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John xxi. 15. The believer is a tardy ass, for he is too often wise in his own conceit; and “ vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt,” Job xi. 12. He is also a speedy roe, when God quickens him in the ways of salvation. I think it is in the Proverbs of Solomon where the words occur, “ Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter,” Prov. vi. 5. You were right when you said he was a lion bold; and he has good reason to be so, for if God be for him, what need has he to fear what man can do against him? “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion,” Prov. xxviii. 1. But though he be so full of courage, yet is he timorous as the doe, for if God leave him for a moment, he trembles even at the shadow of his own sins. Now, I think, your riddle is made out: if I may be so bold, I will ask one in my turn too.
Visitor. Do, James; I should like to hear it.
“Good cause I have still to be sad,
And still my tears are bitter sweet.” · Visitor. Ay! ay! James, I have found you out already; your riddle speaks of the same character as my own. You allude to a follower of Christ.
James. You are right, so far; but now you. must please to give me the application.
Visitor. In the first place, the true Christian. has always reason to be sad on account of his sins, because by them he has dishonoured God, and brought leanness into his own soul. Well may he cry out, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Rom. vii. 24. And yet, for all this, he has abundant reason always to be glad; for his sins are forgiven him, and God has promised to guide him by his counsel, and to bring him to his glory. “Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ,” 2 Cor. ii. 14. His joys and his sorrows are mingled, and will be so as long as he is in this imperfect state; he is, therefore, described in the Epistle to the Corinthians “as sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing," 2 Cor. vi. 10. It is true, that his tears, however bitter they may be, are bitter sweet to sim, for “they that sow in tears shall reap in joy,” Psa. cxxvi. 5; and “ blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted,” Matt. v. 4.
James. Come, sir, you are even with me, for my riddle is fully answered.
Visitor. I scarcely expected to puzzle you. He who knows the bitterness of sin is wise; but he who has tasted that the Lord is gracious, and that his sins are forgiven, is a great deal wiser.
As God in mercy has communicated this double knowledge to your soul, you have reason to be doubly thankful.
CALL ON ONE WITH A GOOD MEMORY. Here, Samuel, try if you can learn these verses by heart, for they please me so much, that I want to get them into the heads and hearts of all my young friends. I have heard you repeat many a pretty piece, add this to the number of those you know; and some day or other I will call in, and hear if you can say it perfectly.
“ Two paths there are through which all mortals go,
This leads to bliss, and that to endless woe :
There is another, unfrequented way,
as a present. I dare say you will have no objection to your children reading what is likely to do them good.
Mother. No, sir, not at all. My Sally, there, can read as well as most young girls, and likes a tale of all things in the world.
Visitor. The little books are not exactly talebooks; but, if they do not afford so much amusement, they may, perhaps, do more good. One of them, however, is a tale, and will, I think, suit your Sally very well. Perhaps you will not take it amiss, if I ask why you allow your daughter to wear such droppers in her ears?
Mother. Why, the poor thing has weak eyes, and I am told that ear-rings are good things for weak eyes.
Visitor. But then they are terrible things for weak heads. If she only wears them to do her eyes good, (though it is not likely they will be the better for ear-rings,) they need not be so fine and so showy as they are.
Mother. There is no reason, that I know of, why my child should not be as sinart as other people's children. We work for our living; and surely we may spend our money and bring up our family as we like!
Visitor. If you think for a moment, you will be convinced that I can have no other motive than your children's good in making a few re
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