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ferior motives over those infinite considerations which should have enforced obedience, arose from the blind operation of a natural principle, neither holy nor unholy in itself, in the suspension of that higher principle of love to their Maker, which, in a holy nature, the faintest act of remembrance, the slightest recurrence to the Invisible Author of their being, might seem sufficient to have awakened. The transgression involved an act of self-idolatry: it was a withdrawment from God as the supreme object of affection and confidence. To maintain, then, that the Almighty was bound to prevent sin, involves one of these absurdities: either that a created nature should have been so constituted as that its union to the Divine Being should have been other than moral and voluntary, so as to afford no scope for moral agency; or, that the creature’s voluntary withdrawment from his maker, his ceasing to love the Author and Source of his happiness, affords a reason why he should have been made the subject of a special act of favour.
We are aware that this by no means supplies a complete answer to the question which is in every child's mouth on first learning the existence and history, of moral evil, Why did God permit Adam to fall? It goes some way, however, towards showing the unreasonableness and unphilosophical nature of the flippant objections of full grown sceptics. To that question, the best answer that can be given in the present world, is, as our Author remarks, that which was given by our Lord concerning one branch of the Divine dispensations: "Éven so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.” It was, he adds, “a dispensation approved by infinite wisdom, and seen by the Omniscient eye to be necessary towards that good which God proposed in creating the uni. verse.' To this it may be subjoined, that it was a dispensation which afforded occasion for a transcendent and ineffable display of the Divine character. And unless it can be proved that, on the whole, the fall of Adam was a greater evil in the system of the Universe, than the death of Christ was a good -all the effects and relations of which stupendous event, no human intelligence can pretend to appreciate, -no objection can lie against the legitimate conclusion which is established by reasoning ab effectu, that the existing system of things, is, in all its parts, the best possible.
The practical remarks which Dr. Dwight makes in the conclu. sion of this sermon, are most excellent. 1. How superior is the Scriptural account of the introduction of moral evil into the world, to every other!' 2. · How dreadful the evil of sin as exemplified in the malice of the Tempter!' 3. The only time of successful resistance to temptation, is the moment when it is presented.' 4. The ultimate safety of mankind, when they are tempted, lies in God only.'
* Had Eve sought the protection of God when she was assailed by the Adversary, she had never fallen. Had she remembered
the character of God, she had never believed the declarations of the Tempter. Had she admitted no jealousy, no suspicion, of the Divine wisdom and goodness, she had, in all probability, kept her happy state.
• The same dangers attend all her descendants. If we wish to overcome, or escape temptations, it is indispensable, that we remember the presence, and acknowledge the character of God; that we distrust in no degree his sincerity or kindness; and that we go directly to him for the succour which we need. The closing petition in the prayer taught by Christ to his disciples, is, “ Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;" that is, Suffer us not to be led into temptation, but, should this danger betide us at any time, deliver us from the evil to which we shall then be exposed. Of six petitions only, of which this prayer consists, a prayer taught by him who knew all the dangers and necessities of man, this is one. So necessary did he determine this assistance and guardianship to be; and so necessary our continual prayer that it might be afforded.
In the first temptation, we see the doctrine strongly illustrated. Here no prayer ascended for aid. Here, therefore, no aid was given; and here, left to themselves, the miserable victims were of course destroyed. Let us, then, learn wisdom both from their example and their end. Let us avoid the one, that we may escape the other. For protection from tempters and temptations, both within us and without us, let our prayers unceasingly rise with fervent repetition, Especially, when the Serpent approaches, when the charm is about to begin, and when his mouth is ready to open and swallow us up, let our cries for help ascend to Heaven, that He who is swift to hear, and always prepared to pity and relieve, may mercifully extend his arm, and snatch us from the jaws of destruction.'
We feel restricted by the length to which this article has already extended, from entering in this place on any fresh topic. We must, therefore, in justice to the merits of the work, request the indulgence of those readers whose dissatisfaction with continued articles is equal to their impatience of long ones, in reserving some account of the contents of the remaining volumes till our next Number.
Art. XV. The Gold-winged Woodpecker, or Flicker. (Picus Au
ratus.) From Wilson's Ornithology. Le Pic aux ailes dorees, BUFFON VII, 39. Pl. enl. 693.- Picus Auralus, Linn. Syst.
174.-Cuculus alis deauratis, Klein, p. 30 --CATESBY, I. 18.-LATHAM, II. 597.--BARTRAM, p. 289.--PEALE's Museum, No. 1938.
