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it, and so he did not feel happy when the bird was in the hands of his brother or sister.
His father had told him often, that he ought not to be so fond of his robin. He said that it was only a bird, and might die at any time, and it was foolish in a boy to set his heart so much on it.
Charles did not think that there was any danger of loving his robin too much, and he was not afraid of its dying, so long as he took good care of it and gave it enough to eat.
But one day as it was flying about the room, it perched on the top of the door, and turned its head all around as if to see each one of the persons who were present.
“Good morning, my pretty robin red-breast," said Charles, as he came in from out of doors, and saw his bird on the top of the door. “Good morning, my pretty robin,” said he; and as he stood for a moment to see his bird, the wind blew the door on which the robin was sitting : it crushed his head, so that in a moment he was dead.
O what a blow was that for poor Charles ! In an instant the bird was killed, before his eyes. He would have given all his books, and all his clothes, and all his playthings, if he could have his bird alive again, but it was dead, and what should he do?
Then, for the first time, Charles felt that he had loved his bird too much, and that his father was right when he had told him that his bird might die.
He said he never would love a bird or anything else again so much, but would keep in mind that all he had might be taken away from him in a moment.
His father was a very good man, and he tried to show Charles that when he loved anything too much, he had some other god besides the God who made him, and who keeps him alive every moment that he lives.
He taught him too that God who dwells in heaven, and is here at all times, and watches over his children, ought to be loved with all the heart.
So the loss of the robin was a good lesson for Charles. It led him while he was yet very young to feel that there is nothing here below which we ought to love more than God:
“No other god have thou than me;
He never, never, will come more
You well may cry, my own dear brother,
And Willy, when from school he comes,
To pick the crumbs up one by one,
bitter tears he'll shed !
Oh dear, how much I'd freely give
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT.
THE Second Commmandment is, “ Thou shalt not
make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them ; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments."
Far away in the East, in a country that is called India, there lived a little boy whose parents were pagans. They did not know any thing of the true God, but they made idols of wood, and said their prayers to them, as if they could hear and do them good.
But when the good people from Christian lands came to India, to teach the poor heathen of God and heaven, this little child was sent to the school, and there he learned that the idols of wood or stone could not hear or see or save him, and that he ought not to worship them.
When this boy came to the school, the good lady who taught the school said that she would call him James, and he was in the same class with John, who was also a heathen boy, and had often said his prayers to an idol made of wood.
In this school, these two boys learned that it was foolish and wicked to trust in idols, and that they must love God who made heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them.
Here they learned what it is to sin against God, for when they lived with their parents they did not know right from wrong. They were taught the way to heaven by Jesus Christ, who came to seek and save the lost.
At length the school to which these children went was broken up, and the good lady who had been the teacher of these children had to go far away.
The boys went home to their parents, who were still heathen, and they tried to make them worship the idols, as they had done before they went to school.
But the children said that they knew better than that: it would do them no good; and it was wicked. They repeated the second commandment, in which they are forbidden to bow down to images of any kind, and they told their parents that this is the law of God.
By and by, James was taken sick, and as he grew worse and worse, every day, he wanted his parents to send for the other boy who was called John, and who lived in a village but a few miles off.
When John came, he found that James was very sick, and was expecting to die very soon.
He sat down by the mat on which his little friend was lying, and took his hand in his own.
James looked up to him and smiled when he saw his school-mate, and said in a very feeble voice that he was glad he had come: he wanted to hear him sing one of the sweet songs they used to sing at school.
John asked him which song, and James said to him that he wanted to hear about Christ and heaven.
So the little boy sang a sweet hymn that they had learned in school, and the sick child tried to join in the song, but his voice was too faint; his lips moved, he smiled sweetly, and died.
The heathen parents and others who were there, were filled with wonder when they saw the peace and joy with which the boy had closed his dying eyes.