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We have given above a sketch from nature | walls. The weaving of this substantial of the nest of that most beautiful little bird, nest must have been a work of great lathe golden-crested wren, (regulus auricapil- bour and assiduity, for, compared to the ius. Selby.) It is a nearly globular mass, bulk of the diminutive architects, it is of compacted of moss and lichen externally, and large dimensions; the circumference being lined with a thick bed of feathers, having a eleven inches, while the bird itself is but very small entrance at the top, but propor- three inches and three quarters in length. tioned to the size of the internal cavity, The situation of this nest is not the least which bears no relation to the magnitude of interesting part for consideration. It is the whole, owing to the thickness of the mossy suspended on the under-surface of a fire
branch, thickly clothed with foliage, by two died. The visits of the female were which it is almost entirely concealed, and generally repeated in the space of a minute quite protected from the rain. Thus, be- and a half or two minutes, or, upon an neath a natural canopy, this little bird average, thirty-six times in an hour; and rears her diminutive brood, whose cradle this continued full sixteen hours in a day, swings to and fro with every breeze, yet is which, if equally divided between the eight safe from the pelting of the storm. Such young ones, each would receive seventyis the situation usually adopted ; and the two feeds in the day; the whole amounting fir-tree is that to which preference is given, to 576." but in failure of the fir-tree, the nest has We need hardly observe that insects and been observed suspended from the small their larvæ constitute the food : these it branch of an oak, or attached to the under- seeks for, much in the same manner as the side of the bough of a cedar or yew. The well known Blue Tit, (Parus cæruleus,) eggs are from seven to ten in number, and searching with great activity among the of a pale yellowish brown.
leaves and buds of trees, and the crevices The following anecdote, in “ Montague's of the bark. Dictionary of Ornithology,” may not be Though the smallest of our British birds, here out of place. A pair of golden-crested the golden-crested wren is hardy and vigowrens (observes the writer) having taken rous, and braves the winters of our island, possession of a fir-tree in the garden, “I united in small flocks, which separate in thought it a favourable opportunity to be- spring. On the continent, it is abundant come acquainted with some of the manners in the extensive pine forests of the north, of this minute species, and to endeavour to whence it migrates southwards, after the discover whether the male ever sung by summer is over, unwilling to contend with way of instructing the young ones. Ac- the severities of winter in those dreary recordingly, I took the nest when the young gions. Hence it occasionally happens that were about six days old, placed it in a the flocks permanently residing in our small basket, and by degrees enticed the island, have their numbers increased by old ones to my study window; and after multitudes of strangers, which (as happened they became familiar with that situation, in October, 1822) suddenly make their apthe basket was placed within the window, pearance on the coast, driven out of their then at the opposite side of the room. It usual course by violent stress of weather is remarkable, that although the female the gale blowing from the north-east. seemed regardless of danger, from her af
M. fection to her young, the male never once entered within the room ; and yet would constantly feed them while they remained CONTENTMENT THE FRUIT OF FAITH. at the outside of the window : on the con
" I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, theretrary, the female would feed them at the table at which I sat, and even when I held
and I know how to abound : every where and in
all things I am instructed both to be ful and to the nest in my hand, provided I remained be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I motionless. But on moving my head one
can do all things through Christ which strength
eneth me."- Phil. iv, 11-13. day while she was on the edge of the nest, which I held in my hand, she made a pre
This, then, is a primary duty of every cipitate retreat, mistook the open part of one who belongs to Christ–To be content the window, knocked herself against the with the allotments of God's providence, glass, and lay breathless on the floor for to exercise the graces suitable for prossome time. However, recovering a little, perity or adversity. It is not superfluous she made her escape, and in about an hour to speak a word on this duty ; for ours after, I was agreeably surprised by her re
is a discontented world. Even professturn; and she would afterwards frequently ing christians are too often a murmuring, feed the young while I held the nest in my | fretful, dissatisfied people. I speak not. hand. The male bird constantly attended of their complaints of indwelling sin, nor the female in her flight to and fro, but of their dissatisfaction with their slow never ventured within the window frame; progress in Divine things. I speak of nor did he latterly ever appear with food in their being too much like the children of his bill. He never uttered any note but this world, over-anxious for the things of when the female was out of sight, and then time and sense, careful and troubled only a small chirp. At first there were ten about many things, too often peevish, young in the nest, but, probably for want restless, covetous, even as others. of the male's assistance in providing food, But, brethren, if genuine believers, it
