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the wings might render expedient; for if soft as the upper edge, injury would result. The character of the whole range of the laminæ changes according to their position; if I force them up to right angles with their base, and press my finger upon them, I find I do them an injury, and there is resistance to my pressure: but if I carry my finger along in the direction of the laminæ, nothing can be more soft and pleasant to the touch. Let me here make one moral reflection: Thus God has ordained, that our conscience should feel accordingly, either as we resist, or obey His will, in the gospel of Christ.

The filaments are placed very differently as to their position in the upper and under part of the feather. No mathematical precision could possibly exceed the nicety of the level surface at the top; but beneath, the feather presents a considerable cavity along the stem, thus leaving a free passage of air, and allowing a necessary curve to the whole of the feather.

The quill, as consisting of a tube, offers a channel for the heat and moisture sent out from the body of the fowl, for the nourishment necessary to the health and growth of the wing; while the pith may possibly serve to retain a surplus of the moisture, or to send it forth as may be necessary. Numerous fibres encircle the quill, which operate as holdfasts, so that the bird is in less danger of losing his feathers: which irregular hoops become clearly apparent, when, before the scurf is well scraped off, we attempt to make a slit in the quill with a sudden jerk of this, the jagged teeth which then appear, are a sufficient proof.


To what a beneficial purpose was the mind of that individual directed, who first made the quill subservient to the important use of writing!

And when in examining into the most minute parts of creation, we see their complete adaptation to the end designed, and new beauties unfolded at every step we take, how justly appropriate do we feel the following devout acknowledgment, "The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein." Psalm cxi. 2.

Earnestly recommending this profitable research to your young readers, I remain,

J. C.




IN the times of awful declension from God he left not himself without witnesses. Jeroboam, the king of Israel, had made two calves of gold, and had led his people to worship them. One of them was erected at Bethel, which was no longer the house of the true God. Thither God sent a prophet from Judah; he proclaimed his fearful message,―Jeroboam attempted to seize him, but his guilty hand was miraculously withered. The prophet, at his urgent request, prayed for him, and Jeroboam was restored. The king then earnestly invited the man of God to go home with him, to refresh himself and receive a reward. He boldly and plainly declared, that God had ordered him not to do so; and thus, resisting the temptation, hastened home another way.

When God has delivered us from one temptation, we must not grow careless, but prepare for another. Satan, our deceitful enemy, when he has been once failed, will watch for our halting, and if he sees us off our guard, secure in the victory we have been enabled to achieve, he will present a more powerful temptation. It often happens, too, that danger arises from those who ought to direct us aright, rather than lead us astray. Thus it was that an old prophet who dwelt at Bethel, seduced the man of God, and by pretending a contrary revelation, induced him to violate the clear and express divine command he had received. He stayed to eat bread and drink water.

The path of transgression may be attractive at first, but it certainly leads to misery, either here or hereafter, and often in both worlds. The tempting prophet was made the means of conveying the divine threatening to the disobedient man of God. In this respect he was like the great adversary of our souls, who first tempts us into sin, and then becomes our


The disobedient prophet being thus warned, soon mounted his ass and hastened on his course; when lo, a lion met him by the way and slew him, and his carcass was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, and the lion also stood by the carcass. This was undoubtedly miraculous: God stayed the ravening liou's rage, and mingled mercy with his righteous judgment.

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