Lessons For Schools Part III
S U G A R.
Sugar is made from a plant which is called a sugar-cane.
This plant grows in certain islands, called the West Indies, and also in the
East Indies, where the soil and climate are found to favour its growth. It
would not grow well in a cold country. The persons who have estates for raising
sugar-canes get the name of planters.
Sugar-canes are planted in rows, like beans in a garden. When ripe for use, the canes are cut off near the roots. They are then carried to a press, and put between two iron rollers. These rollers, moving round, squeeze out the juice from the canes, and the juice falls into a tub placed beneath. After this the juice is put into a copper pan, where it is boiled, so as to carry off some of the water in vapour. When it is cooled, the moist part, or treacle, is drawn off and put up in casks, and sold under the name of molasses. The thick substance that remains behind is the sugar, which is also packed up in casks or barrels, and shipped off for those countries that consume it. In this state it is called raw, or yellow, or brown, or soft sugar. It is made into white sugar by being boiled again and again, till the treacle or brown part is wholly taken away, and it becomes white as snow. Bullocks blood, or steam, is used in this process ; and those who make the raw sugar into white are said to refine it. This is called also loaf sugar, because it is formed into the shape of loaves. And it is called lump sugar, because it becomes so hard, and may be broken down into lumps! Sugar, both brown and white, is much used by all classes of the people, and is said to nourish the body as well as to please the taste.
But we would not relish it so much if we could bring ourselves to reflect. on the manner in which it is raised in the West Indies. In. raising the canes and making the sugar from them, none but slaves are used. They are black people, called negroes, taken from a far country, torn away from their friends, bought and sold like cattle in a market, often forced to labour above their strength, and sometimes flogged without mercy, by their masters and keepers White men have no title to make slaves of black men.. God hath made of one blood all the nations that dwell on the face of the earth; and being their common parent,jt cannot but be hateful to him, that one part of his offspring should oppress and enslave another, merely because they differ from them in colour, or in some other trifling points. God will, sooner or later, punish those who act in a manner so unjust, and cruel.. We have reason to be thankful that there are no slaves in our own happy island and that neither children nor their parents can be taken by force, and made to work in a foreign land, for the profit of masters who would care for us no more they care for their horse or their oxen.
This should lead us to be kind and gentle to all who are beneath us, and to show the greatest pity to the poor negroes who fall in our way.
Sugar is not mentioned in the Bible. But there are two passages in which it is probable that the sugar cane is meant. In finding fault with Israel for their neglect of his service, God says, among other things. Thou hast brought me no sweet cane with money. Isaiah xliii 24. And when God is proclaiming his anger against the people for their wickedness, he says, To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet candy from a far country" Jer. vi - 20. From these extracts it appears that the sugar cane was an article of commerce in early times. But in whatever way it was used, it does not seem that the ancients knew how to manage the juice of the reed as it is done now. Sugar was first made from it in Egypt, then, in the twelfth century, in Sicily, which used to supply many parts of Europe with it. In 1506 the cane was taken to the West Indies. But till 1623 sugar could not be got, except at a great expense, and was only used at feasts and in medicines.
THE ANTS AND FLIES
n a corner of a farmers garden there was a nest of ants, who, during the fine weather in the summer, were busy all day long in drawing little seeds and grains of corn into their hole. Near, them there was a bed of flowers, upon which a great number of flies used to be sporting and humming, and flying from one flower to another.
A little boy who was the farmers son, used often to observe these insects, and wonder that the ants should differ so much from the flies in their mode of living; and as he was very young, and had not much knowledge, he one day spoke as follows: Can any thing be so simple and foolish as these ants? -All day long they are working and toiling, instead of making use of this fine weather to divert themselves, and indulge in pleasure like these flies, who appear to be more happy than any other creatures in the world?
