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of insects, and fishes, should continue to exist, is a circumstance which must excite the admiration of every one capable of reflection. Nature has provided most animals with a covering, by means of which they can bear the cold, and procure themselves food in winter, as well as in summer. The bodies of wild beasts, which inhabit forests and deserts, are so formed, that the hair falls off in summer, and grows again in winter, till it becomes a fur, which enables the animal to endure the most severe cold. Other kinds of animals find an asylum under the bark of trees, in old crevices, in hollows of rocks, and caves, when the cold obliges them to quit their summer dwelling. .. It is there, that some carry before-hand the food which is to serve them, and thus live on what they have gathered in the summer; others pass the winter in profound sleep. Nature has given to several sorts of birds an instinct which prompts them to change place at the approach of winter. They are seen flying in great numbers into warmer climates. Several animals, which are not designed to travel, find, notwithstanding, their wants supplied in this season. Birds know how to find out insects in moss, and in the crevices of the bark of trees. Several kinds of quadrupeds carry provision in the summer-time into cayes, and feed on it in winter : others are obliged to seek their subsistence under the snow and ice.
· Adore, with me, our almighty and gracious Preserver, whose goodness and majesty do not make him disdain attention to the weakest creature existing under the heavens.
From the elephant to the mite, all animals' owe to him their dwelling, their food, and their life; and even where nature herself seems barren of resources, he finds means to make amends for her poverty.
How can anxiety, care, or anguish, get access into our hearts, or make us despair of being preserved during the winter?
In fine, let these reflections lead us to imitate, as much as our faculties will permit, the generous cares of Divine Providence, in contributing to the preservation and happiness of our fellow-creatures, and even to the welfare of every living animal. To be cruel towards animals, to 'refuse them food and indispensable conveniences, is to act manifestly contrary to the will of our common Creator, whose beneficent cares extend even to those beings which are inferior to us. And, if animals have a real right to our attention, how much more are we obliged to soften, as well as we can, the evils of our fellow-creatures? Let it not be sufficient for us to supply our own wants, but let us endeavour to supply those of others; and never suffer any one to sink under misery whom it was in our power to relieve.
.. tiy. LESSON IV.
preserve their Verdure in Winter.
The earth may now be compared to a mother who has been robbed of those children from whom she had the best hopes. She is desolate, and deprived of the charms which varied and embellished her surface. However, she is not robbed of all her children. Here and there, some vegetables are still to be seen, which seem to defy the severity of the winter. Here the wild hawthorn shows its purple berries; and the laurestina displays its blossoms in clusters, crowned with leaves which never fade. The yew-tree rises like a pyramid, and its leaves pre
serve their verdure. The ivy, ever green, still creeps along the walls, and clings immovable, while the tempest roars around it. The laurel extends its green branches, and has lost none of its summer ornaments. The humble box shows here and there, in the midst of the snow, its evergreen branches. These trees are emblems of the durable advantages which he possesses, whose mind is cultivated, and whose temper is sweet and serene. The splendour of dress, which only dazzles the eyes of the vulgar, is a trifling and transient splendour.“ The most bril. liant complexion will fade, and all outward beauty is of short duration; but virtue has charms' which survive every thing. The man who fears the Lord, “is like a tree planted by the side of a rivulet. . It grows and flourishes, and its branches extend afar off. It bears fruit in due season, and its leaves fade
What a delightful image is this of a pious man! He borrows not his value from the exterior and arbitrary goods of fortune. His true ornaments are in himself. The storms of adversity may sometimes shake him, but they cannot overpower him; and he soon rises again above the stormy regions. If he be reduced to poverty, he is still rich in possession of the favour of God, a good conscience, and the hope of a blessed immortality. This meditation leads me to the idea of a benevolent old man. In the winter of his life, he resembles the plants which preserve their verdure, even in that season of life. How many storms of fortune has he supported with constancy! How many attracting objects has he seen wither! He yet exists, while most of those of his time have disappeared. A mild cheerfulness is seen in him, the happy remains of his spring,
11. Shortly will the beauty of my body fade like a summer flower. Happy, then, if I have no reason to regret the loss of it. Happy, if I find myself
adorned with those attractions, which have their source from wisdom and virtue, and which will not wither even in the grave. . rnine in
The Advantages of the Climate we inhabit..., Let us sensibly feel how happy we are in all respects; for the blessings of our heavenly Father are poured upon us on every side. The prospects of our forests, our meadows, our hills; the pure and temperate air which surrounds us; the day, the night, the seasons of the year, and the variations which attend them; all prove to us the goodness of our Creator, and the greatness of our felicity. Can we then be discontented with the lot which is fallen to us, murmuring that we have not a perpetual summer, that the rays of the sun do not constantly shine upon us, and that an equal degree of warmth is not always felt under our zone! What ingratitude, and at the same time what ignorance!. Indeed, we know not what we wish for, nor of what we complain. Is it through carelessness or pride that we disown the goodness of God, who has been particularly favourable to our countries? We murmur often at the severity of winter. We are ready to envy the inhabitants of places, where this change of seasons iş unkņown: but it is precisely the winter, which makes the climate we live in one of the most healthy in the world. In hot countries, they are more exposed to epidemic disorders, than where the sun reflects less heat; and the people are not so long lived as in our climate. Besides, it is observed that men are less robust, and population not so great as among us: and when the cold is at the highest possible degree with us, we are still much warmer than the inhabitants of those countries, where the cold is much greater, and lasts much longer; so that our severest winters would appear to them to have the mildness of autumn. Let us compare our lot with that of the inhabitants of the northern part of our globe. Here some rays of the sun come to brighten our cloudy days in winter, and revive our spirits ; we see the succession of the day and night; there, many worthy families pass very long days in dark
The Advantages of Night.
ALTHOUGH we may be deprived of some pleasures, now that the sun withdraws its light from us so soon in the evening, and the greater part of our time is passed in darkness; nevertheless, we have no cause to complain of this arrangement in nature. As the mixture of pleasure and pain, of good and evil, is always wisely ordained; so do we find the same provident goodness of our Creator in this remarkable variation in our climate. Each night may remind us of the mercy of the Almighty, who, for the good of mankind, has spread light and beauty over the earth. It may remind us of the misery in which we should languish, if day did not succeed to night. And does not even darkness obtain for us a great advantage, by inviting us (from the tranquillity and repose which attends it) to enjoy a sweet sleep? If long nights be disagreeable to some, to how many others are they a blessing? Without the night the astronomer could not have formed an idea of the distance, the size, the course, and the infinite number of planets and stars; nor