, ‘He consented unto them in this
matter, and proved them ten days.’ I expect no
children ever felt so pleased with the change, from
the nzcest food to the plainest, either before or since,
and only, you remember, because what they would
134 The Four Captive Boys.

like was contrary to God’s law. How many of ws
prefer God's will to our own pleasure? The ten
days soon passed, and then the examination was to
take place. Do you think you could have found
out which were the four boys who had been living
upon bread and water among those present, by
their pale wan looks? I suppose we could have
done so in a general way; but certainly we should
have been mistaken im this instance, for these four
children all looked ‘fairer and fatter than all those
who did eat the Aing’s meat

“Now, had not God honoured those who honoured
Him? Had He not come to their help in all their
difficulty? Surely He had. Now, of course,
Melzar could make no more objection ; so he took
away the meat and wine and gave them pulse.
And for three years they went on living on this, and
seeing all their companions living on the good food;
they never changed their mind and took the meat.
Their companions might have said, We are Jews as
well as you—we don’t think it wrong, you need not
be so particular. But Daniel and his friends knew
they must be willing to stand alone in domg God’s
will. We must not look at what others do. We
must obey God ourselves, and try to lead others to
do so also. The three years came to an end as
well as the ten days. And now Ashpenaz took
them all in before Nebuchadnezzar for him to make
his choice; and the king talked with them all, but
The King's Choice. T35

you remember, he knew nothing of Daniel's
secret. :

“Can you not fancy that Ashpenaz would feel
rather anxious, wondering whether the king would
think Daniel and his three friends looked as well as
the others, and.whether he would ask any questions
that might let out the secret and make him still
‘endanger his head -to. the king? And after con-
versing with them, who does the king select? he
chooses four, whom he finds so clever, and pleasing,
and beautiful, that they are not to be compared
to the rest of the party, and he appoints them to
stand before him.

“And I need hardly tell you, my dears, that
these four were the four who honoured God in
such difficult circumstances, and who God thus
honoured before men.

“These four Jewish captives afterwards became
great rulers in the province of Babylon, and still

continued to honour and serve the God of their:

youth.”

After Mrs. Howard had concluded her story,
little Herbert crept to her side and whispered, “I
am. very sorry I took the cherries yesterday, but I
will try and be like Daniel another time, aunty.”

Mrs. Howard was pleased to see her story had
taken effect, and kissed him, saying, “God bless
you, my child, and teach you to walk before Him
in all your ways.”
136 The Four Captive Boys.

“Will you tell us about the men being in the
fire without being burnt, aunty ? I cannot think how

they escaped.” .
“Very well, my dear,” replied Mrs. Howard,

“you shall hear how it was and why it was.”




Chapter Cwenty-fouril.

THe BuRNING Frery FURNACE



HELE people that lived in Babylon, you re-
i) member, were heathen—they worshipped
idols and not the true God. Some time after king
Nebuchadnezzar had put Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach,
and Abednego over the province of Babylon, he
had a great golden image made, and made a law,
that when the people heard the sound of music
they were to fall down and worship this image.
His own people, of course, did so: but could the
Jewish captives do it? No! they knew it was
idolatry. And though they knew the king had said,
that anyone who did zo¢ fall down and worship the
image was to be cast alive into a burning fiery
furnace—yet they would not do it. Very soon,
some of the Chaldeans (the people who lived in


138 The Burning Fiery Furnace.

Babylon) found this out, and they went to the king
and said, ‘Oh, king! there are certain Jews whom
thou hast set over the kingdom; these men have
not regarded thee, they serve not thy gods, nor
worship the golden image which thou hast set up.’
When the king heard this, instead of being sorry he
had made such a cruel law, he got into a great rage
and fury, and desired them to bring Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abednego to him. And when they
came, he asked them if it were true that they did
not worship the image he had set up, and told
them, if they still refused, they were to be cast into
a burning fiery furnace—and then he added ‘And
who is taf God that shall deliver you out of my
hands? He knew very well that none of the gods
that Ae knew of could deliver, because they were
only idols. »He did not know the true God, the
God of those Jews, to whom he was talking.

“Did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego hesitate
a moment what todo? No! they said, ‘Oh king,
we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If
it be so, our God, whom we serve, és ad/e to deliver
us from the burning fiery furnace; and He will
deliver us out of thine hand, oh king. But if vot,
be it known unto thee, oh king, that we will wot
serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which
thou hast set up.’

“Flow bold they were! To please God, rather
than think of themselves, was still their habit.
The Angry King. 139

They honoured God, and you will see God did not
fail to honour them.

“The king was so enraged at their boldness and
firmness, that he not: only commanded them to be
thrown into the fiery furnace, but he ordered them
to make the furnace seven times hotter than it
usually was. Only think what hatred and anger
this proved! Then he commanded some of the
strongest men in his army to bind these three Jews
and cast them in. I do not think they need have
bound them, but they did, with all their clothes on,
and threw them in; and the heat of the furnace was
so very great, that it killed the men who went near
to throw them in. And Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the
burning fiery furnace.”

Mrs. Howard paused, for she saw tears running
down her little nephew’s cheek. “What is the
matter, dear?” said she.

“Oh, how very dreadful, aunty, to be thrown
alive into the fire! what wicked, wicked men !”

“Oh! but you forget, Herbert; they were not
burnt, as the king intended they should be, when
they were thrown into the fire. Wait a little and
hear the end of the story.”

This reminder led Herbert to wipe his tears,
while his aunt continued. “1 should not envy the
king’s feelings, now that he had satisfied his rage,
‘For he was astonied, and rose up in haste, and
140 The Burning Fiery Furnace.

said to hig counsellors, Did we not cast three men
bound into the midst of the firep? And they
answered and said, True, O king. And he said,
Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of
the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of
the fourth is like unto the Son of God!’

“Only imagine how terrified the wicked king
must have been, to see the men not hurt, but
walking about in the fire. How could they walk
when they were bound or tied up, do you think?
Why, God had allowed the fire to burn the ropes that
bound them, but did not let it burn even ¢her
clothes. And they were not walking alone? No,
some one was with them in this dreadful furnace,
and he was like the Suz of God! How terrified
Nebuchadnezzar must have been to find their God
could go down éuto the fire to them. This was
more than any of his gods could do. What did
he do next? He went near to the furnace and
called them out, and told them to come to him.
Did they obey him? Yes, they came out; and all
the people saw that neither their bodies nor their
clothes were touched, not a hair of their head
singed, and that they did not even smell scorched,
which you know you very soon do if you only
stand near a small fire. No, their God, whom they
had so faithfully served, had been with them 2x the
fire ; and when God is with His people, they may go
through terrible fires and furnaces, but nothing can
A New Law. IAT

hurt them then, who are God’s care’ The hot
furnace only burns their bandages.”

“What did Nebuchadnezzar say, aunty, to these
men ?” ;

“Well, my love, his conscience was convinced ;
and though we are not told that he became a
worshipper of the true God, yet he owned there
was no other God that could deliver like this God;
and he made a law, that if any one spoke a word
against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-
nego, they should be cut in pieces and their houses
made a. dunghill. And then he gave the three
faithful Jews higher posts in his kingdom than they
had before; and though we do not hear of them
again, we may believe they continued faithful to the
God they had so served for the rest of their lives.”

“Where was Daniel, mamma, at this time?” said
Ellen. ‘We do not hear of his being with his
companions in refusing to bow down to the image.”

“No, my love, we do not hear of him; but we
must not therefsre conclude that he did fall down.
We know not only how faithful to God he was when
a boy, but we find after this that his life was so holy
and beautiful as to excite the jealousy of the people
of Babylon, and they wanted to find some accusa-
tion against him; and owned they couid not, unless
it was about the law of his God. For in ‘the
matters concerning the kingdom, he was without
error or fault. You remember how they managed,




142 The Burning Fiery Furnace.

and the trouble they took to betray him to a cruel
and dreadful death.”

“Oh, you mean the den of lions, don't you,
mamma ?” ‘

“Ves, my dear, and though the circumstances
were different, the faithfulness of the servant and
the faithfulness of the Divine Master were pretty
much the same, and were only another instance of
our text—‘Those that honour me I will honour.’
As Herbert may not have heard it, I will tell you
the story ; and then you will have.the ¢hree stories of
the captive boys always associated in your minds,
though. the last ¢wo cases occurred when they were
grown up; and we may also learn this lesson, that
those who begin to love and serve God in child-
hood’s days, are not likely to be overcome by the
trials of after life. :


um oO os io] io Ip io" iO
RIRIRAR FRIAR Fe ge A
de 3H 8L FEMORAL RALS BE AQF SL SFE MOH 54

Chapter Cwenty-fifth.



Tue Lions’ DEN.



course of time, Nebuchadnezzar died, and
E his son came to the throne; he was a very
wicked man, and God took his kingdom from him
and gave it to Darius, the Mede. This new king
made Daniel the first prince in the kingdom, and
put him. over all the other princes and rulers, -
because he was so very wise and good; for God
had given him great wisdom and skill. The other
rulers were very jealous of Daniel, and tried to
find out some fault to complain of to the king, but
they could not. Perhaps they remembered the
story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and
the golden image; and thought, if some law were
made about religion, Daniel would be sure not to
obey it in worshipping idols. So they thought and


I44 The Lions’ Den.

talked over the matter, and then they contrived a
very wicked plan. They told the king they wished
him to make a law that no one’ in his kingdom
should make a request of any god or man, except
from the king himself, for thirty days. And that if
any one did, he should be thrown alive into a den
of lions! Only think what a foolish law. The
king did not know why they made this foolish law,
but I suppose he was flattered by it; and he signed
the paper the nobles had written, and then it be-
came a law; and in that nation the king could not
change a law as we can do. When it was once
signed with the king’s seal, it must remain a law,
however bad it might be. This should have made
the king very careful how he signed anything.

“Vou will soon hear what trouble poor king
Darius was in on accotnt of this law. The nobles
only made it in order to catch Daniel breaking it.
They knew his habit was to pray to his God in
heaven, and they did not believe any law would
. prevent him doing so; .and they thought rightly, for
we read, in Dan. vi. 10., ‘When Daniel knew that the
writing was signed, he went into his house; and his
window being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem,
he kneeled upon his knees three times a-day and
prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did
aforetime,

“Now notice, dear children, Daniel did not do
anything unusual. He did not go out of his way to
Solomon's Prayer. — 145

provoke his enemies, neither did he try to Aide his
religion for fear of the consequences, he just con-
tinued his usual godly way of living.”

“Why are we told his windows were open toward
Jerusalem, mamma?” said Annie.

“Tam glad you have asked, my love; the reason
is very beautiful. You know Jerusalem was Gods
chosen city, and you remember Solomon built God
a beautiful temple; and if you turn to the 1 Azngs
vii, you will see that Solomon prayed that God
would meet and bless His people, and hear all prayer
offered in that beautiful temple: and Solomon also
prayed, that if God's people ‘sinned, and He allowed
them to be carried captive into another land, yet, if
when they were captives in a strange and distant
land, yet if ‘Here, any one repented of the sin of
his people, and prayed: to God foward their land
and éeward the temple, then Solomon prayed that
God would hear their prayer and pardon their sins
And God promised to do so.

“Now Daniel remembered this, though he had
been so many many years in Babylon. And though
he was a great ruler, next to the king, we see he did
not forget Jerusalem; but three times a-day he
kneeled down and prayed, looking towards the
beloved city. This was pleasing to God, because it
shewed that though far off, his heart was still in
God’s land, and on God’s house, and in God's
work,

~
146 The Lion's Den

“That beautiful temple was a type of something,
Ellen—can you tell me of what it was a type?”

“Of the Lord Jesus Christ, mamma ?”

“Yes, my dear: you know when He was here,
He spoke of Himself as the temple, saying,
‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise
it again; he spake of the temple of Ads body,’

“As God pledged Himself to Solomon to hear
all the prayers offered in that temple, so God has
promised pardon and life to everyone who comes to
Him by Christ. But to return to our story.

“The wicked nobles, of course, were closely
watching Daniel, and soon round him praying.
They then hastened to the king, and accused him of
breaking the new law which the king had made.
. Did Darius get into a great fury, as Nebuchadnezzar
had done? No! he at once saw through the wicked
scheme of the nobles, and he ‘was sore displeased
with Aimse/f, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver
him; and he laboured till the going down of the
sun to deliver him.’ You see, he found out now
how foolish he had been to sign such a law, and
now he knew he could not alter it, ‘for the laws of
the Medes and Persians alter not.’ And he was ,
very soon reminded of this fact by his nobles, who
came to tell him that Daniel must be thrown into.
the lions’ den. So poor Darius, with an aching
heart, was obliged to give the order. But he did
not say, as Nebuchadaezzar had done, ‘ Who is that
A Sleepless Night. 147

God that shall deliver you out of my hand?’ But
he said to Daniel, ‘Thy God, whom thou servest
continually, he will deliver thee.’

