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with the wife of thy youth; let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe."
The hart often suffers from thirst in the dry and sandy countries where it lives-especially when pursued by the hunters; it then longs for water, and plunges with the greatest eagerness into the cooling stream. David says in the 42d Psalm, "As the hart panteth after the water. brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?" Nothing could more strongly express his love to God, or his ardent desire for communion with him. Happy is the child who has in his heart such feelings towards God, and who finds pleasure in praying to him, from day to day; he has been taught by the Holy Spirit, and is preparing to meet God in peace. (See Roe.)
There is a fine description of a war-horse in the book of Job-a book which some think to be the oldest in the world. It is in the thirty-ninth chapter. "Hast thou given the horse strength? Hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? The glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength; he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him; the glittering spear and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains and the shouting."
In the fifth chapter of Judges you will find this verse. "Then were the horse-hoofs broken by the means of the prancings, the prancings of their mighty ones." And it seems likely from this, that
it was not the custom to shoe horses in those days, so that their hoofs were more easily broken
They had horses in Egypt in very ancient times, as you will find if you read the first part of the book of Exodus. You will see there how the children of Israel escaped from Egypt, after they had been kept in hard bondage a great many years; and how when they had gone only a short distance, the wicked king Pharaoh went after them to try to get them back. There was a great company of the Israelites, men, women and children; they had nothing to ride on, and had their flocks and herds with them, so that they could not go very fast. They took the course which God directed, and it brought them to the Red Sea, where there were neither boats nor bridges for them to go over.
Just then they heard that Pharaoh and his army were coming after them. Some came in chariots of war, and of these there were six hundred drawn by horses; and a great many more came on horseback. Now what could these people do? If they went on, they would be drowned; and if they went back, or stayed where they were, they would fall into the hands of the Egyptians. God told them not to be afraid, for
he would take care of them; so he divided the waters of the sea, and made a dry road for them to go through, while the water stood like a up wall on each side of them. Then the Egyptians followed on, and God let the waters flow down upon them, so that they were all drowned. Think what a sight it must have been, when the chariots, and horses, and men, were all surrounded by that great, mighty water, and then sunk down one after another, so that they could be seen no more. The children of Israel sang a psalm of praise after God had saved them in this wonderful manner, and these words are a part of it: "Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea."
In one of the last chapters in the Old Testament you will find these words, "In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD." This speaks of a time which has not yet come, but for which christians are looking, when this world will not be wicked as it now is; but when every thing, even the bells of the horses, shall be holy unto the Lord.
THE IBEX, or WILD GOAT.
The Ibex is a kind of goat, but different from the one described at page 33. It is sometimes called the Rock Goat, or Wild Goat; and the last is the name given it in the Bible. It resembles the common goat, but is larger, and its horns are much longer; they are sometimes considerably more than a yard in length, beautifully curved, and surrounded by many curious rings or ridges.
It lives in places where you would think no animal could get without falling and breaking its neck; you would be frightened to see it sometimes, when it climbs up rough and narrow places, or jumps from one great rock to another. But God has given it just such a kind of foot as it needs; it has a small hoof, something like those of a sheep, excepting that it is hollow underneath, and has a sort of ridge around it by which the animal can cling to the rock, and so keep from slipping. I never heard. of such a thing as one of them sliding off the rocks, unless it was pursued by the hunters.