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in splendour, inscribing the power of his Almighty Maker in characters of flame upon the earth and skies, and set in unsufferable brightness and glory, while we scarcely make a pause to wonder and admire. No marvel, then, that the wonder with which we at first regard the exhibition of the grand microscope should gradually subside. Thoroughly to enjoy this spectacle, we must either experience ourselves, or witness in others, the fresh feelings and emotions of those who have never before attended an exhibition of the kind. An involuntary burst of astonishment usually escapes the lips of children or strangers, on witnessing even the lowest power of the microscope. The spectator there sees, demonstrated before him, that it is not in the “ cedar of Lebanon' only, but in the “hyssop that springeth out of the wall”-not in the majestic oak alone, but in the lowly lichen, that the power and wisdom of God are manifested. We have all been accustomed to acknowledge the wonder-working hand of the Creator of all things, in the huge leviathan, the half-reasoning elephant, and the monarch of the beasts; but we are here compelled to acknowledge that the same Almighty attributes are necessary to form the wing of the moth, the larva of the knat, and the scarcely visible animalcule that escapes
the vision of the common observer. The amazing powers of the microscope, open up a page in the economy of nature, absolutely astounding to those whose minds have not before been drawn to the wonders of the animal and vegetable world exhibited before them. A sprig of moss becomes a tree, and the structure, habits, appetites, passions, and sports of the insect world are openly revealed. When a thread becomes a cord, when the finest cambric is represented as
coarser than the coarsest canvass, it exposes the imperfection of human ingenuity, and reproves the pride of the wearer of fine clothes. When the minutest worm of the waters is extended to the size of the boa constrictor, and the common flea more than rivals the mammoth in magnitude, we see that they are formed with as much care, and furnished with organs as well adapted to their state, as larger animals. The sting of the bee, and the mandibles of the spider and water-tiger, appear formidable as the tusks of the wild boar, of the lion, and the horn of the rhinoceros.
The lecturer is at the magnet, we must go there. Wonderful! The soft iron, so long as the two wires remain in the liquid employed, becomes a powerful magnet by the galvanic fluid which passes through it, and sustains a weight between four and five hundred pounds. When the wires are lifted out of the liquid, the iron loses its magnetic power, and the weight falls.
These things are, indeed, calculated to amaze us; and a little progress in practical science may do us good, especially if, at the same time we attain it, we make progress in the love of God and man. Will you
be electrified ? The shock given from the two basins of water is very slight, but that from the pieces of metal is tolerably sharp. It tries, not only the strength of the nerves, but the degree of our moral courage and endurance ; for some of athletic proportion writhe under its influence, while feebler frames, in many instances, stand firm. I saw one of the Society of Friends, the other day, enduring its power, without altering a muscle in his face.
Though we may not understand magnetism, galvanism, and electricity, yet if we are here taught how little we know, our visit to the Gallery will not be in vain. While the assembled visitors admire in mute astonishment, or express their surprise in short ejaculations, the Christian spectator is ready to lay his hand upon his mouth, under a feeling persuasion of his utter nothingness in the vast creation, and to say, “ Lord, what is man that thou art mindful of him! or the son of man that thou visitest him!”
The tapestry, the paintings, the musical instruments, the casts, the carvings, and the mosaic tables, will abundantly recompense you for the trouble of coming again; the printing and weaving should be dwelt upon; the microscopes, kaleidoscopes, prisms, the curious pieces of mechanism, and unnumbered curiosities, will amuse you : the chemical lecture must not be lost. The Daguerreotype and electrotype portraits must be inspected with care, and then
will have a rich treat in the exhibition of paintings called the Kalorama. These paintings are in the new relievo style, and their effect is excellent. In the lectures you will learn something to raise your admiration of Him, of whose creation we know so little. After all that science can unfold, how ignorant we are of our Almighty Creator and Redeemer! infinitely wise, and strong, and good, and holy ! “Oh the depths of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" We must now leave unnoticed, and indeed unseen, many excellent inventions that do credit to the minds that gave them birth ; but let us not forget the few that we have inspected.
Many may regard the Royal Adelaide Gallery as an idle lounge, or, at best, but a place of brief amusement; but this is not doing it justice. It should be regarded as an exhibition of what the human mind has undertaken and achieved to remove difficulty, to avert danger, to increase information, to extend comfort, and generally to benefit mankind. Every visit we pay to it ought not only to render us more capable, but more desirous also, of doing good to all around us. When knowledge and benevolence go hand in hand in temporal things, they mutually assist each other ; but when, under Divine direction, they unite their efforts to further the temporal and spiritual welfare of the world, they take a higher range, and a holy influence crowns them with success.
This Royal POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTION, like that of the Royal Adelaide Gallery, is established for the advancement of the arts and practical science, especially in connexion with agriculture, mining, machinery, and manufactures : so of necessity the two institutions partake of the same character.
While I am gazing from the balcony, the Great Hall appears to be crowded with company of all ages, the bright and eager eye of youth, the sobered mien of maturity, and the yet more grave and reflecting countenance of age, may be seen at a glance, and many a parent feels himself puzzled to answer the questions of his children. Mammas hardly dare open their mouths, and papas, with all their home-knowledge, find it no easy matter to keep up a character for wisdom when surrounded with scientific instruments and intricate machinery “Well, we must go on, or we shall not see half the things which are to be seen”—“Ask me when we are at home”-and, “ I have not time to ex
plain it to you now," are all the replies that many a curious, eager-eyed urchin can get in return for his incessant questionings.
We have here, as at the Royal Adelaide Gallery, models and machinery of all kinds; experiments are made and lectures given on interesting subjects, so that whatever may be the object or taste of the visitor, he may gratify his curiosity, and extend his knowledge.
A foreign stranger, a Walachian, has joined me. You may fancy him going down in the diving-bell with Old Humphrey: but I will describe the scene.
The Walachian, myself, a lady, and a young man, mounted the steps, and crept as well as we could into the bell, and took our seats: we were then hoisted up over the huge well of water, and soon began to descend, the face of the young man as colourless as though he were about to undergo an execution. The-Walachian was all animation, but the young man was all fearfulness, almost amounting to terror.
On one side of the bell was a knocker, with an inscription directing us to rap if we wished to ascend. “Shall I knock ?'' said the young man in great trepidation, before we had descended many feet: but I asked him what he wanted to knock for; and if he had left any thing behind him. In a few more seconds, 6 Shall I knock now ?!! cried out the young man in an agony; but I told him that he must not on any account knock till we had reached the bottom. It was however all in vain, for young Faint-heart could not contain himself; so laying hold of the knocker, he rapped most lustily, and up we came, to the great mortification of