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neutral line of which coincides very nearly with the equator. However, the annual variations are very little known, and
needle advances every day from east to west, from the rising Fig. 365.
of the sun until about one o'clock p. m. It then makes a retrograde movement to the east, so as to arrive about ten o'clock at night very nearly at the point of departure in the morning. During the night the needle varies very little, but still does tend slightly towards the west.
Accidental Variations or Perturbations. The declination of the magnetised needle is accidentally affected in its diurnal variations by many causes, such as the aurora borealis, volcanic eruptions, and thunder. The effect of the aurora borealis is felt at an enormous distance. Though only visible in the north of Europe, it sometimes acts upon the needle in these latitudes, so as to produce a variation of 20'. In the polar regions the needle oscillates sometimes to the extent of several degrees. Its irregular motion during the whole day which precedes the aurora borealis, announces the phenomena beforehand.
Declination Compass.—The declination compass is an instruattract. Consequently, when a magnetised needle settles in ment which is used to measure the magnetic declination of a the direction of north and south, the pole which points to the place, when the astronomical meridian is known. It consists north contains the southern fluid, while that which points to of a graduated horizontal circle, fig. 366, in the centre of which the south contains the northern fluid. For this reason, the pole which points to the north is called the south pole, that
Magnetic Meridian—Declination. It is well known that
This being premised, as the magnetic meridian does not in
agate cap, resting on a vertical steel pivot. By this means Variations of the Declination. The declination of the magnetic the friction is very slight, agate being a very hard stone. needle, which varies very much in different places, is western
To observe the declination at any place by means of this in Europe and Africa, eastern in Asia and America. It more- instrument, it is so placed that the diameter x's is in the astroover has many variations even in the same place : some, which nomical meridian of the place, the extremity n pointing to the may be regarded as regular, are secular, annual, or diurnal; north. Then by reading on the graduated limb, the angle others which are irregular, are called perturbations,
formed by the needle with the diameter N s, to the right or Secular Variations.-At the same place, the declination left of zero, we have the measure of the western or eastern varies at different times, but sometimes continues on the same declination. In the accompanying engraving the needle marks side of the astronomical meridian, that is to say, to the east
an eastern declination of 21°. or west, for several centuries.
On the other hand, to find the astronomical meridian, when The declination for Paris has been noted since 1580. The we know the declination, we turn the compass so that the following are the variations which have taken place :
needle may make with the diameter as an angle equal to
the angle of declination and in the same direction. The 1580
-11° 30' to the East. | 1816- -22° 25' to the West diameter n s prolonged gives the direction of the astronomical
meridian. This method, however, is only approximative, 8 10 to the West. | 1830- -22 12
because of the continual variation of the declination,
Turning the Needle. The applications of the declination
compass which we have just indicated are only exact in pro-22 34 1851 - -20 25
portion as the magnetic axis of the needle, that is to say, the
right line which passes through the two poles, coincides with This table demonstrates that since 1580 the declination has the axis of the needle itself, that is to say, with the right line varied in Paris more than 34®, and that the maximum of the which connects its two extremities. In general this condition Western deviation took place in 1814. Since that time the is not fulfilled. This source of error is corrected by needle has been returning to the east.
turning the needle. For this purpose, the needle is not fixed Annual Variations. The annual variations were indicated to the cap, but is simply rested on it, that it may be by Cassini
, who observed in 1784, that from the vernal equi- removed and turned round, and then placed again on the cap, nox to the summer solstice, the needle in Paris retrograded so that the lower face becomes the upper face, and vieb versa. towards the east, and that on the other hand it advanced Taking then the medium between the declination now marked towards the west during the other nine months. The maxi- by the needle, and that which it gave before, we have the exact mun of amplitude observed during the same year was 20'. I declination.
