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COUNSELS OF PRUDENCE FOR THE USE OF YOUNG PEOPLE.

A

DISCOURSE

ON THE

WISDOM OF THE SERPENT AND THE INNOCENCE OF THE DOVE:

WHICH ARE RECOMMENDED GENERAL RULES OF PRUDENCE ; WITH PARTICULAR DIRECTIONS RELATING TO BUSINESS, CON

VERSATION, FRIENDSHIP, AND USEFULNESS.

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves :

be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Matt. x. 16. This advice is found among those directions which our blessed Lord gave his disciples when he sent them from him upon a commission in his lifetime here on earth. * These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying: Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not : but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying: The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” Matt. x. 5-8.

It is reasonable to conclude, that the disciples received this commission with much pleasure and satisfaction, accounting it a great honour done them, and conceiving at the same time fond expectations of honour and acceptance wherever they came. They were to carry with them very joyful and desirable tidings, that “ the kingdom of heaven was at hand :” they were empowered to confer very great benefits, and were required to do all freely, without receiving any gratuity. The limitation in their commission could not but be a high recommendation of it: the good news was to be published to Jews, and them only, not to Gentiles, nor to Samaritans.

But our Lord thought not fit to dismiss them without soine particular counsels and directions, which would be of use to them now, but especially hereafter ; when their com

VOL. IX.

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