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them a great deal of trouble. The captain of a ship, who carried some colonists to Liberia in 1830, gives the following account of these quarrels :—" When the colonists could muster but thirty effective men for defence, and when the forest was within pistolshot of their houses, five thousand of the natives, armed with muskets and other weapons of war, made an attack -upon them in three divisions. A part of the little band was surprised by the left division, who took possession of one of their two cannons, a ninepounder; but Instead of making use of it (if indeed they knew how) for the piece was loaded with grape and round-shot, and a lighted match placed near it, the possessors were seen embracing it, and crying out, "big gun, big gun," till the other, a four-pounder, was brought to bear on them, under the direction of Lot Cary, and plied with so much precision and activity, that they retreated. The gun was retaken, and turned on the invaders, when they made their escape to the forest. There was some skirmishing from the bush, till one of their gree-gree men (a kind of prophets or conjurors,) was slain, carried off by our men, and thrown into the river. This event entirely disheartened them; they went off, and have from that time never appeared in hostile array against the colonists. Many of them have traded with the colony ever since; but they would not acknowledge that they were engaged in the war, till, from an intercourse of some time, they found it would not be remembered to their prejudice. They then related many singular and amusing anecdotes respecting it, and acknowledged the loss of seventy or eighty men killed. If I remember right, the colonists lost but two or three of their little band."

It was not till about the year 1824, that the first dwelling, constructed of timber and boards, was built on the site of the present town of Monrovia. The place was then a forest of trees of towering height, and a thick underwood. In the year 1830, that is, after an interval of not more than six years, Monrovia consisted of about ninety-dwellings and shops, two buildings for public worship, and a court-house. Many of the buildings are handsome and convenient, and all of them comfortable.

The plot of the town is cleared more than a mile square, raised about seventy feet above the level of the sea, and contains 700 inhabitants. The streets are generally one hundred feet wide, and cut each other at right angles. This is not the only town belonging to Liberia. Caldwell is higher up on the river St. Paul, about seven miles from Monrovia, and contains a population of 560 persons, mostly engaged in agriculture. The soil is exceedingly fertile, the situation pleasant, and the people satisfied and happy. Still higher up on the same river, and about twentyfive miles from Monrovia, is Millsburg, the name of which is a happy combination of two circumstances. The stream would be sufficient to supply an hundred mills, and there is timber enough in the immediate neighbourhood to employ them, if used for the purpose of sawing, for half a century, so that Millsburgh would be a very suitable name for such a town: but it also had its name from two persons named Mills and Burgh, who took an interest in the first settlement of this infant nation. Millsburg contains about two hundred inhabitants.

The whole extent of sea coast belonging to Liberia, extends nearly two hundred miles; and there are other places besides those lately mentioned, which are occupied by settlers. Ships are arriving every year from America, with liberated negroes; and the whole population of the colony was reckoned, in 1830, at about 2000. Nor is America the only quarter from which their numbers an likely to be increased. We

have mentioned that the native blacks Were inclined at first to quarrel with their new neighbours, and that battles were the consequence, which ended to the advantage of the latter. The native tribes have since learnt to perceive that their brethren of Liberia were superior to themselves, not only in the art of war, but in all the comforts and conveniences of life. . They are accordingly very anxious to make treaties, and to receive from them all those advantages which civilized nations are able to confer upon savages. A naval officer, who visited the colony in 1828, writes as follows : "The importance of this colony, as regards the native tribes of the coast, is in my estimation great. They already begin to perceive that it is civilization and the blessings of religion, which give superiority to man over his fellow-men. They had supposed it was the white skin: but now they see, in their neighbourhood, men of their own colour enjoying all those advantages hitherto deemed peculiar to the former. This has called forth a spirit of enquiry which must tend to their benefit. The philanthropist may anticipate the day when our language and religion will spread over this now benighted land." Some of these native Africans have been allowed to settle in Liberia; and, what is still more pleasing, they send their children thither to be educated. In 1830, there were in Monrovia at least sixty children of native parents. These were attending the schools, and being brought up, not only in the habits of civilized life, but in the doctrines and practice of the gospel.

