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WHEN a shepherd has at last overtaken his poor, silly, wandering

sheep, he does not straightway fall to scolding or beating it for having cost him so much toil and trouble. No; but he observes that it is very weary, that it has torn itself among thorns, and cut itself among jagged rocks, and therefore he first tenderly sees to its wounds, and then bears it back to the fold in his own arms. Poor trembling sinner, the gospel has at length laid hold upon you; you cannot longer run into the paths of sin, grace has stopped your mad career, and made you tremble at the guilt of sin. You are afraid of Jesus, for you know how sorely you have grieved him; you fear that he will chide you severely, and perhaps spurn you from his presence. Oh think not so of the Good Shepherd! He is already gazing on your bleeding wounds, and preparing to bind them up; he will soon take compassion on your weakness, and bear you in his arms. Trust to him, poor sinner, just as the poor sheep trusts the shepherd. A man is more precious than a sheep, and Jesus is more tender than the most careful shepherd. To coming sinners he is gentle indeed. When the prodigal returned all ragged, and filthy, his loving father did not put him in quarantine till he had been cleansed and purified, but there and then he fell upon his neck and kissed him, without so much as giving him one upbraiding word. He came straight from the swine-trough to his parent's arms. That welcomed prodigal is the type of such sinners such as you are.

You too shall have all kisses, and no frowns; all love, and no wrath; all kindness, and no severity, Oh ! if you knew the Saviour, you would not delay. Now, now poor heavy-laden sinner, trust the Lord Jesus, and live. He has never treated one returning prodigal with harshness, and he cannot change, and will therefore deal as generously with you as he has done with others. Whether thou wilt trust him or no-1 will-I do. Poor sinner, may the Holy Spirit lead thee to look to Jesus and live.

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No. 20.-Sword and Trowel Traots, by C. H. SPURGEON.-6d. per 100. Post free, 8 stampe.

Passmore & Alabaster, 28, Paternoster Row.

Cleanings from Nature.

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INVISIBLE PLANTS. Is it an animal or a vegetable? This The rapidity with which every bare

question has, with regard to many surface is covered with vegetation is an of the lower forms of organic existence, illustration of the oft-recurring lesson been frequently agitated, and is not in- that the earth with all its moral dedeed even now settled to the satisfaction formity is a grand scene of physical of all; there may be some, however, whose beauty, the details of which will bear minds have never been exercised upon the investigation of the most scrutinizing so important a topic, and who, were the eye; every moist spot of undisturbed question put to them, would refer to the earth is speedily covered with a green sheep nipping grass in the field, and coating; the hard rock, where it affords triumphantly ask if there could be any a lodgment for rain drops, becomes the doubt about that! Certainly it would resting space of invisible germs floating need a skilled disputant to carry such a in the atmosphere, and ere long its surdiscussion much farther; and we might face is dotted over with humble forms be met by the old teaching of our school- of vegetable life which, by the successive books that the great distinction between decay and growth of myriads of organan animal and a vegetable consisted in isms, at length prepares a soil for the the circumstances that the former moves reception of more highly organized exabout in search of its food while the istences by which the jutting crag or latter is stationary, and grows as it im- riven cliff is clothed with drapery of the bibes nutriment from the soil and air; most exquisite forms. but the microscope reveals to us what “ Seeds to our eyes invisible, will find otherwise would be an invisible world

On the rude rock the bed that fits their kind;

There in the rugged soil they safely dwell, of vegetable beings having organs of Till showers and snows the subtle atoms swell, motion by which they travel with con- And spread the enduring foliage, then we trace

The freckled flower upon the flinty base, siderable rapidity, and of whom it may

These all increase, 'till in unnoted years be said that for a large portion of their The stormy tower as gray with age appears, existence motion is their normal con

With coats of vegetation thinly spread,

Coat above coat, the living on the dead."* dition; clearly then, locomotion is not the only test of animal life, and indeed the