In fact, if the right line ce represents the axis of the needle, The needle a b (fig. 369), which is easily moveable on a pivot, and the right line ab its magnetic axis (fig. 367), the true is fixed to the lower surface of a sheet of talc, on which is declination is not denoted by the arc e n, which is too great, drawn a star or mariner's card with thirty-two branches, but by the arcax, Now if we turn the needle, the magnetic indicating the eight points of the wind, the half and quarter
points. In order that the compass may always preserve its
horizontal position, in spite of the rolling and pitching of the
An opening », covered with a plate of rough glass, is used to
To guide a ship by means of the compass, the navigator first finds on a naval chart what is the point of the wind the vessel must steer by to reach its destination. Then with his eye
fixed on the compass, the helmsman turns the tiller of the rudder axis a 6 does not take the position d', but comes back exactly until the point fixed on and marked on the card, coincides with to its first direction, while the extremity c passing between the an imaginary line passing through the two points c and d, marked points a and x, describes an arc precisely as much too small as on the edge of the box, fig. 368, and which is parallel with the the first arc was too large. The medium between the two keel of the vessel. The variation, however, of the declination arcs observed gives the true declination,
in different parts of the globe, compels navigators continually Mariner's Compass. ---The directing action of the earth to correct the observations they make with the compass. on the magnetised needle has been put to a very important use The inventor of the mariner's compass is not known, nor in the mariner's compass, known also as the variation compass, the precise date of its invention. Gusor de Provins, a French or sea compass. It is a declination compass used to guide the poet of the twelfth century, is the first author who speaks of the progress of ships on the sea. Fig. 368 represents it use of the magnet in navigation. The ancients, who had no enclosed, in a rectangular box, which is again placed in another knowledge of the compass, enjoyed no better guide th«n the large box called the binnacle, fixed to the after-deck of the sun or the polar star. They were obliged, therefore, to sail in ship. Fig. 369 is a transverse section. In these two cuts sight of land, or to run the risk of losing theur way when the the same letters indicate the same parts of the instrument, sky was cloudy.
sort, infallible, and the ultimate standard of right and wrong, LESSONS IN MORAL SCIENCE. No. III. should hold that men cannot go astray if they will honestly WHETHER WE ALWAYS DO RIGHT BY OBEYING THE listen to the voice of conscience, and obey her dictates ? DICTATES OF CONSCIENCE?
But as we have shown that conscience is the judgment of
the mind respecting duty, and as no man's knowledge is This is one of the most perlexing questions in the science of perfeet or infallible, it follows, therefore, that 80 far as there is murals. Many are of opinion
that all that is necessary to error in the understanding in relation to matters of duty, just render an action good is that the agent act agreeably to the so far the conscience will be misguided. The question at dictates of his own conscience. This may be considered a issue, therefore, is whether an action, wrong in itself, can be vulgar opinion, usually taken up without much consideration considered as a good and virtuous action is the agent believes advocated by some of the greatest men of the age ; namely, covery of truth would be of no value, for obviously upon this that men are not responsible for their opinions or belief. It is principle error is just as good as truth. But as soon would effectual method of putting an end to the bitter animosities way which we wish travel. Again, this theory supposes that and controversies among the advocates of different creeds. "It is not wonderful that they who make moral sense, in al conscience; that, therefore, which is a sin in one man may be
duty to another in precisely the same external circumstances or erroneous views. Surely, moral depravity cannot be an
inveterate passions, which have been voluntarily or heedlessly
very idea of morality supposes us to be under a moral
law. Suppose a man to have been educated in a wrong system of religion and morals; he is responsible, because, when arrived
While, then, we cannot do better than obey conscience; at the years of maturity, he should have brought the opinions yet if conscience is erroneous, we do not fulfil our duty by received by education under an honest examination. The such obedience, but may commit grievous sin. For following more difficult it is divest ourselves of prejudices thus imbibed, the dictates of conscience, is only one circumstance essential to as it were, with the mother's milk, the more necessary is it a good action: When we do wrong while obeying the dictates that, under the influence of a sincere love of truth, we should, of conscience, the error does not consist in that obedience, but with impartiality, diligence, and resolution, endeavour to do in not following the right rule, with which rule the account80. It is no proof that such a course
is not the solemn duty
