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uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall guide me.” You see, mamma, I have not forgotten that beautiful verse. But tell me, why Jonah did not like to obey God, and to go as he told him to Nineveh. Was he afraid to go amongst such a wicked people ?

M. Certainly the Ninevites were a strange and a violent people, and he might well expect not to be kindly received by them; Nineveh was also at a great distance from his own country, standing very high up, as you may see upon the map, upon the banks of the river Tigris, in the country of Assyria, of which it was the capital : having been built in very ancient times, by that Nimrod, of whom you have read in the book of Genesis.

But I do not think it was either fear of danger, or dread of the length of the way, which led Jonah to disobey God. His character appears to have been one which will seem perhaps strange to you, although I fear it is by no means uncommon, even amongst good and religious men. He was, in short, rather, or we may say, much inclined to bigotry.

E. What do you mean by bigotry?

M. I mean that he was so zealous for his own religion, and his own people, as not to like that God should show any kindness to Gentile nations, and therefore he was unwilling to go and preach to the Ninevites, lest they should repent, and God should forgive them. Not that Jonah was a bad man; far from it: he seems to have been a very pious person; but even piety is sometimes disfigured by narrow views, and uncharitable tempers, and this perhaps is the great lesson that we ought to learn from the his

tory of Jonah, not to let our religion run into bigotry, that is, not to let it make us wanting in charity for those who are of a different country, or even of a different faith from ourselves, nor to think that God has no mercy for the heathen, because he has not yet given them the light of his Gospel. True it is we must love the truth, and be zealous for it, but our zeal must be always mixed with charity, even for those who are most different from ourselves: how much more for them whose differences are not so great. But we must go on with the story, from which we shall see more clearly in what spirit it was that Jonah acted. He fled, as you have heard, from the presence of the Lord. But Jonah soon found how vain it was to fly from God. "The Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a great tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken : then the mariners were afraid, and cried every one unto his god, and cast out all the heavy things that were in the ship to lighten it: but still the storm increased."

E. Ah, mamma! I think Jonah must have been very much frightened then, for he must have felt that he had done very wrong, and so he could hardly ask God to take care of him.

M. During a great part of the storm, my love, he was fast asleep below in the ship; but at length one of the sailors came and woke him, saying, "What meanest thou, O sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not." This he said, poor man, little thinking, I dare say, how well able the God of Jonah was to deliver them from their danger, for he and his companions

were heathens, and trusted themselves in gods that could not save. Yet did not these poor heathen, calling upon their gods in the time of trouble, put to shame the prophet of the Lord, who lay asleep, senseless of the danger, without offering up one prayer for himself and his companions ? At length the poor mariners could do nothing more for the ship; they had no power at all to manage her in the tempestuous sea which surrounded her on every side, and being like most of the heathen very superstitious, they tried to find out by drawing lots, which among their small crew was the guilty person whose sins had brought upon them such unfortunate weather. For they took it for granted that this violent storm had been sent by their gods as a punishment of some one amongst them. You know what I mean by drawing lots; well, the lot which they had fixed upon to mark out the guilty person was drawn by the prophet Jonah, for their simple contrivance had in this instance been directed by the immediate hand of God.

No sooner had Jonah drawn the lot than his conscience began to smite him for his sin, and when his companions said to him,“ tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is come upon us ? What is thine occupation ? and whence comest thou ? what is thy country, and of what people art thou ?" He told them at once that he was an Hebrew who feared the God of heaven, who had made the sea and dry land, but that he had disobediently fled from the presence of the Lord, and that it was this sin of his which had brought them into such great trouble and misery. Now when the men heard this they were exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, “ What shall we do unto


servant of God, who had wandered from him for a little while, but was anxious to return to him again, and to submit to whatever punishment he, in his wisdom, saw fit for him. He was willing even to be cast into the great deep, if such was the will of the Almighty.

Nor did this humble submission to the will of God lose its reward. He was to learn, indeed, in the depths of the sea, with the sea weed wrapped about his head, that there is no going out of God's sight, nor out of the reach of his hand. But he was not to perish utterly; the Lord had prepared a great whale to swallow him up, and in the body of that whale he was kept alive for two nights and a day, and on the third day the whale was made to cast him out of her mouth on dry land.

You think this, as well you may, an extraordinary story, and if it were written in any other book but the Bible, we should not be able to believe it. But we have read enough of God's wonderful dealings with the children of men, to convince us that nothing is impossible with him, and therefore we should have no difficulty in believing this story, even if it had never been further explained to us, even if we could see nothing in it but the punishment and deliverance of Jonah. But one greater than Jonah is here. In this extraordinary story we must look beyond the prophet; for our blessed Saviour has expressly applied it to himself. Instructed by him, we learn, that the time which Jonah spent in the body of the whale, was meant to be a sign or figure beforehand of the time which he laid in the grave, and that Jonah's deliverance from that terrible prison was to foreshow

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