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“We resume the sublime and interesting employment of tracing the brightly-beaming stars, as they shine forth from their depths of blue, encircling the earth with a robe of splendour, and diminishing the dreariness and desolation of the winter season. A contemplation of their glories, especially connected with the principles of the science which treats of their phenomena, is calculated to enkindle the sublimest emotions in the mind, whether we consider the vastness of the scene in which the heavenly bodies move, or examine more minutely their numbers, magnitudes, and immense distances, their velocity, and the precision of their revolutions; each of these is sufficient to impress the mind of the student of nature, and leave him more of the ethereal, and less of the earthly, as he returns from the survey.
“ That heart must be under the dominion of vice, or paralysed by the leaden sceptre of apathy, that can behold with indifference those bright orbs which beamed forth in beauty on the garden of Eden, which shone on the path of the antediluvian Patriarch in his pastoral wanderings, which guided the bark of the adventurous mariner in the early ages of nautical science, which inspired the songs of the bards of iquity, which drew forth the admiration of our immediate progenitors, and which shall continue to shed their sweet influences when the present generation shall have mingled their dust with the clods of the valley.
" Independently of these delightful associations, which appeal at once to the best feelings of our nature, and the consideration of the light which a cultivation of this science throws on the vast universe,-every new discovery in which proves that it is organized with infinite skill, and declares to every intelligent mind the boundless benevolence that pervades immensity,—there is in the science of astronomy that which is intimately connected with the prosperity of the human race, even the common concerns of life being regulated by the celestial motions; and the nicest astronomical skill has been required to adjust the calendar; the apparent inequalities of the celestial movements involving quantities which in some cases must be added, and in others rescinded, from the calculations: a familiar instance may be cited. Owing to an accumulation through a long period of time of these inequalities, it was found requisite to change the style; or, in other words, in the month of September, 1752, eleven days were at once expunged from the calendar; so that the day following the 2d of September was called the 14th. This might be considered a trifling inconvenience, and only important to the historian, for a lapse of ages must ensue before the irregularity would press on the interests of mankind; yet as it respects the prosperity of a maritime country, the cultivation of this science is intimately connected. What is it expedites the vessel of the merchant in his voyage from these fair northern isles to utmost India, where, with 'plumed and jewelled turban,' she pours into the lap of Britannia her richest treasures ? It is the perfection to which this science has been brought by the calculating mind, the wakeful faculties, the accurate eye of the
astronomer, which have been devoted indirectly in promoting the security and welfare of his fellow-men, while traversing the vast Pacific and rolling Atlantic oceans. These can best understand and confirm the importance of celestial observations, when for days and nights the skies have been a desert; no sun, or moon, or stars ; above them the scowling clouds, beneath them the rolling waves; the tempest and currents acting in different directions, so as to render unavailing every attempt to determine the situation of the ship; the fears of the stoutest heart are excited in apprehension of the hidden rock and fatal reef; but if, amidst this dreary scene, the clouds should break away and discover the blue vault of heaven, and the pale Queen of night with her silvery orb, either in conjunction with, or more or less remote from, some well-known star that may have befriended many a mariner, then instantly every youthful as well as experienced hand is plying the sextant, and the ship's place is determined by the aid of these luminaries, and the skill of the practical astronomer; on whose observations are grounded those tables, which are the seaman's most invaluable guide.”—Time's Telescope.
Having introduced the above somewhat long extract on the utility, as well as grandeur, of the sublime science of astronomy, I proceed now to lay before the readers of this periodical, the celestial phenomena for the month of February.
The Sun rises at Greenwich on the 1st at forty-two minutes past seven, and sets at forty-six minutes after four: on the same day he rises at Edinburgh at fifty-nine minutes past seven, and sets at twenty-nine minutes after four. The Sun rises at Greenwich
on the 17th at fourteen minutes past seven, and sets at fifteen minutes after five: on the same day he rises at Edinburgh al, twenty-five minutes past seven, and sets at four minutes after five. This bright luminary enters the sign Pisces on the 18th, and his declination on the noon of this day is eleven degrees thirty-four minutes south.
The Moon rises on the 1st at thirty-eight minutes past two, and on the 3d at forty-eight minutes after four, in the morning : on the 6th she changes, at thirty-five minutes past six in the evening; and presents her fine narrow crescent, near the horizon, in the western sky, after sunset on the 7th. The Moon sets on the 10th at a quarter past ten, and on the 12th at about half-past twelve, at night: she is half-full on the 14th, at five o'clock in the morning; and passes the meridian, or is due south, on the 16th, at fifty-eight minutes after seven in the evening. The Moon is full on the 22d, at forty-six minutes past six in the morning; and rises on the 23d at twenty-five minutes past seven in the evening : she rises on the 25th at three minutes before nine, and on the 27th at about half-past twelve, at night.
Note.- The Moon is a good object for telescopic observation from the 12th to the 17th days of this month.
MERCURY is invisible.
eastern horizon, about seven o'clock, during the first week; after which this beautiful planet is obscured by the brilliant rays of the Sun. MARS appears
“in ruddy vesture clad" at day-break, in the vicinity of Antares, the apparently largest star in the constellation Scorpio: on the 2d he is in the neighbourhood of the Moon.
JUPITER is now the most splendid star in the evening sky, and therefore cannot be mistaken for any other: he sets on the 1st at half-past nine, and on the 26th at a quarter past eight: he is in the neighbourhood of the crescent Moon on the 9th and 10th days.
