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leads me to see a world in every atom. / forth an upholding influence among the
The one taught me, that this mighty globė, orbs and the movements of astronomy, can
scension, in behalf of some separate world,
upy, with charms and
the most unbounded
they may-] will not
But about the time
ery star. The other
admit it as true, on the evidence of your! I do not enter at all into the positive eviown recollections. It is a wonderful thing dence for the truth of the Christian Revethat he whose eye is at every instant on solation, my single aim at present being to many worlds, should have peopled the dispose of one of the objections which is world we inhabit with all the traces of the conceived to stand in the way of it. Let varied design and benevolence which abound me suppose then that this is done to the in it. But, great as the wonder is, you do satisfaction of a philosophical inquirer, and not allow so much as the shadow of im- that the evidence is sustained, and that the probability to darken it, for its reality is same mind that is familiarised to all the what you actually witness, and you never sublimities of natural science, and has been think of questioning the evidence of obser- in the habit of conteniplating God in assovation. It is wonderful, it is passing won- ciation with all the magnificence which is derful, that the same God, whose presence around him, shall be brought to submit its is diffused through immensity, and who thoughts to the captivity of the doctrine of spreads the ample canopy of his adminis-Christ. Oh! with what veneration, and tration over all its dwelling-places, should, gratitude, and wonder, should he look on with an energy as fresh and as unexpen- the descent of him into this lower world, who ded as if he had only begun the work of made all these things, and without whom creation, turn him to the neighbourhood was not any thing made that was made. around us, and lavish on its every hand- What a grandeur does it throw over every breadth, all the exuberance of his goodness, step in the redemption of a fallen world, and crowd it with the many thousand va-to think of its being done by him who unrieties of conscious existence. But, be the robed him of the glories of so wide a mowonder incomprehensible as it may, you narchy, and came to this humblest of its do not suffer in your mind the burden of a provinces, in the disguise of a servant, and single doubt to lie upon it because you do took upon him the form of our degraded not question the report of the miscroscope. species, and let himself down to sorrows You do not refuse its information, nor turn and to sufferings, and to death, for us. In away from it as an incompetent channel this love of an expiring Saviour to those of evidence. But to bring it still nearer to for whom in agony he poured out his soul, the point at issue, there are many who there is a height, and a depth, and a length, never looked through a microscope; but, and a breadth, more than I can comprewho rest an implicit faith in all its revela-hend; and let me never, never from this tions; and upon what evidence, I would moment neglect so great a salvation, or lose ask? Upon the evidence of testimony my hold of an atonement, made sure by upon the credit they give to the authors of him who cried, that it was finished, and the books they have read, and the belief brought in an everlasting righteousness. It they put in the record of their observations. was not the visit of an empty parade that Now, at this point I make my stand. It is he made to us. It was for the accomplishwonderful that God should be so interested ment of some substantial purpose; and, if in the redemption of a single world, as to that purpose is announced, and stated to send forth his well-beloved Son upon the consist in his dying the just for the unjust, errand, and he, to accomplish it, should, that he might bring us unto God, let us never mighty to save, put forth all his strength, doubt of our acceptance in that way of and travail in the greatness of it. But such communication with our Father in heaven, wonders as these have already multiplied | which he hath opened and made known upon you; and when evidence is given of to us. In taking to that way, let us follow their truth, you have resigned your every his every direction with that humility which judgment of the unsearchable God, and a sense of all this wonderful condescension rested in the faith of them. I demand, in is fitted to inspire. Let us forsake all that the name of sound and consistent philoso-he bids us forsake. Let us do all that he phy, that you do the same in the matter bids us do. Let us give ourselves up to his before us--and take it up as a question of guidance with the docility of children, evidence-and examine that medium of overpowered by a kindness that we never testimony through which the miracles and merited, and a love that is uncqualled by informations of the Gospel have come to all the perverseness and all the ingratiyour door-and go not to admit as argu-tude of our stubborn nature--for what ment here, what would not be adınitted as shall we render unto him for such mysteargument in any of the analogies of nature rious benefits-to him who has thus been and observation-and take along with you mindful of us to him who thus has deigned in this field of inquiry, a lesson which you to visit us?
should have learned upon other fields> But the whole of this argument is not | even the depth of the riches both of the yet exhausted. We have scarcely entered
wisdom and the knowledge of God, that on the defence that is commonly made his judgments are unsearchable, and his against the plea which infidelity rests on ways are past finding out.
I the wonderful extent of the universe of
God, and the insignificancy of our assigned entire absence of all observation in its be-
ous scepticism to a set of giddy and igno-
our degraded i to sorrows 1. for us. In lour to those
out his soul, and a length can compreher from this
ation, or los rade sure by finished, and
accomplish pose, and, if and stated to or the unjus d. let us heter that war of ar in hearen Trade know let us kulu
On the Knowledge of Man's Moral History in the Distant Places of Creation.
