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tender mercies are over all his works." "He desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he turn and live." All who seek his mercy shall assuredly find it.
THE HUMAN FRAME.
WE have conversed about the heavens, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and many other things, Frank; let us now talk of a subject more interesting and wonderful, at least to ourselves.
More interesting and wonderful than the stars and the heavens, Father! why, what can it be?
The Human Frame, Frank; for it is a very wonderful piece of mechanism. Man is, doubtless, the first of the creatures; and he was formed to have dominion over the earth, and over every living thing. He, alone, of all the animals which God has formed, is erect in his posture. He touches the ground only with the extremity of his body. With a glance of his eye, he surveys the vallies, and the hills, and the stars of heaven. He, alone, arranges the heavenly bodies which revolve in the immensity of space, in order, and understands the revolutions of the globe on which he lives.
We are sure, Father, without thinking much on the subject, that man is a wonderful creature. You have told me, you know, Father, about the eye; I don't think,
though, that you noticed then how admirably it is situated to guide the whole body.
The wisdom and goodness of God are seen in giving us two hands and two eyes. I was in company lately with a person, who, many years since, lost one of his eyes; he said, however, that he had not much missed it, as the other had been all that was absolutely necessary. I met a man yesterday, who had but one arm; this, however, was of the greatest service to him. If God had given to us but one arm or one eye, if this had been lost, all would have been lost. But he has given to us (O, how great are his wisdom and goodness!) two hands and two eyes.
What a surprising instrument the arm is, Father.
It is, Frank. At once strong and light, it is capable of performing every useful motion. It bends inwards and outwards, upwards and downwards, and in whatever direction its owner pleases. The human hand has done many and great things among other objects, it has built large and beautiful cities.
And great ships, Father, in which we may sail round the world in which we live ; and surprising things, more than one can readily mention.
And how beautifully does the skin cover
the whole body! It is a fine net-work, woven with divine skill, by God's own hand. The teeth, too, are very remarkable, Father.
They are; the foremost are thin and sharp, to cut our food asunder; and the hindmost are broad and strong, to grind it to pieces.
And hearing, too, Father, is a delightful faculty.
It is. Every part of the human frame is wonderful.
Do you understand every thing, Father, about the human frame?
O no, Frank; there are many things which I do not comprehend.
Will you tell me what these are, Father? I do not understand how it is, that by sounds coming through the air, ideas are communicated to the brain. I do not understand how, when I choose to take a walk, by the act of my will I communicate motion to my body. I do not understand how my heart keeps perpetually beating, and throwing the vital current through my whole frame, whether I am awake or asleep; and, of course, without any care of mine. It has been well remarked, that the vessels which take the blood from the heart to every part of the system, resemble the numerous water-pipes which supply a
great city. It is altogether an incomparable piece of machinery.
But you know, Father, that the veins are pipes to take the blood back again to the heart.
They are. And when I consider the slight materials of which the arteries and veins are composed, I do not comprehend how it is that this wonderful apparatus works, night and day, at the rate of one hundred thousand strokes every twenty-four hours, for seventy or eighty years together, without a moment's intermission, and without the least weariness.
And you have often remarked, Father, that we cannot comprehend the union of the soul with the body.'
True, Frank; no one can describe how the mind is united with the body.
And, Father, how wonderful is the sense of tasting; and how surprising is the gift of speech, by which we make known our wants, and all the inmost sentiments of our hearts.
It would take a long time, Frank, to relate all the wonders which are evident in the human frame. The poet Cowper beautifully compares it to "a harp of thousand strings," which is constantly kept in tune, by the gracious hand which first formed it.