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that the globe on which we tread is suspended in space-is sur : rounded on all sides by the celestial vault--and that the whole sphere of the heavens has an apparent motion : round the earth every 24 hours. Whether this motion be real, or only apparent, must be determined by other considerations.
Such general views of the nocturnal heavens, which every common observer may take, have a tendency to expand the mind, and to elevate it to the contemplation of an Invisible Power, by which such mighty movements are conducted. Whether we consider the vast concave, with all its radiant orbs, moving in majestic grandeur around our globe, or the earth itself whirling round its inhabitants in an opposite direction-an idea of sublimity, and of Almighty energy, irrestibly forces itself upon the mind, which throws completely into the shade the mightiest efforts of human power. The most powerful mechanical engines that were ever constructed by the agency of man, can scarcely afford us the least assistance in forming a conception of that incomprehensible Power which, with unceasing energy, communicates motion to revolving worlds. And yet, such is the apathy with which the heavens' are viewed by the greater part of mankind, that there are thousands who have occasionally gazed at the stars, for the space of fifty years, who are still ignorant of the fact, that they perform an apparent diurnal revolution round our globe.
Again, if we contemplate the heavens with some attention, for a number of successive nights, we shall find, that by far the greater part of the stars never vary their positions with respect to each other. If we observe two stars at a certain apparent distance from each other, either north or south, or in any other direction, they will appear at the same distance, and in the same relative position to each other, the next evening, the next month, and the next year. The stars, for instance, which form the sword and belt of Orion present to our eye the same figure and relative aspect, during the whole period they are visible in winter, and from one year to another; and the same is the case with all the fixed stars in the firmament. On examining the sky a little more minutely, however, we perceive certain bodies which regularly shift their positions. Sometimes they appear to move towards the east, sometimes towards the west, and at other times seem to remain in a stationary position. These bodies have obtained the name of planets, or wandering stars; and, in our latitude, are most frequently seen, either in the eastern and western, or in the found to be spheroids, it is highly probable that Venus is of a similar figure ; but this point has never yet been ascertained by actual observation. See also " Tlie Edinburgh Philos. Journal," No 5, for July 1820, p. 191 ; and No. 13, for July 18:2%" The Scots Mag," for Feb. 1814, p. 84" Monthly Mag.” Feb, 1814, and August, 1840, p. 62.
the naked eye.
southern parts of the heavens. Ten of these planetary orbs have been discovered ; six of which are, for the most part, invisible to
By a careful examination of the motions of these bodies, and their different aspects, astronomers have determined, that they all move round the sun as the centre of their motions, and form, along with the earth and several smaller globes, one grand and harmonious system. This assemblage of planetary bodies is generally termed the Solar System, of which I shall now endeavour to exhibit a brief outline.
(To be continued,]
DIALOGUES between a Mother, her Son, and a young Friend of her Son, on the following subjects, viz. The Trinity; the Fall of Man; the Garden of Eden; the forbidden Tree; the Tree of Life; the Serpent ; on Him who was to bruize the head of the serpent, and the restoration of man thereby; on Death, the Resurrection and Eternal Life. By a Mother. Dedicated to all true Mothers in Israel.
“That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth, that our daughters may be as
corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace. Ps. cxliv. 12,
My very dear Sisters in the Lord,
Permit me, although a stranger in person, to address you by this endearing appellation, all mothers who have adopted the pious resolution of Joshua, viz. as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. But it is much to be lamented that this noble and blessed detormination is not more generally received, and inculcated, especially by females, whose sacred province and imperative duty as mothers it is, to train the infant mind, and lead them in the path of true religion, agreeable to the advice of the wise man ; viz. train up a child in the way he should walk, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. I am sometimes led to fear that few persons entertain a just idea of the capability of youth to receive instruction in spiritual and divine subjects ; not aware of the great importance and advantage of thus erecting a standard, in their tender minds, as a barrier, against the mighty torrent of infidelity, which threatens at this day, to overwhelm and swallow up all Divine Truth and heavenly, excellence. I hope it is unnecessary to remind any female that I now address, of the absolute necessity there is, of our setting an example of love and righteousness in all our works and words ; this being an imperative duty which speaks for itself.
We must the fair example set ;
The stumbling block remove.
The dignity of love.
True followers of our God.
With mildest zeal, proceed,
When love will do the deed. I hope I shall not be deemed intrusive, if I introduce a very singular, and remarkable instance of a mother's improper conduct, towards her children, being followed by a very striking, and awful dispensation of Providence.
