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There is nothing more desirable than good sense and justness of mind. All other qualities of mind are of limited use, but exactness of judgment is of general utility in every part and in all employments of life. We are too apt to employ reason merely as an instrument for acquiring the sciences, whereas we ought to avail ourselves of the sciences as an instrument for perfecting our reason ; justness of mind being infinitely more important than all the speculative knowledge which we can obtain by means of sciences the most solid.
NATURE AND REVELATION.
The existence and character of the Deity is, in every view, the most interesting of all human speculations. In none, however, is it more so than as it facilitates the belief of the fundamental articles of revelation. It is a step to have it proved that there must be something in the world more than what we see.
It is a further step to know that amongst the invisible things of nature there must be an intelligent mind concerned in its production, order, and support. These points being assured to us by natural theology, we may well leave to revelation the disclosure of many particulars which our researches cannot reach respecting either the nature of this Being, as the original cause of all things, or his character and designs as a Moral Governor : and not only so, but the mere confirmation of other particulars of which, though they do not lie altogether beyond our reasonings and our probabilities, the certainty is by no means equal to the importance.
DESIGN IN NATURE.
Were there no example in the world of contrivance except that of the eye, it would be alone sufficient to support the conclusion which we draw from it as to the necessity of an intelligent Creator. It could never be got rid of ; because it could not be accounted for by any other supposition which did not contradict all the principles of knowledge we possess; the principles according to which things do, according as they can be brought to the test of experience, turn out to be true or false.
BENEVOLENCE OF THE CREATOR.
Assuming the necessity of food for the support of animal life ; it is requisite that the animal be provided with organs fitted for the procuring, receiving, and digesting of food. It may also be necessary that the animal be impelled by its sensations to exert its organs.
But the pain of hunger would do all this. Why add pleasure to the act of eating, sweetness and relish to the food ? Why a new and appropriate sense for the perception of the pleasure? Why should the juice of a peach, applied to the palate, affect the part so differently from what does when rubbed on the palm of the hand ? This is a constitution which, so far as appears to me, can be resolved into nothing but the pure benevolence of the Creator.
Silk is by far the strongest of the textile fabrics, being nearly three times as strong as flax. It consists of the filaments spun by a silk-worm. The worm, moving its head backwards and forwards, spins fine threads of silk, and so covers itself in with a ball of silk. This covering is called a cocoon, and being gathered, furnishes the slender filaments which are spun and woven into the richest and most beautiful of all wearing apparel.
Flax is obtained from the stalks of the flax-plant: it is supposed to have been originally brought from Egypt, where linens have been woven from its fibres from the most remote period to the present time. It is largely cultivated in many countries of Europe. It grows to two or three feet in height, and bears a blue flower. The fibres of the stalk are separated and cleaned by many processes, and then spun into yarn, and woven into linen fabrics.
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