Hillel And Maimon: or Prayer.

THE wise Hillel had a pupil named Maimon,

and Hillel was greatly pleased with his talents

and his good understanding. But he soon 

discovered that Maimon was trusting too much

 to his own wisdom, and had entirely given up


For the young man said in his heart, "What

is the use of prayer, Does the omniscient God

need our words before he helps us? He would

then be like a man. Can a man's prayers and

sighs alter his plans? Will not the gracious

God give us of himself what is good and useful?"

These were the thoughts of the youth.

But Hillel was troubled in his heart that

Maimon should think himself wiser than the

word of God, and he determined to teach him


When Maimon went to him one day, Hillel

was sitting in his garden, under the shade of a

palm tree, meditating, with his head resting up

on his hand. And Maimon said to him, "Master,

about what are you meditating?" Then

Hillel lifted up his head, and said, ''I have a

friend who lives on the produce of his estate.

Till now he has carefully cultivated it, and it

has well repaid his toil. But now he has thrown

away the plow and hoe, and is determined to

leave the field to want and misery."

"Has he gone mad?" said the young man,

"or fallen into despondency?"

"Neither," said Hillel. '"He is of a pious

disposition; and well grounded in learning, both

human and divine. But he says, 'The Lord is

omnipotent, and can easily give us nourishment

without our bending our head to the ground;

and as he is gracious, he will bless my table, and

open his hand.' And who can contradict him?"

"Why," said the young man, "is not that

tempting God? Have you not told him so?"

Then Hillel smiled, and said, "I will tell him

so. You, dear Maimon, are the friend I am

speaking of."

"I?" said Maimon, and started back.

But the old man replied,"Are you not tempting

the Lord, Is prayer less than work; and

are spiritual blessings inferior to the fruit of the

field? And He who tells you to stoop your

head to the earth, for the sake of earthly fruit,

is he not the same as he who tells you to lift

your head toward heaven, to receive his 

heavenly blessing?"

Thus spake Hillel, and looked up to heaven;

and Maimon went away and prayed, and his

life was a godly one.  

Genesee Evangelist.