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and give out their sweetness to the desert air, but none of them are useless. Many a beast, and bird, and buzzing insect, and creeping worm, are feasted and fed by them; and one particular end which they all answer is this, that of preserving the purity and healthiness of the atmosphere. For the air which we breathe is rendered impure, by passing through our lungs, and the lungs of the lower animals; but this impure or corrupt air is what supports the life of vegetables'; so that by receiving what we reject, and giving it out again pure, they keep the atmosphere always fit for our respiration. To tell all the uses of plants is impossible; and in respect of ornament, the finest works of the painter's art are but daubings, compared to them. Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed in such beauty, as decks the daisy on the green, or the crowfoot in the meadow, or the rose, or the lily, or the pink, or the tulip, or a thousand other flowers, in the fields arıd in the garden.

8. Whatever is pleasant to the eye; grateful to the smell, good for food and for medicine, and useful for shelter, for furniture, and clothing, is richly supplied by the vegetable kingdom. How valuable is the oak to the ship-builder, and the fir to the house-carpenter, the ash and elm to the plough and cart-wright, the birch to the wheelwright, and the mahogany to the cabinet-maker. These trees are made to serve us, in the form of wood and timber : others offer their services by means of the bark; as the cork, the Peruvian bark, and the cinnamon: others, in the shape of nuts"; as, the hazel and the walnut: others, in the form of a softer fruit; as, the orange, the apple, the pear, the cherry, and the plum. The leaves of the senna and the tea shrub, the buds of the clove, the oil of the olive, the grapes or berries of the vine, the juice of the sugar

cane, the seed of the coffee, the flower bud of the hops, the fibrous stalk of the flax and hemp, the down of the cotton pods, and the dyes that are prepared from the madder and the indigo, may be mentioned as a few of the numberless gifts which providence, in wisdom and in goodness, has supplied from the soil or surface of our globe, as if from one exhaustless granary, or immense and well stocked garden.

9. The language of nature to a thoughtful mind is always instructive, and it is repeated to us every year, and every season of the year, reminding us of the presence and the greatness of our Creator, and teaching us the lessons of gratitude to him, and dependence upon him. Winter, with its gloom, its storms, and its cold, points out to us the resistless power of the Almighty. In that season, the flowers are fled, and the leaves are fallen; the birds have ceased from their music; the sun appears to be weak and withdrawing his light; and the whole face of nature, like the night with its silence and darkness, seems to speak to us of death, and of the coldness of the tomb; but, though cast down, it is not in despair; for the spring is in prospect, and the provision of the past autumn has given plenty within doors. Hence, though the trees should be tangled by the frost, and the brooks be bound up with ice, and the fields be covered over with a mantle of snow-though nature be sad, man's wants are supplied, and to him, the winter is therefore a time of frequent festivity and social happiness.

10. The earth in spring, by an annual miracle, rises again, as from her grave, into freshness and beauty. First, the daisy in the fields and the snow drop in the gardens, begin to indicate returning life-the sun becomes warmer, the day light longer, and the showers

more gentlé-the grass gets greener, the trees put on their leafy verdure, the birds are sportive and musical and, instead of chaos and darkness reigning around, all is lighted up into life'and order. Then comes the glory of the summer months, when the parent of good opens his hand and prepares a rich feast for all that lives, the sun shines forth in all his strength, the fields are covered deep and thick with corn, the meadows are fragrant with the new mown hay, the flowers full blown give out their perfume--at length the fower drops, and the fruit or the seed swells to maturity, the plum, with its polished skin, hangs ripening on the bough, and the apple and the pear tree suckle their juicy progeny

Autumn advances, nourishing the milky grain and imparting to the ear a firm consistence and a glossy golden hue; waving harvests call for the reaper, and the barns of the husbandman are filled with plenty; and his heart with gladness. The winds of this season now disperse far and wide the seeds of many plants which are furnished with feathers or downy wings for the purpose ; while other seeds, by means of hooks, lay hold on passing animals, and are thus carried to a distance; and others, being contained in berries, are eaten by birds, and pass through their bodies uninjured. How manifold, O Lord, are thy works! in wisdom thou hast made them all. The earth is full of thy riches ! Thou givest food to all flesh; and the year, notwithstanding our sinfulness, is crowned with goodness.

11. Let us now direct our attention to the world of living creatures among which we are placed, and all of which wait on the Creator, that he may give them their meat in due season. In a spring noon, or a summer evening, what myriads of happy insects crowd upon

our view. Swarms of new-born flies are then trying their pinions in the air. Their sportive motions and their wanton mazes testify their joy. A bee amongst the flowers, so busy and so pleased, is a specimen of insect life, and one of the most cheerful objects that can be looked upon. The spider also in its web, the snail in its slime, the scorpion with its sting, the voracious locust, the industrious ant, the beautiful butterfly, the useful silkworm, and the tenants of the hive, all are furnished with the wonderful instincts they need, and fitted to be happy in their own situation.

12. What myriads also swim in the boundless ocean, supported and fed by an Almighty hand. Fishes, indeed, are made for the most part to prey on each other ;. but, to supply the great waste which this must occasion, they are exceedingly prolific, and spawn not by scores or hundreds, but by thousands and by millions. A single fish becomes the parent of a nation; and this it is, which prevents the destruction of the race. To shew that they are cared for by Him who made them, they are in all respects fitted for the element. they live in; their fins are nicely adjusted, their bodies are tapering and well poised and proportioned, and the scales of their skin are polished and beautified. Many of the fishes, as well as of the insects, are decked in colours of the richest finery. The eyes of some are surrounded with a scarlet circle, and the back of others is adorned with crimson stains. View the pike, or the trout, or the salmon, when they glance along the stream, or the mackarel, and the herring, while they are fresh from their native brine; and the silver is not more bright, nor the rainbow more glowing, than their vivid glossy hues,

13. “ Behold,” says the scripture," the fowls of the air: they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; but your heavenly Father feedeth them." He it is also, that has given them the skill with which they build their nests, and the caution with which they hide them from the searching eye. How neat and curious are those little abodles which they frame for their young from such rude materials, as a few ugly sticks and bits of clay, or scraps of hair, and a lock of wool, or a coarse sprig of moss. It is a cruel trade to rob the nests, and spoil the joys of such pretty, sprightly, harmless, and happy creatures, as the singing birds. Who is there, in the countries where the nightingale is found, that does not love to hear that wakeful bird, the most famed of the feathered tribe for the variety, length, and sweetness of its notes ? Who is not pleased with the lively song of the canary-bird, the sweet melody of the pretty goldfinch perched on a tree, and the music of the linnet singing in a bush, and the sprightly air of the sky-lark warbling upon the wing, and the deeptoned notes of the thrush and the blackbird ? The little wren with its lovely song, and the redbreast so sociable with mankind, the gay chaffinch, the teachable bullfinch, the tame pigeon, the chattering magpie, the cawing rook, the chirping sparrow, and the nimble swallow, and a multitude of others, enliven the fields and woods around us; and that man, or that youth, who can needlessly and cruelly destroy their happiness, does not deserve to know what happiness is. Even the life of a sparrow, however much we may despise it, our Saviour assures us, is noticed by its creator; and it cannot fall to the ground without him. In all the animal world, not one of his creatures is neglected by him. The inajestic lion, and the fiery tiger, the surly bear, and the swift leopard, the grim wolf and hyena, and all

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