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THE CROSS AT THE CONVENT OF
limbs, but allow the whole body to assume is a privilege to come out from the world, its natura, play ; in one word, it is in the and to taste the liberty wherewith the Son Eastern world that man appears to rise in of God emancipates the soul. It is a joy full stature, proportion, and agility.--Rae for the heart, after being so long enthralled, Wilson's Travels.
to find its proper Master, “whose service An edict was passed in Germany, in the is perfect freedom.” It is an honour, time of Joseph II., prohibiting females which humbles while it exalts, to be alfrom the use of stays, as injurious to their lowed to serve the glorious and ever-blessed constitutions, which is conceived in most God. That he will deign to employ such anxious and curious terms.
weak and worthless instruments; that he, who could do so well without us, will give
us work to do for him ; and that he makes DEDICATION TO GOD.
us, who were once so ill-disposed for servEvery true believer in Christ cheerfully this is a privilege indeed! For his com
ing him, now quite glad to obey his will: yields himself unto God, as Christ's pur- mandments, brethren, are not grievous when chased possession, to be henceforth em- we love God. Christ's yoke is easy, for it ployed by God in holy services for his own is lined with his own love.
“ Blessed are glory. The scripture often declares this. they that keep his testimonies, and that « Ye are not your own; for ye are bought seek him with the whole heart.”-Hamwith a price: therefore glorify God in your bleton. body, and in your spirit, which are God's." “ Whose I am, and whom I serve. beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bo
SANTA CRUZ, dies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto
NEAR THE CITY OF TEPIC, IN MEXICO. God, which is your reasonable service.” “ Ye are Christ's." “ Yield yourselves
It is related that a certain arriero, or unto God."
muleteer, discovered the contour of a cross And this surrender of ourselves to God upon the grassy sod. To perpetuate this is our bounden duty. If by serving sin, resemblance, a cross of raised earth was vanity, and the world, we had incurred made upon the outline, and remains to this great guilt, and were in imminent danger day, within a sacred enclosure, to be the of eternal death ; and if Christ voluntarily object of veneration with all good catholics. delivered us, at the expense of his own Alayman of the convent stated that a sacred blood; if the Father has manifested French astronomer, while making some cesuch wondrous love toward us miserable lestial observations upon the flat roof of sinners ; if the Holy Spirit has deigned to that building, discovered, by the help of enter our hearts and apply this great grace; his glasses, that the site of the sacred emthen, the least return we can make is to blem was the exact altitude for receiving give ourselves up to Christ, and cheerfully the image of the cross at Jerusalem, when to say, Here I am! Behold, Lord, the reflected by the crystalline mirror of the soul which thou claimest for thyself. It is bowed welkin !! indeed utterly unworthy of thy acceptance;
The obligations between priests and layin itself it is full of guilt, misery, and pol- men seem likely to prove reciprocal in lution. But thou who diást die for sinners, Mexico; the priests for many ages duped hast called, and I have come to thee to be nearly all the world, but now they are bejustified through thy merits, and now to coming, in their turn, the dupes of any one give myself to thee. Lord, I am thine, for who may deem it his interest to practise hou art mine. Fit and prepare my soul upon their credulity. for thy service : make me all thou wouldst have me to be; use me in what way thou wilt: command me to what services thou
COVETOUSNESS.He is too covetous, pleasest: do with me, that is, with thy whom God cannot suffice : he hath alí own, whatever seemeth thee good !
things who hath Him that hath all things, And this our duty is also our privilege. Rom. viii. 32. For, if we give not ourselves thus to God, we still serve sin, Satan, and the world;
JOHN DAVIS, 56, Paternoster Row, London. we are still in bondage through fear of Price ld. each, or in Monthly Parts, containing Five death ; we are employed in vile work, and
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HALLEY'S COMET, AND COMETS
versing its orbit) of more than one comet
was known, and even now three only can be GENERALLY.
numbered. To the celebrated Doctor HalALTHOUGH a great number of comets ley, the second astronomer royal, of whom have appeared at different intervals, and we have given some account at p. 53 of this those which have been astronomically ob- volume, the honour of this discovery is due. served amount to several hundreds, yet He computed the elements of the orbit of a very little of their real nature is known. comet which he himself had observed in Remarkable as this fact is, it has not arisen the year 1682, and finding them to agree from an indifference on the part of man- very nearly with those of the comets of kind to turn their attention to these sin- 1607 and 1531, as well as that the intervals gular erratic objects. The extraordinary elapsed did not materially differ from each and imposing aspects, as well as the mag- other, he considered it probable that they nitude which they often assume, their rapid were but successive appearances of the same motions, and the unexpected manner in body; and upon referring to the past hiswhich they frequently burst into view, tory of comets, he found that one had been could not fail of exciting astonishment, and seen similarly passing retrograde, or from eliciting a desire in the breast of inquiring east to west, (which, being contrary to the man to understand their nature.
