HECTIC; OF A1r AY.UIZL.
Little and i'Jsc;
THE ANTS, THE CONIES, THE LOCUSTS,
AND THE SPIDER.
WM. WILBERFORCE NEWTON.
T. WOOLMEu, 2, CASTLE ST., OPriY ROAD, E.O.;
A D C6, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.
HAYMAN BROTHEI8 AND LILLY,
HATTON HOUSEf FARRINGDON ROA,
. ,. 71
'There be four things which are little upon the
earth, but they are exceeding wise : thwe ants are a
people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in
the summer.'-PROVERBS xxx. 24, 25.
T HO UGH King Solomon wrote the
greater portion of the Book of Pro-
verbs, these words were written by a man
named Agur. We know very little about
him. Some people have thought th Agur
was another name for Solomon, because
the word Agar means 'he gahered,' and
Solomon was a great gatherer of proverbs
and wise sayings. But it is more probable
that Agur was some sage or philosopher of
the period, who used to speak wise words
that were remembered at the time, and noted
down by the person who gathered together
this collection of proverbs.
In the thirty-first chapter we meet with
another of these local sages, King Lemuel, of
LITTLE AND WISE.
whom we know next to nothing as compared
with what we know of King Solomon; and
yet his words are as wise and as good as
any that are found in the Book of Proverbs.
But whoever this Agur was, one thing he
knew. He was very familiar with animals,
and knew their habits and ways.
Some people love to have -animals about
them; others don't care anything about pets.
Some persons have great power over animals,
and can teach them all sorts of tricks, and
can make them do just what they wish
them to do; other persons have no more
power over the wills of animals than they
have over the cast-iron lions and dogs on
front door-steps or in the gardens.
I think it does us all good to be with
animals. A horse in the stable gets to
know you when you come in to see him; Ho
neighs at you, and notices if you are going
over to the box where the oats are kept.
He likes to have you near him. So it is
with _n affectionate dog; he cannot bear
to be alone; he loves human company. Sir
Walter Scott, who wrote so many books at
his beautiful place called Abbotsford, always
had his greyhounds by his side in his
The poet Cowper, who wrote such beauti-
ful hymns and poetry, had a whole family
of pet hares, in which he used to take
the greatest delight. Pet birds and cats,
parrots that talk so strangely, and all such
domestic animals, help us to be kind and
tender and compassionate, and to think of
Just see how much good has been done in
teaching people to be kind by the Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.'
If hard-hearted people are fined for being
cruel to animals, it will teach them after
a while, as the Bible says, to consider the
life of one's beast; and if people begin to
be kind to animals, then after a while they
will learn to be kind to little children and
to grown-up people. To come back to Agur,
then, the man who wrote this text, whoever
he may have been, it is a pretty sure thing
LITTLE AND WISE.
that he knew a good deal about animals and
had studied their habits and ways.
'Little and wise.' This is what these
four sermons are about. We are going to
look at the ants, the conies, the locusts, and
These are the words of Agur, 'There be
four things which are little upon the earth,
but they are exceeding wise the ants are
a people not strong, yet they prepare their
meat in the summer; the conies are but a
feeble folk, yet they build their houses in
the rocks; the locusts have no king, yet
they go forth all of them by bands; the
spider taketh hold with her hands, and is
in kings' palaces.'
First of all, then, come the ants. Our
sermon to-day is about them. We learn
three lessons from these little creatures.
FIRST of all we learn a lesson from what
the ants are. They are people not strong.'
They are a very little race of people, some-
thing like the pigmies found in Liliput,
according to the story of Gulliver's Travels.
Why, the ants are only insects, the very
weakest sort of animals that can be found;
they are so small that we can hardly call
them animals; and yet we are told that
they are very wise. It is not true that big
people are always great or wise. Wisdom
is a matter of quality, not of quantty.
There used to be a piece of poetryin one
of the school readers, about a little boy and.
his father who were talking of Alexander
the Great. It begins with the little fellow
asking the question,-
'How big was Alexander, pa ?
The people call him great 1'
When we are young -we are. a people,not
strong, but we can surely do something wise
while we are little. We need not wait until
14 LITTLE AND WISE.
we are grown up. Our first lesson, then, is
from what the ants are. They are little
people, a people not strong; and yet they are
very wise. If the ants were to wait until
they grew up to be big before they began
to be wise, they would always remain little
and foolish. I suppose the little baby ants
grow up into what they call big ants; but
then they are all very little after all. When
an ant sees us walking along, we must look
like moving mountains; and the garden
where his ant-hill is, is the same to him as
the world to us.
They are a people not strong, and yet
they do what they can. If you have ever
examined an ant-hill, you have found that
it is built just like a city. There are streets
in it, and gates, and thousands of little
holes where the different ants live, and
these are like our houses.. They build their
cities according to some plan of their own;
and they have their storehouses and places
of supplies in which they keep their food
for the winter just as we find food kept in
the storeroom of some fort. And now I
want to tell you about some little people
who were not strong like grown-up men
and women, but who were wise in what
they did, like the little and wise ants.
Down on the coast of Kent, near Dover,
in England, there was a little girl named
Mary Anning. Her father had been a fisher-
man, and had been lost at sea, and her
mother had a very hard time of it in getting
on with the poor little fatherless children
and in bringing them up.
Little Mary was very fond of going down
on the beach and hunting for what she
called coor osities.' She used to take her
little baby brother in a playcart that she
had, and she. would fasten another waggon
to it, and in this second waggon she put
all the pieces of seaweed, and the curious
pebbles and shells and stones which she
found on the sea-shore. Then she made a
pretty little museum for herself with cur-
tains to it, and she labelled the different
specimens, and numbered them; and, by
LITTLE AND WISE.
degrees, she had a catalogue of them all
written out, to explain her museum to visit-
ors. At last, when she was about fifteen
years old, she had such a fine collection
that the people who came down to the
sea-shore for the summer used to drive to
Mary's little house to see her museum; and
in this way she was a help to her mother:
for the strangers always gave her a present
of a sixpence or a shilling as they left the
house, just as they did when they visited
the lighthouse and the life-saving station.
One day the bones of some monster lizard
were found near Mary's home by an agent
and collector for the famous British Museum
in London. Some of the scientific people
were sure they were the bones of a mammoth,
an animal which lived thousands of years
ago. But one bone was wanting. If they
only had that one bone, all would be right.
At last somebody said there was a fisher-
man's daughter named Mary Anning, down'
near Dover, who had quite a collection of
curiosities, and perhaps she might have a
part of this bone. So a man was sent down
to see Mary's collection. He arrived at her
house with a trunk full of-what do you
think ? not clothes, but bones! Then he
put them out on the floor and looked at all
the specimens Mary had, and sure enough,
there was the very identical bone that was
missing: it fitted right into the socket, and
was just the one thing that was wanting.
Soon after this there was a vacancy in the
British Museum among the female librari-
ans; and the once little Mary Anning who
used to hunt about for 'coor osities' was
appointed; and ever after that took good
care of her poor mother and her little sisters.
Now there was a girl who was wise while
she was little. She did not waste her time.
She did not spend it all in play; she tried to
help her mother and improve herself, and
God blessed that poor fisherman's daughter
and made her the means of doing good while
she was receiving good !
Let nie t.ll you another story.
