Изображения страниц
PDF

universe. The weakness of our eyes and the imperfection of our instruments, and not the physical constitution of the drop itself, are the sole reasons, as far as we know at present, why we do not behold infinity within the marvellous drop.

The grand start in microscopic power was made soon after the foundation of the Royal Society, in sixteen hundred and sixty. Robert Hooke's Micrographia, was published in sixteen hundred and sixty-seven, containing descriptions of minute bodies magnified by glasses. It is illustrated with thirty-eight plates, and remains an astonishing production. Ooe of the grand wrinkles which he bequeathed to us, was his method of illuminating opaque objects by placing a glass globe, filled with silt water or brine, immediately in front of a lamp: tbc pencil of rays from the globe were received by a small planoconvex lens, placed with its convex side nearest the globe, which consequently condensed them upon the object. Shortly afterwards, the famous Leeuwenhoek astonished the world, in the Philosophical Transactions, by the discovery of numerous marvels, each one more surprising than its predecessors. Although the instruments he employed were superior to any that had been previously made, they were also remarkable for their simplicity; each consisting of a single lens,—double convex, and not a sphere or globule,—set between two plates of silver that were perforated with a small hole, with a moveable pin before it, to place the object on, and adjust it to the eye of the beholder. At his death, he left a cabinet of twenty-six microscopes, as a legacy, to the Royal Society. All the parts of these microscopes are of silver, and fashioned by Leeuwenhoek's own hands. The glasses, which are excellent, were all ground and set by himself, each instrument being devoted tp one or two objects only, and could be applied to nothing else. This method led him to make a microscope with a glass adapted to almost every object, till he had got some hundreds of them. The highest magnifying power was a hundred and sixty diameters, and the lowest forty. Leeuwenhoek was a striking example of the boundless fields of knowledge which are open to the explorer, without employing the higher powers which modern art has placed at his disposal

But another microscopic era—an epoch of absolute regeneration, has commenced, dating from about twenty years ago. The real improvements effected of late in the instrument have justly raised it into high favor, both with learned inquirers into the mysteries of nature, and with amateurs, who seek no more than the means of interesting information and varied amusement. Glasses have been made truly achromatic; that is, they show objects clearly, without any colored fringe or burr around them; several clever contrivances for making the most of light have

been adopted ; and, besides all that, the mechanical working of the instrument has been made so steady, delicate, and true, that a very little practice renders the student competent to make the most of his tools. In consequence, there are miiny persons, in England especially, who indulge themselves with the gratification of examining the secrets of organized objects; makers are pressed for instruments of a superior class, and the number of microscopic aspirants is on the increase every day.

Microscopes vary greatly in construction and price, and beginners are puzzled what to ask for. You may buy a microscope now—not a secondhand bargain—for from less than a pound to a hundred and twenty pounds and upwards. It thus appears that every one who is not quite pinched in circumstances, may treat himself to an instrument of some kind or other. But it is a comfort to know that, although with a hundred guineas' microscope you will have your money's worth in scientific skill, in the perfection of beautiful workmanship, and in every mieroscropical luxury that art can supply, yet that an instrument costing less than one-tenth or one twentieth of that sum will open the portals of an ; unseen world, will afford immense instruction ! and endless amusement, and will even enable i the industrious observer to discover new facts.

My own advice is, to treat a budding uiicro; scopist—even suppose that individual to be | yourself—as you would fit out a lad with his first I watch; set him up with a low priced one—not i a bad one—to begin with. He will pull it to pieces, to see how it goes; he will learn the use of its parts; he will thus have a better guess as to what sort of better one he would like to have next, and why. Simple microscopes, like Leeu1 wenhoek's, are little used now; nor would they j suit schoolboys or adult learners, because they require Leeuwenhoek's eyes, tact, and dexterity, j to derive from them all the profit obtainable. ■ Of compound microscopes, composed of several 'lenses, there are numerous firms; the great point is, that they should be good of their kind; that is, with good lenses. Bad lenses are simply fit to play ducks and drakes with on the nearest pond. Smith and Beck's (of Coleman Street) Educational Microscope, costing ten pounds, is well spoken of by high authority. Even this is j a large sum for many persons, who ought to see 'the things of which they read. Thus, it has [ been pertinently urged, that there is not a gardener who does not read of cells and woody tubes and spiral vessels, of stomates and epidermis. Without a microscope what idea can he form of these bodies? And yet,since they constitute the wondrous mechanism of a plant, to know nothing certainly of their nature, is to know nothing distinctly of those workings in the life of a plant with which he has to deal, and with which he should be familiar. Again, we are told that every one has the word adulteration in given on adulterated

