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product of the bee, we may estimate when we remember that honey is one of the blessings promised to the Israelites—“ And ye shall inherit a land flowing with milk and honey." In the present day there are, in many parts of the world, districts where bee-culture is extensively carried on; in Palestine extensive apiaries are very common, the country being admirably adapted to the requirements of the bee; the valleys abound in aromatic plants, from which the most delicious honey is obtained. Large amounts of honey and wax are also obtained from the wild swarms that live in the rocks. These, modern travellers inform us, are particularly abundant in the wilderness of Judea—their swarms being almost innumerable in the clefts and fissures of the rocks; here the Bedouins collect honey, and convey it to the towns throughout Palestine for sale.
In many parts of Europe bee-culture is carried on to an extent we should scarcely have expected in the present day; it is no uncommon circumstance for a single bee farmer to possess a thousand hives, others from two to even 5000; and this is a profitable employment in many parts of Spain and Italy. In Catholic countries the use of wax is very great. In old books treating upon this subject, I have been surprised to find accounts of bee-farmers being richer than growers of corn; this was in catholic times; but the diminished importance of the honey-bee to Europe, arises from the discovery of the mode of extracting sugar from the sugar-cane, and of other products from which the best candles are now manufactured having in so great a degree superseded the use of wax. Notwithstanding these circumstances, both honey and wax are still largely consumed in this country, whilst in India the amount of honey consumed is something almost incalculable. In all tropical countries honey bees are very numerous, and their products of the greatest value; where an insect of this kind is abundant, its product is sure to be found to be beneficially useful.
There is, perhaps, no product more valuable derived from insects than that which can be applied to arts and manufacture; I shall, therefore, now mention a few from which are obtained some of the most valuable dyes. One of the oldest references to colour is to be found in Holy writ-and we find it in the order given for building the tabernacle : "Thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet." The oldest scarlet dye was obtained from an insect, the Coccus Ilicis, found on a small species of oak in southern Europe, in Persia, Palestine, and Arabia, &c. This red dye is one of the most imperishable known, and
is more fixed than the red dye obtained from the cochineal, but cannot be obtained in sufficient quantities, or at so cheap a rate, as that article; in fact, the abundance of cochineal has caused it to supersede several other brilliant dyes obtained from other insects.
There can be no doubt that cochineal is the most valuable insect product used in dying; it is a Mexican product chiefly. The cochineal insect feeds upon a species of fig, plantations of which are grown for that purpose. In the insect-room at the British Museum is a large picture of one of these plantations, in which people are seen employed in picking the Cocci off the prickly fig-trees, whilst a sort of grandee stands by overlooking their labour; on one side of the picture are the houses in which the cochineal is prepared for the market. The insects are collected principally by women, who brush them off the plant. Having collected a number, they are thrown into boiling water and killed; they are afterwards dried in the sun or in ovens for that purpose.
From another insect, of the same family as the Coccus of the Cochineal, is obtained the product known as Lac. Now Lac is used for so many purposes that its value will become apparent if I only allude to one or two; it is used largely in the manufacture of some of the strongest glues; in varnishes it is a most indispensible ingredient, and it is the product from which japan is made. In China, India, and Japan, it is one of the most common and useful varnishes used for all kinds of furniture, as well as for ornamental articles. The substance lac is composed of accumulated masses of the bodies of the little insect called Coccus; these insects, like the common plant-lice seen on the roses in our gardens, accumulate in masses on the branches of shrubs and trees; from these they imbibe the sap. They are scale-like insects and one is very common in this country, it is found upon the vine; it is always covered over with a white cottony substance, which many of you have doubtless observed. The lac insect is named Coccus lacca, lacca signifying the juice of a tree; in fact, old authors had no idea that it was an insect at all, and describe lac as a vegetable product. A valuable dye is also obtained from lac in conjunction with other substances; this scarlet colour is used in dying cloth for the army.
There are several other species of Cocci, from which dyes are obtained, all more or less valuable, whilst others furnish large quantities of wax used in varnishes as well as in the manufacture of candles in other countries.
(To be continued.)
MOTHER'S BEDSIDE HYMN.
FATHER! send my darling boy
Let him grow a gracious flower,
Be his sky or dark or bright,
Yet, O Father, deign that he
More rich for blessing who more blest.
Be his sunshine from above,
Filling his soul with light and love :
Light, to see the thing to do;
Love, strong to endure and triumph too.
Strong in faith, yet to the weak
MARY C. HUME ROTHERY.
APPROXIMATIONS TO NEW CHURCH
Readers of Swedenborg are often surprised and encouraged to find some of his most striking teachings presented in our popular literature. Nor are these presentments confined to published books or exclusively literary publications. The daily and weekly newspapers devote a certain portion of their space to literary articles, and often discuss moral and religious questions. Under the title of Rays of Sunshine, a writer in the Bury Times, who takes the signature of "Lux," has given expression to many beautiful New Church thoughts. The following, somewhat abridged, are examples :
"RAYS OF SUNSHINE. - Our thoughts are rays of sunshine. Every thought is a ray of light from the great sun of thought, the sun of righteousness.' If no cloud of evil arise from the earth of our heart to dim the sunlight, the thought will be pure and clear and bright. Evil thoughts and false thoughts are distortions of the sunshine in the soul, arising from selfishness, passion, and lust. 'Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts,' &c. 'The pure in heart shall see God' is a saying of deeper meaning than at first strikes the mind. The saying of Diogenes to Alexander the Great, who visited the philosopher in his tub, has a great significance for us all. Being asked by Alexander if he could do anything to oblige him, Diogenes replied, 'Get out of my sunshine.' So when any imperial lust approaches the soul and solicits friendship, let us with Diogenes exclaim, 'Get out of my sunshine.'
the advice, Pray that your flight (from this world) be not in the winter.' A man's head or intellect may, like the snow-capped mountain, reach up into the clearest light of heaven, but his head is frozen if his heart be not warmed with the fire of charity. When we meet with such men they seem to resemble snow-men rolled and built up by boys in winter. In this age of light and intelligence, we too much ignore the heat and life-giving principle of true Christian charity. By their fruits ye shall know them."
