The Church of England Magazine - Volume 10, No. 263, January 9, 1841 online

. (page 3 of 5)
Online LibraryVariousThe Church of England Magazine - Volume 10, No. 263, January 9, 1841 → online text (page 3 of 5)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

this is in small proportion; and as, in most of them, the gummy matter
is prepared first, requiring for its formation only a moderate degree
of light and heat, while the bitter, or other principle, is added at a
later period, under the influence of stronger light; such plants, when
young, are tender and agreeable; nay, even very poisonous plants, when
very young, are wholesome and pleasant, which, at a more advanced
season, are virose and disagreeable. Thus, the peasantry of France and
Piedmont eat the young crowfoots (ranunculus) and poppies, after
boiling them, and find them safe and nourishing. The same result
follows exclusion of light, as in the process of blanching, by which
means celery, sea-kale, and other vegetables, are rendered esculent,
which in the wild state are poisonous or repulsive. In northern
latitudes, the light being intense for a short time only, many plants
are used there which, in the southern, are dangerous or destructive,
such as hemlock and monkshood. A moderate degree of bitterness is a
very useful accompaniment of the gum, which alone is cloying and even
oppressive to the stomach. The presence of a bitter principle in many
lichens promotes their digestion, and thus even the tough and leathery
ones, called tripe of the rocks, can be eaten, and sustain life amid
great privations and sufferings. The rein-deer moss (_cludonia
rangiferina_) is another lichen of great utility: it is not much
employed as human food, but it is the main support of the rein-deer
for a great portion of the year, and thus renders Lapland a fit abode
for man.

A peculiar modification of gum constitutes _pectine_ or vegetable
jelly; and this occurs in fruits, such as the orange, currant, and
gooseberry, &c., also in many of the algae or sea-weeds, which are, or
ought to be, much employed as a delicate article of nourishment. The
edible swallow's nest, so greatly esteemed by the Chinese, is an alga,
gathered by the birds. The Ceylon moss (_Gigartina lichenoides_), and
the carrageen or Irish moss (_Chondrus crispus_), with many others,
might be made to contribute largely to the subsistence of man. Not
merely earth, from its fruitful bosom, but the vast ocean, offer their
rich produce to nourish and sustain the only intelligent occupant of
the globe, who should ever remember the declaration of the psalmist,
"O Lord! how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them
all: the earth is full of thy riches; so is the great and wide sea!"
(Ps. civ.)


[A] The Greeks used to say that reeds had contributed to subjugate a
people, by furnishing arrows; to soften their manner, by the charm of
music; and to develop their intelligence, by offering them the
instruments proper for the formation of letters. - _Humboldt's Personal

"The reed presents itself as an object of peculiar veneration, when we
reflect that it formed the earliest instrument by which human ideas,
and all the charms of literature and science were communicated, and
which has handed down to us the light of religion and the glow of
genius from the remotest ages." - _Drummond's First Steps to Botany._

[B] "The Guaraons, a free and independent people, dispersed in the
Delta of the Oronooko, owe their independence to the nature of their
country; for it is well known that, in order to raise their abodes
above the surface of the waters, at the period of the great
inundations, they support them on the cut trunks of the mangrove tree,
and of the _Mauritia flexuosa_." - _Humboldt, Personal Narrative_,
vol. iii. p. 277. The same people make bread of the medullary flour of
this palm, which it yields in great abundance, if cut down just before
going to flower. - _Ibid._, vol. iii. p. 278. To these circumstances
Thomson alludes: -

"Wide o'er his isles the branching Oronooque
Rolls a brown deluge, and the native driven
To dwell aloft on life-sufficing trees,
At once his home, his robe, his food, his arms."

