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treasure. The fins of the fish are as wings to them, with which they fly through the mighty waters; and many of them so swiftly, that they can easily get before a vessel in full sail. Their numbers are, in a very high degree, astonishing ; let us only notice one instance, though many others of a like kind might be easily named; pilchards are often so numereus on the coast of Cornwall, that they are not only eaten and salted, but are sold at a very low rate in vast quantities to manure the ground.
But INSECTS and REPTILES, are the most numerous of all the varied tribes of being. One class is destitute of wings ; a second, have two; a third, have four ; and a fourth, have wings, and spring from worms; and a fifth class is more wonderful than all the rest, it has the power of self-multiplication ; I refer to the Polypi. If one should be cut into twenty pieces, each piece would become a separate and perfect animal.
This is indeed astonishing, Father.
It is. Insignificant as these little creatures appear, insects are often very
formida. ble ; you have seen the cattle running wildly and in great anguish, goaded on by an insignificant fly.
I was reading about the locasts in the little book you gave me, and there it is said, that in the east they darken the in, over:
run the whole country, and eat up every green thing.
They were one of the plagues of Egypt, and a dreadful plague indeed they must have been. With what infinite ease God can chastise a guilty people!
But what can be the use, Father, of such immense quantities of flies ?
I cannot altogether tell you. In general, they furnish food for many of the creatures, which are beneficial to man; they also seek out and devour, every thing of a putrid and offensive nature; they are the scavengers of creation. No doubt they are serviceable in some way or other ; perhaps as much so as the cochineal insect, which furnishes a rich crimson dye, if we were fully acquainted with them. God is too wise to have made any thing in vain. The smallest no less than the greatest, display his power, wisdom, and goodness, and suggest many inquiries to which no satisfactory answer can be given.
THE NUMBER OF GOD'S WORKS.
You were pleased with the sermon this morning, were you not, Frank ? You were very attentive.
I was, Father ; yet I wish Mr. F. had said more on one part of his subject.
To which do you refer?
After he had quoted his text, he said that the works of God are innumerable; I wish that he had illustrated this part of his subject.
The remarks he made were judicious; it is impossible to bring all we might wish into one discourse. He amply proved his principal point, that wisdom is displayed in all the works of the divine hand.
But the text, Father, says, that they are manifold, as well as made in wisdom.
And so they are ; and can't you illustrate this part of the subject yourself?
With your aid, Father, perhaps I can.
Well, let us try. First, examine what is within the earth on which you tread; can you tell me what is to be found there?
I should not have thought of those, Father, though there are a great many. There is the soil on its surface; and gravel, for
our walks ; and clay, to make bricks with ; and sand to make glass with ; and stone for bridges, and houses ; and marble, for chimpey pieces ; and limestone ; and coals, to dress our food, and to keep our rooms warm.
There are, indeed, all these, and many more which you have not named. 0, I forgot the metals, and the minerals
i let me see, how many of these are there? There are, gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, sulphur, and zinc, with which you made the pretty tree in the glass the other day.
And you have now forgot salt, and quicksilver, and antimony, and many others; and you have overlooked all the precious stones; diamonds, and rubies, and sapphires, and jaspers, and emeralds, and more indeed than I can name; and you will recollect, that these may be but a small specimen of what actually exist, as no one has penetrated far into the earth. Truly, the works of God are manifold.
On the surface of the earth, Father, too, there are mountains, and vallies, and hills, and plains, and forests, and vincyards, and orchards, and rocks, and rivers, and springs, and lakes, and gulphs, and caverns, and seas, , and oceans.
More than fifty thousand plants have been classcd and numbered by botanists; and
THE NUMBER OF GOD'S WORKS.
there is reason to believe, that almost every furlong of ground, includes in it some plant peculiar to itself; there are, therefore, doubtless millions
millions which have never been observed by man.
And, Father, all these plants have different trunks, or stems, and leaves, and fruits, and colors, and scents.
True; there is an immense variety among them; how unlike is the sensitive plant, which shrinks at a touch, and the oak of the forest, which bears uninjured the storms of five hundred or a thousand winters. What a contrast between the pretty moss that grows on our garden wall, and the cedars of Lebanon ! between the little rose-tree, blossoming in your Mother's window, and the banyan tree, of which I lately told you, under whose vast shade an army was protected from the burning rays of the sun! Yes, the works of God are indeed manifold.
Yet we have not taken into our account, the animals, and insects, and reptiles, that exist on the face of the earth, nor the creatures which fly through the air.
We have not; though we have reason to believe, from the discoveries of the microscope, that the insect tribes are innumerable. And as ədo ayyan is three times as extensive as the land, it is not improbable, that the living creatures which are on the land, are as nothing,