Title Page

Title: Begin now.
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00056827/00001
 Material Information
Title: Begin now.
Series Title: Begin now.
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: Religious Tract Society
Place of Publication: London
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00056827
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - AMF3059
alephbibnum - 002447799

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
        Page 1
        Page 2
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Full Text


1 807 A


l- -- ,

IT was a lovely morning, very
early in spring ; and as there
was still half an hour before
school-time, Basil Morton,
with his books under his arm,
stopped in the garden to talk

to his father, who was busy
clearing away the weeds from
a narrow slip of ground which
ran just beneath the wall,
from the summer-house to the
gate. On his right hand lay
a heap of rubbish, to be taken
away the next time that the
gardener came by; and on
his left, at a little distance,
were some tulip-roots which
he was going to plant along
the border. The father and
son were both in earnest talk.
Well, father," said Basil,
in answer to a remark which
his father had made, I con-
fess that I am a little idle
now and then. I do neglect

my lessons sometimes; and
lose my place in the class;
and that may have been one
reason why I did not bring
home a prize last Christmas,
as well as my cousin John.
But indeed I am not a dunce,
as you seem to think. I can
learn as well and as fast as
John, when I take pains to
do so. Mr. Taylor himself
says that I can. So you need
not be afraid that I shall grow
up a stupid boy."
But when shall you begin
to improve ?" asked his fa-
ther. "You are ten years
old this month; let us see
how much you have learned

up to the present time. You
can read and write pretty
well; your spelling, I fear, is
not to be praised; but you
have learned your tables, and
can work an easy sum, and
copy a page of Latin, with
not more than three mistakes
in each line."
Oh, father !". said Basil,
blushing, and looking asham-
ed, for he knew that his father
was speaking the truth.
Mr. Morton went on very
gravely. From a boy often
years old, who has had all
the needful means of gaining
knowledge, we expect some-
thing more than this."

"But, dear father," said
Basil, ten is not such a very
great age; and I hope that
I shall improve, as I grow
older. I mean to be as good
a Latin scholar as my cousin
John, or any boy in the
school. And as for spelling,
you do not think that I shall
not spell better in time. In
figures, too, I shall get on
faster by and by: indeed I
have some thought of trying
for that prize next half-year.
Only wait a little longer, and
I shall be able to help you in
the office : I shall write some
of the letters for you, and
look over the accounts. Only

wait a little longer." And
Basil's looks showed that he
meant what he said.
But Mr. Morton still look-
ed grave. "Ah that is the
old story, my boy," said he,
with a shake of his head; and
then went on with his garden-
ing in silence. The truth was
that Basil had a very bad
habit, which gave his father
much concern. When a fault
was pointed out to him, he was
always ready to own it, and
would promise to amend; but
then the amendment was to
be at some distant day. The
promise to improve was never
given for the present time;

it was always of the future
that he spoke. He never
said, I will try to do better
at once; I will begin to-day."
If he had been in disgrace at
school, he would comfort him-
self with saying, It cannot be
helped; no doubt I shall be
as wise as the other boys, in
time." If his mother found
it needful to reprove him for
being careless, or for leaving
his books and playthings in
a litter, his answer was al-
most sure to be, I know it
was wrong, dear mother, and
I am very sorry; I hope that
I shall become more careful
as I grow older."

This fault was also to be
seen in matters of far greater
concern. If his parents, or
a pious friend, spoke to him
about his soul, and urged him
to pray for the pardon of his
sins, and for the new heart
which is the gift of the Holy
Spirit, Yes," he would
say, I wish to think of these
things; and if I live to be a
man, I hope that I shall love
God, and keep his command-
ments, and do all the good I
can." Again and again he
had been told of the danger
of delay, yet still he talked of
"by and by;" while in the
meantime all his bad habits

were growing stronger; and
the stronger they grew, the
less likely it became that he
should fulfil his promises of
amendment at a future day.
Mr. Morton went on with
his gardening, and Basil also
stood for some time without
speaking, until his father had
done weeding, and all was
ready for the tulip-roots to
be put into the ground.
I think that a double row
of tulips will look very hand-
some here," said Mr. Morton;
"and I intend that they shall
be the finest in the garden."
"May I stay and give you
the roots ?" said Basil, glad

of an excuse for keeping away
from school.
"No, thank you," said his
father, "the border will do
very nicely, I dare say. The
weeds have been dug out,
and the soil is good. Some
splendid tulips will be seen
there by and by."
"But not unless you plant
the roots, father," said Basil,
looking with surprise at his
parent, who had taken up the
tulip-roots from the ground,
and was walking away. If
you leave the border as it is,
the weeds will grow up again,
but it is not likely that we
shall see any tulips."

"I assure you," said Mr.
Morton, "that I hope to
have some very fine ones
there. I intend that every
one who sees it shall admire
that border." Then calling
to the gardener, who was at
work not far off, he gave him
the tulip-roots, and told him
to put them away in a proper
place. "Now, Basil," said
he, when the man was gone,
"it is.time that you were at
school; and as I also am go-
ing into the town, we can
walk together a little way."
Father," said Basil, as they
went along, I cannot make
out what you are thinking of


about that tulip-bed. Are you
going to buy some roots of
a finer sort, or do you think
it is at present too early to
put them in the ground ?"
I do not suppose," said
Mr. Morton, "that I should
be able to procure a finer sort
in the town; and gardeners
say that this is the month in
which they should be planted.
Go on, my boy, and tell me
what it is that you cannot
make out."
"It is this; you have dug
the ground, and' cleared out
the weeds, and levelled the
soil; but you have not put
in the roots, and yet you talk

about seeing the tulips by and
by, as if they would come up
of themselves."
It does seem rather
strange to you, I dare say;"
said Mr. Morton; "and yet,
Basil, I know a person who
expects many things to hap-
pen which we have at present
scarcely more reason to sup-
pose will ever come to pass
What are we to think of the
boy who expects that with-
out care and without study
he shall by and by become
a good Latin scholar, obtain
the school-prize for his sums,
and be able to help his father
in his office, to write letters

of business, and to look over
accounts ? It would indeed
be folly to seek for tulips in a
garden where none have been
planted; but it is still more
foolish to expect the fruits
of knowledge from the mind
which, like a neglected gar-
den, has run to waste. If the
root is not planted, if the seed
is not sown, we know that
only useless or hurtful weeds
will spring up out of the
earth: and thus it is with the
heart. If the seeds of wis-
dom are not sown, and i'
good habits are not gained by
the youth, we have no just
reason tolookfor sound know-

ledge or correct conduct from
the man."
Basil hung down his head,
and Mr. Morton went on.
" It is not too late, my boy,
for me to plant the tulip-roots ;
and it is not too late for you
to receive the seeds of learn-
ing and goodness into your
mind. Only begin at once.
Remember that if we would
gather flowers in the summer,
we must plant them in the
spring; and instead of say-
ing, I shall improve by and
by,' try to begin now.
"But, above all things,
take care that you begin at
the beginning. You are a


sinner, and you need the par-
don of your sins, and the
grace of God to strengthen
your good desires. Go, then,
to Jesus, who died to take away
sin, and who alone can save
your soul. Ask him to have
pity upon you; and pray that
he will send down his Holy
Spirit to change your sinful
nature, and to sow within
your heart the seeds of eternal
Reader, do you desire to
have your sins forgiven, and
to be at peace with God?
SDelay not for a single day;
but seek your Saviour NOW.

Religious Tract Society: Instituted 1719.

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