[C] The connection of navigation with the progress of civilization is
most intimate, as may be understood from the following passage: -

"Among the circumstances which have contributed to retard the progress
of civilization in Africa, one of the most important and influential
is the compact and undivided form of the African continent, and the
natural barriers which render access to the greater regions of the
interior so remarkably difficult. It has been observed by Professor
Ritter, that the civilization of countries is greatly influenced by
their geographical forms, and by the relation which their interior
spaces bear to the extent of coast. While all Asia is five times as
large as Europe, and Africa more than three times as large, the
littoral margins of these larger continents bear no similar proportion
to their respective areas. Asia has seven thousand seven hundred
geographical miles of coast; Europe four thousand three hundred, and
Africa only three thousand five hundred. To every thirty-seven square
miles of continent in Europe, there is one mile of coast; in Africa,
only one mile of coast to one hundred and fifty square miles of
continent. Therefore the relative extension of coast is four times as
great in Europe as in Africa. Asia is in the middle between these two
extremes. To every one hundred and five square miles, it has one mile
of coast. The calculation of geographical spaces occupied by different
parts of the two last-mentioned continents, is still more striking.
The ramifications of Asia, excluded from the continental trapezium,
make about one hundred and fifty-five thousand square miles of that
whole quarter, or about one-fifth part. The ramifications of the
continental triangle of Europe form one-third part of the whole, or
even more. In Asia the stock is much greater in proportion to the
branches, and thence the more highly advanced culture of the branches
has remained, for the most part, excluded from the interior spaces. In
Europe, on the other hand, from the different relation of its spaces,
the condition of the external parts had much greater influence on that
of the interior. Hence the higher culture of Greece and Italy
penetrated more easily into the interior, and gave to the whole
continent one harmonious character of civilization, while Asia
contains many separate regions which may be compared, individually, to
Europe, and each of which could receive only its peculiar kind of
culture from its own branches. Africa, deficient in these endowments
of nature, and wanting both separating gulfs, and inland seas, could
obtain no share in the expansion of that fruitful tree, which, having
driven its roots deeply in the heart of Asia, spread its branches and
blossoms over the western and southern tracts of the same continent,
and expanded its crown over Europe. In Egypt alone it possessed a
river-system, so formed as to favor the development of similar
productions. Die Erdkunde von Aslen, von Carl Ritter. 2. Band.
Einleitung. §24, 25. Berlin, 1832." - _Pritchard, Researches into the
Physical History of Mankind. Third Edit._ Vol. ii., p. 354.

[D] "Was it not for the manifestation of this brighter era, and the
realization of its promised blessings, that all else which preceded it
was overruled by divine Providence, as subservient and preparatory?
All things being now ready, there began to spring up in the bosom of
the British churches, a wide and simultaneous sense of the solemn
responsibility under which they had been laid by the events of
Providence, to avail themselves of so favorable an opening for the
diffusion of the gospel throughout the eastern world. Men, qualified
to undertake the high commission, must be sent across the ocean - and
have not the toils, and perils, and successes, of Vasco de Gama, and
other navigators, opened up a safe and easy passage? That their
labours might pervade the country, and strike a deep and permanent
root into the soil, they must be delivered from the caprices of savage
tyranny, and the ebullitions of heathen rage; and have not our Clives
and our Wellingtons wrested the rod of power from every wilful despot;
and our Hastings and our Wellesleys thrown the broad shield of British
justice and British protection alike over all? In order that they
might the more effectually adapt their communications to the
peculiarities of the people, they must become acquainted with the
learned language of the country, and through it, with the real and
original sources of all the prevailing opinions and observances,
sacred and civil. And have not our Joneses and our Colebrookes
unfolded the whole, to prove subservient to the cause of the Christian
philanthropist? In this way have our navigators, our warriors, our
statesmen, and our literati, been unconsciously employed, under an
over-ruling Providence, as so many pioneers, to prepare the way for
our Swartzes, our Buchanans, our Martins, and our Careys." - _Duff's
India and India Missions._

[E] The relative proportions of starch and gluten in rice, wheat, and
other seeds, not only confirm the views respecting design, in
determining their geographical distribution, but merit notice, as
influencing their nutritive qualities, and fitness or unfitness as
food in different countries.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -+ - - - - -+ - - - -
| Starch. | Gluten.
+ - - - - -+ - - - -
Wheat, according to Proust | 74.5 | 12.5
- - - Vogel | 68.0 | 24.0
Winter wheat - Davy | 77.0 | 19.0
Spring wheat | 70.0 | 24.0
Spelt - Vogel | 74.0 | 22.0
Barley - Davy | 79.0 | 6.0
Rye - Do. | 61.0 | 5.0
Oats - Do. | 59.0 | 6.0
Rice Carolina - Vogel | 85.07 | 3.60
Maize - Bizio | 80.92 | 0.
Tartarian buckwheat | 52.29 | 10.47
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -+ - - - - -+ - - - -

Not only do the relative proportions of starch and gluten vary in the
same seed when grown in different countries, but even when grown in
the same country, according to the kind of manure put on the soil, a
point of great importance to agriculturists, when known and attended

[F] See "Church of England Magazine," vol. vii. p. 52-3-4.

