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´╗┐Title: Light On the Child's Path
Author: Bixler, William Allen, 1876-1961
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 "Light On the Child's Path" ***

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                            Light
                     On the Child's Path

                      By Wm. A. Bixler


    Jesus said, "Suffer little children, and forbid them not
    to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
        --Matt. 19:14.


THE WARNER PRESS
Anderson, Indiana



[Illustration: ON GRANDPA'S FARM]



Copyright, 1918
by
Gospel Trumpet Co.

Printed In U.S.A.



CONTENTS


    Our Best Friend                                       11

    The Good Book                                         16

    What God Made                                         18

    In the Garden of Eden                                 20

    Our Heavenly Home                                     22

    The Day and Night                                     23

    The Rain and the Snow                                 25

    Winter's Blessings (poem)                             29

    Planting Seeds                                        34

    Flowers of Springtime                                 36

    A Walk in the Woods                                   38

    Our Feathered Friends                                 41

    A Bird of the Night                                   44

    Our Tame Birds                                        47

    Wee Pretty Kitty (poem)                               50

    Creatures of the Water                                51

    Our Tame Animals                                      52

    Little Foxes                                          56

    The Squirrels                                         58

    The Shepherds                                         60

    Jesus as a Child                                      62

    The Good Shepherd                                     64

    Parable of the Sower                                  70

    Parable of the Leaven                                 71

    Laborers in the Vineyard                              72

    The Wicked Husbandmen                                 74

    The Wheat and Tares                                   76

    The King's Marriage-Feast                             78

    A Lesson on Forgiveness                               80

    Jesus Loves the Children                              82

    Jesus Heals the Sick                                  84

    Jesus Nearing Jerusalem                               86

    Jesus Changed                                         88

    Feeding the Multitude                                 90

    The Death of Jesus                                    93

    Jesus Our Savior                                      94

    Moments of Prayer                                     96

    Morning Praise (poem)                                 98

    Evening Prayer (poem)                                 99

    Asking Blessing (poem)                               101

    Visit the Sick                                       102

    Do a Kindness (poem)                                 104

    The Blind Girl                                       106

    The Little Cripple (poem)                            108

    Country Children                                     110

    The Country Boy (poem)                               113

    God Sees All Things                                  114

    Be Kind to the Aged                                  117

    God's Garden (poem)                                  120

    A Baby for a Nickel                                  121

    We All Must Die                                      122

    The Path of God (poem)                               125



[Illustration: COUNTING THE STARS]


[Illustration: MORNING CHEER]



Our Best Friend


In a log cabin in the mountains lived a little boy. He often played
near the house, but did not go far away. Near the house were many
trees and rocks and among these wild animals stayed.

[Illustration: DOWN BY THE SPRING]

One day the boy missed his mama and thought he would try to find her.
He went down the path toward the spring, where he had often gone after
water. He went on and on. Finally he wished to return, but did not
know the way. Poor boy, he was lost.

[Illustration: THE BEST FRIEND WE HAVE IS MOTHER]

He started toward what he thought was home, and walked and walked.
Becoming very tired, he sat down to rest and soon fell asleep.

His mama missed her boy and hunted everywhere for him. Night came on,
but she did not give up her search. She hunted and called, but no
answer came. She feared the wild beasts would get him, but prayed to
God to protect her child. She hunted all night and in the morning
found him safe and still asleep.

The best friend we have on earth is a good mother. She thinks of her
children at all times. She loves them and lives for them. She seems to
know all about our little cares and trials. When we are willing to
help her, it shows that we think of her and love her, too.

Have you ever thought how she toils and cares for you? She works for
you every day--gets your meals, breakfast, dinner, and supper; washes
and mends your clothes and stockings; and at night makes your pillow
nice and soft for you so you can sleep well.

She seems to know just what to do if we happen to get hurt.

[Illustration: A MOTHER LIVES FOR HER CHILDREN]

Mother is watching after her little ones all the day long, and when
she puts her hand upon our heads at night as we bow at her knee in
prayer, she seems to say, "God bless and keep my darling child." When
she tucks the covers tight about us and sits by our bedside, we think
that Mama is the best friend we have. Don't we?

Now I will tell you of another friend. This friend lives in heaven.
His name is God. We can not see God, but he looks down from heaven and
sees us. He sees everything we do, and hears everything we say. He
knows all things.

It was God who made this earth where we live, and everything that has
life. We pray to God, and he hears us and answers our prayers.

[Illustration]

    Now I lay me down to sleep;
    I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to keep.
    Thy love be with me through the night,
    And bless me with the morning light.



The Good Book


The Bible is a good book. In it we read about God, and about his
making the earth, sun, moon, stars, trees, flowers, rocks, water,
birds, fishes, animals, and man.

We read of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman; of their beautiful
home, the Garden of Eden; and also of their children and their
children's children.

In it there are many, many stories about how God helped people in
times of trial.

We also read about Jesus, the Son of God, who came down from heaven
and died for us, that we might have eternal life.

Good men wrote the Bible long, long ago, and the contents have been
kept, until now we all have Bibles. The Bible is called Holy Bible
because it is God's Word, and is a record of God's work and God's
words.

If we live now as the Bible teaches, after we die we shall receive a
crown of life in heaven.

[Illustration]



What God Made


Our God is a very great God. He made all things. He made this earth
where we now live.

It seems strange that there was a time, many, many years ago, when
this earth was nowhere to be found; but that is so.

When men make things, they must have tools to work with. They have to
make things little by little, working at them a long time before they
are done.

It was not so with God when he made this earth. "He spake, and it was
done." At first all was dark. He then said, "Let there be light," and
it was light. He called the light day, and the darkness he called
night. This, the Good Book says, took place on the first day.

On the second day God made the air we breathe, and in which the birds
fly.

On the third day he made the land, sea, and rivers, and the grass,
flowers, and trees.