"Which things the angels desire to look into.”—1 Peter i. 12.
nument is dat Trelt entered monly make
THERE is a limit across which man can-Istance that is within reach of his hand. He not carry any one of his perceptions, and can sinell a flower that is presented to him. from the ulterior of which he cannot gather a He can taste the food that is before him. single observation to guide or to inform him. He can hear a sound of certain pitch and While he keeps by the objects which are intensity; and, so much does this sense of bear, he can get the knowledge of them hearing widen his intercourse with exterconveyed to his mind through the ministry nal nature, that, from the distance of miles, of several of the senses. He can feel a sub-lit can bring him in an occasional intimation.
But of all the tracks of conveyance which over the whole face of which he hath inGod has been pleased to open up between scribed the evidence of his high attributes, the mind of man, and the theatre by which in all their might, and in all their maniseshe is surrounded, there is none by which tations. he so multiplies his acquaintance with But man has a great deal more to keep the rich and the varied creation on every him humble of his understanding, than a side of him, as by the organ of the eye. It mere sense of that boundary which skirts is this which gives to him his loftiest com- and terminates the material field of his mand over the scenery of nature. It is this contemplations. He ought also to feel by which so broad a range of observation how within that boundary, the vast mais submitted to him. It is this which ena- jority of things is mysterious and unknown bles him, by the act of a single moment, to to him; that even in the inner chamber of send an exploring look over the surface of an his own consciousness, where so much lies ample territory, to crowd his mind with the hidden from the observation of others, there whole assembly of its objects, and to fill his is also, to himself, a little world of incomvision with those countless hues which di- prehensibles; that if stepping beyond the versify and adorn it. It is this which carries limits of this familiar home, he look no him abroad over all that is sublime in the further than to the members of his family, immensity of distance; which sets him as there is much in the cast and the colour of it were on an elevated platform, from every mind that is above his powers of diwhence he may cast a surveying glance vination; that in proportion as he recedes over the arena of innumerable worlds ; from the centre of his own personal expewhich spreads before him so mighty a pro-rience, there is a cloud of ignorance and vince of contemplation, that the earth he secrecy, which spreads, and thickens, and inhabits, only appears to furnish him with throws a deep and impenetrable veil over the pedestal on which he may stand, and the intricacies of every one department of from which he may descry the wonders of human contemplation ; that of all around all that magnificence which the Divinity him his knowledge is naked and superficial, has poured so abundantly around him. It and confined to a few of those more conspicuis by the narrow outlet of the eye, that the ous lineaments which strike upon his senses; mind of man takes its excursive flight over that the whole face both of nature and of those golden tracks, where, in all the ex- society, presents him with questions which haustlessness of creative wealth, lie scatter- he cannot unriddle, and tells him how beed the suns, and the systems of astronomy. neath the surface of all that the eye can But oh! how good a thing it is, and how be- rest upon, there lies the profoundness of a coming well, for the philosopher to be most unsearchable latency; aye, and should humble even amid the proudest march of hu-he in some lofty enterprise of thought, leave man discovery, and the sublimest triumphs this world, and shoot afar into those tracks of of the human understanding, when he speculation which astronomy has opened thinks of that unscaled barrier, beyond should he, baffled by the mysteries which bewhich no power, either of eye or of tele- set his every footstep upon earth attempt an scope, shall ever carry him: when he thinks ambitious flight towards the mysteries of that on the other side of it, there is a height, heaven-let him go, but let the justness of a and a depth, and a length, and a breadth, pious and philosophical modesty go along to which the whole of this concave and with him; let him forget not,that from the movisible firmament dwindles into the insig- ment his mind has taken its ascending way for nificancy of an atom--and above all, how a few little miles above the world he treads ready should he be to cast his every lofty upon, his every sense abandons him butone imagination away from him, when he that number, and motion, and magnitude, thinks of the God, who, on the simple foun- and figure, make up all the barrenness of its dation of his word, has reared the whole elementary informations--that these orbs of this stately architecture, and, by the have sent him scarce another message, than force of his preserving hand, continues to told by their feeble glimmering upon his uphold it; aye, and should the word again eye, the simple fact of their existence--that come out from him, that this earth shall | he sees not the landscape of other worlds-pass away, and a portion of the heavens that he knows not the moral system of any which are around it, shall again fall back one of them-nor athwart the long and into the annihilation from which he at first trackless vacancy which lies between, does summoned them, what an impressive re- there fall upon his listening ear, the hum of buke does it bring on the swelling vanity their mighty populations. of science, to think that the whole field of But the knowledge which he cannot its most ambitious enterprises may be swept fetch up himself from the obscurity of this away altogether, and there remain before wondrous but untravelled scene, by the exthe eye of him who sitteth on the throne, ercise of any one of his own senses, might an untravelled immensity, which he hath | be fetched to him by the testimony of a filled with innumerable splendours, and competent messenger. Conceive a native
