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eording to your ability, but for conscience' sake for the love of the Master-in the name of the prophets'—not only towards the support of those who, with your own approval, still "labour among you," but towards the alleviation of a hallowed old age, when they are worn out, and so domestic pressures and anxieties, when they gather up their feet' to die. On whatever branch of Christ's One Church you are honoured to bear fruit, be forward to sustain those resources, whether produced by a generous literature, or by direct appeal, which are at once the temporal and spiritual joy of "the husbandman." In more ways than one, they will "abound to your account." No Church-scheme of this age is more signally just to man, or more certain of acceptance with God, than that now nearly consummated by the Free Church of Scotland, and consummated chiefly through the self-devotion of a beloved Brother, whose name her late fiery trial has burnt in upon the heart of her every minister, member, and friend, by which she proposes, having first built up her broken altars throughout the land, to rekindle a hearth-fire in the neighbourhood of each, for those who serve and have suffered for them. May GOD perfect the success of that scheme, and HIM SELF have all the glory!
3. Above all, in the last place, compensate them for their personal sacrifices by receiving their official message. Give them "the joy," for which, in lowly and distant imitation of their Adored Master, they 'endure the cross,' and' despise the shame.' O!'hear them gladly. Some commentators understand the text to represent the people, to whom the messengers are sent, as standing on the highest mountains of their country, and looking out for their arrival. Hence the exclamation of the Prophet: "How beautiful," or gladdening, to those thus elevated and expectant, "are the feet" the first distant appearance, "of him that bringeth good tidings! Thy watchmen"they who have been on the watch for him "shall lift up the voice, with the voice together shall they sing!" Christian hearers, realize this refreshing imagery. Look out for the "Preacher;" value and desire his instructions; anticipate every Sabbath and every sermon with delight; oft as Christ's "peace" is "published" and assured to you, let your spirits sing for joy; and as 'we preach, so do you believe.' Alas! many there be, who, while they acknowledge, how beautiful are the feet of the messenger, and even the words of the message, will not believe' and 'obey' the
one or the other. Romans 10 ch., 15, 16 v.; Ezekiel 33 ch., 30, 31, 32 v.) They have just the same sort of feeling under the preaching of the Gospel, by a man of persuasive address, as under the ́enchantment of a well-executed sacred song, or recitative, on the same subject. Now, in the name of GOD, who will judge you, and of Christ, who shed out the blood of His broken heart for your reconciliation, have done with trifling about serious things! It is no musical or poetic passion, that we ask from you; it is no merely personal complacency towards your Ministers, that we yearn to elicit; but "the obedience of faith" towards their Gospel, and towards their GOD. Believe our report'-embrace our Saviour' have Him to rule over you'-esteem His rule a "good thing," yea, a great salvation"-break league with all His enemies-cast yourselves on His merits, and obtain His mercy-and "So shall you bless His pleasing sway,
ON THE NEW PLANET ASTRÆA, AND THE
HARMONY OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM.
WHEN the celebrated Kepler was a very young man, and began to speculate on the harmony of the solar system, he attempted to discover if there was any regular proportion observed in the size of the orbits of the planets. Having failed in this attempt, and finding that there was an extraordinary distance between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, he supposed that a new planet existed between these two;* but in discovering any regular progression in the even with this assumption, he did not succeed distances of the planets.
Nearly a century ago, the ingenious M. Lambert of Mulhausen, suggested the probability of a planet existing between Mars and Jupiter; and in the year 1772, Professor Bode of Berlin, published his celebrated Law of the Planetary Distances, which depended on the existence of such an undiscovered planet. This curious law will be understood, if we place in a row the following numbers, each of which is double of the one which precedes it ::
0 3 6 12 24 48 96 192 If we now add four to each of these, we shall have the following series of numbers, which represent, with tolerable accuracy, the relative distances of the planets from the Sun.
ON THE PLANET ASTRA, &c.