On the fourth day he made the sun, moon, and stars, to give light to
the earth by day and night.

[Illustration]

On the fifth day he made the fish that swim in the water and the birds
that fly in the air.

On the sixth day he made all the animals, and at last he made man. He
gave them for food the grain of the fields, the fruits of the trees,
and the vegetables of the garden.

On the seventh day God rested "from all the work which he had made."
"And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very
good."



In the Garden of Eden


When the Garden of Eden was planted with all the beautiful flowers and
trees, God gave it to Adam for a home. He told him to take good care
of it. Adam was glad to work in the garden and use it as he chose; but
he had no one to enjoy the things that he enjoyed, no one to help him
to be just what God wished him to be, no one to love.

[Illustration]

God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make
him an help meet for him." So he made a woman and Adam called her Eve.

Eve was very much like Adam in some ways, yet unlike him in other
ways. Man has some gifts that woman does not have; one is helpful to
the other.

Adam's heart must have been glad to see the woman whom God had made
for him. He now had some one to enjoy the home with him. Adam and Eve
were happy in Eden as long as they loved God more than they loved to
have their own way. He knew better than they did what was good for
them and what would make them happy, and they were glad to obey him.

But by and by their own way seemed better than God's way, and they did
things that God had said they should not do. When we do things that
God says we should not do, we sin. So Adam and Eve sinned, and were
ashamed to see God, and when he came into the garden, they hid among
the trees.



[Illustration: _The Lord hath done great things for us whereof we are
glad_]

Our Heavenly Home


God loves men too well to leave them in sin and sorrow. And though we
have sinned, he will forgive us if we are sorry for our sins and ask
his pardon. He will give us good thoughts, and help us to love him and
to love one another.

We shall all die, but we shall live again; and if we serve God in this
life and are Christians, we shall live with him in heaven. There we
shall never sin and never die. We shall never be sick or sad; we shall
be happy forever. There we shall see God. Jesus will be there, and so
will all the good people who have ever lived.

God saw that the people he had made were doing wrong, and he had pity
on the whole world of sinners. So he sent his only Son to this earth
as the Savior of the world. You will find somewhere in this book how
God's Son came to this world.



The Day and Night


God made the sun to give light by day. The sun not only gives us
light, but also makes the earth warm and causes everything to grow.

Sometimes when the sun rises in the morning, it looks very close, but
it is really far away--away off in the sky. When the sun goes down in
the evening, darkness comes all around us. This is called night.

We do not want all daytime, in which to work and play; neither do we
want all nighttime, in which to sleep; but we enjoy both the day and
the night as God made them.

[Illustration]

Also, we see the moon and the stars. When the moon is full and round,
how large and pretty it looks! God made the moon and stars to shine at
night. Have you ever noticed the stars twinkle at night? How pretty
they are! There are so many of them that we could never count them
all. At one time some shepherds saw a beautiful large star; it was a
sign that the Savior of the world was born.



The Rain and the Snow


    Patter, little drops of rain,
    Patter on the window-pane.
    How I love to watch them pass
    In their races down the glass!
    Soon the shower will be o'er,
    Then the sun will shine once more.
    But I love to hear the rain
    Beat against the window-pane.
    Soft and gentle April showers
    Will bring May-time's pretty flowers.

I think it is pleasant to sit by the window and watch the rain as it
falls, sometimes in tiny drops and sometimes in large ones.

The warm showers make the grass, trees, and flowers grow. After the
shower is over, the grass looks fresh and green.

The birds also seem to be glad for the rain. They chirp among the
trees when the shower is over.

We see the pretty clouds in the sky. The wind moves them about.
Sometimes a storm comes, and then we see the lightning and hear the
thunder.

[Illustration: PLAYING IN THE LEAVES]

When winter-time comes, it gets cold, and the ground is all covered
with pure-white crystals of snow. Everything looks so clean and pretty
with its white coat on. We see the little snowbirds flying around, and
they are so happy picking up seeds for food.

Then we love to get on our mittens and warm coats, and go out in the
snow, too. People hitch horses to sleighs and enjoy rides. They put
bells on the horses, and these jingle merrily when the horses go fast.

[Illustration]

In the far north it gets very cold, and when the people go anywhere,
they hitch dogs to sleds.

In the Bible we read that the Lord will make our hearts white as snow
if we confess our sins and take him for our Savior.



[Illustration]

    Beautiful snow, so soft and so white,
    Sparkling like gems in the sunshine bright,
    Robing the earth and decking the trees,
    Sent by the Lord, the children to please.



Winter's Blessings


    Pretty little snowflakes
      Falling to the ground;
    Here is one, there is one,
      Ev'rywhere they're found.

[Illustration]

    See them fall so gently
      Through the frosty air;
    Every little snowflake
      Has its beauties rare.

    Soon the ground is covered,
      With the pretty snow;
    Then we see the snowbirds
      Flying to and fro.

    Do you think the snowbirds
      Like the wintry day?
    Do you think they're happy
      As they chirp and play?

    Happy little creatures--
      Do not reap or sow,
    Yet the Master feeds them,
      Even in the snow.

    Jesus made the birdies
      Blessings to enjoy;
    Then, oh, do not harm them,
      Little girl or boy.

    In the pleasant evenings,
      Then the rabbits go
    Through the woods and bushes,
      Playing in the snow.

    All the night they ramble,
      But at break of day
    They must hunt a refuge,
      There to hide away.

    So these little creatures
      Love the fallen snow;
    Should not we enjoy it,
      Who God's blessings know?

[Illustration: Love thy neighbor as thyself.
    Rom. 13:9.]

    Should we ever murmur,
      Should we e'er complain,
    When God sendeth blessings,
      As the snow and rain?

    No; we ought to thank him,
      Yes, for everything;
    And we ought his praises
      Daily to him sing.

[Illustration]

    He is love and kindness
      To us all below;
    On the just and unjust,
      Sendeth rain and snow.