We shall give some further particulars of this interesting colony in a future number. E. B.

WEEDS.

How many plants, we call them weeds,

Against our wishes grow,
And scatter wide their various seeds

With all the winds that blow. Man grumbles when he sees them rise,

To foul his husbandry;
Kind Providence this way supplies

His lesser family.

Scattcr'd and small, they 'scape our eye,
But are not wasted there;

safe they in clefts and furrows lie,
The little birds And where.

ON THE INSTINCT OF ANIMALS. A Wise and merciful Creator has bestowed upon man superiority over all his creatures. "The fear of him, and the dread of him, is upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air; and upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea." But, while his superior reasoning faculties enable him to overcome all other living things,—to destroy those which are obnoxious, to tame and subdue those which may be rendered subservient to his necessities and comforts,—it is curious to observe the modes of defence or escape, which the same all-bountiful Providence, "without whose will not even a sparrow falleth to the ground," has bestowed upon those inferior classes, which are too frequently subject to the wanton persecution of the human race.

In no manner is His fatherly care of even the lowest of his creatures more curiously and convincingly displayed, than in the selection of the colours with which he has clothed and adorned each particular order. Thus, he has contrasted with the ground on which they live, those animals that are capable of making their escape from danger, either by their strength or agility; while he has granted to those whose weakness, or slowness of motion, would expose them to the assaults of their enemies, a colour, which by confounding them with the object upon which they rest, affords an easy means of escape. The snail is of the colour of the bark of the trees upon which it feeds, or of the wall on which it takes refuge.

Flat fishes, which are indifferent swimmers, such as the turbot, the flounder, the plaice, the sole, and several others, which exist principally at the bottom of the sea, are of the colour of the sands where they find their nourishment, being spotted like the beach with grey, yellow, black, red, and brown. But what is more wonderful, is the instinctive sensibility which they possess of the protection afforded them by this resemblance. When enclosed within the parks formed on the strand to entrap them, and the tide is gradually retiring, they bury their fins in the sand, awaiting the return of the tide, leaving only their backs visible; and thus, from their colour, become hardly distinguishable from the ground in which they have partly imbedded themselves. The fishermen make use of a kind of a sickle, with which they trace small furrows in every direction along the sand, to find out by the touch what they cannot discern with the eye. "Of this," says a celebrated French naturalist," I have been frequently a witness—much more highly amused at the dexterity displayed by the fish than at the skill of the fisherman.''

The same wonderful instinct, and correspondence of their plumage to the colour of the earth, may be remarked in most of our small birds, whose flight is feeble, and of short duration. The grey lark, when alarmed or terrified, glides away, and takes its station between two little clods of earth, and at this post will remain with such steadfastness, as hardly to quit it when the foot of the fowler is ready to crush it. The same thing is true of the partridge: sportsmen cannot fail to have remarked, that these birds, when, "they are as wild as hawks" on the stubble, will frequently on the fallows " he like stones."

A similar degree of instinct has been remarked even in insects, an instance of which I may be excused for extracting from the account of a distinguished observer of the natural world:—

"In the month of March last, I observed by the brink of a rivulet, a butterfly, of the colour of brick, reposing, with expanded wings, on a tuft of grass. On my approaching him, he flew off, but alighted at some paces distance on the ground, which, at that place, was of the same colour with himself. I approached him a second time: he once more took flight, and perched again on a similar stripe of earth. In a word, I found it was not in my power to oblige him to alight on the grass, though I made frequent attempts to that effect,—and though the spaces of earth which separated the turfy soil, were remarkably narrow and few in number."

On a future occasion I may take an opportunity of continuing this subject. R. H. F.

ANGER. Anger, though natural to man, becomes, like every other passion, hurtful and sinful, when not restrained within the bounds of strict moderation. The highest authority says, "be ye angry and sin not." Bishop Butler observes, that anger is far from being a selfish passion, since it is naturally raised by injuries offered to others as well as to ourselves; and that it was designed by the Author of Nature not only to excite us to act vigorously in defending ourselves from evil, but to engage us in the defence of the injured or helpless.

