Children generally like to make collections. One little girl is satisfied with the stray feathers the birds have dropped in the fields; another has picked up pretty round stones by the shore of the lake; another has pressed leaves of all the forms she can find, till she has a thousand differently, shaped leaves in her collection; an other has a book full of dried flowers, with the colors almost as fresh as when they were gathered. With boys it may be shells, or minerals, or beetles, or stuffed birds, or something equally interesting.

This desire to gather collections is a good thing. It makes children observing and wide-awake, and keeps them from walking through the world without seeing anything. But you young people must remember when you make collections from nature that you are coming near to God in seeking after and touching what he has made. When you find a beautiful specimen of a flower, or a crystal, or a butterfly, or a shell, you can think that the great Creator admires it too, for he has pleasure in all his works. Some of the largest collections that have been made by studious men have been scattered at their death, or burned by fire, or destroyed in time of war. It is with this all with all things we can lay up in this world; we do not know when our treasures may be swept away.

It is a pleasant thing to make collections from the works of God, but it is a dearer and a better thing to have a collection of his words; and the treasures we lay up in our minds neither fire nor foe can take from us. Now is the time for you to lay up a store of Bible verses to be a comfort and help to you all your life. Let no week go by that you have not added to your store. How many texts can you say that promise a blessing on earnest prayer? How many about the love of God to us? How many that are direct commands to be true, to be pure, to be loving? Your texts must be perfectly learned, or you cannot be sure that you can keep them.  A text that you stumble over does not belong to your collection.

In the olden times many a Christian had his Bible taken from him, and was shut up in prison for reading the word of God; but no jailer could take away from him the texts laid up in his memory. In the darkest cell he could comfort himself with their precious promises. How often a sick sufferer has lamented that he had no Bible verses or sweet psalms in his mind to cheer himself with in the long hours of wakeful nights! "Teach the children to lay up Scripture verses and psalms for such a time of need," said a sick man who had made no such collection in youth when God had given time and readiness to learn.

A Bible verse is the best answer to temptation. When you are prompted, from without or within, to do something wrong, and are doubting what to do, how it decides the matter when you can say to yourself, "This I must not do, this I cannot do; for in that and that Bible verse it is forbidden!"

Yes, dear children, whatever you collect, let your Bible verses be your largest, your dearest collection.

You may tire of shells or leaves or stones or flowers, but the words of Scripture will be more precious to you year by year. They will bring to your soul strength and comfort and gladness, and help you to lay up treasures in heaven.