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Title: The Church of England Magazine - Volume 10, No. 263, January 9, 1841
Author: Various
Language: English
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                  UNDER THE


                OF THE UNITED
              CHURCH OF ENGLAND


               Vol. X. No. 263.
               JANUARY 9, 1841.
                 Price 1½_d._


        OF OTHERS                                                   17

        OF THE VEGETABLE KINGDOM                                    19

    THE SECURITY OF GOD'S PEOPLE: A SERMON                          25


    THE CABINET                                                     31

    POETRY.--LAYS OF PALESTINE                                      32

    MISCELLANEOUS                                                   32


By the Rev. Thomas Bissland, M.A.,
  _Rector of Hartley Maudytt, Hants._

There are some hearts little, if at all, impressed by the solemn
requirements of the Almighty; so dead, in fact, to everything which
relates not to the objects of time and sense, that they are unaffected
by the scenes of vice and of the misery which is its consequence,
every where presented to their notice. It is not until the mind is
under the gracious influence of the Spirit of God, that men feel any
anxiety to stop the torrent of evil, and endeavour to become the
humble instruments of converting the sinner and saving his soul. Many,
in fact, who feel deeply interested in their neighbours' temporal
comforts and prosperity, feel little anxious to supply their spiritual
wants; and to this may be traced the opposition which is not
unfrequently made, even by professing Christians, to institutions
which have a direct tendency to improve the moral and spiritual
condition of the human race.

Now there are many reasons which induce a truly converted man to
labour for the spiritual benefit of others. First, there is the
dishonour which men, in an unconverted state, cast upon God. This
feeling operated on the mind of the psalmist, when he exclaimed (Ps.
cxix. 53), "Horror hath taken hold of me, because of the wicked who
forsake thy law." For when men forsake God's law, they declare that
they are little impressed with a sense of the divine majesty and
infinite goodness of the Almighty; that they are not anxious to know
his will; that his threatenings alarm them not; that his promises in
no way affect their hearts; that, in fact, they are not desirous of
that favour which rests upon those only who walk in the path of his
commandments. The psalmist's zeal and jealousy for the glory of God
were fully manifested by his anxiety to erect a house, in some
respects suitable for the divine worship; by his earnest expressions,
that the divine glory should be made known throughout the world, as
when he exclaims "Tell it out among the heathen, that the Lord
reigneth;" and this holy desire rendered every action, by which there
was the most slight appearance of dishonour being cast upon Jehovah,
abominable in his sight. When he reflected on his own departure from
the law of his God, on those acts which had caused the enemies of the
truth to blaspheme, he was indeed filled with horror. The language
uttered, when from the depths he supplicated the divine forgiveness,
powerfully demonstrates the agony of his soul--convinces us that his
repentance was sincere, and that he was anxious that in every action
of his life he might for the future glorify that Being whose gracious
hand had conducted him through his earthly pilgrimage--whose favour
had raised him to the throne of Israel--the light of whose countenance
had cheered him in many a dark and dreary hour--and whose comforts had
refreshed his soul, when in the multitude of the thoughts within him
he became dispirited and perplexed. The first and great commandment
is, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart." The
psalmist loved God, and on this account he was desirous that he should
be had in reverence of all his intelligent creatures. He loved God;
he was seized with horror when he beheld myriads uninfluenced by this
principle, living in disobedience to this first commandment.

Sin is too often viewed by us merely with respect to its baneful
influence on the happiness of society. It is condemned by us, and it
is punished by us, not so much as it is the transgression of the law
of God, as it has a tendency to produce evil in the world. And hence
there are many offenders in God's sight who by their conduct cast
dishonour upon his name, who yet maintain a fair and respectable
character when weighed in the world's balance, nay, even are regarded
with reverence and esteem. We punish the murderer, the thief, the
robber, the perjured person. It is right that we should do so. The
welfare of society demands it. But do we punish the man who lives in
adultery, in drunkenness, in sensuality? Do we punish the man who is a
swearer, a gambler, a blasphemer, who habitually neglects the
sanctuary of the Lord, and does his own pleasure on the sabbath-day?
Human laws take no cognizance of these crimes. They are, however, as
dishonourable to God as others which are punished by man. They are
quite as detrimental to man's best interests; and fearful must be the
account rendered for their commission before that equitable tribunal,
where the children of men must answer for all their offences against
the majesty of heaven.

But there is a second reason why the true Christian will labour for
the conversion of others, namely, the reflection that the sinner is
ensuring his own destruction while he is at enmity against God; and
this induced Jeremiah to exclaim (ix. 1), "O that my head were waters,
and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for
the slain of the daughter of my people." How strong is the
expression--"_the slain_." The prophet knew full well the misery of
transgressing God's law. Tremendous, indeed, is the reflection, that
the path of sin inevitably leads to the regions of darkness--those
regions where there is "weeping and gnashing of teeth," where "their
worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." Whence is it, then,
that, without any apparent concern, we behold myriads of immortal
creatures fast hastening to these regions of destruction? Whence is it
that there is so much apathy, lukewarmness, and indifference to a
brother's eternal welfare. Is it not too often, perhaps, that there is
a latent scepticism which induces us to disbelieve the solemn
declaration of the Omnipotent--even when he swears by himself--that
every jot and tittle of his threatenings shall be accomplished? Surely
were it not for some such spirit, we should never rest satisfied with
the feeble efforts we may have made to lead the sinner back to his
offended God; we should esteem no sacrifice too great, whether of
time, or influence, or money, or talent, which could in any way
promote a brother's spiritual welfare. But we are too apt to forget,
if not to disbelieve, the solemn declarations of the bible; and
forgetfulness to all practical results is as pernicious as downright
infidelity. The man who forgets God is as little influenced by his law
as the fool, who in his heart says there is no God at all. Now, this
forgetfulness paralyzes our energies, damps our zeal, checks our
benevolence. We do not consider that sinners are heaping up wrath
against the day of wrath; and, though they may now enjoy an unhallowed
prosperity, and now in an unbridled licentiousness derive happiness
from the indulgence of fleshly lusts, yet that these war against the
soul, against its present peace, and its ultimate felicity, and that
ruin and destruction inevitably await them. Were our spirit that of
the psalmist, or that of the prophet referred to, our feelings would
be more lively, our endeavours to promote the good of mankind be more
energetic. Looking not every one to his own, but on his brothers'
good, we should be anxious to direct their feet into the way of peace.

How beautifully was this spirit manifested by St. Paul, when he
exhorted the converts of Philippi to be followers of himself--"For
many walk," says he, "of whom I have told you often, and now tell you
even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ; whose
end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in
their shame; who mind earthly things." The apostle, indeed, appears to
have been influenced by the same anxiety as the psalmist and the
prophet; for the glory of the Redeemer, as well as the eternal welfare
of their souls, was dear to his heart, and he could not refrain from
weeping when he viewed the dishonour cast upon his adorable Lord by
these enemies of his cross; when he beheld them following divers lusts
and pleasures, even boasting of their recklessness of God's judgments;
and when he carried his thoughts forward to that day when the terrors
of the Lord would fall on all the children of disobedience, or those
who neglected the great salvation. This spirit is, in fact, no bad
test whereby we may try the state of our hearts and affections. If we
are really desirous for the advancement of God's glory, and deeply
interested in the welfare of our fellow-creatures, our feelings will
be very similar to those of the holy men of God referred to. We shall
not view, without the very deepest concern, that inattention which is
everywhere paid to the solemn requirements of the Almighty; we shall
at least make the attempt to stop the sinner in his career of guilt
and folly, that his soul may be saved from destruction in the day of
the Lord.

Melancholy is the reflection, indeed, that neither God's invitations
on the one hand, nor his threatenings on the other, appear to affect
their hearts; they are neither constrained by love nor fear. "Wide is
the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many
there be that go in thereat."

There was one that wept over the rebellion of man, and one infinitely
greater than David, or Jeremiah, or St. Paul--and that one was the
ever-adorable Saviour; who, beholding the guilty race of man
altogether gone out of the way, descended from the mansions of glory,
became a partaker of human impurity, and opened through his blood a
new and living way, whereby the guilty sinner might return in peace to
his God. How touching the description of the evangelist--"And when he
came near, he beheld the city and wept over it, 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." Jesus wept at
the grave of Lazarus, for Lazarus was his friend; he sympathised
deeply with Martha and Mary, for he loved them as he did their
brother; but far more bitter were the tears he shed, when he reflected
on the waywardness of that people whom he would have gathered to
himself; the guilt of that city which had killed the prophets; when he
thought of those days of divine vengeance, when its enemies should
cast a trench about it, and compass it round, and keep it in on every
side, and should lay it even with the ground, and its children within
it. And did not this feeling operate when, even amidst the agonies of
a crucifixion, his mind rested on the sufferings of others, and not on
his own? "Daughters of Jerusalem! weep not for me, but weep for
yourselves and for your children." And shall we not, in this as in
every other respect, seek to imitate our adorable Lord? Shall we not
feel deeply interested in the spiritual welfare of our fellow-men? If
we do not, it is, alas! a fearful, a decisive proof, that the flame of
holy love, of devoted zeal, has not been kindled in our bosom; that we
do not feel the importance of that salvation which is offered us so
freely in the gospel; that we are not duly impressed with a dread of
that woe unspeakable, that shall be the portion of those whose souls
shall be for ever lost.



By Robert Dickson, M.D., F.L.S.

No. XI. Pt. 1.

    "Lo! the oak that hath so long a nourishing
    From the time that it 'ginneth first to spring,
    And hath so long a life, as we may see,
    Yet at the last wasted is the tree."


While the actions which lead to the various effects on the external
appearance of a tree, described in the former paper, are going on,
many important changes occur in the internal parts, producing
alterations not less admirable, whether in respect of the tree itself,
or of the ends to which it may be rendered subservient. The base of an
exogenous tree is not merely widened by the superposition of annual
layers of wood over the first shoot, by which it gains greater
mechanical power to support the extending head of wide-spreading
branches, but the central portion is, in most cases, progressively
rendered more and more solid by the deposition in it of various
secretions prepared by the leaves, and transmitted from them through
the medullary rays into this part as their ultimate resting-place.

