« PreviousContinue »
The Four Seasons. June
Sep tem ber
Oc to ber The Twelve Months.
ber De cem ber
Christ mas A pril
East er May
E piph a ny
Jan u a ry
LESSONS RELATING TO MORAL AND RELIGIOUS
Ev-e-ry good and per-fect gift com-eth from a-bove. It is from God that we de-rive all the en-joy-ments of life : not on-ly those which re-sult from our de-sire of plea-sure, our love of rich-es, and our thirst af-ter pow-er, but the high-er and more pleas-ing com-forts of friend-ship, all the bless-ings which are gain-ed from the use of our men-tal pow-ers, and all the en-dear-ments of so-cial life. These are as much due to the good-ness of God, as are the sun, the moon, and stars, which give us light, the plants which he has made for our food, and the stream which quench-es our thirst.
II. Man is, of him-self, a ve-ry help-less be-ing, and is sub-ject dai-ly to the great-est dis-tress and
He is be-set with dan-gers on all sides, and may be come wretch-ed by ma-ny e-vents which he could not fore-see, nor pre-vent even if he had fore-seen them. It is our com-fort, while we are sub-ject to so ma-ny dan-gers, that we are un-der the care of One who di-rects all e-vents, and has pow-er o-ver all things that can an-noy or of-fend us; who knows the help we stand in need of, and is al-ways rea-dy to be-stow it on those that ask it of him.
Ev-e-ry man has one or more qual-i-ties which may make him use-ful both to him-self and o-thers. Na-ture nev-er fails of point-ing them out; and while the in-fant is un-der her care, she brings him on in his way, and then of-fers her-self for a guide in what re-mains of the jour-ney. If he pro-ceeds in that course, he can hard-ly mis-car-ry; na-ture makes good her en-gage-ments; for as she never prom-is-es what she is not a-ble to per-form, so she nev-er fails to per-form what she prom-is-es.
Let no-thing ob-struct your du-ty tow-ards God, at the pro-per and sta-ted sea-sons. Do not think it a mat-ter of lit-tle con-cern, that may be done or
left un-done, just as it suits the pres-ent hu-mour. Be sure, the ne-glect of it will co-ver you with sor-row and shame; but the due dis-charge of it will fill your heart with joy and com-fort, when this world, and all the good it can af-ford, is a-bout to van-ish for ev-er.
V. Men in the low-est ranks of life can do us good, and we of-ten want their help. Ma-ny dumb crea-tures, al-so, save us trou-ble, and sup-ply us with com-forts. We could not do well with-out the horse. He car-ries us, he draws our heav-y bur-dens, and does a great deal of hard la-bour for
The cow gives us milk, but-ter, and cheese. The sheep sup-plies both rich and poor with whole-some food, and her wool makes the most use-ful cloth-ing. She al-so im-proves the land on which she feeds, and well re-pays the farm-er for her keep. When we think of our wants, there-fore, of how lit-tle we can do for our-selves, and on how ma-ny we must de-pend for food and rai-ment, we should not be proud, but love, pi-ty, and as-sist our poor-er breth-ren, and nev-er be cru-el to any of God's crea-tures.
VI. Be-fore we can have bread to eat, the ground must be got read-y to re-ceive the seed. This is done with great la-bour in the au-tumn. When the wheat is sown, lit-tle boys are hi-red to fright-en away
the rooks and crows that would eat it up.
In the spring, when it is green, it must be weed-ed at a great ex-pense. Then, in Ju-ly and Au-gust, the har-vest comes, when the far-mer prays for fine wea-ther; as much rain would spoil it.
The reap-ers work ve-ry hard, and in the hot-test months of sum-mer. When it is got in-to the barn, the thresh-er goes to work in the win-ter, and pre-pares it for the mill. The mil-ler grinds it in-to flour, which goes to the ba-ker, who mix-es it with wa-ter, fer-ments it with yeast, kneads it in-to dough, and bakes it in his o-ven till it be-comes bread. So much la-bour does it re-quire to sup-ply us with our dai-ly food ; and so much do we owe to those who toil all the year through, and yet re-ceive but a scan-ty pit-tance for it.
See, how the bee flies from flow-er to flow-er, and col-lects ho-ney while the sun shines. Ob-serve, how hap-py the birds are to seize the first fine wea-ther in spring, to build their nests ; how busy they are in pick-ing up sticks and straws to guard them, and hair and wool to keep their young ones
Watch the lit-tle ant al-so, and see how she lays in her store, at all sea-sons when she can go a-broad, that she may not starve in winter. Do this, and ne-ver be i-dle, bụt learn the true va-lue of time.