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teen thousand four hundred and fifty yards, or upwards of eleven miles: the orbit of Saturn, by a circle whose diameter is thirty-nine thousand one hundred yards, or twenty-two miles: and that of Herschel, by a circle whose diameter is seventy-eight thousand two hundred and two yards, or forty-four miles.

The distances of the superior planets astonish us; yet they are very limited when compared with the distances of the fixed stars. Let it be supposed that the fixed stars are so many suns, shining by their own light, as they evidently do; that they are of the same magnitude (if not greater) as our Sun is; and that the difference between their apparent magnitudes and our Sun arises from their immense distances; then it follows, that the fixed stars are each of them as much farther from the Sun, as their apparent diameters are less than that of the Sun. Some astronomers have been led by the above suppositions to think, that the nearest fixed star, which appears to be Sirius, is twenty million millions of miles distant from us. And if the nearest fixed star be at so immense a distance, what an immeasurable space is the firmament, in which are a great number of stars appearing less and less, and consequently more and more distant, and many others discovered by glasses, and thousands upon thousands with better telescopes, and in all probability others that escape the reach of our utmost efforts to discover, and which may be as distant from those we see, as those are from us! To form some notion of the distances of the fixed stars, it ought to be remembered, that although light moves at the rate of nearly two hundred thousand miles per second, yet it would require three years and a quarter to pass from the nearest xe star to the Earth; and a cannon ball, moving at the rate of twenty miles a minute, would be three millions of years in passing through the same space. It was the opinion of Huygens, that there may be some stars at such inconceivable distances from us, that their light has not yet reached the Earth. The human mind sinks under such conceptions.

And yet, what are the utmost limits of creation, compared with unlimited space? A span-a point! How awful and sublime! How great is God! "If I ascend

Astronomical Sketches.


up into heaven, thou art there. If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me, even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day. The darkness and the light are both alike to thee."

Eternity thy fountain was,

Which, like thee, no beginning knew:
Thou wast ere time began its race,
Ere glow'd with stars the' ethereal blue.

Greatness unspeakable is thine;
Greatness, whose undiminish'd ray,
When short-lived worlds are lost, shall shine
When heaven and earth are fled away.

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The simplicity and grandeur of the solar system must appear evident to the student. He has seen how infinite wisdom has arranged the planets in this system; and that their arrangement secures the whole from any possibility of coming in contact with each other: each planet, from century to century, shining in its own orbit, without disturbing or deranging the order and harmony of the whole.

As it is one great demonstration of the skill of an architect to give due proportions to his work; so we discover this proof of wisdom in all the bodies of the universe that come under our notice. They exhibit the most beautiful and curious order; and the most perfect proportions are observed in their situations.

The annual and diurnal motions of the planets fully demonstrate the agency of an all-wise and powerful Being, who created and governs the whole system of the universe, and "who upholdeth all things by the word of his power."

To give motion to such immense lifeless globes, is the work of an almighty Being. For what but infinite power could have projected such vast bodies as the

planets are, to move at the rate they do; and that from century to century? And who but an all-wise Being could have adjusted the projective to the gravitating power, or the centrifugal to the centripetal forces, so as to preserve each planet in its own orbit from century to century, without encroaching on the orbits of the other planets, or flying off or forsaking the system? It is evident that the divine energy pervades the whole universe, from an atom to a world.

The great regularity of the motions of every globe, is a demonstration that God is the grand mover; and that the whole system is every moment under his control and direction. PHILIP GARRETT.


This country has in different ages been called by various names, which have been derived either from its inhabitants, or from the extraordinary circumstances attached to it. Thus in Jer. iv. 20, it is termed generally the land; and hence, both in the Old and New Testament, the original word, which is sometimes rendered earth, land, or country, is by the context in many places determined to mean the promised land of Israel: as in Josh. ii. 3-Matt. v. 5-Luke iv. 25. But the country occupied by the Israelites, Hebrews and Jews, is in the sacred volume more particularly called, I. The Land of Canaan, from Canaan the youngest son of Ham, and grandson of Noah, who settled here after the confusion of Babel, and divided the country among his eleven children. II. The Land of Promise, from the promise made by Jehovah to Abraham, that his posterity should inherit it; who being termed Hebrews, this region was thence called the Land of the Hebrews. III. The Land of Israel, from the Israelites, or posterity of Jacob having settled themselves there. Within this extent lay all the provinces or countries visited by Jesus Christ, except Egypt, and consequently almost all the places mentioned or referred to in the four gospels. After the separation of the ten tribes, that portion of the land which belonged to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, who formed a separate kingdom, was distinguished by the appellation of

Geography of the Holy Land.


Judea, or the land of Judah, which name the whole country retained during the existence of the second temple, and under the dominion of the Romans. IV. The Holy Land, which appellation is conferred on it by all christians, as having been hallowed by the presence, actions, miracles, discourses, and sufferings of Jesus Christ.

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This celebrated mountain, near Kadesh in Galilee, where the territories of Issachar and Naphtali almost met, stands west of Hermon, but on the other side of Jordan, and in the great plain of Jezreel. Josephus says, it is about four miles high, and on the top is a beautiful plain about three miles and a half in circumference, and inclosed with trees, except towards the south; but according to Maundrel, Thevenot, and Pocock, one may ride to the top, and it is little more than one mile and a half of ascent; and on the top is but half a mile long, and a quarter broad-It is supposed by some that since the time of Josephus an earthquake may have sunk it and altered its form. The mountain is in the form of a sugar loaf, and from its top is one of the most delightful prospects in the world. It was once surrounded by a

* See Joshua xix. 12, 22.

wall and trench. It was on this mount that Barak assembled his army, and at the foot of it defeated the host of Jabin.* On the top of this mountain, it was long thought our Saviour was transfigured-but, it is so far distant from Cesarea-Philippi, where he was before and after, that it is now doubted by most people of judgment.



In reading the interesting history of England, it seems not a little striking to find living in the same country and at the same time, three of the most remarkable women that the world has ever seen-Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary, and the Lady Jane Grey. Elizabeth, of England, is celebrated as one of the greatest sovereigns that ever filled the British throne. The beauty, the accomplishments, and the misfortunes of Mary, Queen of Scots, are a favorite theme of the historian and the poet and the life of the Lady Jane Grey was never read by any person of feeling without the deepest inIt is a natural and pleasing employment to compare together those who are held up by fame to the admiration of posterity. Let us then consider for a moment the character of the persons just mentioned, and award to whom it is justly due, the preference.


In Elizabeth we perceive a manly strength of mind; a firmness and decision of character; an acuteness in judgment, and prudence in execution, which excite our astonishment. Few are the monarchs who have promoted and secured, as well as this princess, the welfare of their subjects. But the brightness of these noble qualities is dimmed by the shade of others, which would render disgusting the most exalted character in other respects. Elizabeth was vain-she was jealous-she was cruel.

The character of Mary Stewart cannot be contemplated without a sensation of sorrow. Formed as she was by nature to taste the sweetest enjoyments of life,

* Judges iv. 6-8.

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