« ForrigeFortsæt »
ON THE DURATION AND MUTABILITY OF
THE CELESTIAL BODIES.
liquid bed. Again, how appalling the tremendous storm, when the wind, skimming fearfully along the surface, raises it into immense waves, the fail bark rises to the The candle is soon exhausted by constantly summit
, and is then engulfed in the abyss. burning, water wastes by evaporation, and Anon the vivid lightning glares, the dread the most solid and durable bodies are conful thunder rolls in awful peals, and the tinually hastening to destruction under the tempest, arriving at its utmost fury, the hand of time. Some bodies by exhalation, helpless mariners are terrified with the and some by absorbing particles of other dreadful prospect before them, and their matter, are incessantly changing their forms efforts to save themselves from approaching and manner of being; and the dissolution destruction are paralyzed with fear. See, of one thing tends to the reproduction of the fury of the contending elements has another. destroyed their floating habitation ; it sepa.
Those great orbs that shine in the celes. rates into a thousand fragments; they sink tial regions, of all the objects of nature, in the overwhelming flood, and none are seem as if they were created to remain left to tell the dreadful tale; nor will any
unaltered for ages after ages, or at least we light be thrown on such afflictive incidents, can perceive no difference by the earliest until the earth shall disclose her slain, accounts of them; they, for ought we and the ocean shall give up her dead.
know shine with the same splendour as For the rural, magnificent, and terrific they did several thousand years ago. But, appearances that we have just glanced at, reader, consider, the magnitudes of the we are indebted to the useful class of gases,
celestial bodies are so great, that very conas before noticed ; for, although the ver
siderable changes and alterations may be dure of the rural landscape is produced by taking place on their surfaces, and yet be the soil in which the plants contributing quite imperceptible to us, on account of thereto are found, yet without the assistance their great distances; for ought we know, of these substances there would be no vita. they may be hastening to destruction as lity, and consequently no verdure. This fast as the bodies on the surface of the in a most beautiful manner illustrates earth. Perhaps the sun and fixed stars the dependence of one part of nature on
may be huge fires made of some substance another.
proper for such a purpose, best known to In the existence of a single plant, how
the all-wise Creator of all things; they may many substances enter into its constitution; be burning or consuming away in the same the showers, descending from the clouds manner as bodies on the surface of the above, and consisting of some of the gase. earth, yet by reason of their vast magnitudes ous elements in a combined state, moisten
no alteration in bulk can be perceived. the earth, and reduce to a liquid form the To explain these things more clearly, I various minerals, and other substances, that took a small cord of cotton, four inches in are dispersed therein, and which they are length, and about the eighth of an inch in capable of acting on by the process of diameter, and setting fire to one end, the solution. This solution enters the vessels whole was consumed away, by burning to of the root, and ascends through the stem
the other end, in the space of twenty-four to the leaves, where it is presented to the minutes. Now, suppose the sun to be a action of the air. Here it is fitted for the great globe of cotton, of the same compactpurpose of nourishing the plant, and ness or density of the cord, whose semi. returns by a set of vessels to the root, dis- diameter is 443,236] miles, and suppose tributing in its course a due portion to
its surface to be in a state of ignition, or every part by which the individual is aug- burning, (not in flame,) in the same manner mented, and the principle of vitality kept as the end of the cord, and if it burn with up. In this circulation of the juices we the same velocity towards the centre, it is perceive the necessity of the agency of the
evident that four inches of the semidiameter gases, both by conveying solid particles of will be consumed away in twenty-four nourishment into the plant, and elaborating minutes. There are 525,960 minutes in a the sap when presented to their action in Julian year ; hence 4* 525960
= 1.38 the leaves.