The fibres descending from the developing buds on the stem, and
passing between the plates of cellular tissue, which constitute the
medullary rays, and the cells of which have a horizontal direction,
are but the basis of the vegetable fabric. The stem of an exogenous
plant has been compared to a piece of linen, of which the weft is
composed of cellular tissue, and the warp of fibrous and vascular
tissue--crossing each other. Now, after the portion is once formed,
which is woven every year by the wondrous machinery set to work for
this purpose, it receives no fresh texture, yet each fibre remains a
conducting tube to transmit the sap upwards, or, in the course of
time, becomes charged with various principles, prepared, as already
stated, by the leaves, and returned to the central part by that
apparatus or system of canals for their transit inwards, the medullary
rays, and at last are obstructed, so that no passage of fluid is
effected through the inner layers of wood. But for every layer that is
thus blocked up, a new one, which will continue pervious, is formed
exterior to those already existing, so that a constant provision is
made for carrying on the vital processes; to accomplish which, a free
channel from the points of the roots to the surface of the leaves is
absolutely necessary. The outer strata, produced by a tree of
considerable age, are observed to be thinner than those formed at an
earlier period, and become successively thinner and thinner, so that
ultimately, if accident should not have previously caused it, the
death of the tree is inevitable. The portions which are obstructed
constitute the _duramen_ or heartwood, the pervious portion the
_alburnum_ or sapwood. The original tissue is colourless; but
according to the nature of the secretions deposited in it, the
heartwood is either of a deeper colour, sometimes party-coloured, or
at least of a much greater specific gravity than the sapwood. The
removal of the juices by any solvent restores the wood to its
primitive hue, and renders it again light. The difference of weight of
a cubic foot of wood depends not merely on the different quantity of
vegetable tissue compressed into a given space, in the first
construction of the tree, but also on the quantity and quality of the
secretions ultimately lodged in it. The same species of tree will
present a difference in this respect, according to the country or
situation where it grew, and also according to the character of the
seasons during the time it flourished. According to the nature of the
tree, if placed in favourable circumstances in reference to soil and
weather, it invariably prepares and lodges in the stem those
principles which it was designed to elaborate--the oak preparing
tannin--the sugar-maple preparing its saccharine juice. That the
primary object of these was some advantage to the tree itself can
scarcely be doubted, but the secondary applications of which they are
capable, give reason to suppose that these also were contemplated in
their formation. The consideration of the means by which they are
formed, and the direct consequences of their formation on the air, by
abstracting certain elements from it, and supplying others, belong to
the subject of leaves; it is the object of the present paper to view
them as formed, and to show their amazing utility.

The mechanical properties of the stems of trees, both exogenous and
endogenous, render them extremely serviceable to mankind. The uses to
which a single species of plant may be put are numerous and important,
of which the reed (arundo phragmites) is an example, for after the
root has assisted in binding and consolidating the soil, the stem is
susceptible of the most varied applications[A].

In a low state of civilization the palm, or a palm-like grass,
supplies all that man requires; of the former of which, the _Mauritia
flexuosa_, or sago-palm of the Oronooko, and still more the _cocos
nucifera_, or cocoa-nut palm; and of the latter, the bamboo (_bambusa
arundinacea_, and other species) are proofs. The bamboo suffices for
all the needs of the humbler Chinese; even their paper, as well as
their abodes, are made of it; and from the materials furnished by the
cocoa-nut tree, not merely food, as shall be afterwards noticed, but
larger and more elegant houses, with all their appurtenances, are
constructed at Goa and other places. The obligations of the Guaraons
to the _Mauritia flexuosa_ cannot be expressed[B]. In proportion as
man rises in civilization, the importance of timber becomes greater,
being a material for which no adequate substitute can be found. It
combines lightness with strength, elasticity with firmness, and
possesses in many instances a durability rivalling, or even
surpassing, that of the rocks yielded to us by the solid substance of
the globe. The adaptation of timber to the numerous wants of civil
life is too familiar to require exposition; but in addition to all the
ends it serves in these points, we have an interesting view presented
to us in considering what a vast quantity of timber is required for
the construction of our shipping, from the countless boats and small
craft employed in our coasting trade up to the larger ships, which are
so many floating towns or communities. These conduce to the
accomplishment of objects of the most momentous nature. Were it not
for our shipping we should still be in the condition described by the
Romans, as Britons cut off from the rest of the world.--But by their
means we now visit without restraint,

    "Earth's farthest verge, and ocean's wildest shore,"[C]

and though, in times past, they have been too often used as engines
fraught with destruction, directed by man against his fellow man, let
us hope that they may be required in future only to convey in amicable
interchange the produce of one country to another, or to bear to his
destination the missionary bent on extending the blessings of that
religion whose spirit is "peace on earth, good will among the children
of men[D]."

As a means of supplying fuel, without which man must remain constantly
in the savage state, wood is of inestimable value. In the process of
combustion, the elements of the trees enter into new combinations,
evolving both light and heat, which at once maintain life and render
it a state of enjoyment and usefulness. For this purpose in Britain,
we chiefly employ fossil fuel, stored up in the secret places of the
earth, and, therefore, we attach less importance to recent wood; but
other parts of the world are not so favourably situated, and to the
inhabitants of these places fresh, or but lately felled, wood is
necessary for their existence. Even in France, though partially
possessed of coal, it is estimated that the quantity of wood employed
to supply heat, whether for comfort, cooking, or in manufactures which
require a high temperature, amounts to seven-tenths of the entire
consumption. The superiority of wood fuel, whether fossil or recent,
over every other material resorted to with a like intention, shall be
shown in a subsequent part of this paper. I therefore pass on at
present to demonstrate the utility of vegetable substances in
affording the means of subsistence to man and animals.

In the observations I am about to make, it is impossible to avoid
anticipating some of the remarks which belong to the subject of fruits
and seeds as articles of food, since the same principles of nutriment
are found in the stems of certain plants as are deposited in the
fruits or seeds of others.

Though man is omnivorous, and can subsist either on animal or
vegetable food--an arrangement which fits him to dwell in any part of
the habitable globe,--yet he is subject, with regard to the actual
material of his diet, in a remarkable manner, to the influence of
climate, since a particular kind of aliment, which is very appropriate
in one country is improper in another; thus, as we advance from the
equator towards the poles, the necessity for animal food becomes
greater, till, in the very north, it is the sole article of
subsistence. Animal food, from containing nitrogen, is more
stimulating, and, therefore, less suitable for hot climates, where, on
the contrary, saccharine, mucilaginous, and starchy materials are
preferred; hence, in the zone of the tropics, we find produced in
abundance rice, maize, millet, sago, salep, arrowroot, potatoes, the
bread-fruit, banana, and other watery, or mucilaginous fruits.
Quitting this zone, we enter that which produces wheat, and here,
where the temperature is lower, providence has united with the starch
of this grain a peculiar principle (gluten), possessing all the
properties of animal matter, and yielding nitrogen and ammonia in its
decomposition[E]. Thus, by a gradual and almost insensible transition,
nature furnishes to man the food which is most appropriate for him in
each region. In the subtropical zone vegetable diet is still
preferred, but, in chemical constitution, the favourite articles
approximate animal substances. This holds also in the temperate zone,
not only in respect of wheat, but also in the chesnut, which is almost
the sole means of subsistence in some of the mountainous regions of
France, Italy, and Spain, though, instead of the gluten of wheat, this
seed contains albumen, the relation of which to animal food is even
closer than that of gluten. In reviewing the geographical distribution
of the cereal grains[F], we find that starch nearly pure is produced
in the greatest abundance in the hottest parts of the world,
particularly in rice and maize; it becomes associated in the
subtropical regions with an equivalent for animal food; and in still
colder regions, where wheat fails, oats and barley take its place.
These, though possessed of less gluten than wheat, are, nevertheless,
more heating, and, therefore, better calculated for northern
latitudes. The inhabitants of Scotland and Lapland, with their oaten
and barley or rye bread, are thus as thoroughly provided with the best
food, as the Hindoo with his rice or Indian corn[G].

It would be impossible to enumerate the plants which furnish starch in
large proportion, but a few may be given as illustrative of the above
positions. The chemical analysis of those proximate principles of
plants which are mere combinations of water with carbon
(hydro-carbonates or hydrates of carbon) has been already given, but
must here be repeated:--

                                 100 parts consist of
                                 | Water.  | Carbon.
    Gum (pure gum-arabic)        | 58.6    | 41.4
    Sugar (pure crystallized)    | 57.15   | 42.85
    Starch                       | 56.00   | 44.00
    Lignin                       | 50.00   | 50.00

These are so many mutually convertible products, of which gum may be
looked upon as the basis; indeed gum is that organizable product which
exists most universally in the proper juices of plants. "There are
some instances in which sugar appears to be the first organic compound
formed by the combination of the external elements, as when abundantly
existing in the ascending sap of trees--the maple, for example. Starch
may be considered as little else than gum divided into minute
portions, each of which is enclosed in a membraneous cell (and
containing some incidental particles, which, when starch is burnt,
leave about .23 per cent. of residuum, consisting entirely of
phosphates); and, in this state, it appears to answer very important
ends in the vegetable economy. It is remarked by Decandolle, that,
'while gum itself may be considered the nutrient principle of
vegetation, diffused freely through the structure of the plant, and
constantly in action, starch is apparently the same substance, stored
up in such a manner as not to be readily soluble in the circulating
fluids,' thus forming a reservoir of nutritious matter, which is to be
consumed, like the fat of animals (which it closely resembles in
structure), in supporting the plant at particular periods[H]."

This view explains the fact of starch being found accumulated in
amazing quantity in some plants, more particularly at certain periods
of their existence, as in the cases I am now to cite. The fertility of
some palm-trees is very great, and to furnish nutriment to the
flowers, fruit, and seeds, an enormous supply of starch is needed;
accordingly, in these we find the stem a complete storehouse of this
essential principle. Thus the several palms and palm-like plants,
which yield sago, such as the _sagus Rumphii_, _cycas circinalis_, _C.
revoluta_, _corypha umbraculifera_, _caryota urens_, and _phoenix
farinifera_--trees which are mostly confined within the tropics, at
the moment when the spadices or sheaths containing the bunches of
flowers are visible but not unfolded, furnish an immense portion of
the food of the natives. The _sagus Rumphii_, which abounds in the
islands of the Indian Archipelago, and though one of the humblest of
the palm tribe, seldom exceeding thirty feet in height, is yet, except
the gomuto, the thickest and largest, alone yields a quantity of
nutritious matter far exceeding that of all other cultivated plants,
inasmuch as a tree in its fifteenth year produces 600 lbs. of sago,
which word, in the language of the Papuas, signifies _bread_, being
the staple food of the islanders. To obtain it, the tree must be cut
down, and the stem divided into pieces, from which the flour is beaten
and washed out[I]. After being cut down, the vegetative power still
remains in the root, which again forms a trunk, and this proceeds
through its different stages, until it is again subjected to the axe,
and made to yield its alimentary contents for the service of man. Nor
is the extraordinary productiveness of a single tree the only point
worthy of notice, for, being endogenous plants, devoid of branches, an
unusual number of them can grow in a small space. Mr. Craufurd
calculates that an English acre could contain four hundred and
thirty-five sago trees, which would yield one hundred and twenty
thousand five hundred pounds avoirdupois of starch, being at the rate
of more than eight thousand pounds yearly. Besides the farina or meal,
every tree cut down furnishes, in its terminal bud, a luxury which is
as much prized as that of the _areca oleracea_, or cabbage palm of the
West Indies, and which is eaten either raw as a salad, or cooked.
Further, the leaves afford so excellent a material for covering
houses, that even in those hot and humid parts of the world, where
decomposition goes on so rapidly, it does not require to be renewed
oftener than once in seven years.

