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Lily. Oh! no, Mamma; it was not our home.
Papa. And when we were forced to put up, through our horse turning lame, at that little wayside inn for the night, I do not remember that any of my
my children were very unhappy. Arthur. No; we only all laughed at having so few things to use.
But then it was only for one night, you know.
Papa. And life too, my children, is a journey. Day by day, Christians may say with Moses to Hobab, “ We are journeying unto the place of which the Lord said, I will give it you ; come thou with us, and we will do thee good; for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel.” (Numbers x. 29.) They rejoice in every good thing the Lord gives them, they use such things thankfully, but they do not rest in them. They enjoy their earthly homes, but they do not confound them with their abiding home to come, for they confess plainly, “we are journeying:
Mamma. Nor do they plant their affections here, but above, where they may blossom for
If comforts abound, they refresh them selves, but only to gain fresh strength for their journey. If straitened and distressed, still they say, “Never mind, it is only for a little while ; we are journeying, and shall soon come to a different scene, or, best of all, arrive at home.”
They enjoy the fragrance of the flowers, they drink in the beauty of the passing landscapes, but, like a traveller who passes by woods and fields and lawns and mansions and estates, enjoying them, but not coveting them, for his beloved home is far away; so the Christian pilgrim passes cheerfully and tranquilly by all, communing with his God, and saying “ I am a stranger with Thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.” (Ps. xxxix. 12.)
Mary. Life never seemed such a short passage before, Mamma. I am so glad heaven will not pass away like this. But yet it would be sadder still to dwell in this world of sin for
We thought that St. Paul's words (2 Tim. iv. 7), "I have finished my course," would describe the end of the journey.
Papa. That refers to the race-course, my child, but it is a kindred figure. Our subject
; has been too full to speak much of the joys of home, of the city of habitations, of the land of rest, of the quiet dwelling-place ;-but we must try and get one whole Sabbath evening with heaven for our subject, and gather up the scattered notices of the Bible into one bright picture. “ There the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are rest,” (Job iii. 17) and all the tired pilgrims of every country and century shall repose by the banks of the river of life that flows through the heavenly Jerusalem. Let us now sing together our favourit: hymn
“From Egypt lately come,
Where death and darkness reign ;
Where we our rest shall gain,
SEED-TIME AND HARVEST.
Mamma. Well, summer is come indeed now, my children, and we may, without fear, have our Bible subject in the arbour.
Arthur. And see, Mamma, the corn we gleaned off the hedgerows, by which the harvest carts had brushed last autumn, and which I planted in my garden, is springing up so freshly, and its green blades will give us a thousand thoughts for our subject-seed-time and harvest.
Papa. Do you remember what a different crop grew there, before we redeemed your plot from the wild copse, Arthur?
Arthur. Oh! yes, Papa, to my cost ; the thickest bed of nettles I ever saw.
Mamma. Now, my children, your Bibles. Papa has given you a good starting-point
hat great bed of nettles probably sprang from one seed first carried by the wind, which grew
up and scattered seeds of its own around, until at last that crop grew up in all its rank luxuriance. Did you find anything about bad seed and a bad harvest ?
Mary. Oh! yes, Mamma. In Prov. vi. 14, 19, we found a wicked man twice spoken of
« who soweth discord.” Arthur. And Prov. xxii. 8. says plainly,“ He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity;” but there was one text something like this (Hosea viii. 7):—“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind,” which I could not understand.
Papa. You will often hear that text, my boy, as you grow up; it has become quite a proverb. The wind is put for vanity or wicked folly; the sowing means the pains which bad men often take with their plans of evil; and reaping the whirlwind means the confusion they bring upon themselves at last ; and sometimes they so call evil good, and put darkness for light, that, as it is said (Jer. xii. 13), “ They have sown wheat, but shall reap they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit.”
Lily. And, Papa, I found some very plain verses, which I thought would do so beautifully to begin with. I was so afraid sister would mention them. Gal. vi. 7,8,-“ Be not deceived ; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a