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syllabic language prevailed, and it must have prevailed in the first ages of the world, men would necessarily have simple ideas, and a corresponding simplicity of manners. The Chioese language is exactly such as this ; and the Hebrew, if stripped of its vowel points, and its prefixes, suffixes, and postfixes, separated from their combinations, so that they might stand by themselves, it would nearly answer to this character, even in its present state. In order, therefore, to remove this unity of sentiment and design, which I suppose to be the necessary consequence of such a language, God confounded their language-caused them to articulate the same word differently, to affix different ideas to the same term, and, perhaps, by transposing of syllables and interchanging of letters, form new terms and compounds, so that the mind of the speaker was apprehended by the hearer in a contrary sense to what was intended. This idea is not ill expressed by an ancient French poet, Du Bartas, and not badly, though rather quaintly, metaphrased by our countryman, Mr. Sylvester.
Some speak between the teeth, some in the nose,
Bring me,' quoth one,' a trowel, quickly! quick!'
Make fast this rope ;' and then they let it flee.
-Babylon. I shall not examine how the different languages of the earth were formed. It certainly was not a work of the moment—different climates must have a considerable share in the formation of tongues, by their influence on the organs of speech. The invention of new arts and trades, must give birth to a variety of terms and expressions. Merchandise, commerce, and the cultivation of the sciences, would produce their share; and different forms of government, modes of life, and means of instruction, also contribute their quota. The Arabic, Chaldee, Syriac, and Ethiopic, still bear the most striking resemblance to their parent, the Hebrew. Many others might be reduced to a common source; yet every where there is sufficient evidence of this confusion. The anomalies even in the most regular languages sufficiently prove this. Every language is confounded less or more, but that of Eternal Truth. This is ever the same: in all countries, cli
bates, and ages, the language of Truth, like that God from whom it sprang, is unchangeable and incorruptible. It speaks in all tongues to all nations, and in all hearts : "there is one God, the fountain of goodness, justice, and truth. Man, thou art his creature, ignorant, weak, and dependent; but He is all-sufficienthates nothing that he has made-loves thee-is able and willing to save thee: return to and depend on Him-take his revealed will for thy law, submit to his authority, and accept eternal life on the terms proposed in his word; and thou shalt never perish, nor be wretched.” This language of truth all the aucient and modern Babel builders have not been able to confound, notwithstanding their repeated attempts. How have men toiled to make this language clothe their own ideas; and thus cause God to speak according to the pride, prejudice, and worst passions of men ! But, through a just judgment of God, the language of all those who have attempted to do this, has been confounded! and the word of the Lord abideth for ever.--Clarke's Commentary.
The Attributes of God Displayed.
A COMPARATIVE VIEW OF THE ANIMAL WORLD.
BY MR. HERVLY.
“ In all the animal world, we find no tribe, no individual, neglected by its Creator. Even the ignoble creatures are most wisely circumstances, and most liberally accommodated.
They all generate in that particular season, which supplies them with a stock of provisions, sufficient not only for themselves, but for their increasing families. The sheep yean, when there is herbage to fill their udders, and create milk for their lambs. The birds hatch their young, when new-born insects swarm on every side. So that the caterer, whether it be male or female parent, needs only to alight on the ground, or make a liule excursion into the air, and find a feast ready dressed for the mouths at home.
“Their love to their offspring, while they are helpless, is invincibly strong: whereas the moment they are able 10 shift for themselves, it vanishes as though it had never been. The hen that marches at the head of her little brood, would fly at a mastiff in their defence. Yet, within a few weeks, she leaves them to the wide world, and does not even know them any more.
“If the God of Israel inspired Bezaleel and Aholiah 'with wisdom and knowledge in all manner of workmanship,' the God of Dature, has not been wanting, in his instructions to the fowls of the air. The skill with which they erect their houses, and adjust their apartments is inimitable. The caution with which they hide their abodes from the searching eye, or intruding hand, is admirable. No general, though fruitful in expedients, could build so commodious a lodgment. Give the most celebrated artificer the same materials, which these weak and unexperienced creatures use; let a Jones or a Demoivre have only some rude stones or ugly sticks, a few bits of dirt or scraps of hair, a lock of wool, or a coarse sprig of moss; and what works could they produce ?
"We extol the commander, who knows how to take advantage of the ground; who by every circumstance embarrasses the forces of his enemy, and advances the success of his own. Does not this praise belong to the feathered leaders, who fix their pensile camp, on the dangerous branches that wave aloft in the air, or dance over the stream ? By this means the vernal gales rock their cradle, and the murmuring waters lull the young, while both concur to terrify their enemies, and keep them at a distance. Some hide their little household fram view, amidst the shelter of entangled furze. Others remove it from discovery, in the centre of a thorny thicket. And by one stratagem or other they are generally as secure as if they intrenched themselves in the earth.
“ If the swan has large sweeping wings, and a copious stock of feathers, to spread over his callow young, the wren makes up by contrivance what is wanting in her bulk. Small as she is, she will be obliged to nurse up a very numerous issue. Therefore with surprising judgment she designs, and with wonderful diligence finishes her nest. It is a neat oval, bottomed and vaulted over with a regular concave : within made soft with down, without thatched with moss, only a small aperture left for her entrance. By this means the enlivening heat of her body is greatly increased during the time of incubation. And her young no sooner burst the shell, than they find themselves screened from the annoyance of the weather, and comfortably reposed, till they gather strength in the warmth of a bagnio.
