Page images


cannot, in short, perceive the geometrical logic of Euclid, in the demonstrations of Saint Athanasius, that three persons are one, and one three ; and yet such, alas! is the influence and

power prejudice over men's minds, that they had frequently rather continue to grope in the dense darkness of their own unsanctified minds, than acknowledge themselves indebted to a man, who, however clear and lucid his demonstration of facts, in assimilating with his sentiments, might expose them to the charge of fanaticism and enthusiasm.

How far such a suspicion might have been applicable to the peculiar state of Dr. Watts, is not my province to determine; the probability, I think, is, that under the acute mental sufferings which he so long endured, any rational instruction, calculated to relieve him from embarrassment, might have been thankfully and joyfully accepted. Weighing therefore all the circumstances of this case, I can entertain no other opinion than that Dr. Watts although he himself was unconscious of it, lived and died in the communion of the New Jerusalem Church ; and that having his name enrolled “in the Lamb's book of life," he has long since been liberated from all his former erroneous and perplexing opinions; and as a free denizon of the holy city, is now firmly established in the solemn truth, which, in the first instance was instrumental in producing the great and important change in his mind, that in Jesus Christ, as the glorified Redeemer, “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily;" and that to him alone, he offers his ascriptions of praise, thanksgiving and adoration, as “God over all, blessed for evermore.

In conclusion, are there any of your readers, like the pious Watts, “halting betwixt two opinions?” are there any who have been betrayed into the specious but devious paths of modern Unitarianism, as a refuge from that "abomination of desolation, standing in the holy place,” and opposing its brazen front in opposition to the plain dictates and best feelings of our nature? I can only add, that to such we offer a shield of faith, a panoply of Divine Love, impervious to men and demons. All the preliminary qualifications required of such persons are, a humble and teachable mind. Thanks be to God, we have found him of whom Moses and the Prophets did write,” and we fain would affectionately prevail on our brethren to “come and see” this great and glorious Being for themselves. May the invitation be cordially accepted, in the same spirit in which it is offered : and whatever good may result from it, let it be ascribed to him alone to whom it is due, even to that glorified Jesus, who “is the way, the truth, and the life;" and “to know whom, savingly, "is life eternal."

I am Gentlemen,

Yours, &c.


OF SIR ISAAC NEWTON: A SECOND MEMORANDUM FROM THE MSS OF E. S. I have discoursed with Newton, concerning a vacuum, and concerning colours.

With respect to a vacuum, he said that when he was in the world, he believed in the existence of a vacuum, but that when the angels perceived that his idea of a vacuum was as an idea of nothing, they turned themselves away from him, saying, that an idea of nothing was destructive of the idea of the essence of things, and with the idea of the essence of things, it destroyed the idea of thought, of understanding, of affection, of love, and of will, both with men and with angels, not one of which can be given in nothing. They enquired of him, whether he believed, that the Divine (principle] whence is all angelic intelligence, as well as all intelligence to men in both worlds, the spiritual and the natural, is a vacuum; and thus that any divine operation in-flows by a vacuum, into a vacuum of these worlds, and is capable of présenting itself to perception ? Being troubled at this interrogation, he answered, That there was no possibility of this being the case by an absolute vacuum, because the Divine (principle] is the very esse of wisdom and love with angels in heaven, and with men in the world, and in-fils all things. The Very Esse and Nothing are so contrary to each other, that the one being granted, the other cannot be supposed. Hereupon the angels prayed that he, and all others who favour an idea of a vacuum, as of nothing, would desist therefrom, that so they might have intercourse together; well knowing, that not any one principle of their life can be given in nothing, but must be given in those things which are, or exist, from the esse, adding, that of a vacuum which is nothing, can never any thing be predicated, which would be referable to an agent, à re-agent, a recipient, or an attractive principle, thus that is referable to the life of their wisdom and love, in which are given many indefinite affections, together with their variations, as also perceptions, and sensations; for nothing is nothing, and of nothing not any thing is predicable.

Newton having heard these things, said, that prior hereto he had desisted from the idea of a vacuum as nothing, and that

hereafter he would desist herefrom, being well acquainted, that he was now in the spiritual world, in which world, according to his former idea, would be his vacuum; in which he was even now a man, and herein thought, felt, acted, yea respired; which things he knew could not be given in a vacuum which is nothing, but in something which is, and which, from an esse, exists and subşists. Also, that neither is an interstitial nothing capable to be given; because that would be destructive of something; that is, of essences and substances which are something. For something and nothing are entirely opposite to each other, so much so, that he trembled at the idea of nothing, and that he took heed to himself against it, lest thereby his mind should fall into a swoon.

(To be continued.)

ASTRONOMY. This sublime science teaches us the magnitudes and distances of the heavenly bodies, their arrangement, their various motions and phenomena, and the laws by which their movements are regulated. It presents to our view objects the most wonderful and sublime; whether we consider the vast magnitude of the bodies about which it is conversant--their immense number—the velocity of their motions—the astonishing forces requisite to impel them in their rapid career through the regions of the sky—the vast spaces which surround them, and in which they perform their revolutions the magnificent circles they describe--the splendour of their appearance-or the important ends they are destined to serve in the grand system of the universe.

