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ASTRONOMY STUDIED BY SEAMEN.
It is a most Christian exercise, to extract a sentiment of piety from the works and the appearances of nature: it has the authority of the sacred writers upon its side.
“ What shall we say of the vast luminaries which we see in the heavens? Were they created in vain ? for no other purpose than to throw a tide of useless splendour over the solitudes of immensity of space ? Our sun is only one of these luminaries (the fixed stars), and we know that he has worlds in his train. Why should we strip the rest of the same princely attendance? Why may not each of them be the centre of his own system; and give light to his own worlds ? It is true we see them not, but would the eye of man take its flight into these distant regions, it should lose sight of our little world, before it reached the outer limits of our systems; the greater planets should disappear in their turn, before it had described a small portion of that abyss which separates us from the fixed stars: the sun should decline into a little spot; and all its splendid retinue of worlds be lost in the obscurity of distance! the sun should, at last, shrink into a small indivisible atom, and all that could be seen of this magnificent system, should be reduced to the glimmering of a little star! Why, then, resist any longer the grand conclusion, that each of these stars may be the token of a system as vast, and as splendid, as the one which we inhabit.
Worlds roll in these distant regions, and these worlds must be the mansions of life and of intelligence.
In yon gilded canopy of heaven, we see the broad aspect of the universe, where each shining point presents us with a sun, and each sun with a system of worlds; where Divinity reigns in all the grandeur of his attributes ; where he peoples immensity with his wonders; and travels in the greatness of his strength through the dominions of one vast and unlimited monarchy!
The contemplation has no limits. If we ask the number of suns and of systems? The unassisted eye of man can take in a thousand ; and the best telescope, which the genius of man has constructed, can take in eighty millions !
Elevated as the wisdom of that man may be who has ascended the heights of science, and poured the light of
I have, says the letter, to inform you, that at 8 o'clock this morning the ship Glasgow, Captain Robinson, for New York, with a cargo and passengers, struck near the Tasker rock, and after the master and some of the passengers were taken out of her by a Wexford schooner, she sunk in twenty-five fathoms water, when about ten lives were lost.
Surely these frequently repeated calamities, and such awful loss of lives, will plead urgently on the friends of seamen to come to the assistance of the British and Foreign Sailors' Society: it needs assistance. - Editor.
NEW COLONY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA.
DIVINE PROVIDENCE has favoured our adventurous countrymen in their endeavours to establish a new British Colony in South Australia.
Many of our readers will recollect the notices which we gave of this enterprize, in the Pilot for last year, especially an abridgment of the “ First Report of the Company,” in the number for July. We have now the satisfaction of recording the first intelligence received of the safe arrival of the first ships, without the death of a single seaman, at that distant settlement: and we are persuaded that the record of this communication will be referred to with much pleasure in future years by the friends of sailors.
Tuesday, March 14th, one of the daily papers contained the following remarks, of which we avail ourselves on account of their appropriateness :
“ The first news of the South Australian expedition was received yesterday from Col. William Light, sur. veyor general to the New Colony. His despatches are dated September 16th, 1836.
“ The first spot at which he touched on the main land, struck him as perfectly suited to the wants of a new settlement; and his most favourable accounts, amply borne out by the testimony of his coadjutors, must at once dispel all doubts as to the fertility of that part of Australia. The Colonel however immediately commenced his survey, and will not finally determine the site of the town, until he knows more about the nature of the rest of the country.
* By the same
conveyance the South Australian Company have received letters from Captain Martin, a native resident of Van Dieman's Land, now in the employ of the Company as the master of a whaler. We give an extract from a letter of Captain Martin's in another column, which is of value on account of his great experience both on sea and land. When Captain Martin left Nepean Bay for Hobart Town, the following vessels had arrived; the Rapid and Cygnet surveying vessels ; and the Duke of York, John Pirie, and Lady Mary Pelham, Company vessels : the first performed her passage in a hundred and four days. The
place from which Col. Light dates his despatches is a little bay about eight miles up the Gulf of St. Vincent, on the eastern shore ; marked with an anchor in the charts.
Col. Light has sent a few charts and drawings, but his communications are more scanty than they would have been, but for his having no more than six hours' notice of the opportunity for sending.
The foundation of the new Colony of South Australia, the first we hope of a new generation of nations, may now be looked upon as actually commenced under the most favourable auspices."
THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN EXPEDITION.
Extract of a letter, dated Hobart Town, October 14, received from Captain Martin, in command of the John Pirie, whaler, in the employ of the South Australian Company :
“I hired a boat (August 1336), manned it with Islanders (Kangaroo Island), took two of the natives with me, and proceeded over to Cape Jarvis, where Col. Light soon joined me in the Rapid.
“I landed in a fine bay round the Cape, about eight miles
up St. Vincent's Gulph, in one of the loveliest spots I ever beheld, with a fine stream of water running through the middle of the level plain; and Col. Light at once pronounced it to be one of the best situations possible for a town.
“ This bay is well sheltered from all winds, except those from down the Gulf, and from the W. and N. W.; but it does not appear that the winds blow home; and from the appearance of the beach and the shore, I should say there is never any sea running. The anchorage is good holding ground, and I should not hesitate to ride all the
year round in from ten to three fathoms water. Col. Light pitched his tents on shore, made a garden, and put in his seeds and plants. He set to work surveying the bay. “The country all about is delightful, and well watered.
I proceeded up St. Vincent's Gulf, on the east side, about seventy-five or eighty miles, till I got into a river sufficient for the John Pirie to enter at high water, and when in there is plenty of water. I went about twelve miles up this river; it runs close up to Mount Lofty. The banks are low, composed of small isiets, with low mangrove trees growing in the water; but a little way inland we came to a beautiful open country, fine plains as far as the eye can reach, very moderately wooded, as are also the hills, all fine rich dark brown soil, with a yellow clay, of from two to four feet under it, runs of fine water in all directions. All from this part to the Cape is continuation of fine land, plenty of grass for food for cattle and sheep; fine shady hills, moderately timbered. The principal wood is the oak and mimosa ; the greatest difficulty I see is the want of large timber for sawing. I have not seen one stringy bark tree in all my journey. There are abundance of kangaroos and emus. ' There is one large plain of fine land between this river and the Cape, with three rivers running through.
“ From this to the Lake Alexandria is about twenty-two miles across the finest country that eyes ever beheld.”
BRITANNIA; or the Moral Claims of Seamen stated and
enforced. An Essay, in three parts. By the Rev. John Harris, Author of “ Mammon,” the “Great Teacher," the “ Christian Citizen,” &c. pp. xix, 195, crown 8vo.
cloth, 4s. 6d. Ward and Co. BRITAIN'S GLORY
SEAMEN: in which is considered— Their Importance to the Empire--their Numbers- their Present Condition -the Means existing for their Religious Welfare, - the Means required for their Evangelization-and their Claims upon their Country: designed especially to
interest Christian Merchants, Ship-owners, Colonial Proprietors, and Missionary Directors. By Thomas Timpson, Secretary to the British and Foreign Sailors' Society, Author of the “Companion to the Bible,” “Church History through All Ages," &c. pp. vi, 233,
18mo. cloth, 3s. G. Whiteman. BRITAIN'S PLEA FOR SAILORS, pp. vi, 126, 18mo. cloth,
2s. Nisbet. These three works were written, with others, in competition for the prize of Fifty Pounds offered by the Committee of the British and Foreign Sailors' Society. That prize was awarded to Britannia, as the most beautifully and forcibly written.
Additions and improvements have been made to each of them since the adjudication, and while, on account of the supposed interest we have in their circulation, we may not offer any further remarks, we must say that the vast mass of information they contain cannot fail to render them truly acceptable to all classes of the community, especially the friends of seamen in Great Britain and America.
SACRED SONGS FOR BRITISH SEAMEN.
pp. 60, 12mo. Shaw, London. References to these “Sacred Songs” have already been made in the Pilot; but those were given while they were “not published,” being intended only for private circulation. There is reason to believe that they have been instrumental in awakening the minds of some in the higher circles, to cherish sympathy for our deserving mariners; and we congratulate seamen that they have found a friend and advocate, in so elevated a station in life as that of the amiable and pious author of these beautiful pieces, a daughter of the Duke of Somerset.
“Bethel Flags,” in our January Pilot, is one of the “Sacred Songs ;” and we shall give another in the present number; but we entreat that each of our readers will procure a copy of the work itself; as our recommendation, and doubtless the request of others, have induced her Ladyship to allow of their being published, in so cheap (only eight pence) though neat à form. We ardently