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The Charmer

AMONG the busy throngs of men who are hurrying, and bustling, and crowding, along the way of life, eager for riches and fame, may be found a class of people who are calm and happy; and although they love to do good and be useful, they find time to look about them and admire the beautiful and curious things that God has made. They delight in studying the works of nature, and in tracing therein the wisdom and goodness of Him who created all things. In field and forest, in bud and flower, in the little streamlet or the mighty river, on the bosom of the wide ocean, or on the rugged sides of the lofty mountain, they find something to admire, something to awaken in the heart deeper emotions of gratitude, and more fervent love to the Giver of all good.

Such persons are called naturalists. Naturalists observe many very curious things, some of which remind them of the follies and experiences of men. One day a naturalist saw a bird fluttering about a tree in a very unusual manner. Slowly and carefully he crept nearer and nearer, till he could see the cause of the strange actions of the bird.

A large serpent was coiled around one of the branches of the tree, and, with head raised, jaws distended, and eyes gleaming and sparkling almost like coals of fire, he was making strange and rapid motions with his forked tongue. The bird seemed frightened, and yet so completely charmed that it had no power to fly away, but kept drawing a little closer to the glaring eyes fixed so intently upon it, until, as it was about to be pierced by the deadly fangs of the serpent, the naturalist interfered and saved its life.

It is said that in some countries serpents often ascend trees, devour the eggs or young birds in the nest, and then await the return of the parent birds to charm and destroy them, as we have just described. There is a serpent that has power to charm and destroy men. You will find his name in Revelation 12:9. He first deceived the pure-minded dwellers in the garden of Eden, and since that time thousands upon thousands have fallen  into his fatal embrace. He tried to charm and mislead even the Son of God, as you will see by reading Matthew 4:1-11.

We are all in danger of being misled by him. He will try to charm us with a prospect of obtaining riches, fame, worldly pleasures, and fleshly lusts. Let us all beware of the charmer; for he charms but to destroy. It is said that some men have acquired the art of charming snakes so that they can take them in their hands and extract their fangs, without harm; but be that as it may, our only safety is in securing the help of Him who is stronger than the strong man armed," and who will yet lay hold on the dragon, that old serpent which is the devil and Satan, and cast him into the lake of fire.   Revelation 20:2, 10.  

The Youth's Instructor