The Wages of Sin is Death

A YOUNG man, who was in prison awaiting his trial for a serious crime, was asked what ruined him.

"Sir," he replied with tears in his eyes, "it was my street education that ruined me!  I had a good home education, but I would slip out of the house and go off with the boys in the street.  In the street, I learned to lounge. In the street, I learned to swear. In the street, I learned to smoke. In the street, I learned to gamble. In the street, I learned to steal."

So you see, my children, the street ruined that youth. It seemed pleasant to him, as it does to some of you, to spend his hours abroad with idle, roistering lads.  No doubt he thought his father and mother were too strict, too particular, too notional, when they wished him not to frequent the street; and, thinking so, he chose to have his own way even at the price of disobeying his parents.  He did have his own way. To what did it lead him? To destruction!  I think he paid too high a price altogether for having his own way. Do you agree with me in this opinion?  If so, beware how you imitate him, beware how you cherish a love for the street, and street companions.  Find your enjoyment at home, especially in the evening.

You may depend upon it, boys and girls, that to pass safely along the ways of life, you must be careful of your steps. It will not do for you to tread a path merely because flowers grow in it and you feel a desire to pluck them. The most flowery paths often lead to the most dangerous places.  You must seek, therefore, for the right rather than for the pleasant way.  Indeed, the right path is always the most pleasant in the end.

To find the right way, and thus to avoid the dangers of the wrong one, you need a guide for your feet.  I have read somewhere, that, on a part of the seashore in England, there are steep cliffs rising abruptly from the beach. To keep smugglers from landing foreign goods on which "duties" have not been paid, a "guard" is stationed to watch, night and day. The men composing this guard have to ascend and descend the cliffs in the night. Their path is very narrow, and it runs close to the edge of the cliff. A single misstep would cause a man to fall over on to the beach, and to be dashed in pieces.

How do you suppose the men of that guard find their way up and down those cliffs at night in safety?  If you were to examine their path, you would see a row of very white stones set in it all the way up from the beach. These stones can be seen in the darkest night. The men look for them and thus traverse the giddy path with safety.

Now, my dear children, God meant his holy book to be to you, on your life journey, what those white stones are to the men who guard that cliff in England. It tells you where to go and where not to go, what to do and what to avoid. If you wish, then, for safety, you must both study and obey the Bible. If you will not, why, like the young man in the prison, you must find pain, shame and death in your pathway. - S. S. Advocate.