Imágenes de páginas

obscurity, and whose appearance promises nothing, are, however, capable of actions, and perform enterprises, which raise them equal to the esteemed and great people on earth. :

Let us here reflect on Christ himself. To judge of him by the low condition in which he appeared, who could have expected from him such great works, so wonderful, and so 'salutary to mankind? He who, like the vine, was planted in a barren soil, has borne fruit which is a blessing and salvation to the whole earth. He has also proved to us, that one who is poor, despised, and miserable in this world, may, however, labour successfully for the glory of the Almighty and the good of mankind.

LESSON CVII. The Blessings of this Life greater than the

che ; Evils of it. '

[ocr errors]

NOTHING is more calculated to comfort us in disappointment and distresses, than the admitting it as a principle, that there is more good than evil in the world. Let us consult the most wretched of men, and ask, if he can mention as many causes for complaint as he has motives for gratitude: It will appear, that, however great his misfortunes may be, they are not equal to the multitude of blessings he has received in the course of his life. To prove this truth more clearly, let us reckon the days we have passed in health, and the small number in which we have been sick: to the few. vexations and sorrows we experience in domestic and civil society, let us oppose the many pleasures they afford us; let us reckon the satisfaction we felt when we escaped any

danger, or gained any victory over ourselves, or had done any virtuous or sensible action ; let us reckon all the blessings we remember to have enjoyed, and consider, at the same time, that we can recollect but the smallest part of them; let us be convinced, that it is our being accustomed to blessings that makes us so sensible of evils; that new prosperity makes us forget the former; and that, if the impressions of our misfortunes are so deeply engraved in our memories, it is because they, seldom afflict us: let us compare the happy events we remember, though but the smallest part of what we have enjoyed, to the evils the use of which we are not yet acquainted with. Wherefore, then, does man think so little of the continual proofs be receives of God's goodness? Why. does he love to see the gloomy side of things, and torment himself with unseasonable cares and anxieties? Divine Providence surrounds us with pleasing objects. He has bestowed his blessings impartially throughout the world; and no man has a right to complain ; but, on the contrary, many just reasons for praising and thanksgiving. Even the trials he now and then sends us have most merciful views, which we shall one day acknowledge. His almighty and paternal hand protects us, and his eyes are ever upon us. Tai risults in iingie'

[ocr errors][ocr errors]


si 51.4'

pid : agnad 10 Bro oli ni zail gldcarsge:Biji see For fi ile e ai 190 m'a giort 1102891 90182 elfl11 109 ed jemi LESSON ICVIII.3215 to fiue fi! vtunay) bas y mind to otsile 911 oj bixzz1

01.181) bis 999 11901 910 1nein 915 91901: JF1 ar licor The Enmity between Animals anaven 1) Ha! 1110 Wilt 16113 bis 3099pit 97001 576

The eagle is a terror to the inhabitants of the air. 1:The tiger i lives by slaughter on the earth, the pike aoin the water, and the mole under the ground. This santipathy among animals is an excellent proof that all is for the best, take them in the whole; and it is certainly an advantage that some should subsist on others: for on one hand, were it otherwise, a great number of species of them could not exist ; and, on the other hand, it makes those useful instead of hurtful. Insects, and many reptiles, feed on carrion. Others fix in the bodies of certain animals, and live on their blood and flesh; and these same insects serve as food to others. Carnivorous animals, and birds of prey, kill creatures to feed upon them. There are some species which multiply so very fast, that they would be a burden to us, were there not a stop put to such increase. If there were no spar

rows to destroy insects, what would become of the - fruit and flowers? i Were it not for the ichneumon, o which, as they say, seeks the eggs of the crocodile to - destroy and break them, this terrible animal would

probably become much too, Great part 9. of the earth would be a desert, and many sorts of aricreatures would never exists were there no carnivobirous, animals. It may perhaps be said, that they > might live om vegetables ; but if so, our fields would ribe scarcely enough to feed the sparrows and swal

lows. Is It would also be necessary to change the

construction of the carnivorous animal body for that ripurposes and how could fish subsist, were they not

to feed on the watery inhabitants? It is consistent

with the plan of the world, that one animal should die live on another: therefore, the earnivorous animals

are indispensable links in the chain of beings: but, for this same reason, their number is small in com parison of useful animals. Alas! it must be confessed, to the shame of humanity and Christianity, that there are also among men fierce and cruel destroyers.a with this difference, that their hostilities are more frequent, and that they often make use of more dark and secret means tot hurt one another. * The intention of God is, that vevery man should - make himself useful to his fellow-creasures, and, as

much as possible, render their lives agreeable and 1 happy. Let us noti oppose his merciful views, but

endeavour to live in peace and harmony, following

the example of our Saviour, in doving and endeasvouring to make each other happy. 907, 93 : ** Distal luiste je predsta! Or

Arte, migration 11th bus,49 zesil retty Evil Dis élnéni baj

o d siis nii U 19 | Sarasses et inte bas buoid Marit pe La lor *,**, ; :"71"},. 575116 ( boot 26

91: it, I LESSON CIX. Vata to 533 liv som vill in t e med noe 316 ay

poligsa m eierri Urud bloow yorilish Pr. On our Indifference to the Works of Natures

L ..!! poiden, N ja w 1990 yon205 o warna - What is the reason of our indifference and cold

ness in relation to the works of nature on An * answer to this question may give rise to many im

portant reflections. One of the causes of this in

difference is inattention! We are oso used to the - beauties of nature, that we neglect to admire the

wisdom of Him whose impression they bear; and Riare not as grateful as we ought to be, for the num

berless advantages which result from them. There - are too many people who drink of the stream, withis out reflecting from whence proceed the blessings they

enjoy, and without acknowledging the goodness and Wisdom of hím who bestows them. Thus men,

though endowed with the most excelleņt faculties, -which enable them to enjoy a greater share / of nature's blessings, scarcely ever think of the source from whence they flow. Many, through ignorance, are unacquainted with the most common objects! They every day behold the sun rise and set. , Their meadows are moistened sometimes with rain or dew, and sometimes with snow. The most wonderful revolutions happen before their eyes every spring, but they do not take the trouble to enquire into the causes and purposes of these several phenomena, and in that respect live in ignorance. It is true, that there always will be things incomprehensible to us, were we to study, ever so much; and we are never more sensible of our limited understandings. than when we undertake to search into the operations of nature. But we may at least acquire an historical knowledge of it; and the lowest ploughman may comprehend how it happens, that the seed he sows in the ground shoots and springs up, if he will take the trouble to inform himself of it. We generally value things according to our interest or fancy. Our selflove is so unreasonable, and we know so little our real interest, that we despise what is most useful to us. Corn, for instance, is most indispensably necessary to our subsistence, and yet we behold entire fields covered with this useful production of nature, without attending to it. Many neglect the contemplation of nature through indolence. They love ease and sleep too well, to take hours from them in order to contemplate the starry sky. They cannot resolve to rise early enough to behold the sun rise. They would dread the fatigue of stooping towards the ground, to observe what admirable art there appears in the formation of the grass. And yet these people, so fond of their ease, are full of zeal and activity when the indulgence of their passions is the ob- . ject. A number of people despise the works of nature from irreligion. They have no taste for piety, or the obligations it prescribes. To praise God, to love him, and to acknowledge his blessings, are ,

« AnteriorContinuar »