« AnteriorContinuar »
When water freezes, it crystallizes; that is, its particles arrange themselves in such an order as to produce certain regular forms. The small needlelike spikes of which it is composed, are found to cross each other at angles of sixty degrees, or at the same inclination as that of two sides of a triangle, which has its three sides equal to one another. By the combination of a number of these, the beautiful feathery forms are composed, which may be seen upon a window, on a frosty morning. These form objects of great beauty, when viewed through a microscope, even of small magnifying power. And if the particles be melted, by gently breathing upon the glass, and then be suffered to freeze, the spiculae of ice will be observed darting forth with immense rapidity. The effect may be seen very well, even with the naked eye. Another beautiful form of frozen water is snow. If a large flake be observed just as it falls, it will be found to consist of a great number of minute spikes, loosely adhering together. A flake of snow occupies about nine times as much space as the water of which it is composed. These spies are probably formed by the freezing of vapour in the upper parts of the atmosphere, and collect into masses as they descend. In very clear and calm weather, it is not uncommon to have pieces of ice fall, crystallized in the form of stars, and in other shapes arising from the combination of particles arranged according to the laws of crystallization. Hail appears to be formed by the freezing of drops of rain, in their descent. The formation of hail is closely connected with electricity. In a thunderstorm hail frequently falls. An attempt was made in France, some years ago, to defend tracts of country from the ill-effects of hail-storms, which are very injurious to the vines. It was supposed, that by erecting numerous conductors to draw off the electric fluid, it would be prevented from accumulating to such a degree as to form had. Conductors for this purpose were called Para-grdes, or Hail-defenders ,but they do not appear to have answered the expectations of their inventors. C.
Nature never deceives us; the rocks, the mountains, the streams, always speak the same language; a shower of snow may hide the verdant woods in spring, a thunderstorm may render the blue limpid streams foul and turbulent; but these effects are rare and transient: in a few hours, or at most in a few days, all the sources of beauty are renovated. And nature affords no continued trains of misfortunes and miseries, such as depend upon the constitution of humanity ; no hopes for ever blighted in the bud, no beings, full of life, beauty, and promise, taken from us in the prime of youth. Her fruits are all balmy and swe«t: she affords none of those blighted ones, so common in the life of man, and so like the fabled apples of the Dead Sea, fresh and beautiful to the sight, but when tasted, full of bitterness and ashes.—bin Humphry Davy.
Nbar our encampment, in the beautiful wood of Freemantle, was a tree of singular, though not very ornamental, form; it was called " grass-tree," from its grassy head, and *' black-boy," from the dark colour of its stem. The manner of its growth is peculiar, showing itself above the surface of the sand in bunches of grass, which are gradually thrust up by the stem, and form the head. After a time, a long black stick rises from the centre of the grassy head, and contains the seed. I was told that the stem was formed of layers, something like Indian corn, and was filled with a resinous substance. This accounts for its being such excellent fire-wood, emitting an exceedingly bright light when burned. Its usual height was about twelve feet.—Two Years at Sea.
POWER OF HABIT. That balancing moment, at which pleasure would allure, and conscience is urging us to refrain, may be regarded as the point of departure, or divergency, whence one or other of the two processes (towards evil, or towards good,) take their commencement. Each of them consists in a particular succession of ideas, with their attendant feelings; and whichever of them may happen to be described once, has, by the law of suggestion, the greater chance, in the same circumstances, of being described over again. Should the mind dwell on an object of allurement, and the considerations of principle not be entertained, it will pass onward from the first incitement to the final and guilty indulgence, by a series of stepping-stones, each of which will present itself more readily in future, and with less chance of arrest or interruption by the suggestions of conscience than before.
But should these suggestions be admitted, and, far more, should they prevail, then, on the principle of association, will they be all the more apt to intervene, on the repetition of the same circumstances, and again break that line of continuity, which, but for this intervention, would have led, from a temptation, to a turpitude or a crime. If, on the occurrence of a temptation, formerly conscience did interpose, and represent the evil of a compliance, and so impress the man with a sense of obligation, as led him to dismiss the fascinating object from the presence of his mind, or to hurry away from it j the likelihood is, that the recurrence of a similar temptation will suggest the same train of thoughts and feelings, and lead to the same beneficial result; and this is a likelihood ever increasing with every repetition of the process. The train which would have terminated in a vicious indulgence, is dispossessed by the train which conducts to a resolution and an act of virtuous self-denial.
