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´╗┐Title: Wee Ones' Bible Stories
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Wee Ones' Bible Stories" ***

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Library Project Management Team, Christine De Ryck and the PG Online


WEE ONES' BIBLE STORIES


SHORT SKETCHES OF THE BIBLE

SPECIALLY ILLUSTRATED FOR THE LITTLE FOLKS


[Illustration: Knock. It shall be opened unto you]


1903.



FEEDING THE MULTITUDES.


Jesus had chosen twelve out of the many who flocked about Him wishing to
be His disciples, and these twelve were called apostles. He sent them
forth to preach the gospel, giving them power to cast out evil spirits
and to heal diseases; and when they were about to go forth upon their
mission, He gave them instructions regarding what they were to do, and
warned them of the persecutions which would be heaped upon them. He also
bade them be strong and not fear those who had power to kill the body
only, because the soul was far more precious. So the apostles went out
into the cities and towns and preached the word of God and carried
blessing with them.

When they came back they told Jesus what they had done, and they went
with Him across the sea of Galilee to a quiet spot where they could rest
and talk over their work.

But the people went around the sea, or lake, to join them on the other
side; and when Jesus saw the crowds He was sorry for them, and taught
and healed them again as He had done so many times.

In the evening His disciples urged Him to send the people away that they
might buy food for themselves in the village; but Jesus said, "Give ye
them to eat."

The disciples thought this would be impossible. "We have here but five
loaves and two fishes," they told Him; and when He said, "Bring them
hither to Me," they obeyed Him with wonder.

Then Jesus commanded the people to sit down in groups upon the green
grass; and He took the loaves and gave thanks to God for them, and broke
them into pieces, handing them to His disciples to give to the people.

He divided the fishes also in the same way, and the disciples went about
among the groups giving each person a share, and everyone had enough to
eat; for although there were about five thousand men there, besides
women and children, the food was sufficient for all. Even more than
this, when the multitude had eaten all that they wanted, the disciples
gathered up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces.

When the people saw this wonderful miracle which Jesus had done, they
wished to make Him king at once, for they thought He was the Promised
One for whom they had been so long waiting, and they did not know that
the kingdom of Christ was not to be an earthly kingdom.

But Jesus would not allow them to make Him king, and He left them and
went up on the top of a mountain alone.

On another occasion when a great crowd had gathered to hear Him and had
been for a long time without food, He called His disciples to Him and
told them that He felt very sorry for the people because they had been
fasting three days, and He could not send them away so weak and hungry
for fear they would faint before they could reach home.

But His disciples said they did not know where they could get food for
so many, as they were in the wilderness.

Jesus asked them how many loaves of bread they had, and they told Him
seven, and also a few small fishes.

Then Jesus bade the people sit down on the ground around Him, and He
took the seven loaves and the fishes and offered thanks to God;
afterwards, He broke the loaves into pieces as He had done before and
gave them, with the fishes, to His disciples, and the disciples
distributed them among the people. As they gave out the food it
continued to increase wonderfully, so that all the people were fed;
and even after that there was food enough left so that they took up
seven baskets full, although about four thousand men, with many women
and children, had eaten.

These miracles show not only the power of our Lord, but His tenderness
and thoughtfulness for those around Him in the everyday affairs of life.
He not only cared for the souls of His people, but for their physical
comfort as well; for His heart was ever open to the cry of human need.

One of the first acts by which He manifested His power to the men who
afterwards became His disciples, was an act of helpfulness.

He saw two ships by the Lake of Gennesaret with the fishermen near by
washing their nets, and going aboard one of the ships, which belonged to
Simon Peter, He asked him to put out a little way from land; then, when
His request had been complied with, He taught the people from the ship.

After He had finished His teaching, He said to Simon, "Launch out into
the deep and let down your nets for a draught." Simon told Him that they
had worked all night and had caught no fish, but that they would do as
He bade them.

And when they had done so, the net was filled so that it broke, and they
had to call to their partners in the other ship to come and help them;
and both ships were filled. Then Peter and James and John left all to
follow Jesus.



JESUS CALMS THE TEMPEST.


At one time when Jesus had entered a ship to cross the Sea of Galilee
with His disciples, a great storm arose and the waves nearly covered the
little vessel, so that they were apparently in great danger.

