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345 fit the insect! A great naturalist tells us, that
Insects, in the construction of their habitations, leave all other animals far behind them,” even men themselves, with all their pride of knowledge. The hives which we give our bees are not necessary to their labours. Wild bees form very curious and various kinds of nests; some of these little animals appear to be masons, some carpenters, some clothiers, some upholsterers, &c. Thus we see insects, from the very first, have understood many of those arts in which we so much pride ourselves ;-so far are human art and reason excelled by the teaching of the Almighty. One kind of bee builds its house against a stone wall, and forms it of grains of sand, cemented together by its saliva, which is of a very glutinous nature. When the work is done, it is so firm and strong, that it would be a difficult matter to run a penknife through it. I wish we were as diligent as this species of bee, in “ building up ourselves on our most holy faith," and as careful to choose a good foundation, even the “rock of ages, that_so we inay be strong to resist the assaults of the Devil, and be protected from the undermining influence of the world. But men masons and bee masons are not the only masons in the world ; there is a mason wasp also, which builds its nest about three inches deep in sandy banks which are exposed to the sun.
You would wonder how a wasp could work its way into the earth, for it does not appear to possess any of the instruments necessary for so doing. But the Creator has provided it with a glutinous liquor, which it pours out of its mouth, and with that it makes pellets of the earth it wishes to remove ; these it rolls away, and thus its hole is bored. It may do for wasps to build their houses in the sand, but it is not safe for us ; for how dreadful will be our condition when the rains descend, and the winds blow and beat upon our house, if we have founded it
upon the sand!
There is another kind of bee which may be called an upholsterer, for after having worked a cylindrical burrow in the earth, about three inches deep, and thus formed a bare house for its young, it proceeds to furnish it. With this design it cuts out oval pieces from the flower of the wild poppy, and, with these, it floors, lines, and roofs the habitation it has constructed; then it drops a single egg and closes the aperture of this snug abode with a small hillock of earth.
Hornets are carpenters; they form their nest by a manufacture from wood. There is, however, 'no fear of our getting into any dispute with them about timber, for they always choose the decayed, and obligingly leave us the sound, so that “ two of a trade may here agree."
The common wasp is a paper manufacturer, but it does not make use of our materials for that purpose. Its mouth is furnished with a wonderful and beautiful saw, with which it cuts away thin splinters from the hardest timber, and these it kneads in its jaws, wetting them with a glue which it is provided with for the purpose. When this substance is thinly spread out and dried, it forms the kind of paper of which we perceive their nests to be made. Wood seems a strange thing to make paper with, and we may learn from hence what very different effects may proceed from the same cause. This is the case in spiritual things as well as temporal. The gospel will produce very different effects; it will either be the savour of life unto life or of death unto death. Let us then earnestly pray that we may make a right use of the revelations which God has given, and not turn the greatest of blessings into a deadly curse.
There is a kind of wasp in South America, which manufactures a very superior article to that made by our common wasp.
It makes its nest of the most beautiful white polished pasteboard, solid, and not to be hurt by the weather.
347 The leaf-cutter bees are cleverer than any tailor, in cutting and fitting. They make their cells in burrows, and form them of leaves, most curiously folded, and they close the door with perfectly circular pieces, which fit exactly. Another sort of bee cuts a piece, of the size it wants, out of a rose leaf, in a few moments.—They need no measures, or rules, or compasses. God has given them a wonderful instinct, in the place of our reason, and has provided them with instruments to do their appointed work, which as much surpass ours in beauty, curiosity, and exactness, as ours surpass theirs in size. Those who have had the pleasure of looking through a good microscope will be quite aware of this. Surely these few facts are sufficient to make us exclaim, with holy David, “ Lord, how manifold are thy works, in wisdom hast thou made them all!” “ Thou Lord hast made me glad through thy works, and I will rejoice in giving praise for the operations of thy hands. O Lord how glorious are thy works, thy thoughts are very deep. An unwise man doth not well consider this, and a fool doth not understand it.” Happily and profitably are those employed, who spend their leisure moments, their seasons of recreation, in studying the wonderful works of God, and in praising Him who is the author of all that is good, and wise, and pleasant, and perfect !
To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
SIR, You inserted, some time ago, the story of Catharine Williams, who lived fourteen years in her place: let me now tell you of a fellow-servant of hers, Hannah Saunders, who, having lost her father early, was
brought up at an Orphan School; and, when she was sixteen years of age, entered the same family. It is now twenty-eight years ago, and she has never quitted it. When she first went, there were seven children; and, as she had partly to attend to them, and the house was to be kept very clean and neat, she had, of course, a great deal of washing and scrubbing, besides needle-work to do; and, as there were so many children at home, they were often, no doubt, very troublesome to her. She suffered also, at different times, from long and severe illnesses. These were her troubles; but she knew the value of a good mistress, and the importance of keeping her place, and persevered through them. During this long period, in all the troubles and sicknesses of a numerous family, she was always active and zealous in her services; and, by constant attention, gained a skill and experience which were truly valuable. She found a sufficient recompence for all her anxieties on their account, in the sincere affection of the family, who, fully convinced of her worth, looked upon her at last more as a friend than as a mere servant, while she was treated with respect by all their friends who had known her so long. In all her illnesses, she was as kindly attended to by the family, as if she had been one of its members; and, thus, there arose between them a strength and kindliness of attachment, which those only will understand who have known the blessing of such feelings, and who truly believe, that “ love is the fulfilling of the law." I need hardly add, that she was a truly religious woman; she had known the Scriptures from her youth, and found comfort and support from them in all the trials of her middle life. She was remarkably prudent in the management of her money; and, from always buying the plainest and most lasting clothing, was able to look respectably, while she saved a considerable sum, and was able to assist her relations, as well as to offer some little help to other poor people
349 whose distresses she was acquainted with. It may he said, there is nothing very wonderful in all this. It is for that very reason that I think it worth relating, because there is nothing in her conduct, or life, which may not be imitated, in a great measure, by every young girl who is entering upon service: such course, entered upon, and persevered in, from sincere, religious principle, has the “ promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."
The history of Jehoshaphat is recorded in the 17th, and three following chapters, of the second book of Chronicles; it is of high importance, and well deserves our most serious attention. He succeeded his father Asa on the throne of Judah when he was thirty-five years of age. At the very beginning of his reign, he considered how he could best promote the cause of true religion in his dominions; he resolved to imitate “the first ways of David," and to exert himself to maintain the pure, orderly, and spiritual worship of Jehovah.
“ He sought the Lord God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel."-Reader! behold, in Jehoshaphat, a pattern for thy imitation. True, he was a king, and thy station is, in comparison with his, lowly. But religion is every man's .concern; nor is there any security for the monarch on his throne, or the peasant in his cottage but this, adherence to the service of God. “It is a signal blessing," says a valued commentator, “when the Lord raises up pious and able men in church or state to succeed one another. For often useful instruments are removed, or laid aside, at the very crisis