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his wisdom and power in the care which he manifests for the brute creation. That the innumerable tribes of animals existing on this globe find, during the continuance of summer, food and shelter, is not surprising; all nature teeming with fertility conduces to this great end; but that in this season of the year such numbers of creatures-birds, quadrupeds, reptiles, insects, and fishes-should continue to exist, must demand the admiration of every reflecting being. Nature has provided most animals with a covering to defend them from the winter's cold, as well as from the summer's heat. Those wild animals which dwell amid the forest and the desert are so admirably organized, that their hair, as summer advances, begins to fall from the skin, and grows again in winter with such luxuriance as to become a thick fur, capable of preserving them from the severity of the season.

When cold renders a place of security requisite, other species of animals find retreats; some under the bark of trees, others in the crevices of old buildings, and some within the clefts of rocks, and in the caverus of mountains. It is there they either live upon the food which instinct has taught them to provide, or they are nourished and supported by the fat which they had previously secreted, or they pass the tedious length of winter in a state of torpescent insensibility, each according to the habits of its tribe. Birds at the approach of winter retire to sheltered places; and some species possess an instinct, which leads them at the commencement of cold to quit the frozen regions of the north, winging their bold and arduous flight for more genial climes.

The resources of those animals which do not change their abode in winter are various. Birds feed upon the insects which they are taught to seek amongst the moss and in the clefts of the bark of trees; many animals live upon the provisions they have providently

The Beauties of the Winter.

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stored in their dens during the summer, others are obliged to burrow beneath the ice and the snow to find support. Many species of insects and of fishes, though confined within marshes stiff by the frost, and in rivers whose surfaces are frozen, yet preserve their vitality.

Let us then unite in adoration of the all-powerful and merciful Creator, whose majesty and whose gran. deur cover all the creatures of the earth; all of which, from the stately elephant to the most feeble and minute animals under the heavens, owe to him their life, their abode, and their support. Where nature seems barren and destitute of resources, he still finds means to make her productive. Let these considera. tions strengthen our confidence in God, and banish from our minds all doubts of the continuance of his protection and support during the rigours of winter.

That God who provides a covering for animals, who points out to them secure retreats in the caves of the mountains, will also know how to clothe thee, O man! And he who supplies them with food and with warmth, even beneath the ice and the snow, will ever be thy support, and thou wilt find a sure harbour, where thy days may glide in peace and in tranquillity, safe from storms aud commotions. Let such reflections as these raise in thy bosom a desire to imitate, as far as thy abilities permit, the generous cares of Divine Providence, by contributing to the preservation and happiness of thy fellow-creatures, and of the whole animal creation.

JANUARY VII.

The Beauties of the Winter.

EVERY season has its peculiar pleasures and beau ties; and however destitute of charms winter may ap

pear to some people, it has still a portion to interest the feelings. For the benefit of those who, from prejudice and ignorance, murmur and repine against this season, I will here enumerate some of the particular pleasures which it offers us.

How delightful is the face of nature when the morning light first dawus upon a country embosomed in snow! The thick mist which obscured the earth, and concealed every object from our view, at once vanishes. How beautiful are the tops of the trees, hoary with frost! The hills and the valleys, reflecting the sun-beams, assume various tints: all nature is ani. mated by the genial influence of the bright luminary, which now invites the warbling songsters from the groves to make jocund the day with their harmonious notes. If nature, during the absence of the sun, droops and is overspread with gloom; when the hori zon is again illumined with cheering rays she resumes her wonted gaiety, and, robed in white, delights the traveller with her novel and delicate appearance. How beautiful to see the white hills, the forests, and the groves, all sparkling! What a delightful combination these objects present! Observe the brilliancy of those hedges! See the lofty trees bending beneath their dazzling burthen! The surface of the earth appears one vast plain mantled in white and splendid array.

Little, indeed, are the feelings of those to be envied upon whom these grand phenomena make no impres sion; beings who can contemplate with indifference a spectacle which ought to gladden their hearts and fill their souls with the majesty of heaven, and the boundless wisdom and immeasurable goodness of an allpowerful God. Such reflections, arising from the contemplation of his works, always produce satisfaction and delight. The heavens may lower, the agitation of the air portend a storm, and nature, losing

Vegetables verdant during the Winter. 13

her sweetest attractions, appear bleak, wild, and desolate; yet the soul, retiring within itself, derives energy and an exalted pleasure in tracing, by his works, the power, the wisdom, and benignity of the Godhead.

JANUARY VIII.

Of the Vegetables which preserve their Verdure through the Winter.

Ar this season of the year the earth, losing the variety of charms which so lately beautified her surface, seems solitary and destitute; and may be com. pared to a tender mother, who has been bereft of her dearest children, and is seen to mourn and lament. But she is not deprived of all her offspring; here and there plants are seen to brave the rigours of winter, and by their verdure relieve the sterility of the scene. Here the hawthorn's tempting berries offer the fea thered race a sweet repast; the ever-verdant laurustinus now delights with its clustering flowers; and the never-fading yew-tree forms a dark shade. The creeping ivy still winds round the mouldering battlements, and defies the whistling wind and the storm's loud roar; the laurel blooms with verdure undiminished; and the lowly box looks green above the snow. These, with many other plants, preserve their verdant hue amid every severity of season and rigour of climate. They may present a pleasing emblem of the everdurable advantages he possesses whose mind is amply stored, and whose amiable disposition makes all around him smile with joy and pleasure. The splendour of dress, and the profusion of ornaments, which dazzle and fascinate the weak and the vulgar, are vain and transitory; colours that vie with the rainbow in

brilliancy fade; the pride of youth, beauty smiling with every grace and symmetry of form, flutter awhile amid the sun-beams, and are seen no more; but the charms of virtue last for ever. The man who fears God" resembles a tree, which, planted on the banks of a rivulet, as it grows to maturity expands, and stretches forth its branches far round with unfading verdure, and produces its fruits in season; it offers an ever-refreshing shade, and the weary traveller blesses it."

How amiable is the truly pious man! His ornaments are within, and his virtue shines forth with beauty unborrowed of the external and adventitious smiles of fortune. The storms of adversity may shake, but can never overpower him; though for a moment cast down, his bold front soon towers above the tempest. If misfortune darkens his horizon, and poverty frowns, he is still blessed with riches that wealth can. not purchase the love of God, a good conscience, and the bright hope of a glorious immortality.

This reflection leads me to the idea of a benevolent old man, who in the winter of his life resembles those plants which at that season still preserve their verdure. How many storms of fortune has he not braved with constancy! How many dear attracting objects have withered in his sight! He yet exists, whilst many of his contemporaries are mingled with the silent dust. A mild cheerfulness still plays on his cheeks. Though his forehead be wrinkled, and the strong hand of time mark his venerable countenance, and render feeble his frame, his virtues recompense his lost vigour; he lives again in his.offspring, and his wisdom, his integrity, and his experience, are held up as a noble example to his children's children,

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