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largely as it does from the sum of human happiness, is itself made a means of spiritual culture. Of the virtues developed through it, and of the intellectual and moral quickening which comes from it, we shall have occasion to speak in connection with another part of our subject. A still more striking illustration of the same thing is seen in the institution of death. This is the great law of all organized beings. Neither animal nor vegetable is exempt from it. It is the stern fate, the inexorable doom of everything that lives. The same agencies by which the bodily structure is built up and the vital processes are constantly maintained, at length undermine that structure and bring those processes to a termination. Nor are we able to conceive of any change by which under the present constitution of things such a result should be prevented or to any considerable extent delayed. What miraculous interposition would have taken place in favor of our own race had the first human pair remained innocent we know not; but that man was not designed for a physical immortality -to live forever on this earth all the provisions of his constitution abundantly show. The remains of the innumerable animal tribes which preceded him in the zoological series, while they attest the former prevalence of life in our world are equally monuments of the reign of death. But, although thus connected with life and as far as our knowledge extends inseparable from it, death is of all evils that which we most dread. Whether regarded in itself or in its attendant circumstances it is indeed the king of terrors. It casts its dark shadow over the whole face of human society. The very mention of it is sufficient to sober the gayest spirit and calls up images at which the stoutest heart grows sick and the ruddiest cheek pales. It is the rude severing of the dearest connections and most intimate relationships of life, the sudden extinction of all our worldly interests, the final setting of every earthly hope. It is the removal forever from the light of day, from the warm precincts of human affections and sympathies, and from this bright and beautiful world which we have known so long and loved so well, and which, however marred and scathed by sin, has still so many charms for our delighted senses. Its ministers are pain and wasting sickness and sore disease, and in its train of attendants are the shroud, the coffin and the tomb. Such is death; so chilling to every natural sensibility are the sad images awakened by its contemplation! and yet, besides being the appointed means of introducing us to a more exalted state of existence, it subserves the most important ends in connection with the present life. It is the great equaliser of the diversities of human fortune. It at the same time reconciles the poor man to his poverty and makes the rich feel of how little value is his wealth. It


Multiplication of Classes, Orders, etc.


supports the confirmed and hopeless invalid under the wearying sense of his bodily infirmities, and humbles in the strong man all pride of strength as looking upon his wasted and suffering fellow he remembers how soon they must lie down together and the sods of the valley be alike sweet unto them. It chastens aspiration, moderates desire, subdues selfishness, quickens benevolence, strengthens duty and disposes to the exercise of every Christian virtue. It is the great moral ballast of society. But for the restraining and steadying influences emanating from this source, its noblest institutions freighted with the best hopes of our race would be quickly dashed to pieces upon the rocks of interest or whelmed beneath the billows of passion. It deserves also to be remembered that death is rendered still further subservient to the beneficent designs of our Creator by the means adopted for meeting its ravages, and still continuing our world the abode of life and happiThe wonderful provisions of our nature, organic and spiritual, having respect to this end and securing it with as much certainty as gravity the motion of the spheres, are the foundation of the most beautiful relationships- the well-spring of the tenderest sympathies and sweetest charities of life. Gathering the otherwise isolated individuals of our race into households and families, they furnish in these not only schools for the acquirement of every civil and social virtue, but nurseries in which immortal spirits are reared for the purity and beatitude of heaven. So graciously and so wonderfully has the allwise Creator disposed the elements of our being, making the evils incident to the present state-inseparable it may be from it—tributary to good, and building upon the foundation of suffering, disease and death so large a portion of the entire fabric of our earthly happiness.


But, to return to the course of our argument, it is not in the structure or endowments of any single animal, however, perfectly adapted to the circumstances of its existence, that we behold the most convincing proofs of the Divine beneficence; but rather in the endless multiplication of classes, orders and families whereby every part of our globe is furnished with appropriate inhabitants. Not less than half a million of different species are believed to have existed upon the earth since it was first occupied by living beings. About two hundred and fifty thousand, it is supposed, at the present time inhabit its seas and oceans or dwell upon its islands and continents. These are fitted by their diversified organizations and instincts for every variety of physical condition and climate. Over the entire surface of the globe from the equator to the poles, wherever there exist the means of animal sustenance, there we find an appropriate fauna. Along the outer margins VOL. VII. No. 28. 58

of the temperate zones where the seasons are marked by strong contrasts, and the abundant vegetation of an almost tropical summer is succeeded by ice and barrenness, we see displayed the most remarkable instincts and the most astonishing modes of developing and perpetuating life. Most of the feathered tribes on the approach of winter, guided by an unerring sense seek the ever verdant groves and savannas on the borders of the tropics, where amidst the profusion of a perpetual spring they obtain a plentiful subsistence. Insects gifted with feebler powers of flight are incapable of migration. Of these, by far the greater number perish, having made provision in the eggs or pupae which they leave behind them for a new generation the ensuing year. A few of the more hardy species bury themselves beneath the soil, or retire within the crevices of rocks and the hollows of old trees and there pass the cold season in a state of suspended animation. Such of the class of reptiles as are found in these latitudes, sheltered in similar ways from the severity of the frost, pass the winter months in a like torpid and insensible condition. Of the mammals, some like the bear and the marmot sink into a lethargic sleep, the supplies received into their systems during the preceding summer being sufficient to maintain their now reduced temperature, tardy respiration and slugglish vitality. Others like the beaver and the squirrel feed on provisions which they have previously stored away under the guidance of an instinct nearly resembling intelligence; while the carnivora, the ruminants and the most active of the rodants provided with a warmer and more abundant clothing still find a scanty subsistence amidst the snows of winter. In consequence of these wonderful endowments of life in the higher latitudes of the temperate zones, no sooner does the sun throw its rays more vertically, and under their genial influence, field and meadow, woodland and prairie brighten into verdure and beauty, than our ears are regaled by notes of melody poured forth from every tree-top and our eyes gladdened wherever we turn them by innumerable forms of animated and happy existence. Awaked from their long slumbers, or returned from climes far distant, multitudes of eager, joyous beings are seen on all sides, ready to partake of the varied bounties which nature is so lavishly spreading before them.