Now, if there be any truth in this law, or any physical reason for its existence, there either must have been, or must still be, a planet between Mars and Jupiter, at the distance corresponding to the number 28; and if there are any other planets yet to be discovered beyond the orbit of Uranus, which is very probable, they will be placed at the following distances :Nos.... 192 384 768 1536 3072 &c. Distances 196 388 772 1540 3076 &c. Supposed new planets
So strong had become the conviction that a planet did exist between Mars and Jupiter, that Baron Von Zach had ventured to calculate its probable elements, and twenty-four astronomers formed themselves into a society in the autumn of the year 1800, for the express purpose of discovering this new planet. M. Schroeter of Lilienthal, well known by his accurate maps of the Surface of the Moon, was the president, and Baron Von Zach, astronomer to the Prince of Saxe Gotha, was the secretary to this association; and the members engaged to observe, with the greatest care, every star visible through their telescopes, within the limits of the zodiac. A year had scarcely elapsed before a new planet was discovered between Mars and Jupiter, occupying the very place which corresponded with the distance 28 in the preceding series of numbers,* and, what is equally singular, the discovery was not made by a member of the association!
This great discovery we owe to Joseph Piazzi, astronomer to the King of Naples at Palermo. When he was observing the stars on the 1st of January 1801, he noticed one in the field of his telescope which had a different aspect from all the rest, and, as it changed its place, and had a very dense atmosphere, Piazzi regarded it as a comet. He continued to observe it till the 2d of February, having on the 24th January sent an account of his discovery to Oriani, La Lande, Bode, and Von Zach, and informed them that he had observed it stationary, and retrograde in the short space of ten days. From this information these astronomers drew the conclusion that the new body was a planet; and all Europe was excited by the intelligence. M. Gauss of Brunswick computed the elements of its orbit, and the astronomers of England, France, and Germany strove to rediscover it. Piazzi himself had been obliged to discontinue his observations by a dangerous illness, and it was not till January 1802, that the planet was rediscovered by Dr Olbers of Bremen. From gratitude to his patron the King of Naples, Piazzi gave the name of Ceres Ferdinandea to the new planet. The king ordered a gold medal to be struck in honour of Piazzi; but the modest astronomer requested that the sum intended for this purpose should be expended on the purchase of an equatorial instrument for his observatory.
* The exact mean distance of the new planet is 27.65.
Soon after the rediscovery of Ceres, on the 28th March 1802, Dr Olbers discovered a second new planet, to which he gave the name of Pallas. Its magnitude was nearly the same as that of Ceres, not exceeding 200 or 300 miles in diameter; but what was at first almost incredible, its distance from the Sun was nearly the same as that of Ceres, being 27.9, a number almost identical with 28, the place where a new planet had been expected.
In the course of other two years, a third planet was added to the solar system by M. Harding, astronomer at the Observatory of Lilienthal, near Bremen; and, strange to tell, this planet also was situated at nearly the same distance from the Sun as its two predecessors, namely, at a distance corresponding with the number 264.
Confounded with this superabundance of planets, in a region of the solar system where one only was expected and desired, astronomers hitherto devoted to observation, began to speculate respecting the cause of such extraordinary results. Although one planet only was required to fill the void, and give harmony to the solar system, yet the one actually discovered was so small, that it destroyed the harmony in the magnitude of the planets, though it established a harmony in their distances. The two additional bodies, equally small with the first, became a new source of perplexity, and stamped, as it were, a character of disorder upon the system of the world.
In this dilemma it occurred to Dr Olbers that these three small planets were fragments of a larger one; that this planet had been burst by some internal convulsion; and that as all the fragments had diverged from one common centre, there ought to be two nodes in opposite points of the heavens through which they should all sooner or later pass. Having found that these nodes should be in the constellations.Virgo and the Whale, and that it was in the last of these that Juno had been discovered, Dr Olbers examined, thrice every year, these two constellations, till on the 29th March 1807, he discovered in the constellation Virgo, a fourth small planet, to which he gave the name of Vesta, whose mean distance from the Sun corresponded with the number 221.
