ONCE a little girl thoughtlessly held a lighted candle under a corner of a nice linen table spread to see the threads turn brown. She did not mean to injure the spread, but she held the candle there till the threads were scorched, and began to crack away. She was very sorry when she saw the mischief she had done, and wished so many times that she could make it whole again.

But she could not do that, and in a little while the brown spot became a hole. As she grew older, that hole in the spread often made her think of that thoughtless act, that, no matter how bad she might feel, she could never make right again. The hole could be patched, but the cloth could never be what it was before. So it is in childhood and youth; there is a purity of character, which, once destroyed, is gone forever.

You may be forgiven, but you cannot be what you were before. You may think that just for once there can be no harm in yielding to temptation; but one sin causes a stain, one impure thought cherished in the mind soils its purity. O children! Guard well your thoughts, have none but pure, good, noble thoughts; for they leave their mark not only upon the heart, but even 'your face shows out the thoughts within. Your conversation, too, will show what is in your thoughts; for the Bible says that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaketh. Shun evil companions; and if you at times are thrown into the company of those who use bad language, close heart and ears, and think of that which is pure and lovely. Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." What a privilege this will be, to enter in through the pearly gates of that beautiful city, and to walk the golden streets, and to know that we can always dwell with pure and holy beings!

This life is given to us to prepare for that life, which is to come. Jesus is ready to help us battle against every sin. And those that have in them this hope,—the hope of one day dwelling with Jesus in his beautiful kingdom,—"purify themselves even as he is pure."