WHAT do you suppose these men are doing? And why are they sitting and lying in such a strange way? They do not look as if they could be at all comfortable. 

In olden times people sent to prison, often had their hands and feet fastened in this manner both to make their punishment greater and to keep them from getting away; and to this day it is still done in some parts of the world. It is called putting them in the stocks." Once upon a time there were two good men who went to a city of Greece to tell the people how Jesus Christ had come to earth and lived for thirty years among men, and then died a cruel death on the cross to save them from their sins. Through the week they went from house to house, telling to all who would hear them this glad news. On the Sabbath they had a meeting on the banks of a river outside of the city a little way, and there they preached to those who gathered to hear them. Some of the people were very much interested in what the men had to say, and a few believed this new truth and were baptized in the name of Jesus. One woman, who kept a store, was very kind to the preachers and invited them to make it their home at her house. This they did, but every day they went into the streets of the city and taught those who would listen. 

At one time a girl who had the spirit of a devil in her, kept following the men and crying out, "These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation." 

She did this for several days, until finally one of the preachers turned and in the name of Jesus bade the unclean spirit come out of her; and it did. Now some of the men were angry with these good men because of their plain talk to them, and they were glad to find some excuse for making them trouble. So they went to the officers of the city and said these men who had come among them were teaching bad things and making a great deal of disturbance in the town. 

Then the preachers were taken and beaten, and cast into the "inner prison " and their feet made fast in the stocks. 

Now most of us would feel very sad and unhappy to be used in this way, when we knew we had been doing right. But these men were very cheerful amid all their trials, for they remembered for whose sake they suffered, and knew that He was able to deliver them from prison. So all the nighttime they were praying and singing praises to God so loud that the other prisoners heard them. Do you not think they must have wondered what made these strange men so happy? 

Well, about midnight, all at once there was a great earthquake, the prison was shaken, all the doors flew open, and every prisoner was freed from the stocks. At this, the keeper of the prison waked from his sleep, and supposing that the men had all got away, he was about to kill himself. But one of the preachers called aloud to him and told him to do himself no harm, for they were all there. Then the jailor got a light and came in where they were. 

He was very much afraid, and begged the good men to tell him what to do to be saved. So they told him about the Lord Jesus Christ, and how he must believe on him if he would be saved. He then asked them to go with him to his own house, and after the men had talked to him and to his family, they all believed and were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And the next day these good men went on their way to preach to the people of another city. 

If any of you would like to hear more 'of this story, and know the names of these preachers who were treated so cruelly, you may get some one to read you the 16th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. 

E. B. 

PLEASANT words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.