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During his apprenticeship, his 'uncommon power of observation gained for him abundant material for original speculation, the habit of which was even more valuable than the knowledge gained :
“I remember being struck one afternoon, after spending my customary spare half-hour beside the pond, and marking the peculiar style of colouring in the yellow and black libellulidæ in the common wasp, and in a yellow and black species of ichneumon fly, to detect in some half-dozen gentlemen's carriages that were standing opposite our work-shed, --for the good old knight of Conon House had a dinner party that evening,-exactly the same style of ornamental colouring. The greater number of the vehicles were yellow and black,-just as these were the prevailing colours among the wasps and libellulidæ; but there was a slight admixture of other colours among them too: there was at least one that was black and green, or black and blue, I forget which; and another black and brown. And so it was among the insects also: the same sort of taste, both in colour and the arrangements of colour, and even in the proportions of the various colours, seemed to have regulated the style of ornament manifested in the carriages of the dinner party, and of the insect visitors of the pond. Further, I thought I could detect a considerable degree of resemblance in form between a chariot and an insect. There was a great abdominal body, separated by a narrow isthmus from a thoracic coach-box, where the directing power was stationed; while the wheels, poles, springs, and general framework on which • the vehicle rested, corresponded to the wings, limbs and atemnæ of the insect. There was at least sufficient resemblance of form to justify resemblance of colour; and here was the actual resemblance of colour which the resemblance of form justified. I remember that, in musing over the coincidence, I learned to suspect for the first time, that it might be no mere coincidence after all; and that the fact embodied in the remarkable text which informs us that the Creator made man in his own image, might in reality lie at its foundation as the proper solution. Man, spurred by his necessities, has discovered for himself mechanical contrivances, which he has afterwards found anticipated as contrivances of the Divine Mind, in some organism, animal or vegetable. In the same way, his sense of beauty in form or colour originates some pleasing combination of lines or tints; and he then discovers that it also has been anticipated. He gets his chariot tastefully painted black and yellow, and lo! the wasp that settles on its wheel, or the dragon-fly that darts over it, he finds painted in exactly the same style. His neighbour, indulging in a different taste, gets his vehicle painted black and blue, and lo! some lesser libellula or ichneumon fly comes whizzing sast, to justify his style of ornament also, but at the same time to show that it, too, had existed ages before.”
Altogether this is the most picturesque part of his life. The scenes among which he is called upon to labour, and his outre mode of living in barrack with his fellow-workmen, form prolific themes for his graphic pens
“Some of the inmates, however, who were exceedingly nice in their eating, were great connoisseurs in porridge; and it was no easy matter to please them. There existed unsettled differences--the results of a diversity of tastes-regarding the time that should be given to the boiling of the mess, -respecting the proportion of salt that should be allotted to each individual,—and as to whether the process of mealing,' as it was termed, should be a slow or a hasty one; and, of course, as in all controversies of all kinds, the more the matters in dispute were discussed, the more did they grow in importance. Occasionally the disputants had their porridge made at the same time in the same pot: there were, in especial, two of the workmen who differed upon the degree-of-salt question, whose bickers were supplied froin the same general preparation; and as these had usually opposite complaints to urge against the cooking, their objections served so completely to neutralise each other, that they in no degree told against the cook. One morning the cook,-a wag and a favourite,-in making porridge for both the controversialists, made it so exceedingly fresh as to be but little
removed from a poultice; and, filling with the preparation in this state the bicker of the salt-loving connoisseur, he then took a handful of salt, and mixing it with the portion which remained in the pot, poured into the bicker of the freshman, porridge very much akin to a pickle. Both entered the barrack sharply set for breakfast, and sat down each to his meal; and both at the first spoonful dropped their spoons. 'A ramming to the cook!' cried the one,-' he has given me porridge without salt!' 'A ramming to the cook!' roared out the other, ‘he has given me porridge like brine!' *You see, lads,' said the cook, stepping out into the middle of the floor, with the air of a much-injured orator,— you see, lads, what matters have come to at last; there is the very pot in which I made in one mess the porridge in both their bickers. I don't think we should bear this any longer; we have all had our turn of it, though mine happens to be the worst; and I now move that these two fellows be rammed.' No sooner said than done. There was a terrible struggling, and a burning sense of injustice; but no single man in the barrack was match for half-a-dozen of the others. The disputants, too, instead of making common cause together, were prepared to assist in ramming each the other; and so rammed they both were. And at length, when the details of the stratagem came out, the cook, by escaping for half an hour into the neighbouring wood and concealing himself there, like some political exile under ban of the Government, succeeded in escaping the merited punishment."