The thoughts which tend to awaken emotions and purposes on the side of duty, find readier entrance into the mind; and the thoughts which awaken and urge forward the desire of what is evil, more readily give way. The positive force on the side of virtue is augmented, by every repetition of the train which leads to a virtuous determination. The resistance to this force, on the side of vice, is weakened in proportion to the frequency wherewith that train of suggestions, which would have led to a vicious indulgence, is broken and discomfited. It is thus that, when one is successfully resolute in his opposition to evil, the power of making the achievement, and the facility of the achievement itself, are both upon the increase, and Virtue makes double gain to herself by every separate conquest which she may have won. The '.humbler attainments of moral worth are first mastered and secured, and the aspiring disciple may pass onward, in a career that is quite
indefinite, to nobler deeds and nobler sacrifices.
What action was ever so good, or so completely done, as to be well taken of all hands. It concerns every wise Christian to settle his heart in a resolved confidence of his own holy and just grounds, and then to go on in a constant course of his well-warranted judgment and practice, with a careless disregard of those fbols'-bolts which will be sure
to b» shot at him, which way soever he goes. Bishop
Misxry is caused for the most part, not by a heavy crush of disaster, but by the corrosion of less visible evils, which canker enjoyment, and undermine security. The visit of an invader Is necessarily rare, but domestic animosities allow no cessation.—Dr. Johnson
NEW CHAPEL AND BURIAL-GROUND
OF THE BRITISH PROTESTANT RESIDENTS AT CARACCAS, THR CAPITAL OF VENEZUELA, IN SOUTH AMERICA.
"Rioht dear in the light of the Lord, li the death of hie saints:" and " He shall gather them out of all lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south."—Psalms exvi. and evii.
It is not much more than fifteen years, since we first had any established residents in Venezuela. From the period of the Spaniards becoming masters of that portion of the New World, its shores were closed to the rest of Europe, particularly to Protestant England; and the mutual rivalries, and religious prejudices, between our mariner-adventurers on the Atlantic Ocean and those of its Spanish Catholic terra-firma, continued for many generations to augment into actual antipathy, until time, and almost an entire absence from any relative communication, sunk both parties into a reciprocal oblivion of each other.
This was the*gtate of things until the heroic fidelity of the South American Spaniards to their ancient dynasty of kings, when called upon to acknowledge a brother of the emperor of the French for their sovereign, aroused the recollection of Englishmen, and filled them with respect for the conduct of men whose existence they had nearly forgotten.
Many brave Britons had gone out, and proffered their aid in the war of liberation; and when that was crowned with an apparently assured independence of the country, then the British merchant, and industrious artisan, followed the British military volunteer to the land of commercial promise. They were received with welcome, but, until within these last two years, the old wall of partition between Catholic and Protestant continued to be so determinately retained, that the Protestant settlers had neither a place for Christian worship, according to the forms of their own church, nor a spot of ground wherein to bury their dead.
The English consul, Sir Robert Ker Porter, though a civil officer, was the only representative to the British residents there, of their own church, as well as of their state. He baptized their children, performed their marriage ceremony, and buried those who died amongst them. The first two duties might be respectably solemnized in the hall of the consulate; but the last was overwhelmed with a double weight of affliction to the mourning survivors; the land which had received the living Protestant with hospitality, seemed to deny his dead body the common right of human nature,—a decent grave. A cellar floor, the pavement of the stable-yard, or at best, the garden's most hidden nook, were the only places which might afford a last bed for the remains of a friend or relative. Alas! perhaps not the last receptacle for such sacred relics! for they must be left there at the caprice of any future tenant of the premises, to dig up, and cast they knew not where.