About two hundred and sixty years ago
LITTLE AND WISE.
a poor boy of sixteen was seen travelling on
foot in the south of England. He carried
over his shoulder, at the end of a stick, all
the clothing he had in the world, and had
in his pocket an old leather purse with
a few pieces of money given him by his
mother, when with a sad heart she took leave
of him on the road, at a short distance from
their own cottage door. His name was
John: he was the son of poor but honest
people; and he had six brothers and five
sisters, all of whom had to work hard for
a living. He was an honest lad, and at
fourteen was disappointed in getting a place
as parish clerk, and at last, with his parents'
consent, set out to get employment. In the
city of Exeter, to which he first went, he
met with no success; but as he looked on
the beautiful cathedral, and in the book-
sellers' windows, a strong desire came over
him to become a scholar. He set out at
once for the University of Oxford, some two
hundred and sixty miles off, walking all the
way. By night he slept in a barn or on the
sheltered side of a hay-rick. He lived
wholly on bread and water, with an occa-
sional jug of milk as a great luxury. When
he arrived at the splendid city of Oxford
his clothing was nearly worn out and was
very dusty, and his feet were so sore that
he could hardly walk, and his spirits were
He had. heard of Exeter College in
Oxford. Thither he went; and to his great
delight he was engaged to carry coal into
the kitchen, and to clean pans and kettles
and do all that kind of work.
Here, while scouring his pans, he might
often be seen reading a book. His studious
habits soon attracted the attention of the
authorities, who admitted him into the
college as a 'poor scholar,' providing for
all his wants. He studied hard, and was
soon at the head of his class. He rose to
great eminence as a scholar, was very useful
as a minister of Christ; and, many years
before his death, which took place when
he was seventy-three years of age, he visited
I '/4' r'
A ~ II
his father and mother, who were delighted
to see their son not only a 'great scholar'
but an eminent bishop of the Church. Such
is the history of Dr. John Prideaux, who
used to say, If I had been parish clerk of
Uxborough I should never have been Bishop
of Worcester.' "
SNow, my dear children, such stories as
these about little people who were not very
great or strong, and. who yet accomplished
a great deal of good, show us how, like the
ants, we can be little and wise in doing
what we can.
This first lesson,. then, from the ants is.
found in what they are. They are a people
not strong, yet they are.wise.
Our SECOND lesson from the ants is found.
in what they do. They 'prepare their
meat.' When a vessel goes to sea on a long
voyage, the steward who has charge of all
the provisions, puts plenty of prepared food
22 II1 iLL E LA' lvWI..
on board, such as conund vergtal'le3 and
fruits and salted meats and fish. Those are
called' prepared, vegetables,' and 'prepared
meatl.' They are put up long before they
are uAe,'; and are preserved from the air and
7 from all pnos'.il-iity of decay. And so, too,
when an army marches, there is one very
important branch called the commissariat
department. It is in charge of an officer
called the quarter-master; and it is his duty
to provide suitable food and provisions for
the men and horses and all the different
parts of the army. This takes a great deal
of planning and forethought. A quarter-
master-general must see a long way ahead;
he must not provide only for the day, or the
week, or even the month, but he must pro.
vide for months to come; for if the men and
the horses have not food enough, they cannot
march or fight, and there will surely be
trouble. Just think, then, how very wise
these little insignificant ants must be, to
think of the future as they do, and prepare
for it when it is afar off.
IJHc 5 XN!. 23
We know tbht.- an ant-bill, which is an
ant-city, they have soldiers and policemen
and hard-working day-labourers, whose busi-
ness it is to go out and bring home food
and store it away in their barns for winter.
Travellers who have watched all sorts of
ants tell us that sometimes in Africa and
other Eastern countries, different tribes of
ants have regular pitched battles; they meet
and fight by thousands ; and the conquering
army takes possession of the captured city,
and carries off the food that has been stored
there, and makes slaves of the poor defeated
ants, just as Alexander the Great, and King
Cyrus, and Julius Caesar did with cities and
men in their days. How very wonderful
all this is How strange a thing it is to see
all this system and forethought among such
little bits of creatures as the ants This is
one of the great works of the ants, then, to
provide or prepare their food. They cannot
work in the winter time. There is no food
for them when the snow is on the ground;
and so they plan for their underground
LITTLE AND WISE.
cities in the summer time; and they send
out their thousands of day-labourers to hunt
for little particles of food to be stored away
in their granaries for the winter, just as
Joseph sent out the Egyptians to gather
food, in the years of plenty before the days
of famine came. And here it is that the
lesson comes home to us all. We must
prepare for our future: we must not live
only for the present. And there are three
kinds of meat we must get, for meat means
strength, you know; and these kinds are,
meat for the body, meat for the mind, and
meat for the soul.
Once when some of the disciples had gone
away to get food, one of them who remained
behind asked Jesus if He had any meat.
Our Lord's words to him were, 'My meat
is to do the work of Him that sent Me, and
to finish His work.' He meant by this to
teach His disciple that there were othei
kinds of strength than that which came to
the body by food. We must learn, then, how
to get strength for the body, how to live,
THE ANTS. 25
how to form good habits for the time when
we must work for ourselves. It is when we
are young that our habits are formed, and
we ought to learn how to be systematic and
persevering in the way in which we do our
work; so that we shall be able to make our
own living or to prepare our own meat when
the time for this comes. But .this is not
the only kind of food that we want to get.
Our minds and our souls must have* food
quite as well as our bodies. Some people
never have hungry minds or souls until they
grow up and feel the need of knowing about
God. Jesus said in His' sermon upon the
mount, 'Blessed are they which do hunger
and thirst after righteousness: for they
shall be filled.' That is, if they had an
appetite for righteousness, if they were
hungry after goodness, they would relish it
when they saw it, just as you relish your
food after a long walk or drive in the open
air on a cold day.
When we are young our parents supply
us with food for our bodies; but we our-
LITTLE AND WISE.
selves by our studies at school and at home
and in church, must prepare the food for
our minds and souls. You know how dis-
agreeable a thing it is to eat something sour
or bitter, which leaves a bad taste in your
mouth. Well, my dear children, bad books,
and bad thoughts, and wicked words, leave
just such a bad taste in the mind. Evil
thoughts and words will poison our souls
just as the paint in certain kinds of candy,
or as the red stain of some berries, poisons
our bodies. Bad words and thoughts and
books will stick in the memory for a whole
lifetime; you cannot get them out. And
so, my dear children, when you prepare your
meat for life, get good meat, good food that
is pure and fresh and sound. Don't let bad
books get possession of your mind; don't
let evil thoughts and wishes get into your
soul, or after a while you will be hungry
for this bad food. People who eat good,
sound, wholesome food will have a good
appetite, and those who eat bad food will
have a baA appetite. Now, then, dear
children, try for the good appetite for your
minds; pray for it; seek to get good meat
for life; be as busy as the hardworking bee
is for the food which it gathers, or as the
industrious little ant is, that tries so hard
to prepare its own meat. Don't get evil
thoughts and wishes into your mind, but
learn to be hungry after knowledge and
righteousness, for that is the kind of meat
your souls should live on.
But then, THIRDLY, we learn from these
little ants a lesson of the time when we
ought to prepare this meat. The ants are
a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat
in the summer.'
Once upon a time, according to an old
fable, there was a merry grasshopper, who
chirruped away and hopped about through
the grass all summer as happy as he could be.