general motions of planetary bodies, or It was not till very lately that the peri- from west to east, is called retrograde,) beodic time (or the period occupied in tra- tween the earth and the sun in the summer
of 1456, and also that another had been | section of their longer and shorter axis ; but seen in 1305: this interval of 75 and dou- the point marked F is the common focus ble interval of 151 years, together with the of the two ovals; therefore in the lesser oval retrograde motion, convinced him of their the distance F C is its eccentricity, and in identity; and, accordingly, he ventured to the larger one F O is its eccentricity; that predict its return again in 1758.
is, the eccentricity of an elliptical orbit of Upon nicer calculations, which the im- a planet or comet is the distance of the sun proved state of astronomical science after- from its centre. wards afforded, its return to its perihelion The engraving at the head of this article was predicted by Clairaut, a French astro- represents the orbit of Halley's comet, and nomer, to take place on the 15th of April, also of some of the planets forming the solar 1759, and it actually arrived at that point system, drawn upon an accurate scale, by of its orbit on March 13, within thirty- which their relative magnitudes may be three days of the time computed.* seen" by inspection. The sun is represent
Another period of its revolution is now ed in the common focus of all the orbits; nearly completed, and the best computa- and the following table will at once show tions predict that it will shortly become the amount of eccentricity of each, as well visible in our hemisphere, and pass its pe- as the periodic times of the respective borihelion on November 7th next. (See the dies traversing their trackless paths, by Christian · Almanack for the present year, which it may be seen how great is the ecpublished by the Religious Tract Society.) centricity of the orbit of Halley's comet It appears likely, for the only time in the compared with that of the planets; and as life of the present generation, to become an the orbits of all comets are similar, it must object of our astonished gaze and admira- at once appear to our readers that when at tion, and to occupy a large portion of the con- their perihelion they are so near the sun, versation of our families and friends. We compared with their distance from that lutherefore consider that a few particulars of minary when at their aphelion, or greatest this interesting wanderer, as well as of co- distance, the extremes of heat and cold mets generally, may at this time not be to which they are necessarily exposed must unacceptable to our readers.
be such as to render the existence of either We have explained at page 427 of our animal or vegetable life with which we are last volume that the orbits of the planets acquainted impossible. are ellipses or ovals with the sun, about which they revolve, situated in one of the
Eccentricity. Years. Days. foci which is common to all the orbits. In Mercury
0.206 O and 87 like manner the orbits of the comets are
0.006 0 224 also ovals, but of very different dimensions ; Earth .
0.017 1 0 those of the former differing very little from Mars
0.093 1 321 circles, whilst those of the latter are long Jupiter
0 048 11 317 and flat, or what is technically termed of Saturn
0.056 29 174 great eccentricity. It may not be amiss Georgium Sidus. . 0.047 84 8 to explain the astronomical meaning of the Halley's Comet . . 17.985 76 latter term.
One of the most remarkable circumIn the annexed diagram, we have repre- stances connected with our knowledge of sented two ovals of very different eccentri
comets is, that their head or nucleus is not, as is commonly supposed, a solid body, but the whole object is a mass of highly transparènt vapour; so transparent indeed, that “ the stars dim twinkle through their shadowy form,” those of lesser magnitude remaining distinctly visible at the time they are covered by the densest portion of a comet's substance, although the same stars
would have been obliterated from our view cities. The points marked C in the one by an ordinary fog on the surface of the and 0 in the other, represent their true cen- earth ; and since it is not doubted that tres respectively, as is shown by the inter- comets shine, like the planets, by reflected . For an explanation of the terms" perihelion," than great masses of thin vapour, suscepti
light only, they can be regarded as no other "aphelion,” &c., see Weekly Visitor, for 1834, p.
ble of being penetrated by the solar rays,
and reflecting them alike from their interior part of the light of the full moon, but inparts, as well as from their surfaces. There stances are on record of their having been are also other circumstances in their ap seen in full daylight. Of the actual numpearance which lead to the above conclu- ber of comets little is known : it has been sion, as to the nature of the material of computed by the theory of probabilities, which they are formed, and the following that there may be upwards of eleven mil-. evidence is so striking, that we must not lions that come within the known extent pass it over in silence, It was computed, of the solar system. But M. Arago, upon that in 1827 a comet would pass between a different computation, considers that the the earth and the sun exactly on a line con- number may be about seven millions. necting those two bodies, and consequently it was expected that if the comet possessed a solid nucleus, it would appear like a dark spot crossing the sun's disk, precisely in the
EXECUTION AT GOTTENBURG. same manner as the planets Mercury and FLAGRANT crimes rarely occur in SweVenus appear under like circumstances, or den, and an execution had not occurred for the moon in a solar eclipse. Unfortunately twenty-four years previous to my visit. An for British astronomers, the clouds pre- affair, however, attended with marked atrovented their seeing the sun at the com- city, had taken place a few days previous puted time, but the foreign astronomers to my arrival. A Danish vessel was boarded were more fortunate : both at Viviers and and plundered by some ruffians who had Marseilles, they looked diligently for it, been long notorious for bad conduct. They but no trace whatever of either spot or also murdered two men and a boy, who cloud was visible, a good proof of the formed the crew. On the crime being distransparent nature of these singular appear- covered, the whole country turned out to
