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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. Coramencing 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.
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 them from the capricious and more intolerable oppression of their native rulers. Hence her conquests reaiiy 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
Thus the declaration, “ Ye have beaten us openly, and uncon
demned, being Romans," brought the magistrates of Phi-5 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 departmeut at the
South, he was preparing for a vigorous campaign, when he was carried off by as 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 5 the heavens, and gather into your eye its glittering con
stellations. Pause and reflect that over the narrow zone
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 filed 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 23 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 20 have found the boundary of light; surely none can lie
beyond this stupendous limit: far in the deep beyond
darkness unfathomable reigns. Look once moro. The vision changes; a hazy cloud of light now fills the field of the telescope. Whence comes the light of this mysterious ob
ject? Its home is in the mighty deep, as far beyond the 5 limit you had vainly fixed, - ten thousand times as far,
as that limit is beyond the reach of human vision.
And thus we mount, and rise, and soar, from height to height, upward, and ever upward still, till the mighty
series ends, because vision fails, and sinks, and dies. 10 Hast thou then pierced the boundary of light? Hast
thou penetrated the domain of darkness? Hast thou, weak mortal, soared to the fountain whence come these wondrous streams, and taken the light at the hand thereof? Know
est thou the paths to the house thereof? Hast thou stood 15 at yonder infinite origin, and bid that flash depart and jour
ney onward, days and months and years, century on century, through countless
ages, millions of years, and never weary in its swift career? Knowest thou when it started ?
Knowest thou it because thou wast then born, and because 20 the number of thy days is great ? Such, then, is the lan
guage addressed by Jehovah to wcak, erring, mortal man. How has the light of science flooded with meaning this astonishing passage ? Surely, surely we do not misread, - the interpretation is just.
LXXXIII. THANATOPSIS. O
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
Into his darker musings, with a mild
* From two Greek words, signifying a view of leat!!
And healing sympathy, that steals away
Over thy spirit, and sad images
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
To Nature's teachings, while from all around
Comes a still voice Yet a few days, and thee
Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears, : 15 Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
Thy image. + Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again ix *And, 16st each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go 20 To mix forever with the elements,
To be a brother to the insensible rock,
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould. 25 Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
Shalt thou retire alone nor couldst thou wish
The powerful of the earth — the wise, the good, 30 Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre. — The hills
The venerable woods rivers that move
That make the meadows green ; and, poured round all,