Page images

Do you

below by means of the water-bath, on colossal whale; structures of infinite the surface of which some oil was poured beauty, proclaiming design and purpose, so as to intercept all communication be- as clearly as does the hand of man, or tween the water and the atmosphere. the constitution of the human frame. The sprig of mint was exposed to the

M. light of the sun for twelve days consecutively: at the end of each day, the carbonic acid was found to diminish in

"IT WAS NOT ALWAYS SO." quantity, the water rising in the jar to “Ho!” said Frank, “a new

stile to supply the place of what was lost ; and farmer White's rick-yard! I suppose at the same time the plant exhaled a it intended to keep the cattle from quantity of oxygen equal to that of the trespassing; but as the people have been carbonic acid which had disappeared. A saying to you, this morning, uncle, it similar sprig of mint placed in a jar of was not always so.? “No," I observed, the same size full of distilled water, but “I remember, when it was quite open, without having access to carbonic acid, being frightened by a wild bull. I am gave out no oxygen gas and soon perished. glad this fence is put up; for though When, in another experiment, conducted I am so much taller and stouter than by means of the same apparatus as was I was then, it is not exactly pleasant used in the first, oxygen gas was substi- to meet a vicious animal. tuted in the first jar, instead of carbonic not think it a very great improvement, acid gas, no gas was disengaged in the uncle ?” “Yes, Samuel, I do; but it other jar which contained a sprig of mint. seems all the parish is not just of our It is evident, therefore, that the oxygen mind; the alteration was very violently gas obtained from the mint in the first opposed by some of the people, and the experiment was derived from the decom- stile, as fast as it was put up by day was position by the leaves of the mint, of the pulled down at night. “But why did carbonic acid, which the plant had ab- they object to it, uncle ? Did it do sorbed from the water.

them any harm? It is a good safe stile, “Solar light is an essential agent in that any body may easily get over." effecting this chemical change, for it is Oh, yes, they can get over it easily never found to take place at night, nor enough if they choose to do so; the while the plant is kept in the dark. The only objection I ever heard against it, experiments of Sennebier would tend to was, that "it was not always so.' I show that violet, or the most refrangible took some pains, at the request of the of the solar rays, have the greatest power farmer and some of the neighbours, to in determining this decomposition of reason with the opponents of the meacarbonic acid; but the experiments are sure, and to convince them that it was of so delicate a nature, that this result a public good, and could not be in any requires to be confirmed by a more rigid way injurious: but my endeavours were investigation, before it can be admitted fruitless, they would yield to no convicas satisfactorily established. That the tion but that of necessity; and only percarbon resulting from this decomposition mitted the stile to remain when they of carbonic acid, is retained by the plant found that they exposed themselves to has been amply proved by the experi- legal punishment by pulling it down. ments of M. Theodore de Saussure, who | The affair has at length blown over; found that this process is attended with a and if the farmer should now attempt sensible increase in the quantity of carbon to throw it open again, it is likely that which the plant had previously con- the very same people would be the first tained.”

to complain of injury, and say, "It But the Naturalist would not be tire- was not always so. some to his readers : enough then for “What is there," said Frank, “ that February ; but when warmer months always was as it is at present ? the world come on, and the stagnant waters are is continually changing." replete with life, and when myriads of * True," said my uncle ;

varyinsects are on the wing, he will show you ing dispensations of Provider and the through the microscope, some strange vicissitudes of the children of men renand wonderful forms, which, too minute der it impossible that outward things to be seen with the naked eye, display should be unchangeable. Besides, while no less impressively the power of God in it is so possible for improvements to be creation, than the mighty elephant or the adopted, it would be very undesirable,

or the


even if it were possible, for things to to the county hospital. A call to alleviate remain stationary."

the woes of others is one of the 'most ef“It seems to be quite a favourite ectual anodynes to the sorrowful spirit. phrase in this neighbourhood, 'It was The pensive features of Mr. Lee almost not always so.' I think we have heard relaxed into a smile ; and with a tone of it used this morning by at least five dif- gratified benevolence approaching even ferent persons; and yet from their man- to cheerfulness, he expressed his willner of speaking, as well as from your ingness to comply with the request, and replies to them, I do not think they all rose as if to lay his hand upon the neattached the same meaning to it.” cessary form. He advanced to the door

“Nothing could be more opposite --returned-opened anescrutoire-closed than their several meanings; I could not it again—discovered perplexity and agihelp smiling to think of the difference, tation which he strove to hide-rang the and do not wonder at your noticing it. bell and desired to speak to Morris, the It would have been still more striking personal attendant of his late lady. if you had known more of the parties * Morris,” he inquired, “ can you tell and their real circumstances.My me where your-can you tell me where uncle then proceeded, as far as he the infirmary tickets are kept ?” “Yes, thought proper, in sketching to us the sir ; they are in my Mis—they are in characters and circumstances of the seve- the portable desk, sir.'

