Ass  (Donkey)


"WHY! What is the matter, Uncle Robert?"

asked Herbert in astonishment, as his uncle laughed out loud, and laughed and laughed again.

"I'll try to tell you," responded Uncle Robert.

"I was thinking of the old rhyme that we used to sing when we were boys and girls.

"If I had a donkey and he wouldn't go,

Do you think I'd wallop him? Oh, no! No! 

I'd give him some corn, and I'd say,

 Go on, Get up Neddy "

and then I thought of a story that I had read one day, and the picture with which it was illustrated.  As I thought of all this, I thought of a boy I know and—

"Oh, but please never mind about the boy, uncle; tell me about the donkey," interrupted Herbert.

"I will. Some men wished to get a donkey onboard a ship, but vainly attempted to induce him to walk the gang plank, which led from the pier to the vessel. Threats and angry words failed, and so did beating and kicking.

"By and by one of the men positively put his arms around the donkey's neck, and in the most coaxing manner possible, said to the obstinate donkey:

'Come along, brother.' 

Would you believe it?—away went the donkey most contentedly. 

The bystanders laughed, but, Herbert, I could not help thinking you might get a suggestion here."

"Why, uncle, what could I learn from a donkey?"

"To tell you the truth, nephew, it was something concerning yourself that led me to think of the donkey. Did not a boy whom you know, thisvery morning, get very angry because his brother would not come and play with him ? Did he not threaten to tell father, and call his disobliging brother ugly names?"

A strong glow of crimson rose just at this time to Herbert's cheeks, that said, 'Yes,' as distinctly as lips could have spoken it.

"Now, nephew, that boy failed to make his brother budge an inch, and so he has been lonesome and miserable for an hour or more. For future guidance, I am going to suggest the use of what I shall call the 'Come-along-brother' plan.

Do you understand?"

Uncle Robert was quite sure that Herbert did understand, when, not many hours after, he heard the merry shouts of the lad and his brother Willie in the garden. Though proof against threats and anger, Willie had yielded to Uncle Robert's 

"Come-along-brother" plan. •

"Upon my word," said the good hearted man,

"I do believe my remedy is like some of those nostrums advertised everywhere, which are warranted equally good for man and beast; and, after all, there is a good deal of the donkey nature in every one of us."

—New York Observer.


“The people of Moab were closely connected with the Midianites, both by the ties of nationality and religion. And Balak, the king of Moab, aroused the fears of the kindred people, and secured their co-operation in his designs against Israel by the message, "Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field." Balaam, an inhabitant of Mesopotamia, was reported to possess supernatural powers, and his fame had reached to the land of Moab. It was determined to call him to their aid. Accordingly, messengers of "the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian," were sent to secure his divinations and enchantments against Israel. 

     The ambassadors at once set out on their long journey over the mountains and across the deserts to Mesopotamia; and upon finding Balaam, they delivered to him the message of their king: "Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me: come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed."  

     Balaam was once a good man and a prophet of God; but he had apostatized, and had given himself up to covetousness; yet he still professed to be a servant of the Most High. He was not ignorant of God's work in behalf of Israel; and when the messengers announced their errand, he well knew that it was his duty to refuse the rewards of Balak and to dismiss the ambassadors. But he ventured to dally with temptation, and urged the messengers to tarry with him that night, declaring that he could give no decided answer till he had asked counsel of the Lord. Balaam knew that his curse could not harm Israel. God was on their side, and so long as they were true to Him no adverse power of earth or hell could prevail against them. But his pride was flattered by the words of the ambassadors, "He whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed." The bribe of costly gifts and prospective exaltation excited his covetousness. He greedily accepted the offered treasures, and then, while professing strict obedience to the will of God, he tried to comply with the desires of Balak.  

     In the night season the angel of God came to Balaam with the message, "Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed."  

     In the morning Balaam reluctantly dismissed the messengers, but he did not tell them what the Lord had said. Angry that his visions of gain and honor had been suddenly dispelled, he petulantly exclaimed, "Get you into your land: for the Lord refuseth to give me leave to go with you."  

     Balaam "loved the wages of unrighteousness." 2 Peter 2:15. The sin of covetousness, which God declares to be idolatry, had made him a timeserver, and through this one fault Satan gained entire control of him. It was this that caused his ruin. The tempter is ever presenting worldly gain and honor to entice men from the service of God. He tells them it is their overconscientiousness that keeps them from prosperity. Thus many are induced to venture out of the path of strict integrity. One wrong step makes the next easier, and they become more and more presumptuous. They will do and dare most terrible things when once they have given themselves to the control of avarice and a desire for power. Many flatter themselves that they can depart from strict integrity for a time, for the sake of some worldly advantage, and that having gained their object, they can change their course when they please. Such are entangling themselves in the snare of Satan, and it is seldom that they escape.  

     When the messengers reported to Balak the prophet's refusal to accompany them, they did not intimate that God had forbidden him. Supposing that Balaam's delay was merely to secure a richer reward, the king sent princes more in number and more honorable than the first, with promises of higher honors, and with authority to concede to any terms that Balaam might demand. Balak's urgent message to the prophet was, "Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me: for I will promote thee unto very great honor, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people."  

     A second time Balaam was tested. In response to the solicitations of the ambassadors he professed great conscientiousness and integrity, assuring them that no amount of gold and silver could induce him to go contrary to the will of God. But he longed to comply with the king's request; and although the will of God had already been definitely made known to him, he urged the messengers to tarry, that he might further inquire of God; as though the Infinite One were a man, to be persuaded.  

     In the night season the Lord appeared to Balaam and said, "If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do." Thus far the Lord would permit Balaam to follow his own will, because he was determined upon it. He did not seek to do the will of God, but chose his own course, and then endeavored to secure the sanction of the Lord.  