If these four planets are the fragments of a larger one; if a planet has been burst in pieces by an internal force, powerful enough to overcome the mutual attraction of the fragments, we can scarcely doubt that other fragments of different sizes have been projected into space, the larger ones revolving round the Sun in the vicinity of the principal fragments, and the smaller ones at a greater or a less distance, or probably drawn into the sphere of attraction, of the Earth, or any other planet that happened to be nearest to the place of explosion. Adopting this view of the subject, Sir David Brewster, in a paper read to the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1808 or 1809, endeavoured to show
that aerolites or meteoric stones, which so frequently fall from our atmosphere, are the smaller fragments of this burst planet, which may have been revolving in space till they were precipitated upon our globe.* This speculation, which was considered as a very extravagant one at the time, has received much countenance from the periodical fall of fireballs, 'shooting stars, and aerolites at two periods of the year; and Baron Humboldt + actually ranks among the bodies of the solar system "a host of very small asteroids, whose orbits either intersect the orbit of the Earth, or approach it very nearly, and give occasion to the phenomena of aerolites and falling stars."+
Since these views were published, they have| received new support from the discovery of a fifth planet, belonging to the same group of asteroids which revolve between Mars and Jupiter; and it is highly probable that many new fragments will be detected when more powerful telescopes are directed to the heavens, and when astronomers shall have undertaken a more thorough examination of the smaller stars in the region of the zodiac. This new planet, to which the name of Astrea has been given, was discovered on the 8th of December 1845, by M. Hencke of Driersen, in Prussia, a gentleman who was once connected with the Post-office in that town, but who, having a great passion for astronomy, has, during the last fifteen years, been making himself acquainted with the relative positions of the zodiacal stars, for the very purpose of discovering another fragment of the burst planet.
On the 8th of December, M. Hencke observed, between two stars of the ninth or tenth magnitude, and marked on the Berlin maps, a star of the ninth magnitude, not marked on the maps; and being familiar with that part of the heavens, he was certain that it had moved into its present position. In letters to Professor Encke and Shumacher, announcing the fact, he expressed his conviction that the star was a new planet. It has, accordingly, been observed by astronomers in various parts of Europe; and it has been placed beyond a doubt that it is a fifth member of the group of asteroids revolving between Mars and Jupiter. The following are its elements, as given by Encke :—
21 6 32
15, 86 49 50 23, 90 49 30 21 24 31 In contemplating the strange phenomenon of fire small planets moving round the Sun in interlacing orbits, and filling up a blank space in the solar system, and in explaining this phenomenon on the supposition that the five bodies are the fragments of a larger planet that has been rent in pieces, and exploded by an enor mous force in its interior, the mind does not at first welcome the idea that the harmony of the solar system has been thus established. While we observe around us everything in a state of transition and decay-the mightiest of man's works crumbling into dust, and even his own physical and moral nature in a state of degradation and ruin-we are apt to look to "the everlasting hills" as enduring memorials of divine power, and still more to the system of the world to which we belong, as the type of stability and permanence. But this idea has no reasonable foundation. The perturbations in the planetary are as great and numerous as those in the moral world, and there are elements of decay in our system which forebode its eventual dissolution.
We are not entitled, however, to regard great convulsions in the natural world as proofs of defective harmony, either in planets or in sysThe hurricane cleanses the tainted atmosphere through which it rages; the flood cleanses the polluted channel over which it sweeps; and it was by great convulsions in the heart of our own globe, that might have burst it in pieces, that its stratified crust was broken up into mountains and valleys, and hill and dale; and that the gold and silver, the metals and the fuel, the gems and the precious stones which had been hidden in its bowels, were thrown up to the hand of man, that he might collect and employ them. Forests of gigantic growth were
Epoch of mean lon-0 days, 0 hrs. 89° 32′ 12′′ buried in the earth, and cycles of organic life gitude, 1846,
Longitude of Perihelion,
Longitude of Node,
Inclination of Orbit,
Time of Revolution
119 44 37
0 207 993
round the Sun, 3 m. 21 days. The time of revolution is about twenty-three days less than that of Juno, and its mean dis
See Edinburgh Encyclopædia, article Astronomy, vol. i., p. 641; and Ferguson's Works, vol. ii., Astronomy, p 96 + Kosmos, or Survey of the Universe.
were necessarily entombed, before this
He also describes them as moving singly in closed rings, by which the heavens shall pass away with a
o in multitudes like a stream.
