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rent. But that time has passed. We are now directly or indirectly sanctioning them—their failure or success is ours, and we cannot avoid the responsibility. It will not do to try and shirk this duty by saying that parents ought to do it. They should do all in their power, and many are so doing, without having had that assistance in early life they should have had from the meeting to qualify them for the work. I would take no responsibility from parents, but they have a right to be assisted by the meeting in its organized capacity—as other churches help their members to hold their children, and capture ours when we neglect them. I object to the inference drawn that the organization lately formed, and the First-day schools are to be judged simply by their success in filling empty benches, this l hope and expect will be an incidental result but the aim is higher. It is to call our members back to first principles, to an active, earnest real concern for the welfare of each other; out from the empty forms that have made our meetings what they are. Routine attendance and a dependence on these forms have too long taken the place of religion among many of us. This earnest love for each other, as shown in the beginning, will be the key-note of success, and when it takes a practical turn will make us Friends in deed as well as in name, and then our vacant benches will be filled. Race Street Meeting is partly trying it. Over a year ago it found itself just where Baltimore Meeting is to-day. Its adult members met the young people going home, as they had for years. They saw their meeting dwindling, the “youthful ranks growing thinner” every year, and after talking it over, and over, and over, a new idea struck the adult members, perhaps the growing alienation was their fault. A committee was finally appointed to co-operate with the First-day school teachers. The adults generally now meet with the children, and behold the effect : The attendance of meetings and of children especially, is steadily increasing. I understate when I say that three times the number of children now attend meeting that did before the change was made some thirteen months ago. We have only partly done our duty, more will follow, but it has been a marvel to me that so much has been done. Thanks to a body of Elders, Ministers and Over. seers, who, laying aside custom, tradition and prejudice, could grasp the situation, co-operate and make a success that which could only have been accomplished with their aid. M.
A NEW COTTON PLANT.-Attention is now attracted in the South to a new cotton plant, which bids fair to prove immensely valuable. For many years A. A. Subers, of Macon, Ga., has been carefully experimenting to hybridise the cotton plant that grows wild in Florida with the common okra. The new plant retains the okra stalk and the foliage of the cotton. Its flower and fruit, however, are strikingly unlike either cotton or okra. The plant has an average height of two feet, and each plant has only one bloom. This is a magnificent flower, very much like the great magnolia in fragrance, and
equally as large. Like the cotton bloom, the flower is white for several days after it opens, after which it is first pale pink, and gradually assumes darker shades of this color until it becomes red, when it drops, disclosing a wonderful boll. For about ten days this boll resembles the cotton bol], and then its growth suddenly increases, as if by magic, until it reaches the size of a big cocoanut. Not until it reaches this size does the lint appear. Then its snowy threads begin to burst from the boll, but are securely held in place by the okra like thorns, or points that line the boll. One experienced picker can easily gather 800 pounds a day, and fast hands much more. Were the only saving that of labor in gathering the lint, the result of Mr. Suber's experiment would entitle him to the everlasting gratitude of the Southern farmer. But this is not all—there are no seeds in the lint. Each boll produces about two pounds of very long stapled cotton, superior to the Sea Island, and at the bottom of the boll there are from four to six seeds, resembling persimmon seed. This new cotton, therefore, needs no ginning. Such a plant would revolutionize the cotton industry of the South.-Florida Times-Union.
A WINTER WALK.
Among the latest efforts of vegetation, as cold weather approaches, is the formation of the buds on trees and shrubs, from which the leaves and flowers of the succeeding spring are to develop. These are found in the fall of the year at the extremity of the branchlets, and in the axils of the leaves. Small as they appear, they contain the rudiments of the leaves, and the different parts of the flowers which are destined to clothe and adorn the plant in the coming season. If one of these buds is taken, and the outer scales carefully removed, the incipient leaves will be disclosed ; or in the case of a flower bud, the corolla, stamens and pistils will be visible and with the aid of a microscope, may be counted. This is much more easily done by an inexperienced observer with those plants which have large buds.
