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loiter all the day of their life idle. And so, when night comes, they sink into eternity with nothing done: no grace to support their souls has been gathered ; nothing laid up for the world to come.

Others again begin, when Ruth left off, at even. All the bright and sunny portion of their lives they give to the world. And then, as evening closes in upon them, they begin to turn to their Bibles for consolation, which they cannot find elsewhere.

Ruth began gleaning in the morning. She felt that every hour must be employed; that every moment was precious. She laboured diligently " for the meat that perisheth.” May we labour as earnestly for “that meat which endureth unto everlasting life !"

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May we make God's word our daily study! May we prize every verse in it! May we never read it without asking for the Holy Spirit to teach us ! That wondrous Book contains a remedy more valuable than gold, and more nourishing than wheat. Oh, why do we not look into it more closely, and read of Him, who says there, “I am the Bread of Life: he that cometh unto me shall never hunge?”

102

CHAPTER VIII.

THE HAPPY MARRIAGE.

Rota iii. 1,-18; iv. 13—17. Then Naomi her mother-in-law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?

And now, is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to-night in the threshing-ffoor.

Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor ; but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.

And it shall be when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.

And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me, I will do.

And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother-in-law bade her.

And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.

And it came to pass midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself; and behold, a woman lay at his feet.

And he said, Who art thou ? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid ; spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid, for thou art a near king

man.

And he said, Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter; for thou hast showed more kindness in the latter end, than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.

And now, my daughter, fear not, 1 will do to thee all that thou requirest; for all the city of my people doth know, that thou art a virtuous woman.

And now it is true, that I am thy near kinsman ; howbeit there is a kinsman nearer thau I.

Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kins

man, well, let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the Lord liveth : lie down until the morning.

And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came to the floor.

Also, he said, Bring the vail that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.

And when she came to her mother-in-law she said, Who art thou, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her.

And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me: for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother-in-law.

Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall : for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.

So Boaz took Ruth, and she was bis wife : and when he went in unto her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bare a son.

And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the

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