Puslapio vaizdai

order, as an alleviative agent, comes sleep. People exposed to want of aliment, people on the verge of starvation, feel an almost unconquerable desire to sleep; and many a starving man or woman may pass in sleep a space of time, without eating and drinking, which awake would have been impossible. Think, too, of the following fact we can draw a long or a short breath, as we will; but no effort of will can prevent our breathing altogether.

Mark, too, that during the whole period of sleep respiration goes on without our will having any conscious effort in the matter. Compare this with the heart. This organ is not subject to the will in any degree. No one by mere effort of volition can make his heart beat a long beat or a short beat, much less cause the heart to stop for a few moments. How beautifully is all this ordered! What benevolent foresight! Frequent occasions arise when it is necessary to interfere momentarily with the breath. If a cloud of dust blow past, it is injudicious to breathe it; and to avoid it, we cease breathing momentarily by the force of will. We may have to thrust our heads under water for a few seconds; in this case again it would be injudicious to go on breathing, and so we are permitted to subject the breath to the will within narrow limits. But under no conceivable conditions can any occasion arise for dictating to the heart at all: the sturdy little blood-pumper is boxed away inside the chest, and enveloped in a sort of leather bag: he is cut off from the external world, like the veriest recluse. The heart has his own appointed work to do, and the most imperious will can in no degree affect him.

And now it remains for me to say that the breathing organs of some animals are not modeled after the type of lungs; and that other animals, although they breathe, are devoid of any special breathing organs. Need I say that fishes do not breathe by lungs? how could they? They breathe by those red fringe-like things called gills, no less admirably adapted to lay hold of the air which is dissolved in water, than our lungs are adapted to contain air as it exists in the gaseous form. Certain curious animals, too, are supplied with both gills and lungs; so that philosophers are at a loss to decide whether they are fish or reptiles. Insects breathe by tubes called trachea, opening externally

on various parts of the body, whence the secret of killing a wasp by smearing its body with oil; and certain lower animals, unprovided with special respiratory apparatus, breathe by absorbing air through their skins. Thus ends what I have to say about breathing. It may enable the reader to understand what is implied in the Divine record, when it is said that God "breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life."

THE CHILD AND THE FLOWERS. Radiant with his spirit's light,

Was the little, beauteous child; Sporting around a fountain bright, Playing through the flow'rets wild. Where they grew he lightly stepp'd, Cautious not a leaf to crush; Then about the fount he leap'd, Shouting at its merry gush. While the sparkling waters well'd, Laughing as they bubbled up; In his lily hands he held,

Closely clasp'd, a tiny cup.

Now he put it forth to fill,

Then he bore it to the flowers, Through his fingers there to spill

What it held in mimic showers,

"Open, pretty buds," said he, Open to the air and sun; So to-morrow, I may see,


What my rain to-day has done. "Yes you will, you will, I know,

For the drink I give you now, Burst your little cups, and blow,

When I'm gone and can't tell how. "O! I wish I could but see

How God's finger touches you, When your sides unclasp, and free

Let your leaves and odors through. "I would watch you all the night,

Nor in darkness be afraid, Only once to see aright

How a beauteous flower is made. "Now remember, I shall come

In the morning from my bed, Here to find among you some

With your brightest colors spread !" To his buds he hasten'd out

At the dewy morning hour, Crying, with a joyous shout,

"God has made of each a flower!"

Precious must the ready faith

Of the little children be, In the sight of Him who saith, "Suffer them to come to me."

Answer'd by the smile of Heaven Is the infant's offering found, Though a cup of water given" Even to the thirsty ground.




