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arrived at New York from England the same year, making
the passage in 18 days. 1840. The Brittania, the pioneer of the present Cunard line of
Steamships, reached Boston, after a passage of 14 days, 8hs.
The first American steamship of any note was the Washington, which ran to Southampton in 1847. The American line so popularly known as the Collins steamers are now the fastest in the world. The number of steam vessels in the United States is about 2000, five hundred more than are owned by Great Britain.
Such is a brief history of the progress of Steam, since its discovery by poor De Caus, over two hundred years ago. What mighty achievements have marked this progress we need not pause now to enumerate. We can sum up the whole matter in a single sentence-the prophecy of genius uttered by De Caus in the Bicetre—"I have made a discovery which will enrich any country that will put it in operation.' When the haughty Cardinal Richelieu denied De Caus an audience with the King, being then deeply engrossed with diplomatic schemes which required all the funds of the treasury, he robbed France of a greater mine of wealth and fame than she ever enjoyed; but when he shut up so much genius in a madhouse, he inflicted a blot upon his country's historic page which the diplomatic and bloody achievements of a long line of Napoleons can never erase.
We have written this hasty sketch-already extended far beyond our intended limits—in the hope that with the names of Gallileo, Columbus, Fitch and Fulton, each of whom suffered contumely by a cotemporary age and neglect from succeeding generations, the name of Salomon De Caus will be written in the history of all civilized nations. Let this triad at least be made immortal-GALLILEO, COLUMBUS, DE CAUS. The first said, The World moves ; and he suffered persecution and imprisonment as a “heretic:" the second declared, A New World exists; and he was laughed to scorn: the third insisted, Steam will enrich the World ; and he was locked up with madmen and suffered to die in a lunatic's cell !
The World does move, the New World does exist, and Steam has enriched them both, notwithstanding that Gallileo, Columbus and De Caus were each "obliged to wear those chains which Ignorance ever forges around the limbs of
the sleeping giant Truth, but which, on his awaking, are parted and cast away like shreds of flax." Hereafter, when Genius knocks at the door of public jugtice, whether that door be guarded by government or popular sentiment, let the battle-cry of her defenders be
Remember Poor De Caus !
ON THE VERGE-OVER IT!
BY REV. H. HARBAUGH.
I HAVE watched the drops of rain-
Pure drops, without a soil or stain:
When down they fell,
And, sad to tell,
I have watched the thistle down,
On leaves by Autumn's frosts made brown-
Bore it away,
Behold! it lay,
I have seen a tender youth-
By sweetest ties to God and truth;
Came, with a smile,
Came, dark and vile!
THE BLOSSOMS AND THE LEAVES. ONCE when the blossoms in May were falling off, thin, pale, and small, the leaves exclaimed:
Ah! these feeble and useless things ; scarcely are they born, when they sink to the earth! But we, behold we stand firm and endure the heat of summer, growing ever broader, brighter, and more flourishing, till after many months of usefulness, when we have given to the earth the most beautiful ripe fruit, clothed in gay-colored robes of honor, and amid the cannonading of the storm, we sink to rest.
But the fallen blossoms replied :
We sink to the earth cheerfully, after we have first given birth to the fruit !
O ye quiet, unobserved, and quickly faded souls, in the retired study-ye little regarded ones of the school-room-ye noble well-doers, whose names are not in history-and ye retired mothers, be ye not discouraged before the glitter and parade of those who sit on mountains of gold, or stand on triumphal arches, making a vain show of doubtful honors; be ye not discouraged -ye are the blossoms which give birth to the fruit. H.
A DYING SINNER;
BY REV. S. H. REID. In nothing does the perverseness of our nature so fully show itself as in the disposition to postpone the work of repentance and a preparation for the future. Though this be the first work claiming our attention, yet it is in many cases, the very last to excite serious concern. And not until they are brought to the very gates of death, and are thus compelled to look the future in the face, will thoughtless men think concernedly about the interests of their neglected souls. Cares of far less importance share largely their attention and time. Even things which perish in their using, are permitted actually to engross the thoughts and the heart; but the higher interests of the precious spirit are either wholly pushed aside, or are expected to be crowded into the uncertain moments of a dying hour.
But alas ! how many are disappointed in this respect! And when they descend, with anxious and trembling steps, the dark valley and shadow of their end, how amazed are they to find, that the opportunities for repentance, which they in their earlier life, had promised themselves, were but visionary, and now when the agonizing soul would eagerly seek for them, they cannot be found.
The dying chamber has often confirmed the truth of these statements. Again and again has it lifted up its warning voice and called upon men to prepare to meet their God. I have now an account of a most touching incident of this character in my hands, and in the hope that it may serve as a means under the blessing of God, to impress the reader with a sense of the danger of delay in the concerns of eternity, I now present it accordingly.
