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infant be but newly born, it is not in such a state that any one should object to kiss it in sign of grace and peace; because, in kissing an infant, he should, under the influence of his religion, reflect that the hands of God who fashioned it are still upon it, and these we revere, as we set a kiss on the man lately formed and newly born, and embrace, so to speak, the workmanship of God."*
Similar historical specimens cannot be multiplied within the limits of this paper, but enough is given to constitute the ground of a general conclusion, that infidelity (which is heathenism under another name,) and popery, are equally hostile to the interests of youth, the happiness of families, and the good morals of society. But that, on the contrary, pure and evangelical Christianity protects and elevates the child, by guiding the affections and elevating the moral principles of the parents. Dwell on this general conclusion, and observe that every violation of parental duty is an overt renunciation of one of those distinctive marks by which the Christian was at first distinguished from the heathen, and indicates a relapse into that state of degradation where disregard of offspring is so familiar as to seem natural!-where, as we have seen, even dislike of humanity is acknowledged to be natural. Then let the Christian pray for a fuller participation of the Divine nature, for the Spirit of our beloved Redeemer, who protects, defends, and sanctifies the children of his people! This prayer being answered, the lovely "ideal of a Christian church" will be realized, not according to the type of medieval stateliness, but in the turning of the hearts of the fathers to the children every where, with a constancy of affection surpassing all that is recorded in the history of Christendom at any period.
* Ad Fidum de Infantibus baptizandis.
THE WORK; AND HOW TO DO IT.
A NARRATIVE.-CHAPTER VII.
THE fourth Lecture was well attended, and the boys were able to furnish a good account of the former ones. Some of them had taken notes of what they remembered, and the lad who had constructed the mill had made some rough drawings of the tents, and other forms of architecture described by Henry. Many sensible questions were proposed, but those we will notice on another occasion. It was very evident the plan would answer, if well followed up; and as both the young men had counted the cost, and were not under any necessity of trusting to the occasion, there was not much danger of falling off. The effect, too, on the Sabbath-school was truly encouraging. Henry had been stimulated to diligent application, and the improvement in his class was obvious to all
A teacher's meeting was held at this time, when it was proposed to separate
the infant children, and teach them in a separate apartment. A cottage was met with near the school-rooms, and a young man who was a prime favourite with the little ones, was selected to conduct it. He undertook it with pleasure, but with diffidence, and soon called on Charles to ask if he might attend the Lectures, and have his assistance in preparing his lessons. To this there could be no objection; and others amongst the junior teachers were induced to open an evening class twice a week, for writing and arithmetic. I am thankful to say there was no rivaling in these efforts. Charles and Henry foresaw that a wrong construction might be put upon their movements, and they resolved as much as possible to prevent the risings of envy and jealousy by increased prayer and watchfulness. "We must carefully avoid," said Charles, "any thing like setting up ourselves, or appearing to dictate: we must also be open to receive suggestions, and not appear in any way reserved or exclusive; and if we can succeed in persuading others to exert themselves in a similar way, we must give them the benefit of our experience, so as to show that we are making the experiment for them as well as for ourselves."
The next Lecture was on the second day's work of creation; and Charles opened it by prayer, and reading Genesis, the 1st, 6th, 7th, and 8th verses. He then turned to the black board, on which he had written Ps. civ. 3 as his motto, "Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters; who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind." He told them that the firmament or atmosphere surrounded the earth to the height of fortyfive or fifty miles; and that it might be compared to wool, being denser or heavier near the surface, and thinner or rarer as it ascends. He explained to them that the atmosphere is essential to life, and that without it the world would be a wilderness. He described the various gases, and the proportions in which they are combined to form the air we breathe; such as 20 of oxygen, 80 of nitrogen, with carbonic acid gas and hydrogen, in the small proportion of one part to 99. By very simple means Henry had assisted Charles to separate these gases, and the boys were delighted with the soap bubbles which were exhibited for their entertainment. He told them, too, of the ill effects of confinement in a close room, deprived of vital air or oxygen, by relating the affecting case of those who were shut up in the Black Hole at Calcutta, and of others who have been secured in the hold of a slave-vessel. He described the wonderful provision in nature whereby animal and vegetable life operate beneficially on each other. They had never heard before anything of this kind, and they could not help expressing their admiration of the fact. He then showed them the drawing of a hand, with the arteries and the veins, and briefly described the action of the air on the blood-vessels. He told them that if the blood did not receive this change from the air, it would not nourish and give life to the different parts of the body as it now does. They would like to have learned more on this subject, but the time would not allow of more than a cursory observation.