“You see, Daniel’s life in that heathen land had
been one continual witness for God; not only on
great occasions, but daily. Everyone knew well
whom he served, and so now the king counted on
God’s faithfulness to his servant. The king was in
such distress, he went to his palace and passed a
sleepless night. A great stone had been put against
the lions’ den, and sealed with the king's ring, that
no attempt might be made to save Daniel.

“Very early in the morning, the king rose and
hastened to the den of lions. What for? to see if
Daniel were living; and when he came to the den,
he cried with a lamentable voice unto. Daniel, and
said, “Oh, Daniel, servant. of the living God, és thy
God, whom thou servest continually, able to save
thee from the lions?’

“Can you not fancy, dear children, how hope and
fear must have mingled in this question—how his
heart must have bounded—when he heard Daniel’s
voice from the sealed den, saying ‘O king, live for
ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut
the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me:
forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me;
and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and
commanded that they should take Daniel up out of
148 The Lions Den.

the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den,
and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because
he believed in his God. Then the king determined
to punish those wicked men who had tried to
destroy Daniel, and had them all thrown into the
lions’ den, and their bones were crushed to pieces
before they reached the bottom of the den; which
shews us more clearly how distinctly it was Goa’s
hand that shut the lions’ mouths in Daniel’s case.”

“J suppose they had to move away the great
stone, mamma, before they let Daniel out ?”

“Ves, my dear, all their trouble was vain in
sealing the stone. They might have remembered
that the one like unto the Son of God, who walked
in the fire with Daniel's three companions in former
days, could surely penetrate the sealed den This
reminds me of another cave that was sealed with a
great stone by some wicked man. Can you re-
member it, Annie?”

“The grave of Christ, mamma?”

“Yes, my dear; you know the Jews feared the
disciples would try to carry away the body of the
Lord, and thought to prevent it by putting a great
stone against the cave. But whether it was the
lions’ den or the Lord’s tomb, man’s folly was
proved in struggling against God.”

“ But an angel rolled away the stone for the Lord
Jesus to leave the grave, mamma,” said Ellen, “ did
he not ?”
he’ Stove at the Sepulchre. 149

“An angel certainly rolled away the stone, my
child; but not to let the Lord Jesus owt of the cave,
but to let the disciples into it. Te who rose from
the grave, as the Lord of life and glory, and ap-
peared twice afterwards in the midst of His disciples,
the doors being shut, needed not that the stone
should be removed for Him to leave the grave ; but
in tender compassion to His weak disciples, God
sent an angel to open the grave, that they might go
in and see for themselves that their Lord and Master
no longer lay among the dead. The angel sitting
quietly on this stone by the opened grave, always
reminds me of that verse in Fs, ii. ‘He that sitteth
in the heavens shail Zaugh : the Lord shall Aave them -
in derision? Butnow, my dears, we have been sitting
very long over our story this morning, but I hope
you will not forget it; and now I think you had
better say your verses, and then go into the garden.”


Chapter Gwentr-sixth,

Tue Happy Biinp Woman.



IT was the custom at Beechgrove for everyone
k2.0]] to repeat a verse of Scripture after break-
fast. Mrs. Howard told her cxildren they would
hardly guess with what an amount of Scripture
they could store their minds by this simple means.
Herbert did not quite understand ‘the use of this,
though, since he found his aunt and cousins did it,
he had followed their example; but the morning
after the school party, he was not prepared with a
verse, as he had been rather late in getting up, and
he had no store in reserve upon which he could
draw. His aunt asked him if he could not re



A Sad Object. 151

member any; but he replied he did not know one,
but what he had said that week.

“Well, my dear boy,” said Mrs. Howard, “I
should like to take you with me to see a poor sick
woman, to-day, if it were only to shew you what a
joy and comfort it is to her, that she stored her mind
with scripture before she became blind, which she
now is.”

“ Shall we go this morning, mamma?” interrupted
Ellen,”

* Tam going, say love,” replied her mother ; “but
I think it would hardly do to take Herbert, though,
as I said, I should like to do so; so I thought you
could amuse him in some other way.”

“But why will you not take me, aunty?” said
the little boy. “I should like to go with you.”

“My only reason, my boy, for thinking it better
not, is, that poor Sarah Clarke is a very sad object,
and I feared it might startle and pain you to see her.”

“ How, aunty?” persisted the child.

“Why, my dear, for many many years she has
been terribly paralysed; that is, she has nearly lost
all_use of one side of her body, and has very little
strength in the other. You can hardly understand
her speech, and she is half an idiot; then she is
very poor, and lives with an ungodly brother and
sister who neglect her sadly. Though the parish
make her an allowance, they often. go out to work
without giving her any food; and they know she
£52 The Happy Blind Woman.

cannot get out of bed alone and can hardly feed
herself.”

“Oh, how very cruel, aunty!” exclaimed the
child.

“Yes, my dear boy, it is very sad to think of her.
Then her large vacant eyes and long grey straggling
locks, hanging over her face, really give her quite a
frightful look. I remember, when I first went to see
her, I went into the room alone, and not being
prepared to see such a miserable object, I was quite
startled; but a nearer acquaintance soon proves
poor Sarah is quite quiet and harmless. She has
long been a Christian, and a very happy one; and
though her faculties cze so greatly impaired, that
her face often shews no signs of intelligence when
you ask her about her health, or if she has had any
breakfast ;\ yet, only mention the name of Jesus,
ask her if He is with her, or if she is longing to see
Him, and such a radiant and heavenly smile comes
over the poor idiotic, haggard, old face, that it
looks quite deautifud, Until she lost her sight, she
spent most of her time in reading her bible and
committing whole chapters to memory. Wow she
has the further trial of loss of sight, she finds the
great use and comfort of this habit, for she can go
on repeating chapter after chapter, as if she had
the book before her. And the same way wit!
hymns; if you go in without letting her know, yo...
may stand by her sice and hear her address the


Poor Sarah. 153

Lord in praise, and in the repeating of the sacred
Word, in a way that shews you she is really con-
versing with a person.”

“Then you never hear a single murmur from
poor Sarah. I often think she is a silent reproof to
us who, with all our many mercies, are so often
found grumbling and murmuring.” -

“Won't you take me, aunty, dear?” again asked
Herbert. “I should like to see this poor woman
very much indeed.”

“Well, my love, if you wish it, you may go. Now
that I have described our poor friend to you, you will
not receive a sudden shock; and, remember, you
need not be afraid of her, for she can do you no
harm—she can scarcely guide her food to her
mouth.”

“Shall we go, mamma, as well as Herbert?”
asked Ellen.

“T think, my dear, we shall be too many for the
small room; but you may call and read that little
story I gave you yesterday, to Widow Proctor: you
remember, we promised you should go this week.”

“Oh yes! so we did: very well, then we can
meet you and Herbert afterwards.”

“That will do very well, my dear. So now amuse

* This is a literal account of a poor sufferer known to the
writer, who is now ‘‘Absent from the body, present with the
Lord.”


154 The Happy Blind Woman.

yourselves until eleven o’clock, when I shall be
ready to start.”

The three children then ran off to see Thomas,
and inquire whether all the school children had
been for the cherries, and heard that not one had
forgotten this important errand; and that little
Esther Pope had come up with Susan Blake, and
the “ttle kitten.

“Oh!” said Ellen, “that reminds me I promised
her a bit of blue ribbon for pussy’s neck; I will go
and find a bit and leave it with her mother as we
pass. Oh! here, I have a piece in my sinute
bag.”

“Tn your wad, Ellen?” inquired Herbert. ©

“In my minute bag, Herbert: does that puzzle
you?” .

“Tt sounds very funny, Ellen; I cannot think
what you mean.”

“ Well, I will tell you then, it is this little bag which
I carry about with me, at my side. I always have a
little piece of work in it, which I take up’ when I
have to wait a few minutes for anything.”

““What a queer idea, Ellen! ‘You are not an old
housekeeper. You are not so very busy, that you
cannot waste a minute. I do not see the use of
driving so hard when you are only a child.”

“Well, Herbert, I learnt it from mamma, who
did it when she was a child at school, just my age;
and she says she accomplished so much more
A Good Habit. 155

work than anyone else did who did not use up
their minutes, that she thinks it a very good habit;
because you remember the text I said this morning,
“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil?’
but we will ask mamma to tell you about it, then
-you will understand it better ; it is time for us to get
ready now, or we shall keep her waiting.”

So saying, the two little girls ran off to put on
their bonnets. On their return to the hall, they
found their mamma waiting for them, and Herbert
by her side, asking for an explanation of Ellen’s
queer little “minute bag,”

ek Bsn,
ES seer


Chapt Cwenty-seventh.



Tue Minute Bac. Visit To OLD SaRAuH.

aeaiS they walked along the lane, Herbert begged
&| his aunt to tell him about her minute bag,
and why she liked to see people work so hard.

““My dear boy,” replied Mrs. Howard, “I do not
wish anybody to work too hard; but there is a great
deal of difference between over-work and idleness,
or waste of time. Now, I consider “me one of
God’s gifts, which’ He gives to us all, and for which
everyone will have to give an account. This world
is not going to last for ever. And God tells His
people to remember this and to redeem the time—
this means to make the best use of it and not to
waste it. Of course, there are a great many ways
of using the time for everyone. Healthful play tor


Redeeming the Time. 157

children, at proper seasons, is one of the best ways
of employing time for them; it fits them, like
exercise and study, for future usefulness.

“Now, Aabits, good or bad, are said to be stubborn
things. What you learn cav/y in life, you generally
remember a@// your life; and, therefore, it is a very
good habit while young to learn to use up every mente,
never to be really ide. I could tell you of some
people, who, if you ask them, ‘What are you
doing? always answer, ‘I’m just going to do so and
so. This always tells me a tale—such people
generally lose many minutes between finishing one
thing and beginning another; they have not the
habit of “redeeming the time.”

“Ellen has heard me tell the story of my minute
bag, and I am pleased to see she has begun the
same thing; perhaps you would like to hear what
made me think of a minute bag when I was her
age.”

“Oh yes! very much, aunty, please.”

Mrs. Howard then told the following little
story :—

Tue MInuTE Bac.—/( quite true. )

“When I was a child, my boy, I was blessed with
very strong active health, and natural quickness and
“energy. About twelve years old I was sent to a
very nice boarding school, conducted by two
beloved Christian ladies; whose one desire was
158 The Minute Bag.

to form our characters on the principles of God’s
own word, and to train us first of all for eternity.
Now, you know in schools, where there are so many,
everything must be done by rule; dressing and un-
dressing, everything has its time appointed. Now,
so it was with us, and as sufficient time was given
for slow girls, it is clear that quick girls were
always done first and had some minutes to spare,
before the next bell gave them permission to
leave one room or occupation for another. These
“ little odd minutes were very tiresome to one of my
active turn, and I resolved I would a/ways have some-
thing in my pocket to fillup these spare minutes; and
as a piece of worsted work (which was the favourite
play work then) was found too large for the pocket,
I made a bag to carry it, which I always carried
with me. I was laughed at by many, but this
mattered not, I found I accomplished many a
present (and as we. had very little time for play-work
this was a great pleasure). And I quite well re-
member, when on exhibiting some pretty bag or
mat completed—some slow companion remarked,
‘Why, when ad you make that? I never saw it
before.’ The pride with which I answered, ‘Oh, I
have only done it when you have been drying your
hands, putting away your books, or lacing your
boots.’ I doubt not it was said in rather a conceited
manner—and perhaps this called forth the con-
temptuous remark, when any surprise was expressed
A Wonderful Bag 159

at a piece of work again, ‘Oh! no doubt it came
out of Mary’s wonderful minute bag! And thus
my bag became christened the ‘minute bag” I
never lost the habit, even when I returned home, and
did not do things so much by rule. Long after my
marriage I had my minute bag; but since I have had
children,” said Mis. Howard, smiling at her little
girls, “I do not find many spare minutes ; though,”
added she in a.confidential tone, “I would not say
whether a little tiny bag, with a bit of crochet
edging or something equally now be found at the bottom of a spare pocket, if
strict search were made; and I quite confess I
never like to be without some little book to profit
either myself or a neighbour, while waiting a few
minutes at a railway station or on any such
occasion,”

“Well, Herbert, do you think my minute bag a
very foolish thing now?” mquired Ellen.

Herbert could not say he did; but he replied,
“ Boys cannot have work bags. What can they do?”

“Well, I think a little book is rather more suit-
able for them. But I think, my dear boy, when
anyone has a desire to redeem the time, they will
not be at a loss to find some means of employing
“it; but see, my dear girls, you are passing Widow
Proctor’s door.”

“Oh dear! so we are,” said Ellen.

“The little girls then stopped and tapped at a
160 The Minute Bag.

little cottage door, while Mrs. Howard and Herbert
continued their walk. In about ten minutes they
also stopped at a cottage. Mrs. Howard knocked,
but receiving no answer she lifted the latch and
walked in. Everyone down stairs had evidently
gone out, so she went up the little staircase followed
by her nephew; who, we must confess, felt rather a
shrinking from seeing poor Sarah, though at the
same time he had a wish and curiosity to do so.

