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displayed to view without a gutd* to direct their course through the billows of the ocean, they could hare afforded no light and no relief to cheer the distant nations " who sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death." Though the art of printing had been invented; though millions of bibles were now prepared, adequate to the supply of all the "kindreds of the heathen;'' though ships in abundance were equipped for the enterprise, and thousands of missionaries ready to embark, and to devote their lives to the instruction of the pagan world—all would be of no avail, and the " salvation of God" could never be proclaimed to the ends of the world, unless they had a mariner's compass to guide their course through the trackless ocean.
In this invention, then, we behold a proof of the agency of Divine Providence, in directing the efforts of human genius to subserve the most important designs, and contemplate a striking specimen of the "manifold wisdom of God." When the pious and contemplative Israelite reflected on the declaration of the prophets, that "the glory of Jehovah would be revealed, and ihat all flesh would see it together—from the state of the arts which then existed, he must have felt many difficulties in forming a conception of the manner in which such predictions could be realized. '* The great and wide sea," now termed the Mediterranean, formed the boundary of his view, beyond which he was unable to penetrate. Of the continents, and ** the isles afar off," and of the far more spacious oceans that lay between, he had no knowledge; and how "the ends of the earth" were to be reached, he could form no conception; and, in the midst of his perplexing thoughts, he could find no satisfaction but in the firm belief, that "with God all things are possible." But now we are enabled not only to contemplate the grand designs of the divine economy, hut the principal means by which they shall all, in duo time, be accomplished, inconsequence of the progress of science and art, and of their consecration to the rearing and extension of the Christian church.
The two inventions to which I have now adverted, may perhaps be considered as among the most striking instances of the connexion of human art with the objects of religion. But there are many other inventions, which, at first view, do not appear to bear so near a relation to the progress of Christianity, and yet have an ultimate reference to some of its grand and interesting objects.
The Tetoeope.—We might he apt to think, on a alight view of the matter, that there can be no immediate relation between the grinding and polishing of an optic glass, and fitting two or more of them in a tube, and the enlargement of our views of the operation of the Eternal Mind. Tet the connexion between these two ejects, and the dependence of the latter upon
the former, can be fairly demonstrated. The son of a spectacle-maker of Middleburg in Roland, happening to amuse himself in his father's shop, by holding two glasses between his finger and his thumb, and varying their distance, perceived the weathercock of the church spire opposite to him much larger than ordinary, and apparently much nearer, and turned upside down. This new wonder excited the amazement of the father; he adjusted two glasses on a board, rendering them moveable at pleasure; and thus formed the first rude imitation of a perspective glass, by which distant objects are brought near to view. Galileo, a philosopher of Tuscany, hearing of the invention, set his mind to work, in order to bring it to perfection. He fixed his glasses at the end of long organ-pipes, and constructed a telescope, which he soon directed to different ports of the surrounding heavens. He discovered four moons revolving around the planet Jupiter—spots on the surface of the sun, and the rotation of that globe around its axis—mountains and valleys in the moon—and numbers of fixed stars where scarcely one was visible to the naked eye. These discoveries were made about the year 1610, a short time after the first invention of the telescope. Since that period this instrument has passed through various degrees of improvement, and, by means of it, celestial wonders have been explored in the distant spaces of the universe, which, in former times, were altogether concealed from mortal view. By the help of telescopes, combined with the art of measuring the distances and magnitudes of the heavenly bodies, our views of the grandeur of the Almighty, of the plenitude of his power, and of the extent of his universal empire, are extended far beyond what could have been conceived in former ages. Our prospects of the range of the divine operaions are no longer confined within the limits of the world we inhabit; we can now plainly perceive, that the kingdom of God is not only " an. everlasting dominion," but that it extends through the unlimited regions of space, comprehending within its vast circumference thousands of suns, and tens of thousands of worlds, all ranged in majestic order, at immense distances from one another, and all supported and governed "by Him who rides on the Heaven of heavens," whose greatness is unsearchable, and whose understanding is infinite.
