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could the pilot make use of the northern star. Considered in another way, night still appears a benefit to mankind, in lessening our wants, and in putting an end to those which, in the day-time, cost us many cares. How many families, oppressed with want, begin the day with anxiety, and end it with hard labour! Night comes, and care and misery are suspended. To be happy tben, nothing but a bed and covering is wanting; and if sleep closes our eyes, all our wants are satisfied. Night, in some degree, equals the beggar with the monarch:- both enjoy a blessing which cannot be purchased. O how gracious that Being who combines all things for the happiness of mankind! Most things, which are called evils, are only so to those who let themselves be carried away by prejudice and passion: whilst, if they were considered as they ought to be, it would appear that these apparent evils are real blessings to the world. We may be assured, that several millions of our fellow-creatures, who are in the day-time employed in hard work, or fatiguing labour; and others, who have groaned all day under the yoke of an enemy to humanity, will bless God at the approach of night, which brings rest with it. Let us also bless him the beginning of each night.We shall undoubtedly do so, if, having the wisdom to employ the day well, we acquire a sweet and sound sleep. The shorter our days are, the higher we ought to value every hour, and make a prudent use of them. The night approaches, in which it will no longer be in our power to work or aot. But that long night will still be to us a blessing, if we enjoy in the grave that peace, that rest, which are the fruits of Christian labours.'
11 BEGIN this meditation with a lively sense of gratitude towards my Creator, and of pity to those of my fellow-creatures, to whom nature has more sparingly distributed her blessings. I fix my eyes now on the Laplanders, and the inhabitants of the lands nearest the arctic pole: mortals, whose taste and manner of living, when compared with ours, are not the happiest. Their country is formed of a chain of mountains covered with snow and ice, which does not melt even in summer; and, where
the chain is interrupted, bogs and marshes fill up - the space. Winter is felt during the greatest part of the year; a deep snow overwhelms the valleys and covers the little hills; the nights are long, and the days give but a very dim light. The inhabitants seek shelter from the cold in tents, which can be removed from one place to another. They fix their fire-place in the middle of it, and surround it with stones. The smoke goes out at a hole, which also serves them for a window. There they fasten iron chains, to which they hang the caldrons, in which they dress their food, and melt the ice which serves them for drink. The inside of the tent is furnished with furs, which preserve them from the wind; and they lie on skins of animals, spread upon the ground. It is in such habitations that they pass their winters, surrounded by the howling wolves, who are running every where in search of their prey. How could we bear the climate and way of life of these people? How much we should think ourselves to be pitied, if we had nothing before our eyes but an immense extent of ice, and whole deserts covered with snow; the absence of the sun still making the cold more
insupportable? And if, instead of a convenient dwelling, we had only movable tents, made of skins; and no other resource for our subsistence, but in painful and dangerous hunting for it?-if we were deprived both of the pleasures which the arts produce, and the society of our fellow-creatures to sweeten life.
Are not these reflections proper to make us observe the many advantages of our climate, so little attended to? Qught it not to animate us to bless the Divine Providence for the many thousand advantages we enjoy? Yes; let us ever bless that wise Providence; and when we feel the severity of the season, let us return thanks, that the cold is so moderate where we dwell, and that we have such numerous ways of guarding against it.
But is the inhabitant of northern countries so unhappy as we imagine? It is true that he wanders painfully through rough valleys and unbeaten roads, and that he is exposed to the inclemency of the seasons. But his hardy body is able to bear fatigue. If the Laplander be poor, and deprived of many of the conveniences of life that we enjoy, is he not rich, in knowing no other wants than those which he can easily satisfy? He is deprived for several months of the light of the sun; but in return the moon and the Aurora Borealis come to light his horizon. Even the snow and ice, in which he is buried, do not make him unhappy. Education and custom arm him against the severity of his climate. The hardy life he leads enables him to brave the cold: and for the particular wants which are indispensable to him, nature has made it easy for him to supply them. She has pointed out to him animals, whose, fur saves bim from the sharpness of the air. She has given him the rein-deer, which furnishes him, all at once, with his tent, his dress, his bed, and his food: with this animal he undertakes long journeys, and which, in a word, supplies almost all his wants, and the maintenance of it is no expence or trouble to him. And,
if it be true that the idea we form of happiness depends more on opinion than reason; if it be true also that real happiness is not fixed to particular people or particular climates; and that with the necessaries of life and peace of mind, one may be happy in every corner of the earth: have we not a right to ask, What the Laplander wants to make him happy?
The wise ordinance of our Globe. WHEN I reflect on the enormous mass which composes our globe, I have new reason to admire the Supreme Wisdom. If the earth were softer or more spongy than it is, men and animals would sink into it. If it were harder, more compact, and less penetrable than it is, it would resist the toil of the labourer, and would be incapable of producing and nourishing that multitude of plants, herbs, roots, and flowers, which now spring out of its bosom. Our globe is formed of regular and distinct strata; some of different stones, others of several metals and, minerals. The numerous advantages which result from these, particularly in favour of mankind, are evident to all the world.' Where should we have sweet water, so necessary to life, if it were not purified, and in a manner filtered, by the strata of gravel in the earth? The surface of the globe offers a varied prospect an admirable mixture of valleys and mountains. Who is there that does not see clearly the wise purposes of the Author of nature, in thus diversifying this surface? How favourable is this variety of valley and mountain to the health of living creatures! How much more proper to pro
duce the various species of plants and vegetables! If there were no hills, the earth would be less peopled with men and animals: we should have fewer plants, fewer simples and trees: we should be totally deprived of metals and minerals: the vapours could not be condensed; and we should have neither springs nor rivers.
Who can help acknowledging that the whole plan of the earth, its form, its exterior and interior construction, are regulated according to the wisest laws, which all combine towards the pleasure and happiness of living creatures! To convince us of this, we need only reflect on the form of the earth. It is known to be almost in shape like a ball. And, with what view. did the Creator choose that form? In order that it should be inhabited, over the whole surface of it, by living creatures: and this would not have been accomplished, if the inhabitants of the earth had not every where found sufficient light and heat; if water had not been easily spread in all parts of it; and, if the circulation of wind had met with any powerful obstacles. The earth could not have any form more proper to prevent these inconveniences. Without this form, the revolutions of the day and night, the changes in the temperature of the air, cold, heat, moisture, or dryness, could not have taken place.
Supreme Author of nature, thou hast ordered · every thing on earth with wisdom! Wherever I turn my eyes; whether I examine the surface, whether I penetrate into the interior structure of the globe thou hast appointed me to inhabit, I every where discover marks of profound wisdom and infinite goodness.