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A certain king had a lion, a lioness, and a leopard, whom he much delighted in. During the absence of the lion, the lioness was unfaithful, and colleagued with the leopard. And that she might prevent her mate's discovery of the crime, she used to wash herself in a fountain adjoining the king's castle. Now the king having often perceived what was going forward, commanded the fountain to be closed. This done, the lioness was unable to cleanse herself; and the lion returning, and ascertaining the injury that had been done him, assumed the place of a judge,—sentenced her to death, and immediately executed the sentence.


My beloved, the king is our heavenly Father; the lion is Christ, and the lioness the soul. The leopard is the devil, and the fountain is confession, which being closed, death presently follows.