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that I might meditate on the beauties and wonders of creation; or with my Bible in my hand, that I might also muse on the more glorious plan of human redemption; and that, along with these holy contemplations, I might draw refreshment from the cooling breeze, and be delighted with the stillness that reigned around me; in this I would be doing nothing that is inconsistent with the nature and design of the Lord's-day. The piety of my mind, as well as the health of my body, might even be improved by it. But suppose I were to be seen by the young, the ignorant, and the giddy, to whom my motives and my feelings were unknown, and who might be incapable of understanding or of entering into these, and that my conduct were to be construed by them, as it very naturally might, into an approval of the general habit of strolling about for amusement on the Sabbath, would I in that case be justitiable, on any good and acknowledged principle, in continuing the practice? Or should I consider it an unreasonable sacrifice to give it up, that I might not be instrumental in encourageing the profanation of that day which God has commanded us to sanctify ? Certainly not.'
Let it not be said by any that their example will go little way in producing any change on the face of society around him. In this there is a double mistake, to use no harsher terms; such persons will not surely insinuate that this is any argument for continuing in sinful or doubtful practices. Besides, we neither know nor are we responsible for the amount of benefit which may arise from our perseverance in duty. The duty is ours, and God expects all who have his fear in their hearts to be diligent in performing every known duty, and in scrupulously avoiding every known sin.
There is one duty at least which the genuine followers of Christ will not be backward to perform : they can cry unto God to have mercy on his church and on the land, by pouring out his Spirit as a spirit of godliness, of uniform, consistent godliness. Considering that all human legislation, all church discipline, all family instruction, and all godly example and caution, cannot of themselves produce real affection to God and his law in the hearts of men, certainly those who are God's remembrancers should give him no rest until he arise and make Jerusalem a praise in the earth ; until the views, and feelings, and pursuits of the carnal mind are changed and directed to heavenly and worthy objects. Prayer has been the meet employment of God's people in all ages, and it has had a special reference to the abounding of iniquity which they have deplored.
ILLUSTRATIONS OF DIVINE DESIGN.
THIRD ARTICLE. CUI BONO? What good do you get? is a question which has been often asked at the follower of natural science. The botanist was long looked upon as a trifler, and even yet is hardly acknowledged as more. His pursuit was considered only an elegant amusement, and the devo
tion with which he attached himself to it, was deemed by many hardly excusable. Even still, men are to be found who consider the investigation of natural science a waste of time. They who are busied with the engrossing pursuit of commerce, or the social and political business of the community, can see no useful end in the rambles of the botanist, the researches of the geologist, or the investigations of the zoologist. They perceive no immediate and undeniable benefits flowing from such labours, and they fancy, in their ignorance, that there are none to flow. They laugh at youthful enthusiasm in these pursuits, as one of the day-dreams which will vanish when riper years come, and they pity more mature devotees as exhibiting incomprehensible folly. Influences of all descriptions are brought to bear upon the young to prevent them indulging in the love of Nature, beyond a mere unmeaning and common-place admiration of her. And yet, if the question is really weighed as to the relative value of the more usual occupations of men, and those we have named, it would be a grave matter to decide that ours is the meaner or the more useless. Is it not to the botanist, to the mineralogist, to the chemist, that man is indebted for the discovery of almost every medicine granting relief from some of the heaviest of the many ills that flesh is heir to?' Scarcely a plant, scarcely a mineral, but contributes its assistance to arm the physician for his conflict with disease; and in other departments the discoveries of every day are adding to the comforts and conveniences, as well as to the knowledge of society. Thus, even on the lowest of all ground, utilitarianism, the pursuits of the naturalist are nearly equal in value to those others, the benefits of which are more direct and more clearly seen.
