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Did you ever consider a blade of grass ?
How is grass produced ? Are the seeds sown by man?
A few may occasionally be sown by man, but are they generally thus sown?
Is the creation of grass mentioned? Where? What is said respecting it?
What then is the proper parent of the grass ? What was every vegetable to contain?
When the grass was first created, it was, as well as other vegetables, endowed with a power of producing its own seed, and multiplying its own kind.-Of all the vegetable productions, which is the most abundant ?
Can you see any reason for this?
Is it food for man ?-But does it in any way contribute to the nourishment of man? How?
Is it not the nourishment of animals which nourish man? *
Is grass useful to man in any other way?
* The Teacher might likewise tell the children that the different kinds of corn are the seed of different grasses :-or he might ask the question—Is there any species of grass, the seed of which is used for the food of man? What species ?
Of what use are vegetable productions with respect to the air we breathe ?
Must not grass then, render the air more wholesome?
Of what colour is the grass?
If it had been white, or scarlet, or yellow, or black, what would have been its effect upon your eye
Let us now think of the number of blades of grass in a single field-in a whole countryin the world!
And whence does each blade derive its nourishment ? How many
wonders lie beneath our feet of which we seldom think ! At every step we take in a field, we tread over several blades of grass---each blade contains many veins : what a number of these little channels of nutriment does our foot cover! God supplies each single vein; He causes, the rain, the air, the sun, respectively to operate in producing the effect of circulation in the veins; each vein receives its portion of juices, and performs its own minute, yet necessary office, in nourishing the little blade.
Each blade forms but one, amongst the many thousands, perhaps millions which surround it; and many blades taken collectively, are a means of nourishment to animals, and mediately to What may we learn from these particular considerations ?
We'may learn that each part has its place, its office, its use, in the great whole of creation ; that the order of the whole is formed by each part being in its own place, and performing its own office :-if then, we are ever so minute and insignificant, still we have our time, our place, and our office in the immense scale of creation. These are not chosen by ourselves, but appointed by God; and we cannot either go out of our sphere, or refuse to perform the office allotted to us, without violating the laws of eternal wisdom and order.
What general reflections may the view we have taken produce ?
We may take occasion to adore the wisdom, and goodness of God, in the creation of the useful herb we have been considering, in the law given to it, in common with the rest of the vegetable world, that each plant should produce its like--in the consequent propagation of grass from the creation to the present time—in the universality of its growth-in its uses with respect to animals and men.
When we behold the inanimate creation, exactly and continually fulfilling the end appointed for it, we may entreat the forgiveness of God for having so long neglected to fulfil the great object of our existence : we may pray that during the short period of our earthly life, the end for which we came into it may be accomplished.
To which kingdom of nature does this belong?
Are the leaves of all trees alike? The leaves of the same tree? Are they perfectly alike?
Let us take a leaf from different trees; from an oak, a lime, a birch, an ash, an elm, a poplar, and compare their forms.
Describe the form of each. Tell me in what the forms differ from each other :-the shades of colour—the texture the disposition of the fibres.
Now let us look again at the leaf I first shewed you.-Is it square? round ? oval ? triangular? heart-shaped ?-Is it regular or irregular?
Is it broader at one end than at the other? At which end is it broadest? Is this the case with every kind of leaf?
What do you observe at the edges of the leaf? What at the bottom of the leaf?
And what is the use of the stalk ?
Enumerate all the parts of the tree between the leaf and the stem. Do you observe an order? Whose order? How
many intermediate parts did we mention ?
And what intermediate parts may we trace,
between the stem of the tree and the least fibres of the root ?
Of what may we be reminded in considering the connection between the fibres of the root, and the minutest fibre of the leaf?
[We may think of the parts of our own body, and the connection which subsists between them. We may
also think of the various members of the different orders of society, of their connection with each other, and with the common source of their existence and happiness. Read what St. Paul says 1 Cor. xii. 14-21.)
Let us farther observe the leaf before us. Is its surface rough or smooth ?
Is the leaf transparent? Dull or shining ?
Is it alike on both sides? Is the colour the same on both sides?
What parts do you observe in the leaf ?-What passes through the middle of it?
Of what does this appear to be the continuation?
Can you observe any other fibres ?—Let us try to trace their directions a little. Are they connected ? How?
Now hold up the leaf to the light: what do you perceive? Is there not a kind of net-work? Of what is this composed ? And what are these minute parts? Can you trace their connection with each other? Is not your power of observation nearly lost amidst the multitude of these small veins, and their various intersections ?
Of what use are they to the leaf?