36 x 1760 But all these active agents are only miles, the part of the semidiameter coninstruments under the control and guid- sumed in a year, and 44326} divided by ance of a superior power. The primitive 1.38 gives 321185.8 the number of years agency of the varied phenomena which the in which the whole would be consumed world exhibits, can only be found in the away. If we reckon about 6000 years great and eternal God.
since the creation of the world, but a very
small part of this great mass would be That such slow changes take place in the wasted away; and since the improvements planetary systems of the universe, there is no of science, so as to determine the dimensions doubt; and that such changes taking place of the sun with accuracy, the quantity con- in the bodies with which we are acquainted sumed would scarcely have been per- on the surface of the earth, are evidently the ceived.
causes of their alterations and destructions : That the sun and stars are made of a hence it may be inferred, that similar alterasubstance more durable than cotton, there is tions and destructions are slowly carrying no doubt; but the experiment fully proves, on in them, and in many ages they may that, for any thing we know, they may be come to an end ; and hence, also, we may wasting away as fast as any other bodies, infer that they have not existed from eterand yet their bulk
remain for ages appa- nity, which is agreeable to the account of rently unaltered. This way of considering scripture. The wise Creator has, no doubt
, the sun seems very agreeable to observation, created the systems of the universe of such though it appears to take away the idea of a nature that they will endure as long as he its being inhabited. The spots on its sur- shall think fit; and we must admit that his face may be harder matter, that may resist power and wisdom are unlimited, and the action of the fire for a long time; their therefore he can bring them to an end at beginning, manner of increasing, decreas. any time, according to his will and pleasure. ing, and vanishing away, all agree to this.
THOMAS Cooke. A planetary system may also absorb Auids from the æthereal space in which it is
Draycott, near Derby. situated; and the bodies of which it is composed may every year be increased considerably, and yet not be perceived, and the medium of space not made much rarer
(Second Series.) by such absorption, as I have shown in my In the order of Divine revelation, we now discourse. I have there computed that the proceed to the fifth day of creation : “ And space allotted to a sphere of solid matter, God said, Let the waters bring forth abunwhose diameter is one inch, is more than dantly the moving creature that hath life, 300 miles in diameter. Now, from that and fowl that may Ay above the earth in simple experiment with a lighted candle the open firmament of heaven. And God and phial, called analyzing air, it is well created great whales, and every living known that a considerable current of oxygen creature that moveth, which the waters must flow to bodies in a state of com- brought forth abundantly after their kind, bustion.
and every winged fowl after his kind; and To obtain some idea of the effect of ab- God saw that it was good. And God sorption in rarefying space, admit that the blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and surface of the earth contains 199,000,000 multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, of square miles, this multiplied by 50, the and let fowl multiply in the earth. And heightof the atmosphere,gives9,950,000,000 the evening and the morning were the fifth solid miles for the contents of the atmos- day.” Or, as it may be rendered, Elohim phere, nearly; and this product divided by commanded, Let the fluids become pro. the cube of 300, gives 368.5; hence it lific, abundantly teeming with life, the appears, that a mass of matter containing creatures of motion; and let winged fowl 368.5 cubic inches, in a state of com- fly above the terraqueous, in the face of bustion, would be no more in danger of the expanse of heaven. And Elohim exhausting the atmosphere of oxygen, than created huge amphibious animals ; and the sun and planetary system are of ex- every living creature of motion which the hausting the Auid medium of the space fluids teemed forth abundantly, according assigned to them. We well know, that all to their varieties; and every moving creathe fires in the world make no perceptible ture, winged according to his kind. And difference in the atmosphere : though it Elohim surveyed the whole, and, behold, must be allowed that the deficiency is sup- it was beautifully perfect. And Elohim plied, and philosophy can show how; and blessed them, pronouncing, Be ye prolific, if so great a deficiency of oxygen in the multiply, fill the fluids of the oceans, and, atmosphere can be supplied, how easily ye winged, become multitudes in the terramay the deficiency of space be supplied, queous. either from the planetary bodies, or from The evening was and the morning was, denser media, seeing it may be so little, the fifth day. comparatively, with the absorption of com- In the progress of creation, we behold, bustibles.