To remedy this distressing state of things, the British Consul directed his serious attention; and when the ameliorating character of the Venezuelan government warranted the attempt, and he had obtained the sanction of his own government, he lost no time in proposing his wishes. The result was, that he succeeded in purchasing a plot of ground, conveniently situated near the city of Caraccas, with an express guarantee from the President and Senate of the Republic, that it should hereafter remain inviolably the possession of the British Protestant residents at Caraccas, for a cemetery, or burial-place for their dead. A sum of money was advanced by our Government, towards the security of the spot, with walls, &c., in aid of the means which the English mer
chants," whose dust was to mingle within them, had subscribed.
Sir Robert Ker Porter obtained the land in the summer of 1832. It was a beautiful green expanse, on a gentle slope in the valley of the mountain; a sequestered spot, promising the sanctity and the rest to be sought there. He made no delay in drawing the plan, and laying the foundations for the walls and gates; and he planted young trees, of the Cypresspoplar order, to afford shadowy avenues from the gates to the little building, erected for the performance of the funeral service, in a climate in which the bared heads of the mourners and their functionary were exposed to a vertical sun at one season, or a plunging rain at another.
Our sketch represents the little building, or chapel, just mentioned, in the form of a colonnaded portico, with the symbol of the Holy Trinity cut on its stone pediment. It stands at the hither end of the ground, whence the sepulchral field slopes gently down in the shape of a parallelogram. The whole is surrounded by a handsome wall, of a secure height and thickness; and the gates by which it is entered are of the Grecian porch architecture, like the chapel, only without columns. The principal gate at the lower extremity of the ground, immediately facing the chapel, is surmounted by a cross. The second gate opens on one side of the parallelogram, and is partly shown in the sketch by one of its pillars, buttressed by a noble old tree of the country. A few grave-stones, in neatly arranged lines, are also seen, their compartments being divided by chain-railings; for Sir Robert had several of his countrymen to commit to this safer sepulchre, before it became, like our English churchyards," consecrated ground."
That it might be so hallowed, was the wish, but hardly the expectation, of many a pious individual, who, in that stranger land, remembered the dear familiar homes of their childhood, the parish-bell gladsomely summoning them to the Sabbath-duties of morning and evening prayers, or solemnly tolling the passing knell of the decent funeral, moving with reverent pace to the consecrated spot of the body's rest! To have such a sanctuary, even under seclusion in the land of their distant sojourn, every heart yearned; and their indefatigable consul and friend completed the work by, in due time, obtaining this sacred object also, from the Venezuelan government. Dr. W. H. Coleridge, our Protestant Bishop of Barbadoes, was invited from that island to perform the rite. As soon as his duties in his own wide diocese, the Leeward Islands, would permit his absence, he embarked in H.M.S. Forte, Commodore Pell, on the 27th of January in this year, and arrived at La Guayra, the port of Caraccas, on the 22nd of February. On the evening of his reaching La Guayra, he proceeded across the mountains (a journey of twenty miles,) to the city of Caraccas, and became the immediate guest, with his official attendants, of the Consul. On the 24th, his lordship received the respect of an especial audience by General Paez, the President of the Republic of Venezuela. Similar reverence, by visits, &c. was paid to him by the other chief authorities; and on the- 26th of the month, in the presence of his Excellency the President, and the Ministers of the Republic, with other great officers, civil and military, and of Sir Robert Ker Porter, his Majesty's Consul, with Colonel Stopford, and the Commodore and officers of H.M.S. Forte, and of the British residents, male and female, young and old, and a large mixed concourse of the inhabitants of the city, the Bishop of Barbadoes, (the first bishop our church ever sent to that part of our West Indian dominions !) consecrated our chapel and its burying-ground, on that once Spanish terra-firma.
When the bishop, with his clerical train, and the chief of the British residents, had passed on from the great gate of the cemetery, repeating, the 24th Psalm, they entered the chapel, (the colonnaded front of which is quite open to the air;) and seated himself in the episcopal chair prepared for the occasion. The Venezuelan authorities sat on his right side, and the British consul and commodore, &c, on his left. The chaplains then recited the prayers, and read the chapters in the Bible appropriated to the consecration of the chapel and burial-ground. This was succeeded by a procession of the whole assembly, headed by the bishop, along the interior of the sepulchral-field; continuing the prayers for its sanctification, as they traversed the young cypress avenues, and the bright green-sward of the unshaded ground, where the little hillock, or the level stone, marked that a Christian brother had already been laid.