But the argument on which we ground our adrocacy of the advantages of studying Nature, is higher and nobler than this. This argument is simply: The works of God are not only at all times a fitting theme for our investigation, but demand our careful and admiring consideration. Read the account of creation, as recorded by God himself. Mark how minute he is in describing every different step in his procedure. Follow the steps. The creation of light. The evolution of heaven and sea and land. The covering of the newly-formed earth with its vegetable garb, and trees yielding fruit. The setting of the sun, and moon, and stars, in heaven, to discern the seasons. The peopling of sea, and air, and earth, with all their various tribes of fish, and fowl, and animal. Crowning all, the formation of man, in the image of his Maker, and his investiture with the possession of, and dominion over everything previously made. And note, as each portion of the mighty work is accomplished, the divine approval stamps it all as good. Can a work which occupied almighty care in its production, which has been so minutely described by God for us, be aught else than in every part a fitting object for our inquiries ! Nay, more; do we not owe it as a duty to Him who placed us in our position of supremacy over the rest of his mundane works, to make ourselves acquainted with every, the minutest portion of those objects on which he has exercised his creative power, and which he has given to us; thereby rendering ourselves fitted to offer him more intelligent
praise, from the perception of wondrous works thus admiringly written of by the psalmist : They have no speech nor words, nor is their voice heard; yet unto all the earth hath gone out their sound, and their words to the boundaries of the world !
It is recorded as part of the glory of Solomon, that amongst the other objects which came within the range of his study, "He spake of trees, from the cedar-tree that is in Lebanon, even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.' No portion of the works of God was deemed by him unworthy of his attention. This knowledge of Solomon's did not come intuitively. He was endowed with superior wisdom; but he says himself, I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under . heaven;' and he adds, that it was a sore travail given by God to the sons of men, to be exercised therewith.' Industrious and diligent study alone will initiate into these mysteries, but they are worthy of the effort. The terrible irruptions of the volcano, with their showers of stones and lava streams, compel the attention of men to Him who 'toucheth the mountains and they smoke. The loud roar of the stormy ocean, as its hurricane-driven billows dash in pieces the everlasting-seeming rocks, and rage as if they would swallow up the land, recall to us Him who has girt its kingdom with a belt of sand, and appointed to its most impetuous waves a bound they cannot pass.' It needs no study, no laborious exertion, to understand these mani. festations, and see God in them. But to trace the wondrous minuteness and perfection of his working, in all the various objects, animate and inanimate, which have come from his hands, requires close attention and persevering inquiry. Yet here, as in aught else, will it be found true, that what costs us most in the attainment repays us best.
'In this interminable wilderness
Even soaring fancy staggers,
Yet not the lightest leaf,
Is less instinct with Thee !
Less shows thy eternal breath.' We have made these observations because we intend to devote a few remarks to a subject which has always, least of all, found favour with the public. In our two former papers we traced some illustrations of Divine Design from the favourite and inviting field of Botany. We heard the dumb flowers made vocal with their Maker's praise, and saw his wisdom in their plan, and his perfection in the conduct of their economy. The insect world is to be now our theme-a theme too vast to admit of more than a mere glance; but of which even a glance will lead us to exclaim, 'How manifold, O Lord, are thy works: in wisdom hast thou made them all; the earth is full of thy riches !
