The New Zealand Evangelist
Accustomed as we are to sudden and striking contrast in atmo-page 140spheric phenomena, never have we experienced it more, whether in degree or extent, than during the last two months. In October God seemed to let loose upon us all the elements of destruction,—to commission winds and waves, storms and earthquakes, to expend their fury—to summon heaven above, and earth beneath, to bear witness to the power and greatness of God, and the weakness and littleness of man; the records of the month told of little but disaster, calamity, ruin, and death; much of evil felt, and still more feared. But happy are we to say that a change, sudden, general, and delightful has come over our prospects. If the last month of Spring left us gloomy and desolate, sitting like the weeping prophet amid the ruins of his country, bewailing our blighted hopes and ruined prospects; the first month of Summer came to us as the messenger of good, arrayed with peace, smiles, and blessings. The storms have passed away and their ravages disappeared. “Weeping endures for a night but joy cometh in the morning.” In the one month God taught us how soon he can take away; in the how other suddenly and fully he can restore. For a full month now the weather has been delightful, and vegetation has advanced with unprecedented rapidity. Heat and moisture have been abundant, and their effects in the vegetable world have been truly astonishing. From the earth being thoroughly saturated with the heavy rains of October—from the unusual amount of solar heat that has followed—from the extent to which the atmosphere has been surcharged with electricity—from the frequency with which the surface of the earth has been moistened with refreshing showers and copious dews—and, if the deductions of science are correct, from the quantities of carbonic acid gas and ammonia that have escaped from the bowels of the earth, in consequence of the violent and long continuance of the earthquakes, affording nourishment to plants—all the elements of vegetable life have been supplied in remarkable abundance, and the effects are everywhere commensurate to the causes in operation. The full flowing mantle of Nature is, through its whole extent, of the darkest, deepest green; the dense forests are everywhere arrayed with the rankest foliage; the wild wastes and the cultivated fields are alike covered with the freshest verdure; every garden is become a wilderness of sweets; the flowers are prodigal of fragrant, lovely blossoms; the fruits are expanding with nectareous juices, and all the standing, staple productions that minister to the daily wants of the table, in quantity and quality never were surpassed. There is every appearance of an early and abundant harvest. God is not leaving himself without a witness but by doing good, and giving us rain from heaven and a fruitful season, he is filling our hearts with food and gladness. In the animal world all is life and enjoyment; the herds and flocks are luxuriating in the rich pasturage, and in their peaceful looks and playful gambols evince the happiness that God is diffusing among all his creatures. The insect tribes are springing up in myriads. The Bees are pouring forth their infant colonies in great numbers, and with more than their proverbial energy, prosecuting their peaceful labours during the livelong day, and making honey while the sun shines. The scenery is every where page 141 enchanting. To those who have moral courage to spring from the bed of sloth, to leave broken slumbers and distempered dreams, and sally forth to meet the meek-eyed, rosy-fingered Morn, pleasures pure and elevating are prepared; every sense is regaled; wood and water, hill and dale, earth and sky, are robed in beauty and delight the eye; the sweet but short-lived, tinkling music of the woods falls melodious on the ear; while the air, though not laden with balmy odours, is fresh, soothing, and invigorating; and if there is either piety or poetry in the soul, it must be a high source of enjoyment to witness and contemplate the matchless displays of teeming beauty and varied happiness that everywhere meet the eye of those who at present go forth in the morning to gaze, or wander abroad at even to meditate, upon the works, and ways, and wonders of the Lord.