The most marked order and reverence prevailed amongst all present, during the whole ceremony; and when it closed with a solemn address and benediction from the bishop, there was not even a disturbing whisper heard. Every countenance, as it turned away from the now sacredly guaranteed spot, cast a look, whether from Catholic or Protestant, on each silent tomb, which seemed to say, "May the sleeper rest in peace!"
We have seen a little account of the bishop's own writing to a friend, in which he describes the place, and the adjoining scenery. We cannot but enrich our own sketch with an extract.
"Amidst a sublimity and richness of landscape almost unequalled in the world, which presents itself to the view of the astonished .traveller, on looking
down from the high mountain-pass on the city of Caraccas, (splendid still, even after the ruin it sustained by the terrible earthquake in 1812,) and along its lengthened line of fertile plain, irrigated by the river Guayra, and stretching in an easterly and westerly direction for more than twenty miles; at this elevation of nearly 3000 feet above the level of the sea, with a range of mountains on either side, (rising at one point to more than 5000 feet above the plain itself,) the eye yet rests with calm and holy delight on the conspicuous, but neat and simple burial-ground of the English church." « The little chapel and its cemetery have received the name of St. Paul: he who of all the Apostles, perhaps, traversed the widest circuit of the known globe in his holy mission. Now, on this side of it, which was then unknown to the other half, (probably because it was not inhabited,) we have, after the lapse of eighteen centuries since the first promulgation of the Gospel by that eminent Apostle to every shore of the Old World, set his name in this quarter of the New, on a Protestant Christian chapel: the first built, and sanctioned, and consecrated for our simple doctrines and worship, on that Roman Catholic expanse of the American Continent; and the first Protestant Bishop who ever set foot on it, was invited thither for the purpose of performing that patriarchal duty for the members of our British Church. He, too, is the first prelate which that church sent to our West India Islands, and Sir Robert Ker Porter the first Consul accredited by the British Government to the Caraccas state; nay, we may add, that it was also permitted and done, during the first Presidency of General Paez over the New Republic of Venezuela. The epoch is remarkable, and reflects an abiding honour on all concerned.
UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION, APPOINTED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.
Amongst the beautiful Cathedrals of this country, that of Salisbury holds a very distinguished rank. The singular uniformity displayed in its design and style, the harmony which is found to pervade its several parts and proportions, and the striking air of lightness, simplicity, and elegance, which reigns throughout the whole, all conspire to invest it with a charm peculiarly its own; whilst the amazing elevation of its graceful spire renders it, without exception, the most lofty building in the kingdom.
History informs us that the spiritual affairs of the west of England were, for many years, under the sole direction of a single bishop, whose see was eventually fixed at Winchester; but on the death of Bishop' Hedda, or Eadda, the diocese was divided, and a second bishopric established at Sherborne in Dorsetshire, comprehending the present counties of Wilts, Berks, Dorset, Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall. Again, about 905, on the three counties last mentioned receiving bishops of their own, a fifth see was soon after erected for Wiltshire, the bishops of which resided chiefly at Wilton, then the capital of the county to which it gave its name.
On the death of Elfwold, Bishop of Sherborne, between 1050 and 1058, we find that Herman, Bishop of Wilton, effected the re-union of that see with his own, and thus obtained jurisdiction over the counties of Wilts, Berks, and Dorset, upon which he changed his residence to Sherborne. There, however, the see did not long remain. For about the year 1074, Herman removed it from Sherborne to Searobyrig, the spot now known by the name of Old Sarum, then a royal town, and one of the strangest fortified places in the west. At Old Sarum the see continued till the year 1220, when it was transferred to its present situation.
The removal of the establishment, though long desired, was not, however, effected till the time of Bishop Richard Poore. The spot selected hy him for the new foundation was a portion pf his own manor, distant about two miles from the castle, and then, according to Camden, bearing the name of Merryfield. It lay at the juncture of the Avon with the Nodder, in the midst of a sheltered and fertile valley of considerable extent. Here, in 1219, a w loden chapel was erected; and to meet the expenses oi the undertaking, the dignitaries of the Church bound themselves to contribute one-fourth of their revenues during seven years, and a number of the clergy were sent into different parts of the country, and even into Scotland, to raise contributions.
