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THE

SUNDAY TEACHERS' TREASURY.

ON OBSERVATION.

we

eye has

THERE are two principal fountains | simal portion. And at once from which all human knowledge remark that the observation of nature flows. These have been variously is comparatively useless if it be not characterized, but may with correct- exercised with thoughtfulness and ness be termed reading and obser- care. Rightly to benefit from the vation. The one is the study of contemplation of nature in her varied words, th ther the study of aspects, we must be led to heedful things. In the one case, man has ponderings over what the recourse to the wisdom and experi- beheld. It is when the finite creaence of others, basing his judgments ture, dazzled and awe-struck by the thereupon ; in the other, he depends innumerable wonders set around and solely upon the exercise of his God- above him by the Divine hand of given faculties of mind and body to the Infinite Maker, pauses reverenenable him to understand the mys. tially, and sets himself to think who teries of this present world and of it is that has thus clothed the earth the sublime universe around him. It with beauty, and studded heaven is possible that, of these two mighty with her untold glories, that the sources of knowledge, observation exercise of observation is productive is the more valuable, provided always of the most desirable effects upon that it act in unison with an honest the heart and mind. Singularly heart seeking ingenuously after impressive is it to notice how even truth. Although of different degrees the most uncultivated brain is afin different men, in a general sense

fected unconsciously though it may all may be said to possess this great be in the majority of cases—by power; but it depends much upon the mystic influence of the glory of the use made of it as to how far this world and of the firmament it shall prove of real and lasting ad- around it. Often we may witness vantage. In the present essay we the effect wrought on such by the propose to consider briefly this mighty stillness of a summer's eve, or by the fountain of benefits, physical, moral, clear and peaceful shining of the and intellectual, given to mankind. heavenly bodies in the blue wintry

First, let us advert to the power expanse, when there seems to steal of observing the beauty of the world a temporary change over the being, in which we live, and the subtle and and the very spirit appears awed wondrous workings of the universe into a startling sense of the reality of which we form but an infinite- of that Divine Existence which

NOVEMBER, 1868.

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moves in the armies of heaven, and the relation which he individually also amongst the inhabitants of bears to the Supreme Being. Is it earth. Whilst the truth of the possible there are those who can statement remains unquestioned, it view the innumerable wonders of should however be stated at the earth, and yet be void of emotion, same time, that the permanent effects of interest, of delight? Perhaps of these emotions (more or less no- some of our readers may feel rather ticeable in all men) are very diverse sceptical at this, tempted to think in character; so that the exercise of that no such indifference does in any observation in regard to nature leads degree exist. Is it, or is it not so? some to admire, others to study In truth we must state that hun. merely, and yet others to combine dreds, nay thousands, of our fellowboth acts with heartfelt adoration creatures, to whom God has given of the Creator Himself. In the this wondrous faculty of observation, latter class we hold those to be who do not exercise it in regard to the rightly contemplate nature ; for in splendour of the world in which He the thousand treasures of earth's has been pleased to place them, upon loveliness they see the gracious which He has showered all the hand and kind providence of a marks of beauty which only a Divine Being who called them into Divine hand could give, and which existence, and so "give glory to He silently waits to see His creaHim unto whom it is due."

tures contemplate, enjoy, and give to Manifold indeed are the benefits Him the glory. derivable from a close consideration O man! built up within thy imof creation in its most minute parts penetrable conceit, thy unapproachas well as one grand and harmonious able pride of heart, which as whole. Much can be learnt of the mighty barrier keeps thee from word of God, by a thoughtful ex- creation's grandeur, or shrouded amination of the works of Him within the thick mists of thy listless whose record it is. And although indifference, wilt thou not come the step from nature up to nature's forth from the gloomy cloisters of God is not a necessary one, yet it thy every-day life, and exercise thy frequently is induced by the wise God-implanted faculty in regard to contemplation of the various or- the wondrous treasures of this fair ganic or inorganic bodies of which earth of ours, learning a new, a nature is composed. Remembrance purer joy than thou hast hitherto of the harmony of creation, and of experienced? Wilt thou not know the Divine arrangements made for that as yet thou hast lost one of the the preservation of that harmony, noblest and holiest of pleasures leads very often to devout feelings which can be attained unto in this of gratitude and adoration towards fallen world, and hast dashed from the Giver and Disposer of all things. thee the sweetest cup of joy that was Many minor advantages, also, result ever held to human lips? Cast off from the right observation of nature. from thee thy gloomy mantle of unIt leads to a development of in. concern, thrust from thy spirit its tellectual strength, to expansion of foolish pride and ignorance, and the mind, to enlargement of view. seek to know more of thy Creator's He who takes little or no interest in works, to discover for thyself the nature must possess but a dim, in- treasures hidden for thy benefit in distinct idea of God Himself, and of that world wherein thy lot is cast.

