« FöregåendeFortsätt »
me the other night, coming home through the dark,—“Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Ps. cxix. 105.)
Papa. And by this lamp they can see the footprints of Jesus (see 1 Peter ii. 21.), and so follow in His steps.
Mamma. And how else are obedient children sometimes guided ? Mary, do not you remember? What did I say yesterday ought always to be enough?
Mary. Oh! a look, Mamma. And now I remember the promise, “I will guide thee with mine eye.” (Ps. xxxii. 8)
Papa. And if you turn to the Psalm, you see it is put in contrast with those " whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle," as God said to Sennacherib,—"I will put my bridle in thy lips, and turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.” (Isa. xxxvii. 29.) May the least pressure of our Heavenly Father's band, the stillest whisper of His Spirit, saying to us, “ This is the way, walk ye in it” (Isa. xxx. 21);- yes, even the directing guidance of His eye,- be enough for us, when we turn to the right hand, or turn to the left. For you remember there are many bypaths, leading out of the strait and narrow path of life, which would soon lead us into the broad road of destruction. But it is time for
us to consider how the pilgrims are to be fed all their long journey through.
Arthur. Israel had the manna every day from heaven.
Mamma. And why were we told this was sent?
Mary. “And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to bunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord.” (Deut. viii. 3.)
Mamma. So this corn of heaven-this angel's food-pointed out the word of God, which tells us of Jesus, who is the true bread of life which came down from heaven. (John vi. 32-35.)
Lily. And does not the water from the stony rock point out Jesus too, Mamma ? for He said to the woman of Samaria, " Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water which I shall give him shall be in him a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life.” (John iv. 14.)
Mamma. Yes, my child; for St. Paul says, “ They drank of that spiritual Rock which followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” (1 Cor. x. 4.) And they want nothing more than
come ato eat and that the me,
there is in Jesus for all their soul's hunger and thirst; for they are like the traveller Jacob, whose every want was summed up in that beautiful vow, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace.” (Gen. xxviii. 20, 21.) He wanted nothing beside ; nor does the Christian, till he reaches his heavenly Father's house, and sits. down to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Did you find any promise of this constant presence of God ?
Arthur. Oh ! Mamma, there is the one Papa wrote in my Bible: “The Lord thy God, He it is that doth go before thee: He will be with thee, He will not fail thee.” (Deut. xxxi. 3, 8.)
Papa. So that we might find out texts to prove that God will be everything to us in every necessity ;--our shield in battle, for we travel through an enemy's country ; our strength in weakness, for the journey is too great for nature; our light in darkness, for we march by night as well as by day ; our peace in the stormy tempest, for we, like the crusaders of old, have to cross in our pilgrimage oceans as well as continents; our friend in solitude, for at times we are called to walk alone ; our guide in perplexity, for there are
many cross-ways ; our leader over Jordan, for sooner or later we shall come to its banks, and the land of promise lies beyond. But you can find out texts for these things among yourselves; and now I want to know if you can tell me what the tabernacles in which Abraham and his children lived pointed out ?
Lily. Dear Papa, what is a tabernacle exactly ? Mary. Oh! Lily, a tent.
Papa. Stay, Mary : it is not always made with curtains; but any slight dwelling, put up for a short time, soon to be taken down again, whether made of wood or canvass, may be called a tabernacle. What house do our spirits live in, Lily ?
Lily. Our bodies, Papa. And now, I re. member—for we had in the Second Lesson in church this afternoon- that St. Paul speaks of this; oh! here it is (2 Cor. v. 1) - We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
Arthur. Well, I never thought before we were all so like those wandering gipsies we met, who lived, as you told us, sometimes in their wooden house on wheels, sometimes in their slender booths. It seems to look so unsettled.
Mamma. And yet, Arthur, it is quite true, for you remember St. Paul says, “ Here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” (Heb. xiii. 14.)
Papa. And it will not always be so, for Jesus says, “In my Father's house are many mansions.” (John xiv. 2.) And though Paul was constrained to say, here “ have we no certain dwelling place,” (1 Cor. iv. 11.) yet you may put side by side with this the first verse of the ninetieth Psalm—" Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations." Here Paul found as Moses of old, a resting-place for his spirit even in this restless world. But we want our dear children to feel that, happy as our home is, it is only a sojourning place--we must not fix our hearts upon it. When we drove last year into Derbyshire, we did not think of making any of the inns we stopped at, or even slept at, our homes ; did we, my children?
Mary. Oh! no, Papa; yet they were very convenient when we were hungry and tired.
Mamma. Nor did we plant trees, did we, Mary, in the inn gardens ?
Mary. No, Mamma, for we were gone the next morning.
Mamma. And you did not wish to stop even in that very convenient hotel, where there seemed everything we wanted, Lily ?