With a strong ral individuals who had used the ex- effort to subdue his feelings, he took pression. The first he doubted not had from the escrutoire a bunch of keys with uttered the words while struggling to which he was evidently not familiar ; exercise a spirit of Christian resignation. for he tried several before one would He was a widower, who had recently turn the wards of an elegantly inlaid lost a most amiable and excellent wife. desk, which at length he opened with He appeared much gratified by my an expression of melancholy reveruncle's visit, and pressed him to remain He soon discovered the requisite to dinner. This was declined; how- paper, and signed it with a trembling ever, as we staid some time, I sup- hand. As he presented it to the serpose the servants expected we should vant, he kindly desired that the applidine there, and the housekeeper re- cant might be offered some refreshment, quested to speak to Mr. Lee. On his adding, “I am sorry he should have return, he apologized for leaving us; been so long detained.” The and said, with tears in his eyes, that it vant left the room, and Mr. Lee conwas quite new to him to be consulted tinued, addressing himself to my uncle, about domestic arrangements. “ It was “It was not always so; but I have lost not always so,” said the bereaved hus- my right hand. There is not an engageband; “till now I knew not the value ment or occurrence in which I do not miss of that dear presiding spirit who ar- her—0 my friend, I am bereaved: but ranged all these--not trifling matters ; the Lord has done it, and it must be right. for that which occurs daily cannot be What he does I know not now, but I shall a trifle—without confusion and without know hereafter,” John xiii. 7. My uncle bustle, yet always seemed at leisure silently pressed the hand of the mourner, join in intellectual, social, or benevolent He understood too well the sacredness of engagements.” My uncle encouraged grief to oppress the broken spiriteven with Mr. Lee to speak of the virtues of his topics of consolation which it was as yet excellent lady. I have heard him say scarcely able to bear. Something about that he thought it one of the most silly a book which was mislaid again awakened pieces of modern etiquette, when visiting tender reminiscences, and occasioned a a mourner, to avoid if possible, or to repetition of the phrase, “ It was not check all allusion to the object of his always so." My uncle then replied, loss. He thought it both soothing and “No, my friend, it is not with you as improving to cherish recollections of de- in months that are past, when the candle parted worth ; and though they might of the Lord shone upon your tabernacle; seem to aggravate the bereavement, he but when the mournful sense of your considered that they had a direct ten- own privation overwhelms your mind, dency to reconcile the Christian to the endeavour to think of her you loved and temporary separation.

have lost, as adopting the same expresThe conversation was again interrupted sion, “It was not always so,' but with by an application for a ticket of admission what different feelings !


so with you:

Once she was mourning here below, adding, with an expression between a

And wet her couch with tears,
She wrestled hard as we do now,

sigh and a smile, * The shop bell is With sins, and doubts, and fears.'

now the call of duty. It was not al

She paused a moment; and But it is not so now; and it will not be ways so.”. so again for ever, nor will it always be then, as if reproaching herself for the

most distant approach to a mur


feeling, she continued, “but it is better • Yet a season and you know,

as it is. We were never more comHappy entrance will be given.

fortable than at present.

My dear
All your sorrows left below,
And earth exchang'd for heaven.'

Charles is daily improving in health and

spirits : our house is convenient, airy, The good man seemed to admit the con- and cheerful, though not spacious : our solatory thought, and we left him some- dear children are already placed in exwhat soothed and cheered by Christian cellent situations ; Emily, as governess sympathy. Yes, and under many a trial | in a family, and the two young men in since, when half disposed to murmur, mercantile houses. It is a privation to or at least uselessly to regret that things be separated from them ; but it is all for are not now with me as they once were, good. The encouragement we meet I have found comfort in reflecting that with in business affords reason to hope in an opposite sense neither are they so that it will sufficiently provide forour own with those once most dear to me; and support; and here the evening of our in indulging a humble hope that they will days may be spent very happily, though not always be so with me, but that not exactly in the sphere to which we God himself shall wipe away all tears, have been accustomed. Our circumRev. xxi. 4.

