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EFORE the art of printing was discovered,
books had to be written, which was a long and expensive process. At one time the cost of a written Bible was sixty pounds, according to the present value of money. A poor man may now possess a larger number of books than the wealthiest would think of having Even after the printing
press had been long in operation, books were a costly luxury attainable by few. Under the sanction of Henry the Eighth, the Bible, strongly bound, was chained to a pillar in the parish church, that the precious volume might be read by any who desired it.
Foxe, the author of the book of Martyrs, furnishes an interesting account of one of the facts connected with this mode of circulating divine knowledge. He says, “The Bibles being set upon divers pillars in Paul's Church, fixed unto them by chains, great multitudes would resort thither to hear one John Porter, because he could read well, and had an audible voice. Bonner sent for Porter and rebuked him very sharply for his reading. In fine, he was sent to Newgate, where he was fettered in irons, both legs and arms, with a collar of iron about his neck, and fastened to the wall in the dungeon. He exhorted his blasphemous fellowprisoners to amendment, and gave them such instructions as he had learned from the Scriptures. For this he was carried down to the lowest dungeon of all, oppressed with bolts and irons, where within six or eight days after he was found dead.”
Let us be thankful that Popery carnot now persecute those who “ Search the Scriptures," as it did to a fearful extent in past ages. Even in Spain and Italy, the Bible is being freely circulated. “It is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes.”
* Bear ye ove another's Burdeus."
HERE she comes, sucking her thumb, as
usual,” said Harry Jones, as his little sister, Mary,' came bounding into the room.
Mary's face flushed. She said, “O Harry! you know I tan't help it;" then looking up and seeing Aunt Lena's eyes fixed on her, she hung her head as though guilty of, some grave misde
meanor, and left the room. Aunt Lena tried not to notice it, but she saw, as Mary turned, in 'closing the door, that there were tears in the child's eyes and on her little cheek.
Aunt Lena was a stranger; this was her first visit to the mother of these children since Harry was a babe, and she now found him a great, frolicsome, fun-loving boy of nine years, fond of gentle, three-years-old Mary, but very much in the habit of teasing and worrying her. She had no been with Mrs. Jones but two days, but she had determined to do all in her power to break Harry of this habit. But first she wanted to win his love.
“ Come here, Harry, and sit by my side,” she said; “I want to show you these pictures.” Harry gladly obeyed. His bright eyes twinkled and his tongue rattled away as they turned over leaf after leaf, and Aunt Lena explained and told tales.
Suddenly, one picture pleasing him more than any others, he commenced to whistle very loudly.
“ You should not whistle in the house, Harry,” said his aunt. “I think it very rude.” “I beg your pardon, Auntie,” he replied,
“ Mother I must stop it, but, you see, I can't help it; I have
got in the habit of it, and now I can't help it. I always whistle when I am pleased.”
“ And how long since you formed this habit, that is already so strong that it cannot be broken ?” said Aunt Lena, with a quiet smile.
“ I can tell you just exactly, because I know the day when I first learned to whistle. You see, I was a proud boy that day. I had been trying for months, I had puckered and puckered my mouth, and blown the air through my lips, but the whistle would not come, and some of the whistling boys used to make fun of me, and that made me mad. But last Fourth of July, I learned to make the whistling noise, and before night I could whistle Yankee
Doodle and Hail Columbia. You see this was the way I learned. Our school was going on a picnic, and"
“ You can tell me that another time." said his aunt. “I want to know just how long since you began the habit. Now calculate.”
“ Well, this is the twelfth of this month. Let me see. Just eight months and eight days."
Now, another question, Harry; How long since little Mary commenced to suck her thumb?"
• Why she has been at that pretty much all her life. Oh! she was such a funny little brown eyed baby, and she used to lie with her feet kicking up in the air, and her thumb in her mouth; and after she got older, she always put herself to sleep sucking it. And now, Auntie-would you believe it?—that thumb, the right-hand one, is smaller than the other, and I have made so much fun of her, and she is so ashamed, you can't speak of it now whithout seeing the tears come in her eyes.”
“Let me tell you of some children about whom I was reading lately. They all belonged to the same school (a small school of about a dozen scholars), and one of them was in the habit of sucking his thumb. The teacher had tried to get him to stop, and while he was thinking about it, he would keep his thumb from his mouth, but as soon as his attention was called to something else, up went his thumb again. One day when he and his teachers were alone in the room, she said :
Charlie, I see you try very hard to leave off that ugly habit, but I think you need my help. I think I must tie your hand behind you—not as a punishment, but to help you to correct the habit. Would you be willing? Do you want to break off a bad habit so much that you will submit to such an inconvenience to do it?"
“• But all the children would laugh at me.' "I think I can manage that,' answered the teacher. If
you can be right sure they will not langh at you, would you be willing then?'
" " Yes, ma'am,' answered the brave little fellow."" The next day the teacher said to the school :
“If I had a scholar who had lost his right hand, how would you treat him?"
“We would pity him ;' We would be kind to him ;' *We would love,' answered the little children.
“« And if he dropped his book, or had more books to carry than he could manage with his left hand !' questioned the teacher.
“'We would help him,' was answered by all.
"Well, I have no little boy who has lost his arm, but I have one who is willing to have it tied up that he may
break himself of a bad habit. Little Charlie sucks his thumb: now if I tie it behind him, he will need to have much help from the rest of you who can use both hands : will you help him.'
All agreed, and the little boy's hand was tied-the others all standing round and feeling sorry. Charlie was the hero of the school that day ; one would put his cap on, and one would carry his book, and when the teacher untied his hand at the close of school hours, one bigger boy took his hand in his and walked all the way home with him that he might still keep the offending member from the mouth.
“ The next day it was decided that Charlie's thumb was to remain unbound so long as it committed no offence, but before school-hours were over, the little fellow who really, you see, meant to battle with the habit and to conquer, walked up to the teacher and held out his hand to be cied. And so it passed, some days the hand free and sometimes bound, till at length the binding was no longer needed. Charlie had conquered ; (and, remember, Master Harry, his habit was not one of eight months and eight days' for