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THE NUMBER OF GOD'S WORKS.
our walks; and clay, to make bricks with; and sand to make glass with; and stone for bridges, and houses; and marble, for chimney pieces; and limestone; and coals, to dress our food, and to keep our rooms
There are, indeed, all these, and many more which you have not named..
O, I forgot the metals, and the minerals; let me see, how many of these are there? There are, gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, sulphur, and zinc, with which you made the pretty tree in the glass the other day.
And you have now forgot salt, and quicksilver, and antimony, and many others; and you have overlooked all the precious stones; diamonds, and rubies, and sapphires, and jaspers, and emeralds, and more indeed than I can name; and you will recollect, that these may be but a small specimen of what actually exist, as no one has penetrated far into the earth. Truly, the works of God are ma nifold.
On the surface of the earth, Father, too, there are mountains, and vallies, and hills, and plains, and forests, and vineyards, and orchards, and rocks, and rivers, and springs, and lakes, and gulphs, and caverns, and seas, and oceans.
More than fifty thousand plants have been classed and numbered by botanists; and
THE NUMBER OF GOD'S WORKS.
there is reason to believe, that almost every furlong of ground, includes in it some plant peculiar to itself; there are, therefore, doubtless millions upon millions which have never been observed by man.
And, Father, all these plants have different trunks, or stems, and leaves, and fruits, and colors, and scents.
True; there is an immense variety among them; how unlike is the sensitive plant, which shrinks at a touch, and the oak of the forest, which bears uninjured the storms of five hundred or a thousand winters. What a contrast between the pretty moss that grows on our garden wall, and the cedars of Lebanon! between the little rose-tree, blossoming in your Mother's window, and the banyan tree, of which I lately told you, under whose vast shade an army was protected from the burning rays of the sun! Yes, the works of God are indeed manifold.
Yet we have not taken into our account, the animals, and insects, and reptiles, that exist on the face of the earth, nor the creatures which fly through the air.
We have not; though we have reason to believe, from the discoveries of the microscope, that the insect tribes are innumerable. a man is three times as extensive as the land, it is not improbable, that the living creatures which are on the land, are as nothing,
38 THE NUMBER OF GOD'S WORKS.
contrasted with those which have their abode in the mighty waters. The Psalmist says, that in the ocean, are things creeping, innumerable.
And these again differ in color, and shape, and size, Father.
They do, Frank. And the disproportion, too, how vast, between the mite and the elephant, between the minnow and the whale!
You have not noticed the variety which appears in the human race, Father. No two persons are altogether alike. Cousin Charles and John, who very much resemble each other, are yet easily known apart.
They are. No two voices, perhaps, are precisely the same. The works of God are with
And when we look at the milky-way, Father, we are sure that the stars are innumerable.
Of that we are certain, Frank; whatever view we take of the boundless works of the adorable Creator, with what admiration should we exclaim, "O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all! The earth is full of thy riches."
THE SOLAR SYSTEM.
WHAT is the reason, Father, that we do not see any stars in the day time? Have they all set, as the sun does in the evening?
No, Frank. If a small candle were placed on yonder hill, which is ten miles distant, at noon-day, do you think that you should see its blaze?
I think not; because the light of the sun is so powerful: but we should see it if it were dark, should we not?
Perhaps we should; and this is the reason why we do not see the stars in the day-time; their lustre is lost in the superior glory of the sun: so, when he is set, they are visible.
See, Father, Jupiter is a great way from the star near which we last saw him.
He is he, and a few others, are called planets, from a Greek word, which means to wander; because they are always altering their places in the heavens.
But the stars of Charles' Wain, and of Orion, Father, do not wander.
They do not; they are fixed stars, or suns; they do not roll around our sun, nor do they derive any light or heat from his influence. The planets, or worlds, which do, belong to what we call the Solar System.
Will you tell me Father, all about it? I cannot do this, Frank; I will tell you some few things; I know but little myself. The sun is in the middle of it. He is a magnificent object.
How then is it that he sets and rises, if he be in the midst, Father. Properly speaking, he does not either rise Are we
But we constantly see him do so. not to believe what we see?
Not always, Frank. You recollect when you went with me in the coach to see your uncle, you thought the hedges and fields were going along, whilst we were sitting still,
They seemed to do so, Father; but we know that this was not the case: it was the coach which was in motion.
So, when in the steam packet, you thought that the shore and the trees were moving. You see, that in both these cases you were obliged to call your judgment into exercise.
Are you sure, then, Father, that the sun does not go round the earih?
It is evident, Frank, that it does not. If it does, then all the innumerable stars in the heavens must move along with him every twenty-four hours. This is not credible. Besides, the sun is so vast a body, that we cannot suppose that this is the case; it is about 880,000 miles in diameter. How, much,