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The Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) online

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view of the nature, and an erroneous estimate
of the powers of luuuan society. Attmhers
cannot neutralise or diminish a moral wrong;
and it is a pervading and injmulable truth,
that what is morally wrong cannot be politi-
cally right. 'I'hough men in the collective
power of bodies politic, may originate or
sanction measures from the responsibility of
which they would stand appalled, in their per-
sonal or individual capacities, yet neither their
number nor their corporate character can
shield them from moral reproach and religious

When C. C. Cuyler caltnly reviews his
ground ; when he perceives the ulter incom-
patibility of his whole C'jn^tnicliun with the
grammatical reading of Hie luxt ; when he
observes the fallacy of coiisiruiiig one clause
of the passage as binding, and llie other pro-
visions as repealed; when he considers that
the Jewish punishments are entirely disused
by Christian nalions; wlien lie reflects upon
the example and sentiments of our Saviour ;
and when he views these in connection with
those great acts of the Deity " in the begin-
ning" as to Cain and Lainech, and that ever-
lasting command, " thou shalt not kill," he
may perhaps see reason to hesitate about
assuming the awful responsibiliiy of that doc-
trine, which his sermon so earnestly incul-

On behalf of the committee,

Job R. Tyso>', Chairman.


Extracted iVom "A Popular Treatise on Vugetablo

Wherever circumstances are compatible
with vegetable existence, there we find plants
arise. It is not only on the luxuriant soil, on
which many generations have flourished and
decayed, that we find the display of their
beauties. The coral island, but recently ele-
vated above the level of the sea, speedily be-
comes clothed with verdure. From the
materials of the most sterile rock, and even
from the yet recent cirjders and lava of the
volcano, nature prepares the way for vege-
table existence. The slightest crevice or
inequality is sufficient to arrest the invisible
germs that are always floating in the air; and
the humble plants which spring from these
soon overspread the surface, deriving their
chief nutriment from the atmosphere. Having
completed their allotted period of existence,
they die and decay ; but their death is only a
preparation for the appearance of higher
forms of vegetable structure. They are fol-
lowed by successive tribes of plants of gradu-
ally increasing size and strength; until, in
the course of years, the sterile rock is con-
verted into a natural and luxuriant garden, of
which the productions, rising from grasses to
shrubs and trees, present all the varieties of

the fertile meadow, the tangled thicket, and
the widely spreading forest.

No extremes of heat or cold seem to put an
entire check upon vegetation. Even in the
desert plains of the torrid zone, the eye of the
traveller is often refreshed by the appearance
of a few hardy plants, which find suthcient
materials for their growth in these arid re-
gions. And wherever a spring of water
moistens the soil and atmosphere around, a
spot of luxuriant verdure is found. These
Oases, as they are termed, are the stations at
which caravans halt, « hen crossing the exten-
sive wastes of parching sand; and although
their efiect upon the mind is doubtless height-
ened by the dreariness of the pieceding jour-
ney, there is no question that i\;w spots can
present greater richness of vegetation than
these. It will hereafter be seen that heat,
light, and moisture combined, form the cir-
cumstances most favourable to the growth of
plants; and it is from the combination of the
latter of these conditions with the former, that
the vegetation of small islands in the tropical
ocean is .so peculiarly rich. These Oases are
like such islands in the midst of a sea of sand ;
and nothing can be a greater contrast with
the desolation around, than " the green pas-
tures" and " still waters" which they afford.

Many remarkable facts might be mention-
ed, relative to the degree of heat which some
forms of vegetation are capable of sustaining,
and which, to some species indeed, appears a
natural and even necessary condition. A hot
spring in the Manilla islands, which raises the
thermometer to 187° has plants flourishing in
it and on its borders. In hot springs near a
river of Louisiana, of the temperature of
from 122° to 145°, have been seen growing
no^ merely the lower and simpler plants, but
shrubs and trees. In one of the Geysers of
Iceland, which was hot enough to boil an egg
in four minutes, a species of Chara has been
found growing and leproducing itself; and
vegetation of an humble kind has been ob-
served in the similar boiling springs of Arabia
and the Cape of Good Hope. One of the
most remarkable facts on record, in reference
to the power of vegetation to proceed under a
high temperature, is related by Sir G. Staun-
ton, in his account of Lord Macartney's ani-
bassy to China. At the island of Amsterdam
a spring was found, the mud of which, far
hotter tlian boiling water, gave birth to a spe-
cies of Liverwort. A large Squill bulb, which
it was wished to dry and preserve, has been
known to push up its stalk and leaves, when
buried in sand kept up to a temperature much
exceeding that of boiling water.