The telescope has also demonstrated to us the literal truth of those scriptural declarations which assert that the stars are " innumerable." Before the invention of this instrument, not more than about two thousand stars could be perceived by the unassisted eye in the clearest night. But this invention has unfolded to view not only thousands, hut hundreds of thousands, and millions, of those bright luminaries, which Ke dispersed in every direction throughout the boundless dimensions of space. And the highec the magnifying powers of the telescope are, the more numerous those celestial orbs appear; having us no room to doubt, that countless myriads more lie hid in the distant regions of creation, far beyond the reach of the 6nest glasses that can be constructed by human skill, and which are known only to Him "who counts the number of the stars, and calls them by their names." 1
In short, the telescope may be considered as serving the purpose of a vehicle for conveying us to the distant regions of space. We would consider it as a wonderful achievement, could we transport ourselves two hundred thousand miles from the earth, in the direction of the moon, in order to take a nearer view of that celestial orb. But this instrument enables us to take a much nearer inspection of that planet, than if we had actually surmounted the force of gravitation, traversed the voids of space, and left the earth 230,000 miles behind us. For, supposing such a journey to be accomplished, we should stilt be ten thousand miles distant from that orb. But a telescope which magnifies objects 240 times, can carry our views within one thousand miles of the moon; and a telescope, such as Dr. Herschel's 40 feet reflector, which magnifies 6000 limes, would enable us to view the mountains and vales of the moon, as if we were transported to a point about 40 miles from her surface.* We can view the magnificent system of the plunct Saturn, by means of this instrument, as distinctly, as if we had performed a journey eight hundred millions of miles in the direction of that globe, which at the rate of 50 miles an hour, would require a period of more than eighteen hundred years to accomplish. By the telescope, we can contemplate the region of the fited stars, their arrangement into systems, and their immense numbers, with the same distinctness and amplitudo of view, as if
• Though the highest magnifying power of Dr. Herschel's large telescope was estimated at six thousand times, yet it does not appear that the doctor ever applied this power with success, when viewing the moon and the planets. The deficiency of light, when using so high a power, would render the view of these objects less satisfactory than when viewed with a power of one or two thousand tiroes. Still, It Is quite certain, that If any portions of the moon's surface were viewed through an Instrument of such a power, they would appear as tore? ;hut net nearly eo briglU and dietinct) as If we were placed about 40 miles distant from that body. The enlargement of the angle of vision, in this case, or, the apparent distance at which the moon would be contemplated, is found by dividing ttte moon's distance—340.000 miles by 6000, the mag. nifying power of the telescope, which produces a quotient of 40—the number of miles at which the moon would appear to be placed from the eye of the observer. Dr. Hersciicl appears to have used the highest power of his telescoi,es, only, or chiefly, when viewing some very minute objects in the region of the stars. The powers he generally used, and with which he made most of his discoveries were, 337, 460, 754, 933, and occasionally 3010, 3168, and 6450, when Inspecting double and triple stars, and the mure distant uebulsj.