his mouth; lectures are food; books are written on adulterated objects of commerce : prosecutions are instituted because of adulterated articles of excise. In all these cases the naked eye is powerless. It is only when armed with the magical powers of an achromatic lens that fraud becomes palpable to the senses. Certainly, a microscope of moderate cost might advantageously make part of the furniture or property of every reading-room that is not a mere news-room; of every public library and literary institution. So might persons of practically-useful callings—like the aforesaid gardeners—become more intimately acquainted with their friends and their foes; with the structure of the plants which constitute their their crops, and with the mildew plants which ravage them. A subscriber, having swallowed suspicious tea for breakfast, might bring a pinch j in a wisp of paper, and, by the aid of the searcher belonging to the club, could prove the presence of leaves that never grew on tea-shrubs; not to mention bits of Prussian blue, turmeric, and China clay. In vain would the grocer take his affidavit to the genuineness of the article. Seeing is believing. Think of that, ye mixers of chicory and roasted wheat with coffee, and of all manner of what-nots with chicory and roasted wheat themselves! Think of that, ye multipliers of chocolate by the agency of brick dust, potato-starch, old sea-biscuits, ochre, peroxide of iron, branny flour, tallow, and greaves!

Beginners generally hanker after high powers; but high powers will not show them what they most want to see, as elementary peeps. With a high power you cannot survey the entire portly presence of a male flea, though his stature be smaller than that of his hen. You cannot, with it, haughtily scan from top to toe a parasite from a peacock's plume, or a human head. You cannot, by its aid, admire a miniature flower; such as a floweret from a daisy-club, or a member of a carrot-blossom society, in its complete contour of prettiness. You can only thus look at a fragment, a claw, a tongue, a jaw, a proboscis, an eye, a petal, an anther, or a bit of one. But it is as well to see how things look in their integrity, before you begin to dissect them into morsels. I confess it—my own working instruments (in stricter truth, my implements of recreation) are an humble two-guinea one, principally for opaque objects—of which I almost always use the second power only—and another, of not much greater pretensions, costing three guineas and a-half, which is more frequently than not employed (mostly for transparent objects) with a force below its utmost pressure of steam. I keep in reserve a several horse-power of amplification for extraordinary occasions. Both these microscopes are from Amadio, of Throgmorton Street, and are excellent of their kind, the more expensive one especially. Thus, for a sum which has

not ruined me, and for which I can proudly show the stamped receipts, I am master of a higher magnifying power than Leeuwenhoek had at his command; notwithstanding which I have considerable doubts whether I shall ever rival his scientific eminence. You will understand that nothing herein premised is contrary to the possibility that I have safe in my closet a hundred guinea microscope, for Sundays, and holidays, unless you are thinking of presenting me with one, to aid my studies; in which case, I beg to withdraw the observation. But never forget that the excellence and value of a microscope do not consist in the greatness of its magnifying power. So far from that, if the instrument be muddle-headed and cloudy, the stronger it is the worse it is: and that instrument is the most efficient which renders the details of an object perceptible with the lowest power. Distinctness of definition—by which is meant the power of rendering all the minute lineaments clearly seen—is a quality of greater importance than mere magnifying power. Indeed, without this quality, mere magnifying power ceases to have any value ; since the object appears merely as a huge, misty phantom, like Ossian's cloudy heroes. It is more satisfactory to gaze upon a tight little yacht, in bright, clear sunshine, than to be able to say you have seen the hazy outline of a vast liue-of battle-ship, looming indistinctly through a dense fog.

To be continued.

WEIGHTS AND WINGS. _

Every blessing of God is capable of profitable use or harmful abuse. Each may be turned to the sad account of sinking us iuto deeper guilt and condemnation, or of raising us to higher knowledge and enjoyment of God. It may be a weight to send us down, or a wing to bear us up.

The latter is the true mission of every blessing. Each, as it comes from God, points to him as the bestower, gives a delightful and alluring view of his character, and would draw us nearer to him in the exereise of gratitude and love. And it is a delightful view which we may take of every blessing, that it comes to prepare the way for others—comes to give us fitness, being improved, for the reception of still greater blessings. Each is a link in a chain which God is willing to make interminable, if we will not break it by over perversity.