stances really call for the exercise of After taking our leave of Mr. Lee, lively gratitude and cheerful dependence. we called at a stationer's shop, where Surely goodness and mercy have folmy uncle wished to make some pur- lowed us, and shall follow us, all the chases. The counter was attended by days of our lives; and, best of all, we an active, obliging, and very lady-like hope to dwell in the house of the Lord woman, whom my uncle accosted with for ever," Psa. xxiii. 6. the respectful familiarity of

an old

My uncle afterwards told us that the friend, making particular inquiries after Willises from living in the highest style her health, and that of her family; to of mercantile opulence, had been sudall of which she replied in a tone of denly reduced to their present humble dignified cheerfulness, and invited my circumstances ; the parents, to keep a uncle to walk in and see Mr. Willis, to small shop in a country town; and the which he consented. “ Allow me,” she young people, to employ their talents and said, "to lead the way, the passage is accomplishments in gaining a maintenrather dark and narrow, but the parlour ance. 'But,” said he," they bear the to which it leads is snug and comfort- vicissitude well, especially that excelable.” We followed, and were intro- | lent woman whom we have just seen. duced to Mr. Willis, a middle-aged Her Christian magnanimity and accomman, but who appeared feeble and an modating energy of character are truly invalid. The room though small, was admirable. She now presides at her genteel and comfortable, and every ar- counter, or arranges her little parlour ticle of furniture good of its kind, and with as much dignity, grace, and cheerarranged with perfect neatness and even fulness, as heretofore she stepped into elegance. The conversation of both Mr. her carriage or presided in her drawingand Mrs. Willis was intellectual and po- room. In each varying circumstance, lished. It was evident that they possessed she exemplifies and adorns the Christian highly cultivated minds, and were fa- character, and evidently appears as one miliar with the refinements of society. whose resources are from on high, and An interesting conversation about a scene whose home is in heaven.' on the banks of the Rhine, which it The next person whom we heard appeared my uncle and Mr. and Mrs. adopting the phrase, “ It was not always Willis had visited together, was inter- so,

* seemed to be actuated by a very rupted by the shop bell, at the sound of different spirit. With him, it was an which Mrs. Willis promptly but quietly expression of unjust reproach, and a withdrew. She presently returned, and wish to cast upon others the blame of apologized for her abrupt departure, I uneasiness resulting from his own mis,

[ocr errors]


Ask your

conduct. Indolent and selfish in the to others, you no doubt found more extreme, he neglected his business, peace in your own mind and enjoyed gave himself up to sloth, and cared only more peace with others. A contented for the self-indulgence of the present mind is a continual feast; but content moment. His wife, an industrious, never dwells with indolence and selfishkind-hearted body, exerted herself to He that would be loved must the utmost to keep things together, and render himself loveable. He that would to provide for him comforts which he have friends must show himself friendly. little deserved. He greedily appropri- | Do you complain of others ? ated whatever was set before him, or self, what have you done to make them whatever he could lay his hands upon, happy? Do you complain that the conlittle caring by whose labour it was solations of God are small with you ? procured, provided it was not his own. Look within and inquire whether there In return, he dealt out insults and abuse is not some secret thing with you ; 'for to those who laboured to serve him. there is no peace, saith my God, to the When his wife was toiling for his sup- wicked,

"" Isa. lvii. 21. port, he upbraided her for not joining We met with two instances in which him in his frivolous waste of time; the phrase was adopted as the expression worn down with anxiety and labour to of cheerful gratitude. A poor widow, supply his deficiencies, she was reproach- who, by my uncle's benevolent exertions, ed with being less handsome and less had been rescued from deep distress and sprightly than he once thought her. parochial dependence, and put in a Every day of his life he threw the house way of supporting her family by her into confusion, and then complained of industry, welcomed her benefactor with its want of order. He was perpetually a heart overflowing with gratitude. She misplacing his own things, and those showed him the progress of her work, that were not his own; and when they the stock of her little shop, the comforts were missed, would accuse those around of her habitation ; told him of some of him of having stolen them. If a book or her children being at work, and bringing other article were lent to him or intrusted in a little weekly help; of others being to his care, when it was reclaimed, he be- at school and making fine progress in came furious against the owner for wish their learning, and reading the blessed ing to deprive him of that which was his Bible to cheer her evening hours. With only comfort. By his violence and morose- tears in her eyes, she exclaimed, “O ness, mingled sometimes with the most sir, it was not always so, nor ever would disgusting levity and nonsense, he made have been so but for your goodness. himself odious to those around him, and May we never cease to praise the Lord then blamed them for not seeking his for his benefits, or to pray that the best society, but, as far as they could, pur- of blessings may rest on you; God can suing their several avocations and plea- reward you, though we cannot.” sures apart from him. He wearied out The other case was that of a wanderer all his friends, and then upbraided them reclaimed by the power of Divine grace with fickleness and treachery. He habi- from his sinful ways—rescued from the tually lived at variance with his con- sinful and ruinous pleasures of the science, and then complained that he world, and brought to experience, even was not happy. He frequently adopted, in the exercises of penitence, the beginas the expression of his murmuring ning of that peace and pleasantness which spirit against the dispensations of Pro- belong to the ways of wisdom. He showed vidence, or of his unjust reproaches of too that religion is not only a personal his fellow-creatures, “It was not always but a relative blessing, and displayed so.” He sometimes uttered his com- its influence in his endeavours to proplaints to my Uncle Barnaby, who clearly mote the welfare and happiness of an saw into the true cause of all his troubles, amiable wife and interesting family, (as indeed any one possessed of common whom he had long neglected and rensense might easily do,) and generally gave dered miserable by his vices. My unhim a little plain dealing, such as would cle's was a visit of kind encouragement. be more salutary than pleasant, “ It The wife made no allusion to the change; was not always so, Mr. Scott !” said my but the silent expression of tenderness uncle. “No, I dare say not; when you and happiness seemed to be gradually cultivated better feelings, and were more chasing away from her countenance the concerned about discharging your duty deep traces of anxiety and distress. The