Some time after he had made this remark, the weather grew very cold the sun was scarcely seen to shine, and the nights were chill and frosty. The same little boy, walking then in the garden with his father, did not see a single ant, but he saw the flies lying up and down dead or dying. As he had a kind and tender heart, he could not help feeling much pity for the poor flies, and feeling at the same time; what could have become of the ants that he used to see in the same place. His father said, The flies are all dead, because they were careless and too idle to work and gave themselves no trouble in laying up what they could not procure in the cold weather; but the ants, who have been busy all summer in order to secure food for thernselves during the winter, are all alive and well; and you will see them again as soon as the warm weather returns, and makes it safe for them to come abroad - "My dear boy," added, the father, "there is scarcely any thing in the habits even of the smallest insect, which is, not fitted to teach useful lessons; and from the case of the ants and the flies we may learn wisdom. If we spend all the spring and summer - that is, the youthful part - of our life, in idle sports or trifling pursuits, we shall have the winter of old age without honour, and without comfort, and shall not be able to stand in the judgment of that God, who gives us our being and all our powers,, that we may employ them and be active in doing holy will. But, if we strive, during our early days, to lay up a store of knowledge, and of good habits, and of pious feelings, then we shall be happy in our own minds, -we shall be useful to others, we shall, have peace and safety in the time outward trouble, and at last our Father in heaven will take us to himself, and make us dwell for ever in his presence where we shall rest from our labours. and where there is fulness of joy. The little boy gave earnest heed to what his father said. He never forgot the lesson that was now given him. He saw that it was his duty, and good for him to be -busy, both at school and at home. He took much delight in reading and in working. His never being idle, kept him from the many evils that idle boys always fall into. He grew in knowledge and in virtue, as he grew in years and in stature. And by the blessing of God, in which he hourly trusted, and for which he daily prayed, no one was seen to prosper more in the world than he did; and what he deemed of far higher moment, he had both the power and the will to be useful to all around him. He lived holy and. happy, and he died in the hope of future rest and glory.
Fire will not burn without fresh air, nor will animals live without it. If a piece of wax taper be set in a little hole in a piece of board and lighted, and a rummer be put over it, the rim being placed on a piece of thin wet leather and a weight put on the glass to keep it down close, the light will be seen to go out in a very short time. If a mouse were to be put under the glass in the room of the wax taper it would soon die, so would any other living thing, if fresh air could not get to:it.
Many persons have died in wells, and in places, where they have been under ground, for want of good fresh air. When an old well is opened, and before any person goes down, the best way is to tie a string to a lighted candle, arid let it down to the bottom of the well. If the candle does not go out, a person may descend safely; but if the candle should be put out in the well, the air in the well is most likely foul; and no one ought to go down till a bush has been let dawn the well and drawn up pretty often, or till some buckets of water have been thrown into it.
We often feel the wind blow in our faces, and hear it whistle and roar. We also see things blown about, and hear the leaves of, the trees rustle; and we sometimes see the, trees themselves rock. But we cannot see the wind that does all this. Wind is air, and air is a thing that cannot be seen and yet air, fills every place we live in. The sky is full of it,and so is every house. It comes in at the doors and windows, and when they are shut it rushes through the key holes and other open places. We ourselves are filled with air. We breathe it through our mouths and nostrils. We could not live without air, if our mouths and nostrils were to be stopped, we should soon die for want of air. Or if we were to shut ourselves into a room, and stop up the fireplace, and every hole and crevice, so that the, air could not find its way in, we should die, just the same as a mouse put under a glass would die, and as any lighted candles in the room would go out.
There is foul air as well as pure air, And we cannot live in air that is quite foul. The air at the bottom of deep wells is very foul and bad, and so is the air at the bottom of the large vats used by brewers. If we were to get into one of them, when foul, we should die almost in an instant. Charcoal burnt in a close room makes the air quite foul. If we were to shut ourselves up in a room where fresh air could not enter, our breath would make it the same as if charcoal were burnt in the room. It would grow so foul and bad that we could not live in it.
Air that will put out the flame of a candle will also take away life; so that there is but one sort of air that keeps us alive, which is vital air; and vital air is what is called pure air. Other air is foul and bad, and if we were to breathe it by itself, we should soon die. The air that surrounds us is called the atmosphere. In the atmosphere, pure air and foul are mixed together. When we draw in the one, we also draw in the other. But the foul air that is in the atmosphere does not hurt us, because pure air is mixed with it
What is it that winds about over the world,
Spread thin like a covering fair?