THE THE age demands, loudly and impatiently, from the public teachers of Christianity, a forcible and impressive style of speech. A preacher who cannot impress, may as well hold his tongue; for his instructions, however wise and excellent, will be as water spilled on the ground. No amount of truth will be of the slightest use, if addressed to sleeping ears. on the other hand, it is equally true, that if the preacher can only impress, not instruct, he may as well hold his tongue too; for he impresses to no purpose. Whatever the age may demand in the style of preaching, human nature, in every age, demands divine truth as the one thing which can renew and save it. Rhetoric, fancy, dramatic power, oratorical splendor, wit, pathos, originality, pointed sarcasm, and all other forms or instruments of eloquence, will never compensate for a defective exhibition of divine truth. That truth is not to be snatched up, at a glance, from the mere surface of Scripture. It will not reveal its harmonious symmetry, and majestic proportions, to a shallow, impatient intellect, even though allied to a fervent and sincere heart. Inasmuch as it is spiritual and moral truth, it cannot be apprehended by the intellect alone; but, inasmuch as it is truth, it cannot be apprehended without the intelleci. "He that loveth not, knoweth not God:" but it is equally true that we can love God worthily, ly as we know him. And we know him only in proportion as we know all that he has revealed of himself-of his character, law, designs, and dealings in his word. If the Bible really contain the communication, from God himself, of this divine knowledge, there must be in it unity and system, however concealed beneath the fragmentary and concrete form in which God has seen fit to give it to us. The concealment of divine art is as complete in the revelation of Scripture as in that of nature. Prose, poetry, history, proverbs, parables, discourses, letters, predictions afford the evervarying media through which successive ages made their slow and unequal contributions to the sum of inspired teaching. Truths the most distinct are found inseparably interwoven, and kindred truths widely separated; a law involving a promise, a history vailing a prediction; the

casket lying in one book, and the key, a thousand years later, in another. But, to infer from this that there is no systematic unity in Scripture doctrine, would be as unwise and unwarrantable as to conclude that there can be no system in creation, because the creatures are not distributed, either geographically or numerically, according to genera and species; but as if by chance, or, at most, for convenience and beauty; the whale having its home among the fishes and the sea-weeds, and the humming-bird being placed, in nature's cabinet, among butterflies and blossoms. God is one. His manifestations of himself are infinite; but he is in them all; he cannot be unlike himself, nor can he do the least act, or produce the smallest work, but what is worthy of himself, and bears the impress of his infinite wisdom, and is by the very fact in necessary harmony (whether our dull eyes and ears can discern it or not) with all things else in the universe. To deny that there is system in the doctrines of the Bible, is to deny (if we consider the matter closely) that the Bible is the work of God. Whether theologians have discovered, or ever can discover that system in its completeness and purity, is another question. But the very attempt is noble. Wisdom and humility alike forbid us to despise it. If the systems produced by the most profound, laborious, and devout minds that have devoted themselves to the task, are still (as possibly they are) to the real system of Scripture theology, as the reflection of the sun in a clouded and broken mirror, or on a wind-stirred pool, yet much of divine light is in them; and probably there is not one of them but reflects some beams which our dim, unaided vision never would have caught. Few kinds of conceit can be more outrageous and less pardonable, than the conceit which leads a man to fancy that an amount of intellectual effort which would not make him master of a single science or language, will enable him to despise all that other men have done in expounding and systematizing the doctrines of the Bible, and put him in possession of all that an Augustine or a Calvin, a Howe, a Wesley, or an Owen, could learn by the intense and prayerful labor of a lifetime.


True, we do not want elaborate displays of systematic theology in our pulpits, in place of plain, warm-hearted explana

is true, the place grew a little more lively, for the main road from Memphis to Little Rock ran past it; but in winter, and for

One fine summer day, not so many

tion and enforcement of particular truths, any more than we want botanical and anatomical preparations on our dinnertables, in place of roasted joints and well-nine months of the year, the settlement cooked vegetables. But if the preacher was quite under water; the postman was be ill-acquainted with the anatomy and the only traveler who passed, and the host the botany, so to speak, of Scripture truth, turned in to enjoy his "winter sleep," as he will be very likely often to spread his neighbors termed it. before his hearers, with the best intentions, a very unsatisfying, indigestible, or dan-years back, the landlord was blowing a cloud at his door when a hunter, followed by four dogs, came panting along the road at a faster rate than usual; as soon as he arrived within hail, however, he accounted for his haste by announcing that the settlement was going to be honored with the most extraordinary visitor ever yet seen in the backwoods. A little Frenchman was coming up the road with a heap of wolf traps.

gerous banquet. A preacher need not take off the skin of his mind, that his hearers may see its muscles and sinews, or be always holding up the skeletons of his sermons, that we may hear their bones rattle, and see the flesh creep over them, a limb at a time. The human frame would gain neither strength nor beauty if it could be rendered transparent, and each miraculous construction, and sinewy jointure, and sympathetic throb in the secret machinery of life, laid bare to view. But every bone and every artery is indispensable alike to its strength and to its beauty; and a single vertebra out of place would be fatal to both. Just so, a sermon must have bone and sinews, though it need not show them. And as with a single sermon, so with the habitual course of pulpit instruction: it is likely either to be deformed and maimed, or paralytic and powerless, if it lack the compact skeleton of a comprehensive orderly conception of the unity of Bible truth, and the nerves and muscles of logical, systematical, strenuous thought.



