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have been seen in most of the countries of Europe. Many thousands in London thought that several terrible fires had broken out, both in the west and the north of the metropolis, at the same time. In Lapland and other northern countries, it is so bright that the night is often almost as light as the day. There have been many different opinions entertained as to the cause of the Aurora, or Northern lights, but most think that the cause is electricity. What electricity is, is somewhat difficult to understand, and more so to explain. It is marvellously seen in lightning, and no doubt is one of the most active agents in the universe. God's creation is full of wonders. How wonderful and glorious must the Creator be. In all our studies let us rise from nature up to nature's God. Acquaint thyself now with Him, and be at peace and thereby good shall come unto thee. T. J. B.
What Makes Home.
S it the walls of your house that make it home? Is it the chairs and tables? Is it the books and pictures? Is it the fire and bread and butter? Is it your playthings and a piece of cake?
A little boy ran home from school one day, and as he bounded into the passage, "This is my home! this is my home!" he cried, in a merry tone all his own. A lady who was visiting his mother said, "The next door is just the same as this. Suppose you go in there and hang up your hat, would that not be home just as much
"Oh no," said Willie, very earnestly, "it would not, indeed."
"Why not?" asked the lady.
The little fellow never thought why before. It would not; but why? After thinking a minute, he ran up to his mother, and throwing his arms round her neck, said, "Because my dear mother lives here."
You see it is the society of those we love which makes our earthly home. Somebody to love, somebody to love us, that is indeed what makes life sweet.
And it is just so in our heavenly home. We must know and love somebody there, to make it seem like home. Your heavenly Father is there; but you must know Him, love Him, mind Him, talk to Him, before you can make it like home. Your best friend is there--the Lord Jesus; but you must know and love Him here, so that He shall not be a stranger to you there. It is not pleasant to go among strangers. Heaven would not be home if nobody but strangers were there.
Dear young people—you who have a happy home, a kind father, and a loving tender mother-see that you be obedient and grateful to them so long as they are spared to you. Would you wilfully run a thorn into your mother's bosom? No. But the boy or girl is doing far worse who wilfully wounds a loving mother's heart.
Home's not merely four square walls,
Though with pictures hung, and gilded;
Filled with shrines the heart has builded.
Home ;-go watch the faithful dove
Sailing 'neath the heaven above us :
Home is where there's one to love us.
Home's not merely roof and room,
It needs something to endear it;
None to welcome, none to greet us?
Where there's one we love to meet us.
Looking through the Microscope.
RETTY soon there will be no secrets left in nature, since the inquisitive little microscope has begun peering into mysteries.
The naturalist just puts off the skin of a rose-petal, puts it into his microscope, and finds out just how it lives. He finds the little bags of paint that give the rose its beautiful colour, and in sage
and mint leaves the tiny sacs of scented oil. He fishes out of the cells of plants the most exquisite crystals; some plants are just packed full of them. Mould and mildew, which the housekeepers hate, turn out to be forests of beautful trees, with fruit and flower. They grow in this way: The air is full of germs of vegetable life, and when they come in contact with moisture, on plants for instance, they will just stick there, throw out little suckers into the plant, and proceed to grow, at its expense.
You have seen rust spots on fruit. Some kinds look like little cups full of reddish powder: others, that look to you like black dots, are really little brown bottles filled
with powder. Then there are the lichens, larger than mould, and not so large as moss. Some kinds of lichens, such as you've seen growing on old fences, are little baskets full of seeds. The edges of the baskets are fringed, and when the seeds are ripe the fringe bursts open and scatters the seeds.
Linnæus, who was a great botanist, calls the mosses workmen, because their work in life is to produce vegetation in newly-formed countries where there is as yet no soil; to fill and make solid swampy land and form a soil that larger plants can grow on.
The scale-moss, growing at the foot of trees and other shady places, has a funny little box for its seeds. If this box is brought into a warm room, and a drop of water put on it, it will burst violently open and scatter the seeds in a little brown clod, the box itself taking the form of a cross. The scattering of the seeds is caused by several little springs, coiled up among them, which burst out and writhe around like a nest of snakes.
Ferns are very curious plants to study. They have no buds, but each leaf comes up alone out of the ground all rolled up, looking like a stick with a hood on.
What do you think of the idea of regular canals running through plant-leaves? You have probably heard that the leaves drink in moisture from the air and from rain for the use of the root, but I don't believe you ever imagined there was a regular net-work of canals to carry the moisture down to the roots.
Do you know what the pollen of a flower is? If you haven't studied botany, I'll tell you. It is the yellowish powder that you sometimes get on your nose when you smell of a flower too closely. Well, what seems to you like mere dust is, in truth, most beautiful little balls, figured in the oddest and prettiest way.
Nothing in nature is too small to be exquisitely made
and ornamented, and the greater power we can get in the instruments, the more beauty we can discover: even the seeds of a carrot are exquisitely shaped, like a star-fish.
These inquisitive naturalists will even steal the secrets of the flower-buds, pull off their green coats and see how they are made, and how they get to be flowers. They study the diseases of wheat and corn, and I expect one of these days they'll have a remedy for every one of them. Perhaps, there will be vegetable doctors, and when a farmer's corn is struck with disease or taken sick, he'll call in the doctor with his microscope and medicine box. They find out, also, about human diseases in the same way, and are always having new cures. There'll soon be an end to the terrible adulteration in food, for nothing can escape the prying little instrument. They can tell when cotton is mixed with linen or wool in goods, for the minutest thread of either is vastly different from the other. They can tell when our coffee is filled with chicory or other things, even if ground to the utmost fineness. Every substance has its own shape, and no matter how small the atoms, they retain their own shape.
Even the flour-makers can't escape. They can tell wheat flour from rye, or corn, or any other grain. blood stain is under question, the little instrument readily tells what is human and what is animal. It is said that the microscope will even steal the written secrets from the ashes of paper. For instance: if you burn a letter and one of these searching little instruments is applied to the ashes, words can be read and figures made out.
Before I stop, I must tell you a nice little feat lately performed by the microscope with the help of Photography.While Paris was in a state of siege, not long ago, no papers or letters were allowed to go into the city, so the people could know very little of what was going on in the world. Friends who were outside and longed to write to them put