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in full chorus at that time, and with only in their yards, but in their houses scarcely the variation of a minute. in Jerusalem, where they roost at night The second cock-crowing is between one over their beds.
Chicken and eggs and two o'clock. Therefore, when our form even a larger proportion of the Lord says, “In this night, before the animal food of the population in the cock crow twice,' the allusion east than in this country; and the clearly to these seasons." (Arundell, rearing of poultry and eggs is the chief “ Discoveries in Asia Minor.”)
maintenance of widows, and of the aged The Mishna states that cocks were and infirm. not kept at Jerusalem, for fear of their We have no certain knowledge when polluting the holy things. But this poultry were introduced into Syria. regulation, if it existed, could not apply They were common in Rome from the to foreigners, of whom there were many earliest times, and can certainly be in Jerusalem ; and the Romans would traced in Greece before the Persian certainly not have tolerated any restric
The poet Pindar, who lived soon tion on
a bird so much in vogue after the return from the Babylonish amongst them for sport as well as for captivity, mentions the cock, and the food. The statement is however pro- word ArékTwp occurs in Homer as the bably a fiction; for not only was the name of a man, probably derived from cock not considered unclean, but the
this bird. Aristophanes calls it the rabbis mention an instance of a cock Persian bird ; and it was doubtless inwhich was stoned, by order of the troduced to Greece through Persia, and council, for having caused the death of probably at the same time or earlier a child. The Jews at the present day into Palestine.-Tristram's “ Natural keep poultry in great quantities, not History of the Bible.”
THE CHILD AND THE FLOWERS;
OR, LITTLE HELPS. In passing down a pleasant and shady the flowers she used to talk to me about lane in the outskirts of one of our so nicely when she was strong and able large and populous towns, during a de
to walk with me. But those happy lightful afternoon last spring, my at- days will never come again. Poor tention was attracted by a group of Mary!” and the child sigbed sorrowyoung children just dismissed from the fully as he looked down upon the flowers village school. One of them, a gentle, in his tiny hand. He now lapsed into thoughtful-looking boy, about
silence for the remainder of the way. years old, sauntering a short distance A few minutes brought him to a little from his companions, appeared seeking wicket gate, opening into a neat and for something among the long green well-kept garden. With noiseless step, grass under the hawthorn trees. Pre- he walked along the narrow gravel path sently I perceived that he had collected as if he feared to disturb some one a pretty and tasteful bunch of wild vio- within the pretty white cottage to which lets and daisies. My curiosity being ex- he was slowly approaching. On reachcited, and my interest awakened by the ing the threshold, the child paused, child and his proceedings, I silently retraced his steps a few yards, then on followed at a short distance, where I tiptoe peeped into a small lattice winheard the little fellow murmuring to dow, to reassure himself that the invalid himself, “I will take these home to was asleep. As noiselessly he returned, dear Mary; she loves wild flowers ; and and, lifting the latch with care, entered though she cannot enjoy any more plea- into a neat, unpretending apartment, sant walks with me, she shall see that apparently unoccupied ; but, on closer I love her still, and she shall not miss inspection, might be seen a young and
delicate girl sluinbering peacefully on a couch. So peaceful did it seem, that it appeared like the sleep from which there is no awaking. Her countenance seemed illumined with a heavenly smile; and I soon perceived that disease, treacherous disease, had made sad inroads into that young frame, had planted his mark on her fair and delicate cheek, and would ere long bear her with him to the silent tomb.
I now perceived that this interesting invalid was the dear Mary” of my little friend's soliloquy. He approached the couch timidly, fearing to disturb her slumbers, and took from off the small stand by her side, whereon lay an open Bible, a delicate china vase, which he was in the habit of replenishing every morning with fresh flowers from her garden, and, gliding from the room, refilled it with fresh water ; then, arranging his little gift of violets and daisies, returned and placed it by her side, that she might be refreshed, on awaking, by the sight of her favourite flowers. It was not long before the slumberer awoke; and as she looked on the childish gift, tears, loving yet sad, filled her eyes as she silently gazed upon the flowers.
Mingled were the emotions called forth at the sight of them-love and affection for the thoughtful little giver ; but sad and sorrowful were the thoughts awakened by the resemblance these silent little teachers bore to her
self. One of the daisies having fallen from the vase, she stretched out her attenuated hand, and drew it to her, sighing as she did so. “Ah, daisy," she said, “ we are both made by one Father's hand, both planted on earth to grow until he wants us for Himself. He says I have lived long enough below. He is waiting for me now, and has sent His angels to bid me prepare ; and I am waiting till He calls.”
A few days later I learned that my interesting friend was no more. Her spirit had fled to join the angels in singing the praises of Him whom, while on earth, she had honoured by her quite submission to His will, and by her Christian resignation under affliction. She had loved the hand that chastened her, and had acknowledged His love in all her sufferings, and was now gone to inhabit the home prepared for her from the foundation of the world.
The sad, yet pleasing, incidents of my afternoon's walk will long be remembered by me. What a simple and touching lesson may we learn from the thoughtfulness and love here exhibited by a little child! The smallest deed of kindness does not pass unnoticed by our heavenly Father. He himself says that “ Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you he shall in nowise lose his reward” (Matt. x. 42). * told us.