Even the extreme of cold is not fatal to
every form of vegetable life. In the realms
of perpetual frost, the snow which coveis
mountains and valleys, and whose surface
scarcely yields to the influence of the solar
rays at midsummer, is in some places redden-
ed for miles together by a minute vegetable,
which grows in its substance, and has been
supposed, from its very rapid increase, to have
fallen from the sky. 'Ibis is commonly
known by the nnmo of Red Snow. The
Lichen which forms the winter food of the
rein-deer, grows entirely buried beneath the





snow ; and its quantity may be judged of by
the number of the animals which find in a
their sole support during a considerable part
of the year.

Plants are found, too, in situations in which
some peculiar noxious influence might be sup-
posed entirely to prevent their growth ; — as
for example, in sulphureous springs. In fact,
there are scarcely any circumstances in which
there is not some kind of plant adapted to ex-
ist. Thus, it is well known that sails, which
have any considerable admixture of metallic
ores are not favourable to most kinds of vege-
tation ; and among such, those mixed with
the refuse of lead mines are the most sterile,
so that this substance is often mixed with
gravel, to prevent weeds from growing on
garden walks. Yet even on heaps of this
material, thrown up around the openings of
the mines, the Vernal Sandwort thrives, grow-
ing perhaps even more luxuriantly than in
any other situation.

The degree in which vitality is sometimes
retained by plants, under the most unfavour-
able cundilions, for a period to which it is dif-
ficult to assign a limit, is one of the most
interesting and curious circumstances in their
economy. In the greater part of those in-
habiting temperate climates, an apparently
complete cessation of activity takes place
every year. The leaves wither and drop off;
the stem and branches are reduced to a state
of death-like barrenness ; and all the changes
in which life consists appear to have entirely
ceased. In some instances, the stems also die
and decay, the roots only retaining their
vitality ; yet, from these, with the return of
the genial warmth and light of spring, a new
stem shoots up, and new leaves and flowers
are produced, — in their turn to wither and
decay. The torpor is not, however, so com-
plete as it appears, in those durable and woody
stems which defy the winter's blast; for late
experiments have shown that a slight move-
ment of sap takes place even in a frosty
atmosphere. In evergreen plants, on the
other hand, this cessation of activity is less
marked ; hut the difference between their
summer and winter condition is much greater
than is apparent. In all these cases, howev-
er, the changes are periodical ; and are not
altogether dependent on external conditions.
For nothing will prevent a plant from shed-
ding its leaves nearly at its usual time ; and
although, by artificial heat, or by removal to
a warmer climate, a new crop can be brought
out within a short interval, this exhausts its
powers, so that few kinds can survive the
change of circumstances fur any long period.
RIoreover, the period of inactivity cannot in
those cases be prolonged beyond a certain
fixed time ; for a plant whose growth in
spring is checked by the protracted influence
of cold, loses its vitality altogether. But
there are some instances in which this condi-
tion may be greatly prolonged. Bulbs, for
example, of the onion, hyacinth, tulip, &;c.,
have been kept for many years in this dor-
mant state, capable of renewing the active
processes of vegetation, — of shooting up
leaves and flower-stems into the air, and of
transmitting their roots into the soil — for

many years ; and there does not seem any
particular limit to this power. Instances
have been related of the growth of bulbs un-
rolled iVoin among the bandages of Kgyptian
mummies ; but tiiere is reason to believe that
deception has been practised on this point
upon the too-ready credulity of travelleis, —
si ill, there is nothing impossible in the assert-
ed fact. Light, warmth, and moisture are
the causes of the growth of these curious
structures; and when removed from the influ-
ence of these, there is no reason why a bulb
should not remain unchanged for 100 years if
it can for 10 ; and for 1000 if for lOO. We
shall hereafter see that the vitality of seeds,
under similar circumstances, appears quite