    Let us e'er be thankful
      For his love to us;
    He's so kind and faithful,
      Giving blessings thus.

[Illustration]

    Let us ask the Savior,
      As we kneel to pray,
    "Help us to be thankful,
      More and more each day.

    "Thankful in the morning,
      Thankful noon and night;
    Thankful for the rain-drops,
      Thankful for the light."



Planting Seeds


    Birds are singing, clear and sweet;
    Flowers are springing neath our feet;
    Spring at last has come to stay.
    How we welcome lovely May!
          Lovely May,
          O lovely May!
    Oh, how glad we are to say,
          Lovely May!

    Winter days were cold and long,
    But we waited for thy song--
    Songs of birds and humming bees,
    And the fresh and lovely breeze.
          Lovely May,
          O lovely May!
    Oh, how glad we are today,
          Lovely May!

You may have helped your papa or mama plant seeds in the garden or in
the flowerbed. The warm sun and the rain make them grow rapidly.

We do not plant weed-seeds, but in some way they get into the ground,
and come up along with the garden-plants. If the weeds are not cut
out, they will crowd out the good plants.

[Illustration: AN ACT OF KINDNESS]

When we do little acts of kindness, it is like planting good seed.
When we are not kind, and say bad words, it is like letting the weeds
crowd out the good plants.

If you are good and kind to papa and mama, brother or sister, today,
you will find it easy to be kind to them tomorrow. It makes you happy
to be good to those around you.

If you are cross and say bad words, you may want to say them again.
You can not feel happy when you have said and done bad things.

God can help you sow good seed. He will help you to be good. He will
help you to love all around you.



Flowers of Springtime


How pretty and sweet are the apple, peach, pear, plum, cherry, and
orange blossoms! How good God was to make all these things for us to
see and smell! We can enjoy the blossoms. Also, we can see the little
apples or other fruit grow until they become large, juicy, ripe fruit.
Then we can eat them, and oh, how good they will taste! God is very
good to us.

[Illustration]

Not a leaf nor a blade of grass could grow if God's hand did not care
for it. He causes the warm sun to shine and the gentle rains to fall
so that everything can grow. Things could not grow without the warm
sun and the rain.

God has caused the wild flowers to grow along the road-side and in the
woods and meadows so we can enjoy them. How glad we should be that we
have such a good God to worship! When we kneel to pray, we can say,
"O Lord, I thank thee for all the pretty things I see each day." The
pretty things are some of the blessings that he daily gives us.



A Walk in the Woods


Have you ever taken a walk through the woods by the brook on a warm
day? How cool and pleasant the water looked as it ran along over the
rocks! Did it not make a pleasing sound?

[Illustration]

It is delightful to go through the woods where you can see the
beautiful trees. You can nearly always find some flowers growing along
the edge of the brook. Besides, the little birds fly among the trees
and sing so sweetly. Almost any child would enjoy a walk through the
woods. But there are many children in large cities who never have the
pleasure of going to the woods.

[Illustration]

How pleasant it is to sit down in a cool, shady place, and think of
the lovely things that God has given us to enjoy. As we look around
us, we can see so many blessings that God has given us.

[Illustration]

Even the little birds and flowers seem to be telling us that Jesus
loves us. God has made many beautiful things for us to enjoy. It makes
us happy to see the beautiful flowers, and to hear the little birds
sing so sweetly.



Our Feathered Friends


When all the trees and bushes and grass are green in the spring, we
see the little birds and hear their sweet songs.

How happy they seem as they fly about from tree to tree, and scratch
in the ground to find little seeds and insects to eat!

Sometimes we find a bird's nest in the bushes or on the ground. God
teaches the little birds how to build their nests with small sticks,
leaves, and feathers.

This is the bird's house. We sometimes see tiny eggs in the nest. The
little eggs hatch, and then there are little birdies in the nest in
place of the eggs. The mother bird hunts worms and bugs to feed the
little ones.

[Illustration]

Did you ever see a nest of young birds? How they open their little
mouths when you come near! They think you have something for them to
eat.

[Illustration]

Once a little boy found a meadow-lark's nest with young birds in it.
As they opened their little mouths, he thought he could feed them
better than the mother bird. He decided to raise them for pets, and so
carried them home. He fed them bread; but as the little birds were not
used to that kind of food, they did not thrive on it; and when one day
the boy forgot to feed them, they died. How sad he felt! And how sad
the mother bird must have felt when she could not find her babies!

God made the birds to enjoy the woods and fields. We must not destroy
their nests, for that would be wrong.

The Bible says, "Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not,
neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father
feedeth them."

[Illustration]



A Bird of the Night


[Illustration]

Did you ever see an owl? Owls fly around at night, as they can see
better after dark than in the daytime. They stay in some dark and
quiet spot all day, unless disturbed, but at night they hunt around
for something to eat. They eat some kinds of birds, rats, mice, fish,
reptiles, and insects.

The nest of the owl is made of sticks and twigs, and is oftentimes
built in rocks or ruins or old houses.

Some owls are as white as snow, and their feathers are as soft as
cotton. Some are brown, and others are gray.

Sometimes in the night we hear their noise, which sounds much as if
they were saying, "Who? who? who?"

The owl can not turn his eyes about as we can; so when he wants to
look around, he must turn his head.

In the cold countries where snow stays upon the ground most of the
time, there are owls with pure-white feathers. They are very large,
too; yet they can hardly be seen, since they look so much like the
snow.

[Illustration]



[Illustration: GEESE

THE QUAIL]



Our Tame Birds


Chickens and ducks and geese are birds, too. But they are tame and
stay where people do. They do not fly like the little birds, but they
stay around the barnyard and lay eggs for us to eat.

[Illustration]

Ducks and geese love to swim in the water. Both the big and the little
ones can swim, but chickens can not.