At length the day was fixed for laying the foundation of the Cathedral in due form; and such was the national importance attached to the event, that the king himself (Henry the Third,) was expected. Henry, however, was prevented from being present, being engaged at Shrewsbury in arranging a treaty with the Welsh *. On the 28th of April, 1220, the bishop accompanied by the clergy, as well as by some of tw> nobility of the country, and a vast concourse of persons from all quarters, after having attended divine service, proceeded to the place of foundation chanting the Litany. There the bishop laid the first stone, and was followed by the nobility then present, and by the dean and chapter, and Other dignitaries; both laity and clergy binding themselves to certain annual payments for seven years.
After that event, the Cathedral steadily advanced under the auspices of Bishop Poore, and in less than
*■ Henry, however, djd afterwards visit the new Cathedral a few days after its consecration in 1225, with his justiciary, Hubert de Burgh, and made several offerings. That of Hubert is described as a Golden xjvr,—that is, an ornamental copy of the Old and New Testament for Um altar.
five years, a sufficient portion of it was completed for the celebration of public worship, and on the vigi} of St Michael, being Sunday, it was consecrated by Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury. Three years afterwards Bishop Poore was translated to Durham, but he left his friend Elias de Derh.am, to whom he had, from the first, intrusted the management of the work, to superintend its progress, which, indeed, he did for the first twenty years. Bishop Bingham carried on the building eighteen years; his successor, William de York, continued it during nine years; but the glory of bringing the undertaking to a happy conclusion was reserved for Bishop Egidius (or Giles) de Bridport. , In the second year of his elevation, on the 30th of September, 1258, he had the satisfaction of seeing this splendid fabric, after having been rather more than thirty-eight years in progress, solemnly dedicated to the Virgin Mary by Boniface, Archbishop of Canterbury. The whole cost of the edifice seems to have been met by voluntary contributions, and this, according to an account delivered to Henry the Third, amounted to 40,000 marks, or about 25,666/. 13*. Ad. sterling.
It appears, however, that the greater part of the tower, and the lofty spire, were not then erected. The building was raised to its present elevation about a century after its dedication, and chiefly from the remains of the Cathedral at Old Sarum, which were granted to the Chapter in 1331, for the improvement of their church. Notwithstanding the care taken by the architect to meet the vast increase of pressure created by these additions, great alarm arose for the safety of the fabric soon after their completion, and about the year 1417 it was found necessary to represent to Henry the Sixth that "the stone spire in the middle of the Cathedral Church of Sarum appeared to be in such ruin and danger, that unless it were repaired, it must speedily fall, to the utter destruction of the Church itself;" and consequently a license was granted to the Chapter to acquire lands to the amount of 50/. per annum to be appropriated to this object. Under this license, we find that amongst other benefactions, lands and possessions were ceded to the Chapter by Walter Lord Huugerford, in 1429, "to maintain the tall spire steeple in repair," and for other pious purposes; and thus, it seems, they were enabled to place the structure in a permanent state of security *.
During the great Rebellion this Cathedral suffered its full share of calamity from the violence of malicious and misguided men. Whilst the members of the establishment were insulted and dispersed, and the possessions of the Church were alienated, the beautiful edifice was profaned, and its architectural decorations sadly mutilated and defaced. Yet even then persons were not wanting to interest themselves in the preservation of the building. Dr. Pope, in his Life of Bishop Ward, relates that workmen were often seen employed in making repairs, and when questioned by whom they were sent, they were accustomed to reply,—" Those who employ us will pay us, trouble not yourselves to inquire; whoever they are, they do not desire to have their names known."
Happily, soon after the Restoration, the sec was held by Dr. Seth Ward, a prelate of distinguished munificence and high scientific attainments, who directed his attention to the repairs of the fabric, and in this he was assisted by the dignitaries of the Church contributing the fifth part of their endowments. King Charles the Second, also, encouraged them by
* It is supposed that the screens thrown across between the clustered columns at the foot of the spire on the north and south sides, were then erected.