able moral agent should be acquainted. of man, that few ever perform it. The prevalence of error in the world, is very much owing to the neglect of this duty. WHETHER THERE IS IN THE MIND A LAW OR RULE,
BY WHICH MAN JUDGES OF THE MORALITY OF This neglect arises from culpable indolence, from a desire to remain in agreement with the multitude or with our parents
PARTICULAR ACTIONS ? and teachers, from aversion to the truth and an unwillingness If such a rule existed in the mind prior to the observation to deny ourselves, and incur the inconvenience and persecu- of particular acts of a moral nature, we should be conscious tion which an avowal of the truth would bring upon us. of it: nothing of the nature of a law or rule can have existBut none of these reasons will justify us in adhering to ence in the mind, without the knowledge of the mind itself. opinions which are detrimental to ourselves and others, or There seems to be a common mistake as to the process of contrary to our moral obligations. It is true, if a man's con- the mind in regard to general principles. It seems to be science dictates a certain action, he is morally bound to obey ; thought that in order to judge whether an action be right or but if that action is in itself wrong, he commits sin in per. wrong, there must be something like a general rule or law, forming it, nevertheless. He who is under fundamental error, which the mind applies, as the workman does his rule, to is in a sad dilemma. Do what he will, he sins. If he disobey ascertain whether the quality of the action be good or bad. conscience, he knowingly sins, doing what he believes to be But as we are conscious of no such process as the application Wrong; and a man never can be justified for doing what he of a general rule, there seems to be no evidence whatever of believes to be wrong, even though it should turn out to be its existence. The real process of the mind is very simple. right. And if he obey conscience, performing an act which is When a moral action is viewed, if its nature is simple and in itself wrong, he sins ; because he complies not with the law palpable, the mind intuitively perceives its quality, and is under which he is placed. It may be asked, “How can a man conscious of no other mental process. Suppose a man, created be responsible in such circumstances, when he is under a as Adam was, in the full possession of his rational faculties : necessity of doing wrong?" We are responsible for suffering until some occasion offered to elicit its exercise, he would not ourselves to be brought into such a state ; we are responsible be conscious of any moral faculty or feeling. But suppose an for our ignorance of the truth. Hence we see how important act of flagrant injustice to be perpetrated before him, he would the duty of seeking after truth with untiring diligence, and at once have his moral faculty brought into exercise. He honest impartiality. The same necessity is found to arise would see that the action had in it a moral turpitude, that it from forming bad habits, and cherishing evil passions. The ought not to have been done, and that the agent deserved to heart in which envy to another has been indulged until it has be punished. So long as this was the only moral act observed become habitual, cannot exercise kind and brotherly affections or thought of, there would be in the mind nothing but the to that person ; but this is no excuse. The fault may be judgment, with the accompanying feeling that such an act, traced far back, but guilt is attached to every act of envy, and of course every other act of the same kind, was evil. As however inveterate the habit. If this were not so, the greater such an observer would, however, soon observe a multitude of the sinner, the less his responsibility.
acts, of different kinds, which were judged to be good or baci, The objection to making a man responsible for his opinions, a general rule or law would be obtained, by degrees, out of is
, that his belief does not depend upon his will, but results these particulars. The process of the mind, in all cases, is necessarily from the evidence existing before the mind, at any from particulars to generals, and the tendency in the mind to moment. This is true ; but we may turn our minds away put into classes those things which resemble each other, from the evidence which would have produced a conviction of exists also in regard to moral actions. After observing a great the truth. And this is not all; there may be such a state of number of acts of different kinds, all of which are morally mind, that evidence of a certain kind cannot be perceived. good or evil, these particulars are classified, and form a general Depravity produces blindness of mind, in regard to the beauty rule or law; and when a new act is observed, it is referred to and excellency of moral objects. But every man ought to be its proper class. But how can we know an action to be good free from such a state or temper of mind as produces distorted or bad, without a rule with which to compare it, in the first
instance? The answer is, that it is as easy to conceive of a These moral emotions are, however, of very different degrees faculty by which we can at once perceive the moral character of intensity in different persons, and in the same persons at of an aci, as of the power of judging of the rectitude of a different periods of his life. Persons who have been long general rule.
