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No debate was more important

The lamented Home Missionary than that in the Theological Insti- Secretary has left the enterprise tution Committee on the causes of with which his name will for ever the scant supply of candidates for be honourably associated in the the ministry. It is a fact which history of Methodism, with stalrequires closely looking into that wart proportions and in wonderful many Methodist young men, who efficiency, seeing that it has only are either deterred from offering just attained its majority; and we themselves as candidates for the doubt not that his experienced, Methodist ministry by the quality of zealous, and variously-qualified sucour examinations, or having offered cessor will, by the blessing of God, could not pass the scrutiny, have, still further develop its energies, so after training in Mr. Spurgeon's that it may yet more largely meet College, in the Congregational the spiritual and social needs of our Institute in Nottingham, or else- Fatherland. The Missionary Comwhere, proved acceptable Baptist or mittee of Review sustained the Congregationalist ministers.

interest which has made it the subIt is a saddening index of the lowject of eager anticipation from year temperature of zeal amongst us that to year. The speech of Mr. Jenkins there should be, owing partly to the was of itself sufficient to accomplish objections of parents to their sons this. It had all the vividness of an hazarding their lives on the high eloquently told personal narrative places of the field, so much difficulty of eagerly observant travel. There in obtaining men, especially for Mis- was an Oriental glow about it which sionary service. At present our lack lent it the fascination of romance. is more of men than of money. Mr. In the Fernley Lecture, the SecreVanner was clearly right in urging tary of the Conference in no wise that our first and great resource is fell below the expectations based prayer to the Lord of the harvest. upon his reputation as a theologian But the observations on the neces- and expositor. The attendance was sity of paying greater attention, and large; and the Lecture was delivered in some Circuits greater respect, to with energy

and effect. the Local-preachers were of much The nine elections into the Hunweight.

dred, whether by nomination or “on The Lord's-Day Committee has the ground of seniority,” paid due maintained its attitude of sensitive honour to men who have honoured watchfulness, as "set for the de- God, and whom God Himself has fence” of the sanctity of the Christian honoured, in faithful and efficient Sabbath. In the Auxiliary Fund service, whether in the Circuit or in Committee, Mr. Rattenbury re- some special department of dur ported, with benevolent joy, that he economy,

whether at home had already secured nearly three- abroad. fourths of the £100,000 the raising Never, we believe, has Divine of which he has chosen as the guidance in the election of a Presiclosing achievement of his very suc- dent been more manifest and marked, cessful course.

The Report of the never more devoutly and gratefully Chapel Committee was, like its acknowledged, than in the instance predecessors for several years, a of Alexander M'Aulay. We hold cheering record of well-applied that in faithfulness to the believing, munificence and hopeful material self-distrusting, promptly and honextension,

estly acquiescent prayer of His


people, the Head of the Church Senior Secretary of the Chapel so guides the voting of His servants Committee. Thirty-six Methodist as to determine, not only the who, ministers have fallen in Great Bribut also the when of Presidency of tain, Ireland, and on the Missionthe Methodist Conference. The field. Their characters and services President of the Conference of 1876 are lovingly and faithfully recorded was called to the chair at a moment in the obituaries published in the of almost unprecedented delicacy Minutes of the Conference to which and difficulty. He had to pilot the the lack of space compels us, though Connexional bark through the loud regretfully, to refer our readers. breakers of an anxious and exciting The allied Methodist Conferences discussion, to å momentous and were nobly represented. Right critical decision. Who could have glad were we to see again our old accomplished this service with friends from France and Ireland, greater coolness, vigilance, skill, the admirable brethren J. Hocart good temper and good humour than and W. Cornforth from the former Alexander M'Aulay ? The fact is, country, J. W. M'Kay and W. he knew where his great strength M‘Mullen, from the sister-island

, lay. He "put his burden right and to welcome also their ardent and from the beginning. Hence, the eloquent young colleague, Brother whole bearing and spirit of this W. Gard. Then, we had from the perfervid Scot declared “My trust United States, Dr. Alexander Clark; is in the living Lord." Verily, "he from the Australasian Wesleyanwas marvellously helped, till he was Methodist Church, the Rev. James strong.” Throughout the fluctua- Buller, President of the New Zeations of debate, he dwelt between land Conference, the Rev. James the shoulders of Omnipotence. Be- Bickford, President of the South sides, was he not sustained by Australian Conference and the Rev. the prayers of the brotherhood ? Joseph Oram from New South For all the brethren loyally pray Wales; and from Canada, Mr. for him who is elected to such Savage and Dr. Ryerson. On the lastgrave responsibilities.