Having finished his apprenticeship, he came to Edinburgh to dispose of a small property in Leith, and to seek for work, which he soon obtained near Niddry. He succeeded well as a workman notwithstanding some stout persecution because he was a stranger. He soon overcame that, but there was one sad drawback to the gratification of a taste almost necessary to a man like him—the enclosed condition of the country, and those horrid placards, “ Trespassers will be prosecuted with the utmost rigour of the law." His remarks are true and weighty S
“I threw myself, as usual, for the compensatory pleasures, on my evening walks, but found the enclosed state of the district, and the fence of a rigorouslyadministered trespass-law, serious drawbacks; and ceased to wonder that a thoroughly cultivated country is, in most instances, so much less beloved by its people than a wild and open one. Rights of proprietorship may exist equally in both; but there is an important sense in which the open country belongs to the proprietors and to the people too. All that the heart and the intellect can derive from it may be alike free to peasant and aristocrat; whereas the cultivated and strictly fenced country belongs usually, in every sense, to only the proprietor; and as it is a much simpler and more obvious matter to love one's country as a scene of hills, and streams, and green fields, amid which Nature has often been enjoyed, than as a definite locality, in which certain laws and constitutional privileges exist, it is rather to be regretted than wondered at that there should be often less true patrotism in a country of just institutions and equal laws, whose soil has been so exclusively appropriated as to leave only the dusty high-roads to its people, than in wild open countries, in which the popular mind and affections are left free to embrace the soil, but whose institutions are partial and defective. Were our beloved Monarch to regard such of the gentlemen of her court as taboo their Glen Tilts, and shut up the passes of the Grampians, as a sort of disloyal Destructives of a peculiar type, who make it their vocation to divest her people of their patriotism, and who virtually teach them that a country no longer theirs is not worth the fighting for, it might be very safely concluded that she was but manifesting in one other direction, the strong good sense which has ever distinguished her. Though shut out, however, from the neighbouring fields and policies, the Niddry woods were open to me; and I have enjoyed many an agreeable saunter along a broad planted belt, with a grassy path in the midst, that forms their southern boundary, and through whose long vista I could see the sun sink over the picturesque ruins of Craigmillar Castle.”
He continued working at his trade in Edinburgh, until the dust of the stone inhaled in the process of hewing seriously affected his lungs, and compelled him to desist. He returned home for a time, where, by cessation from labour, and we doubt not the cheerful society of some of his early friends, his constitution threw off the malady. Work having failed him at Cromarty, he went by advice to Inverness, at which place he soon after secured his first footing on the literary stage. Once fairly upon it, he forced himself by his own independent ability to one of its most powerful positions. Nor is this his highest merit. By his specific and general scientific attainments, the groundwork of which was laid under such disadvantageous circumstances, he has become an authority in a science which threatens to exercise a most serious influence on the whole world of thought.
Geology, with its associated sciences, might, as in the case of Mr Miller, be made a noble instrument for developing the youthful mind. Physical is healthier than metaphysical science for such a purpose. Language, as an art, is quite legitimate, but not so as a science. That is for stronger minds that have power to analyse the working of their own mental constitution.
