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judgment, that there are but few people who have any thing like a proper idea of the almighty power of God.
Yet, we should muse on his power and goodness. We should supplicate his favor; it is the one thing needful. If he blesses us, we must be blessed. We should never despair of his aid; he can help and deliver us în the utmost extremity. He is indeed "able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we can ask or think. We should gaze on his glorious works, till the hallowed fire of devotion kindles in our bosom, and we are impel led, with holy admiration, to give utterance to the language of the happy spirits who live in his immediate presence, and who see him as he is "Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are thy ways, thou King of Saints!"
What a blessed day, Father, will that be, when we shall really join their happy society, and really unite in these immortal strains!
THE Tide is just coming in; we will walk down, Frank, along the beach.
That will be very pleasant, Father, as the evening is so warm.
How useful is water; without it, the earth would soon become a vast desert: and how abundantly has the adorable Author of all good bestowed this great blessing upon the world.
And what a multitude of creatures, Father, live in the water, and none can live without it. True; every being and object which has life, would die without water: it refreshes and cleanses the whole world.
And how useful it is, Father, in promoting intercourse with the most distant countries of the globe.
It is; they are easily visited in our ships. A great part of the wealth of nations arises from commerce, by means of the ocean. Water, indeed, is in the highest degree useful, in all its forms.
In all its forms, Father! Is not water, then, water?
Yes; and it is eight hundred times heavier than air; but it very commonly becomes light
er than the air we breathe; indeed, water is composed of two kinds of air, which chymists call oxygen and hydrogen.
Water lighter than air, Father!
Yes; look at those clouds, which are gently moving around the horizon; of what are they composed?
There is rain in those clouds, I think; and yet they float in the air; but they could not do so, if they were not lighter.
Certainly not; the sun raises them from the mighty ocean, the vast fountain which supplies the whole globe. And God commissions his winds to scatter them abroad, that they may enrich every part of the wide creation.
See, Father, the steam vessel is coming up the channel.
It is; there, Frank, water changes its form, and becomes a powerful instrument in the hand of man. The application of steam to useful purposes may be yet in its infancy.
Here, Father, water assumes a form which is lighter than air, or else it would not rise up into it.
True. What an immense process is perpetually going on in creation: the sun draws up the vapors from the ocean; they rise into the air in clouds; the winds scatter them; they are intercepted by the mountains; they dissolve; they form springs; the living creatures partake of them; the gentle showers
fall, and refresh and fertilize the earth; the springs unite, and form rivers, which return again into the sea. Well might the Psalmist exclaim, "O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all! The earth is full of thy riches!
How wonderful evaporation is, Father.
It is. If we could not prove it unanswerably, but few would believe, that the waters of the ocean could be made to float through the atmosphere; yet, so it is. It is thus that God "waters the hills from his chambers; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of his works."
Do you know, Father, how much lighter the vapors are, than the waters of which they are formed?
About fourteen hundred times. Without evaporation, nothing could be dried. There would be no stacks of hay or of corn. Without evaporation, the clothes of your play-fellow who fell into the river the other day, could never have been dried again.
And a shower of rain, Father, would then have spoiled our dress at any time.
It would. It is, indeed, difficult to conceive how we could have had any clothing. But God has arranged every thing in infinite wisdom and goodness, and for the benefit of
his creature man.
It would be pleasant, Father, to know how much water such a river as the Thames pours every day into the ocean:
Dr. Halley has made a curious calculation on this subject; he thinks that it must be about two hundred and three millions of tons. How is it, Father, that the sea is so salt? It is probable that there are immense mines and mountains of salt in the great deep.
You told me that the saltness of the sea was the principal reason why it did not freeze to any extent.
It is. There is a circumstance well worthy of notice, in reference to our rivers; the air mingles with the water during the process of freezing, so that the frozen waters expand, and they become lighter than they originally
I have often wondered, Father, how it is that ice should swim; but this makes it very plain. It is well that it does swim. If it were heavier than the water, one quantity after another would sink to the bottom of rivers, till the mass of water would be frozen, and the heat of summer would be unable to dissolve them; so that there would not be a river in our country.
This again, Father, shows the wisdom and goodness of God; does it not?
Assuredly; and so do the tides which are now dashing their billows against the beach: they not only tend to purify the ocean, but they waft into the port, the vessels which are