Health and Education eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 356 pages of information about Health and Education.
for ages beneath deep seas, shall be upheaved in continents which are yet unborn, and there be burnt for the use of a future race of men, and resolved into their original elements.  Coal, wise men tell us, is on the whole breath and sunlight; the breath of living creatures who have lived in the vast swamps and forests of some primaeval world, and the sunlight which transmuted that breath into the leaves and stems of trees, magically locked up for ages in that black stone, to become, when it is burnt at last, light and carbonic acid, as it was at first.  For though you must not breathe your breath again, you may at least eat your breath, if you will allow the sun to transmute it for you into vegetables; or you may enjoy its fragrance and its colour in the shape of a lily or a rose.  When you walk in a sunlit garden, every word you speak, every breath you breathe, is feeding the plants and flowers around.  The delicate surface of the green leaves absorbs the carbonic acid, and parts it into its elements, retaining the carbon to make woody fibre, and courteously returning you the oxygen to mingle with the fresh air, and be inhaled by your lungs once more.  Thus do you feed the plants; just as the plants feed you; while the great life-giving sun feeds both; and the geranium standing in the sick child’s window does not merely rejoice his eye and mind by its beauty and freshness, but repays honestly the trouble spent on it; absorbing the breath which the child needs not, and giving to him the breath which he needs.

So are the services of all things constituted according to a Divine and wonderful order, and knit together in mutual dependence and mutual helpfulness.—­A fact to be remembered with hope and comfort; but also with awe and fear.  For as in that which is above nature, so in nature itself; he that breaks one physical law is guilty of all.  The whole universe, as it were, takes up arms against him; and all nature, with her numberless and unseen powers, is ready to avenge herself on him, and on his children after him, he knows not when nor where.  He, on the other hand, who obeys the laws of nature with his whole heart and mind, will find all things working together to him for good.  He is at peace with the physical universe.  He is helped and befriended alike by the sun above his head and the dust beneath his feet:  because he is obeying the will and mind of Him who made sun, and dust, and all things; and who has given them a law which cannot be broken.


The more I have contemplated that ancient story of the Fall, the more it has seemed to me within the range of probability, and even of experience.  It must have happened somewhere for the first time; for it has happened only too many times since.  It has happened, as far as I can ascertain, in every race, and every age, and every grade of civilisation.  It is happening round us now in every region of the

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Health and Education from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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