The _Mauritia flexuosa_, or fan palm of the Oronooco, is of still
greater utility to the natives of South America. It is a social palm,
abounding in the marshes, and having a geographical range of very vast
extent. The whole northern portion of South America, east of the
Cordilleras, appears to be possessed of this gorgeous palm; from the
mouth of the Oronooco to the river Amazon, and through the whole of
Guiana, through Surinam and the northern part of Brazil, and in very
various places along the river Amazon, even to its source on the
eastern declivity of the Cordilleras, this palm is found, constituting
forests of greater or less extent. Its smooth grey stem rising often
100 feet, forms groups that, in the northern part of Brazil, resemble
the pallisades of some gigantic fortress. The produce of these lofty
cylinders is very great, not merely of sago, which is procured only
when the process of flowering is about to occur, but many trees being
cut down before this event, a juice is obtained from them, which
forms, by fermentation, a sweet wine; while those that flower, after
which no good sago can be got, furnish an extraordinary quantity of
fruit, hanging in bunches many feet in length, which is as agreeable
as ripe apples, the taste of which it resembles. The other products of
this tree are numerous[J].

It would lead beyond just limits, were we to notice in detail, the
plants which yield starch suitable for food, only after undergoing a
process of art, by which an acrid principle is driven off, and a
bland, wholesome substance remains behind. Such is the Janipha (or
Jatropha) Manihot, which yields the Mandiocca, Tapioca, or Cassava, an
article not only of great consumption in, but also of considerable
export from, Brazil (see Spix and Martius' Travels, and Lib. of Enter.
Knowledge, Vegt. Sub. Food of Man, p. 152), which, when raw, is
poisonous both to man and cattle, though it becomes safe and agreeable
by the application of heat. So likewise the large tubers of several
_Arums_, such as _A. Macrorhizon_, _A. Colocasia_, _Caladium acre_,
and which are cultivated with great care in tropical and subtropical
countries, particularly in the Sandwich and South Sea islands. All of
these excite inflammation and swelling of the mouth and tongue, even
to the danger of suffocation, but which are disarmed of their
virulence, and converted into an article of daily consumption, by
fire. Even yams and sweet potatoes, which are naturally mild, are less
articles of consumption in the south sea islands, than the Tarro, as
these tubers of the _arums_ are designated.

I omit all other plants to fix attention on the potatoe, which is not
only the source of the purest starch of all, but has many interesting
points connected with its history and habitudes, peculiarly connected
with my subject. No plant has contributed more to banish those famines
which were formerly of so frequent occurrence in Europe, and all the
dire train of suffering and disease consequent upon them. Yet did it,
in many instances, require royal edicts to induce some nations to
cultivate what is now regarded as one of the prime blessings of
Providence, from nearly one end of the earth to the other; the potatoe
being raised from Hammerfest, in Lapland, lat. 71° north, through all
Europe, the plains of India, in China, Japan, the south-sea islands,
New Holland, even to New Zealand. What renders it so peculiarly
valuable is, that in the seasons when the corn crop fails, that of
potatoes is generally more abundant; thus furnishing a substitute for
the other, which proves defective from atmospheric conditions, which
have little influence over the potatoe, placed as it is underground,
and secure against extremes of temperature. The potatoe is not a root,
as commonly supposed, but an underground collection of buds, having a
quantity of starch accumulated around them, for their nourishment when
they begin to grow. The quantity of starch varies greatly with the
kind of potatoe cultivated, the mode of cultivation, the time of
setting, and above all, with the season of the year when the analysis
is made. Potatoes in general, afford from one-fifth to one-seventh
their weight of dry starch[K]; besides some other nutritive materials.
The quantity of starch seems to be at its maximum in the winter months;
as 100 pounds of potatoes yield in August about 10 lbs., in October
nearly 15 lbs., in November to March 17 lbs., in April 13¾ lbs., and
in May 10 lbs. Nor is the quantity of starch alone diminished in
spring, but the nitrogen which belongs to some of the other nutritive
principles, likewise suffers a deduction; as fresh, not dried
potatoes, contain 0.0037 per cent. of azote, while potatoes ten months
old contain only 0.0028, causing a sensible difference in their power
of imparting nourishment. The starch is withdrawn from the tubers of
the potatoe, precisely in the same way that it is transferred from the
root, stem, or seeds of other plants, for the service of the young
shoot; but the mode in which it is accomplished is but of recent
discovery, and constitutes one of the most beautiful instances of
design which the whole vegetable kingdom can unfold; "that man's
scepticism must be incurable who does not perceive, and acknowledge,
that the means now to be detailed were created for the express
accomplishment of the ends[L]."

Starch has been described above as consisting of a multitude of little
cells or vesicles, having an envelope, insoluble in water, formed of a
kind of organized membrane, and containing within it a substance which
is soluble in water, termed amidin. This soluble material is the
nutritive element on which the young shoot, proceeding from every eye
or bud of the potatoes, is to subsist, till it has developed roots,
and unfolded its leaves to prepare additional alimentary substance.
But if this soluble material be enclosed in an insoluble membrane, how
are the contents to be made available for the growth of the plant? It
is true, indeed, that water of the temperature of 160° Fahr. can
rupture this tegument, as occurs in the process of boiling potatoes;
but the water diffused through the earth in the neighbourhood of the
growing tuber, never reaches such a height. How then is the difficulty
obviated? This is effected by a secretion called _diastase_ which is
found in the tubers in the immediate vicinity of the eyes or buds. "It
is stored up in that situation for the purpose of being conveyed, by
the vessels connected with the bud, into the substance of the tuber,
when the demand for nutrition is occasioned by the development of the
shoot. It is probable that the secretion of _diastase_ takes place in
every instance in which starch previously deposited is to be
re-absorbed[M]." It is not to be found before grains or tubers begin
to sprout, yet, "such is its energy, that one part of it is sufficient
to render soluble the interior portion of two thousand parts of
starch, and to convert it into sugar[N]." Strong as is the analogy
between starch and gum, yet _diastase_ does not convert gum into
sugar; the one being as completely soluble as the other, its
intervention is clearly unnecessary. Neither does it act on sugar. It
is found, and exerts its powers, only where it is required. Nor does
it come into play one moment before the necessity for it occurs. While
the potatoe is in its state of winter repose, and no vegetative
process going on, the elements of which the _diastase_ is formed, are
equally quiescent, but no sooner does the season recur when an
augmented temperature rouses the slumbering energy of the tuber, than
this potent principle exhibits its efficacy, and changes the insoluble
starch into the nutritious sugar. Who, that can read, or reading
reflect and ponder on these things, but must conclude that the laws
which regulate the whole actions were impressed upon their subjects by
a Creator infinite in design, in wisdom, and in power? If such insight
into his doings are permitted to us now, what may we not hope for when
we no longer "see as through a glass darkly[O]?"

The insolubility of the starch in cold water, affords a convenient
means of separating the flour from the other materials, by which it
may be abstracted from the tubers when in the greatest abundance, and
be preserved unchanged for the use of man. This is done by simply
rasping down the potatoes over a seirce, and passing a current of
water over the raspings. The water passes through the seirce milky
from the starch suspended in it. The starch is allowed to fall to the
bottom, and is two or three times washed with pure water; it is then
allowed to dry[P]. If this process be followed in the winter months,
when the quantity of starch is greatest, the result is, a sixth
portion of the weight of the potatoes employed, in a condition fit not
only for immediate use, but capable of preservation for years. "To
those who live solely, or even principally, on potatoes, it must be of
immense importance to have the nutritious part preserved when in its
greatest perfection, instead of leaving it exposed to injury,
decomposition, or decay[Q]."

It is unnecessary to enlarge upon the sources of starch and its
obvious utility to mankind. Previous to its being consumed by the
plant in which it is amassed, it is by various means, but chiefly by
diastase, transformed into sugar. Following this natural transition, I
shall next consider sugar as an article of diet. In temperate
climates, sugar is regarded as a luxury, one indeed which is nearly
indispensable, but in tropical countries it is a universal article of
subsistence, partly as real sugar, and partly, and more generally, as
it occurs in the cane. It is inconceivable what enormous quantities of
the sugar-cane is consumed in this way; vast ship-loads arrive daily
in the market at Manilla, and in Rio Janiero; in the Sandwich Islands
and other places, every child is seen going about with a portion of
sugar-cane in the hand. It has been called "the most perfect
alimentary substance in nature," and the results, in the appearance of
the negroes, during the cane-harvest, notwithstanding the increased
severe toils of that season, seem to confirm the statement. They
almost invariably become plump, and sleek, and scarcely take any other
food while the harvest lasts; even the sickly revive, and often
recover their health.

The chief source of sugar is large grass (_saccharum officinarum_), of
which there are several varieties, differing essentially in
productiveness, but the best of which is the Otaheita cane, the stem
of which is higher, thicker, and more succulent than the Creole cane,
and which yields not only one-third more of juice than the Creolian
cane on the same space of land; but from the thickness of its stem,
and the tenacity of its ligneous fibres, it furnishes much more fuel.
One variety was known in India, in China, and all the islands of the
Pacific ocean, from the most remote antiquity; it was planted in
Persia, in Chorasan, as early as the fifth century of our era, in
order to obtain from it solid sugar. The Arabs carried this reed--so
useful to the inhabitants of hot and temperate countries--to the
shores of the Mediterranean. In 1306, its cultivation was yet unknown
in Sicily, but was already common in the island of Cyprus, at Rhodes,
and in the Morea. A hundred years after it enriched Calabria, Sicily,
and the coasts of Spain. From Sicily the Infant Henry transplanted the
cane to Madeira; and from Madeira it passed to the Canary islands. It
was thence transplanted to St. Domingo, in 1513, and has since spread
to the continent of South America, and to the West Indies, whence the
chief supply for Europe is obtained.

The vast circuit which it has described in these successive
transplantations attest the sense which mankind had of the benefits it
bestowed in its course. The introduction of the Otaheita cane is
another proof of the obligations which modern times are under to
navigation, as we owe this plant to the voyages of Bougainville, Cook,
and Bligh[R].

The sugar-cane requires for its perfection, a temperature of
considerable elevation, and succeeds best where the mean temperature
is 24° or 25° (of the centigrade thermometer), yet it will prosper,
though with less produce, where it only reaches 19° or 20°
(centigrade). Its cultivation extends from the verge of the ocean,
where the canes are often washed by the waves[S], to localities on the
mountains 3,000 feet above the sea; and even in the extensive plains
of Mexico and Colombia, where, from the reflection of the sun's rays
the heat is greatly increased, to 4,000, 5,000, 6,000, though the mean
temperature of the city of Mexico be only 17° (centigrade), yet sugar
is procured at 6,600 feet.

The fertility and productiveness of the sugar-cane is immense, second
only to the sago-palms. "The first sugar-canes planted with care on a
virgin soil, yield a harvest during twenty to twenty-five years, after
which they must be replanted every three years." In the island of
Cuba, instances are known of a sugar-plantation existing for
forty-five years. To procure new plants, the tedious process of sowing
seeds is not necessary. The practice is followed of taking cuttings,
and the stools, or scions, which spring from the joints (_nodi_) of
the old plant, are fit to be separated in fourteen days; these, in the
course of a year, are so well grown that they may be cut down, and
submitted to the sugar-mill. An English acre under culture for sugar,
in Java, yields 1285 pounds avoirdupois of refined sugar, and the
produce at Cuba is nearly the same.

