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of producing effect. In the midst of those imperfections which arose out of his want of the refinements of education, there beamed forth a soul, fired and filled with God and glory-burning with intense ardor for the salvation of a lost world-and pouring forth a torrent of holy eloquence, not in the enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.' This gave a character to the ministration of Mr. Abbott somewhat peculiar, and elevated him as far above the mere declaimer, the enthusiastic publisher of common news for the sake of filthy lucre,' as the man of God is raised above the merest worldling that crawls upon this earth.
We do not, therefore, recommend this book to the notice of our readers on account of its literary excellencies, though, if it possessed these also, it would be doubly excellent. Whatever improvements we may have made in taste, in science, and systematic theology, and however much we may excel some of our fathers in purity of style and gracefulness of action, it is to be feared that we fall far short, at least of some of them, in holy fervor, in flaming zeal, and that apostolic simplicity, purity, and energy, by which they won for themselves an everlasting fame-a fame, not of worldly glory, which must perish with the using,—but such a fame as God puts on those servants of His, who have been instrumental •in turning many to righteousness. Such shall • inherit glory.' Those ministers who convert sinners from the error of their ways,' much more perfectly answer the end of their designation to the holy work of the Gospel ministry, than do those who merely astonish you for the moment with their flights of oratory, with the depth of their literary researches, or even the profoundness of their wisdom in theological lore.
Do not, however, misunderstand us. We are not the apologists of ignorance or vulgarity in the pulpit, any more than we are of bombast, of vain parade, or of empty declamation. We care not how learned the Christian ministry is, nor how deeply a man digs into the mine of truth, nor yet how richly his discourses may be laden with sound Scriptural learning ; but we want, superadded to all this, the “unction of the Holy One'-the pathos which arises from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,' and the eloquence imparted by a supreme love to God and the souls of men. We want to hear the words of God uttered by tongues which have been touched with a live coal from the altar of God, and to witness the train of captivated sinners following in the path marked out by this flaming messenger of the skies. When the Church shall be honored and filled with such heralds of the Redeem. er's glory, we may then predict the sudden coming of the Son of man, to assert His claims, and to establish His universal dominion on the earth.
Now, let all those who wish to have their hearts fired from that holy altar, read the memoir of the Rev. Benjamin Abbott, and strive to initate the ardor of his piety and zeal, and they will feel it enkindling upon their hearts, and will say, with one of old, while I was musing, the fire burned-therefore, for • Zion's sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's, sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.'
By what standard shall we estimate a man's worth ? Shall it be from the amount of good which he is instrumental in accomplishing ? But what sort of good? The philosopher who, like Bacon, Newton, and Reid, dispels the cloud of error from the human mind, and frees it from its slavery to the deadening influence of empty theory and blind fatality, achieves a victory over numerous evils, and consequently brings a great amount of good to the human family; because a foundation is thus laid for the free exercise of thought, for the investigations of truth, and for the permanent establishment and wide diffusion of sound knowledge. But the good thus produced has only a temporary bearing upon human happiness. The patriotic warrior, who, like Washington, leads armies to victory for the purpose of emancipating a nation from political thraldom, lays the world under a lasting debt of gratitude for the amount of good he is instrumental in achieving for his fellow men. This, however, though by no means small, is limited, in its immediate results, to this world. The wise statesman, who devises and enacts those laws which secure to all equal rights and privileges, so far as the imperfect state of society will permit, is justly entitled to the praise of having brought an incalculable amount of good to the human family. Nor are those who wisely and justly administer those laws, so as to protect the citizen in the peaceful exercise of those privileges which the laws of his country have guaranteed to him, less an object of trust and confidence, of gratitude and praise. All these are to be respected in their stations, and their worth estimated according to the proportion of good they have been instrumental in promoting.
But as the heavens are higher than the earth, and the demands of eternity are more weighty and durable than those of time, so much more good does that man bring to his fellow men, who is a means of introducing them into the possession of that religion which will fit them for an everlasting possession at God's right hand. Without, therefore, endeavoring, or even desiring, to detract from the merits of others who labor in their respective departments for the benefit of their fellow citizens, we say that the faithful minister, who, like Paul the apostle, in primitive times, and John Wesley, in more modern times, converts thousands of sinners from the error of their ways, is instrumental of more lasting good, than any other man upon the face of the earth. And from this mode of calculation, that minister of Jesus Christ who brings the greatest number of sinners to the knowledge of the truth is to be the most highly estimated. This is the end of his calling. This is the grand design for which the Christian ministry was instituted. All other means which are used for enlightening the mind, and inducing mankind to attend to external duties, are no farther available than as they tend to the accomplishment of this ulterior design.
When, therefore, we have ascertained who has been the means of converting the greatest multitude of sinners to God, we have found the man who has done the most good, and consequently of the greatest worth. Let the subject of the memoir before us be estimated according to this standard, and we apprehend that he will bear a comparison with any of his compeers in this holy work. He may not have received so shining a polish-he may have been much less refined in his manners in and out of the pulpit—and he may therefore have betrayed more of human weaknesses in the discharge of his public duties--but that God owned him as a chosen instrument to bring sinners from darkness to light, is an indubitable proof that he stood high in His favor whose word he so successfully published.
