صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]

all the work of your hands. You are at war with God, in an active, as well as passive sense. 66 The carnal mind in you is enmity against God.” And you are at war with yourselves; innumerable hurtful lusts are in you, which war against the soul, and with one another. And you are under the vilest servitude aud bondage ; possessed by the devil, chained down to the earth, and sold under sin. You are also in a state of the utmost poverty and indigence. It was the just character of secure Laodicea and belongs to you. " Thou art wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” You have no interest in God as your portion, in Christ as your Redeemer, in the Holy Spirit as your comforter: You are without grace, mercy, and peace, at present, and without all right to glory and happiness hereafter. And (which exceedingly aggravates all your miseries) you are alıngether unable to deliver yourself out of this deplorable condition: and are also uNWILLING to accept of deliverance. O amazing stupidity and indolence ! What a riddle is here ? senseless and quiet under such a pressing load of evils! " Hear, O heavens, and be as.

; tunished 0 earth! Surely thou art more foolish than the beast, that hath no understanding and hast not the knowledge of a man!” To languish away an insensible life in such a miserable state! Nothing more unreasonable ! Nothing so unaccountable !

Except it be that you are fearless amidst innumerable dangers that threaten you ; which are as awful, as the miseries actually present are sorrowful ; and call for the most awakened resentment and horror. Oh, what a dark and dreadful prospect is there before you, secure sinner! God has threatened to punish the men that are at ease from their youih and settled on their lees. You are daily liable to, and may expect, outward and temporal judgments,which may soon end, or much embitter your life.; for tlre whole creation is armed against you; and tho' through infinite divide patience you may prosper in your wicked. ness, yet this will be only in judgment, and for a moment.

But you are especially in danger of spiritual iniseries, Your security exposes you to ali manner of spares and temptations to sin the most gross and criminal; and even invites your subtle enemy to take advantage hereby to pursue his malicious designs, to your eternal roin.me Moreover you are in danger of losing the means of grace,



at least the saving benefit of them. Yea, if you volunta- . rily and studiously remain seeure, you are in danger of being finally abandoned of God, judicially bardened; and so of growing worse and worse under the means of good

Abundance of such sad examples are afforded us in Scripture and by observation. Finally ; Remember, you are in hourly danger of

Beyond and after all the former evils, there are unknown plagues in reserve for unregenerate sinners in the coming world, which you are every moment in the utmost hazard of. If you die unconvinced and impenitent, you will immediately be punished with an everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord. And die you will shortly. You may die in youth ; you may die very soon : perhaps suddenly, without warning and without relief. You have abundant reason to fear this will be your dreadful portion; for it is what the word of God .threatens to rebellious obstinate sinners. “ He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” And the provi


: dence of God is ever and anon presenting us with awful executions of this threatning upon others. And you may reasonably expect the same treatment from vindictive justice. It is a wonder of infinite patience that you have been spared hitherto. But how much longer divine compassion will reprieve you, is an uncertainty of trembling consideration. And if you should, (as you have ground to fear you shall,) be taken away unexpectedly, and hurl. ed down suddenly into the horrible pit and devouring fire, how will the sad surprize amazingly aggravate your fearful doom; even as the midnight cry is the more terrible to us, as we start out of a pleasant dream !

[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

THERE are few things which tend more decidedly to promote our Happiness, to give vigor to the mind and animation to the spirits, than the pursuit of soine useful profession or honorable attainment, and perhaps there is nothing more useful and honourable than the pursuit of knowledge. “Literature, like virtuo, is its own re

[ocr errors]

ward," and possesses every charm which can win us to ils embrace. It is full of variety and beauty; it is inexhaustable; it has just so much difficulty as to excite interest in the contest, and triumph in the victory; it raises us in the scale of social and intellectual beings, and brings us into a sort of mysterious communion with the wise of every age and nation. In the words of Owen Feltham," Knowledge is the guide of youth, to manhood a companion, and to old age a cordial and an antidote.If I die to-morrow my life will be somewhat the sweeter to-day for kvowledge."

If we look around us we shall be speedily convinced, that most men feel the importance of a pursuit, and shall be amused by the eurious expedients and strange substitutes to which, those have recourse who refuse to take pleasure in rational employment. Some pursue the improvement of their own persons, hunt out fashionable iailors, study the tie of their neckcloth, and muse upon the arrangement of their hair; or other equally trivial objects.

