Jamie Barton's Garden.

"WEEDS, weeds; and not much else. I

do believe I never saw any garden, that a

fellow pretended to take any care of, that

looked quite so much out of fix as this


Jamie Barton had a great habit of talking

to himself; and now both his looks and

tones were pretty strongly marked with disgust

as he looked over the neglected spot of

ground he called his garden.

"Well, well," he went on, heaving a sigh,

"I might as well begin at one time as another;

and I must say I'm ashamed to have

cousin Will come home, and find I have

taken so little care of what he was so good

to help me about so much."

And so Jamie went to work in good

earnest, and by-and-by a great pile of weeds

in the path showed how zealously he was

laboring; while the plants, paler and feebler

than was natural for them, but trying hard

to stand in martial rows, as though glad to

be released from such bad company, seemed

to thank him for his efforts.

After a while, he grew tired, and sat down

to rest; when a pleasant voice, from over

the garden fence greeted him with, "A good

morning's work, my boy; but what a pity

you had it to do at all!"

"So I've been thinking to myself all the

time," said Jamie, frankly, as he met Dr.

Weston's pleasant smile. "I ought to have

pulled up the weeds when they were smaller."

"Better never have let them grow at

all," said the doctor.

"I could help them coming up, could I?

The seeds must have been there before I

planted my seeds; and I don't see how they

could very well help growing."

"Did you keep the ground well stirred?"

"Why, no, sir. I didn't seem to find

just the right time; and then I had no idea

the weeds would grow so big any way."

"That's just it; you didn't help the good

plants to grow, and so the evil ones had all

the better chance. If you had kept the

ground stirred, the plants would have grown

faster, and the weeds would have been hoed

up before they hardly started; and so you

would have saved all this trouble."

Jamie sat silent, digging his bare toes into

the moist earth; and the doctor went on:

"Did you ever think, my boy, how much

your heart is like a garden? Little seeds are

planted there, seeds of good; and constant

care is needed to keep the weeds of evil

from growing, and shading the true, rightful

plants that ought to grow there. If these

weeds are allowed to grow, they tower away

up above the fair-blooming plants that ought

to fill all the ground, and shut out the sunshine

of love that would make everything so

beautiful; and the plants grow weak and

pale, and need a good deal of attention to

make them live and blossom, just as your

frail little flower-stalks will, after being delivered

from such a tangle of weeds as you

have helped them to escape from this morning.

Keep the weeds out of your heart, Jamie; 

you'll find this much easier than rooting

them out after they once get in there."

"I am afraid some have got in there 

already," Jamie answered, half sadly.

The doctor pointed to the heap of weeds

and questioned, "Why did you throw then

out there, instead of covering them up in the

ground, where they would be out of sight

and so trouble no one?"

"Why, they'd root again if I covered

them up; and if I throw them out there

and let them lie there awhile, the sun will

wither them, so that they can't grow any


"That's the idea, my little friend; don't

cover up your faults, but root them up, and

let God's love so shine upon them, till they

are so withered there can be no life found in


The doctor walked away; and Jamie went

on with his work, fully resolved, with God's

help, not only to keep the weeds from growing

in his garden, but in his heart, too; and

to this day, which finds Jamie an earnest

Christian merchant, he has never forgotten

that morning's lesson, nor ceased striving to

profit by it. 

Child at Home.