The disciples were frightened, but Jesus was asleep and the storm did
not disturb Him. As it grew worse and worse and the disciples became
more than ever afraid, they went back to where Jesus lay and wakened
Him, crying out, "Master, dost Thou not care that we perish?"

When they said this, Jesus arose and spoke to the winds and the sea,
saying, "Peace, be still!" Then at once the wind went down and the sea
became calm, and the hearts of the men were filled with wonder and still
greater faith and awe, while they said to one another, "What manner of
man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?" They had not yet
learned that Jesus had power over all things whenever He chose to
exercise it.

At another time when the disciples had crossed the Sea of Galilee,
expecting that Jesus would join them upon the other side, a storm came
up, suddenly as before, and the waters were quickly piled up in great
waves; for the lake was narrow and deep, and the storms usually burst in
full fury with little warning, doing much harm before there was a chance
to escape. At this time the disciples had hard work to row the boat
against the wind, and it was tossed about here and there by the waves in
the middle of the sea until, toward morning, Jesus went out toward it,
walking upon the water.

When the disciples saw Him coming they thought it was a spirit and
were frightened: but He spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer; it is
I, be not afraid."

[Illustration: JESUS WALKING UPON THE WATERS.]

Then Peter said: "Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the
water."

Jesus said, "Come," and Peter stepped out upon the water and started
toward the Master; but his faith was not strong enough, and as he began
to sink he cried, "Lord, save me!"

Jesus stretched out His hand and held him up. "O thou of little faith,"
He said, "wherefore didst thou doubt?"

When Jesus came into the boat the storm ceased, and soon they reached
the shore. Then the disciples worshiped Him and said, "Of a truth Thou
art the Son of God."



RUTH AND NAOMI.


The story of Ruth and Naomi is one of the sweetest and most touching of
all the Bible stories. It shows the beauty of unselfish devotion and
constant love, and the happiness which they brought, and teaches a
lesson which is very helpful to us all.

A long time ago, in the days of the judges of Israel, there was a famine
in the land of Canaan, and a man named Elimelech, whose home was in
Bethlehem, went with his wife Naomi and his two sons to live in Moab.

After they had been there a while Naomi's husband died, leaving her with
the two sons. Then, by and by, the sons married, and their wives were
very good to Naomi, and loved her. But it was only ten years before both
of the sons died, and Naomi thought it was best for her to go back to
her old home in Canaan; for she had been told that there was plenty in
the land once more, and she wanted to see her own people and the
relatives of her husband who was dead. So Naomi told her
daughters-in-law to return to their own homes, because she could not
expect them to be willing to leave everything for her sake.

"Go, each of you, to your mother's house," she said; "the Lord deal
kindly with you as ye have dealt with the dead and with me." But they
both wept and clung to her, saying, "Surely we will return with thee
into thy land."

Naomi, however, thought they would be unhappy if they left their own
country, and she urged them to stay there and let her go alone; so one
of them kissed her over and over again and promised to do as she bade;
but the other, who was named Ruth, would not leave her.

"Entreat me not to leave thee," she pleaded, "or to return from
following after thee; for whither thou goest I will go, and where thou
lodgest I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God;
where thou diest I will die, and there will I be buried; the Lord do so
to me and more, also, if aught but death part thee and me."

Then Naomi stopped urging her to return, and they went together to
Bethlehem, where the friends of Naomi were very glad to welcome her and
greeted her in a very friendly manner, saying again and again, "Is this
Naomi?"

[Illustration: THE ASCENSION INTO HEAVEN.]

But she answered: "Call me not Naomi, but call me Mara, for the Almighty
hath dealt very bitterly with me." She said this because Naomi means
"pleasant" and Mara means "bitter," and the sorrowing widow felt that
her life was a bitter rather than a pleasant one, since she had been
bereaved of her husband and sons.

There lived in Bethlehem a man named Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi's
husband, and who was also very wealthy. He had a large farm and many
people, both men and women, worked in his fields, and as it was about
the beginning of the barley harvest when the two women came to
Bethlehem, these fields presented a busy appearance.

Ruth wished to do something to help support herself and her
mother-in-law, so she begged Naomi to let her go into the fields and
glean after the reapers--that is, to gather up the barley that was left
after they had made up the sheaves--and Naomi told her that she might
go.

