IF ANY of our little friends are learning to write, and they well know how necessary it is to have a good copy, and then to follow it carefully and patiently. If the copy is faulty, their writing will show the same defects; and no matter how perfect the copy, they will never succeed unless they study it closely, and then write every word over and over, until they can make it correctly.

We are all engaged in a work in which we need a good copy; a work far more important than learning to write. The word character signifies to engrave, or that which is engraved, and just as the engraver traces his design upon the metal, so every thought and word and action of our lives is making its impression upon our characters. 

If we would form a good character, we must follow a right example, a perfect copy. Where shall we look for such an example?

We knew of one little boy who tried to find some one among his schoolmates whom he could imitate. But after thinking carefully for a while, he sadly exclaimed, 

"There isn't one of them that I can pattern after without copying a blot!" How many children, and grown people too, are copying a blot? That boy who is learning to take God's name in vain, that one who thinks it manly to smoke because others do, the boy who hangs around street corners and catches the words and manners of loafers, all these and many others are bringing a stain upon their characters, which, unless removed, will shut them from the society of the good and noble here, and from the kingdom of God hereafter. Even the best and noblest of human beings are not entirely faultless. We cannot safely imitate them in all things. 

But there is One whose example is a perfect pattern. In childhood, in youth, or in manhood, there is no blot, no blemish, upon the character or the life of Christ. It is right to emulate the good qualities of others, but never to follow them only as they are like Jesus.

We are to study the copy. The life of Christ has been given us that we may know how to live. And then every day we should try to imitate the copy, "To walk even as He walked," and never be satisfied until our thoughts and words and actions are like those of the blessed Saviour. 

Dear children, as you trace with care the lines in your copy-books, remember that greater work which you have to do, and strive earnestly to imitate the perfect Pattern, so that the Master, as he shall look upon your work at last, may pronounce it "well done." 

M. A. D.