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interest in creatures that like ourselves are gifted with the power of self-motion, are enabled both to feel pain and enjoy, pleasure, are impelled with desires and passions, and possess, in varying degree, the wonderful faculty which we call understanding. The animals that inhabit our globe are innumerable, and in their habits, instincts, and organisation we shall see proofs of beneficent design, not less remarkable than those that we have already beheld in the stupendous magnificence of mountains, rivers, and seas. The beauty and diversity of their forms, the peculiar adaptation of their structure to their mode of life, and their great usefulness to man, will all excite within us enlarged and more intelligent praise to our God. Job expressly sends us here for instruction : " Ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee : or speak to the earth, and it shall tell thee; and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not that in all these the hand of the Lord bath wrought this ?" If the creatures that inhabit this world are so infinitely varied, how great must be the power and wisdom of Him who formed them all! We should think bim a far cleverer man who could make steam-engines, and iron ships, and stone houses, and household furniture, and watches, and clocks, and all sorts of scientific instruments, and who could make all these things in such a peculiar way that as soon as one began to be worn out a new one grew in its place, than he who could only make one of these things, and that one in such a way that when it became useless he had to begin at the beginning and make another exactly in the same way. And so the power and wisdom of God are more seen in the vast numbers, and various perfections, of the creatures He has made, than if He had made only a few sorts; and more seen in the fond way these creatures rear their young, than if He were constantly making fresh creations as at the beginning. And His wisdom is also conspicuous in the fact that whereas the eleverest thing a man can make is only a machine after all, the creatures He has made possess the power of self-direction. Many of the actions performed by dogs, elephants, horses can only be explained by supposing they have a degree of understanding, and entire liberty to originate and direct their own movements. But the movements of the cleverest machine are of a very limited character, and they must be started by a power from without. Of course there is a vast difference in the structure of animals. Some have feeling only, and that in a low degree, whereas others have all our senses and understanding as well. The difference between a polypus and a monkey is far greater than that between the mind of a savage and a Newton. That animals of the bigher class are endued with understanding, and do not move by blind and ignorant impulse merely, is seen in the fact that they vary their proceedings according to the different necessities of particular cases. Many an instance might be given in which lions, elephants, dogs are plainly seen to have put two things together, and from them to have deduced a third and then acted accordingly.
The goodness of God is very plainly displayed in the varying years of the duration of animal life. The length of life of the different orders of animals is seen to have a relation more or less exact to their numbers, and the rapidity of their increase. The creatures that multiply in great numbers enjoy a life of but brief duration, while those that live for a great many years, as the lion, for example, increase but slowly. Were it not for this wise arrangement, the earth might quickly be over-populated, and those creatures that God intended to be beneficial to man would become his bane, and ere long absolutely lead to his extinction. It is probable that just as at any time there always is, and always must be, exactly the same quantity of water upon the earth, either in the rivers and sea, or as vapour floating in the air, so there is always the same amount of organic life. Vegetables draw their nutriment from the soil and the air ; animals live on. vegetables, and on each other; and it is impossible for anything to live and flourish except by the destruction of something else. But that something else is not really destroyed ; its form is simply changed, and its scattered elements go to build up some other kind of life. The plants that now adorn and beautify the earth are prevented from spreading over it, and converting it into a jungle, by the animals that feed upon them; and these are kept in bounds by being let loose upon each other. The order and harmony of creation are thus maintained by apparent strife and discord. But the discord is only seeming, for just as the air is kept pure and healthy by winds and storms, and the ocean is preserved from pollution by its constant ebb and flow, so the forces of life are kept in beautiful and perfect balance by being set over against each other,
The movements of animals vary as much as their size and shape. Some are exceedingly feet; others very slow; but their power of motion is always adapted to their circumstances. Where their food and habitation lie near, they are not gifted with great swiftness, because they do not need it. But where their food is distant, or they have to travel fast to escape their enemies, they can move almost as swift as birds can fly. And, from the bison to the mouse, the body is exactly poised so that all their motions are easy and graceful. The head and limbs and various parts of the body are seen to be adapted to their various modes of life, just as plainly as the eye is designed for seeing, and the ear for hearing. The giraffe, for example, a sleek and beautiful creature, has a most remurkable shape. Its length of neck is enormous, which, added to moderately long legs, makes it so tall that it could look in at the windows on the second floor of an ordinary house without standing on "tiptoe.” But when we find that it subsists by cropping the branches of certain trees, we see that its long neck is neither a freak nor an accident, but that there is a divinely intended correspondence between the animal's structure and its food. The slender and elastic legs of that eminently handsome creature the deer, its surefooted hoofs, and its remarkable acuteness of vision and of hearing, are just as plainly the result of contrivance,
and point to its seeking safety, not in fighting with its enemies, but in fleeing from them. Is not contrivance also seen in the fact that the animals of very cold countries are furnished with thick coats of hair or fur? Ănd the elasticity of nature is seen in the circumstance that animals from milder climes when taken to these cold regions soon grow a larger and thicker coat of hair, whereby they are enabled the more effectively to resist the cold. The same elasticity is also seen in the thicker coat that animals native to cold climates are always found to have on the approach of a season of extraordinary severity.
