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CIV. — THE PLANETS AND HEAVENLY BODIES. 1. It is not for us to say whether inspiration revealed to the Psalmist the wonders of modern astronomy. But even though the mind be a perfect stranger to the science of these enlightened times, the heavens present a great and an elevating spectacle, an immense con'cave reposing upon the circular boundary of the world, and the innumerable lights which are suspended from on high, moving with solemn regularity along its surface. It seems to have been at night that the piety of the Psalmistet was awak. ened by this contemplation, when the moon and the stars were visible, and not when the sun had risen in his strength, and thrown a splendor around him, which bore down and eclipsed ali the lesser glories of the firmament.
2. And there is much in the scenery of a nocturnal sky to lift the soul to pious contemplation. The moon and these stars, wha. are they? They are detached from the world, and they lift us above it. We feel withdrawn from the earth, and rise in lofty abstraction from this little theatres of human passions and human anxieties. The mind abandons itself to revëry, and is transferred in the ecstasy of its thoughts to distant and unexplored regions. It sees nature in the simplicity of her great elements, and it sees the God of nature invested with the high attributes of wisdom and majesty.
3. But what can these lights be? The curiosity of the human mind is insatiable; and the mechanism of these wonderful 'heavens has, in all ages, been its subject and its employment, It has been reserved for these latter times to resolve this great and interesting question. The sublimest powers of philosophy have been called to the exercise, and astronomy may now be looked upon as the most certain and best-established of the sciences.
4. We all know that every visible object appears less in mag nitude as it recedes from the eye. The lofty vessel, as it retires from the coast, shrinks into littleness, and at last appears in the form of a small speck on the verge of the horizon. The eagle with its expanded wings is a noble object; but when it takes its flight into the upper regions of the air, it becomes less to the eye, and is seen like a dark spot upon the vault of heaven. The same is true of all magnitude. The heavenly bodies appear small to the eye of an inhabitant of this earth only from the immensity of sheir distance. When we talk of hundreds of millions of miles, it is not to be listened to as incredible. For remember that we are talking of those bodies which are scattered over the immens
ity of space, and that space knows no termination. The conception is great and difficult, but the truth is unquestionable.
5 By a process of measurement which it is unnecessary at present to explain, we have ascertained first the distance and then the magnitude of some of those bodies which roll in the firmament; that the sun, which presents itself to the eye under so diminutive a form, is really a globe, exceeding, by many thousands of times, the dimensions of the earth which we inhabit; that the moon itself has the magnitude of a world ; and that even a few of those stars, which appear like so many lucid points to the unassisted eye of the observer, expand into large circles upon the application of the telescope, Ei and are some of them much larger than the ball which we tread upon, and to which we proudly apply the denomination of the universe.
6. Now, why should we think that the great Architecte of nature, supreme in wisdom as he is in power, would call these stately mansions into existence, and leave them unoccupied ? When we cast our eye over the broad sea, and look at the country on the other side, we see nothing but the blue land stretching obscurely over the distant horizon. We are too far away to perceive the richness of its scenery, or to hear the sound of its population. Why not extend this principle to the still more distant parts of the universe ? What though, from this remote point of observation, we can see nothing but the naked roundness of yon planetary orbs? Are we, therefore, to say that they are so many vast and unpeopled solitudes; that desolation reigns in every part of the universe but ours; that the whole energy of the divine attributes is expended on one insignificant corner of these mighty works; and that to this earth alone belongs the bloom of vegetation, or the blessedness of life, or the diguity of rational aud immortal existence ?
CV. - THOUGHTS ON EARLY RISING.
1. Habits of Great MEN. — Anonymous. El WHATEVER may be the quantity of sleep required, early rising is essential to health, and promotes longevity.El Almost all men who have distinguished themselves in science, Ei literature, and the arts, have been early risers. The industrious, the activeminded, the enthusiasts in pursuit of knowledge or gain, are up betimes at their respective occupations, while the sluggard wastes the most beautiful period of his life in pernicious slumber
Homer, Virgil, and Horace, are all represented as early risers; the same was the case with Paley, Priestley, and Buffon; the last of whom ordered his servant to awaken him every morning, and compel him to get up by force if he evinced any reluctance; for which service he was rewarded with a crown each day, which recompense he forfeited if he did not oblige his master to get out of bed before the clock struck sis.
