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Written by Lee Hanks   

Advocate & Messenger

The future of our country and of our nation depends upon the youths of our country. The best guide for a high and noble life, for our boys and girls, is the Bible. God's law is a perfect law. Every blessing temporal and spiritual comes from the great and merciful hand of God. He gives our natural life, and eyes to see, ears to hear, feet with which we walk, hands with which we work, hearts to render thanks, and all of our senses, feeling, tasting, smelling, seeing, hearing and the tongues with which we speak. God has given us all these wonderful blessings. We could not exist one moment without Him. Yong boys and girls, the good Lord has blessed you with a father and mother to tenderly love, feed and clothe you and to guide you and tenderly care for you in all your afflictions and privations of life. They have made great sacrifices to educate you and to bring you up to a life of usefulness to make noble useful citizens. you should reverence your God and also reverence your good parents which God has given you who are the greatest earthly friends you have her. Read with a desire to elevate yourself to the highest and noblest plane on earth. Exodus 20:12. "Honor thy father and mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." "Thou shalt not kill." "Thou shalt not bear false witness against they neighbor."

That boy or girl who observes these commands will not only be respected as a honorable and upright citizen, but will be highly esteemed by all who know him or her and a blessing to society. By right and moral living they elevate themselves to a life of usefulness of which they will never have regrets.

Remember the first commandment: "Honor thy father and mother." The youths who do this, will live long here in the confidence of the best people and overcome every false accusation against them. Children should reverence and obey the teaching of their good parents and never speak unkindly to them. They are your best friends and will make every lawful sacrifice for you and you should be industrious and ready to lessen their burdens in every way possible. Always seek their advice in all you do. Never go to any place you would be ashamed for your parents to see you. You will never regret living right and being kind, loving, tender and obedient to your parents. Your parents know better with whom you should associate than you do. Shun wicked and immoral company.

Read the Bible and good moral books which will store your minds with high elevating knowledge which will prepare you for a life of usefulness and be honoring to God and to your parents. Do not read trashy, immoral novels, or attend movies where immoral pictures are exhibited. They have a tendency to lead the mind to vice and degeneracy. Do not use profane or immoral language. God has blessed you with a tongue that you should appreciate. Do not let that tongue curse, use any bywords, nor take the holy name of God in vain. When you mention the name of God, do so with most profound reverence. Do not use substitutes for cursing, such as "dog gone it," "by golly," "he gave him down the country," etc. The expressions are a kind of cursing. Leave them all off. Shun every appearance of evil. "Swear not at all." Let your conversation be yea, yea, and nay, nay. I had no use for any immoral or profane language when I was a boy. My good parents taught me better and I cherish their memory today. Shun drinking, saloons and immoral houses. They will drag you down to shame and disgrace. I always tried to live within my means and pay my just debts. I never was able to wear such fine clothes, but what I wore were paid for. Beware of debt. Do not spend money foolishly. Do not be too hard to please. Try to be satisfied with the food and raiment you have. Shun a low class of women as you would a viper. They are the greatest curse to a community. A good chaste girl is one of the greatest blessings. She wields an influence for good-a great blessing in a community.

One mistake you may make will destroy you for life. Be truthful, sober, upright, honest, law-abiding and beware of the first drink. If you never take the first drink, you will never be a drunkard. Whiskey and bad women have wrecked the life of many a man. My father died in Henry County, Va., 1869, before I was eight years old. The civil war made such a destruction of property in our country, we know what it was to suffer for food and raiment. I was the youngest of twelve children. I was soon thrown out upon the cold charities of the world-homeless and friendless. My mother lived with married children. All were poor and had no home of their own. I went from place to place, very poorly clad, and glad to get a little bread and milk to eat. My good mother taught me to live morally and keep good company or none, which I tried to do. I seldom ever knew what it was to have any money at all. When I had a little money I would buy school books and a Testament. Having no opportunity of school, I studied where I stayed of nights by fire light, having a thirst for an education. I had no earthly legacy, but if I could get an education no one could take that from me. It would be a blessing for life. After I was about grown, I went to school a portion of winters working nights, mornings and Saturday to pay my board. I attended a normal school, Concord, W. Va., getting my board on a credit. I then began teaching school and taught for years and continued to study. I always tried to live strictly moral and observe the teachings of my precious mother. I love her memory. I have but little respect for one who disrespects the teachings of mother-the truest earthly friend. I fear the future of any child who disrespects mother. Parents should control their children while they are young. Bring the up "in the way they should go, when they are old they will not depart from it. I have a tender love and sympathy for young people and desire their welfare.

Written by request,

Lee Hanks

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.