Note.-On the evenings of the 6th and 7th, Jupiter is so near Uranus, or the Georgium Sidus, that both planets are to be seen at once in the field of a good telescope, if a low power is used. Those of our readers who are in possession of proper telescopes, and never saw this distant orb, will do well to embrace the present opportunity (Jupiter being their guide) to survey him walking the boundaries of the solar system. Fig.1.
The above are telescopic representations of Jupiter and his four satellites, as they appear at a quarter past six o'clock in the evening. Fig. 1 answers for the evening of the 5th ; fig. 2, the 7th, the little object to the right of Jupiter representing Uranus. Fig. 3 answers for the evening of the 12th; and fig. 4, the 23d.*
"O glorious star!
SATURN is invisible during this month.
JUVENILE OBITUARY. 1. WILHELMINA Boyd HAMILTON HUNTER was born August 2d, 1819, at Ayr, in Scotland. Her disposition was naturally sprightly and cheerful, and she was very fond of singing. This was directed into the right channel by her pious and judicious mother, and was thus rendered very beneficial to her. Through
* These views are for a telescope that shows objects directly, or in their natural position.
the religious training which she received, she was mercifully preserved from outward immorality; but the carnal mind still reigned within, controlled rather than subdued. When the Rev. T. Pearson came to the Ayr Circuit, he particularly directed his attention to the Wesleyan Sabbath-school, which greatly revived under his care, and became the means of extensive usefulness to the younger portion of his flock. This was the case with respect to Wilhelmina, who was after a time induced to join the society, and earnestly to seek the blessings of a present salvation. Nor did she seek in vain. The views which the Gospel set before her of the love of God in our Lord Jesus Christ, led her to accept the mercy which she saw to be offered her, and she was brought to the possession and enjoyment of vital godliness.
From an early part of her life she suffered much from a disease in the spine: this greatly reduced her strength, and brought her, in the very prime of her days, to the house appointed for all living; but she was enabled to give thanks to the Father, who had made her meet to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light. Her weakness had so much increased about Christmas, 1840, that from that time she was almost entirely confined to her house. But the inner man was renewed day by day, and she rejoiced in the mercy that had prepared her for this season of trial. “I am thankful,” she once said, “that I was enabled, so soon in my life, to believe the report." To several friends who visited her, she said, “I am glad that I have already received Christ Jesus the Lord; for it would not do for me to have my religion to seek now. My bodily pains are enough for me to bear.” On one occasion, a friend, taking leave of her, expressed a wish for her recovery. no," she replied, “ do not say so; but rather pray for my release, that I may go to heaven. And mind that you cleave to Christ yourself.” On the last Sabbath of her life, being extremely ill, her pains extorted the cry, “O, what shall I do?” Her sister answered, that she must do as she had done before, put her whole trust in Christ. Notwithstanding her sufferings, she instantly broke out in singing,
"None but Jesus
Can do helpless sinners good.” She afterwards sang the hymn, " Jesu, lover of my soul,” &c.; and was observed to lay much stress on the words, “ () receive my soul at last.” She lingered through the week; and at one time, when borne down by strong pain, she repeated the hymn, “Father, in the name I pray,” &c. It was remarked to her, that she suffered patiently: and she instantly replied, “ Let the praise go to its right And,
It is God that helps me." Not long before she died, she repeated with great earnestness these two verses :
“In this identic body I,
With eyes of flesh refined, restored,
See for myself my smiling Lord ;
“I see a world of spirits bright,
Who reap the pleasures there;
And conquering palms they bear:
They close pursue the Lamb;
The' unutterable Name.
She was brought to God in 1832; and died happy in the Lord, April 24th, 1841, in the twenty-second year of her age.
2. SAMUEL RANDALL was born January 9th, 1824, at Frome, Somersetshire, and experienced from infancy the beneficial care of pious parents. His father was a Class-Leader and Local Preacher ; and his son, when old enough, sometimes accompanied him when he went to the places to which he was appointed. On one of these occasions, when he had been preaching on “the prodigal son,” as they were returning, seeing that Samuel was much affected, he asked him when he intended to give his heart to God. The issue of the conversation was, that Samuel began to meet in class, and, after a time, was made happy in God, through believing in Christ.
His conduct as a young disciple of the Lord Jesus was steadily consistent. He sought to get good to his own soul, and to do good to the souls of others. He became a Teacher in the Sabbath-school, and diligently attended to the duties he was required to perform. And on those Sundays when he was not called to be at the school, he, with another pious youth, went to a village about six miles distant, for the purpose of distributing religious tracts. Knowing that help from above was necessary to render these labours successful, he and his companion were accustomed, before they entered the village, to find some private place where they might kneel down, and commend themselves and their work to God. When they had gone over their round, on returning, they went to the same place, and prayed that the seed they had been sowing might bear fruit to the glory of God, in the salvation of those to whom the tracts had been confided.
His last illness was short, and his removal from earth unexpected. He was taken ill on the 26th of April, 1841. At first, his friends thought that he was only suffering under a bilious attack, to which he was occasionally subject; but he soon became so much worse that medical aid was called in, and every means employed that medical skill could suggest, to stay the progress of the disease. All, however, was vain ; and it was soon apparent that “his sun was to go down ere it was noon.” In the earlier part of his illness he said that he did not fear death, but that he wished to possess a clearer evidence of his acceptance with God; and this was soon granted to him. One evening, seeing that his sisters were weeping, he said, “Why do you weep? Living or dying, I am the Lord's. If I die, I shall go to heaven.” He was sometimes delirious; but when com