The old mother hen sometimes has many little chicks running around
her. They stay pretty close, because they are afraid that something
might harm them.

[Illustration]

Chicks are sometimes caught by hawks, which fly around watching for
them. In the picture we see a dog driving a hawk away from the old hen
and chickens. Don't you think he is a good dog?

[Illustration]

A farmer had a dog whose name was Ring. Even though he was asleep, if
a chicken gave the note of alarm, he would jump up and bark at once.
Then he would run after the hawk and drive it away.

[Illustration]

When lying quiet it was amusing to see how quickly he would jump up
and bark when any one would say, "Hawk!"



Wee Pretty Kitty


    "Wee pretty kitty,
      With nothing to do,
    Only to take
      Little naps in a shoe.
    You look very nice
      While lying in there,
    With never a thought
      Of sorrow or care.
    Yet I am so glad
      That I am not you,
    For I can love Jesus,
      Which you can not do."

[Illustration]



Creatures of the Water


[Illustration]

Fishes are queer creatures that live in water. Men catch them with
hooks and lines or nets and use them for food.

[Illustration: THE GUPPY]

Some fish are very large. We read in the Bible of a man named Jonah.
He was trying to run away from the Lord, who had called him to a work.
While on a ship, during a storm he was thrown into the water. But he
did not drown, for a great fish swallowed him, and carried him
ashore. He then knew that God meant what he said, and so did as God
had commanded.

There are hundreds of different kinds of fishes, and many, many men
earn their living by catching and selling them for food.

Some of Christ's disciples were fishermen when he called them. He told
them that he would make them fishers of men. This meant that he would
prepare them to help other people to become Christians.

[Illustration]



Our Tame Animals


There are some kinds of animals that are tame, as the sheep, hog, cow,
horse, dog, and cat.

[Illustration]

The horse is a faithful beast and does much work for man. He draws
the heavy loads on the road and works in the fields. We hitch him to a
wagon or a carriage and enjoy a ride, or we can put a saddle upon his
back and ride there also.

The cow gives us milk for our food, and from the milk we get cream,
butter, and cheese.

The flesh of the hog is valuable for food.

The dogs are useful to guard our homes, and cats catch mice and rats.
Both dogs and cats make good pets.

Sheep have long wool all over their bodies, and men cut it off and use
it to make clothes to keep us warm.

Young sheep are called lambs. They like to run and play very much. In
the picture we see a lamb that has fallen into the water. The mother
sheep stands close by and watches the man trying to pull the lamb out.

I suppose the man had missed these two from the flock. He was in
search of the lost ones, and seeing the mother standing near the
water, he came and found the lamb nearly drowned. The mother would not
leave her babe, but waited a long time until help came.

[Illustration]

Lambs are innocent-looking animals, and do not make a noise when
hurt. Jesus said that children are his lambs.



Little Foxes


Foxes are wild animals. They live in the woods and swamps, in places
where not many people live.

They are very cunning and sly, and catch young chickens, ducks,
turkeys, and geese whenever they can.

Night is the time when they slip around and catch these barnyard
fowls. They carry the fowls off to their holes in the ground, and eat
them there.

Little foxes are very destructive, and often spoil grape-vines. In the
Bible we read that it is the little foxes that spoil the vines.

This also means that our little unkind words and actions spoil the
peace in our lives and make us feel bad.

Let us be careful that our words and deeds do not make ourselves or
others unhappy. If we live to please God, we shall please God's
people, and we shall not have to feel sorry on account of some bad
words said or deeds done.



[Illustration: THE PET PONY]



The Squirrels


When the frosts have colored the leaves of the trees of the woods with
many hues, and the nuts have ripened and fallen to the ground, it is
then that the squirrels gather a good supply of the different kinds of
nuts and acorns into their little homes in the hollow trees, to be
eaten during the many long days of winter.

Have you ever seen a squirrel? They love to play in the woods, and run
among the branches of the trees, and jump from one limb to another.

God made the squirrels to enjoy the woods, and he has provided the
nuts for them to eat.

[Illustration: FEEDING THE SQUIRRELS]



The Shepherds


A shepherd is a man who takes care of sheep. During the day he watches
them while they are eating grass, and in the evening he takes them to
their fold or barn.

Now, we read in the Bible that an angel of the Lord appeared to some
shepherds in the night. The shepherds were very much afraid, but the
angel said to them:

"Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which
shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of
David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign
unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling-clothes, lying
in a manger."

[Illustration: THE ANGEL'S APPEARANCE]

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly
host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest and on
earth peace, good will toward men."

The babe's name was Jesus, who came as a Savior to all the world.



Jesus As a Child


[Illustration]

God, who is in heaven, was full of pity for the unhappy people of
earth. He loved them so much that he sent his Son to the earth in the
form of a child, a baby in his mother's arms. He came to earth to show
us how to obey God--how to live so as to do good in this life and be
happy both in this life and in the life to come.

He came as a child, so as to show children how to live. He came like
other children, and grew up as other children do, only better and
wiser.

When God sent his Son to the earth, he gave him into the care of two
good people who lived in a small town called Nazareth.

[Illustration: THE BOY CHRIST WITH THE WISE MEN]

When Jesus came to them, they were in Bethlehem. They had gone there
on a journey. There was no room for them in the inn; so they had to
stay in a place made for cattle. God was not ashamed to place his Son
in the care of poor people. He was not ashamed to have him born in a
stable and cradled in a manger.

A bright star appeared over the place where the young child lay, and
by this sign the wise men that came from the east seeking him were
enabled to find him.



The Good Shepherd


Jesus once lived on this very same earth on which we live. He walked
through grain-fields. He climbed mountains. He noticed the birds and
flowers, and watched the fishermen and farmers and shepherds. He used
the things he saw to teach lessons to his disciples and others who
came to hear him.

[Illustration]

In the land of Palestine, where he lived, sheep-raising was very
common. He said at one time: "I am the good Shepherd, and know my
sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me."