Let not the thought arise, on the perusal of these statements, that
the gifts of Providence are distributed with partiality, as nothing
could be more unfounded. Independent of the destruction of the
plantations which tropical hurricanes so often occasion, an insect of
the locust kind, more particularly in the East Indies, produces such
fearful devastation as to realize the scene described by the prophet
Joel--"A fire devoureth before them, and behind them a flame burneth:
the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a
desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them[T]." From such
visitations, northern latitudes are generally exempt, and the constant
struggle which man has had to maintain with the elements and a
churlish soil, has so whetted his faculties as to render the return
for his labour not only more certain, but even more abundant[U].

As if to shew that "the earth full of the riches of the Lord," in
parts of the world where the low temperature is an obstacle to the
profitable cultivation of the sugar-cane, a substitute is found for it
in the _acer saccharinum_, or sugar-maple, which presents the great
peculiarity of the ascending sap being charged with sugar to such a
degree as to be then fit for the manufacture of this valuable
substance. There results from this circumstance a most important
advantage to the inhabitants of the northern regions, where this tree
grows, that the juice is extracted early in spring, a time when the
rigour of the season condemns the labourer to inactivity. Besides, the
sugar-maple grows spontaneously, and requires no care, till it is fit
for tapping; and when deprived of its juice, and incapable of yielding
more sugar, its wood is applicable to a far greater number and variety
of uses than the bruised cane, since as fuel the maple is most
valuable; and its ashes yield, from their richness in the alkaline
principle, four-fifths of the potash exported to Europe from Boston
and New York. The timber of the sugar-maple is also highly prized,
both for common and ornamental purposes--as the beautiful bird's-eye
maple is obtained from this tree.

"The sugar-maple begins a little north of Lake St. John, in Canada,
near 48° of north lat., which, in the rigour of its winter,
corresponds to 68° of Europe. It is nowhere more abundant than between
46° and 43° of north lat., which space comprises Canada, New
Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the states of Vermont and New Hampshire, and
the district of Maine. Farther south, it is common only in Genessee,
in the state of New York, and in the upper parts of Pennsylvania. It
is estimated by Dr. Rush, that in the northern part of these two
states, there are 10,000,000 acres which produce these trees in the
proportion of thirty to an acre. The process of making maple-sugar is
commonly begun in February, or in the beginning of March, while the
cold continues intense, and the ground is still covered with snow. The
sap begins to be in motion at this season, two months before the
general revival of vegetation. The sap continues to flow for six
weeks; after which it becomes less abundant, less rich in saccharine
matter, and sometimes even incapable of crystallization. In this case
it is consumed in the state of molasses; or exposed for three or four
days to the sun, when it is converted into vinegar by the acetous
fermentation: a kind of beer is also made of it. The amount of sugar
produced by each tree in a year varies from different causes. The
yearly product varies from 2 lbs. to 4 lbs. for each tree[V]." The sap
is most abundant from young trees, but less charged with sugar. The
average produce is five per cent. of sugar. The richer the sap is in
saccharine matter, it is so much the more profitable to extract it, as
in such a case it is nearly pure from all mucilaginous matter, or free
acid, and may be consolidated by the action of cold alone by merely
freezing it, thus rendering boiling unnecessary.

Sugar exists in many other plants, such as the beet-root, from which
it is extracted; and also the stem of the maize, or Indian corn, is
charged with an extraordinary quantity of sugar, and it may either be
brought to the state of a honey-like sugar, or the juice pressed out
of the stalk, and fermented, forming the _pulque de mahio_, or _pulque
de Flaolli_, in Mexico[W].

Gum has been already stated to be the basis of all the other
organizable products, and it is found not only in almost all plants,
but in nearly all parts of them. In a pure or nearly isolated state,
it exists chiefly in the inner bark of vascular and especially
exogenous trees, and is preserved in the interior with the greatest
care: its escape externally results either from disease, as in the
case of plum and cherry-trees, from the puncture of insects, cracks in
the bark, or by artificial incisions. The death of the tree soon
follows the loss of this important juice, and thousands of trees of
the genus acacia are annually sacrificed in different parts of Africa
to procure the gum-arabic of commerce. It is only in a few genera and
tribes of trees, that it exists in so concentrated a state as to
assume the solid form on exposure to the air, but in some of these the
quantity is amazing. Hot countries are the chief abodes of such trees.
Thus, besides the immense quantity obtained from the acacias, the
_anacardium occidentale_ (cashew-nut tree) in America, has furnished
from a single tree a mass weighing forty-two pounds. Gum is mawkish,
insipid, and generally unpalatable, yet highly nutritive; and the
Africans, during the harvest of gum at Senegal, live entirely upon it,
eight ounces being the daily allowance for each man. In general they
become plump on this fare; and such should be the result, if the
calculation be correct, which assigns as great nutritive power to four
ounces of gum as to one pound of bread. This concentration of
nourishment renders gum a peculiarly suitable food for lengthened
journeys through the deserts, as it occupies small compass, and a
little suffices to stay the cravings of hunger. Thus, upwards of a
thousand persons may occupy more than two months in a journey from
Abyssinia to Cairo without any other kind of food[X]. Its bland,
demulcent properties fit it to correct the acrimony of the secretions
formed under the influence of a tropical sun and torrid air, with a
scanty and irregular supply of water. Plants, likewise, are preserved
in a vegetative and living state, mid sandy and arid wastes, by the
quantity of gum stored up in them. Hence succulent plants, such as
cacti and others, may be found in the steppes and sandy plains of
South America, verdant and healthy, though no rain may fall to convey
fresh sap into them for months, or even a year. In the form of
mucilage, _i. e._, gum in a state of solution, it is found in a very
large number of plants, and thus contributes to the maintenance of man
and animals. In these it is generally associated with some other
principles, which render it either more palatable or more easily
digested. A very large number of our esculent vegetables owe their
nutritive properties to the gummy matters with which they abound, and
the favour with which they are regarded to the other matters united
with it. Those which have a bitter principle are very excellent, when
this is in small proportion; and as, in most of them, the gummy matter
is prepared first, requiring for its formation only a moderate degree
of light and heat, while the bitter, or other principle, is added at a
later period, under the influence of stronger light; such plants, when
young, are tender and agreeable; nay, even very poisonous plants, when
very young, are wholesome and pleasant, which, at a more advanced
season, are virose and disagreeable. Thus, the peasantry of France and
Piedmont eat the young crowfoots (ranunculus) and poppies, after
boiling them, and find them safe and nourishing. The same result
follows exclusion of light, as in the process of blanching, by which
means celery, sea-kale, and other vegetables, are rendered esculent,
which in the wild state are poisonous or repulsive. In northern
latitudes, the light being intense for a short time only, many plants
are used there which, in the southern, are dangerous or destructive,
such as hemlock and monkshood. A moderate degree of bitterness is a
very useful accompaniment of the gum, which alone is cloying and even
oppressive to the stomach. The presence of a bitter principle in many
lichens promotes their digestion, and thus even the tough and leathery
ones, called tripe of the rocks, can be eaten, and sustain life amid
great privations and sufferings. The rein-deer moss (_cludonia
rangiferina_) is another lichen of great utility: it is not much
employed as human food, but it is the main support of the rein-deer
for a great portion of the year, and thus renders Lapland a fit abode
for man.

A peculiar modification of gum constitutes _pectine_ or vegetable
jelly; and this occurs in fruits, such as the orange, currant, and
gooseberry, &c., also in many of the algae or sea-weeds, which are, or
ought to be, much employed as a delicate article of nourishment. The
edible swallow's nest, so greatly esteemed by the Chinese, is an alga,
gathered by the birds. The Ceylon moss (_Gigartina lichenoides_), and
the carrageen or Irish moss (_Chondrus crispus_), with many others,
might be made to contribute largely to the subsistence of man. Not
merely earth, from its fruitful bosom, but the vast ocean, offer their
rich produce to nourish and sustain the only intelligent occupant of
the globe, who should ever remember the declaration of the psalmist,
"O Lord! how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them
all: the earth is full of thy riches; so is the great and wide sea!"
(Ps. civ.)


[A] The Greeks used to say that reeds had contributed to subjugate a
people, by furnishing arrows; to soften their manner, by the charm of
music; and to develop their intelligence, by offering them the
instruments proper for the formation of letters.--_Humboldt's Personal

"The reed presents itself as an object of peculiar veneration, when we
reflect that it formed the earliest instrument by which human ideas,
and all the charms of literature and science were communicated, and
which has handed down to us the light of religion and the glow of
genius from the remotest ages."--_Drummond's First Steps to Botany._

[B] "The Guaraons, a free and independent people, dispersed in the
Delta of the Oronooko, owe their independence to the nature of their
country; for it is well known that, in order to raise their abodes
above the surface of the waters, at the period of the great
inundations, they support them on the cut trunks of the mangrove tree,
and of the _Mauritia flexuosa_."--_Humboldt, Personal Narrative_,
vol. iii. p. 277. The same people make bread of the medullary flour of
this palm, which it yields in great abundance, if cut down just before
going to flower.--_Ibid._, vol. iii. p. 278. To these circumstances
Thomson alludes:--

    "Wide o'er his isles the branching Oronooque
    Rolls a brown deluge, and the native driven
    To dwell aloft on life-sufficing trees,
    At once his home, his robe, his food, his arms."

[C] The connection of navigation with the progress of civilization is
most intimate, as may be understood from the following passage:--

"Among the circumstances which have contributed to retard the progress
of civilization in Africa, one of the most important and influential
is the compact and undivided form of the African continent, and the
natural barriers which render access to the greater regions of the
interior so remarkably difficult. It has been observed by Professor
Ritter, that the civilization of countries is greatly influenced by
their geographical forms, and by the relation which their interior
spaces bear to the extent of coast. While all Asia is five times as
large as Europe, and Africa more than three times as large, the
littoral margins of these larger continents bear no similar proportion
to their respective areas. Asia has seven thousand seven hundred
geographical miles of coast; Europe four thousand three hundred, and
Africa only three thousand five hundred. To every thirty-seven square
miles of continent in Europe, there is one mile of coast; in Africa,
only one mile of coast to one hundred and fifty square miles of
continent. Therefore the relative extension of coast is four times as
great in Europe as in Africa. Asia is in the middle between these two
extremes. To every one hundred and five square miles, it has one mile
of coast. The calculation of geographical spaces occupied by different
parts of the two last-mentioned continents, is still more striking.
The ramifications of Asia, excluded from the continental trapezium,
make about one hundred and fifty-five thousand square miles of that
whole quarter, or about one-fifth part. The ramifications of the
continental triangle of Europe form one-third part of the whole, or
even more. In Asia the stock is much greater in proportion to the
branches, and thence the more highly advanced culture of the branches
has remained, for the most part, excluded from the interior spaces. In
Europe, on the other hand, from the different relation of its spaces,
the condition of the external parts had much greater influence on that
of the interior. Hence the higher culture of Greece and Italy
penetrated more easily into the interior, and gave to the whole
continent one harmonious character of civilization, while Asia
contains many separate regions which may be compared, individually, to
Europe, and each of which could receive only its peculiar kind of
culture from its own branches. Africa, deficient in these endowments
of nature, and wanting both separating gulfs, and inland seas, could
obtain no share in the expansion of that fruitful tree, which, having
driven its roots deeply in the heart of Asia, spread its branches and
blossoms over the western and southern tracts of the same continent,
and expanded its crown over Europe. In Egypt alone it possessed a
river-system, so formed as to favor the development of similar
productions. Die Erdkunde von Aslen, von Carl Ritter. 2. Band.
Einleitung. §24, 25. Berlin, 1832."--_Pritchard, Researches into the
Physical History of Mankind. Third Edit._ Vol. ii., p. 354.