When they reached the top of the stairs, Mrs.
Howard opened a door and walked in; Herbert
followed slowly and peeped in quietly before he
went in. Hefelt his aunt had truly described the
poor unfortunate sufferer! He could scarcely believe
she could understand anything. She looked so lost
and wandering. When Mrs. Howard asked kindly
after her health, the answer seemed nothing more
than a zozse without meaning, His aunt sat down
and beckoned to him to come near. He did so, she
then said ;— .

“Well, Sarah, you know your Saviour loves you,
you know who sends your trouble.”

Upon this, the poor creature’s face became quite
brilliant and intelligent; and she mumbled out,
trying to raise her poor paralysed hands, “Ves!

“TItis Thy hand, my God,
My sorrow comes from Thee,
I how beneath Thy chastening rod,
’Tis love that bruiseth me
“ Prectous Peace!” 161

*T would not murmur, Lord !
Before Thee I am dumb;
Lest I should breathe one murmuring word,
Helpless to Thee I come.”

This was a favourite hymn, and constantly was
the way in which she expressed her patient sub-
mission to God’s holy will.

Mrs. Howard then said, “ You are very glad now,
Sarah, you learnt so much Scripture, are you
not?”

Again the bright smile lighted up her poor old
face, and she replied, “ What should Ido now? I
liked to see the words when I could read, but now I
say them—and it does as well.”

Then she begun the 14th of John, and went
through with it, while Herbert stood gazing in
astonishment.

When she had finished, Mrs. Howard said, “ Well,
Sarah, you have.this precious peace of which Jesus
speaks.”

Again the bright smile appeared, and a mumbled
“ves,” and. then again the old idiotic look re-
turned,

Mrs. Howard then placed a few little things
on the bed, put a beautiful rose into her hand to
smell, and bade her farewell.

As they walked back, Herbert seemed very silent;
his aunt rather wished him to think over what he
had seen. They called for Ellen and Annie, and as

M
162 The Minute Bag.

they went on, his aunt asked Herbert whether he
had felt frightened of poor Sarah.

“No, aunt, not frightened, but it is very sad to
see her.”

“Tt is indeed, my love; but she is in a state in
which I do not think she suffers so much herself as
those do who see her; her faculties are so much
impaired, that intelligence only comes, you see,
for a few minutes, and then goes again. I trust,
if it please God, she may be soon removed to
her heavenly home, where the bright smile will
remain, while she dwells for ever in her Saviour's
presence.”

“But how wonderful, aunty, when she is so very
silly, she can understand so much about religion,
when that is such a Zard subject.”

Mrs Howard smiled at her little nephew’s remark,
and said, “Well, dear, I do not think she can
understand much of religion, but she knows Jesus in
her heart ; that is a very simple thing, even a little
child can know Jesus loves it, and be happy in this
knowledge. And God’s word tells us that ‘God
has chosen the foolish things of the world to con-
found the wise; and things that are despised hath
God chosen.” 1 Cor. 1. 27.

“Such an one is poor Sarah. No one that sees
her can doubt that God’s Holy Spirit is her teacher.
Did you ever hear the story of a poor little idiot
boy, named Matt ?”
Another Story in Prospect. 163

“No, aunty, never; do tell it me.”

“Well, it is a little book, my love; I will see
after dinner if I have one to give you, and if not I
will tell it you, for it is a wondrous story and
teaches usa beautiful lesson. But see, here we are,
and there is the table laid, so run and take off your
bonnets and make haste down to dinner.”


Me

His 1"



Ghapter Gwenty-gighth.



Matt, THE IpiIoT Boy.

N the afternoon Mrs. Howard had some letters
to write. When she had finished them,
she called Ellen to take them to the post; and
leaving Annie at the piano to practise, she went to
a drawer to look for the little book she had ~
promised to try and find for her little nephew; not
having one left, however, she took her work basket
and went into the garden to seek him. She found
him talking to Thomas and telling him of his visit
to poor Sarah. He found Thomas knew her, and
regarded her as a wonderful instance of Gods
grace; for Thomas and Mary were both among
those who had found peace for a guilty conscience
in the blood of Christ, and were those who loved
to find out any who knew Jesus, or to speak to


Wanting to see God. 165

anyone who had not yet found Him to be the
Saviour of their souls. When he saw his aunt,
Herbert ran to meet her, and inquired what she
was going to do.

“T thought I would sit in the arbour and finish
a little work I want done; and as I find I have not
the little book I spoke of, I will, if you like, tell
you the story while I do my work.”

Herbert declared that would be a capital plan,
and ran on to the arbour to clear away some litters
he had left there, and when Mrs. Howard had taken
her seat and begun her work she commenced the
following story of

Matt, tHE Ipiot Bov—(¢rue narrative ),

“A lady was once walking by the sea shore, when
her attention was called to a poor little boy, standing
staring up into the sky. The clouds were passing
quickly along, and the sun was shining out between
two clouds. This seemed to rivet the child’s atten-
tion. When the clouds passed before the sun, the
boy turned away disappointed, and attended to the
question the lady had asked several times in vain—
What he was doing ?

“He replied in a sad voice, ‘ Matt look for God!
Matt want to see God?

“The lady saw by the poor child’s face he was
weak in mind, and looked round to see where he
lived. He seemed to wish to go home, so she
166 Matt, the Idiot Boy.

followed him and soon saw a little girl coming to
meet him, She curtsied and asked the lady to walk
in and rest, which she did, wishing to make a little
inquiry about the poor boy. She found he was an
orphan, but lived with his grandfather ; this kind
neighbour seemed to care for him like a mother,
and little Becca, as the girl was called, seemed
quite to understand his wants; she washed his hands
and gave him his dinner. They told the lady he
would spend hours on the shore, ‘looking for God,’
as he said.

“The visitor felt a deep interest in the poor child,
who was evidently an idiot and could not be taught
anything in the. usual way. She visited the cottage
occasionally in her walks; and one day was present
when the clergyman was reading to the poor sick
grandfather. He was reading Matthew xviii., and
when he came to the parable of the ‘king who
would take account of his servants,’ Matt was
listening with great attention. When he had finished,
Matt turned to him and said, very earnestly, ‘Parson,
read some more!’ The clergyman then continued,
‘A great king said, (and he pointed upwards as he
spoke) bring my servants to me, and I will make
them pay all the pounds they owe me. And they
brought one servant who owed a great, great, great
many! and he had no pence to pay, and the king
said he should be put in prison and never come out
any more till he had paid a the money.’ He had
The Great Debt Paid. 167

got so far, when he saw the poor little idiot boy
tremble and look terribly alarmed. ‘The clergyman
stopped when he saw how troubled the child was,
and they spoke cheerfully to him and tried to
comfort him, but in vain.

“The lady left, and next day found him on the
shore again. She asked him what he was doing.

“'The boy replied, ‘Matt was talking to God.’

“¢ What did poor Matt say,’ she asked kindly.

“The boy joined his hands and looking up with a
piteous expression of submission and fear, said,
‘God, God, Matt has no money to pay,’ and then
shaking his head, he told her with great distress,
he was going to be put in prison—God was going
to put Matt in prison.

“The lady said, cheerfully, ‘God is not angry
with Matt now. Jesus Christ has paid all Matt
owed, and God is not angry with Matt any
more.’

“The boy looked at her, and then got up off the
sands and went a few steps away. The lady
thought he had not understood her and wanted to
go away from her; but to her surprise, when a few
steps off he raised up his hands to heaven, and said,
‘Man that paid, man that paid! Matt says thank
you! thank you!"

“The lady was amazed. God had evidently given
the poor boy to understand the great truth that
Christ had paid his debt, and that he had nothing
168 Matt, the Idiot Boy.

to fear from a holy God. She could only raise her
heart in joy and wonder at this great sight.

“The boy still stood looking up to the sky, as if
not satisfied. The lady tried to find out what he
wanted now; at last he again said, ‘Matt wants God,
Matt wants to see God.’

“She told him then, as plainly as she could,
‘Matt shall see God some day; not now, but very
soon God wil send and take poor Matt home.
Then Matt shall see God.’

“The child seemed relieved and appeared to take
it in, and looked pleased when the lady repeated,
‘God would send for Matt, and Matt must be ready,
and Matt should go and see God some day.’

‘Soon after this conversation, the boy seemed to
want to go home, the lady went with him; when he
saw Becca, he was very anxious to have his hands
washed ; she washed his hands to please him, then
he asked for his new cap; this she said he could
not have, it must be kept for Sunday; the poor boy
cried so piteously upon being refused, that the lady
begged he might be indulged by having his best
cap, that she might try and see what his idea was.
The cap was put on, and then poor Matt was quite
pleased and contented, saying, ‘Matt ready sow:
God send for Matt some day—Matt must be ready.’

“The lady saw Matt several times after, and
found him always waiting for God to send for him.

“On one occasion, he asked the lady if anyone


Talking to God. 169

would beat him when he went to God, as some
cruel boy did here. The lady told him no one
would be unkind to Matt when he went to God.
He then asked whether he should be coéd any more
(for he suffered very much from the cold here), and
being assured he would never be cold or beaten any
more, but be happy with God, seemed to speak full
comfort to the heart of the poor child. His grand-
father died, and they told him he was gone—God
had sent for him. He appeared much disappointed
at being left behind, and still kept up his one desire
to see God.

“His desire was soon granted, though in a sad
way. One very stormy night he could not sleep,
he said he wanted to go out and ‘talk to God’
The door was fastened to prevent him, but he
managed to get out; and when Becca woke and
found him gone she went to a cave which he was
very fond of, to seek him; there she found him,
half frozen, still praying, ‘Oh God, send and take
poor Matt away.’ The girl threw her shawl over
him and ran to get help; when they returned, Matt
was no longer suffering with cold, but his happy
spirit had passed away from this cold and unkind
world, to the presence of the ‘God he longed to
see,’ and ‘the Man that paid his debts.’”

Mrs. Howard finished her story, and looking up
from her work saw the tears running down her little
nephew’s face.
ie) Matt, the Idiot Boy.

“What is it, Herbert ; why do you cry 2”

“Oh aunt, what a sad, sad story—poor Matt !”

“Tt is sad, Herbert, but very happy also; think
what a beautiful lesson we learn of God's taking up
the poor idiot, and teaching him the grand lessons
of the bible—the debt we owe God—the debt
Christ has paid for us. And then, how he was
taught—‘ To wait for the Son from heaven.’ Three
blessed truths, which many people who have all
their senses and can read God’s word know nothing
- of. And how few of those Christians who know
that Christ has paid all their debt are like poor Matt,
waiting for the Son from heaven—(z Zhess. i. 10.)
‘ready always ; ready, because God will send for them
some day, they do not know when.’

“May you, my dear Herbert, learn these precious
lessons that Matt learned; and rejoice in the
prospect of ‘seeing God some day.’ This you can
never do until you, like Matt, know Jesus as the
‘Man that paid.’ I will try to get you this little
book and send it you when you go home, and then
you can read it for yourself. Let us go and see
what your cousins are doing now,” said Mrs. Howard,
rising ; “I have finished my work, and I think tea
must be nearly ready.”


Ghapter Gwenty-ninth.



IMPROVEMENT AND PLAN OF USEFULNESS.



HIREE weeks had passed since the wet
{| Sunday with which our story begun, and
Herbert’s return home was being spoken about.
He seemed in no hurry for it himself, as he was
greatly enjoying life in the beautiful county of
Devon. He was feeling a happier little boy, though
perhaps he could hardly have told you what made
him so if you had asked him. We believe the
secret was, he had been constantly and usefully
occupied, and had less time to think about himself.
And he had found out, while with his aunt, there
were many ways in which even a little child could
serve and comfort others; and he had also found
there was a pleasure and satisfaction in knowing he
had been of use to others. He was complaining


172 Linprovement and Plan of Usefulness.

one day he should have nothing to do when he
reached home, because he was all alone. His aunt
said she thought his mamma would be able to find
him something to do for her, “when I tell her,”
added she, “how useful a little boy you can be.
And when she comes to fetch you we can show her
some of the pen-wipers and book-markers you have
made for little Patty’s basket ; and perhaps she may
know some little child or poor woman in your
neighbourhood, who may be very thankful for such a
basket. And then, you know, with a little help from
her and your kind nurse, you could keep it set up
all yourself; and I have no doubt, with a little
practice, you would become as expert a dresser of
small dolls as our little friend Tommy, whorn you
saw here the other evening.”

