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What was there in the earth to give nourisha -ment?
How is the moisture of the earth made to rise and circulate to the acorn ?
Whence does the oak come?
Where were once the root-the trunk the branches ?
Could all be contained in the acorn?
What effect would be produced, were it put into the ground?
Does the acorn shoot in one direction only?
What takes place before the acorn shoots ? [The outside corrupts.] What part
of the acorn shoots ? Of what use is the outside ? w What booomes of it at last?
Is there any part of you which is like the outside of the acorn?
And what will become of your body, when it is laid in the ground?
• Various trains of thought, may at different times be pursued with respect to the same object.- In commencing the lesson, the Teacher might say, where is the acorn nuw? Is it conscious that it is in my hand ? Am I conscious of it?Is the acorn active or passive ? - Why did I take the acorn into my hand ? I took it into my hand, that we might eramine it, and that we might reflect upon it. By what means are we to examine it? Of what senses is it chiefly the object? What qualities can you discern in it by the sense of sight? What by the sense of feeling? --We said that we might examine the acorn by means of our senses ; what acts and examines through our senses ? [The mind examines through the medium of the senses.] What powers of mind
Tell me the uses of the acorn.
If an oak bear acorns every year, can you at all calculate the number it might produce in its time?
And if each of those acorns were sown, might not they also become oaks?
And would not these oaks again produce acorns in their time?
How incalculable then, is the number of oaks and acorns, which this single acorn might produce !
We are lost in the thought of the numbers here presented to us. It cannot be expected that the mind of a child should receive a clear
can be exercised with respect to the acorn ?-Such a course of questions, might, with little variation, apply to almost any object.
The Teacher may at times consider objects with respect to some one prominent feature ; vegetables for example :
1. With reference to the process of growth. 2.
their appearance, state, &c. when
their uses when grown. 4.
their end, after haring passed through
their vegetable life.
impression of the fact: if any idea of the increasing multitude be given, we must be satisfied. Our aim should be, to lead to the contemplation of the infinite power of God, the Author of all increase.]
We cannot calculate the number of oaks, of which this acorn might be the parent, still less the number of acorns—but we know generally that this little acorn which I hold in my hand, might produce hundreds of oaks, and thousands and millions of acorns.
We said that root, trunk, branches, leaves,the whole of an oak might proceed from this acorn : we have since thought of the many oaks and acorns which might in succession arise from such a seed; what then must the acorn contain ?
Must it not contain a power of life and increase ?
We are not able to calculate the extent of this power : who knows it perfectly?
Does the power of life, or the power of producing an oak, exist in the acorn in and by itself? In and by whom, does it exist?
power is its life maintained ? Can the acorn, by its own efficiency, call forth its power of life?
Have we not seen that it must be acted upon by the elements ?
And who gives the elements their power of acting upon it?
Who causes the sun, air, and rain, to vivify the acorn in the earth ?
Who gives every cause power to produce its effect, from the first germ of life in the seed, to the final decay of the oak?
There may be at this time, upon the earth, millions of millions of acorns; yet, amongst all these numbers, God knows this acorn, and every circumstance belonging to it.
Does God know what will become of this acorn ?
And does He not know the use we are now making of it?
Does He not hear what we are saying, and know our thoughts about it?
And if God knows this single acorn with all its properties and qualities, amidst the innumerable acorns which are in the world—if He knows its time, its place, and the most minute circumstance concerning it—will He not much more care for, uphold, and preserve each individual amongst the multitudes of the human race?
God is the Father of the vast Universe, yet every outward circumstance, however minute, in the every-day life of each individual, is known to Him : every operation of the mind, every working of the will, every inclination of the heart, of every human being, during each successive moment of its existence, is intimately present to the all-seeing mind.
Remember then that amidst the innumerable multitudes of human creatures, you are every moment cared for, watched over, upheld by your
Father in Heaven: if you have never yet sought Him, be moved by the thought, that though you have forgotten Him times without number, still He has never left you during one moment of your existence; that in Him you have lived, and moved, and had your being *
* We might pursue the thought yet farther, and consider all the host of angelic creatures, the myriads of sinless intelligences, with every working of their being, all intimately known to God at one and the same woment.- On the one hand we admire that immensity which contains in itself the perfect knowledge of all the multiplied forms of being ; on the other, we adore that goodness which every moment takes care of, provides for, sustains, the very least creature.