With an elegant coloured engraving. This elegant bird is well known to our farmers and junior sportsmen, who take every opportunity of destroying him; the
former for the supposed trespasses he commits on their indian corn, or the trifle he will bring in market, and the latter for the mere pleasure of destruction, and perhaps for the flavour of his flesh which is in general esteem. In the state of Pennsylvania he can scarcely be called a bird of passage, as even in severe winters they may be found within a few miles of the city of Philadel. phia; and I have known them exposed for sale in market every week during the months of November, December and January, and that too in more than commonly rigorous weather. They, no doubt, however, partially migrate, even here; being much more numerous in spring and fall than in winter. Early in the month of April they begin to prepare their nest, which is built in the hollow body or branch of a tree, sometimes, though not always, at a considerable height from the ground; for I have frequently known them fix on the trunk of an old apple tree, at not more than six feet from the root. The sagacity of this bird in discov. ering under a sound bark, a hollow limb or trunk of a tree, and its perseverance in perforating it for the purpose of incubation, are truly surprising; the male and female alternately relieving and encouraging each other by mutual caresses, renewing their labours for several days until their object is attained, and the place rendered sufficiently capacious, convenient and secure. At this employment they are so extremely intent that they may be heard till a very late hour in the evening, thumping like carpenters.
I have seen an instance where they had dug first five inches straight forwards, and then downwards more than twice that distance through a solid black oak.
They carry in no materials for their nest, the soft chips and dust of the wood serving for this purpose. The female lays six white eggs almost transparent. The young early leave the nest, and climbing to the higher branches are there fed by their parents.
The food of this bird varies with the season. As the common cherries, bird cherries, and berries of the sour gum successively ripen, he regales plentifully on them, particularly on the latter; but the chief food of this species, or that which is most frequently found in his stomach, is wood lice, and the young and larvæ of ants, of which he is so immoderately fond, that I have frequently found his stomach distended with a mass of these and these only, as large, nearly as a plum. For the procuring of these insects nature has remarkably fitted him. The bills of Woodpeckers in general are straight, grooved or channelled, wedge-shaped and compressed to a thin edge at the end, that they may the easier penetrate the hardest wood; that of the Golden-winged Woodpecker is long, slightly bent, ridged only on the top, and tapering almost to a point, yet still retaining a little of the wedge form there. Both, however, are admirably adapted for the peculiar manner each has of procuring its food. The former like a powerful wedge, to penetrate dead and decaying branches, after worms and insects; the latter like a long and sharp pick-axe to dig up the hillocks of pismires that inhabit old stumps in prodigious multitudes. These beneficial services would entitle him to some regard from the husbandman, were he not accused, and perhaps not without just cause, of being too partial to the indian corn when in that state which is usually called roasting-ears. His visits are indeed rather frequent about this time; and the farmer suspecting what is going on, steals through among the rows with his gun, bent on vengeance, and forgetful of the benevolent sentiment of the poet; that
-Just as wide of justice must be fall
Who thinks all made for one, not one for all. But farmers in general are not much versed in poetry, and pretty well acquainted with the value of corn from the hard labour requisite in raising it.
In rambling though the woods one day I happened to shoot one of these birds, and wounded him slightly in the wing. Finding him in full feather, and seemingly but little hurt, I took him home and put him into a large cage made of willows, intending to keep him in my own room that we might become better acquainted. When he found himself enclosed on all sides, he lost no time in idle fluttering, but throwing himself against the bars of the cage, began instantly to demolish the willows, battering them with great vehemence and uttering a loud piteous kind of cackling, similar to that of a hen when she is alarmed, and takes to wing. Poor Baron Trenck never laboured with more diligence at the
walls of his prison than this son of the forest in his exertions for liberty; and he exercised his powerful bill with such force, dig. ging into the sticks and shaking them so from side to side, that he soon opened for hinıself a passage; and though I repeatedly repaired the breach, barricadoed every opening, yet on my return into the room, I always found him at liberty, climbing up the chairs or running about the floor, where from the dexterity of his motions, moving backwards, forwards and sideways with equal facility, it became difficult to get hold of him again.
Having placed him in a strong wire cage, he seemed to relinquish all hopes of escape and soon became very tame, fed on young ears of indian corn, refused apples, but ate with avidity the berries of sour gum, winter grapes, and several kinds of berries; he exercised himself in climbing or rather hopping perpendicularly along the sides of the cage, and as evening approached, fixed himself in a hanging position with his head under his wing. As soon as dawn appeared, even before it was light enough to perceive him distinctly across the room, he descended to the bottom of the cage, and began his attack upon the ears of corn, rapping so loudly as to be heard in every room in the house. After this he would sometimes resume his former position, and take another nap. He was beginning to be very amusing and even sociable, when, after a lapse of several weeks, he became drooping and died, as I conceived from the effects of his wound.
Some European Naturalists, and among the rest Linnæus in the tenth edition of his Systema Naturæ, have classed this bird with the genus Cuculus, or Cuckoo; that it is almost always on the ground; is never seen to climb trees like the other Woodpeckers, and that its bill is altogether unlike theirs; every one of which assertions I must say is incorrect, and could only have proceeded from an entire ignorance of the habits of the bird. Except in the article of his bill, and that, as has been observed, is a little wedgeformed at the point, it differs in no one characteristic from the rest of its genus. Its nostrils are covered with tufts of recumbent hairs or small feathers; its tongue is round, worm-shaped, flattened towards the tip, pointed and furnished with minute barbs; it is also long and missile, and capable of being instantly protruded to an uncommon distance. The os hyoides, like those of its