One of the prints which interested them most was the manner in which the
air or vapour is gathered into clouds, and then returned in different ways to refresh and fertilise the earth, Job xxxviii. 25-30. The account of the formation of dew, and frost, and fog, and snow, was listened to with much delight. Enough was said to excite a spirit of observation and inquiry, without wearying their minds: he pointed out the effect of wind in promoting evaporation; hence the necessity of avoiding draughts. He made some remarks on wind generally, and its various effects on the sea and the land. Then he dwelt a little while on the power of the atmosphere to transmit sound and scent, giving them many pleasing illustrations, such as they could perfectly understand. The closing observations related to the two properties of refraction and reflection, by the one of which the heavenly bodies appear some degrees higher than they really are; and by the other our days are so delightfully prolonged. To assist their recollection he wound the whole up by saying that the air had seven properties, which he enumerated distinctly, avoiding the use of hard words; and then he read one or two quotations, as he had done before, to impress their minds with the Divine wisdom and beneficence:-"The state of air is the end of every thing old, and the beginning of every thing new; the only way in which any thing can be destroyed is by the conversion of it into air, and then it is ready to be moulded and fashioned into any new production for which it is adapted. We are ready to say, What can nature do with the cinder, the burnt stick, or the candle snuff? Why, in as far as they contain charcoal, nature can make them into marble palaces, and blooming roses, and loaves of bread, and eloquent tongues, and smiling faces. This is, indeed, incredible to those who have never reflected upon it; but if we consider whose work it is, then the whole becomes as simple as it is true."
How this singular action of matter in the state of air is carried on in all cases, so as to produce the endless variety that we see in nature, we cannot of course know; but some of these secrets of the air, in the form of gas-lights and steamboats, have been recently discovered, and there is no doubt but as men become more intelligent, and observing as they learn to catechise nature, and to make use of the information they obtain, new mysteries will be unfolded to their admiration, and greater benefits will be committed to their trust. So shall God be glorified in the midst of his works, and men shall be foremost to praise him in the firmament of his power.
CHAPTERS ON SENSATION.
If a preface is necessary to introduce this series of sketches of the five branches into which this subject runs, I would merely remark that as the external appearance of the human frame is familiar to all, and as its internal parts are generally unknown, together with the manner in which their important funetions are performed, it is thought proper for many reasons to devote a little
space in this Magazine to the consideration of them, in as easy a style as they will allow of.
It is a pity that there is not more inquiry concerning the machinery that is working within us; and as the space allowed is very insufficient for the full treatment of the subject, it is hoped that the following remarks will so far interest those readers who have not thought upon the beauty and complexity of the structure of their own bodies, that they will do so at once, and that all may be stimulated to commence a study, noble in itself, and iterating in its tendencies; for is not man the object, and is he not the work of God! Certain it is, that among teachers very much influence is lost, and many opportunities of doing good are forfeited for the want of such general information. Those who are anxious to correct so serious a deficiency may easily accomplish their purpose; and a little attention to the various branches of science, &c., together with the simple beauties of nature, and all that is moving around them, will afford them a vast fund of information, from which they can readily draw an illustration to impress an idea upon the mind, and to give a retentive point to an abstract truth. Such a faculty is pre-eminently reproductive, for it stirs up the mind of those on whom it acts, to self-exertion. The young mind is ever seeking for something tangible, and is often lost amid a host of novel notions and dry facts; but like a beacon shining on a rock, an illustration illuminates a truth that might otherwise have been obscured by the fogs of confused thoughts and ideas that frequently obscure the mental vision.
