DEAR CHILDREN: Perhaps you have often said, "Oh, religion is a good thing, and I mean to be a Christian sometime; but I am not old enough yet to trouble myself about it." Let me ask, how old are you? Perhaps you are six, eight, ten, or fourteen years of age, and possibly you may be older. You can read and understand common conversation, and I am sure that you are old enough to learn about God.

I want to show you that youth is the most favorable time to seek the Lord. Religion appeals to the heart, and demands love. Your hearts are now tender, your habits unformed, and your affections fresh and ready to twine around every lovable object. If you live a few years in sin, your hearts will become hardened, your habits fixed, and your affections blunted. 

For this reason it is much easier to become a Christian in the morning of life than in after years.

The little rill can be easily directed into a new channel, but it requires much hard labor to change the course of a mighty river. A small shoot will bend easier than a lofty tree, and a tiny slip will root quicker than a large branch; so the tender heart of the little child is more susceptible to divine influences than the care-worn soul of the grown-up man.

I wish to tell you something about life. 

You are now young, and future days look bright; but, my dear young friends, trials await you, and you will need more than mortal strength in the conflict of life. 

Your flashing eyes will soon grow dim with tears, and your dimpled cheeks become furrowed with care. Your nature is now warm, quick, and impulsive, and your heart bounding with hope; but the stern discipline of coming years will dampen your ardor, disappoint your hopes, and change the golden hue of fancy into a dull, cold gray. The gliding sands of life will lose their brightness, and the heart becomes corroded with care, unless daily refreshed by cool flowing waters from hidden springs. 

Daily communion with God will banish discontent and gloom, and keep every avenue of the heart clear and undefiled. 

My dear young friends, plant your feet firmly on the "Rock of Ages," and you will escape the darkness of despair, and realize the "fullness of joy" that ever comes to those that seek Him early. The time to obtain religion is now. "Now is the accepted time, and now is the day of salvation." 



IT has been well said that industry is of little avail unless it be seconded by punctuality, a habit, which may be acquired with but slight perseverance by every one. 

Perhaps these combined qualities were never so well exemplified in the career of a public man as in that of the Duke of Wellington. It is said that when on one occasion he was making an appointment to meet a famous engineer early on the morning of the following day, the latter remarked, "I will take care to be punctual at five." To this Wellington replied, with a quiet smile, 

"Say a quarter to five. I owe all I have achieved to being ready a quarter of an hour before it seemed necessary to be so; and I learned that lesson when I was a boy."