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would imagine did he not behold the contrary—that men, women, aye, and children, would take pleasure in knowing almost all that can be known of our wonderful globe ; and that every particle of knowledge from books, observation, reflection, and experiment, would be eagerly sought after, and then be well stored in the mind, to elevate the soul, and to enliven conversation. How pleasing to be in company with one of a communicative disposition, who has travelled over an extensive tract of country, and noted its appearance and productions, the manners and customs of its inhabitants, and whose memory is well stored with truths, “ wise saws and modern instances”: the result of reading, experience, reflection, and observation. Such knowledge arises from contemplating the “world we live in." To such contempla tion we invite you.
This world is more glorious than a Chinese collection, and yet how few inspect it. It meets us at every turn, as if to say, inspect me, scrutinize me, and you will find much to repay you! The world bids us examine its apparel and ornaments; for it is clothed in velvet, and moss and flowers. It is full of riches also, and, to the careful observer, discloses its diamonds, gold, silver, iron, tin, coal; which are all for the service of man. It asks us to inspect the teeming population, which it supports, of men, beasts, birds, and insects. It bids us observe the different languages men speak, the different ways they have of communicating their ideas, and wants, the different latitudes in which they dwell, the different modes by which they subsist; how they are not congregated on one spot, but are scattered over all the earth, and how adapted they are for the places, and the places for them.
It bids us mark the differences of physical development, mental cultivation, modes of life, diversity of worship, forms of government, nature of laws, and habits and humours of costume. It bids us observe how one part of the world, and oftentimes of the same country, is dependent on another, like the members of the body on each other. It bids us behold the indubitable marks of Divine wisdom and power which it possesses. By acquainting ourselves with the wonders of this world, we learn that its disrup
tions have thrown to the surface, the treasures of deep places; that storms and hurricanes dissipate noxious vapours; and that the electric fluid is necessary to the sustentation of life. We also observe that the varying of the seasons exerts an important influence on the animals and vegetables with which the world abounds.
Thus it presents us with a book infinitely more varied and valuable than any human production, and it is continually before our eyes, that we may “read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest." There needs be no disgust at the dryness or insipidity of this book. Compared with it, all others books -except the living Word of God—are poor and tame indeed. To the study of this glorious book we urge you. It has been too long, and too much, neglected by the mass of mankind. Only one here and one there, reads the mighty and glorious volume of creation, though it is ever open. Read it in the mountains, and sce the power of God. In the sea, and behold the immensity of God. In the broad earth, and see the greatness of God. In the productions thereof, and witness the goodness of God; in all its adaptations, and see the wisdom of God. Read its geological developments, and see the footprints of the Creator. Read it by the light of the moon and stars, and see the glory of God. Read it by the light of the glorious sun, and see the wisdom, power, and goodness of God. This, and a hundred-fold more, may be elicited, by contemplating “THE WORLD WE LIVE IN."
THE YOUNG NAZARITE.
A JEWISH TALE. In the books of Moses we read of many laws and observances that were binding on the people of Israel. If any of these were neglected at any time, their sin-offerings and trespass-offerings had to be presented to the priests, that they might make atonement for their sins of omission as well as of commission, How careful would this make the people to be, lest they should transgress the law. Nor should we be less careful to do whatsoever God requires,
and so attentively regard our duties, lest, by neglecting to perform them, we provoke God to anger. Let us beware, lest he take us away with a stroke; then a great ransom cannot deliver us. But whilst the people were bound to certain observances, they were at liberty voluntarily to take upon themselves other engagements. They could make vows, and bind themselves to duties which they might freely engage to perform. Hence, in the book of Numbers, chapter six, we have the law of the Nazarite. Any person might take these vows, and consecrate himself for a longer or shorter period to the special service of God, according to the laws binding on a Nazarite. “Throughout the direction of their vows, they were to abstain from wine, and whatsoever grows on the vine; were not permitted to approach a corpse, or to cut their hair; but at the expiration of their vow, their hair was to be cut off. Various motives probably led persons to become Nazarites unto the Lord, which would be more or less acceptable, according as the person desired to promote his moral and spiritual wellbeing, or had regard to the service of God. The following story from the Jewish Talmud,' has a moral for all who may be proud of their youth or their beauty; and may teach them that the attainment of goodness is worth any sacrifice that can be made to attain it.
