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whan we were gaan to the furnips ; Careless was there, but we hadna then got acquaint wi' Doubtfu’; when just as we began to pu', there was a most terrible clap o' ihun'er, at which Tam was frighted, an’ wanted to gang bame; pretending the turnips were owre sma'. We heard some mair dreadfu' loud claps on the way, and tho' Bragwell limped some, yet he was sae frighted that he got aye formaist. But ae time, he stopped a? on a sudden, for he thought a bolt, had broke owre our beads. I'm sure I'll ne'er forget the glower he gaed me, when he cried, D'ye hear that Wull, man, that's real awfu! I'm almaist convinced there's a God, for no human creature cou'd do the like: Gif we were ance hame again, I'se hae the Bible in my hand !-and which I believe he had that day. Neist time I saw him, the impression had worn aff; for he said, he saw naething worth while in the Bible, and he was young and strong, and it was time eneugh to think o' deeing yet.”
6 You acted well,” said I," when Tom had again begun to throw out his atheistical notions, to recall to his mind the thunder-storm ; but had he staid, and given me an opportunity, I would have tried to convince this half átheist, not almost, but altogether, from some of the more common and less awful appearances in nature, that there is a GOD; and that for the very same reason, which seems to have had such an effect upon him formerly, namely, because 'no human creature could do the like.?”
Here I observed the countenance of Doubtful bright. ened up. Candid became all attention, but Careless, who had picked up something from the ground, was amusing himself by turirling it in his hand. So true it is, that if you • bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.' “What is that you have got, sirrah !” said I, in rather an angry, tone. , “ It's ooly a bean staʼk,” said be, presenting it to me. “It's only a bean stalk," replied 1,—but wby put only to it? Come forward, my lad, and I will endea• vour to make good the position I just now advanced, concerning the being of a God, from what, as a thing of no consequence, you call only a bean stalk."**
"Observe, - sir," said I, while his two companions looked on with surprise, "of what parts this bean stalk, as you call it, is composed. Here is the root for taking hold of the earth, and drawing nourishment from the ground; the trunk for. conveying the sap upwards, and supporting the other parts ; the little branches, or props, which support the leaves ; the leaves which serve as oro gans of respiration, and, at the same time, to defend and preserve the flower and fruit in their progress to maturity; the flowers, which serve to cherish and protect the first rudiments of the fruit; and, lastly, the fruit itself, which you know partly the use of, but which is also necessary for the reproduction of the plant, so that a continual succession of food may be kept up for man and beast. You observe how nicely all these parts are adapted to their several ends;, but these are only a specimen of the wonderful contrivance manifested in the structure of a bean. Had I a microscope to show you the different parts of this bean stalk cut across, and was botanist enough to explain the several uses of the various fibres, dụets, air and sap, vessels, in its composition, you would be lost in admiration ; and without my having occa. sion to go further, had. Bragwell been here, even he would have been forced to confess, that na buman creature could do the like.?” Observing the effect of this discourse upon my young hearers, I felt disposed to continue it, 28
and asked Doubtful, if he knew how a bean stalk was produced, (for I still adopted the language of Careless.) “ Yes," said he, 'a bean is first put i' the ground, then it's watered bie the rain, and the heat o’the sun makes it sprout up an' get ripe.” “But who made the earth, the rain, and the sun ?” rejoined I. He was silent, but his looks evinced he understood my meaning: so I went on, “ Yes, David, the earth, the rain, and the sun, have all their several uses in the production of vegetables ; but neither the earth which receives the seed into its bosom, and covereth it as a garment; the clouds, which drop down fatness, and refresh the earth; nor the sun, wbich warmeth and fructifieth it by his beams, made themselves ! All these causes must have had a cause, and the great primary first cause of all, we call-GOD!"
"By these observations on a bean stalk, you see, my young friends, that there is no need for waiting on the loud roaring thunder, and vivid lightning, to convince the unbeliever that there is--a God. No, the mild and silent, as well as the rough and gloomy operations of nature, speak forth the existence of a Deity, and challenge our praise. That there is a GOD! all nature cries aloud through all her works ;' " for whither,' in the beautiful language of the Psalmist, shall I go from thy Spirit, or wbither shall I flee from thy presence?" It is HE that
• Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Spreads undivided, operates unspent.” Well pleased, that even Careless himself had now become an attentive hearer, I went on. “I have been the more particular, my young men, to impress on vour minds à sense of the Divine Presence, both from nature and scrip
ture, from an anxious wish to check the first approaches to vice, by the most powerful antidote in my power; being sensible that there is no error into which parents can fall of more dangerous tendency than their taking so little pains to instil into the minds of their children this great and fundamental truth, this ground-work and foundation of all religion, that they are always in the presence of GOD.' Solomon, that wisest of sages, held out this as the first step to knowledge ; ' for,' says he, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.' And, in order the more forcibly to inculcate this doctrine on the minds of the young, he proceeds in different places of his writings to show the advantages that proceed from it; amongst which are, that it prolongeth many days;' is a fountain of life ;' and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil. No wonder, then, that he advises the young to Remember their Creator in the days of their youth,' and gives it as the conclusion of the whole matter of his preaching, Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.'
“ We are also told in the New Testament, that "be. that cometh to GOD must believe that he is,' as well as that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Indeed, what can be expected from the conduct of those, whatever other useful knowledge they may have acquired, who have not been taught, that, when out of sight of their parents, guardians, or friends, an All-seeing Eye still watches their motions, an Omnipresent Ear still bears their words, an Omniscient GOD still knows the secret thoughts and most bidden intents of their hearts. To this, more than any other cause, (for all others are but secondary to this,) that God is not in all their thoughts,' would I trace that unblusbiny wickedness
wbich now stalks abroad in the world at noon-day, and has also of late been productive of such shocking scenes of blood among men in the silent hours of night.
Surely the cruel murderers of the Mars and Williamcon families did not recollect that they were in the presence of GOD at the time those dreadful murders were committed ; and it is not possible that the unfortunate youths, who by their conduct disgraced the streets of our metropolis at the commencement of the year, had, at the time, the fear of God before their eyes.' But this brings to my mind a circumstance, which struck me forcibly at the time, and now that I have learned more of your history, I am at a loss to comprehend; I mean, David, how you came to mention the names of Sutherland, · Macdonald, and Macintosh, to your companions, and still continued in such an employment as I found you in. The end of all punishment is the prevention of crimes, and you are not to suppose for a moment, that either those who, in the execution of their office, were the means of bringing these youths to justice, the jury who decided on their fate, or the judge who pronounced their sentence, were actuated by any thing but the public weal. But, dreadful as that sentence was, and awful as has been its execution, both seem to have lost their effect upon you ; for, with such an example before your eyes, I found you advancing on the same road which led theni to ruin. Tell me the words you made use of on the occasion, and how I am to account for such a stringe inconsistency?", too
Poor Doubtful, who seemed much affected at what I bad said, informed me, that just as they, had arrived at the field. the thought struck him that it was the Sabbath-day, and he could not forbear mentioning to liis neighbours,