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VOL. V.-MAY, 1854.--No. V.
TASTE FOR READING.
BY THE EDITOR,
A TASTE for reading in a family works beneficially in two ways. It not only makes the children intelligent but it prevents the formation of many injurious habits. Where there is a delight in the pure and rational pleasure afforded by reading, there will be less temptation to follow after forbidden diversions. Children that are fond of reading are always fond of home; while those who have no such taste are tempted to stray out after other amusements, and thus fall into temptations, snares, and ruin. A taste for reading becomes thus a kind of safeguard to the habits of children.
We have frequent opportunity of seeing this fact exemplified. As an illustration, we quote a few sentences from a letter from the father of a family. In sending his subscription money to the Guardian, he says: “For your encouragement, I let you know that the Guardian has not lost any of the interest it had when it first came into my family. It is looked for by my children, and read by them with greater interest than when it first came to us; and I believe, that under God's blessing, and in connection with the means of grace—such as the reading of the word of God, and the attendance at the regular places of worship-I see a change. Things that appeared pleasant to my children at one time they now despise.'
It will always be found that when children once become fond of cultivating their minds and hearts, they learn to “despise” many of those pursuits in which many young persons trifle away their precious years.
We heard lately of a farmer, the father of a large family, who was very diligent in encouraging his children to cultivate their minds. He spared no expense in procuring books and good period. icals for them. Some of his miserly and ignorant neighbors used to tell him that he was foolish to spend so much money for books. He answered them according to their folly, thus:
The Farmer. Your family is about as large as mine; now how much does it cost you to keep your children in shoes for a year?
The Neighbor. Oh, well, about $30 a year. I tell you my boys are hard on shoes and clothes.
The Farmer. It costs me just about half that much.
The Neighbor. Well, that is strange. How can that be? How does it come? The Farmer. I will tell
Where were your eldest boys last night?
The Neighbor. Oh, well, they were over at Klam's; there was an “apple-butter-bee" there, and they took a round of hunting on the way home.
The Farmer. Very well. Where were they the night before?
The Neighbor. Oh, well, there was a show over at the tavern, you know; and boys, you know, inust have a little amusement. What makes you ask such questions? Where were your boys?
The Farmer. My boys were at home, sitting around tho table and reading, and talking with cach other over their books; and I asked you these questions just to show you the difference between the habite of children that are furnished with reading matter and such as are not. It will be easy for you now also to guess why I pay just half as much for shoe-leather as you do. I'll tell you what it is, neighbor, I would rather pay money for books to make my children wise than to pay for shoe-leather to be worn out on fool's erronde.
- The singeth a moral by this tale; and there is a good deal in it to be thought over. Many parents, in this respect, are penny vise and pound foolish.
CULTIVATE THAT PLANT.
You have a plant on your window-—a raro plant. You expect that in due time it will bring forth a flower. You are careful of it. You attend to it regularly. You think of it often, and supply its wapts. You watch its growth and development. You show it to your friends. In short, it is your favorite---your nurseling, and the hope of your beart.
Now, my young friend, we find no fault with what you do. It is rather a taste which we would encourage; for the heart is always iinproved when it loves, and is interested in something that is lovely. What we wish to say is this; you have within you such & plant, which, if properly cultivated, will bring forth a fur lovelier flower than any earth has ever yielded. Your own spirit may be made to blossom in heaven, covered with all the graces of the Spirit. Cultivate it carefully. Have it always in your thoughts. Watch its growth; labor for its improvement; make it the favorite, and the hope of your heart. It is of more value than many flowers.
BY A SOPKOMORE.
"Am I called? and can it be!