A big bumblebee saw him and said, Look
out for the winter, my friend, or you '11
starve.' Then a hard-working ant asked
LITTLE AND WISE.
him to help him to roll along a big piece of
bread which he had found. Not I,' said
the grasshopper. I'm no fool; you don't
catch me working like a slave, with such
lovely sunshine as this all about us.' But
there's a winter coming on,' said the ant,
' and what will you do then, with the cold
weather and the snow on the ground ?'
'0, I '1l wait till it comes,' replied the
grasshopper; 'and, besides, I never saw a
winter, and I don't believe it is as bad as
people say.' And away he jumped over the
tall grass. But at last the leaves fell, and
it grew very cold, and the snow came, and
the poor grasshopper had the rheumatism
in his fine legs, and he did not know how
he was to live. He went to the beehive and
begged them to take him in, but they said
they had no room for loafers. Then he
went to the ant-hill and tried to get in, bat
he was told at the door that they had no
food to spare for those who would not work;
and so the poor grasshopper died.
He was larger than either the bee or the
ant; but he was. not wise, he did not prepare
his food in the summer.
King Solomon says in one place that
there is a time for everything: a time to
sow and a time to reap, a time to labour
and a time to rest.
Summer time is the season for work.
Everything helps us at this time. It is
then that the farmers take good care that
nothing hurts their growing crops; so that
in the winter they can have plenty of pro-
visions both to eat and to sell. They are
wise like the little ants, and prepare their
meat in the summer. And, my dear children,
now is the summer time of your prepara-
tion; as you are now, so in all probability
you will be when you are grown up. See
to it, then, that you do these three things.
First, be wise while you are young, as the
ants are wise while they are little; secondly,
prepare your food honestly by your own
efforts, as the ants do; and thirdly, prepare
this in the summer. Don't wait until the
winter comes, prepare your meat now; and
LITTLE AND WISE.
then when you grow up you will not be
hungry and forsaken. Let the poor, hard-
working little ant, black and ugly though
he be, teach you these three lessons:
Be wise as well as little.
SWork in your summer time.
And when you feel like being lazy and
careless, remember Solomon's words: 'Go
to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways
and be wise!'
'There be. four things which are little upon the
earth,, tl hey are exceeding wise : the copies
are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses
in the rocks.'-PROVERBS xxx. 24, 26.
T HESE conies wore little rabbits or
Squirrels. They were caught for the
sake of their skins, which were covered
with thick rich fur.
Even to-day among hatters and furrie s
there is a certain kind of stuff very mu hYe
like felt, which is called cony cloth. It is .
used as one of the materials out of which to
make hats and caps. The conies of our text
were very timidlittle creatures. They were
afraid of being. caught, so they built their;,
houses hi i'ip'on the rocks and deep down
in them. You may have seen sometimes
in the country little red squirrels running
'Oalong stone walls and fences. If you have
.ver tried to catch them, you have found,
3 LITTLE AND WISE.
that they run very quickly and disappear
in the rocks. Well, this was just the way
these conies lived. They built their houses
far up in the rocks, -so that when the
freshets came and the ground was all soak-
ing with water, these little fellows were
perfectly safe. Aild you know our Saviour
ended His wonderful sermon on the mount
by telling of two men; one was foolish and
built his house upon the sand, and it was.
all washed away; the other was wise, and
when the wind blew and the rain descended
and- the floods came and beat upon that
li:.uni, it foll not, because it was founded
upon a rock.
We know that this world on which we
live is built up of different layers or strata
of r6cks. You will learn all about thi3
n L hri 'yu come to study geology. (You will
find all sorts of hard names given to theseS
different layers in the rocks. And those
names are very difficult to spell, and pro.
nounce, and remember. So I shall not give
any of them now. Under all these different ?
UOUNT VESUVIUS AND 3AY OP NAPLES.
LITTLE AND WISE.
layers of rocks, it is supposed, about thirty
miles below the earth's surface, there is a
hidden fire, and this earth of ours is like a
great bronze ball with fire and fiery gases
inside of it. And volcanoes like Mount
Etna or Mount Vesuvius are just like great
chimneys, and carry off the smoke and
steam of these underground forces. When
people dig down into the earth they'come
to clay and water and stones of different
kinds, but the last stone, below which they
cannot get, is the granite. There is nothing
stronger or firmer than the granite, though
the ancients thought there was a rock called
adamant, made up of diamonds, which no
power on earth could break.
Well, my dear children, you and I are
made up of different layers of character, just
in the way in which the earth is made up.
Some people have very bad layers of bad
habits: they will all crumble away before
sin, just as a piece of lava stone will crumble
before the rubbing of a hard brush. There
are other people who have built the houses of
their characters upon good, strong, honest
rock. Their souls are like the famous Rock
of Gibraltar; they cannot be stormed into
sin, and they cannot be undermined; for
there are the two ways of taking a man, just
as soldiers take a fort.
Sometimes you can storm a person and
frighten him into surrender; and then he
can be slowly undermined, and can be taken
in this way.
In every army there are those who belong
to what is called the 'storming party;' it
is their work to head the forlorn hope, and
go to the front and fight; and there are
those who are called 'sappers and miners;'
it is their work to dig trenches and make
tunnels and mines under the walls of the
city or fortification that has to be taken
and then put powder in there and blow
Now then-what kind of rock are we
built on ? Can we be easily stormed ? Can
we be easily undermined ? Do we yield to
LITTLE AND WISE.
temptations when our great enemy, Satan,
puts temptations in our way ? -
Do we surrender to sin when evil thoughts
get into our hearts and tempt us to do
wrong ? Are the layers of rock on which
our houses are built good and firm and
strong ? Are we like the conies, which,
though they are little and are but a feeble
folk, yet are exceeding wise and make their
houses in the rocks ?
These are the questions we ought to ask
We ought to build our houses, the houses
of our souls, on these three kinds of rock:
they will be to us like the granite to the
They are these-Honour.
FIRST of all comes Honour.
What a wonderful thing this is. We can-
not Leari it or see it, or perceive it in any
way with our senses; we cannot handle it,
or take it out of our souls and look at it;
and yet a true man would rather lay down
his life than lay his honour in the dust.
Phis thing is all from God. He has put
this sense of honour in our souls. It is a
part of the image of God in which we are
all created. It is the lowest layer in our
character, and holds us firmly to God and
to our sense of duty when everything else
gives way. This was .what made the
martyrs so firm and strong. -They could
not turn their backs upon their Lord.
Their soul of honour would not let them
do this. When Polycarp, one of the early
Christian martyrs, was told before he went
into the arena to meet the lions, that he
could even then be saved, if he would only
deny Jesus Christ, he said, 'My Lord has'
never denied me, and I shall not deny Him
Think of the three hundred Greeks who
Defended the Pass of Thermopyle against
the thousands and thousands of Xerxes'
LITTLE AND WISE.
Persian army. There they stood, though
they knew it would be death, though it
would have been a very easy thing to run
away, and though one by one they were cut
down until they all perished. What was it
which kept them there? Only their sense
of honour to their country; only this strong
layer in their characters, this rock on which
their natures were built. And just so it
was with. the six hundred of the Light
Brigade, who in the Crimean War rode up
to the Russian guns, along a valley which
was as death, simply because they had been
told to do so by their commander. And
even though the order was found out to be
a mistake, their sense of duty to their
country would not for one moment let them
disobey. Contrast this fine sense of honour
with the cowardly conduct of Benedict
Arnold, the one great traitor of the Ameri-
can Revolution. He grew tired of the hard
struggle for freedom; and he thought it
would be a fine thing after all to get out
It seemed to him as if the money he could
receive by betraying the forts on the Hud-
son would be better in the long run than his
mere sense of honour towards the American
army, and so it came to pass, that he
broke his pledge, and threw away all sense
of honour, and lived to be hated and de-
spised by both nations. And, my dear
children, we can never be true brave boys
and girls, until we have this feeling of
honour so strong in us that it will hold -us
to our duty and teach us to resist everything
that struggles with our sense of that which
is right. We must have this sense -of
honour to God, to our parents, to our com-
panions, and to our teachers, so that we
would rather die than be false or cowardly.
