THERE is a class of men in every well-ordered

army, called pickets. None but the

bravest and truest fill this position. Their

business is to stand on guard, by day and

night, and see that nothing improper is going on

 in the camp, and to keep a sharp lookout for the

 enemy. It matters not how bad the weather is, 

or how dark and tempestuous the night, the 

brave sentinel, with musket in hand, has to pace

 to and fro, and watch for the safety of the army.

 These men, from their exposed situation, are in

 continual danger of being shot. Should a picket

 see the enemy approaching, he immediately 

fires his gun, and soon the whole camp is astir,

 and preparations made for battle. If the army 

advances, the pickets have to go ahead, and see

 that no enemy is lurking in the way for a 

surprise. Thus they have to ford rivers, cross 

swamps, climb hills and mountains, and 

continually make themselves a mark for the

 bullets of the enemy. Many are the hair-breadth

 escapes of the pickets; but those who go to war

 must never shrink from danger. If a guard falls 

asleep on duty, or is not alert at his post, the 

penalty is severe, generally death so there is 

nothing pleasant in this part of war.

How much these picket-men remind me of

 certain Christian duties which I can think of. 

The man or child who serves God is a soldier. 

He, too, has weapons of war, and battles to 

fight. But here the camp-ground is the human 

heart, and the fighting is done in our minds. And

 we, also, must have out our pickets, if we would

 fight the good fight of faith, and win eternal life.

 There are the pickets of Watchfulness, and 

Prayer, and Faith, and Hope, and Love, which

 must be continually posted, or we meet a 

surprise and fall. That old Serpent, the Devil and

 Satan, who tries to get possession of our

hearts, will have to enter at those avenues 

where these picket-men stand. And if he should

 find them asleep, or off duty, his object is

 accomplished: the graces are slaughtered,

 victory is gained, and the temple of the Lord

 becomes a castle of sin.

Dear Children you cannot be Christ's soldiers

much longer. Our watching, fighting, and praying

will soon be exchanged for other employment.

What is your hope when the Master comes to