     There are thousands at the present day who are pursuing a similar course. They would have no difficulty in understanding their duty if it were in harmony with their inclinations. It is plainly set before them in the Bible or is clearly indicated by circumstances and reason. But because these evidences are contrary to their desires and inclinations they frequently set them aside and presume to go to God to learn their duty. With great apparent conscientiousness they pray long and earnestly for light. But God will not be trifled with. He often permits such persons to follow their own desires and to suffer the result. "My people would not hearken to My voice. . . . So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels." Psalm 81:11, 12. When one clearly sees a duty, let him not presume to go to God with the prayer that he may be excused from performing it. He should rather, with a humble, submissive spirit, ask for divine strength and wisdom to meet its claims.   

     The Moabites were a degraded, idolatrous people; yet according to the light which they had received their guilt was not so great in the sight of Heaven as was that of Balaam. As he professed to be God's prophet, however, all he should say would be supposed to be uttered by divine authority. Hence he was not to be permitted to speak as he chose, but must deliver the message which God should give him. "The word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do," was the divine command.  

     Balaam had received permission to go with the messengers from Moab if they came in the morning to call him. But, annoyed at his delay, and expecting another refusal, they set out on their homeward journey without further consultation with him. Every excuse for complying with the request of Balak had now been removed. But Balaam was determined to secure the reward; and, taking the beast upon which he was accustomed to ride, he set out on the journey. He feared that even now the divine permission might be withdrawn, and he pressed eagerly forward, impatient lest he should by some means fail to gain the coveted reward.  

     But "the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him." The animal saw the divine messenger, who was unperceived by the man, and turned aside from the highway into a field. With cruel blows Balaam brought the beast back into the path; but again, in a narrow place shut in by walls, the angel appeared, and the animal, trying to avoid the menacing figure, crushed her master's foot against the wall. Balaam was blinded to the heavenly interposition, and knew not that God was obstructing his path. The man became exasperated, and beating the ass unmercifully, forced it to proceed.  

     Again, "in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left," the angel appeared, as before, in a threatening attitude; and the poor beast, trembling with terror, made a full stop, and fell to the earth under its rider. Balaam's rage was unbounded, and with his staff he smote the animal more cruelly than before. God now opened its mouth, and by "the dumb ass speaking with man's voice," he "forbade the madness of the prophet." 2 Peter 2:16. "What have I done unto thee," it said, "that thou hast smitten me these three times?"     

     Furious at being thus hindered in his journey, Balaam answered the beast as he would have addressed an intelligent being--"Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee." Here was a professed magician, on his way to pronounce a curse upon a whole people with the intent to paralyze their strength, while he had not power even to slay the animal upon which he rode!     

     The eyes of Balaam were now opened, and he beheld the angel of God standing with drawn sword ready to slay him. In terror "he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face." The angel said to him, "Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? Behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: and the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive."    

     Balaam owed the preservation of his life to the poor animal that he had treated so cruelly. The man who claimed to be a prophet of the Lord, who declared that his eyes were open, and he saw the "vision of the Almighty," was so blinded by covetousness and ambition that he could not discern the angel of God visible to his beast. "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not." 2 Corinthians 4:4. How many are thus blinded! They rush on in forbidden paths, transgressing the divine law, and cannot discern that God and His angels are against them. Like Balaam they are angry at those who would prevent their ruin.     

     Balaam had given evidence of the spirit that controlled him, by his treatment of his beast. "A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel." 


Proverbs 12:10. 

Few realize as they should the sinfulness of abusing animals or leaving them to suffer from neglect. He who created man made the lower animals also, and "His tender mercies are over all His works." Psalm 145:9. The animals were created to serve man, but he has no right to cause them pain by harsh treatment or cruel exaction.”


PP 438-442





THESE children seem to be very anxious to feed  the dumb animals that thrust their heads over the door to receive what is offered to them. No doubt the pasture Where they roam gives them 'plenty of good grass, and such food as they like, but they love to be noticed, and they will eat the grass out of the children's hands, even if they are not very hungry. And it is sport for the children to see them feed out of their hands. 

So 'they eagerly pull up the grass to give them. 

How much better it is to treat the dumb creatures thus, than to whip and abuse them as some people do! Animals should be treated with kindness, and when they are thus treated, they will act kindly in return, unless they are very ugly. The horse and cow are of great use to us, and they deserve kind treatment. It is very wrong to torment them or to keep food away from them. 

God has given them to us, to help make our homes pleasant, our work easy, and to supply many wants of our lives. And in return for these things, he wants us to treat them kindly, and to take good care of them. 

The disposition of many a boy is seen in the way he treats dumb animals. If he abuses them, and treats them unkindly, you may be pretty sure that he is a hard-hearted boy, and one not fit to be in good company. Any one who takes delight in abusing animals is indeed without kind feelings, and his company should be shunned, unless he changes his ways. 

There is a society organized in this country, that has for its object the prevention of cruelty to animals, and it is a very good thing in some cities and towns, where animals are so often abused. I do not know as it is necessary to belong to such a society in order to have a care for these creatures, for it is something we can all attend to if we will. 

Some animals know pretty well when they are abused. A short time since, a friend told me of a horse that he knew, which did not like to work if she was whipped. One day a, man was driving her before a wagon, when he struck her with the whip for no cause. She at once stopped, and would not go on. The driver then went up to her head, and rubbed her nose, and told her that he was very sorrow that he had struck her, and asked her to forgive him, and he promised he would not strike her again. Then he seated himself in the wagon, and took up the lines, and the horse trotted off as nicely as could be. If all children were taught to feed and pet the dumb animals as these children in the picture are doing, they would grow up with kinder hearts, and there would not be so many rough, cruel men in the world.