Robert Smith.

The Friend : a religious and literary journal online

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less blessings received at his hand, the re-
markable mildness of the present season is
worthy of special notice; which, to the labour-
ing part of the community, at a time when so
many of them are thrown out of employment
is a circumstance of no slight importance,
More than one third of the winter is past, and
the navigation of the Delaware, has not once
been impeded; the gingle of the sleigh bells
with the exception of a single day, has not
been heard; the skaters have scarcely had a
chance to perform their dexterous evolutions,
even on the brick-ponds; on the first day of the
year, our streets were as free from snow and

ice as in mid-summer; and fire-wood, of which
there is an abundant supply, was selling as
low as it could have been purchased in the au-

Another source of pleasing reflection, and
occasion for thankfulness, is the sudden dis-
appearance from our streets of the lottery
offices. On taking a walk through that por-
tion of the city, where but lately those nuis-
ances glared on the sight at every turn, every
trace of them had vanished — they are all shut
up ! Good riddance say we — yet with no-
unkind feeling towards those who have been
connected with them;— on the contrary, we
would include all those in the good wishes
commonly considered as appropriate to the
season, and desire their speedy engagement
in some respectable and profitable employ-
ment, free from the imputation of corrupting
the morals and undermining the prosperity
and happiness of those around them.

A letter from Lima, dated 26th of Sep-
tember, 1833, says — " By the English brig
Arab, from Africa, we are informed of the
desolation of that place, and Facna, by a
dreadful earthquake which was experienced
there on the 18th inst. That but thirteen or
fourteen houses are left in Arica, appears
certain, and the number of lives lost is esti-
mated at from six to seven hundred. Tacna
is said to be totally destroyed. The beautiful
valley of Zapa is laid waste. The famous
White Bluff (about 200 feet in height) on the
right hand as you enter the harbour of Arica
is now nearly on a level with the ocean; and
and two small islands on the same side are
sunk so that a frigate can sail over them.
The first shock was felt about half past ten
o'clock, P. M. and was succeeded by three
others at intervals of two, three and five
minutes, the last of which was most severe.
The sea rose about thirty feet higher than

Died, the 23d of 12th month, near Wilmington,
Delaware, Mary C, wife of John W. Tatum, aged
35 years, after a short illness, which she bore with
Christian patience. She was faithful in attending
religious meetings, being latterly often much bap-
tized therein ; and, through that faith which works
by love, was enabled to meet the solemn messenger
with calmness and resignation, relying for salvation
upon the merits and mercies of our dear Lord and

on the 23d of 12th month last, our ancient

friend Ann Starr, a member of Bradford monthly
meeting, Chester county, in the ninety-sixth year of
her age, gradually worn out with length of days ;
but her mind and memory remained clear and strong,
till near the close, within a few days of which she
suffered intense pain. She was often engaged in fer-
vent supplication, and from the innocency which in
a remarkable degree, marked her life and conversa-
tion, and the resigned state of her mind, death did
not appear to bring terror with it, and there is rea-
son to believe she was prepared to cnttr a happy im-


Carpenter Street near Seventh, Philadelphia.



NO. 14.


Price Turn Dollars per annum, payable in adt
Subscriptions und Payments received by



For "The Friend."

Science subservient, to the cause of Religion.
At the time of the first rise of the Society
of FrienJs, great errors prevailed among the
professors of that day, relative to some of the
fundamental doctrines of Christianity. The
sensible influences of the Holy Spirit were
looked upon as having long since ceased.
Hence learning, and a knowledge of school
divinity, were regarded as the only necessary
qualifications for the ministry. It was against
this false doctrine, that the founders of the
Society of Friends strenuously directed their
labours, inculcating the true Christian doc-
trine, that human learning was not an essen-
tial qualification for the ministry, and that an
ignorance in this respect should exclude no
one, whose spiritual experience and divine
call properly fitted him for the service.
From the strong and repeated arguments,
both in speaking arid writing, which were
brought forward by Friends on this occasion,
many members of the Society, in a subsequent
age, imbibed the erroneous opinion, that the
arguments were directed against all learning,
for all purposes whatever; and it is believed
that this opinion prevails in the Society to
some extent, at the present day. Numerous
instances might be here given from the writ-
ings of early Friends, to show the very high
value thev set on learning, when in its proper
place, but the limits of the article prevent.
Yet the advantages lesulling from increased
knowledge have been multiplied in a most
remarkable degree, since their day.