[G] "I have been informed by Sir Joseph Banks, that the Derbyshire
miners, in winter, prefer oat-cakes to wheaten bread, finding that
this kind of nourishment enables them to support their strength and
perform their labour better. In summer they say oat-cake heats them,
and they then consume the finest wheaten bread they can
procure." - _Sir H. Dacy's Agricultural Chemistry, 5th edit., p. 143._

The propriety and advantage of this practice is established by the
recent investigations of Boussingault, who found that oats contain
more than double the quantity of nitrogen which exists in any of the
other cereal grains. - _See Annales de Chimie et de Physique, tom.
lxvii. p. 408-21._

[H] Carpenter's "General and Comparative Physiology," p. 272 and Dr.
Prout's "Bridgewater Treatise," book iii.

[I] See Forrest's "Voyage to the Moluccas;" Craufurd's "Indian
Archipelago, or Library of Entertaining Knowledge, Vegetable
Substances, Food of Man," p. 171.

[J] "In the season of inundations, these clumps of the _Mauritia_,
with their leaves in the form of a fan, have the appearance of a
forest rising from the bosom of the waters. The navigator in
proceeding along the channel of the delta of the Oronooco at night,
sees with surprize the summits of the palm-trees illuminated by large
fires. These are the habitations of the Guaraons (see Sir W. Raleigh's
Brevis Descript. Guianæ, 1594, tab. 4), which are suspended from the
trunks of trees. These tribes hang up mats in the air, which they fill
with earth, and kindle on a layer of moist clay the fire necessary for
their household wants. They have owed their liberty and their
political independence for ages, to the quaking and swampy soil which
they pass over in the time of drought, and on which they alone know
how to walk in security to their solitude in the delta of the
Oronooco, to their abodes on the trees, where religious enthusiasm
will probably never lead any American Stylites (_see_ Mosheim's Church
History). This tree, the tree of life of the missionaries, not only
affords the Guaraons a safe dwelling during the risings of the
Oronooco, but its shelly fruit, its farinaceous pith, its juice,
abounding in saccharine matter, and the fibres of its leaves, furnish
them with food, wine, and thread proper for making cords and weaving
hammocks. It is curious to observe in the lowest degree of human
civilization, the existence of a whole tribe depending on one single
species of palm-tree, similar to those insects which feed on one and
the same flower, or on one and the same part of a plant." - _Humboldt,
Person. Narrative_, vol. v. p. 728.

[K] Davy's Agricultural Chemistry, p. 133. - According to Mr. Knight
the best potatoes, such as the Irish apple, possess much greater
specific gravity than the inferior sorts, and this variety yields
nearly 20 per cent. of starch; while five pounds of the variety called
Captain Hart, yields 12 ounces of starch, and the Moulton White nearly
as much, the Purple Red give only 8½, the Ox Noble 8¼. There is much
more profit in cultivating the former than the latter sorts; but even
the best kinds degenerate, and new sorts must be procured, as if to
stimulate the ingenuity of man, by preventing his enjoying the gifts
of God, without constant exertion, and observation of the laws which
the Creator has impressed upon his productions. See the Observations
of Thomas Andrew Knight, and the experiments now making by Mr. Maund,
of Bromsgrove.

[L] Duncan. Sacred Philosophy of the Seasons.

[M] Carpenter's Physiology.

[N] Thomson's Chemistry of Organic Bodies: Vegetables, p. 667.

[O] Vere magna et longe pulcherrima sunt etiam illa profundissimâ
sapientiâ hic exstructa opera tua, O Jehovah! quæ non nisi bene
armatis nostris oculis patent! Qualia autem erunt denique illa, quæ
sublato hoc speculo, remotâ mortalitatis caligine daturus es tuis Te
vere sincero Pectore colentibus? Eheu qualia! Hedwig.

[P] Thomson's Chemistry. Vegetables, p. 630.

