Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

was to be sacrificed; and as Jesus journeyed toward Calvary he bore the cross and endured the shame. But here the parallel ends. Isaac, although willing to die and virtually offered up, was rescued by the voice of God calling Abraham to stay his hand; but Christ drained the cup of sorrow to the dregs, and poured out his life upon the cross.

See now at what pains God has been to make man acquainted with the plan of the world's redemption. To the generations which preceded Christ's advent, he gave types, and shadows, and figures, that by them they might be led to Him of whom Moses and the prophets wrote. Myriads were thus led to Christ and became inheritors of the promises; for it was true then, as it is now, and will ever continue to be, there is no other name given under heaven whereby man can be saved. Doubtless in those ages many rejected Christ, and refused to be saved through that sacrifice of which the offering up of Isaac was a type and a shadow. They perished in consequence of such rejection. Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy who, at this day, rejects the Saviour, when the types of a dark age are done away, and the shadows have been dispelled by the meridian brightness of the Sun of righteousness. O deep and dark indeed will be that damnation which results from a willful rejection of so much light and so much love.

OCCASIONALLY

brought it into repute, and made it prominent in society as an intellectual relaxation. Not only so, but the power of judicious squinting-a power susceptible of a high degree of cultivation-has become, in the eyes (how we miss the usual phrase, "in the hands!") of the philosopher, a valuable instrument of scientific investigation.

These are not paradoxes, but simple matters of fact. If we were not continually being reminded, by the history of science, that the simplest secrets are the last to be discovered, it would astonish us to reflect for how long a time men lived in ignorance of the advantage of having two eyes. They would realize, of course, under the contingence of losing one, the convenience of having the other to fall back upon; but not until the second quarter of this century was it clearly seen what other specific purpose was served by a double organization; or in what respect, except that of beauty, which is after all conventional, the perfect man was superior to the Cyclop. The history of this discovery is wonderfully interesting. It may thus be shortly written: A few ingenious gentlemen squinted thoughtfully and knowingly for a few evenings, and the problem was set at rest. Science was satisfied, but the art of squinting had yet to be popularized. Science, out of gratitude, lent her aid, and invented a stereoscope; thus making a repetition of the original experiment, to which she was so much indebted, to become a charming recreation for all, and teaching, among other things beautiful and instructive, how much is gained by the power of judiciously converging our optic axes.

SQUINTING AS ONE OF THE ARTS. in the world's history arts have been lost. Thanks, however, to man's ingenuity, their number is, on the whole, upon the increase. Sometimes they spring up in a night, invented and patented before morning; sometimes they have a long struggle for existence, but win it in the end. Perhaps the most interesting cases are those where despised merit at length makes good its claim, asserting itself until the Society of Arts is forced to open its ranks for a new member. It seems to us that the claims of squinting, to be considered as such, have never as yet been recognized nor even examined. At the best, it has never taken higher rank than as an accomplishment," Madam," we say, "you cannot squint giving a very limited pleasure to very few, and utterly barren of other results. Certain new ideas, however, have at length

When a one-eyed man looks, as we have seen one look, into a stereoscope, and declares the effect to be wonderful, we feel for him; but delicacy forbids us to expound to him that he has missed the purpose of the instrument, nor can ever see its true wonders. When a lady, on the other hand, naïvely declares that the effect is to her improved by closing one eye, we see that she is one who is not living up to her privileges, and proceed gently to show her that she is sacrificing one of her most important optical advantages.

with one eye; and this little instrument was invented simply to assist you to squint, nothing more." Having startled

her to attention, we explain to her that with one eye she was simply looking at a photograph slightly magnified, the objects in which were rendered apparently solid only by the distribution of light and shade, as in an ordinary picture; but that there are two pictures on the slide, which are dissimilar, and that both of these must be seen together, before any real solidity is given. That the lenses do combine these dissimilar pictures into one, is perhaps most simply shown by covering them over alternately with a piece of white paper on which cross-lines have been drawn; the cross is then seen, on looking into the instrument, to be lying upon the uncovered picture. "You see then, madam, that one must be placed on the other." She evidently thinks it in a double sense an imposition.