Blessings are wings. They are given, that by them, we may soar upward toward God. They make us see and feel the infinite goodness and loveliness of the character of God. They make us see the shame and wrong of disobeying him. They show us how much he loves us, and compel us to see and feel the obligation of loving him. Hence all the mercies of God have a natural tendency to break up the sinful indifference

i

of our hearts to God, and to soften thcui into the most fervent love. All the Christian graces are quickened into life, and augmented in power, by a just sense of the goodness of God. Goodness leadeth to repentance, strengthens faith, gives a livelier fervor to love, gives a joyful stimulus to hope, and causes one to run with more alacrity and zeal in the path of obedience. All God's blessings are voices calling us into higher and sweeter intimacy with himself. They would bear us as on eagle's wings to a higher conformity to his will, and a more perfect reflection of his image.

Happy are they—and many there arc who enjoy it—who are making this very use of the blessings they receive. Each swells the capital on which they trade, and enables them to accumulate still more of those spiritual treasures which moth and rust can never corrupt.

But what numbers make these blessings weight* instead of wings. They are sunk by them, and not raised. They are borne down by them, and not up. The things given, are loved more than the Giver. Enjoyment is in them ; and not, by them, in him. They absorb the attention they came to direct to him. The bearer of a message from the Great King is more honored than the King himself.

The Divine blessings come to furnish them as with the pinions of a dove, that they might soar upward toward the Infinite Giver of all good. But they are so abused that their grand design is defeated. Selfishly grasped, and inordinately loved, and diverting the affections from God, they sink the soul like lead, into the mighty waters. They carry it down into a deeper worldliness. They are perversely used in opposition to the very end for which they were sent, separating tho soul from God, instead of bringing it nearer to him.

Let it not be forgotten, that one reason that God so often takes away the good things he had given his people, is their propensity to make weights instead of wings of them. They love, enjoy, and get themselves so absorbed in them, that they cannot fly upward, and soar away toward God and the glorious things of eternity. The sand-bags of the balloon must be cast overboard, so that it may rise. These too much loved blessings must be cut loose. They weigh down the soul. But being cut loose, we have seen the soul, grovelling and earthly no longer. Weights being exchanged for wings, we have seen the freed spirit soar upward. The loss was gain.

Happy he whose blessings are used as wings to bear him up, and not to burden him. Such blessings are doubly blest—precious in themselves, and precious in the use made of them.

Puritan Recorder.

Things To Be Sought. —Four things a Chris

tian should especially labor after, viz: to be humble and thankful, watchful and cheerful.

A FOREST ON FIRE: STORY OF A BACKWOODS-
MAN.
J. J. Audubon.

"We were sound asleop one night, in a cabin about a hundred miles from this, when, about two hours before day, the snorting of horses and lowing of the cattle which I had rauging in the woods, suddenly awakened us. I took you rifle, and went to the door to see what beast had caused the hubbub, when I was struck by the glare of light reflected on all the trees before me, as far as I could see through the woods. My horses were leaping about, snorting loudly, and the cattle ran among them with their (nils raised straight over their backs. On goiug to the back of the house, I plainly heard the crackling made by the burning brushwood, and saw the flames coming towards us in a far-extended line. I ran to the house, told my wife to dress herself and the child as quickly as possible, and take the little money we had, while I managed to catch and saddle two of the best horses. All this was done in a very short time, for I thought that every moment was precious to us.

"We then mounted, and made off from the fire. My wife, who is an excellent rider, rode close to me; my daughter, who was then a small child, I took in one arm. I looked back and saw that the frightful blaze was close upon us, and had already laid hold of the house. By good luck, there was a horn attached to my hunting clothes; and I blew it, to bring after us, if possible, the remainder of my live stock, as well as the dogs. The cattle followed for a while, but, before an hour had elapsed, they all ran, as if mad, through the woods, and that was the last of them. My dogs, too, although at all other times extremely tractable, ran after the deer that in bodies sprang before us, as if fully aware of the death that was so rapidly approaching.

"We heard blasts from the horns of our neighbors, as we proceeded, and knew that they were in the same predicament. Intent on striving to the utmost to preserve our lives. I thought of a large lake, some miles off, which might possibly cheok the flames ; and, urging my wife to whip up her horse, we set off at full speed, making the best way we could over the fallen trees and the brush heaps, which lay like so many articles placed on purpose to keep up the terrific fires that advanced with a broad front upon us.

