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covered by every animal at the growth of his food, and the mildness of the weather; give an air of gaiety to the face of things; so that this season may justly be compared to youth, as that season of life may properly be called its spring.
The vicissitude of seasons seems, indeed, to be an exact emblem of the transitory state of this mortal life. As opening spring leads on the year, and gives hopes of fertility and abundance; so, in youth, we generally discover the first symptoms of that rising genius, which, being manured by time, renders the man respectable for his endowments, and useful to society.
Youth is the proper season for instruction, and herein it resembles the spring of the year, when the book of nature is opened to our eyes, and its treasures displayed to the observation of the curious. It must be acknowledged, however, that, as Dr. Young expresses,
“Some untaught can hear the tuneful rill, In spite of sacred leisure, blockheads still." The face of nature, which Milton has justly called the “Book of knowledge fair,” has no charms for some men: it is to them a mere blank, which they pass by unregarded, preferring the dissipations of idle amusement to the elevated joys of contemplation. Such persons, however, would do well to consider that all their favourite pleasures are inferior to those which a view of nature would afford them, in what they set the highest value upon; I mean in novelty and variety. Nature is
inexhaustible in her productions, and the curious observer will always find something new, to gratify his curiosity; or something useful, to reward his researches. It can admit of no doubt, that many vegetables are possessed of properties hitherto undiscovered, which might be made of great use, and which reiterated experiments, and close attention, could not fail of bringing to light. Add to this, that he who indulges speculations of this nature, must always find new reasons to adore his Creator, as all the works of his hand evidently bear the marks of divine wisdom; and as wonderful skill and contrivance are displayed in the formation of the commonest plant as well as in the fabric of the universe.
Thus is our love of novelty, a leading principle in the human heart, which must have been implauted in us by the Author of our frame for the most benevolent purposes, gratified in a particular manner by those rural contemplations for which spring furnishes the first materials, no less than by the different appearances which things assume at the approach of the vernal season.
When a Christian beholds the scene shift from a turbulence of clouds, and all the inclemencies of the elements, to enlivening suns, serene skies, bills clothed with verdure, embowering shades, refreshing streams, and the harmony of the grove, he will be naturally led to make moral reflections on the goodness of the Supreme Being; and to conclude, from the analogy of nature, that when this
transitory life is over, it will be succeeded by a state of higher bliss, as the winter's gloom is dispelled by the rising spring.
Nothing can be better adapted to make us hope for a renewal of our existence, than our thus beholding nature itself renewed; for who can doubt but he who clothes the fields with new verdure every year, and makes the trees blossom anew, after they have been long exposed to the winter's chilling blast, is able to raise our bodies from the dust, and reanimate them with immortal vigour?
ON THE APPROACH OF SPRING.
O) SPRING-TIME now will soon be here,
The birds shall build their nests, and wake
'Twas then I ventured first to twine
Or watched where on the apple trees
All, all was fair! at times like this
The earth laughed into flower. The sky
“Be light," and there is light.
Author of nature's annual birth,