But there are some plants which, even
whilst in a state of active vegetation, are
capable of being reduced to a similar torpid
condition, and of remaining in it for almost
any length of time, without injury to life.
There is a kind of Club-Muss inhabiting
Peru, which is liable to be entirely dried up,
when deprived of water for some lime. It then
folds in its leaves and contracts its rools, so
as to form a ball, which, apparently quite
devoid of animation, is driven about hither
a;id thither by the wind; as soon, however,
us it reaches a moist situation, it sends down
its roots into the soil, and unfolds to the at-
mosphere its leaves, which, from a dingy
brown, speedily change to the bright green of
active vegetation. The Rose of Jericho is the
subject of similar transformations ; and the
common Mosses exhibit the same in a less

These conditions are not the only ones ad-
mitting of great variation, and yet most
important to the active operations of the vege-
table structure. Light is as important as
warmth and moisture to the processes of the
economy ; and yet we find plants adapted to
thrive under the almost total deprivation of
it. Sea-weeds possessing a bright green colour
have been drawn up from the depth of more
than 100 fathoms, to which the sun's rays do
not penetrate in any appreciable proportion.
Many of the Mushroom tribe have been found
growing in caverns and mines to which no
rays from the sun, either direct or reflected,
would seem to have access ; and even more
perfect plants have been observed to vegetate
and to acquire a green colour (which is in
general only produced under the influence of
strong light) in such situations. On the other
hand, we find some plants adapted only to
exist where they can ha daily invigorated by
the powerful rays of a tropical sun, with the
complete daily change which results from
their total absence during a large part of the
twenty-four hours; whilst there are others
whose energies, after remaining dormant
during the tedious winter of the arctic re-
gions, are aroused into a brief activity by the
return of the luminary on whose cheering
influence they depend, and whose rays are not
withdrawn from them for weeks or even
months together. Neither of these tribes
could flourish if transferred to the circum-
stances of the other; and, opposite as these
are, we observe that the Creator has adapted

living beings to inhabit each, with equal suit-

This adaptation of each species to particu-
lar circumstances is often seen in an interest-
ing manner on a small scale, on the exterior
of large trunks of trees, old towers, &c.,
which are thickly clothed with Mosses and
Lichens. Many of these avoid the light ;
and their presence indicates the norlfi side of
the body to which they are attached. To
others, again, the light in all its strength is
genial ; and they frequent the southern aspect ;
whilst other forms, intermediate in habits,
frequent the eastern and western sides; so
that, on going round such a tower or large
trunk, we observe a succession of difierent
species, which may be compared to that which
is presented in the various latitudes, passing
from the equator towards the pole. A similar
succession on a larger scale is seen on ascend-
ing a high mountain between the tropics, such
as the Peak of Teneritie. The lower portion
exhibits the vegetation of the surrounding
country, in all the luxuriance and richness of
an island in the torrid zone. Higher up, the
traveller meets with productions similar to
those found on the borders of temperate re-
gions ; and to these succeed those of the
medium temperate zone. Above these are
perceived the alpine plants, which in northern
Europe are found at a comparatively trifling
elevation ; and to these succeeds the dreari-
ness of perpetual snow. These five distinct
zones are well marked on the Peak of Tene-
riffe ; each having a certain set of plants
peculiar to it, as the plants of Northern and
Southern Europe, and of Northern and Cen-
tral Africa, are to those regions respectively.

Thus we see that on no part of the earth's
surface, under no peculiarities of soil or cli-
mate, is vegetation of some kind or other
impossible. Every distinct tribe of plants
flourishes naturally under peculiar conditions,
— some preferring a warm atmosphere, others
a cool one ; — some only luxuriating in moist-
ure, and others in the opposite condition of
dryness; — some requiring the most intense
light, and others only growing in darkness.
There are some plants which are very defi-
cient in the power of adapting themselves to
slight changes in these conditions ; and these
are accordingly restricted to certain locali-
ties, which are favourable to their growth,
and are hence considered rare plants. Thus,
for example, there are certain species which
require that the air surrounding them should
contain a minute quantity of salt, dissolved in
its moisture ; — these only abound, therefore,
near the sea-shore ; but they are seen to spring
up in the neighbourhood of salt-works, even
many hundred miles inland, — their seeds being
conveyed by the wind or by birds, which have
spread them over the whole surface of the
earth, but there on!;/ meeting with the condi-
tions they require for their development. On
the other hand, there are many which can grow
in almost any situation, and which can adapt
themselves to a great variety of circumstances,
often exhibiting evident changes of form and
aspect, which are due to the influence of these.
Such arc common plants; and many of them
are among those most serviceable to man, on