[Illustration: THE PRODIGAL SON.]

Ruth happened to choose the field of Boaz to work in, and when the
wealthy man came into the field and saw her, he said, "The Lord bless
thee!" but he did not know who she was.

As he went away he inquired of the head reaper about the young woman,
and afterward he said to Ruth: "Go not to glean in another field, but
keep here close to my maidens." He also spoke to his young men about
her, telling them to be kind and courteous to her, and he bade her go
and drink of the water which they drew whenever she was thirsty.

When Ruth wondered at his kindness and asked him why he was so good to a
stranger, he told her that he had heard of her love for Naomi and her
unselfish devotion, and he said: "The Lord reward thee, and a full
recompense be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings
thou art come to trust." He invited her also to sit with his reapers at
meal-time, and he waited upon her that she might have enough to eat and
drink.

When she had gone he commanded his young men to let her glean among the
sheaves and to drop some handfuls purposely for her, and not to find
fault with her or reprove her.

So Ruth worked in the field all day, and then beat out the barley which
she had gleaned and took it to the city to show Naomi, who was very
glad, indeed, and very thankful.

Naomi asked Ruth where she had gleaned, and when she had heard the whole
story, she told her that Boaz was a near relative and that it was well
for her to stay in his fields, as he had given her permission to do,
until the end of the harvest. So Ruth kept close to the maidens who
gleaned in the fields of Boaz until the end of both the barley and the
wheat harvests.

Then one night when Boaz was to have a winnowing of barley, Naomi told
Ruth to make herself ready, putting on her best clothing, and to go to
the winnowing and the feast and to ask Boaz what she should do.

The winnowing is the fanning out of the straws from the kernels after
the husks have been beaten off. A great many people helped about the
work, and a feast was prepared for them.

Ruth did as Naomi had told her to do. When she had informed Boaz that
she was a near relative he said, "Blessed be thou of the Lord, my
daughter." Then he told her not to be afraid, but to bring the long veil
which she wore, and when she had brought it he poured a large quantity
of barley into it. She carried this to the city and gave it to her
mother-in-law, telling her what Boaz had said, and Naomi was comforted;
for she knew that Boaz would advise them wisely.

After this Boaz went to the city and consulted with the chief men and
those that were interested in the welfare of Naomi and Ruth, and when he
found that it would be wronging no one, he told the people that he was
going to take Ruth for his wife, and the people said, "We are
witnesses." So Boaz married Ruth; but in her new position as the wife of
a very wealthy and influential man, this noble woman did not forget her
love for Naomi, whom she still tenderly cared for. When a little son
came to bless the union, Naomi rejoiced, for she felt almost as though
it was her own little son, and she named him Obed and delighted in
taking care of him.

When Obed became a man he married and had a son named Jesse, who in turn
became the father of David, the great king of Israel. Jesus Himself was
of the House of David, and so God's promise to His chosen people was
fulfilled.



MOSES.


Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, had made a law that every boy baby of the
Hebrew race should be killed, and there was great sorrow because of it.
But when Moses was born, his mother managed to hide him for three
months; then she made a cradle, or little ark, and putting him into it,
carried him down to a river and hid the cradle among the reeds there.

Soon after this, Pharaoh's daughter came with her maidens to the
river-side, and when she saw the beautiful child, she sent one of her
maidens to bring it to her.

She took the little boy to the palace and named him Moses, and he became
a great man among the Egyptians; he knew, however, that he belonged to
the Hebrew race, and when he saw how badly his own people were treated,
he tried to help them; but at last he was obliged to leave Egypt, and
became a shepherd, taking care of the flocks of a priest called Jethro.
He also married Jethro's daughter.

[Illustration: THE GOOD SAMARITAN.]

After a time, God spoke to Moses out of a burning bush, and told him
that he must go and rescue his people from the cruel Egyptians. Moses
thought he could not do this; but God promised to help him, and to show
him what he would be able to do with that help, God turned the rod which
Moses carried into a serpent. Then God told Moses to pick the serpent
up by the tail, and as he did so, it became a rod again. He showed him
another sign, also; but Moses was still afraid, because he could not
talk well and thought that Pharaoh would not listen to him. So God told
him to take his brother Aaron for a spokesman.