But our little readers may complain they have
not been introduced to little Patty, and that they
do not know what her basket is like, or who little
master Tommy is, of whom Mrs. Howard thus
reminded Herbert. We must tell them then that
“little Patty,” as she was always called by the
neighbours, was a poor crippled child, about fourteen
years old; but owing to the accident which lamed
her, she had not grown as other children do, and
therefore she did not look more than ten years old
at most. She was an orphan, and had been kindly
cared for, since her parents died, by a neighbour;
who declared she should always share the last crust
Patty's Basket. 173

with her own children. She was a Christian woman,
who knew that God had promised to be a Father to
the fatherless, and a Judge of the widow; and she
used to say her barrel of meal would not waste
while little Patty was with her. And so it seemed,
for all the village seemed to watch over the poor
widow, whose simple faith in God had led her to
open her heart and home to the poor little crippled
orphan. When Patty was about twelve years old,
she very much wished to do something to help the
widow ; she had learned to knit at the school, and
to make very pretty baby shoes and mats, in both
cotton and wool; and Mrs. Howard one day asked
her if she would like to have a little basket for her
work, and take it round to the ladies she knew to
sell ?

The child was much delighted with the idea; and
at their mamma’s suggestion, Ellen and Annie
dressed a great variety of smart little dolls, such as
they had for the school children, and added many
needlebooks, pincushions, iron holders, and various
other useful things to Patty’s basket, as well as pen-
wipers and book-markers, for which she found very
ready sale among the ladies who knew her all
round.

A few days before this she had been sent for by
Mrs. Howard, to have a fresh supply of things made,
and to inquire what she most wanted. Herbert
had been very much interested in hearing her story,
174 Improvement and Plan of Usefulness.

and seeing how a poor little cripple, not bigger than
he was, could provide for herself happily and thank-
fully. As she said her stock of little things was
very low, Ellen and Annie begged they might have
a little “Bee,” as the Americans call it, to fill it
again. Their mother readily consented, and they
had asked their cousins and Miss Clarenden, and
two little neighbours to tea to help them in their
work ; little Tommy Tomkins had shewn such skill
in dressing dolls, that Herbert told him he ought to
have been a girl, but Tommy did not agree in this
opinion.

Herbert added his contributions to the basket in
pen-wipers and book-markers, which he considered
more suitable for boy's work; and fully rewarded
all the children felt when the basket, with baby
shoes and mats of all sizes, received their contribu-
tions of work, and looked quite tempting, either
for little doll-loving folks or for kind mammas and
aunties. They all answered Patty’s grateful thanks,
by saying they hoped she would soon empty it
again, and then they would be ready to make her
some more.




endl

Chapter Chirticth,



CONVERSATION AND ARRANGEMENTS.

ATTEN Herbert and his aunt were speaking of
AO his return home, she reminded him how in
many ways he could help mamma at home, if he only
kept a good look out; and she told him she should
hope to hear what a happy, useful boy he had be-
come; and that if it pleased God to spare him,
she hoped he would pay them another visit |
before long, when she should expect to find that he
had found out for himself the truth of many things
that he had heard and seen there. ‘I hope, my
dear boy,” said Mrs. Howard, “you will continue
to learn a verse from Scripture every day. To help
you to remember this, I have a little daily text-book
for children, which I will give you. The texts are



176 Conversation and Arrangements.

very simple ones, and you will try to think of your
morning verse often in the day, and seek to walk
according to what you learn; that is, obey the
precepts they teach: and if, sometimes, you feel
disinclined to learn your verse, and are ready to
think ‘what's te use of it?’ then remember poor
Sarah, and what a joy and comfort it is to her that
she has God’s word stored in her mind—and what
is still better,” added Mrs. Howard, “stored zz her
heart. You know, king David said, ‘Thy word
have I hid in mine heart, that I may not sin against
thee.’ If we wish to serve God, you know, my boy,
His word (that is the Bible) must be ‘the light unto
our feet and the lamp unto our path,.’”

“T shall miss your bible stories, aunty,” said
Herbert, “they are newer than those I have at
home.”

“Well, love, you will not forget Mephibosheth,
and the kindness of God; or Naaman the leper; or
Gehazi the covetous servant; or Ziba the deceitful
servant.”

“ But, aunty, you will tell me some more before
I go away, won’t you?”

“Ves dear, we shall have time for one or two
more. What would you like to hear about, a dis-
obedient prophet that a lion slew, or a disobedient
prophet that a whale swallowed ?”

“Qh aunty, I know who that was!” exclaimed
Herbert, “it was Jonah,”
tore Stories. 177

“Tt was; and can you tell me what he did that
was disobedient ?”

The child thought a minute, but could not; so
Mrs. Howard repeated her question, which he
would like to hear about; he owned he was puzzled,
they doth sounded so interesting, he did not know
which to choose.

“Perhaps,” said his aunt, smiling, “you would
like both.”

“Oh yes, that would be best, aunt,” replied the
child.

“And then,” added Mrs. Howard, “there is
another story of which I am very fond; it occupies
the whole of one of the books of the bible, and is
all about God’s care for his people Israel when in
great trouble, and yet the name of God is never
once mentioned aff through the book.”

“ Oh dear, how can that be, mamma!” exclaimed
Ellen and Annie, who had just joined Mrs, Howard
and her little nephew.

“So it is, my dear; and when I tell you the story
and you read it for yourselves, I think you will
agree with me that it is a very wonderful thing, that
in a book aM about the way in which God ordered
the affairs of a kingdom for the blessing of his
people, His ame, as acting for them, should never
once appear?”

“Will you tell me all three before I go away,
aunty 2”

N
178 Conversation and Arrangements.

“TJ will, my dear, if we have time; and if not
we must remember them on your next visit—
unless,” added she, “you read them for yourself,
and tell me about them when next we meet. Tea
is coming in now. We will begin one, if you
please, this evening.”

After tea was over, and Mrs. Howard had taken
her work, and Ellen and Annie had followed her
example, she begun as follows.

~

be

CONe
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SR


Chapter Chinty-first.

Tue Story oF A DISOBEDIENT PROPHET WHO

was KILLED By a Lion.—t Xines xiii,

OU perhaps remember, that after the wise and

good king Solomon died, zz out of the
tw ive tribes of Israel revolted from his son Rehoboam
and set up a very wicked man for their king, named
JSeroboam.

“From this time, the ten tribes under Jeroboam
were named /srae/, and their chief city was Samaria ;
and .the ¢wo tribes of /udah and Benjamin that
remained under Aehoboam were called Judah, and
their chief city was /erusalem.

“T hope you understand this and will try and
remember it; for unless you do, you cannot under-
stand the stories in the Books of Kings. Always


180 The Disobedient Prophet.

think of /udah and Jerusalem together, and ot
Israé and Samaria together. Remember, they’
were both God's own people: but they had divided,
and Israel (or the ten tribes), under the wicked king
Jeroboam, very scon begun to worship zdo/s instead
of the true God, and built altars to idols, and did
as they chose, and #of according to God’s laws
which they had been taught. So they were far
more guilty than the poor Gentiles, who worshipped
idols, because the Gentiles had never known the
true God; and you know we read, “To him that
knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is
sin,” and “To whom much has been given, of the
same shall much be required.” God had given
Israel His law, and had sent them prophets; and,
therefore, it was very wicked of them to turn to
idols. But you will see what happened to this
wicked king Jeroboam, who led others into sin.
God wanted to send him a message—Who could
He send? Did He send a prophet belonging to
Samaria? No—they were all mixed up with the
sin, so God could not use them. God never uses
any one who is mixed up with the sin; they must
‘cease to do evil’ before they can ‘arn to do
well, Isaiah i, 16, 17.

“God sent a prophet, or, as he is called, ‘a man
of God,’ from /udah, to bring a message to
Jeroboam, who was at Bethel, and was burning in-
cense at the altar. Now, the king and all Israel
Prophecy of Judgment. 18x

knew that God had made a law which said, that
only griests should burn incense, and Jeroboam was
was not a priest, he had therefore no right to burn
incense; but as I told you before, he was doing
what Ae liked, not what God liked.

“As he was standing by the altar, the man of
God, from Judah, arrived ; and he cried out against
the altar in the word of the Lord, ‘Oh altar! altar!
thus saith the Lord: Behold a child shall be born to
the house of David, Josiah by name, and upon thee
shall he offer the priests of the high places that
burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be
burnt upon thee.’

“This was a prophecy of dreadful judgment;
you see it was to be a king of the house of David
who was to do it, this shewed Jeroboam and Israel
that they would not always be able to go on in their
wicked ways, but that a king of /udah would
punish them, by burning the wicked prophets of
Baal on ¢his very altar.

“The man of God then gave them a sigz, by which
they might know he was speaking by the word of
the Lord— because Israel knew that God had said,
long before that, when any one pretended to come
with a message from Him, they might know it was
true if the signs he gave came to pass, and if they
did zot come to pass, then they were to know God
had zof sent him. Dewr. xviii. 22.

“So this man of God gave them a sign, it was
182 The Disobedient Prophet.

this, ‘Behold, this altar shall be rent and the ashes
that are upon it shall be poured out.’ That meant
it should be destroyed—he did not say when it
should happen, but merely that it souw/d happen.
“You may suppose this sign made the wicked king
Jeroboam very angry; he stretched out his arm
and said to the people round himi, ‘Lay hold on
him,’ that meant, take him prisoner. No doubt he
meant to punish him for speaking against the altar.
But Jeroboam seemed to forget God had sent him,
and might judge him if he touched his servant.
But so he found it, for the hand that he stretched
out was dried up, so that he could not pull it back
again! Was not that a terrible judgment? And
what happened next? Why ‘The altar was rent,
and the ashes poured out from the altar, according
to the sign which the man of God had given by the
word of the Lord ?

“ Flow sooz the sign was fulfilled—how astonished
the wicked Jeroboam and the people of Israel
must have been, to see the altar rent and the king
standing there with one arm quite dead and useless.
Did they send for a doctor to cure the king’s arm ?
Oh no, Jeroboam knew very well that would be of
no use. God who had smitten it was the only one
who could cure it, and so he asked the man of God
to pray to God for him, that his hand might be
restored to him. Do you not. wonder he was not
ashamed to ask the prophet this favour? You see,
God's Mercy. 183

he does not express any sorrow for his sin against
God, or any intention of forsaking his wicked ways,
neither does he express any sorrow for his behaviour
towards the prophet, he only begs that his Aand may
be restored to him. Did the prophet grant his
request? Yes, indeed he did; he shewed his God
was a God of mercy, he prayed for the king and his
arm was made well again. How eracious and
merciful of God! Did this mercy touch Jeroboam’s
heart? Oh no, he went on sinning, and not only
sinning himself, but he led others into sin ; and God
always mentions him as ‘Jeroboam, the son of
Nebat, who made [srac to sin” 1 Kings xv. 34.

“This teaches us that God takes notice when we
try to “ad others wrong, and holds those who do so
responsible to Him for it. We all have some in-
fluence over others, though we may not know it.

“Even a child may lead others to do right or
wrong by his influence and example; how very
careful then should we try and be never to lead
others wrong, that it may never be said of us, as it
was of Jeroboam, that we made ‘ others to sin,’”




Chapter Thirty-second.



THE STORY OF THE DISOBEDIENT PROPHET.
Continued,

* DS alOU will like to know how the king treated
the man of God after he had restored his
hand. He invited him home with him to refresh
himself, and promised him a reward. A reward for
what? I suppose for restoring his hand. Do you
think the prophet would take a reward? No, in-
deed; like Elisha with Naaman, he wished the king
to know that God’s mercy was full and free, without
money and without price, and could not be dougt.
Did he not accept his invitation to go home and
have some refreshment even? No, this was his
answer, ‘If thou wilt give me Aalf thine house I will
not go in with thee, zecther will 1 eat bread or drink


A Solemn Lesson. 135

water in this place ; for so was it charged me by the
word of the Lord, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink
water, nor turn again by the same way that thou
camest. So he went another way and returned not
by the way he came unto Bethel.’

“What a solemn lesson for the king and his
people! They were so wicked that God would not
allow His servant even to take a draught of water in
their city! Eating and drinking, I must tell you,
expresses fellowship, and God meant them to see
that His prophet could not have the s&gAzest fellow-
ship or communion with them. We are told in the
New Testament, “Have xo fellowship with the works
of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephes. v. 11.)
These Israelites were walking in darkness away from
God, who is 4efz, and, therefore, the man of God
must not even go to the king’s palace or take a glass
of water in the place. Ought not this to have struck
Jeroboam and humbled him? Surely it ought! but,
alas! it did not. /udgment and mercy had both been
tried by God, but all in vain. How very solemn a
lesson—how beautiful a contrast is the simple
obedience of the man of God to his Master’s will!
No matter how tired or how thirsty he was, he
would not disobey the word of the Lord—not even
a draught of water would he touch in that wicked city.
The word of God you see was his simple guide, and
following that he was quite safe. And so it is with
us now; as long as we follow the simple word of
186 Lhe Disobedient Prophet.

God, we are safe from all the snares and temptations
of the world, even though they come from a 4ing.