“There once came a youth of transcendant beauty, whose noble and intellectual countenance seemed the index of a pure mind, and whose beauteous hair flowed in natural ringlets over his shoulders, and expressed his desire to pronounce the vows of a Nazir. “I was astounded,' said Simeon the Just, and I exclaimed, “What ails thee, young man, that thou desirest to ruin thy health, and deprive thyself of thy natural and beautiful ornament, thy hair?' 'I wish to be good,' replied the youth ; «my hair is an obstacle in the way of that wish, and therefore I am desirous of taking the vows. "My attention, continued Simon,' was arrested, and I listened in silence, while he continued: From my earliest infancy I have tended the flocks of my father, I loved God, my parents, and my fellow-creatures, and was contented and happy in my mind. But one morning I led my flock to a brook, my eyes enjoyed the beauties of nature, while the animals under my care refreshed themselves with the cooling beverage. But suddenly my eye, struck with admiration, rested on the liquid mirror : I beheld the image of myself. Silly boy, dost thou not know thyself?' was the insidious whisper of vanity. I stood gazing on myself, and sensations to which till then I had been a stranger arose within me. Lost in admiration of my own beauty, my enraptured eye was fixed on the watery surface, while I stood playing with the locks of my hair. Alternately I let them fall over my shoulders, or saw them floating in the air, as the wind played around my temples. While my rapture was at the highest, a skipping lamb approached to drink. It sipped a little water, the calm surface of the brook became troubled, and my image vanished. With a dreadful imprecation, such as till then had never defiled my lips, I struck the poor lamb with my staff, and drove it away. Patiently it retired, and stood afar off, trembling, and in a posture which seemed to reproach me with my injustice and cruelty. The sight restored vigour to my better feelings, and my conscience alarmed, addressed my beauteous figure, and said — Worthless wrapper, forget not thy origin or thy end. Know thy trifling beauty is transient and perishable, but the stigma of the deed thou now hast been guilty of is lasting, and such as thou wilt not soon blot out.' Contrition gnawed on my heart. I burst out in tears, and weeping, I vowed physically to humble that which had well-nigh morally destroyed me. I therefore wish to take upon myself the vows of a Nazir. The hair which excited my vanity shall fall under the scissors; and the roses of my cheeks shall become blanched through abstinence. FOR I WISH NOT TO BE BEAUTIFUL BUT GOOD."
A PROFLIGATE SUBDUED. THE Rev. Mr. Fletcher, of England, had a very wild and profligate nephew in the army, a man who had been dismissed from the Sardinian service for very bad conduct. He had engaged in two or three duels, and had spent all his
money in vice and folly. The wicked youth waited one day on his eldest uncle, General de Gons, and presenting a loaded pistol, threatened to shoot him unless he would that moment advance him five hundred crowns. The general, though a brave man, well knew what a desperate fellow he had to deal with, and gave him a draft for the money, at the same time speaking freely to him about his conduct. The young man rode off in high spirits with his ill-gotten money. In the evening, passing the door of his younger uncle, Mr. Fletcher, he called upon him, and informed him what General de Gons had done ; and, as a proof, showed a draft under De Gons' own hand. Mr. Fletcher took the draft from his nephew, and looked at him with surprise ; then, after some remarks, putting it into his pocket, said, “ It strikes me, young man, that you have possessed yourself of this note by some wrong method ; and, in conscience, I cannot return it to you but with my brother's knowledge and approbation." The nephew's 'pistol was in a moment at Mr. Fletcher's breast. “My life,” replied Mr. Fletcher, with perfect calmness, " is secure in protection of an Almighty power ; nor will he suffer it to be the forfeit of my integrity and your rashness." This firmness drew from the nephew the observation, " That his uncle De Gons, though an old soldier, was more afraid of death than his brother.” “ Afraid of death!” rejoined Mr. Fletcher, " do you think I have been twenty-five years a minister of the Lord of life, to be afraid of death now! No, sir, it is for you to be afraid of death. You are a gamester and a cheat, and yet call yourself a gentleman! You are the seducer of female innocence; and still say you are a gentleman! You are a duellist; and for this you style yourself a man of honour! Look there, sir," pointing to the heavens, “the broad eye of Heaven is fixed upon us. Tremble in the presence of your Maker, who can in a moment kill your body, and for ever punish your soul in hell."
The unhappy young prodigal turned pale, and trembled with fear and rage. He still threatened his uncle with instant death. Mr. Fletcher, though thus threatened, gave no alarm, sought for no weapon, and attempted not to