Happiness inost frequently takes up her abode in the middle ranks of life. The mind of man is so constituted as to take more pleasure in anticipating a future good than enjoying the present one; ease is ten times sweeter when earned by our own exertions; rest is never truly delightful till pureliased by previous labour; what we procure for ourselves seenis more precious than any inherited possessions; and the little acquisitions and indul. gencies, for which we work, and for which we economize, are pleasanter amusements in pursuit, and greater bles sings in enjoyinent, than all the luxury and splendour to which the rich and noble are familiarized from their birth, and which spring not in the remotest degree from their own merit or exertions.

With that department of Natural History which can be examined

only by the aid of the microscope, a large proportion of the
young have but little acquaintance. We have selected some
interesting facts respecting ANIMALCULA, which we hope will
prove interesting to our readers.

ANIMALCULE, in a general sense, signifies a small animal; but here it is used to denote one so minute, that ils

form and parts cannot be distinguished without the aid of the microscope.

If particles of animal or vegetable matter are a few days infused in the most limpid water, on applying the smallest portion of it to the microscope, innumerable ani. mals of various shapes are discovered. These have been denominated Animalcula Infusoria by the naturalists.But their only habitation is not in infusions thus artifi. cially made ; the mud of ditches, the scum of stagnant waters, pools, and marshes, which to vulgar eyes pass for the vilest matter, are the source of admiration to the contemplative philosopher, from the rare and wonderful beings ihey contain. In the sand deposited by common sewers is found an animal endowed with the incredible property of resisting death, in enjoying the privilege of a real and undoubted resurrection.

The extraordinary minuteness of animalcula surpasses the conception of the human mind. Leeuwenhoek cal. eulates, that the size of soine, is to that of a mite, as a bee is to a horse; a hundred others will not exceed the thickness of a single hair; and ten thousand of a different species may be contained in the space occupied by a grain of sand. The most powerful microscopes can only discover points in motion among the fluid, gradually decreasing, until they become imperceptible to the view.

The shape of animalcula is infinitely diversified. Let one suppose himself transported to a region, where the appearance, figure, and motion of every animal is unknown, and he will form some idea of the variety presented by a drop of an infusion presented to the microscope. One animalcule is a long slender line; another is coiled up like an eel, or a serpent; some are circular, elliptical or globular; others a triangle, or a cylinder. Soine resemble thin Aat plates, and some may he coinpared to a nnmber of ariiculated reeds. One is like a funnel, another like a bell; and the structure of many cannot be compared to any object familiar to nur senses. Certain animalcula, such as the proteus diffluens, can change their figure at pleasure ; being sometimes extended to immolerate lengih, and then contracted to a point. One moment they are inflated into a sphere, next completely faccid, and then various eminences will project from the surface, altering them apparently into animals

entirely different. Neither is the peculiar motion of animalcula less remarkable. In several species, it consists of incessant gyration on the head, as a centre, or around a particular point, as if one of the foei of an ellipse. The progression of others is by means of leaps or undu. lations; some swim with the velocity of an arrow, the eye can hardly follow them; some drag their unweildy bodies along with painful exertion; and others again seem to persist in perpetual rest. These observations lead to an inportant consideration, namely, the inconceivable minuteness of the organs, and the component parts of these organs, by which such motions are performed.

The volvox globator is a globular animaleula, of a greenish colour, visible to the naked eye. It is frequently found in the water of ditches, and marshes abounding with growing vegetables, as well as those in a decomposing state, and often in considerable numbers. Its mode of progression through the fluids is by revolving on itself, or rolling like a sphere, whence its name has been derived. This animalcula consists of extremely transparent membranacious substances, containing midute globules, irregularly dispersed within it. On examination with a very powerful magnifier, the globules appear so many young volvoxes, each provided with its diaphanous membrane, and within that again is involved another race of descendents. Some observers have discovered even down to the fifth generation in the parent; others have not been able to see farther than the third. When the volvoxes have attained a certain maturity, the included young begin to move; they detach themselves from the parent, and, successively escaping from the in. vesting substance, swim about in the infusion. When all have left it, the common envelope, or mother, becomes motionless, bursts, and disappears. Then the new vol. voxes rapidly increase in size; their included globules likewise grow, they begin to move, the parent bursts, and the young swim at large in the ivfusion. By isolat. ing these animals in watch glasses, the thirteenth successive generation, from a single parent, has been obtained.

But it is time to speak of the phenomena aftending the death and resurrection of one species of animalcula,

« السابقةمتابعة »