[Q] On the Culture and Uses of Potatoes, by sir John Sinclair, bart.
This is a subject becoming every year of greater moment, and attention
to it a national benefit. The reduction of bulk alone, facilitating
the transport from one place to another, is an essential gain. The
produce, from a certain number of acres of this valuable esculent, may
be greatly augmented by planting the potatoes whole, at a great
distance between each, and hoeing freely between them - _See Knight's
Papers in Horticultural Transactions, and Payen et Chevalier, Traité
de la Pomme de Terre. Paris, 1826, p. 17._

[R] Humboldt. Personal Narrative, vol. iv. p. 84.

[S] "Among the plants cultivated by man, the sugar-cane, the plantain
(_musa_), the mammee-apple (_mammea_), and alligator-pear-tree
(_laurus persea_) alone have the property of the cocoa-nut-tree, that
of being watered alike with fresh and salt water. This circumstance is
favorable to their migrations; and if the sugar-cane of the shore
yield a syrup that is a little brackish, it is believed at the same
time to be better fitted for the distillation of spirit, than the
juice produced from the canes of the interior." - _Humboldt._

[T] "The quantity of these insects is incredible to all who have not
themselves witnessed their astonishing numbers; the whole earth is
covered with them for the space of several leagues. The noise they
make in browsing on the trees and herbage may be heard at a great
distance, and resembles that of an army in secret. The Tartars
themselves are a less destructive enemy than these little animals. One
would imagine that fire had followed their progress. Wherever their
myriads spread, the verdure of the country disappears; trees and
plants stripped of their leaves and reduced to their naked boughs and
stems cause the dreary image of winter to succeed in an instant to the
rich scenery of spring. When these clouds of locusts take their
flight, to surmount any obstacles, or to traverse more rapidly a
desert soil, the heavens may literally be said to be obscured by

[U] "As the native of a northern country, little favoured by nature, I
shall observe that the Marche of Brandebourg, for the most part sandy,
nourishes, under an administration favourable to the progress of
agricultural industry, on a surface only one-third that of Cuba, a
population nearly double." - _Humboldt, P. N._, vol. vii. p. 156.

[V] Loudon's Arboretum Britannicum, vol. i., p. 412.

[W] For an interesting account of sugar, see Humboldt, Nova Genera et
Species Plantarum, vol. i., p. 243.

[X] Haselquist's Voyage.



By the Venerable C. J. Hoare, M.A.,
_Archdeacon and Prebendary of Winchester._

Romans viii. 28.

"And we know that all things work together for good to
them that love God."

Amongst the observations most frequently heard in the world, is that
made on the undeserved prosperity of the wicked, and the many
seemingly uncalled-for trials of the righteous. Experience will indeed
tell us, that neither of these opposite conditions is uninterrupted;
neither is it all sunshine in the most prosperous worldly lot; nor is
it all gloom - far from it - in the Christian's portion on earth.
Experience will also go further, and will abundantly prove the saying
of the wise man, that "the prosperity of fools shall destroy them."
Such success has a tendency first to deceive, then to corrupt, and
lastly to betray men into utter destruction. But the text will lead us
still further; it will teach us, that the trials of the righteous
preserve them - yea, work for good; and that "all things," and,
therefore, even the greatest trials, "work together for good to them
that love God."

The text represents them as workmen. They work together for good;
they are constantly at work for that purpose, whether as instruments
in God's hands, or as in a degree self-moving for that end; they are
constructing as it were a building, or they are laying a foundation;
and that which they lay - that which all things befalling a Christian
are ever laying for him - is a ground for his substantial, necessary,
and eternal benefit. "We know that all things work together for good
to them that love God."

This, then, it will be, with God's blessing, my humble endeavour to
show in the following discourse: first, premising the sense of the
word "good," in all just and reasonable acceptation; next, showing
more fully how all things may be thus said to "work for good to them
that love God;" finally, pointing out some of the many things which
will be found by experience to work in this very manner.

