« PreviousContinue »
the least be dependent on one another for mutual support : for if all the lower links of a perpendicular chain were cut off from the highest, there would then be no chain ; and if, on the other hand, the highest were cut off, the others would fall to the ground : Just so would it be with human society. How much reason have, men then to adore the Creator of all, for his infinitely wise disposal of human affairs !
ON OBSERVING A SWALLOW.
WELCOME, Sweet harbinger of summer! Quick as the arrow newly launched from the bow of an Indian, thou fliest along. Terrible as the war-whoop sounds in the savage ear, no less so does thy shrill, or twittering note, to that of the insect tribe, which thou now pursuest through the air with open mouth.
By whom wert thou awakened from thy long repose, or rather advertised, in distant climes, of the setting in of the insect season in our island, that thou art so opportunely come? Come, while yet the vernal months remain, anxious, as it were, that thou might
est lose no opportunity of improving the precious approaching season.
O that I and all men living, who are on our way to the other world would learn a lesson from this bird of passage! even to improve our precious seasons of grace. Strange, that man, who is taught more than the beasts of the earth, and made wiser than the fowls of heaven, Job, xxxv. 11, should be outdone by the stork in the heaven, the turtle, the crane, and the swallow, which all know and “ observe the time, of their coming!" With these ancient Israel were reproached, who knew not the judgment of the Lord.
Jer. viii. 7, And by these may not I, and many a one else, be put to shame, who, alas ! have too much neglected, and still do, to improve the precious ordinances of the gospel, not only in the spring-time of youth, when every mental power is most lively, and easily impressed, but also in the summer and prime of life? mis susidst
,:08. mer 3 ist abistari · The want of the saving knowledge of the mercy of God, made our blessed Lord and
Saviour-weep over Jerusalem, saying, “ If " thou hadst known, even thou, at least in " this thy day, the things which belong. unto “thy peace! but now they are hid from “ thine eyes,” Luke, xix, 42. And the want of this ought to make every one who feeleth it weep for himself, and at the same time to bless the Lord, that the things which belong unto his peace are not yet hid from his eyes, but that still the door of mercy standeth open, and God is yet saying, “ Behold, now
is the accepted time, behold now is the day
of salvation. To-day, if ye will hear his “ voice, harden not your heart. Turn ye, " turn ye from your evil ways; for why will " ye dies , house of Israel ?” 2 Cor. vi. 2. Psalm, xcv. 7, 8. Ezek. xxxiii. 11.
To behold the swallow now again in our climate, is truly delightful, and teacheth me the truth of what the wise man saith of the God of nature, that he hath made every " thing beautiful in his time.” Eccl. iii. 11.
za ots! r '¢" ;
If then every thing be beautiful in its season, and we are pleased to see these birds
of passage, in this joyous time of the year, again re-visit our land; how incomparably more delightful is it to see, in the springtime of childhood and youth, men coming to, and attending on, the ordinances of the gospel, improving the precious seasons of grace !
The swallow, as it were, knowing that her stay in this island must not be long, is willing to make the most of her time, so skims the air with active wing in pursuit of her food, and performs the other functions, for which she came, with alacrity: And shall man, who was sent into this world for business of an infinitely greater importance, trifle away in indolence his short time, and neglect the things that belong to his everlasting peace ?
The swallow chiefly pursues and lives upon food which it gathers in the ærial heaven; such as the beetle and gnat; and if at any time she be forced to peck from the earth, it is more through necessity than choice : so every believer mainly seeketh after celestial things : spiritual and heavenly enjoyments are these in which he chiefly delighteth; and