However, our present purpose is not with the stereoscope, except in so far as it is an appliance which enables thousands daily, without their knowing it, to practice an art whose claims we happen now to be taking under our especial patronage. Squinting, in fact, opens a new source of pleasure, and puts us in possession of a new power absolutely unattainable by any other process. It was invented long since, this art of seeing double; but, probably from being known to be a power often developed under discreditable circumstances, and obtained, it would seem, only in exchange for other more valuable faculties, it has fallen into disrepute, and is rarely practiced in sober society. Now, how ever, that in these our times its practice has become with artificial aid an almost universal recreation, its advocacy can be open to no suspicion.

We are familiar, and men have long been so, with the idea of machinery superseding manual labor; but few realize the fact, that the purpose of an optical instrument can be to save muscular exertion; and yet we may reasonably enough imagine what would have been the consequences of the non-invention of the stereoscope. The wonderful results brought to light by squinting would for a time have remained known only to the philosophers. Those few who could appreciate the scientific import of those experiments to which we have before made reference, would have repeated them with their proper eyes, and communicated the results to one another. Soon, however, the

|

general world would have caught up the interest; a mania would have set in, and the optic muscles of society at large would have had a hard time of it. Fortunately, a philosopher appeared as a Deus cum machina, and saved them; so that now those who want only to enjoy the results, and are content to wonder, are spared the necessity of subjecting their optic axes to a tedious drill.

In this case there is a royal road, cheap and expeditious enough. But it is, as it were, a railway cut through a tunnel and between close embankments, and those who travel by it see nothing by the way; so that, for so short a distance, we advise those who like exercise and roadside interest, to walk it.

It was announced, at the time of the first introduction of the stereoscope, that the same results might be produced without the instrument as with it, by the simple convergence of the eyes to a point in front of and between the two diagrams. There were few, however, who tried the experiment with success, and fewer still who arrived at any conclusion as to how the appearance of solidity was produced. by these means. Squinting, in fact, with precision is a difficult matter. With most persons, the attempt to bring the eyes to a point at a distance of eight inches in front of the nose, would probably be not attended with immediate success; and to bring that point back or throw it forward an inch at the word of command would require some practice. The fingers, however, must learn to measure on the violin lengths which are calculable with mathematical nicety, before the right note can be sounded; and so, all the other arts presuppose the exercise of a certain amount of mechanical dexterity. If any possess, or have eighteen pence to spare upon, the well-known stereoscopic slides which consist of mathematical figures in white lines on a black ground, let him endeavor as hereunder written. Holding one about a foot from him, and directly in front, let him place the point of a pencil in the center between the two diagrams, and then move it gradually toward his cyes, steadily looking at it. At first the two diagrams will be seen as four, for no single object appears single to us unless we are looking directly at it, as may be verified by holding a printed page about half a foot behind a candle, and trying to read it

reversed, concavities having become convex, a raised pyramid showing like a hollow box, and a railway tunnel being turned inside out, as one might serve a stocking. Does any one ask the reason, he is in a fit state to receive further instruction. Perchance, friend, thou knowest not the distinction between fore and aft squinting. The former of these mysteries of the art we have already descanted upon; the latter, though not generally open to neophytes, we are not unwilling to divulge.

through the flame, when the flame will be
seen double. As the pencil, however, ap-
proaches, a point will soon be reached
when the four diagrams will have become
three, the two middle ones approaching
one another, and at last coalescing. Here
stop, and looking still at the pencil, sud-
denly withdraw it, and leave the eyes
fixed upon the point where it was. A
stereoscopic image is now visible to those
who will take a little trouble to see it.
Not the same, however, as the same slide
will give through the stereoscope, but that
reversed. Sixteen out of the twenty-five
which form the set are reversible without
distortion; the others are simply thrown
into Chinese perspective.
As we are
concerned only to view the middle one,
the outside diagrams of the three are in
our way; can we not get rid of them?
The triple appearance is simply accounted
for the right eye looking at the left hand
picture still sees the other one, just as,
though looking at one candle, we still are
conscious of another, if it happens to be
near it; and the left eye, again, though it
is looking across at the other picture, still
sees out of its corner that which is imme-
diately in front of it. To shut the obtru-
sive images out, all that is wanted is a
card with a hole in it about an inch square:
this held with the middle point of the hole
where the pencil was before it was with-erations.
drawn, will let the stereoscopic image
through, and stop the two others.