The only objection we have against the book is its price-not for ourselves, but the class which Mr Miller professes to address-working men. We shall not say how much more than its present price the book is worth, but we will say that an edition about half as cheap as this present one, would confer a great boon on the class he intends it for. But not working men alone—the most learned of us all may find study and delight in the Schools, and lasting profit from the Schoolmasters of Hugh Miller.
THEODOXIA.* CHRISTIANITY is a manly as well as a godly profession of religious faith. Sceptics may attempt to undermine it by reasoning and philosophy, but it is in our hearts, and not merely in our heads; and if it be torn thence, our best blood goes with it. Thus it is, that it lies beyond the power of the assailer, who can promise but a cold electric thrill as a substitute for the warm beat of Christian life. We confess, and the most powerful intellects have done the same, that in attempting to penetrate the mystery of Christian godliness, our reason is baffled and defeated-we must receive the Gospel with the simplicity of the child, not with the dareful doubting of the man.
But this may be misconstrued. Though we are, in an absolute sense, morally and intellectually helpless; yet we possess a conscience and a reason that by the spiritual blessing of God, may feel the power and receive the dogmas of Christianity. On this is based the part that man plays in the process of conversion, and to a mind supposed to be in this state of belief, does the argument more immediately apply. This mind fluctuating between belief and unbelief, looks
nd for a * Theodoxia; or Glory to God an Evidence for the Truth of Christianity. By the Rev. John Bathurst Dickson, of the Free High Church, Paisley. London: James Nisbet & Co. New Edition.
test that will resolve its doubts. This test Mr Dickson finds in the spirit of the various systems. We are extremely averse to an á priori argument in the matter at all, and cannot feel it with the same convincing force that Mr Dickson undoubtedly does; but God has his own modes of dealing with us, so that what one man feels feebly another may receive with the force of an inspired thought. The argument, then, stands thus: That system which has for its ultimate end the glory of God is divine; Christianity alone of all systems, has for it ultimate end the glory of God, therefore Christianity alone of all systems is divine. From Christianity, then, the predication is reduced to, Calvinism alone of all Christian systems is divine.
Carefully and elaborately drawn out to this conclusion by powerful and ingenious reasoning, the argument is as sound as syllogism can make it. Though the syllogism, however, is fallacious as a means of discovering truth, it may be made to exhibit it after discovery, and in this light we cannot but admire Mr Dickson's use of it.
We pass over the argumentative portions of the treatise, and confine ourselves entirely to the more genial speculations that clothe the syllogistic skeleton.
The author confesses, and we would have implied had he not confessed, that these speculations are actually the result of a severe, earnest endeavour by himself after a solid unquestionable test of faith. From the idiosyncrasy of his mental nature, he was compelled to take a subtle and lofty reach to produce a result satisfactory to himself. And these results, and the process by which they were attained, as in duty bound, he thus makes known to his fellow-men. Only minds, however, of like constitution with his own will feel their proper weight. There is in them an ideality and metaphysical sensibility, (if we may so speak,) which ordinary natures lack, the due appreciation of which can therefore only be shared in by a few. But passing over these, there is much to interest the general reader. There is a harmonious roll of thought and expression which well befit the glorious theme. He breathes freely and healthily the ethereal atmosphere of truth and beauty, so much so, that we deplore ever and anon the tightbreathed enunciation of the logical forms, and rush past them into the balmy air again. There is, too, a stirring dramatic power of portraiture and incident, in which vivid realisation is the most conspicuous feature. We have only to leail proof of our estimate of its material, to recommend it to the favour of the public.
