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true morality in all its parts, without redundancy, and without defect, that the more capable we are of judging of real excellence, the more we shall be prepossessed in its favour. And if we have a capacity and opportunity of examining together with it the books which the followers of other religions have esteemed sacred, and the system of doctrines and manners which their respective founders have published to the world, we shall find how much the gospel is credited by the comparison-shall indeed find the difference much like that of a coarse picture of sunshine, from the original beams of that celestial luminary. This I have so deeply felt in mine own heart, while reading these books, and especially while commenting upon them, that it has been matter of astonishment, as well as grief, to me, that there should be any mind capable of resisting evidence so various, so powerful, and so sweet.

But this leads me to the other branch of the argument, in which I shall remind my reader,

Secondly, That these books are admirably adapted to make those good impressions on the heart which may prepare it for eternal life, through the name of the Redeemer, of whose divine mission they contain such incontestable proofs.

1 Now, the most effectual demonstration of this would be an attentive perusal of these books, not so much with a view to criticise upon them, as to give up the soul to their genuine influence, and to leave the heart to be (if I may so express myself) carried away with the torrent whither it will: and the impulse cannot fail of being in some happy direction, and, amidst all its varieties, will undoubtedly bear us forward towards that perfection of goodness and of happiness which is the great end of all our pursuits.

For surely the breast of every well-disposed reader, under the mfluences of that blessed Spirit which guided the sacred penmen in these lively and well-chosen narrations, must, by every page of them, be inflamed with some devout passion; and his progress must often be interrupted with tears of holy delight, and with warm, and perhaps rapturous, aspirations of soul. Surely this adorable Saviour cannot be heard, cannot be seen, without admiration and love. Surely the heart must often, n. as it t were, go out to meet

Him, with its cheerful hosannas to Him that cometh in the name of the Lord. Often must it rise in affectionate praises to the God and Father of all, who blessed this earth of ours with such a visitant, who enriched it with such an unspeakable, such an inestimable gift. A thousand times must it congratulate, and almost envy, the happy lot of those, who, dwelling on earth, though in the meanest cottages, when it was blessed with the presence of such a Teacher, such a Friend, had daily opportunities of conversing with Him. And as often may it exult to think, that He is still near by His spiritual presence, carrying on the kind purposes of His appearance in mortal flesh; and waiting, by the dictates of His divine philosophy, to train up the immortal spirits of men for their proper and complete happiness. Under the impression of that thought, how strongly must the soul be disposed to inquire after Christ, to form an acquaintance with Him, to commit itself to His discipline and guardianship, to trace His steps, and, as far as possible, to imbibe His spirit! What will appear so desirable as to secure His friendship, to be honoured with His high approbation, and enriched with the blessings of His patronage and care? Receiving the divine oracles from His lips, what incomparable advantages have we for learning everything great and lovely? What powerful inducements diligently to labour, ardently to pray, liberally to dispense good, calmly to endure injuries, patiently to support the heaviest afflictions, and resolutely to meet the most dreadful death, if called out to encounter it in the way of our duty?

Among many other good affections which the perusal of this history may naturally inspire, and which I have endeavoured often to suggest in the improvements which conclude each section, I cannot forbear mentioning one more; I mean a generous and cordial love to our fellow Christians of every rank and denomination. I never reflect upon the New Testament in this view, but I find it difficult to conceive how so much of a contrary temper should ever have prevailed amongst such multitudes who have professed religiously to receive it; yea, whose office hath been to interpret and enforce it. To have enlisted under the

