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powers of his mind at his Saviour's feet, they become at once doubly pleasurable in their exercise and multiplied in themselves. In diligently improving his five talents to the glory of his Lord, he gains, as if by a new creation, other five.
The effect of religious principle is, to add new vigour to the intellect. The truth of the motto, bene orasse bene studuisse, has been felt by many since Luther's days. For this reason, it is to Christians especially that the inquiry is addressed—Is the state of society, intellectually, what it ought to be ? It is for them to give the answer; it is for them to work the needed
X. Whilst the stream keeps running, it keeps clear; but if it come once to a standing water, then it breeds frogs and toads and all manner of filth. The keys that men keep in their pockets, to use every day, wax brighter and brighter ; but if they be laid aside, and hang by the walls, they soon grow rusty : thus it is that action is the very life of the soul; whilst we keep going and running in the ways of God's commandments, we keep clean and free from the world's pollutions ; but if we once flag in our diligence and stand still, O what a puddle of sin will the heart be! How rusty and useless will our graces grow! How unserviceable for God's worship, how unfit for man's benefit, by reason of the many spirītual diseases that will invade the soul!
XI. Holy fear is a searching the camp that there be no enemy within our bosom to betray us, and seeing that all be fast and
For I see many leaky vessels fair before the wind, and professors who take their conversation upon trust, and they go on securely, and see not the under water till a storm sink
XII. It is recorded of Alexander the Great, that a soldier was reported to him as having betrayed great cowardice on a particular occasion, on which Alexander called him to him, and asked
On hearing that his name was Alexander, he upbraided him with the dishonour that he brought on such a name, and entreated him either to change his manners, or to change his name, asking him how he could dare, while known as Alexander, to act unworthily? And shall not the Christian remember the high and holy name by which he is called, and dread encountering the guilt and meanness of dishonouring his Head, who was “ holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners?"
A Persian King, willing to oblige his courtiers, gave to one a golden cup, and to the other a kiss ; and he that had the former complained to the King that his fellow's kiss was more to be valued than his golden cup. Christ does not put off his people with the golden cup; but he gives them the kiss, which is infinitely better. He gives his best gifts to his best beloved ones; he gives his best love, his best joy, his best peace, his best mercies.
A friend of Mr Dod's being raised from a mean estate to much worldly greatness, Mr Dod sent him word that “this was but going out of a boat into a ship; and he should remember that while he was in the world, he was still on the sea.”
If a merchant of indisputable opulence and honesty gives me his note of hand, binding himself to pay so much money, I have no reason to fear a failure of payment. “Mr is a person of vast wealth, and of as great integrity! My money is as sure as if I had it in my pocket.” Thus we reason concerning human beings. Give the same implicit credit to God's promises. We have it in his own writing, under his own hand and seal, that " every one who believeth shall have everlasting life;" and “whoso cometh unto me, I will in nowise cast out." Do not dishonour God's note of hand, by letting unbelief question either his ability or veracity. Do not withhold from the God of heaven and earth that confidence which, in many cases, you cannot withhold from a man.
ILLUSTRATIONS OF SCRIPTURE NATURAL HISTORY.
It is supposed that the garden spider is the one to which Solomon referred, when he described it as exceeding wise,” and said the spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.”—Prov. xxx. 24, 28. If we examine the web which it constructs, we shall be struck with the wisdom and sagacity it displays. How curious are the circles it forms! How skilfully it pulls out its thread with its feet! And how architectural the stays which give stability to the whole of the airy structure !
The geometric spider of our gardens is very remarkable for the beauty of its colours, and the lightness and filmy delicacy of its webs. On a fine autumnal morning, the most careless observer of nature will not fail to notice, along every hedge-row and on every bush, its threads and circular net-work laden with pearly drops.
The spider forms its web in the following manner. It first forms the outline, by passing from one leaf or sprig to another, fixing the threads as it proceeds, and encircling a considerable space. The outline has additions made to it here and there, until, by being secured to various objects, it becomes sufficiently
strong and tight for the purpose of the architect. The outline is now filled up by lines which appear like the spokes of a wheel. In doing this the spider fixes a thread to any convenient part of the outline, which it then traverses until it reaches the point exactly opposite, all the while drawing out its line, and keeping it distinct by one of its hind feet, so as to prevent its being glued to the thread along which it walks. Having reached this opposite point, the thread becomes a diameter of the circle, and it now makes it fast. At the middle of this crossthread it now fastens another, and then carries it to the nearest point of the outline, to be secured there. From the same spot, which is to be the centre of the net, it carries first one and then another thread to the outline, and so on, until the number of lines or spokes, generally from twenty to thirty, is complete.
Having ascertained that every thread is strong enough, which it does by pulling at each separately and by dropping itself down several feet from various points of it, and, as may be often seen, by swinging and bobbing about with the whole weight of its body, and after removing those that are faulty, it next proceeds to form the concentric circles, commencing at the centre and proceeding to the outline. Beginning at the middle, it spins a ring fastened to each spoke at a little distance from the central point: this is followed by more at a short distance from each other, the interval increasing as the spider approaches the circumference.
The whole of these circles being finished, it returns to the centre and bites off the point at which all the spokes were united, rendering the ret more elastic. In this central spot the spider sometimes takes its station on the watch for prey, but it always spins a cell in a retired spot in which it may lurk unobserved. The vibration of the thread from its retreat to the centre of the net, gives notice when any prey is entangled in the mesh.
The thread of the spider, like that of the silk-worm and other caterpillars, is originally a glutinous secretion drawn out from the body of the insect. If a spider be minutely examined, several little teats or spinners will be observed, each of which contains a great many tubes, so numerous and fine that a space which is often no bigger than the point of a pin is supposed to be provided with a thousand of them. From each of these tubes, consisting of two pieces, and the last of which has an exceedingly fine point, an amazingly slender thread proceeds, which immediately after unites with all the other threads into
Thus from each spinner there issues a compound thread, and these four threads, at about the tenth of an inch from the
spinners, again unite and form the compound thread of the spider's web.
Reaumur states that he has often counted through a microscope seventy or eighty fibres in a single thread, observing, at the same time, that they were too numerous for him to reckon. He considered himself much within the limits of truth in computing that a single thread is composed of 5000 fibres.
If the cordage of the web is so delicate and wonderful, what must be the instruments used in producing and arranging it? These are the spider's feet: with these it arranges the threads as they are produced. On the legs, and especially the three last joints, moveable spines, or spurs, may be observed, which can be raised or depressed at the will of the spider, and are probably used, when wanted, as a kind of fingers. These enable the creature to take hold of any thread to guide it, to pull it out, and to ascertain what is caught, and to suspend itself.