When we lift our eyes towards the sky, we perceive an apparent hollow hemisphere, placed at an infinite distance, and surrounding the earth on every band. In the day time, the principle object which appears in this hemisphere, is the sun. In the morning, we see him rise above the distant mountains, or from the extremi. ty of the ocean ; le gradually ascends into the vault of heaven, and then declines and disappears in the opposite quarter of the sky. In the northern parts of the globe, where we reside, if, about the 21st of March, we place ourselves on an open plain, with our face towards the south, the sun will appear to rise on our left, or due east, about six in the morning, and about the same hour in the evening he will set due west. In the month of June, he rises to our left, but somewhat behind us, in a direction towards the north-east, ascends to a greater height at noon than in the month of March, and, after describing a large are of the heavens, sets on our right, and still behind us, in the north-western quarter of the sky. In the month of December, if we stand in the same position, we may observe, without turning ourselves, both his rising and setting,. He rises in the south-east, ascends to a small elevation at noon, and sets in the south-west, after having described a very small arc of the heavens. Every day he appears to move a little towards the east, or contrary to his apparent diur. nal motion; for the stars which are seen to the eastward of him, appear every succeeding day to make a nearer approach to the place in which he is seen. All the variety of these successive changes is accomplished within the period of 365 days 6 hours, in which time he appears to have made a complete revolution round the heavens from west to east.

The moon is the next object in the heavens which naturally attracts our attention; and she is found to go through similar variations in the course of a month. When she first becomes visible, at new moon, she appears in the western part of the heavens in the form of a crescent, not far from the setting sun. Every night she increases in size, and removes to a greater distance from the sun, till at last she appears in the eastern part of the horizon, just as the sun disappears in the western, at which time she presents a round full-enlightened face. After this, she gradually moves farther and farther eastward, and her enlightened part gradually decreases, till at last she seems to approach the sun as nearly in the east, as she did in the west, and rises only a little before him, in the morning, in the form of a crescent. All these different changes may be traced by attending to her apparent positions, from time to time, with respect to the fixed stars.

A dark shadow is occasionally seen to move across the face of the moon, which obscures her light, and gives her the appearance of tarnished copper. Sometimes this shadow covers only a small portion of her surface; at other times, it covers the whole of her disk for an hour or two, and its margin always appears of the figure of a segment of a circle. This phenomenon, which happens, at an average, ahout twice every year, is termed an Eclipse of the Moon. It is produced by the shadow of the earth falling upon the moon, when the sun, the earth, and the moon are nearly in a straight line; and can happen only at the time of full moon. Sometimes the moon appears to pass across the body of the sun, when her dark side is turned towards the earth, covering his disk either in whole or in part, and intercepting his rays from a certain portion of the earth. This is called an eclipse of the sun, and can happen only at the time of new moon. In a total eclipse of the sun, which seldom happens, the darkness is so striking, that the planets, and some of the larger stars, are distinctly seen, and the inferior animals appear struck with terror.

Again, if, on a winter's evening, about six o'clock, we direct our view to the eastern quarter of the sky, we shall perceive certain stars-just risen above the horizon; if we view the same stars about midnight, we shall find them, at a considerable elevation, in the south, having apparently moved over a space equal to one half of the whole hemisphere. On the next morning, about six o'clock, the same stars will be seen setting in the western part of the sky. If we turn our eyes towards the north, we shall perceive a similar motion in these twinkling orbs, but with this difference, that a very considerable number of them neither rise, nor set, but seem to move round an immoveable point, called the north pole. Near this point is placed the pole star, which seems to have little or no apparent motion, and which, in our latitude, appears elevated a little more than half way between the northern part of our horizon and the zenith, or point above our heads. A person who has directed his attention to the heavens for the first time, after having made such observations, will naturally inquire-Whence come those stars which begin to appear in the east? Whither have those gone which have disappeared in the west ? and wliat becomes, during the day, of the stars which are seen in the night? It will soon occur to a rational observer, who is convinced of the roundness of the earth, that the stars which rise above the eastern horizon, come from another hemisphere, which we are apt to imagine below us, and, when they set, return to that hemisphere again ; and, that the reason why the stars are not seen in the day-time, is—not because they are absent from our hemisphere, or have ceased to shine—but because their light is obscured by the more vivid splendour of the sun.* From such observations we are led to conclude,

This is put beyond all doubt, by the invention of the telescope; by which instrument, adapted to an equatorial motion, we are enabled to see many of the stars even at noon-day. The Author of this work, about eleven years ago, made a number of observations, by means of an Equatorial telescope, to determine the following particulars :- What stars and anets may be conveniently seen in the day-time, when the sun is above the horizon? What degrees of magnifying power are requisite for distinguishing them? How near their conjunction with the sun they may be seen ;-aod, whether the diminution of the aperture of the telescope, or the increase

of magnifying power, conduces most to render a star or planet visible in daylight. The results of several hundreds of observations on these points, accompanied with some original deductions and remarks, are inserted in “ Nicholson's Philosophical Journal," for October, 1813, vol, 36, p. 109-128. The following are some of the results which were deduced from the observations : That a star of the first magnitude may be distinguished, at any time of the day, with a magnifying power of 30 times, but that a higher magnifying power is preferable-That most of the stars of the second magnitude may be seen with a power of 100 ; and with a power of 60 times, when the sun is not much more than two hours above the horizon-That the planet Jupiter, when not within 30 or 40 degrees of the sun, may be seen with a power of 15 times ;-and that Venus may, in most instances, be seen with a power of from 7 to 100 times, and upwards-That Jupiter can scarcely be distinguished, in the day time, when within 26 degrees of the sun; but that Venus may be distinctly perceived near her superior conjunction, when only 1 degree and 27 minutes from the sun's margin; and, consequently, may be visible at the time of that conjunction, when her geocentric latitude equals or exceeds one degree 43 minutes--that she may be perceived, like a fine slendour crescent, within 35 hours after passing her inferior conjunction, &c &. tical purpose to which such observations on Venus, at the time of her superior conjunction, may be applied-is, to determine the difference (it any) between her polar and equatorial diameters. For it is only at that conjunction that she presents to the earth a full enlightened hemisphere, and, in no other position, can the measure of both diameters be taken, except when she makes a transit across the sun's disk. As the Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturo are No. 4-1827.


One prac.

« PreviousContinue »