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while in others it is so barren and ungrateful, that all attempts to improve it are thrown away? Let us not doubt that this difference is very right, and worthy our admiration, though it is not always conformable to our way of thinking. The most barren and desert countries have their use and beauty in the eyes of the Creator. It is the same in respect to the most savage and uncultivated nations. All hold their proper place in the immensity of created beings; and their variety serves to declare the wisdom of God, which is infinite. But, as it is evidently the design of Divine Providence, that the earth should be cultivated,' and produce abundance of fruits, for the preservation of men and animals, as it is for the same purpose 'that God has given us the corn to sow in the ground; so also, and with more reason, does his wisdom require, that human nature should be cultivated; and that our souls should be made fruitful, and enabled to reap the excellent harvest of virtue and piety. It is with that design that he has given to mankind lessons of true religion; which, if they find a soil well disposed to receive them, produce exquisite fruit, like the corn which is sown in fertile ground. From thence it is, that the gospel also can have no efficacy in the world, but in proportion to the natural faculties of men, and the dispositions with which they receive it...
There are still in our days, vast countries harren and uncultivated, although Providence denies them nothing that they require to make them fruitful. It is thus that, notwithstanding the publication of the gospel, there are still so many people who remain in ignorance. Even among the most polished, nations of Christianity, the efficacy of the gospel is unequal, and will ever be so, according to the. diversity of characters to whom it is made known. Some do not comprehend it, and have no sense of the salutary effects of the truth of our holy
religion. Others receive these truths with eagerness and joy, but those impressions do not last. With others, the passions and cares of the world stifle the divine word, And some receive it with an honest and upright heart, with wisdom, i with conviction, and sincerity. It iş for them alone, that it becomes “the power of God unto salvation."., Heó l'ester b o
But to which of these do, I belong? What impression has the doctrine of salvation made upon my soul?, What fruit has the good seed of the gospel produced in my heart? These are questions which my conscience ought to answer honestly and sincerely; but of which my conduct through life will be the best proof. ,.;
It is certain that, in respect to us, there happens many new things upon earth. Nature causes new flowers to blow every season, and other fruits to ripen. The scene of nature changes every year. Each day brings new events and new revolutions. The situations of objects change daily, or rather present themselves to our senses under different forms. But it is only relatively to our limited understandings and knowledge, that it can really be said, there is any new thing under the sun. Nothing is more certain than the saying of Solomon, that, “what has been will be, and what has been done will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun." The Deity, whose wisdom is infinite, has not thought proper to multiply beings unneces. sarily. There are as many as our wants, our pleasure,
or our curiosity require. We cannot even gain a superficial knowledge of all the works of our Creator; much less are we able to exhaust them. Our understandings are too weak to conceive a just and perfect idea of all created beings. We therefore sometimes imagine there are many new things under the sun; for, as the whole creation is immense, and as we cannot take in all the parts of it at once, we fancy that each point of view we see it in for the first time, is new, because the Creator has, in every part of the world, made a wonderful variety and diversity. The world does not require a continued creation to extend to infinity. It is enough that the Being of beings should maintain the order he has established from the beginning. God is an artist who requires but a small number of springs to vary the works he has produced; and which are, however, so varied, and in so great a number, that, though they succeed one another, and return with the greatest regularity, they appear to us ever new. Let us be content to enjoy with gratitude the things he has created, without undertaking to sound the depths of them, or attempting to take in their vast extent. The impossibility of our reckoning all the works of the creation, is, in some sort, the seal by which we may conclude, that the world is the work of a God; and it is, at the same time, a certain proof of the weakness of our understandings. But have there not been discoveries made lately, which were formerly entirely unknown ? Do not all the kingdoms of nature now present phenomena to us, that we had no idea of formerly? The most of these discoveries we owe less to our sagacity than to our wants. In proportion as these multiplied, new means were necessary to supply them, and Providence deigned to furnish us with those. But the means existed before we discovered them. The minerals, plants, and animals, which we have lately learned to know, existed in the bosom of the earth,
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or on its surface, before the enquiries and labour of man had made them visible to us. It is certain, even, that many of the discoveries we' boast the most of, were made by the ancients! If the world was the work of chance, we should now and then see new productions: why then do we not see new kinds of animals, plants, and stones ? It is because all has been planned by the infinite wisdom of the Supreme Being. All that he does is perfect; it does not require to be renewed or created again : there is sufficient for our convenience and use. Nothing was made by chance. · All events have been determined by Infinite Wisdom, and are linked together in one chain. The whole fabric of the world. is préserved by the providence of its Creator, and by the concurrence of laws both general and particular.
koristi .LESSON XXXII. ..
AXXII. . ;
risis Circulation of the Sap in Trees.
The trees," which for several months 'appeared quite dead, begin insensibly to revive. Some weeks hence we shall discover in them still more signs of life. "In a short time the buds will grow larger, open, and produce their precious blossoms. "We have it always in our power to observe this revolution regularly in the beginning of each spring, but perhaps have been hitherto ignorant by what means it operates. The effects we observe in spring, in trees and other vegetables, are produced by the sap, which is put in motion by the stalks of the trees, by the air and increase in heat. As the life of animals depends on the circulation of their blood, so also the life and growth of plants and
trees depend on the circulation of sap. For this parpose, God has formed and disposed all parts of vegetables, so as to concur towards the pre. paration, preservation, and circulation of this nourishing juice. It is chiefly by means of the bark, that the sap in spring rises from the roots into the bodies of trees; and even conveys, throughout the year, all the nourishment to the branches and fruit. The wood of the tree is composed of small, long fibres, which extend in a direct line the whole length of the tree to the top; and which are very closely joined together., Among those fibres there are some so small and fine, that one of them, though scarcely so thick as a hair, contains more than eight thousand little fibres. There is a multitude of little veins to contain the nourishing juice, and to make the circulation easy. These veins extend to the other branches, and rise up the whole length of the tree to the top; some conduct the sap from the root to the top of the tree, and others bring it down from the top to the bottom. The sap rises up the ascending veins in the heat of the day, and comes down the others in the cool of the evening. The leaves serve for the same purpose, and their chief use is to make the sap circulate; not only that which proceeds from the root, but also what the tree receives, outwardly by means of dew, the moisture of the air, and rain. The nourishing juice is spread through every part of the tree. But it could not rise through the stalks, if there were not openings in them at the top. It is through these pores that the watery parts of the sap evaporate, while the oily, sulphureous, and earthy parts mix together to nourish the tree, to transform into a substance, and give it a new growth. If the juice should not reach it, if the circulation be stopped, if the interior organization of the tree be destroyed, whether by too severe cold or frost, by, age, or by any wound or outward accident, the tree dies.. . .