"The Sun is the Great Photographer. With his pencil of rays he paints our landscapes and our portraits with more perfect accuracy than our forefathers could have dreamed. He does this instantaneously-at a moment's sitting. In like manner, thought imprints every occurrence of life upon the plates of memory. Memory is man's book of life. But the impressions photographed on the memory are eternal, and can never be effaced. In this world the impressions are dim, having to pass through a material brain. Nevertheless every incident of every day and hour of our life is recorded on the plates of memory. They only need developing. Sit down, and with a strong effort of will you may call up incidents five, ten, twenty, fifty years old. house or room you lived in, some person you have known, some sin, some good deed you have performed, and thought you had forgotten. It is all there! You can never escape from it to all eternity! The light of heaven has photographed your whole life upon your soul. Your body is entirely changed once every seven years, but your spirit remains. Take care what sort of pictures your thoughts and actions are photographing every day and hour you live. You are now forming a photographic gallery for eternity. It must be filled either with pictures all beautiful or all hideous. You must hereafter live in that gallery, in the enjoyment of happiness, or stung with the vipers of remorse as you gaze upon them. 'There is nothing secret that shall not be revealed.' 'There is nothing hidden that shall not be known.'
"Rays of sunshine are a two-edged sword. They fall upon a stagnant pool, and forthwith all manner of poisonous vegetation springs into growth. The same rays, falling upon a spring or rivulet, are germinant with laughing health, bloom, and fertility. Rays of truth falling into a stagnant, selfish mind never become fruitful; the sluggish soul turns all it learns to bitterness and poison, and becomes a pestilence to society. The same truths falling into an earnest soul begin to sparkle and ripple, and flow with real active life. The flowers of intelligence blossom on its borders, and the surrounding soil brings forth abundant fruit. In the one case the rays of sunshine become the sword of a destroying angel in the other it is a sword transformed into a ploughshare.
Rays of sunshine are very microscopic. We can never know too much of ourselves, though self-knowledge is often very disagreeable. We prefer to know ourselves only in generalities and not in particulars. Apply the microscope to our motives, our secret impulses, our more hidden thoughts, and we should soon blush to find what deformities we are. But we don't like to face ourselves. If we did, should we not find many a lie covered up in the roundabout language we use to our neighbours-many a theft in keeping back what was another's due-many a slander or false witness in our fairseeming speech about a friend-many a murder covered up in the revengeful threatenings we have uttered-much idolatry in our praise of our own acts and deeds- much atheism, constant atheism, in claiming merit for our own benevolence. Only turn the micro3cope, with the light of truth, in upon the dirty little cavern of your own heart and you will see such a sight as must sicken you. All the monsters that crawled this earth, to which geologists give the names of troglodytes, megalosauri, and ichthyosauri, &c. &c., would be beautiful in comparison with your own collection of live evils; and the sooner you exterminate them the better. "They hate the light,' and they will soon perish if you pour in upon them clear rays of sunshine, concentrated by the burning lens of sincere repentance and reformation."
LABOUR.-It is a teaching of Swedenborg that the doctrine of charity, or the love of the neighbour, is best exemplified in the upright discharge of the common duties of life. Labour is therefore a providential appointment intended to aid in the formation of a truly human character. Its purpose is to form a plane in natural usefulness, into which can flow the spirit of a living charity and genuine brotherly kindness. The labours of earth thus become preparatory to the uses of heaven; and the training of the mind and life to habits of steady application and usefulness is of the utmost importance to both the present and future well-being of every individual. The value of labour as a means of moral discipline is instructively treated by Lord Stanley in his inaugural address as Rector of the Glasgow University. No better advice could be given to young men preparing for the active duties of life than is contained in the following extracts:
"There is no greater blessing for a man than to have acquired that healthy and happy instinct which leads him to take delight in his work for the work's sake; not slurring it over, not thinking how soon it will be done and got rid of, not troubling himself greatly about what men will say of it when it is done (I suspect the best kind of workers think as little of that as Newton did when he hesitated whether to publish his discoveries or not), but putting his whole heart and mind into it, feeling that he is master of it, feeling that the thing which he has turned out, be it a legal argument, or a book, or a picture, or anything else, is conscientiously and honestly perfected to the best of his power. Look at the matter only from the point of view of a man's personal happiness and welfare. What is the secret of the low amusements, the pleasure that is not pleasure, with which so many unhappy men contrive at once to waste and shorten their lives? Why, these things are, in 99 cases out of 100, merely the resources which they adopt to fill up vacant hours to get rid of the intolerable weariness of unemployed existence-to kill the sense of apathy and ennui which is killing them. I do not
believe that an unemployed man, however amiable and otherwise irreproachable, ever was, or ever can be, really