Imágenes de página

hairs of your head? They are hollow tubes; each of which has a bulbous root, a marrowy substance, and connecting filaments. Every thing ought to convince us that there are thousands of objects in nature which are wrapt in mystery, and that we have many discoveries to make of things at present entirely unknown to us. There may be a thousand wonders in the formation of our body of which no person has yet thought, and which he would be far from suspecting; and there are some organs existing, the use of which we do not yet know. And how many objects may there not be in nature, so minute, that the microscope cannot detect, nor the understanding conceive them; but which, if known, would furnish new proofs of the grandeur of God! The little that we do know is sufficient to convince us that his power, wisdom, and goodness, in small things as well as in great, are most admirably manifest.

The sands of the sea, as well as the expanse of heaven, the brilliancy of the stars, and the roaring of the tempest, declare the glory of the mighty God. The trees in the beauty of their foliage, and the least grain and seeds in their abundance, cry with one voice, It is God who hath made us, give all glory and honour to the Creator! And to him, and him only, ought we to give glory. The smallest of his creatures display his power: the structure of a fly is as curious as that of an elephant; a single blade of grass as that of the stately oak; and the formation of a grain of sand is as wonderful as that of a mountain. No creature that he has formed is unworthy our attention; those which we consider as the most despicable contain wonderful properties; and as God has condescended to create them, they are certainly worthy our esteem and regard.


The Effects of Winter gradually depart.

THE same wisdom which, at the beginning of winter, caused the increase of cold to be gradual, now orders its departure so, that it diminishes by degrees, and the rigor

ous season insensibly verges towards an end. The sun remains longer above the horizon, and his rays act more powerfully upon the earth; flakes of snow no longer obscure the atmosphere, and the nights only produce a white frost, which vanishes before the noon-day sun. The sky becomes serene; the fogs and vapours either disperse or are converted into beneficial showers. The earth is rendered soft and pliable, and imbibes moisture; seeds begin to open out, branches which appeared dead put forth tender buds, and the blades of grass spring up out of the earth. We see nature universally preparing to restore verdure to the fields, leaves to the trees, and the long-lost flowers to the gardens. Notwithstanding the tempests, the hail, and the yet frosty nights, she is silently labouring to bring back the spring; she will soon put off her sad and gloomy aspect, and resume all her charms and fascinating beauties, laughing with youth and gaiety.

It is thus that all the changes in nature are gradually accomplished. Each effect that we perceive has been preceded by some exciting cause; a thousand circumstances which escape our notice succeed each other, until the great designs of nature are completed. Many springs are put in motion before a single blade of grass can spring up, or one bud be unfolded. All those changes which have so unpleasantly affected us during the winter were necessary to ensure us the smiling prospect that so soon promises to open before our delighted view. Tempests, rains, frost, and snow, were requisite, that the earth might repose, or undergo that state by which its powers are renewed and its vigour repaired, to enable it to sustain a greater degree of fertilization. Now that the advantages of these arrangements of nature begin to unfold, and we discover some of the ends they were destined to fulfil, we acknowledge their propriety, and the beneficial consequences of winter demonstrate to us its great utility to the earth.

As the seasons continually vary, so also do the periods and events of our lives continually change. In the life of each individual there is a catenation of causes and effects, which will remain wrapped in mystery, till eternity shall lift up the veil, and shew why certain events were necessary and beneficial to our condition. Perhaps we are able to know why we happen to be born in a particular family.

and in a certain place rather than another; why certain accidents have befallen us, or why we embraced some particular mode of life in preference to another: all which at first might be hidden from us; but now we comprehend that one action was a consequence of another, that the past was necessary for the present, and that many events which did not seem to accord with the plan of our lives were yet essential to the happiness we now enjoy. We are hourly approaching that period when all the events of our lives, and the secret springs and causes which operated to produce them, will be made known to us; and perhaps we are at this moment upon the eve of taking our flight for the regions of futurity, which, according to our deserts, will be happy or miserable. O God! influence my heart to believe, that so it may be filled with peace and joy; and when the visible creation shall depart from before my eyes, grant that I may enter into a blessed eternity; and permit me to enjoy such a foretaste of it as shall elevate my soul above every earthly and perishable thing!