Moisture being essential to the dedifficulty of deciding upon the class to velopment of the germs, it is not surwhich organisms on the border-land prising that in water the process should belong is so great, that some species who have kept an aquarium will have

on with great quickness; indeed all which have been claimed as animals by been impressed with this circumstance, one set of observers, have as vehemently been decided to be vegetable by others, that the sides of the glass are so covered

as the complaint is frequently heard and at one

period classed with the one with a “nasty green film," that nothing form and then handed over to the other great branch of nature ; however, it is within can be seen with distinctness; now tolerably well agreed that several yet this so-called nasty film is but the of the minute forms of life formerly all things with verdure. But if it be not

result of the patural endeavour to clothe grouped amongst the infusorial animalcules, to which attention was recently difficulty, or by proper treatment it will

admired it may be removed without invited, are not animal existences, but merely a simple cell

, but others being since so entirely coated, and the light so vegetables, oftentimes consisting of disappear. The surface of the glass

containing our “pond” was sometime exceedingly beautiful and of a more

much obscured by it as to appear nearly complex character. Many of these are

black, but a few mowers and scavengers so extremely small, that all that we wrote last month respecting the minute in the shape of small pond-snails, soon ness of the animal will equally apply to

* It may be necessary to remind young readers the wonderfully large amount of vege- that in this, otherwise correct, description by table beings which might exist in a little Crabbe, the terms foliage and flowers are poetical

expressions; the lower order of plants having space.

neither the one nor the other.



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cut it down with their wonderful rasps, vegetable organisms which are furnished and now the water is as clear as possible. with a long cilium that appears to be the No one need take the trouble to provide organ of locomotion. small vegetation for his aquarium, as On taking water in spring for observaNature will adorn every piece of stone tion, from a clear ditch or stagnant pool, within it in such a beautiful manner, there will generally be found curious

it will be folly indeed to attempt to disc-like bodies, composed of several imitate it, and will amply suffice to green cells, each with its minute cilia, maintain the water in a state fit to be but all united; with these frequently the habitation of animals.

occur others of a square shape, and The curious phenomenon known as some aggregated like a bunch of grapes, gory dew, in which spots of a blood-red which, when magnified, roll over and colour appear in various places, to the over under the eye, these are the active great fright of uninstructed humanity; is and compound zoospores

, each of which due to the growth of minute vegetation, will in due time become detached from and is, no doubt, a variety of form which its fellows, sink into a state of repose, in colder climates covers the surface of then known as resting spores,

and snow, producing the well-known red ultimately germinate into other forms of snow of the Polar regions. The red vegetation. snow plant is a globular cell so small, While speaking of minute vegetation, that from ten to twelve hundred of them we cannot refrain from noticing one, might be placed side by side in a space which, though not invisible, is still small, of an inch long; myriads of which are varying from about one-thirtieth to oneusually aggregated together, but each hundredth of an inch in diameter. When cell being recognisable under the micro- viewed by the unaided eye in a vessel of scope. It is remarkable that this plant, clear water, it appears as a tiny green may be kept many years in a moist speck, moving slowly but steadily state in a stoppered bottle, without through it; but take it out, and place it the structure undergoing scarcely any in a glass cell under the instrument, and change. We had the opportunity, by you find it to be a pellucid globe of the the kindness of the late lamented Pro- most delicate tint of green, its surface fessor Quekett, of examining some of divided by a number of lines, the this vegetation brought home by one of probable junction of the numerous segthe Arctic Voyagers, and found that it ments of which the sphere is composed, had retained its form and brilliancy of while projecting therefrom are a large colouring, the little cells under a strong number of cilia in constant motion. The light resembling rounded rubies. globe moves round and round so per

In early summer, when water remains sistently, on, as it would appear, an axis, undisturbed and is exposed to the that it has been named the revolving action of the sun, it is often found to globe-Volvox Globator.