[D] "Was it not for the manifestation of this brighter era, and the
realization of its promised blessings, that all else which preceded it
was overruled by divine Providence, as subservient and preparatory?
All things being now ready, there began to spring up in the bosom of
the British churches, a wide and simultaneous sense of the solemn
responsibility under which they had been laid by the events of
Providence, to avail themselves of so favorable an opening for the
diffusion of the gospel throughout the eastern world. Men, qualified
to undertake the high commission, must be sent across the ocean--and
have not the toils, and perils, and successes, of Vasco de Gama, and
other navigators, opened up a safe and easy passage? That their
labours might pervade the country, and strike a deep and permanent
root into the soil, they must be delivered from the caprices of savage
tyranny, and the ebullitions of heathen rage; and have not our Clives
and our Wellingtons wrested the rod of power from every wilful despot;
and our Hastings and our Wellesleys thrown the broad shield of British
justice and British protection alike over all? In order that they
might the more effectually adapt their communications to the
peculiarities of the people, they must become acquainted with the
learned language of the country, and through it, with the real and
original sources of all the prevailing opinions and observances,
sacred and civil. And have not our Joneses and our Colebrookes
unfolded the whole, to prove subservient to the cause of the Christian
philanthropist? In this way have our navigators, our warriors, our
statesmen, and our literati, been unconsciously employed, under an
over-ruling Providence, as so many pioneers, to prepare the way for
our Swartzes, our Buchanans, our Martins, and our Careys."--_Duff's
India and India Missions._

[E] The relative proportions of starch and gluten in rice, wheat, and
other seeds, not only confirm the views respecting design, in
determining their geographical distribution, but merit notice, as
influencing their nutritive qualities, and fitness or unfitness as
food in different countries.

                                 | Starch. | Gluten.
    Wheat, according to Proust   |  74.5   |  12.5
    ----          --    Vogel    |  68.0   |  24.0
    Winter wheat  --    Davy     |  77.0   |  19.0
    Spring wheat                 |  70.0   |  24.0
    Spelt         --    Vogel    |  74.0   |  22.0
    Barley        --    Davy     |  79.0   |   6.0
    Rye           --    Do.      |  61.0   |   5.0
    Oats          --    Do.      |  59.0   |   6.0
    Rice Carolina --    Vogel    |  85.07  |   3.60
    Maize         --    Bizio    |  80.92  |   0.
    Tartarian buckwheat          |  52.29  |  10.47

Not only do the relative proportions of starch and gluten vary in the
same seed when grown in different countries, but even when grown in
the same country, according to the kind of manure put on the soil, a
point of great importance to agriculturists, when known and attended

[F] See "Church of England Magazine," vol. vii. p. 52-3-4.

[G] "I have been informed by Sir Joseph Banks, that the Derbyshire
miners, in winter, prefer oat-cakes to wheaten bread, finding that
this kind of nourishment enables them to support their strength and
perform their labour better. In summer they say oat-cake heats them,
and they then consume the finest wheaten bread they can
procure."--_Sir H. Dacy's Agricultural Chemistry, 5th edit., p. 143._

The propriety and advantage of this practice is established by the
recent investigations of Boussingault, who found that oats contain
more than double the quantity of nitrogen which exists in any of the
other cereal grains.--_See Annales de Chimie et de Physique, tom.
lxvii. p. 408-21._

[H] Carpenter's "General and Comparative Physiology," p. 272 and Dr.
Prout's "Bridgewater Treatise," book iii.

[I] See Forrest's "Voyage to the Moluccas;" Craufurd's "Indian
Archipelago, or Library of Entertaining Knowledge, Vegetable
Substances, Food of Man," p. 171.

[J] "In the season of inundations, these clumps of the _Mauritia_,
with their leaves in the form of a fan, have the appearance of a
forest rising from the bosom of the waters. The navigator in
proceeding along the channel of the delta of the Oronooco at night,
sees with surprize the summits of the palm-trees illuminated by large
fires. These are the habitations of the Guaraons (see Sir W. Raleigh's
Brevis Descript. Guianæ, 1594, tab. 4), which are suspended from the
trunks of trees. These tribes hang up mats in the air, which they fill
with earth, and kindle on a layer of moist clay the fire necessary for
their household wants. They have owed their liberty and their
political independence for ages, to the quaking and swampy soil which
they pass over in the time of drought, and on which they alone know
how to walk in security to their solitude in the delta of the
Oronooco, to their abodes on the trees, where religious enthusiasm
will probably never lead any American Stylites (_see_ Mosheim's Church
History). This tree, the tree of life of the missionaries, not only
affords the Guaraons a safe dwelling during the risings of the
Oronooco, but its shelly fruit, its farinaceous pith, its juice,
abounding in saccharine matter, and the fibres of its leaves, furnish
them with food, wine, and thread proper for making cords and weaving
hammocks. It is curious to observe in the lowest degree of human
civilization, the existence of a whole tribe depending on one single
species of palm-tree, similar to those insects which feed on one and
the same flower, or on one and the same part of a plant."--_Humboldt,
Person. Narrative_, vol. v. p. 728.

[K] Davy's Agricultural Chemistry, p. 133.--According to Mr. Knight
the best potatoes, such as the Irish apple, possess much greater
specific gravity than the inferior sorts, and this variety yields
nearly 20 per cent. of starch; while five pounds of the variety called
Captain Hart, yields 12 ounces of starch, and the Moulton White nearly
as much, the Purple Red give only 8½, the Ox Noble 8¼. There is much
more profit in cultivating the former than the latter sorts; but even
the best kinds degenerate, and new sorts must be procured, as if to
stimulate the ingenuity of man, by preventing his enjoying the gifts
of God, without constant exertion, and observation of the laws which
the Creator has impressed upon his productions. See the Observations
of Thomas Andrew Knight, and the experiments now making by Mr. Maund,
of Bromsgrove.

[L] Duncan. Sacred Philosophy of the Seasons.

[M] Carpenter's Physiology.

[N] Thomson's Chemistry of Organic Bodies: Vegetables, p. 667.

[O] Vere magna et longe pulcherrima sunt etiam illa profundissimâ
sapientiâ hic exstructa opera tua, O Jehovah! quæ non nisi bene
armatis nostris oculis patent! Qualia autem erunt denique illa, quæ
sublato hoc speculo, remotâ mortalitatis caligine daturus es tuis Te
vere sincero Pectore colentibus? Eheu qualia! Hedwig.

[P] Thomson's Chemistry. Vegetables, p. 630.

[Q] On the Culture and Uses of Potatoes, by sir John Sinclair, bart.
This is a subject becoming every year of greater moment, and attention
to it a national benefit. The reduction of bulk alone, facilitating
the transport from one place to another, is an essential gain. The
produce, from a certain number of acres of this valuable esculent, may
be greatly augmented by planting the potatoes whole, at a great
distance between each, and hoeing freely between them--_See Knight's
Papers in Horticultural Transactions, and Payen et Chevalier, Traité
de la Pomme de Terre. Paris, 1826, p. 17._

[R] Humboldt. Personal Narrative, vol. iv. p. 84.

[S] "Among the plants cultivated by man, the sugar-cane, the plantain
(_musa_), the mammee-apple (_mammea_), and alligator-pear-tree
(_laurus persea_) alone have the property of the cocoa-nut-tree, that
of being watered alike with fresh and salt water. This circumstance is
favorable to their migrations; and if the sugar-cane of the shore
yield a syrup that is a little brackish, it is believed at the same
time to be better fitted for the distillation of spirit, than the
juice produced from the canes of the interior."--_Humboldt._

[T] "The quantity of these insects is incredible to all who have not
themselves witnessed their astonishing numbers; the whole earth is
covered with them for the space of several leagues. The noise they
make in browsing on the trees and herbage may be heard at a great
distance, and resembles that of an army in secret. The Tartars
themselves are a less destructive enemy than these little animals. One
would imagine that fire had followed their progress. Wherever their
myriads spread, the verdure of the country disappears; trees and
plants stripped of their leaves and reduced to their naked boughs and
stems cause the dreary image of winter to succeed in an instant to the
rich scenery of spring. When these clouds of locusts take their
flight, to surmount any obstacles, or to traverse more rapidly a
desert soil, the heavens may literally be said to be obscured by

[U] "As the native of a northern country, little favoured by nature, I
shall observe that the Marche of Brandebourg, for the most part sandy,
nourishes, under an administration favourable to the progress of
agricultural industry, on a surface only one-third that of Cuba, a
population nearly double."--_Humboldt, P. N._, vol. vii. p. 156.

[V] Loudon's Arboretum Britannicum, vol. i., p. 412.

[W] For an interesting account of sugar, see Humboldt, Nova Genera et
Species Plantarum, vol. i., p. 243.

[X] Haselquist's Voyage.



By the Venerable C. J. Hoare, M.A.,
  _Archdeacon and Prebendary of Winchester._

Romans viii. 28.

    "And we know that all things work together for good to
    them that love God."

Amongst the observations most frequently heard in the world, is that
made on the undeserved prosperity of the wicked, and the many
seemingly uncalled-for trials of the righteous. Experience will indeed
tell us, that neither of these opposite conditions is uninterrupted;
neither is it all sunshine in the most prosperous worldly lot; nor is
it all gloom--far from it--in the Christian's portion on earth.
Experience will also go further, and will abundantly prove the saying
of the wise man, that "the prosperity of fools shall destroy them."
Such success has a tendency first to deceive, then to corrupt, and
lastly to betray men into utter destruction. But the text will lead us
still further; it will teach us, that the trials of the righteous
preserve them--yea, work for good; and that "all things," and,
therefore, even the greatest trials, "work together for good to them
that love God."

The text represents them as workmen. They work together for good;
they are constantly at work for that purpose, whether as instruments
in God's hands, or as in a degree self-moving for that end; they are
constructing as it were a building, or they are laying a foundation;
and that which they lay--that which all things befalling a Christian
are ever laying for him--is a ground for his substantial, necessary,
and eternal benefit. "We know that all things work together for good
to them that love God."

This, then, it will be, with God's blessing, my humble endeavour to
show in the following discourse: first, premising the sense of the
word "good," in all just and reasonable acceptation; next, showing
more fully how all things may be thus said to "work for good to them
that love God;" finally, pointing out some of the many things which
will be found by experience to work in this very manner.