In the early part of the 12th month, on the banks of the Delaware, above Burlington, I gathered a few flower buds of the Mountain Laurel (Rhododendron maximum) which were about one and three-fourths of an inch in length. The tender germs within were protected by closely fitting leaflets or scales, which overlapped each other so thoroughly, that nothing external could possibly penetrate, without first tearing or destroyiug the covering. These scales were arranged in many rows, and were very numerous, for I counted about seventy of them in one bud which was dissected. On examining with the microscope the individual scales, they were found to be coated on the outside with a close matting of hairs, like felt, which was most abundant on the part exposed to the external air. Their inner face was covered with a sticky resinous varnish, impervious to water. So perfect was the protection given by this skillfully arranged and devised covering, that one of the buds, which was soaked for several days in a cup of water on being opened, showed no signs that the water had in any degree penetrated the coating. ... When the scales were removed, the spike of flowers, which are so greatly admired in their summer development, was exposed to view in an immature condition, but presenting a beautiful object. The leaves of the corolla were distinctly visible, and one could count the single pistil, and the five stamens belonging to each flower of the cluster, and notice how the anthers are suspended each on the top of its filament. These flower buds of the Mountain Laurel were at the end of the branches. The leaf buds were much smaller, and placed at the base of the leaves where they are attached to the stem. The poet Cowper, who was a true lover of nature, beautifully alludes to these buds, in his “Winter Walk at Noon,” where he says of the all-wise Creator of all things, “He marks the bounds, which winter may not pass, And blunts his pointed fury; in its case, Russet and rude, folds up the tender gern, Uninjured, with inimitable art; And, ere one flowery season fades and dies, Designs the blooming wonders of the next.”
In those plants which have permanent stems that do uot perish after flowering, such as all of our shrubs and trees, the flowering buds of such as bloom early in the spring, are often more early developed than in other species. The common Candle Alder (Alnus 8errulata), which grows principally along the rivulets and water-courses, requires but a few warm days, when winter has passed, to lengthen to their full size and mature the clusters of pendent blossoms, looking like miniature brown candles suspended at the ends of the branches. But these little pendents are already an inch in length, and the stamens which are seated on the inner face of the scales are already formed. The whole cluster waits only for the flowing of the sap in the spring to swell and lengthen. In their present condition, the scales which support the stamens fit closely to each other, so as to present an unbroken defence to the weather for the tender organs within, and the security is made greater by a coating of varnish on the outside-—J. W., in The
BY PROF. MARIA MITCHELL.
The skies of the last half-century have been peculiar: certain expected phenomena have not appeared, the unexpected has been present. Auroral manifestations were predicted for 1880 to 1884; they have not been seen. This prediction was founded upon a supposed connection with sun-spots: the maximum of sun-spots was expected to occur in 1882, but 1883 and the first half of 1884 surpassed 1882 in the number of spots. Certain irregularities in the position of Mercury led astronomers to suppose that a planet inferior to Mercury existed. An observer, before wholly unknown, declared he had seen it; and Leverrier, the French astronomer, calculated an orbit on the data given by this man. Diligent search for this planet, known as Vulcan, has failed to find it. Good observers in the total eclipse of 1878 claim to have seen it, but this certainly needs confirmation. On the other hand, the little moons of Mars, never
suspected, never calculated, under the scrutiny of the best telescopes, send their tiny beams to the eye of the most patient observer. Observers of total eclipses in recent years tell of the wonderful rosy protuberances around the darkened sun, the tongues of colored flame which seem to leap out from the sun at the instant of totality. They were almost unknown until 1842. Mr. Paine, of Boston, who observed the eclipse of Nov. 30, 1834, total at Beaufort, S. C., says, “There was no flame, no irregularity, no disturbance; ” while the same observer at Bloomsbury, Ia., in 1869, says, “During four minutes of totality, the flame around the moon was nearly continuous, and of colors varying from the deepest red to the faintest pink.” The spectroscope shows these flames to be permanent belongings of the sun. Where were they before 1842? We are certainly passing through a period of comets. Although we have had in the last half century no comet like that of 1811, which, when in the horizon, threw a train thirty degrees past the zenith, the frequency of comets visible to the eye is unusual. The comet of 1843 threw a train from horizon to zenith; the nucleus was faint, and in New England lay near the horizon. This comet has one point of great interest: it passed nearer the sun at perihelion than any other, and is supposed to have penetrated the outer envelopes of the sun. Observers differ widely in the computed orbits. Biela's comet in 1846 separated