6. “Here is a sinful feeling indulged, which, if not subdued, may lead to murder. I wish you to remember, my dear boy, that it is by allowing ourselves to commit little sins that we become great sinners.
7. “You would be frightened if you could have placed before you a picture of the course of sin. You would exclaim, What a monster!—he must never come near me,—it is dangerous even to look on him! Let me entreat you, then, my son, to guard against temptation.
8. “If you say to temptation, as you would to a wicked companion, who had often led you into mischief, ‘Go away; I do not like your company,’ temptation, though for a while it may plead to be indulged, will soon do as the wicked companion would, if often sent away with such a reproof, discontinue to come; or, if found in your company, will not harm you; for conscience, like a good friend, will be ever near; and your blessed Saviour, who has promised to help those who are tempted, will assist you to overcome temptation.
9. “I hope now you understand what it means to be tempted.”—“I think I do, mother,” said Frank, “and I thank you for telling me so much about temptation. I shall never again repeat the Lord’s prayer without thinking what it means, and I hope God will keep me from the great evil of sin.” He then kissed his mother, and she promised to tell him, some other time, how we are tempted by sinful thoughts.
The same, subject, continued.
1. It was not long after Frank had the conversation with his mother upon the temptation to sinful actions, that he claimed her promise to tell him how we may be tempted to sinful thoughts.
2. It was Sunday evening. Frank and his mother were sitting alone together at a window which opened upon a flower-garden, rich in the hues with which God has seen fit to adorn this beautiful part of creation.
3. “You have been at church to-day, my son,” said his mother; “and to my eye you did nothing offensive, for you sat still during the sermon, and appeared engaged with your book during the prayers.
4. “I saw only the outward part; but remember there was an eye of infinite purity looking upon your heart, and seeing the thoughts that were passing there. You only can tell if they were fit to meet that eye.”
5. Frank looked down; for, like most children, he was not apt to examine either his thoughts or motives, but was well satisfied if he gained the approbation of his parents.
6. His mother, seeing he was struggling to disclose something, said, “You are an honest boy, Frank, and do not, I trust, wish to conceal the truth from your mother. If you have received my approbation for correct conduct, you certainly cannot enjoy it, if you feel that it is not deserved.”
7. “That is what troubles me, mother,” said Frank; “for, while I was sitting so still, and you thought I was attending to the sermon, I was all the while watching a pretty little dog, that was running from pew to pew, trying to find his master; and when he got on the pulpit step, and rolled off, I came so near laughing that I was obliged to put my handkerchief to my mouth, and make believe to cough.