Perhaps we have been accustomed to look upon insects, as so many
of creation. But if we examine them with attention they will appear some of the most polished pieces of divine workmanship. Many of them are decked with the richest finery. Their eyes are an assemblage of microscopes; the common fly, for instance, who surrounded with enemies, has neither strength to resist, nor a place to retreat to secure herself. For this reason she has need to be very vigilant, and always upon her guard. But her head is so fixed that it cannot turn to see what passes, either behind or around her. Providence, therefore, has given her, not barely a retinue, but more than a legion of eyes, insomuch that a single fly is supposed to be the mistress of no less than eight thousand. By the help of this truly amazing apparatus, she sees on every side, with the utmost ease and speed, though without any motion of the eye, or fexion of the neck.
“The dress of insects is a vesture of resplendent colours, set with an arrangement of the brightest gems. Their wings are the finest expansion imaginable, compared to which, lawn is as coarse as sackcloth. The cases which enclose their wings, glitter with the finest varnish, are scooped into ornamental flutings, are studded with radiant spots, or pinked with elegant holes. Not one but is endued with weapons to seize their prey, and dexterity to escape their foe, to despatch the business of their station, and enjoy the pleasure of their condition.
“What if the elephant is distinguished by his huge proboscis ? The use of this is answered in these his meaner relations, by the curious feelers, remarkable, if not for their enormous size, yet for their ready flexion and quick sensibility. By these they explore their way in the darkest road: by these they discover and avoid whatever might defile their neat apparel, or endanger their tenderlives.
“Every one admires the majestic horse. With what rapid career does he bound along the plain! Yet the grasshopper springs forward with a bound abundantly more impetuous. The ant too, in proportion to its size, excels him both in swiftness and strength: and will climb precipices, which the most courageous courser dares not attempt to scale. If the snail moves more slowly, she has, however, no need to go the same way twice over : because, whenever she departs, wherever she removes, she is always at home.
“The eagle, it is true, is privileged with pinions that outstrip the wind. Yet neither is that poor outcast, the groveling mole, disregarded by divine Providence. Because she is to dig her cell in the earth, her paws serve for a pick-axe and spade. Her eye is sunk deep into its socket, that it may not be hurt by her rugged situation. And as it needs very little light, she has no reason to complain of her dark abode. So that her subterranean habitation, which some might call a dungeon, yields her all the safety of a fortified castle, and all the delights of a decorated grot.
“ Even the spider, though abhorred by man, is the care of allsustaining Heaven. She is to support herself by trepanning the wandering fly. Suitably to her employ, she has bags of glutinous moisture. From this she spins a clammy thread, and weaves it into a tenaceous net. This she spreads in the most opportune place. But knowing her appearance would deter him from approaching, she then retires out of sight. Yet she constantly keeps within distance ; so as to receive immediate intelligence when any thing falls into her toils, ready to spring out in the very instant. And it is observable, when winter chills the air, and no more insects rove through it, knowing her labour would be in vain, she leaves her stand, and discontinues her work.
“I must not forget the inhabitants of the hive. The bees subsist as a regular community. And their indulgent Creator has VOL. VI.
given them all implements necessary either for building their combs, or composing their honey. They have each a portable Vessel, in which they bring home their collected sweets; and they have the most commodious stare-houses, wherein they deposit them. They readily distinguish every plant, which affords materials for their business; and are complete practitioners in the arts of separation and refinement. They are aware that the vernal bloom and summer sun continue but for a season. Therefore they improve to the utmost every shining hour, and lay up a stock sufficient to supply the whole state, till their fowery harvest returns.
“ If the master of this lower creation is ennobled with the powers of reason, the meanest classes of sensitive beings, are endued with the faculty of instinct: a sagacity which is neither derived from observation, nor waits the finishing of experience : which without a tutor teaches them all necessary skill, and enables them without a pattern to perform every needful operation. And what is more remarkable, it never misleads them either into erroneous principles, or pernicious practices : nor ever fails them in the most nice and difficult of their undertakings.
“Let us step into another element, and just visit the watery world. There is not one among the innumerable myriads, that swim the boundless ocean, but is watched over by the Sovereign eye, and is supported by his Almighty hand. He has condescenda ed even to beautify them. He has given the most exact propor. tion to their shape, the gayest colours to their skin, and a polished surface to their seales. The eyes of some are surrounded with a scarlet circle : the back of others diversified with crimson stains. View them when they glance along the stream, or when they are fresh from their native brine, the silver is not more bright, nor the rainbow more glowing than their vivid, glossy hues.
“But as they have neither hands nor feet, how can they help themselves, or escape their enemies ? By the beneficial, as well as ornamental furniture of fins. These when expanded, like masts above, and ballast below, poise their floating bodies, and keep them steadily upright. They are likewise greatly assisted by the flexibility and vigorous activity of their tails; with which they shoot through the paths of the sea, swifter than a vessel with all its sails. But we are lost in wonder at the exquisite contris yance and delicate formation of their gills ; by which they are accommodated, even in that dense medium, with the benefits of respiration! A piece of mechanism this, indulged to the meanest of the fry: yet infinitely surpassing, in the fineness of its structure and operation, whatever is curious in the works of art, or commes dious in the palaces of princes."