With no

mentioned name we cannot but lintaint of self-assertion, he did not ger awhile. This now glory-crowned shrink from chair-assertion, when- veteran, whose “laurels are green, ever occasion might require. He though his locks are grey," whilst knew also when to infuse a timely yet a stripling won an honourable tinge of pleasantry into the seething place in the history of his native caldron of discussion. The

land, as the successful champion of “Ruler of the night and dark

religious equality in Canada, during Guides through the tempest His own

the famous contest about the Clergyark."

reserves. This brought him into No man could have acknowledged early and confidential association civic courtesies more becomingly and with some of the foremost English gracefully than did this same sternly- 1 statesmen, such as the late Earl of conscientious Scotchman.

Derby, Sir Robert Harry Inglis and The death-roll of the year was Macaulay. We are old enough to very heavy. Two Ex-Presidents and

remember his second visit to this three heads of departments have

country, when his mind was already been summoned higher : the Senior full of the benevolent enterprises Editor, the General Secretary which, by Divine help, he has so thé Home-Missions, and

the happily accomplished. He has also

been for many years the presiding space just to allude to the memogenius of public elementary education rable conversation on the state of in Canada. The venerable old man the Work of God. Never, as it has still all the fire of his youth, seemed to us, was the spiritual temand presents a picture of saintly perature of the Conference so fine. senectitude, reminding one of such The tone of speeches and prayers worthies as Joseph Entwisle, Joseph alike was as remote from self-gloriSutcliffe, and Richard Reece; his fication and carnal elation as from illumined features inspiring us with querulous fault-finding and thankmingled reverence and admiration. less despondency.

We have only left ourselves



BY THE REV. W. H. DALLINGER, F.R.M.8. The observations made by the revived an old inquiry :-has Venus English observers of the Transit a satellite ? There is amongst the of Venus are being rapidly reduced; older astronomers a curious conand the results may be expected in sensus of what seems like valuable a few months. The amount of work observation tending strongly to an involved has been far greater than affirmative reply. But singularly the public would suppose.

There enough, with all the accuracy of were, for example, five thousand observation, increase of observers, transits of stars taken in order to and incomparable improvement in correct the clocks and determine the optical apparatus, it has received no errors in the instruments. The confirmation from modern and recent longitudes of the stations at Mauri- observers. While at the period of tius and Rodriguez, were measured the transit, when every variety of from Suez by Lord Lindsay, with appliance was employed, and some no fewer than fifty chronometers ; of the observers kept the possiand six thousand microscopic mea- bility of its apparition specially in sures were made to determine the view, yet no trace of a satellite optical distortion of the photo could be discovered. heliographs or instruments for pho- When, however, the names of the tographing the planet in its passage observers, who affirm the existence over the solar disc. Many similar of a moon attendant upon Venus, works in detail were also effected and the nature of their observations to secure exactitude of result; of on this subject are considered the course the English result will not difficulty is only enhanced. determine the problem of the sun's It was, for example, seen by

even to the extent to Cassini in 1672 and 1686. While which its determination is possible, in 1759, Meir declares, “I saw by means of this transit. It is above Venus a little globe of far only when the results of all the inferior brightness, about one and a expeditions are compared and re- half diameters of Venus from herduced, that the ultimate and final self... ... It continued for half

an hour, and the position of the But the work done in studying little globe with regard to Venus, the phenomena of the Transit has remained the same, although the


issue will be given.

Three years

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position of the telescope had been The changes that have long been changed."

observed to take place in the great In 1761, Montaigne declares that nebula, or cosmical cloud, around he saw a minute crescent twenty the star known as Eta Argus, are of seconds from Venus.

so gigantic and almost overwhelming later Rödkier, at Copenhagen, saw a nature, from the intensity of the the same appearance for two evenings, activities they represent, and the and on the second occasion with two enormous distance from us at which telescopes ; while in the following they occur, that astronomers natuweek the same thing was seen by rally look with some eagerness to four observers together; and before discover similar activities in other the month was ended, it had been parts of the heavens. There is a also seen quite independently at nebula known as Omega, from its Auxerre. Finally, in October, 1740, similarity to the form of this letter ; an observation was made by the and Professor Holden has been able celebrated optician, James Short, to show that this great gaseous F.R.S., in which he affirms that mass is also subject to vast mutawith two separate telescopes he dis- tions which, considering their discovered a moon to Venus, which tance from us, and their enormous

seemed about a third, or somewhat bulk, are far too immense to be proless, of the diameter of the planet perly conceived, or at all compreherself.” “I saw it,” he continues, hended. “ for the space of an hour several times that morning; but the light The Challenger has reached home of the sun increasing, I lost it after her more than three years' altogether about a quarter of an voyage for strictly scientific purhour after eight."

