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and yet I am old enough, mother, to think; I shall be fifteen to-morrow.'
MRS. M. Have you been long conscious of the want of a higher motive for your actions than those you have mentioned ?'
GEORGE. No, Mamma, it was not till lately I found it out, and it makes me think very meanly of myself; I am not half so conceited as I used to be. It is true, Emily: you need not laugh at me; you will find it so, I hope.'
MRS. M. And what power, think you my son, has awakened in your mind this diffidence of yourself? Has it arisen from having acquired more learning, more scientific knowledge, a greater depth of understanding?' GEORGE. " No, mother, I don't think science or learning have any thing to do with it; I do not believe I have thought much about what it comes from; but I know I feel it, when I have time to think.'
MRS. M. My poor dear boy, though you have not time to think, there is ONE who thinks for you; and who has taught you thus
to examine yourself: and he will teach you more and more; but you must attend to his teaching. It is the spirit of the Lord that has sown the seed, my child, but the husbandman must cultivate it, still trusting to the dews of heaven, and the warmth of the sun to make it bring forth fruit. It is our gracious Father that opens our eyes to see our own sinfulness; and, while we trust to him to save us from the power of sin, we must not neglect any of the means by which he enables us to see more clearly: He alone can keep us from sin; but he requires us to use our own exertions to avoid it; we must not only "seek," but knock; not only knock, but strive to enter at the strait gate. Above all, we must pray earnestly for his help; and this, my son, I trust you do not neglect to do.
Let us now pray for ourselves and for each other kneel my children; I am unable to do so, but I trust my heart lies prostrate before our Father which is in heaven.
O most mighty and everlasting God,
without whom all our doings are nothing worth, cultivate in our hearts, we beseech thee, that seed, which is the " bread of Life!" Grant that it may grow and flourish and bring forth fruit abundantly; and, O merciful Father, grant that these young plants may grow in grace under thy fostering hand and be enabled to resist, not only the "scorching sun" of persecution, but the thorns and briars of the world, the flesh and the devil, through Him, "whose grace is sufficient for us," Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
THE TARES AND THE WHEAT.
Matt. xiii. 24-31.
MRS. M. I think, George, you must be fatigued after your long walk this morning, and perhaps sleepy, from being so much exposed to the cold wind; suppose we postpone our parable till tomorrow."
Oh, no! dear mother; I shall not be long at home, and I should like to read as many as I can with you; if I grow sleepy I will tell you so; what I am most afraid of, is, that I shall be thinking so much of all the fun I had with the dogs;-Oh mamma, they were so happy to come out with me again: they jumped and frisked, and put their paws on my shoulders, poor fellows ;they are very affectionate.'
MRS. M. They are indeed most faithful. I do not wonder you should be pleased with their recollection of you, and from them we may learn a lesson of gratitude; they shew so much affection for the hand that feeds them and gives them all the comforts they are capable of enjoying :-and how unthankful are we to that hand, which not only supplies all our bodily wants, but gives us all our intellectual enjoyments, gives us understanding and taste to admire all the various beauties and wonders of creation, and yet more, has given us that which is above all praise.'
EMILY. 'It never came into my head, mamma, to think of taking an example from a brute, and yet you have shown me that I may do so.'
GEORGE. It is very humbling, Emily, but it is very true. How grateful we ought to be to God, for making us different from brutes; but let us shew that we are superior to them, by attending to what mother is going to say to us. Let us read the parable,