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APPEARANCES OF NATURE IN JANUARY.
within a few days after the winter-solstice or. shortest day, which takes place on the 21st or 22d of December. In the month of January, the weather in the British islands is commonly either a clear dry frost, or fog and snow, occasionally intermingled with rain. Nothing can be more wonderful than the effects of frost, which, in the space of a single night, stops the running stream in its course, and converts the lake that was curled by every breeze, into a firm plain. This property of frost produces a beneficial effect to the farmer; for the hard clods of the ploughed fields are loosened and broken to pieces by the swelling of the water within them when it freezes, and thus the earth is prepared for receiving the seed in spring. Water from the clouds, freezing slowly, crystallizes in little icy darts or stars, forming by their assemblage the beautiful flakes of snow. Its whiteness is owing to the smallness of the particles into which it is divided; for ice, when pounded, becomes equally white. Snow is very useful by protecting the plants it covers from the severity of the frost. Hailstones are drops of rain suddenly congealed into a hard mass, so as to preserve their figure. They often fall in warmer seasons of the year, as even then the upper regions of the atmosphere are very cold. When dew or mist freezes, as it frequently does, on every object on which it falls it becomes hoar-frost, producing figures of incomparable beauty and elegance. As the cold of this inclement season advances, the birds collect in flocks, and, rendered bold by want, approach the habitations of man. The wild quadrupeds also are driven from their accustomed haunts; hares enter the gardens to browse on cultivated vegetables, and, leaving their tracks in the snow, are frequently hunted down or caught in snares. The domestic cattle require all the care and protection of the farmer. Sheep are often lost in the sudden storms by which the snow is drifted into hollows, so as to bury them a considerable depth beneath it; yet they have been known to survive many days in this situation. Cows receive their subsistence from the provision of the farm-yard ; and early lambs and calves are kept within doors, and tended with nearly as much care as the farmer's own
S2 TO A ROBIN.-WISDOM OF GOD IN THE CREATION children. The plants at this season are defended by na; ture from the effects of cold. Those called herbaceous, which die down to the root every autumn, are safely concealed under ground; and the shrubs and trees that are exposed to the open air, have all their soft and tender parts closely wrapped up in buds, which, by their texture, resist the effects of frost.
TO A ROBIN.
LITTLE bird, with bosom red,
WISDOM OF GOD IN THE WORKS OF CREATION
THERE is no creature, however insignificant it may appear, which has not its particular destination ; and all animals are framed in the manner best suited to the purposes of their existence. This is certainly the case as to those we are acquainted with ; and we may conclude from analogy, that it is the case as to all the rest. If we begin with the sun, and descend to the smallest worm or plant, we shall be compelled to acknowledge, that to be properly adapted to the end for which they were designed, these creatures could not be formed differently, and that in this view they are free from
ACCOUNT OF THE LION.
every defect. The most minute parts of each are evidently fitted to its use, and serve the offices which God has prescribed to it; and if any one of its parts were injured or taken away, it would either imperfectly answer the
purpose of its creation, or would not answer it at all. How wonderful is the WHOLE which results from the connection subsisting among all the creatures of God! Each is in its proper place-each has its proper functions; and none of these could fail, without occasioning some imperfection in the general machine. When, therefore, we represent to ourelves the Being who framed this innumerable multitude of creatures, animate and inanimate; who has not only destined each of them for certain purposes, but has disposed and arranged all their parts in the manner most correspondent with those purposes, so that there is nothing wanting, and nothing superfluous ; and who, from the relationship that he has established among all the individuals, has framed one whole, in which the most perfect and admirable harmony prevails—must not we be struck with astonishment at the scene, and exclaim, “O the depth of the wisdom of God !"
ACCOUNT OF THE LION. The length of the largest lion is between eight and nine feet; his tail about four, and his height about four feet and a half. He has a long and thick mane, which grows longer and thicker as he advances in years. The hair of the rest of his body is short and smooth, of a tawny colour, but whitish on the belly. The female is about one fourth part less than the male, and without the mane. The form of the lion is strikingly bold and majestic. His large and shaggy mane, which he can erect at pleasure; his huge eye brows; his round and fiery eye balls, which, upon the least irritation, seem to glow with peculiar lustre ; together with the formidable appearance of his teeth-give him an aspect of terrific grandeur, which it is difficult if not impossible to describe. His roaring is loud and dreadful: when heard in the night, it resembles distant thunder. His cry of anger is much louder and shriller.
NEW YEAR'S HYMN. 'The Lion' seldom attacks any animal openly, except when compelled by extreme hunger, in which case, no danger deters him. But as most animals endeavour to avoid him, he is obliged to have recourse to artifice, and take his prey by surprise. For this purpose he crouches on his belly, in some thicket, where he watches till his prey comes forward; and then, with one prodigious spring, he leaps upon it from a distance of fifteen or twenty feet, and generally seizes it at the first bound. Should he happen to miss his-objeet, he gives up the pursuit; and returns to the place of his ambush, with a measured step, and there lies in wait for another opportunity. His lurking place is generally near a spring or a river, that he may lay hold of the animals which come there to quench their thirst. It is observed of the Lion, that his courage diminishes, and his caution and timidity are greater, as he approaches the habitations of man. Being acquainted with man, and the power of his arms, he loses his natu, rat fortitude to such a degree, as to be terrified at the sound of his voice. He has been known to fly before women, and even children, and suffer himself to be driven away by them, from his lurking place in the neighbourhood of villages. His disposition is such as to admit of a certain degree of education; and it is a well known fact, that the keepers of wild beasts frequently play with him, pull out his tongue, hold him by the teeth, and even chastise him without cause. It is dangerous, however, to provoke him too far, or to der pend upon his temper with too great security. The Lion is found in Asia and the hottest parts of Africa.
NEW YEAR'S HYMN
And make thy glory known;
And soften hearts of stone.
And plead a Saviour's name;
Is vanity and shame.
DUTY OF CHILDREN TO THEIR PARENTS.
From all the guilt of former sin,
May mercy set us free;
Begin and end with thee.
Send down thy Spirit from above,
That saints may love thee more ;
Who never lov'd before.
And when before thee we appear,
In our eternal home,
And praise thee in our room.
DUTY OF CHILDREN TO THEIR PARENTS.
CHILDREN,Your duty to your parents is of unspeakable importance. It is plainly laid down to you, and strongly inculcated, in the sacred Scriptures. And unless you perform it with great care and fidelity, you can neither pretend to be good, nor hope to be happy. It consists in your reverencing both the person and the character of your parents ; in attending to the instructions and advices which they give you ; in obeying their commands, and complying with their requests; in submitting to the discipline which they may employ for your correction ; and in doing all you can for their comfort and respectability. No doubt, if any part of their conduct is contrary to the will or the word of God, you must not admire or imitate them so far as that is concerned ; and if they shall be so wicked as to counsel you to break any precept of the divine law, you must firmly refuse to accede to their desires,-because it is clearly taught in the Bible that we must obey God rather than man, and that we must forsake all our dearest earthly connections, if it be necessary for our following Christ faithfully and fully. But when your parents are not guilty of these things, you must show them all that respect and submission that we have men