Imágenes de páginas


[ocr errors]

about the bigness of the cominon cat; but its body, when tolerably fed, is thicker. The legs are short; the neck also is very short; and its long and thick covering renders it so slapeless to view, that it seems only an irregular lump of living mat

Its little and remarkably ugly head, stands close between the shoulders. The face hath much of the monkey aspect, though greatly more unpleasing: It is not of the colour of the body, but blackish, and covered over with short hair, unlike to that on the rest of the body. Its small and heary eyes, are always half shut; and the creature has no appearance at all of ears. Its feet are flat, and narrower than in any other animal whatsoever : a plain proof that it was never forined for walking. But the claws are very useful for laying hold on the bark of a tree, by striking deep into it.

This sluggish animal rarely chuses to change its place; never, but when coinpelled by absolute necessity. As upon the ground, it would be a prey to every other animal, and liable to: many dangers, therefore its place of residence is a tree, which it generally selects very large and flourishing. Here it is safe from all animals, except those which climb these trees for the birds that roost on them: to these it falls often a sacrifice: but lives greatly secure from all others.

It is very remarkable, that the Sloth always ascends to the top of a tree, only baiting as it goes, before it begios its devastation. And this is doubtless from the instinctive guidance of Providence; for was it to begin eating upwards, when it had devoured all, it would have to climb down a wearisome journey from the top of a dead tree; and would be half starved in the attempt. But this is not all. The havock that one single Sloth inakes on the largest and fairest tree is such, that it is easily seen : and this, unless it might happen also from accidents, would betray the creature. The Sloth eats not only the leaves, but the buds, and the very bark all the way as it goes, leaving only a dead branch. It feeds in the most voluptuous manner, scarcely moving out of its place for many hours together; all the çime eating, and sluggishly half closing its sleepy eyes. As it feeds, the tree decays; but its decay is in the course of nature. The dead boughs become more and more nunerous all the way down wards; and in the end, when the creature has eaten the last part of its provision, it is as near the ground as it can be in any part of the feeding; and it has nothing to do, but to climb down, as fast as it can, and crawl to another. But if it be necessary to go to any distance from this, there is no wonder (so slow and uneasy is its motion, and so unwieldy its shapeless bulk) that, from fat, it absolutely becomes lean in the expe, çition.

When the female is big with young, she climbs the trunk of some old tree, in which there is an hollow, from some accidental decay, at a distance from the ground. In this circum

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE SLOTII. stance only, the natural laziness of the creature doth not get the better of it; but what is it which Nature omits, when the care of the offspring is the object? When the time of her bringing forth approaches, as soon as she has fixed upon such a hollow for depositing her young, she climbs to the very bighest bough of the tree, and there feeds faster than ordinary. When the time is very near, its belly being well filled, it descends with more than its accustomed haste into the hole, to have the young creatures brought forth. There are usually two, sometimes three. These are to be supported by suckling, till they are able to crawl: but the Sloth is an inhabitant of the hotter parts of America, and in those climates creatures acquire this power sooner. It is well that the dam is full fed before she retires to the place of her bringing forth; for she is to support these young ones by her milk, all this time, without being able to get out and eat for her own supply. She is round and fleshy when she retires for this purpose; but nothing living can be so absolute a skeleton as she is when she comes out.' She crawls in the best manner she can, to the lowest branches, which she did not strip, that there might be food for the young ones. These follow her; and they soon begin to feed as she does. The time of bringing forth her young, is a period of strange hurry to this animal: it costs her two or three journies up and down the tree, a thing that never happens on any other occasion.

Many and great are ibe dangers which surround it while it is travelling to a new habitation. Whatever beast thinks it worth eating, may take it: and if it cscape these, it may be trod to death by the step of some of the larger kinds. It is natirally, and indeed reasonably enough, the most timorous of all animals, for it can neither fight nor fly. While it is on its journey upon the ground, or if it be put there by way of experiinent, the reading of an buman foot shake; the earth enough to put it into terrors. st trembles; the head is turned about every way in a moment; and the deformed little mouth is opened to cry like a young kitten. The note is very plaintive, and very particular. It may be expressed by the leiters ai, ai; and from this, soine have called the creature by the name of di.