But anger becomes sinful, and offends against the precepts of Scripture, whenever it is felt upon insufficient provocation, or is long indulged in. It is then contrary to the spirit of charity, which, in the beautiful language of Holy Writ, « suffereth long and is not easily provoked." It is, therefore, equally our

duty and our interest, to acquire the power of subduing our angry feelings.

This will be most effectually accomplished by habits of just reflexion. We should consider, (in the admirable language of Dr. Paley) "the possibility of mistaking the motives from which the conduct that offends us proceeded; how often our offences have been the effect of thoughtlessness, when they were mistaken for malice; the inducement which prompted our adversary to act as he did, and how powerfully the same inducement has at one time or other operated on ourselves j that he is suffering, perhaps, under a contrition which he is ashamed or wants opportunity to confess; and how ungenerous it is to triumph by coldness or insult over a spirit already humbled in secret; that the returns of kindness are sweet, and that there is neither honour, nor virtue, nor use, in resisting them—for some persons think themselves bound to cherish and keep alive their indignation, when they find it dying away of itself. We may remember that others have their passions, their prejudices, their favourite aims, their fears, their cautions, their interests, their sudden impulses, their varieties of apprehension, as well as we: we may recollect what hath sometimes passed in our own minds when we have got on the wrong side of a quarrel, and imagine the same to be passing in our adversary's mind now; how we were affected by the kindness and felt the superiority of a generous and ready forgiveness; how persecution revived our spirits with our enmity, and seemed to justify the conduct in ourselves which we before blamed. Add to this, the indecency of extravagant anger j how it renders us the scorn and sport of all about us; the inconveniences and misconduct into which it betrays us; the friendships it has lost us, the distresses in which it has involved us, and the sore repentance which it has always cost us.

"But the reflexion calculated above all others to allay that haughtiness of temper which is ever finding out provocations, is that which the Gospel proposes; namely, that we ourselves are, or shortly shall be, suppliants for mercy and pardon at the judgment-seat of God. Imagine our secret sins, all disclosed and brought to light; imagine us thus humbled and exposed, trembling under the hand of God; casting ourselves on his compassion; crying out for mercy: —imagine such a creature to talk of satisfaction and revenge, refusing to be intreated, disdaining to forgive, extreme to mark and to resent what is done amiss :— imagine, I say, this; and you can hardly form to yourself an instance of more impious and unnatural arrogance." * "" ■*

LONDON:

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UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION APPOINTED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.

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Our knowledge of comets, notwithstanding the progress it has made within the last two centuries, is still very imperfect. The unfrequency of their appearance, combined with the irregular courses in which they move, renders it improbable that we should correctly ascertain their nature, or be certain of what they are formed, and it would, therefore, be a mere speculation, to endeavour to define them. They form, however, a part of our solar system, and appear to have solid dark bodies, (more generally called " nuclei,") with long shining tails, or trains of silvery light, always opposite to the sun, and becoming of a fainter lustre the further they are removed from it. The appearances of comets vary according to their positions with regard to the sun and earth. If the comet be eastward of the sun, and more from it, the bright train precedes the nucleus, or body, after the fashion of a beard, and hence arises the popular name of a " bearded comet." Again, if the comet be westward of the sun, and more towards it, the tail then follows the body, and is termed a " tailed comet;" and, lastly, if the comet and sun be exactly opposite, (that is, if the earth be between those two bodies) the tail is then behind the body, and appears around it in a misty hairy form, hence called a " hairy comet." The comet of 1804 is a remarkable instance of this latter division. It pre

VOL. I.

The Bearded Comet.

sented a misty foggy appearance without any visible nucleus, and, according to M. Arago, the French astronomer, who has very learnedly discussed this subject, was about 2000 leagues in diameter. Great doubts are entertained with respect to the existence of a solid and dark body in the central part of these vapourous appearances, stars having been seen through the comet, which could not have been the case if any solid body existed. Sir W. Herschel, in 1795, saw a star of the sixth magnitude through the midst of a comet, and some astronomers agree in support of this point. But the general belief is, that the bodies of comets are solid, as other astronomers have observed that stars have been eclipsed by them. The bodies of comets apparently resemble the face of a planet, both as to lustre and form. Their diameters vary considerably: thus the nucleus of the comet of 1798 was eleven leagues in diameter, whilst the remarkable comet of 1811 was 1089 leagues. The tails become wider and wider, as they lengthen out from the comet, and often occupy immense spaces. The comet of 1811 had a tail of twentythree degrees, that of 1680 was ninety degrees in length, whilst that of 1769 was ninety-seven degrees; and, as M. Arago says, these last two might have actually set below the horizon whilst their tails were

19

on the zenith, thus spanning one half of the arch of heaven. Some comets have appeared without any visible tail.