we had actually taken a flight of ten hundjeo thousand millions of miles into those unexplored and uncxplorable regions, which could not be accomplished in several millions of years, though our motion were as rapid as a ball projected frnir a loaded cannon. We would justly considei it as a noble endowment for enabling us to lake au extensive survey of the works of God, if we hud the faculty of transporting ourselves to such im mense distances from the sphere we now occupy but, by means of the telescopic tube, we may take nearly the same ample views of the donin nions of the Creator, without stirring a foot from the limits of our terrestrial abode. This instrument may, therefore, be considered as a providential gift, bestowed upon mankind, to serve, in the mean time, as a temporary eubetituU for those powers of rapid flight wiih which the seraphim are endowed, and for those superior faculties of motion with which man himself may be invested, when he arrives at the summit ol moral perfection.*
The Microscope.—The microscope is another instrument constructed on similar principles, which haa greatly expanded our views of the "manifold wisdom of tiod." This instrument, which discovers to us small objects, invisible to the naked eye, was invented soon after the invention and improvement of the telescope. By means of this optical contrivance, we peceive a variety of wonders in almost every object in the animal, the vegetable, and the mineral kingdoms. We perceive that every particle of matter, however minute, has a determinate form—that the very scales of the skin ofa haddock are all beautifully interwoven and variegated, like pieces of net-work, which no art can imitate—that the points of the prickles of vegetables, though magnified a thousand times, appear as sharp ar,d well polished as to the naked eye—that every particle of the dust on the butterfly's wing is a beautiful and regularly organized feather—that every hair of our head is a hollow tube, with bulbs and roots, furnished with a variety of threads or filaments—and that the pores in our skin, through which the sweat and perspiration flow, are so numerous and minute, that a grain of sand would cover a hundred and twenty-five thousand of ihem. We perceive animated beings in certain liquids, so small, that fifty thousand of them would not equal the size of a mite ; and yet each of these creatures is furnished with a month, eyes, stomach, blood-vessels, and other organs for the performance of animal functions. In a stagnant pool which is covered with a greenish scum during the summer months, every drop of the water is found to bo a world teeming with thousands of inhahitants. The mouldy substance which usually adheres to damp bodies exhihits a forest of trees and plants, where the branches, leaves, and fruit, can be plainly ,i,s• See Appendix, No VXSL
tnguiftbed. In a word, by this admirable instrument we beheld the same Almighty Hand which founded the soacious globe on which we live, xnd the huge masses of the planetary orbs, and directs them in their rapid motions through the sky,—employed, at the same moment, in rounding and polishing ten thousand minute transparent globes in the eye of a By; and boring and arranging reins and arteries, and forming and clasping joint s and claws, for the movements ofa mite! We thus learn the admirable and astonishing effects of the wisdom of God, and that the divine care and benevolence are as much displayed in the construction of the smallest insect, as in the elephant or the whale, or in those ponderous globes which roll around us in the sky. These, and thousands of other views which the microscope exhihits, would never have been displayed to the human mind, had they not been opened up by this admirable invention.
In fine, by means of the two instruments to which I have now adverted, we behold Jehovah's empire extending to infinity on either hand. By the telescope we are presented with the most astonishing displays of his omnipotence, in the immense number, the rapid motions, and the inconceivable magnitudes of the celestial globes; and, by the microscope, we behold, what is still more inconceivable, a display of his unsearchable wisdom in the divine mechanism by which a drop of water is peopled with myriads of inhahitants—a fact which, were it not subject to ocular demonstration, would far exceed the limits of human conception or belief. We have thus the most striking and sensible evidence, that, from the immeasurable luminaries yf heaven, and from the loftiest seraph that «tands before the throne of God, down to this tower world, and to the smallest microscopic animalcula that eludes the finest glass, He is every where present, and, by his power, intelligence, and agency, animates, supports, and directs the whole. Such views and contemplations naturally lead us to advert to the character of God as delineated by the sacred writers, Chat "He is of great power, and mighty in •trength;" that" His understanding is infinite that " His works are wonderful; that " His operations are unsearchable and past finding out;'' and they must excite the devout mind to join with fervour in the language of adoration and praise.
When thy amazing works, 0 God!
