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verses in one of king David's beautiful Psalms, which I have been thinking of whilst telling you about Jeremiah and the kind Ethiopian. They are these, “ Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation, there shall no evil befal thee, neither shall any plague come near thy dwelling. Thou shalt not be afraid of the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flieth by day, nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness, nor for the destruction that wasteth at noon-day; a thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee; only with thine eyes shalt thou behold, and see the reward of the ungodly,”

We must now turn our thoughts, once more, for a few moments, to the unhappy Jews, whom we have seen, at last, cut off from the favour of the Almighty, torn from their own country, and scattered amongst strange nations. Let us think, then, again, that we may learn a lesson of true wisdom from their melancholy history; for these sad things happened to the Jews for an example to us, and they are written in the word of God for a warning to all people. Sin is hateful to God, whosoever it be that practises it, whether Jew or Gentile. If he punished the iniqui: ties of his own people, whom he had chosen from among all nations, will he not also punish the rest of mankind, when they walk contrary to him, and hearken not to his holy word. It is a fearful thing, my child, to fall into the hands of the living God when he is angry. For though so kind, and gracious, and pitiful, to those who love him, and try to please him, yet we are told, in his own word, that he is a consuming

fire to his enemies; and that it is impossible to stand before him when he rises up to judgment. The Jews, you know, found it so when they went on obstinately in their own way; and so shall all who refuse to submit to his holy laws, and to his blessed will.



E. WHAT part of the Bible are you going to talk to me about to-night, mamma? Have you finished the history of the children of Israel?

M. No, my love; we have by no means done yet with the history of the Israelites, at least with that part of them, those two tribes, I mean, which were called the kingdom of Judah, and are generally known by the name of Jews. Indeed you will find that the history of God's chosen people runs more or less through the whole of the word of God, through the New Testament as well as the Old, and we, Edward, must not leave it until it has at least led us to Christ; until it has brought us to the time when the blessed Redeemer was come, who was promised, you know, to Abraham, and of whom Jacob spoke on his deathbed, when he said, that Shiloh should come from the tribe of Judah.

But we will go on regularly with the delightful employment in which we have already spent so many happy evenings: let us follow the Jews at once into

the strange land where God had allowed them to be carried for a time, as a punishment for their many sins.

E. Oh! mamma, I am very glad that you are able to tell me more about the Jews, for I am not tired of hearing of them; I was only afraid that there was nothing more about them in the Bible.

M. You will be pleased, then, when you find that some of the most interesting part of their history is still to be told.

You have heard how Nebuchadnezzar carried away all the princes of Judah and mighty men of valour, to that great kingdom over which he reigned, which was called Babylon that very Babylon, you know, in the land of Assyria, which was begun by Nimrod in the plains of Shinar, and which was now become one of the greatest kingdoms and cities in all the world. Among these great and honourable captives were found four men, whose names are handed down to us in the Bible, as distinguished even there for their piety and virtue. The prophet Daniel was one of those, and the three others were called Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. King Nebuchadnezzar had desired the chief officer of his household to choose out several of the young Jewish nobles and princes to attend in the king's palace; such amongst them who were most beautiful in countenance, and skilful in wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding in science, he wished to be chosen, that they might be ornaments to his palace, and that they might be taught the learning and the language of the Chaldeans. For Chaldea, which is one of the names very frequently given to the region


nezzar dreamed dreams, which disturbed his mind so much that he could not sleep. And he desired all the wise men of his own country to be sent for into his presence, that they might tell him the meaning of his dream. So the astrologers and all the other wise men among the Chaldeans came and stood before the king, and begged him to tell them what he had dreamed, that they might explain it to him. But how greatly were they alarmed when the king told them that he had forgotten quite the dream, that it had gone from him, and that he expected them to bring it back to his mind again.

E. Why, mamma, they could not do that?

M. No, my love, they could not indeed, but this foolish king supposed that they could, and he declared to them most solemnly, that if they did not, they should be cut in pieces, and that their houses should be turned into dunghills. In vain did the Chaldeans answer, that there was not a man upon earth that could do what the king required, and that he was asking of them what no king, lord, nor ruler, had ever required of any of their subjects before: for that it was a hard and rare thing that the king had asked of them, and none, they said, could show it to the king, “ but the gods whose dwelling is not with flesh.”

But in vain did they speak. The king had been so accustomed to rule and to be obeyed, that he could not bear a contradiction of his will in any thing; their words only made him very furious, so that he commanded that all the wise men of Babylon should be destroyed. The command was a dreadful one, but who should venture to disobey it? The decree went forth that the wise men should be slain, and amongst


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