FRAGMENTS FROM A MINISTER'S DAY-BOOK.
great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; and the earth, and the works that are therein, shall be burned up."
WHO ARE THE DEAD?
O mourn not for the early blest,
In the bright realms of sunless day! The more her innocence and worth
Combine to make her memory dear, The fitter seems her flight from earth To that far purer, happier sphere.
Shall we, in selfish sorrow cold,
Mourn when the Shepherd, in his love, Takes from his lower earthly fold Another lamb to one above?
In this some danger needs must dwell-
Or shall we mourn so sweet a flower
Its charms no longer greet our eye?
Look up, with Faith's meek eye serene,
The heavenly Gardener shall we blame,
Placed it where storms can never blight?
Mourn not for her! but rather mourn,
Mourn rather for the LIVING DEAD!
Than for the seeming dead-who LIVE! These need no tears our grief can shed;
But those far more than we can give!
There are who live but in the name
Of what the world as LIFE declares! O doubt not these more truly claim
Our tears-more deeply still our prayers!
For them let tears and prayers be rife,
May such with pitying eye behold.
FRAGMENTS FROM A MINISTER'S DAY
SOME years ago, on a bright day of summer, I was visiting a few neglected families in the district. I entered the house of one who was a stranger to me. I saluted the family frankly, and was received coldly, though not with incivility. It was the house of a mechanic, and there seemed no tokens of poverty or want. The husband was rather a young man, under thirty, I should suppose, and in good health. His manner was distant-almost supercilious.
He was lying at ease upon his bed after his midday meal, waiting till his dinner hour should expire, and busily engaged in reading. After a few general remarks, during which he did not lay aside his book, I asked its name and nature. After some hesitation, as if a little ashamed, he answered that it was a novel.
"Do you read no other than such?"
"Oh, yes; many others."
"Of what kind," we asked, for he seemed unwilling to speak freely.
"I read books of mechanics, and sciences, and useful information."
"Do you ever read your Bible?"
"No!" This negative he uttered in a peculiar tone, and with a peculiar sort of expression, bordering on a sneer, as if he neither read nor believed it. I understood his meaning at once, and asked why he never read it.
There's no philosophy in it," he replied.
"What do you mean by philosophy?" I asked, thinking that he was using a word at random which he did not understand.
"I mean," said he, "that which explains the reasons of things."
From the way in which he said this, I saw at once that he was really a more intelligent man than I was inclined at first to suppose hin, and resolved to speak to him accordingly. I thought it best not to irritate him, by asking what philosophy there was in a novel, but simply remarked that I thought there was more real philosophy in the Bible than he imagined.
"For instance," I said, "does not the Bible give us the best information about God?”
"No," he replied; "I got this best from nature and from the works of creation."
"But the works of nature can only tell you about the mind of God, not about his heart. They tell you about his power and wisdom, but not about his love. A watch may show me the watchmaker's skill and ingenuity, but it cannot tell me anything about his feelings or his temper. Now, creation shows me the wisdom of God, but not his kindness and grace. Yet it is upon the state of God's heart and feelings that our happiness entirely depends. Is not this the true philosophy of things?"
"Yes," he replied, "I dare say it is."
"Well, it is just the philosophy of the Bible." Resolved to carry on this point which he himself had started, I asked again of him: "How are we to
know the heart of God? for until we know this, it is but since we have ascertained that there is none, we plain that we cannot be happy?" will go mourning all our days." This is true philosophy.
"I do not know," said he, "except from creation.” "But it is plain, on your own admission, that creation can tell us nothing about the heart of God. Where, then, are we to find this information, which we need so much, and which is so indispensable to our happiness?" He was silent-his philosophy failed him.
"Is it not plain," said I, "that such information as I speak of can only come from God himself? He only knows what he is and feels; and he only can tell us of it. Now, is not this true philosophy?"
