Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

To this sagacity the Laplander trusts his life with confidence, and accidents are of very rare occurrence. To him the Rein-deer afford a satisfactory compensation for all riches, all the worldly comforts, which his terrible climate forbids; while the food of the animal, consisting of mosses, and the buds of the evergreens and other arctic plants, is obtained with little trouble. The domestic Reins draw his sledge with such speed, that a pair of them, in the language of Lapland, "will change his horizon three times in the twenty-four hours; "that is they can pass three times the furthest length they can see at starting, which in their latitudes is computed at above one hundred miles. The skin of the animal is wrought up for clothing, boots, &c.; the horns to make utensils; the sinews for thread; the flesh for food; the milkvis drunk fresh, or converted into cheese; the bladder and the entrails are also converted to use, and the tongues are usually exported.

Thus the possession of Rein-deer forms the sole riches of the Laplander, and the care of them his sole occupation. According to the season he migrates to the sea-shore, the low lands, or the mountains. The rich among them often possess two thousand head, and the poorest seldom less than one hundred. In their language and dialects, seventy-six different names of the animal or of its different states, may be reckoned. In both the wild and domestic states, the deer implicitly follow an old male through every circumstance of danger or difficulty. The herdsman directs him by a whistle, and a look or a stamp of the foot will make the rest obey with a docility and quickness of apprehension, which proves the superior degree of intelligence with which they are endowed.

The Rein-deer suffer much in the summer months from insects, and particularly from one called the Qistris Tarandi; the hum of one of these on the wing is sufficient to alarm a whole herd, and put St to flight. This is the chief cause of the migrations to the woods and mountains, where they are more free from their annoyance. The old deer, whose hide is harder than that of the young, suffer least; and it is the yearling which of all is most exposed to the painful boring operation of the insect, performed for the purpose of depositing its eggs under the skin of the animal.

There are few wild rein-deer remaining in Lapland, but herds of them may still be seen in Dalecarlia. They exist in Spitzbergen and over the whole of Northern Russia, where the Tungusians rear a large breed, which they ride more generally than harness to the sledge. Baron Cuvier, after a laborious investigation, has proved that they never extended further south than the Baltic and the northern parts of Poland.

The North American Rein-deer, or Caribou, are still very imperfectly known. There appear to be three varieties, one or more of which may actually form different species. The first is known among the Canadian voyagers as the Wood-rein; it is large, and darkcoloured in summer. The second resides in the dreary regions of the rocky mountains of central North America, and has been supposed to be the Mule-deer of Lewis and Clark, The third and smallest, living in the islands of the Polar Sea, Greenland, and Labrador, is the most common. Pennant and Edwards have described it. All are said to be whitish in winter, but the latter species most particularly so. A probable distinction, by which some, if not all, the above species or varieties of caribou, may be distinguished from those of the old continent, is that their horns are always shorter, less concave, more robust, the palms narrower, and with fewer branchings, than those of the former; with them, they arc also said to remove the snow, as we have already stated to be done by the

Orignal or Moose, but it does not appear that this practice has been noticed in Lapland. None of the Indian tribes of America have as yet learnt to domesticate them.—Cuvier's Animal Kingdom, by Griffiths.

LIBERIA.

NO, I.

There is now on the western coast of Africa a settlement of free blacks, which promises, under the blessing of God, to dp more for the final extinction of slavery, and for the civilization of Africa, than any other scheme which has yet been thought of. It is too well known that the slave-trade was carried on for many years, not only in the West Indian islands, which belong to England, but in the United States of America; and there are now in the latter country many thousand negroes who are in a state of slavery. Great exertions have however been made in America to liberate the slaves; and at length, in the year 1817, a society was formed, which took the name of the American Colonization Society.

The object of this association is to purchase, or to obtain by any means, the liberty of a certain number of slaves, and to send them back to Africa, from which country the ancestors of this unhappy race were forcibly and inhumanly carried off. For this purpose a portion of land was bought from the native African princes, and was allotted for the settlement of these free blacks. So few years have passed since the colony was first established, that the maps of Africa have hardly yet begun to give a place to Liberia, which is the name very properly fixed upon for the new settlement, as shewing the liberty which these black men are now enjoying; but in most maps of Africa a person will find on the western coast, in latitude 6. 21. N. and in longitude 10.30. W. a beadsland called Cape Mesurado. The name was formerly Monte Senado; and it is now sometimes called Montserado. The river St. Paul flows into the sea at a short distance from this cape; and about a quarter of a mile above the mouth of the river is the town of Monrovia, so called from Monroe, who was President of the United States. Monrovia is the chief town belonging to the colony.