Bishops Jewel and Burnet rose every morning at four o'clock. Sir Thomas More did the same thing. Napoleon was an early riser; so were Frederick the Great, Charles the Twelfth, and Washington. Sir Walter Scott, during the greater part of his life, rose by five o'clock; and his literary work was accomplished chiefly before breakfast. Franklin and nearly all the great men of the American revolution were early risers; so were Daniel Webster and John Quincy Adams. That early rising tends to prolong life appears to be clearly proved. One of the most eminent judges of England - Lord Mansfield -- was at the pains of collecting some curious evidence on this subject. When he presided in his judicial capacity over the court, he questioned every old person who appeared at the bar respecting his habits; and all agreed on one point — that of being early risers.
Falsely luxurious, will not man awake,
2. THE MORNING HOUR. — Daniel Webster.
ad a morning sive knows the morning many objects, and and beauty, of ear ing of life.” Of as the morning,
The air is tranquil, :
and its temperature mild. It is morning,
and fresh, and delightful. Everybody
in its metaphor'ical sense, applied to so the morning in its
The health stra objects and on so many occasions.
o lead us to call that period the “ morn. uty, of early years, "
Malý young woman we say, she is “ bright
one doubts why Lucifer is called the
But, the morning itself few people, w anything about. Among all our good
and sees the sun rise once a year.
6 son of the m
on of the morning
inhabitants of cities
of cities, know anything
people, not one They know noti
Their ideä ol along after a cup
ot one in a thousand sees the sun
it is that part of the day which comes and a beef-steak, or a piece of toast..
a cup of coffee and a beer
With them, morning is not a new issuing of light, a new burstingla forth of the sun, a new waking up of all that has life, from a sort of temporary death, to behold again the works of God, the heavens and the earth ; it is only part of the domestic day, belonging to breakfast, to reading the newspapers, answering notes, sending the children to school, and giving orders for dinner. The first streak of light, the earliest purpling of the east, which the larki springs up to greet, and the deeper coloring into orange and red, till at length the “ glorious sun is seen, regent of day,” this they never enjoy, for they never see it.
Beautiful descriptions of the morning abound in all languages, but they are the strongest, perhaps, in those of the East, where the sun is often an object of worship. King David speaks of taking to himself the “wings of the morning.” This is highly poetical and beautiful. The wings of the morning are the beams of the rising sun. Rays of light are wings. It is thus said that the Sun of righteousness shall arise, “ with healing in his wings," a rising sun which shall scatter life, health, and joy, throughout the universe. Milton has fine descriptions of morning; but not so many as Shakspeare, from whose writings pages of the most beautiful im’agery, all founded on the glory of the morning, might be filled.
I never thought that Adam had much the advantage of us, from having seen the world while it was new. The manifestations of the power of God, like his mercies, are “new every morning,” and fresh every moment. We see as fine risings of the sun as ever Adam saw, and its risings are as much a miracle now as they were in his day, and I think a good deal more, because it is now a part of the miracle that for thousands and thousands of years he has come to his appointed time, without the variation of a millionth part of a second. Adam could not tell how this might be. I know the morning — I am acquainted with it, and I love it. I love it, fresh and sweet as it is, a daily new creation, breaking forth and calling all that have life, and breath, and being, to new adoration, new enjoyments, and new gratitude.
3. How to Rise Early. - Anonymous.
To spring up from bed at the first moment of waking is easy enough for people habituated to it; but how to acquire the habit,
- therells is the master-work. In this, as in all other virtuous resolves, to act upon the first impulse is the only policy. It is said of women, and of garrison commanders, that if they pause upon a proposition, if they suffer themselves to be brought to
parley, they are surely lost. This is as true here. We should reälize by act the words “awake! arise!” in as quick, as immediate a succession as they were uttered by the poet. The man who springs from his bed at once on waking is the only conqueror; he shakes off the heaviness of his chain, the cloudy dulness of his slumber, the confusedness of his dreams, and so 6. Richard 's himself again.”
The first touch of light is like that of Ithuriël'sex spear, – it strikes him, and he starts up in his proper likeness. And, 0, the happiness of the vindication! It is then, only, that we quaff the first flowings into our cup; the briskness, the spirit, the sparkling liveliness, of the young day. The early-rising man has the same conscious comfort through the day as the prudent, thrifty householder has through life; he is beforehand with the world; he has laid up something in advance, and that of no ordinary worth, but an inestimable thing, the most precious of all treasures, — Time. He takes the day by the forelock; he drives it, instead of being driven, or, rather, dragged along by it. For my whole life through, this difficulty of early rising has been a quicksand in my course. I have set my buoy upon it at last; let others make their profit of my experience.
CVI. — THE SHIP.
HIER APPEARANCE BY MOONLIGHT.
Calm as the cloudless heaven, the heaven discloses,
The mighty moon, she sits above,
2. And, lo! upon the inurmuring waves
A glorious shape appearing!
Of glimmering lustre steering! -
The beauty of the sea,
And saileth joyfully.