[Illustration]

He was trying to show the people that he was just as anxious to help
people live right and to keep them from danger as the kind shepherds
who watched over their flocks upon the hills of Palestine were anxious
to keep their sheep from harm at all times.

[Illustration: JESUS TEACHING THE WAY OF SALVATION]

At another time Jesus spoke of the lambs and compared them to
children.

Jesus went into meeting-houses and taught the people. Many times he
brought joy to the hearts of fathers and mothers by healing their sick
children. He did good wherever he went. He was always trying to help
those in trouble. He was the best and greatest man who has ever lived.

[Illustration]

Reading and studying about him will help us to stand for the right and
to do good, kind deeds.

We are his sheep if we are Christians, and the way we follow Jesus now
is by reading the Bible and living a Christian life.

[Illustration]

Jesus gave his life for his sheep while he was here on earth. Now he
is up in heaven, but he loves the people who follow him, and is still
our Good Shepherd.

[Illustration: LEARNING OF JESUS]



Parable of the Sower


Jesus taught many spiritual lessons by parables, that is, by stories
about the common things people could understand.

[Illustration]

One day as he sat by the sea of Galilee, he told the people the
parable of the Sower. The sower cast some seed by the wayside, that
is, along the edge of the field or road-side. Some seed fell upon
stony ground, some among thorns, and some on good ground.

The people did not know what he meant till he explained the lesson to
them.

The great sower is Jesus, but all Christians are sowers under him. The
seed is the Word of God. People's hearts are the four kinds of soil.



Parable of the Leaven


Among the stories that Jesus told was the parable of the leaven.

A woman put leaven in the flour as a baker puts yeast in his bread
dough. The leaven kept working until it affected all the dough and
made it rise and become light.

As the yeast or leaven goes through all the dough, so the gospel of
Jesus will go to all the nations in the world.

Each one who believes on Jesus enters the kingdom of God. The kingdom
of God is righteousness, peace, and joy, which we get when we become
Christians.

[Illustration]



Laborers in the Vineyard


Jesus told another parable, a story of the laborers in the vineyard.
You can turn in your Testament to Matthew 20:1-16, and read about the
man who hired laborers to work in his vineyard.

[Illustration]

He had agreed to pay the laborers a penny a day. The men who worked
all day thought they should receive more than those hired later in the
day, but the master paid them all alike. Just so those of us who have
been Christians only a short time will receive the same heavenly
reward as those who have lived a Christian life for years. Salvation
is just the same to all--it takes sin out of our hearts and fills them
with the love of God.

We must not put off getting saved; for Jesus said, "Watch, for ye know
not the hour when your Lord doth come." This means that we are liable
to die without a warning, and we should always be ready.



The Wicked Husbandmen


Another parable is about a man who had a vineyard and let it out to
husbandmen. When the time for gathering grapes came, he sent his
servants to the husbandmen that they might receive the fruit. But the
husbandmen took his servants and beat one and killed another. He sent
other servants, and they were treated in the same way.

Last of all he sent his son, thinking they would honor him, but they
caught him and killed him.

[Illustration]

Jesus spoke this parable to the wicked people about himself at that
time. Christ himself had been sent to the Jews, who had been the
people of God for ages past, but who had wandered into sin. From time
to time God had sent good prophets to warn the Jews, but often the
prophets were persecuted.

At last God sent Jesus, his only Son, and him they killed.



[Illustration]

The Wheat and the Tares


Christ told another parable. It was of a man who sowed good seed in
his field; but while the servants slept, an enemy came and sowed
tares, or weeds, and then went away so that the servants knew nothing
of it.

When the wheat grew, the tares also grew. When the servants noticed
the tares, they asked the owner what it meant, as they sowed only good
seed. He answered that an enemy had sown the tares. But he said that
they should let both grow till the harvest, and that then the tares
would be gathered and burned, but the wheat gathered into the barn.

[Illustration]

Jesus explained this: The field, he said, means the world; the owner
means Jesus himself; the wheat means the persons who become
Christians; the tares are sowed by Satan; and the weeds are wicked
men.

The wicked men and Christians are together here in this world, but at
the judgment-day the righteous will go to heaven and the wicked will
be punished.



[Illustration]

The King's Marriage-Feast


Another parable was of a king's marriage-feast.

The king invited certain ones to the feast, but they would not come;
so he made an open invitation and sent his servants into the highways
to invite as many as they could find, and these people came.

God sent Jesus to the world, and he invited the Jews to accept the
kingdom of God, but they would not. Though some Jews accepted Jesus,
yet as a nation they did not, and God was displeased with them for it.
When the Jews would not accept Jesus, God extended the invitation to
the Gentiles, or all other people.

God now has the feast prepared. He invites people to come to Jesus and
have their hearts made pure and enjoy the rich blessings of the
kingdom--righteousness, joy, and peace. He extends the invitation to
all.

If we will not give heed to his invitation to accept Jesus, we shall
be left out of the kingdom, and others will take our place.

[Illustration]



A Lesson on Forgiveness


[Illustration]

The man kneeling in the picture owed the king hundreds and hundreds of
dollars. He had no money to pay the king. The king said that this man
and his wife and children must be sold and the money used to pay the
debt. The man begged the king to wait a while, promising that by and
by he would give him the money. The king then felt sorry for the poor
man and said the man would not need to pay him any money. The man
arose and walked away.

Soon he met a friend who owed him a little money. He spoke harshly to
the friend and told him to pay the money. The friend did not have any
money. He kneeled down before the man and said, "Wait a while, and by
and by I will give you the money." But the man seemed to have
forgotten that the king had been kind to him. He had the friend put in
jail. When the king heard about this, he did not like it, and he
punished the hard-hearted man.