A very eminent and pious clergyman* of the established church, who, as such, had scarcely an equal, with whom I was personally acquainted, (though not till many years after,) was from his early years, impressed with a deep sense of the majesty of God, and a constant fear of offending him, being at his sister's house, Madame de Botens, in Geneva, at the same time she was visited by a widow lady, accompanied by her three sons, who were not the most happily disposed towards each other. Their very improper conduct at this time was such, as provoked the unhappy mother to utter a very hasty imprecation. My revered friend, then a pious student, though not more than fourteen, being present, was so struck with the unnatural conduct of this exasperated mother, that starting from his seat, he addressed ber by a faithful remonstrance, from the following passage, “ parents provoke not your children to wrath,” from which he reasoned with her, in a most affecting manner. He observed and lamented the difficulties of her sad situation, intreating her to struggle against them with discretion, and not with impatience ; exborted her to educate her children in the fear of the Lord, and to second such education by her own pious example, and aster assuring her that her conduct upon the present occasion had filled him with horror, be concluded bis present address, by alarming her fears, less the present curse which she bad attered, should be followed by some very unexpected family afflictions. On that same day, the widow embarked upon the lake, she was overtaken by a tremendous storm, and brought to the very brink of perishing. In the midst of her danger, the words of her young propbet, (as she ever after termed this pious youth) were deeply impressed on her mind, but they soon returned upon her, with redoubled force, from the mournful intelligence, that two of her sons had perished upon the lakes, having remained behind her, and the third had been crushed to death, at one of the gates of Geneva. That every mother whom I now affectionately address, may cheerfully put their shoulder to the spiritual work, of building up the rising generation in the knowledge, and in the love of the Lord God and Savionr Jesus Christ, is the sincere prayer of-A Mother,
DIALOGUE I, Mother. My dear Frederick ! you are this day fourteen years of age: it is now my duty to instruct you in some very important and essential points of doctrine, both of knowledge and life, all of which appertain to your eternal welfare, and the salvation of your immortal soul, particularly as to the knowledge of your Creator and Redeemer, the Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ; who will, if you are obedient to the Divine Truths, which you are about to be instructed in, become your Regenerator to all eternity.
Son. I shall be particularly happy, my dear mother, to receive such instruction, as my mind has been greatly perplexed by some conversation which has passed lately, between the Rev. Mr.- our school master, and one of the ushers, respecting the idea of three persons in the T, inity, which our master endeavoured to prove true from the Scriptures; and the usher upon the other hand, insisted, that there is but one God, and one Divine person in the Trinity, and that the Lord Jesus Christ is that God! Now, my dear mother, if you can explain to me and to a very dear and precious friend I have got at school, how three Gods can be said to be one, we shall have cause to rejoice, as I cannot tell to which God I ought to pray, especially as master tells us, not to regard what the usher says, for that notwithstanding there are three persons in heaven, that there is but one God, and that if we do not believe this, we shall not be saved ; but we cannot understand this by any means.
Mother. It rejoices my heart, my beloved child, to find you so earnestly engaged in the pursuit of this very important and Divine Truth, and excites great thankfulness in my mind to our heavenly Father, that he has been graciously pleased, to enable me so far to receive the cverlasting truths of his kingdom, that I am able, (though in a very small degree) to open and explain this Divine and sacred mystery to your inquiring mind, and I do most earnestly intreat the Lord to afford me wisdom from above,
• The late Rev. J. Fletcher, Vicar of Madeley,
that I may, by the light thereof, lead you ioto the paths of righteousness and truth, that the bread which I now cast upon the walers, may be found again, though perhaps after many days. We have no time at present to proceed, you may therefore pay your dear young friend a visit, and invite him to spend to-morrow with us, when, if we are spared, I hope to enter into the subject in wbich you are so earnestly desirious to be instructed.
DIALOGUE II. Mother. Good morning to you Master Friendly! I assure you I am truly glad to see you, as the beloved friend of my precious Frederick, and I am much pleased, that he has formed an intimate friendship with one, that I hope will prove advantageous to him in many respects. Pray, my dear, are your papa and mamma living ?
Friendly. No, I am not so happy as my Frederick, I have neither of my parents living.
Mother. It is certainly a very grievous loss, at so early an age, but the Lord is able to supply their place, and has promised to be a "father to the fatherless.
Friendly So I have read, and indeed have great reason to be thankful that I have so kind a friend in my aunt, yet I should be still more happy, to bave such a kind mother as my Frederick has got.
Mother. Do you think so, my dear? then will you permit me (in some respects) to supply the place of one ?
Friendly. I should esteem it a peculiar blessing to be permitted to call you by the precious name of mother, and am persuaded I should feel a ycry affectionate regard for you, my dear Madam, as the mother of one whom I tenderly love, and have long looked upon as my brother.
Mother. Well, my dear child, we will strike the hargain, and I shall love you the better, because you love my dear boy so well, who I am certain will rejoice at the news. Pray how old are you?
Friendly. I am just turned fifteen.
Son. Indeed, my dear mother, I think I shall be almost too happy, although I do not expect to love my newly adopted brother more tenderly than I did my dear James Friendly.
