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of juice, where the leaf joins to the plant, also serves to nourish it. This is the reason that many trees wither and die when their leaves are plucked off: it sometimes happens to the mulberry tree, when it is stripped, without proper caution, to feed silk-worms. This is also the reason that grapes do not ripen, when the vine loses its 'leaves in summer. Another remark may be made on this subject, which very much opens to us the manner of the plant's growth : the under side of the leavés, always turned towards the ground, is generally of a paler and less bright colour; it is more rough and spongy than the upper side. Here again we discover the wisest purposes: the side of the leaf next the ground is rougher, and consequently more full of pores, in order the better to imbibe what dew rises from the earth, and to distribute it afterwards over the rest of the plant in more abundance. The leaves then turn on the side that can best receive the nutritive moisture; and this is the reason why the leaves of some plants incline very low down. - If we take notice of trees growing on a steep hill, we shall see that their leaves do not take a horizontal direction, but evidently a perpendicular one; which proves that the leaves draw towards the side where there is most moisture. These reflections may make us consider the leaves of the trees hereafter in a different light from what we have hitherto done. If we did not know the inimitable art of their construction, nor the important purpose of their existence, it woulil not be wonderful that we should see them with neglect and indifference. But when we know that cach leaf is an effect of the Divine Power, and an organ of fruitfulness, it'would be unpardonable to see them with inattention. They ought naturally to lead us to the following useful reflection: every thing, even the very smallest object in nature, has been planned with wisdom by the Creator.
... LESSON LVIII.
The reviving Power of the Sun. Tue splendour and warmth of the sun inspire me with spirit and activity, sufficient to fulfil the duties of life, and to enjoy society. The involuntary indolence and lowness, which made me inactive in winter, are by degrees vanished. I breathe more freely, and I employ myself with more pleasure. How can it be otherwise, when I am witness to the universal joy which the sun communicates to the world, and every where perceive its enlivening powers? It animates and revives all creatures with its benign influence. Millions of shining insects awake, sport, and bask in its rays. The birds salute it with their melody. Every thing that breathes rejoices in it, and we every where trace its happy effects. It causes the sap to rise and circulate through trees, plants, and vegetables, and the leaves and blossoms to shoot. It ripens the fruit and gives it colour. It sheds life and light throughout all nature, and is the source of that warmth, without which every animal would languish and die. The effect of the sun is not only felt on the surface of our globe, but even in caves underground, where it produces metals, and also animates living creatures. It penetrates into the highest mountains, though they are composed of rocks and stones. It extends 'even to the bottom of the ocean, where it acts in several ways. When we reflect on these useful effects of the sun, it is natural to think of the miserable condition we should be in, if we were deprived of the light and heat of that celestial body? What would our globe be but a lifeless mass, without order or beauty? The trees could not produce leaves, nor the plants flowers; the fields would be without verdure, and the country without harvest; all Aature would have a gloomy, melancholy appearance.
The sun with its reviving power is the emblem of a truly charitable Christian. He also spreads joy and blessings around him. By him the oppressed heart is raised and strengthened, the afflicted are comforted, the ignorant are enlightened, and the peor relieved. Oh! let us hereafter resemble this beneficent and charitable man. Let us, according to our different stations, share with our fellow-creatures the goods which Providence has bestowed upon us. Without partiality or prejudice, let us hold out assistance to all who want it. Let us instruct one, comfort another, feed the hungry, relieve the distressed. Thus shall we quit this world regretted, yet beloved, and our memories be blessed by our fellow-creatures.
The Desires of the Soul are infinite. :33
LET 'us' employ some moments in reflecting on ourselves. The soul has certainly the first claim to our attention. It touches us nearly, and ought to be dearer to us, than all the pleasing objects which this season particularly affords. Whatever satisfaction we find in contemplating the corporeal world, it cannot be compared to that which we experience, in reflecting upon the nature and faculties of the soul. The observation of exterior objects, such as the traveller meets with on the road, is certainly agreeable to him, because he requires to be amused and refreshed through his pilgrimage; but that of spiritual objects, leads directly to the blessed immortality we may expect, as citizens of the world to come. Let us therefore sometimes reflect on the desires implanted in our souls by the Creator. Experience proves that our thirst of knowledge can never be fully gratified. We have no sooner made one discovery than we aim at another. Our desires are never satisfied; and when we at last obtain what we had most ardently wished for, we begin again to form new desires; that of acquiring more and more blessings accompanies us through life, and even in the moment of quitting the world.
What conclusion can be drawn from this, but that, as our desires continually extend beyond the present, without ever being fully gratified, there must be blessings after death, beyond the limits of this life? We are not then designed for this transient life alone, but for an everlasting one. Is it probable, indeed, that man would be the only creature on earth endowed with faculties, without having, at the same time, the destiny for which these faculties were bestowed upon him?-that man should have an instinct, without the means of satisfying it, and be in this respect more miserable than brutes? When a beast is hungry or dry it always finds means to supply its wants. We see the silkworm spin its bag, and shut itself up for its transformation. Would that happen if it was not designed for another state, in which it was to appear again under a new form? We see that birds lay eggs: would that be the case, if these eggs were not to serve for the preservation of their species, or that of other creatures? If our existence, then, was to be confined within the narrow limits of this life, why should we have received inclinations and desires which cannot be gratified, and faculties which we could never use?
Being of Beings! our souls are capable of being filled with thy Spirit; grant that we may love thee above all things.js : lei,
The Use of venomous Plants and Animals.
EVERY thing on earth, considered separately, is good and wholesome; and, if any thing becomes hurtful, it is because we make a bad use of it, instead of that for which it is designed. From thence it is, that the sort of food which preserves the life of one animal destroys another; and that a plant which, in some cases, is considered as poisonous, is on other occasions, very useful and salutary. Thus, for example, hemlock was formerly supposed deadly poison, and now a number of experiments assure us, it assists in admirable cures.
The multitude' and variety of vegetables which grow upon the earth is prodigious; but we must not. imagine they were all created for the use of man. Some plants were designed for beasts, others furnish us with dress and ornaments; some please our taste and smell, and a great number of them are medicinal. But the number of noxious plants and animals is nothing in comparison of the multitude of those that are of the greatest use to us. The Creator has also implanted a natural instinct in men and animals, which gives them an'aversion to whatever is hurtful to them. The mischievous beasts have a certain fear of man, and scarcely ever make use of their offen-, sive arms, unless they are attacked or provoked. Besides, the most noxious animals have, evident marks and characters, by which their dangerous properties are easily known; that, by being warned, we may avoid, or prevent the danger. The rattle-snake, which is the most venomous of all snakes, gives warning of its approach by the clattering of the rings in its tail. The crocodile is so heavy in its motions, and turns with such difficulty, that it is