The Planetarium and Astronomical Calculator, containing the Dis
tances, Diameters, Periodical and Diurnal Revolutions of all the Planets in the Solar System, with the Diameters of their Satellites, their distances from, and the Periods of their Revolutions around their respective Primaries ; together with the Method of calculating those Distances, Diameters, and Revolutions. Also, the Method of calculating Solar and Lunar Eclipses ; being a Compilation from various celebrated Authors, with Notes, Examples, and Interrogations ; prepared for the Use of Schools, Academies, and Private Learners.-By Tobias Ostrander, Teacher of Mathematics, and Author of “A Complete System of Mensuration,” “The Elements of Numbers," " Easy Instructer," " Mathematical Expositor," lc.
The science of astronomy* teaches us the knowledge of the celestial bodies, their magnitudes, motions, distances from the earth, the periods of their revolutions, their different aspects, eclipses, order, &c. As the science depends upon observations made upon the heavenly bodies, chiefly with instruments prepared for that purpose, and upon accurate mathematical calculations, its progress has been comparatively slow, and its principles have gradually developed themselves to the view of those minds which have been especially devoted to these sublime discoveries.
The present treatise, as stated in the title page, is intended for
Astronomy comes from Aspor, a star, and vopos, a law or rule : and hence the science signifies a knowledge of those laws by which the stars are governed.
schools, academies, and private learners, and we think, from a cursory view of its contents, that it is well adapted to answer these ends. Astronomy cannot be considered an idle and barren theory even to the devoted Christian. When we consider the many allusions to the heavenly bodies, to the sun, moon, and stars, which are found throughout the sacred Scriptures, and more particularly in the Psalms, it surely cannot be thought a waste of time, nor a mere dry speculation, to devote some moments to the contemplation of such a theme. These luminaries of the heavens and earth all proclaim their Creator's glory, by exhibiting and illustrating His perfections. While in silent and solemn meditation upon this sublime subject, Young says to his friend :
We'll innocently steal celestial fire,
Natives of ether! sons of higher climes.' And let no one say that these are the mere midnight dreams of a poet. They have been the waking dreams of some of the brightest geniuses that have adorned and dignified the page of man's history. Let such men as Ptolemy, Copernicus, Newton, Herschel, and many others who might be named, speak in behalf of a science which unfolds such displays of creating and superintending wisdom and goodness, and they will unite in saying with the poet above quoted, that
An undevout astronomer is mad.' We have, however, neither space nor leisure to pursue this interesting subject; nor to give even an outline of the plan marked out in the book before us. It is, we may be permitted to remark, highly spoken of by competent judges, as a very useful digest, expressed in as familiar a style as the nature of the subject will allow, of the leading principles of astronomy.
That our readers may, however, judge for themselves of the author's competency to teach the science, and the felicitous manner he has adopted, we quote the following section on
• The power by which bodies fall toward the earth, is called GRAVITY,
Vol. V.January, 1834. 10
or attraction. By this power in the earth it is, that all the bodies, on whatever side, fall in lines perpendicular to its surface. On opposite parts of the earth, bodies fall in opposite directions, all toward the centre, where the whole force of gravity appears to be accumulated. By this power constantly acting on bodies near the earth, they are kept from leaving it, and those on its surface are kept by it, that they cannot fall from it. Bodies thrown with any obliquity, are drawn by this power from a straight line into a curve, until they fall to the ground. The greater the force with which they are projected, the greater is the distance they are carried before they fall. If we suppose a body carried several miles above the surface of the earth, and there projected in a horizontal direction, with so great a velocity that it moves more than a semidiameter of the earth in the line it would take to fall to the earth by gravity, in that case, if there were no resisting medium, the body would not fall to the earth at all; but continue to circulate round the earth, keeping always the same path, and returning to the point from whence it was projected with the same velocity with which it moved at first. We find that the moon, therefore, must be acted upon by two powers, one of which would cause her to move in a right line, another bending her motion from that line into
This attractive power must be seated in the earth, for there is no other body within the moon's orbit to draw her.* The attractive power of the earth, therefore, extends to the moon, and in combination with her projectile force, causes her to move round the earth in the same manner as the circulating body above supposed.
The moons of Jupiter, Saturn, and Herschel, are observed to move around their primary planets ; therefore there is an attractive power in these planets, operating on their satellites in the same manner as the attraction of the earth operates on the moon. All the planets and comets move round the sun, and respect it as their centre of motion, therefore the sun must be endowed with an attracting power, as well as the earth and planets. Consequently all the bodies, or matter of the solar system are possessed of this attractive power, and also all matter whatsoever.
As the sun attracts the planets with their satellites, and the earth the moon, so the planets and satellites reattract the sun, and the moon the earth. This is also confirmed by observation; for the moon raises tides in the ocean; the satellites and planets disturb each other's motions. Every particle of matter being possessed of an attractive power, the effect of the whole must be in proportion to the quantity of matter in the body.
Gravity also, like all other virtues, or emanations, either drawing or impelling a body toward a centre, decreases as the square of the distance increases; that is, a body at twice the distance, attracts another with only a fourth part of the force ; at four times the distance, with a sixteenth part of the force.
* If the moon revolves in her orbit in consequence of an attractive power residing in the earth, she ought to be attracted as much from the tangent of her orbit in a minute, as heavy bodies fall at the earth's surface in a second of time. It is accordingly found by calculation, that the moon is deflected from the tangent 16,09 feet in a minute, which is the very space through which heavy bodies descend in a second of time at the earth's surface.