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Exercise thine inestimable powers ; spirit. The result of incorrect or look around thee, ay, look above careless observation of life will evithee too; and may thy heart, whose dence itself invariably in erroneous whole concern has hitherto been views and opinions-false, shadowy given to the narrow aims of every- | conceptions of man and his destiny. day pursuits, be warmed and ex- Care must be exercised in cultivating panded with the fervour of thy a sound judgment, to the end that honest admiration, burning at our endeavours may produce desirable length with love to God and thy and beneficial results, by increasing fellow-men!

our knowledge and fitting us for

duty. Possessing these requisites, Let us now offer a few brief re- we may learn much indeed of God's marks on the observation of human dealings with man, as shown in life, which is the second half of our the various spheres of human actopic as we are at present viewing tivity. Varied indeed, and far too it. The vast machinery of human numerous for explicit notice, are the existence, ever revolving in its lessons which the consideration of mighty activity, ever exhibiting a life is calculated to teach us. Surfund of matter for contemplation, is veying the great masses of our felcalculated to instruct as well as low-men, we are struck primarily by materially to improve those who the variety existing amongst them. rightly give their attention to it. Never do we meet with two men in Yet we continually find individuals whom the same order and amount perverting this source of good to their of intellectual ability obtains, and own misery. To state a general who, if justly weighed and examined, principle in reference to the observa- would be found in all respects equition of human life, we may say that, valent the one to the other. Obserlike nature generally, it is productive vation therefore teaches us the law of diverse effects in different minds, of diversity, and we everywhere see and that consonant with the cha- the principle of variety carried into racter and disposition of the being effect. No two men are alike in all who exercises this faculty will be respects; for, could we follow up the results attained.

the mazy windings of their separate In what manner, then, it will be existences, we should most certainly asked, should we look at human find points in which they essentially life ? Undoubtedly, in the first differ. And what, reader, does the place, with an humble and a contrite thoughtful observer gather from this? spirit. The close observation of our He learns, if he come honestly to fellow-creatures, in all their various conclusions, that God is a mighty phases of existence, will prove of Being who never repeats Ilimself; little benefit to us if we look down who, in all that His power has called upon them from the pinnacle of into life, displays an infinite and inour own overweening conceit. To exhaustible variety. Thus, too, will derive real, lasting good from the the child of God learn submission, study of those around us, we must from the fact that his study of go in amongst them ; — working, human life has led him to the knowstriving, suffering with them, parti- ledge that the Creator, in His inscrucipating in their joys and sorrows. table wisdom, has ordered infinite And, again, it is not enough that we diversity in the midst of exquisite do this in a kindly and an humble harmony.

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Observation of human life, and thrilling story or make to thyself a all that connects itself therewith, name; but take thy part in and should teach us important lessons in amongst this mighty crowd that regard to man's future, and how great hope, trust, and fear together ; let is his dependence on Him who first thy light so shine before men, that gave to him form and life. It will they, seeing thy good works, may also teach us what is his nature, and glorify thy Father which is in what are the limits of his powers.

heaven. Rest convinced that God Let us turn therefore from the tur- never placed any man on this beaumoil and endless strife of the world, teous earth but that he might fulfil and muse occasionally over this his mission of work in life, and renmost wondrous work of the Creator, der himself and others fitter for that and his capabilities of mind and which is to come.

