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Taming The Brazen Bull

( Originally Published 1902 )

THE Grecian heroes landed at Colchis, where the Golden Fleece, which they sought, hung on a tree. King AEetes was angry because they had come to take the most valuable thing he had in his realm, and calling the leader to his palace told him that the dangers in securing the treasure would be so great that he had better not undertake the task; that, beside overcoming the dragon at the foot of the tree on which the coveted prize hung, he would have to tame two brazen bulls, whose lungs were furnaces of fire, and whose hot breath would burn him to a black cinder, in a moment of time. The young man said he was willing to undertake the task. Behind the king as he spoke, there was a beautiful woman, who was fascinated with the appearance of the young visitor, and, following him into another room, she told him that she was the daughter of the king and an enchantress, and would herself teach him how to tame the bulls.

According to agreement, they met at night on the steps of the palace, and went together to the sacred grove where the animals were kept. She gave him a little gold box of ointment, which she instructed him to smear upon his body as a proof against the fire. He asked her if she was sure the ointment would protect him. She told him she was sure, but that if he had the least doubt about it, or the least particle of fear, he would be certainly slain. He put the substance upon his body, and started bravely for the farthest corner of the field, where he found the animals lying upon the ground. As they saw him, streams of fire poured out of their mouths and nostrils, lighting up the whole field and withering the vegetation about them. Bellowing aloud, they rushed toward him; the heat from their brazen lungs set fire to the tree under which he stood, but he seized them both, and by his magical charm tamed them.

In the conflict with the most terrific spiritual foes ; in securing the highest possible prize in life, there is a preparation that will protect the soul from harm. It is the Balm of Gilead; it is the blood of Jesus Christ.

In the conflict with moral evil, the least doubt or fear is followed by defeat. The maiden told the hero that the ointment would protect him from the assaults of the bulls, but only on the condition that he have implicit confidence in its power. The blood of Christ saves the soul, but only when there is the sincerest faith in its efficacy.

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