Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

riv-er. Look now, and see what is be-fore you! Yonder is a clus-ter of tall trees, and just un-der them is a cot-tage or hov-el. They are poor folks who live there. See, the house is small and has no paint on it, no windows, noth-ing a-bout it that looks com-fort-a-ble. This hov-el is the home of slaves. The man and the wom-an are poor slaves. But just look in. What is that wom-an do-ing? See her weav-ing a lit-tle bas-ket with rush-es, which she has gath-ered from the banks of the riv-er. See! she weeps as she twists every flag; and, by the mov-ing of her lips, you see that she is pray-ing. She has fin-ished it. Now watch her. Do you see her go to the cor-ner of the room, and there kneel down, weep and pray over a beau-ti-ful lit-tle boy? See her em-brace and kiss him. Now she lays him in the lit-tle bas-ket; now she calls her lit-tle daugh-ter, and tells her to take her lit-tle broth-er, and car-ry him, and lay him down by the cold riv-er's side! There! now she takes the last look of her sweet babe; now she goes back weep-ing into the house, lift-ing her heart to God in prayer, while her daugh-ter goes and car-ries her dear boy, and leaves him on the bank of the riv-er. What will be-come of him? Will the croc-o-diles eat him up ?—those great crea-tures which swim a-bout in the riv-er, and climb on the banks, and which, have such dread-ful teeth; or will the wa-ters car-ry him off, and drown him? No, no. That poor moth-er has Faith in God; and God will take care of her son. The king's daugh-ter will find him, and save him, and that lit-tle in-fant is to be Mo-ses, the lead-er of Is-ra-el, the proph-et of God, and the wri-ter of much of the Bi-ble. —Todd.

LESSON LXI. THE KILE;

Chil-dren, you have all heard and read of E-gypt. it is a won-der-ful coun-try. There is ho rain there, and yet the land is wa-tered, and ver-y fer-tile. Of old it was a land of plen-ty, and the great grain-house from which the old Ro-mah em-pire used to fetch its bread. And that whole land is wa-tered and made fruit-ful by one sih-gle riv-er. Take that a-way, and it would at once be cin-ly a drea-ry sand-heap. Ev-er-y spring that riv-er ri-ses and overflows its banks, and the peo-ple have their lit-tle ca-nals dug, and their lit-tle dams built to catch the wa-ter; and then they go out and sow their rice on the wa-ters. The rice sinks down, and the wa-ters af-ter a while dry up, and the rice grows, and they have a great har-vest. Thus they " cast their bread up-on the wa-ters, and find it af-ter man-y days." For a great while it was a mat-ter of won-der what made the riv-er rise so, and o-ver-flow its banks. At last a man, named Bruce, fol-lowed the riv-er till he got far up a-mong the moun-tains, near-ly a thou-sand miles from the mouth of the riv-er, and there he found that these great moun-tains were cov-ered with snow. It is the melt-ing of this snow hi the spring that makes the riv-er rise so high. Up, far a-mong the hills he went, till he came to a lit-tle pond, or spring. It was the ver-y foun-tain and head-wa-ter of the Nile! How he sat down and re-joiced o-ver his toil, and how he looked at that lit-tle foun-tain! It was the be-gin-ning of great things! Now are we not to he-lieve that for thou-sands of years be-fore Bruce ev-er saw it, the eye of God was watch-ing it, as it poured out its wa-ters, rind sent them down to fer-til-ize the whole of E-gypt? Are we not to be-lieve that the Lord re-joiced o-ver this won

der-ful work of His, when, for the first time, the gushing stream found its new chan-nel, and marked out the line of its march from the moun-tain to the great sea? —Todd.

LESSON LXII. SWALLOWS.

The con-fi-dence which these birds place in the hu-man race is not a lit-tle ex-tra-or-di-na-ry. They not on-ly put them-selves, but their off-spring, in the power of men. I have seen their nests in sit-u-a-tions where they were with-in the reach of one's hand, and where they might have been de-stroyed in an in-stant. I have observed them un-der a door-way, the eaves of a low cottage, a-gainst the wall of a tool-shed, on the knock-er of a door, and the raf-ter of a much fre-quent-ed hay-loft.

