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spread, its final triumph. O for such missionaries, and such supporters of missionaries ! O for men who can say, " That which we have seen, and heard, and felt, declare we unto you.” Then shall the people, yea, all the people, praise our God. The Lord shall show loving-kindness, and our land shall yield her increase. God shall bless us, and all the ends of the world shall fear Him.
While contemplating this glorious prospect, many a youthful heart will answer, “ The Lord hasten it in his time.” Learn, then, from all that has been said, to bring that heart, in the first place, to the Saviour's feet; devote yourself to Him; and then seek the happiness and welfare of your domestic circle-of your immediate neighbourhood—of the world itself; pleading in the language of the hymn
Carry on thy new creation,
Happy, holy, may we be;
- Perfectly restor'd by thee!" S. S. S.
THE ART OF ENJOYING A BOOK.
(Concluded from page 90.) Though we gain a good deal of knowledge by simple observation, we must not rest satisfied till we are able to reason, and philosophize upon the facts we may thus collect. Comparison, the next stage in the process, is so simple a thing, that we are inexcusable if we remain content without carrying our enquiries farther than the mere acquisition of facts. We ought to compare, connect, or collate fact with fact, that thus we may be enabled to draw what are called inferences and analogies. In this way, the most trivial circumstance will often illustrate and explain things of the highest moment. Comparisons drawn from observations made in the ample fields of nature and providence, frequently serve to unlock the mysteries of grace in such a simple and satisfactory manner, that we are astonished at our previous darkness on the subject, and find the doubts that had tormented us, perhaps for years, dissipated as the morning cloud or the early dew. The sacred writers delight in such inferences; but notwithstanding the weight of their example, we are generally such inattentive and unthinking observers, that we content ourselves with seeing things simply as they are in themselves, without any regard to their relations.
But we shall always find an intelligent mind, like that of the young Linnæus, searching into the philosophy of things. It was, indeed, this insatiable desire to exercise himself in new fields of knowledge and research, that impelled him on through dangers and difficulties, which those who travel for less worthy motives would never think of encountering. It is delightful to look at our intrepid traveller in the very front of peril, and even death itself, exhibiting an intense anxiety for knowledge, worthy of a nobler cause.
“On the other side of Doggsta," says he, “ close to the road, stands a tremendously steep and lofty mountain, called Skulaberget, or the mountain of Skula, in which I was informed there was a remarkable cavern; this I wished to explore, but the people told me it was impossible. With much difficulty I prevailed on two men to shew me the way. We climbed the rocks, creeping on our hands and knees, and often slipping back again; we had no sooner advanced a little, than all our labour was lost by a retrograde motion. Sometimes we caught hold of bushes, sometimes of small projecting stones; had they failed us, which was very likely to have been the case, our lives might have paid for it. I was following one of the men in climbing a steep rock, but seeing the other had better success, I endeavoured to overtake him. I had but just left my former situation, when a large mass of rock broke loose from a spot which my late guide had just passed, and fell exactly where I had been, with such force, that it struck fire as it went. If I had not providentially changed my route, nobody would ever have heard of me more. Shortly afterwards another fragment came tumbling down; I am not sure that the man did not roll it down on purpose. At length, quite spent with toil, we reached the object of our pursuit, which is a cavity in the middle of the mountain. I expected to have seen something to repay my curiosity, but found a mere cavern, formed like a circle or arch, fourteen Parisian feet high, eighteen broad, and twenty-two long."
Such were the obstacles to be grappled with, when nothing beyond a probability of reward was held out; and even this was destined to be disappointed. We see the same inquisitive spirit unsubdued amidst the horrors of what he has fitly described as the 'Stygian territories,' and find him in the midst of weariness and suffering, still intent not only on the acquisition of knowledge, but prepared to elicit 'profitable inferences from incidents which by thousands and tens of thousands in such situations would have passed altogether unnoticed.
“We came," he says, “ to a sort of bay or creek of the river of Umæa, which we were under the necessity of wading through. The water reached above our waists, and was very cold: in the midst of this creek was so deep a hole that the longest pole could scarcely fathom it. We had no resource but to lay a pole across it, on which we passed over, at the hazard of our lives; and indeed when I had reached the other side, I congratulated myself on having had a very narrow escape. A neighbouring mountain affords grey slate, but of a loose and brittle kind.
6 A marsh, called Lyckmyran--lucky marsh—but which might more properly be called Olyksmyran-unlucky marsh, gives rise to a small rivulet which takes its course to Lycksele, and abounds with ochre. The water is covered with a film: I am pcrsuaded that iron might be found there."
