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THE CHRISTIAN'S ENJOYMENT OF NATURE.
He looks abroad into the varied field
Not alone let printed books
All thy youthful mind engage:
Nature's mighty, wondrous page ;
Mark the dew on leaf and flower;
And the rainbow in the shower;
Nature's largest print behold;
Clothed by forest stern and old,
Fertile vales, and fields of corn,
Little birds that sing at morn.
HOWITT. 66 Can
you not fancy the infinite charm of being able to read the spirit of nature truly—of being so thoroughly religious as to never look coldly on the meanest flower because God had made it; and really to feel that his voice is in the thunder, and his glory in the seas? This is indeed precious lore; and, with a mind thus attuned, the glories of the ocean-the crested billows--the ever changing hues of that majestic plain—the solemn yet soothing cadence of its waves—the plants, the animals which find their home in the waters -the delicate sea-shells, and the beautiful algæ, will be all felt and received as so many reflections of the glory of Him who is infinite both in wisdom and love."
" There is a legson in each flower,
THE LOVE OF NATURE.
I love to stand on some huge steep
And hear the waters roar;
Then dash upon the shore.
I love-when seated on its brow-
And note the distant vale;
And stem the rising gale.
I love far downwards to behold
And hear the pleasing sound
Now echoing all around.
I love to see, at close of day,
When sinking down the west;
In gorgeous hues is dress'd.
I love, when evening veils the day,
To gaze upward and around,
From Heaven's vault profound.
Its lustre from the spirit's gem,
Was like an angel’s diadem;
The shifting light and shade between ;The fall of waves—the fountain's gush
The sigh of winds—the music heard At eventide from air and bush
The minstrelsy of leaf and bird. But chief she loved the sunset sky
Its golden clouds like curtains drawn To form the gorgeous canopy
Of monarchs to their slumbers gone.-WHITTIER.
HYMN OF CREATION.
PSALM XIX. The spacious firmament on high, With all the blue ethereal sky, And spangled heavens, a shining frame, Their Great Original proclaim: Th’unwearied sun, from day to day, Does his Creator's pow'r display, And publishes to every land The work of an Almighty hand. Soon as the evening shades prevail, The moon takes up the wondrous tale, And nightly to the list’ning earth, Repeats the story of her birth; Whilst all the stars that round her burn, And all the planets in their turn, Confirm the tidings as they roll, And spread the truth from pole to pole. What though in solemn silence all Move round this dark terrestrial ball ! What though no real voice nor sound Amid their radiant orbs be found ! In reason's ear they all rejoice, And utter forth a glorious voice, For ever singing as they shine, « The band that made us is Divine."-ADDISON. HYMN OF NATURE.
God of the earth's extended plains !
The dark green fields contented lie; The mountains rise like holy towers,
Where man might commune with the sky; The tall cliff challenges the storm
That lowers upon the vale below,
With joyous music in their flow.
The waves lię sleeping on the sands Till the fierce trumpet of the storm
Hath summoned up their thundering bands; Then the white sails are dashed like foam,
Or hurry, trembling, o'er the seas, Till, calmed by thee, the sinking gale
Serenely breathes, “ Depart in peace.” God of the forest's solemn shade!
The grandeur of the lonely tree, That wrestles singly with the gale,
Lifts up admiring eyes to thee; But more majestic far they stand,
When, side by side, their ranks they form, To weave on high their plumes of green,
And fight their battles with the storm.
God of the light and viewless air !
Where summer breezes sweetly flow, Or, gathering in their angry might,
The fierce and wintry tempests blow; All—from the evening's plaintive sigh,
That hardly lifts the drooping flower, To the wild whirlwind's midnight cry
Breathe forth the language of thy power. God of the fair and open sky!
How gloriously above us springs The tented dome of heavenly blue,
Suspended on the rainbow's rings ! Each brilliant star that sparkles through,
Each gilded cloud that wanders free In evening's purple radiance, gives
The beauty of its praise to thee. God of the rolling orbs above!
Thy name is written clearly bright In the warm day's unvarying blaze,
Or evening's golden shower of light.
For every fire that fronts the sun,
And every spark that walks alone
Were kindled at thy burning throne.
And nature's self to dust return;
Her incense fires shall cease to burn;
Have made man's warmest praises flow;
The beauty of the world below.-W.O. B. PEABODY.
THE STUDY OF NATURE.
There is something in the contemplation of general laws which powerfully persuades us to merge individual feeling, and to commit ourselves unreservedly to their disposal; while the observations of the calm energetic regularity of nature, the immense scale of her operations, and the certainty with which her ends are attained, tend irresistibly to tranquillize and reassure the mind, and render it less accessible to repining, selfish and turbulent emotions. And this it does, not by debasing our nature into weak compliances and abject submission to circumstances, but by filling us, as from an inward spring, with a sense of nobleness and power, which enables us to rise superior to them, by showing us our strength and innate dignity, and by calling upon us for the exercise of those powers and faculties by which we are susceptible of the comprehension of so much greatness, and which form, as it were, the link between ourselves and the best and noblest benefactors of our species, with whom we hold communion in thoughts and participate in discoveries which have raised them above their fellow-mortals, and brought them nearer to their Creator.--SIR John IIERSCHEL.
Nature never did betray