When we enter the Sabbath school, may we learn to say, To-day is the Sabbath day, ever blessed and beautiful; welcome to its holy and happy influence! Welcome, thrice welcome, the day of sweet repose, and sweeter meditation. Spring is sometimes compared to childhood. In spring, when the brooks fall gurgling down the mountain side, when the earth begins to be covered with its verdant robes, when the birds are joyfully singing around, the trees gently waving in the breeze, and all is gay and gladsome, we sometimes wish that it could always be spring. So in youth, we sometimes wish we could always be young; but it cannot be. But as each season in its turn, spring, summer, autumn, and even winter, clothed in its robes of snow, has its own pleasures, so each season of life is wisely invested of God, with its own peculiar joys.
Though it is now spring-time, it will soon be autumn with you, when you must impart that useful knowledge you will have gained in spring and summer. Now is the time for you to store up that knowledge. If our childhood and youth are rightly employed, age will compare no more unfavorably, as regards its joys, with youth and middle age, than does winter with spring. Endeavor, then, to acquire that useful knowledge that will teach you so to live that you may set a good example to all around you. Children, this beautiful world we live in was made for you. It is filled with beauty, and when we look around upon it, our hearts within us say, how great and good is our God! How wonderful are all of his works! The beautiful in nature is all the production of his power. He spoke this world into being, and decorated it with sun, moon, and stars. Beauty and loveliness are stamped upon everything that he has made. But no scene in the outward world transcends in loveliness the Sabbath school, where the young come to receive Christian instruction. And now, dear children, make this wise resolution; to love your Sabbath school, your parents and teachers, all the world, and especially your heavenly Father, better than you ever have before; and you will be better and happier children.
It was Saturday afternoon. The boys were enjoying their sports, when one of them espied Uncle Jimmy coming towards them. “Look, boys,” said he, “Uncle Jimmy is coming. We will ask him to stop and tell us some stories.”
Now Uncle Jimmy was a very aged man, bowed down with years, and so feeble that he could not walk without the aid of his cane. When the weather was mild, he used to take short walks, and the children were always happy to see him. They all claimed the privilege of calling him Uncle. One little boy ran forward to assist him, and led him to a seat beneath a shady tree. Ball and hoop were soon forgotten, as they eagerly pressed round the old man, to show him their respect; for he always had a word for each of them.
“Do not let me interrupt your sports, boys; I am fond of seeing you at your plays. I had once as many playmates as yourselves, and enjoyed them as well.”