As an example, in general terms, of some of the interesting revelations of this science, take the following quotation from a writer of authority on the subject :- The lord of the creation plumes himself upon his powers of invention, and is proud to mention the various useful arts and machines to which they have given birth, not aware that “He who teacheth man knowledge” has instructed these despised insects to anticipate him in many of them. The builders of Babel doubtless thought their invention of turning earth into artificial stone a very happy discovery; yet a little bee had practised this art, using, indeed, a different process, on a small scale, and the white ants on a large one, ever since the world began. Man thinks that he stands unrivalled as an architect, and that his buildings are without a parallel among the works of the inferior orders of animals. He would be of a different opinion did he attend to the history of insects ; he would find that many of them have been architects from time immemorial, that they have had their houses divided into various apartments, and containing staircases, gigantic arches, domes, colonnades, and the like; nay, that even tunnels are excavated by them, so immense compared with their own size, as to be twelve times bigger than that projected by Mr Dodd, to be carried under the Thames at Gravesend. The modern fine lady, whó prides herself upon the lustre and beauty of the scarlet hangings which adorn the stately walls of her drawing-room, or the carpets that cover its floor, fancying that nothing so rich and splendid was ever seen before, and pitying her vulgar ancestors, who were doomed to unsightly whitewash and rushes, is ignorant all the while, that before she or her ancestors were in existence, and even before the boasted Tyrian dye was discovered, a little insect had known how to hang the walls of its cell with tapestry of a scarlet more brilliant than any her rooms can exhibit; and that others daily weave silken carpets, both in tissue and texture, infinitely superior to those she so much admires. Other arts have been equally forestalled by these creatures. What yast importance is attached to the invention of paper! For near six thousand years one of our commonest insects (the wasp) has known how to make and apply it to its purposes ; and even pasteboard, superior in substance and polish to any that we can produce, is manufactured by another! We imagine that nothing short of human intellect can be equal to the construction of a diving-bell, or an air-pump; yet a spider is in the daily habit of using the one, and, what is more, one exactly similar in principle to ours, but more ingeniously contrived; by means of which she resides unwetted in the bosom of the water, and procures the necessary supplies of air by a much more simple process than our alternating buckets :--and the caterpillar of a little moth knows how to imitate the other, producing a vacuum when necessary for its purposes, without any piston besides its own body. If we think with wonder of the populous cities which have employed the united labours of man, for many ages, to bring them to their full extent, what shall we say to the white ants, which require only a few months to build a metropolis capable of containing an infinitely greater number of inhabitants than even imperial Nineveh, Babylon, Rome, or Pekin, in all their glory!'
In entering upon the study of insect life, the first thing that strikes the student is the surprising metamorphosis, or transformation, which he constantly meets with in the objects which occupy his attention. Speaking in general terms, these transformations are four. There is first the egg; after that the larva, in which state the insect presents generally the form of a worm, grub, or caterpillar; third, the pupa, in which state they usually, though not always, appear dead, and do not eat; and fourth, the imago, or mature insect—the perfect beetle, butterfly, or other insect. In these different states they remain for longer and shorter periods, some occupying them for days, others for weeks and months, or even years. In all of them they afford matter of interest to the observer. As a specimen, we shall narrate the process of transformation in the common dragon-fly. In this genus, the second and third states but slightly differ from each other. In both, the life of the creature is passed in the water. When about to change into the perfect form, the larva “leaves the water generally by crawling up the stem of an aquatic plant, upon which it fixes itself by means of its claws, and thus remains motionless for a time, as if to gain strength for the coming struggle. After a while the envelope may be seen to burst open between the shoulders ; through the aperture protrudes the head of the perfect fly, and this is quickly followed by its legs, the cases of which remain attached, as before, to the plant. Another period of rest now intervenes, the head and upper portions of the body being bent backwards, and gradually becoming dry and firm. The fly, then firmly grasping the upper portion of its cast skin with its feet, gradually draws out the remainder of its body, and again rests immovably. During this state of inaction the wings expand; all the crumples, plaits, and folds, incidental to the confined space previously occupied, gradually disappear, and the whole wing becomes a beautiful, smooth, gauzy membrane, traversed by nerves, and nearly the length of the body, which has, at the same time, been gradually enlarging and lengthening, and the limbs acquiring their just size and proportion. Moreover, while the wings are thus drying and expanding, the insect is instinctively careful to prevent their coming in contact, while wet, with any part of the body, which would render them unfit for use, by arching the latter in such a way that the convexity is downward. The whole of this curious process,' further says our author, 'we have watched with admiration; and once had the pleasure of explaining it to an intelligent country boy, who happened to pass the piece of water where it was going on, and put the question, "What be them 'ere things a-doin'?”. What a change! From the slimy and disgusting inbabitant of stagnant water, a few minutes have transformed this worm into a beautiful fly; and now, expanding its glittering and radiant wings, it circles, and darts, and wheels, in its new element, the air, like a morning star! The writer of this was, one day last summer, not a little surprised to see a very large and splendid specimen of this fly fluttering about the shop windows of a crowded street. How the creature of freedom and