The external parts of the Human Body.

WHILE the beauty of nature is veiled, and the fields and the gardens have not yet gained those charms which fascinate and invite to enjoyment, let us consider the structure and formation of the human body, which will furnish ample cause for admiring the power and wisdom of God.

Amongst the most remarkable and conspicuous parts of the body is the head, whether considered as to the beauty of its form and appearance, or as the supposed centre of sensation and seat of the mind. The organs of sight, of hearing, of smelling, and of tasting, are all placed in this wonderful part; and upon the face, where shines every beauty, all the movements of the heart, all the feelings, are pourtrayed; the secret sentiments of the mind are legible, and the passions of the soul displayed. The lips, as they move in smiles, or assist the tongue in giving harmony and

diversity of tone to the voice; the teeth, as they add to the beauty of the countenance and divide and comminute the food; with the different glands in the mouth, which secrete the saliva so necessary to digestion; are all admirable and wonderfully formed. The head, from its peculiar articulation with the neck, is capable of turning in any direction; the shoulders are constructed in a manner which gives the greatest degree of strength of which a form like ours is capable; to them are attached the arms, and to these the hands, which are formed with exquisite wisdom; we are enabled to perform by their means an infinite variety of motions; their peculiar structure is one great cause of our superiority in the arts, and all their movements are facilitated by their numerous bones and joints.

The chest forms a bony cavity, in which the heart and lungs securely perform their functions. The diaphragm separates them from the abdomen, which contains the stomach, the liver, the spleen, the kidneys, and the intestines. All this mass is supported by the hips and lower extremities, which have various joints to facilitate their motion; and lastly, the feet contribute very powerfully to this important purpose. The whole body is covered with skin, beneath which are muscles, with which we are enabled to perform our various motions; and we find, in some parts, a luxuriance of hair, which much adds to the beauty of the whole.

What a diversity we see in these different parts! and yet they are only some that are the most conspicuous, for there are many more equally essential. Their form, structure, order, situation, movements, and harmony, all display their divine origin. No part of the body is imperfect or useless, and the least alteration in its present organization disturbs its regularity and interrupts its functions.

If we only consider the consequences of being deprived of our hands, or having them formed like the hoof of a horse, how helpless we should be, incapable even of providing for our most urgent necessities, we shall admire and rejoice in our present happy conformation. If we possessed the ratiocinative faculty with the form of some quadruped or reptile, how incapable we should be of exercising those arts and employments which we now perform! or had we, like the fabled Cyclops, but one eye placed in the middle of the forehead, how impossible to see objects on the right or

on the left, and how confined would be our view! or if our ear was differently situated, how imperfectly we should distinguish sounds! We should be perfectly satisfied that the present organization of our body is best adapted for our condition in life, and we should bow down with reverence and gratitude before the throne of the Almighty, who has thus so wonderfully formed us; who has given us senses, which, however excellent from nature, may all be improved by cultivation; and a mind, the expansibility of which seems to be unlimited. Seeing then that it depends upon ourselves whether our mind is to be luminous and our senses acute, or whether it is to be contracted and they brutified and callous, let us pray to the God of nature that we may never lose sight of these truths, nor ever neglect improving those talents which, in his infinite mercy and condescension, he has entrusted to our care. Let us take the greatest care and make the noblest use of our bodies, seeing, that after they shall have reposed a certain period in the grave, they will be restored to us infinitely more glorious and perfect. It behoves us then not to dishonour a body which will be so illustrious in a future world, conformed to the glorified body of our Lord. Let the blessed and glorious hope of our future bliss, from this moment, animate us to dedicate our bodies to holiness, to regard them as the temple of the Deity, and preserve them pure and blameless till the glorious coming of Christ Jesus.


Hope of Spring.

EVERY day hastens the approach of spring, and our hearts begin to throb with the pleasurable hope of soon seeing the happy time arrive, when we can inhale the balmy breeze, and, walking forth into the fields, see all nature rejoice. This sweet expectation is one of the few which does not deceive, because it is founded on the invariable laws of nature. The charms of this fond hope are alike diffused through every pure heart: it is not the splendour of the purple, nor

« AnteriorContinuar »