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from that of the central star, Alcyone, by only onethousandth of a second of arc in right ascension, and by two-thousandth's of a second in declination.-Here, then, is a magnificent group of suns, either actually allied together, and sweeping in company through space, or else they compose a cluster so situated as to be affected by the same apparent motion produced by the sun's progressive motion through the celestial regions.

But an extension of the limits of research around Alcyone exhibits the wonderful truth, that out of one hundred and ten stars within 15° of this centre, there are sixty moving south, or in accordance with the hypothesis that Alcyone is the centre, forty-nine ibit ing no well defined motion, and only one single individual which appears to move contrary to the computed direction!

It is impossible, here, to do justice to the profound and elaborate investigations of the learned author of this great speculation. Assuming Alcyone as the grand centre of the millions of stars composing our astral system, and the direction of the sun's motion, as determined by Argelander and Struve, he investi gates the consequent movements of all the stars in every quarter of the heavens. Just where the swiftest motions should be found, there they actually exist, either demonstrating the truth of the theory, or exhibiting the most remarkable and incredible coincidences. We shall not pursue the research. After a profound examination, Maedler reaches the conclusion that Alcyone, the principal star in the group of the Pleiades, now occupies the centre of gravity, and is at present the į

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sun about which the universe of stars composing our as tral system are all revolving.

Here, then, we stand on the confines of the un. known. One mighty effort has thus been made to oring beauty and order out of the chaos of motion which has hitherto distinguished the stars of heaven. Once the planets, freed from law, darted through space, or relaxing their speed, actually turned back on their unknown routes. Chaos reigned among these flying globes until the mind, rising by the efforts of its own genius, reached the grand centre of the planetary orbs, and lo! confusion ceased, and harmony and beauty held their sway among these circling worlds. The same daring human genius which, sweeping across the interplanetary spaces, finally reached the controlling centre of our own great system, has now boldly plunged into the depths of space, has swept across the interstellar spaces, and roaming from star to star, from sun to sun, from system to system, looks out upon the universe of stars, and seeks that point from whence these millions of sweeping suns shall exhibit that grand and magnificent harmony which doubtless reigns throughout the vast empire of Jehovah.

We are too apt to turn away from the first efforts to resolve these mighty problems. How were the doctrines of Newton received ? How much regard was paid to Herschel's grand theory of the solar mo. tion? And yet how triumphantly have these great theories been established. But do you inquire if there be any possibility of proving or disproving the doctrines of Maedler ? The answer is simple. Should the time ever come when the direction of the solar

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motion shall be sensibly changed, in consequence of its curvilinear character, then will the plane in which this movement lies be revealed, and then the centre about which the revolution is performed must be .nade known, at least in direction. Should the line reaching towards this grand centre pass through Alcyone, this added to all the other evidences, will fix forever the question of its central position. We know not when this great question may be settled, but judging from the triumphs which have marked the career of human genius hitherto, we do not dare to doubt of the final result.

Admitting the truth of Maedler's theory, we are led to some of the most astonishing results. The known parallax of certain fixed stars gives to us an approximate value of the parallax of Alcyone, and reveals to us the distance of the grand centre. Such is the enormous interval separating the sun from the central star about which it performs its mighty revolution, that the light from Alcyone requires a period of 537 years to traverse the distance! And if we are to rely on the angular motion of the sun and system, as already determined, at the end of 18,200,000 years, this great luminary, with all its planets, satellites, and comets, will have completed one revolution around its grand centre !

Look out to-night on the brilliant constellations which crowd the heavens. Mark the configurations of these stars. Five thousand years ago the Chaldean shepherd gazed on the same bright groups.Two thousand years have rolled away since the Greek philosopher pronounced the eternity of the heavens, and pointed to the ever-during configuration of the stars as proof positive of his assertio:a. But a time will come when not a constellation now blazing in the bright concave above us shall remain. Slowly, indeed, do these fingers on the dial of heaven mark the progress of time. A thousand years may roll away with scarce a perceptible change ;-—even a million of years may pass without effacing all traces of the groupings which now exist; but that eye which shall behold the universe of the fixed stars when ten millions of years shall have silently rolled away, will search in vain for the constellations which now beautify and adorn our nocturnal heavens. Should God permit, the stars may be there, but no trace of their former relative positions will be found ! Here I must close. The intellectual power of man,

I as exhibited in his wonderful achievements among the planetary and stellar worlds, has thus far been our single object. I have neither turned to the right hand nor to the left. Commencing with the first mute gaze bestowed upon the heavens, and with the curiosity awakened in that hour of admiration and wonder, we have attempted to follow rapidly the career of the human mind, through the long lapse of six thousand years. What a change has this period wrought. Go backward in imagination to the plains of Shinar, and stand beside the shepherd astronomer as he vainly attempts to grasp the mysteries of the waxing and waning moon, and then enter the sacred precincts of yonder temple devoted to the science of the stars.Look over its magnificent machinery; examine its space-annihilating instruments, and ask the sentinel who now keeps his unbroken vigil, the nature of his investigations.

Moon, and planet, and sun, and system, are left behind. His researches are now within a sphere to whose confines the cagle glance of the Chaldean never reached. Periods, and distances, and masses and motions, are all familiar to him, and could the man who gazed and pondered six thousand years ago stand beside the man who now fills his place, and listen to his teachings, he would listen with awe, inspired by the revelations of an angel of God. But where does the human mind now stand ?

Great as are its achievements, profoundly as it has penetrated the mysteries of creation, what has been done is but an infinitesimal portion of what remains to be done.

But the' examinations of the past inspire the highest hopes for the future. The movement is one constantly accelerating and expanding. Look at what has been done during the last three hundred years, and answer me to what point will human genius ascend, before the same period shall again roll away? But in our admiration for that genius which has been able to reveal the mysteries of the universe, let us not forget the homage due to Him who created, and by the might of his power sustains all things. At some future time, I hope to be permitted to direct

I your attention to this branch of the subject. If there be anything which can lead the mind upward to the Omnipotent Ruler of the universe, and give to it an approximate knowledge of His incomprehensible attri butes, it is to be found in the grandeur and beauty of His works.

If you would know his glory, examine the intermi. nable range of suns and systems which crowd thu Milky Way-Multiply the hundred millions of stare

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