of one of these planetary mansions to light and it is with this precise feeling of ambiupon our world, and all we should require, guity that we open the record of that emwould be, to be satisfied of his credentials, bassy which has been sent us from heaven, that we may tack our faith to every point to see if we can gather any thing there, of information he had to offer us. With the about other places of the creation, to solitary exception of what we have been meet the objections of the infidel astronoenabled to gather by the instruments of mer. But, while we pursue this object, let astronomy, there is not one of his commu- us have a care not to push the speculation nications about the place he came from, on beyond the limits of the written testimony; which we possess any means at all of con- let us keep a just and a steady eye on the fronting him; and, therefore, could he only actual boundary of our knowledge, that, appear before us invested with the charac- throughout every distinct step of our arguters of truth, we should never think of any ment, we might preserve that chaste and thing else than taking up the whole matter unambitious spirit, which characterizes the of his testimony just as he brought it to us. philosophy of him who explored these dis
It were well had a sound philosophy tant heavens, and, by the force of his genius, schooled its professing disciples to the same unravelled the secret of that wondrous mekind of acquiescence in another message, chanism which upholds them. which has actually come to the world; and The informations of the Bible upon this has told us of matters still more remote subject, are of two sorts—that from which from every power of unaided observation; we confidently gather the fact, that the and has been sent from a more sublime and history of the redemption of our species is mysterious distance, even from that God known in other and distant places of the of whom it is said, that "clouds and dark-creation-and that, from which we indisness are the habitation of his throne;" and tinctly guess at the fact, that the redemption treating of a theme so lofty and so inacces- | itself may stretch beyond the limits of the sible, as the counsels of that Eternal Spirit, world we occupy. " whose goings forth are of old, even from And, here it may shortly be adverted to, everlasting," challenges of man that he that, though we know little or nothing of should submit his every thought to the au- the moral and theological economy of the thority of this high communication. 0! other planets, we are not to infer, that the had the philosophers of the day known as beings who occupy these widely extended well as their great Master, how to draw the regions, even though not higher than we vigorous land-mark which verges the field in the scale of understanding, know little of legitimate discovery, they should have of ours. Our first parents, ere they comseen when it is that philosophy becomes mitted that act by which they brought themvain, and science is falsely so called ; and selves and their posterity into the need of how it is, that when philosophy is true to redemption, had frequent and familiar inher principles, she shuts up her faithful tercourse with God. He walked with them votary to the Bible, and makes him willing in the garden of paradise; and there did to count all but loss, for the knowledge of angels hold their habitual converse; and, Jesus Christ, and of him crucified.
should the same unblotted innocence which But let it be well observed, that the object charmed and attracted these superior beings of this message is not to convey information to the haunts of Eden, be perpetuated in to us about the state of these planetary re-every planet but our own, then might each gions. This is not the matter with which of them be the scene of high and heavenly It is fraught. It is a message from the throne communications, an open way for the mesof God to this rebellious province of his do-sengers of God be kept up with them all. minions; and the purpose of it is, to reveal | and their inhabitants be admitted to a share the fearful extent of our guilt and of our dan- in the themes and contemplations of angels. ger, and to lav before us the overtures of land have their spirit exercised on those reconciliation. Were a similar message things, of which we are told that the angels sent from the metropolis of a mighty em- desired to look into them; and thus, as we pire, to one of its remote and revolutionary talk of the public mind of a city, or the districts, we should not look to it for much public mind of an empire-by the well-freInformation about the state or economy of quented avenues of a free and ready cirthe intermediate provinces. This were a culation, a public mind might be formed departure from the topic on hand-though throughout the whole extent of God's sinstill there may chance to be some incidental | less and intelligent creation-and, just as allusions to the extent and resources of the we often read of the eyes of all Europe whole monarchy, to the existence of a simi- being turned to the one spot where some lar spirit of rebellion in other quarters of the affair of eventful importance is going on, land, or to the general principle of loyalty there might be the eyes of a whole universe by which it was pervaded. Some casual turned to the one world, where rebellion references of this kind may be inserted in against the Majesty of heaven had planted such a proclamation, or they may not-lits standard; and for the re-admission of
Isteries o ustness of a † go along om the mat ting war for dhe treads mbur online magnitude Ma olib these artis age, then
he can ritrof this hrthe er Asas might ilony oda e a natite