8. “I kept my eye upon him till church was done, and thought, if I could see him at the door, I would try to make him follow me home, and keep him.
9. “I feel now, mother, that all this was very wrong, and that these naughty thoughts tempted me to break God’s holy Sabbath.”
10. “I am glad you feel this, my son; for, besides being sinful to desire to have the little dog, which was coveting what belonged to another, the time and place in which you indulged the thought was the breaking of that commandment which says, ’Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’”
11. “But, mother,” asked Frank, impatiently, “how shall I keep these thoughts out? They come before I know it. Sometimes a boy has a new suit of clothes on, and I cannot help looking at him; and sometimes the girls will play with their gloves, and tie and untie their bonnets; and sometimes the little children get to sleep, and I can’t help watching them, to see if they will not slip off the seat.
12. “I think, mother, if we did not sit in the gallery, I shouldn’t see so many things to tempt me to wicked thoughts in church.”
13. “If I really believed this myself, Frank, I should think it important to change our seat: but the mischief does not lie here; it is in your heart.
14. “If this were right, and you really loved God and his service, the thought of his presence would keep out these troublesome intruders; not altogether, my son, for the best of people are sometimes subject to wandering thoughts; but it is a temptation which they overcome, by turning their attention immediately to the services, and by taking their eyes from the object that drew away their thoughts from God.”
The same subject, concluded.
1. “If some great king, who loved his people, and was continually giving them some good things, should appoint a day when he would meet his subjects, rich and poor, young and old, and should declare to them how they may best please him; and a person should be appointed to read to them, from a book he had himself written, directions for their conduct; and that, as a reward for obedience, should promise they should be admitted to his palace, where nothing that could trouble them should ever be allowed to enter—”
2. “Why, mother,” exclaimed Frank, “I should so admire to see a king, that I should be willing to do everything he required; and should be afraid, all the time, of doing something he did not like, while in his presence. I should keep looking at him all the time, to see if he were pleased;—but go on, mother.”
3. “Well, my son, suppose this great person, who is also good, should keep a book in which he noted down all your actions, and even looks; and, on a certain day which he had appointed, and which was known to himself, should call together a great multitude of people, his friends and yours, and should read to them all that he had written there,—do you think you would be careless or indifferent what was written against your name?”