As we arrive at a clear view of a subject more readily, perhaps, by question and answer than by any bare statements, let us imagine Edwin a Bible-class scholar, who now and then joins his teacher in his evening strolls, conversing on the sense of touch.
F. R. S.
THE SENSE OF TOUCH.
Edwin.-Sir, it is long since you have told me any thing: have you a quiet evening to come and talk? You said that our next conversation should be upon a very interesting subject, and that is the sense of touch.
Tutor. I am glad, Edwin, that you recollected my promise, and were sufficiently interested to remind me of it. I had not, however, forgotten it, and was just ready to call you. But where must we begin? E-At the beginning, Sir, I suppose.
T.-Truly, at the seat of the sense of feeling; but where is that?
T.-Then we must at first understand of what this skin is composed. E. The book you gave me, Sir, mentions two skins, but I forget what they are called.
T.-Yes, the skin is made up of two principal layers, called the cutis vera, or true skin; and the epidermis, or scarf skin. The true skin lies undermost. It is a firm elastic membrane, formed of fibres interlacing each other, and is traversed by blood-vessels and nerves, and also by the ducts of the small exhalant glands lying beneath it.
E. -What is a duct, Sir?
T.-Do you know what a gland is? No: then remember that it consists of a number of cells, or little reservoirs that have the power of absorbing and retaining a watery fluid from the blood, as it circulates through the body. Beneath this true skin, between it and the muscles, lie a great quantity of these minute glands, and it is from these that the ducts (or little tubes, resembling the pores of sponge,) spring, piercing the true skin towards the surface where they open, their opening being covered with a little valve, to prevent anything from going in and stopping up the passage.
E. But what, then, is the passage for?
T.-The little glands we have mentioned retain or secrete the liquid they have extracted from the blood, till its place is taken by more, when it is poured forth through these ducts.
E. What becomes of it, Sir?
T.-It forces open the valves with which the scarf skin is fitted, and which correspond exactly with the ducts below them, and passes out upon the surface of the body.
E.-Is this called perspiration? Why, I never thought of that.
T.-Very likely, Edwin; and had others observed as little as we do what is taking place around us, we should not know the cause of this, or of many more wonderful things. This perspiration is constantly going on; but at times when we are asleep or inactive, it is insensible to us. Do you understand this? The external surface of this true skin is rough, owing to a great number of small elevations, like those on the peel of an orange, only much smaller, and in each of them is lodged the temination of a nerve. These elevations you may see plainly with a microscope; they are arranged sometimes, as in the palm of the hand, in regular rows. According to the number of these in any given part is the sensibility of that part.
E. Then if there are many we feel more easily, and if there are few we feel less?
T.-Yes, it is so. Is this skin thicker in animals than it is in man? E. Yes, Sir; because leather is made of the skin of animals: and there is our donkey, what a thick skin it has, I can hardly make it feel. T.-That is not owing to the thickness of its skin; and it feels the blows you give it perhaps as much as if it had a thinner skin. Its temper leads you to believe it is deficient in sensibility; but it is not necessary that because an animal has a thick skin it cannot feel so acutely. I remember a remarkable observation that I met with in Capt. Hall's travels, about the whale's fine sense of feeling. These animals possess a power of communicating with each other at a great distance, by a peculiar motion of the water, either designedly, or by their efforts to regain their liberty when caught; so that a shoal at a distance of many miles will soon bear down to assist their captivated companion or companions. Now these motions must be propagated through the water, and communicated to the immense surface of skin that is presented by the distant whales. You know, I suppose, that the skin of the whale is prodigiously thick, and is made into oil? It is much thicker than your donkey's, Edwin.
E. But how does Capt. Hall know that the whales talk in this way.