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,"
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.