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SEE how fearlessly little Annie rides her pony. It has been her friend from infancy, and she is almost as fond of it as an Arab is of his horse. Though it does not live in a tent with her, as the Arab steed does with his master, yet it is treated with great kindness. The pony knows the child, and is well pleased that she should ride him. Annie cannot remember the first time she was placed on the pony's back, for she has been accustomed to ride him since she was a very little thing. The pony seems quite to understand that he has charge of her, and he is faithful to his charge, and will bring her safely home.
Little Annie's parents trained her to speak kindly to the pony, and to pat it gently, and never to hurt it in any way; and now she is well repaid for all her kindness. The pony is sagacious and docile, and as careful of the child as a gentleman's horse, of which I have read, was of his master.
'A friend of ours,' says the writer of a volume on 'The Horse,' 'rode thirty miles from home on a young horse which he had bred, and which had never before been in that part of the country. The road was difficult to find, but, by dint of inquiry, he at length reached the place he sought. Two years passed over, and he had again occasion to take the same journey. No one rode this horse but himself, and he was perfectly assured that the animal had not since then been in that direction. Three or four miles before he reached his journey's end, he was benighted. He had to traverse moor and common, and he could scarcely see his horse's head. The rain began to pelt. "Well," thought he, "here I am, far from any house, and know not, nor can I see an inch of my road. I have heard much of the memory of the horse,—it is my only hope now,—so there," throwing the reins on his horse's neck, "go on." In half an hour he was safe at his friend's gate.'
Who gave the horse such a wonderful memory, made him so sagacious, and gave man dominion over him? It is the same
God who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven. We may learn much of the wisdom and goodness of God, from studying the wonderful structure and habits of animals. When God revealed His own power and wisdom to Job, He said to him,
'Hast thou given the horse strength?
Hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?
Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper?
The glory of his nostrils is terrible.
He paweth the valley, and rejoiceth in his
strength. He goeth on to meet armed men: He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted: Neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him, The glittering spear and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and
. rage; Neither believeth he that it is the sound of the
trumpet. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha! And he smelleth the battle afar off, The thunder of the captains, and the shouting.'
Job 3D. 19-25.
This sublime passage shows us the duty of considering the wonderful works of God in the animal world, and of learning from them the many lessons God would have us to learn. Those who thoughtfully and reverently study the habits of animals and their marvellous structure, will never be guilty of unkindness to them. It is very sad to think of how cruelly such a fine animal as the horse is often treated.
In France, and in America, there are many Juvenile Societies for the Protection of Animals. These have done, and are doing, much good, not only to the dumb animals, but to the children who have become members. Would it not be well for all our readers to join such a Society, or better still to adopt the recommendation given by Mr Angell, of Boston, to the children of the public schools in that city. He would have 'Legions of Honour' formed, each member of which should be pledged—
1st. To speak no falsehood;
2nd. To use no profane language;
3rd. To show respect to the aged;
4th. To protect from unnecessary cruelty, as far as possible, all that are
STUDIES FOE THE YOU3SG—DAMEL.
upon his ear, and the sunbeams straying through the overhanging branches woke the song of bird and hum of insect, his heart was inspired, and he pourtrayed its beauty on the canvass. But long years before, and now just as then, the Nameless Kill has gone on for ever, sprightly and beautiful, with its sweet message of peace and rest to man.
There are quiet lives in the bye-ways of the world's history of which we know nothing, but of which we get, now and again, a passing glimpse, revealing to us their peaceful beauty—hidden lives, away altogether from the din and bustle of the world, yet known to God—the salt, it may be, though unacknowledged, of a nation. Such were the lives of many mothers in Israel in the days of the kings. Such was Hannah, whose little family of five were trained up in the fear of the Lord; the girls, no doubt, helping, year by year, to make that little coat for the child Samuel —the elder brother who was serving the Lord in the temple. A happy home it must have been, ever with the solemn yet blissful thought that one of their number had been called, from his childhood, to be the Lord's.
To another Jewish home our thoughts are turned, by the touching story of the little maid, carried captive by the Syrians out of the land of Israel. Who she was, what was her name, to what tribe of Israel she belonged, we know not; still less do we know anything of her mother. Arid yet we have a glimpse back to the home of her childhood, and the true lessons taught her there of trust in God, and of loving kindness even to those who had carried her away captive. She was earnest to do good, and God blessed the little maid; and so it came about that Naaman, the great Syrian lord, was guided by this little maiden to the prophet in Israel, who not only healed his trouble, but revealed to him the true God and made him a humble disciple of the Lord.
Separated by nearly three centuries, we get a glimpse into another Jewish home, in the history of Daniel the prophet. Here,
too, we are left without particulars. We have no certain information as to the father and mother of the prophet; no mention of the particular tribe to which he belonged, nor whether he dwelt in city or in hamlet. The probability, however, is, that being carried to Assyria as a hostage, he was of royal lineage, or at all events of princely descent. But whether this be so or not, his after history reveals to us how carefully his early training had been attended to. . Doubtless a pious mother had been his instructor in lessons never to be forgotten; the good seed then sown falling into congenial soil, and springing up afterwards to a ripe and golden harvest. He was still but a boy when he was carried away captive; but, child as he was, he stood out against the idol worship of the heathen nation among whom he dwelt. He purposed in his heart, so runs the record, that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank; and God blessed him in his refusal: his example encouraged his companions to make the same resolve; and at the end of the ten days' trial which Melzar permitted them, their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.
The fruits of early training are seen in all Daniel's after history. With him the service of the Lord occupied the first place: what the judgment of man might be was a very small matter. Hence, in the great trial of his faith, when it became necessary to take up a position of isolation from the idolatrous court, he did not hesitate to show clearly that he was on the Lord's sid. Entering his house so soon as he knew that the irreversible decree was signed, and the window being open, he kneeled down and prayed to that God whom he had first learned to know at his mother's knee. Nor did he pray in vain. Cast as he was into the lions' den, God, whom He loved and served, wrought for him a marvellous deliverance. What wonder that the king and all that heathen court should be stirred up to resolve to serve the God of Daniel,