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permission, it is true, but with no purpose of doing wrong.
The next day David asked permission to go for the cows, and it was granted. He went through the orchard and filled his pockets and hat with apples. He had persuaded himself that he had only done as the hired man did—that he did not go to the orchard for the purpose of taking the apples, but passed through it on his way after the cows. Hence it was taking, and not stealing.
The teacher pointed out to him the particulars in which he had deceived himself, and showed him that there was no such distinction in his case, as he had endeavoured to make out. He concluded his reprimand by expressing the hope that he would never deceive himself in like manner, nor suffer others to deceive him again. I hope the reader will act on the same wise advice.
THE NINTH COMMANDMENT.
THE Ninth Commandment is, " Thou shalt not
bear false witness against thy neighbour.” You have seen that the commands of God are very wide in their meaning, and have respect to all our conduct and feelings. There is no one of these ten commandments, in which it is said “ Thou
shalt not tell a lie," but the one you have just read forbids all lying.
The child who tells lies will be very apt to grow up and tell more when he becomes a man. There is no sin that becomes so much a matter of habit, as that of lying
And nobody believes a liar, even when he speaks the truth. Did you ever hear the story of the boy and the wolf? A boy was set to watch a flock of sheep, and when he saw the wolf coming, he was to call for help, and his father would come, with the neighbours, and kill the wolf.
The boy thought it would be fine sport to make them come when there was no danger, and after he had been watching the flock for some time, he cried out, “ The wolf, the wolf,” as loud as he could scream. His father and others came running with all their might, and the wicked boy laughed at them when they came, and said there was no danger.
They reproved him for his sinful conduct, and went away, but he soon cried out more loudly than before that the wolf was coming, and again they were deceived. When they found that he had mocked them the second time, they punished him as he deserved, and returned to their work.
Soon the wolf made his appearance, and as the boy saw him coming towards the sheep, he called out, “The wolf, the wolf; O father, the wolf is coming now," but they did not believe him: they thought he was trying to make a fool of them again.
So the wolf tore the sheep to pieces, and the wicked boy was very much afraid that the wolf
would eat him. He ran to his father and told him what a dreadful thing had happened, and his father showed him that he could never trust his son again, as he would not know when to believe him.
Jane Shaw was a very good girl, and one day when she was at school, she had the misfortune while at play, to break one of the windows.
She was very much frightened, and was very sorry that the accident had happened, but she could not mend the window. She was afraid that her teacher would be offended, and that her parents would reprove her for it, and perhaps she would be punished for her carelessness. Jane was so much afraid that she did not tell
any one what she had done, but she thought she would see whether it would be found out. This was wrong: she ought to have told her teacher at once of the accident, and promised to be more careful afterwards.
But as soon as the teacher came, the broken window was seen ; and as it was near the seat where a playful girl was sitting, whose name was Lucy Jones, the teacher thought that it might be Lucy that had broken it.
“Lucy Jones," said the teacher,“ do you know who broke that window near your seat ?”
“No, ma’am," answered Lucy, “I did not know that it was broken till I sat down, when school began, and I felt the wind blowing on me.”
“Be very careful, Lucy,” said the teacher, "you know it is very wicked to tell a lie, and if you have broken the window, it will only make the matter worse, to try to deceive me about it.”
The little girl felt so sadly when the teacher spoke to her as if she thought that perhaps Lucy had told a lie, that she hung down her head in silence, and burst into tears.
This made the teacher suspect that Lucy had broken the window, and was now crying for fear she would be found out; and she spoke gently and said, "Lucy, come here, my dear; I want to talk to you about this matter."
Jane had been sitting near by, and her heart was ready to break with pain. She knew it would be very wicked to let Lucy Jones be suspected of a fault which she had not committed, but Jane was afraid to confess that she herself was the only one to be blamed.
But when she saw the grief of her young friend Lucy, she remembered that golden rule which the Saviour gave to his disciples, “Do unto others as ye would have others do unto you;
» and she made up her mind to tell the whole truth at once.
So she left her seat, and went to the teacher's desk, where Lucy was now standing, and to the great surprise of the whole school, she said, “I broke the window, and am very sorry for it."
Lucy Jones turned round and looked at her a moment, with an expression of thankfulness on her face, and then putting her arms around her neck, kissed her tenderly and wept.
It was a scene that deeply affected all the scholars, who saw at once that Jane was willing to take the blame on herself, and confess her fault, rather tha have an innocent person suspected of the wrong.
The teacher then told the school that it would have been as wicked in Jane to keep silence when Lucy was suspected, as it would have been to tell a falsehood. They all knew that it would be very sinful “ to bear false witness” against one of their companions, and the same wicked heart which would have led Jane to conceal her fault, would have led her to say that Lucy did it.
In this way the children were taught that God looks upon the heart, and judges the thoughts as well as the words and deeds.
By and by when you grow up you may be called to bear witness in a court of law. You
have to tell what you know of the conduct of some of your fellowmen, and you must remember that God knows the truth of what you are saying, and for every word that you speak you will be called to give account at the last day.
THE TENTH COMMANDMENT.
THE Tenth Commandment is, “ Thou shalt not
covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.”
What is it to covet ?
It is to desire that which is another's without his consent, or to wish for that which it is not lawful or proper for you to have.