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many find in plantations and pleasure-grounds. It is a happy thing to be content with such possessions as it pleases God to bestow.
Sukey. You may say that indeed, sir: “Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith,” Prov. xv. 16. Here, my naughty Nancy, in coming by squire Maitland's yesterday morning, pushed her hand through the iron rails to pluck a rose. There is no good got by picking and stealing: she was in such a hurry, and pulled it away so hastily, that a thorn has been sticking in her finger ever since.
Visitor. Indeed! I am sorry to hear that Nancy should put out her hand to take what did not belong to her. There is as much sin in gathering a flower which is not hers, as in plucking forbidden fruit, and we all know what evils the latter sin has been the means of bringing into the world. Come here, Nancy, let me look at your finger. Ay, it is sadly festered. I will see if I can get out the thorn with the point of my penknife. Do not be afraid ; I shall not hurt you much, I dare say; but those who do wrong must smart for it. Sin never yet answered the purpose of any being, and it never will. It is like a blooming peach with a wasp in it, that yields a little pleasure and a great deal of pain.
Present joy and future sorrow,
There! the thorn is out now; but stop, I must squeeze your finger a little, or it will not heal.
Sukey. Stand still, Nancy, and do not pull away your finger in that manner. I hope it will make you remember another time.
Visitor. I believe it will do now; but let it be a lesson to you, Nancy. If you give way to the temptation of plucking the flowers belonging to another, you may be led on to take things of more importance. Sin is ever stirring to discover the weak st part of our hearts, therefore we ought ever to be striving to strengthen ourselves by watching and praying and looking unto Jesus. You cannot keep yourself safe with all your strength, but God can keep you secure in all your weakness. Every sin has a thorn attached to it, and though sometimes it is neither seen nor felt for a long time, yet sooner or later it will spring up. It may not wound the finger, but it will torment the heart. David knew this, and prayed to God in these words, “ Remember not the sins of my youth,” Psa. xxv. 7. It is an excellent thing to profit by the experience of God's people. Their very errors may be made useful to us; we may gather roses of instruction from their thorny trials, at the same time that we endeavour to profit by our own. Now, Nancy, remember that the thorn which drives us from evil, is better than the flower that leads us into temptation. What the world calls little sins, are, in some respects, more dangerous than great ones, for the latter affright us by their appearance, whereas the former are sometimes committed before we discover them. Beware of a little sin, and you will be kept from great ones. Farewell, Nancy; whenever you find temptation too strong for you, go to Jesus for strength to withstand it. Weep, and watch, and pray, but do not sin.
Look to Jesus, watch and pray,
A CALL ON A SCOLD. Molly, Molly, you must promise me that you will read the tract that I have brought you ; for if ever woman stood in need of faithful advice, that woman must be Molly Roberts. I was ashamed to stop yesterday, when you and your neighbour were raising the street with your clamour-the disturbers of the whole neighbourhood, and the laughing-stock of all around you.
What an unlovely sight it is to see human
beings, formed for acts of kindness, giving way to such unworthy passions. There were you with your face white with anger, and Betty Tibbets with her cheeks red with rage, rating each other like furies; your hands clenched by your sides, your eyes filled with indignation, and your chins almost touching each other. When I heard the foul words that flew from your tongues, and saw the spite and bitterness with which you threatened each other, you reminded me of that passage in the word of God, “The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity;—it is set on fire of hell,” James iïi. 6.
It was but the other day that I heard you, as I passed, scolding your husband as loudly as you could. In former times, Molly, they used to put a scold on a ducking-stool, and taking her to the nearest horse-pond, duck her over head until she could hardly speak; and, to tell you the truth, I am not surprised that they should have done so.
It is not often that I speak angry words ; but I cannot help being angry with you for making yourself hated and despised, when you might be loved and respected.
Do be advised, Molly: curb your fierce temper, and restrain your fiery tongue. Do this, or rather ask God to do it for you, that you may live in peace with God, in peace with
your neighbours, and in peace with your own heart.
. : The same advice that I give to you I shall give to your neighbour also. What is the use of plaguing each other's hearts, and making each other's lives miserable ? How much better to “follow after the things which make for peace !” “Live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you,” 2 Cor. xiii. 11.
A CALL ON A MINER. Though you are a stranger to me, you will not take it amiss that I should call with this Testament, the precious gospel of Jesus Christ. A very good old man, who had served God many years, was sitting one day, with several other persons, eating a meal upon a bank very near a pit, and he was nearest to the mouth of it. Whilst he was eating, a pigeon, which seemed very tame, came and fluttered in his breast, and slightly pecked him. It flew away, and he did not think much about it, till in about five minutes it came again and did the same. The old man then said, “I will follow thee, pretty niessenger, and see where thou comest from.” He rose up to follow the bird, and while he was away the banks of the pit fell in, and his companions were all killed. This is