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your minds are well cultivated and well stored with subjects for contemplation; and above all, if you "remember your Creator in the days of your youth,” there never will be any danger of them becoming like the garden of the sluggard; weeds will never grow in a well regulated mind. The mind of the man void of understanding is like a garden full of weeds; it is not cultivated, therefore full of vain thoughts and imaginations; and when God changes the heart of such a one, that man finds very great difficulty indeed in bringing his thoughts into subjection; and in overcoming his former habits, he has a great deal to do, or rather undo and learn, which he would not have had, if his mind had been well stored from his youth with Gospel truths and useful information. It is a good thing to store the minds of children with these, and to teach them industrious habits. We have an admirable example of that in the great Apostle of the Gentiles. Who was he?
Charlie. That was St. Paul. He was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, a doctor of the law: I think he must always have been dux.
M. Why do you think so ?
Charlie. He says, “I profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals (in years).”
M. There is no doubt but that he was a most diligent and attentive pupil. He had a thorough knowledge of the Law and the Prophets. to have been well versed in ancient and modern literature, in the manners and customs of different nations, also to have been well skilled in different languages, and when God gave him a new heart, all this learning was ready for, and devoted to His service.
He had not to begin then and study; but all his learning he now considered as nothing in comparison of the knowledge of Jesus Christ and Him crucified ; his precious Bible knowledge now was invaluable, and no one ever made a better use of it than he did. He was the most devoted and laborious of all the Apostles; he wrote more than any of them, he preached and taught more than any of them, he suffered more than any of them, and he travelled more than any of them. Can you tell me of all he had learned at Gamaliel's school, which now was most useful to him?
David. His Bible knowledge, and the different languages.
M. Yes; but he did not throw aside his other knowledge: we find him quoting the poets who lived nearly three hundred years before him. It was all brought into the service of God. All his Epistles show us that he was a learned man; and if you are all as diligent as he was when he was young, you may all, by the grace of God, become as faithful and devoted servants of Christ as he was. There is a beautiful passage which you read in Cowper yesterday, which says
Who wore the platted thorns with bleeding brows,
And if this one Spirit be in you, it will regulate all you do while you live, all your duties both to God and man, all your studies, all your works and labours of love, and all your amusements and recreations. Then everything will be well done, and at the proper time, as it is in nature.
Now, I think our nettles have furnished us with some most useful lessons, but we have not done with them yet. The mulberry tree, the India rubber tree, the bread-fruit tree, and our good friend the fig-tree, which was the origin of all our nice lessons, belong to the nettle family, and we have to speak of them all.
Wilhelmina. You do not mean to say that these are all nettles ?
M. They belong to that family, in the same way as a cat belongs to the tiger family, or a dog to the wolf family.
WATER-LILY-CHARITY OR LOVE.
EccLEs. xi. 1.-" Cast thy bread upon the waters : for thou shalt find it after many days."
Isaiah xxxii. 20.-Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass."
M. The last text alludes to the method of sowing rice, which was sown upon muddy ground, or ground covered with water, and trodden in by the feet of cattle. The plant alluded to in the other, is supposed to be the Nympheæ nelumbo, or sacred bean of Egypt, one of the water-lilies. Have you ever seen any of them?
Catharine. Yes, I have; and I think they are very beautiful.
M. They are said to be the most beautiful of all foreign flowers. They have large handsome green
if you live.
leaves. Their flowers give out the sweetest perfume, and present the purest colours—azure blue, delicate pink, or pale yellow, and some of a dazzling white.
David. These are the three primary colours, and the reflection of all.
M. You are quite right. One of these lilies is named Victoria Regina, after our Queen : it was discovered about the time she began her reign. The flowers, when expanded, are a foot in diameter, and the leaves from four to six and a half feet in diameter.
Frances Jane. What a very splendid flower that must be : I should like so much to see it. M. It is very likely you may, some time or other,
It has been brought to this country, and is thriving very well in a pond in the Conservatory at Chatsworth. The leaves there are so strong that they will bear the weight of a child standing on them. Towards evening the flowers of all the species close and lie down upon the water; at night they sink below the surface, and in the middle of the day, when the sun is shining in all his splendour, they are several inches above it, and fully expanded. The seeds and roots of the Nymphæa nelumbo afford a most nourishing and profitable food for man. It is celebrated by the Chinese poets, and the Egyptians, who used to hold as sacred many things in nature which were useful and beautiful, worshipped it. This teaches us a most important lesson. The Egyptians saw, admired, and acknowledged the beauty and usefulness of the plant, and that to such a degree, that they made a god of it. You can tell me wherein lay their great sin.
Wilhelmina. Instead of seeing God in all His
works, they made gods of them. It is exactly what Cowper says, “The landscape has it praise, but not its
“ author.” So with the Egyptians; the works of God had their praise, but not their author.
M. I hope you never will forget, that in studying the works of God, unless you see and acknowledge the
power of God the Father, the wisdom of God the Son, and the protecting and regulating care of God the Holy Ghost in every one, you are guilty of the same sin as the Egyptians in the sight of God. I should like you to give me some texts to prove that the Holy Trinity in unity were all concerned alike in the work of creation.
Annie. Gen. i. 1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” This is God the Father. John i. 1-3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” This is God the Son.
M. Quite right; and the whole of that beautiful chapter, the eighth of Proverbs, speaks of Him also as being concerned in the work of creation : He is called there Wisdom. Now give me some proofs of the Holy Spirit's work in creation.
Frances Jane. Gen. i. 2, “ The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
Job xxvi. 13, “ By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens." Ps. xxxiii. 6, “ By the word of the Lord were the heavens made: and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” Ps. civ. 30, “Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created.”