Moses and Aaron, therefore, went into Egypt, where they called together
the chief men among their own people, the Hebrews, or Israelites, and
told them what God had commanded. Moses also did the miracles which God
had given him power to do, and the people believed that God had sent
him.

After this Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh, and told him that it was the
Lord's command that he should let the Israelites go. Pharaoh knew
nothing about God, and became very angry, saying that Moses and Aaron
kept the people from their work by telling them such things; and he
treated the poor Israelites worse than before.

But Moses had faith in God; so he was able to perform before the king
the wonderful things that he had done before his own people; still,
Pharaoh would not let the children of Israel go.

Then Moses turned the waters of the rivers into blood; and after that he
caused large numbers of frogs to run over the land and through the
houses, doing great harm. He also brought locusts and other insects to
be a pest to the people, and caused many of the useful animals which
belonged to the Egyptians to grow sick and die, doing all these wonders
with the rod which God had given him. But Pharaoh would not listen to
him.

Then God commanded Moses again, and he brought other plagues upon the
Egyptians; but Pharaoh would not give up.

At last, however, God sent a still more terrible trouble; for the
first-born of every Egyptian family, and even the first-born among their
flocks, died; although the Israelites, who were constantly praying to
the Lord and making sacrifices, were spared, as they had been all the
time.

Then Pharaoh was frightened into obeying God, and he let the Israelites
go; so they started at once for the land of Canaan, and the Lord guided
them by a cloud, which at night looked like a pillar of fire.

When the Israelites had reached the Red Sea, they found that Pharaoh
was pursuing them with a large army. But God commanded Moses to stretch
forth his rod over the sea; he did so, and the waters parted, making a
high wall upon either side, so that the children of Israel passed
through and reached the other side in safety. Pharaoh and his hosts
followed and were all drowned.

When the children of Israel saw that they were safe, they sang a
beautiful song of praise to God, and then they went on their way again.

After they had traveled for some time, they were in need of bread and
meat, and they complained about Moses because he had brought them to a
land where they had not enough to eat. But God sent them plenty of
quails and also a substance which they could use for bread. Later, when
they wanted water, the Lord commanded Moses, and he struck a rock with
his rod, and pure water poured out of it, so that the thirsty people and
their animals had all that they wanted.

In this way God took care of them as they journeyed through the new and
strange country toward the promised land, and Moses became the law-giver
of the Israelites, receiving his commandments from God.



JACOB AND ESAU.


Jacob and Esau were twin brothers, sons of Isaac and Rebekah. Esau was
the dearer to his father; but Rebekah loved Jacob more, and she wished
her favorite son to have the birthright, or larger portion of the
property, which really belonged to Esau because he was a little the
older.

One day Esau came in from hunting, very tired and hungry, and sold his
birthright to Jacob for a kind of stew called pottage.

Afterward, when Isaac had grown very old, he sent Esau one day to get
some of his favorite meat, saying that when he returned he should have
his father's blessing.

But Rebekah heard this and determined that Jacob should have the
blessing instead. So she prepared meat, then dressed Jacob in some of
his brother's clothing, covering his hands and neck with the skin of the
kids, and sent him to his father; and Isaac blessed him, for his sight
was dim, and he thought it was Esau.

When the elder brother returned, he was very angry with Jacob, and Isaac
was deeply grieved to think he had been deceived; but he blessed Esau as
well, who became prosperous and had large possessions and great power.

After this Jacob went to his mother's people, where he met Rachel, whom
he loved very dearly. He told Laban, her father, that he would serve him
faithfully seven years if Rachel might be his wife, and Laban consented
to this; at the end of the seven years, however, he told Jacob that he
must first marry Leah, as she was the older, but if he would serve
another seven years he might have Rachel also. So Jacob served another
seven years for Rachel, and then they were married.

Later Esau and Jacob met and were very glad to see each other, for Jacob
had repented of his sin, and God had forgiven him; while Esau forgave
him also.

[Illustration: ISAAC BLESSING JACOB.]



THE APOSTLE PAUL.


Before his conversion to the faith of Christ, Paul was called Saul, and
he persecuted the Christians, believing that they were doing wickedly
and that he ought to punish them for it.

