Where the Gold Is

Tom Jones was a little fellow, and not so quick to learn as some boys; but nobody in the class could beat him in his lessons. He rarely missed in geography, never in spelling, and his arithmetic was always correctly done; as for his reading, no boy improved like him. The boys were fairly angry sometimes, he outdid them so.

"Why, Tom, where do you learn your lessons? You don't study in school more than the other boys."

"I rise early in the morning and study two hours before breakfast," answered Tom.

Ah, that is it! "The morning hour has gold in its mouth."

There is a little garden near us, which is the prettiest and most plentiful little spot in all the neighborhood. The earliest radishes, peas, strawberries, and tomatoes, grow there. It supplies the family with vegetables, besides some for the market.

If anybody wants flowers, that garden is the place to go for the sweetest roses, pinks and "all sorts," without number. The soil, we used to think, was poor and rocky, besides being exposed to the north wind. The owner is a busy man, yet he never hires.

"How do you make so much out of your little garden?"

"I give my mornings to it," answered the owner, "and I don't know which is the most benefited by my work, my garden or myself."

Ah, "the morning hour has gold in its month."

William Down was one of our young converts. He united with the church, and appeared well; but I pitied the poor fellow when I thought of his going back to the shipyard to work among a gang of godless associates. Will he maintain his stand? I thought. It is so easy to slip back in religion—easier to go back two steps than advance one. Ah, well, we said, we must trust William to his conscience and his Saviour. Two years passed, and instead of William's losing ground, his piety grew brighter and stronger. Others fell away, but not he, and no boy perhaps was placed in more unfavorable circumstances. Talking with William one evening, I discovered one secret of his steadfastness.

"I never, sir, on any account let a single morning pass without secret prayer and the reading of God's word. If I have a good deal to do, I rise an hour earlier. I think over my weak points and try to get God's grace to fortify me just there."

Mark this. Prayer is armor for the battle of life. If you give up your morning petitions, you will suffer for it; temptation is before you, and you are not fit to meet it; there is a guilty feeling in the soul, and you keep at a distance from Christ.

Be sure the hour of prayer broken in upon by sleepiness can never be made up. Make it a principle, young Christian, to begin the day by watching unto prayer. "The morning hour has gold in its mouth;" aye, and something better than gold—heavenly gain.