CHILDREN, I want to know about your gardens. Did any of you ever plant seeds in the springtime in a flower garden? Yes; and I know you are as happy as can be when papa gives you leave to have a garden all by yourself, and says, "No one else shall plant a seed there."  First you think, what will be the prettiest for bouquets? I can hear you say, heart's-ease, mignonette, sweet peas, asters, phlox, and many other pretty flowers. 

You hasten to see if the earth is all ready for the seeds. And when you have watched, and waited, and cared for them, with what delight you see the first bud, and then the flower!

But what would you say if some one should ask you to plant with your prettiest flowers, thistle and wild mustard seeds? Do you think you would do it? Would you be willing to have your flowers choked by those vile weeds, or else be put to the trouble of pulling them up, which would be likely to destroy many of your pretty flowers growing near them?

But I hear some of you say, I have no garden; I cannot plant even a single seed, and watch it as it unfolds its tiny leaves and puts forth beautiful flowers. But just let me whisper to you; for I want to tell you that you have, every one of you, such a rich garden as no father or mother ever gave the very best child. It is your heart! God has given it to you, and he has told you that you shall gather such flowers as you plant. If you plant a bad thought there, it will be sure to spring up and bear evil fruit. If you speak wicked words and let angry feelings live there, the weeds will grow very fast; and before you know it, the few flowers of gentleness and love which you thought you had there, will be choked, so that you will lose sight of them entirely.

Every time you cherish angry feelings in your heart, every time you speak bad words, every time you do unkind deeds, every time you are selfish and unlovely, you are planting your heart-gardens with weeds that will surely spring up and bear bad fruit; and if you are not very careful to root them all out, your heart will soon be like the flower-garden planted to weeds and thistles. But if you love Jesus, who said, "Suffer little children to come unto me," he will help you to plant your heart-garden with kind thoughts and good desires; and so nice flowers will spring up and make the garden very beautiful.

Now, little ones, you can do just as you like either plant the seeds of flowers or weeds. You are every day planting the one or the other.