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“ THE LITTLE MAID OF THE LAND OF
MY DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,
SOME time since I told you of " The naughty Boys of the Bible," and warned you against following their sinful example. I now wish to remind you, that the Bible not only warns us, by setting before us the evil consequences of wick. edness, it also encourages us, by good examples. It contains many instructive accounts of good children, as well as of good men and women. One of these we will now consider.
It is that of a little girl ; “the Little Maid of the Land of Israel.” She was a good girl. By the way, I do not recollect reading in the Bible of any naughty girl! There might have been some girls among those young Bethelites who insulted Elisha, and who were torn in pieces by the two she bears; but I should think they were mostly wicked boys; and we do not in all the Bible read of any particular naughty girl. Girls ! think of this, and take care that you are not naughty. But I must come back to the good girl before mentioned. We read about her in the fifth chapter of the second book of Kings. You had better get your Bibles and turn to the chapter. In the second verse we read, —" And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel, a little maid ; and she waited on Naaman's wife.” Poor “little maid !” She was taken away from her father and mother, sisters and brothers, and playmates and home; and carried into a foreign country, and put as a little bond-servant into a strange family. Perhaps she was playing with some other children in the peaceful village where she was born, when those strange men came by, and caught her in their arms, and carried her away. I dare say she wept bitterly, and begged them to let her go. O what a dreadful thing is war! How grateful we ought to be for peace ! and how grateful you young people ought to be for kind friends and comfortable homes !
“ Parents, friends, 'twas God bestowed;
Life, and all, descend from God.”
THE LITTLE MAID OF THE LAND OF ISRAEL. 211 But let us follow this little girl. “She waited on Naaman's wife.” In the preceding verse we are told who Naaman was—he was general of the Syrian army; he was a soldier, sa mighty man in valour;” but he had the leprosy: and that is a very dreadful and loathsome disease. “No man's greatness, or honour, or interest, or valour, can place him out of the reach of the sorest calamities of human life; there is many a sickly, crazy body under rich and gay clothing.” Every man has some damp to his joy. Naaman was as great as the world could make him, and yet, as bishop Hall remarks, "the basest slave in Syria would not change skins with him.” The “ Jittle maid ” was very sorry for her master, although she was taken away from her country and home, and put as a servant in his house against her will. "And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria ! for he would recover him of his leprosy.” Now here is an example for servants. They should take an interest in their master's and mistress's welfare.
We see here also that this little girl remembered what she had heard. When she was in her own highly-favoured land she had heard of Elisha; and although she had been carried away to a foreign country, and had passed through many strange and distressing scenes, she had not forgotten what she had heard about Elisha. Now you often hear about Jesus, the Son of God, and the Saviour of men; I hope you do not forget what you hear about him. I hope you do not forget what your teachers tell you, and what you read in the Bible. " But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth iherein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
Then, also, she had faith; she believed the prophet would be able, by the power of God, to recover Naaman of his leprosy. And you ought to believe, that Christ is able to recover you from the disease worse than leprosy, which is sin ? “He shall save his people from their sins."
The little girl's words were reported to the king of Syria. “ And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.” And not only
were her words so much noticed, as to be reported to the king; but the king, in consequence of what the maid had said, actually sent an embassy to the king of Israel because of what she had said, " And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment.” The silver and gold, besides the value of the ten changes of raiment, amounted to fourteen thousand four hundred and sixty pounds. What a lot of money! and all this sent because this little girl had spoken about the power of the prophet Elisha to cure her master! She must have been known as a good girl, who spoke the truth and feared a lie, else her word would not have obtained so much confidence. Liars, you know, are oftentimes not believed, even when they speak the truth, because, they are regarded as deceivers. Never tell a lie. The word of God says, “ Lie not one to another.” “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour." “ All liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.” If any of you ever have been guilty of this sin, you must confess it to God, and ask him to forgive you for Christ's sake.
We cannot now follow Naaman into the land of Israel, to visit the prophet Elisha. The story of his journey is a very interesting one, and I dare say many of you have read it. You know he was healed of his leprosy, and was brought to the knowledge of the true God; for he resolved never any more to “ offer either burnt-offering or sacrifice to other gods, but unto the Lord.” See how much good this “ little maid," under Providence, was the means of effecting. S. S.
WORLDLY RICHES are but like the leaves of a tree, beautiful for a season; but when winter's storms arise, they fall off, and are blown away.-Bishop Reynolds.
MEMOIRS OF GEORGE INGRAM, JOHN WALLER,
AND ELLEN MOSLEY. In the great stream of youthful souls, which flows in and out of those blessed institutions, Sunday-schools, what a number there are who are gathered from among them to people the realms of the blessed in heaven! Having received the grace of God, through the redemption which is in Jesus Christ; they have been preserved from the blighting influences of an ungodly world, and have been removed to the society of angels, and the company of the bloodwashed throng, who are before the throne of God for ever.
Three, who sat as scholars in the Association Sundayschools at Darlington, within a short time, have thus been taken to their reward in heaven. Each of them had while in the school obtained that saving knowledge of Jesus Christ which developed itself, when they were called to suffer by the slow yet wasting power of consumption.
George Ingram entered the school at an early age, and continued therein until within a short period of his last illness. He was a strong, healthy looking youth ; none then thought that the seeds of consumption were sown in his constitution ; but he was attacked—the bloom of his cheek faded away–his strength forsook him—and death summoned him to his long home. A few days before he died, his teacher said to him, “Well, George, you have lost your poor mother. (She having died of fever a few weeks before.) He said, “Yes, I wish I was with her.” “Do you feel happy ?” He replied, “I believe that Jesus died for me.” The teacher then prayed with him, and spoke to him of heaven and its enjoyments. George then fixed his eyes earnestly, looking upwards, laid his hand upon his breast, and with such emphasis—as if the Saviour had been standing by, said—“ Jesus ! Jesus !! Jesus !!!” He then bade his teacher farewell, and said, “Do not be long in coming to see me." But this was the last sight they had of each other, for George soon after died, and he who formerly had been so healthy and strong, at the age of eighteen, was numbered with the dead.
A few weeks after the death of George Ingram, John Waller died. John was sent to the Sunday-school when he was very young; but, through weakness and ill health, he was prevented from attending regularly during the last two years. He loved the school and his teachers; he was very retired in his habits, and avoided associating with wicked companions. He committed many chapters of the sacred Scriptures to memory, when other youths were spending their time in folly and play.
For the benefit of his health he was removed into the country, and was there until within a few weeks of his death. His health gradually gave way; the fresh air produced no beneficial effect upon him. He was visited by the teachers of the school; and he expressed great pleasure at seeing them. Though he was very weak, he murmured not at his lot. When he was asked, “ Are you happy ?" He said, “ Yes.” “Do you believe that your sins are forgiven ?” In the same unassuming manner he answered, “ Yes." He greatly loved his father and mother. On the day that he died, he could not bear them out of his sight. His voice failing him, he could not speak; but he beckoned them to come and take their final leave, by kissing him ; which they did. He then clasped his hands, and with the meekness of a lamb, fell asleep in Jesus, at the early age of fifteen years.
The same week, died Ellen Mosley, she had been for