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every day, it is found to be full of worms of different lengths and colours; some are- as fine as a thread, and several feet long, of a bright yellow, and sometimes of a blue colour :• others resemble snails, and some are not unlike lobsters in shape, but soft, and not above two inches long. The growth of the coral appears to cease when the worm is no longer exposed to the washing of the sea. Thus, a reef rises in the form of a cauliflower, till its top has gained the level of the highest tides, above which the worm has no power to advance; and the reef, of course, no longer extends itself upwards. The other parts, in succession, reach the surface, and there stop, forming, in time, a level field, with steep sides all round. The reef, however, continually increases, and, being prevented from going higher, extends itself laterally in all directions. But this growth being as rapid at the upper edge as it is lower down, the steepness of the face of the reef is still preserved."
Another voyager describes the manner in which the coral rock, when it has arrived at the surface of the water, becomes covered with soil and vegetation, and prepared for human habitation :—-" To be constantly covered with water seems necessary to the existence of the animalcules, for they do not work beyond low-water mark; but the coral, sand, and other broken remnants thrown up by the sea, adhere to the rock, and form a solid mass with it, as high as the common tides reach. The new bank is not long in being visited by sea birds; salt plants take root upon it, and a soil begins to be formed; a cocoa-nut, or the drupe of a pandanus, is thrown on shore; land birds visit, it and deposit the seeds of shrubs and trees; every high tide, and still more every gale, adds something to the bank; the form of an island is gradually assumed; and, last of all, conies man to take possession."
LESSON XV. THE SOUL NOT MATERIAL.
Motlier. Tell me, Eobert, is your soul anything like a pebble, a rose, or a watch.?
Robert. No, mother, but my body is; because my body has weight, hardness, form, colour, and parts; and so has a pebble, a rose, or a watch.
Mother. How many things can you see, Robert?
Robert. Mother, I cannot tell you how many things I can see. I can see almost everything.
Mother. Can you see my soul, Robert?
Robert. No, mother, and you cannot see mine. I cannot see my own soul; but I can think how it thinks.
Mother. When you see things, what do you see?
Robert. I see how they look, mother. I see whether they are round or square; or long or short; or large or small; or red or white.
Mother. Then you see their form and their colour.
Robert. Yes, mother, and I can see how far off they are.
Motlier. You can hear a great many different things, making a great many different kinds of sound.
Robert. Yes, mother, I can hear the bell when it rings; and the stage-hom when the driver blows it; and the flute when uncle John plays on it; and the chickens, and the ducks, and the cow, and the sheep, and Eliza when she cries. Oh! how many things I can hear!
Mother. Can you hear my soul, Eobert?
Robert. I can hear you, when you speak, mother.
Mother. Yes, I think what I am going to say to you, and then I think to have my tongue and my lips move: and I speak, and you hear the sound of my voice. Put your ear to this watch. Do you hear anything?
Robert. Yes, mother, it goes tick-tick, tick-tick.
Mother. Now put your ear close to my head. I am going to think. Try, if you can hear my thinking.
Robert. No, mother, I cannot at all.
Mother. My soul, then, makes no noise when it is thinking, and you cannot hear my soul; you can only hear my voice when I tell you what I am thinking.
Robert. The soul must be very different from any thing that I can see or hear.
Mother. Yes, my son. And can you taste, or smell, or touch my soul?
Robert. No, mother; and I cannot taste, or smell, or touch my own soul.
Mother. You cannot tell, then, whether your soul is round or square, or long or short, or red or white, or black or green, or yellow. You do not know that it has any form or colour at all. You cannot tell whether your soul sounds like a bell, or like a flute, or like any other thing. You do not know that it has any sound at all. You cannot tell whether your soul tastes like any thing. You do not know that it has any taste at all. You cannot tell whether your soul smells like any thing. You do not know that it has any smell at all. You cannot tell whether your soul is hard or soft, or whether it feels like any thing. You do not know that it can be felt at all.
Robert. What do you call all those things, mother, that I can see, and hear, and taste, and smell, and touch?
Mother. We call them matter; and we say they are material.
Robert. Then my body is material.
Mother. Yes, my son, but your soul is not material: or, what is the same thing, your soul is immaterial.
Robert. Mother, I suppose your soul, too, is immaterial; for I cannot see it, or hear it, or taste it, or smell it, or touch it.
Mother. Yes, everybody's soul is immaterial. Remember, my son, that you have a body and a soul. Your body you can see, and hear, and taste, and smell, and touch. It is like the pebble, the rose, and -the watch. It is matter. It is material. Your soul has not form, or colour, or sound, or taste, or smell, or hardness, or softness. It is not matter. It is immaterial; or, what is the same thing, we call it spirit. The rose, the pebble, and the watch have no spirit.—OaUaudet.
LESSON XVI.—FIKE-SIDE PHILOSOPHY.
"You are but a little fellow, Frank," said Philip to his younger brother, " and yet you live in a better and a far more commodious house than a king had formerly. There are ships crossing the sea in every direction, to bring what is useful to you from every part of the earth. The elephant-hunter of Ceylon has dug his traps, and with difficulty and danger taken his prey, that you may have a cup and ball, and play with ivory dominoes. By the shores of the frozen rivers, in the uninhabited regions of the north, hunters have taken the industrious beaver, or the little arctic fox, that you may have a cap or hat made of their fur. The seal-fisher, "in the same dreary seas, wrapped up in skins, has gone on his hazardous voyage, that you may wear shoes made of fine and elastic leather.
"In China, they are gathering the tea-leaf for you. In America, they are planting cotton for you. In the West India Islands, the poor negro is toiling in the sun, to provide you with sugar, and rice, and coffee. In Italy, they are feeding the silkworms for you. In Saxony, they are shearing their sheep to make you a nice warm jacket. In Spain, they have grown and dried various kinds of fruits, that you may enjoy a plum-pudding or a mince-pie; and merchants, coming in ships from tho same country, have brought oranges and nuts for your eating. And at this very time, travellers and voyagers are exploring new and wonderful regions, that you may know all respecting them, and benefit by their productions, without you yourself stirring one mile from home.
"In England, steam-engines are spinning and weaving, and grinding and thumping, and tearing and driving for you; some stationary, like old-world giants—and others whirling along railroads, by twenties and thirties together, like ponderous dragons, each carriage like a vertebra of its enormous spine; others are pumping in mines, drawing up, with their monstrous arms, all metals and minerals that can be useful to you—coal to warm you, and iron and tin, and lead and salt. Fleets are stationed round our happy country to protect and defend it, and that you may sleep and wake without fear of invasion.
"And, little boy as you are, no one could injure you, or steal you from your parents, without lawyers, judges, nay even the Queen herself, were it necessary, interfering in your behalf. Besides all this, at this very moment, men of learning and talent are employed in writing you delightful and instructive books; and printers, engravers, and bookbinders are all working for