The following is a letter from James W. Alexander (1804-1859) to his younger brother. James was a Presbyterian minister and the eldest son of Archibald Alexander (1772-1851). In his letter, James gives his brother excellent advice that is just as needed today, more than 150 years later.

My dear brother,

You must not suppose, from what I said in my last letter, that the school is the only place where you can acquire knowledge. I would by no means have you to play all the time, which you are not employed at your tasks. There are a great many hours, especially in these long winter evenings, in which you may be filling your mind with something useful. For this purpose you should always have some instructive book at hand. Your parents have many such books, and are always glad to give you the use of them…..

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