husband looked at her with fond admir- I put off mortality, and with mortality all ation bordering upon reverence ; and imperfection. Nevertheless, “ By the on her leaving the room, spoke to my grace of God I am what I am," i Cor. uncle of her unwearied patience and xv. 10.*

C. gentleness, and the uniform consistency of her deportment, which had been the means of winning him over to give a hearing to the gospel; that gospel which he humbly trusted had been made the power of God to his salvation. He spoke of the domestic happiness he now enjoyed, and said, “It was not always so; but the grace of God has made the difference, and


Oh to grace how great a debtor,

Daily I'm constrain'd to be ;
Let that grace, Lord, like a fetter,

Bind my wandering heart to thee.”

[ocr errors]






Us Baccata.

bricated bud.

Frank's remark on the phrase, “It was not always so," led my uncle to give us such particulars in the character and history of the several parties as he thought illustrative of the several dispositions, with which they uttered the ex

3 pression. He closed, by saying, “ One

as uses it in the language of sinful repining

Yew. (Taxus Baccata.) and unjust reproach. • The foolishness of man perverteth his way:

and his heart

Explanation of cut.-a, branch with fruit. b,

male flower. c, female flower. d, berry. e, secfretteth against the Lord, Prov. xix. 3. tion of berry, showing the imbedded seed. S, seed. The Christian in prosperity uses it with “ The warlike yewgh, by which more than the humble gratitude; like Jacob of old,


The strong-armed English spirits conquered 'I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which “ The yew, which in the place of sculptured stone, thou hast showed unto thy servant;

for Marks out the resting place of men unknown.' with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands,' Gen.

LINNEAN ARRANGEMENT. Class Diæcia. Taxxxxii. 10.”

Barren Flowers. Calyx none, excepting an imThe Christian in bereavement and

Corolla none. Filaments united at privation says, “ It was not so always;" anthers, pellates, each of which terminates in eight

the base into a column, dividing into numerous but it is right that it should be so now. rounded segments. Fertile Flowers. Calyx mi“Even so Father : for so it seemed good nute, inferior, cup shaped, imbricate; afterwards

Germen in thy sight,” Matt. xi. 26. “Not my superior, egg shaped. Style none. Stigma obtuse. will, but thine, be done,” Luke xxii. 42. Berry formed of the enlarged, pulpy scarlet-colourThe humble penitent looks "unto the rock

ed calyx. Seed one, oblong, generally imbedded in

the berry. Leaves two rowed, linear, crowded, whence he was hewn, and to the hole of the dark green, shining above. pit whence he was digged,” Isa. li. 1; and with adoring gratitude exclaims,

The yew, though now too much neg“Who maketh me thus to differ from lected, is a tree of no little interest, from my former self ? and what have I that its connexion with the military and suI did not receive ?" The Christian, in perstitious history of our country. It is whatever circumstances he may be placed, a native of the British islands, and was can say, “It was not always so; I am

formerly much more abundant than it is not what I was: I was a rebel against at present. It is also indigenous in North God, a slave to sin and Satan. Still

America, the eastern parts of Asia, and I am not what I ought to be ; how im- the north of Europe." Various reasons perfect and deficient! I am not what have been assigned for its botanical I wish to be ; for I abhor that which is name, Taxus; some deriving it from evil, and would cleave to that which is toxon, a bow, as it was formerly the good. I am not yet what I hope to be.

* See a well known anecdote of the late Rev. It will not be always so. Soon I shall J. Newton.-Anecdotes. Christian Graces.

« PreviousContinue »