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bird, continually sitting on her nest, in which are seven eggs. While she is thus employed; the sea is tranquil; but if she happen to quit her nest, storm and tempest immediately succeed ; insomuch, that they who would venture
ocean, are certain to be cast away. On the other hand, as long as she sits upon the eggs, whoever goes to sea, will go and return in safety.”_" But,” said they, “ how shall we ascertain when the bird is on her nest, and when she is not?” He replied, “ She never quits her nest, except on some particular emergency. For there is another bird, exceedingly hostile to her, and laboring day and night to defile her nest, and break the eggs. Now, the bird of the nest, when she sees her eggs broken, and her nest fouled, instantly flies away possessed with the greatest grief; then, the sea rages and the winds become very boisterous. At that time, you ought especially to avoid putting out of port.” The people made answer, " But, master, what remedy is there for this? How shall we prevent the unfriendly bird from approaching the other's nest, and so pass safely over the war. ters?"-" There is nothing," returned Guidos “ which this unfriendly bird so much abhors as the blood of a lamb. Sprinkle, therefore, with this blood, the inside and the outside of the nest, and as long as one single drop remains, it will never approach it: the bird of the nest will sit: the sea will continue calm, and you will pass and repass with perfect safety.” When they had heard this, they took the blood of the lamb, and sprinkled it, as he had said. They then passed securely to the Holy Land; and the Emperor, seeing that Guido had fulfilled every ministry with wisdom, promoted him to a great military command, and bestowed on him immense riches. (16)
My beloved, the Emperor is our heavenly Father, who decreed, that whosoever struck thrice upon the gate ---that is, who prayed, fasted, and gave alms, should become a sol. dier of the church militant, and finally attain
everlasting life. Guido is any poor man, who in baptism begins his ministry. The first office, is to serve Christ, and prepare the heart for virtue. The second, is to watch: “ For ye know not at what hour the Son of Man cometh.” The third, to taste of penitence; which was good to the saints who live eternally in heaven; and it is good, because it brings us to that blessed situation. Lastly, it will be good, when the resurrection is come, and we are summoned to receive a crown of glory. The fourth ministry, is to invite Christ's enemies to become his friends, and inherit eternal life : for he “
came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” The fifth, is to light the fire of charity which shall burn free from all impure and improper feelings. The sixth, to teach the way to the Holy Land,—that is, to heaven. The sea, over which men must be conveyed, is the world. The rock, in the midst of it, is the human form, or rather the heart, on which a bird cowers, that is, the Holy Spirit. The seven eggs, are seven gifts of the Spirit. If the Spirit leave us, the devil defiles the nest, and destroys those good gifts. The blood of the lamb is Christ's blood, shed for our salvation, with which we ought ever to be sprinkled ; that is, ever to retain it in memory. (17)
TAL E XVIII.
OF VENIAL SIN.
A CERTAIN soldier, called Julian, unwittingly killed his parents. For being of noble birth, and addicted, as youth frequently is, to the sports of the field, a stag which he hotly pursued, suddenly turned round, and addressed him; “ Thou who pursuest me so fiercely, shalt be the destruction of thy parents." These words greatly alarmed Julian, who feared their accomplishment even while
he disavowed the possibility. Leaving, therefore, his amusement, he went privately into a distant country, and enrolled himself in the bands of a certain chieftain. His conduct, as well in war as in peace, merited so highly from the prince he served, that he created him a knight, and gave him the widow of a castellan (17) in marriage, with her castle as a dowry.
All this while, the parents of Julian bewailed the departure of their son, and diligently sought for him in all places. At length they arrived at the castle, and in Julian's absence were introduced to his wife, who . asked them what they were. They communicated without reserve, the occasion of their search, and their sorrow for an only child. Convinced by this explanation that they were her husband's parents, (for he had often conversed with her about them, and detailed the strange occurrence which induced him to flee. his country) she received them very kindly; and in consideration of the love she bore her husband, put them into her own bed, and commanded another to be prepared elsewhere