This feeling of honour in our lives will be
like the k~el or the centre-board to a vessel:
it will steady us, as we move on through
life, and will keep us upright and true; it
will keep us from blushing for shame at our
r'-,:,irn.:':iL' : we shall after a while be ablo
to trnlt. our-iles, and thus, though we may
LITTLE AND WISE.
be little, we shall be wise, like the conies,
in building our house high up on the solid
The SECOND layer in the rock of our char-
acter required to make us wise as well as
Here are two tea-kettles: one is full of
cold water and is upon the ground; the
other is on the stove, and is singing away
and giving off all the water it has in the
form of.steam. The one on the ground with
the cold water in it looks surly and is silent.
The other is giving out in steam all the
bubbling water it contains; it seems to sing
and speak, it is so busy and so happy; it
can hardly contain itself, and the lid keeps
bobbing up and down, because there is so
much going on inside.
And what is it which makes all this
difference between these two tea-kettles ?
Simply the fire; the warmth of the stovo
giving itself away to the kettle makes the
-kettle in turn give away the water in the
form of steam.
Here are two locomotives. One of them
has water in its boiler and coal in its
tender; but the engineer wishes to keep
them perfectly safe. He is afraid of wast-
ing the coal 'and losing the fire, and there-
fore he never uses them. The other loco-
motive uses the coal and the water, and
hurries along the track with the express
train behind it. Which does the most good ?
Which keeps in good order the longest?
Which answers the end for which it was
made, the one that rusts away from want of
use, or the one that uses up the coal and
water, and drags the cars along after it ?
Well, my dear children, just what the fire,
making the steam, is to the singing tea-
kettle and the active locomotive, generosity
is to the human heart. We must learn to
give, to be unselfish, to think of others and
live for them, and not only for ourselves, if
we wish to be truly happy and of any real
use in the world.
LITTLE AND WISE.
Are you not going to save a peach for
your little brother ?' asked a lady of her
little girl when they were coming down from
a house which they had been visiting, and
in which the lady had given the child two
or three peaches.
0 yes, certainly, mamma,' replied the
little girl; 'I mean to give him one. See, I
am saving the'rotten one for Tommy.'
My dear children, do not try to be mean or
selfish, for selfishness will eat into your very
soul, until it destroys all that is good there.
Be generous, be unselfish, build your house
high up on this second layer in the rock-
You can take a little boy, and can dwarf
him so that he will be always little, simply
,by putting a heavy weight on his head, or
by making him exercise in a certain way at
a gymnasium. And just in the same way
.you can make a man's nature little, and his
heart no larger than a pigeon's egg, by
teaching him when a boy to be selfish and
Selfishness will crumble the foundation of
a man's character all away, but generosity
will give him a good strong layer to build on
And then, LASTLY, there is Love.
This is the highest, uppeirmost layer in
the rock in which we ought to build. Every-
thing that is good and fresh and fair in the
world is planted in love; just as the trees
and the flowers of the garden are planted in'
the deep rich soil, and not in the thick
Sometimes boys think that it isn't manly
to love, that love only belongs to women
and children, but that men ought never to
be sorry, or shed a tear, or love a great deal;
but this is one of the greatest mistakes in
the world. This is the reason why sisters are
more loved as a general rule than brothers,
because they love more in return. I know
some boys who are ashamed to kiss their
father, because they think it is not manly,
and it shows a man is weak and hasn't any
LITTLE AND WISE.
pluck. I suppose it is because Judas be-
trayed our Lord with a kiss that people
think men can never love as much as women
can. But Judas wasn't a true man. He
had no honour, generosity, or love. The
rock of his nature was rotten and crumbling.
His isss was deceit. But we ought all to be
willing to learn to love. Jesus said that all
the teaching of the law and the prophets
hung upon love. And all true success in
-. life, all great results, depend upon this third
layer of character, love.
If we love our studies we shall not wish.
to stay away from school; if we love our
Sunday-school we shall always be promptly
in our places; if you love your parents you
w ill wi-h not to give them pain and trouble
by disobeying them, or by hurting theiz
feelings in any way.
If you love God, you will keep His com-
mandments; if you really love your Saviour,
you will try to do all you honestly can to
be His sincere servant.
You know, everything depends upon
getting at the right source and spring and
fountain-head of motion. A musical box
will not play until you start the slide and
let the wound-up tune begin to work itself
off. A spring-gun will not go off until the
trigger is pulled in the right way. Sick-
ness cannot be cured until the right medicine
goes to the right spot. When the Israelites
first were led out of Egypt, they came to
some water in the 'desert, which they were
thirsting for, but they found they could not
drink it. It was bitter, and they called it
Marah. Then, when-they complained aboul
it, and began to rebel, God told Moses tc
cut down a certain tree, and throw it intd -.
the water, and it would make the watel
Well, just in the same way, having love
in our hearts is like going to the source of
the stream, and making it all sweet and
pure. Love is the great spring and source
of activity, because we generally do what
we love to do; and thus, whether it is for
sin or for goodness, love is the highest
LITTLE AND WISE.
motive that we can ever have. Be wise,
then, even if you are little, and build your
house on this last and strongest of all the
layers in the rock, this common but all-
powerful motive of love.
Now, then, dear children, remember these
three habits, these three layers in the rock
of our character, upon which we are to
build, just as the cony, who is little, but is
wise in the foundation he makes, builds his
house firmly and safely on the rocks.
Then when temptations come, and we are
in danger of losing all thought of God and
the hereafter, we shall be, by God's grace,
'like the wise man who built his house upon
the rock; and so we shall be safe for ever !
BWAB OF LOCUSTS
There be four things which are little upon the
earth, but they are exceeding wise: the
-locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them
by bands.'-PR0VERBS xxx. 24, 27.
N OW we come to the locusts.
It doesn't seem at first sight as if
these locusts could teach us very much or
as if we should find any particular lesson in
this text, 'The locusts have no king, yetgo
they forth all of them by bands.' It looks
at first like a hard lesson, out of which we
cannot squeeze any juice. But-let us see if
there is not a sermon here for us all.
But, first, I want to tell you something
about these locusts. You know we read
about them many times in the Bible. When
the plagues came to Pharaoh and the
* 'Egyptians, one of them ,was a plague of
locusts. They came by thousands. In and
out of the rooms, on the food and on the
LITTLE AND WISE.
tables and beds, wherever people went, there
were the wretched locusts! They would
eat up everything they could find, and even
devour the wood-work of houses, as we
:le .1 in the tenth chapter of Exodus. In
the book of the prophet Joel we read some-
thing more about them. There they are
compared to an army of men making a
great noise in their flight. We are told
that John the Baptist ate locusts and wild
honey.. It is supposed that the locusts were
ground up with flour and made into cakes,
and salted, and cooked over a fire, as the
poor people of the .East used to cook them.