Into each little corner and crevice it is curled;
This wonderful fluid is air.
In summer's still evening how peaceful it floats,
When not a leaf moves on the spray;
And no sound is heard but the nightingales notes,
And merry gnats dancing away.
But oft in the winter it bellows aloud,
And roars in the northerly blast;
With fury drives onward the snowy blue cloud,
And cracks the tall tapering mast.
When fire lies and smothers, or gnaws through the beam,
Air forces it fiercer to glow:
And engines in vain cold torrents may stream;
If the wind should with violence blow.
In the forest it tears up the sturdy old oak,
That many a tempest has known;
The tall mountain-pine into splinters is broke,
And over the precipice blown.
And yet, though it rages with fury so wild,
On solid earth, water, and fire,
Without its assistance the tenderest child
Would struggle, and gasp, and expire!
When Adam and Eve were driven, from Paradise, they must
have wanted some place to live in. Of course they did not find houses ready
built: they would probably for a time take shelter in a cave. We read very
early, howsever, of Cain building a city, Gen. iv. 17. 1 The houses, no doubt,
were different from ours; but they would be improved by degrees. We read also
of tents: Jabal, the son of Lamech, is thought to have invented them. He is
called "the father of such as dwell in tents, Gen. iv. 20. All these
dwellings were destroyed by the flood.
After the earth was dried, and Noah came out of the ark, he seems, for some time at least, to have lived in a tent, Gen. ix. 21. This sort of dwelling would be the easiest to make. But it was not long before men began again to build houses and cities, Gen; xi. 4,5. We know, also, from other histories, that people often lived in caves. Many of these caves, are to be found in Egypt and the East. Some or them are very large, and have many rooms. In general, however, people lived either in tents or houses.
The patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, lived in tents while in the land of Canaan, as we read in the book of Genesis. They are also spoken of in Heb. xi. 9, as dwelling in tabernacles, that is, tents. They had more than one tent, probably a considerable number, and the women lived separate, as is now the custom among the rich Arabs. Thus we read of Rebekah having Sarah's tent, Gen. xxiv 67. The tents of Rachel, Leah, and Jacob also were separate, Gen xxxi. 33.
The tents were generally put up under the shade of large trees. Abrahams tent was under a tree in the plains of Mamre, Gen.xviii. 4; and Deborah the prophetess dwelt under a palm-tree in Mount Ephraim, Judges iv. 5. In the East, people like to have trees near their dwellings, both for shade and shelter. From I Kings iv.. 25, we may conclude that this was used in the land of Judea, even when they lived in houses.
The trees generally planted for this purpose were vines and fig-trees, which would grow up against the walls and over the roof. These trees supplied grapes and figs, which were used for food, and. the branches that did not bear fruit served for fuel to burn. This is referred to by our Saviour in John xv., where he describes himself as the vine, and his people as the fruitful branches, and those who did not love him as the withered branches which were cast into the fire.
The tents of the Arabs are black, of a very dark colour, as we read in the Bible that the tents of Kedar were in the former times Sol. Song i. 5. The master of the family is often seen sitting in the door of the tent in the heat of the day, as is described, Gen. xviii. 1. The tents are of all sorts, varying in size and shape according to the means of the owner, from coarse cloth of goats hair thrown over a few sticks, to large habitations divided into several rooms, separated by fine curtains. They are fixed by stakes and cords, and can easily be enlarged by lengthening the cords, strengthening the stakes, and adding more coverings, leaves etc.Isa. liv. When people travel, they always, if they can, fix their tents near some river, fountain, or well.. 1 Sam. xxix. 1; xxx. 21.
The Israelites lived in tents for forty years in the wilderness. Many of these were booths, made of the branches of trees. That they might remember this, the feast of tabernacles was to be kept, Lev.xxiii.39-43. Such a booth Jonah made, when he went and sat on the east side of Nineveh, to see what would happen to the city, Jonah iv. 5. Without some such shelter, it is impossible to endure the hot mid-day sun of these countries. If travellers have no tents, they put some of their garments upon sticks and creep under them, or get into the shade of a rock, or even pile up stones.
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