with to be content. I know both how to be abased,
must not be so with you. In giving your- | word of exhortation. Your example, selves up to Christ, you leave all your words, actions, have a continual bearing outward circumstances to his Divine on society. Let them all give a conwill. You then seek first the kingdom sistent, grateful testimony for Christ. of God and his righteousness, and you “ Let your light so shine before men, depend on him to fulfil his own promise, that they may see your good works, and that all these things, food, raiment, ne- glorify your Father which is in heaven," cessaries for this life, shall be added unto Matt. v. 16. you, Matt. vi. 33. You will still use But, reader, is adversity or poverty your diligence, prudence, activity, in worldly lot? Then, with the apostle, you will duties; but you will cheerfully leave the know “how to be abased, how to be measure of your worldly prosperity with hungry, and suffer need,” in a manner beGod. Does he prosper you in worldly coming a christian. You will resort to no things ? You will know how to abound; unlawful means of supplying your wants. which is no easy thing ; how to use A christian had rather dig than beg, rather abundance with holy moderation, to be beg than defraud, rather starve than steal. temperate in all things, to employ wealth, But more than this: no hard thought of influence, station, not to gratify pride God will fill your mind : no pining anxieand ostentation, but as faithful stewards ties will fret your spirit. You will think for Jesus Christ. There is, according to with yourself thus:- I certainly have the Bible, much cause to fear for rich given myself to Christ: it seems his will, and prosperous christians : see Matt. that I should be poor as to this world's xix. 23, 24; Luke xii. 16; xvi. 19; goods. Well : be it so! He gives me James v. l; Rev. vi. 15–17. There is no worse condition than what he took himsuch danger, lest riches should be turned self. He had not where to lay his head, into golden chains to fetter down the yet he gives me a cottage or a room, and soul to earth ; lest they should pamper deigns to hallow it with his gracious prepride, nourish sensuality, and minister to If I know hunger and thirst, so the natural selfishness of the heart, that did he and his apostles. If I have not it is, perhaps, a merciful dispensation, the benefit of great hes, at least, have that the majority of God's people, in not their responsibility. Though I get on every age, have been comparatively poor. but roughly, God helps me forward ; and Yet the rich may learn-Christ can teach then, the riches of Christ, the bread of them-how to abound and to be full, not life, the new wine of consolation, the hope only without sin, but in such a manner of glory,—these are mine for every day's as to glorify God. The way is simply use. The poor christian passes a fine this–They are to consider all they have mansion ; he need not covet. I have a as belonging to Jesus Christ, and there better mansion than that, he may say, fore to be employed, wisely and dis- even a house not made with hands, etercreetly, yet cheerfully and liberally, in nal in the heavens,” 2 Cor. v. 1. Does a his service. They will still provide for splendid equipage roll by? He need not themselve and for their families; for envy. TI Lord, who walked with the Christ tells them to do so: “If any one disciples to Emmaus, honours him with provide not for his own, and specially for his converse. He can pray for the rich those of his own house, he hath denied and great, that they also may have fellowthe faith, and is worse than an infidel,” ship with Christ. At another time, trains 1 Tim. v. 8. But they will not make of servants sweep along : I have more gloprudence a cloak for covetousness; they rious attendants; are not the angels all will be content with a moderate provision ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to for themselves and theirs, and the re- them who shall be heirs of salvation ? Heb. mainder will be lent to the Lord, to feed 1.14. Does one pass, clad in gay attire ? My the hungry, clothe the naked, teach the soul, thou needest not envy. Hast thou ignorant, relieve distress, and send the not robes made white in the blood of the gospel of Christ throughout a perishing Lamb, garments of praise, a mantle of salworld. So also with influence; pros- vation ? perity commonly gives a man a wider And then, if your means be ever so sphere of usefulness, and a more com- scanty, and if you have ever so little of this manding position for doing good. Where world's goods, you may yet do something much is given, much will be required. for Christ with that little. Remember the A city set on a hill cannot be hid, Matt. widow's mite. Let not the one talent be v. 14. Prosperous christians, receive the wrapped in a napkin. Imitate her, of
whom the Lord said, “She hath done | him the fact, that however pungently he what she could," Mark xiv. 8.-Ham- might grieve on account of sin, he yet knew bleton.