at every stage, a development of the powers
of the Creator, in the advances of His whales. These enormous animals live altowork, the combinations of His matter, the gether in the ocean, but, although they live curious disposition of its parts, the life and therein, they cannot remain below the survigour of its several creatures, and the face during more than a short period at facility with which their duplicates are pro- any one time, being obliged to arise freduced, and re-produced, and multiplied, quently, in order to breathe : thus they are from a single pair to millions of millions. rather divers into, than residents amidst the Here we behold a variety in creation, dis- abyss of waters. Of these vast animals, tinct from every thing which heretofore the largest in creation, there are several vapresented itself ; viz. an animal-a loco- rieties, as well as others of the same class, motion, possessing within itself the powers to us witnesses of the great power of the of perception and volition ; a creature Creator. Of the second class are the seals. organized throughout, with every organ These 'animals exist in multitudes amidst subservient to the wants and instinctive the ice and along the shores of the ocean, enjoyments of its possessor. Thus are we varying in size from two feet long to twentyintroduced to a modification of matter five feet, and from one hundred to nearly superior to crystallization and vegetation, two thousand pounds in weight. They indeed to matter in its otherwise most exalted sleep or bask in ihe sun upon the ice or the state—animated matter-matter that lives, strand, yet feed upon fish beneath the surand moves at will.
face of the ocean. The crocodile and the . To breathe, to eat, to drink, to digest its hippopotamus possess also similar capafood, and appropriate the nutritive portion bilities. Of these, and amphibia of the thereof to the replenishing of its exhausted same order, great varieties exist, to us exand impaired part, and to evacuate the hibiting the wisdom and power of Him refuse, to move, to sleep, to perceive through who formed all things. Of the third the medium of senses, to will, to love, to class are the eels and water serpents.exercise endearments, to procreate its A mucus, which exudes from their skins species, and rear its young, are properties of keeps their bodies supple a considerable an animal, and these pertain to it wherever it time in the long grass on the margins of water, goes. We know thus much, and more also, where they move with ease, and feed on because animals of every variety are placed earth-worms, &c. their form being admi. within the scope of our observation from rably suited to the species of locomotion time to time, and our own experience they practise on land and in the water. teaches us, being ourselves animals, what “ And every living creature of motion, pertains to animation. But although the which the fluids teemed forth abundantly, acmanner is so obvious that we cannot but cording to their varieties. These all arose into behold it, the power which induces animal being, at the command of Elohim, on this action, and directs animal instinct is as day. The fish of the sea, of the rivers, and completely hidden from us as any or all the pools of water ; fish with continuous skins, other created agents of action throughout with scales, or with shells; certain of these the universe. No wonder need exist at more minute than the finger of a child, and our ignorance of the nature and mode of others huger than the forest lion; of every action of things foreign to ourselves; behold, grade, of every form, inhabiting the depths we are strangers at home; we know not the of the ocean, the shallow waters of the power which enables us to exercise all the sand-banks, the placid stream, the impefunctions of an animal--which causes us to tuous torrent, roaring down the mountain's differ through life from the clods of the height; insulated lake, the wide-stretched earth!
gulf, and even the surface of the turbulent The inspired writer here makes record of ocean, every where, and on all sides, above the creation of a variety of animals, genial and beneath do the waters, even unto this with the fluids of this sphere; and amongst day teem with life. these we note amphibious, aqueous, and The amphibious of the first and second airy, each of which demands our at. classes breathe through the medium of lungs, tention.