It is the intellectual part of man which
distinguishes him so pre-eminently from the
brute creation; and the more we cultivate and
improve that intellectual part, the more per-
fectly we fulfil the design of irn all-wise and
bountiful Creator in bestowing those inesti-
mable faculties upon us. Although the mere
exercise of the natural faculties of the mind
can never advance us o:.e slep in a spiritual
life, yet it becomes our indispensable duty to
employ means, through the medium of the
outward senses, to aid and advance us in this
great work. One of the most important of
these means is the reading of the Holy Scrip-

tures. And these means Ihus employed,
have often been blessed with the most signal

But these means must have remained un-
diffuscd and possessed only by few, had it not
been for ihe aid which has been rendered by
the applications of science. The invention
of printingcontributed powerfully fc the dis- 1
persion of the dark clouds of popery and su-
perstition at the time of the Reformation, and
to the increase of the knowledge of pure
evangelical Iruth. Before that invention, a
manuscript copy of the Bille could not be
purchased by a common labourer, with less
than the entire earnings of thirteen years.
Now, by the improvements which science has
effected, and especially by the application of
steam to working this machine, a beautiful
printed copy of the same book, can be had
for the earnings of a single day, thus placing
it in the hands of every one. And. by the
assistance which science has rendered to the
art of navigation, the inestimable blessings of
the knowledge of the gospel tire carried
into all countries, and to the remotest islands
of the earth.

The innumerable instances of design dis
played in the works of creation, which have
been developed by the discoveries of science,
are now brought forward by religious writers
as among the strongest proofs of the existence
of a Supreme Being; and it is to be remem-
bered, that instances have occurred of per-
sons being rescued from the darkness of
atheism, by the study of some of the blanches
of natural science.

Science has also furnished some of the
strongest external proofs of Ihe tiulhofre-
vealed religion. An instance of this may be
given in geology. It was formerly supposed
by many, thpl ihe discoveries of this science
taught conclusions ai variance with the Mosaic
history of the creation; but later and more
mature examinations have shown a truly won-
derful coincidence between them. Not only
has the truth of ihe history of the older of
events in the fitst chapter of Genesis, been
completely confirmed by geological dicove-
ries: but the existence of the universal de-
luge, so frequently denied by infidels, as well
as the lime of its occurrence, is abundantly
proved by iliem. " Lot it ever be remember-
ed," says Gin ney, in allusion to ihe discove-
ries of science, -'that of all per-ons in Ihe
world, the Christian has (lie lca-t reason lo
fear ihe influence of irulh. Truth is the very
element which he breathes. It is his hope,
his strength, and his life. From whatsoever
quaiter it bursts upon him, he hails its ap-
proach, and greets it as his firmest friend.
His motto is unchanged and unchangeable, —

Magna est Veritas et praevalebit — truth


These remarks are made for the purpose
of introducing to the readers of "The
Friend." a few extracts from a work which
has lately appeared. " On the Impiovcment
of Society bv the Diffusion of Knowledge,"
&c. by '1 Dick, author of the "Chris-
tian Philosopher," &c. The following are
taken from that part of the work which treats
of the influence of knowledge in promoting
enlarged conceptions of the character and
perfections of the Deity.

