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feel for their young; and as the strongest instance of parental care, our Saviour makes use of the image of a hen gathering her young under her wings. It is cer tainly a very pleasing sight to see the strong affection which a hen bears to her young ones, and the continual care she takes of them; she never ceases to watch over them, flies to their assistance at the least ap. pearance of danger, boldly opposes every aggressor, and hazards her own life to save her young. She calls them, and reanimates them with her maternal voice; extends her wings to receive and cover them ; and neglects every convenience for herself, whilst she thinks of nothing but the safety and well-being of the objects of her affection. Every one must acknow. ledge in this the effects of infinite wisdom; for with. out this maternal solicitude, this instinct, so powerful and so superior to every thing, the chickens must perish, and the species soon become extinct. It can. not be said that the hen acts thus for her young with any understanding or reflection; or that she judges, reasons, foresees, combines, and draws inferences. She does it from the operation of that instinct which she has received from the liberal hand of nature, without study and without application. It is then the duty of man to seek in animals an occasion to glorify God; and as our attention increases and our observations become more extensive, our knowledge will be improved, and the pleasure we receive from these in. vestigations will be more frequent and exquisite.

MAY I.

Hymn on the Beauties of Spring.

BLESSED children of God! open your hearts to joy! See the Spring walking forth in beauty and gaiety.

System of the World.

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Contemplate the verdure of the fields and the flowers of the meadows, whose fruits will soon bring us the sweets of abundance. Yonder tree, which not long since appeared devoid of life and vigour, is now decked with blossoms that promise an abundant harvest.

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How beautiful is nature! How graceful her orna ments! Every animal, mead, wood, and field, revives, and, together with man, rejoices in a new existence. The lark soars aloft, till her sweet carols faintly die away on the breeze; the pigeons, in many a giddy whirl, fly round the flowery plain; and the plaintive melody of the nightingale pours from the groves, and amongst the flowers, the soft notes that are heard in the vales, or, louder swelling, fill the hills and woods. Here the fruitful hen guides, protects, and shelters with her wing, the feeble unfledged little ones, which nature has entrusted to her care. swallow, leaving her nest, immediately returns to the calls of tenderness, and brings her young the desired nourishment. The corn springs up in luxuriance, and promises abundantly to reward the toils of the la bourer, who joyfully anticipates his future blessings. Men plant, but the vivifying rays and fertilising showers descend from heaven. The heat of the sun ripens the fruits of the earth, and causes the life-invigorating juice to flow from the vine. The most humble and abject of the sons of men, when animated with celestial radiance, and favoured to drink of the living waters from on high, becomes the honour of humanity, and the messenger of the power and glory of God.

System of the World.

Of all the parts which form the mundane system, the sun is the most striking and interesting. His form

is spherical, and from him continually emanates an inexhaustible stream of luminous particles. By the telescope we discover in him certain spots, by which we can ascertain that he turns round his axis. His distance from the earth is eighty-two millions of miles, and he is one million of times larger. He communi. cates his light to at least twenty opaque globes that revolve round him at different distances. The nearest to him is the planet Mercury, which is seldom seen, and little known. Next is Venus, called both a morning and an evening star; because she sometimes precedes the sun, and sometimes follows after him. After Venus comes our own planet, the external sur, face of which is composed of earth and water, of mountains and valleys, and its internal part of beds and strata of different substances. This earth is the abode of a multitude of creatures, animate and inanimate; plants, metals, and animals. The moon revolves round the earth, and accompanies it in its revo lution round the sun. She is fifty times less than the earth, and on her surface we discover several brilliant spots, as well as some which are opaque. If the sur face of the moon was entirely level, the rays of light would be equally reflected from every part, and we could not then observe these spots, of which the brighter were formerly supposed to be continents, whilst those of a darker and more opaque appearance were considered as seas, appearing dark from their absorbing the rays of light: but later observations have proved, that they are only vast cavities which do not reflect the sun's light so strongly; that the luminous parts are plain superfices, and those that are most brilliant are lofty mountains.

The remaining planets in our system are, Mars; Jupiter, and his four moons; Saturn, and his seven; and Herschel or Georgium Sidus, and his six moons. Saturn is at such an immense distance from the sun

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that he is nearly thirty years in performing his revolu tion. The vast dominion of the sun, above a thousand millions of miles, is but a part of the universe; for each of the fixed stars is a sun, equal in magnitude and brilliancy to that which enlightens our sphere. Such is the grandeur of God, and such his glory, displayed in these admirable works; which invite us to pay our tribute of admiration, reverence, and praise, to the Being which formed them! Is there any thing in nature more proper to inspire in us exalted ideas of the Deity than the aspect of the heavens, nightly ir. radiated with thousands of revolving spheres? May we never view them without feeling the most lively sense of the munificence and grandeur of him who has created all things, and continues to preserve them with wisdom and rule them with merciful goodness.

MAY II.

Blossoms of Trees.

OUR gardens and fields are now decorated with the beauties of spring, and every part of Europe presents the most delightful aspect. The eternal word of the Creator, pronounced when he formed the world, has produced all these effects; his all-creating hand has again renovated the earth, and in a measure created it anew for the pleasure and happiness of his creatures. It is God alone who calls for the spring, and orders it to appear. Approach, O man, and try what thy wisdom and thy power can execute! Canst thou make one tree to blossom, or one leaf to germinate? Canst thou call from the earth the smallest blade of grass, or order the tulip to rise in all its splendour? Contemplate these flowers; examine them with attention.

Can they be more perfect, can their colours be more beautifully blended, or their forms more elegantly proportioned? Can the pencil of the painter equal the warmth of the blooming peach, or imitate the richness of a cherry-tree in bloom? So far from imitating, no one can conceive all the beauties of renovated nature; and if there were no other proofs of the power and wisdom of God on the earth, the flowers of spring would sufficiently display them. Every tree that blossoms, every plant, every flower, manifests a portion of that wisdom and beneficence so abundantly diffused through the earth. There is an infinite diversity among the blossoms of trees; though all beautiful, they differ in degree, one surpassing another; but there are none which do not possess some beauty peculiar to themselves. Some have flowers of a pure white; others have streaks of red and shades, and add to beauty and elegance the most exquisite fragrance. But all these multiplied varieties do not affect their fecundity.

From the consideration of these circumstances, we may receive profit and instruction. We may reflect, that, though we are not favoured with the same advantages that some possess, we should neither be discouraged nor afflicted. The privation of some accidental benefits can in no degree injure our well-being. Though we may not be quite so rich, so powerful, or so handsome, as some are, these are trifling things in the estimation of the virtuous and the wise; for without them we can be equally happy, equally useful to our fellow-creatures, and equally pleasing to God. True beauty consists in the works of piety, and the fruits of virtue. The blossoms of a fruit-bearing tree please more than the splendour of the tulip, or the richness of the auricula; because from the one we expect, when the blossoms are over, to receive fruit; while the others please for a moment, and are seen no more. Let us not then prefer the mere lustre and

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