Ever So Many Beautiful Things

by the American Sunday-School Union

"There are ever so many beautiful things up in the sky, mother!" said little Eddie, as he sat in his mother's lap, leaning his head upon her encircling arm.

The clouds had gathered about the horizon, and assumed many beautiful and fantastic shapes. Some of them were gorgeously coloured with the rays of the departing sun, and were shaded from the most delicate rose to the darkest, richest crimson. As the sun receded farther and farther behind the green hills, they grew darker and darker, and the imaginative boy had seen fancied ships with their sails spread; steam-vessels with clouds of smoke rolling from their chimneys; mountains piled upon mountains; trees, birds, and many other wondrous things which filled his infant mind with admiration.

Soon the stars twinkled forth, and they awoke a new interest. At first they appeared one by one, as if timidly venturing to look down upon our beautiful planet, and when fully assured that the king of day had disappeared, they came forth faster and more numerously, till the whole heavens were bespangled with their glittering brightness. Then their companion, the moon, came slowly up, shining with a soft and mellow light, a new beauty in the "blue wilderness of interminable air."

Eddie had long gazed silently before he uttered the exclamation, "There are ever so many beautiful things up in the sky!" and I suppose he had many thoughts which it would have been pleasant for his mother to know. He did not often sit up so late that he could see the stars.

Eddie is not the only one who has been charmed with the glowing sunset, the gray twilight, or the starry firmament. David loved to look upon the works of God. In one of his psalms, he says, "When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained, what is man, that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man, that thou visitest him!" It was astonishing to David, that God, who was so infinitely superior to man, and who had given such proofs of his power and greatness in the creation of the heavens, should condescend to notice him, to provide for his minutest wants, and to protect him from danger. I suppose this psalm was written in the night, when the sweet singer of Israel had been looking at just such a sky as drew from Eddie his exclamation of admiration.

I often think, as I look abroad, how wonderful it is that God has made every thing so beautiful. We need never be weary in studying his works. The more we learn of them, the more we realize his greatness and perfection. "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork."

When you look at the clear blue sky, do you remember who has spread it out, and who has created the innumerable worlds which we see, when darkness covers our earth? "There are," indeed, "ever so many beautiful things up in the sky," and it was a Father's hand that placed them there. They are for us to enjoy, and many a lesson of love and confidence have they taught God's children. Dear little Eddie! I hope he will always love nature, and early learn to "look through nature up to nature's God."

I shall never forget a drive with my father, when I was a child so small that I sat on a little footstool in the carriage, between him and my mother. We were returning from a visit to Aunt Harriet, at whose house we had been spending the day. It was a fine evening. The air was balmy and pleasant. I remember how the frogs sung in the low ground, and how we listened to their quaint music. We had not ridden far before the moon rose, and the stars, one by one, appeared. My father had a true love for nature, and for whatever was beautiful or grand. We drove on without speaking for a time, each enjoying the evening. My father broke the silence by repeating that beautiful hymn of Addison's, commencing with these lines—

"The spacious firmament on high, With all the blue ethereal sky, And spangled heavens, a shining frame, Their great Original proclaim."

I was awed by the reverence of his manner, and I felt myself in the presence of my Maker,—a mere speck amid his vast creations. An ineffaceable impression was made on my mind, young as I was. My father died many years ago, while I was still a child, but the lesson of that hour has not been forgotten.