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the reading of a little tract may do? By the blessing of God, it may turn a poor ignorant Roman Catholic boy into a humble follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Will some of my readers try what they can do?
COME, let us go and get some strawberries," said John to Henry, who had come to spend the afternoon of a fine June day with him; "there are oceans of them over there in the field beyond the meadow."
"Oceans of them!" said Henry, in amazement. "The ocean is a great way off," continued he, as though he was speaking to himself.
"I know it is," said John, "but the strawberries are not; so come on."
Henry stood still, as if wrapt in thought.
"What are you thinking about?" said John, noticing his perplexed looks.
"No matter," said Henry. His countenance cleared up as he said this, and he began to follow his friend.
The truth was, it took Henry some time to find out what John meant when he said there were oceans of strawberries.
He had been away from home but very little, and there he was accustomed to hear his parents say just what they meant, and he was taught to do the same; and he did not know but that other boys were taught in the same manHe thought everybody meant what they said, and hence he was puzzled to understand John's extravagant language.
It is a great deal better not to form the habit of using extravagant language. Does any one ask, what hurt it does to speak in that manner, when it is known
that you do not mean to lie? I answer to this question, that it does not do any good to speak in this manner, and it leads to evil. It will be very apt to lead one into habits of falsehood. Saying things that are not true with no intention to deceive, will lead on to say things that are not true with the intention to We ought at all times to speak
A fine meadow lay between the house before which the boys were standing and the pasture-field which contained the strawberries. The grass had grown nearly high enough to be mowed, and would therefore be injured by any person passing through it. John's father had told him that he must not go through it any more, but must go round it when he wished to go for strawberries. It was a little farther round.
When John had said to Henry, "Come on," he began to climb the fence to get
over into the meadow. Henry was a thoughtful boy, and asked him if his father would like to have him go through the grass?
"He told me not to; but I'll go through this once only," said John. "I wouldn't if my papa had told me not to," said Henry.
"Why, it won't do any hurt to go through once-only once."
"It will be disobeying your parent, and that is enough. If the good Lord makes strawberries grow for us, I think we ought not to disobey him while we are getting them. Come, it is but a little way round."
Thus urged, John got down from the fence, and went round with Henry.
He did well in following the good advice of his friend, and the dictates of his conscience; for Henry's words had taken hold of his conscience.
This only once is the cause of a great deal of mischief in this world. When a person resolves to do what he knows to be wrong only once, he cannot tell how many times he will do it. The way that Satan gets men entirely in his power is by tempting them to do some sinful act only once. He knows it will be easier to get them to do it a second time, and so on till they are led captive by him at his will.
It was well for John that he had a friend who tried to lead him to do right, instead of encouraging him to do wrong. In choosing friends and companions, choose such as will keep you back from sin rather than lead you into it. If Henry had followed John when he said, "Come on," or had urged him to go through the meadow, John would have disobeyed his father, would have offended God, and perhaps have laid the found