Page images
[ocr errors]

what he was disposed to look at as a mortal offence, from Mr. Singleton

It was a bright, sharp, frosty, morning in December, the ground slightly sprinkled with snow, and the trees covered with the most delicate frost-work which, as it reflected the rosy sun-light, blushed like virgin coral when it first rises above the green waves of ocean. Every one seemed glad, and the sharp bracing air gave a healthier tinge to their features, and urged them to move briskly forward toward the old church of St. Fabian's. As we mounted the little eminence on which it was situate, a whirl-blast caught up the powdery snow, giving an indistinctness to its outline, that added greatly to the poetry of the pictureland and sky seeming to commingle with strange effect. A flight of larks rose from beyond the hedge, piping out their shrill music as they passed over our heads, but it was not their happy summer song : and far, far above us, hung a skein of wild fowl in single file, swaying to and fro as if they all formed one continuous chain. The church tower stood out against the cold grey background, and the particolored groups crossing the church-yard, and disappearing gradually in the dark porch, completed the picture. It was not Sunday : but the reader will perhaps anticipate us by guessing what day it was, for we have sketched unconsciously the beau-ideal of a happy Christmas-day. And such in truth it was. As we walked onwards we had no other companionship than our own thoughts-yet they were not ours ; for, at that time, we were rehearsing inwardly the well-known lines from Milton

It was the Winter wild
While the Heaven-born child

All meanly wrapt, in the rude manger lies ;
Nature in awe to Him
Had dofft her gaudy trim

With her great Master so to sympathize.
Only with speeches fair
She woos the gentle air,

To hide her guilty front with innocent snow,
And on her naked shame,
Pollute with sinful blame,

The saintly veil of maiden white to throw.

Thus communing as it were with the scenery around us, and calling up its holy associations, we reached the church door. Immersed in these thoughts I should have walked forward, but on looking up, was in what good old Banyan calls “a muse," as I read over the entrance from the porch


Gen. xxviii. 17. Surely thought I, as I still looked up, this is not the inscription I before noticed—the text that mystified our rustics by the strange characters in which it was inscribed? But on examining the wall more closely, I could trace beneath the recent coating of whitewash, the florid initials, and quaint adornments, of the original passage. I had supposed it to be a text of scripture, but it proved to be no such thing-it was a mere passage from the Apocrypha, uninspired and uninstructive :

urthermore he commanded that whosoever should transgress, that a tree should be taken out of his possession, and he be hanged thereon, and that his goods should be the King's.—1 Esdras vi. 32.

[ocr errors]

How typical was this of the New Heresy! Temporal and spiritual domination and intolerance. Any rule, but the only right one. Any authority, but that of Inspiration. The unbending, but unmistakeable commands of Holy Scripture were out of place in a temporizing scheme like that of Puseyism. Could its advocates but manage to foist in human authority by degrees, they might eventually succeed in ousting the sure Word of Prophecy. How studiously would these Modern Pharisees nullify the law by their traditions; whilst teaching the people that they only sought to make tradition subservient to Revelation.

But I am wandering away from my narrative. On entering the church, I found there many of my old friends, and amongst them Major Goode. The beautiful prayers for the day having been read, Mr. Singleton ascended the pulpit. The · Lectern' had disappeared; the Golden Eagle' had taken his flight, and the whole arrangement of the seats was so altered that every one could see and hear the preacher. His text was taken from Matthew i, 21,7"Thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins." There was a momentary rustling of leaves, and the audience settled down into an attitude of calm and thoughtful attention, with eyes


the preacher. It would have been a delightful and profitable employment to have read the varied thoughts that passed at that moment through the minds of the hearers. All seemed to sympathize with the great truths shut up in those few words, and to recognize the peculiar propriety of their connection with that happy and holy season. Even Major Goode smiled approval, as the words were slowly and solemnly enunciated ; but as if he had scarcely made up his mind to sanction them till he knew how they would be treated, gave a short cough, and dropped his hand audibly upon his knee. As Mr. Singleton proceeded, he shook his head once or twice, and at length rose and leaned over the front of the pew, looking with awful severity towards the pulpit. What he did further, we shall see next month.

