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to do is to follow closely the footsteps of their Shepherd, Jesus Christ, and listen to His voice. He will lead them safely, and bring them even through the last dark valley, and will suffer no harm to happen to them. If, instead of this, they listen to the advice and copy the example of companions as ignorant and weak as themselves, they will be sure to go wrong, and to be brought into difficulties, out of which they cannot be recovered unless their gracious Shepherd kindly come after them, and help them.
If you would be safe in this world, and happy in the next, obey the gentle voice of your Saviour, when He says, “Learn of Me."
THE EMPTY CASK. Now I have something more to tell you about our excursion.
Soon we all have passed out of the dusty road, and are scattered on the green hill-side,-playing in groups, or trying who shall be first at the top of the hill; for it is there we are to take tea. Our Ministers are with us, and their voices soon call general attention : we gather round them, and listen to a kind and instructive, though brief, address from each of them, and then again disperse to amuse ourselves. They had used as a pulpit, or stand, in speaking, an empty cask, in which provisions had been brought up; and the cask is left standing near the brow of the hill. Soon it strikes the notice of some mischief-loving urchins, whosay one to another, " What fun it would be to set it to roll down th hill! Shall we do it?" In an instant the cask is o its side : a very slight kick sets it off, and down i rolls, slowly enough at first; but it gathers force an speed as it rolls, and dashes impetuously downward Those who are in its course get out of the way a fast as they can; but, ah! there are two boys wh don't see it. It knocks them down, passes ove them, and, still heedless and unconscious, rushes of with still increasing force, just missing a man, wh was very near being thrown down by it. At lengt) a fence at the bottom checks its headlong course : i bounds over, and is shivered to pieces. The tw boys are badly hurt, and are carried into a neigh bouring house : there is some fear that one of then has had some limb broken.
No doubt the boys, whose love of fun had causei so much mischief, were very sorry when they sav their companions hurt; but they were thoughtless and had no idea that the downward tendency was st strong. Suppose, now, they had wished to get the cask to the top of the hill: do you think a single push would have sufficed, and that it would ther have rolled right up? Of course, it would not. They must have kept their hands and their strength to i at every step, and persevered upward, or theil labour would have been in vain.
There is something else I can tell you of, which has a downward tendency; and that is, our faller human nature. When God made man, He made him upright; but ever since the "fall," he has been prone to do evil. Error and sin may appear small
in their commencement; but who shall stop us if we once take this wrong course. Evil habits, once allowed, grow stronger and stronger. Sin, though it becomes blacker and more dreadful, hurries us along with greater violence. Having given way in one thing, who shall stop us? We may now turn, and live. God will help us, if we seek His aid; but, as in the case of the cask, every step upward is to be attained by diligence and care. If we think to be still, and give ourselves no trouble in the matter, we shall find we have made a fatal mistake.
Empty-minded and foolish persons are most easily made the sport of wicked and designing men: therefore let us get wisdom, and especially that true wisdom which comes from above. We are fallen, and almost every influence around us is waiting to set us in motion downwards. Evil examples, evil communications, evil tempers; all these are to be resisted. The longer we continue in the wrong course, the more difficult will it be for us to turn. And, alas ! should the fatal course be run, and the sinning soul overleap the fence of death, it will be
Let us then “watch and pray, lest we enter into temptation.”
lost for ever.
It is falling so gently and slow;
Snow, snow, snow!
The earth is all cover'd to-day
With a mantle of radiant show;
Snow, snow, snow!
How spotless it seems, and how pure!
I wish that my spirit were so;
Snow, snow, snow!
STORIES OF SCRIPTURE WATERS.
THE NILE. “Every son that is born, ye shall cast into river." Such, dear children, was the cruel c mand of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, concerning children of the poor oppressed Israelites, whom held in bondage as slaves, and compelled to b his cities and storehouses. The river into which children were to be cast was the Nile, wł flowed through Pharaoh's dominions, one of most celebrated streams in the world. It has rise among the mountains of Nubia, (formerly ca Ethiopia,) uniting in its course with “the b river," which rises in Abyssinia, After this c fluence, the Nile pursues its way through Nubia and Upper Egypt, until it approaches Cairo, the chief city in Egypt, when it branches into two arms enclosing a rich and extensive plain called "the Delta;” and finally falls into the Mediterranean Sea. As it seldom rains in Egypt, the land would indeed be a desert, were it not for the annual overflowing of the Nile. The floods are caused by heavy rains in Abyssinia and Nubia. The river begins to rise in the middle of June, and overflows its banks in August ; covering the whole surrounding country with water, to a considerable depth. In the beginning of October, the waters gradually subside, leaving behind them a very rich warp, or soil, which, aided by the warmth of the climate, renders Egypt one of the most fruitful countries in
When the murderous command of the wicked King was made known, the poor Israelites were in great trouble and perplexity. Perhaps, some of them were compelled to destroy their children; for the King's law was very strict: but some resolved to brave every danger rather than give up their little ones to death. The Scriptures relate the deliverance of one little boy from destruction, who lived to become a great and good man. He was an exceedingly beautiful child, from his birth; and this was an additional reason why his parents resolved to save him. They were parents who feared God, more than Pharaoh ; and they beliered that He in whom they trusted would preserve their babe from danger. For the first three months of his life, there