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'GO TO SLEEP,' '(~1.0 to sleep, Carlo, you naughty dog,' ^-* said Flora, as she fondled her little favourite, and lectured him on his duty, as if there were as much wisdom in his black, bushy head, as in her own. Perhaps, indeed, there was, only he had a different way of expressing his thoughts, and Flora did not always quite understand his meaning. If it is true that we only thoroughly know those whom we love, then, 1 am quite sure Flora might well know Carlo, for dearly she loved him; and her run in the garden, or her walk through the summer fields, would have felt solitary indeed, had he not been her companion.
On this special morning, they had had a long ramble together, and Carlo had very nearly got his young mistress into trouble, by barking at some sheep on the road, and so calling down the displeasure of the shepherd. Then when fairly out of harm's way, as Flora believed, he had the boldness to challenge a great big dog to single fight, and the little girl's heart beat quick as she saw a huge paw ready to come down on her pet. But happily the warrior was of a generous disposition, and would have scorned to take advantage of such a weak foe, so he allowed the thoughtless little pair to continue their journey in peace, so far as he was concerned; but it was not till Flora had reached the garden gate, and closed it behind them both, that she felt quite secure.
Then, throwing off her bonnet, she set herself to teach Carlo better manners, as she said, for he still seemed inclined for more fun. 'Go to sleep,' she repeated. 'I am sure you may well rest now, and be thankful you are home. Where would you have been, if that great dog had not had pity on you? and what should I have done without you, you dear, delightful, mischievous, little thing! Ah, Carlo, I see quite well conscience won't allow you to sleep, and it is no wonder. You are thinking of those poor harmless sheep you wished to worry; you know you were wrong; you are feeling just as I did last Tuesday when I was angry with George, and struck him.
And there are other naughty things I have done, Carlo, that sometimes come into my mind when the room is dark, and just before I fall asleep. If conscience is keeping you awake, I shall not grudge it. Mamma said it was well for us to be kept a little wakeful, when that small voice was speaking; we should be more likely to remember and not do the same again. You'll try too, Carlo, and be a better little dog next time, won't you? so go to sleep, now: you and I are tired.' - K.
By a young Contributor now deceased.
FIRST of all, What is the Bible? The Book. What book? And why, when the world is so full of books, that in civilized countries we see them lying about in almost every house we enter, should there be one singled out and set apart from all the rest, and by tacit consent allowed to be the Book? Why, because the value of a book is in its authorship, and the author of this Book is God. And because other writings are but the work of created men, while this is penned by the Creator Himself, therefore the Bible stands above all other books. In it God tells us, so far as we may understand, who and what He is, and to what purpose He has created us. He tries to make us see that His thoughts to us were always thoughts of love and mercy, though we rebelled against all His loving-kindness, and persistently grieved His Holy Spirit. He tells of the great climax, when the Son of Glory left the light of His Father's presence, to walk on earth in darkness and the shadow of death, despised, rejected, and finally slain by men, that through His death their great sin might be blotted out and forgiven.
At first, for a long time, there was no Bible; that is, no written record of God's dealings with men. Job was probably the first who, being a holy man of God, was inspired by the Spirit to narrate his own history—shewing the strife between the will of God and that of man, and how, in all things, we must bow submissively,
people. In our Saviour's time they were collectively spoken of as the law and the prophets; and, in another place, the law, the prophets, and the Psalms.
The Pharisees, however, were not satisfied with the Bible: it was too pure and simple for them, and they only allowed their children to study it until they were old enough to understand the 'traditions.' The precept of llabbi Eliezer was,' Prevent your children from reading the word of God too much, lest they be carried away with it.' 'Carried away' to what V Surely only to eternal life; for our Lord Himself said, 'Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life.' The Rabbins said, 'The Scriptures are water; but the traditions are wine.' And so they made the word of God of none effect—all of them, except a few faithful believers, who still held that the Author of the Book must know better than even the Rabbins. Then, when the Saviour came unto His own chosen people, they received Him not; for they had explained away, or disguised all the passages which prophesied that He should come in humility, and persisted in expecting a Messiah clothed with pomp and glory. When He had departed from earth, and was gone back to His Father's house, those who loved Him began to write down, as the Holy Ghost inspired them, all His sayings and doings, and to expound the doctrines which He had delivered unto them. They also told the history of the church after His ascension. And, finally, the Apostle John related his glorious vision of Heaven. By and by the Gospels, the Acts, the Epistles, and the Revelation were collected together, and handed down to after ages as the New Testament,
By degrees each church obtained an entire copy of these writings; and so they were preserved in purity to be the guidebook of the world. It went forth conquering and to conquer; but now began to be fulfilled the word of Jesus, when He said, 'I came not to send peace, but a sword'—that word, which was 'quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.' The Pagan world rose against it;
and fearful were the sufferings they inflicted upon those who loved and studied it. They dragged the Christians, with ropes tied round their necks, to worship at the temples of their idols; and finding this of no avail, they invented all sorts of horrible tortures, by which to shake the courage of these children of God. They tied them together in large companies, and drove them into the sea; they flung them headlong from precipices; they suffocated them by hundreds in lime kilns; they tortured them with, red-hot iron, and smeared and burnt them with pitch: but had not the Master told his disciples of all this? and did they not know, from His own book, that this affliction was but working out for them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory? Ay, they knew it well; and with faces set heavenward, and the seal of God upon their brow, they laid down their lives by thousands, rather than deny the Lord who bought them, or give up that Book, which was the Word of their salvation.
Then arose the great power of Popery, so much more dangerous because it did not reject the Book, but rather professed to honour and obey it as the rule of faith; but gradually engrafted upon it so many errors and perversions of the truth, that soon, like the Jews of old, the people began to follow, not the wOrd of God, but precepts of men—not Christ, but the Pope. They made pilgrimages to famous places and holy shrines, worshipped the bones and relics of saints, endured the most painful and troublesome penances, and paid large sums of money to the priests for the remission of their sins. And all this time the Book lay neglected and forgotten; for the people were not able to read, nor permitted to hear it read;. and the priests' chief object seemed to be to keep it sealed and closed for ever.
But God's will was not to be baffled by men. Quietly, like the silent current of a great stream, hidden for a while as it runs beneath tangled briars and underwood, the influence of the Book flowed on, breaking out every now and again, sometimes in remote valleys, and sometimes in towns,