And in the Book of the Revelation we read
S about locusts, where they are compared to
the evil spirits under Satan.
But in this text of ours they are described
as going forth by bands without any leader
orl king. Now, if you watch a long string
of wild fowl sailing along the coast to the
south in autumn, you will find that the old
birds head the bunch, and that generally
some one is leader. 'Or if you study the
habits and ways of sheep, you will find that
a great herd of them, running along the
road, are sure to be following some old ram,
the head of the line and the major-general
of them all. But we are told that iheS
locusts do not follow a king, but go in
bands. They fly as it were in a hollow
square, and each seems to know where they
are all going. A gentleman who watched
these locusts in Persia and Syria says that
when he saw them coming, it was like the
most furious hailstorm that we can imagine.
He says their flight was slow and uniform;
that their noise resembled that of rain;
and that the sky was darkened, and the
light of the sun considerably we.akenr'e: In .
a moment the terraces of the houses, the
street~ dnd: all the fields were covered by
these insects, and in two days they had
devoured nearly all the leaves of the plants.
And now that we know a little about these
Eastern locusts, of which our text tells us,
and can think of them as being larger, and
coming in greater quantities, than we ever
54 L LITTLE AND WISE.
see in this country, I want to tell you what
the subject is that we are going to talk
about. It is this : Sef-control is better
than obedience Now then let us find'out
what self-control is, and what obedience is,
and draw these two lessons,-
1st. Everyone must know for himself.
2nd. Every one must act for himself.
b*v L'k\A YA^ YV A,\
THE MIGRATOBY LOOUST.
Every one must know for himself.
These locusts have no one to guide them,
and no king or ruler over them, and yet
they know what to do; and they all move
just as if the millions of them were only one
great locust. God has taught them by
instinct how they are to fly, and which way
they are to turn, and they don't need any
one to explain it to them. And just so it
is with bees in their wonderful instinct for
hiving. They go out on excursions far
away from their hives, or their homes in
the bee-trees, and yet they never get lost;
they always find their way back, and they go
so straight that people call the straightest
line a bee line.
And the conscience within us is just like
the instinct of these locusts and bees; but
we have to learn for ourselves, and think for
ourselves, and act for ourselves from what
we know. Animals never go to school to
learn anything, except perhaps some trained
LITTLE AND WISE.
animals like jumping dogs and bears and
acting canary birds. To think of animals
learning and studying always makes us
laugh: we read such things in story books
and fables and picture books for the nursery.
But we have to learn almost everything.
Soon you will be out in life for yourself.
Then you will not have your father and
mother to lean on, but you will have to
think and act for yourself. You will go
forth in bands, in the company of others,
without any king or guide but your con-
science within you and God above you; and
then you will have to act for yourself; you
will not be able to turn to your parents for
their advice that you may do what they say.
Self-control is like a man walking along
the road himself. Obedience is like a horse
walking with a bit in his mouth. Self-
control is obedience to God's law; and it is
an excellent kind of obedience. If we do
what is right ourselves because we know it
is right, it is better than always waiting to
be told what we ought to do.
STHE LOCUSTS .-7
Let me tell you a story of a little fellow
whose presence of mind and self-control were
much better than the habit of waiting to
be told what he was to do. It was in the
streets of the town of Weser in Germany
that this event happened. He was playing
one day with his sister, four years old, who
was alarmed by the cry of some men who.
were in pursuit of a mad dog. The boy,
looking around, saw the dog running toward
him; and, instead of making his escape, he
took off his coat, and wrapped it round his
arm. He then faced the dog, holding out
the arm covered with the coat; and the dog
attacked the coat, and worried it until the
men came up and killed him. The men
asked the boy why he did not run and
avoid the dog, which he could so easily
have done. 'Yes,' said the little hero. 'I
could have run from the dog, but if I had,
he would have bitten my little sister; so, as
I couldn't run away from her, I gave him
my co,at, that he might tear it There was
a little fellow whose self-control and presence
LITTLE AND WISE.
of mind were better than any obedience. If
he had waited for his father or some one to
tell him what to do, would he have saved
his little sister? FNo, indeed! That boy,
like the locusts, had no king; but he knew
how to govern himself !
We must all learn to know for' ourselves.
As the light of the sun comes into our
dwellings and our churches through the
window panes, so the light of truth must
come into our souls. Conscience is just like
the jury in a law-case. First one side gives
its view, and then the other, and at last the
jurymen go out to settle the matter, and
bring in the verdict to the judge. And we
--must learn to know and judge for ourselves.
Some time ago there was a boy who burned
down his mother's barn, because she would
not let him go skating with the other boys;
When the police heard of it, they arrested
him, and he said, My mother has forgiven
me, and I'm very sorry for what I've done.'
yes,' said the officers; 'that may be, but:,
the State has not forgiven you; you have to' '
be tried by the State yet.' That boy did not
,know that when he sinned against his
mother hp sinned against the State. So we
ought all to know that when we sin against
our parents and our friends.and those about
us, we sin against God; we must all know
these things, each one for himself. Let me
tell you a story about a little girl who forgot
Whether it was the sun streaming into
the room, or the robin that sang so loudly
in the apple-tree that did it, Jessie was
waked up uncommonly early. She sat up
in bed, tossed back her hair, and gazed out
over the garden and the fields, and away to
the hills. It was all so fragrant and so fair
that Jessie herself felt bright and sweet.
I'm going to be just so good to-day!'
and the little girl smacked her lips as if she
had been going to eat a ripe peach. She
would do everything exactly right all day,
like that little girl in her Sunday-school
book. So, to begin with, she dressed her-
self all alone. She wasn't going to trouble
LITTLE AND WISE.
anybody, not if it di4 stretch her little arms
to button her own frock.
'Now I'll surprise mother with a fresh
vase on the breakfast table,' thought Jessie.
If you could have peen her flitting ike a
humming bird from one bed of flowers to
another, yen could almost have read on her
face the happy thoughts of her heart.
'0, won't mother be pleased when she
sees this! And then I'11 tend the baby and
keep him as still as a mouse, and I '11 be
pleasant to Hal, if he does tease me half out
of my senses. Then I'll be ready in good
time for school, and won't I be as good as a
kitten, and get to the head of the, class!
Miss Bell will be glad, and will give me a
ten, and I will go with that Susan Jones
that nobody speaks .to. Then I'll have
father's dressing gown and slippers for him
when he comes home to night, and mother
will tell him what a comfort Jessie has
'Now, if I could only reach those roses,
my bouquet would be perfect !' So up she
climbed on the trellis, and broke the highest
spray of the prairie rose. It was hard for
her to get up, and harder to get down, with
both hands full of flowers; and she pre.
sently found herself landed flat on the
ground. The fall hurt her a little, but she
tried not to mind it, and walked up the
path, thinking how brave and patient she
was not to cry.
Jessie met her mother in the porch. But
poor Jessie Instead of the cry of delight she
expected, she heard in tones of displeasure,-
'Why, ;my child, how could you get so
be-draggled and dirty so early in the morn-
ing? I should think you had drenched
yourself in the dew, and then rolled in the
path. Your pretty clean frock is fit for no-
Ihing but the wash. You may go and put
on your brown one.'
Now Jessie hated her brown dress, and
she was ready to cry for bitter disappoint-
ment as she went to her room, dressed her-
self, and came down late to breakfast; Her
roses and pinks were wilting in the porch.
62 LITTLE AND WISE.
She had no heart to take care of them now.
