There is another odd thing in that country, not far from the pyramids. It is called a Sphinx. I know you will say that the name must be as odd as the thing is itself. Well, it is odd, sure enough. The Sphinx is a very large rock, made to look just like a lion with a man’s head. It is as large as the house I live in. There is nothing but the head out of the ground. It was all out of the ground once, when it was first made, but the sand has now covered up that part which looks like a lion.
A great while ago, people used to call such things as these gods. They used to pray to the Sphinx, just as if it was a god—just as if it could hear anybody pray, the same as God does.
You have seen little whirlpools in the brook, I suppose. I once saw a very large one, a great deal larger than any you ever saw in the brook. It was in the North Sea. This whirlpool does mischief sometimes. When vessels happen to get on the edge of it, they begin to go round and round, all the time coming near the middle of the whirlpool. When the captain of the vessel knows that he is in the whirlpool, he can get his vessel out, if it has just begun to go round. But after it has been in a while, he cannot get out. The vessel keeps going round and round. The people on board hear the roar of the whirlpool. It is too late to get away. By and by, the water draws the vessel down. It is dashed to pieces, and all who were in it are lost!
I have known little boys and girls get into a whirlpool, too; a different kind of a whirlpool, to be sure, but a great deal worse than this one in the North Sea. I mean the whirlpool of sin. When they first began to be wicked—when they first began to go round in the whirlpool—they went round very slowly. They could very easily have got out then, if they had tried, and if they had prayed to God to help them. But they did not try. So they kept growing worse and worse. They went round swifter and swifter. By and by, they got so far into the whirlpool that they could not get out. It was too late. They were lost—dashed to pieces on the rocks, in the whirlpool of sin!
Little boy! little girl! take care that you do not venture even to the edge of this whirlpool. Give your heart to God, while you are young, and pray to him to keep you from sin, and to lead you to heaven.