It is only the philosopher who would see in this film an index to the hidden treasures of the soil through which the waters had their course; yet it furnished a clue well worth following out. Such a scum on the surface usually indicates iron in solution; and it has lately been contended by Ehrenberg, that it is in fact this metal in embryo, for, according to his theory, iron is secreted by animalculæ of the gaillonella genus, and is consequently rather an animal, than a mineral product!
It appears to be the characteristic of great minds to anticipate the times in which they live. Nothing is easier than to draw inferences; but to elicit such as will stand the test of more enlightened enquiry, and remain untouched by subsequent discoveries, is the lot of very few. We find even Linnæus himself sometimes at fault in this respect-coming too hastily to conclusions, which after-researches shew to be groundless.
Speaking of a spot in which a violet-coloured clay predominates, he observes that the anemone hepatica, with a purple flower, is a variety so very rare in other places, that he is almost of the same opinion as the gardeners, who believe the colours of particular earths may be communicated to flowers.
This opinion he is compelled by further observations to retract, or at all events to modify. « Here and there, among the rocks," says he, “ small patches of vegetation were to be seen, full of a
variety of herbaceous plants; among others, the hearts’ ease, of which some of the flowers were white; others blue and white ; others with the upper petals blue and yellow, the lateral and lower ones blue; while others again had a mixture of yellow in the side petals. All these were found within a foot of each other ; sometimes, even on the same stalk, different colours were observable: a plain proof that such diversities do not constitute a specific distinction, and that the action of the sun may probably cause them all.”
Ignorance is always confident. The more narrow and contracted is the sphere of our observations, the less likely are we to meet with apparently-conflicting data ; but then we are exposed to the dangers of erroneous conclusion in proportion to the scantiness of our facts. The thinking reader, or the intelligent observer, will always make it his business by careful collation and comparison to reconcile seeming inconsistencies, and elicit truth from the most incongruous materials. If, in one instance, like our young traveller, he is disposed to refer the cause of colour in flowers to the soil from which they spring, and is subsequently forced to admit that variously-colored flowers are found springing from one and the same root, he is necessarily thrown back upon his mental powers, and compelled to think out some more plausible theory.
This principle may be applied very profitably to truths of far greater moment than those connected with science or natural history. It is invaluable with reference to scriptural knowledge, for we shall always find those whose acquaintance with the Bible is of very partial character, indulging in a dogmatism and selfconceit altogether unbecoming the profession which they make. Nothing is more common than to meet with individuals who are for ever dwelling exclusively upon a certain class of texts, whilst they carefully eschew others that appear opposed to them, simply because it would task their minds too severely to attempt a reconciliation. But “God is faithful; He cannot deny himself :" and when we betray, as is too often the case, this unworthy sensibility, lest his word should suffer by collation, we dishonor alike his consummate wisdom, and his unchanging integrity.
In the precedents, from Linnæus, just adduced, we see the same effects resulting from seemingly different causes, and this fact conducts us to that mode of argument generally known by the
term analogy, by which we endeavor to trace relations, or understand how far, and in what manner, things apparently dissimilar are in reality alike. The probability is that where effects resemble each other, causes are also similar; and this circumstance sets our minds at work again to trace the connection. In the same manner may we reason from cause to effect, as well as from effect to cause, or rather connect analogies or resemblances preparatory to such a course, which, as it forms a separate and higher department of intellectual exercise, we shall consider by and by at greater length.
A curious-perhaps a fanciful-analogy of this kind is drawn by Linnæus in the work before us :
“ In some places,” says be, “the cows were without horns; a mere variety of the common kind, and not a distinct species. Nor have they been originally formed thus ; for, though in them the most essential character of their genus is, as to external appearance, wanting ; still, rudiments of horns are to be found under the skin. A contrary variety is observable in Scania and other places, in the ram, which has sometimes four, six, or eight horns; that part growing luxuriant to excess, like double flowers.”
Here we are again furnished with materials for much thought. A field-flower transplanted to the garden, soon loses its distinguishing characters--the stamens and pistils become petals, probably through higher culture, and the more stimulating properties of the soil : is it probable that the scanty or luxuriant growth of the horns in cattle, may, in like manner, result from the nature of their nourishment; and how far, in other respects, are animal and vegetable life alike? These will be the questions started in every meditative mind by a paragraph of this description, if those who read it are really anxious to become masters of the charming art of enjoying a book.”
Analogy helps us through many doubts and difficulties, with regard to the word of truth, and the whole scheme of grace. The deist, after having decided for us, that no disclosure of the character and purposes of God is wanted, thrusts forward the visible creation as a revelation. “ It cannot be corrupted," says he; “it cannot be counterfeited; it cannot be lost.” This is a pretty broad insinuation, that the Bible is exposed to such accidents; and an attempt is made to shew that its transmission to our own times