Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 7.djvu/606

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

man has misfortunes like the unjust; he may suffer from accident or disease. His justice may be denied; he may suffer the penalties of injustice. All this may happen in particular cases, and yet no one doubts that on the whole the just man reaps a reward for his justice. A very simple law operates to reward him. By his justice he benefits the community, and the community, partly out of gratitude, partly out of an interested calculation, repay him for the service he has done. This law fails of its effect in a good number of cases, but in the majority of cases it does not fail. And when it fails, it seldom fails altogether. There is generally some reward for justice, if not always an adequate reward. Accordingly, not only Christians, or those who believe in something more than Nature, but those whose only God is Nature, and even those whose knowledge of Nature is very superficial, fully recognize that virtue is rewarded. "Honesty is the best policy" has become a proverb, and hypocrites have come into existence hoping to secure the reward without deserving it. We see, then, that those who believe in Nature only may be said to believe not only in a God, but, in some sense, in a personal God. Their God, at least, has so much of personality that he takes account of the distinction of virtue and vice, that he punishes crime, and that he relieves distress.—Macmillan's Magazine.

 

THE GREAT IOWA METEOR.
By Dr. GUSTAVUS HINRICHS.

ON the evening of Friday, February 12, 1875, at twenty minutes past ten o'clock, one of the most brilliant meteors, of modern times illuminated the entire State of Iowa, and adjacent parts of the States of Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The southeastern portion of Iowa was bright as day, while the great meteor, in descending to the earth, passed from Appanoose County to Iowa County. The meteor, in rapidly moving through the atmosphere, produced a great variety of sounds—rolling, rumbling, and detonations of fearful intensity—which in a large portion of Iowa County shook the houses as if moved by an earthquake.

But three days after the great phenomenon, a meteoric stone, weighing seven pounds,—was found by Miss Sarah Sherlock, while on her way from school—precisely where observers had seen a "glowing coal" descend to the earth. In April and May, while the farmers were cultivating the land, about 400 pounds of meteoric stones were gathered on the meteorite-field of Iowa County. Quite recently two large meteorites have been found, aggregating 120 pounds. But these 500 pounds of meteoric stones apparently are only a portion of a smaller fragment of the entire meteoric body, so that the whole mass