« AnteriorContinuar »
various philosophers in investigating the best form for compass-needles,their size, solidity, weight, kinds of steel best adapted, and methods of tempering and magnetizing. “That form is to be recognised as the most advantageous, in which is united the greatest possible magnetic moment with the smallest possible mass, and the smallest possible moment of inertia.” Experiments based on these conditions result in the following:
1. That narrower magnets are more advantageous than broader. 2. That thinner magnets are more advantageous than thicker. 3. That, consequently, tbe most advantageous form is that in which breadth and thickness disappear, and the magnet (or needle) is transformed into a mathematical line, -that is, into a so-called linear magnet.
We have thus authority for applying to the needle the simplest of forms. But there is another important result from the experiments which led to the foregoing conclusions: namely, that “there is only one means of obtaining great magnetic strength with trifling weight; namely, by firmly cementing several thin and flat magnets near or upon one another in one system, without their touching each other.” There is a limit, however, to the effective combination of several magnets, which may be thus summed op:
(1.) Any single magnet has more proportionate magnetic power than two such magnets combined. (2.) A combination of such magnets has more actual magnetic power than any single magnet containing the same quantity of steel in mass. (3.) The absolute gain of power by each additional magnet diminishes progressively; and hence a limit to the extent of combination.
We see here the advantage of reducing the weight of the needle by making it as thin as is consistent with strength; increasing its power by the addition of one or more laminæ ; or, again, multiplying the power by placing two or more such combined needles on the card. The arrangement of a compound system of needles has been received with disfavour by many acknowledged authorities, on the ground that their similar poles, being so closely adjacent, would in effect mutually destroy their magnetic power. Experience has proved, however, that a remarkable amount of permanency will be found in properly constructed needles so placed, after the lapse of many years.
When magnets or soft iron are placed as correctors of the larger deviations due to the iron of the ship, unless the needle (where a single bar is employed) be rery short, coin pared to the distance of the disturbing magDet or iron, a deviation is introduced depending on the length of the needle. This deviation disappears with the compound arrangements.
Polishiog the needle of a compass is of no advantage, considered magnetically. For general use in all climates, a coat of paint or varnish is, on the whole, preferable.
Among the parts of a compass which in the course of time most affect its Correct working, are the pivot and cap on which the needle traverses. Agates are commonly used for caps. But it has been remarked, by a com
petent authority, that “this is the worst of the hard materials that are fitted for pivots of any kind; as it consists of an immense number of thin strata, of different degrees of hardness, which can often be seen only with very powerful microscopes.” Rubies and sapphires are now used in the fittings of superior instruments.
Steel pivots, hardened and duly tempered, have now taken the place generally of the old-fashioned iron-spike. To preserve the points from rust, they are, in some first-rate com passes, gilded by the electrical process, and also pointed with a peculiar metal, found with platinum, known as “native alloy ;” the properties of this metal being remarkable hardness, and freedom from rust under most trying conditions. Pivots for heavy or storm card, instead of being pointed, are frequently tipped with a rounded ruby ; in which case the hollow of the cap is made of gun or speculum metal, highly polished, and accurately adapted to the size and shape of the ruby. With powerful needles, this arrangement works remarkably well.
An interesting fact in magnetic science, which bears directly on the efficiency of the compass, is the influence of non-magnetic substances generally in quieting the vibrations of the magnetic needle. Metallic substances have the greatest influence; silver and copper in a very high degree. The comparative tranquillizing effect of copper over wood is very great, -about seventy-five to one. The bowl, therefore, of a compass with any pretensions to excellence, should be constructed of pure copper, of substantial thickness; and the part adjacent to the needle increased in solidity by an extra ring ; the ends of the needle being permitted to work as close to the ring as consistent with freedom of motion. These latter details are based on the assumed law of the restraining force of the copper with a given magnet being inversely as the squares of the distance from the pole of the bar, and directly as the quantity of copper within its sphere of action.
ANECDOTES OF PREACHERS AND PREACHING.
