'Twas a sheep, not a lamb, that strayed away
In the parable Jesus told;
A grown-up sheep that had gone astray
From the ninety and nine in the fold;
Out on the hillside, out in the cold,
'Twas a sheep the Good Shepherd sought;
And back to the flock, safe in the fold,
'Twas a sheep the Good Shepherd brought.
And why for the sheep should we earnestly long,
And as earnestly hope and pray?
Because there is danger if they go wrong,
They will lead the lambs astray.
For the lambs will follow the sheep, you know,
Wherever the sheep may stray;
When the sheep go wrong, it will not be long
Till the lambs are as wrong as they.
And so with the sheep we earnestly plead,
For the sake of the lambs today;
If the lambs are lost, what terrible cost
Some sheep will have to pay!
(Isa. 53. 6; Luke 15. 4; 1 Pet. 2. 25; 5. 3)
The little girl was deeply impressed by the clergyman's sermon as to the separation of the sheep and the goats. That night after she had gone to bed, she was heard sobbing, and the mother went to her, to ask what was the matter.
"It's about the goats!" Jenny confessed at last. "I'm so afraid I am a goat, and so I'll never go to heaven. Oh, I'm so afraid I'm a goat!"
"My dear," the mother assured her weeping child. "You're a sweet little lamb. If you were to die to-night, you would go straight to heaven." Her words were successful in quieting the little girl, and she slept.
But the following night Jenny was found crying again in her bed, and when her mother appeared she wailed:
"I'm afraid about the goats."
"But mother has told you that you are a little lamb, and that you must never worry over being a goat."
Jenny, however, was by no means comforted, and continued her sobs.
"Yes, mamma," she declared sadly, "I know that. But I'm afraid—awful afraid you're a goat!"