As there is no part of the earth, whatever its climate or physical condition, without inhabitants, so there is no production of the earth, whatever its character, but some animal or animals are found with appetites and powers of assimilation fitting them to derive sustenance from it. Indeed, few things in the arrangements and provisions of the outward world, impress a thoughtful mind more deeply than the care which is everywhere observed that nothing capable of supporting even the


Carnivorous Animals.


humblest form of sentient, conscious life should be lost. The lesson so emphatically taught by our Saviour in the direction given to his disciples after he had miraculously fed the multitude with the five loaves and two fishes, stands forth with equal prominence on every page of the book of nature. Not only are the endlessly diversified products of the earth appropriately distributed among the different classes of larger animals, but the fragments left by these are gathered up and made tributary to the sustenance of innumerable smaller tribes. A striking illustration of this wonderful economy of the Divine goodness is afforded in the class of insects. We never look upon these little beings without feelings of pleasure they are so numerous, they cost so little, feeding for the most part upon what has been either rejected by other animals, or else thrown off as a useless excretion by vegetables; and yet they are so busy, and seem to be so happy; and when they have ended their transitory life, they become food to numerous species of the feathered tribe, and thus continue to pour their contributions into the general stream of happy existence. Nearly allied to the insect tribe in design, though lower in the scale of organized life, are the animalculæ. These microscopic beings seem to have been created for the express purpose of turning to account these portions of nutrient matter, which, having escaped the other forms of the animated creation, pass off in a state of aqueous solution. They are found everywhere, but abound most in the waters of tropical climates, where the process of decay and reproduction is going on with the greatest activity. Within the compass of a few yards only, there are, probably, under such circumstances, more of these little animals, than there are human beings upon the whole face of the earth. And yet, if we may judge from the vivacity of their motions, each one is in a state of constant enjoyment.

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Besides the animals which derive their subsistence from the vegetable world, there is a very numerous class which feed upon other animals. An arrangement of this kind would at first, seem inconsistent with the benevolence of design characterizing the other provisions of the animal kingdom. But, on examination, it is found to be only a part of the same general plan, dictated equally by a regard for the happiness of the beings affected by it. If there were no carnivorous animals, those which feed upon vegetables would rapidly multiply, till the earth would be no longer capable of supporting them. Famine and disease would then follow and whole races would perish in all the miseries of absolute starvation. By the introduction of a new class of animals depending for the materials of support upon those previously ereated, the evils arising from the want of sustenance among the

herbivorous families are prevented, while at the same time, the happiness of this new class is entirely created. And with such care is the relative fecundity among the several species adjusted, that no one race becomes superabundant and no one is exterminated.

Such now is, and such always has been the economy of the Divine Being in conducting the affairs of this world. Having designed it as an instrument for the great end of producing happiness, he has, at every period of its existence, made use of all its capabilities for the accomplishment of that purpose. How well he has succeeded, it is not necessary to say. We suppose there is no one, who, on a fine summer's morning, when all nature is full of life and motion, when the air, the earth, and the water, are each teeming with happy existence, when "the insect youth are on the wing," and when every tree, and plant, and shrub, is swarming with its myriads of inhabitants, can look around him, and observe the countless beings which, on all sides, are every moment bursting into existence, with appetites keen for the gratification of sense, and limbs nimble for the delights of motion, and then consider, over how wide an extent of surface just such scenes as this are occurring, without his soul swelling within him, as he thinks of the amount of happiness which is thus constantly spread out beneath the eye of God, and which is continually sending up to him the incense of gratitude and praise. And further, when he reflects, that in the organization of each of these happy beings there is almost as great a display of contrivance and skill as in the wonderful mechanism of his own frame, he feels how infinite is the condescension of the divine beneficence, in comparison with the simplest and loveliest forms of human goodness. And when he thinks of the lesson designed to be taught by so sublime an exhibition of benevolence, he is ready to respond to the sentiment of the poet,

"He prayeth well, who loveth well,

Both man, and bird, and beast;
He prayeth best, who loveth best,

All things, both great and small :
For the dear God, who loveth us,

He made and loveth all."

We have thus far considered only the forms of happiness which a beneficent Creator has provided in common for all his sensitive creatures. It remains to inquire what further and peculiar proofs of his goodness he has furnished in the constitution of our own race. As man is by far the most highly endowed being on our globe- the last crowning work of the terrestrial creation-formed as we are taught

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