I. The term "_good_," it must be said in the first place, is very
different, both in the language of the bible and in the estimation of
the truly wise, from what it usually represents in the language and
opinion of the world. The bible teaches us to view all things in their
consequences, and in their real and essential nature. View things in
their consequences, in their final end and issue, if you would view
them at all justly or wisely. Ease, and health, and worldly wealth,
and success may be good, just as the plentiful feast is good, provided
a man has temperance and soundness of constitution properly to partake
of it; but, if he is likely to indulge to a surfeit, or if every
morsel is food to some mortal disorder, and every cup adds strength to
a fever that is raging in his veins, no one in reason would call such
an entertainment good to such a man. And just so with the good things
of this present life: the Christian does not unreasonably deny that
prosperity is pleasing, health desirable, friends and relations deeply
attaching to us, and the smiles of social endearment or public favour
greatly captivating; but neither does he, like the world, consider
them to be necessarily all they seem to be, good to all persons, and
under all circumstances; he does not forget that earthly and bodily
good is just what it becomes in the use of it; that many times the use
can hardly be separated from the abuse; that lawful things, when
unlawfully or idolatrously used, are just as evil as unlawful
ones - nay, rather, that for a few comparatively who have perished from
a hardened course of forbidden pleasure, multitudes have been for ever
lost by allowed indulgences. Till he sees, then, the application made,
and the resulting consequences of any worldly boon, he does not call
the possessor happy, nor the possession good, nor very eagerly or
supremely does he desire it either for himself or others.

But, again, the things _really and essentially good_ in their very
nature and inseparable qualities are those which, in the estimation of
the mere world, are held in no account whatsoever. What the bible
chiefly esteems, and the world wholly neglects, are spiritual
blessings, - the good things of the soul of man, "the precious things
of heaven, even of the everlasting hills." Those precious things, the
goodwill of him who is the great I AM - the peace of God which passeth
all understanding - the luxury of promoting the good of man and the
glory of God; - still more, the pardon of sin, through faith in the
atonement of Jesus Christ - a gradual advancement in true holiness - a
growing fitness and longing desire for the future blessedness of the
saints, and a final admission and "abundant entrance into the
everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour," the "inheritance
incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away;" - these are truly
to the world but as a dream, a fancy, a cunningly-devised fable; but,
to the mind of the Christian, stand for everything truly and
substantially good. They are in all his plans first and foremost, and
nearest and dearest to his heart. They are as necessary to him in his
calculation and account of human happiness, as profit and pleasure are
to his neighbours around. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor the
heart conceived, the things which God hath prepared for them that love
him." But God hath revealed to _him_ by his Spirit, these very things,
as his chief good, his measure of all true happiness. Wealth may be
good, health still better, kindly affections and attached friends the
best of earthly boons; but the favour of God, the acquisition of his
image, the means of grace, and the hope of glory, are to him sovereign
and above all. While many ask, amidst the increase of their corn, and
wine, and oil, "Who will show us any good?" he exclaims, "Lord, lift
thou up the light of thy countenance upon me" - "in thy presence is the
fulness of joy; at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore." He
weighs well the nature, and "remembers the end" of all that is called
good, and so "does not amiss."

II. For, secondly, he finds that, while we so do, and so consider,
"all things work together for good to _those that love God_." There
is, first, on the mind of the Christian that secret influence in the
very disposition of love to God, which will _of itself_ turn to good
every thing that comes from the God whom we love, and the Saviour on
whom we fully and implicitly rely. And there is, secondly, a full
disposition on the part of _our heavenly Father_ so to order and
direct every event which befals his loving and attached children, as
shall be found at last to have answered the ends of sovereign wisdom
and divine mercy.

In the first instance, the tendency, _on our own part_, of love to the
great and good God will be this, namely, to turn all that befals us to
an instrument of good. As, in the healthy body, food of very different
descriptions may yet all turn to nourishment, and minister to health
and bodily strength; so, in the healthy mind, purified and
strengthened by the grace of God's Holy Spirit, every thing that meets
it is converted to its advantage, and adds in some way to its
improvement and its happiness. There is ever a colour cast upon
outward circumstances from the complexion of the inward soul. The vain
man, on his part, the ambitious, the sensual, the gainful, well know
how to turn all to the advancement of their sinful objects; and no
less does the good man turn all to the enlargement of his goodness,
and the lover of his God to the increase and exercise of that love.
Viewing every thing in the glass, or by the lamp of God's word, he

1 3 5

Online LibraryVariousThe Church of England Magazine - Volume 10, No. 263, January 9, 1841 → online text (page 3 of 5)