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spired;–O check them not! They speak the worth and immortality of your Souls! If a God, that does nothing in vain, has endowed you with desires so in. commensurate to all terrestrial objects, and a capaci. ty of soaring so far beyond them; if he has given you such a restless curiosity of prying farther and farther into the boundless scheme of nature; be assured that this curiosity will not be frustrated. There are in reserve for you future periods of existence, when all these noble desires will be fully satisfied, and superior displays be eternally opened upon you, as your pow. ers are forever enlarging.”
But it was not alone, by ascending in the scale of nature, that our amiablc tutor taught us to admire the Creator's goodness: We were forced to acknow. ledge him still greater, if possible, in the smallest than in the greatest things, when in the third class we descended in the study of nature towards its other extreme.
To speak only of that single branch of physics called micrography, how did it surprise us to disco. ver living creatures, thousands of which would be imperceptible to the unassisted sense, swarming by legions in each leaf and grain; animating our choicest viands, mantling our purest liquors, and crouding even the transparent atmosphere? But when we were convinced that these animalcules are so far from be. ing the last degree of smallness, that there are others as much smaller than them as they are smaller than us, we were then as much lost in the divisibility of matter, as formerly in its multiplicity. As in the one case, we could conceive no end of the magnitude
and addition of heavenly bodies, so in the other we could conceive no end of division and smallness. On either side of us, the gradation exceeds all our conceptions; and, astonished at ourselves, we now saw man in a different light. He that but a little before seemed only an atom of an atom workl, almost imper, ceptible in the bosom of the universe, seemed now dis.ended into a world, even into an universe, when compared but with the last degree of perceptible smallness. Taking the view, therefore, on both sides, we were naturally led to assign him his proper place as the-nexus utriusque mundi.
But, to proceed. How greatly was our astonishment increased, when we were convinced that the minutest of these animals is formed with as exact proportion, nicety and design as man himself! That they have their distinct joints, limbs and vessels, all disposed in number, weight and measure; and that
Each within this little bulk contains,
UNIVERSE. Such speculations, conducted by the pious and fervent Aratus, did not fail to impress us with grand and elevated conceptions of the Deity!
Think, my dear youths (he would say to us) “ Oh! think how wonderful, how incomprehensible
must that God be, whose works are so amazingly various! Who performed all these minute operations, who made the small heart, and poured the exceedingly subtile liquids into the small vessels, of these diminutive animalcules-all with the very same right hand, wherewith he rounded those immense orbs, andlaunched forth all those systems of worlds through immeasurable space, whose magnitude and numbers so lately coiifounded us!”
Forgive me, my friend, said Evander, if in this part of my narrative, I should seem tedious, or discover any unbecoming raptures. The time spent in these studies was the happiest period of my life; a period which I can never reflect upon, without hav. ing before me the idea of the good Aratus, pouring forth important truths to us, and leading us imperceptibly from the visible to the invisible things of God.
It is impossible to express what a foundation in piety 'may be made, on such occasions, by a good and fervent man, whose person and character we love, and whom we suspect of no design upon us but our own welfare; and he who fails to make a due improvement of such opportunities of instilling goodness into youth, doth indeed neglect one of the most essential designs of education. He neglects to form that relish for the devout contemplation of God's works, which is not only capable to give us joy and satisfaction in all conditions of life; but will, no doubt, constitute a part of our pleasure, and be the subject of our contemplation and wonder, forever and ever! On the contrary, he who embraces such opportunities, with
judgment and discretion, will have no reason to complain that youth are unsusceptible of serious impressions; or that true philosophy is unfriendly to religion. Perhaps, it may be true of philosophy, as the poet beautifully expresses it from Bacon,
“ That shallow draughts intoxicate the brain;
So far in respect to the third class. As to the fourth, I have already hinted how far the studies of rhetoric, poetry, and what is commonly called the Belles Let. tres, tend to soften the heart, and serene the temper. I pass on, therefore, to the fifth, or highest class.
And here, what need I speak of agriculture; which is only a capital part of natural knowledge reduced to practice? Indeed Tully* ad Columellat have ex• pressly honoured this study with the name of Wis. dom and the life of a wise man;—a study that hath given that happiness to the most renowned names in story, which the world could not give, and afforded them solid pleasures in their declining years, after being cloyed with all that mankind call great! Indeed, it would be endless to enumerate all the opportunities which Aratus here found of improving our religious sentiments. He could not explain the theory of vegetation, without exhibiting whole worlds of wonders. He could not examine the structure of the most in
* Venio nunc ad voluptates Agricolarum, quibus ego incredibiliter dem lector; quæ nec ulla impediuntur senectute, et mihi ad sapientis vitam proxime accedere videntur.
+ Res rustica, sine dubitatione, proxima et quasi consanguinea sapientiæ est.
different plant, without making us perceive in it the same wisdom and design that appear in the structure of the most perfect animal. He could not examine the fossil and mineral kingdoms, without pointing out to us the same agreement, fitness and design in the disposition of things, even amid the dark recesses and secret bowels of the earth, as on her beautiful surface. And her beautiful surface he could not survey with. out filling our hearts with wonder, love, and gratitude.
In this class, having now arrived to the last stage of our studies, and just entering into manhood, Aratus treated us more as his bosom friends and companions, than as his pupils or scholars; and often, when the season permitted, would lead us to the adjoining fields, to make the proper remarks on the different plants, trees, &c.
Early, one morning, he appointed us to meet him in the public garden, where, being convened, he told us, that the plant which he proposed to shew us was not there, but that it grew wild near the top of a mountain, at about a mile and a half distance to the northward of Mirania. To this place, therefore, he invited us to walk, expressing his hopes that he might be able to furnish amusement for us, sufficient to compensate the toil. Having reached the summit, and found what he was in search of, he seated himself beneath the shade of an ancient oak, and began his remarks on the curiosity of the plant he had mentioned to us.
The morning was serene, and the prospect around us enchanting. The city lay open to the view, and