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ter than other people; they pretended to be better than they were. This is to be a hypocrite. Jesus Christ did not love the Pharisees, he called them "hypocrites."
Scribes. It has been written in another place, that printed books have not been used more than three hundred years. Before printed books were used, people had no other books than those which were written with a pen. The people who wrote all the books were called scribes, or writers.
The Jews had books written by wise men called prophets; the people wanted to read these books; they had a law which God gave them to obey; they wanted to read that also; so instead of having the law and prophets (which are a part of the Bible that we use) printed, as we now have them, they had them written; and instead of printers, as we have, they had scribes, to write the "law and prophets," for the people to read.
THE TEN VIRGINS.
IN the twenty-fifth chapter of St. Matthew is a Parable called the Ten Virgins.
Ten virgins went out to meet a man who was to be married. Five of these virgins were wise, and five were foolish. It was evening, and they wanted lamps to light them on the way.
The wise virgins knew that they might be kept waiting to a late hour; they could not tell how long; so they took lamps filled with oil, and
they took some other oil besides, that if the oil in the lamps burned out, they might have more oil to use.
The careless, foolish virgins, thought not at all about the time they might be obliged to wait; they only took oil in their lamps. They were obliged to wait a long time for the bridegroom; he did not come; and these thoughtless young women all fell asleep. At midnight they were awaked; some one came to tell them, that the bridegroom was coming, and that they must go out to meet him.
At this moment, they all discovered that their lights were going out. The foolish virgins had no oil for their lamps; they begged some of the wise virgins; they had none to spare; they wanted what they had for their own lamps, but they advised the foolish virgins to buy some oil.
The foolish virgins went out to buy oil, but they could find none. People do not sell in the night. They were gone so long upon their foolish errand, that the bridegroom came, and the virgins who were prepared to receive him, went into the house with him to the wedding.
The door was then shut fast, and when the foolish virgins returned, and knocked, the people in the house did not know their voices; for they said, "Open to us," but they were shut out."
This story was told to show, that people who would avoid much inconvenience and mortification, must provide for the future; that persons who would be happy and wise when they become old, must be industrious and improve their time when they are young; that those who would go to heaven when the night of
death comes, must be ready to die, by preparing for death, that is, by believing all that God has revealed to men, and obeying Him in all things.
Parable. A parable is sometimes called a comparison; it shows one thing, or circumstance, to resemble some other.
Virgins unmarried women.
Bridegroom-a man who is just going to be married, or who has lately been married.
Bride a woman who is just going to be married, or who has lately been married.
Marriage. When a man and woman agree to live together all their lives, and to be called Husband and Wife, their agreement is called marriage. The wife takes her husband's name, and goes to his house; and whatever belongs to one of them belongs to the other also.
When the man takes the woman for his wife, the ceremony of the occasion is called a wedding. At weddings, the friends of the couple to be married often assemble, and most commonly, the company are very merry and happy together. The marriage ceremony is different, in different countries, and among people of different sects.
Provide to make ready for time to come. Future-after the present time.
Provident.-To think of the future, to take care for it, is to be provident. Improvident-careless of the future.
Which were provident, the wise or the foolish virgins? Which were improvident? Procrastinate-to defer, to put off, or delay.
Procrastination is a great fault. On account of their procrastination, the foolish virgins were disappointed in the pleasure which they might have enjoyed. When people do not begin to prepare at a proper time, for what they intend to do, or for what may be expected will happen, they cannot get ready; if they allow themselves too short a time they may disappoint others, and will certainly be punished themselves. Not to begin a necessary labour in season, but to say "not yet-in a little while," is a very bad habit; particularly for children, who have all much to do, of work and play; and who cannot be either useful or happy, at any time of their lives, if they are lazy while they are young.
Punctuality is the observance of time, and the habit of doing things at regular and appointed hours.
IN the country which is at the head of the Mediterranean sea, there lived, many hundred years ago, a man named Jacob.
Jacob had twelve sons. He had two wives; their names were Rachel and Leah; they were mothers to some of Jacob's children. In those days, one man had more than one wife. In some countries, at the present time, men have more than one wife. Christians have only one wife.
The name of one of Jacob's sons was Joseph. Rachel was the mother of two of Jacob's Jacob loved Rachel more than he loved
Leah; he loved Rachel's sons, Joseph and Benjamin, better than he loved his other sons; but he loved Joseph more than all his other child
Joseph's brothers hated him, because their father loved him so much; they could not speak peaceably to him; they used to treat him very unkindly. Jacob kept many sheep; his sons took care of the sheep; they used to go into the fields and watch them.
Once, when the sheep were in the field, and some of Jacob's sons were with them; Jacob sent Joseph, who had staid at home with his father, to see if his brothers were well, and to see if the sheep were safe.
When the brothers saw Joseph coming towards them, they said they would kill him, and carry home his bloody clothes, and tell their father that they had not seen him; but, that they had found his clothes covered with blood, and that they supposed some wild beast had devoured him.
One of the brothers, named Reuben, who was the eldest of them all, was not so wicked as the rest; Reuben wanted to get Joseph away, and to take him back to his father. Reuben said to his brothers, "let us not kill him, but throw him into this pit." Reuben meant to come back and take Joseph out of the pit. The brothers agreed to do this, and stripped off Joseph's clothes, and threw him into the pit.
These cruel brothers then sat down to eat; while they were eating they saw some Ishmaelites coming that way. The Ishmaelites lived in the country now called Arabia; they were