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thod. Try to win that soul by your example. Try to draw him gently by this means into that happy path, which you yourself have found to be the path
now come, when Naomi felt very anxious to return to her native country. The famine there was over ;
" for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the Lord had visited his people in giving them bread." There was little now to make her present residence desirable to her. She had been bereft of her partner and her children. And she more than ever sighs after the many spiritual privileges she once enjoyed among her own people.
But what was to become of her two daughters-in-law, for whom she now
felt almost a mother's affection ? It is hard for them to think of leaving their home, and the land of their birth, and to go among strangers. And yet they could not bear the thought of parting with Naomi. Here then was a great conflict in their minds. Their love for their home and their kindred drew them one way; and their affection for Naomi, and their respect for Naomi's God, drew them the other way.
She sets out upon her long journey. And she had probably now arrived at an age when travelling was irksome to her. But she goes on her way with God for her Protector, and with her heart fixed on her far-off home, longing to set her feet once more within the city of Bethlehem.
She allows her daughters to start with her, merely however that she may have the benefit of their company for a short distance. But soon came the time for parting; the sad moment when she thought to bid them farewell, perhaps for ever. Naomi thus addresses them, “Go, return each to her mother's house. The Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me. The Lord grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept."
It is hard to part with those whom we love. A separation even for a time is painful. But when we part, with the feeling that we shall probably see their face no more, then the tenderest affections of the heart are torn asunder.
And yet, one day, we must part. The dearest earthly ties must be rent in twain. Oh, how happy those, who can feel that there is an everlasting bond which unites them together. Worldly circumstances, or even death, may part them for a time; but they will again meet in a happier world. One is only gone a little while before the other. They will soon stand side by side in the presence of their beloved Lord.
And this thought should lead us to seek with the greater earnestness the conversion of all who are dear to us. We should pray that they all may belong to that “one family in heaven and earth,” of whom Jesus Christ is the Head. And when we choose friends or companions, we should choose them, if possible, from among those whose friendships will