Friendly. Nor can I bope to love you better than I already do, but I promise not to love you the less, for loving our dear mother so well, and I hope we shall both try which can love her best, and most deserve her love.
Mother. My beloved children you both equally delight my heart, and exbilirate my spirits : come we will take a walk in the adjoining wood, where we shall have an opportunity of entering upon some profitable conversation, which sweet retreat, generally awakens in my own mind, a renewed sense of the infinite Love and Wisdom of our Heavenly Father. What a delightful shelter from the scorching beat of the sun, does it afford us! whilst the sweet songsters, ils peaceful and beautiful inhabitants, charm and delight the ear with their grateful sonnets to the Creator of all! the mossy carpet, covered with daisies and violets, far exceed any which art has produced; whilst the soft rivulet, which gently glides at the bottom of the wood, cools and refreshes as it flows: in short every different perfection around us seems to vie with each other, which shall most fully display and show forth the Love and the Wisdom of the great Creator, the Almighty Father of all.
Friendly. Indeed it is the most delightful spot I was ever in, and I was just thinking, that the garden of Eden, which we read of in the bible, must have been much like it for beauty, and could not forbear feeling pity and compassion for Adam that he should have been driven from so blissful an abode, for the small offence of eating an apple !
Mother. Why, nsy dear child, I must in the first place inform you, that nothing can be deemed a small offence, when committed'in disobedience to the divine command of our gracious God and Saviour, and in the next place, I wish you to know, and remember, that the Word of God is holy and divine throughout; and filled with the most important instructions of Infinite Wisdom and Love! but which lessons of love and wisdom are
generally held forth, and conveyed to our finite minds, under representative figures, corresponding to the Divine Truths held forth under such figures, and are conveyed to us in this manner, as being best suited to our present state of darkness, and distance from the Lord our God, and in no case more so than in the history of Adam, and of the garden in which it is said that the Lord bis God placed him.
Son. Will my dear mother be so kind as to inform us what is to be understood by the history of Adam, if we are not to understand it as it is held forth in the bible? for I always thought it was to be considered as Divine Truth.
Mother. We are bound to believe that the Word of God is Divine Truth itself, and also that it containeth a threefold sense, viz. celestial, spiritual, and natural, and that it is Divino Truth in each sense, but I expect I shall, in the course of our future conversations, have frequent opportunities to set this before you in a clear and satisfactory light.
Son. I must request our dear mother will not forget the promise she made me yesterday, I have anticipated her performance of it with much delight.
Mother. I doubt not, my dear son, but you remember in a former con'versation, when you were last home from school, I informed you, that we were all of us lost fallen creatures, in which deplorable condition we must for ever have remained lost to all eternity, had not the Lord Jesus Christ, in his wonderful mercy and compassion, redeemed our souls from death and hell, hy suffering death, even the death of the cross for our sins, by which he has redeemed us.
Son. Yes, I do remember all this, but you did not seem willing at that time to answer some questions I then put to you.
Mother. No, I could not then answer your questions, my dear, being totally unable to do it, either to my own satisfaction, or to your edification, and I am very thankful to the Father of mercies, that I did pot then impress darkness instead of the light of Divine Truth upon your tender mind; I am also thankful that my backwardness in that day, has not discouraged you from farther inquiry, but above all, I desire to bow with thankful and humble acknowledgement to our Heavenly Father, that since that time of darkness, he hath enabled me to receive and treasure up some of the pearls of Divine Truth, contained in the sacred Scriptures, but as it is absolutely necessary, that you should learn the nature of the fall of man, before you can understand and appreciate the wonders of Divine Love, wbich are so fully displayed in his redemption, we will endeavour by divine assistance to set forth the nature of the fall, together with its sad and fatal consequences to man; I hope then to proceed by ahowing you, (though in a very small degree) the nature and the necessity of the astonishing work of redemption, wrought out by our great Incarnate God, whose high and holy name is Jesus Christ,
Son. I shall be truly thankful for such instruction, my dear mother, and also for some light on the doctrine of the Trinity.
Mother. I will in the first place inform you, my beloved children, that the Lord created man in' his own Divine Image and Likeness, endowed him with a will and 'an understanding, the former capable of loving and obeying the Lord, the latter of knowing and of believing in his Holy name, and of receiving Divine Truths, which ought to be brought forth in the life, by loving and doing all the good in our power to the bodies and souls of such as aro worthy, and stand in need of assistance, at the same time, acknowledging, that all our power and 'every desire to perform such good, originates in and proceeds from the Lord alone, agreeable with his own Divine Word left for our instruction,“ Without me ye can do nothing."
Son. You have informed us, my dear mother, that the history of Adam, is to be understood spiritually, must we then consider the garden of Eden in that point of view also ?
Mother. Certainly, my dear, and I think it represents the intellectual