(Continued from page 994, last volume.)
THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD ASSERTED.”
To the Editor of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine. I am a thorough, old-fashioned believer in the doctrine of Divine providence; and my convictions and views were greatly influenced in early life by reading, in the Methodist Magazine, the articles under the well-known heading, “ The Providence of God asserted ;”-in which the “ wholesome doctrine,” which is, indeed, “ very full of comfort," was broadly stated and vindicated.
Similar occurrences are still found in the world, and ought to be gathered up for the conviction of gainsayers and the establishment of believers. “Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall
understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.” I give you my name, that you may be assured of the authenticity of my story ; and, as some twenty years have passed since the occurrence, I feel no hesitation in publishing the facts.
One week-evening I was in a dilemma not unfrequently known by preachers; that is, I could not find a text that would bite. The last hour had arrived, and I turned over my Bible with solicitude. At last 1 Cor. x. 13 struck with force upon my mind :-“ There hath no temptation taken pou, but such as is common to man : but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able ; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” It opened to my mind like a dissected map. I had much enlargement and comfort in preaching; and, finding that I should exceed the prudent limits of a week-evening service if I finished then, I broke off, and promised to take up the subject again that night three weeks. But then I found it impossible to draw the people from home, as another minister was to occupy the pulpit of Bchapel on the following evening. Six weeks thus elapsed before I could fulfil my promise. While we were on that occasion singing the second hymn, I saw under the gallery a man from a neighbouring village, whose circumstances of domestic “temptation " I knew well; and, lifting up my heart to God, while wondering what had brought him there, I said, “ May you get a blessing !” The next morning, while preparing to attend a Committee on some town's business, I received a call from him,-as I supposed, for counsel and comfort. After some ordinary conversation, however, he said, “I see you are going out; but you must not go until I have told you something. Last night I left my home with no purpose of attending Bchapel, but with a very different purpose. Yet I was constrained to come, as if pushed or carried. My mind was in dreadful distress and agitation, and you know my case ; but, when you showed how God could make a way of escape from our trials, light dawned. I felt deliverance sure. When I came out of the chapel, I took the bottle of poison which I had obtained, first to poison my wife, and then to poison myself, and I dashed it against the chapel-wall. My soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowler.”
The poor man called upon me again before I left the town, to repeat minutely all the circumstances, that I might have no doubt about the facts, but retain the full recollection of them, to the glory of his great Deliverer.
The ordering of the time, and of the links of circumstance, from the hour of my perplexity to the foreseen events of that evening six weeks after, when I finished the discourse, so opportune to the poor man's exigency, marks and illustrates the providence of God in a way that ought to convince the gainsayer, put to silence the ignorance of foolish men, and confirm the faith of God's people in His faithfulness. And this record is to the glory of that faithfulness.
F. A. W.
JEWISH SOLEMNITIES IN LONDON.*
1.-TILE DAY OF ATONEMENT.