“T should like to finish my story here and have
nothing more to tell you about this ‘man of God,’
who had been so faithful and obedient; but, alas!
like ad human patterns he failed, and the rest of his
story is very sad; but I must tell it you, because it
teaches us some very solemn lessons. You will
observe that as long as he kept close to the word of
the Lord, he was honoured and blessed ; and it was
only when he listened to some one ese he got into
trouble. But I am sure you will be ready to say,
after refusing the temptation of the 4img, did he
listen to any one else? You may well ask the
question—but so he did.

“Who could have been the tempter? Some one
greater than the king? No, that could not be; but
a religious man, a prophet: one who lived in Bethel,
and had become so mixed up with all the idolatry,
that God could not use him to take his message to
the king, but had to send this ‘man of God’ from
Judah. I must tell you how it all happened. This
old prophet of Bethel had two sons, who were pre-
sent when the man of God uttered his message from
God; and when the king’s hand was smitten and
healed, and when it was all over, they went home
and told their father all that they had seen and
heard, and how the prophet had refused to go home
with the king. We can hardly tell what effect their
Another Temptation, 187

tidings had upon the old prophet, for he did not tell
them, he only asked his sons if they knew which
way the man of God went; and they said yes, they
saw him take a particular road. On hearing this,
their father told them to saddle the ass for him, and
they did so, and he went after the man of God. I
suppose he felt it was a reproach to him, that God
had sent some one from _/udah with the message; and
whether he wanted to use his influence over the
prophet to make him as bad as himself, I cannot tell
you; or whether it was to hinder God’s testimony
by the man of God, I do not know; but he went
after him and found him “sitting under an oak.” He
may have been tired and needing rest, but I think
it shews us he was not quite in such a hurry to leave
the neighbourhood of the wicked place as he might
have been—his sitting under the oak; at any rate it
was here he was caught in the snare: had he not
stopped to rest, the old prophet weA¢ not have been
able to overtake him ; at any rate, even now, if he
had kept close to God's word he would have escaped
the snare. But I must go on with my story—when
the old prophet rode up to the tree and saw a man
sitting under it, he stopped his ass and spoke to him,
and he said,—

“Art thou the man of God who camest from Judah?

“ And he answered, ‘I am.’

“Then he said to him, ‘Come home with me and
eatbread.’
188 The Disobedient Prophet.

“ And he said, ‘I say not return with thee nor go
in with thee, neither will I eat bread or drink water
in this place; for it was said to me by the word of
the Lord, Thou shalt eat zo bread nor drink water
there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou
camest.’

“So far you see the man of God kept close to his
Master’s orders. He says just the same thing he
. had said to the king.

“But now observe what the old prophet says to
him—it reminds me of ‘that old serpent the devil,’
who when he found he could not tempt our blessed
Lord Jesus to make the stones bread when He was
hungry, tried to tempt Him by quoting Goa’s own
word, We know, with our blessed Lord, the temp-
tation failed, because He was without sin; but with
this poor man of God, you will see the trick was
only Zee successful,”


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Chaptey Thirty-thind.

Tue Story oF THE DISOBEDIENT PROPHET.
(continued. )

HE old prophet said to him—‘I am a prophet

also as thou art; and an angel spake unto
me ay the word of the gia saying, Bring him back
with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread
and drink water.’

“ But he lied unto him. Did the man of God
believe him? Yes, indeed he did. Oxgft he to
have believed him? No, he ought not. And why?
Because he told him God had said something to
him quite opposite to what the man of God Anew
God had said to him; and he ought to have said, I
know what God told me, and I must do it; and I
know what you say must be false. He ought not to


190 | The Disobedient Prophet.

have cared for what even an angel said, if it were
contrary to God’s own word to Aim. St. Paul said,
‘If even an angel fron heaven preach any other
gospel to you than that we have preached, let him be
accursed.’

“We learn this solemn lesson from the poor man
of God being betrayed by the old prophet, when he
had faithfully resisted the tempting offer of the king.
That a child of God may resist the temptation
of the world, and yet fail when the same temp-
tation comes through a religious professor, because
he claims to be a servant of God like himself.
And we also learn that the people of God may be our
greatest snares and trials if they are not walking
uprightly before God.

“Now we must come to the sad sad end of this
man of God. He went back with the old prophet
and did eat bread in his house and drank water.
Mark the instant result. The word of the Lord
came to the old prophet and He made him say to
the man of God, ‘Thus saith the Lord, because
thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the Lord and hast
not kept the commandment which the Lord thy
God commanded thee, but camest back and hast
eaten bread and drunk water in the place of. which
the Lord did say to thee, Eat ~o bread and drink
no water; thy carcase shall not come into the
sepulchre of thy fathers !’

“Oh how sad! for this honoured servant of God
Lis Awful Death. 1gI

to hear this judgment of God upon him. He was
not to be buried with his fathers—and this to a
jew was a great punishment. After the meal
was over, the old prophet saddled the ass for the
man of God and sent him home. And as he was
going aZon met him and killed him! Do you think
this was a chance accident? No, nothing ever
happens by accident. God is over all, and permits
everything that happens. And He permitted this
lion to slay His disobedient servant. You know a
lion is a wéld beast, and cats men as well as kills
them; but this lion did not touch the man of God
after he was dead, neither did he kill the ass—How
was this, do you think? Because God did zot
permit him. How do we know this? We read,
‘Some men passed that way, and saw a dead man
lying in the road, and a lion and an ass standing by
the dead body: and they came to Bethel and told
the wonderful thing they had seen.’

“ They had no idea who the man was, or why the
lion had not eaten him and the ass. But when the
old prophet heard the wonderful story, 4e knew at
once; and he said, ‘It is the man of God, who was
disobedient to the word of the Lord!’ And he told
his sons to saddle the ass for him again. And a
second time he followed the servant of God; but
with what feelings he must have gone this time!
He knew Ze had been the cause of this good man
falling into temptation,
192 The Disobedient Prophet.

“He, you see, like Jeroboam, used his influence
to lead a godly man into sin; and he came to the
spot and saw the dead body as the travellers had
said, and ‘the ass and the lion standing by the
carcase: the lion had not eaten the carcase, nor
torn the ass. And the old prophet carried home
the dead body and buried it in his own tomb, and
told his sons when he was dead to bury him in the
same grave. or, said he, the saying of the man of
God against the altar shall surely come to pass. I
suppose he thought if he were buried with him, nis
bones would not be burnt upon the altar by Josiah.’

“Of course Jeroboam heard of this history of the
man of God after he left him—did God’s judgment
wam him? No! we read, ‘After these things
Jeroboam turned wof from his evil way, and this
thing became sin to destroy the house of Jeroboam
from the earth. Destruction, you see, must be
the end of all who refuse mercy and will not heed
God's judgments now. God's servants may /ail
and sin, and God must chasten them for it as he did
Eli and David and many others, but nee are never
destroyed,

“Tf we turn to the 2 Kings Xxlil, 15, we shall read
of Josiah, king of Judah; and how he fulfilled the
prophecy of the man of God from Judah. He had
been very active in clearing away idols and had
burned the bones of all the prophets of Baal he
could find on that very altar; and had taken the
Llis Sepulchre, 193

bones out of a great many sepulchres to burn them.
Then he saw one more name on a grave, and he
said to his servants, ‘What title is that that I see?
And the men of the city told him, It is the
sepulchre of the man of God, who came from Judah
and proclaimed these things that thou hast done
against this altar of Bethel. And he said, Let Aim
alone; let no man move his bones. So they let his
‘bones alone with the bones of the prophet that came
out of Samaria’ (that is, the old prophet of Bethel).

“You see, God took faithful care of his servant.
‘Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of
His saints,’ Feeble and failing as they are, He
watches over their dust till that day when the Lord
Himself will raise it again.

“In concluding this touching and solemn story,
my dear children, let me again impress upon your
minds the deep necessity of keeping closely to the
word of God. Vow we have the written word, the
prophets of old had the living, that is the ssoken word ;
but in either case, let us believe no one—even an
angel from heaven who speaks contrary to that divine
word, which is to judge us in the last day.”

The three children all seemed solemnized by the
sad end of the story, and by Mrs. Howard’s earnest
manner ; and we will hope its deep lessons were not
lost upon them.

As Mrs. Wilmot was expected to arrive at Beech-

grove the next evening, Herbert asked his aunt to
0
194 The Disobedient Prophet.

tell him the story of the other disobedient prophet
in the arbour the next afternoon, and as she was
pleased to see the interest that he took in her stories,
she was very glad to satisfy his desire; so after an early
dinner, when they were comfortably seated in the
pretty arbour, where the sweet honeysuckle scented
the air, Mrs. Howard began the story of the other
disobedient prophet.




Chapter Chinty-fourth,

THE OTHER DISOBEDIENT PRopHET—(/ouah),

Jonah i. 1, 2.

“ HE Lord spoke to his servant Jonah, and

told him to take a message from him to the
people of Nineveh, a very large and very wicked
city. What was the message he was to deliver?
He was to declare that in forty days Nineveh
should be destroyed for its great wickedness. Jonah
did not do as the man of God from Judah did, but
he tried to get away from the presence of the Lord ;
and instead of going to Aineveh, he went down to
Joppa and found a ship ready to sail for Zarshzsh,

which was quite in a different direction to Nineveh. -
So he paid his fare and went on board to go with


196 The Story of Jonah.

them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord!
Only think of a servant of God wanting to get away
from the presence of the Lord! How foolish! Did
he not know that God is everywhere, and that we can
never get away from Him? Poor Jonah, he had to
learn this lesson that David knew so well when he
wrote the 139th Psalm, ‘Whither shall I go from
thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
The darkness and the light are both alike to thee.’

“ Why did Jonah wish to go away from God’s
presence? He was ina proud, naughty spirit, and
did not wish to deliver the message. And why not?
The end of his history tells us the secret. He
knew God was a God of mercy, and he reasoned
with himself in this kind of way, ‘If I go and tell
the people of Nineveh that God is going to destroy
their city in forty days, perhaps they will be very
sorry for their sms, and perhaps they will humble
themselves before God and confess their sins and
pray to Him to forgive them and not to destroy their
city; and then I know God is so merciful, He will
listen to their prayer, and He will forgive them,
and then my message will not be fulfilled.’

“This was the point in Jonah’s mind; he did not
like his credit to be affected; and, therefore, knowing
God’s merciful character, he did not choose to de-
liver a message that he believed would not be
executed. How full of himself he was; how-little
he entered into God’s joy, if those poor people
A Storm! 197

turned from their sin; how little he cared if that
immense city, full of people, were saved from
sudden destruction. What a shocking picture of
the selfishness of our natural hearts, even in a
servant of God! Well, Jonah starts on his voyage.
I wonder whether he ever thought about God
following him ; whether he thought about it or not,
you will see God did follow him. But how? ‘The
Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there
was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship
was like to be broken!

“Poor Jonah, his troubles soon began on this
errand of Ais own choosing. And so it ever is, if the
child of God chooses his own path, he zs sure to get
into trouble. The storm would seem an accident,
that might occur at any time. But was it so? No!
God specially sent out the wind that made the
storm. The sailors were heathen, and worshipped
idols; so each begun to call upon his god to
deliver them and save them from a watery grave, ©
then they threw all their goods out of the ship
to lighten it. And what did Jonah say or do? Oh,
he was down in the ship fast asleep! The sailors,
though heathen, thought this very strange conduct ;
they felt the storm was the voice of God, and each
one should be looking to God for deliverance, and
not thinking of sleep; then they agreed to cast lots
to see for whose sake this great evil was come upon
them. They did so, and God ordered the lot should
198 The Story of Jonah,

fall upon the guilty man-——even poor Jonah! Oh,
how convicted he must have felt when he stood
before them, marked by God as the man who had
brought all this dreadful trouble upon them. I
think he must have learnt then how impossible and
foolish it was to try and flee from the presence of
the Lord! When the sailors found out the guilty
man, they of course begun to question him as to
what he had done and why this judgment was sent
upon him; then poor Jonah had to confess to these
poor heathen men that he was a servant of the great
and true God, and that he had taken this journey to
get away from God’s presence. Oh, how ashamed
he must have felt as he told them! Then they said,
‘What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be
calm unto us?’ for the storm was still very high.
What had Jonah to tell them? Why, his’ own lips
had to pronounce his terrible sentence of death.

“Fle said unto them, ‘Take me up and cast me
znto the sea, then. shall the sea be calm unto you; for
I know that for my sake this great tempest is come
upon you.’