But while he was in the midst of these persecutions, and as he was
journeying toward Damascus one day, he saw suddenly at noon-time, a
light shining in the heavens which was greater than the light of the
sun, and he and all that were with him fell to the earth in wonder and
awe. Then Saul heard a voice speaking to him and saying, "Saul, Saul,
why persecutest thou Me?" And Saul said, "Who art Thou, Lord?" And the
voice answered, "I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest."

Then Saul was instructed as to what he was to do, and was told that he
would become a minister of Christ. From that time Paul preached and
taught the Christian religion, and converted many people to it.

But he was persecuted in his new work as he had persecuted others, being
finally taken prisoner and threatened with scourging; he declared
himself a Roman citizen, however, and therefore safe from such
treatment, and went on openly confessing his faith and telling of his
conversion, and he appealed for protection to the Roman emperor.

He was then put on board a ship as a prisoner to be taken to Rome. While
they were at sea a violent storm came up, and Paul warned the sailors
that they were in great danger; but they would not listen to him. At
last the ship was wrecked, all on board being cast ashore upon an
island, whither they had been carried, clinging to boards and broken
pieces of the ship.

The barbarous people of the island treated them kindly, building a fire
that they might dry their clothing and get warm; for it was cold and
they were, of course, drenched.

The men were very glad to be safe once more; but a strange thing
happened after a little: Paul gathered up an armful of sticks to put
upon the fire, and as he placed them upon the flames, a viper, which is
a kind of poisonous snake, came out of the bundle and clung to his hand;
he shook it off into the fire, however, without the slightest sign of
fear.

Those who were about him thought that the hand would swell and that
Paul would die from the effects of the bite, and they watched him
closely, believing that this trouble was sent to him as a punishment for
his sins. But no evil results came from the wound, and then the
barbarians thought he was a god and looked upon him with great respect.

Paul and the men who were with him remained upon the island for three
months. At the end of that time they went away in a ship, finally
reaching Rome, where the prisoners were given up to the authorities; but
Paul was allowed to live by himself, with only a soldier to guard him,
and after a while he called the chief men of the Jews together and told
them why he was there and preached to them the Word of God. His
preaching was received by some with faith, but others did not believe.

[Illustration: THE CRUCIFIXION.]

[Illustration: "HE IS RISEN!"]

Paul went on preaching and teaching in Rome for two years, living in a
house which he hired, and he brought many to Jesus. He was a man of
excellent education and a powerful preacher. His Epistles, given in the
Bible, are full of power and the fire of conviction, and he did a
wonderful work for the great cause in which he believed with all his
heart.

Paul was physically small and deformed; but mentally he was a giant. He
had been taught the knowledge of the Romans, and was therefore well
fitted to take up this new cause in a manner which would appeal to
educated people as well as to those who had no learning.

[Illustration: THE LAST SUPPER.]

[Illustration: THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY GHOST.]

From the time of his conversion until his death he labored faithfully in
the ministry of Christ, fearing no persecution or hardship when he
could do the Master's bidding and teach His holy will. The work which he
did was a wonderful work, and his influence in the Christian world has
been a very remarkable one. Brave, untiring, devoted to the cause of
Christ, he at last lost his life in that cause, adding another to the
list of martyrs whose memory the world loves and reveres.

The story of Paul's experiences reads like those tales of adventure
which are so full of absorbing interest that when once they have been
taken up, we do not feel like laying them down again until they are
finished.

This is true also of many others of the Bible stories, and great authors
have taken their themes from them for the writing of books which have
become famous.

The more we study the Bible, the more wonderful it becomes, and the more
we learn that in that marvelous book are set forth nearly all the
experiences of which human life is capable, with the teaching which each
of these experiences should bring and the lesson to be learned by the
reading of them. In all the world there is not another collection so
wonderful as this.



DAVID.


David, the son of Jesse, was a beautiful boy, who could charm by his
wonderful music. But he was to be more than a "sweet singer," for
Samuel, the prophet of the Lord, declared that he should be King of
Israel, and poured the sacred oil upon his head.

Saul, who was then the King of Israel, had spells of insanity, and David
was sent for to try and calm him by his music. In this he was so
successful that after a time the king seemed to be entirely cured; so
David returned to his home, and staid there quietly until his father
sent him to the camp of the Israelites, with food for his brothers.

He found Saul's army in great commotion, because Goliath, a mighty
warrior of the Philistines, had come out before both armies and had
offered to fight any man who should be sent against him.