• Let us try
I must pass over the ceremonies of the first and second day of the Jewish [civil] year, on which last, the first blowing of the ram’s-horn, preceded by a special prayer and thanksgiving, takes place, amid a crowded attendance and solemn stillness. I proceed at once to the Day of Atonement, on the morning of which I am accompanied by a Christian Jew, long a student of the Talmud, and rich in Rabbinical lore. I am conducted by him to the door of the “Great Synagogue,” which, above all others, is the resort of English Jews of wealth and of position. Shall we find entrance to-day? My companion has doubts on the subject, which are soon resolved. After entering the vestibule, and opening a door leading into one of the aisles, and embracing in one rapid glance a novel scene and a strange congregation, a door-keeper approaches us, and says, “ Not to-day-no admission to-day.” On all other days the Gentile may enter ; but on this day, it
appears, the foot even of an Englishman, whose country shields and cherishes the longpersecuted race, would be a profanation. But my friend says, the Portuguese Synagogue.” And thither we repair. Here, taking care to remain covered, (for the taking off of the hat would be regarded as an act of irreverence and insult,) we find ourselves within the synagogue, standing behind a barrier, which separates us from the congregation. What a spectacle! Here is a people, most of them natives of Portugal, the direct descendants of the men who, first settling in Spain, afterwards driven out of it by Romish bigotry, in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, found a refuge for a short period only in the Iberian peninsula ; and who had previously done so much, as physicians, as linguists, as men of science, to benefit mankind, and even, as is adınitted, unconsciously yet really had been pioneers of the Protestant Reformation. The Portuguese Jews have a ritual somewhat peculiar. Now, however, we see them all engaged in the same worship and service common to the Day of Atonement, as it is observed throughout the world. Here are gathered men, youths, and boys; each man wearing a praying robe, or scarf, round his shoulders, and holding an open book in his hand. Sometimes, and for the most part, the people sit, and with a low murmur repeat the prayers, and follow the chanter, who, with several Rabbis, stands on an elevated platform, each with a large service-book open before him. Suddenly rising at times, the whole assembly bursts forth into loud, measured, musical utterance ; then succeeds silence, while the Rabbi alone reads; and anon is heard the sweet treble of boyish voices united with the deep bass of manhood, in responsive antiphony, or in the utterance of that old Hebrew word, which is now incorporated with every written tongue within the boundaries of civilization, “ Amen!”
* “ Christian Work,” Part x.
But other sy nagogues are yet to be visited; and so we pass on, through streets where the shops shut up, and private houses with the old-fashioned shutters outside, excluding the light of day, tell us that we are in the very heart of the Jewish quarter in East London. Turning down a narrow street, we suddenly find ourselves in front of a noble building, the “ New Synagogue.” Access is readily found here; nay, more. After being looked at, not unkindly, by one zealous worshipper, a copy of the service-bookllebrew on the one page, and a German or English translation on the other -is politely handed to us. There is, as in the other two synagogues, & great congregation. Below, there is not one seat unoccupied—the “chief seats” by the stewards, the wealthy magnates, and those who “ love to be seen of men." Behind the barriers, and under the gallery, are Jews of the poorer sort, and a number of youths, all taking part in the recitation or responses.
What a beautiful temple is here ! what elegance and strength are combined! How free from all traces either of the meretricious or the idolatrous, such as are witnessed in Romish churches! And how light and graceful are the galleries, whose gilded lattices in such contrast to other and older synagogues, and as if indicating a relaxation of Rabbinical exclusiveness and contempt as regards Jewish women—are wide enough to permit the eye to scan the faces and figures of the occupants. Still, however, women do not mingle with the general congregation. Thus we see outside, ere entering, a mother parting from her two sons at the doors ; they passing in below, and she ascending to the women's galleries above.
On this Day of Atonement, in all the synagogues visited, there was a Failing, plaintive tone in the recitations and songs, which, even to one who was a stranger to its penitential character and design, suggested, if it did not even provoke, sadness. A visit to the synagogue on ordinary Sabbath days startles by the talking and other indications of formalism which prevail. Bat, on this last of the penitential days, there is a general air of anxiety and earnestness. Moreover the long fasting—beginning at six o'clock in the morning and continuing for twelve hours--necessarily tends to give the worshippers an aspect of depression. But, above all, this day, with the Jew, is indeed critical, for “on this day the doom of each Jew is determined—who shall live, and who shall die :” yet “ PRAYER, PENITENCE, AND ALHS-GIVING CAN AVERT THE EVIL DEcree.” This averting, however, must take place before sunset, when the form of prayer is repeated, called “Nessgilah,"--a closing or bolting,-indicating that the acceptable time for repentance is now over, and that the destiny of everyone is unalterably fixed. And so, old and young, rich and poor, all bring their alms, according to their power, (and oft-times beyond it,) recite the prayers enjoined, and seek to stir up in their hearts penitential sorrow.
Alas! that the “great Day of Atonement ” should remain with the Jews but a name, and but an occasion for the “ vain oblations” of a people who reject the One Sacrifice for sin! It is with grief of heart we leave this