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ON THE PLANETS. There are in our system nine primary planets, which re. volve round the Sun, to wbich astronomers have given the fola lowing names: - Mercury, Venus, the Earth; Mars, Ceres, Pallas, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Georgium Sidus. Some of them are attended by moons, or secondary planets. The Earth has one moon, Jupiter four, Saturn seven, and the Georgium Sidus six. The planets are all of them globular in their shape, and move round the Sun at different distances, from east to west. The planes of their orbits do not coincide with that of the Earth, but cross it with different angles, though none of them vary more than six degrees north or south. The Zodiac, or girdle, which encompasses the heavens, and includes the track of all the planets, is not more than twelve degrees in width. In the middle of which, like a path in a broad road, we find the orbit of the Earth. Those planets which are nearest the Sun, move with the greatest velocity. As the planets move in elliptical orbits, having the Sun in one of the foci of the ellipsis, it is evident each planet must be nearer the Sun at one time than at another ; and they are known to increase in velocity as they approach the Sun, and decrease when moving from it; yet they all observe this remarkable law, viz. They describe equal areas in equal times; that is, if a line were drawn from the Sun to any one planet, the space described by that line would each day be exactly the same, although the planet moves one day faster than another ; because, in proportion as the velocity of the planet is increased, zhe line would be shortened in consequence of the nearer approach of the planet to the Sun. Another law by which the distance of the planets may be ascertained is equally surprizing, that the squares of the periodical times of any planet are exactly proportioned to the cubes of their distances. Thus, for example, as the square of 365 days (the time of the Earth's revolution round the Sun) is to 225 (the number of days in which Venus performs her revolution) so is the cube of 95,000,000 of miles (the Earthi’s distance from the Sun) to a fourth number, which will be the cube of the distance of Venus. When one of the heavenly bodies is so situated, as by its motion in its orbit to approach nearer the Earth, as it, advances it appears. stationary; at other times, in consequence of the Earth's move ing with greater velocity, the planet may be, as it were, left, behind it; and will then appear to have a retrograde motion.
Venus and Mercury are called Inferior Planets, because they are within the Earth's orbit : all the rest which are without, are
oalled Superior. Mercury being nearer the Sun, and very sınall, is bụt seldoni seen, because usually hidden by the splendor of the solar rays: The orbit of Venus includes that of Mercury; and is distinguished from the other planets by a peculiar brightness. Being between the Earth and the Sun, she appears with various phases; horned, gibbous, 8át. like the Moon. Both the inferior planets, at certain times, pass over the Sun's disk; which is ealled their Transit. Of the superior planets, Mars is nearest the Earth. Spots have been seen upon its surface ; from whence the length of its days and inclination of its axis has been ascertained. A small planet, whose orbit is next to that of Mars, was discovered by Mr. Piazzi, the first day of the present century; to which he has given the name of Ceres Ferdinandez. Another planet, stilk sınaller, was discovered by Dr. Olbers, March 28, 1800, which he has calledPallas.
Dr. Herschell, on account of their comparative smallness, distinguishes the two last planers by the name of Asteroids; and it is conjectured there may be others which are not yet discovered *. Ata considerable distance from the orbit of Pal. Jas, is Jupiter. Wher viewed through a telescope, several belts are seen across the disk of this large planet: they vary in their appearance; and are supposed to be ranges of clouds. Four moonsg of different sizes, revolve round Jupiter; and are frequently eclipsed by his shadow, Saturn is nearly twice as far as Jupiter from the Sun: a planet distinguished from all the rest hy a thin, flat, broad, luminous ring, which encompasses the body of the planet, bat does not touch it; and appears to be divided into two, by a distinct line in the middle of its breadth. Saturn has seven moons. The Georgium Sidus is at such a distance, that it can only be seen by a telescope. It has six moons. For a more particular account of the inagnitudes, distances, &c. of the heavenly bodies, we must refer the reader to the Table annexed to our next Essay. There is another description of bodies which revolve round the Sun, called Comets : they move in orbits very elliptical; and their tines of revolution are so long, and their distances so great, that little is known of them. Their appearances are dif. ferent: some appear only as a faint vapour; others have a solid part in the middle. When they approach the Sun, they put forth a kind of tail of luminous matter, which is always directed towards the Sun. The number of comets cannot easily be ascertained, but it is supposed 10 be very great. It is certaif, that before the year 1771, more thaa 450 had been seen.
The brief view we have taken of the Solar System, is enough
Very recently (since this paper was written) another asteriod has beere discovered by Mr. Harding, which is called juno. It is ascertained by Dr, Herschell to be of the same nature with Cares and Pallas,
THE CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHER.
Sog to shew the being and providence of God. When we see a piece of machinery, we say the hand of an artist has been here: so when we observe the admirable order and regularity of the motions of the heavenly bodies, which altogether compose one vast machine, of which the Earth itself is but a sinalt part, can we help exclaiming, 'The finger of God is bere ! Such order and beauty could never have arisen from chance and accident. “He who thinks," says Cicero," that it had not its origin in mind and understanding, must himself be destitute thereof." But though the movements of these bodies be so harmonious and uniform, yet, to an inconsiderate observer, they would appear confused and irregular; and, instead of advancing in their orbit, would appear at times to be bxed; and, at other times, to move backward. So it is in the ways of God: to an eye of sense, his work seems at a stand ; his purposes defeated, and the promises of his word unfulfilled. Bat this is the conclusion of Ignorance and Unbelief. Could we see as Jehovah sees, we should perceive that all things work together, however opposite they may seem, to accomplish the parposes of his sovereign will. Were it possible for us to fix our station ip the Sun, we should from thence behold the hosts of Heaven moving in their several orbits, without the least, éven apparent, confusion. It is entirely owing to the situation in which we are placed, that we ever imagine there is any thing like irregularity in their motions; and should it be our privilege to " appear with Christ in glory," we shall discern that all the ways of the Lord are right, and we in the wrong, in presuming to judge when we ought to have obeyed; and to reason when we ought to have believed his promise and relied on his word; remembering, that what " we know not now, we shall know hereafter."