banner of Jesus, to have felt His love, to have espoused His interest, to labour to serve Him, to aspire after the enjoyment of Him, should, methinks, appear to every one, even on the slightest reflection, a bond of union too strong to be broken by the different apprehensions that one or another of us may entertain (perhaps, too, after diligent inquiry) concerning the exact sense of some of the doctrines He taught, or the circumstantial forms of some of His institutions. A humble sense of our own weakness, and of the many imperfections of our character, which will never be more deeply felt than when we consider ourselves as standing before our divine Master, will dispose us to mutual candour, will guard us against the indecency of contending in His presence, and will, as St Paul, with admirable spirit, expresses it, dispose us to receive one another as Christ hath received us. Yea, our hearts will be so eagerly desirous of employing our life in serving Him to the best purpose we can, that we shall dread the thought of mis-spending, in our mutual animosities, accusations, and complaints, the time that was given us for ends so much nobler, and which is capable of being employed to the honour of our common Lord, and for the benefit of the Church and the world.

The Sloth.


[MR WATERTON was a gentleman of fortune resident in Yorkshire, who was distinguished for his enthusiastic pursuit of his favourite subject of Na tural History, in the most barbarous regions, amidst no common dangers and difficulties. His "Wanderings in South America," from which the following is an extract, is a narrative, or rather series of sketches, connected with his travels from 1812 to 1824. He died in 1865.]

Let us now turn our attention to the sloth, whose native haunts have hitherto been so little known, and probably little looked into. Those who have written on this singular animal have remarked that he is in a perpetual state of pain; that he is pro verbially slow in his movements; that he is a prisoner in space;


and that, as soon as he has consumed all the leaves of the tree upon which he had mounted, he rolls himself up in the form of a ball, and then falls to the ground. This is not the case.

If the naturalists who have written the history of the sloth had gone into the wilds, in order to examine his haunts and economy, they would not have drawn the foregoing conclusions; they


would have learned that, though all other quadrupeds may be described while resting upon the ground, the sloth is an exception to this rule, and that his history must be written while he is in the tree.


This singular animal is destined by nature to be produced to live and to die in the trees; and, to do justice to him, naturalists must examine him in this upper element. He is a scarce and solitary animal, and being good food he is never allowed to He inhabits remote and gloomy forests, where snakes take up their abode, and where cruelly stinging ants and scorpions, and swamps, and innumerable thorny shrubs and bushes, obstruct the steps of civilised man. Were you to draw your own conclu sions from the descriptions which have been given of the sloth, you would probably suspect that no naturalist has actually gone

into the wilds with the fixed determination to find him out, and examine his haunts, and see whether nature has committed any blunder in the formation of this extraordinary creature, which appears to us so forlorn and miserable, so ill put together, and so totally unfit to enjoy the blessings which have been so bountifully given to the rest of animated nature; for he has no soles to his feet, and he is evidently ill at ease when he tries to move on the ground, and it is then that he looks up in your face with a countenance that says, "Have pity on me, for I am in pain and sorrow."

It mostly happens that Indians and negroes are the people who catch the sloth, and bring it to the white man: hence it may be conjectured that the erroneous accounts we have hitherto had of the sloth have not been penned down with the slightest intention to mislead the reader, or give him an exaggerated history, but that these errors have naturally arisen by examining the sloth in those places where nature never intended that he should be exhibited.

However, we are now in his own domain. Man but little frequents these thick and noble forests, which extend far and wide on every side of us. This, then, is the proper place to go in quest of the sloth. We will first take a near view of him. By obtaining a knowledge of his anatomy, we shall be enabled to account for his movements hereafter, when we see him in his proper haunts. His fore-legs, or, more correctly speaking, his arms, are apparently much too long, while his hind-legs are very short, and look as if they could be bent almost to the shape of a cork-screw. Both the fore and hind legs, by their form, and by the manner in which they are joined to the body, are quite incapacitated from acting in a perpendicular direction, or in supporting it on the earth, as the bodies of other quadrupeds are supported by their legs. Hence, when you place him on the floor, his belly touches the ground. Now, granted that he supported himself on his legs like other animals, nevertheless he would be in pain, for he has no soles to his feet, and his claws are very sharp, and long, and curved; so that, were his body supported by his feet, it would

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