" The Indian hunters asserted, Cold would the winter be, for thick was the fur of the foxes." Another illustration of the goodness and wisdom of God may be seen in the arrangement whereby the various countries of the earth are stocked with animals peculiar to their climate and productions. The elephant and rhinoceros, the lion and the tiger, are found only in those countries where a rapid and luxurious vegetation, and innumerable tribes of animals, require the efforts of such monstrous devourers to keep them in check. That the productions of every country are so varied as they are, ought to excite within us deep gratitude to God. It would be a great calamity for every land to be like every other in its animal and vegetable growtbs. Where, then, were the motives of gain, and of adventure and discovery, that now send the merchant and the explorer on their travels ? The ocean would separate instead of uniting, and each country would live as much apart as the stars in the sky. But as it actually is, one country supplies what the other does not possess, and the varieties of the countries bring their inhabitants into closer contact, and enable them the more perfectly to serve one another. It is an extensive illustration of the old parable ; " If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling p” The various countries of the world may be compared to the different members of the human body, and an unfettered intercourse enables one to supply the lack of another, and all to work together for the general good. This is a reason why we should take interest in all that
goes on all over the world ; and why we should seek to know as much about the habits of the lion, and tiger, and leopard, and giraffe, and other animals peculiar to tropical climes, as we known about those familiar domestic pets that are fed with our own hands, and grow up beneath our own sight.
Some of these animals we will now more particularly describe, and as we proceed in our studies we shall see the most evident footprints of Divine goodness and wisdom and power. The conviction will come into every reflecting mind with such force as to produce the astonished exclamation of Jacob, “ Surely, the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not!” We shall behold, in all directions, manifestations of a beneficent God, who, so far from confining Himself to the solitudes of eternity, comes forth, and, for our advantage, writes His character plainly on the myriad objects of Nature :
"Lives through all life, extends through all extent,
Spreads undivided, operates uuspent."
BAND OF HOPE PAPER.
IT'S THE SIGN THAT'S WRONG.
School, for we had been informed that a quaint old
A treat was in store for us, we knew, for we had heard him before, and his droll manner and broad speech
had amused us very much. Lessons were over, a hymn was sung, our friend was introduced, and we were all eyes and ears to watch the singular movement of his limbs and to hear his dainty talk. His address on the previous occasion was intended for the girls, and his satirical talk about abominable chignons and extravagant dresses made it quite a savoury discourse for us big lads, whatever it might be for the girls. It was our turn this time, however. Gold-headed canes, hoops, and other fal-de-dals came in for a deal of condemnation, and no doubt the girls were in high glee, and although we relished his peculiar dialect, we felt ourselves to be in no enviable position when he made his significant nod towards “ye young men in t corner there.”
But what I want to tell you is this.
We had often seen him smoking, and were not a little surprised when he condemned bacca, cigars, and all such like "as being good for nowt, and worse nor that."
This seemed inconsistent, but he quickly explained that he had formed the habit when young, and it was now too late to relinquish it.
Then he condemned drink" as being " a deadly poison, that could do no good, but often lead to mischief," and he warned us to keep away from the public-house and the gin-shop.
None of my class-niates were frequenters of the ale-bench, and although we were not abstainers, we felt annoyed that he should seem to be preaching for our ears, and our ears alone.
However, we listened to him attentively, and as the way home for most of us lay in the same direction, we went on the streets together discussing the merits and demerits of his address. “Look bere,” said one of our number, “ here's Mr. J-'s shop,” Yes, we all know that,” said I;" what of that ?”
"Read the sign," said he.
We did so, and in bright gilt letters big enough to be read from a great distance, we read
"John J--, Licensed to sell Tea, Coffee, Tobacco, Cigars, Snuff, etc. Also Beer not to be Drunk on the Premises."
I suppose you will say that we acted indiscreetly, but, without thinking much about it, we went to the house door behind the shop, and asked for Mr. J
He was in, and was glad to see us.
My class-mates had appointed me head-spokesman, so I told him very briefly that we were of opinion that either the address that he had given that afternoon or his shop-sign was a great mistake.
He was a curious customer, and we were not surprised to see him walk out without saying a word.
In a few minutes he returned and said, “ I've been looking at the sign, and it's the sign that's wrong, and down it comes to-morrow, if you'll all join the Band of Hope."
Now we were put to the test. Little did we anticipate that our friend would meet us in this way.
But so it happened, and one of the most flourishing Bands of Hope in the district is conducted by our old friend
and addressed at times by some of my class-mates, who now think that “the sign was wrong."
THE CHILDREN'S BOOK-SHELF.
By the EDLTOR.
TO MY YOUNGER READERS.
you I was very fond of reading, and I generally found
I therefore used to save what little pocket-money I could get, and when it amounted to a
sum sufficient for the purpose, I invested it in a book. To have my books where I could find them when' wanted, I made, though I must admit in a very clumsy way, a tier of little shelves, which I fixed up in my bed-room. But while I found a difficulty in getting the means to buy books, I had as great a difficulty in deciding what books to buy when I had the means. I had to get the information I required as I best could, and sometimes I bought at a venture, or decided to purchase by the mere title of the book or its outside appearance. It, therefore, not unfrequently happened that I laid out my carefully-saved pence on books which were unsuitable to me, and which did me no good.
Now I should like to er.courage you to form a little library of your own, and I am also wishful to save you from the mistakes I occasionally fell into, in the purchase of your books. Books are like