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How beautiful she is ! how fair
Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State !
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea.
LXXXI. — THE ROMAN EMPIRE A PREPARATION
WAYLAND, 1 (FPANCIS WAYLAND was born in the city of New York, March 11, 1796, and was graduated at Union College in 1813. In 1821 he was settled over the First Baptist Church in Boston, was elected president of Brown University, in Rhode Island, in 1826, and held that office till 1855. He died September 30, 1865. He published various sermons, a treatise on “ Political Economy,” the “ Ele. ments of Moral Science," and several occasional discourses. He had a vigor ous and logical mind, and wrote with clearness and energy. He had a wide range and strong grasp of thought, and a power both of intellectual construction and analysis. His deep religious convictions, and his sensibility to moral beauty, save his writings from the dryness which is apt to eharacterize the productions of minds of so much logical acuteness. The following extract is from one of his sermons.)
One other condition remains yet to be observed. You well know that the nations inhabiting the shores of the Mediterranean were originally distinct in government, dis
similar in origin, diverse in laws, habits, and usages, and 5 almost perpetually at war. To pass from one to the other
without incurring the risk of injury, nay, even of being sold into slavery, was almost impossible. A stranger and an enemy were designated by the same word.
Beginning with Spain, and passing through Gaul, Ger10 many, Italy, Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, Egypt,
and Carthage, until you arrive again at the Pillars of Hercules, every state was most commonly the enemy of every other. It was necessary that these various peoples
should all be mouided by the same pressure into one com15 mon form; that one system of laws should bind them all
in harmony; and that, under one common protection, a
citizen might be able to pass through all of them in security. This seems to have been needful in order that the new religion might be rapidly and extensively promulgated.
In order to accomplish this purpose, as I suppose, was 5 the Roman empire raised up, and entrusted with the scep
tre of universal dominion. Commencing with a feeble colony on the banks of the Tiber, she gradually, by conquest and conciliation, incorporated with herself the many
warlike tribes of ancient Italy. In her very youth, after 10 a death struggle of more than a century, she laid Car
thage, the former mistress of the Mediterranean, lifeless at her feet.
From this era she paused not a moment in her career of universal conquest. Nation after nation submitted to her 15 sway. Army after army was scattered before her legions,
like the dust of the summer threshing-floor. Her proconsuls sat enthroned in regal state in every city of the civilized world ; and the barbarian mother, clasping her
infant to her bosom, fled to the remotest fastnesses of the 20 wilderness, when she saw, far off in the distance, the sunbeams glittering upon the eagles of the republic.
Far different, however, were the victories of Rome from those of Alexander. The Macedonian soldier thought
mainly of battles and sieges, the clash of onset, the flight 25 of satraps, and the subjugation of kings. He overran;
the Romans always conquered. Every vanquished nation became, in turn, a part of the Roman empire. A large portion of every conquered people was admitted to the
rights of citizenship. The laws of the republic threw over 30 the conquered the shield of her protection. Rome may, it
is true, have oppressed them ; but then she delivered then) from the capricious and more intolerable oppression of their native rulers. Hence her conquests really marked
the progress of civilization, and extended in all directions 35 the limits of universal brotherhood.
The Roman citizen was free throughout the civilized
world; everywhere he might appeal to her laws, and repose in security under the shadow of her universal power. Thus the declaration, “ Ye have beaten us openly, and uncon
demned, being Romans,” brought the magistrates of Phi5 lippi suppliants at the feet of the apostle Paul ; his ques
tion, “ Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned ?" palsied the hands of the lictors at Jerusalem ; and the simple words, “I appeal unto
Cæsar,” removed his cause from the jurisdiction even of 10 the proconsul at Cæsarea, and carried it at once into the presence of the emperor.
You cannot but perceive that this universal domination of a single civilized power must have presented great facil.
ities for the promulgation of the gospel. In many respects 15 it resembled the dominion of Great Britain at the present
day in Asia. Wherever her red cross floats, there the liberty of man is, to a great extent, protected by the constitution of the realm. Whatever be the complexion or the
language of the nations that take refuge beneath its folds, 20 they look up to it everywhere, and bid defiance to every
LXXXII. -- WONDERS OF ASTRONOMY. .
MITCHEL, [ORMSBY MACKNIGHT MITCHEL was born in Union County, Kentucky, August 28, 1810, and died October 30, 1862. He was a graduate of West Point Academy of the class of 1829, but preferred a civil to a military career. He was professor at Cincinnati College from 1834 to 1844. Upon the establishment of the Observatory at Cincinnati, in 1845, he became director of the institution. In 1859 he was made director of the Dudley Observatory at Albany, still retaining his connection with that at Cincinnati. He was an excellent and popular lecturer on astronomy, and a good observer. He published two works on the science, “Planetary and Stellar Worlds,” and “Popular Astronomy,” and edited for two years “ The Sidereal Messenger," the first exclusively astronomical periodical attempted in the United States.
At the commencement of the civil war he offered his services to his country in a military capacity, was made brigadier-general of volunteers, and afterwards major-general. In his new sphere of duty, he displayed his usual activity and energy. Having been appointed commander of a military department at the
South, he was preparing for a vigorous campaign, when he was carried off by an attack of yellow fever. His death was felt to be a great loss to the service, as his moral worth and religious feeling were as conspicuous as his intellectual power.
The following extract is from the “ Astronomy of the Bible," a work published since his death. He is considering the astronomical allusions in the Book of Job, and has just quoted chapter xxxviii., verses 19, 20, 21.]
Go with me to yonder “ light-house of the skies.” Poised on its rocky base, behold that wondrous tube which lifts the broad pupil of its eye high up, as if gazing in
stinctively into the mighty deep of space. Look out upon K the heavens, and gather into your eye its glittering con
stellations. Pause and reflect that over the narrow zone of the retina of your eye a universe is pictured, painted by light in all its exquisite and beautiful proportions.
Look upon that luminous zone which girdles the sky, — 10 observe its faint and cloudy light. How long, think you,
that light has been streaming, day and night, with a swiftness which flashes it on its way twelve millions of miles in each and every minute ? — how long has it fled and flashed
through space to reach your eye and tell its wondrous tale ? 15 Not less than a century has rolled away since it left its
home! Hast thou taken it at the bound thereof? Is this the bound, — here the limit from beyond which light can never come ?
Look to yonder point in space, and declare that thou 20 beholdest nothing, absolutely nothing; all is blank and
deep and dark. You exclaim : Surely no ray illumines that deep profound. Place your eye for one moment to the tube that now pierces that seeming domain of night, and, lo !
ten thousand orbs, blazing with light unutterable, burst on 25 the astonished sight. Whence start these hidden suns ?
Whence comes this light from out deep darkness ? Knowest thou, O man! the paths to the house thereof? Ten thousand years have rolled away since these wondrous beams
set out on their mighty journey! Then you exclaim: We 30 have found the boundary of light; surely none can lie
beyond this stupendous limit: far in the deep beyond