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flows, are so numerous and minute, that a grain of sand will cover a hundred and twenty-five thousand of them. We perceive animated beings in certain liquids so small that fifty thousand of them would not equal the size of a mite; and yet each of these creatures is furnished with a mouth, eyes, stomach, blood-vessels, and other organs for the performance of animal functions. The mouldy substance, which usually adheres to damp bodies, exhibits a forest of trees and plants, where the branches, leaves, and fruit can be plainly distinguished. A drop of putrid water is found to be a world teeming with thousands of inhabitants, of strange shapes, and moving with a rapidity that is altogether astonishing. In a word, by this admirable instrument we behold the same Almighty hand which rounded the spacious globe on which we live, and the huge masses of the planetary orbs, and directs them in their rapid motions through the sky,-employed at the same moment, in rounding and polishing ten thousand minute transparent globes in the eye of a fly; and forming and arranging veins and arteries, joints and claws, for the movement of a mite!
The works of God are thus found to present greater displays of perfection and beauty, the more we search into them, and the nearer we view them ; but it is very different with the productions of human art. Upon examining the edge of a very keen razor with a microscope, it will appear as broad as the back of a thick knife, rough, uneven, full of notches and furrows. An exceedingly small needle resembles a rough iron bar. But the sting of a bee, seen through the same instrument, exhibits everywhere a polish most amazingly beautiful, without the least flaw, blemish, or inequality, and it ends in a point too fine to be discerned. A small piece of the finest lawn appears through a microscope, like a hurdle or lattice, and the threads themselves seem coarser than the yarn with which ropes are made for anchors. But a silk-worm's web appears perfectly smooth and shining, and everywhere equal. The smallest dot that can be made with a pen, appears, when viewed by the microscope, an irregular spot, jagged, and uneven. But the little specks on the wings, or bodies of insecte,
are found to be most accurately circular. The finest miniature paintings appear before this instrument as mere daubings, plastered on with a trowel, entirely void of beauty, either in the drawing or the colouring. Thus sink the works of art before a minute examination. But the nearer we examine the works of God, even in the least of his productions, the more sensible shall we be of his wisdom and power.
By means of the microscope and the telescope we behold Jehovah's empire extended to infinity on either hand. By the telescope we are presented with the most astonishing displays of his omnipotence in the immense number, the rapid motion, and the inconceivable magnitude of the celestial globes ;--and by the microscope we behold, what is still more inconceivable, a display of his wisdom in the divine mechanism of the smallest animalcula, by which a drop of water is peopled with myriads of inhabitants. Such views and contemplations naturally lead us to advert to the character of God, as delineated by the sacred writers, that “He is of great power and mighty in strength;" that "His understanding is infinite;" that “His works are wonderful;" and that his operations are unsearchable, and his ways past finding out.”
V.--ANCIENT INHABITANTS OF SCOTLAND. In the fifth century there appear in North Britain two powerful and distinct tribes, who are not before named in history. These were the Picts and Scots. The Picts seem to have been that race of free Britons beyond the Roman wall who retained the habit of staining the body when going into battle, and were called by the Romans and Roman Colonists the Painted Men, a name which, at first applied to particular tribes, superseded at last the former national name of Caledonians. These people inhabited the Eastern shores of Scotland, as far South as the Frith of Forth, and as far North as the Island extended.
The Scots, on the other hand, were of Irish origin
for, to the great confusion of ancient history, the inhabitants of Ireland, those at least of the conquering and predominating caste, were called Scots. A Colony of these Irish Scots, distinguished by the name of Dalriads or Dalreudini, natives of Ulster, had early attempted a settlement on the coast of Argyleshire; they finally established themselves there under Fergus, the son of Eric, about the year 503, and recruited by Colonies: from Ulster, continued to multiply and increase until they formed a nation which occupied the Western side of Scotland, and came to border on a people with a name, and perhaps a descent, similar to their own. These were the Attacotti, a nation inhabiting the Northern part of Lanarkshire and the district called Lennox, which seems ultimately to have melted away into the Scots.