We are like the man in the picture. We ask God to be good to us and
forgive us when we do wrong. Then, maybe, we are not good to our
little friends when they do wrong to us. If they do a bad thing to us,
we want to pay them back. We should not do this way. Jesus said that
if we would not forgive others, God would not forgive us. To forgive
our friends means to be just as good to them when they do wrong to us
as when they do good to us.



[Illustration]

Jesus Loves the Children


At one time when Jesus was teaching the people, some women brought
their children to him for a blessing. The disciples thought the women
should not do this, and thought Jesus did not wish to be bothered
with the children.

Jesus said, "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto
me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven." He loved them and held them
upon his lap and blessed them.

[Illustration]

At another time he said that unless people become converted and become
as little children, they can not enter the kingdom of heaven. This
means that it is necessary for them to have their sins forgiven and to
be pure and innocent and free from sin in order to be in God's church
in this world and to go to heaven after they die.



Jesus Heals the Sick


Jesus spent his whole life doing good. He always helped those who were
in trouble. He seemed to know of the sick and suffering of the land
and was always anxious to heal them.

[Illustration]

At one time he went into the meeting-place of the Jews and saw a man
there who had a hand so withered that he could not open it or stretch
it out. Now, there was a Jewish law that said no work should be done
on the Sabbath. The wicked people watched Jesus to see if he would
heal this man on the Sabbath-day.

[Illustration: HEALING THE BLIND]

Jesus knew their thoughts, and so he asked the people, "If any of you
had a sheep which should fall into a pit on the Sabbath, would you not
help it out?" Then he said that if it was right to help a sheep, it
was much more so to be good to man.

After that he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand," and he
stretched it out.



[Illustration]

Jesus Nearing Jerusalem


One day Jesus and his disciples were on their way to a great city.
This city was Jerusalem. Jesus told them that there many cruel things
would be done to him and that he would be killed.

The disciples did not think this would happen to Jesus. They thought
he would be a great king and sit on a throne. Two of these men were
James and John. They came with their mother and bowed before Jesus as
you see in the picture. James and John wanted to be great. They asked
Jesus to let one of them sit on the right side and the other on the
left of his throne. Jesus told them that the way to be great was to do
good, kind deeds.

[Illustration]

Jesus was the greatest person who has ever lived, and he spent all
his life doing good to those who were in need of help.

[Illustration]

As Jesus and his men went toward the city, many people went with him.
Two blind men were sitting by the road. They heard the crowd coming.
When they knew that Jesus was coming, they asked him to open their
eyes. Jesus was always ready to help those who were in trouble. He
opened the eyes of the two blind men so they could see.



Jesus Changed


Many little boys and girls kneel down at mama's knee or by the bed in
the evening and pray to God. Often Jesus went up on a high hill to
pray. In the picture Jesus is on a hill-top. He went there to pray. He
took three of his disciples with him. They were Peter, James, and
John.

[Illustration]

See the two men by the side of Jesus, and see how bright Jesus looks.
The two men came from heaven to talk with Jesus. Peter, James, and
John had never seen Jesus look so beautiful before. The Bible says
that his face shone like the sun and that his clothes looked bright
like snow when the sun shines upon it.

The three disciples heard God's voice. The voice said, "This is my
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." When they heard
it, they fell on their faces, for they were afraid.

Soon the two men went away, and Jesus looked as he did before. He
touched his disciples and told them not to be afraid.

Then they went down the hill. They found many people. They saw a poor
boy who was sick, and Jesus made him well.



Feeding the Multitude


When Jesus was here on earth, he preached to the people, and many
listened to his words. He went from place to place talking of God,
healing the sick and lame, and doing much good everywhere he went.

At one time when he had been preaching to about five thousand people
for a long time, they all became hungry. There was no food for the
people to eat, except five small loaves of bread and two small fishes.

[Illustration]

But Jesus blessed the bread and broke it and gave it to the people.
They all had all they wanted, and there was a good portion left.

Jesus was the Son of God, and anything he said would be done. So it
was with the bread. He multiplied it, so that the people were all
satisfied.

[Illustration]

In the Bible we read: "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and
forever." This means that he has just as much power today and can do
as much for us as he did when he was here upon earth.



The Death of Jesus


Many were the good deeds done by Jesus while he was here on earth, and
many people believed on him and followed him.

[Illustration]

Some very wicked men did not like Jesus and abused him whenever they
could. Just before they killed him, they put a crown of thorns on his
head, and the sharp points pierced his brow and were very painful.

He was nailed to a large cross, and was left there until he died. Some
good men buried him in a stone tomb, but in three days he arose and
afterwards he went up to heaven.

[Illustration]

He died for our sins, so that we can be saved from our sins in this
life and go to live with him when we die.



Jesus Our Savior


Our Savior is Jesus. He died to save us from our sins in this world,
and to save us from eternal death when we die.

Suppose that a girl should be out on the water in a boat and should
fall out of it into the water, and some men close by with a large boat
would get to her right away; they would save her life, would they not?
Yes.

Just so Jesus came to save us. We were lost because we all have
sinned and disobeyed God, but we can be saved from our sins if we ask
Jesus to forgive us. He will forgive our sins and will not hold them
against us any more.

When our sins are forgiven, we are Christians, and Jesus will help us
to live right from that time on.

[Illustration: GOING UP TO HEAVEN]

We shall not have a desire to do the bad things which so many boys and
girls do, but we shall want to live right and be good.

He can keep us from sin every day and hour if we trust him. So Jesus
is our Savior.



Moments of Prayer


How good it is that all can pray! The Lord is always waiting to hear
and answer our prayers. When we pray, we talk with God; we must listen
closely when he talks to us and do whatever he says.

[Illustration]

When we get ready for bed in the evening, we should not forget to
pray. We should remember that the Lord has been good to us all the day
long. He has kept us from all harm, and given us food and clothes. We
should also thank him for a home and parents and friends. Even the air
we breathe comes from him.

Then in the morning we should again kneel down, and thank God for his
care through the night. The Lord loves to hear children pray.