This lovely attain a striking green hue, very organism has given rise to much learned evident on holding a portion of it in a controversy as to the nature of its being, clear vessel to the light; the water seems but it is now, we believe, almost, if not to have been dyed with some colouring quite, universally admitted to be vegematter, and it a piece of rag be dipped table. Within the globe are seen other into it, it will also be coloured in a globes, each formed as the outer or similar manner; but if a small portion parent one, and within these still, others of the water be taken on the end of a in a more or less perfect state of depin and dropped on a glass under the velopment; when any of them are microscope, it will be found to be per- fully formed, they may be observed in fectly colourless, but full of very minute active motion until at length the parent green bodies which move about with the membrane bursts and they swim forth, greatest freedom, jostling each other, in turn to suffer the same disruption as swimming now up, then down, to and their progeny ripens into an adult state. fro, and keeping up a perpetual whirl of Reverting to the more minute organactivity which is highly suggestive of isms, we have those singular forms which animal enjoyment, but is due simply to are always the first to make their apthe active state of these undoubted pearance where there is matter in a state of decay, these are long and slen-ster dips its beak into the cooling surder: but how comparative these terms face, or a bee returning laden to its are, may be imagined when it is added hive rests its limbs upon the ledge, and that if nine thousand of them were laid refreshes itself by sipping of the pool; end to end, they would not extend be- let him sit down here awhile and think, yond an inch in distance; these germs as his eyes are gladdened by the sight must be enormously abundant, and of happy nature around him, what this probably floating everywhere, waiting world might, nay, would bave been, had only for the occurrence of circumstances not the race of which he is a member, suited to their development, and it is introduced disobedience and sin. Peernot improbable, as has been supposed ing down into the quiet depths of the by some observers, that their presence pool he will observe the stones at the may be connected with some of the bottom covered with a slimy, vegetation, forms of epidemic disease to which man and being duly provided with some wideis subject. They are seldom, if ever, at mouthed bottles, he should carefully rest, but have a peculiar vacillating or gather some of the greenery from differvibratory movement. Not only is the ent parts of the pool into separate vessels. air laden with these, but also with the On returning home to observe his gatherspores of that large and beautiful class ing by the aid of the Microscope, he will of vegetation which covers our cheese, gratify his curiosity by making the acbread, fruit, &c., when in a state of quaintance of that beautiful tribe of plants decay, or unduly exposed to damp; and known as the Desmidiæ, or popularly the mind cannot fail to be struck with slimy worts;" these are only to be found the immense profusion of vitality every in fresh water, and are single celled, where around us, a large amount of flattened, and of a bright green colour, which must fail for want of those con- the coloring matter distributed through ditions under which alone it can flourish; the interior so as to produce a variety but on the other hand, millions upon of patterns ; in Autumn, the green colour millions of these germs of life are actively passes into brown, in a manner anaengaged in disintegrating, tearing up as lagous to vegetation on a larger scale. it were, matters of various kinds, which The shapes of these plants, each of would be useless if not deleterious if which consists of but one cell, known allowed to remain; and withal, while as a frustule, or sometimes froud, are doing this, preparing objects of beauty of the most bizarre character, quite on every band for the gratification of overturning all preconceived notions any who will turn aside for a moment respecting curved lines being lines of from the busy whirl of life's cares to beauty; here you have squares, paralrefresh the soul by communing with the lelograms, cubes, as well as circles, calm, quiet, but active and benevolent ovals, and other geometric forms. They spirit, displayed in Nature.

progress slowly, and with an oscillating If my readers would make the ac- motion, the source of which is not underquaintance of some of the more exqui- stood, although there are many theories sitely beautiful, and at the same time, to account for it; they will certainly many grotesque forms of the invisible move toward light, and if placed in a vegetation, he should take his staff and glass vessel, will aggregate upon the seek health by walking over some breezy sides of it nearest to the sun, and if heath or open country, where in little mixed with mud will work their way bosky dells

