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to be like unto Him: Haply the angels also, weep with me for this cause:-yet, hath He some in every place, that know His voice, and that follow in His steps. He is Himself the pure and spotless Lamb of God:He was a holy Lamb, when He lived a child like thee, my little one, upon the earth, and He is called still the Lamb of God,' now that He sitteth in heaven, upon the right hand of His Father."
"Oh that I may be made like unto him!" said the little child, Oh that my playfellows also may learn to follow Him, with me!"
"My little one," said the heavenly messenger, "it is not for a child to TEACH; thou must thyself LEARN, in much humility.Nevertheless, by thy good example and thy kindness (if thou trust not in thine own strength, but pray unto Him who can give thee strength, with all thine heart,) thou mayest hope to turn thy playfellows also from evil unto
good-even now, while thou art a child; and, when thou shalt be old, thou mayest convert many."
The night now began to close in apacethe sky grew dark, but, as it darkened, stars of light beamed brightly through the deep blue heavens, till all was loveliness and glory. The eye of the child fixed upon the brightest star in the firmament, and he gazed upon it with a deep and wondering delight. "Surely," said the child, "there is some sweet and holy lesson for me, here!"
"Yea," said the Teacher; "they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.' "'* And now, the heavenly messenger had led the little child towards his home-and, when she had placed him before the door, she said unto him. "My child, thou hast learned enough for * Daniel, xii. v. 3.
this day, out of the book that I have opened unto thee. Go, now, and practice that which thou hast learned-and fare thee well!" And she turned, to kiss the child and to depart: but, methought I looked, and the little child took "fast hold of her,"* as she was about to depart, and would not let her go. And when she saw that the child held her fast, she put on his head "an ornament of grace," and she delivered to him "a crown of glory," + and she went in with him to his father's house, to become his guide and his companion for ever.
AND now, dear children, that you have heard my story, tell me whether you have been able to understand any part of what it means; (for, you know, this story is a little parableit has a hidden meaning;) tell me whether * Prov. iv., v. 13. + Prov. iv., v.9.
you can find out anything true, that this story is meant to teach you. Tell me what was the name of the heavenly messenger; and who He is that sends her; and what you must do if you wish to have her to dwell with you, as she dwelt with the little child in the story; and how you must look at the pictures which she shows to you, so as to learn to read the "Unwritten Book.”*
Perhaps, these little verses following, may help you to understand and to remember some part of this story:
A word is traced in every flower,
Some lesson in the mead.
*It is not to be expected that a child should divine the answers to these questions without assistance-but a few hints may give a glimpse of the allegory which will suggest more upon a second reading.
The white wave writes upon the sand,
Is laid an open book.
Oh, glorious book! 'tis gilt with light,
With fragrant leaves and pictures bright,
"Tis writ in such a wond'rous tongue, A tongue so sweet to hear,
As whispering winds, as summer's song, "Tis music to the ear.
And holy parables are there,
And tales of truth and love;
And lilies bright, and birds of air,