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treasure. The fins of the fish are as wings to them, with which they fly through the mighty waters; and many of them so swiftly, that they can easily get before a vessel in full sail. Their numbers are, in a very high degree, astonishing; let us only notice one instance, though many others of a like,kind might be easily named; pilchards are often so numereus on the coast of Cornwall, that they are not only eaten and salted, but are sold at a very low rate in vast quantities to manure the ground.
But INSECTS and REPTILES, are the most numerous of all the varied tribes of being. One class is destitute of wings; a second, have two; a third, have four; and a fourth, have wings, and spring from worms; and a fifth class is more wonderful than all the rest, it has the power of self-multiplication; I refer to the Polypi. If one should be cut into twenty pieces, each piece would become a separate and perfect animal.
This is indeed astonishing, Father.
It is. Insignificant as these little creatures appear, insects are often very formida ble; you have seen the cattle running wildly and in great anguish, goaded on by an insignificant fly.
I was reading about the locusts in the little book you gave me, and there it is said, that in the east they darken the sun, over
run the whole country, and eat up every green thing.
They were one of the plagues of Egypt, and a dreadful plague indeed they must have been. With what infinite ease God can chastise a guilty people!
But what can be the use, Father, of such immense quantities of flies?
I cannot altogether tell you. In general, they furnish food for many of the creatures, which are beneficial to man; they also seek out and devour, every thing of a putrid and offensive nature; they are the scavengers of creation. No doubt they are serviceable in some way or other; perhaps as much so as the cochineal insect, which furnishes a rich crimson dye, if we were fully acquainted with them. God is too wise to have made any thing in vain. The smallest no less than the greatest, display his power, wisdom, and goodness, and suggest many inquiries to which no satisfactory answer can be given.
THE NUMBER OF GOD'S WORKS.
You were pleased with the sermon this morning, were you not, Frank? You were very attentive.
I was, Father; yet I wish Mr. F. had said more on one part of his subject. To which do you refer ?
After he had quoted his text, he said that the works of God are innumerable; I wish that he had illustrated this part of his subject.
The remarks he made were judicious; it is impossible to bring all we might wish into one discourse. He amply proved his principal point, that wisdom is displayed in all the works of the divine hand.
But the text, Father, says, that they are manifold, as well as made in wisdom.
And so they are; and can't you illustrate this part of the subject yourself?
With your aid, Father, perhaps I can.
Well, let us try. First, examine what is within the earth on which you tread; can you tell me what is to be found there?
I should not have thought of those, Father, though there are a great many. There is the soil on its surface; and gravel, for
This would indeed be impossible, by feeling, Father; the arms which should reach to the stars must be very long.
By the eye, too, we may often give a very shrewd guess, as to the real temper and disposition of our fellow creatures; deceit is often unmasked by the eye; a blind person would be lost here.
It is wonderful, Father, to think of the different kind of eyes. Now there is the little mite, we saw through the microscope, he has eyes, but he cannot see farther than a little part of an inch before him.
True; and perhaps Newton is but a mite contrasted with an angel.
Should we be so happy as to reach heaven, and nothing, but our wilful rebellion against the good God can shut us out of it, -perhaps, our organs of vision will be, in some unknown and inconceivable way, immensely superior to what they now are.
That is a delightful thought, Father; I should like to have eyes by which I could sce the people in the moon, and all the fine landscapes there. Do you think that this will ever be the case?
It is not impossible, that in a better state, we may be enabled to see distinctly much farther than the moon. It is said in the Scriptures, "Eve hath not seen, nor hath