Steam Navigation.—We might have been apt to suppose that the chymteal experiments that were first made to demonstrate the force of tteam as a mechanical agent, could have little i elation to the objects of religion, or even to the •xmifbrt of human life and society. Yet it has
now been applied to the impelling of ships and large boats along rivers and seas, in opposition to both wind and tide, and with a velocity which, at an average, exceeds that of any other conveyance. We have no reason to believe that this invention has hitherto approximated to a state of perfection; it is yet in its infancy, and may be susceptible of such improvements, both in point of expedition and of safety, as may render it the most comfortable and speedy conveyance between distant lands, fur transporting the volume of inspiration and the heralds of the gospel of peace to " the ends of the earth.'' By the help of his compass the mariner is enabled to steer his course in the midst of the ocean, in the most cloudy days, and in the darkest nights, and to transport his vessel from one end of the world to another. It now only remains, that navigation be rendered safe, uniform, and expeditious, and not dependent on adverse winds, or the currents of the ocean; and, perhaps the art of propelling vessels by the force of steam, when arrived at perfection, may effectuate those desirable purposes. Even at present, as the invention now stands, were a vessel to be fitted to encounter the waves of the Atlantic, constructed of a proper figure and curvature, having a proper disposition of her wheels, and having such a description of fuel, as could be easily stowed, and in sufficient quantity for the voyage—at the rate of ten miles an hour, she could pass from the shores of Britain to the coast of America, in less titan thirteen days :— and, even at eight miles an hour, the voyage could be completed in little more than fifteen days; so that intelligence might pass and repass between the eastern and western continents within the space of a single month—a space of time very little more than was requisite, sixty years ago, for conveying intelligence between Glasgow and London. The greatest distance at which any two places on the globe lie from each other, is about 12,500 miles; and, therefore, if a direct portion of water intervene between them, this space could be traversed in fifty-four or sixty days. And, if the isthmus of Panama, which connects North and South America, and the isthmus of Suez, which separates the Mediterranean from the Red sea, were cut into wide and deep canals, (which we have no doubt will be accomplished as soon as civilized nations have access to perforin operations in those territories,) every country in the world could then be reached from Europe, in nearly ;, direct line, or at most by a gentle curve, instead of the long, and dangerous, and circuitous route which must now be taken, in sailing for the eastern parts of Asia, and the northwestern shores of America. By this means, eight or nine thousand miles of sailing would be saved in a voyage from England to Nootka sound, or the peninsuls of California; and more than six thousand miles, in passing from London to Bombay in the East Indies; and !aw places on the earth would be farther distant irom each other by water than 15,000 miles; which space might be traversed, at the rate mentioned above, in a period of from sixty-two to seventy-seven days.*
Hut we have reason to believe, that when this invention, combined with other mechanical assistances, shall approximate nearer to perfection, a much more rapid rate of motion will be et ructed; and the advantages of this, in a religious as well as in a commercial point of view, may oe easily appreciated, especially at the present period, when the Christian world, now aroused from their slumbers, have formed the grand design of sending a bible to every inhabitant of the globe. When the empire of the prince of darkness shall be shaken throughout all its dependencies, and the nations aroused to inquire after light, and liberty, and divine knowledge— intelligence would thus be rapidly communicated over every region, and between the most distant tribes. "Many would run to and fro, and knowledge would be increased." The ambassadors of the Redeemer, with the oracles of heaven in their hands, and the words of salvation in their mouths, would quickly be transported lo every clime, "having the everlasting gospel to preach to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people."
Air Balloons.—Similar remarks may be applied to the invention of Air Balloons. We have heard of some pious people who have mourned over such inventions, and lamented the folly of mankind in studying their construction, and witnessing their exhibition. Such dispositions generally proceed from a narrow range of thought, and a contracted view of the divine economy and arrangements in the work of redemption. Though the perversity of mankind has often applied useful inventions to foolish, and even to vicious purposes, yet this forms no reason why such inventions should be decried; otherwise the art of printing, and many other useful arts, might be regarded as inimical to the human race. We have reason to believe that air balloons may yet be brought to such perfection, as to be applied lo purposes highly beneficial to the progress of the human mind, and subservient, in some degree, for effecting the purposes of providence in the enlightening and renovation of mankind. For this purpose, it is only requisite that some contrivance, on chymical or mechanical principles, be suggested, analogous to the sails or rudder of a ship, by which they may be moved in any direction, without being directed solely by the course of the wind; and, there can be little doubt that such a contrivance is possible to be effected. It requires only suitable encouragement to be given to ingenious * See Appendix. No IX
experimental philosophers, and a sufficient, sum of money to enable them to prosecute their experiments on an extensive scale. • To the want of such prerequisites, it is chiefly owing, thai the hints on this subject, hitherto suggested, have either failed of success or have never been carried into execution. A more simple and expeditious process for filling balloons has lately beea effected—the use of the parachute, by which a person may detach himself from the balloon, ana descend to the earth, has been successfully tried, —the lightning of heaven has been drawn from the clouds, and forced to act as a mechanical power in splitting immense stones to pieces, —the atmosphere lias been analyzed into its component parts, and the wonderful properties of the ingredients of which it n composed exhibited in their separate state: and why, then, should we consider it as at alt improbable that the means of producing a horizontal direction in aerial navigation may soon be discovered? Were this object once effected, balloons might be applied to the purpose of surveying and exploring countries hitherto inaccessible, and of conveying the messengers of divine mercy to tribes of our fellow men, whose existence is as yet unknown.
