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“Yes, truly,” said the father, “you see, my child, that coals, even if they do not burn, blacken ; so it is with the company of the vicious.”
OMNIPRESENCE OF GOD. ONLY grant us that God never loses sight of any one thing He has created, and that no created thing can continue to be, or to act independently of Him; and then, even upon this world, humble as it is in the great scale of astronomy, how widely diversified, and how multiplied into many thousand distinct exercises, is the attention of God ! His eye is
upon every hour of my existence. His spirit is intimately present with every thought of my heart. His inspiration gives birth to every purpose within me. His hand impresses a direction on every footstep of my goings. Every breath I inhale is drawn by an energy which God deals out to me. This body, which upon the slightest derangement would become the prey of death or of woful suffering, is now at ease, because He at this moment is warding off from me a thousand dangers, and upholding the thousand movements of its complex and delicate machinery. His presiding influence keeps me through the whole current of my restless and ever changing history. When I walk by the wayside, He is along with me. When I enter into company, amid all my forgetfulness of Him, He never forgets me. In the silent watches of the night, when
my eyelids have closed, and my spirit has sunk into unconsciousness, the observant eye of Him who never slumbers is upon me. I cannot fly from his presence. Go where I will, He tends me, and watches me, and cares for me; and the same Being who is now at work in the remotest domains of Nature and of Providence, is also at my right hand, to eke out to me every moment of my being, and to uphold me in the exercise of all my feelings, and of all my faculties.
THE LEFT EYE.
A RICH old man who resided at the extremity of the camp, quite apart from the rest, had three daughters, the youngest of whom, named Kookju, was as much distinguished for her beauty, as for her extraordinary wisdom.
One morning as he was about driving his cattle for sale to the Chan's market-place, he begged his daughters to tell him what presents they wished him to bring them on his return. The two eldest asked him for trinkets, but the handsome Kookju said that she wanted no present, but that she had a request to make which it would be difficult and even dangerous for him to execute. Upon which the father, who loved her more than the two others, swore that he would do her wish, though it were at the price of his life. “If it be so," replied Kookju, “I beg you do as follows :-sell all your cattle except the shorttailed
ox, and ask no other price for it except the Chan's left eye. The old man was startled. However, remembering his oath, and confiding in his daughter's wisdom, he resolved to do as she bade him.
After having sold all his cattle, and being asked the price of the short-tailed ox, he said that he would sell it for nothing else but the Chan's left eye. The report of this singular and daring request soon reached the ears of the Chan's courtiers. At first they admonished him not to use such an offensive speech against the sovereign ; but when they found that he persevered in his strange demand, they bound him and carried him before the Chan. The old man threw himself at the prince's feet, and confessed that his demand had been made at the request of his daughter, of whose motives he was perfectly ignorant. The Chan, suspecting that some secret must be hidden under this extraordinary request, dismissed the old man, upon the condition that he would bring him the daughter who made it.
Kookju appeared, and the Chan asked:
“Why didst thou instruct thy father to demand my left eye ?"
“ Because I expected, my prince, that after so strange a request, curiosity would urge thee to send for me. I wish to tell thee a truth important to thyself and thy people." “ Name it!”
Prince,” replied Kookju, “when two persons appear before thee in a cause, the wealthy and noble generally stand on thy right hand, while the poor and humble stand on thy left. I have heard in my solitude that thou most frequently favourest the noble and the rich. This is the reason why I persuaded my father to ask for thy left eye, it being of no use to thee, since thou never seest the poor and unprotected.”
The Chan, incensed and surprised at the daring of this maiden, commanded his court to try her. The court was opened, and the President who was the eldest Lama, proposed that they should try whether her strange proceeding was the effect of malice or of wisdom.
Their first step was to send to Kookju a log of wood, cut even on all sides, ordering her to find out which was the root and which was the top. Kookju threw it into the water, and soon knew the answer on seeing the root sinking, while the top rose to the surface.
From this trial, the court was convinced that Kookju had not offended the Chan from motives of malice, but the inspiration of wisdom, granted her from above. But not so the Chan; his vanity was hurt; and he resolved to puzzle her with questions in order to prove that she was not wise. He therefore ordered her before him and
"On sending a number of maidens into the wood to gather apples, which of them will bring home most ?"
She,” replied Kookju, “who instead of climbing up the trees, remains below and picks up those which have fallen off from maturity, or the shaking of the branches.”
The Chan then led her to a fen, and asked her, “ which would be the readiest way to get over it,” and Kookju said, “ To cross it would be the farthest, going round nearest.” The Chan felt vexed at the readiness and propriety of her replies, and after having reflected for some time, he again inquired :
“ Which is the safest means of beeoming known to
By assisting many that are unknown.” “ Which is the surest means of always leading a virtuous life.”
“ To begin every morning with prayer, and conclude every evening with a good action.”
“ Who is truly wise ?”.
“ She should be beautiful as a pea-hen, gentle as a lamb, prudent as a mouse, just as a faithful mirror, pure as the scale of a fish ; she must mourn for her deceased husband like a she camel, and live in her widowhood like a bird which has lost its wings.”
The Chan was astonished at the wisdom of the fair Kookju ; yet, enraged at her having reproached him with injustice, he still wished to destroy her.
After a few days he thought he had found means for attaining his object. He sent for her, and asked her to determine the true worth of all his treasures ; after which he promised to absolve her from malice in questioning his justice, and to admit that she intended, as a wise woman, merely to warn him.
The maiden consented, yet under the condition that the Chan would promise her implicit obedience to her commands for four days. She requested that he would eat no food during that time. On the last day she placed a dish of meat before him, and said, “ Confess, O Chan, that all thy treasures are not worth as much as this joint of meat!” The Chan was so struck with the truth of her remark, that he confessed the truth of it, acknowledged her as wise, married her to his son, and permitted her constantly to remind him to use his LEFT EYE.--Christian Observer.
TALKING TO GOD.
“ Sir, who have you been talking with ?” said a little girl to the praying man in whose family she had come to live. Her father lived in a remote part of the country, and had a large family of children. He was poor; and unable to keep them at home, he put some of them away from him to live. It was the favoured lot of a little girl, I think about eight years of age, to fall into a family where daily prayers were offered up to Almighty God. Prayer she was unacquainted with. The subject was new to her. At home she never heard a prayer. An astonishment seized her, when she saw her master, night and morning, standing in one corner of the room, talking, as she termed it, with something that she could not see. An anxiety swelled in her little bosom to know who it could be. Unwilling to ask one of the family with whom she ed, yet solicitous to know, she obtained leave to go home. She had hardly reached the lonely cottage, before she asked her mother who it was that her master talked with, when standing in the corner of the room night and morning. She told her that she did not know, being herself a heathen, though in a Christian land. Not satisfied, she asked her father, who answered in a thoughtless and inhuman manner,
" The devil, I suppose." The little inquisitive child returned uninformed to her master, where she witnessed the same promptitude and holy ardour as before. Not many days had elapsed before she summoned fortitude enough to put the question.
One morning, after her master had been talking with the unknown being, she stepped up before him, and said, “ Sir, who have you been talking with this morning ?” The question was so unexpected, and from such a source, that at first he felt unable to answer her; and was unusually impressed with the importance of the duty of prayer, and the weight of obligation resting upon him to approach God aright. But after recollecting his elf a little, he said, and that with reverence, “I have been trying to talk with