Dare I raise my hopes 80 bigh?” Am I called ? This is a question of vast import, and one which but a few years ago I longed yet feared to answer. When I looked forward to an unending eternity, my mind became troubled, and, like the restless sea, it was continually casting up mire and dirt. I would frequently place my hand upon God's holy book, but would fear to lay hold of its sacred mysteries. In my deepest distress, I had a real consciousness of my insignificancy, and was frequently almost led into a state of despondency. I had a desire to be useful in my day, and would often call to mind the many truths which the "servants of God” had taught me in my childhood; but having seen many of my companions take upon themselves the solemn vows of confirmation, and afterwards live so carelessly, I feared the great responsibility. When I entered the solemn sanctuary, and heard her sacred hymns of praise, I often feit as though the great God was speaking to me as by a voice from the eternal world; then when I would see the minister—the servant of the Most High--enter the sacred portals, and with a grave countenance and an air of heavenly love, pass along the aisle, I had a desire to be like unto him. But a voice whispered within, “Am I called?” How I would become agitated and try to banish such thoughts from my mind. In the midst of such troubles I consulted the sacred oracle of God. But what did I learn there? The voice of the great God was heard echoing through the soul of the Prophet, saying, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, I hy God reigneth.” Surely, thought I, this must be a glorious work. But when I again heard the same voice inquiring, “ Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?" I heard an answer, “Ho that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity."
“Then, said I, wo is me! for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of & people of unclean lips."
As I was thus wandering in a dry and thirsty land, where there was no water, I was tempted to look toward the fields, and behold! they were already ripening for the harvest—but the laborers were few. Then again the question arose, Am I called ? To this inquiry the Lord of the harvest answered, “Whom shall I send, or who will
for us? Then said I, here am I; send me.” After having made one step, I soon began to see that it was not my duty to wait until I was called in some miraculous way, nor until I was first prepared to go up into the holy temple; but that I must begin the journey, and then He would say unto me as I traveled toward the beautiful mountain of Zion, on which the faithful servants stand, “Fear thee not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
How gladly I came out from among those concerning whom it is written, “Behold they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame.'' “For behold the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury and his rebuke with flames of fire." Although I am unworthy, yet I have commenced this pleasant and delightful journey toward the mountain of the Beloved; but, alas! my companions are few!
When I look around now and see the almost boundless plains, which are fast ripening for the glorious harvest, I am led to exclaim in the language of the prophet, “Drop down, ye from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open and let them bring forth salvation.” When I see the great want of faithful laborers in our lonely Zion, well may I exclaim, “O that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain
of my people.” Young men, if you wish to be useful in your day, and after this short life, have many stars in the crown of your rejoicing in a better world, then awake, and in the morning of life, “before the evil day comes,” prepare yourselves to come up “to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.” Lay aside the vanities of this evanescent world, and put on the beautiful garments of meekness, humility and love.
But you are young, and probably fear to lay hold of these glorious truths which make wise unto salvation.” You, no doubt, have often felt that the world is exceedingly vain, and cannot render any real enjoyment. You have often sat in the solemn temple, and, perhaps, have joined in her songs of praise, and there had a dim foretaste of "joys divine." No doubt
No doubt many of you have heard a lovely voice whispering within the silent chambers of your soul words like the following:
6. There is a land of pure delight,
Where saints immortal reigo;
Infinite day excludes the night,
And pleasures banish pain.". But more than all this; there are many who have had a desire during these delightful moments, to become ambassadors for the blessed Redeemer, who has thus left a memorial of his love toward a miserable race. Perhaps you have become agitated when thoughts of this kind have entered your minds, and from some worldly motives have tried to banish them from you. wrong.
You should remember that it is the kind will of our heavenly Father that you should answer, when he asks, “Whom shall I send? or who will go for us.'
When I was younger, though I was frequently troubled by these thoughts, I would still turn my attention more particularly to the pleasures and enjoyments of this vain world, but now I can say in the words of the poet
When young life's journey I began,
And thousands daily are undone." What, then, can be the reason why my companions are so few? seeing that the pleasures and happiness of this world are entirely false, and that its best show of gayety is but vanity. “I gathered me also silver and gold,” says Solomon, "and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces
and whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them; I withheld not my heart from any joy; then I looked on all the works that
hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do; and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
Indulgent reader, need I tell you that you have been created for a higher and more noble purpose than to make this valley of tears your abiding place? If not, then surely you ought to be willing to say in the language of the beautiful hymn--
* Jesus I my croes have taken,
God and hear'n are still my own." The faithful ambassador must take up his cross and forsake all, and although he sows in tears, he shall reap in joy; for “he that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
But perhaps you will say, “I fear the great responsibility."