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"On the firat n]«ht of Ghrlit's life, God honored the brate creation* Ton cannot get Into that Bethlehtm barn withont going past the camels, the males, the dogs, and the oxen. The brntea of the ■table heard the first cry of the Infant Lord. Some of the old painters represent the oxen and o&mels kneeling that nlgbt before the new-born Babe. And well might they kneel ! Have yon ever thought that Christ came, among other tbinga to alleviate the sufferings of the brnte creation ? Was it not appropriate that he should dnrlng the firat few d»ys and nights of His life on earth, be surrounded by the dumb beasts whose iqpan, and plaint and bellowing have for ages been a prayer to God for the arresting of j their tortures and a righting of their j wrongs? It did not merely " happen so " that God's unintelligent creatures should have bern that night m close neighbourhood. Not a kennel m all (he centuries, not a bird's nest, not a worn oat horse on the tow-path, not a herd freezing m the poorly-built cow- pen, not • freight-oar m summer time bringing the beeves to market without water through a thousand miles of agony, not a snrgeon'a room witnessing the struggles of fox, cr rabbit, or pigeon, or dog, In the horrors of vivisection, but has an Interest m the fact that Christ was born m a stable, surrounded by brutes. He remembered that night and the prayer he heard m their pitiful moan. He will answer In the -punishment of those who maltreat the dumb brutes. They surely have as much right m the world as we have. In the first Chapter of Genesis you may see that they were placed on the earth before man was, the fish and. the fowl oreated the fifth day, and the quadrupeds the morning of the sixth day, and man not until the afternoon of that day. The whale, the eagle, and the lion, and all the lesser creatures of their kind were predecessors of the human family. They have the worfd by right of possession and priority. They have also ungrodgingly paid rent lor the places they occupied." . ** What an army of defence all over the land ate the faithful watoh dogs 1 And who can tell what the world ojres to the horep, the camel, and the oz for trsnsportlon ? The robin and lark h&ye by their caotatas with whloh they have filled orchard and forest, more than paid for the few grains they hayj picked np for their sustenance. When you abnue any creature of Go<i you strike its Creator, and yoo insult the Christ who, though He might have been welcomed into life by Princes and tak-n bis first infantile slumber amid Tyrian plußh and oanopled coaches, and rippling waters from royal aqueducts dripping into basins of ivory and pearl, chose to be born on the love 1 of a oow's horn or a camel's hoof, or a dog's nostril, that he might be the alleviation of animal suffering as well as the Redeemer of man. He who was their Creator humbled Himself to their companionship for a season, thus securing sympathy for them." " Standing then, as I imagine now I do, m that Bethlehem night whose story makes musical the agea, with the infant Christ on the one hand, and the speechless creatures of God on the other, I cry, • Look out how you strike the rowel into the horse's side. Take off that odrbed bit from that bleeding mouth. Remove that saddle from that ra.w feacjc. Shoot not for fun that bird that iq too small for food, r'qrgej; not to put water into the cage of that canary- Throw put some crumbs to those birds caught too far north m the winter's inclemency, Arrest that man who is making that one horse draw a load heavy enough for three. Bush m upon that scene where boys are torturing a oat, or transfixing butterfly and grasshopper. Drive not off that old robin, for her nest is a mother's oradle, and under her wing may be three or four prime donne of the sky m training,!! *'. ''; "" "la your families and In your schools, teaoh the coming generation moie meroy than xhe present generation has ever shown, and In the marvellous Bible pie* tore of the Nativity, while you point oat to them the angel, show them also the oamel, and while they hear ihe celestial oholr, let them also hear the oow's moan. No more did Christ show Interest In the botanloal world when he said * Consider •he lilies/ than He showed sympathy for the ornithological when He said ' Behold the fowls of the air,' and the quadruped world when he allowed Himself to be called In one place a lion and m another pIM9 a. IftmV

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Bibliographic details

DR TALMAE ON KINDNESS TO ANIMALS, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2040, 18 January 1889

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DR TALMAE ON KINDNESS TO ANIMALS Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2040, 18 January 1889