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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 54 pages of information about Kindness to Animals.
immense ship, or floating house—­in which he was to be preserved on the surface of the waters for many days.  When this great ark was ready, God caused a pair of each from among all the animals and birds to come to Noah, and to enter into the ark.  Of some kinds there were seven, and of none less than two.  This was a very great miracle; and it shows us, too, how perfectly the Lord knows and numbers all the works of his hands, and how tenderly he cares for them all.  This is one of the things that we are apt to forget when have a beast, or a bird, or a fish, or an insect, in our power.  We are too ready to say to ourselves, “This is mine, and I may do what I like to it.”  Not so; it is a creature of God’s, not of ours; and if we do to it any thing that he does not approve of, he will surely reckon with us for it.  When I call this to mind, I am alarmed—­though I do not think I have often been cruel to animals, or any such thing—­and I am ready to pray, “Lord, if I have hurt any of thy creatures, pardon my past sin, for Jesus Christ’s sake, I beseech thee; and give me grace to be merciful for the future.”

Now, having told you how I got instructed when I was little, I shall give you the history of some animals and birds that I have had, and how I treated them, and what amusement they gave me.  I am sure if you knew how very amusing they all are, when left to their own harmless ways, and gently restrained from ways that are not harmless, you would think it a great loss to have them so altered as they are by bad management.  If I had been a great traveller, I could tell you more wonderful stories; but having only been in England, and Ireland, and part of North America, my store of anecdotes is not so great.  However, I will try my best to give you some notion of what I do know; and as I shall often have occasion to name Jack, I will begin by telling you who he was.

Jack was a little Irish boy, who became deaf while he was still a baby; and because, as you know, babies learn to talk by hearing those around them, Jack, not hearing anybody talk, could not learn, and so he grew up dumb.  It is a sad thing to be deaf and dumb.  A person who is so, cannot possibly learn any thing about God and our Lord Jesus Christ, until he has been taught to read; and it is so very difficult to teach them, that if some benevolent people, who have money, did not subscribe to keep up charitable schools on purpose for the deaf and dumb poor, I do not suppose that one in a thousand of them would ever learn so much as that they have a soul to be saved or lost:  and you may judge what a miserable life they must lead, in total ignorance, nobody speaking to them, and they not able to speak to anybody.  Jack was in this state when I first saw him, at eleven years old; he was a poor boy, and I took him, and taught him, and he lived with me above seven years, till he died of a consumption.  He died very happy indeed, full of love to God for his great mercy in sending his Son into the world to save sinners:  and depending on the Lord Jesus for salvation.  He was always with me, speaking by means of his fingers, but in an odd, that is, an imperfect sort of language, that would make you smile.  So when I mention Jack, you will know who I mean; and we will now have some talk about the domestic animals.

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