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Our astonishment at the variety which appears in the anima' kingdoin, is still farther increased, when we consider not only the diversities which are apparent in their external aspect, but also in their internal structure and organization. When we reflect on the thousands of movements, adjustments, adaptations, and compensations, which are requisite in order to the construction of an animal system, for enabling it to perform its intended functions; when we consider, that every species of animals has a system of organization peculiar to itself, consisting of bones, joints, blood vessels, and muscular motions, differing in a variety of respects from those of any other species, and exactly adapted to its various necessities and modes of existence; and when we consider still farther, the incomprehensibly delicate contrivances, and exquisite borings, polishings, claspings, and adaptations, which enter into the organization of an animated being ten thousand times less than a mite ; and that the different species of these animals are likewise all differently organized from one another, we cannot but be struck with reverence and astonishment, at the Intelligence of that Incomprehensible Being who ar ranged the organs of all the tribes of animated nature who “breathed into them the breath of life,” and who continually upholds them in all their movements !
Could we descend into the subterraneous apartments of the globe, and 'penetrate into those unknown recesses which lie toward its centre, we should doubtless, behold a variegated scene of wonders even in those dark and impenetrable regions. But all the labor and industry of man have not hitherto enabled him to penetrate farther into the bowels of the earth than the six thousandth part of its diameter , so that we must reniain for ever ignorant of the immense caverns and masses of matter that may exist, ard of the processes that may be going on about its central regions. In those regions, however near the surface, which lie within the sphere of human inspection, we perceive a variety analogous to that which is displayed in the other de. partments of nature. Here we find substances of various kinds formed into strata, or layers of different depths -earths, sand, gravel, marl, clay, sand-stone, freestone, marble, lime-stone, fossils, coals, peat, and similar materials. In these strata are found metals and minerals of various descriptions—salt, nitrate of potash, ammonia, sulpher, bitumea, platina, gold, silver mercury, iron, lead, tin, copper, zinc, nickel, manganeze, cobalt, antimony, the diamond, rubies, sapphires, jaspers, emeralds, and a countless variety of other substances, of incalculable benefit to mankind. Some of these substances are so essentially requisite for the comfort of man, that, without them, he would soon degenerate into the savage state, and be deprived of all those arts which extend his knowledge, and which cheer and embellish the abodes of civilized life.
which was 299 feet high, and 750 feet distant, and could plainly see through every little lens, the whole steeple inverted, though not larger than the point of a fine neede; and hen directing it to a neighboring house, saw through many of these little hemispheres not only the front of the house, but also the doors and windows. and could discern distinctv, whether the windows were open or shut. iSuch an exquisite piece of Divine mechanism transcends all humar comprehension.
If we turn our eyes upward to the regions of the atmosphere, we may also behold a spectacle of varie. gated magnificence. Sometimes the sky is covered with sable clouds, or obscured with mists; at other times it is tinged with a variety of hues, by the rays of the rising or the setting sun. Sometimes it presents a pure azure, at other times it is diversified with strata of dappled clouds. At one tiine we behold the rainbow rearing its majestic arch, adorned with all the colors of light; at another, the Aurora Borealis illuminating the sky with its fantastic coruscations. At one time we behold the fiery meteor swecping through the air; at another, we perceive the forked lightning darting from the clouds, and hear the thunders rolling through the sky. Sometimes the vault of heaven appears like a boundless desert, and at other times adorned with an innumerable host of stars, and with the moon
* walking in brightness.” In short whether we direct our view to the vegetable or the aninial tribes, 10, the atmosphere, to the ocean, the mountains, the plains, or the subterranean recesses of the globe, we behold a scene of beauty, order, and variety, which astonishes and enraptures the contemplative mind, and constrains us to join in the devout exclamations of the Psalmist, “ How manifold are thy works, O Lord! In wisdom hast thou made them all, the earth is full of thy riches; so is the great and wide sea wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts."
A PETRIFIED FOREST. One of the most curious discoveries of the present day, is the “ petrified forest" on the Missouri river. A letter to the editor of the Illinois Magazine states, that the petrifactions of stumps and limbs of trees are abun. dant for the distance of thirty miles, over an open praicie, on the western bank of the Missouri. The topography of this section of the country is hilly and much broken into deep ravines and hollows. On the sides and summits of the hills, at an elevation of several hundred feet above the level of the river, and at an estimated height of some thouza!d feet above the ocean, the earth surface is literally covered with stumps, limbs an u roots of petrified trees; presenting the appearanc: of' a 'petrified forest,' broken and thrown down by some powerful convulsion of nature, and scattered in all directions in innumerable fragments.