PAROCHIAL MEMORANDUM. A few years since, a gentleman called at the parsonage to inquire if I would visit a sick person recently brought to this city for medical aid—representing him to be dangerously ill, and by no means prepared for the issue. The inquiry was immediately answered by the expression of my readiness to accompany him; but as he deemed it advisable to make some preparation for the interview, he left me with the understanding that he would see his friend and arrange an appointment. The next morning I received the following
“ Sir: Mr. the gentleman I spoke to you of yesterday, will be glad to see you this evening, at four o'clock. If your convenience will admit, I will meet you at hotel, in
street, and accompany you to Mr.
''s room. With my acknowledgments for your kindness, and with the highest respect,
I am your obedient servant, I attended at the place and hour designated, and was at once introduced to the chamber of the sick man. The character of our interview determined me to commit it to writing; not with any view to publication, but simply to aid my recollection of a scene which I desired not to forget. This will explain the brevity, and at times, apparent abruptness of the conversation. I have on a few occasions been led to mention the sad case,
and unless much mistaken, with salutary effect. As it may now be stated without the possibility of revealing the parties concerned, the impressive lesson which it affords ought not to be lost. I, therefore, send the memorandum, that it may find a place in the Guardian.
Memorandum.-"I found Mr. laboring under chronic diarrhoea, in its last stage. His physicians had relinquished all hope of his recovery, and assented to his being apprised of his condition. He was extremely weak-hectic flush on his cheeks—his eyes glassy-in face and form a skeleton-his mind sound, but feeble.
“After the customary salutations, he observed that he knew no one here: that he saw me because I had been named to him by his friend as one in whom he might have confidence; that he did not feel capable of attending to his religious interests ; that he did not know whether he believed, or what he believed, but that if the Bible be true, he must be lost. All this he uttered slowly and with a composure which seemed to proceed from the indulged hope that the Bible might not be true. He appeared to be finding a kind of shelter in a state of doubt, and to be willing to have his doubts strengthen, as the only expedient for avoiding that horror of despair to which their dispersion would consign him.
“I asked him if he did not know one thing—that he was a sinner. He replied, yes, if the Bible is true. But, I observed, the Bible aside, take the testimony of your own consciencedoes it not convict you? Have you not often violated it ? Why, yes, I have. Then you know you are a sinner, and that you have offended God? Where can you find a remedy? How can you prepare to meet Him in judgment ? He was silent.
“With regard to the Bible, I remarked, it is accompanied by evidence sufficient to show its divine origin ; but if men neglect to consider these, they cannot be expected to produce conviction. Have you examined them ? No, never as I ought to have done. Then I am not surprised that you do not believe.
What a sinful state of mind and heart that must be which has made you so indifferent about knowing the will of your Creator, that you have neglected even to consider the claims of a book purporting to be froin Him! Many of the evidences of the origin of that book, which have proved satisfactory to others of all grades of intellect, and in every condition of life, are now beyond your reach. You have neither strength nor time to examine them. But there is a kind of evidence which may yet be available to your conviction. And what is that ? he asked. The evidence in the book itself. The account which it gives of your own heart, and of your ruin as a sinner. This, if you will be honest with yourself, you may know to be true. And this being so, you know you require a remedy for your guilt. Where can you find one? None appears in which you can have the least reasonable confidence, till you again look to the Bible. There you find a plan for the relief of sinners, such as no human mind could have conceived, and such as is suited to all the necessities of the case for which it is intended to provide.
"I then set before him the arrangements of God's wisdom and
grace for our salvation, endeavoring to explain to him the effects of sin—its guilt as a violation of the divine law, and its defilement as a polluting disease of our moral nature—the one rendering us deserving of the wrath of God, the other making us unmeet for a holy heaven. And, in this connexion, showing what God had wrought by the mission, sufferings, and death of His Son, as an atonenent for our guilt, and His provision for our sanctification, by the renewing influences of his Spirit.
"I had scarcely finished, when with a firm and solemn voice, he said, I shall go to hell! 0, God, and must I then go to hell?
“Such an expression of countenance I never beheld. It was not distorted; it was an awful fixed gaze, as if he distinctly saw his inevitable doom, and deep despair had settled on his soul!
“I observed to him that I was not at all surprised at his conclusion. It was but the candid utterance of the testimony of his own heart, in confirmation of the verdict of the Bible—that the fearful doom which he denounced on himself must take effect, unless he availed himself of the remely profferred in the Scriptures, which was as real as the ruin of which he had now become so conscious.
“No, no! he exclaimed, there is no hope for me. I am too great a sinner! I have too long neglected that remedy !
“I replied, the facts are, no doubt, as you state, but you must not measure God's mercy by your own apprehensions, but by His express declarations.