A mixture of pleasurable and painful sensations is raised by Cape Mesurado having been fixed upon for this settlement of free blacks. It was from this coast that the slave-trade in former years received its most abundant supplies. One of the most popular slave-markets was at Cape Mesurado. About ten thousand human beings were sold every year like beasts in the market, and packed in crowded vessels, either to die on their passage across the Atlantic, or to drag on a wretched existence as slaves. How different now is the aspect of this interesting coast! It has pleased God to make this same spot the centre of civilization,—to bring back to it, as to the home of his fathers, the converted negro,—converted, not merely from a bondman to a freeman, but from the darkness of ignorance to the light of Christianity; and let us humbly hope and pray that the grain of mustard seed which has been sown in Liberia, may spread its branches from one end of Africa to the other, and bring forth fruit an hundred fold.

When the first settlers took possession of their new country, they had many difficulties to contend with. For two years after their arrival, they lived in small thatched houses; and wild beasts were so common in the neighbourhood, that tigers have been shot from the doors. Nor were these the only enemies they had to encounter. The native Africans did not understand what they were about, and for some time gave 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 are 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 pjrumbles when he sees them rise,

To foul his husbandry;
Kind Providence this way supplies

His lesser family.
Scatter'd and small, they 'scape our eye,

But are not wasted there; Safe they in clefts and furrows lie,

The little birds find 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 j 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 "lie 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 ap-. proached 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; 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 nowi 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; 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 ex • posed, 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 intreatcd, 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:

JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, 445, (WEST) STRAND.

Sold by all Booksellers and Newsvenders in the Kingdom.

Hawkers and Dealers in Periodical Publications supplied on wholesale terms by

IV. s. ORR, Paternoster Row; O. BERGER, Holywell-st.; A. Douglas,

27, Portman St., PorUnan-sq.; BURSLEM, Great Sorrey-st., London;

And by the Publisher's Agents in the following places:—

Aberdeen Brown and Co.

Bath George

Birmingham Langbridge.

Bristol Wcstley and Co .

Cambridge Stevenson.

Carlisle Thurnam.

Chelmsford Guy.

Cheltenham Lovesy.

Chester Seacotne.

Chichester Glover.

Colrhe»ler Swinborne & Co.

Derby Wilkins & Son.

Dcvonport Byers.

Dublin Curry, Jun. & Co.

Dundee Shaw.

Durham ...Andrews.

Edinburgh Oliver and Boyd

Exeter Penny and Co

Glasgow Griffin and Co.

Gloucester Jew

Hereford Child; WatLins.

York

Hull Wilson.

Lancashire and i Banks and Co

Cheshire j Manchester

Leeds Robinson.

Leicester Combe.

Liverpool Hughes.

Macclesfield Swinncrton.

Newcastlc-on-Tyric. Finlay & Chart . » ton,. Empson.

Northampton Birdsall.

Nottingham Wright.

Oxford Slatter.

Paris Bennis

Salisbury Brodie& Co.

Sheffield Ridge.

Shrewsbury Eddowcs.

Staffordshire rot- ) Watts, Lane

teries ( End.

.Sunderland Marwood.

Whitby Rodgers.

Worcester shire.

....BeUerby.

C Richards, Printer, 100, St. Martin's Lane, Charing Cross.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

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

— _____ , r

[merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small]

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 prc

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; 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; and, as regards the heat, it does not appear that there is any connexion between the presence of these bodies and any increase of temperature in our atmosphere.

The number of comets known in our system exceeds ninety j 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 sim, aud 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 is 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 Uis 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 tho" 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 immediatelv made acquainted with the circumstance.— Next day, generally about eleven o clock, the bell on which the half-hours are struck, is tolled for tho 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. * • * While the people are repairing to the quarter-deck, in obedience to the summons of the bell, the grating on which the bodyis placed, being lifted from the main-deck by the messmates of tho 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 he 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, and—

In a moment, like a drop of rain.

He links Into Its depths with bubbling groan,

Without a grave, unknell'd, uncoffin'd, and unknown.

Hall's Fragments of Voyages and Travels.

[blocks in formation]

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 j he and his household are disturbed without advantage or coin

« AnteriorContinuar »