After we pray, we should try hard to be good. The Lord will surely
help us if we ask him. Then, do not forget to pray.

[Illustration: WE REAP WHAT WE SOW]



Morning Praise


[Illustration]

    Father dear, I humbly bow
    By my little bedside now.
    Thou hast kept me through the night,
    Till the morning, clear and bright;
    Thou hast given rest and sleep;
    Thou dost e'er a vigil keep
    Through the silent hours of night
    While the stars and moon are bright.
    Blessed Father, through the storm
    Thou hast kept me from all harm;
    And thy loving hand is near,
    Guarding me from harm and fear.
    Help me now, I ask of thee,
    That my daily walk may be
    Like a little Christian true,
    In my words, and actions too;
    Keep me from all harm again
    As thou didst last night. Amen.



Evening Prayer


    Father dear, I humbly bow
    At thy feet and ask thee now:
    Keep me through this dreary night,
    Wake me with the morning's light;
    Let no danger hover near,
    Let no sorrow, sigh, or fear
    Break my slumber; but on thee
    Let my thoughts and dreamings be.
    Father bless, and may I prove
    That I've tasted of thy love.
    Keep my tongue and let me talk
    Of thy goodness. Help me walk
    As a Christian every day;
    Keep me ever true, I pray.
    Let no harm or sickness come
    Near our happy little home.
    In thy hands my all I lay;
    May I never from thee stray.
    Keep me, Lord, I ask again.
    Praise the blessed Lord! Amen.

[Illustration]



Asking Blessing


    O Lord, I bow
      My little head
    To thank thee for
      My daily bread.
    I pray thee bless
      This daily food;
    I pray thee bless
      It to my good.

    Oh, may my soul
      This day be giv'n
    The Bread of Life,
      Sent down from heav'n.
    Oh, keep me now
      This day from sin,
    From harm and sickness
      Free. Amen.



Visit the Sick


Do you not know some one who is sick? Some little boy or girl may be
in bed with a fever, and would be so glad to see you come into the
room with a bunch of flowers or some other little gift. How happy the
sick one would be!

Are you not glad to see your friends when you are sick? It makes you
forget some of your pain for a time, does it not?

When we give a bunch of flowers to a friend, a teacher, or some one
who is sick, it is the same as saving, "I love you."

Can you not get a good book and show the sick ones some pictures, or
read to them? You can read about Jesus, who had pity on all the sick
and healed them.

Jesus was very kind, and was glad to take away the aches and pains
when the people came to him.

He had great power to heal all kinds of sickness, and in several
places in the Bible we read that "he healed all the sick" that came to
him.

[Illustration: TAKING FLOWERS TO A SICK FRIEND]

He can heal us now if we trust him and ask for his healing power.
Jesus can do all things.

He can do many things for us if we live true to him, and ask him for
the things that we need as we would ask mama for a piece of bread or
cake. Jesus never fails to supply our needs if we are his true
children and live for him. Let us have faith in God.



Do a Kindness


    "Do a kindness, do it well;
    Angels will the story tell.

    "Do a kindness, tell it not;
    Angels' hands will mark the spot.

    "Do a kindness, though 'tis small;
    Angel voices sing it all.

    "Do a kindness, never mind!
    What you lose the angels find.

    "Do a kindness, do it now;
    Angels know it all, somehow.

    "Do a kindness any time;
    Angels weave it into rhyme.

    "Do a kindness, it will pay;
    Angels will rejoice that day.

    "Kindly deeds and thoughts and words
    Bless the world like songs of birds."

[Illustration: FLOWERS FOR MOTHER]



The Blind Girl


Blind persons can not see anything. They can not tell what any person
looks like. They can not see the sun, moon, trees, birds, flowers, or
any of the pretty things that we see.

They can not read as we do, but they read by feeling with the ends of
their fingers. There are books with raised letters or dots on the
pages for the blind, and by feeling the shape of them they can read.

See the poor blind girl reading the book. Poor girl! she can hear the
birds sing, and can smell the pretty flowers, but she can not see how
lovely they are.

[Illustration: BLIND GIRL READING]

When Jesus was here on earth, he healed the blind who came to him. He
is still just as able to heal the blind eyes so people can see as he
was while here on earth. But it takes faith in God, who is
all-powerful.



The Little Cripple


    I am sitting by my window
      In my lonely little room;
    Every little boy seems happy,
      While my life is filled with gloom.
    Yonder see the children running,
      Hear them laugh in childish play;
    Like the butterflies and birdies,
      Playing all the live-long day.

    Once I ran as other children;
      Now I'm but a cripple-boy.
    As I watch them through my window,
      How their games they do enjoy!
    How I'd love to hear their footsteps
      Coming to my open door!
    It would make me feel as cheerful
      As in happy days of yore.

    Yet I'm thankful for dear mother,
      Who so gently smooths my brow,
    Tells me pleasant little stories
      Of her childhood days, and how
    She once wandered in the meadow,
      With the cattle and the sheep,
    Picking buttercups and daisies
      Till the stars began to peep.

[Illustration]

    Then she tells me of the Savior,
      How upon this earth he trod,
    How he came to us from heaven--
      Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
    Now his home is up in glory
      With the happy angel band;
    But he comes and blesses children
      And protects them by his hand.

    Then she kneels down by my bedside,
      As the twilight shadows fall,
    And we ask the Lord to kindly
      Guide and keep us one and all;
    Then he makes us very happy,
      Gives us blessings rich and true,
    And I know with all the children,
      Jesus loves the cripples too.



Country Children


Children love to play on the bridge over the creek, or sit down in the
tall grass on the banks and pick wild flowers.

Sometimes the dog swims in the water after a stick and brings it
ashore. Dogs can swim in the water; but if the children should get
into deep water, they could not get out, and would drown if some one
did not come to help them out.

