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career, we can trace this law also in the creation and growth of what is most valuable in their institutions. When we have so traced it, the unalterable relations of the moral universe entitle us to look for the elements of greatness and strength in whatever has been the product of such teachings, such discipline, and such trials."

2. We have useful lessons in relation to the peculiar relationship existing between Ruth and Naomi — mother-in-law, daughter-in-law. These “law relationships" are the most delicate and trying we can enter, and unless the parties are prudent and cautious, evil and sorrow will be the consequence. The father-in-law and the son-inlaw, the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law, are often arrayed against each other most unjustly and cruelly. It is often the case, that a mother of a family of children dies; her husband makes the best selection in his power, and soon brings to his home a partner who shall share his sorrows and joys, and educate for him his little ones. The sacrifice, if any is made, is not on the part of the husband, not on the part of the children, but on the part of the wife, who comes, with woman's true and trusting heart, to educate children not her own. And yet there are in this world of ours human serpents, who will creep into that little home before the marriage takes

place, and whisper to those children all the horrid tales that can be imagined about the unnatural cruelty of step-mothers, until the innocent children begin to dream that their father is about to bring into their home a savage, at whose cruelty they will repine, and at whose violence their dear mother's bones will turn in their graves. And after the marriage has taken place, when these children begin to feel that the step-parent is not so horrible a creature after all, these same slimy creatures - I know no softer words to use these slimy creatures will come in to ask these children if the step-mother does not abuse them, and thu inflame their minds by hellish insinuations.

A step-mother is generally a better educator of children than a natural mother. The latter is often swayed by her warm, tender affections to a dangerous indulgence, while the former looks at the dispositions of the children in a calmer light, and with a surer judgment. More children are ruined by the indulgence of natural parents than are driven away from home by the cruelty or neglect of step-parents; and the jealousy and evil surmisings about step-parents are unreasonable and cruel. There are step-parents who are brutal and ferocious; and there are also natural parents who are the same brutal creatures. The woman who assumes the education of a family of children, and rears them well, is worthy of exalted praise; and of all who will greet her with joy in the spirit world, none will give her a more cordial welcome than the natural mother herself, who was snatched away by the hand of death.

3. We are also struck with the religious decision of Ruth. “Where thou goest I will go; where thou lodgest I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” Under the tutorage of Naomi, the Moabitish heathen maiden had become a worshipper of God. She had renounced her idol worship, had cast away her heathen gods, and bowed at the shrine of Him who filleth immensity with his presence. She preferred still the service of the God of Israel, and with holy constancy followed Naomi.

O that all the worshippers of Jesus would do the same! Moab, with its exciting pleasures, its music and its mirth, its folly and its feasts, is spread out before them, and not a few who embrace Christ, like Orpah, imprint upon his cheek the parting kiss and return. The hour of adversity and sorrow comes, and they yield, bend, and bow before it. The sweet conduct of Ruth returning with her mother is an example to every young disciple. Her language should be our language, and her declaration our declaration. To Christ we should declare, “ Where thou goest,"

up to the mountain of temptation, down into the vale of sorrow, to the retirement of prayer, to baptismal burial, to sad and bloody Golgotha, _“I will go ; thy people," — be they Hindoos or Armenians, Greeks or Jews, bond or free, rich or poor,—“shall be my people; thy God," who gave thee strength,“ shall be my God," and forever will I serve him.

CHAPTER VI.

THE PRAYING MOTHER.

HANNAH.

“Now, mother, sing the tune
You sang last night; I'm weary, and must sleep;
Who was it called my name? Nay, do not weep;

You'll all come soon!”

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WHAT a record is this! Few could be more simple, and few could be more sublime. “Hannah prayed.” Whom did she pray to? To Baal ? To a block of marble? To a stock or a stone ? Or to the living God? What did she pray for? For gold? For the adornments of person? For comfort and ease ? For the luxuries of life, or for higher comforts, and for diviner treasures ? “Hannah prayed." Well, if we knew no more about her, we should respect her for that ; for praying befits a human lip, and well adorns a mortal tongue.

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