But when her father bade her good morn-
ing, and said, quite soberly, 'Our Jessie
must try to get up in better time, she felt
it was more than she could bear. She could
not tell him that she had been up an hour,
trying to prepare a pleasure for them all,
and resolving to be the best of all good
girls. Still she was not quite discouraged.
After breakfast she took little Dick from
the floor, and began to rock him in her arms.
But somehow the little fellow began at once
to scream, and Bridget came to the door,
'Indade, Miss Jissie, ye shouldn't be after
botherin' that babby! '
Just at this moment- Jessie caught sight
of Hal tying a United States flag to the tail
of her cat. Now the child could bear any-
thing better than an insult to her puss, and
'Now, Hal, I think ,you should be
ashamed, big boy as you are, to be teasing
,a poor little cat. Kitty, kitty, kitty !'
'Pshaw, Jessie! it doesn't hurt her;
every cat ought to show her colours.'
My cat needn't.'
Then she's an old traitor.'
'She isn't a traitor !' cried Jessie, stamp-
ing her little foot, with flashing -eyes.
' She 's a patriot! I think you are a traitor
and a rebel, and a cruel, naughty boy !'
'Why, sweetie, don't "let your angry
passions rise" !' exclaimed Hhl, with pro-
Poor Jessie dashed off to her own room,
hid her face in her pillow, and cried as if
her heart would break. After all her reso-
lutions and her efforts, she had displeased
her father and mother, made the baby cry,
and got very angry with Hal. She felt as
if it was of no use to try to be good. In-
stead of getting any credit for it, she was
blamed more than ever.
The trouble was that Jessie had tried to
please everybody but the Lord Jesus Christ.
She had been in such a hurry to be good,
that she had forgotten the only Friend Who
LITTLE AND WISE.
could make her so. If she had thought
most of Him, and done everything for His
sake, she would not have been disappointed,
for He always knows just what We mean.
Now, my dear children, remember this
first lesson from our subject, that self gbv-
ernment is better than obeying others.
Remember, first of all, every one of us
must govern himself rightly, must-know for
AND what comes next ? Why, when we
know what it is right for us to do, then we
ought always to do it.
The second lesson we learn is, that every
one of us must act for himself.
After knowledge comes action. 'To him
that knoweth to do good and doeth it not,'
says the Bible, 'to him it is sin.' Our
Saviour, you will remember, told His dis-
ciples at one time a parable about two sons.
The father said to one of them, Go, work to-
day in my vineyard,' and he said, 'I go, Sir,'
and went not. Then he told the other to
go, and he would not, but afterwards, when
he had more light and knew for himself, he
repented and went. In the one case the
good intention never became a good action;
in the other case the -disobedience was
changed into repentance and obedience.
Let me tell you one story more, and then
I shall have done.
Far down Maple Lane, in the little red
, brick house by the mill, lived Gertrude
White. She was a sweet little girl, about
nine years old. -If she had a few freckles
on her little round face, and was slightly
lame, it did not prevent her being a great
favourite with everybody in Cherryville.
Gertrude had only one great trouble. Will
Evans would insist on calling her 'tow-
head,' whenever they met. At such times
she would pout, turn very red, and go home
to her mother, much discontented and out
of temper. Gertie's mother was a good
woman, a widow, supporting herself and two
LITTLE AND WISE. !,
children by dressmaking. Nothing pleased
her so much as to see her children well.
behaved and exemplary. One day little
Gertrude came running home in much ex-
citement, and, tossing her little sun-bonnet
half across the room, said, in a burst of
anger, 'Mother, I can't bear this any
longer. Will Evans has called me Old
Towhead" before all the girls, and bear
it I won't!'
'My daughter,' said the kind mother,
will you pleaseAbring me the Bible from
the table ?' Gertrude silently obeyed her
'Now will myiittle daughter read to me
the seventh verse of the fifty-third chapter
of Isaiah ?' Slowly and softly the child
read how the blessed Saviour was afflicted
and oppressed, yet opened not His mouth.
She sighed as' she said, 'Mother, do you
suppose they called Him names ?'
Mrs. White placed her work upon the
Stable; and, taking Gertrude upon her lap,
she read from the holy Book the passages
THE LOCUSTS. '- 67
which. speak of His being reviled but revil-
ing not again.
Not many minutes passed before Ger-
trude's eyes were filled with tears and her
heart with deep tenderness, as the sorrows
of the Son of God were brought before her
When she went to bed that night, she
asked of God that He would help her to
bear with meekness the injuries and trials
of the world. He delights to answer such
petitions, and always will'do so when they
are offered in faith and sincerity.
Not many'days passed before Gertrude
met Will Evans going to school; and,
remembering her prayer and the resolution
she had formed, she actually smiled at him.
-This was such a mystery to him that he
could not muster courage to call after her,
if, indeed, he felt any inclination; but he
watched her till she had turned the corner,
and then went to school in a very thought-
ful mood. Before another week had passed,
they met again, and Will at once asked
WILL ASKED EERTUDE'S FOL,0tVENESS.
b~ie P..ig 0.
THE LOCUSTS. 69
Gertrude's forgiveness for his uiikindness
in calling her names. Gertrude was very
ready to forgive, and they soon became
friends, Will saying,' I used to like to see
you get cross, but when you smiled,-I
couldn't stand that.' Gertrude told Will of
her mother's kind conversation that after-
noon, and of its effects upon her; meanwhile
Will did not reply, but his moistened eyes
showed what he felt, and he said he would
never call her names again.
And thus her Christian action conquered
Now, my dear children, remember these
two lessons: if we wish to be true men and
women and rule ourselves, we must know
what to do, every one for himself; and we
must learn to act, every one for himself.
Remember this, Self-control is better than
obedience.' Remember the locusts who have
no king, no one to tell them what to do or to
guide them, and yet know when and where
and how they are to fly, each one for himself,
when they go forth all of them by bands.'
U0 LITTLE AND WISE.
God wants every one of us to know His
will and His truth and to do it. He has
given us our reason and the Bible and the
conscience within us to govern us. And
then Jesus will guide us and be our true
King to help us do what is right, if we pray
He will guide us with His counsel here,
and, after that, will receive us to Himself
'There be four things which are little upon the
earth, but they are exceeding wise: the
spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings'
palaces.'-PROVERBS xxx. 24, 28.
T HIS is the last sermon about these
little creatui es who-are wise as well
First we had the ants, who are little but
are wise in working in the summer time;
then we had the conies, who are little but
are wise in the foundations they made;
then we had the locusts, who are little but
are wise in making self-control. better than
obedience; and now we have the spider,
who is wise in aiming to build high !
But, before proceeding further. t:'iant to
tell you something about the spider, and then
show you that he is wise, FIRST, in working
with the hands God has give him, and,
SECONDLY, he is wise in working in the best
LITTLE AND WISE.
way and in the best place. Now it would not
be right in me to go on any further without
first explaining to you that the word spider
here in this text means lizard, or crawling in-
sect. These creatures in warm countries
come into the-houses and into every part of
them. We know when the plagues were in
Egypt, they came into every place where they
could find room enough to crawl. Here,
you know, in our own land, we can keep
bats and beetles and flying bugs and flies
and mosquitoes out of our houses by having
wire netting stretched across the windows.
But even this will not answer sometimes,
and flies will bite us in the hot weather,
and mosquitoes will come singing around
Sus, making a noise through the mAquito
netting, and saying, 'Let me in-let me
in!' and we are after all not very much
" better iff than the people who live in the
warm, tropical climates.