account of the improvement whicli can be
effected in tliem by cullivation. For example,
the Potatoe, growing in its native climate —
the tropical portion of South America, — does
not require (or the growth of its young shoots
that store of nourishment which, iu temperate
climates, is provided in its fleshy tubers ; and
the edible portion is thus extremely small,
since the warmth and moisture constantly
supplied to it develope the growing |)arts
without such assistance. But when trans-
planted to colder regions, and to a richer soil,
that store is greatly increased in amount, and
becomes one of the most important of all arti-
cles of food to man. If it were not for this
capabililv of adapting itself to new circum-
stances, tho |)l,uit could not thrive in North-
ern Europe ; since its own powers of growth
would be insufficient, when the external condi-
tions are so much changed. But it is this
very capability which renders it so useful to
man. If the large Potatoes of European cul-
tivation be planted again in tropical climates,
the produce is little superior to that of the ori-
ginal stock ; since, when circumstances no
longer demand it, the acquired habit ceases.
The Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, &c., are,
in like manner, only varieties of one species,
greatly altered by cultivation ; the plant which
was the original stock of all having been form-
ed susceptible of more remarkable changes
than most others, and thus rendered at the
same time useful to man, and very easy of

These instances will sufTice to show that it
is not only in their original state that the
adaptation of each tribe of plants to particular
circumstances is exhibited ; since there are
many which can thus spread themselves, or
may be spread by man, over a large part of
the globe. And in this capability, no less
than in their original aspect, do we recognise
the wisdom and power of the almighty De-
signer, who willed that no portion of the globe
should be unclothed by vegetation, and that
from every part the herbage should spring
forth for the supply of the animal creation,
which is entirely dependent on it, either di-
rectly or indirectly, for its sustenance.

Such, then, being the universal diffusion of
these beings, it is obvious that in no spot can
he who seeks to make himself acquainted with
their structure and habits, be without some
subjects for examination. And since the hum-
blest and simplest plants arc found, when ex-
amined, to display an organization as remark-
ably and beautifully adapted to the functions
they are to perform, and to the conditions in
which they are to exist, as is that of the high-
est and most complicated, there is no reason
why any should be neglected, however insig-
nificant they may appear.

Although no doubt can be entertained by
the reflecting mind, that the power, wisdom,
and goodness of the Creator are every where
operating with equal energy, whether in the
simple but majestic arrangement of the
heavenly bodies, or in those changes by which
our own globe is rendered fit for the habita-
tion of such innumerable multitudes of living
beings, no one can help feeling that it is in the
structure and actions of these beings them-

selves, that these attributes are more evi-
dently manifested to the intelligent observer.
And although the animal kingdom has usu-
ally been regarded as aflx)rding more remark-
able instances of their display than the
vegetable world, it may be doubted whether,
when the latter is more closely examined, it
will not appear equally or yet more won-

For ■• The Friend.'

Although of Marah's waters,

'Tis ihine to drink, my love.
Yet raise thy head, for Shiloh's stream

Is giisliing from above;
Like that pure wave ihal brightly shone,
Forth issuing from benealli the throue.
Though bread of deep affliction,

Be thine, my love, to eat,
Yet Christ, the livings bread, shall be,

'I'o thee reOesliing meat !
Th.n ilhis flesh ihy .-oul snsbin.
Monger thou will not know agtiin I

What tl,oug!i thou woar'sl the garments

Of deep and solemn wmi,
Soon as thy Saviour bursts tlie tonih,

Thou vilt dtliveiance know;
Ecauly lor nslies thou shall see,
Garments of praise thy covering be !
Tlioiigh sorrows press upon ihee.

In this Ihy starless night.
On morning's wings siiall rosy joy

Come wilh the dawn ol light ;
Then thou in its enlivening r^y,
\Vilt waken to a happier day.

Hold on thy way in patience.