The motion of comets is round the sun, though in very irregular ovals, and returning at certain periodical times'. The rapidity with which they move is immense; and, like the planets, they move faster the nearer they are to the sun. But little can be said of the causes which produce the tails of comets, of their forms, or of the nature of their light. Some popular opinions, however, prevail with regard to the effects of heat produced by comets, which appear erroneous, as well as the supposition that the tides are influenced by these bodies. The moon is the acknowledged cause of the tides j and if we take the comet of 1811 for example, with which the greater part of our readers will be familiar,—in proportion to the influence of the moon, the effect of this body on the tides should have been perceptible, which we do not find by the nicest observations to have been the case j and, as regards the heat, it does not appear that there is any connection between the presence of these bodies and any increase of temperature in our atmosphere.

The number of comets known in our system exceeds ninety 5 their times of appearing vary considerably. The comet, called Biela's comet, was discovered on the 27th of February, 1826, by M. Biela, of Josephstadt. It performs its journey round the sun in about six years and three-quarters. Its nearest approach to the earth will take place on the 25th of this month (October), when it will be about fifty-one millions of miles distant from us. On the 29th of November, it will be at its perihelion, or nearest approach to the sun, and will be distant from it about eightythree and a-half millions of miles. Its motion is very rapid, and, at the time of its perihelion, its daily velocity will be equal to 2,456,000 miles, or its hourly motion 102,300 miles, and, consequently, its motion in one second will exceed twenty-seven miles.

* This rule will only apply to the case of the comet moving in an oval; if its motion be parabolic, (like that of a wheel travelling along a road,) as it suspected to be the case with some, it can never return again.

A SAILOR' S FUNERAL.

Very shortly after poor Jack dies, he is prepared for his deep sea grave by his messmates, who, with the assistance of the sail-maker, and in the presence of the master-atarms, sew him up in his hammock, and having placed a couple of cannon-shot at his feet, they rest the body (which now not a little resembles an Egyptian mummy) on a spare grating. Some portion of the bedding and clothes are always made up in the package—apparently to prevent the form being too much seen. It is then carried aft, and being placed across the after-hatchway, the union jack is thrown over all. Sometimes it is placed between two of the guns, under the half-deck; but generally, I think, it is laid where I have mentioned, just abaft the "mainmast.

I should have mentioned before, that as soon as the surgeon's ineffectual professional offices are at an end, he walks to the quarter-deck, and reports to the officer of the watch that one of his patients has just expired. At whatever hour of the day or night this occurs, the captain is immediately made acquainted with the circumstance.— Next day, generally about eleven o'clock, the bell on which the half-hours are struck, is tolled for the funeral, and all who choose to be present, assemble on the gangways, booms, and round the mainmast, while the forepart of the quarter-deck is occupied by the officers. qt * * While the people are repairing to the quarter-deck, in obedience to the summons of the bell, the grating on which the body is placed, being lifted from the main-deck by the messmates of the man who has died, is made to rest on the leegangway. The stanchions for the man-ropes of the sides are unshipped, and an opening made at the after-end of the hammock netting, sufficiently large to allow a free

passage. The body is still covered by the flag already mentioned, with the feet projecting a little over the gunwale while the messmates of the deceased arrange themselves on each side. A rope, which is kept out of sight in these arrangements, is then made fast to the grating, for a purpose which will be seen presently.

