« VorigeDoorgaan »
ings of the natives, who treat them with so much attention and kindness as to render them nearly tame. Two females will sometimes lay their eggs in the same nest, in which case they always agree remarkably well, As long as the female is sitting, the male continues on watch near the shore, but as soon as the young are hatched, he leaves them. The mother, however, remains with them a considerable time longer; and it is curious to observe her attention in leading them out of the nest, almost as soon as they creep from the eggs. Having conducted them to the water's edge, she takes them on her back, and swims a few yards with them, when she dives, and leaves them on the surface to take care of themselves; and they seldom afterwards are seen on land. When the natives come to the nest, they carefully remove the female, and take away the superfluous down and eggs. They tlen replace the mother, and she begins to lay afresh, covering the eggs with new down; and when she can afford no more, the male comes to her assistance, and covers the eggs with his down, which is white. When the young ones leave the nest, it is once more plundered. The best down and most eggs are got during the first three weeks of their laying; and it has been generally observed, that they lay the greatest number of eggs in rainy weather. One female, during the time of laying, usually yields half a pound of down, which, however, is reduced one half after it is cleaned. It is extremely soft and warm, and so light and elastic, that two handfuls squeezed together are sufficient to fill a covering, which is used in the cold countries instead of a common quilt or blanket. According to an observation of Mr. Cartwright, these birds fly at the rate of ninety miles an hour. In spring they swim in flocks; and in a fine day it is very pleasing to see two or three dozen of them sailing by. Being very thick of feathers, they sit high on the water, which adds to the gracefulness of their appearance.
Their flesh is valued as food, andtheir skins are made into warm and comfortable under garments.
AGREEABLE to the intimation given in our last number, the delegates from the Suffolk Association, by the direction of that body, submitted the following resolutions, which were passed unanimously.
661. That the General Association of Massachusetts highly approve of the method of communicating religious instruction to youth by means of Bible classes, and earnestly recommend to all the ministers in connexion with this body, the establishment of Bible classes among the youth of their congregations.
That the delegates from the several Associations in Massachusetts connected with this body shall, every year, in giving an account of the state of religion, state the number of Bible classes in the congregations with which the ministers they represent are connected, and the condition of those classes."
We feel assured that these measures will attract more attention to an object which promises great good to the Church. And we are confident the time is not far distant when the concentrated wisdom, and collective energies of the friends of Revelation will be brought to bear on the diffusion, and progressive improvement of BibleClass instruction. The following extract from the June Number of the Literary and Evangelical Magazine, published at Richmond, Virginia, will exhibit the tone of feeling which extensively exists in the middle states.
After stating that the General Assembly, had recommended the formation of Bible classes in all the churches in their connexion, the writer (probably, Dr. Rice,) adds—66 this method of instruction, is in extensive operation in the Presbyterian church; and in many cases it has evidently produced very salutary results. This is certainly a strong inducement, to make the experiment where it has not been attempted.
5. In this measure there is nothing of a sectarian character; nothing, to which any religious denomination can object: in regard to it, among those who admit the truth, and consequently, the importance of the Bible, but one opinion can prevail. The Bible
should be understood. Religion is man's supreme concern. No sufficient reason can be assigned, why the young should not be educated in the knowledge of religious truth. Other attainments may be wanting, and no serious evil ensge. But in the midst of the light which we enjoy, no one can safely abide in ignorance of this great subject. It would be a delightful spectacle to see the youth, in every congregation in our land, associated for their moral and religious improvement; regarding the church as a school in which they are to be trained for a holy and a bappy immortality; deriving their opinions fresh from the Bible, and regulating their deportment by its precepts; and thus shedding around them the light of a splendid, and useful example.”'
" The best mode of conducting Bible Classes, is of necessity, committed to the direction of those who conduct them. In general, the most profitable method, unqnestionably is, to take the Scriptures as they lie before us ; to ascertain, as far as we can, precisely what they teach; and to receive their instructions in the very shape and arrangement, in which divine wisdom bas chosen to communicate them to the world. He who adopts this course, is likely to be more impartial and successful in bis inquiries after truth, than the person who appeals to the Bible, chiefly, for the confirmation of his pre-arranged opinions."
In answer to the question, “How do you prove from the light of
Nature that there is a God?”
WERE mankind destitute of every other means of acquiring a knowledge of the Deity, the works of nature and providence would be to every thinking mind, a sufficient demonstration not only of his existence, but also of his power, wisdom, and goodness; for what but an Almighty arm could have formed a machine, so vast and só complicated as even the small portion of the
universe, which is within the compass of the human eye ? Who but an all-wise Being could have arranged its various parts, and caused them to move in the regular order and beautiful harmony, which are exhibited to our view ? And who but a God of infinite benevolence would have ordered all his works in such a manner, as to promote the happiness of his rational creation ? 66 The heavens declare the glory of God," and their resplendent suns and worlds proclaim in silent majesty, the grandeur of that power which made and moves them.
4. The earth also is full of his goodness :" every flower that blooms, every leaf that grows, is a fresh proof of the existence of his glorious attributes ; man, with all his boasted dignity, cannot form an idea of that principle of life which animates the creation of God. The incomprehensible union of his own soul and body causes him to exclaim, “ marvellous are thy works ;” and teaches him to adore and worship a Being so infinitely above his most exalted.conceptions. Deity is so plainly written on every part of creation, that the whole heathen world are constrained to worship some kind of God, however upworthy the name ; for we find that from the devotees of Juggernaut in the east, to the worshippers of the Great Spirit in the west, all acknowledge some power which created, directs, and governs the universe; and if there be in our world, a being who can disbelieve, or even doubt the existence of such a power, his doubts can exist but for a moment, for conviction, however unwelcome, will seize his mind; and although he obstinately shut his eyes on the evidences around him, their effulgent brightness will soon force them open, and compel him inwardly to acknowledge their irresistible influence. If then we are thus clearly and forcibly taught, that “ the Lord is our maker," that he is perfectly glorious and good, worthy of our highest praise and adoration, what can excuse our withholding from him any part of that glory which is due unto his name? While every thing around us is chanting his praises, and all pature seems teeming with gratitude, “ shall man, the great master of all, the only insensible prove ?” Shall man, the most capable of all his creatures, of loving,
serving, and glorifying him, be the last to proclaim his goodness ? Should he not rather exert all his powers in the service of so divine a master, and strive to render to him a tribute of praise worthy of the distinguished talents, with which his munificence has furnished him? And what a field for contemplation do these works of God afford us! To look “ from nature up to nature's God,” is the most sublime employment of human thought, and how perverted must be that mind which prefers to ruminate on the trifles of time and sense, instead of losing itself amid those glorious scenes, to which a meditation on the wonders of creation is capable of introducing it! The more we accustom ourselves to this delightful employment, the more will our minds expand, the more will they increase in that knowledge, and admiration of the character of God, which alone distinguishes us from the inhabitants of heaven; and the better sball we be prepared to pass from these low scenes of night, to enter on that eternal day in which we shall behold ,5 face to face” those ineffable glories, which even now, though seen through a glass darkly," can sometimes fill us with joy and gratitude to him who has given us minds capable of enjoying them in some measure here, and has assured us, that “ eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
Few persons sufficiently realize how entirely all their 'feelings may be under the control of circumstances, and those circumstances, under the immediate efficient agency of a holy Providence. The following extract will fully substantiate this remark.
66 About forty years ago, two young gentlemen, students at the University of Glasgow, after a winter of hard study, proposed to themselves, and set out on, a journey of six weeks among the mountains and isles of the Highlands. They had been intimately acquainted