We are certain that every portion of the inhabited world must be thoroughly explored, and its inhabitants visited, before the salvation of God can be carried fully into effect; and, for the purpose of such explorations, we must, of course, resort to the inventions of human genius in art and science. Numerous tribes of the sons of Adam are, doubtless, residing in regions of the earth with which we have no acquaintance, and to which we have no access by any of the modes of conveyance presently in use. Mora than one-half of the interior parts of Africa ano Asia, and even of America, are wholly unknown to the inhabitants of the civilized world. The vast regions of Chinese Tartary, Thibet, Sibei ia, and the adjacent districts; almost the whole interior of Africa, and the continent of New Holland—the extensive isles of Borneo, Sumatra, New Guinea, and Japan, the territory ci the Amazons, and the internal parts of North America, remain, for the most part, unknown and unexplored. The lofty and impassable ranges of mountains, and the deep and rapid rivers, which intervene between us and many of those regions, together with the savage and plundering hordes of men, and the tribes of ravenous beasts through which the traveller must push his way, present toEuropean adventurers barriers which they cannot expect to surmount by the ordinary modes of conveyance, for a lapse of ages. But by balloons constructed with an apparatus fur directing their motions, all such obstructions would at once be surmounted. The most impenetrable regions, now hemmed in by streams and marshes, and lofty mountains, and a barbarous population, would be quickly laid open
and nations, lakes and rivers, and fertile plains, to which we are now entire stranfers, would soon burst upon the view. And the very circumstance, that the messengers of peace and salvation descended upon such unknown tribes from the regions of the clouds, might arouse their minds, and excite their attention and regard to the message of divine mercy which thev came thither to proclaim.* Such a scene (and it may probably be realized) would present a literal fulfilment of the prediction of "angels flying through the midst of" the aerial " heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell upon the earth, and to every kindred and nation."
