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waters of an unfailing fountain. The little children danced along, saying, 'See, there it is; how near, how near!' But the old men shook their heads, and said, 'That country is still far, far away.' They had not travelled long, before the little ones became very thirsty, and darted eagerly forward to the side of a small lake, which in the distance had seemed so beautiful that they mistook it for the pure fountain of the happy land. Gaudy flowers grew near its banks, but the waters were muddy. The thirsty children, however, drank with delight, gathered bunches of bright flowers, and wove them into chaplets for their heads, while the men and women of the party smiled bitterly, as they cried, 'Poor foolish children, you will soon be more thirsty than ever; your flowers will fade before an hour has passed: we tasted those waters years ago, and know all about them.'
"The mid-day sun shone fiercely down; but still the young people pressed on with a light, firm step, anxious to quench their great thirst in the stream, which flowed so temptingly among those fruit-trees just beyond. They reached the spot, rushed madly into the shallow stream, which seemed rather to burn than to cool, and, shaking the ripe fruit from the branches, declared they would taste every kind that grew there. The old men looked grave and said, ' Mad young people, these waters never satisfy; we have drunk them ourselves, and those fruits are poisonous : do not touch them. Come on with us to yonder city, where riches and honour crown the traveller, and overflowing fountains quench his thirst.'
“Now and then the travellers were startled by a voice
from above, which sounded sometimes sweetly, sometimes sternly, in their ears. While the little ones were gathering gaudy flowers by the muddy lake, they heard that voice gently whispering, 'Suffer the little children to come unto me.' 'Little children, keep yourselves from idols.' 'Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.' And many did hearken to, and follow the heavenly call. As the young people drew near the poisonous fruit and shallow stream, the same voice cried,' Avoid it, pass not by it; turn from it, and pass away.' 'If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.' A few flung down the untasted fruit, and, trampling it under their feet, joined those who had already left the company, in the up-hill path they had chosen. This road was narrow and steep, but kind voices encouraged them to climb on.
"The evening shades were falling, and many of the company pursued their weary journey across the desert, heedless of the warning voice that so mournfully asked, 'Why will ye die? Wherefore do ye spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.' They were all by this time faint and exhausted, their parched lips were black and blistered, their aching hearts were throbbing the life away; but the long-desired well was near. "There it is at hand.' But see-round about its brink lie bleaching bones, sad relics of former travellers. It was reached at length;
the foremost of the party uttered a shout of triumph, changed instantly to one of despair: The well, the well! Oh, empty, empty! Not one drop of water was there to slake the raging thirst. Empty, empty!" passed from tongue to tongue, as the wretched multitude, flinging themselves around, peered into its slimy depths: Empty, empty !' as they groaned and died."
Fanny felt very sorry at the fate of these unhappy travellers, but did not quite understand the meaning of the story. Her mother took up a Testament that lay near and pointed to those words, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
Ah, I think I know it now, mamma," said Fanny, covering her face with both hands; "but is not it hard for little children to love things they do not see, better than things they can look at every day ?" "Do you and Julia find it hard to love papa when he is away in a foreign land?" "Of course not, mamma, for we often look at his picture and the pretty presents he sends us, and then he writes you a letter frequently, and mentions our names in it; but, best of all, we shall soon see him again. How could we help loving our dear papa ?"
"So it is with our Father in heaven, Fanny; we must study his likeness in the Bible, and read his letters there; be thankful for his daily mercies, and value above all his unspeakable gift,' even the Saviour, who gave his life to save ours. And if this great love gets into our heart, it will enable us to conquer those
strong temptations which overcome all who have not felt it."
A SPIDER LESSON.
WE always think of spiders with webs; but all spiders do not make webs. There are the trap-door spiders, for instance, which are found in the south of Europe and the West Indies. What do they do? The female digs a hole in the earth, about six inches deep and one inch across, and lines it with silk of her own weaving; at the hole's mouth she makes a round door, fastened at the rim of the hole by a silk hinge. The spider opens the door, but the door shuts itself. This trap-door is full of very small holes, which nevertheless light and air the spider's home, for it generally lives at home, going abroad only to hunt and bringing back the spoil to dine on at its leisure or convenience.
There is another little spider sometimes found in our ponds and rivers, which makes quite another sort of home. It lives in a little diving-bell under the water, which it builds very curiously. How? It comes to the top of the water, gets a bubble of air, and carries it down to the stalk of a plant below; having safely secured it, it mounts up for another and another and another, until there are air-bubbles enough to live in. Over these it weaves a covering in the form of a diving-bell, tight at the top and open below; and here this little water-spider sits and dives at the watermites which swim around her cabin-door. "And God taught those spiders," said Jane; "oh, mother, what an excellent teacher God is !".
WHEN April's warmth unlocks the clod,
In childhood's early hours.
Some plants, in gardens only found,
They blossom everywhere; Thus may my love to all abound, And all my fragrance share.
Some scentless flowers stand straight and high,
But violets perfume land and sky,
Sweet flower, be thou a type to me
And unpretending worth.