LESSONS FOR THE LITTLE ONES.
HEAVEN OUR HOME. | When will that be, do you think ?Read Revelation xxi. 23–27.
(When we die, teacher.) Yes, now as
none in my class are too young to die, DEAR little ones, there is another life none are too young to think about and beside the present ; there is another understand that other world to which world beside this one, which we now we must one day go. For this reason, love and think so ful and plea- I have chosen it for my lesson to-day, sant. You and I may not, cannot live and want to talk to you about it a little here always; the time will come when while. Try to be very serious and atwe must go away from this world, must tentive while I do so. leave all we now see and love around us, That other world we cannot see: it is and go to that other world where we
hidden from us.
If we were to travel shall have to live for ever.
from one end of our earth to the other, * This tender little sketch is from the pages of old Jonathan.
we should not get any nearer to it, nor should we be able to see it. Persons who die and go there cannot come back to tell us what it is like. We should not know that there is another world beside this, nor anything about it, if the great God who made both had not
Can you tell me where we may find all He wishes us to know about it?—(In the Bible, teacher.) Yes, in His own word. There we may read about this life and the next; in it young and old can find all they want. Let us look in it together.
First, the Bible tells us that there are two homes in the other world, to one of which every man, woman, and child must go—the one home gloomy and dark, a place where those who do not love God will live in pain for ever. This is called ?—(Hell, teacher.) Yes; the other home bright, happy, and full of light, a place where those who love God will live in joy for ever. It is called -?-(Heaven, teacher.) Yes.
Now don't you think we ought to care very much about this other world, and try to find out what makes the difference in these two homes, and to which we are likely to go ?--(Oh yes, and we ought to be getting ready, teacher.)
Quite right, we ought. But tell me, to which would you all like to go ?(Oh! the happy one, of course.)
Well then, we will talk about the happy one this morning-our home in beaven, which God has prepared for all who love Him. He has described it in the Bible, to encourage and cheer His children while living upon earth.
Remember always that we are placed here by God as at school. We have lessons to learn, and tasks to do, work given to us by God, to make us fit for and ready for home, fit to live with Him. Earthly parents put their children to school, what for ?—(To learn reading and writing, teacher; a great many things besides.) Yes, all that will make them useful men and women.
And what do children look forward to while at school?—(Going home, teacher.) Ah! I should think so. And good children think too of learning all they can, and learning well, to give pleasure to
their kind father and mother. They look forward also to being always at home, free from lessons, when they are grown up and need not be longer at school.
Well, just so is it in God's school and among His children. Those who really love Him, while on earth, will try to learn all He gives them, the hard lessons He puts before them-yes, all He wishes; and then they look forward to His sending for them one day, to be for ever at home.
Now I want you to repeat to me any text you may remember that speaks about heaven.—(“ Heaven is My throne : " Acts vii. 49.) Very good; this tells us that God is king there, and rules over all. Now another.—(" I go to prepare a place for you :" John xiv. 2.) Good; then the Lord Jesus is in heaven,
learn this too.—(I know one, teacher, “At Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore:” Ps. xvi. 11.) That is a very nice text: "pleasures for ever :" think of this often; earthly pleasures pass away, not so those in heaven.
You have found very nice verses; there are also many others in the Bible which speak of the great beauty of heaven as almost beyond our understanding; indeed, so much so, that we may say nothing on earth can be properly used to describe it. God has made all things in nature beautiful ; His works are wondrous : can you name
any ?-(The sun, teacher; the trees and flowers ; the rainbow; birds and butterflies ; the stars.)
Quite right; all these are beautiful, and make our world so beautiful. Once a little girl was found gazing up into heaven at the stars. She was asked what she was looking at and thinking about. “Oh,” she said, “if this side of heaven is so beautiful, what must the other side be!" But there are works of men beautiful too : churches, houses, pictures, ornaments. Then we often hear beautiful sounds and songs. Yet none of these are to be compåred to any of the heavenly things which God has prepared for those who love Him.
Do you think there ever was any spot
To put His foes to open shame,
F. B. W.
on earth like heaven ?-(No, teacher.) Think again,-before sin came into the world ?-(Oh! Eden, wasn't it ?) Yes, and why ?-(Because no sin was there.) Very right.
Yet Eden in all its beauty could not be quite like heaven: for this reason; the Lamb was not the light thereof. Who is the Lamb?-(The Lord Jesus, teacher.) Well, He is the light of heaven. Think of that ; no sun nor moon wanted there, and the gates never shut- why? — (Because always day.)
Another reason why Eden was not like heaven is this : the devil could enter there, and did, and spoilt it. Not so heaven: he can never again enter, nor“ anything that defileth.” I could tell you much more about this future home of ours; but I think I have told you enough for the present. Remember the great joy of heaven is- -? (the Lord Jesus, teacher.) Yes, He is always there, and will never leave it ; if He did, it would no longer be heaven. Then the happiest home on earth changes, is broken up; the heavenly home never will be.