Well, I suppose this man Agur, who
wrote this chapter in the book of Proverbs,
might be sometimes in the king's palace,
THE SPIDER. I, 75
where the soldiers and the nobles and the
great men of the land were, and there he
might see some poor little lizard or spider
crawling up the wall, just as if it had been in
a barn, or as if the whole place had belonged
to it. So he made a note of it, and put it
here in this bundle of proverbs.
We all know how spiders come into our
parlours .and make their cobwebs in them.
We always think of them as having a par-
lour of their own, because we all remember
that little song:
Will you walk into my parlour 1
Said the spider to the fly :
'T is the prettiest little parlour
That ever you did spy.'
And just as spiders now-a-days come into
the very best rooms of our best houses and
make themselves perfectly at home there, so
in old times they used to come even into
the king's palaces, and go climbing up, and
spinning their webs just as we have often
seen them do. There are many kinds of
spiders, big and little, mild and fierce-
LITTLE AND W'SE.
spiders which are all body and no legs, and
spiders which are all legs and no body.
.These last are old friends of ours; we know
them by the old familiar name of daddy-
long-legs. They look in the distance like
boys playing at football; you see a round
ball in the middle and nothing but legs'
kicking out on all sides of it. But somebody
may say: 'Well, but this text speaks about
FOOT OF SPIDER MAGNIFIED.
lhe sp~Ild.-'s hands. We know spiders have
legs, plenty of them, but have they hands ? '
Now if you take a spider's foreleg, which is
the same- to it as a hand, and put it under
a microscope, you will find there little
fingers oi claws, which are the same to the
spider as our thumb and forefinger are to
us. They help the spider to take hold of his
food, and finger his way to his web, just as
an ice-man takes hold of the ice with his
nippers, or as a dentist pulls out a tooth
with those ugly, black, rough-looking in-
struments, which are usually hidden away in
a drawer so that people cannot see them.
Another curious thing about the spider
is the power of spinning his web out of his
own body. When we set to work to build
a house we have to get all -he materials
together, the bricks and the mortar and th .
LITTLE AND WISE.
wood; but the spider simply begins to spin,
and soon he has his house built. Then
think how convenient this habit is if he
falls. He just lets out a thread, which
takes hold of something standing out, and
down he comes, as easily as if he were in an
hotel elevator. Think how convenient this
power would be to us in case of a fire All
we should have to do would be to fasten a
web to the window, and come down, out-
side of the burning building. But these poor
spiders have their ups and downs, their
accidents and disasters, as we have ours.
They tremble when they see,a chambermaid
with a broom, for that always means death
I have been talking about the spider and
its habits, its joys and its sorrows: now let
me stop and see how it teaches us. What
then do we learn from this text, 'The spider
taketh hold with her hands, and is in king's
And, FIRST, I said the spider is wise in
working with the hands which God has given
How many people there are who say,
' 0 if I were only such' a person '-'if I
were only a rich man, or the President of
the United States, or a grand duke, how
many good and great things I would do.'
But, my dear children, success in life
depends upon the way in which we. use the
powers which God has given us, not in
waiting and wishing for more.
Many. years ago in Paris there was a
little boy named Casar Ducornet. He was
a bright, cheery, little soul, but he had a
terrible affliction. He was born without-
hands and arms. How dreadful this was.
Many little children would think such a
trouble quite an excuse for being, not only
idle, fIt fretfd ;`. but little Casar thought
quite differently',. He determined to try.tQ
LITTLE AND WISE.
be content, and to make the best use he
could of the limbs which he had. He had
heard that some people could use a pen
almost as well with their toes as with their
fingers; and as he had always longed to be
able to draw, he thought he would try if he
could not hold a pencil in the same way.
It must have felt very strange and awk-
ward at first; but Cesar was not to be
easily daunted; and by degrees he grew
quite clever with his toes, and very much
pleased he must have been when he had
finished.his first drawing. And you must
not thind that his pictures were only done
to amuse hiinself, and were worth nothing.
They were beautifully and carefully drawn,
so that nobody would ever have guessed
that they were done by a little boy without
There was once a poor man in England
who was a cobbler. He lived at Ports-
m outh, and ,was very poor. He mended"
.shFis for a living. One day while he was
stitching away, he was seized with the'
strong desire to do some work for his Lord
and Master. But what could he do ? He
had no money, and no position, and no in-
fluence, and he was a cripple. His name
was John Pounds. Though he worked
hard, he could not make much of a living.
To add to his trials, he had the charge of
a little nephew, who was lame like himself.
As he could not afford to send him to
school, or to clothe him properly, he thought
he would be his teacher. Then he said to
himself,' I may as well have two chl:)ilars as
one;' and he asked the child oF.a yery poor
woman to come to his shop and learn his
letters. The two little scholars got on so
well, that he invited a third, and a fourth;
until, after a time, he had around him a class
of forty poor ragged children: and of these
about twelve were little girls. It must have
been a strange sight to-see John Pounds in
the cobbler's shed, now knocking the sole of
a shoe, then hearing a boy repeat A, B, C;
now stitching away- with both his- hind.,
LITTLE AND WISE.
and then teaching a child to repeat a text
of Scripture. Sometimes he would follow
a very poor boy in the streets and would
offer a roast potato to bribe him to his
Was not John Pounds a happy manP
To be sure he was. He was more happy
than many rich men; for the smiling faces
of his scholars always filled him with joy.
And he was always so kind, and had such
cheerful and merry ways of teaching, that
the boys could not fail to be pleased and
improved. After their lessons were over,
he would sometimes lay down his lapstone,
and have a game with them. If they were
absent and ill, he visited and nursed them.
If they had no bread to eat, he spared a
few pence, and bought them food. He also
taught them to cook their food, and to mend
their clothes and old shoes. It is no wonder,
then, that they loved him very much.
See, then, what one poor man could do!
Work with the power which God has
given you. That is the first lesson we learn
from the. diligent little spider who 'taketh
hold with her hands, and is in kings'
Now comes the other lesson which we
learn from the spider: Work in the best way
and in the best places. The spider likes
palaces; he likes to get up to the ceiling.
To be sure he will spin his web in a barn,
and will throw out his net wherever he can,
but generally he likes to get pretty high up
in the parlour. In other words, he is an
ambitious little fellow, and I don't think
any of us can blame him for liking the best
rooms in a house.
Let me tell you a story about a little boy
who took hold with his hands, and by work-
ing in the best way and in the best places
that he knew of literally came to be in
A great many years ago in the little town
of Cortona, in Italy, there were t woplay-
mates, children of peasants, named Pietro
LITTLE AND WISE.
and Thomasso. But we will call them by
their English names Peter and Thomas.
Thomas was taken to Florence, and be-
came page or servant to a very rich cardinal
who lived there in a magnificent palace.
Little Peter missed his playmate very much.
He used to wonder what Thomas was
doing, and how he was getting on, as he
watched the sheep in his master's field. At
last he made up his mind to go to Florence,
andjunt up his old friend, and see if he
hifnself could not study in some way and
S-become a painter, because he was very fond
of drawing, and seemed to have a great
turn for it. He thought that if he could
only get there, he should be able to learn to
draw, and to become an artist too; and this
was his great desire.
The journey was one of great difficulty;
but when that was over, and he found him-
self in Flo.rence, his first thbourht was to find
the great house where his little friend lived.