I. The term "_good_," it must be said in the first place, is very
different, both in the language of the bible and in the estimation of
the truly wise, from what it usually represents in the language and
opinion of the world. The bible teaches us to view all things in their
consequences, and in their real and essential nature. View things in
their consequences, in their final end and issue, if you would view
them at all justly or wisely. Ease, and health, and worldly wealth,
and success may be good, just as the plentiful feast is good, provided
a man has temperance and soundness of constitution properly to partake
of it; but, if he is likely to indulge to a surfeit, or if every
morsel is food to some mortal disorder, and every cup adds strength to
a fever that is raging in his veins, no one in reason would call such
an entertainment good to such a man. And just so with the good things
of this present life: the Christian does not unreasonably deny that
prosperity is pleasing, health desirable, friends and relations deeply
attaching to us, and the smiles of social endearment or public favour
greatly captivating; but neither does he, like the world, consider
them to be necessarily all they seem to be, good to all persons, and
under all circumstances; he does not forget that earthly and bodily
good is just what it becomes in the use of it; that many times the use
can hardly be separated from the abuse; that lawful things, when
unlawfully or idolatrously used, are just as evil as unlawful
ones--nay, rather, that for a few comparatively who have perished from
a hardened course of forbidden pleasure, multitudes have been for ever
lost by allowed indulgences. Till he sees, then, the application made,
and the resulting consequences of any worldly boon, he does not call
the possessor happy, nor the possession good, nor very eagerly or
supremely does he desire it either for himself or others.

But, again, the things _really and essentially good_ in their very
nature and inseparable qualities are those which, in the estimation of
the mere world, are held in no account whatsoever. What the bible
chiefly esteems, and the world wholly neglects, are spiritual
blessings,--the good things of the soul of man, "the precious things
of heaven, even of the everlasting hills." Those precious things, the
goodwill of him who is the great I AM--the peace of God which passeth
all understanding--the luxury of promoting the good of man and the
glory of God;--still more, the pardon of sin, through faith in the
atonement of Jesus Christ--a gradual advancement in true holiness--a
growing fitness and longing desire for the future blessedness of the
saints, and a final admission and "abundant entrance into the
everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour," the "inheritance
incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away;"--these are truly
to the world but as a dream, a fancy, a cunningly-devised fable; but,
to the mind of the Christian, stand for everything truly and
substantially good. They are in all his plans first and foremost, and
nearest and dearest to his heart. They are as necessary to him in his
calculation and account of human happiness, as profit and pleasure are
to his neighbours around. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor the
heart conceived, the things which God hath prepared for them that love
him." But God hath revealed to _him_ by his Spirit, these very things,
as his chief good, his measure of all true happiness. Wealth may be
good, health still better, kindly affections and attached friends the
best of earthly boons; but the favour of God, the acquisition of his
image, the means of grace, and the hope of glory, are to him sovereign
and above all. While many ask, amidst the increase of their corn, and
wine, and oil, "Who will show us any good?" he exclaims, "Lord, lift
thou up the light of thy countenance upon me"--"in thy presence is the
fulness of joy; at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore." He
weighs well the nature, and "remembers the end" of all that is called
good, and so "does not amiss."

II. For, secondly, he finds that, while we so do, and so consider,
"all things work together for good to _those that love God_." There
is, first, on the mind of the Christian that secret influence in the
very disposition of love to God, which will _of itself_ turn to good
every thing that comes from the God whom we love, and the Saviour on
whom we fully and implicitly rely. And there is, secondly, a full
disposition on the part of _our heavenly Father_ so to order and
direct every event which befals his loving and attached children, as
shall be found at last to have answered the ends of sovereign wisdom
and divine mercy.

In the first instance, the tendency, _on our own part_, of love to the
great and good God will be this, namely, to turn all that befals us to
an instrument of good. As, in the healthy body, food of very different
descriptions may yet all turn to nourishment, and minister to health
and bodily strength; so, in the healthy mind, purified and
strengthened by the grace of God's Holy Spirit, every thing that meets
it is converted to its advantage, and adds in some way to its
improvement and its happiness. There is ever a colour cast upon
outward circumstances from the complexion of the inward soul. The vain
man, on his part, the ambitious, the sensual, the gainful, well know
how to turn all to the advancement of their sinful objects; and no
less does the good man turn all to the enlargement of his goodness,
and the lover of his God to the increase and exercise of that love.
Viewing every thing in the glass, or by the lamp of God's word, he
ingeniously, so to speak, finds in every thing a reason for loving and
fearing, serving and obeying God. Every event works for his good,
because he is resolved it shall do so; and every result satisfies,
pleases, rejoices him, because he is persuaded it ought to do so.
Loving God, he has a confidence that he is beloved of God; and then,
feeling himself in a world made by God, and proceeding forward under
his guidance and permission, he never will believe that any thing
falls out in it but what is intended to make him both good and happy.
Happy then he will be, if God intends he should be so; and holy he
will be encouraged to become, under the consciousness that God intends
his holiness.

Dispositions like these will indeed work for their possessor even upon
the hardest materials, and will, by the very force of a new and
spiritual nature, convert all into "servants to righteousness unto
holiness." Faith will be a hand, bringing together the events of life
and the framer and guide of all life and all existence; and the result
will be a solemn and heart-satisfying conviction, that "all things
work together for good to them that love God."

Nor, next, will such a faith prove to be groundless; for surely there
is a _power engaged_, there is a pledge in the gospel, a sure word of
promise, and even of covenant, that all things shall be ours;--"All
are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." The trial of our
faith lies indeed very much upon this one point. Can we, for a moment,
believe that God permits all the disorder and confusion which appears
to us in the world--the prosperity of wickedness, the trials and
adversity of the righteous, in order to raise a doubt on our minds
whether he be not absent all the while--whether he bears or not any
share in the world he created, or in all those moving causes that owe
their activity and life to himself alone? God is surely present; he is
powerfully operating; he is the supreme controller, and the almighty
director; he is fully aware of those adverse appearances, and is no
less deeply engaged in the final issue of all events, to render them
consistent with the ends of justice and mercy, than as if we saw him
at work with our bodily eyes: or, as if we then could fully know the
mind of the Lord, or be his counsellors to instruct him.

The expressions of scripture are too strong, and too agreeable to the
very nature of God and of his works, to make us doubt for a moment of
his providential care and unceasing watchfulness. "He is not far from
every one of us; for in him we live, and move, and have our being." To
the true disciple saith Christ himself, "The very hairs of your head
are all numbered;" and yet more strongly, "If a man love me, he will
keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him,
and make our abode with him." Promises, these, which have been ever
realized in the history of the saints in all ages who have walked with
God--Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and the patriarch Jacob--none more tried
than he--yet we read _his_ testimony to "the God, which fed me all my
life-long unto this day; the angel which redeemed me from all evil."

Keeping in view the notion of what is truly good for this state of
trial, and for the soul as well as for the body, there is no time and
no extent to which we shall not find the promise sure, and the
fulfilment exact, where God is pledged for the supply of his servants
that trust in him: his eye is ever open, his ear ever attentive unto
them. The petition he denies is able to operate as powerfully and as
favourably on their behalf as that which he grants; merciful alike in
the gift which he bestows and which he withholds, and wise alike in
the evil which he permits, and which he restrains.

There is nothing more important to the believer's faith, than to
apprehend that there is no uncertainty, nothing imperfect or weak in
the dispensations of God, as they respect the final issue of the
Christian's trials. Either God is wholly absent and forgetful of his
daily wants, or else he is wholly and for ever at work on his behalf.
If he were wholly absent, well might his servants doubt that, after
all their endeavours to that end, they should be able to turn to good
all the events of this mortal life. If _he_ do not temper the trials
of his servants, how in truth shall they overcome them? If _he_ do not
controul their enemies, how shall they ever escape them? Figure to
yourself any place, or time, or circumstance, where God is not, or
where he _can_ be spared from the concerns of his people, either
temporal or spiritual: but, if none can be imagined or assigned, then
is it but justly and essentially true, that, by his especial order and
his immediate appointment, "all things work together for good to them
that love God."

III. But we may proceed, lastly, to show, in a practical manner, _some
of those very things_ which shall thus work together for good. Take
the most unpromising and most unfavourable case, for instance, that of
_great prosperity_. None will deny it to be a case of many others the
most trying to the graces of the true Christian. Yet even shall the
temptations arising from worldly honours and successes, to a man armed
with the love of God, work together for good. Graces rarely exercised
in exalted stations, shall be found to shine the more conspicuously in
his instance. The grace of humility, and tenderness of spirit, shall
be the more eminently illustrated in that station, where, too often,
there is only pride and hardness of heart. If he be found, in a sober,
self-denying spirit, setting little value on those things so commonly
called good amongst mankind--using this world without abusing
it--shall not the grace of God be more abundantly magnified? When not
overcome, as Agar feared he might be, saying, "lest I be full, and
say, who is the Lord?"--but rather, when led by fulness to more
gratitude, and by a lofty station to deeper humility, and to a more
lowly submission to God, and meekness to man--how will he by such
prosperity as this testify to the reality of Christian principles: how
will he, in giving freely where he has freely received, esteeming even
his highest gains as loss for Christ's sake, and returning upon others
all that mercy which has been exercised towards himself, prove that
_he_ has not received the grace of God in vain; but that even
prosperity has "worked together for good to them that love God."

Or, suppose the case of _deep adversity_--suppose the Christian
stripped, like Job, of great honours and possessions at a single
stroke; betrayed and sold like Joseph, even by brethren, into bondage
and exile; or lying like Lazarus at the gate of the rich man, diseased
in body, and suing for the crumbs from off his table; or suppose him,
as St. Paul himself, in peril of foes, and even doubtful of friends;
in weariness and painfulness oft, in hunger and thirst, in cold and
nakedness. These last were exactly the circumstances under which the
very text was indited by the apostle himself: he saw, what you may
see, that trials like these, when tempered by the presence of the God
he loved, were good, not, I would say, in proportion to their weight,
but according to the patience which they exercised, the faith they
strengthened, the experience of divine support they afforded, the hope
they brightened, the crown they were preparing; yea, the exceeding and
eternal weight of glory which they must eventually be working out. The
apostle had "heard of the patience of Job," and had "seen the end of
the Lord, that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." The
trials of Joseph had even led that servant of God, by degrees of
painful progress, to the honour of a prince, and a chain of gold. The
"evil things" of Lazarus--good they might have been called--had led
him to still higher honours, and had prepared him to be carried by
angels into Abraham's bosom. Every individual circumstance of this
nature, as it passed in review before the apostle in the text, had led
irresistibly to the conclusion he so strongly expresses. Could he
distrust the same arm, disbelieve the same promises; or rather saying
with David--"Our fathers trusted in thee, and were delivered," would
he not add--I will trust as they did; I will be "in subjection to the
Father of spirits, and live?" Let me feel only the "profit, that I may
be partaker of his holiness;" and then, "though no affliction for the
present is joyous, but grievous," it shall surely hereafter yield the
peaceable fruit of true righteousness; and "all things," adversity
itself, "shall work together for _my_ good."