Some of the trees appear to have been broken off in falling, close to their roots; while others stand at an elevation of many feet above the surface. Some of the stumps when measured proved upwards of fifteen feet in circumference.
As these formations are supposed to be produced by the agency of water and of mineral substance, it is natural to conjecture that this region has at some day heen submersed in water. But when ? Are they Ansediluvian remains ; or was this region corered at a period subsequent to the general deluge? They must
have proceeded from such causes, unless it is granted that pretrifaction may be produced by the simple action of the atmosphere. These are interesting topics of in quiry.
A petrified forest ! a vast wilderness changed to stone! Was it the gradual work of ages; and did the hand of gray-headed Time deposit the stony particies in the grains of the wood, sand by sand; or was it rather an instantaneous transformation from vegetable life to mineral death, like the sudden change of Lot's wife into a pillar of salt? Did the great process of petriface tion commence at the day when Noah's veseel of old was tossed in the boundless and overwhelming waters of the Deluge, or not till ages afterwards, after some great innundation, in the prairies of the West ? Hlas there ever taken place in those extensive recrious, some mighty unrevealed flod, laying waste the fair hunting grounds' of the wandering ahoriginal, sweeping away his cabin on ihe hill! compelling him to trust his life to his hirchen canoe; destroying the buffalo and the mammoth ; uprooting forests, and tearing them limb from limb; and plunging all nature into chaos. Could these things be, and if so, may, not an all wise Providence direct their recurrence ?
A beautiful object must be that “petrified forest,” either when the mid-day sunshine sets its diamond particles in a blaze ; or when the twilight colors it with a rosy flush, or the moonlight endues it with a marble-like whiteness. You might fancy yourself in Aladdin's garden, but that the trees, as well as the fruit, are like diamonds and precious stones. You might fancy yourself in a winter forest in New-England, whose massy branches and trunks are heavily encrusted with ice and sparkling snow. You might fancy yourself amon the sparry grottoes of fairy-land; but there is littic need for the exercise of fancy, when it can hardly surpass the simple and substantial fact. What a scene for the pen or pencil of a master-a vast forest, with its inhabitants, savage men, beast and bird at a moment transformed and petrified-animated nature changed into inanimate matter--life to silent and unchanging death.
EXAMPLES FROM HISTORY.
CARLY APPLICATION TO WISDOM.
CICERO (than whom no man was a better judge, for no man more earnestly sought, or better understood, the true nature of wisdom; no man, I mean, of the keathen world) has given nearly this definition of the wisdom. “What, (says he) is more desirable than wisdom; what more excellent in i: self; what more useful to man, or inore worthy his pursuit ? They who earnestly seek for it are called philosop! ers; for philosophy, in the strict meaning of the word, is no other than the love of wisdom ; but wisdom, as defined by the an. cient philosophers, is the knowledge of things divine and human, and of their efficient causes : the study of which whoever despises, I know not what he can think worthy of his approbation. For whether you seek for an agreeable amusement, or a relaxation from care what can be comparable to those studies which are al. ways searching out for something that may tend to make life more easy and happy? Are you desirous of learning the principles of fortitude and virtue? This or none beside is ihe art by which you may acquire them. They who affirm that there is no art in things of the greatest moment, while nothing, even the most trilling, is attained withoui the aid of art, are men of no reflection, and guilty of the grossest error: but if there is any science of virtue, where shall it be learned, if not in the school of this wisdom?”.
An ignorant, idle man, is a dead weight on society : a wicked, profligate man, is a pest, is a nuisance to so. - ciety ; but a wise and virtuous man, who labors by
all means in his power to advance the universal good, to improve the knowledge and che happiness of man. kind, is at once an ornament of his nature, and a bless. ing to the community; a good planet, shining with a be. nign influence on all around him ; the truest resemblance of his God, whose goodness is coniinually displaying itself through the whole extent of being, and, like that God, seeking pleasure in conferring good. He will feel