, or sunny nooks, pools of through it. Under the microscope, we water lie reflecting back to heaven the have frequently watched their motions, beauteous likenesses of cloud, or moon, but without being able to detect any or star, or sun; upon whose banks the cilia or other means by which they may tangled brake and wild flowers entwine, be enabled to travel. and the lovely little round leaves of the Like the Infusoria, these vegetable sundew are to be found nestling in the forms increase by self-division, and in a mossy margin; the water is clear as transverse direction; but it would seem crystal, but brown in tint from the boggy to be a somewhat difficult matter to nature of the soil, and is never dis- divide a circle transversely so as to turbed save when some feathered song- make of it two circles: yet this is ac. complished by the covering of the division, the usual mode by which the parent frond dividing, when from each minute vegetation is propagated; this half is thrust out a little projection phenomenon may be observed in that which gradually increases until the com- thread-like confervæ which in spring is plete semicircle is formed; the two, which found in slimy masses on stagnant pools, then appear as discs with a slightly the filaments of which are of great length flattened junction, speedily disunite and and commonly known as “silk weeds;" become separate fronds. 'In the larger they are of a bright, yellowish green, species the colouring matter divides,near and consist of long cells attached end to the middle, gradually assuming a rounded end filled with colouring matter, the form, after which, the covering membrane granules being frequently arranged in slowly divides.

most elegant patterns; when the conThe Rev. Lord Godolphin Osborne jugating act is about to take place, cerwrites on the division Closterium, one tain of the cells expand and the sides of this species shaped somewhat like a bulge outwards, the internal vesicles inbent cucumber, or, if it is more elegant, crease in number and gather together like the moon when it appears crescent- near the conjugating part; but it is shaped: “I have watched for hours necessary that two cells similarly cirthe process of complete self-division; cumstanced should be brought into conone half has remained passive while the tact, but by what mysterious impulse other has had a motion from side to side this is brought about none can tell, howas if moving on an axis at the point of ever approach they do, the cell walls at juncture, the separation has become first simply touching each other, become more and more ardent, the motion more firmly united, then absorption takes active, until at last with a jerk one seg- place by which the wall disappears, or ment leaves the other.” It would ap- it opens at the point of junction, and pear from the researches of some ob- the contents of the two cells rush toservers, that there are species of this gether and become intermingled in one organism which increase by the contents somewhat globular mass, around which of the parent cell, or a portion of them a new sheath or covering soon develops becoming transformed into active zoos- itself, and the two original cells now pores moving freely by means of cilia entirely empty and colourless become which become developed upon them in detached and float away; the whole of the cavity of the parent, but as this this curious process occupies but a few space is too restricted for the march of minutes. The production of this congre. the ambitious beings thus endowed with gation exists as a tiny green ball enmotion, a bladder-like sac is protruded veloped in a somewhat dense membrane by the parent into which the restless on which is frequently afterwards deones are speedily transferred when they veloped numerous minute spikes or hooksoon become steady and arrange them- lets, so strongly resembling animal forms, selves into a new frond. Others again that they have not unfrequently been expire while developing new beings: in classed amongst the infusorial animalthose which are of a complex but geo- cules, but their true character is now metric character, the vital matter in the beyond dispute, and it is very interinterior arranges itself into different por- esting to find that the same phenomena tions exactly coinciding with the sepa- occurred in far byegone times, as these rate compartments or divisions of the minute structures termed "sporangia,” original, each of these minor parts soon are found in flints and other fossils. acquires an independent covering, and Are these wondrous organisms, great then the cell walls of the parent split in marvel, though small in structure, up and leave the several young ones as useless inhabitants of our waters ? We the foundation of new groups of beings. cannot so think, nor do we consider that

Surprising as are the varied phe- it behoves us to be always enquiring of nomena of nature and the laws which what use this or that may be, as if it is regulate the numerous tribes of animate not possible for any created thing to and inanimate organism, there are few minister to other purposes than that more striking than that known as con- of gratifying man. However, it is exjugation, being in addition to self- tremely probable that these minute forms

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