DARE say very few of my readers ever heard of the magnificent backwoods town of Francisville, in Kansas. In fact it only consists of three houses, although it boasts some very wide streets, cleared through the forest, but not yet built upon. Mine host of the City Hotel had christened his claim by that name, and small blame to him if he thought the speculation might prove successful. At present, however, the only stranger visible in Washington, or Front-street, was an occasional bear, who took a survey of the improvements and then disappeared in the forest again with a growl. When this occurred the landlord would leave the hotel to the care of his wife and a nigger boy, and start off with his dogs after the uninvited guest. During the summer, it

"Wolf traps!" said the landlord, with a hearty grin. "Is a Yankee going to bring traps to the settlement? and pray what does he mean to catch?”

"Catch! why, man, they're all full of the strangest brutes you ever saw in your life!"

"Nonsense, Stewart; what do the Yankees know about setting traps, although they are so clever in selling us clocks?"

"I tell you, Wilson, it's not a Yankee, but a Frenchman. But did you ever see a man feed a catamount?"

"Feed a catamount?" the old backwoodsman replied, contemptuously. "I tell you what it is, Stewart, you must have a precious large whisky - bottle at home, for you haven't been here for a month."

"And I tell you again he has one with him which he feeds like I do Bob and Watch here. But you will see it to-night, for he intends to stop a week on Francis River, and give an exhibition, as he calls it, to which we are to invite all the neighbors."


"Invite ?" the landlord said, in amazement. 'He don't mean to kill the beast and serve it up to American Christians? the deuce take the French infidel!"

"Well, he'll have company enough," said Stewart, "for the court will be held the day after to-morrow."

"He shan't sell any liquor, though,” said Willson, with a cunning nod of the head. "I have enough to pay for my license, and those who like to be his guests

in the eating way may do so, for aught I care."


In the mean while a couple of neighbors had joined them, and they were all lost in conjecture as to what the Frenchman wanted here with such a strange cargo. None of them thought for a moment that he intended to make money by showing it, for very few of the farmers had ever a quarter-dollar in their pockets or on the chimney-board to pay for a letter when one came by accident. Unfortunately the postman would not take bear-skins or deer hams, except at scandalously low prices. The strange visitors were, however, coming up fast; the dogs began barking, and Watch sniffed and looked, and then went sideways into the brush, after a cautious glance at his master.

"Why, Wilson," said Stewart, "the old boy has scented the catamount, and is trying to get to windward of it."

A man now came galloping up on a little black pony, and the barking of the dogs for a while prevented any conversation. The Frenchman, however, had lifted his hat very politely, and at last rode up to the men, asking them where would be the best place to camp for a week.

"The best place, sir; O, anywhere," laughed Stewart; "there, at the corner of Washington and Sycamore, or here, or the market-place, where Wilson has just taken his wood away; it's all the same where you choose a place."

"Corner of Washington and Sycamore?" the Frenchman repeated, with some surprise, and looking round him, corner of what, gentlemen ?"


"Well, the board's big enough and plain enough," said Wilson, somewhat riled, partly at the insult to his town, partly because he still suspected that the Frenchman intended to set up some rival establishment. The little man bowed again, and then rode to examine the place, which exactly suited him. Stewart, however, had reason for his surprise, for M. Bertrand was certainly the first human being who had ever brought such a living cargo into the backwoods, where some of the specimens were indigenous; nor was he wrong in believing that the settlers would be highly interested at seeing beasts which lived in the woods around them caged up and tranquil. But M. Bertrand was fated soon to discover that pleasure, and paying for pleasure were two different things.

The wagons were drawn up in a circle, and the owner began arranging the various cages, while the dogs set up a most furious barking. The Frenchman, however, did not try to drive them away; that would have been lost labor; and besides, he regarded the barking as a sort of cheap announcement of his curiosities by which the dogs would attract the attention of their masters. Before long, Wilson and Stewart walked up to the menagerie to satisfy their curiosity.

"Where away, stranger?" the host began; for he could not believe that the Frenchman had come to Francisville to turn back again.

"To Little Rock, and thence to Kansas Port, Napoleon, and to the Mississippi."

"Halloo!" the backwoodsman growled, for he could not understand how a man who wanted to go to the Mississippi, should be turning from it. "But the other way round would have been nearer."

