Графични страници
PDF файл

different phases are more sensible, her oscillations wider, and of longer duration. Her greatest distance from the Sun varies from 45° to nearly 48°; and the mean duration of a complete oscillation is 584 days. Venus has been sometimes seen moving across the Sun's disk in the form of a round black spot, with an apparent diameter of about 59''. A few days after this has been observed, she is seen, in the morning, west of the Sun, in the form of a fine crescent, with the convexity turned towards the Sun. She moves gradually forward, with a retarded motion, and the crescent becomes more full. In about ten weeks she has moved 46° west of the Sun, and is now a semicircle, and her diameter is 26". She is now stationary. She then moves eastward, with a motion gradually accelerating, and overtakes the Sun about 9 months after having been seen on his disk. Some time after she is seen, in the evening, east of the Sun, nearly round, but very small. She moves eastward, and increases in diame. ter, but gradually loses her roundness till she arrives about 46° east of the Sun, when she is again a semicircle. She now moves westwards, increasing in diameter, but becoming a crescent, like the waning Moon ; and at last, after a period of nearly 584 days, comes again into conjunction with the Sun, with an apparent diameter of 59".

It may perhaps be surprising at first, that Venus should continue longer on the east and west of the Sun than the whole time of her period round him. But the difficulty vanishes when we consider that the Earth is all the while going round the Sun in the same way, though not so quick in its motion as Venus; and therefore her relative motion to the Earth must in every period be as much slower as her absolute motion in her orbit; since the Earth, during that time, advances forward in the ecliptic, which is 2200

Bright and dark spots have been discovered on the disk of Venus; but they can only be observed with a very good telescope, and when the atmosphere is very clear. Dr. Herschel, who made many observations on this planet, between the years 1777 and 1793 says that the planet has, probably, hills and inequalities on its surface; but he has not been able to see much of them, owing, perhaps, to the great density of its atmosphere. In regard to the mountains in the planet Venus, no eye, he says, which is not considerably better than his, or assisted by much better instruments, will ever get a sight of them.


TIME.—THE PERISHING NATIONS. Roll back the billowy tide of time ;-unroll the mouldering record of ages! What scenes are presented to the startled imagination of many. O Time, mighty is the strength of thy arm! The wonders of the world have fallen before thee. The most celebrated cities of antiquities have been buried beneath the irresistible waves of time. Go read an example in the fate of Syracuse, the city of Archimedes, whose single arm repelled the hosts of Rome, and dared to move the world that he might have foundation for his feet. That splendid city is in ruins—her philosopher sleeps in the dust :—and where are his mighty engines of war? They are swept from the recollection of men. Go read another example in the fate of far famed Troy. Seek there for the palaces of Priam, once illumined with the smiles of the fickle, though beautiful Helen, for whom Sparta fought and Troy fell. Alas! those palace halls are silent, and the towers of Ilium lie level with the dust. Old Priam hath long since departed from the earth, and the graves of Paris and his paramour are unknown.--The mighty Hector, too, the brave antagonist of Achilles, is no more. The glory of the house of Priam hath departed for ever. The invaders and the invaded sleep together in the common mausoleum of time, and their deeds live only in the tide of Homer's song.

Such are a few instances of the ravages of time: nor less has our own loved land been doomed to be the scene of desolation. Here will be seen the ruins of an Indian empire as extended as the empires of the east; and though they were children of the forest and though they left no monuments of sculpture, painting or poesy, yet great were they in their fall, and sorrowful is the story of their wrongs. They once had ci. ties--but where are they? They are swept from the face of the earth. They had their .temple of the sun -but the sanctuary is broken down, and the beams of the deified luminary extinguished. It is true they worshipped the Great Spirit, and the genius of storms and darkness; the sacred pages of revelation had never been unrolled to them; the gospel of the Saviour had never sounded in the ears of the poor children of the forest. They heard the voice of their God in the morning breeze; they saw him in the dark cloud that rose in wrath from the west; they acknowledged his universal beneficence in the setting sun, as he sunk to his burning bed. Here another race once lived and loved. Here, along these shores the council fire blazed, and the warhoop echoed among their native hills. Here the dark browed Indian once bathed his manly limbs in the river, and his light canoe was seen to glance over his own loved lakes.