A small card-board box about the size and shape of an ordinary stereoscope, with such a screen as we have described fixed permanently in it at the proper distance, which may readily be found by experiment, and two holes at the top for the eyes, will, we may promise our readers, fully repay the small investment of ingenuity and trouble required for its construction. If across the aperture of the screen a thread is stretched with a small knot in the center, it will generally direct the eyes even of the uninitiated squinter at once to the precise point at which the stereoscopic effect starts into view. We have thus not only put ourselves out of all obligation to lenses, but we have obtained a most curious and interesting result. The solid image we now see differs, as we have said, from that which the same diagrams produce for us when looked at through the ordinary stereoscope. It seems nearer to the eyes, and smaller than before, and is, besides, VOL. XII.-41

There are, we imagine, few persons who can readily converge their eyes to a point further from them than two objects, as two candles, so as to see an image of a third candle between them. It is not, however, by any means an unattainable feat. The first condition of success is that the two objects be nearer together than the two eyes. The ordinary stereoscopic slides are unfit for the purpose of these further experiments, corresponding points upon them being not closer to one another than two inches and a half. Some of those geometrical diagrams which we have mentioned are, however, so simple that they may readily be drawn to a diminished scale. With a pair so drawn, the attempt may be made. A hint to success may be furnished from these consid

We shall want, as before, to banish the two side-images; but as the eyes are now not to cross in front of the diagrams, the left-hand diagram must be concealed from the right eye, and conversely, so that the eyes may look straight forward at the pictures in front of them respectively. To do this at once will therefore simplify the problem. Place the two diagrams nearly close together upon the table; hold a card vertically as a wall of partition between them, so that the eyes may look each down a different side of the card. Soon a single picture will be seen, or rather, we should say, a solid image produced by the combination of the two pictures. This image will be the same as is produced in the ordinary stereoscope by the same diagrams placed in the same way; so that, if we construct a small box with a vertical wall of partition permanently fixed in it, we have a home-made stereoscope without lenses; its only imperfection being that it is not adapted for viewing pictures of the size of those with which photography now so

CULLED FLOWERS.

I HAVE here only made a nosegay of culled flowers, and have brought nothing of my own but the string that ties them.--MONTAIGNE.

Nor the least hopeful result of the great revival of religion, now so general among almost all denominations of Christians, is their unity of purpose and of effort, and the abeyance, for the time being at least, of sectarian exclusiveness. It is a realization of the vision in which Giant Bigotry fell and broke his leg. "I wished," said the matchless dreamer, "that it had been his neck!" His neck will be broken before the end cometh, and Christ's prayer that all his disciples may be one, even as He and the Father are one, will yet be answered. In the mean time, as a memento of what has been, and is not yet utterly extinct, we copy an eloquent passage on

abundantly supplies us. These may be used with the box we first described, and since that will reverse them, strange and highly curious results will sometimes be produced. The foreground of a landscape, for instance, may retire into the distance, and the objects in the background come forward, while a street may be thrown into perspective that agrees better with Hogarth's caricature than with the rules of the academy. If we cut a slide in two, however, and make the diagrams change sides, our first box will unite them into a true solid image, while a box of the construction last described would, if the distance between our eyes were greater than it is, distort them. The lenses of a stereoscope, therefore, aid us in two ways: they give us the advantage of viewing larger pictures; and, again, save us the trouble of finding the right point at which to look, by artificially placing the two pictures together, and leaving us to look at It is taken from a sermon by the celethem at our leisure. For our part, grate-brated CUDWORTH, preached before the Britfully acknowledging this assistance, we yet contend that as long as the optic axes remain uneducated, men will not appreciate at its true value a discovery which throws clear light on part of the mystery of vision, and distinctly gives the nineteenth century a new idea. That we obtain our perception of solidity from the fact that the two images of a solid body formed in the two eyes are dissimilar, could not be demonstrated otherwise than by recombining two such dissimilar plane images, and obtaining therefrom a perception of solidity. Herein was the art of squinting the hand-maid to science. Most persons, regarding the stereoscope as belonging to the genus "optical instrument,"