but differ from mere land animals in that “Elohim created huge amphibious ani- the oval aperture (common to the foetus) mals. Of these, which can live in air and between the right and left auricles of the in water, we behold three classes. First, heart, remains open during life, (whereas in those which live in the waters continually. land animals it closes,) and this aperture Secondly, those which generally reside on permits the circulation of the blood to go land. Thirdly, those which frequent either on during a short period while the lungs land or water. Of the first class are the cease to play, on the animal's diving beneath huge levithan of the ocean which we call the water. The amphibious of the third class have the organs of respiration well persed throughout their bodies, and even covered from the external drying air, and, within their bones, they enlarge their bulk, as already noted, a mucus exudes from and thus become buoyant; which relieves their skins; which keeps their bodies the wings from the labour that must othersupple, and thus are they enabled to live wise be expended in bearing them up, and either in the air or in the water. The fish, thus leaves the whole effort of the muscles which live in the waters, in general have at liberty to urge their flight. lungs and hearts similar to the amphibia, The winged insects are included in the and are also furnished with gills, through varieties which arose this day into being at which a great number of blood-vessels pass, the command of Elohim. These minute and these being always wet, and in incessant creatures receive the name of insects, beaction, pass forward the current of blood, cause their bodies are separated into two which, circulating through every part, main- parts, which parts are united by a small tains life in the fathomless ocean, equally ligature, as we behold in the bee, the comas do the lungs in the expanse of air. mon fly, &c. &c. With extensive varieties
“ And every moving creature, winged of these, we are all acquainted; the moth, according to his variety.” As the preced- the butterfly, the beetle, the house-fly, the ing varieties of living animals were created bee, the wasp, &c. &c. branching out into to people the waters, so the winged were tribes far too numerous to be individually created to throng the air. There we be- dwelt upon in this short article, are daily hold the huge condor, floating amidst the before our eyes. The variegated beauties atmosphere, the stately swan rowing over exhibited by this class of winged beings, the liquid surface, the majestic eagle soar- minute as they are, either as they float in ing his dazzling height, the irised peacock, the ethereal and reflect the solar rays, or as the flamingo, the bird of paradise, the they rest in the sequestered shade, inspire golden pheasant, the silver dove, social as our minds with high ideas of infinite wisshe is lovely, the fitting swallow, the dom, and, in the creature, display the soaring lark, thrilling, as he ascends, his lovely to high perfection in that mind which matin praise ; with birds of every plume, formed all these minute, yet perfect in from the vast condor to the humming their parts, and beauteous, with splendour tribes, small as the honey-bee. All these, winged and fed on odoriferous sweets, from and families unnamed, arose at His com- flowers of every hue, and plants herbamand, who, fraught with wisdom as with power, clothed them with plumed ma- The economy of the bee, which during jesty, and furnished them with powers or- the summer months wings, arduous wings dained to wing the ambient air, or swim his way over many a flowery mead and gay the surface of the briny main; to feed and parterre, and culls from these materials for gambol, and enjoy delights amidst the sun- his hive, wherein he builds, with extracted beams, or the foliaged shade. The birds of wax, cells for the purposes of store and song, also, with melody delight the ear, incubation, and, summer gone, abides inearly as the day-dawn, at mid-day, and at trenched midst chosen honey and his waxen even; and the nightingale, even at mid- walls, rearing his progeny for summer's night, sings her lovely music floating o'er swarms, is a living memorial to man, from the ear more sweet than concerts of the age to age afforded, of wisdom, in the revelling tribes, by art attuned lascivious; high instinct infused by the Creator, in this for innocence is there, simplicity, and day's work, into so minute a form. love.
“ And Elohim surveyed the whole, and, The peculiar structure of birds renders behold, it was beautifully perfect. And them specifically lighter than water, there- Elohim blessed them, pronouncing, Be ye fore they foat thereon, and the aquatic prolific, multiply, fill the Auids of the tribes, furnished with webbed feet, swim with oceans, and, ye winged, become multitudes celerity, and gambol therein with joy; and in the terraqueous.' All this assemblage although birds are somewhat heavier than of animation, pronounced beautifully perthe atmosphere, they are borne aloft by the fect on being surveyed by the great Creator, action of expanded wings, while their own was not intended to be so evanescent as gravity gives them facilities of descent at to perish on the day of its creation, like the will. The swiftness of birds is proverbial; splendid exhibitions wrought up as fetes for we say of a very fleet animal, or the by men; no, it was created for perpetuity. wind, it flies. The case with which the Be ye prolific, multiply, fill the fluids of various feathered tribes fy thus swiftly the oceans, and, ye winged, become multithrough the air, arises out of the facility tudes in the terraqueous, was the blessing with which, by means of air-bladders dis- of Elohim on that day; and to this day,
behold, it stands fast; and the promise of creations, but each eventful day beholds its fecundity, as to futurity, is as hale as the addition to the mighty works of the Creator original blessing.