accustomed to see atrocious crimes committed, lose in time There is a sense in which it may be said, that reason, or the their moral sensibility, and become accustomed to scenes of moral faculty having the power of discerning the moral blood and robbery. In proportion as the minds of men are quality of actions, has the rule in itself. If this is all that is enlightened by the truth, and their hearts upright, will be the intended by a general rule of right and wrong in the mind, sensibility of the moral faculty. But by committing sin, as there can be no objection to it. This is saying no more than well as by observing it, the moral sensibilities are blunted. that the mind has a faculty by which it judges intuitively of This want of right feeling in the conscience is what is called a many moral acts, as soon as they are observed. The idea " seared conscience,” which expression is borrowed from the may be thus illustrated: here is a straight line, as soon as we effect produced on any part of the living body, by the repeated see it, we perceive it to be straight; there is a crooked line, application of a heated iron. The result is, that, by degrees, which at once we perceive to be crooked. There is no need of the skin thickens, and the sensibility of the seared part is lost, a rule in the mind, by the application of which we know that or rendered obtuse. the one is straight, and the other crooked. The quality of Besides this feeling of approbation or disapprobation of the lines is seen at once. So of many moral actions, the moral acts, good or evil, there is a peculiar emotion, in relation moment the mind apprchends them, their moral character is to moral acts, according to their nature, when performed by perceived.
ourselves. In this case, the emotion is much more vivid than Here are so many boys going to school. We observe one, who when we contemplate the same action as performed by another. is large and strong, forcibly taking from another, who is When a person is conscious of having performed a truly good small and weak, some fruit which the latter has with much action, and from the proper motives, he experiences an emo. pains gathered for a sick mother. We need no general rule to tion of pleasure, of a very peculiar and exalted nature. For guide our judgment. We need only to know the real circum- this emotion we have no distinctive name; it may be called stances of the action. That a large and strong boy should by the pleasure of a good or approving conscience. It must not force take away from one weaker than himself, property to be confounded with self-complacency, or a proud opinion of which he has no right, and to which the other has a right, our own worth, which may also arise from the performance of is so evidently inmoral, that every mind sees the evil at a meritorious action. The feeling of which mention has been
made, is a simple emotion arising in the mind, from the prinThe general law or rule of morals is therefore made up by ciples of the human constitution, upon the performance of a the observation and classification of particular acts; just as good action. One reason why it has not been more noticed the general law of gravity is formed by observation of par. is, that it has no distinctive name. The emotion experienced ticular facts.
on the performance of a wicked action is well known to every Al our knowledge relates originally to particular cases ; It has a distinctive appellation-remorse. It is a feeling and general ideas and general rules and laws, are formed by a distinguishable from all others, and more intolerable than any procexs of the mind, which may be called generalisation or other species of pain. When violent, it often drives the classification.
unhappy subject of it to the most desperate acts. It is like a
scorpion, stinging the soul in its tenderest part. No language THE MORAL FEELING WHICH ACCOMPANIES EVERY can exaggerate the misery of a soul abandoned to the torture MORAL JUDGMENT.
of this feeling. And though in time it may seem to be allayed Whether our judgments and feelings are distinct and sepa- by forgetfulness of the crime, yet when any circumstance or rate mental exercises, or whether what we call feeling or association brings the evil action distinctly before the con. emotion is only an idea of a more vivid kind, is a question science, the torment is renewed Thus, acts of iniquity com. which we need not discuss, as the decision of it is not neces- mitted in heedless gaiety, often produce sensible remorse in sary to our purpose. All men mike a distinction between the time of solitude and reflection; and the sins of youth acts which are purely intellectual, and those exercises of embitter old age. This feeling often accompanies the sinner mind called emotions, and no practical error can arise from to his times of decline, and is the pain which most annoy observing this distinction-whether philosophically correct him on his bed of death. As the feeling accompanies the or not. In every case where a moral object or relation comes guilty unto the last moment of their earthly existence, there is before the mind, there is a feeling of approbation or disappro- much reason to think that it will cause the bitterest anguish bation, according to the moral character of the object, of of a future state. which we are immediately conscious. This approbation or disapprobation will not be equal in all cases, but exceedingly BELIEF IN GOD, AS CONNECTED WITH THE OPERAdifferent in degree. While some moral actions elicit, when
TION OF CONSCIENCE. perceivel, a very slight degree of approbation or disapproba- The question is, whether an atheist is completely diveste! tion, others excite strong emotion, the disapproval arising of the feeling of moral obligation. To those who suppose that to indignation, and the approval to adiniration.
speculative atheism is impossible, this question will appear in every instance where a good act is onuerved, there is a irrelevant; for it would be useless' to inquire what would be feeling of steern for the agent, as well as approbation of the the effect of a state of mind which never can exist.
