Page:Passages from the Life of a Philosopher.djvu/508

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

necessarily leads to the consciousness of some obligation towards the Deity; and this consciousness suggests the duty of worship; and in the selection of the form of this worship originates the various creeds which distinguish and distract mankind. There is a sort of geography of religion; and I regret to think that the majority of mankind take their creed from the clime in which they happen to be born; and that many, and not an inconsiderable portion of mankind, suffer the sacred torch to burn out altogether, in their contact with the world, and then vainly imagine that they can recover the sacred fire by striking a spark out of dogmatic theology!

Addition to the Chapter on Railroads.

One of the most important facts which the engine-driver ought to know is the exact time since the preceding train has passed the point of railroad on which his own engine is.

This may be done by placing signals, about to be described, by the side of or across the road at all places where such knowledge is most important.

The principle to be employed is, that at the passage of those places the engine itself should, in its transit, wind up a weight or spring. That this weight should act upon an arm standing perpendicularly, which would immediately commence moving slowly to the horizontal position. This it should attain by an equable motion at the end of three, five, or any desirable number of minutes.

The means of raising the weight may be derived either from a projection below the engine or by one above it. The latter, which seems preferable, might be attached to a light beam traversing the road to which the apparatus should be fixed.