There are many, many children living in the cities who do not have the
chance to play in the green grass or pick wild flowers like the
children who live in the country. How much they would enjoy doing so!

[Illustration: IN THE COUNTRY]

God made the water and land, the grass and flowers, and intended that
the children and all people should enjoy them.

Jesus once said, "Consider the lilies, how they grow; they toil not,
they spin not; ... if then God so clothe the grass which is today in
the field, ... how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little
faith?"

God takes care of the flowers, the grass, and the trees, and he can
care for us.

[Illustration: FUN ON THE FARM]



The Country Boy


    I love to see the country boy,
      With body large and strong.
    He sings while he is doing chores,
      And whistles all day long.

    He drives the cows down to the lane,
      And feeds the chickens, too.
    He carries wood for mama dear,
      Who has so much to do.

    He goes to school and studies hard
      His lessons day by day;
    He's always ready at recess,
      To romp and jump and play.

    God bless the boys! the country boys!
      They soon will be our men.
    We know not then what they may do
      With deed or thought or pen.

    But other boys as well as he,
      Can study, learn, and do,
    Can live a grand and noble life,
      To right and God be true.



[Illustration: HERE'S A PLACE SISTER WHERE WE CAN HIDE OUR BEANS]



God Sees All Things


[Illustration]

One time a little boy was sent by his papa to plant some beans. He
worked a while, then he sat down to play. While he was playing, he
spilled part of his beans. At once he began to pick them up.

There were so many beans that he became tired. Then he thought he
could cover them up with dirt. He thought no one would ever know he
had spilled them. At last he got the rest of the beans planted and
went home.

He often thought of the beans he had spilled. But he did not tell his
papa. Some time after this his papa went to the patch. He wanted to
see how the beans were growing. He found that all of them had come
up--even those that the boy had spilled and had not picked up. The boy
did not need to tell his papa then what he had done. For his papa knew
it all.

So it is with some bad things you may have done. You may think that no
one will ever know of them. But the secret will come out some time.
Even if no person should ever find it out, God sees all you do. You
can not hide anything from him.

[Illustration]



Be Kind to the Aged


One fine spring day six children went to the woods to gather wild
flowers. Oh, how they enjoyed the warm sunshine while they filled
their little baskets with violets, buttercups, and spring beauties!
And the air was filled with the sweet perfume.

[Illustration: KIND TO THE AGED]

The flowers were so pretty and there were so many that the children
could hardly stop when the baskets were filled. Soon they started for
home. "Let's give some flowers to the old people," said one. "Yes,
let's do," said the rest, and off they went, and many were the smiles
from the old people that day.

Let us be kind to the aged. When we meet any one who is old, let us
speak to them kindly and give them a smile.

[Illustration: READING TO OLD PEOPLE]

The old people did much for us when we were too small to care for
ourselves. Let us not forget their kindness.

[Illustration]

    Little thoughts of kindness,
      Little deeds of love,
    Lead you from the wrong way
      To the heaven above.



God's Garden


    "My heart is God's little garden,
      And the fruits that grow each day
    Are the things that he sees me doing,
      And the words that he hears me say.

    "The flowers in God's little garden
      Are 'joy' and 'truth' and 'love';
    And the seed by the Master planted
      Is raised in the garden above.

    "There's a spring in God's little garden,
      Whose waters, so sweet and clear,
    Flow out into other gardens
      Which God plants very near.

    "I must tend to God's little garden,
      Lest the weeds and the sharp thorns grow;
    If the flowers should droop and wither,
      His heart would be sad, I know."



A Baby for a Nickel


A man told a little girl that he would sell his baby for a nickel. She
liked babies well and thought that was very cheap. She ran home
quickly to get the money. Her mama was very busy. She gave her the
nickel and did not stop to listen to what the little girl wanted.

The little girl ran back to the man to get the baby. Of course, the
man would not give up his baby. He did not mean what he had said. This
made the little girl cry very hard.

Her mama always told the truth. She thought others meant what they
said, just like her mama.

It was wrong for the man not to tell the truth. We often make others
feel very bad when we say things that we do not mean.



We All Must Die


Some people are very wicked. This means that they do many bad things
and do not love God. Some men swear and lie and steal and also do
other sinful things.

[Illustration: MARILYN'S TEACHER TELLS HER OF THE HEAVENLY HOME]

To tell a lie is to say things that are not true, and to steal is to
take something that belongs to some one else.

Now, it is very wrong to swear, lie, or steal. God does not want us to
do any such things. All who do wicked things will some day be
punished.

[Illustration]

Some day we shall die, for all of us must die. If a man should be
going some place through the deep snow and should get lost and the
cold should freeze him, it would kill him. He would not live any
longer, but would be dead.

If we love God and live for him, he will give us a home in heaven
after we die; but if we are wicked, we shall be lost and punished for
our wicked ways after we die.

We should think about our life here and see that we live to please
God.

If we do not, when we come to die we may be like the man in the boat.
At one time he could have been saved--while he was floating on the
smooth waters. But he has let it go too far, and can only look forward
to his doom.

Let us love God and live for him on earth, so we can live with him in
heaven after we die. When Christ was here on earth he said: "I go to
prepare a place for you, ... that where I am, there ye may be also."



The Path of God


        The path of God
        That Jesus trod
    Is just the path for me;
        I'll walk each day
        The narrow way,
    Where all is victory.

        Oh, let us fight
        For truth and right,
    And Satan e'er defeat;
        God giveth grace
        In every place
    And victory complete.

        Our life we give,
        And e'er we'll live
    For Christ, and tell his love
        To fallen man
        Where'er we can;
    At last be crowned above.



Transcriber's Note:

The frontispiece illustration has been moved to follow the title page.
Other illustrations have been moved, where necessary, so that they do
not fall in the middle of a paragraph or verse.

The page number in the Table of Contents for Be Kind to the Aged has
been amended from 118 to 117.





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