“The close of his sublime life is approaching. He meets for the last time with his disciples, and intimates, by the broken bread and the poured out wine, the nature of bis coming fate. A tender melancholy pervadles the upper chamber, as the disciples sit in silence, listening to the sweet accents of the voice of hiin they love, the voice that spoke from the confines of the tomb,—the voice that was so soon to be hushed in death. The feast is ended, that voice is still. They sit like a spell-bound circle after the ceasing of melting music. Slowly and saully they rise, and descend with their Master into the streets of Jerusalem, and take the well-known route to the Mount of Olives. The little band steals quietly along, saddened with dim presages of a coming woe; their Leader, with the picture of tomorrow's bloody scenes in his eye, casting many å rueful glance on the strects they thread, so soon to resound with the cry, "Crucify him ! crucify him! Away with such a fellow from the earth.' They arrive at Kedron
-cross the brook-and stand at the foot of the shadowy hill. Leaving the rest of his disciples beyond the precincts of the garden, he takes along with him Peter and James and John, his loved and loving three, and enters the gloom of lone Gethsemane. Night sits upon the world, and creation, in her midnight vestment, is asleep. Jerusalern's busy hum is hushed. Her 'mighty heart is still.'
Over her solemn temple and domestic dwellings, the shadow of a starless sky is hung. The unsleeping eye of God alone rests upon our little wakeful company. 'Then Jesus began to be sorrowful and very heavy.' A mournful sound, like dying thunder, startles the dull ear of night. My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. Tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face and prayed, saying, 'Oh my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt. Around the prostrate form of the agonised Redeemer, stand, in a cloudy orb, the ministering spirits of the Genius of sorrow, with surcharged vials in their hands, distilling their mortal mixture into the mighty chalice of his soul. A footfall echoes on the streets of Jerusalem, the glare of a torch streams like a flame in hell, through the black air; it falls upon the dark olives of Gethsemane, and Jesus is apprised that his hour is come. "And he cometh unto his disciples and findeth them asleep, and said unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour! Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.' Streams of vengeful Jews are rushing to the point of confluence. The torrent has not yet burst through the gates of the city. He went away again, the second time, and, being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly, while his sweat was like great drops of blood falling down to the ground, saying, Oh, my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.' No dagger drinks the purple tide; no fierce assassin's blow compels him to the dust, and yet blood bursts from his wreathing frame, and crimsons round the verdant turf.
“But the infuriated multitude are beginning to sally from the city gates, like deep-mouthed bloodhounds, or dark birds of the night. “And he came and found his disciples asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.' His enemies alone are awake, and yonder moving blackness is their array. Every being interested in his welfare is unconscious of his danger. All are asleep but himself : what a picture of desolation! He cannot bear it. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. The traitor and his murderous band are now at the gate, howling like wolves, to devour both the Shepherd and his little flock. Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, “Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going : behold he is at hand that doth betray me.'
“Every dispensation, whether of creation or of providence, was preparatory and subordinate to this manifestation of the Father by the Son, as the Word made flesh. The lines of light that had flowed diffusely from the works and ways of the Revealer, were now to be united with others, and transmitted through one prism capable of resolving them all into their separate elements, and exhibiting the glory of the Divinity as manifold, yet singular—as complex, yet perfectly simple. Prior to this event, the complement of the Divine attributes was not fully known, notwithstanding the number and variety of the antecedent disclosures. There had been a segment, not a circle. Two attributes in particular required further development. The one had been partially though terribly displayed; but the other, save for this event, must have, in all probability, remained for ever concealed. These are justice and mercy. In themselves, they seem to imply reciprocal antagonism: now, in order fully to reveal them, and to show that they were not conflicting but conspiring principles, several conditions were necessary. It was indispensable that there should be creatures placed in such circumstances-how we need not inquire--as powerfully, and with the same force of appeal, to invoke the exercise of both: that a medium should be provided for the exercise and display of both; that this medium should be of such a character as not to compromise or deteriorate the one at the expense of the other; in short, that this medium should be capable of exhibiting both in all their peculiar, distinctive, and essential properties, and yet as thoroughly harmonious. The universe, previous to this scene in the drama of Divine manifestation, could not understand these perfections -- how they could, by any possibility, operate together without collision. The angels desired, but up till this period had not been permitted to look into their concurrence. They had