H. R E. (To be continued.)

EARL ROSSE'S TELESCOPE. Many, if not all, of our young readers have heard of the Monster Telescope of Earl Rosse, lately set up at Parsonstown, Ireland. The following account is by Dr. Woods.

The tube is fifty-six feet long, including the speculum box, and is made of deal one inch thick, hooped with iron. The focal length of the speculum is fifty-two feet. On the inside of the tube, at intervals of eight feet, there are rings of iron three inches in depth and one inch broad, for the purpose of strengthening the sides. Its diameter is seven feet.

It is fixed to mason work in the ground by a large universal hinge which allows it to turn in all directions. At each side of it, at twelve feet distance, a wall is built which is seventy-two feet long, forty-eight feet high on the outer side, and fifty-six on the inner ; the walls are thus twenty-four feet apart, and they lie exactly in the meridional line.

The fixed end of the telescope is in the centre of the enclosed space, and the free end turns round to either extremity, looking north or south as required. When directed to the south, the tube may be lowered till it becomes almost horizontal, but when pointed to the north it only falls until it is parallel with the earth’s axis, pointing then to the pole of the heavens; a lower position would be useless, for as all celestial objects circumscribe that point, they will come into view above and about it. Its lateral movements take place only from wall to wall, and this commands a view for half-an-hour at each side of the meridian.

With so large an instrument the most favorable circumstances must be combined, to allow of its being used with success; and as all bodies in the heavens are seen more perfectly when on or near the meridian, it was thought quite sufficient to have them for one hour in the field of view in their most manageable situation, and as they must also of course pass the meridian, nothing is lost by this limited range of the telescope.

There is a chain connected with that part of the tube which is uppermost when it points to the south, that runs over a pulley in a truss-beam at the northern end of the wall, and is wound round an axle on the ground. This elevates and turns the tube to the north. A beam of wood, twenty-five feet long, is hinged at one end to the mason work, which supports the large universal joint on which the tube moves; this is loaded at the other end by a weight, and from that is joined to the tube by a chain thirty-five feet long. It is so managed that when the tube has reached its perpendicular position, the weight which is on a cross-beam is at its fullest extent from the tube, and as the tube continues to move towards the north this weight is raised, forming an angle with the horizon.

From each side of the tube runs a chain, which passes round a pulley fastened to the wall, but which can turn on a pivot to suit itself to the different situations of the tube ; the chain then running under another pulley which is stationary, ends by suspending a weight, which is thus a counterpoise to the tube. This weight on either side is also fastened to a chain, which hangs from a beam at the northern extremity of the wall : when the tube is pointed towards the south, the weights hang on the chains which run from its sides over the pulleys, and so have a tendency to elevate it ; but as it reaches the perpendicular, these weights are prevented sinking down in a straight line by the other chains which are fixed to the beam, and which, always continuing the same length, draw them out towards the extremity of the wall until they hang altogether on themselves, and exert no force at all on the chains which are connected with the tube : when this passes the perpendicular towards the north, the weights are again drawn back, and begin once more to counterpoise it.

THE CHRISTIAN'S LIFE “None of us liveth unto himself." There is a sense in which no man can live unto himself. Man is not a detached, insulated unit in the universe. He is a part of a great whole. He is a link in the vast chain of being. His movements may propagate an influence to its extremity. He cannot move without influencing others. His very breathings may produce ripples upon the mighty lake of existence which will spread in ever-widening circles to the very shores of eternity. There are mystic strings connecting him with the universe. Can he move without touching them? Can he give a touch that will not send its vibrations along the arches of the boundless future? The effects of a man's influence either for good or evil, will be determined by his moral character. A bad man is necessarily a curse,-the influence that streams from him will be moral poison. A good man, under God, is a blessing,-his influence like the living waters will irrigate and beautify the mental districts through which they flow. Who can think of this doctrine of necessary human influence, without having his spirits overspread with the most solemn sentiments? I feel its overpowering weight at this moment. But do I complain at this wonderful fact in my nature? Would I have a life in which I could neither be the subject nor source of influence? No. I feel that this fact, though awfully solemn, gives grandeur to my being. It qualifies me to participate in universal love, to enter into the sorrows and joys and hearts of others; to exult in sentiments that inspire the spirits of the great and the good; and to contribute in my humble measure to the great aggregate of goodness whatever of

« PreviousContinue »