_Temptation_, verily, shall be among the "things working together for
good to them that love God." Such indeed is our state of trial upon
earth, that every successive arrival at our doors comes to us in some
shape or other of temptation to sin. But take the strongest and most
pressing incitements to the corruptions of the heart, and the evil of
our nature. Even of _these_ must it not be said, that the temptation,
and the tempter himself, may be turned into a worker for good, when
that promise is brought forward, and brought home to the heart, "God
is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what ye are
able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye
may be able to bear it?" Another apostle had a like meaning when he
said, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers
temptations." Every enemy opposed to the Christian warrior affords
him fresh opportunity for a sure victory in the strength of Christ.
Every obstacle in his path is that which faith regards as a trial
prepared for his soul; but hope and joy carry him over, to the glory
of his sovereign Upholder. In evil company, which he seeks not, his
courage is honourably put to the test, and abides it; amidst a world
of licentiousness and excess, which he desires not to approach, he
still trusts, through grace, that he shall not be found wanting. In a
season of provocation his meekness is tried, and it prevails; and in
the moment of fear, and the threats of alarm, "his heart standeth
fast, trusting in the Lord;" "nay, in all these things he is more than
conqueror through him that loved him."

If his very _sins_ are in one sense his shame, and the source of his
bitter tears and saddest recollections, still those tears and
recollections shall prove among the workers for his good, if they lead
him more closely to the throne of mercy, and to the fountain of
eternal strength. If any experiences of past weakness make him more
watchful, sober, and diligent for the future--if they direct him to
the vulnerable points in his armour, to the "sin that easily besets
him"--if, in the very moment of his conscious frailty and
heart-overwhelming struggle, he is enabled to exclaim, "Rejoice not
over me, O mine enemy; though I fall I shall arise; though I sit in
darkness the Lord shall be a light unto me:" then shall he know that
"_all things_ work together for good to them that love God."

I conclude with a single word of remark on the expression in the text,
"We _know_ that all things work together for good." It expresses the
_personal experience_ of the Christian. It answers to a similar
expression of the same apostle to the Philippians--"I know that this
shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the
spirit of Jesus Christ." But to whom is this knowledge vouchsafed? To
whom is it a safe and a sure conviction--an "earnest expectation and
hope," so "that in nothing we shall be ashamed?" Truly, to those only
who "_love God_"--to those who are "the called according to his
purpose." His purpose is our sanctification, and that we should be
"conformed to the image of his Son." To such truly, to such only does
that blessing apply, so frequently indeed, and but too rashly,
appropriated by many others, "All is for the best."

Let the careless rather tremble, those as yet not effectually called
into the gospel vineyard, at such an appropriation of the text. To
them it may be only a savour of death unto death, a deadly security, a
hope that "_maketh_ ashamed, because the love of God is _not_ yet shed
abroad in their hearts."

Gain rather in prayer, in secret meditation and much retirement from
the presence and the love of this world, the true love of God which is
in Christ Jesus our Lord. Then being first transformed yourself, you
will be enabled, by a divine power, to transform everything around
you; you will receive all things as from the hand of the Father whom
you love, the Benefactor and Friend whom you wish and aim to serve.
Your willing and noble obedience to him will render, then, prosperity
a new advantage to you by awakening your gratitude, and adversity a
blessing, by exercising and perfecting your patience. You will have a
fence around you, an armour of divine temper to fortify you in the
presence of every temptation, and to turn the very weapons of your
adversaries into your own instruments of victory, the trophies of your
triumph. Sin will have its struggles within you, but will not gain
dominion over you, while every deviation from God's righteous will is
mourned in secret, and restored through grace; and while it brings you
the more urgently and constantly to the foot of the cross, where hung
the Saviour whom you love, whose favour and forgiveness you implore;
and you shall be enabled to close the volume of your experience in the
concluding words of the chapter, and with the apostle himself: "Who
shall separate us from the love of Christ?... I am persuaded, that
neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers,
nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any
other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God
which is Christ Jesus our Lord."


    "And was transfigured before them, and his face did
    shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the

There never existed in this world a person in whose life there was a
greater variety of incident than in the life of Jesus. He passed
through scenes of the most peculiar and diversified description, to
which we can find no parallel in the history of man, the effect of
which no ordinary mind could have borne. These were, in general,
connected with that lowliness and debasement to which he submitted for
the benefit of our sinful race; but occasionally, as at his birth, his
baptism, and transfiguration, there burst forth some bright rays of
glory from behind the dark cloud of his humanity, which proved his
possession of a nature that was divine.

It may have a good effect in strengthening our gratitude for the
Saviour's mercy, to remember that every complexion of circumstance was
freely and voluntarily submitted to, not merely for his own
satisfaction or benefit, but principally for the good of man. Jesus
never lost sight of his representative character. He always remembered
those whose cause he had espoused: and, whether he was led by the
Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil--or into the
garden of Gethsemane, to sustain his more fierce and violent
assaults--or to the mountain, to put on for a season the habiliments
of light and glory--his chief object and desire was to effect the
redemption, and to revive the hopes of weak and fallen man.

We are now supplied by the Holy Spirit with a very brief account of
the transfiguration itself. Before, however, we make any remark upon
this description, or refer, as we desire to do, to the uses which this
transaction was intended to serve, we must direct our attention for a
few moments to the important preparation which the Saviour made for
it. And here there are, perhaps, many who may be disposed to ask, had
there not been sufficient preparation already? had not the Saviour
endured much physical fatigue in accomplishing the wearisome ascent of
the mountain? and had not the time, the place, and the spectators,
been carefully selected by himself? Let it however be remembered, that
in addition to all this, there was a necessary and absolutely
indispensable preliminary, not to be omitted even by the Son of God,
and that was prayer. It is said, by St. Luke, in the twenty-ninth
verse of his ninth chapter, that "as he prayed, the fashion of his
countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering."
Let us learn from this, that not all the labour, mental or physical,
which we can possibly exert, can ever bring us into the enjoyment of
one momentary smile of God's countenance, if we neglect prayer. We may
diligently peruse the records of redeeming mercy which the sacred page
of scripture contains; we may place ourselves under the pastoral care
of some faithful and devoted minister of Jesus; we may enjoy the high
advantage of intercourse and communion with many spiritually-minded
followers of the Saviour; yet, after all, we shall find no benefit
from these distinguished privileges if we neglect to pray. How many
Christians there are, who often wish they had a Luther for their
minister, because they feel dissatisfied with their spiritual progress
under him to whose charge they may have been entrusted by the great
Head of the church! And yet the cause of this may be traced to their
own want of constant and of earnest prayer. Prayer is the key that
unlocks the holy place where Jesus meets his people at the mercy-seat,
to dispense the gifts which have been purchased by his precious blood.
And when the united petitions of ministers and people ascend in an
unceasing stream of sacred incense to a throne of grace, blessings may
be expected to descend in rich abundance on the church.

But perhaps it may be considered that we have digressed from our
subject. We return, then, to the circumstance which more immediately
claims our attention. We are informed that Jesus was praying when he
was transfigured; nay, it is remarkable that St. Luke represents his
special object of ascending the mountain to have been in order to
devote himself to this sacred engagement. "It came to pass about an
eight days after these sayings, he took Peter, and John, and James,
and went up into a mountain to pray." Prayer was as much the Saviour's
duty, as it is the duty of any of his people. He had been expressly
commanded by his Father to ask of him to give him the heathen for his
inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession.
All his works, whilst he was tabernacling in the flesh, were
accompanied with prayer; and his present exaltation at the right hand
of his heavenly Father, instead of suspending, rather imparts a more
sublime intensity of fervour to his petitions. In vain had he shed his
blood without this; for his prayers are as essential for the salvation
of sinners, as his sufferings on the cross for their redemption; and
therefore the apostle, in the twenty-fifth verse of the seventh
chapter of the epistle to the Hebrews, connects the unlimited ability
of Jesus to save, not only with his having offered himself as a
sacrifice, but also with his ever living to make intercession for us.
O! how welcome and delightful must be the accents of supplication to
the ears of the Lord God of Sabaoth, when he withholds blessings, even
from his well-beloved Son, until he ask for them! And how necessary is
prayer, when Jesus cannot obtain blessings without it! There is a
reserve manifested by the Holy Spirit in this, as in other instances,
as to the contents of our Saviour's petitions. Most probably they had
some reference to that splendid scene in his earthly history, into
which he was about to enter. We may imagine him to have addressed his
heavenly Father in language somewhat similar to that which he employed
when he was about to devote himself as a spotless victim on the cross:
"Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may
glorify thee. Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be
with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which thou hast
given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world."

But we must pass on to the description which is given of the
transfiguration of Jesus. "His face did shine as the sun, and his
raiment was white as the light." On this we can say but little, for no
imagination can conceive, nor can words express the exact nature of
that splendid scene which is here so slightly glanced at. The Holy
Spirit has employed the most concise mode of description in order to
restrain our fancy within proper limits. We are, therefore, altogether
incompetent to expatiate on a subject so sublime, for we know nothing,
beyond what is written, of the glory which is associated with
spiritual bodies. When Paul was led to speak of a state of future
enjoyment, he could only express himself in the language of
conjecture, and say, "I reckon that the sufferings of this present
time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be
revealed in us." And when, on another occasion, he was anxious to
comfort the church by a description of the resurrection-body into
which the Saviour shall change the vile bodies of his people, he could
only describe it by the use of words which merely implied a direct
contrast between what we now are and what we shall be. Our present
bodies are earthly, natural, mortal, and corruptible; our resurrection
bodies shall be celestial, spiritual, immortal, incorruptible: but
these latter expressions are only negations of the former; as to any
positive apprehension of the nature of glorified bodies, "it doth not
yet appear what we shall be." And there is much wisdom in this
reserve: there is enough told us upon the subject to encourage us to
persevere in our endeavours to attain to the joy that is set before
us, but not as much as would, in the meantime, render us too much
discontented with our present state.

We must, however, carefully note that the Holy Spirit, in so far
describing the Saviour's transfiguration, has given a literal account
of a real transaction. There is no cunningly-devised fable here. There
was nothing visionary in the exhibition itself; there is nothing
fanciful in the description of it. Jesus was actually metamorphosed;
"his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the
light," and, as on all ordinary occasions in the days of his flesh he
was God manifest in the nature of man, so, during the continuance of
this splendid scene, he exhibited his human nature manifested in and
encompassed by the brightness and glory of his Godhead.