-each an addition, and a growing up into In fish we notice the prolific to the a lovely whole. “ O Lord, how manifold greatest perfection, because we can detach are thy works! In wisdom hast Thou the pregnant roe, and examine it at leisure. made them all: the earth is full of Thy Three hundred and fifty thousand eggs riches. So is this great and wide sea, have been counted in the roe of a large wherein are things creeping innumerable. carp; and M. Lieuwenhoek enumerated There is that leviathan, whom Thou hast upwards of nine millions in the roe of a made to play therein. These all wait upon cod. It is quite easy at any time, on ex- Thee, that Thou mayest give them their amining the roes of the fish which we con- meat in due season." sume for food, to perceive that thousands
W. COLDWELL. of their progeny are destroyed in their de
King Square, July 23, 1832. struction, and that in cooking one fish, we frequently destroy multitudes. In herrings and on shrimps, the multitudes we destroy
EXTRACTS, CHIEFLY FROM THE GREEK AND are so obvious, that we cannot but notice them, more or less, whenever we feed
upon the parent fish. The winged insects are Ambiguity of the ancient Oracles. also exceedingly prolific; and the waters Cresus, king of Lydia, after endeavouring abound with animalculæ, which are so mi- to render Apollo propitious by the most pute, that thousands of individuals are con- magnificent sacrifices, sent costly presents to tained in a single drop. Thus has the his oracle at Delphos, amounting in value blessing of the great Creator rendered the to nearly a million sterling of our money. waters prolific—they teem with life, and His messengers were at the same time inare an inexhaustible nursery of being from structed to demand of the god, whether the generation to generation.
war Cresus was meditating against Cyrus The instinct necessary for the preserva- and the Persian nation would be prosperous tion and increase of the species is as ob- or not. The answer of the Pythoness was very servable throughout the varieties we have short : “If Cræsus undertakes war against already enumerated, as in any species of the Persians, he will destroy a great nation." land animals we can refer to. Self-preser- Highly pleased with this answer, Creesus vation is evidently the first law of nature, in sent other presents, and again demanded of the whale equally with the sprat; and even the god, whether his dynasty should be of in the whale, the mother shines with a long duration. The answer was as follows: parent's fondness, so obviously, that the “When a mule shall be king of the Medes, very fishermen note its operation, even fly, effeminate Lydian, from the banks of the while they are engaged in the destruction Hermus; resist, not, nor blush at thy cowof both parent and progeny. In the pro- ardice." This answer gave Cresus more vision of birds for depositing their eggs, pleasure than the last, for being fully sure during the lengthened act of incubation, that it was not possible for a mule to sit and in the rearing of their young, parental upon the throne of Media, he believed that feelings are developed; and the mother the god promised the empire of Lydia to shines forth with equal perfection, from the him and his descendants for ever. condor to the humming-bird. Self-preser- The result of his attack upon the Persians vation, with maternal fondness, reigns, twin- is well known; his army was destroyed, the born laws, even in the insect tribes; they empire of Lydia overthrown, and he narare included in the original blessing, multi. rowly escaped being sacrificed by the victor ply, and they subserve its purpose from age on a burning pile. to age, equally as on their primal day. Being afterwards admitted to the friend
“ The evening was and the morning was, ship of Cyrus, he begged as a great favour the fifth day.”
of this prince, that he might be permitted to As the fluids received existence previous send to the oracle of Delphos, to reproach to the solids, so the fluids, in the order of the god with his ingratitude: leave being creation, are first stored with life; the given, Croesus sent his attendants to Delcrown is first placed upon them; and all phos, and ordered them to lay his feiters on the volatile of wing and fin, joy in the sun- the threshold of the temple, as a present to beams, while, yet in their prime, they diffuse the god, and demand of Apollo, if he were light throughout the terraqueous. Every day not ashamed at having by his oracles excited of creation beholds its novelty ; yet not one so true a worshipper to his own destructhing is destroyed to make room for new tion ? 2D. SERIES, NO. 22.- VOL. II.