into two, returned as two in 1852, and later resolved itself into a meteoric shower. The most striking comet since 1843 is that of 1858, known as Donati’s. The comet of 1843 had aroused observers, observatories had improved, new ones had started up, and the movements and physical changes were carefully followed. Cambridge Observatory put forth a remarkable volume in regard to this comet of 1858, which is much consulted by young astronomers to-day. The comet swept around the Great Bear, and lighted up the autumn skies all night. For scenic effect, for pose, if we may properly use that word, no other has equaled it. In the period of fifteen months between June, 1881, and October, 1882, four comets became visible to the naked eye. Undoubtedly, the earth passed through a cometary region. Of these, the comet of June, 1881, was first seen by us in the north before twilight was over, and the magnificent one of 1882 rose in the early mornings of October. As observers become more numerous, more and more comets will be found; but this is the only case known to me of four large comets in so short a period of time. The red glows of 1883 presented new phenomena. At first sight, the color struck one as unearthly. To most observers, the beautiful and the awful were combined. We made records of the red glows at Vassar College Observatory, when the skies would permit: it was a period of remarkable cloudiness. They were not seen until Nov. 27, 1883: they were last seen Feb. 1, 1884. When first seen, the glow was not immediately following the sun : it swept past Altair, then some thirty degrees from the horizon. There were thin, cirrous clouds, giving the sky a wrinkled appearance. It is a remarkable peculiarity that the glow was not seen every clear night. Thus, on January 5, the glow was bright. It was faint on the 6th, although the thin clouds were present. On January 7th, at 5:30 A.M., the glow reappeared, the sky being very clear. On January 9th there was red glow after sunset, but none the next morning. The intensity of the light lessened, and it gradually paled from week to week. What was the origin of these glows? At first glance, one ran through all the possible causes. Certain auroral displays have given color. I have seen the snow-covered earth reflecting the northern lights with a color like that of the Jungfrau at sunset, but there was no aurora. One thought of the zodiacal light : the zodiacal light lies along the ecliptic. This did not lie along the ecliptic: except as it was light, it had no resemblance to the zodiacal light. It might be the coming of a meteor shower, for meteors are at times heralded by a general light: there were no meteors. It might be the oversweeping of a comet's train of enormous size. The train of the comet of 1843 extended from horizon to zenith, its white sweep spread a broadening and well-defined light upon the sky, tapering toward the nucleus, and, as usual in the appearance of all comets, toward the sun. In the red glows there was nothing to indicate cometary motion. The observer, who had lived more than a half-century, remembered the green sunsets of New England in 1831, when for several weeks the sun gave less than its wonted light at unclouded noons, and set veiled in green. The year was that of the awful prevalence of cholera in New York, and there were persons who believed in a connection between the two. After the interval of time necessary for the slow travel of that day, it was found that there had been great fires in New Brunswick. The vol. canic origin of the red glows is the theory best supported, but to this there are striking objections. First, the intermittent character: it was not seen every fine night. Second, if it started from Sumatra, in two days the glow spread far east and far west with a rapidity of motion unknown in our most violent storms. If it was volcanic in origin, the force of upheaval can be compared only to that of sun-spots in its enormous proportions. What must be the internal force which could throw volcanic dust so high that its effects could be seen from points of the earth So far asunder, and where has the dust fallen 7 From the absence of observers and in the frequency of clouds, the data are few and irregular, especially in the early autumn. Dust and pumice are reported from the region supposed to be the origin, but not red glows. If it is not a result of the volcano, is it atmosphere at all ? We do not know. We know very little of the outsde universe, perhaps less of that immediately around us than of that more remote. We know, perhaps, more of the extent of Jupiter's atmosphere than of our own. We can see the moons of Jupiter pale as they pass behind the planet and are hidden : the paling seems not only the loss of light by contrast of brightness, but the shrouding by the atmosphere of the planet. We know something of the limit of Jupiter's atmosphere. We can look at the moon, and see of how little depth is its atmosphere, if it has any, by the suddenness of the disappearance of a star passing behind it. We can see the satellites of Jupiter put on a foggy aspect when far from the planet, and we know that its at