O readers, this body.

life of ours is indeed merging swiftly And think you, cynical observer of in the shades of eternity, where its our poor fallen race, that this most separate acts will stand forth with complex organization, this tracery of clearness and distinctness, when the emotions, this well-spring of sorrow Omniscient pierces its abysses with or of joy, was created merely that His all-revealing light! Oh that we thou shouldst stand aloof from the might learn to observe human life strife, and there pass thy verdicts on with the docility of a child, and yet those of thy fellows who, worthily with the wisdom of a serpent, so as or unworthily, are fighting below to derive everlasting benefits therethee? No; assuredly not. Come from, and in some measure at least down from thine elevation ; lớok no cast a halo of good influences around more on human life as an amusing those whom God has placed within or a tragic spectacle, from the obser- the sphere of our human exertions ! vation of which thou canst weave a

E. CLIFFORD.

THE SPIRIT'S WHISPER.

Out at the edge of the rippling tide,

Washed by the storm from his fathomless bed,
Rudely cut down in his young life's pride,

Somebody's darling lay stark and dead.
Stretched on the sand, with hair of gold

Matted and damp on his cold, pale brow;
Oh that the sad, sad tale must be told-

Somebody waits for her darling now.
Smoothe back his sunny, curling hair ;

Think of his mournful fate with a sigh;
Drop on his coffin a silent tear;

His dirge be the scream of the sea-bird's cry.
Nightwinds, moan out your requiems here

Over his spiritless, mouldering clay ;
Spirit, go whisper in somebody's ear,

Jesus, the Saviour, has called me away.
Somebody sat at the window that night,

Weary and wan with weeping alone,

And watched the glittering harbour-light,

And heard the sad song of the bar's wild moan;
But above its moaning at dawn of day

A sweet voice whispers in accents of love,
Jesus, my Saviour, has called me away:

Fly with me, dearest, to realms above!"
Lower and lower that fair head bowed,

Further and further 'tis bowed each day,
Till, wrapped in the folds of her snow-white shroud,

Somebody's spirit has passed away-
Passed away to that distant shore,

To the “ haven of bliss" beyond the sky,
Where spirits, united to part no more,

Dwell in the light of the God Most High.-- American Paper.

YOUTHFUL WORSHIPPERS. HAVING often watched young children meaning prayer, it yet realizes somehow during the devotional exercises of the that God is being worshipped; but the family, I have been interested at see- restless movements, and the delight at ing the varied manifestations of pleasure release, tell that it is not a pleasant or weariness, as the case might be. confinement. Children are early imitators; and if we I have in mind a little girl of three would make those beautiful and sacred years, full of life and devotion, never seasons pleasant to them we must care- quiet unless listening to a story from fully encourage all their desires to join mamma's lips or fast asleep in her cot. with their elders in acts of devotion. If She had been in the habit of praying they are too young to read, let them herself for the little hungry children, hold a book if they wish it. When and her own prayers were very pleasant their voices join in song, check not the to her ; but the morning prayer of papa lisping of the youngest, even though it was a very tedious thing. To be sure, she may not accord in harmony with the knelt, or tried to do so ; but as often her more experienced singers. Do older head was where her feet should be. It ones recite a passage of Scripture each was a matter of doubt whether it was inorning ? never omit listening to the possible for her to be kept quiet. At little one, although it can but repeat last it occurred to the father to bring at the words from the lips of another. I least a portion of the prayer within the have known a child, as soon as it could child's capacity. frame a sentence, say each morning for Do you want papa to pray for the weeks, “ God is love ;” and the little hungry children?” was asked. face would glow with pleasure that it

came from the eager lips. could do as papa and mamma did.

" Will you be quiet ? " These varied exercises are very plea

" and the hands were 'sant to even the youngest; for, although folded at once. At first she listened they may not understand the purport of attentively; but there was no mention much that is read, yet the sound of of her poor hungry children, and soon each voice attracts them; and they the unmeaning words lost their interest, learn to wait their time, and rejoice and the restlessness commenced. One when it comes, proud to imitate older would have thought it impossible to remembers of the family. If the little gain her attention. hands become weary with being folded Presently the father began to pray for through the long and, to the child, un- the hungry children, using the very

6 Oh yes

"Yes, papa ;

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