"By this time we could feel the heat; and we were afraid that our horses would drop every instant. A singular kind of breeze was passing over our heads, and the glare of the atmosphere shone over the daylight. I was sensible of a slight faintness, and my wife looked pale. The heat had produced such a flush in the ohild's face, that, when she turned toward either of us, our grief and perplexity were greatly increased. Ten miles, you know, are soon gone over on swift horsea; but, notwithstanding this, when we reached the borders of the lake, covered with sweat and quite exhausted, our hearts failed us. The heat of the smoke was insufferable; and sheets of blazing fire flew over us in a manner beyond belief. We reached the shore, however, coasted the lake for a while, and got round to the lee side. There we gave up our horses, which we never saw again. Down among the rushes we plunged by the edge of the water, and laid ourselves flat, to wait the chance of escaping from being burned or devoured. The water refreshed us, and we enjoyed the coolness.

"On went the fire, rushing and crashing through the woods. Such a sight may we never again behold! The heavens themselves, I thought, were frightened ; for all above us was a red glare, mixed with clouds and smoke, rolling and sweeping away. Our bodies were cool enough, but our heads were scorching, and the child, who now seemed to understand the matter, cried so as nearly to break our hearts.

"The day passed on, and we became hungry. Many wild beasts came plunging into the water beside us, and others swam across to our side, and stood still. Although faint and weary, I managed to shoot a porcupine, and we all tasted its flesh. The night passed I cannot tell you how. Smouldering fires covered the ground, and the trees stood like pillars of fire, or fell across each other. The stifling and sickening smoke still rushed over us, and the burnt cinders and ashes fell thick about us. How we got through that night I really cannot tell, for about some of it I remember nothiug."

Here the farmer paused and took breath. The recital of his adventure seemed to have exhausted him. His wife proposed that we should have a bowl of milk, and the daughter having handed it to us, we each took a draught.

"Now," said he, "1 will proceed. Toward morning, although the heat did not abate, the smoke became less, and blasts of fresh air sometimes made their way to us. When morning came, all was calm; but a dismal smoke still filled the air, and the smell seemed worse than ever. We were now cool enough, and shivered as if in an ague fit; so I removed from the water, and went up to a burning log, where we warmed ourselves. What was to become of us we did not know. My wife hugged the child to her breast, and wept bitterly; but God had preserved us through the worst of the danger, and the flames had gone past; so I thought it would be both ungrateful to him, and unmanly, to despair now. Hunger once more pressed upon us; but this was soon remedied. Several doer were still standing in the water, up to the head, and I shot one of them. Some of its flesh was soon roasted;

and, after eatiog it, we felt wonderfully strengthened.

"By this time, the blaze of the fire was beyond our sight, although the ground was still burning in many places, and it was dangerous to go among the burnt trees. After resting awhile, and trimming ourselves, we prepared to commence our march. Taking up the child, I led the way over the hot ground and rocks; and, after two weary days and nights, during which we shifted in the best manner we could, we at last reached the hard woods, which had been free from the fire. Soon after, we came to a house, where we were kindly treated for a while. Since then, sir, I have worked hard and constantly as a lumberer; but, thanks to God, we are safe, sound, ami happy \"

PHILADELPHIA MARKETS. Flour And .meal.—The steamer Asia brings more favorable quotations for Grain, but we are not able to report better prices Flour is steady, and selling at $6 37 per barrel. Small sales of better brands for home consumption at $6 37 a 6 50. Sales of extra and fancy brands at $6 50 a 7 50. There is very liitle export demand. Rye Flour is worth 43 50i 3 75 per barrel. Corn Meal is dull, at S3 00 per bbl.

BOARDING SCHOOL.—A Friend desirous ot opening a Boarding School convenient ito Friends' Meeting, Fallsinglon, may hear of a desirable situation by applying; previous to the 15th of next month. For further particulars address either Wm. SattsrTHWAiit, Jr., or Mark Palmer, Fallsington P O., Bucks Co., Pa. 1st mo. 10, 1857.

JUST PUBLISHED. A New Edition ot the Discipline of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Price Fifty cents.

T. E. CHAPMAN, Jst m<K 10. _____ No. 1 South Fifth St__

J~UST PUBLISHED. A Memoir ofJohn Jackson. Price 37* cts. With Portrait, 50 cts.

T. E. CHAPMAN, 1st mo.10. No. 1 Sooth Fifth St^

T^RCILDOUN BOARDING SCHOOL FOR GIRLS. Xj The twelfth session of this Institution will commence on the 19th of Second mo. next, and will continue twenty weeks. The usual branches comprising a thorough English education will be tiusht, fd scientific lectures illustrated by appropriate apparatus will be delivered. It is situated three miles 60«th-, west of Coatesville, on the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad, from which place pupils will be conveyed free of charge. For circulars address the PrincipalErcildoun P. O., Chester Co., Pennsylvania.

