Present Pleasure.

WE all love to be happy, and how to secure

the greatest amount of real happiness

is a question very proper for our study.

Evidently the God who made us with such a

disposition desires to have us happy, or he

would never have planted that desire within

us. I know all my readers like to feel well

and enjoy themselves, because children always

do. We know very well how mother

is urged almost every day by the little ones

to go here or there where they can run and

have a fine frolic. And how apt they are

when the house becomes quiet to feel lonesome

or go to sleep but as quick as there

Is any laughter, or story-telling, or play, how

bright the eyes will look, and how wide

awake every one becomes. This is because

the children love to be happy. This disposition

is right when it is kept within proper


But I want to say to the children, that

present pleasure sometimes results in 

permanent injury, and brings great misery upon

us. So we should look beyond the present

in our desire to be happy. You have all

heard of the butterfly and the ant. The

former, like some people, only thought of

the present, enjoying herself through the

pleasant summer weather, never thinking of

the cold, wintry storms so soon to come;

while the busy ant toiled hard during the

good weather, and had a supply of stores

laid up for the dreary days of winter. Now

which found the most happiness in the end?

You can all answer it. So it is with many

people; they only look for the passing moment

think of nothing but the present.

The time will come when they will see the

folly of this course, and regret it very much.

This is also seen in the appetite of many.

They think they must eat at any moment

when anything comes in their way that

seems desirable, at any hour of the day.

Why do they eat? It is not because they

need food to supply their wants, but because

it tastes good. What is the result? They

give way to their appetite until it rules them,

and they think they cannot deny themselves

anything. And so they learn to live to eat;

and quite likely that appetite will finally

carry them to a drunkard's grave. But if

not so bad as this, they injure their stomachs

until they become dyspeptic and can hardly

eat anything without it gives them bad feelings.

So a little present gratification prepares

them for a great amount of pain

Now this is a great loss.

This is the way, children, that many people

become sickly all their lives, and make

themselves and others much trouble. How

much better to govern the appetite with

reason, and only eat when we need food,

and of such kinds as will benefit us.

Many children want to have their own

way, and it is generally that they may have

some present pleasure. They ought to think

how little experience and knowledge they

have, and that father and mother know best

what is for their good. But many times

they cherish this stubborn spirit till they

become stiff-necked and come to some bad

end. How much better it would be to

learn to submit their own spirit, and learn

to obey so that when they are old, they will

not have to look back and think how they

grieved their parents and sinned against


Dear children, we should realize that the

present is given us for a purpose; not merely

to enjoy now, but to prepare for usefulness,

to do good, and learn how to help ourselves

and others. And we are sure to realize far

more happiness in the end by doing right

always, than merely trying to enjoy the present.

This life is for a good purpose; that

is, to use it well, to be faithful in duty; and

a long life, an eternal life, depends upon the

use we make of the present one. God gives

us a short piece of life now to use, and if

we do not use it well, it is all we can have;

but if we do, then he will give us a life that

will fully satisfy us. David said, "I shall

be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness."

Let us not think too much of present

pleasure, but look forward to the great

future life promised to the faithful.