“What a sad confession for a servant of the true
God to have to make to poor heathens—was it not?
Did the men do as he told them? No, not at once;
they rowed hard to try to bring the boat to land, but
they could not succeed, for the wind and sea were a-
gainst them. Soat last they cried to God and prayed
that Hewould not judge them for killing J onah, as they
Jonah in the Sea 199

did not wish to do it, and then they took him up and
cast him into the sea, and immediately the storm
ceased and the sea was calm! Then the men feared
the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the
Lordand made vows. ‘They felt that God had done
more than ier gods could do. We do not know
how long they remembered their. vows: I suppose
not very long, because all resolutions pass away
that are made in our own strength, just because
something for a moment has made us feel God’s
power. We must really know our own utter
vileness, and know Jesus ‘As the way, the truth,
and the life, if we wish truly to know and serve
God. I dare say those sailors never forgot that
voyage from Joppa to Tarshish. You will see, if
you look at the map, that it was not a very long
voyage; and I suppose, in due time, the sailors
arrived at Tarshish. And poor disobedient Jonah,
where was he? At che bottom of the sea? No, the
same God whose merciful character had so offended
him, still watched over him in mercy, for we read,
‘The Lord had prepared a great fish to swalow up
Jonah, And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three
days and three nights.

“Poor Jonah! zow he felt what a bitter thing it
was to be disobedient and self-willed. Still, zozw he
became humbled, and cried unto God; his prayer
was a very beautiful one. He saw where his sin
would have led him if God had not come in and
200 The Story of Jonah,

brought him to his senses. And at the end of his
prayer, he said, ‘I will sacrifice unto thee with the
voice of thanksgiving ; I will pay that which I have
vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.’

“When Jonah came to this point, God spoke to
the fish and it vomited out Jonah. Where? into
the deep water? No, but upon zhe dry land. So
you see, God again mercifully provided for the need
of His servant. Now he was once more upon dry
land, what did Jonah do? The word of the Lord
came to him the second time, saying, ‘ Arise, go to
Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the
preaching that I bid thee.’

“You see, God brought him back just to the very
thing in which he had been disobedient. Now he
has learnt the lesson, and he arises at once to go to
Nineveh. It was such a great city that it would
take a person three days to go through the whole of
it; but by the end of the frst day that Jonah had
proclaimed —‘ Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be
destroyed,’ ‘the people of Nineveh believed God, and
proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the
greatest of them even to the least of them.’ And
when the king of Nineveh heard of it, he arose from
his throne and laid aside his robe, and put on sack- ©
tloth, and sat in ashes, and commanded all his
people to leave off their wicked ways and to cry
mightily unto God to spare them: and God heard
their cry and saw they turned from their wicked


flis Selfishness. 201

way, and He had mercy upon them and spared their
city !

“What goodness in God! how thankful Jonah
ought to have been to know so many sinners were
spared. And now he has known his own need of
God’s mercy, perhaps you will think he was ready to
rejoice in that same mercy being shewn to others.
I am sorry to say this was not the case: on the
contrary, the mercy God had shewn to Nineveh
‘displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very
angry P Angry with whom? displeased with whom?
With God! Does it not seem wonderful, that after
being saved from that dreadful storm and from the
fish’s belly, he should still dare to rebel against the
will of God? And does it not show the fearful
wickedness of the human heart, that he would
rather 120,000 people should have been destroyed
than that he should be supposed for a moment to
have been wrong in his prediction; for everyone
knew it was on account of their repentance and
prayer that God had saved them—they never
doubted He had sent Jonah.

“We find out now that this was the secret of his
going to Tarshish, for in his angry mood he prayed
to the Lord, and said. ‘Was not this my saying
when I was in my country? Therefore I fled before
unto Tarshish ; for I kvew that Thou art a gracious
God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great
kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Therefore
202 The Story of Jonah.

now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from
me: for it is better for me to die than to live!’

“T think God indeed shewed Himself a God of
grace and mercy, very slow to anger, that He did
not do as Jonah said and strike him dead at once.
What daring irreverence and pride does he show in
this speech—and this, after all he had already
suffered. How it shews us how very hard and
proud our hearts are, and what a great many trials
and afflictions it takes to make us humble and ready
to allow God to do whatever He chooses with us.
How different to God’s perfect servant, the Lord
Jesus Christ, who said, ‘Not my will, but thine be
done.” Luke xxii. 42.

“We must now see what God did to this naughty
servant of His. He said to him, ‘Doest thou well
to be angry? What a gentle, loving rebuke! it
surely ought to have broken Jonah quite down;
but it did not, he does not answer God at all, but
he went out of the city, and sat on the east side till
he might see what would happen to the city. I
suppose he hoped God might yet change His mind
and destroy the city, and that would have pleased
this wicked, proud man. But no, God was not
thinking of any such thing, He had settled Nineveh
was not to be destroyed.

God was thinking of Jonah, and how he was to
be taught to be more tender-hearted and pitiful—
more like his Master and more fit for His service.
Jonalk’s Gourd. 203

How did God teach him? Oh, in such a gentle,
tender way, which I will now tell you. The country
was a very hot one; and as Jonah sat watching
Nineveh, and wondering what would become of it,
he felt the heat very much; and God prepared a
plant called a gourd, which has very large leaves
and grows very quickly; and it came up over Jonah’s
head and formed such a nice shade from the sun,
and delivered him from his grief. So Jonah was
exceedingly glad of the gourd. I suppose he did not
think God had made it grow on purpose for him ; he
must have known well he deserved no such care
and favour from God.

“But God prepared something else besides the
gourd—He prepared a worm that smote the gourd,
and by the next morning it was withered and dead!
“And it came to pass when the sun did arise that
God prepared a vehement east wind, and the sun
beat upon the head of Jonah that he fainted and
wished to die, and said, It is better for me to die
than to live’ And God said to Jonah, ‘Doest thou
well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I ao
well to be angry, even unto death!’ Not only was
he sinning against God in being angry, but he
justifies it and thinks it right: s7//, you see, Jonah
is unbroken. ‘Then the Lord again speaks to him
in great gentleness, and shews him by his own
actings how right he had been in sparing Nineveh.

“Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity (or been
204 The Story of Jonah.

sorry) for the gourd, for the which thou hast not
laboured neither madest it grow; which came up in
a night, and perished in a night: and should not I
spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more
than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern
between their right hand and their left hand; and
also much cattle ?’

“And here, my dear children,” said Mrs. Howard
“we take our leave of Jonah. We are not told
whether God’s gentle dealings had any effect upon
him; we never hear of God using him again, or
teaching him any’ more. This is a very solemn
lesson for us all; God’s word says, ‘ He, that being
often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly
be destroyed and that without remedy.’ Let it be
our constant desire to be taught and used of God,
and for this purpose we must seek to have our wills
entirely conformed to His. I hope you will re-
member the many things that God ordered and
arranged in the history of Jonah. I will name
them again and you can count them. ‘ Zhe Lord
sent out a great wind. ‘ Now the Lord had prepared
a great fish? ‘And the Lord prepared a gourd?
‘God prepared a worm. ‘God prepared a vehement
cast wind.”

“ Five,” exclaimed the three children at once.

“Ves, five,” said Mrs. Howard, “five things that
man would call accidents or chances, Scripture
tells us ‘Gop prepared ;’ and there are five thousand
God in Everything. 205

things now-a-davs that are really prepared by God,
that we speak of as accidents and matters of course.
God’s people should recognise God's hand in every-
thing. We lose many blessed lessons by not doing
so. Let us all try to remember this great lesson
from Jonah’s history, and also that it is of no use to
try and run away from God or what He appoints for
us to do.”

“T am sorry, aunty, the story does not tell us
whether Jonah learnt the lesson after all, and
whether he was sorry and ashamed of his behaviour
to God when his anger was over.”

“That I cannot tell, my dear boy. God, for
wise reasons, has not told us, and we must be
content to learn what He has taken so much pains
we should know. But come,” said Mrs. Howard,
looking at her watch, “we must go and see about
tea, or dear mamma will be here before we are
ready for her.”

The little party ran off to busy themselves in
various ways, towards “getting ready” (that opera-
tion in which all children so delight) for Mrs. Wilmot’s
arrival. And when the tea table was ready and
ornamented with some beautiful strawberries and
cream, and a Devonshire junket, and a vase of
lovely flowers, Herbert skipped about, declaring
everything looked charming, and while thus em-
ployed, the sound of carriage wheels was heard and
the three children ran off to open the gate, and
206 The Story of Jonah.

Herbert was soon folded in his mother’s arms. He
could hardly allow her time to greet his cousins, so
wild was he; but in due time they reached the
house, where Mrs. Wilmot was warmly greeted by
her sister; and after having taken off her bonnet
was soon seated at the tea table—where there was
so much to be said and heard as well as to be done,
that the long evening was drawing in before the tea
things were dismissed. Mrs. Wilmot thought her
dear child looked much better in health and much
happier. She inquired how he had behaved, and
was very pleased to hear Mrs. Howard thought him
much improved. “TI fear he will feel lonely when
he goes home,” she remarked, “all alone again.”

“Oh, I hope not,” replied his aunt; “I think he
knows one or two secrets now, that will he a charm
against idleness and loneliness.”

“Indeed,” said Mrs. Wilmot, “what may they
be?”

“Oh! they are secrets you know, and not to be
told, aunty, said Annie; you must se and Jind out
if you can, and let us know, when you do, if you
do not think they are capital ones.”

Mrs. Wilmot promised not to be inquisitive, but
remarked she should feel truly indebted to her
sister and nieces, if they had cured her child of
many things that troubled her.

“Well, you know, habits are stubborn things,”
Mrs. Howard replied; “we will not doast of cures,
Some Secrets. 207

we will only hope he has found out some secrets, and
knows the true source of wisdom and happiness, and
that when he goes home he will learn many more,
so that on his next visit we shall be quite surprised
at all we have to observe.”

The prayer bell now rung and closed their long
talk, after which the younger heads were quite
ready for their pillows.


Chapter Thinty-fifth.

Tre Story or ESTHER.

HE next evening Herbert was very anxious
for one more bible story from his aunt, and
hee for her favourite, which occupied a whole
book of the Bible, where the name of God was
never once mentioned, though it was all about
God’s ordering and over-ruling events for His
people.

Mrs. Howard replied, that as Mrs. Wilmot was
there, it was hardly a suitable time; but Herbert,
turning to his mother, replied he knew she would
like aunty’s stories quite as much as he did, and
that they were very different-to what he had at
home. Mrs. Wilmot at once assured her sister she
should be very glad to listen to a story which, from


Poor Vashti. 209

Herbert’s description, she could not say she recog-
nised herself.

Mrs. Howard smiled and said, “You know it well,
though perhaps ¢Za¢ point may not have struck you ;
but I always like to put some Zeading feature fore-
most to children’s minds, and it is always associated
with the story afterwards.” She then begun as
follows :—

Tue Story or EstHer.—E£sther 1.

“ Ahasuerus was a very great and rich king, who had
an immense empire. On one occasion he made a
very grand feast to all his nobles, and when there
had been a great deal of drinking one day, he
ordered his queen Vashti to be brought to shew his
company her great beauty. Now, it was the custom
of the Medes and Persians that women lived quite
apart from men, and wore veils, and were never
seen by strange men. So Vashti knew her husband
must have been drinking too much, or he would
never have thought of such a thing as sending for
her at such a time, she therefore refused to go.
This so offerided the king and his nobles that he
removed her from being queen and never forgave or
restored her, After some time the king thought of
poor Vashti, and perhaps felt he had been wrong and

wished he had her again. His servants saw this,
P
210 The Story of Esther.

and begged him to give an order for the most
beautiful young women who could be found in the
empire to be brought for the king to choose another
queen instead of Vashti. The king agreed to the
plan and the order was given; and a great great
many young women were brought to the care of
Hegai, the king’s chamberlain. They were all to
remain under his care for twelve months, and then
each was to go to king Ahasuerus in turn for him to
select a new wife.

“ Now, I must tell you, there were a great number
of God’s own people, the Jews or Israelites, in the
empire at this time; they had been brought there as
captives some time before from Jerusalem. One of
them was a man named Mordecai, who held a post
in the palace of Shushan, at the king’s gate; I suppose
he may have been a doorkeeper or something of the
kind. Now, this man had an orphan cousin, named
Esther, that he had brought up like his own child,
and she was a very beautiful young woman. When
Mordecai heard of the order for beautiful girls to be
sent to Hegai, that the king might select a new wife,
he thought, ‘Esther is very beautiful, I will send her ;
perhaps the king may like her.’ So he took her to
Hegai, and as soon as he saw the young Jewish
maiden he was pleased with her appearance, and he
was very kind to her during the year she remained
under his care. He did not know she was a captive
Israelite, because Mordecai had told Esther not to
The New King. 211

say what she was; and Esther was a very obedient
daughter to her adopted father, who no doubt had
brought her up in the fear of the Lord—the true
God. When the time came for each maiden to go
in to the king, she might ask Hegai for whatever she —
liked and she had it. We may easily suppose how
the different characters were shewn at this time,
some very selfish and covetous.

“Esther asked for zo¢king more than was given
her. Hegai was much pleased with this modesty ;
indeed every one admired her who saw her, and
the king seemed to agree in the general opinion, for
he selected ster as the queen in place of poor
Vashti. We will hope she had a better end than she
had. Of course the king did not know Esther was
a Jewess; no one knew this secret but Mordecai and
herself.