Now, dear children, after all you have heard, tell me what do you think of it ? -(We should all like to go there, teacher.) Then begin to think about it, begin now to get ready for it. There is only one way, which we will talk about next lesson; but the Lord Jesus will teach you it, if you ask Him, every day.
Before we close, say after me these lines
THE WAY HOME. Read Matthew vii. 13, 14; John xiv. 6. What would be the first thing you would have to do, little ones, if you wanted to go to some country—a strange one, that you had never seen before, and only heard about ?-(Ask the way to it, teacher.) Right. Now that is what we are going to do this morning, to ask or find out the way to- ? (heaven, teacher.)
In our last lesson, you remember, we talked about our home in the skies; and I then promised to talk to you about the way to it. Since God has been so good as to tell us about it in the ble it is our duty to learn the way; besides, if we do not we shall never be able to get there, shall we ?—(No, teacher.)
The great God knows this; so He has told us what to do. Listen to His own word to you and me : “ Thus saith the Lord, stand ye,” etc. : see Jer. vi. 16. What is the command here ?—(Ask for the good way, and walk in it, teacher.) And what is the promise ?—(Rest.) Yes, rest in heaven; but to have the promise we must obey the command.
Now let us begin. I dare say, as heaven is so beautiful, you fancy the road will be so, and pleasant too ?-(0h yes, teacher.) Then I am afraid I shall have to disappoint you, for our text says, “ Strait is the gate and narrow is the way.”
What does 66 strait mean?-(No turning, teacher.) No; you are thinking of the word “ straight,” which is spelt differently. The word I first used means difficult; the way is narrow and difficult. Does this disappoint you?
But now fancy, if you were going somewhere to see a grand sight, or with mother for a long journey to see some one you love, would you mind if told that the road would be a long and difficult one, or that you would be very tired before you reached there ?-(Oh no.)
"The Son of God came down to die,
That man should be forgiven; That, little children, you and I, May look up to the bright blue sky,
And say, Our home is heaven. And think that He is reigning there,
Whose love can never leave us, Who deigned our punishment to bear, A crown of thorns for us to wear,
And shed His blood to save us. He rose from out the darksome tomb,
And to the skies ascended ;
By angels bright attended :
Why not?-(Because we should be thinking all the while of the pleasure to come.) Exactly so; and so it is with the Christian now, with God's children. When tired or troubled because of the way, they think of their Father's promise and of the pleasure at the end. Do you understand ?
I will now tell you why the gate is “strait,” and the way “ narrow." Because, when people go in, they must give up their own way, their own will. They must leave sin behind them ; they must deny self; they must be holy; they must think, speak, and do God's will instead of their own. Now all this is difficult, so much so that few enter. Many men, women, and children turn away from the gate, and like to go in the pleasanter and broader way, with the many. They think it pleasant, because their own way ; but they forget the end. What is it? Ah ! a sad end.
I hope no little child in my class this morning will be so foolish as to turn
choose the broad road. God has allowed you to come here to learn, and sent me to teach you to-day the “good way;
” and I hope He will teach you, by His Holy Spirit, to choose the right; but you must ask Him to do
You will find it very hard sometimes; there will be rough and stony places to walk over, high hills to climb, dark parts to pass through, and many dangers to meet.
(What do you mean, teacher ?)—Quite right to ask; why, if you make up your mind to take God's way, when you enter you will find many difficulties meet you, which you could avoid by taking your own instead. For instance, suppose you want to do something, or to go somewhere, and you cannot without disobeying mother, will it be pleasant to have to give up your own way?-(No, teacher.) No, then it will be rough walking for you; it will be stepping upon stones, not pleasant, but right-unless you turn out of the road.
Again, if you ask something which your parents think right to deny,
and you fight against self-will, you must give self pain; here too it will be rough piece of road.
(But the hills, teacher?)—Well, when at school you find some lesson very hard, and you feel inclined to give it up; then if you try to learn it, because right, because it is the work which God has set you to do as a child, that will be climbing a hill, a high hill in the narrow road.
There are the dark places too. Sickness may come upon you, you have to lie alone, to give up all the pleasures health brings ; the day will seem long, the nights dull. This will be like passing through dark and lonely woods. And as to dangers, things that may hurt you, why, every temptation will be a danger. If the devil, or your own evil heart, says, Do this, think this wrong, speak this wrong word, then these temptations are the dangers we must meet in the narrow road. Do you understand now what I meant ?
There is one bright spot, however, which I must not forget to tell you about. The Lord Jesus says, “I am the Way.” He travelled it too for thirty-three years, to make it easier for us, to show us how to go in it. If we follow Him we shall keep straight; step by step we must go after Him; then we shall get to heaven, where He now is. Only He can open the gate ; but He will, if we follow Him. The loving Saviour, the Way! this makes it easy; and if we remember the pleasure to come, the end -i.e. home—we shall not mind the way. If people thought of the end, they would never choose the “ broad” pleasant road instead of the narrow."
Dear little ones, go home and ask God to draw you now into His narrow way, if you are not walking in it. And if you are, then ask Him to keep yon from ever turning away to follow your
F. B. W.