A disposition, too, is felt to bestow some reward on the As, however, the evidences of the actual existence of atheism person who performs a good action. If we see a man, at the are as strong as those of most other fundamental errors ; and imminen? risk of his own life, piunge into the sea to save a as te doctrine of certain ideas being impressed on the mind strunyer who has fallen overboard, we approve the action, in its creuion (on which the opinion that men could not and feel that he deserves a reward. We therefore call it a become atheists was founded), is now generally exploded, it meritorious aktion; for the simple idea of merit is that which may be here taken as admitted that there are atheists in the deserves a reward.
world. The question proposed is therefore a proper subject On the other hand, when we are witnesses of a wicked act for consideration. Bishop Warburton in his Divine Lega. of an enormous kind, as, for example, a man murdering a tion of Moses," seems to adopt the opinion, that a beliet in good parent or a kind benefactor, without any provocation, the being of God is requisite to the exercise of conscience, or but instigated by ararise or resentment-we feel instanta- the sense of moral obligation. But his reasonings on the neously a degree of disapprobation which may pronerly be subject are by no means satisfactory. If we may refer to the called indignation. Thus ieeling would be accompanied by a experience of the atheist himself, he will assure us, that he strong desire that condizn punisnment should be inflicted on perceives the difference between right and wrong, as plainly the wicked perpetrator of such a deed. If there were no as others, and that he is conscious of being under a moral other
means of executing justice, we should feel disposed to obligation to pursue a virtuous course. This, however, they aid in punishing the culpnt; and the idea of snch a person consider an instinctive or constitutional principle
, which escaping without punishment, is paintul to the impartial should be obeyed. just as our appetites and other natural 1, and revilting to the moral feelingé,
propensities should be obeyed.
or course of conduct can men so eradicate the moral faculty, ° îi
If there are intuitive perceptions of moral relations, when actions of a certain kind are presented to the view of the
Tax. injustice, is conscious of a reference to the existence of a Dire
To Say. moral Governor, prior to his moral judgment of the quality of Dit
Said. the action. The perception of its moral evil is as immediate II
File. superior to whom he is bound: how can he feel himself under Liquide
Liquid. a law, unless there is a law-giver: The answer is, that this Lire
To read. part of the human constitution furnishes a conclusive argu
Thousand. within us, and from the sense of obligation to obey his law
Reet (trill the r.) Rite.
42. I i CIRCUMFLEX.
English, conclusion thas there is no difference between virtue and yice, Abîme
Abyss. and that these distinctions are the result of education. But Assit
Might assist. let some one commit a flagrant act of injustice towards them- Battît
Might beat. selves, and their practical judgment will give the lie to their Dime
Epistle. world, will avoid running against a post, or into the fire, as Finît
Might finish. carefully as other men; so they who endeavour to reason Gîte
Lodging.place. themselves into the belief that virtue and vice are mere Ile
Island, notions, generated by education, cannot, nevertheless, avoid Mît
Might place. perceiving that some actions are base, unjust, or ungrateful,
43. O o.
Like the letter O in the English word ROB.
This vowel also receives but one kind of accent, which is that there shall no longer be any sense of right and wrong. the Circumflex, viz., ô ô. Without and with this accent, this And again, it is evident
that, although the belief of the exist- vowel has in reality but one sound, viz., like 0 in the word ence of God is not necessary to the operations of conscience, yet from the existence of this faculty the existence of God may ROB; though, when it is accented, thus, ô ô, the former be inferred.
sound becomes broader and prolonged. When final, it usually
Kord relation to the great Creator; and thus the largest and most
R'-po (longo) Rest.
44. Ô ô.
Storehouse, Circumflex, viz. :-i î; though it is comparatively seldom Dôme
Ro-tee (trill ther) Roast-meat. In iht se lessons, the vowel I i, will be represented by the two Tột