Insignificant as this animal is, who yet can help observing the special hand of a gracious Providence in its formation Not designed for motion, its feet are nevertheless furnished wiila claws, which enable it to hold tast in that station which is necessary for it. Helpless as it is, and liable to a thousand inizchances on the ground, the Universal Provider liath assigned it a place of safety, where it finds plenty of food; and as chranging its place would be uneasy and dangerous, be hath made drinking unnecessary to it, from the nature of its food and its own constitution. To render it, defenceless as it is, the less obyinoxious to pursuit, the colour wherewith the Creator hath clothed it, serves to scenre it even from view:--ind the ainuting instinct wherewith it is endowed, and which we have remarked, respecting its manner of feeling from the top to the bottom, abundantly evinces a designing and directing hand, as well as that care of the young, which even stimulates this most slothful of creatures to a degree of industry; and holds out a lesson to those parents who are so abandoned and worthless, as to leave their offspring to want and inisery, for the wretched gratification of drunkenness, idleness, and such shameful rices.

But while we bebole, witlo pleasure, the traces of provident care, even in this creature, let it shew us, as in a glass, the despicable tigure of that více, whence it hath its naine, and which it so well delineates. The sleepy, eating, lazy, worthless, useless animal, which lodged upon a green branch, would be content never to more theretrom, so it could there continually be fed-cat at ease, and slumber at will;- and which indeed never leaves the branch till it bath destroyed it, and thus is compelled to move. This contemptible lump'of matter well represents to us the man who lives only to cat and to drink; to indulge his appetite, to feast bis tiesh, to dose away his life in sleepy inactivity, and to consuine himself (his nobler self, his soul) and liis substance, in wretched indolence, and bodily indulgences. Let him but sleep; cram his overcharged stomach ; molest not his qniet ; lei bim sit still, or sannter about, and yawn, and stretch himself, — and he is at the very pinnacle of his wishes !-- seless and unprofitable. - Dost thou not remember that thou art a man!milat thou wast not born merely to breathe an animal lite, frug's cousumere ; not merely, sloth-like, to eat up the tree upon which thou art stationed :-ibine it is to cultivate that tree. Thou hast a soul, and it much behove's thee, by diligent care, to seek its future welfare: - thou art a member of the community, and art called upon industriously to fill up the duties of thy station. Reason and Religion alike demand an exertion of thy faculiies; and, to be a man, thou must labour,-much more to be a Christian! For the spiritual life is compared to a wartire,--to a journey,--to a race ! How incompatible then is sloth with Christianity! and how disgraceful, both to religion and to laimself, is the character of an ide Christian !



1. How far were thre Israclities justifiable in taking from the Egyptians so many valuable articles, under the pretence of borrowing them : Exod. xii. 35.

2. Wire is it said in Psalm lv. 23." The wicked shall not live out half their days," when other Scriptures declare, that there is an appointed tiine for man upon earth, and that the purposes of God are unalterable?


[ocr errors]

Historical, Geographical, Periodical Accounts of the Baptist Chronological, Etymological, and Missionary Society. No. X. 8vo. Critical Dictionary of the Holy Bible, &c. By Mr. John Brown,

This Number contains a print Minisier of the Gospel, Haddington :

and Memoir of the late Mr. John much enlarged from the Dictionaries

Thomas, who died at Dinagepore, of Calmet, sc. in Two Volumes,

Oct. 13, 1801. The intelligence is 8vo. Montrose, 1800.

interesting and encouraging. It in

cludes the substance of two quarThe industry, the erudition, terly packets, or the progress of and, above all, the eminent piety the mission from Oct. 5, 1801, to of the late Rev. J. Brown, have April 4, 1802. The printing-press, procured for his works a deservedly which, for the last two or three extensive sale in the churches of years has been at work, appears to the saints. His valuable work, be a great blessing to this mission. intituled, “ A Dictionary of the Besides giving the Scriptures to Holy Bible,” &c. printed at Edin- the natives in their own language, burgh, by Murray and Cochran, many thousand of small tracts have 1797, we have taken notice of in a been printed, and distributed in former number. This Dictionary, several itinerant tours round the printed at Montrose, and which country ; the effects of which are, bears the name of Mr. Brown, is, that a general attention is excited ; however, in many important re- many persons, from various and spects, a very different work. In distant quarters, are almost consome fundamental articles of reli. tinually applying for instruction; gion, it contains sentiments directly and several have embraced the opposite to Mr. Brown's; and, in gospel. others, his sentiments and views Certain European infidels, aware, are, in one instance, to the extent it seems, of the affinity between of six pages, totally left out. In sup- Deism and Heathenism, have acport of these charges we refer the tually become the apologists for reader to the words Adam, Begel, the latter; and have discovered an Gospel, Justice, Righteousness, and inclination to excite the govern. Sanctification. It is true, that the ment to stop all attempts to overMontrose edition is said to be turn it; but their efforts have " much enlarged from the Diction- hitherto been unsuccessful. aries of Calmet, Symon,” &c.; but Mr. Carey's appointment in the candour surely required that the college at Calcutta, seems to have editor should furnish his reader been the means of good, not only with a key to distinguish the to individuals under his care, but author's genuine sentiments from to several Portugueze Catholics in those which have been intermingled that city, to whom his frequent reor added; especially when they sidence there has given him access. are so contradictory to what the The Cası, which threatened to be good man conceived to be the an insuperable barrier in the way of oracles of God. We are requested Christianity, has not only given to add, that the author's sons, mi- way in the cases of those who liave nisters of the gospel at Whitburn, been baptized, but others seeni to Inverkeithing, and Dalkeith, con- make light of it. If the Lord con. ceive dieir venerable father's name tinue to bless the gospel amongst to be much dishonoured by being them, it is not improbable that it thus unwarrantably prefixed to may gradually fall into contempt. such a publication,

