THERE are thousands of men in the world today, working for poor pay and occupying uncertain positions, liable to be thrown out of employment at any moment, simply because they have not done their best. They have been contented to do their work in a slipshod way; they have not improved their opportunities; they know no more this year than they did last year; they are unfaithful to their employers; and in consequence of this, are at the mercy of circumstances, and are liable at any time to be set adrift upon the world. They see men around them, having no greater ability than they have, who occupy important positions, who earn twice their wages for doing half their work, simply because they have improved their opportunities, have tried to do their best, have been faithful in whatever work has been appointed to them, and so have won the approval and the confidence of their employers, and have become so indispensable that they cannot do without them.

Young persons should take a lesson from such things. I heard of two men who worked side by side, one of whom employed his spare time in teaching tricks to a dog! He taught the dog to stand up like a soldier, and perform several curious tricks. The other man, during the same time, studied and improved his spare hours, and invented and secured a patent on a most important machine, for his right in which he was offered many thousands of dollars. One man had spent his time on a dog; the other had attended to his business; and here were the results of the two courses.

There are today boys and girls, and young men and women, who are fooling away their time and money, which, if improved and saved, would soon place them in a position of independence, where they might be both prosperous and useful. They spend their time in playing games, in reading novels and similar trash; and consequently will always be ignorant, poor, despised, and at the bottom of the hill, and complaining about the hard times and bad work.

The times are mostly what men make them to be. Not long ago, one Saturday night, some employers in a certain village paid out to their workmen seven hundred dollars, in new, bright, clean, bank-bills, on every one of which they had put a mark, by which they could identify them.  The next Monday morning it was found that four hundred and fifty dollars of these same marked bills were deposited in the bank by the saloonkeepers, into whose hands they had fallen between Saturday night and Monday morning.  This told pretty clearly what caused the hard times in that part of the country; and a similar experiment in other regions would no doubt show similar results.  And if the wages of these workmen had been twice as large, it would simply have furnished the rum-sellers with larger dividends.

The man who studies diligently, works hard, lives temperately, takes care of his earnings, and serves the Lord, has the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. The man who serves the devil, has a hard master in this world, and a poor prospect for the world to come.