That the attention of the philosophical world i s presently directed to this subject, and that we have some prospect of the views above suggested being soon realized, will appear from the following notice, which lately made its appearance in the London scientific journals:—'1 A prize being offered for the discovery of a horizontal direction in aerostation, M. Mingreli of Bologna, M. PietripoU of Venice, and M. Lember of Nuremberg, have each assumed the merit of resolving this problem. It does not appear that any one of these has come forward to establish, by practical experiment, the validity of his claim; but a pamphlet has lately been reprinted at Paris (first printed at Vienna) on this subject, addressed to all the learned societies in Europe. The following passage appears in the work:— "Professor Robertson proposes to construct an
• In this point of view, we cannot but feel the tnoat poignant regret At the conduct of the Spaniards, after the discovery of America, towards the natives 3f that eouniry. When those untutored people beheld the ships which had conveyed Columbus and his associates from the eastern world, the dresses and martial order of his troops, and heard their music, and the thunder of their cannon, they were filled with astonishment and wonder at the strange objects presented to their view; they fell prostrate at their feet, and viewed them as a superior race of men. When Cortes afterwards entered the territories of Mexico, the same sentiments of reverence and admiration seemed to pervade its inhabitants. Had *mre Christian motives actuated the minds of these adventurers, and had It been their ruling desire to communicate to those ignorant tribes the blessings 3f the gospel of peace, and to administer to thajr internal comfort, the circumstances now stated would have been highly favourable to the success of .missionary exertion, and would have led them to *lsten with attention to the message from heaven. But, unfortunately for the cause of religion, treachery, lust, cruelty, selfishness, and the cursed love of jold, predominated over every other feeling, affixed i • . ii to the Christian name, and rendered them --urses instead of blessings, to that newly-discovered race of men. It is most earnestly to be wished, Jiat, In future expeditions In quest of unknown jobes, a few Intelligent and philanthropic missiona'irs may be appointed to direct the adventurers in their moral conduct and intercourse with the poo,iie they visit, in order thai nothing Inconsistent arith Christian principle make Its appearance. The uniform manifestation of Christian benevolence, 7srl:y, and rectitude, by a superior race of men, rould win the affections of a rude penplo far more sflertu illy than all the pomp and ensigns of mill*
aerostatic machine, 150 feet in diameter, to be capable of raistng 72,954 kilograms, equivalent to 149,037 lbs. weight, (French,) to be capable of conveying all the necessaries for the support of sixty individuals, scientific character", to be selected by the academicians, and the aerial navigations to last for some month*, exploring different heights and climates, &c. in all seasons. If, from accident, or wear, the machine, elevated above the ocean, should fail in its functions, to be furnished with a ship that will ensure the return of ihe aeronauts."
Should any one be disposed to insinuate, that the views now stated on this subject are chimerical and fallacious, I beg leave to remind them, that, not more than twenty years ago, the idea of a large vessel, without oars and sails, to be navigated against the wind, with the rapidity of ten miles an hour, would have been considered as next to an impossibility, and a mere fanciful scheme, which could never be realized. Yet we now behold such vehicles transporting whole villages to the places of their destination, with a degree of ease, comfort, and expedition, formerly unknown. And little more than forty years have elapsed, since it would have been viewed as still more chimerical to have broached ihe idea, that a machine might be constructed, by. which human beings might ascend more than two miles above the surface of the earth, and fly through the region of the clouds at the rate of seventy miles an hour, carrying along with them books, instruments, and provisions. Yet both these schemes have been fully realized, and, like many other inventions of the human intellect, are doubtless intended to subserve some important ends in the economy of divine providence.f
♦ Balloons were first constructed in the year 1783, by Messrs. S. and J. Mongolfler, paper manufacturers at Annonay, in France. A sheep, a cock, and a duck, were the first animals ever carried up into the air by these vehicles. At the end of their journey, they were found perfectly safe and unhurt, and the sheep was even feeding at perfect ease. The first human being who ascended Into the atmosphere In one of these machines, was M. Pilatre de Rosier. Thls adventurer ascended from amidst an astonished multitude assembled in a garden in Paris, on the 15th October, 1763, in a balloon, whose diameter was 48 feet, and Its height about 74: and remained suspended above the city about four hours. Mr. Lunardi, an Italian, soon after, astonished the people of England and Scotland, by his aerial excursions Dr. G. Gregory gives the following account of his ascentwas myself a spectator of the flight of Lunardi, and I never was present at a sight so Interesting and sublime. The beauty of the gradual ascent, united will, a sentiment of terror, on account of the danger of the man, and the novelty and grandeur of the whole appearance, arc more than worts can express. A delicate woman was so overcome with the spectacle, that she died upon the spot, as the balloon ascended ; several fainted; and the silent admiration of the anxious multitude was beyond any thing I had ever beheld."
Balloons have been generally made of varnished sltk, and of the shape of a globe or a spheroid, from thirty to fifty fcet in diameter. They are filled with hydrogen gas, which, as formerly stated, Is from twelve to fifteen Umes lighter than common air