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feet higher than the conduit. The water here spouts up, not continually, but every now and then. A traveller says, “On the day we were there, between the hours of six and eleven in the morning, the water spouted ten times, to the height of fifty or sixty feet. Before, the water had not risen so as to be seen, but now it began to fill the basin, and at last to run over. Our guides told us it would soon spout up much higher, and so it did. Soon after four o'clock we observed the earth began to tremble in three different places, as well as the top of a mountain, not far distant. We also heard, frequently, a noise under the earth, like the sound of a cannon; and immediately afterwards a column of water spouted from the opening, which at a great height divided itself into several streams, and, as far as we could ascertain, was as much as ninety-two feet high. Stones, which we had flung into the apertures, were thrown up again with the spouting water.”
There are many other hot springs in Europe, some of which bubble forth with great violence, but none boil and spout up, after the manner of a fountain, like those hot springs in Iceland. Most probably they are connected with Mount Hecla, which is very near, since some travellers assert that that volcano, in the same way, is always throwing up, with flames of sulphur, torrents of boiling water.
LETTERS TO THE YOUNG.
NO. VI.-THE SCHOOL. MY DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,—The two last letters that I addressed to you, were on the Bible, and the volume of Creation; those two glorious books by which “He that dwelleth in the high and holy place,” condescends to make himself known, that we may study his character and will. If any of you did not read the letters, allow me very affectionately to request you to turn to them. If those of you who did read them were to read them over once more, they would do you no harm. I say this, not because of the importance that I attach to anything that Uncle Joseph has
written; but because of the importance of the topics to which the letters refer. If you become daily and thoughtful readers of the Bible, and attentive observers of the works of Nature, certain I am, that your own happiness and improvement in the highest and best sense will be greatly promoted thereby. Allow me before I turn to the subject of this letter-the School-to tell you one or two anecdotes that may help to impress the subjects of my two last letters on your minds. The first is about Sir Walter Scott. He was one of the greatest writers of his time, he is generally considered to have been a man of very high genius and talent. He was also an amiable man; but I fear, was a stranger to evangelical Christianity; perhaps he was not without prejudice against it. As his writings are principally works of fiction, a class of writings that I never had much taste for-I am not prepared to give you an opinion of them. Some of Sir Walter's poems I have read with interest. Well, when this remarkable and clever man came home from Italy to Scotland to die; he said one day to his son-in-law, Mr. Lockhart, “ Bring me a book.” “What book?” said Mr. Lockhart. “What book do you say!” said Sir Walter, “there is no book but one now.” Need I tell you, my young friends, that the dying man meant the book of books, which Dr. Johnson, when dying, so earnestly recommended to his friend Sir Joshua Reynolds. Sir Walter when he felt that death was near, desired the Bible more than any other book. My second anecdote is of John Stirling; he also was a man of talent and genius. He was amiable, beloved by those who knew him; and in some parts of his life, pious. For a short time he was a curate in the English Church. But his health failed. He fell also into the hands of those who seem to have robbed him in some measure of his love for, and confidence in, the Gospel. Certainly his mind was sorely torn by doubt and scepticism. A short time before he died, he composed the following lines, and presented them to his sister, saying he was sure she would value them most of anything :
“ Could we but hear all Nature's voice,
From glow-worm up to sun;
'Twould speak in one concordant voice,
Thy will, o God, be done.
From all men's hearts that live,
And Thou my sins forgive." Not long before he expired, he asked for the Bible that he had been wont to use in the cottages of the poor when he was a minister; and he died with the blessed book near him, if not in his hand. You see where his thoughts were, and of whom, and what he must have deeply felt at that
but wicked and unhappy Lord Byron, the following lines were found written by his own hand :
“ Within this awful volume lies,
The mystery of mysteries.
Who read to doubt, or read to scorp." Do then, my young friends, above all other books, read every day some portion of the Bible. It will be “a lamp unto your feet, and a light to your path."
My other anecdotes have a reference to that other volume ---the Book of Creation. Lord Jeffery, the celebrated editor of the Edinburgh Review, who lately died, said that he owed very much of his own happiness and improvement to his attention through life, to the varied beauties of creation. He was also very fond of flowers, and wrote to his grandchildren telling them how thankful we ought to be, that God has made the flowers so beautiful. When Hartley Coleridge, son of the great S. T. Coleridge, was taken when a very little boy, to London, and saw the brilliant lamps in the streets for the first time; his little eyes brightened as if he had made some wonderful discovery, and he said, “Now I know what the stars are; they are lamps that have been good in this world, and God has taken them up to heaven.” When I read this story the other day, I
thought I must not omit telling it to my young friends. I have just one more story to relate before I proceed to the subjects of this letter. Sir Fowell Buxton was a great and good man, and like all really good men, he was fond of interesting and teaching children. He used often to talk to his little nieces and nephews about the wisdom and goodness of God seen in the adorning of a flower. He did it so often and interestingly, that when the children saw the violets, crocuses, and other flowers peeping out of the ground in Spring, they used to call them “Uncle Buxton's Sermons." O how happy I should feel, if any reader of these letters should by them be led to think of the twinkling stars, and smiling flowers as “Uncle Joseph's Sermons.” If so my letters will not have been written in vain. Especially as I seek to lead your thoughts from creation to creation's God.
We must now leave the Bible, the flowers, and the stars, and if you please, “ go to school.” My young friends one of the most pleasing signs of the times is, the very deep and general interest felt in the education of youth. Editors of magazines, and of newspapers, ministers, the platform orators, philanthropists and statesmen, of our own and other lands proclaim the importance of education. Pamphlets, books, and prize essays, are written in abundance on the school. Members of both houses of parliament, and people of every rank, profession, and opinion, are all constrained to pay some attention to the school. “The schoolmaster is abroad.” The spirit of education and progress is abroad. Every one who reads and thinks, is forced to take some interest in this matter. If this were not the case, I might still write you on the school. As it is, I am only catching a small spark flying off from the great fire, holding up to you a small taper, which though insignificant, may not be useless. I don't write to secure from you contributions for school purposes, these your parents make, but to learn you to turn to the very best account the many privileges which you now possess. I want you to bend your minds to your lessons, and improve all opportunities. It is now with you an interesting season, that of seed time. You have seen the sower with his basket in one hand,
moving the other hand with mechanical regularity, walking
• F.R.S., and L.L.D.,
It is a truth, my young friends, that you will do well ever to bear in mind, that high attainments result from attention to the elements and first principles of knowledge. The summit of the hill must be reached—not at one bounding leap—but by treading, step by step, the path beginning at the base of the mountain. The man grows from the child; the ripe scholar from the patient, industrious learner. Those who now fill the highest stations-whose eloquence sways large audi