"IF we do not begin, we shall never come to the end." A great deal depends upon the beginning of any enterprise. The first weed pulled in the garden, the first seed planted, the first dollar earned and saved, the first mile in a journey, in fact, the first step in any undertaking, these are all important things, inasmuch as they give a hope, a promise for the future, an assurance that we are in earnest.

A few years ago I was, at one time, unexpectedly obliged to walk five miles, in order to reach home. I had a heavy valise to carry, the day was hot, and the roads dusty; but go home I must in some way. 

I had determined that I would not stop to rest until one mile of my journey was finished, so although very tired, and almost overcome with the heat, I toiled on. It was up hill and down all the way; and as soon as one large hill was climbed, there was another before me. How long the way seemed, and how the August sun did beat upon my head! My advancement seemed very slow; but at last I reached the crossroad which marked the end of the mile; and after resting a few moments, and drinking of a cool wayside spring, I went on with better courage. Someway the next mile was much easier; and really the last four miles together did not seem much longer than the first one, that hard beginning.

I then thought that I might learn a useful lesson from that little experience; for the same principle will hold good in things of more importance. Though at the outset there may seem to be impassable barriers in our path, yet if we take hold bravely to remove the difficulty, success will certainly be more likely to crown our efforts than if we hesitate to make a beginning, because of the greatness of the undertaking. 

God helps those who help themselves; and the performance of one duty gives strength for the next. How many a poor idle outcast is creeping his way through the world, of no use to himself or any one else, who if he had held up his head, and carried out his good resolutions, had only made a beginning, might today have been happy and prosperous, a blessing to himself and others.

K. B