" His natural attributes, such as his im-
mensity, omnipotence, wisdom, and goodness,
are chiefly displayed in the works of creation;
and to this source of information ihe inspir-
ed writers uniformly direct our attention, in
order that we may acquire the most ample
and impressive views of the grandeur of the
Divinity, and the magnificence of his opera-
tions. ' Lift up your eyes on high, and be-
hold ! who hath created Ihese orbs? who
bringeth forth their host by number? ' The
everlasting God the Lord, by the greatness of
his might, for that he is strong in power. He
measureth the ocean in the hollow of his
hand, he comprehends the dust of ihe earth
in a measure, he weigheth the mountains in
scales, and hath stretched out ihe heavens by
his understanding. All nations before him
arc as the drop of a bucket, and arc counted
to him less than nothing, and vanity. Thine,
O Lord, is the gteatness and Ihe glory, and
the majesty, fot all that is in heaven and earth
is thine.' The pointed interrogations pro-
posed to Job, and the numerous exhoitations
in reference to this subject, contained in the
book of Psalms and other parts of scripture,
plainly evince that Ihe character of God is to
be contemplated through ihe medium of his
visible works. In order lo acquire a just and
comprehensive conception of the perfections
of Deity, we must contemplate his character
as displayed both in the system of revelation,
and in the system of nature. The scriptures
alone, without the medium of his works,
cannot convey to us Ihe most sublime con-
ceptions of the magnificence of his empire,
and his eternal power and Godhead; and the
works of nature, without the revelations of
his word, leave us in profound darkness with
regard to the most interesting part's of his
character — the plan of his moral government,
and the ultimate destination of man.

" Would we then acquire the most sublime
and comprehensive views of that invisible
Ben g. who created the universe, and by whom
all things are upheld, we must, in the first
place, apply ourselves, with deep humility
and reverence, to the study of the sacred



oracles; and, in the next place, direct o.ur
attention to (he material works of God, as
illustrative of his scriptural character, and of
the declarations of his word. And, since
the sacred writers direct our views to the
operations of the Almighty in the visible
universe, in what manner are we to contem-
plate these operations 1 Are we to view them
in a careless, cursory manner, or with fixed
attention ? Are we to gaze on them with the
vacant stare of a savage, or with the pene-
trating eye of a Christian philosopher? Are
we to view them through the mists of ignor-
ance and vulgar prejudice, or through the
light which science has diffused over the
wonders of creation ? There can be no dif-
ficulty to any reflecting mind in determining
which of these modes ought to be adopted.
The scriptures declare, that as ' the works of
Jehovah are great,' they must be ' sought
out,' or thoroughly investigated, ' by all those
who have pleasure therein ;' and a threaten-
ing is denounced against every one who
' disregards the works of the Lord,' and
' neglects to consider the operations of his

" The immense multitude of animated be-
ings which people the earth, and the ample
provision which is made for their necessities,
furnish irresistible evidence of divine good-
ness. It has been ascertained that more than
sixty thousand species of animals inhabit the
air, the earth, and the waters, besides many
thousands which have not yet come within
the observation of the naturalist. On the
surface of the earth, there is not a patch of
ground, or portion of water, a single shrub,
tree, or herb, and scarcely a single leaf in
the forest, but what teems with animated be-
ings. How many hundreds of millions have
their dwellings in caves, in the clefts of
rocks, in the bark of trees, in ditches, in
marshes, in the forests, the mountains, and
the valleys ! What innumerable shoals of
fishes inhabit the ocean, and sport in the seas
and rivers! What millions on millions of
birds and flying insects, in endless variety,
wing their" flight through the atmosphere
above arid around us ! Were we to suppose
that each species, on an average, contains
four hundred millions of individuals, there
would be 24,000,000,000,000, or 24 billions
of living creatures belonging to all the known
species which inhabit the different regions of
the world — besides the multitudes of un-
known species yet undiscovered — which is
thirty thousand times the number of all the
human beings that people the globe. Be-
sides these, there are multitudes of animated
beings which no man can number, invisible
to the unassisted eye, and dispersed through
every region of the earth, air, and seas. In
a small stagnant pool, which in summer ap-
pears covered with a green scum, there are
more microscopic animalcules, than would
outnumber all the inhabitants of the earth.
How immense then must be the collective
number of these creatures throughout every
region of the earth and atmosphere ! It sur-
passes all our conceptions. Now, it is a fact,
that from the elephant to the mite, from the
whale to the oyster, from the eagle to the