The church's sufte.ings bear;
Bound wilh it in its hour of gloom,

Thou shall its glory share ;
And of thai happy imniber be
Who owned Him in captivity !
Like him whose eyes were liolden,

Thou deem'sl no friends are near.
But when by prayer thy sight is given

Shall hosts around appear;
Wnile more upon thy side are found.
Than gather on the adverse ground.

Cheer up ! in thy afflictions

Christ is afflicted too;
He, to thy dry and parched soul,

Will be as Israel's dew.
Away shall roll the clouds of wrath.
As flowers spring up around thy path !

Cheer up 1 my true companion,

Bear (or thy Lord the cross,
Then his sustaining arm will keep,

Howe'er the tempests toss !
Thou wilt not perish in ihe wave,
For He thy sinking soul shall save !

Then at the closing moment.

These light afflictions done.
Through faith and mercy aiding thee,

The goal is salely won,
Gladly receive the high behest,
" Enter thy everlasting rest!"

Compound Interest. — A correspondent has
sent us the following : If an English penny
had been placed out at compound interest at
five per cent, in the year one, it would this
present Christmas, 1840, have produced the
enormous sum of £4,047, 4.')5, 81 1,126,677,-
845,110,793,317,430,411,.'")62, which, laid
down edgeways, would measure the length
of 54,29>',688,880,3-i9,484,990, 173,837, 118,-

308 miles, and make l,.52ft,862,2i;0, of our
earths in solid gold. At simple interest it would
have produced only 7s. 9d. — Gloucestershire

Changeable Flower. — On the island of Loo-
cheu, says M'Leod, is found a remarkable
production, about the size of a cherry-tree,
bearing flowers, which alternately, on the
same day, assume the tint of the rose or lily,
as they are exposed to the sunshine or the
shade. The bark of this tree is of a dark
green, and the flowers bear a resemblance to
our common roses. Some of our party, whose
powers of vision were strong, (assisted by
vigorous imagination,) fancied that, by atten-
tive watching, the change of hue from white
to red, under the sun's rays, was actually per-
ceptible to the eye : that, however, they al-
tered their colour in the course of a few hours
was very obvious.

Louis XIV., in a gay party at Versailles,
commenced relating a facetious story, but
concluded the tule abruptly and insipidly. On
one of the company leaving the room, the
king said, " I am sure you must have obsei v-
ed how very uninteresting my anecdote was.
I did not recollect (ill I began, that the turn
of the narrative reflected very severely on the
immediate ancestor of the Prince of Armag-
nac, who has just quitted us; and on this, as
on every other occasion, I think it far better
to spoil a good story, than distress a worthy
man. — Mirror.

Friends. — In 1723, Dr. Friend was confin-
ed in the Tower on suspicion of being con-
cerned in a plot for the restoration of the Stu-
arts. Dr. Mead was incessant in his endea-
vours to obtain Friend's liberation, but could
only with great difficulty gain access to him.
At length, being called to attend Sir Robert
Walpole, he absolutely refused to prescribe
for him unless Friend was released ; and he
succeeded in obtaining his liberation. A large
party was assembled at Mend's in the evening,
to congratulate Friend ; and upon his retiring
with Arbuthnot, Mead took Friend into his
closet, and there put into his hands a bag con-
taining all the fees he had received from
Friend's patients, during his confinement,
amounting to no less than five thousand gui-
neas. — Pettigrew.

Bacon and Beans. — The ^ife of Fox, the
celebrated statesman, was remarkable for be-
ing agreeable and easy. The Prince Regent,
afterwards George the Fourth, used often to
surprise them at dinner. Upon one occasion,
she said, " Why, Sir, we have only for din-
ner a little bacon and beans." And so it
literally was. The prince, however, sat
down, and dined most heartily. — Mirror.

Errors. — Errors boldly assailed, speedily
entrench themselves in general feelings, and
become embalmed in the virulence of the pas-
sions. — Brewslcr.



Fur '• The Friend."

(Continued from page 62.)

[From the preceding period till the 1st of
Twelfth month, John Wigham was diligently
engaged in gospel labours ; having, as appears
from his memoranda, rode 378 miles, attended
thirty-five meetings, — several of them appoint-
ed for those not in profession with our religious
Society; besides visiting the families of Friends
at Sandwich. Arriving at Richmond, he at-
tended a Monthly Meeting there, and thus

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 26 of 154)