Goliath had a cap of brass on his head, and his body was well protected
with a covering of iron and brass, while he carried a monstrous spear
and sword, and a heavy shield. As he came before the two camps, he
cried out: "I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we
may fight together!"

When David came up and heard the story, he said: "Who is this
Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?" And David
offered to go forth against Goliath.

So he went out in his shepherd's dress, with only his staff and sling;
and Goliath, who was very angry at this, cried out: "Am I a dog, that
thou comest against me with a staff?" Then he began to make fun of
David. But David answered: "Thou comest against me with a sword and a
shield; but I come against thee trusting in the Lord of Hosts, the God
of Israel, whom thou hast defied."

[Illustration: SAUL ANGRY WITH DAVID.]

Then, as Goliath came nearer, David took a stone from the bag at his
side, and putting it into his sling, he took good aim, and it struck
Goliath in the middle of the forehead and stunned him. As the giant
fell, David ran up to him, and taking the mighty sword, cut off his head
with it.

This act of David's brought a great victory to Saul's army, and the king
was delighted with his courage; while Jonathan, Saul's eldest son, loved
the boy from that time, and they became like brothers. David also
married the daughter of Saul, and was placed over his men of war.

[Illustration: THE DEATH OF SAUL.]

[Illustration: THE DEATH OF AHAB.]

But when all the people praised David, and Saul knew how much they
loved him, he grew jealous, and David was obliged to fly for his life
and hide himself from the king. During these wanderings, he wrote some
of his most beautiful psalms.

Saul, however, was finally killed, and at last David became king. He
ruled Israel for nearly forty years, making it a great and powerful
nation; and when he died he was buried at Jerusalem, which was called
"The City of David," because he had caused it to be taken from the
enemy.



THE TOWER OF BABEL.


The sons of Noah were named Shem, Ham and Japheth. These sons in turn
became the fathers of children so that the descendants of Noah were very
numerous.

One of these descendants, named Nimrod, was a mighty hunter and a man of
power and authority in the land, and it has even been said that the
people worshiped him as a god.

In those days men liked to build high towers reaching away up toward the
heavens. Perhaps they were afraid of another flood, and perhaps they
simply wished to show what they could do; but however that may be, ruins
of towers can still be seen in various parts of the world, one of the
most noted of which is that of the "Tower of Nimrod." It is forty feet
high and stands on the top of a hill near the River Euphrates in Asia.

In the time of Nimrod, the people said, "Let us build us a city and a
tower, whose top may reach unto Heaven; and let us make us a name, lest
we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." So they began
to build the tower, and they made it very strong indeed, and kept
raising it higher and higher toward the heavens, thinking, Jewish
tradition, or story, tells us, that they would have a shelter in which
they would be perfectly safe from any flood which might come, or any
fire. There were some of the people also who wished to use the tower as
a temple for the idols which they worshiped. Six hundred thousand men
worked upon this wonderful tower, so the story goes on to say, and they
kept up the work until the tower rose to a height of seventy miles, so
that, toward the last, it took a year to get materials for the work up
to the top where the laborers were employed. Of course this story is
exaggerated, but without doubt the tower rose to a great height and was
a wonderful piece of work.

God was not pleased with what the people were doing, however, because
they thought themselves so great and powerful that they had no need of
Him, and so He put an end to their bold plans.

Up to this time all the people of the world had spoken the same
language; but now, when they were working upon this wonderful tower,
they commenced to talk in different tongues so that they could not
understand each other, and there was great confusion. Owing to this,
they were obliged to give up the building of the tower, and they
separated themselves into groups, or divisions, each division speaking
the same language, and then they spread out over the world, forming the
various nations.

The tower was called the Tower of Babel because of the babel, or
confusion, of tongues which had taken place there, and it was left
unfinished to be a monument of God's power and man's weakness without
Him.

[Illustration: THE TOWER OF BABEL.]

These men were skillful in building, else they never could have gone as
far as they did in their stupendous work, and God was willing that they
should exercise their skill, as He is willing that people shall do now;
but when they thought themselves equal to Him, they learned how weak
they really were in comparison. The story teaches the great lesson of
dependence upon God and submission to His will and His laws.



THE BOYHOOD OF JESUS.