CHRISTIAN CHARITY.

ish House of Commons in the days of Crom-
been written last year:
well, and reads as though it might have

Love is, and has ever been, the most wanting of the Christian graces. What do we see in Christendom? A vast complication of ecclesiastical machinery, churches established and churches unestablished, to keep men in the trammels of sectarianism; a vast accumulation of doctrines to be believed, duties to be performed, and rites to be observed; a vast array of Biblical learning

and criticism, in which every word is examined, weighed, and defined. We have creeds, confessions, liturgies, prayer-books, catechisms, and forms of faith and discipline. We have bishops, priests, pastors, and teachers. We have councils, convocations, synods, conferences, assemblies, and other ecclesiastical bodies without number. We have commentaries, reviews,

magazines, religious newspapers, and journals of all kinds, and thousands upon thousands of religious

books, from the four page tract to the quarto volume. We have cathedrals, churches, chapels, and schoolsin short a wondrous and complicated mass of means, instrumentalities, and agencies. But WHERE IS OUR

CHARITY? All these things are but means to an end, and that end is charity out of a pure heart, a good con

are content to set its wonders down to
natural magic. True; but as it is an illu-
sion which any one, with ten minutes'
practice, may reproduce at pleasure with-
out any instrument whatever, and helps, science, and faith unfeigned.
moreover, wonderfully to explain that
other illusion of our seeing things as they
really are, it is well to try our own pow-
ers, and reflect upon what they make
manifest to us. Therefore do we advo-
cate an art, through the practice of which
a few minds in the present generation
have been led up to the discovery of highly
interesting truths of science, and the mul-
titude enjoy a pleasure which never would
have existed but for that discovery. There
must be something in it.

THE FINITE AND THE INFINITE. BAYNE, whose critical acumen has been noticed in our pages, has frequently a beautifully suggestive passage:

smiles on it, as on the face of the babe in his cradle, on which a father looks in joy, which must not be taken away. There is an earnestness in the heart and life of a man when he knows that the eye of the Eternal is on him, which must not be foregone. There is an eternity of consequence in every act of an immortal, which he cannot deny and continue to work. The

There is a beauty in the face of man when his God

finite being staggers in bewilderinent when separated from the Infinite; he cannot stand alone in the universe; he cannot defame his spirit without darkening it; he cannot scorn faith without weakening reason; he cannot deny God, and reach the full strength and expansion of his faculties as a man. Coleridge says truly, that religion makes all glorious on which it looks. How effectual and sublime is the education I receive in the survey, if every object I meet is gifted with a power of exhaustless suggestion, and every leaf of the forest, and star of the sky, is a commissioned witness for God; and not the most careless trill of woodland melody; no chance gleam of sunlight over the fountain that leaps from the crag, and, reckless as it is, must stay to reflect in its rainbowed loveliness the beauty of heaven; no wild wave tossing joyously on the pathless deep, but has power to call into action my highest and holiest powers of wonder, of reverence, of adoration.

JOHN FOSTER.

