2. “Yes, my child, every day you live; and when I have told you what temptation is, I think you will confess that you have not only been tempted, but often yielded to temptation.
3. “To be tempted, means to be drawn by the offer of present pleasure to do what is wrong. There are many kinds of temptation, and I think you will understand me better if I give you an instance.
4. “You know, my dear Frank, that both your father and I have forbidden your going to the pond where your cousin Henry was drowned, because we think it very dangerous for you to venture there. But you also know that the other day you went, and suffered severely afterward for your disobedience.”
5. “Yes, mother,” said Frank; “but then I should not have gone, if William Brown had not showed me his pretty ship, just as I was coming out of school, and asked me to go see him launch it; and oh, mother, if you had only seen it!
6. “It had masts and sails, just like a real ship; and on the deck a little man, which William called the captain. And then, when it was on the water, it sailed along so sweetly!—the pond was as smooth as a looking-glass, so that we could see two little ships all the time.
7. “I didn’t think of disobeying you, mother; I only thought of the pretty ship, and that there could be no harm in seeing William sail it.”—“The harm, my dear son (as you call it),” said his mother, “was not in sailing the boat,—this is an innocent pleasure in itself; but it was doing it after it had been forbidden by your parents, that made it wrong.
8. “The temptation to disobedience came in the form of a little ship. You were drawn by it to the pond, the forbidden spot. You saw it sail gayly off, and stood on the bank delighted.”
9. “But, mother,” interrupted Frank, “I shouldn’t have got into the water and muddied my clothes, if the little ship hadn’t got tangled in the weeds; and the boys all shouted, Clear her! Clear her! and I couldn’t help stepping in, I was so near; and my foot slipped, and I fell in.”
10. “Yes,” said his mother, “and but for assistance of your play-fellows, you might have been drowned. But God, whose eye was upon you all the while, saw fit to spare you; and how thankful you ought to be that he did not take you away in your disobedience!
11. “You now see how you were tempted, first to go with William Brown to the pond, and then to step into the water; which shows how one temptation leads to another. But did not something within you, my son, tell you, while there, that you were doing wrong to disobey your parents?”
12. “No, mother; I do not recollect that it did. I’m sure I did not think a word about it till I was alone in bed, and was asking my heavenly Father to take care of me. Then something seemed to say, ‘Frank, you have done wrong to-day.’
13. “And I felt how wicked I had been, and could not ask God to forgive me till I had confessed all to you. I knew you were away when I came home, and I thought you hadn’t returned.