These two free nations of Picts and Scots inhabiting, the former the eastern, the latter the western shores of North Britain, appear to have resembled each other in manners and ferocity, and to have exercised the last quality without scruple on the Roman Colonists. Both nations, like the Irish, converted their shaggy and matted hair into a species of natural head-dress which served ether for helmet or mask, as was deemed necessary. Their weapons were light javelins, swords of unwieldy length, and shields made of wicker-work or hides. Their houses were constructed of wattles, or in more dangerous times they burrowed underground in long, narrow, tortuous excavations which still exist, and the idea of which seems to have been suggested by a rabbit warren. The Picts had some skill in constructing rude strongholds, surrounded by a rampart of loose stones. They had also some knowledge of agriculture. The Scots, who lived in a mountainous country, subsisted almost entirely on the produce of the chase, and that of their flocks and herds. Their worship might be termed that of demons, since the imaginary beings whom they adored were the personification of their own evil pursuits and passions. War was their sole pursuit, slaughter their chief delight; and it was no wonder they worshipped the imaginary god of battle with barbarous and inhuman rites.
Even over these wild people, inhabiting a country as
savage as themselves, the Sun of Righteousness arose with healing under his wings. Good men, on whom the name of saint (while not used in a superstitious sense) was justly bestowed, to whom life and the pleasures of this world were as nothing, so they could call souls to Christianity, undertook and succeeded in the perilous task of enlightening these savages. Religion, though it did not at first change the manners of nations waxed old in barbarism, failed not to introduce those institutions on which rest the dignity and happiness of social life. The law of marriage was established among them, and all the brutalising evils of polygamy gave place to the consequences of a union which tends most directly to separate the human from the brute species. The abolition of idolatrous ceremonies took away many bloody and brutalising practices; and the Gospel, like the grain of mustard seed, grew and flourished in noiseless increase, insinuating into men's hearts the blessings inseparable from its influence.
Sir WALTER SCOTT.—Cabinet Library.
VI.--BRITISH IMPORTS.--MINERALS. The principal materials of commerce may be classed under the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, and the articles manufactured from them. In the mineral kingdom are included the metals and the precious stones.
The principal metals are, gold, silver, mercury, copper, iron, lead, and tin. Gold, the most precious metal, is found in many parts of the world ; but the most productive mines are those of Mexico and the East Indies. Silver is also to be met with in many countries; but the mines of Norway and Hungary in Europe, and still more those of Potosi in South America, are the richest. Mercury, or quicksilver, is a fluid metal that looks like melted silver. It is procured from the mines of Idria, Spain, &c., at a great expenditure of human life ; for the fumes froni this mineral produce the most terrible diseases. It is principally used as an alloy ; combined with tin-foil, it forms the back, or silvering, of looking-glasses. Copper
is imported in great quantities from Sweden, but is also obtained in several parts of the British Dominions, especially in the Island of Anglesea. When combined with zinc (a metal resembling lead in appearance,) it forms brass, and when combined with tin it forms bronze. Iron is found in several parts of Britain, but great quantities are annually imported from Sweden. Steel is formed by combining iron with carbon,-a substance that exists in charcoal. The load-stone is generally found in ironmines, and is remarkable, as is well known, for its property of attracting iron, and, when at liberty, disposing itself in the direction of the poles of the earth. Lead and tin are found in great abundance in Cornwall.
Precious stones are principally obtained from the East Indies and South America. The most remarkable are the diamond, which is colourless and transparent; the sapphire, blue ; the topaz, yellow; the amethyst, purple ; and the garnet, a deep red. Pearls are usually reckoned among precious stones ; but they do not belong to the mineral kingdom, being found in a species of oyster. The most celebrated pearl fishery is that at the Island of Ceylon.
There are many other mineral productions imported into Great Britain, such as the different species of marble, porphyry, jasper, &c. The best marble is obtained from Italy; but there are several excellent marble-quarries both in Scotland and Ireland.
TAYLOR's Historical Miscellany.
VII.-BRITISH IMPORTS.-VEGETABLES.-ANIMALS. A NATION like Great Britain, that employs so many ships and is so thickly inhabited, must of necessity consuine much timber. From the North of Europe we import fine fir, the planks of which are called deals. The forests of Canada and North America annually send over immense quantities of timber, from which our ships and houses are built. The best material for ships is our own native oak; but as that is not produced in sufficient abundance, it is seldom used except in building vessels