SMKDLEY DARLINGTON, 12th mo. 26th, 1856. 6t. p. Principal^

pHESTERFIELD BOARDING SCHOOL FOR \J BOYS—The Winter Session of this institution will commence the 17th of 11th mo. 1856, and continoe twenty weeks.

Teems.—Seventy dollars per session, one half payable in advance, the other in the middle of the term No extra charges. For further particulars address HENRY W. RIDGWAY,

Crosswicks P. O., Burlington County,N. J.

10th mo., 1856.3m.

& L. WARD, Plain Bonnet Makers, North Weft , corner 9th and Spruce streets, Philadelphia, illh mo. 29th.—2m.

[ocr errors]

FRIENDS' INTELLIGENCER

VOL. XIII.

PHILADELPHIA, FIRST MONTH 24, 1857.

No. 45.

EDITED BY AN ASSOCIATION OF FRIENDS.

PUBLISHED BY WM. W. MOORE,
No. 100 South u;fth Street,

PHILA i:TA,
Every Sevi-n»h day ""d^Doilars ptr nnnum, pay-
uhlt »ir a/lvanr». Three copica sent to one address tor I
Five Dolfars.

Communications must be addressed to the lnblisher, free of expense, to whom all pwyments are to be made.

A memorial concerning Elizabeth Crew, daughter of Jacob and Mary Crew, of Belmont County, Ohio, who departed this life on the 28th of bth month, 1851, in the llth year of her age.

The subject of this memoir, whom it hath pleased an allwise Being to remove from our midst, was in the enjoyment of usual health until about the ninth of second month 1851, when symptoms of disease made their appearance. Her strength gradully failed, notwithstanding the efforts of her medical attendant, and although she continued gradually to sink, yet for some time she was able occasionally to ride out a short distance. At times favorable changes would appear, but they were too slight and too transient to remove the fears entertained both by her parents and her physician. Of this she was herself aware, yet she was cheerful, and avoided making any complaint. About the fourteenth

fifth month her disease assumed a more alarm• .-•Vitkemna in the minds of her

parents ami tneuds dolp anxiety. Her pLja:cian became satisfied that her recovery was very doubtful, and communicated his opinion to her, and endeavored to direct her attention to the "great Physician of value," who alone could administer to her situation. She received the information with much composure, observing, however, that she would like to get well and live with her parents, but if it was otherwise ordered, she hoped they would give her up freely.

Her strength now failed so rapidly that by the twenty-first she was unable to leave her room. She said that in the retrospect of her past life, she could discover some things that were wrong; but hoped she would be forgiven. To one of her young companions she said, "Mary do not forget that thou wilt have to die."

With calm composure she divided her books among her parents, her sisters and some of her

friends, desiring that they should keep them as a memento of her. The scene was interesting and impressive. A friend, who had lost a daughter, coming in, she inquired whether "was

prepared and Tilling to die;" the reply was •« die said she was willing to go ;" Elizabeth then said, "Oh I am willing to go."

She frequently entreated her parents to give her up freely, saying, " My Heavenly Father gave me to you and he has a right to take me from you." Looking at her sister she said, "Oh, my sweet sister, she looks to me sweeter than ever; I pity her; I fear it will be more than she can bear;" then observed to her, "Thou must be a good girl; do not go into bad company; wait on father and mother, and they will be doubly dear unto thee; do not grieve after me, I shall be happy; if thou wilt bo a good girl thou wilt come and see me."

At times she seemed anxious to depart, saying, "Oh there will be pure water there;" yet throughout she manifested a solicitude that she might be enabled to endure patiently and without complaint all that it might please her Heavenly Father to permit her to pass through.

On her requesting a visitor to read a portion of the Holy Scriptures, that chapter of Revelations was selected which described the Holy City," New Jerusalem. After the reading closed her mother asked her if it would not be a happy change in her condition to leave her bed of suffering and affliction, and become an inhabitant of that glorious city? She replied, "Oh yes! I long ,x> bo gone," and.at>k<:d, wil' the change bo to night?" she was told that so sudden a change was not probable; that perhaps she might be permitted to live some time longer and be a comfort to her parents. Looking earnestly at her mother she said, " Oh mother will you not give me up freely (meaning her parents and sisters.) With but few exceptions her mind was preserved in a tranquil state. On one occasion she said, "she was quite happy." Notwithstanding a calm serenity was the accustomed clothing of her spirit, she was not permitted to pass away without some conflict with the enemy of her soul's peace. She said some clouds were permitted to pass before her view and hide her blessed Saviour's face, which caused her much sorrow, but when asked if she felt afraid that she would not be accepted, she answered " no," but she much desired in those times of proving

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »