A Walk Among The Trees.

As I was out walking among the trees,

viewing the beauties of nature, I paused,

and wondered at the great variety of trees

there were in the forest. At the right is a

sturdy old oak. It has stood the storms of

many winters, and is now grown so large,

and has sent out so many branches, that "the

beasts of the field had shadow under it,

and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the

boughs thereof."

At the left are trees of various kinds and

sizes. Among these are some, which are tall

and straight and very beautiful, while there

are others which are very crooked, knotty,

and ugly. I notice some, which are crooked

and cross-grained, and on them are large,

crooked limbs. Among the smaller trees

are some which look as though their backs

were broken, and some are bent two or

three different ways, and are small and


But why are not all these trees like the

old oak, tall, straight, and healthy? Why

are some so crooked and ugly? Is nature

partial? Does she make one tree grow up

straight and beautiful and another crooked

and uncomely? Certainly this cannot be.

The trouble is, these crooked trees have

been bent over while young, by some hard

storm, or it may be some mischievous boy

has climbed them and thus bent them over

so they have grown up in this shape. But

is there no remedy for these poor, cripple

trees? Can they not be made straight

again? There is, I think, a way in which

the small trees may all be made straight

But it will be almost impossible to make the

large ones entirely straight again; for the

larger they are the harder they are to


We first take a large, straight stake and

drive it firmly into the ground beside the

little tree. Then straightening the tree up

we fasten it to the stake with cords. Thus

it will, if kept in this position, grow up and

be a straight and beautiful tree; yet it will

not be quite so beautiful, perhaps, as those

which have never been bent over.

Now we are prepared to ask what lesson

we can learn from these things in nature.

Perhaps they may be taken to illustrate 

several important truths. But there is one 

application we may make of them which I

think will be of special benefit to the little

readers of this paper. We will let these

trees represent people; then the large trees

will represent grown people and the small

ones children. Now, children, look around

you and see if there is not as great a variety

of people in the world as there are trees in

the forest. Some of you will perhaps notice

a man about forty years of age, who is a

large man, possessing strength of mind and

body. He has made life a success. By

honest toil he has accumulated property.

He is also a Christian, and gives much to

sustain the cause of Christ and to assist the

poor and needy. Thus he has become a

great and good man, and may be properly

represented by the large oak tree before


Now look again, and you will perhaps

discover among the rest another man about

the same age, but possessing entirely different

qualities. He is diminutive both in

body and mind. He has for many years indulged

in the use of tobacco and occasionally

strong drink. He has indulged his

passions to such an extent that he has injured

both his mind and body, and has become

so poor that he is dependent on his

neighbors for support. Perhaps if you had

seen him twenty-five years ago, you might

have seen a bright lad just merging into

manhood; but you would have noticed him

occasionally indulging his appetite and passions

unlawfully; thus he formed bad habits

in youth which were the real cause of his

ruin. He has since tried several times to

reform, but has failed every time. There

is but little hope for him.

This man may be properly represented by

tree that has grown up very crooked, is

covered with knots and ugly limbs, is rotten

at the center, and is also badly bent over,

it has been tied to a large, straight stake a

few times in order to straighten it; but it

has been so badly bent and so large that the first

storm and wind that came tore it loose

again, and it assumed its old position.

Now, children, if you will look around

you again, you will see some young men

and women, and also little boys and girls,

just beginning to form bad habits and

learn evils which will cause them to grow

up worthless. These are like the little trees,

which are bent over while young. Now

when any little boy or girl teaches others

anything which is bad, they are like the bad

boy that bends the little tree.

Now, my little readers, let me ask you

by what class of trees you are going to be

represented, the large, straight, and beautiful

ones, or those which are crooked and

ugly? If by the first class, then you oust,

if you are crooked, be made straight while

young; that is, if you have formed bad

habits, you must overcome them while in

youth; for the older you grow the stronger

the habits will become, and consequently

the harder they will be to correct. This

stake we are to be straightened by is the

law of God. It is perfect, for it contains all

our moral duty. If we will do just as the

law says, we will do just right.

Now, children, do not form any evil habits

while young; for if you do, you must

overcome them or be lost. But if you have

already formed them, remember that the

sooner you overcome them the easier it will

be done; for you know that the younger the

tree is the easier it is made straight.