hunt them from their lurking place. They When comets first make their appears were apprehended and brought to trial. ance, they generally resemble a round film And here, it may be observed, it is laid of vapour, with little or no pretensions to a down as a fundamental principle in the critail, but they increase in brilliancy and the minal code, that in cases of murder, no acquisition of a tail as they draw near to proof of a circumstantial nature is admitted the sun; but it is after they have passed as sufficient for inflicting capital punishtheir perihelion, when emerging from the ment; of course, hearsay must be of less brilliancy of the solar light in which they authority. This can only proceed on two have been for a short time obscured, that grounds ; namely, the full confession of the they assume their greatest splendour : the criminal, or on positive evidence of the tail, which during the approach to the peri- crime being actually seen as committed. helion had followed the comet, now pre- Should this not happen, he is confined to cedes it, generally with a small degree of jail, where it often occurs that the horror curvature, probably arising from the resist- of a guilty conscience, prompts him to conance of the ether (an extremely thin vapour) fess his crime, and thus satisfy the ends of which is supposed to pervade all space. justice. The ring-leader here first admitThe tails are of enormous lengths; the ted the full extent of his guilt, and showed comet of 1811 had a tail no less than the greatest marks of contrition. He was thirty-four millions of leagues in length : permitted to address the people on Sunday, the comet of 1744 had its tail divided from the window of his prison, in a kind of into six different branches, separated by sermon, which, it is said, was delivered dark intervals, each of them about four with great sincerity and devotion. At the degrees broad, and forty long. Many have distance of three months, the others confessno tails at all, as for example Encke's and ed, and were all led out for execution. The Biela's comets; but these are small and in- mode of punishment was as follows: their significant objects compared with those we right hands were first cut off, and immedihave been speaking of; the chief thing that ately after, their heads; when their bodies, causes them to be more particularly noticed with the clothes, were stretched horizontally is the circumstance, that they are the only on the top of three different wheels, attached two besides Halley's comet, that are known each to the top of a pole about twelve fee to belong to the solar system, and whose high. The heads were nailed on separate periodic times have been determined. poles, of a similar height. This execution
In general the light of comets is dull; took place two English miles to the south that of 1811 was only equal to the tenth of Gottenburg, at the side of the road,
and the mangled remains are thus exhi- | though somewhat old-fashioned, extremely bited in terrorem, till they drop, from the apt and impressive. effects of the elements !
It is easy to guess, without the help of a These miserable men sacrificed their dictionary of etymologies, that sorrel comes lives for the commission of an act of piracy from sour, a term more familiarly applied and murder, which, as it never occurred in to a species of dock, well known for its the memory of the oldest inhabitant, had acid properties. The terms wood-sorrel naturally excited universal horror and in- point out the nature and situation of the dignation in the minds of the Swedes.- plant, and are of themselves its best deRae Wilson's Travels.
scription. We have heard some people say, when advised to take exercise for the preservation or improvement of their health, that they do not relish a walk because they have no object. Surely if we stray into a wood, and mark with what care the Almighty provides for the defence and welfare of a little plant, that seems to flourish when all its neighbours have long since been stripped of their leafy honours, we cannot be said to walk without an object. While nearly all vegetable nature sleeps to recruit her strength, as if in unmarked
preparation for the beautiful displays of the d
ensuing spring, a few herbs are still fresh and thriving, as if to teach desponding man, that the Divine goodness even in the wintry season of adversity does not sleep, but ever scatters here and there some patches of pleasant green, as pledges of re
turning spring. b
The plants of this order have ten stamens, with awl-shaped filaments. These filaments, if examined with a little attention, will be found to be connected together at their base. A flower of the wood-sorrel will serve for examination, and may be found so early as April. In our engraving the germen, or unripe seed-vessel c, resembles a five-cornered pillar or pyramid. If we inspect the sides of this seed-vessel, they seem to be each one composed of a single leaf, as represented in d, which has its
edges folded together and fastened by muIf the title given to this assemblage of tual adhesion. In the plants of this order plants seem hard, that hardness is compen- we have a variety of fives. For we have sated by the facility with which the wood- five divisions in the calyx, five petals, twice sorrel, the pattern and representative of all five stamens, five cells in the germen or the rest, is found and distinguished. In fruit, and five styles. Pythagoras was acevery plantation, wood, or shrubbery, this customed to ascribe extraordinary properpretty little weed may be found. If any ties to certain numbers. Now it appears person to whom it is a stranger should take that the philosopher was a very close oba walk into a wood, especially where the server of nature, from whence he fetched stumps of trees are ready to afford a hiding the knowledge of these apparently mystical place, he will soon find a pale green leaf, properties. The pentad, or number five, like the trefoil or shamrock, with an agree- was called the number of the world, inasable acid taste. These marks will denote much as there are five zones in the great the wood-sorrel with no less certainty than world, and five senses in the little world, the most laboured descriptions. Older or microcosm of a man. We see by this naturalists of this country, who sometimes example, which is only one among many, wrote in latin, called the wood-sorrel tri- that the number five is of no less account folium acetosum, or sour trefoil, a name, among botanists, than it was among the