“ His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding ev'ry hour :
THE ORIGIN OF PREACHING.
Then began men to call upon the Name of the Lord. Gen. iv. 26.
WHATEVER may be deemed the exact meaning of these words, it is allowed they must refer to some distinguished period of revival in religion. The marginal reading, " to call themselves by the name of the Lord," seems to denote, that the sons of God, or worshippers of Jehovah, distinguished themselves from the sons of men, or descendants of Cain, by associating for domestic or public worship.
Some would translate the words, then began men to call, to invocate, or pray in the name of the Lord," that is, in the name of the Messiah, the Mediator between God and man; having now, since the birth of Setli, and especially of Enos, clearer views of the promised seed, and of the use of bis naine in their addresses to God.
But it appears to me more probable that the passage refers to the origin of preaching the gospel, or public instructions, as the learned Ainsworth and others intimate. Mr. Smith, in his Essay on the Sunday-Sabbath, printed 1694, and dedicated to Queen Mary, cites great and approved authorities for rendering these words, as they also occur in Gen. xii. 8, “to preach in or of the Name of Jehovah.' So Malicendo: Prredicarit De nomine Jehore, 'He preached of the name of God.' - So Piscator: Charah, clamare,-'to call to God, is to pray; to call to men, is to preach ;' and from Churah seems to be derived κηρυσσειν, 'to preach or proclaim *.!
The grand object of the patriarchal preachers was Jesus Christ, who is often called in Scripture “ The Name of the
Lord +. -"The Name of the Lord is a strong tower.”—“In his Name shall the Gentiles trust'—"The Name of the Lord is great in might"— and, Let him that walketh in darkness trust in the Name of the Lord.” This is the name above every name"-"How excellent is thy name in all the earth!”
It is pleasant to think that, from the earliest ages this blessed name was proclaimed to sinners of inankind; for the very life, substance, and spirit of revelation is, and always was, " Jesus Christ and bim crucified.” “ To him all the prophets gave testi. mony." All who have known this Naine have put their trust in him; and it has been as ointment poured forth to believers under every dispensation. Let us exult then in this saving Name, and sing with the royal poet, “I will extol thee, my God, o King; and I will bless thy Name for ever and ever"; and “ blessed be his glorious Name for ever and ever !" and let the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen.
* See Preliminary Discourse to Elihu, by Dr. Hodges, p. ii. + See Horze Solitariæ, vol. i. p. 194.
PART OF THE WILL
Author of the Fourfold State, &c. &c.
In the name of the Three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, - one undivided self-existent and eternal Jehovah. Amen. -1, J. B. of
, being, through rich mercy and free grace, enabled to sit at the feet of Jesus Christ, clothed with bix
PART OF THE REV, MR. BOSTON'S WILL. righteousness, in my right mind and memory, and of sound judgment respecting my eternal state, and those truths which are essential to salvation; considering the mortality of this life, knowing 'tis appointed for men once to die, and not knowing how soon it may be my Heavenly Father's will to re
out of this time-state, and rank my immortal spirit among “the spirits of just men made perseci,” do hereby make this my Last Will and Testament in manner and in forin following; that is to say, First, I commit my immortal soul to him,- with reverence and humility be it spoken, - 10 him who is my everlasting light, my God and my glory; to hiin who is my head guardian, and has promised to be my guide even untd death; to him who ordained me to eternal life from before the foundation of the world; to himn who liath shined into my heart, has given me the light, and the knowledge, and the glory of himself in the face of Jesus Christ; to him who hath caused
from death to life, and promised I shall never more come into condemnation; to him who has promised never more to leave nor forsake me, and to this end has implanted his fear in my heart, and will not let me depart from him ; to him who halb loved me with an everlasting love, and with lovingkindness hath drawn me; to him who passed by me when I lay in the open field (viz. a state of nature) exposed to the just vengeance of a broken law, polluted in my sins and in my blood, who, when he saw me in this ruined state and condition, looked upon me in his own appointed time with a look of love, complacency, and delight, and said unto me live! yea he said unto me live; to him who has promised my " bread shall be given, and my water be made sure," and that, as my day is so shall my strength be;" to him who will not suffer me to be tempted above that he will enable me to bear up under, but, blessed be his holy name, has promised, with every temptation to make a way for my escape, and that all things shall work together for my good, and has given me a full persuasion, “that neither life nor death, principalities nur powers, things present nor things to come, shall ever separate me from his eternal love in Christ Jesus;" this is my God, my strength, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my buckler, the horn of my salvation, and my high tower; and ihis is the God whom I adore: - and Secondly, I commit my body to him who is the resurrection and the life," knowing that at the last day he will raise it up and fashion it like unto his own most glorious body, and re-unite it to my gloritied soul, and will condescend to take me into a more close union with hiinself than I have ever yet experienced, where I shall behold him as he is, and see him face to face ; for the arrival of which most glorious time iny soul often pants as do the harts for the water-brouk, and am ready to say“ Come
Lord Jesus coine quickly.” To this glorious personage I desire to ascribe equal honour, power, and praise with him who ordaið