mosphere is far extended. We watch the sun in a total eclipse, and we note its wondrously far-reaching surrounding layers; but what do we know of the limit of our own atmosphere? The blazing meteor gives us a hint of the distance of a point in our own atmosphere, but it tells nothing of the boundary of that atmosphere. Two observers who see the same meteor, and who are some miles asunder, can, by a simple triangle, decide on the height of that meteor above the earth, but not on its distance below the limit of atmosphere; and the first question which comes to us when a new celestial phenomenon appears is, “Is it atmospheric?” What do we know of the region just beyond our atmosphere, of the offing of our planet 7 The earth does not repeat its orbit, the elements are changing continually. The points where other bodies cross its plane are all changing. Not annually, but momentarily, we must meet new combinations of infinite variety. And, again, if we know little of the near neighborhood of the earth, what do we know outside of our solar system 2 We compute the orbits of comets, and we refer them not infrequently to regions outside of our whole solar system, into the dwelling-places of the stars, the nearest of which is two hundred and twenty-six thousand times ninety-two millions of miles away. What do we know of the filling up of these immense distances? Is there filling up, or is there empty space? It is known that our sun, with its accompanying planets, moves toward a point in the constellation of Hercules. The undrawn curve of this orbit among the stars must have its cusps of variation. Is there fixedness even among the fixed stars ? Is it strange that in our ignorance of what is before us, of what we may meet in our rapid motions, the learned as well as the unlearned should sometimes shudder? Is it strange that the predictions of dire disaster have their periods of prevalence, their crowds of believers? If the ignorant predict evil, the scientist cannot deny the possibility. A comet of the future may strike the earth ; but, in the entire absence of any evidence of such an event in the past, we may anticipate beneficial or baneful results as equally likely. Prof. Peirce, of Harvard, said that the chance was greater for good : it was but expressing his belief that the “precession of our fate is ordered by a Being of infinite benevolence and power, who overcomes all accidents, converting them to good.”—Christian Register.
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” —Psalm Czvi, 15.
O word of truth and tenderness |
The death of God's beloved saints
And we who sorrow for their loss,
May know their hope in death, to us
Our hope, at sight of theirs, takes heart,
Their God is ours and we are His ;
—S. J. T., in Friends' Review.
ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY.
This was one of three subjects embraced in the first series of a course of “Talks with the teachers,” given in the lecture room, at Fifteenth and Race streets, Second mo. 7th, 1885. In all branches of learning the dominant idea of the teacher should be to give such information as will awaken and quicken the inquiring faculty of the pupil. By descriptions and explanations alone, a child cannot understand and fully appreciate how he is “fearfully and wonderfully made.” But bring before him the lungs, heart, bones and other organs of any animal, and let him see their construction, and he will grasp the idea at once; the mist that hung over the previous descriptions and explanations has cleared away, and every anatomical specimen, hereafter, becomes an object of the greatest interest. This talk on Anatomy and Physiology by Dr. James B. Walker was to instruct the teachers of physiology how they might practically illustrate their lessons. To do this the doctor had obtained various organs from a butcher, the structure and functions of which he explained. The bones of the leg and shoulder of a sheep will beautifully illustrate the ball and socket and hinge joints, and the cartilages, ligaments and synovial membrane associated with them. The periosteum can easily be removed, showing the compact substance of the bone underneath. This is called “The mother of the bone,” because it serves to transmit bloodvessels to the bone, thus furnishing nourishment. For a view of the interior of the bone, have one sawed in two lengthwise, thus showing the marrow that fills the hollow shaft, and the porous structure of the bone, at the ends where it articulates at the joints. The fibrous tissues of the muscles may be shown by a piece of boiled meat. The action of the lungs during respiration may be shown by inflating them. Their increase in size is very surprising to a child. Being made up principally of air-cells, the lungs are very light and will float on water. Their entire surface is covered with a thin sac called pleura. They are supplied with air through the trachea, a tube composed of cartilaginous rings with muscular membrane between them. ‘Having seen the action of the lungs by means of inflation the child will breathe frequently, by way of experiment, and thus, unconscious of the immense amount of good he is doing his body, fills his entire system with that life-giving element, oxygen. The oxygen enters the system through the blood which is forced everywhere over the body by the action of the heart, that marvelous piece of mechanism so wonderfully interesting. The shape and position of the auricles and ventricles, the delicate mitral and tricuspid valves between these apartments, the semilunar valves in the veins and arteries, to prevent the blood from revergitating, the arteries and veins themselves, once seen will make a lasting impression on the mind of a child, and he will feel his heart beat with double the interest he ever did before. Physiology thus made interesting is no longer a hardship, but a pleasure. At a meeting on Third month, 14th, the above
subjects will be continued.