but little of its heinousness, and felt but little of the sorrow it should induce. I was
increasingly pleased with his state of mind. PASTORAL RECOLLECTIONS OF E. B. He was frank in his communications, and E. B. was
young man of an inquisitive received with kindness the advice I gave. mind, and fond of reading. I had known His views became more settled, and he aphim for some time as one of my hearers, peared to rest in the faith of the gospel. and had frequently remarked that he was He had been the subject of religious imone of the most attentive. His countenance pressions before, but they had gradually occasionally indicated deep feelings, and the worn off, and this gave rise to distressing tear that started from his eye indicated that apprehensions that they would do so again. I those feelings were of a penitential kind. directed him to the promises of God, asI was not, therefore, surprised, when a suring him, if he confided in their faithmutual friend informed me, that he was fulness, and asked their performance, he deeply anxious about spiritual things. It would be kept from backsliding. was what I had supposed from his
Just at this period he removed from my ance in the house of God. On inquiry, I neighbourhood, and I saw and heard but found his habits had undergone an impor- little of him for several months. At length tant change. He had become thoughtful he returned, but a change had passed upon and inquiring; a reader of the Bible, and a him which I was distressed to witness. His companion of them that feared God. In visits to me were not renewed, and his athis family, (for he was a husband and a tendance at the house of God became less father,) this change was most visible. Fa- and less frequent. I called frequently at mily prayer was established, and the solemn his dwelling; he was respectful and kind, truths of religion became the subjects of but there was an obvious effort to prevent conversation in his domestic circle. As I the introduction of religious topics. His was in the habit of setting apart one evening whole manner was uneasy and embarrassed, in the week for the purpose of meeting such and I awoke to the painful consciousness of my hearers as were solicitous for my ad that my hopes were disappointed. The vice, I invited him to my house. His visits charm of our intercourse was gone; the tie were renewed weekly for some months, and which had united us was broken, and I at I shall never forget the anxiety and earnest-length reluctantly discontinued my visits. ness with which he requested advice. I I inquired respecting him from time to found him to be labouring under deep con- time, and I found the sabbath was profaned, viction of sin, with a most depressing ap- the house of God abandoned, and the word prehension that he should relapse into his of truth regarded as a lie. He had become former coldness and negligence. In such an infidel, or rather a sceptic. I cannot cases, I have ever made it a rule, not hastily describe my feelings on the reception of this to administer the consolations of the gospel. intelligence. I recalled the past, I rememI would not think uncharitably of any of bered my anticipations of the future, and my brethren, but I have sometimes feared trembled at the thought of the mental they are occasionally injudicious in the agony to which he would awake when the treatment of such cases. The first prompt- season of his delusion had passed. I was ing of one's benevolence is to allay anxiety, satisfied he knew too much of religion, and to relieve, in a word, from present suffer- had felt too much of its power, to be easy ing. It is eminently pleasing to give the in his present state. It was necessary he "oil of joy for mourning, the garments of should retrace his steps, or he must plunge praise for the spirit of heaviness :" but, if deeper into the mazes of a spurious philothis be done before the state of the heart has sophy, in his efforts to obtain peace of mind. been ascertained, the consequence will be, Those only who have passed from the regions a partial abasement before God, and a want of christianity to those of unbelief, can form of that decision and energy. which forms an adequate conception of the perplexity such an important feature of the christian and self-reproach which accompany the character. I therefore endeavoured to probe transition.. the disease under which E. B. laboured, to A considerable period elapsed before I ascertain the nature and extent of his con- again heard of my friend, when I was greatly victions, and to learn its influence on the surprised by receiving a communication general sentiments and habits of his heart. from him, earnestly requesting me to speMy object was to impress very deeply on 'cify the earliest convenient hour when he