gnat, or the microscopic animalcule, no ani-
mal can subsist without nourishment. Every
species too requires a different kind of food.
Some live on grass, some on shrubs, some
on flowers, and some on trees. Some feed
only on the roots of vegetables, some on the
stalk, some on the leaves, some on the fruit,
some on the seed, some on the whole plant;
some prefer one species of grass, some an-
other. * * * Yet such is the
unbounded munificence of the Creator, that
all the myriads of sentient beings are amply
provided for and nourished by his bounty !
' The eyes of all these look unto him, and he
openeth his hand and satisfieth the desire of
every living thing.' He has so arranged the
world, that every place affords the proper
food for all the living creatures with which it
abounds. He has furnished them with every

organ and apparatus of instruments for ga-
thering, preparing, and digesting their food,
and has endowed them with admirable saga-
city in finding out and providing their nou-
rishment, and in enabling them to distinguish
between what is salutary and what is perni-
cious. In the exercise of these faculties,
and in all their movements, they appear to
experience a happiness suitable to their na-
ture. The young of all animals in the ex-
ercise of their newly acquired faculties, — the
fishes sporting in the waters, the birds skim-
ming beneath the sky and warbling in the
thickets, the gamesome cattle browsing in
the pastures, the wild deer bounding through
the forests, the insects gliding through the
air and along the ground, — proclaim, by the
variety of their movements and their various
tones and gesticulations, that the exercise of
their powers is connected with enjoyment. In
this boundless scene of beneficence, we be-
hold a striking illustration of the declarations
of the inspired writers, that ' the Lord is
good to all,' — that ' the earth is full of his
riches,' — and that 'his tender mercies are
over all his works.'

" Such are a few evidences of the benevo-
lence of the Deity, as displayed in the ar-
rangements of the material world. However
plain and obvious they may appear to a re-
flecting mind, they are almost entirely over-
looked by the bulk of mankind, owing to
their ignorance of the facts of natural his-
tory and science, and the consequent inatten-
tion and apathy with which they are accus-
tomed to view the objects of the visible
creation. Hence they are incapacitated for
appreciating the beneficent character of the
Creator, and the riches of his munificence ;
and incapable of feeling those emotions of
admiration and gratitude which an intellectual
contemplation of the scene of nature is cal-
culated to inspire.

" In the construction of the human body,
and of the various tribes of animated beings,
however numerous and complicated their or-
gans, there is no instance can be produced
that any one muscle, nerve, joint, limb, or
other [part, is contrived for the purpose of
producing pain. When pain is felt, it is uni-
formly owing to some derangement of the
corporeal organs, but it is never the result of
original contrivance." And the liability to

pain is doubtless for the purpose of preser-
vation from accidents, and other injuries.

" As the conceptions existing in the mind
of an artificer, are known by the instru-
ments he constructs, or the operations he
performs, so the ideas which have existed
from eternity in the mind of the Creator are
ascertained from the objects he has created,
the events he has produced, and the opera-
tions he is incessantly conducting. The for-
mation of a single object is an exhibition of
the idea existing in the creating mind, of
which it is a copy. The formation of a se-
cond or third object, exactly resembling the
first, would barely exhibit the same ideas a
second or a third time, without disclosing any
thing new concerning the Creator; and con-
sequently our conceptions of his intelligence

would not be enlarged, even although thou-
sands and millions of such objects were pre-
sented to our view, — just as a hundred clocks
and watches, exactly of the same kind, con-
structed by the same artist, give us no higher
idea of his skill and ingenuity than the con-
struction of one. But every variety in ob-
jects and arrangements exhibits a new disco-
very of the plans, contrivances, and intelli-
gence of the Creator.

" Now in the universe we find all things
constructed and arranged on a plan of bound-
less and endless variety. In the animal king-
dom there have been actually ascertained, as
already noticed, about sixty thousand differ-
ent species of living animals. There are
about 600 species of mammalia, or animals
that suckle their young, most of which are
quadrupeds; — 4000 species of birds, 3000
species of f sites, 7000 species of reptiles,
and 44,000 species of insects. Besides these,
there are about 3000 species of shellfish, and
perhaps not less than eighty or a hundred
thousand species of animalcules invisible to
the naked eye; and new species are daily dis-
covering, in consequence of the zeal and in-
dustry of the lovers of natural history. As
the system of animated nature has never yet
been thoroughly explored, we might safely
reckon the number of species of animals of
all kinds, as amounting to at least three hun-
dred thousand. We are next to consider that
the organic structure of each species consist
of an immense multitude of parts, and that
all the species are infinitely diversified — dif-
fering from each other in their forms, organs,
members, faculties, and motions. They are
of all shapes and sizes, from the microscopic
animalculum, ten thousand times less than a
mite, to the elephant and the whale. They
are different in respect of the construction of
their sensitive organs."

