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Nec vero segetibus solum, pratis, et vineis, et arbustis res rusticæ lætæ sunt, sed etiam bortis nd pomariis: tum pecudum pastu, apium examinibus, forum omnium varietate. CICERO.
TO say much in commendation of a science, whose excellence is so generally appreciated as that of botany, would be unnecessary. Some thoughts, however, on its great utility, and `on the various advantages accruing from botanick gardens, may not be inopportune. The advantageous application of botanical knowledge to agriculture, to gardening, medicine, and other arts, is generally acknowledged. How many articles, now procured at great expense, might be cultivated by us to advantage, if once introduced and acclimated. But why should not this most interesting branch of natural history be cultivated in this country for its intrinsick excellence, apart from the consideration of its furnishing medicines, and articles for the dyer? Can nothing please unaccompanied by the promise of pecuniary benefit?
"Search but the garden, or the wood,
Not all was meant for raiment, or for food,
Not all for needful use alone;
There while the seeds of future blossoms dwell,
"Tis colour'd for the sight, perfum'd to please the smell."
Surely the study of natural history may well occupy some portion of the time of the rising generation; and it is to be hoped the Trustees of the University will see the propriety of giving some substantial encouragement for its extension among us.
The claim, which botany has to our attention, when considered merely as an elegant amusement, ought not to be neglected; an amusement calculated to interest the understanding, while it promotes health and vigour of constitution. Every other study must yield to that of nature; for who will venture to compare
the most finished productions of art with the originals, whence were drawn the ideas of their beauty and proportion? It is however, necessary to the progress of this science, that the student should be supplied with actual and living specimens. The imperfection of language to give an adequate idea of any vegetable production, must be generally admitted; and the most beautiful and accurate drawings or engravings fall so far short of that delicacy and minuteness of parts-those peculiarities incident to its post, or habit and growth, on which its scientifick distinctions depend; that it is only from living plants we can hope to obtain those distinctions which are necessary to discriminate these numerous productions, or to extend the limits of the science itself. How important then must be the advantages of a botanick garden properly laid out, and supplied with the beautiful productions of vegetable nature which this country so abundantly affords. To unbend the mind from severer studies, and renovate the hebetated faculties and corporeal powers, by withdrawing at times from the busy scenes of life-those confining occupations, which, however lucrative, induce obstinate maladies, is worthy the endeavour of the wise. And what place so fit for exercise and innocent recreation as a garden, furnished with a pleasing variety of plants. Lord Bacon declared, that "of all human pleasures, that of a garden is the purest; and highly refreshes and recreates the spirits; insomuch that without it, buildings and palaces are but gross handy works, that have nothing of nature in them." It is true this has respect to ornamental gardening, considered as a fine art: Yet it must be admitted that the plan and disposal of a botanick garden, do not necessarily preclude elegance of design, nor beauty of arrangement. To walk amid so many species of plants, assembled from different countries, and inhale their rich perfumes ;* to mark their varied forms, apprised of the healing virtues of some, and of the beneficient purposes for which all were ordained, must, to the contemplative mind, afford no common gratification. Although it is not expected that all who walk in a garden, should, with
"Suaves odores miscent herbæ." VIRGIL
Harvey, fancy forced similitudes between the parts of a flower and the circumstance of the Redeemer's suffering-or task each plant to furnish lessons of religion and morality; yet we may challenge any one not to cherish emotions of gratitude to heav en, on admiring in a rose, the elegance of its form, the beauty of its colour, and its delicious fragrancy.
"Flowers, the sole luxury which nature knew,
Gay without toil, and lovely without art,
That the sublime science of botany possesses charins excitive of great enterprise and exertions, the examples of Tournefort, of Linnæus, of Bartram, of Dombey, the Michauxs, and other illustrious botanists sufficiently manifest.
FROM THE QUARTERLY THEOLOGICAL MAGAZINE.
A MEDITATION ON THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY. "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
THE hope of existing after the present life, was not utterly lost from among mankind, even amidst the darkness and corruptions of Paganism. But the prospect was so obscure, and the hope so uncertain, that it could afford but small consolation in their last moments, to the wisest and most virtuous men of the Heathen world. And to all others, it was so blended with the melancholy phantoms of a superstitious imagination, that it ser
ved rather to oppress, than to shed any confort on the hour of death. But, in the Gospel of our blessed Saviour, the doubtful expectations of nature are rendered clear and certain; the obscurities of reason are enlightened; and to the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, there is added a principle, which the human mind had never before dared to conceive; I mean that of the resurrection of the body, and its future and eternal re-union with the soul in a happy state of existence.
This doctrine, which is peculiarly precious to man. inasmuch as it brings our future existence more within the comprehension of the mind, and gives it a stronger interest in the heart, was received at first with astonishment and incredulity, both by Jews and Greeks. Against the objections or the doubts of the one and of the other, the apostle, in this chapter demonstrates both its possibility and its conformity to reason, and points out the unspeakable consolation which the pious hope that, this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality, is fitted to impart to every true believer amidst the various trials and sorrows of this life.
Let me invite the pious reader, therefore, to employ with me a few moments in meditating on the resurrection of the body; the certainty and importance of the doctrine, its practical uses, and its spiritual consolations. And may it impart to us those holy comforts, those blessed supports under the distressing vicissitudes of the world, and finally, that victory over the fears of death, which amidst labours and persecutions, and the certain anticipations of martyrdom for the cause of his Redeemer, formed the joy and triumph of the apostle himself.
In the first place, let us contemplate the evidences of the resurrection of the body, yielded by the physical world, notwithstanding its apparent contradiction to the general laws of nature. It has been at all times, as well as in the age of the apostle, thought to be a question beyond the powers of philosophy to resolve, with what bodies do they come? Can these corporeal systems, after they have been long dissolved into their original elements, and variously dispersed by winds and waves in a thousand different directions; after they have successively passed, perhaps
into a thousand different bodies, be again collected and re-organized in the same body which perished at death? If it were possible, would it be a reasonable object of desire, in that spiritual and immortal state, that the soul should be again united to a sluggish mass, which might be regarded as its former prison, which impaired its active powers, and was perhaps the seat of all the errours of reason, and of all the disorders of the passions?
The sacred writer, who presents these objections, answers them by a beautiful analogy taken from the grain which the husbandman casts into the earth. It seems to perish. It becomes a mass of putrefaction, and like the body laid in the grave. But there is a delicate, almost imperceptible germ which survives, and presently assumes a new and much more beautiful form. Can we doubt but that the whole vegetable, with all its beautiful apparatus of fruits and flowers, was included in that minute and invisible particle, which receives a new life in the midst of death? And may not the soul, (it is the suggestion of an ancient philosopher.) in parting from its present abode, carry along with it that material principle, which shall become hereafter the germ of a new and more glorious organization? Shall we deem this impossible, because the fineness and subtlety of this principle at present eludes our perceptions? But are we not constantly surrounded with forms of matter not less imperceptible to sense? Is that mysterious power obvious to our sight or feeling, which points the needle to the pole; or that mightier influence, which binds to one centre the vast orbs that compose our system, which however is constantly operating within us and around us?
Learn another lesson on the resurrection, from the numerous transmutations of the insect tribes, which daily pass under our view. A deformed and sluggish grub weaves a tomb for itself. It seems to become extinct; but in a little time we see it mount into the air in a new form, adorned with the most beautiful colours.
Of spiritual and celestial objects, which are so far above the reach of our present faculties, frequently we can judge only by analogy. And although such analogies can never convey adequate images of those things which eye hath not seen, and of which