THE writer last quoted thus graphically and truthfully delineates one of the most profound thinkers of the age in which he lived:

Earnestness was, perhaps, Foster's distinguishing characteristic; over his every page you seem to see bending the knit brow and indomitable eye of the thinker. This man, you feel, is conscious that it is a great and awful thing to be alive, to be born to that dread inheritance of duty and destiny which awaits every spirit of man that arrives on earth. He shakes from him the dust of custom; he little heeds the sanctions of reputation; afar off and very still, compared with a voice coming from above, he hears the trumpetings of fame; calm, determined, irresistible, his foot ever seems to press down till it reaches the basal adamant. This earnestness is made the more impressive from the manifest leaning of his mind toward the gloomy and mysterious. Of habits of thought deeply reflective, he retired, as it were, into the inner dwelling of his mind, there to ponder the insoluble questions of destiny; like dim curtains, painted with shapes of terror, of gloom, and of weird grandeur, that hang round a dusky hall, waving fitfully in the faint light, these questions seem to us to have hung round his mind, filling it all with solemn shadow; he looked on them as on mystic hieroglyphs, but when he asked their secret, they remained silent as Isis; he ever turned away saying, in baffled pride, I will compel your answer in eternity; yet always turned again, fascinated by their sublime mystery, and stung by their calm defiance. No word of frivolity escapes him; he tells men sternly what they have to dare, and do, and suffer; he never says the burden is light, or the foe weak, but the one must be borne, and the other must be met. You feel, in perusing his works, as in going through a rugged region, where Nature, forgetting her gentler moods, desires to write upon the tablet of the world her lessons of solemnity and power; you perceive that only hardy plants can breathe this atmosphere, that here no Arcadian lawns can smile, no Utopian palaces arise; then awakens in you that courage, you seem to be conscious of that sense of greatness which the strong soul knows in the neighborhood of crags and forests, where the torrent blends its stern murmur with the music of the mountain blast.

INDOMITABLE PERSEVERANCE.

AN incident in the life of Audubon is well known and is gracefully told by Dr. Storrs :

One of the most interesting passages in modern literary history, is that in which the great ornithologist of our time met the sudden destruction of the treasures he had accumulated in fifteen years of incessant exploration. At the shock of what seemed an irremediable disaster he was thrown into a fever which had well-nigh proved fatal. "A burning heat," as he described it, "rushed through my brain; and my days were oblivion." But as consciousness returned, and the rally of nature fought back the sudden incursion of disease, there sang again through his wakening thoughts the wild notes he had heard in the bayous of Louisiana, the everglades of Florida, the savannahs of the Carolinas, and the forests that fringe the sides of the Alleghanies. He saw again the Washington eagle, as it soared and screamed from its far rocky eyrie. He startled again, from her perch on the firs, the brown warbler of Labrador. He traced in thought the magic hues on crest and wing, that so often had shone before the dip of his rifle. And the passion for new expeditions and discoveries, arising afresh, was more to him

than medicine. In three years more, passed far from home, he had filled once more the despoiled portfolios; and at every step, as he told his biographer, "it was not the desire of fame that prompted him; it was his exceeding enjoyment of nature."

I AM.

Who can conceive a more beautiful connection of sublime ideas than is found in the following. The authorship is attributed to Bishop Beveridge:

"I AM." He doth not say, I AM their light, their guide, their strengthening tower, but only I AM. He sets, as it were, his hand to blank, that his people may write under it what they please that is good for them. As if he said: "Are they weak? I AM strength. Are they poor? I AM riches. Are they in trouble? I AM comfort. Are they sick? I AM health. Are they dying? I AM life. Have they nothing? I AM all things: I AM wisdom and power; I AM glory, beauty, holiness, eminence, super-eminence, perfection, allsufficiency, eternity. JEHOVAH, I AM! Whatsoever is amiable in itself, and desirable to them, that I AM. Whatsoever is pure and holy, whatsoever is good and needful to make men happy, that I AM.

GREATNESS AND MEANNESS

Are so nearly allied that a very trifling matter marks the boundary between them. Emerson thus explains it:

What I must do is all that concerns me, and not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who, in the midst of the crowd, keeps, with perfect sweetness, the independence of solitude.

TRUE POLITENESS

Is a Christian grace. It is obedience to the injunction of the apostle: Be courteous. The great and good Lord Chatham says:

As to politeness, many have attempted to define it. I believe it is best to be known by description, defini

« AnkstesnisTęsti »