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when the repentant sinner stands awe-struck before him, falls upon his neck, kisses him, and comforts him with many words. As it is written" He shall kiss me with the kiss of his lip.” The splendid vesture is put upon him, when, as a true penitent, he entertains the love of Christ. The ring on his finger denotes the seal of Christ's similitude, manifested in good works. He, therefore, bears the ring, whose actions resemble our Lord's “ labors of love." The shoes on the feet, are the living examples of departed saints. For as shoes defend the feet, so do the examples of holy men secure the soul. The fatted calf is Christ, sacrificed for our sakes upon the altar of the cross; and fatted, because filled with the Holy Ghost. Let then the city of thy heart, waving over its battlements the standard of our blessed Lord, prove that it is defended by his best and bravest soldiers. It is said, that “if we love God, all things may be forgiven"-that is, if we are penitent, our errors will be done

away. carry along with us the favor and fear of God, we shall obtain everlasting life; to which, of His infinite mercy, may he lead us.

If we

TALE X.

OF THE MANAGEMENT OF THE SOUL.

The Emperor Vespasian lived a long time without children; but at last, by the counsel of certain wise men, he espoused a beautiful girl, brought to him from a distant country. He afterwards travelled with her into foreign lands, and there became father of a son. In the course of time, he wished to revisit his own kingdom; but his wife obstinately refused to comply, and said, “ If you leave me, I will kill myself,” The Emperor, therefore, in this dilemma, constructed two rings; and upon the jewels with which they were richly ornamented, he sculptured images possessing very singular virtues. One bore an effigy of memory; and the other an effigy of oblivion. They were placed upon the apex of each ring; and that which represented oblivion he bestowed upon his wife. The other he retained himself; and as their love had been, such was the power of the rings. The wife presently forgot her husband, and the husband cared but little for the memory of his wife. Seeing, therefore, that his object was achieved, he departed joyfully to his own dominions, and never afterwards returned to the lady. So he ended his days in peace.

APPLICATION,

My beloved, by the Emperor understand the human soul, which ought to return to its own country--that is, to Heaven, by which path alone it can arrive at security. Therefore, the · Psalmist says-" Save me, O God,” &c. The wife is our body, which holds the soul in sensual delights, that encumber and bar its passage to that eternal life, where the empire and hope of the soul is. And why does it so impede it? Because the flesh rebels against the spirit, and the spirit wars against the flesh. Do ye, therefore, as the Emperor did; make

two rings-the rings of memory and forgetfulness, which are prayer and fasting; for both are effective. In most countries, a ring upon the woman's finger is a token of her marriage ; and when a man resigns himself to prayer and fasting, it is evidence of his being the bride of Christ. Prayer is the ring of memory, for the Apostle enjoins us to “pray without ceasing." Man, therefore, makes use of periodical prayer, that God may remember his desires; while angels themselves present and aid the petition, as we read in the book of Tobit. Fasting may be called the ring of oblivion, because it withdraws from and forgets the enticements of the flesh, that there may be no obstruction in its progress to God. Let us then study to preserve these rings and merit everlasting life.

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TALE XI.

OF THE POISON OF SIN.

ALEXANDER was a prince of great power, and a disciple of Aristotle, who instructed him in every branch of polite learning. The Queen of the North having heard of his proficiency, nourished her daughter from the cradle upon a certain kind of deadly poison; and when she grew up, she was considered so beautiful, that the sight of her alone affected many with mad

The Queen sent her to Alexander to espouse. He had no sooner beheld her, than he became violently enamoured, and with much eagerness desired to possess her; but Aristotle observing his weakness, said—“Do not touch her, for if you do, you will certainly perish. She has been nurtured upon the most deleterious food, which I will prove to you imme

ness.

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