BUCKS QUARTERLY MEETING, held at Wrights. town on the 26th of Second mo., 1885, was a large and interesting meeting, although quite a number of the aged people whose familiar faces we have been used to seeing in the galleries, were absent, some being prevented by the cold weather and others by bodily indisposition; some of the upper seats were not entirely occupied, but the principal part of the house in each end, both up stairs and down, was well filled, by interested young people to whom we look, to come forward and take the places of the fathers and mothers who must soon pass on to the higher life. There were very few strangers present, except Joshua C. Washburn and wife of Chappaqua, N.Y., who are visiting connexions in the vicinity. As usual the meeting was late in getting settled into stillness, as so many seem to have so little regard to punctuality to the hour appointed for gathering, viz., 10 o'clock. As there were no ministers present except those belonging to the Quarter, the vocal utterance devolved entirely on them, one of whom early appeared in supplication, who afterwards was followed by others in interesting discourses, which seemed to be attentively listened to and appreciated. After the partitions were closed the usual business was transacted, including the reading and answering all the queries. The summaries as united with represent the condition of the Meeting much as it has been for many years past, except a noticeable improvement on the subject of temperance. As none of the Friends were present whose names were reported for members of the Representative Committee, or meeting for sufferings, the Committee to nominate had to withdraw and agree on other names, which, when reported, were fully united with. A request came up from Solebury Monthly Meeting, asking the concurrence of the Quarter in dispensing with the holding of Solebury Preparative Meeting, as the same Friends compose it who compose the Monthly Meeting. The request was granted and the clerk directed to officially inform Solebury Monthly Meeting. As a number of the active or speaking members were absent, the business was disposed of at an earlier hour than usual, and the meeting closed before 2 o’clock. Samuel Swain, of Bristol, after participating in the exercises of the first meeting and speaking half an hour, was suddenly taken with serious indisposition and obliged to leave the house; he was taken to the house of a Friend and attended by a physician, but has so far recovered as to be able to go home the next day, and we trust he will soon be well again. >k >|< x <
CoNFERENCE ON EDUCATION.—On Seventh day, the 28th ult. was held the third and last for the season of the Educational Conferences at the Meetinghouse at Fifteenth and Race. These have all been valuable, and have elicited very thoughtful and sigmificant expression from those who have labored in the cause of the education of the children of our church, as well as of those who have entrusted their
children to our care. The Conferences have been held under the auspices of the Yearly Meeting's Committee on Education, and have not been the least effective among the measures by which they have labored to accomplish the work they were appointed to perform. We hope the papers read on this occasion will all be offered for publication. . The adjunct to the Friends' Library at Fifteenth and Race of an educational department for the special help of educators is now accomplished, and we congratulate our teachers upon the privilege of consulting the best pedagogical works in this pleasant and convenient place. A supply of educational periodicals will be found on the table set apart for this purpose, and it is hoped that it may be helpful to those in the work.
AT Richmond Meeting, Indiana, Second month 22d, Edward Coale, an approved minister from Illinois, was present and delivered a practical discourse, which was duly appreciated. In the evening Robert F. Furnas was very interestingly called into the ministry—expressing much that was worthy of consideration.
A FRIEND at Waynesville, Ohio, reports very remarkable weather for the season of the year.
On the night of Second month 8th it was rainy with thunder and lightning—rain continuing all day and the river out of its banks—next morning, mercury, at daylight, 2° above zero; soon ran down to 4° below; at noon, 2° below, and at 5.30 P. M., 9° below zero, with considerable wind. Two vehicles in attempting to cross from Waynesville to Corwin were abandoned and drivers had to get out with their horses as best they could.
Communication was cut off till evening, when some crossed on the ice. The water had risen so high that only the top board of the fence alongside of the road could be seen. The next morning (11th) temperature 13° below zero, after which it moderated some ; on the 15th it rained a little, and on the 17th mercury, in the morning, was 3° below zero, and continued below zero till date of writing (23d), one morning being 20° below.
ELIZA, PENNINGTON, a sister of the late George Hatton, has completed her 99th year.
RACHEL EVANs, also a valued member of Miami Monthly Meeting, was 90 years of age last Tenth month, on which occasion her five sons and one daughter, with her grand children, assembled from their various localities to spend the day with her.
MARIA HALE, of Wilmington, Ohio, a member also of Miami Monthly Meeting, died Twelfth month 25th, 1884, in her 87th year, whilst her husband, William Hale, now in his 94th year, survives her.
A NN PACKER, of Green Plain, has obtained a minute for religious service within Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.
THE accumulation of wealth is followed by an increase of care, and by an appetite for more. He who seeks for much will ever be in want of much.Borace.