"My dear boy," said a father to his only son, "you are in bad company. The lads with whom you associate indulge in bad habits. They drink, smoke, swear, play cards, and visit theaters. They are not safe company for you. I beg you to quit their society. 

"You needn't be afraid of me, father," replied the boy, laughing. "I guess I know a thing or two. I know how far to go, and when to stop." 

The lad left his father's house, twirling his cane in his fingers, and laughing at the "old man's notions." 

A few years later, and that lad, grown to man-hood, stood at the bar of a court, before a jury which had just brought in a verdict of guilty against him for some crime in which he had been concerned. Before he was sentenced, he addressed the court, and said, among other things: 

"My downward course began in disobedience to my parents. I thought I knew as much of the world as my father did, and I spurned his advice; but as soon as I turned my back on my home, temptations came upon me like a drove of hyenas and hurried me to ruin." 

Mark that confession, ye boys who are beginning to be wiser than your parents! Mark it, and learn that disobedience" is the first step on the road to ruin. Don't take it! 


LUTHER said: "I have had many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have been able to place in God's hands I still possess." 



THE glad springtime is here, and I wonder if the boys and girls watch as early as I do, for every little plant that first breaks ground in our garden beds. 

What a change a few weeks of warm sunshine will make on the dark mold. But did you ever think, while the flowers were springing above, what a curious work was going on below ground? 

How strange that each little root knows just what to do to find the proper food for the plant it nourishes! You may plant the different kinds as close together as you please, each one knows his vocation. The grass roots run along just below the surface of the ground. The beets and carrots send their spindle roots, like wedges, down into the very heart of the soil. The tall trees send forth a thousand rootlets far and wide, and a main root trunk down very deep to the water springs. So, no matter how dry the surface of the ground may get, they will still have nourishment. The thirsty willows seem to know by instinct the side on which the water may be found, and send their roots in one direction in order to touch the pond or river. I have a friend who was obliged every year to clear out from his well great basketfuls of willow roots, which came from a tree several rods distant. Every root knows just what product to take up. The wheat gathers up the silica in the soil to make into its brittle stalk. Another vegetable chooses largely of lime, and none of God's works ever makes a mistake. 

I think the world below the soil is quite as wonderful, though it is not as beautiful, as the world above it. 

Certainly without these humble little workers, who go on mining in the darkness, we would never have the beautiful flowers, choice fruits, and grateful shade of our noble trees. 

If we are humble workers in God's world, let us be content, and labor on. Perhaps the work which we do will seem of great importance when we look upon it in the light of eternity.— 

The Nursery.