would see me. I gladly complied with his made a profession of christianity, and is request, and those only who have been placed now walking, I hope, in the truth. in similar circumstances can tell what my Reader dost thou bear the christian name? emotions were, when I saw him again enter Take heed, that thy neglect of duty does my study. His countenance told me the not put a stumbling-block in the way of errand on which he came. There is a lan- i others. guage in the eye which needs no interpreter. I soon found that the religious impressions
RANUNCUof E. B. were re-produced. He had been
LACEOUS PLANTS. uneasy from the moment of his declension; his heart had experienced a fearful conflict. It has been already intimated, in our The principles of light and darkness, of good paper upon the Ranunculaceæ, that the and evil, had struggled for the ascendancy, plants of this order, or family, possess and now he wept as he thought of his foolish- active, if not poisonous qualities. It ness, and his heart was full of gratitude to might, therefore, be asked by some, what his merciful Preserver. There is an in- profit or delight can be found among poidescribable interest, to my mind, in the sons ? To this it might be answered, movements of a penitent just awaking to the that many substances, long used in meconsciousness of its guilt and danger. Its dicine, would prove fatal, if given indishumility and penitence, its apprehension of criminately, or in large doses; but, when danger, and thankfulness for proffered administered with judgment, in suitable mercy; the depth of its abasement, the proportions, they become highly efficacipurity of its peace, the elevation of its joy, ous. Few would be tempted to seek for are amongst the most absorbing objects of physic where danger seems to lie in amhuman contemplation.
bush to surprise; nor would we encourage After replying to the many and anxious any person to think that he can find the inquiries of my visitor, I asked him if he means of health and cure in the fields, could remember the circumstances which unless he has a scientific and experimentmarked his transition from religious anxiety al knowledge of the human constitution. to the coldness and neglect of scepticism. Our object is, to furnish a few statements I did not want to pry into those secrets of for the instruction of the general reader, his moral history, which are fit only to be and to point out fresh instances of the confessed to God, but to ascertain the lead- goodness and wisdom of the Creator. ing influence which had so fatally led him There is something very delightful, when astray. He told me that the fact of his we take a turn in the fields, in being able visiting me had become known to some not only to recognise by name the various with whom he was partially acquainted, and objects which flourish in the sun-beams, that one of these, a religious man, had, in but also to recite to ourselves, or to others, consequence, invited him to spend an even- some particulars about their history. It ing at his house. “I went,” said he, "full of is the aim of these papers to afford mateexpectation and desire, not doubting that I rials for such desirable information; and, should hear something that would prove in order to secure that object the more efuseful to my soul. I found many religious fectually, we shall couple our observations persons assembled, and felt that the only upon the properties of plants with allusions reason why I was among them, was their to marks by which they are distinguished, knowledge of my spiritual anxieties. They and the places where they may be found. talked on various subjects, the occurrences Ranunculus, or Crow-foot.— The various of the day, the changes of the political species of this genus agree pretty nearly world, the talents of different ministers, and in the intensity of their acrid and corrodthe interests of their several religious com- ing properties. The round-leaved watermunities; but not one word was dropped crow-foot, distinguished by its pale green which could afford guidance to an in- and glistening. eaves, (Ranunculus Sceleraquiring, or solace to a wounded heart. I tus,) deserves a separate notice, for the came away disappointed and chagrined. My pounded leaves have been tried as a subheart was chilled, and the thought came stitute for blister-salve, and have been across me with a power I shall never forget, found to contain all the vesicating or blisthat religion, after all, was but a fiction.” tering effects of that application, without Such was the account he gave me; and it any of the ill consequences which are apt sank deeply into my heart. He has since to attend it. Several other species, grow