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´╗┐Title: The Cochineal
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Cochineal" ***

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Collections, University Libraries, Ball State University

[Illustration: Cover]



  New York:

  General Protestant Episcopal Sunday School Union;
  Depository, Press Buildings, No. 46 Lumber-Street,
  in rear of Trinity Church.

  _Printed at the Protestant Episcopal Press,
  No. 46 Lumber-Street._


As I was one day studying in the same room with my little son, a child
of ten years old, he turned towards me, and pointed to a little insect
which was crawling on a sheet of paper.

"Look, papa," said he, "look at that insect; how small it is! See how
it moves its feet--how wonderful that GOD should have made this little

_Father._ It is a little cochineal.[A]--Wait; I will bring my
microscope, and we shall see many more wonderful things.

_Child._ Make haste, or it will fly away.

I put the insect between two glasses, and thus prevented it from
escaping, without restraining it from moving its limbs. To the naked
eye, it did not look at all remarkable: its back was of a brown
colour, spotted with black and white, and the under part of its body
was gray. But no sooner had I placed it in the focus of the
microscope, than I was filled with wonder and admiration. The back,
which before appeared unworthy of notice, now displayed the most
perfect and beautiful appearance. The colour, which appeared brown to
the naked eye, now presented a variety of feathers or scales of the
same size and shape, polished, brilliant, distinct, and arranged in
far more exact order than the tiles on the best built roof. The ground
was formed of beautiful white scales, surrounded by a border of
polished black and blue scales of the same description. A black line
divided the back into two equal parts.

"How marvellously wise and powerful is the LORD!" exclaimed I. "Who
would believe that so many beauties, and such a variety of exquisite
workmanship, had been bestowed on this little, despicable insect? Oh,
how great is our GOD!"

The child was impatient to judge for himself. He approached the
microscope, and gazed in silence for some moments. At length, raising
his head, and fixing his eyes upon me with an expression of wonder and
astonishment--"Oh! papa," exclaimed he, "is not this beautiful? How
beautiful!" repeated he, raising his hands. "How powerful GOD must be
to give this little insect, which attracts so little attention, such a
beautiful coat! Did you see its scales, its neck, its head, and its
glittering horns? It looks like glass on polished gold. How beautiful!
how beautiful!"

_Father._ My dear boy, since our heavenly Father is so great, so
powerful, and so wise; since he takes such care of this little insect
which crawls upon the ground; think how great must be his care of his
own children, whom he loved so much as to give his well-beloved SON to
die for them, that they might be saved, from eternal death!

_Child._ Yes; our Saviour himself says that his children 'are of more
value than many sparrows;' so they must be of more value than this
little insect: and since it has received, and does all the while
receive from GOD, its food and its rich and beautiful clothing, surely
the same GOD will feed and clothe us also! My dear papa, are we not
very happy in having seen this insect, since it has shown us the power
and goodness of the LORD?

_Papa._ Yes, my dear; let us thank GOD for thus enlarging our views of
his goodness and infinite wisdom. How good GOD is, thus to fill our
hearts with confidence, to assure us of his guardian care, and to
teach us that he sees, protects, and preserves us!

I now turned the microscope, that we might examine the cochineal on
the other side; it was equally beautiful and perfect. The side legs,
which were so disposed as to balance the body, and make its motions
easy, were partly covered with scales, like those on the back; but
they were much smaller and more flexible. There were no scales near
the joints, and the legs were fastened to the body with such exactness
that it was impossible to perceive the smallest defect, even by means
of the strongest lens. Its light and delicate limbs moved with the
greatest ease, and with most astonishing regularity.

"How wonderful is even one of its legs!" said I; "could the most skilful
artist or human mechanic imitate it, even in the clumsiest manner? Could
the most learned man give motion and life to this little creature?"

_Child._ And yet some people say that all this is done by chance; is
this possible, papa?

_Father._ My dear, there is no such thing as _chance_. GOD made the
world, and all that it contains. He alone is the Creator and Preserver
of all. Those that say that this insect was made by chance, show that
they have never examined it; and thus they cannot have seen the
powerful hand of GOD.

_Child._ And what do those mean who say that _nature_ created animals
and plants?

_Father._ Those who speak so are generally irreligious and ignorant
persons, who, instead of glorifying and blessing GOD as their Creator
and Preserver, never mention his name in their works or conversation;
and thus, instead of saying, 'GOD made this or that,' they say 'Nature
made' such things.

_Child._ GOD then made every thing?

_Father._ Yes, every thing, except what is bad.

_Child._ This must be true: GOD created us, and preserves us every
moment. Yet few think of him, or speak of him. How does this happen,

_Father._ My dear child, our hearts are naturally turned away from GOD.
Sin is the cause of this sad state: it separates our hearts from our
Father and Creator. We do not wish to own that he preserves and takes
care of us--supplies our wants, and gives us all things we enjoy.

_Child._ Oh, papa! how few love GOD, and trust in him as they ought!

_Father._ The true children of GOD alone really love him, desire to
please him, and sincerely trust in his goodness. Yes, my child, till
we are true Christians, till we are renewed and changed by the SPIRIT
OF GOD, we are like this little insect. We receive life, motion, food,
and clothing from him, but we seldom think of him; and we do not even
thank him for all his gifts.

_Child._ I think, papa, that those who forget GOD are not even so good
as this little insect; for it at least does nothing wrong, while they
are wicked, obstinate, proud, and ungrateful.

_Father._ You are right, my dear child. The sinner is not so good as
this insect. How thankful should we then be that our Saviour has
redeemed us from sin, and has made us children of GOD, by uniting us
for ever to himself?

_Child._ Yes, we know that GOD is our Father, and that he loves us. I
am sure he takes care of me, since he has given his SON to save me.
What a good Father! what a kind Saviour!

_Father._ Continue to love this good Saviour, my dear child; and
always remember the words of St. Paul:--"He who spared not his own
Son, but gave him up to the death for us all, shall he not with him
also freely give us all things?" Remember the cochineal, which is so
wonderfully formed by the LORD, and seek, above all things, the
blessing of the all-wise, powerful, and good GOD, who never forgets
you, and who is, through JESUS CHRIST, your heavenly Father.



        How wonderful this rolling ball
          Of earth, that bears me now!
        And, O! thou mighty GOD of all,
          How wonderful art Thou!

        (And what is this vast world to thee,
          With all its sea and land?
        Just what a pebble is _to me_,
          Or e'en a grain of sand.)

        And may a simple child address
          So great and high a King?
        And will he notice, will he bless
          So mean a little thing?

        And may I hope his love to win,
          Before his face to stand,
        Who holds this spacious world within
          The hollow of his hand?

        O yes! for though he is so high,
          He makes e'en worms his care;
        He will not scorn an infant's cry,
          A sinful infant's pray'r.


[Footnote A: Perhaps the young reader would know it better by its more
common name of _lady bird_.]

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