When all is ready, the chaplain, if there be one on board, or, if not, the captain, or any of the officers he may direct to officiate, appears on the quarter-deck and commences the beautiful service, which, though but too familiar to most ears, I have observed, never fails to rivet the attention even of the rudest and least reflecting. • • • • The land service for the burial of the dead contains the following words: 'Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God, of his great mercy, to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother here departed, we therefore commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope,' &c. Every one, I am sure, who has attended the funeral of a friend—and whom will this not include ?—must recollect the solemnity of that stage of the ceremony, where, as the above words are pronounced, there are cast into the grave three successive portions of earth, which, falling on the coffin, send up a hollow, mournful sound, resembling no other that I know.

In the burial service at sea, the part quoted above is varied in the following very striking and solemn manner: 'Forasmuch,' &c, —' we therefore commit his body to the deep, to be turned into corruption, looking for the resurrection of the body, when the sea shall give up her dead, and the life of the world to come,' &c. At the commencement of this part of the service, one of the seamen stoops down, and disengages the flag from the remains of his late shipmate, while the others, at the words ' we commit his body to the deep,' project the grating right into the sea. The body being loaded with shot at one end, glances off the grating, plunges at once into the ocean andV—

In a moment, like a drop of rain,

He sinks into its depths with bubbling groan,

Without a grave, unkuell'd, uncoifin'J, and unknown.

Hall's Fragments of Voyages and Travels.

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It is strange that persons should be found, who think it worth their while to bring forward arguments to depreciate the importance of the due observance of the Lord's day. Such arguments will be found, on examination, to be unworthy of the slightest attention; for, besides the sin which is avoided, what human being was ever any thing but the better for paying due honour to this day?—and how many thousands have confessed that the neglect of it was the first step towards their entire ruin! So fitting and convenient an institution is it to the circumstances of man, in this his earthly pilgrimage, that supposing, for the sake of argument, its appointment had not entered into the scheme of Divine Providence, most assuredly that man' would have been esteemed a wise and merciful legislator, who should first have introduced a human law for setting apart one day out of seven, for the relief of the body and the refreshment of the soul.

None are more interested in the observance of this day than the working classes. It is painful to see them deprived of any portion of the rest they so greatly need, by the want of consideration, or something worse, of those who employ them. Why are the working people seen crowding to shops on the Sunday morning, to supply their wants, but because, in so many cases, the masters pay them their wages at a late hour on the Saturday night? If every labouring man had his wages in his pocket by six o'clock on the Saturday evening, he would have no occasion to break the law of God and man on the Sunday morning. The shopkeeper, too, is as much inconvenienced by this practice as the labourer. He gets no benefit from the Sunday's traffic,—he would sell just as much, if the purchases were made on the Saturday; he and his household are disturbed without advantage or compcnsation, even if any advantage could compensate for a breach of duty, and the commission of sin.

It is useful to hear what men of good lives and great parts and experience say of these matters. Great Britain never produced a better Judge or more excellent man, than Sir Matthew Hale. Amidst great public changes, he was respected by all ranks, and trusted by all parties. His lessons of wisdom were founded, firstly, on his own good principles; and, secondly, on his extensive observation l of what was passing around him. After great practical experience in the business of life, he thus writes to his children concerning the observance of the Sunday :—" I have, by long and sound experience, found, that the due observance of this day, and of the duties of it, has been of singular comfort and advantage to me; and I doubt not but it will prove so to you. God Almighty is the Lord of our time, and lends it to us; and, as it is but just we should consecrate this part of that time to him, so I have found, by a strict and diligent observation, that a due observation of the duty of this day hath ever had joined to it a blessing upon the rest of my time; and the week that hath been so begun, hath been blessed and prosperous to me: and, on the other side, when I have been negligent of the duties of this day, the rest of the week has been unsuccessful and unhappy to my own secular enjoyments; so that I could easily make an estimate of my successes in my own secular employments the week following, by the manner of my passing of this day; and this I do not write lightly or inconsiderately, but upon along and sound observation and experience."

MONEY. What a useful thing is money! If there were no such thing as money, we should be much at a loss to get any thing we might want. The shoemaker, for instance, who might want bread, and meat, and beer, for his family, would have nothing to give in exchange but shoes. He must go the baker, and offer him a pair of shoes for as much bread as they were worth: and he must do the same thing if he went to the butcher for meat, or to the brewer for beer.