A good number of European


Christians in India, some of whom N. B. We learn from the Secreare the fruits of the mission, are tary of the Society, that since the active in their respective spheres. present Number has been out, Letters, in defence of Christianity, other letters have arrived, of as late written by Mr. Cunningham, have date as July 16, 1802, giving an acappeared in The Oriental Star (a count of six more having been bapCalcutta newspaper) and have since tized ; namely, Five natives and been reprinted at Serampore, in the one European. Among the former form of a pamphlet.

was Golook, the married daughter Three of the baptized natives of Kristno ; who having been forhave given much pain to the Mis- cibly carried away about a year besionaries, by their contentious con- fore, and compelled to marry a man duct; but the exercise of a strict to whom she had been betrothed in and faithful discipline, has been the childhood, after much cruel treatmeans of recovering two of them. ment for her refusal to renounce

“God,” say the Missionaries, Christianity, made her escape in “ we trust, will bring good out of May last, She was, at her own rethis evil. 'It has furnished us with peated request, baptized in June; an opportunity of laying before our and, it is said, her husband does not Hindoo bretliren and sisters, jri a wish her to return. Their number peculiar manner, the necessity of of members now is twenty-four ;' universal holiness, and the iinpos viz. Thirteen natives, and eleven sibility of uniting the service of any Europeans. one sin with that of Jesus Christ. The writer of Mr. Thomas's The steps also which have been Memoir, wishes the reader to draw taken with the offending parties, his pen over the word “ ages," in have convinced them, more than p. 247, 1.9.; an erratum which was many exhortations, of our determi. too late for correction. nations to retain none in the church who are not willing to depart from Correction, Instruction; or the all iniquity. We feared it would Rod and the Word : a Treatise on have been a stumbling-block in the Aflictions, & c. By Thomas Case, way of our inquiring friends; but

M. A. New Edition, 12mo, 25. it appears to have operated, through the Divine Goodness, in a contrary

MR. CASE was a Non-conform

ist Minister, of considerable emi. " As several liave lost cast for, or nence and ability. The work bethrough the gospel, an opportunity fore us was originally “ conceived is afforded to gather up their chil. by way of private meditations," dren. The Missionaries have ac- when in prison for his Non-concordingly established a free-school, formity. Upon his enlargement, for the board, clothing, and tuition

these meditations were thrown into of twenty native youths, -either the forin of sermons on Psalm xciv. children of Christian parents, or of The publication of them was such as are willing to lose cast. then earnestly solicited by many, In this school they employ Chris. and particularly by the great and tian Hindoos as teachers, though excellent Dr. Manton; who, when the whole is inspected by thein- he perused the MS, addressed the selves. The expence is estimated author in a letter which concludes at about 1701. a year; the chief

thus: 7

“Good Sir, be persuaded of which is subscribed by the to publish these discourses : the religious public of Bengal.”. subject is useful; and your manner

Besides the above intelligence, , of handling it, warm ind affectionthe Murter contains, a Letter from ate; -do not deprive the world of the Suciety to the Missionaries; your experiences. Certainly my to the Ci ristian Hinduos; - and to heart is none of the tenderest; yet, Felix Carvy, who is chosen to be a if heart avsiyereth to heart, I can Missionary the Designation of easily foresee much success; and Mr. Chimberlain; and Resolu- that you will not repent of the pubtions of the Communittee,

lication,” &c. It would be super


I 2.

« AnteriorContinuar »