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vinced in every instance that he is disobedient to that law?
The base ingratitude of man towards bis God, is with me a frequent subject of thought-the mercies of the Lord are so crowded on the sinner. We live in the nineteenth century-in a time of ace amongst the nations of the earth-in a time free from persecutions-in England, Christian England. From whence are these blessings ? Let each ask himself of a thousand others, in individual instances-whence are they? But where is the thanksgiving ? and is this all?-or are we not reminded in the beautiful liturgy of our church“ above all” to give thanks to our God for his inestimable love “ in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory”-no words can express our ingratitude-nothing can wipe away its foul stain, but the atoning blood of Jesus. The very brutes that perish, who perform their work for lordly man, are grateful for kind treatment, and put to shame their owners. But to return to the martin how useful is this little bird rendered to man's comfort, by its subsisting upon flies. I have been informed by those who have lived in Spain and other countries where they are used as articles of food, that the annoyance which the inhabitants suffer from the myriads of flies is great, at times, in the extreme ; and on that account I could plead earnestly in behalf of my little favourites, that they may not be subject to the wilful destruction which too often attends them, from those who would shew their dexterity as marksmen. Look at the beautiful bird, gliding a foot or two above the surface of the sunny meadow in a summer's evening-mark its rapid turps, as it
pursues its prey-and tell me can any thing be more beautiful, or more delicate or graceful-or, let me add, more harmless. Not one ever need be killed in order to be seen more closely, for I had a pair which flew about in my room, and caught the lies in it, and would sit close by me on the edge of the window pouring out their cheerful and joyous carol, in full confidence that no barm was meant; and thus did often allow me full time to watch their glossy and varying plumage. We talk of savage nations in foreign lands, but indeed too often are our fellow countrymen savages, in their wanton destruction of the beautiful works of the hand of God (Gen. ix. 2, 3.) When the Lord gave to man the sovereignty over all created things, He gave the animals to him for food ; exert then your influence, my dear reader, with all who may come within your reach, that the wanton cruelty which disgraces, alas! too many in this Christian land, may be put to an end ; some animals must perish, that man may live-and some, that the fruit of the earth may not be destroyed ; but of most animals it may be said, how wonderfully do they (even though apparently useless to the casual observer) work in behalf of man ; some in his work of labour-some in adding to his comfort and enjoyment. It has often delighted me to think upon that disputed land among naturalists, where the swallow tribe pass the time of our winter ; that there, unknown as the country is to us at present, shall, in the Lord's good time, the everlasting gospel yet be preached--the voice of the missionary will be raised in the service, and to the glory of the Rock of ages; and the people of that land, with whom as yet, neither the merchant nor the naturalist have conversed, shall hear of covenant grace. Anxiously as the merchant seeks for gain, and the naturalist for some new things-still more anxiously would I have the Christian look for the spread of the great doctrine of salvation : and fain would I hope that in this hitherto unknown region (if such it be), the word of God may be taught before the precepts of Mammon, and the natives learn upon their first appearance amongst them, that Britons have a God, and that God a God of truth.
There is another bird, which I often notice late in an evening ,pursuing its prey after the swallows have retired; and considered with what thoughtless cruelty it is persecuted by many. I mean the common barn owl--the number of mice destroyed by these birds would appear incredible to one who did not watch their habits; and on this ground I would recommend them to the mercy of every one, and certainly to every one interested in farming. No bird is more harmless, for even its food is altogether taken from what man refuses, and indeed, as I before said, principally consists of the little enemies of our granaries and winter stores. These again may be tamed, if any one likes to observe them more closely. By bringing one up from the time it left the nest, I have had one which flew about free and unrestrained, and would come at my call from the top of the buildings, and perch on my shoulder: however to many persons this bird is disagreeable, and they are therefore but little likely to wish to have them so tame as this; but to every Christian the wonderful works of God must be subjects of admiration, and his mind cannot but be led to observe from the ba. bits of the things which are made, how wonderfully the Creator has made them all to work together for good-and even, in most instances, for the good of ungrateful man.
Let any one observe the form of the beaks of these two birds, which I have thus cursorily noticed, and then say, whether it is possible for this to be the work of capricious fate, that one should be flat, and opening wide at its base, and easily capable therefore of enclosing its flying prey, while the other is strong and hooked, for seizing violently, and tearing to pieces, a larger animal.
Far be it from the Christian to suppose, that the habit of the animal in seeking for its food, has induced this or that form of beak, for in perfect wisdom were the works of creation all made-whether it be that we look at the vast systems of the heavenly bodies, or the wing of the most minute of microscopic insects. The God who created saw his works, and behold, they were all very good.
To one who desires to live to God in an ungodly world, scarcely a day passes in which something, in its complicated movements, does not arrest his attention, and falter bis judgment with a doubt, ‘Is this as God would have it?' and nothing, perhaps, so much requires a good judgment, the exercise of a sound understanding, as to settle our opinion, or rather our conduct, wbich is all that signifies ; for these are exactly the things in which we should forbear to judge others, on such questionable points. I am persuaded that God's goodness is much dishonoured, and the free spirit of the gospel encroached upon, by too rigid a construction of its requirements, too harsh, and as it were, grievous an interpretation of his laws. On the other hand, the laxity, the insen, sibility, I could almost say, the treasonable misprision with which the servants of the living God do sometimes connive at the evasions of his word, and the perversion of his gifts, is one of the most painful evidences how utterly gone, how hard to be restored, are the traces of the divine image on the soul of man. Satan, and the world, and self, have embezzled everything. For God's service, his glory, or his purposes, which all was originally made for, not a thing remains entire : and when of his own people he asks it back again, there are so many claims to be adjusted, so many occupants to be ejected, it is