"Certainly, monsieur; sair, I would say; but then you can't always go the straightest road to get through the world."

"That's true, too, in hunting; but I suppose you find it very awkward moving with that lot of cases?"

"And what have you got in them?" Wilson now said, walking up to one of them, and trying to peep behind the curtain. "Bless me, those are famous wolf traps, but hereabouts the beasts wouldn't go into them, because of the bars. But what's that knocking at the door?"

"Pray, sair, let go!" the Frenchman implored. But the curious backwoodsman had lifted the curtain with a little stick he had in his hand; he started back, however, in terror, when a brown hairy hand emerged, seized the stick, and pulled it in.

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"Deuce take me if it isn't a wild man!" Wilson interposed. "He got him from the Cash Swamps; Prince has been after him twice, but couldn't catch him. Well, have you got anything else to see ?"


Plenty more," said the little Frenchman, "but not to-day. To-morrow an exhibition; all will be in order then." "A-uh-ih!" the catamount then put in a word.

"Seize him!" the old hunter shouted almost instinctively; and the dogs, which had been hardly kept back, now flew at the den, and pulled down the curtain, but met with such a violent reception both from the beast's claws and the Frenchman that they fell back.

So soon as order was restored the men of the menagerie were ordered to build a fence round the show to keep the dogs at bay, while Wilson and Stewart, finding that M. Bernard was not disposed to show them any more sights, returned to the hotel. The evening's conversation turned exclusively on the strange collection of traps, and wondering queries as to the reason the Frenchman had come to Fran cisville. The general supposition was, that he displayed the catamount for the purpose of getting orders to catch others in the vicinity. The next day the neighbors came flocking in; and at three in the afternoon M. Bertrand appeared before the gaping audience, and put up a huge bill at the door of the show. In a few minutes a crowd collected round it, and the best scholar among them discovered that it was a menagerie, which monsieur had brought there to show them.

"Hurrah for Bertrand !" they shouted; "he is a fine fellow!" and they were just going to rush in when Wilson, who had been carefully inspecting the bill, to see whether there was anything in it about eating and drinking, suddenly noticed the prices of admission, and held them back by a loud cry of surprise.

"Bless me, bhoys!" he said, pointing to the ominous words, "it costs something to see the traps!"

"Cost!" they all shouted, incredulously. "What can it cost? we'll treat him to the best we have; so come along, bhoys."

"Stop a minute," the landlord interposed, seeing the matter was past a joke. "Any one who goes in must pay a quarterdollar in money or money's worth. Halloo, Mr. Bertrand! is that correct?"

"C'est vrai, monsieur," the Frenchman replied, with a pleasant smile, glad of the opportunity to praise his show. "It's all in order, a quarter-dollar admission, to see and admire the menagerie. Very little."


So, we're to pay a quarter-dollar admission, for seeing very little?" an old backwoodsman, who had been regarding the stranger with unfeigned astonishment, remarked: "hang me if that ain't cool! Comes here, puts up his tent in our town, and then, instead of acting like a neighbor, asks a quarter-dollar, merely to pass his threshold! Mark me, bhoys, strangers are getting to something!"


"But there's a great deal to see, monsieur," the little man interposed. monkey, a catamount, four little monkeys, an African leopard, and a lama, all for a quarter-dollar. The beasts eat a great many quarter-dollars."

"Eat quarter - dollars?" the old man said, his eyes and mouth visibly expanding; "did a Christian ever hear such a thing? the Frenchman feeds his beasts with quarter-dollars!"

A long explanation was necessary before M. Bertrand could make them understand the reason of his demand; but none were willing to expend a quarter-dollar, payable in skins, before they knew what the show looked like, and M. Bertrand, strongly suspecting the money would not be forthcoming afterward, proposed to show the marvels of his menagerie gratis to two persons, and then leave it to them to pay their admission, if they thought it worth the money. The proposition was unanimously accepted, and the old squatter and the judge of the nearest township were chosen. The Frenchman led them in, and they remained there half an hour, those without only hearing now and then the growling of the animals and a loud exclamation of surprise from the old squatter. At length the canvas parted, and the depntation emerged with signs of amazement. The squatter thus took the word :

"Gentlemen! here is my cap; you have fairly earned it, mossu; for I'll be hanged if it don't beat cock-fighting. A quarter-dollar? I'd walk ten miles to see such a sight; and you know I wouldn't do that for a quarter-dollar."

The audience began asking a thousand questions, to which they could get no satisfactory reply; the old fellow's head was

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