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inhabitants of those countries in the north, where there are few trees, and no coal, have always an abundant supply of fuel. In some parts of Scotland they burn nothing else. Then they flourish most abundantly in winter, and help to keep those creatures which sleep during that season warm and comfortable. They also help to shelter and preserve the roots, seeds, and young plants of many of the vegetable tribe, which would otherwise perish from cold. The poor Laplanders derive many comforts from mosses. Of the Golden Maidenhair they make excellent beds. By cutting thick layers of it, one serves for a mattress, and another for a blanket. These mossy cushions are very elastic, so that a bed may be rolled up into a parcel small enough to be carried under a man's arm, and the people can easily take them with them when they go a journey. They do not grow hard by pressure, and when they lose a part of their elasticity, it can soon be restored by dipping them in water. There is a particularly soft fur-like kind of it, called the Grey Bog Moss, which the Lapland women make use of as a covering for their infants. They wrap them up in it, and with no other clothing put them in leather cradles lined with it; and in these soft and warm nests the little creatures are quite defended from the cold. Helen. Are
of the mosses used for food ? M. I do not think so. What is called Iceland Moss, is not a moss, but a lichen. It is a most nutritious food. One ounce of it, boiled in a pint of water, yields seven ounces of jelly; and another species of lichen is the chief food of the reindeer, without which the Laplander could not subsist.
Louisa. I should like very much if you would tell
us something about the reindeer, and in what respect it is so useful.
M. This lichen is ordained by God to be the chief food of the reindeer, which is the principal support of a great part of the inhabitants of the polar regions. The Laplander, in particular, could ill subsist without the supplies of this useful creature. It is to him his whole wealth. It yields him almost every necessary of life. It serves him instead of horses, cows, and sheep. The reindeer affords him milk, butter, and cheese ; draws him in sledges with great speed from place to place, over the ice and snow; gives his flesh for food, his skin for clothing, his tendons for bow-strings, and, when split, for thread; his horns for glue, and his bones for spoons : yet the only winter food of these valuable animals is the lichen; and although at that season it is buried beneath the snow, yet, by scratching with their feet, and digging with their antlers, they never fail to get at it. Without this useful plant the reindeer would perish, and the Laplander too. Thus we see things which are often deemed the most insignificant and contemptible by ignorant men, are, by the good providence of God, made the means of the greatest blessings to His creatures. Linnæus says the Reindeer Lichen is of a whitish colour, and is sometimes found a foot high.
one of His people to do; and they never do it by halves, or by fits and starts ; they go surely and steadily on, turning neither to the right hand nor to the left, with their eye fixed on Jesus, “the author and finisher of their faith.” Your chief business now, dear children, is to obey those who are over you ; to grow in wisdom and favour with God and man. God has a use for every talent, and the more you learn now, and the more diligent you are, the more you will have to devote to His service by and bye. Remember, dear girls, that one day God may have a use for all you now learn, and lay up a good store in readiness. Learning and accomplishments, not blessed by God, are like the moss in the museum, or in the flower-pots ; —they are of no other use than to be admired in the drawing-room, or it may be they serve to hide a great deal that is
possessor; but if learning and accomplishments are blessed by God, not only are they admired in the drawing-room, but everywhere. God makes them a blessing everywhere, and uses them in His service ; and they help to show more clearly to the world the beauty of that holiness which God puts into the hearts of His people. The very meanest of God's works are most useful, each one is a blessing,— each one praises Him,-each one shows forth His glory. How much more then ought you, who were created after His own image ?—and if you are created anew in Christ Jesus, you will glorify Him both here and hereafter. Those who are not active in the work of the Lord, and diligent in their own business, are very apt to fall into many grievous sins; one is evil-speaking. I would affectionately warn you, my dear girls, against indulging in this sin when you are young. If you do indulge
very bad in their
in it, it will grow upon you. Slander and evil-speaking have caused a great deal of misery in the world. Never allow yourselves to speak evil of any one, and never allow your companions to do so either; check every approach to it both in yourselves and others. It is a grievous sin in God's sight. David says in the 15th Psalm, “ Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle ? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour." Those who are diligent in the work of the Lord, and in their own calling, have no time for evil-speaking and gossip. When they meet, it is for their mutual good, and for the good of their fellow-creatures; but in the case of others, not only do they much harm to themselves, but also to many others. Idleness leads to great wickedness. You have all read in your Bibles about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, which were destroyed by fire and brimstone from heaven ; you know that Abraham interceded with God to spare them; and God promised to do so if there were ten righteous persons found in them; but there were not ten to be found,—there was only Lot himself. The Bible tells us what was the cause of all this wicked
“ Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”—Ezekiel xvi. 49. When we see the wickedness and misery to which idleness leads, how grateful ought we to be to God for having given us work to do, not only for ourselves, but has given us the high privilege and honour of being fellow-workers with Him in spreading the Gospel, and in taking care of the poor and needy!
“I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things : nevertheless I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”—2 Tim. i. 11, 12.
“Let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator."-1 PETER iv. 19.
“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised.)”_HEB. X. 23. “ And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly : and I pray
Ι God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”—1 THESS. V. 23, 24.
All of you, my dear boys, are looking forward, I hope, to be useful in the Church of Christ, useful in the world, and a blessing to all around you. And all of you, boys and girls, begin while you are yet young. You may
be able to do a great deal ; and we are quite sure God will accept of your work. Your own texts tell you so.
6 Suffer little children, and forbid them not to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." “ Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise.” “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” Some of you, I know, are looking forward