“ Mordecai still watched over this adopted child,
and being in the palace he could always hear of her
health and send messages to her. We may suppose
he was very glad to think she was chosen for the
new queen, and perhaps he had an idea that God
had a purpose in so ordering it. Soon after Esther
was made queen, she and Mordecai were the means
of saving the king’s life. This was how it occurred.
Two of the king’s servants, named Bigthan and
Teresh, were angry with the king and laid a plan
to kill him; by some means Mordecai discovered
their intention and told Esther of it, and she told
212 The Story of Esther.

Ahasuerus; and when inquiry was made it was
found to be true, and both the men were hung.
You must take care and remember this plot against
the king’s life, because I shall have to refer to it
again in the course of my story.”




Chapter Chirty-sixth.

Tue Story oF EsTHER— Continued.

OW I must leave Esther to enjoy being

queen, while I tell you something about
the king’s prime minister. His name was Haman,
he was an Agagite or an Amalehite.

“This Haman was a great favourite with his master,
and the king had raised him above every one else,
and he had commanded ‘That all his servants
should bow down to him and do him reverence.’

“Now, the Amalekites had always been great
enemies to God's people Israel. If you look to
Exodus xvii. 14, you will see God had said He
would one day ‘utterly put out the remembrance
of Amalek from under heaven.’ And also in


214 The Story of Lsther.

verse 17 He said, ‘The Lord will have war with
Amalek from generation to generation.’

“After reading this and remembering that Haman
was an Amalekite, you will not be surprised to hear
that AMfordecai, being a Jew, would not bow down to
him as all the rest of the people did.

“ Haman did not at first notice that he did not do
so, but some others did, and they asked Mordecai
why he did not obey the king’s command and bow
down to Haman.

“Mordecai told them he was a Jew. And when
they went on day after day, asking him about it, he
did not make any answer; so they determined
to tell Haman and ‘see how his matter would
stand ’—that means, see if Haman would excuse his
bowing to him because he wasa Jew. They told
Haman to observe Mordecai, who sat in the king’s
gate, and he did so; and when he found he did not
bow to him when he passed ‘he was full of wrath,’
He thought over this great insult and determined he
would not submit to it. He was a very proud man,
and all his honours had set him up very much; and
knowing he was a great favourite with the king he
thought of a plan that shews us he had all the
hatred of the old Amalekites against the Jews in his
heart. He found there were an dmmense number
of Jews in the king’s empire, and he made up
his mind that he would not only kill Mordecai,
but that he would destroy aH the Jews in the
Wicked Haman. 215

empire—only think what a wicked, revengeful man
he was !

“Now we shall see how he accomplished his plan.
He told the king that he found there were a large num-
ber of foreigners throughout the empire that were
not at all profitable to the king, and he would pay a
large sum of money into the treasury if the king
would order them all to be destroyed. You observe
he did not say a word about Mordecai not bowing
down to him, which was the only true reason for his
hatred to the Jews. The king, without making any
inquiries, took off his ring and gave it to Haman,
and told him he might do as he liked and have all
the money he required! Oh how delighted this
wicked man must have been now he had his heart’s
desire—every Jew should be killed. But the empire
was so very large, that as there were no railways in
those days it took a long time to send orders
through all the kingdom. So as Haman wished all
the Jews to be killed on the same day everywhere,
he sat down and called the king’s scribes or wrtters
(for printing was not known) on the 13th of the 1st
month—that is,as we should say the 1342 of January
—and he wrote orders to all the magistrates and
governors in every town, that on the r3th of the rath
month—as we should say the 1342 December—they
should see that every Jew, whether man, woman, or
little child, should be killed: and then he sealed
these orders with the king’s ring, and sent them off as
216 The Story of Esther.

quickly as possible and hastened them. After this,
the king and Haman sat down to drink. I suppose
Haman felt very satisfied with his plan, and only
longed for the eleven months to pass rapidly, that
he might gratify his wicked, revengeful heart. But
‘the city of Shushan was much perplexed ; people
no doubt thought it was a very wicked, unjust law,
and some people of course knew it was only
Haman’s jealousy of Mordecai that had led to this
cruel law being made. Still, it was done now; the
orders were sealed with the king’s seal, and there
was no human hope of escape.

“Poor Mordecai! what did he do when he heard
these sad tidings? Did he feel sorry he had not
bowed down to the Amalekite? Did he think—Oh,
to bow is a very little thing, and I had better do it
than let all God’s people be destroyed? No doubt
these thoughts may have come into his mind, but
he remembered God had said, “Ae would have war
with Amalek from generation to generation,’ And
as a faithful servant of God, even though in cap-
tivity, he felt God’s enemies must be his enemies;
and not a zod would he give for the wicked
Haman even to save his own life and those of all his
people.

“ Mordecai knew the true God, and he knew He
had led his fathers through the Red Sea and done
many wonders for them, and he knew God could do
wonders again if He saw well, without his help, so
Mordecai’s Sorrow. 217

he would not ‘do evil that good might come;’ but
when he heard of the cruel order, he put on sackcloth
and ashes, and went out into the midst of the
city and cried with a loud and bitter cry, and came
before the king’s gate, for no one might go zvze the
king’s gate clothed in sackcloth. Some of queen
Esther's servants came and told her of Mordecai’s
distress. Then Esther was exceedingly grieved and
sent some raiment to clothe Mordecai, but he would
not put iton. She then sent a second time to ask
the reason of his sorrow, and he told her messenger
to give her a copy of the king’s cruel law to
kill all the Jews. And Mordecai told the servant to
charge queen Esther to go to the king and beg him
to spare the Jews and not allow them to be killed.

“Now, I must tell you, in Persia the kings and
queens do not live together as they do in this
country, each have their own house; and there was
alaw that the queen did not go to see the king
unless he sent for her. And if azy one went into
the king’s presence without being called they were
to die, unless the king held out his golden sceptre
(which was a vod he held in his hand) ; when he did
so, they might know he was glad to see them and
need not be afraid.

“This being the fashion of the country, you will
not be surprised to hear that Mordecai’s message
rather puzzled poor queen Esther. She wished to
obey Mordecai, for she still honoured him as a
218 The Story of Esther.

father; but she sent him word that she had not been
sent for by the king for a whole month, and re-
minded him if she were to go in uncalled for it
might be Aer death, She perhaps remembered poor
Vashti, and thought the king might be as much
displeased to see her as he was mo? to see Vashti.

“When they gave Mordecai this message from
Esther, he sent her back a very solemn one: he said, |
‘Don't you think that yew will escape in the king’s
house more than all the rest of the Jews. For if
thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time,
deliverance shai arise to the Jews from another
place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be
destroyed. And who knows whether you have been
made queen for such a time as this?”

“Poor Esther, how troubled she must have felt
when she heard these words!

“Vou see, Mordecai had confidence that God
would interfere, though everything looked so dark.
And, evidently, he thought God might intend to use
Esther for the rescue of the Jews from death.

“The queen: returned a beautiful answer to
Mordecai, shewing her true piety and remembrance
of her duty to him; even though she was now
queen, she still obeyed God’s law—‘ Honour thy
father and mother.’ Her uncle had been like a
parent to her, and she obeyed and honoured him as
such, even at the risk of her life. What a beautiful
lesson and example to children in these gospel days
The Queen's Resolve. 219

who know God’s word so well! Esther sent word
to Mordecai, ‘Go and gather together all the Jews
and fast ye for me three days: I also and my
maidens will fast likewise ; and so will I go in unto
the king, and if I perish, I perish!) And Mordecai
did as the queen commanded.”




Chapter Chiyty-seventh,



Tue Story or Estuer—continued.



WN the third day Esther put on her robes and
| went into the king’s house. You may fancy
how she felt as she stood in the court of the king’s
house, knowing she might have a very short time to
live, but no doubt feeling she was doing what
pleased God: perhaps she was able to commit the
whole matter to Him. Soon the king saw her, and
was pleased, and held out the sceptre to her! Oh,
how thankful and happy she must have felt. Then
she drew near and touched the sceptre, and the king
said to her, ‘What wilt thou, queen Esther? And
what is thy request? it shall be even given thee zw
the half of the kingdom !

“Oh, what gladdening words to poor Esther's
heart; she might ask for half the kingdom, and the


The Queen's Banquet. 221

king had promised she should have it. So she
might feel sure the Jews would not be killed.

“Do you think she asked her favour at once?
No, she only asked the king if he and Haman
would come that day to take a meal with her.
How strange that she should ask Haman, the
wicked man, who was the cause of all her distress!
However, so she did. At the feast, the king again
asked her what she desired. And she asked him
and Haman to come again the next day to see her,
and then she promised to tell him. You see the
servant of God need never be hasty about anything,
You may imagine how set up and proud Haman felt
at the honour put upon him by the queen; he went
home and boasted of it to his wife and friends,
saying, he was the only man the queen had asked
with the king; ‘But,’ he added, ‘all this availeth
me nothing so long as / see Mordecai the Jew sitting
at the king’s gate.’

“You see, Haman had indulged his wicked
passions so much, that now, though he knew the
sentence of death had passed upon poor Mordecai,
and the day was drawing nigh for the massacre of
all the Jews, he had not patience to let Mordecai
sit at the gate any longer. If we indulge our evil
dispositions, you see they grow stronger and
stronger. Zeresh, Haman’s wife, and his friends
recommended him to have a gallows made, and to
ask the king next day to let Mordecai be hung upon
222 Lhe Story of Esther.

it without waiting for the end of the year, then
Haman would have no drawback to his honour and
happiness; and the thing pleased Haman and he
caused the gallows to be made.

“Poor Mordecai! after all he is to be killed at
once, not even allowed to live till the end of the
year! after all his upright conduct in not bowing
down to the enemy of God. God was letting his
cruel enemy triumph over him in this way! How
sad it must have seemed to him if he knew about
the gallows ; how hard to understand. He had told
Esther deliverance ‘should arise Where was his
faith now? He was to die the very next day! the
gallows was made all ready. Surely, as David said
to Jonathan, ‘There was but one step between him
and death!’ Wait a little, there was a night to come
before the next day arrived, and God can work in
the night as well as in the day. ‘The Shepherd of
Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.’

“On that night the Ring could not steep. Was
there anything very extraordinary in the king having
a wakeful night? or was it only an accident? no
doubt Ze thought it an accident, perhaps he often
lay awake at night. I do not know how this was, but
Lam quite sure it was no chance that kept him awake
that night. If you ever lie awake long at night, you
know it is a very weary thing; and as kings can
have all sorts of indulgences, Ahasuerus wished to
be read to that night to pass away the time. His ”
dn Onexpected Question. 223

servants brought some records to read to him, about
things that had occurred in his own reign ; and they
happened to select-the record of the two men who
planned to kill the king, which I told you to
remember, and which Mordecai had discovered,
When the king heard the story he stopped the
reading and said, ‘What reward did Mordecai get
for saving my life on that occasion? And _ his
servants answered, ‘He did not get any reward.’ In
the excitement of the discovery, Mordecai had been
forgotten, and he had never asked for any reward.
No doubt, if he had reminded Esther of it, he
would have had a very rich one. But he did not.
Was this chance? I think not. An unseen hand
was behind the scenes even then.

“When the king was told he had received no
reward, it was morning, and he asked who was in
waiting in the court. At that moment, who should
come in but Maman. What had he come for so
early? Ob, he wanted to ask the king’s leave to
hang Mordecai on the gallows he had made, before
he went with the king to queen Esther’s banquet.
So they told the king Haman wasin the court. Then
he sent for him, and asked him such a curious
question—it was this, ‘What shall be done unto the
man whom the king delighteth to honour ”

“ Now you must remember Haman knew nothing
of the bad night the king had passed, or what had
been read to him; and knowing he was such a
224 The Story of Esther.

favourite with his master, and being very conceited
and proud, he thought to himself, ‘To whom would
the king delight to do honour so much as unto
myself? He thought Ze must be the man the king
delighted to honour. So he said to the king, ‘Let
the royal apparel be brought which the Azzg useth to
wear, and the horse which the 4émg rideth upon, and’
the crown-royal which is set upon his head: and let
this apparel and horse be delivered into the hand of
one of the £zng’s most noble princes, that they may
array with them the man whom the king delighteth to
honour, and bring him on horseback through the
street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus
shall it be done to the man whom the king de
lighteth to honour.’

“J think you will agree with me, Haman could
not have thought of much more honour to be put
upon him if he had tried. What must he have felt
when he found out that his master was thinking of
honouring some one else! ‘Then the king said to
Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the
horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai
the Jew, that sitteth at the king’s gate: dt nothing
fai of ali that thou hast spoken.’ Was it possible
for the proud Haman to do all this? Yes, he was
obliged to do it. But how he felt when he went to
Mordecai and begun to dress him, and tell him what
he was going to do with him, I cannot possibly
describe, I must leave that to your own imagination;
A Strange Sight ! 225

as well as how he managed to walk before the horse
ail through the streets, while the wondering people
stood by and saw the prime minister and king's
favourite declaring the poor Jew, who they were
accustomed to see at the king’s gate, ‘The man
whom the king delighteth to honour!’ Doubtless,
many who saw them knew that Mordecai had
refused even to bow to Haman; and knew also
that he had obtained a commission from the king to
kill the very man he was now leading through the
city! What a very strange sight it must have been,
and how people must have talked about it.