But the baker might happen not to want shoes just then, though he might want a hat. Then the shoemaker must find out some hatter who wanted shoes, and get a hat from him, and then exchange the hat with the baker for bread.

All this would be very troublesome. But by the use of money this trouble is saved. Any one who has money may get for it just what he may chance to want. The baker is always willing to part with his bread for money; because he knows that he may exchange that for shoes, or for a hat, or for firing, or any thing he is in want of. What time and trouble it must have cost men to exchange one thing for another before money was in use!

We are cautioned in Scripture against the too great love of money. It is a foolish and wicked thing to set your heart on money, or on any thing in this present world. Some set their hearts on eating and drinking, and some on fine clothes. All these things are apt to draw off our thoughts from God. Therefore our Lord Jesus Christ tells us to " lay up for ourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt," and forbids us to be too careful and anxious "what we shall eat and what we shall drink, or how we shall be clothed," but to "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness."

But we ought to be thankful for all the good things which Providence gives us, and to be careful to make a right use of them. The best use of wealth, and

what gives most delight to a true Christian, is to relieve good people when they are in want.

It is for this purpose that money is of the greatest use. For a poor man may chance to be in want of something which I may not have to spare. But if I give him money, he can get just what he wants for that: whether bread, or clothes, or coals, or books.

When there was a great famine in Judtea, in the time of the Apostle Paul, the Greek Christians thought fit to relieve the poor saints (that is, Christians) that were in Judas, But it would have been a great trouble to send them corn to such a distance; and besides, they themselves might not have had corn to spare. But they made a collection of money, which takes little room j and Paul carried it to Judea ; and with this money the poor people could buy corn wherever it was to be had.

EXCHANGES.

But why should not each man make what he wants for himself, without going to his neighbour's to buy it >

Go into the shoemaker's shop, and ask him why he does not make tables and chairs for himself, and hats, and coats, and every thing he wants. He will tell you, that he must have a complete set of joiner's tools to make one chair properly; the same tools as would serve to make hundreds of chairs. And if he were also to make the tools himself, and the nails, he would want a smith's forge, and anvil, and hammer. And after all, it would cost him great labour to make very clumsy tools and chairs, because he has not been used to that kind of work. It would be less trouble to him to make shoes that would sell for as much as would buy a dozen chairs, than to make one chair himself. To the joiner, again, it would be as great a loss to attempt making shoes for himself. And so it is with the tailor, the hatter, and all other trades. It is best for all, that each should work in his own way, and supply his neighbours, while they supply him.

But there are some rude nations who have very little of this kind of exchange. Each man among them builds himself a cabin, and makes clothes for himself, and a canoe to go a-fishing in, and fishingrod and hooks and lines, and also darts and bows and arrows, for hunting; besides tilling a little bit of land. Such people are all of them much worse off than the poor among us. Their clothing is nothing but coarse mats, or raw hides; their cabins are no better than pigstyes; their canoes are only hollow trees, or baskets made of bark j and all their tools are clumsy. Where every man does every thing for himself, every thing is badly done; and a few hundreds of these savages will be half-starved in a country, that would maintain as many thousands of us, in much greater comfort.

Of all terms happiness and misery arc among the most relative. The happiest moments in the life of a savage would strike an English mendicant dumb with despair. The beggar's ideal bliss is placed in the anticipation of it full meal and constant work; the mechanic, who possesses both, longs for the corporeal indulgences of the tradesman; the tradesman for the glitter and show of the independent man.

Coming hastily into a chamber, I had almost thrown down a chrystal hour-glass: fear, lest I had, made me grieve, as if I had broken it: but, alas! how much precious time have I cast away without any regret! The hour-glass was but chrystal, each hour a pearl; that but like to be broken, this lost outright; that but casually, this done wilfully. A better hour-glass might be bought; but time, lost once, lost ever. Thus we grieve more for toys than for treasure. Lord, give me an hour-glass, not to be by me, hut to be in me. Teach me to number my days. An hour-glass, to turn me, that I may turn my heart to wisdom.Fuller's Good Thoughts.

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