poses. The results are not yet Now there are only two means of published in their complete form; explaining away these carefully but they are unquestionably of inesrecorded observations: the first is timable value. On the formation optical illusion, dependent on defect of the sea-bed alone, facts are prein the telescopes, or peculiarity in sented which must greatly modify the optical condition of the air; or the conclusions of geologists, espeelse the presence of a star, unknown cially on the subject of great periods to the observers, so near the planet of time, and the recurrence of poweras to lead to the supposition that a ful physical and biological revolusatellite had been found. But it tions. It has been shown indeed must be confessed that, in conside- that there may be an overlapping of ration of the observations them- contemporaneous deposits in the selves, and the observers by whom same sea, which hitherto were supthey were made, that this is unsatis- posed to be successive, and each to factory; and that even yet it is not occupy the vast epochs of time now impossible that the planet may be shown to be sufficient for the profound to be accompanied by a moon. duction of the whole taken together.

M. Paul Henry has discovered a It has been proved also that large new, small planet. He detected it seas have a universal lowering of on the 13th of July, at the Obser- temperature with increase of depth : vatory at Paris.

This is the one and the continuity of animal forms hundred and sixty-fourth of these supposed to be extinct is made remarkable bodies revolving between clearly manifest. So that geologithe orbits of Mars and Jupiter. cal time is reduced, and some of the

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geological “ epochs are not inter- valuable voyage when the complete rupted or at an end; but are con- report is presented. tinuous to our own day. About ninety miles off the Island of St. The Trap-door Spiders have been Thomas, the sounding lines reached long known to the naturalist as a three thousand eight hundred and very remarkable group of animals ; seventy-five fathoms; and the pres- they have had many ardent students sure at this depth was so enormous of their habits in their native state; that the bulbs of the thermometers, but lately a very happy and unusual which were made to stand a pressure opportunity has arisen from the of three tons, were broken to pieces. fact, that there is a curious spider

The vessel has during the time of belonging to the Mygale species, in her absence from England sailed the Jardin des Plantes, Paris. nearly seventy thousand miles, cross- It is commonly known that this ing both the Atlantic and the Pacific species is so powerful as to prey on

Oceaus. Her soundings reached in birds; but apparently this is the : the Pacific a depth of at least five case only in extremity, and with the

miles. Many of the biological spe- very largest specimens; for they cimens dredg d up are curious in a are not furnished with a poisonous very high degree. There was one secretion in sufficient strength to crab especally remarkable. It came overcome such large prey, and are to the surfa e only at night, and its dependent wholly superior head is described as being nearly all strength. The one in the Gardens eye, that being composed of a host has as usual eight eyes ;

its manof lenses. The body was so trans- dibles are armed with sharp teeth;

parent that all the organs within its feet have retractile claws like a e could be clearly scen.

Thus it cat; and that part of the creature would be almost invisible-ghostly which has the legs articulated to it, at least—whilst watc ning for its is of a velvety black, with an olive prey. It has five pairs of legs in lustre. The abdomen and feet are the ordinary way, and three supple- covered with reddish hair. Its mentary pairs. It has two pairs of length is over three inches, and its foot jaws and is possessed of breadth — including the legs — is branchiæ or gills.

seven inches. Its favourite food is Another remarkable form was one crickets; these it takes in the of the lobsters possessed of no eyes; night, being somnolent or torpid but the deficiency was made up by during the day. intense delicacy of touch. Near This remarkable “beast” lies in Amsterdam island, in the South tubes which it digs in clay banks, Indian Ocean, the ship encountered and which exhibit remarkable sagaa belt of gigantic sea-weed of which city. The tubes are vaulted from single plants are said to attain a one end to the other with a hard, length of a thousand feet, and a compact mortar, which is afterwards thickness equal to that of a man's hung with an exquisite tapestry of body. A gale of snow, to which she silk woven by the spider. Before was exposed in the Antarctic Ocean, however covering its walls with consisted of beautiful star-like crys- these delicate hangings, a coarser tals, which burned the skin as if they material is laid on the walls as were red hot particles. We shall a foundation to which the more hope to return to the remarkable delicate fabric is secured. Having facts and experiences of this most completed this vaulted subway, the

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