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In the preface, I have stated that it was the design of this work, to furnish the reader with a volume to be consulted every day in the year. Even the most busy, either in the morning, or at evening, or at mid-day, have a few moments of idleness, or leisure; and these, if not carefully treasured up, will probably be lost. Now I have devised this little volume, for the purpose of saving these waste moments, and I respectfully beg the reader to appropriate them to the following use.
In the succeeding work, from page 1 to page 353, there are 313 lessons, which is the exact number of week days in a year. Now I propose that one of these lessons be read every week day, either in the morning,
or evening, or at such an hour as may be most convenient. Some of the pieces are long, and some are short; some may be regarded as tales of fancy, and are designed to amuse; others consist of a few lines, and are calculated to impress valuable truth upon the mind. I hope there is nothing in the volume, that may not claim attention, as being calculated to do good, either by storing the fancy with images of beauty, and thus to cultivate the taste; or the heart with sentiments of love and justice, and thus to elevate the soul; or the mind with knowledge and truth, and thus to strengthen and expand its powers. I cannot hope that every page will be found amusing; some of the fables may perhaps be old, and the proverbs may have met your ears before. Some of the aphorisms may' appear dull, and the extracts may often seem too insignificant for notice. But, my dear young reader, grant me the favor of your confidence for this year; read my book, day by day, as I have requested; listen to the proverbs, study the aphorisms, and ponder well over the meaning of the extracts; and at the end of the year, if you are dissatisfied with the manner in which you have spent your time, come to the author, and he will hold himself bound to answer your accusation.
Beside the week day passages, you will find, from page 353 to page 392, a lesson for every Sabbath in the year. This holy day is given us for the purpose
of considering the subject of religion, a subject which relates to that good Being who has created us, and surrounded us with blessings; and who, while he looks with feelings of kindness and mercy upon us, still commands us to obey his laws.
The Bible is the book which contains these laws, and it is of more value than all other books. It is not, like other works, the mere production of man; it is one in which the Almighty mind has spoken, and shall not we listen? If it were not for the Bible, how should we know God's will? How should we know our duty or our destiny? We might look up to the stars, or climb the mountain, or descend into the valley, but what lies beyond this world, we could not know, or but faintly guess. Oh, what anxiety, what doubt, what fear, would rest upon us, if God had not lifted the veil, and shown us that the world, and the stars, are the work of one Creator; that He is a great and good Being, who regards us as a father regards his children, claiming their homage and their devoted obedience, yet bestowing upon them his mercy and his love! How dreadful would be our state of uncertainty as to the future, if the Bible did not assure us that the spirit is not to rest in the grave with the mouldering body, but is destined to rise with an immortal wing, into a higher and more important existence !
It is indeed the Bible which reveals to us these great things, and it is therefore entitled to our attention and devout study. In the Sabbath lessons I have collected a variety of facts, relative to this wonderful book; and after you have stored your mind with them, I hope you will read it with more intelligence and with deeper interest.
At page 392, I have introduced a plan for reading the bible through in a year, by reading certain passages each day. I hope many of my readers will find it convenient to follow this plan, and thus acquaint themselves with every page of this Holy Book.
At page 397, you will find a table of memorable days. By turning to this, on any day, you can see if any great event has happened upon it; and if any, you can lay it up in your memory.
EVERY DAY BOOK.
THERE are some insects who live but a single day. In the morning they are born; at noon they are in full life; at evening they die. The life of man is similar to that of these insects. It is true, he lives for a number of years, but the period is so short, that every moment is of some value. Our existence may be compared to a journey; as every step of the traveller brings him nearer to the end of his journey, so every tick of the clock makes the limited number of seconds allotted to us, still less.
Our life may be divided, like the day of the insect, into three parts; youth, or morning; noon, or middle age, and evening, or old age. In youth, we get our education, and lay up those stores of knowledge, which are to guide us in the journey before us. As this journey is of importance, we should be busy as the bee, that improves each shining hour. I do not mean that we should never amuse ourselves; on the contrary, amusement is absolutely necessary to all, and particularly to the young. But what I mean is, that none of the time allotted to study, or business, or duty, should be allowed to pass in idleness. Every moment