“Poor Mordecai! it is almost as difficult to
picture his feelings, as Haman removed his sack-
cloth and put him on the king’s own robes and
crown, and set ‘him upon the king’s horse. He
could hardly have believed it was all real. . Still it
does not appear to have upset him, for we read,
‘And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate: but
Haman hasted to his house. mourning, and having
his head covered. And Haman told Zeresh his wife
and his friends everything that had happened to
him.’ What a different tale to the one he told
them the day before! What comfort did they give
him? They said to him, ‘If Mordecai be of the
seed of the Jews, before whom thou ast begun to
fall, thou shalt not prevail, but shalt surely fall be-
fore him.’ What strange words! It seems they
had some idea the Jews were a highly-favoured
226 The S.ory of Lsther.

people, and a knowledge that when God begun to
fight their battles, all resistance was vain. How-
ever, while they. were talking to Haman and giving
him this very poor comfort, the king’s chamberlains
came to hasten him to the banquet of wine that
Esther had prepared.

“We may imagine the feelings with which the
proud man went to the feast, the very honour of
which he had so vainly boasted only the day
before.”




Chapter Thinty-eighth,



THe Srory or Esruer—continued.



HEN they sat down, the king again asked
queen Esther what was her request, and
this time she toldhim. She said, ‘If it please the king,
let my life be given me at my petition, and my
people at my request: for we are sold, I and my
people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish.’
“What strange words for the king to hear from
his beautiful queen. Vou must remember he did
not know Esther was a Jewess, or had anything to
do with Mordecai. So he was greatly astonished,
and said, ‘Who is he, and where is he, that durst
presume in his heart to do so? And Esther said,
The adversary and enemy is ¢his wicked Haman!
Then Haman was afraid before the king and queen.’


228 The Story of Esther.

No doubt he thought of his friends’ words, about
‘falling before the Jews. The king was in great
wrath and walked about, I suppose hardly knowing
what to do; when one of his servants said to him,
‘There is a gallows, fifty cubits high, which Haman
had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for
the king, in Haman’s house. And the king said,
Hang him thereon. So they hanged Haman on the
gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was
the king’s wrath pacified.’

“Thus ended the life of that proud and wicked
Haman; a sad and solemn warning to all who
indulge pride and evil passions, and seek to injure
and despise the people of God. On the day that
Haman was hung, the king gave all his property to
queen Esther. And then she told him of her
relationship to Mordecai, and what a kind and wise
father he had been to her. And the king sent for
him and took his ring, which he had taken from
Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set
him over the house of Haman.

“So far, queen Esther must have been very thank-
ful and pleased; but she remembered that orders had
been sent through the country to slaughter all the
Jews, and if they were to be saved no time must be
lost in sending out another order to prevent their
being killed. So she spoke to the king about this
part of the matter; and he told Mordecai to write
another set of letters and forbid the slaughter of
The Feast of Purim. 229

the Jews, and to seal the letters with the king's
ring.

“You may suppose Mordecai lost no time in ©
collecting all the scribes to write the letters and in
sending them out, and all the Jews heard of the
change in the king’s law. We may fancy the
universal joy there was through all the kingdom,
and the Jews had light and gladness, and joy and
honour: and they all agreed to keep a grand feast
at the very time that they had been rescued from
death. And they agreed a/ways to keep a yearly
feast, called Purim ; that their children might never
forget the wondrous deliverance their God had
wrought for them, when they were all condemned to
death. ‘And Mordecai the Jew was next unto
king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and
accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking
the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his
seed,’

“Now,” said Mrs. Howard, “do you not all agree
with me, that this is a most wonderful and beautiful
story?”

“Oh yes! oh yes!” was responded on all sides.

“Tt is indeed,” said Mrs. Wilmot; “I am sure I
have enjoyed it quite as much as the. children, and
never saw so much in it, though of course I knew
the narrative.”

“TJ believe,” said Mrs. Howard, “ semplifying a
story, to meet the understanding of children, often
230 The Story of Esther.

developes many beauties to one’s own mind; at least,
I find it so. And we know the beauties of Scripture
are so boundless, that we can never exhaust them.
‘And however much we may see in a narrative to-
day, we may find more to-morrow. It is like the
barrel of meal that wasteth not. And no wonder,
when we remember it is the word of God, and
expresses Himself to our finite minds.

“Tam glad you have enjoyed our bible stories,
Herbert, dear.”

“Oh yes, aunty, very much indeed! I am so
glad I have heard so many of them.”

“Well, you will not forget the great truth of God’s
acting wonderfully for his poor captive people with-
out any display of power. And, remember, He
does so still.) He does not now work miracles, that
all men can see; but He works quite as great
hidden roiracles, if I may so call them, in the
ordinary course of events. And in many a wakeful
night, and little ‘accidents’ and ‘chances; as man
calls them, the child of God may see a hidden
hand wisely and wondrously guiding and arranging »
for his individual welfare and benefit; and we may
all learn to ¢rusf where we cannot see—to have faith
in God and simply to obey Him at all costs, and to
leave resudts with Him. As the little hymn says,—

‘God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.’
Mordecar’s Unselfishuess. 231

“ Again, in this story we see a striking proof of
that word, ‘Them that honour me, I will honour ;
but they that despise me, shall be lightly esteemed.’
And itis very beautiful to notice that Mordecai sought
the wealth of his people, not his own. His wondrous’
exaltation did not make him proud or selfish; no
doubt he still continued to walk in the fear of the
Lord.”

“SROW
KZ ey Oe
LS


Chapter Thirty-ninth,

Tue RAGGED AMBASSADORS.

HERE is one more story I should like to tell
you, Herbert,” said Mrs. Howard, looking
at oe ve “if it is not too late, and you are not
too tired.’ :

“ Oh dear no, aunt,” exclaimed the child; “Iam
sure mamma will not mind my sitting up a little
later to-night, as it is the last night in the country.”
“Indeed,” replied Mrs. Wilmot, “ Aunty’s stories
are so attractive I do not wonder at your not being
tired of them; and as you will not have any more
when we reach home, I shall be glad you should
hear all you can if she is not tired.”

“T wish, aunty, you would wrife your stories,”



A Strange Title. 233

suggested Herbert; “then I could read them when
Iam at home.” :

His aunt smiled, and said, “Well, Herbert, if
you remember them and do not pay us another
visit very soon, perhaps I may send you a written
story, and then you can write and tell me what you
think of it, and what lessons you learn from it.”

“ But what is the other story about—is it like the
captive boys?” inquired Herbert.

“No, not at all like that, my dear; but still it
teaches us quite as important principles for children ;
for as they have life before them, and many snares
and temptations surround them, a story that tells
of how God’s people were ensnared almost as soon
as they settled in the land of Canaan, and were
never able to recover from the effects of the snare,
may be a useful warning to all, but specially to the
young. I shall call my story, the

RaccED AMBASSADORS.

The children all laughed at this strange title, and
wondered in what part of the bible Mrs. Howard
had discovered this story.

“Tf you read the gth of Joshua,” said she, “you
will find my story; and I think you will agree with
me that my title isa very suitable one. You re-
member, no doubt, that after God had redeemed
His people out of the land of Egypt, He led them
234 The Ragged Ambassadors

through the wilderness for forty years, and after-
wards brought them over the river Jordan into the
land of Canaan, which He promised to give them.
Now, at this time, the land of Canaan was inhabited
by many nations who were very wicked, and whom
God meant ‘to turn out of the land as a judgment
for their sins; and He told Joshua He would do so,
gradually, by giving the Israelites victories over
them. And God forbid them to make any league
or agreement with any of the nations. Then God
‘told Joshua to go and take Jericho, and they did so.
Then they took Ai and some other towns at God's
command, and God gave victory over them all.
When the Gibeonites heard how Joshuaand the Israel-
ites were conquering and killing all their neighbours,
they were very much afraid their turn would come next,
so they agreed upon a plan to save their livés from
destruction: it was very clever and cunning, like
some of the snares of the devil, when he finds the
children of God on the watch against open temptations
to resist them. He lays a snare for them in some
way, for which they are not prepared; and very
often, if not walking in much dependance upon
God, they fall imto the snare. You remember the
apostle Paul: says, ‘We are not ignorant of his
devices.’

“Now you shall hear how these cunning Gibeonites
acted—they dressed themselves like ambassadors,
or messengers from a king; they took some ofd sacks
A Clever Story? 235

upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent,
and bound up; and old shoes and clouted upon
their feet, and very old clothes they put on ; and they
took food that was all dry and mouldy. Just fancy
what a wretched, worn-out set they must have
appeared! In this state they came to Joshua at
Gilgal, and said to him, ‘We are come from a far
country; now make a league or agreement with
us. And the Israelites said, Oh, but perhaps you
dwell near here; and how can we make any league
with you? And Joshua asked them where they
came from. And they said, From a very far country
are thy servants come, because we heard all that
the Lord had done for you, and how he had subdued
your enemies round about you: and our people at
home sent us to meet you, and to make a league
with you, and to say, We will serve you if you will
make a league with us. This our bread was fof
when we left home, and now behold it is dry and
mouldy ; and these bottles of wine which we filled
were new, and behold they be rent; and these our
garments and our shoes are become old by reason
of the VERY LONG journey!’ Can you wonder that.
with these many proofs before their eyes, the Israel-
ites believed this clever story? No, we cannot
wonder that they did. But what ought they to have
done? They ought to have asked counsel from God,
and then He would have told them not to mind
what they said; but instead of this, the men looked
236 Ihe Ragged A mbassadors.

at the food and old clothes, and ‘asked not counsel
at the mouth of the Lord.

“So Joshua made a league with them to let them
live, and the elders of the people sware unto them.
Do you think they were long before they found out
the trick that had been played them? No, only
three days, and then they found they were neighbours
and dwelt among them! Oh, how vexed Joshua
must have felt, when he found out how cleverly they
had been taken in; and all because they had trusted
their own judgments, and not asked counsel at the
mouth of the Lord. Now they found they had
been entrapped into doing just what God had for-
bidden, they had made a league with the inhabitants
of the land instead of casting them out. But
perhaps you will say, Could they not kill them when
they found out how they had deceived them? No,
because they had sworn unto them in the name of
the Lord, that they should live. So Joshua said
they must keep their word, and let them live; so
they made slaves of them to draw water and cut
wood; but they never got them out of the land.
And God said, as they did not cast out all the na-
tions as He commanded, He would not allow them to
do so afterwards; but these people that were left
* should be like thorns in their sides and precks in
their eye. You know how uncomfortable it is to
have something in your eye. Well, so the nations
were to Israel; and the Philistines, of whom we
The Sarting. 237

read so much in the times of the kings, were
descendants of some of these people that were left
in the land. You see how much better and happier
it would have been, if Israel had simply obeyed
God’s command, and not judged by what they saw.

“We are told, when the Lord Jesus Christ shall
reign in this world, ‘He shall not judge after the
seeing of his eyes, or reprove after the hearing of his
ears.’ Zsa. xi. 3. That is, He will not be deceived by
appearances, but will have God’s mind on everything.
And if we, dear children, would ‘ask counsel of
God,’ that is, walk in dependance and a spirit of
constant prayer, we should be kept from the wiles
or snares of the devil. You know, Scripture says,
‘Trust in the Zord with a thine heart, and lean not
unto thine own understanding” And I hope, when
you feel inclined to make up your mind about
people or things by what they appear to be, you will
remember how dearly Israel paid for ‘not. asking
counsel at the-mouth of the Lord; and that you
will think of my ‘ Ragged Ambassadors.”

All the children expressed themselves very pleased
with this story. Herbert again thanked Mrs. Howard
for the many she had told him, which he felt sure he
should never forget. And though the parting with his
aunt and cousins the following day was a sorrowful
one, it was brightened by the promise of another visit
to Beechgrove at no very distant period; and as they
returned to the house, after seeing Mrs. Wilmot and
238 The Ragged Ambassadors.

her little boy start, Ellen and Annie were quite
surprised to find how much regret they felt in
parting from the little cousin, with whom only one
month before they were so little charmed. Perhaps
they shared some of the pleasure their mother had
in watching the improvement that had taken place
in him, and his growing interest in the word of
God. And they, doubtless, felt they had, in their
measure, contributed to the pleasing change that
was so evident in him, by shewing him the pleasure
they had found in trying to minister to the happiness
of others instead of living for themselves alone:
and we will hope that any of our young friends who
have not already learned this secret will not have
read the “Children of Beechgrove” in vain; and
that having tried the experiment themselves, they
will also, like Ellen and Annie, try to imfluence
others to follow their example. ,

TERESA AY: he
Sinis. es
EN

we



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