At last he was at the door; and, after he
"had .w.ait.d a little while, Thomas appears.
LITTLE AND WISE.
He was very much surprised, and greatly
pleased, to see his old playmate, and led him
up to the little garret where he slept, that
they might have a little chat, and settle
It was soon agreed that as Thomas had
plenty to eat, and Peter had nothing, they
should divide the food; and that as the bed
would hold two, they should sleep together;
and both looked forward to many happy
hours in their little garret home.
The next thing to be done was to get
pencils and paper for his drawings; but
how that was to be done was not so easily
settled. Neither of them had any money,
'or any chance of getting money, and little
Peter's face grew rather long at this disap-
pointment. Must he really give up all hopes
of becoming a painter and a great man?
Must he go back to his sheep in the old vil-
lage of Cortona, and give up all his fine plans
when they seemed so near being fulfilled ?
No; little Thomas had thought of another
plan. The walls of the garret were white,
and would do instead of paper; and if he
could not buy pencils for his friend, he
could get him plenty of charcoal; and since
nothing better could be got, the little artist
was soon hard at work with these rough
materials. The little garret was soon covered
with his sketches; and soon Thomas had
managed to obtain a'small sum of money,
and to buy for Peter the long wished-for
paper and pencils.
With these he set vigorously to work.
Every morning as soon as it was light, he
stole down from his little room into the
street, and went from one church to another:
for you know that in the Roman Catholic
churches of Italy there are very many
beautiful pictures; and it was on purpose
to copy these that little Peter had come to
Florence. Now many of the paintings had
been done by some of the greatest artists
that ever lived; and yet this little fellow,
who had never drawn at all, except with
charcoal on the white walls of his garret,
was not afraid to try to copy them.
LITTLE AND WISE.
All the day he spent in this manner; and
when night came, he trotted back to his
little friend, quite happy and quite ready
for his supper, which Thomas always took
care to have ready for him; and thus day
after day passed merrily and busily with the
two little boys.
At last their secret was discovered. The
cardinal who was Thomas's master had de-
termined to have this palace repaired and
improved; and it happened that one day,
when he was going over it with the builder,
he visited the very highest rooms in the
house, and at last came to the little garret
where Peter and Thomas slept. The room
was quite empty; for Peter was out in the
town, and Thomas was down in the kitchen.
But the drawings on the wall at once
caught the cardinal's eye. They were not
the rough charcoal sketches which Peter
had first made; those had been rubbed out
long ago; and now there were many beauti-
fal drawings, which showed that a clever
little artist had been there. I suppose no
one in the house had ever heard of Peter.
Certainly the cardinal had not, who thought
that it was his servant Thomas who had
thus ornamented his room. He sent for
him that he might tell him how much he
admired his works; and when he heard from
him the history of his little friend, how he
had longed to become a painter, how hard
he had worked to learn to draw, and how
he had lived in that house for two whole
years, he wished very much to see him and
talk to him himself.
When he comes home tonight, you may
bring him to me,' he said to Thomas, who
was delighted to find that the drawings 'of
his dear Peter were admired by such a great
personage as his master, who was so clever
and so learned. The evening came, but no
Peter appeared; he had run away. Day
after day passed, and nothing was heard of
him, till Thomas began to think something
dreadful had happened to him.
At last he was discovered at an old con-
vent, where he had made friends with the
LITTLE AND WISE.
monks, and obtained their leave to copy a
picture which was in their chapel. He was
brought back to the palace and presented to
the cardinal, who received him most kindly,
and a little while after, to his great delight,
placed him under the care of one of the best
I dare say he often thought, when he was
grown up and had become a great and clever
painter, of the days passed in that little
garret at the top of the cardinal's palace,
and of his first attempt to draw on the white
wall with a piece of charcoal; and very
glad he must have been that he had not'
been discouraged by all his difficulties, but
had persevered till success came; till by
taking hold with his hands he was in kings'
My dear children, try to remember these
two lessons about the industrious little
spider, who is so busy and so ambitious and
so persevering. Remember, it is always
right to be busy and persevering and am-
bitious in a right cause. We must be in
earnest to be Christians and to do right, if
God's blessing is to rest upon us.
Remember what King Solomon said,
'Seest thou a man diligent in business ? he
shall stand before kings.' Let us be wise
in working with the powers which God has
given us; let- us not waste time in wishing
we were like other people; and let us be
wise in working in the very best way we
know how, and in doing well whatever we
undertake to do.
And this finishes the sermons about these
four little creatures, who are wise as well
First, you know, we had the ants, 'A
people not strong, but who prepare their
food in the summer.'
We had three lessons from the ants.
1st. From what the ants are.
2nd. From what the ants do.
3rd. From the time in which they do it.
Then the next Sermon was about the
conies, who are a feeble folk, and yet build
their houses upon the rock.
LITTLE AND WISE.
You know, in that sermon I talked about
the different layers in the rocks, and I said
we ought to have three layers in our char-
acters, if we wanted to be good and true
men and women: and these three layers
Then the third Sermon was about the ]o-
custs, who have no king, and yet go forth all
of them by bands. I said, you will remember,
that the locusts taught us the great truth
that self-control is better than obedience,
and we drew from it two lessons:
1st.' That every one must thin for himself!
2nd. That ever oney must act fgr himself.
And now we learn from the spider, who
taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings'
palaces, that every one of us must work with
the powers God has given us; and that we
should work in the very best way wa know of
and in the very best places.
Think of this lesson every time you see a
poor little spider clinibing up a wall to find
the best place he can in which to spin his
web. Think how much better your hands
and your brains and your whole life are
than the spider's. Think how hard-work-
ing and persevering and ambitious these
little creatures are, and then try at home, in
the Sunday school, in the day school, to be
the very best children and scholars and
Christians you can; and thus you will be
happy in climbing up into the bright places
in which God wishes to place you. Just
think, then, what a great lesson you owe to
the little spider!
Remember this sermon about the spider,
and remember all these little creatures who
are wise as well as little; and may God help
you all to be wise. For, as King Solomon
says, Wisdom is the principal thing, there-
fore get wisdom, and with all thy getting
get understanding. Happy is the man that
findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth
understanding; for the merchandise of it is
LITTLE AND WISE.
better than the merchandise of silver, and
the gain thereof than fine gold. She is
more precious than rubies: and all the
things thou canst desire are not to be com-
pared unto her. Length of days is in her
right hand; and in her left hand riches and
honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.'
bATYMA BROS. AND LILLY, FARIINGDON ROAD, E.C.
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20. Is Lucy V- Sincere
21. He Saves the Lost.
22. The One Way.
23. Nora Grayson's Dream.
24. The Scripture Texts.
25. Almost a Christian."
26. "Taken to Jesus."
27. The New Year; or. Where Shall I Be-en ?
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29. Shall we Meet Beyond the River ?"
30. Found after Many Days.
31. Hugh Coventry's Thanksgiving.
32. Our Easter Hymn.
33. Like Jesus; and Eva's New Year's Gifts.
34. Noble Impulses.
35. Old Rosie. By MAisK Gu PEARSE.
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37. How Dick fell out of the Nest.
38. Dick's Kitten.
39. Why Dick Fell into the River.
40. What Dick Did with His Cake.
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42. Dick's Revenge.
43. Alone on the Sea.
44. The Wonderful Lamp.
45. Not too Young to Understand.
46. Beinr a Missionary.
47. Wfll ERowland4s D.i.-icin.
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