He admitted that it was, but made no remark. "Well, the Bible professes to be the book which is intended to give us the needed information about God. It professes to tell us what are the feelings in the heart of God towards us. Would it not be worth your while to study it for this end?"
He assented, but said something about "evidence." "Those who have studied it most declare that there is as much evidence for its being the Word of God as for creation being the work of God. In these circumstances, would it not be well to inquire? Would not this be true philosophy? You say you would like to know what are the feelings of the God that made you towards his offspring; and would it not be worth while to see if you might not get in the Bible the best and most authentic of all information upon the subject that which comes from himself?"
He again assented, and seemed touched, but said nothing.
"Besides," said I, "if that source of information fail you-if you find the Bible to be untrue-then, if you are in earnest, you will go directly to HIMSELF. You believe him to have made those mighty works around you. You believe that he hears and sees you, though he himself is unheard and invisible. Now, will you not, then, go to himself, and ask him to teach you? Do you think that be who made you would be unwilling to tell you about himself? or, at least, would it not be worth your while to try? Would not this be true philosophy ?" He was silent, though he seemed interested. I arose, and took my leave. Unexpectedly he was called away to a distance, and I never saw him again. What were the fruits of that conversation I know not.
We have more philosophy upon our side than Infidels are willing to allow. The above anecdote, which is a literal fact, and not a mere imaginary picture, may assist in showing our readers where the true philosophy lies.
What a universe, if there were no God! The body without the soul, or the world without the sun, would be nothing to this. Surely even Atheists, if they are sincere and earnest, must feel that Atheism is a system of gloom. It must have cost them many a sigh before they could come to the conclusion that there is no God; and their life must be a life of depression and sorrow-as that of outcasts who have discovered that they are without a father, without an inheritance, and without a home. May they not well say: "Oh! we wish there had been a God, an all-wise, all-powerful, all-loving one, to have cared for us, and filled the void of our aching bosoms with his love;
In like manner, what a world were this of ours, if there were no Bible! That there should be a God, and yet no revelation of his will-no communication between him and his creatures-no intimation of his purposes and desires-how incredible! how unphilosophical! That God should make us, and then cast us off, and refuse all intercourse with us, how impossible! And then how sad if such be the case! The very thought of such a calamity would be enough to solemnize and sadden the soul. To know that there is a God, and yet have no fellowship with him, never hear his voice, or taste his love, or learn his will-to look up to the azure heavens, and say: "God is there, but he will not speak to me; he will not tell me about himself; he will not let me hear one word concerning all he is doing, and devising, and thinking: God is there, but he will not tell me how I may be happy; he has given me life, but he will not show me how that life may be a blessing; he shows me the material world around me, but he will not show me the spiritual world within and above me, with which alone my soul can have sympathy-how sad! how awful! Better not to be at all, than to have an existence so totally severed from him who made me, and made with such amazing capacities for being happy or wretched." What a struggle it must have cost the Infidel, if he be sincere, to come to the conclusion that there is no Bible. The thought must sadden all his days. Next to the Atheist, of all men he should be the most sorrowful; for what darker cloud can overshadow a creature's days than the thought that the God who made him treats him as an outcast, and refuses to hold communion with the being that he has made? Surely this is true philosophy. It is the philosophy of instinct-it is the philosophy of feeling-it is the philosophy of the intellect-it is philosophy such as no man can shake off. If there be no Bible, everything is darkness, mystery, and sorrow.
"'Tis the darkness of darkness,
The midnight of soul;
No moon on the depths
Of that midnight shall roll!
NOTES ON WESLEYAN-METHODISM.
BY DR JOHN B. BENNETT.
Editor of the "Watchman," London.
(Continued from page 281.) THE adoption of field-preaching had been one breach of Church order, and the formation of religious societies-within the Establishment, yet not subject to its ecclesiastical authorityanother; a third and important step in the course of "irregularity," was the employment of preachers who had not received Episcopal ordination. Thomas Maxfield was the first of these. Mr Wesley had authorized him, during his own absence from London, to pray with and advise the society; and when he heard of his begin