Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

the seasons into weeks and months! As the moon performs her circuit round the earth once every month, her different phases serve as measures of duration, which have been denominated weeks and months, whereby the seasons are computed. What is the nature of the sun supposed to be? It is the fountain of light and heat to the planetary bodies revolving round it: what its nature and properties may be we know not; some suppose it to be an opaque body surrounded by a luminous atmosphere. What is the nature of the moon supposed to be? The moon is supposed to be a solid opaque body like the earth, and to have dark and light spots, which they conceive to be land and water. How many motions has the moon ? Three : one round the earth, one round its own axis, and one round the sun with the earth. What are the supposed dimensions of the sun and moon ? The sun is more than a million times larger than the earth, and the moon fifty times less than the earth. What is the mean distance of the sun and moon from the earth? The sun is about ninety-five millions of miles from the earth, and the moon about two hundred and forty thousand miles. What are those appearances called which the interposition of the earth and moon exhibit? They are called eclipses. What is an eclipse of the sun ? An eclipse of the sun is when the moon interposes between us, the earth, and the sun. What is an eclipse of the moon? An eclipse of the moon is when the earth comes between the sun and it, so as to deprive the moon of the light of the sun. Are there any other shining bodies that give no light themselves, but receive it from the sun ? Yes; the planets. How many are there of them? Seven; Mercury, Venus, the Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Herschel. Any others ? Yes; four others, called Asteroids : Ceres, Pallas, Juno, Vesta. How do you distinguish a planet from a star? A planet may be easily distinguished from a star by its superior magnitude and greater brightness. How do you distinguish one planet from another? Mercury from his resemblance to a bright diamond near the sun's disk, Venus from her superior brightness and appearing as our morning and evening star, Mars from his red appearance, Jupiter from the brightness of his disk, and Saturn from his dull livid colour. Ver. 20. And God said, Let the waters bring forth

abundantly, the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open fir

mament of heaven. Ver. 21. And God created great whales, and every

living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly after their kind, and

every winged fowl after his kind : and God saw that it was good.

What did God next create? Fish and fowl. What are the different classes of living creatures on our earth? There are three different classes of creatures, the beasts, the winged tribes, and the fishes. What are the different regions allotted for their residence ? The beasts live on the surface of the earth, the winged tribes in the regions of the air, and the fishes in the ocean, the lakes, and rivers. What are the distinguishing characters of fishes ? Fishes inhabit the water, have fins, and are covered either with scales or with shells. What is the generic appellation of each of these species ? Fishes covered with scales are called cartilaginous, while those covered with shells are called testaceous. With what do they breathe? Their gills. Do they breathe air ? Not the air directly; they extract the vital air from the water with them. On what do they feed ? They feed on each other, and sea weed, and sea insects.

Describe to me the peculiar nature and structure of fishes. Their organs of sense are very obtuse, their blood is cold, and they are of an oblong shape. What senses do fish possess ? The sense of smelling is strong in fish to discover a bait, their hearing is also acute, and their eyes are suited for vision in the element of water. How do fishes propagate their young? By means of spawn. Are fishes prolific? Yes; the herring will produce thirty thousand, the carp two hundred thousand, a flounder above a million, and a cod nine millions of eggs in one season. Towhat uses are fish applied? Fish form a valuable article of food to man; oil is also obtained from fish in abundance, and isinglass is made from the sturgeon. What is the largest fish? The whale, which is one hundred feet in length and thirty feet in height. What is the principal fishery? The cod fishery on the banks of Newfoundland. What else did God create from the waters ? Fowl that may fly in the open firmament of heaven. What is the common name for fowl? Birds. What is the general character of birds ? Birds bring forth their young from eggs, they have two wings, two legs, and their bodies are covered with feathers, and they have a horny bill. Can you describe the feathers of birds ? A feather is composed of a hollow root or quill of a middle spine, and of a series of fibres attached to each other by a beautiful structure of toothed or hooked edges. Is there not something peculiar in the bones of birds ? Yes ; they are hollow, and the air finds access to them and fills all their cavities. Are not the feathers of birds apt to be spoiled by the effects of rain? To obviate this birds are furnished with two oil bags at the sides of the tail, with which they anoint their feathers. Do birds shed their feathers ? Yes, twice in the year; and the process is called moulting. Is there any peculiarity about the stomachs of birds?

In birds, the stomach, or gizzard, is of very powerfulmuscular structure. What are the chief points to be studied in birds?

Their appearances, their migrations, their mode offorming their nests, their songs, and the uses to which they can be applied. Are birds useful to man? Yes; they afford food, they destroy insects, and consume carrion. Ver. 24. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the

living creature after his kind, cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth after his kind : and it

was so.

What are the species of creatures that God did next create ? Beasts of the earth, cattle, and creeping things. What is the difference between beasts and cattle ? Cattle are beasts of pasture; other beasts are wild and some tame. What do creeping things comprehend ? Reptiles and some insects. What are the usual senses and organs with which beasts are furnished ? They are provided with five senses, seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling. Are the bodily members of the lower animals well fitted to minister to their subsistence and preservation ? Their mouths are well adapted either to seize their prey or collect their food, their teeth to break and browse, their stomachs to digest, and the heart to promote the circulation of the blood. What is remarkable in cattle that graze? They have long necks to enable them to stoop down to the ground, and their fore teeth are made to cut the grass like scissors. What else is remarkable in this kind of animals? They have four stomachs. How are creeping things enabled to move from one place to another? Creeping things have such power and elasticity in their muscles, as to enable them to proceed with ease in all directions. By what means are the comfort and beauty of the lower animals

[ocr errors]

promoted ? Their comfort is promoted by their hairy
and fleecy skins, which add beauty to their appearance.
How do animals provide for their subsistence? Some
watch their prey, and others feed on certain kinds of
plants. Do animals discover sagacity in providing
places for their habitation ? They discover wonderful
sagacity in providing places for their residence: some
burrow in the ground, some build cells on the brinks of
rivers, others have storehouses in fields or forests ; all
of which are well adapted to their security and com-
fort. How many kinds of animals are there supposed
to be, and into how many classes have they been divi-
ded? There are about two hundred species of animals,
which are divided into two classes, viz. wild and tame.
What are the peculiar uses of wild animals? Many
wild animals may be said to be pernicious, such as lions
and tigers, but they are exceedingly useful in devouring
the carcases of beasts which might infect the air. What
are the particular uses of tame animals ? The greater
part of tame animals, such as camels, dromedaries, and
horses, are very serviceable as beasts of burden ; while
the flesh of oxen, and the milk of cows, and sheep fur-
nish human food, and their hides or fleeces serve as ma-
terials for our clothing.
Ver. 26. And God said, Let us make man in our image

after our likeness, and let them have dominion over
the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and
over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every

creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Ver. 27. So God created man in his own image; in the

image of God created he him.

What was the last thing God created ? Man. What did God do when he had mado man? Blessed him. What is meant by blessed him ? Wished him to be

« AnteriorContinua »