The School


"THE school will come to order," said the voice of our superintendent.

At once teachers and scholars took their proper seats, and turned their faces toward the desk. Mr. Ford in- troduced to the children a gentleman whom he said he knew would interest them.

Mr. Watson came forward, and by his bright smile and cheerful voice, won the "attention of the children at once.

"I propose to talk this afternoon about swearing," said Mr. Watson. 

"You all know what that means; per- haps not a child in this Sabbath-school swears, but you have heard the boys on the street, I know. Generally, when a speaker addresses a school, he directs his words to the boys and neg- lects the girls; but I am now going to talk to the girls 'and let the boys listen, and I hope to benefit both.

"First," said Mr. Watson, taking a piece of chalk and walking toward the long blackboard; "I will write on the board five words which girls use when they indulge in swearing."

This last remark made the girls open their eyes in astonishment. As he finished writing the last word, he laid his chalk down and asked, "All good words, are they not, children?"

"Yes, sir," was the answer.

"And the meaning of each word is good, is it not?"

"Yes, sir," replied the children.

"No doubt," said the speaker," most of the girls here would tell me that boys swear, but they never do. Now," he continued, again turning to the board," let me put a little word before each of these good words, and then ask the girls to read together what I have written."

"Oh, gracious!" How the boys' eyes sparkled with triumph as the girls went on reading, "My goodness", "Good conscience."

Here Addie Norton" whispered to the girl next to her, " I never in my life said 'good conscience;'" but she could not say that about the next sentence; for "oh, mercy " was a favorite expression of hers.

"My heavens! "This last rather startled the girls; but Mr. Watson took not the slightest notice of their surprise, asking in a brisk tone, at the same time pointing to the board, 

"Boys, what do you call that?"

"Swearing," was the emphatic answer.

"Yes, it is swearing," repeated Mr. Watson, looking earnestly at the girls; 

"But I don't think that girls wish to swear; and perhaps those who are in the habit of using these expressions, have never stopped to think of their meaning; I am quite sure that if they knew how they sound, coming from the lips of gentle girls, they would not be guilty of using them; for it is swearing, though in a milder way than boys are apt to use."

"Now, girls," he added, "although unconscious of it, each one of you is exerting an influence over some one; it may be a brother, or a younger sister, or possibly a schoolmate. Every word, every act of yours, has its effect on some one; and may strengthen or injure that one's character.

"Boys, you know, have got the idea that they are braver and smarter than girls. So when a boy hears his sister exclaim, 'Oh, conscience!' he must prove his superiority by using stronger language, such as girls and all of us call real profanity. Now, my little friends, this light form of swearing is wrong and just as much a habit with you as profanity is with boys. Here let me ask, How many of you would like to hear your father or brother take God's holy name in vain? Not one," he said, as he glanced around the room; "then let me entreat you all to be pure and gentle in your speech, to use no word, or expression that may tempt your brother to swear; and by earnest prayer and watchfulness, seek to overcome this sinful habit."

After Sabbath school, as Mr. Watson walked around among the children, his kind heart was gladdened to hear from many the resolve to give up using these "ugly expressions," to use the girls' term.

"'He that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God,'" repeated Mr. Watson; "and, children, if the naughty words escape your lips sometimes, don't give up trying. A habit once formed is hard to get rid of; but when the temptation to give vent to your feelings in strong language comes, go to Him who 'was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,' for he is able to succor, that is," explained Mr. Watson, "he is able to help those that are tempted, and with the temptation will make a way of escape." 

Advocate and Guardian.

THE practice of writing down thoughts and facts for the purpose of holding them fast, and preventing their escape into the dim region of forgetfulness, has been much resorted to, by thoughtful and studious men. Lord Bacon left behind him many manuscripts, entitled "Sudden thoughts set down for use."