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at our next conversation commence with the flowers of the Bible-you may choose which we shall begin with. Georgina. I should like the Lily of the Valley. M. A very good one, and the subject we shall take with it will be Humility.
LILY OF THE VALLEY-HUMILITY.
SONG OF SOLOMON ii. 1." I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys."
Matt. xi. 29.-"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."
Phil. ii. 5-11.-"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." 1 Pet. v. 5.-" Be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble."
1 Pet. iii. 3, 4." Whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."
Georgina. We are to talk about our favourite lily of
the valley to-day, and the subject along with it is to be humility. I hope it will teach us some nice lessons, because I think it is the prettiest and sweetest flower that grows.
M. So it is; and it does teach some very beautiful lessons. We shall talk first about the value and use of some of the different kinds of lilies. The roots of many of them are valuable either for medical purposes or for food. There is one, in particular, which grows in Kamschatka: during part of the year it is the principal food of the inhabitants, who call it Saranne. At the season when fish is scarce it is very plentiful, and when the saranne is scarce the rivers abound with fish, so that the inhabitants have always an abundant supply of food. Is it not very wonderful that the fish should always come exactly at the time they are wanted?
David. Yes, it is very wonderful; God only can teach them when to come and when to go away, and cause the saranne to grow when the people have no fish for food.
M. I think you can all tell me now what lesson this teaches us?
Frances Jane. To "trust in God," as we learned both from the moss and lichen, and the grasses.
M. Quite right; and the more we study God's word and works, with the help of His Holy Spirit, the more. we shall learn to trust Him in all that concerns us, and the more clearly we shall see how very sinful it is not to do so; God sends the food to the Kamschatkans, but have they nothing to do before they eat it?
George. O yes; they must take the fish out of the rivers and dig for the roots.
M. I hope you will never forget this while you live. Commit the keeping of your souls and bodies, and all that concerns you, to God. He has made provision for all your wants; only use the means He points out, and the blessing will be yours. The Kamschatkan women gather the roots, dry them in the sun, and lay them up for use; after being baked they are ground into powder or flour, then made into bread. But it is not only to the labour of the Kamschatkan women they are indebted for a stock of these roots, there is a kind of mouse which saves them a great deal of trouble in procuring it.
Jessie. A mouse! well, that is a funny little servant. How does it help them?
M. The saranne forms part of the winter provision of that little animal, and it not only gathers the roots in the proper season, and lays them up in its magazines, but it has the foresight to bring them out in sunny weather to dry to prevent their decaying. The natives search for these hoards, but always take care to leave a part for the useful little mice.
Charlie. I am very glad they do not take it all: that would be very cruel. I never heard before of such clever, wise little mice.
M. And who made them so clever and so wise?
M. Yes; He provides the food for them, and teaches them to take care of it; and here is another reason we have to trust in God. If He teaches and takes so much care of the little mice, how much more will He care for and teach you, who are of far more value than they are! Tell me what the Bible says about that.
James. Matt. x. 29-31, "Are not two sparrows sold
for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the
ground without your Father.
your head are all numbered.
But the very hairs of
Fear ye not therefore,
ye are of more value than many sparrows."
M. Which does God require you to take thought for first, your souls or bodies?
John. We must think about our souls first.
M. Quite right; because if you seek God first your souls will be saved, and everything else is sure to be added unto you. Give me a text to prove that.
Annie. Matt. vi. 33, " Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."
M. We also find David, the man after God's own heart, who put his whole trust in Him, giving his testimony to this truth; he says, "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread," Ps. xxxvii. 25. Now we shall talk about the Lily of the Valley. It loves to grow in shady valleys near the clear streams; its roots are medicinal, and its pure white flowers, hid by its beautiful broad green leaves, perfume the air, and guide you to the spot where it grows. We read in one of our texts that Jesus calls himself the "Lily of the Valley," and if we examine it we shall learn that it is a true emblem of him. Can any of you find this out? Catharine. Its pure white flowers reflect all the sun's rays they are emblematical of Christ's holiness.
M. Quite right. He is the Sun of righteousnessall God's perfections shine out in him-he is perfectly pure and holy. There is a healing power in the lily; in this also it is emblematical of the Saviour. We know that when he was on earth virtue went out from him
to heal the diseases of the body; but there is a far worse disease than that of the body, which he alone has power to heal. What is that?
Rachel. It is sin. I know a beautiful text which promises that he will heal the souls of men, Mal. iv. 2, "Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings."
M. Then it loves to grow in shady valleys by the clear streams-this, with its pure white flowers hid by its large green leaves, makes it the emblem of humility. You know how true this is of Christ: one of our texts to-day teaches that.
Annie. Yes; and I think it is very, very wonderful that Jesus-one with God who made heaven and earth and all that is in them-should become so humble, and all for our sakes.
M. It is very wonderful, but it was not only in outward circumstances that he was humble, it was his dignified yet perfectly meek, lowly, and quiet spirit which shone out so bright. The lily loves to grow by the clear stream; Jesus delighted to drink of the river of God's love which flows out from his throne; and, lastly, the white flowers of the lily perfume the air with a delightful fragrance, and guide you to the spot where it grows. And here, too, it is truly emblematical of Christ. Look in Eph. v. 2, and tell me what it says.
Amelia. "And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour."
M. And if you look in 2 Cor. ii. 15, you will read that it says, "We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ." Not only is the lily of the valley emblematical of Christ; but also of his people, and may it in