There are many beautiful stories of child-life, but the story of the
Boyhood of Jesus is the most beautiful of all. It teaches a wonderful
lesson of obedience to parents and love and respect for them, as well as
of the charm of a pure and consecrated childhood, and the lesson is all
the more helpful because it is full of the human interest of everyday
life.

Although the boy Jesus was gifted with a wisdom far beyond His years--a
wisdom which was His because He was the Son of God, yet He lived much as
other boys lived, doing the tasks that were given Him by His parents and
being subject to them in all things.

Probably the people around Him did not think very much about what He
said or did during those years. When they saw Him helping Joseph, the
carpenter, or doing the little things which Mary, His mother, bade Him
do, He seemed much like other little boys to them; they thought Him
bright and pleasing, and it may be that there was something in His looks
and in His manner which puzzled them, which set them to thinking of holy
things in a wondering way; but Mary was the only one who dwelt upon the
mystery of His life with a constant prayerful questioning as to just
what the meaning of it was.

Mary treasured all His sayings in her heart and believed that the time
would come when everyone would know that He was not simply an ordinary
child like those around Him.

After Joseph had brought his family back from Egypt because, now that
Herod was dead, it was safe for them to come into their own country
again, they lived in the city of Nazareth, and so the words of the old
prophets were true, that Jesus, the Savior of the World, should be a
Nazarene, or dweller in Nazareth.

Every year the Jews held a feast at Jerusalem called the Feast of the
Passover, in memory of the time when God passed over, or spared, His
chosen people in Egypt, although He destroyed the first-born of the
Egyptians. When Jesus was twelve years old He went to Jerusalem with
Joseph and Mary to attend this feast.

There were many of the relatives and friends of the family there, and
when they started home after the feast, there was probably some
confusion about getting the company under way, for they traveled in a
train consisting of people on foot and mounted upon donkeys, and they
had, of course, some needful provisions to take with them, together with
the things which they had brought for their comfort upon the journey and
during their stay in Jerusalem; and as the parents of Jesus did not
think of His remaining behind, they neglected to look for Him, supposing
He was somewhere in the train; so, when they had traveled for a day on
the return trip, they were greatly surprised and troubled to find that
He was missing.

They immediately started back for Jerusalem, wondering as they went what
could have happened to their boy and fearful about it; but after three
anxious days they found Him in the temple talking with the learned men
there, listening to their wise words, and asking questions which
astonished everybody who heard them, because they were full of an
understanding of holy things that was not to be expected of a boy.
When His parents had found Him, Mary said to Him, sorrowfully, "Son, why
hast Thou dealt thus with us? Thy father and I have sought Thee
sorrowing."

Then Jesus turned to her with sad and gentle respect, and asked, "How is
it that ye sought Me? Wist ye not"--that is, "Do you not know"--"that I
must be about My Father's business?"

Perhaps in these words He tried to give them an insight into the great
meaning of His life; but they were puzzled, although Mary dimly felt all
that He would have her understand. He did not at this time, however,
explain to them further regarding what was in His own heart. It may be
that He did not yet fully comprehend just what He was to do. He had
taken upon Himself the human nature which He was to raise to something
grander and nobler than human nature had ever been before, and in
becoming a little child like other little children, perhaps it was God's
plan that He should not yet have the judgment of a man in all things.

However that may have been, He went back with His parents and obeyed
them as before, for the time had not come for Him to leave them and
begin His teaching, except as He taught by the force of a beautiful
example. But that example formed a great part of the purpose for which
He was sent into the world, because one of the noblest truths that He
impressed upon humanity was the duty of children to parents. His own
life taught this better than any sermon could have done, for in all the
history of the world we have no better example of what a child's conduct
should be toward his parents. It is the more beautiful because Jesus was
not like other children, but, having the wisdom of God in His heart, was
far better able to judge for Himself between right and wrong.

During all these years Jesus grew in stature as well as in wisdom, and
those around Him felt, without understanding it, that in some way He was
different from the rest. The divinity of His nature could not be hidden,
even in those early years, but it shone through all the small acts of
everyday life, making them beautiful; while every one who knew Him was
better and happier for coming near such a noble nature.

[Illustration: THE QUEST.]

[Illustration: =The Angels' Song=

    "Praise thou the Lord!" the angels cry
       The song of peace and love,
     Comes floating downward thro' the sky,
       From unseen courts above.
]





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