A pair of swal-lows built their nest a-gainst one of the first-floor win-dows of an un-in-hab-it-ed house in Merri-on Square, Dub-lin. A spar-row, how-ev-er, took posses-sion of it, and the swal-lows were re-peat-ed-ly seen cling-ing to the nest, and en-dea-vour-ing to gain an entrance to the a-bode which they had e-rect-ed with so much la-bour. All their ef-forts, how-ev-er, were defeat-ed by the spar-row, who nev-er once quit-ted the nest. The per-se-ve-rance of the swal-lows was at length ex-haust-ed; they took flight, but short-ly af-ter-wards re-turned, ac-com-pa-nied by a num-ber of their compan-ions, each of them hav-ing a piece of dirt in its bill. By this means they suc-ceed-ed in stop-ping up the hole, and the irl-tru-der was iin-mured in to-tal dark-ness. Soon af-ter-wards the nest was ta-ken down, and ex-hibit-ed to sev-e:ral per-sons with the dead spar-row in it. In this case there ap-pears to have been not on-ly a rea-son-ing fac-ul-ty, but the birds must have poso

sessed the power of com-mu-ni-ca-ting their re-sentment and their wish-es to their friends, with-out whose aid they could not thus have a-venged the in-ju-ry they had sus-tained.—Jesse.

LESSON LXIII. THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.

There is a Reap-er whose name is Death;

And with his sic-kle keen,
He reaps the heard-ed grain at a breath,

And the flowers that grow between.

"Shall I have nought that is fair ?" saith he;

"Have nought but the beard-ed grain? Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,

I will give them all back a-gain."

He gazed at the flowers with tear-ful eyes,

He kissed their droop-ing leaves;
It was for the Lord of Par-a-dise

Ho bound them in his sheaves.

"My Lord hath need of these flower-ets gay,"

The Eeap-er said, and smiled.
"Dear to-kens of the earth are they,

Where He was once a child.

"They shall all bloom in fields of light,

Trans-plant-ed by my care;
And saints up-on their gar-ments white

These sa-cred blos-soms wear." ^

And the moth-er gave in tears and pain

The flowers she most did love;
She knew she should find them all a-gain

In the fields of light a-bove.

Oh! not in cru-el-ty, not in wrath,

The Reap-er came that day;
'Twas an an-gel vis-it-ed the green earth,

And took the flowers a-way.—Longfellow.

LESSON LXIV.—SOUTH-SEA ISLANDER AND SPEAKING CHIP.

The fol-low-ing in-ci-dent, re-la-ted by Mr. Wil-liams, will give a stri-king i-dea of the feel-ings of an un-taught peo-ple, when ob-serv-ing for the first time the ef-fects of writ-ten com-mu-ni-ca-tion. "As I had come to work one morn-ing with-out my square, I took up a chip, and with a piece of char-coal wrote up-on it a re-quest that Mrs. Wil-liams would send me that ar-ti-cle. I called a chief who was su-per-in-tend-ing his por-tion of the work, and said to him, 'Friend, take this; go to our house, and give it to Mrs. Wil-liams.' Ho was a sin-gu-lar look-ing man, and had been a great war-ri-or; but, in one of the nu-mer-ous bat-tles he had fought, had lost an eye, and giv-ing me an in-ex-press-i-ble look with the oth-er, he said, 'Take that! she will call me fool-ish and scold me, if I car-ry a chip to her.' 'No,' I re-plied, ' she will not; take it and go im-me-di-ate-ly; I am in haste.' Per-ceiv-ing me to be in ear-nest, he took it, and asked, 'What must I say?' I re-plied, 'You have noth-ing to say; the chip will say all I wish.' With a look of as-ton-ish-ment and con-tempt he held up the piece of wood, and said, 'How can this speak? Has this a mouth?' I de-sired him to take it im-me-di-ate-ly, and not spend so much time in talk-ing a-bout it. On ar-ri-ving at the house, he gave the chip to Mrs. Wil-liams, who read it, threw it away, and went to the tool-chest, whith-er the chief, re-solv-ing to see the re-sult of this

« ElőzőTovább »