But it may be profitable to inquire into some of the uses of this
great transaction, for such an occurrence could not have taken place
without some important object. It was intended to prepare the Saviour
for his approaching sufferings; to shew the interest which heaven
took in his sacrifice; to be a source of strength and comfort to the
church, by giving a type and specimen of that high degree of glory to
which the nature of man is destined to be exalted in consequence of
the Saviour's dying love. But the leading object of this event was to
give a representation of his second coming in majesty at the last day.
It is not by any gratuitous assumption that we maintain this, but on
the sure ground of strong scriptural testimony. We find St. Matthew
representing the Saviour as promising some of his disciples that they
should not taste of death till they saw him "coming in his kingdom;"
and in the parallel passage in the ninth chapter of St. Mark, he is
represented as saying that there were some standing with him who
should not see death until they had seen the kingdom of God "come with
power." Now the apostle Peter combines the substance of these two
declarations, in a manner which distinctly shews that he considered
them as having a reference to the future advent of the Redeemer. "We
have not followed cunningly-devised fables, when we made known unto
you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ;" and he speaks of
"majesty," "honour," and "glory," which are the appendages of a
kingdom, and are to be the characteristics of the second advent of
Jesus, in contrast with the meanness, poverty, and degradation of his
first appearance in our world. Those, therefore, who say that the
transfiguration had a typical reference either to the effusion of the
Spirit on the day of pentecost, or to the destruction of Jerusalem,
are greatly in error. It was meant to be a specimen and earnest of our
Lord's appearance hereafter in glory, when he shall come to be admired
in all them that believe, and to establish his everlasting kingdom of
righteousness and peace in the earth. The use of a type is to arrest
and embody in a kind of visible indication the prominent features of
its antitype; and, accordingly, if we examine the leading
circumstances of the transfiguration, we shall find such a resemblance
between it and the second coming of our Saviour, as will clearly
establish such a relationship between these two events. Jesus appeared
in literal human nature on the mountain; so shall he come again, as
the Son of man, possessing the same nature with his people; for the
apostles were informed when he ascended, that the very same Jesus who
had been taken up from them into heaven should even so come in like
manner as they had seen him ascend into heaven. He appeared in glory,
and not in humility; such as he shall descend hereafter, when he shall
come with all his holy angels and sit upon the throne of his glory. As
he was visible on the mountain, so, when he shall come again, every
eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him; and all kindreds
of the earth shall wail because of him. As he was encompassed by a
cloud on the summit of Tabor, so shall he come hereafter in the clouds
of heaven, with power and great glory. As he stood in majesty upon the
mountain, so according to the declaration of the prophet, his feet
shall stand, when he comes again, upon the mount of Olives. And as
Moses and Elias appeared in glory with the Saviour, so shall he bring
his people with him on his return to our world, for, when Christ who
is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory.

Such we believe to have been the great primary object of this
interesting event. How full of consolation and encouragement must it
appear in this important view to every believer who is still
struggling with the infirmities and trials of his earthly pilgrimage.
It directs the attention of such to the crown of righteousness that
awaits him, and says, "Be ye stedfast, immoveable, always abounding in
the work of the Lord; forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in
vain in the Lord."


[Y] From a scriptural small work, with the style and spirit of which
we are much pleased, "The Transfiguration," an exposition of Matt.
xvii. i. 8, by the rev. Daniel Bagot, B.D., minister of St. James'
chapel, Edinburgh, and chaplain to the right hon. the earl of
Kilmorry. Edinburgh, Johnstone: London, Whittaker, Nisbet: Dublin,
Curry, jun., Robertson.


NO SALVATION WITHOUT AN ATONEMENT.--But let me turn your attention to
the sad effect which a denial of the Saviour's Deity has upon the
prospects of man for eternity. It is a truth written, as with a
sunbeam, upon every page of scripture, that man is by nature a fallen,
a guilty, a condemned creature, obnoxious to the righteous judgment of
God. We are told, that "the heart is deceitful above all things, and
desperately wicked;"--that "all have sinned, and come short of the
glory of God:" Jehovah himself is represented as looking down from
heaven upon the children of men, to investigate their characters with
that omniscient ken by which he explores the utmost boundaries of the
illimitable universe, and pronouncing this solemn verdict--"There is
none righteous; no, not one:" and the apostle Paul, when reminding the
Ephesian church of their past unregenerate condition, says that they
were "children of wrath, even as others." If man, then, be in a guilty
and condemned state by nature, it is an awful and important question,
how shall he obtain pardon and justification with God, on account of
his past transgressions? and how shall his sinful and unholy nature be
sanctified and prepared for admission into the realms of everlasting
glory? Can personal repentance, on the part of the sinner, obliterate
the crime of which he has been guilty, so as to reinstate him into the
condition of a sinless and unfallen being? Unquestionably not. For
whatever act has been performed by God, or angels, or by man, must
remain for ever written upon the pages of eternity, never to be
erased; and, therefore, no subsequent repentance on the sinner's part,
no tears of sorrow or contrition, can ever blot out his past
transgressions; nor even could the united tears of angels erase the
record of those offences for which man is brought in guilty before
God! Can, then, subsequent obedience achieve the work of the sinner's
justification? This, alas! will prove as ineffectual as repentance;
for though we should render to God a perfect obedience for the
remainder of our lives, still the sin we have committed is sufficient
to procure our conviction and condemnation; for the wages of sin is
death! Shall we, then, have recourse to the abstract mercy of God, as
the foundation upon which to rest our hope of pardon? This is the
Unitarian's plea: "I believe," he says, "that God is merciful; and I
repose in his kindness, and trust he will have compassion on me."
Alas, my friends! it was bad enough that Mr. Porter should have
yesterday adopted the algebraic principle of neutralizing one text of
scripture by another; but to carry up this principle to a
contemplation of the character of God, and to bring it into collision
with the attributes of Jehovah, and thus to set his mercy against his
justice--his compassion against his truth--his grace against his
holiness, and thereby to neutralize and annihilate one class of
attributes by another, is a guilt that is direful, blasphemous, and
indescribable.--_From speech of the Rev. Daniel Bagot, at the Belfast
Unitarian [Socinian] discussion._



No. IX.

(_For the Church of England Magazine._)

By T. G. Nicholas.

    "She hath given up the ghost; her sun is gone down while
    it was yet day."--Jer. xv. 9.

    "Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause thy face to
    shine, and we shall be saved."--Ps. lxxx. 19.

      'Tis eventide; the golden tints are dying
        Along the horizon's glowing verge away;
      Far in the groves the nightingale is sighing
        Her requiem to the last receding ray;
        And still thou holdest thy appointed way.
      But Salem's light is quench'd.--Majestic sun!
        Her beauteous flock hath wandered far astray,
      Led by their guides the path of life to shun;
    Her orb hath sunk ere yet his wonted course was run.

      In ages past all glorious was thy land,
        And lovely were thy borders, Palestine!
      The heavens were wont to shed their influence bland
        On all those mountains and those vales of thine;
        For o'er thy coasts resplendent then did shine
      The light of God's approving countenance,
        With rapturous glow of blessedness divine;
      And, 'neath the radiance of that mighty glance,
    Bask'd the wide-scatter'd isles o'er ocean's blue expanse.

      But there survives a tinge of glory yet
        O'er all thy pastures and thy heights of green,
      Which, though the lustre of thy day hath set,
        Tells of the joy and splendour which hath been:
        So some proud ruin, 'mid the desert seen
      By traveller, halting on his path awhile,
        Declares how once beneath the light serene
      Of brief prosperity's unclouded smile,
    Uprose in grandeur there some vast imperial pile.

      O Thou, who through the wilderness of old
        Thy people to their promis'd rest did'st bring,
      Hasten the days by prophet-bards foretold,
        When roses shall again be blossoming
        In Sharon, and Siloa's cooling spring
      Shall murmur freshly at the noon-tide hour;
        And shepherds oft in Achor's vale shall sing[Z]
      The mysteries of that redeeming power
    Which hath their ashes chang'd for beauty's sunniest bower.[AA]

      Thou had'st a plant of thy peculiar choice
        A fruitful vine from Egypt's servile shore
      Thou mad'st it in the smile of heav'n rejoice;
        But the ripe clusters which awhile it bore
        Now purple on the verdant hills no more,
      The wild-boar hath upon its branches trod;
        Yet once again thy choicest influence pour,
      Transplant it from this dim terrestrial sod,
    To adorn with deathless bloom the paradise of God.

                               _Wadh. Coll. Oxon._


[Z] Isaiah xv. 10.

[AA] Isaiah lxi. 3.


INFLUENCE OF RELIGION ON A STATE.--Religious faith is necessarily and
unavoidably political in its influence and bearings, and eminently so.
Christians are generally well informed--and knowledge is power. They
have there in Christian countries, as citizens and subjects, directly
and indirectly, a large share of influence in the state. In most
Christian states, if not in all--for a state could hardly be called
Christian, if it were not so--Christianity is made a party of common
law, and, when occasion demands, is recognised as such by the judicial
tribunals. It is eminently so in Great Britain; it is so in America;
and generally throughout Europe. It is also, to a great extent,
established by constitutional law, and thus incorporated with the
political fabric, furnishing occasion for an extended code of special
statutes. The great principles of Christianity pervade the frame of
society, and its morals are made the standard. The second table of the
decalogue is adopted throughout as indispensable to the well-being of
the state; and a thousand forms of legislation are attempted to secure
the ends of the great and comprehensive Christian precept--"Thou shalt
love thy neighbour as thyself." More especially is it deemed the
highest perfection of civilized life and manners, in the code of
conventional politeness, to exemplify this latter divine injunction.
Otherwise life would be much less comfortable--hardly tolerable.--_A
Voice from America to England._

DUTY OF SUBJECTS.--We ought not only to look at the queen's duty, but
recollect also what is our own; for the prosperity of a nation
consists, not only in having a religious governor, but also an
obedient people. The events which have passed before our eyes during
the few last years, may serve, I think, to convince us of the truth of
such an inference. Can we look back on the loss of human lives, the
almost paralyzing alarm excited by the threats of an infuriated
populace, and the absolute destruction of property which took place
during the riots in the city of Bristol, and not see that all those
calamities sprung out of a want of obedience to the existing
authorities? Nor was that the only occurrence of the kind which has
taken place. What repeated acts of incendiarism have we as a nation
suffered from, as well as from the still more recent riots which have
arisen in our south-western and other counties? and may we not ask,
whence have those scenes of strife, discontent, and tumult, sprang,
but from the cause I have already referred to?--want of subjection and
obedience to the government of our kingdom. What were the scenes of
misery and horror which broke out from time to time, when internal
wars and insurrections so greatly depopulated our land? Cast your eye
up and down our country, and view the still remaining barrows--those
unsculptured, unlettered monuments, which cover the slain of our
people--and ask, are these Britons slain in their own land, a
Christian land, a land where (to remind you of the present privileges
of her constitution) we have a national established church, of sound
scriptural and protestant faith, and a preached gospel?[AB]


[AB] From "The Liturgy of the Church of England, Catechetically
explained, for the use of children, by Mrs. S. Maddock. 3 vols.
London: Houlston and Co." These volumes seem well adapted to explain
to those for whose use they have been published--the liturgy of our
church. The catechetical form in which the subject is treated, rather,
however, detracts from their value, and should the authoress be called
on for a new edition, we should advise her to publish in a different

London: Published by JAMES BURNS, 17 Portman Street, Portman Square;
W. EDWARDS, 12 Ave-Maria Lane, St. Paul's; and to be procured, by
order, of all Booksellers in Town and Country.

                      PRINTED BY

Transcriber's Note

The masthead in the original referred to Vol. IX., although this issue
is in fact part of Vol. X. of this publication. This has been

A table of contents has been added for the convenience of the reader.

Minor punctuation errors have been repaired.

Archaic spelling is preserved as printed. Please note that both
Oronooco and Oronooko appear in the text as variable spellings.

The following typographic errors have been fixed:

    Page 20--servicable amended to serviceable--"... both
    exogenous and endogenous, render them extremely
    serviceable to mankind."

    Page 21--organisable amended to organizable, for
    consistency--"... indeed gum is that organizable product
    which exists most universally ..."

    Page 23--productivenes amended to productiveness--"...
    of which there are several varieties, differing
    essentially in productiveness, ..."

    Page 23, fourth footnote--Hedwiz amended to
    Hedwig--"Eheu qualia! Hedwig."

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