Centuries passed away, and they still roved the undisputed masters of the western world. But at length a. pilgrim bark, deep freighted from the east, came darkening on their shores. They yielded not their empire tamely, but they could not stand against the sons of light--they fled. With slow and solitary steps they took up their mournful march to the west, and yielded with a broken heart, their native hills to another race. They left their homes and the graves of their fathers to explore the western woods; where no human foot had ever trod, and no human eye ever penetrated. From time to time they have been driven back, and now the next and last remove will be to the bosom of the stormy Pacific, Unhappy children! the tear of pity is shed over your wrongs and your sufferings. What bosom but beats with sympathy over the mournful story of your woes? Ere long the last wave of the west will roll over them, and their deeds only live in traditions they shall have left behind them. The march of mind hath been to them the march to the grave; a lingering remnant is all that is now left to sigh over the ruins of their empire. How must the poor child of the forest weep with the grief of years in his soul? And how must his heart throb with anguish when he muses on the 'ruins of his race, and the melancholy destiny of his children? For, after all their toil and industry—with every claim of esteem and friendship—with all the sacredness of treaty-the children of nature to be driven from a home they have made a garden, to satisfy an unjust and unprincipled usurpation.

And can we be astonished if the indignant son of the forest should assert his right to the possession of his native soil—the wild given him by the Great Spirit

—and his determination to defend it to the last? Theirs is not the spirit that would tamely brook the insults, or · bow in meek submission to the oppressors of their nation. Their gigantic souls will never yield till their last foothold shall slide from beneath their feet, and the last lightning of their power sunk harmless on their enemies, and the thunders of their vengeance failed. And could we be astonished at the result,all precedent cries out in the negative. The Genius of Empire, as she lies crouched and groaning beneath the magnificent ruins of old Rome, cries out, No! and echo proclaims it again from the Towers of Troy~from the Acropolis of Athens, and from the walls of Carthage,



Memory's Tribute, or, Things profitable for reflection. First Se

ries; The Baptisi. By the author of the M'Ellen Family. 1830. 18mo. pp. 36.

(Concluded from page 58.) We left the clergyman and Mr. Heyden in an interesting scene. The blue vault above was brilliant with innumerable worlds of glory; and the watery expanse of the Ontario, reflecting from its surface the mild radiance of the silver moon, shone like the crystal stream that is among the symbols of the heavenly Jerusalem. "Mr. Heyden, pointing to the heavens, said, “Henry Northend has gone to

yonder bright world, and will shine like one of those stars in the kingdom of his master for ever and ever.'” As they continue on their way, under the influence of this thought, a neighbouring graveyard attracts the notice of the Clergyman and Mr. H. They read there an epitaph. It points out the spot where rest the ashes of the Rev. M. - His history, Mr. H. says, will interpret the full meaning of Mr. Northend's words, when he so particularly dwelt upon the baptism. This naturally awakens a deep interest in his companion; and repairing to a rude seat between two elms, Mr. H. begins his narrative, of which the following is a brief outline.

The Rev. Mr. P. visited this region twenty years before. The subject of religion and its ordinances was the general theme of conversation. Several families expressed a wish to have their children then baptized. Among the rest were Mr. Northend's family. The Missionary introduced by Mr. Heyden, entered Mr. Northend's humble dwelling, and proposed the subject. “Mrs. Northend regretted that she had not had some previous notice, so that she might have prepared better clothes for the children.” The Missionary remarks, “That this, he hoped, would not prevent her embracing the present opportu. nity of having her offspring grafted into the body of Christ's Church: and he trusted it would hereafter be her constant aim and unceasing effort, to see that her children were clothed in the garments of righteousness. “Go,' said her husband, and get the children together, we must not miss this opportunity of having them christened.' Mrs. N. retired to collect the group. Mr. P. asked Mr. Northend if he had a Prayer Book. He answered, He believed that his father used to have one." After much search, an old English Prayer Book was found. The Missionary then “took occasion to speak upon the important and exalted privilege of Christian baptism. "Yes,' said Mr. Northend, not understanding the spiritual sense in which Mr. P. spoke, any more than the woman of Samaria understood the meaning of the Saviour, when he discoursed about the "living water,' at Jacob's well; 'Yes, I have always thought I would have my children christened. I have known persons to lose a fortune on account of their not having been christened, or their not having had their names properly registered at the time.'" * The children were all assembled, except " The oldest son, a loy about twelve, who was nowhere to be found." The service was commenced : and as the Missionary proceeded, its solemnity took more and more effect. Both the parents were impressed. And after an appropriate concluding prayer, the Missionary spoke to them, on the importance of family religion. The exhortation is here extract: ed, and commended to the serious perusal of all fathers and mothers.

* You have been making very solemn promises for your children. Let me tell you, that you cannot keep those promises, unless you have an altar to the Lord in your dwelling ; unless you gather these children together morning and night, and pray with them. For them you have promised to renounce the devil, to exercise Christian faith, and to lead a godly life. You cannot do this for them, unless you are in carnest to do it for yourselves. You can never do this, either for them or yourselves, unless you look up continually to God in prayer. See what a group of young immortals are com

« ПредишнаНапред »