(To be continued.)

The colour of the skin depends on the co-
lour of the rete mucosum, a soft gelatinous
cellular substance, which lies between the cu-
ticle or scaif skin and the cutis or real skin.
In blacks this membrane contains a black fluid.
The blood of blacks and whites is the same
colour, and the darkening of the rete muco-
sum is ascribed by Blumenbach to carbon
and to the increase of bilious secretions in hot
climates. — Phillips's Facts.



From the Journal of Science and the Arts.

Of the Death of Plants, From the French of
M. C. F. Brisseau Mirbel.

Plants, like animals, unless destroyed by
disease or casualties, are doomed to die of
old age.

In many of the wucores (plants which con-
stitute mouldiness) byssi, and mushrooms, the
verge of life does not extend beyond a few
days, or even hours.

The herbaceous plants we call annuals, die
of old age considerably within the term of a
year. In our climates their death takes place
on the approach of winter. But we are not
on that account to conclude that cold is the
primary cause of the event; a milder climate
would not have protracted their existence,
Plants of this nature which grow under the
line itself, are scarcely longer lived than those
which grow in the regions bordering on the
poles. In both situations they perish when the
propagation of the species has been secured
by the ripening of the seed.

In the herbaceous plants we call biennials
only leaves make their appearance in the first
year. These generally die away when the
winter comes; in the spring a new foliage, the
forerunner of the flower-stem, is evolved. The
blossom soon appears, this is followed by seed
after which the biennial dies in the same way
as the annual.

In the herbaceous plants called perennials,
the parts exposed to the action of the light
and air perish every year after they have seed-
ed; but the root survives in the ground, new
stems are thrown up in the following spring,
and blossom and seed is again produced.

In the generality of woody plants, death
does not supervene until the process of fructi-
fication has been repeated for a greater or less
number of years. There are trees, however,
belonging to the monoctoyledonous class, as
the sago-tree (sagusfarinifera,) the umbrella-
tree (corypha umbracvlifera) with immense
Ian-formed leaves of eight or ten yards in
length, which only bear fruit once, and then die,
but, on the other hand, in the dicotyledonous
class there are enormous trees, whose exist-
ence seems to date from before the records of
history, and which, in spite of their antiquity,
are loaded in each returning year with blossom
and seed.

If we were to view the perennial and the
woody plants as simple individuals, as such
we should be naturally induced to conclude,
that unless destroyed by disease or casualties,
they were free from the liability to death from
old age; but a due consideration leads us to
distinguish in every perennial and woody plant,
the new part which actually lives and grows,

from the old which has ceased to grow and is

I will state this in a broader way. Plants
of this nature have two modes of propagating
their races; one by seeds, the other by a con-
tinuous evolution of the like parts.

In the first case, the seed presents us with
an embryo plant, a new and different indivi-
dual, independent and unconnected with that
from which it derived its existence; in the se-
cond case, we are presented with a series of

individuals, which issue from the surface the
one of the other, in an uninterrupted sequence,
and in some instances continue permanently
united. But whether individuals of this de-
scription are produced by seed or continuous
evolution, it is certain that they escape, in
neither case, the influence of time ; while
the succession of individuals, or what we may
call the race, produced in either of the ways,
is, on the other hand, as clearly beyond the
reach of age, and will endure until destroyed
by some extraneous cause.

We will endeavour to show how these ge-
neral laws apply.

AH the parts of the young herbaceous an-
nual are susceptible of enlargement; the cells
of the tubes, at first very small, are soon after
extended in every way ; in process of time

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal → online text (page 41 of 158)