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has actually seen serpents, charmed by music, come forth from their hiding-places.”
6. What did Our Lord mean when he said to his disciples, ‘Be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves ? Are serpents wise ?"
Many things have been affirmed on this subject, Harry, which I regard as fables. The truth, I think, is, that there is a peculiar liveliness in the eyes of serpents, so that ‘as sharpsighted as a serpent passed into a proverb in the Eastern world. I regard Our Lord as saying, “Be prudent as serpents in avoiding unnecessary dangers ; but be far from imitating the malignity and revengeful nature of that animal; maintain at all times a holy simplicity of spirit, and be harmless and inoffensive as doves, those gentle creatures, who are remarkable for their affection.” *
Doddridge in loc.
WHEAT, BREAD, FRUIT, &c.
“What a plentiful harvest God has given us !" said Mr. Benyon, as he sat on a gate with Harry, and looked over one of his cornfields; “ how ought our hearts to glow with gratitude to Him for his goodness!”
- There has not been too much rain, as there was one year, to spoil it!"
“ True, Harry! rain is a great blessing, when it is in season, and in measure. But too much rain, or too much sunshine, will alike ruin our hopes. You see how dependant we are upon God, even for our daily bread."
“ This ear, with so many grains in it, all came from one corn,- ,—did it not ?"
“ Yes : the blade, and the stem, and all the grains of wheat, with their fine covering, were all wrapt up in that little space.'
“ But how do you know that ?”
“ Because, if they had not been in it, they could not have sprung out of it. The earth has only expanded, and brought to maturity, what was already in the seed.” “ How wonderful this is !"
Yes, it is the work of a divine hand.” “And every one likes bread, father.”
“ True; it is as agreeable to the old man, as to the little infant; we never tire of it; it is as fresh and as pleasant to-day as it was yesterday. There are a variety of tastes; one is fond of an article which another dislikes, but no one ever lived who did not relish bread.”
“ And did you not say, father, that it would
grow in every country, and climate ?”
“ Yes, Harry; and this is a kind appointment of Providence, and shews a tender care for the welfare of man.”
“ Pharaoh dreamed that seven ears of corn came up on one stalk, rank and good,' Gen. xli. 5. This was only a dream, was it, father ?”
“ It was a dream, Harry. But yet, it is remarkable that there is a species of wheat in Egypt, which really bears seven ears upon one stalk. Some of it has been cultivated in England, but it does not reach the perfection which it does in its native soil. No one would have even thought of one stem of wheat with seven ears on it. That there is such an article, and in Egypt too, is a striking proof of the truths of the Scriptures.”
“ Bread is spoken of very early in the Bible."