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the help of glasses, we see many stars, which we do not discover with our naked eyes ; and the finer our telescopes are, the more still are our discoveries. Huygenius carries this thought so far, that he does not think it impossible there coay be stars, whose light has not yet travelled down to us, since their first creation. There is no question that the universe has certain bounds set to it; but when we consider that it is the work of Infinite Power, prompted by Infinite Goodness, with an infinite space to exert itself in, how can our imagination set any bounds to it?
To return, therefore, to my first thought, I could not but look upon myself with secret horror,as a being that was not worth the smallest regard of one who had so great a world under his care and superintendence. I was afraid of being overlooked amidst the immensity of nature ; and lost among that infiinite variety of creatures, which in all probability, swarm through all these immeasurable regions of matter.
In order to recover myself from this mortifying thought, I considered that it took its rise froin those narrow conceptions, which we are apt to entertain of the Divine Nature. We ourselves cannot attend to many different objects at the same time. If we are careful to inspect some things, we must of course neglect others. This imperfection which we observe in our. selves, is an imperfection that cleaves, in some degree, to creatures of the highest capacities, as they are creatures, that is, beings of finite and limited natures. The presence of every created being is confined to a certain measure of space ; and consequently nis observation is stinted to a certain number of objects. The sphere in which we move, and act, and understand, is of a wider circumference to one creature,than another, according as we rise one above another in the scale of existence. But the widest of these our spheres has its circumference. When, therefore, we reflect on the Divine Nature, we are so used and accustomed to this imperfection in ourselves, that we cannot forbear, in some measure, ascribing it to him, in whom there is no shadow of imperfection, Our reason jodeed assures us,
that his attributes are infinite; but the poorness of our conception is such that it cannot forbear setting bounds to every thing it contemplates, till our reason comes again to our succogr, and throwy down all those little prejudices, which rise in us unawares, and are natural to the miod of man.
We shall therefore utterly extinguish this melancholy thought, of our being overlooked by our Maker, in the in ultiplicity of his works, and the infinity of those objects ainong which he seems to be incessantly employed, if we consider, in the first place, that he is omoi. present ; and in the second, that he is omniscient.
if we consider him in his omnipresence, his being passes through, actuates,and supports, the whole frarne of nature. His creation, in every part of it, is full of him. There is nothing he has made, which is either so distant, so little, or so inconsiderable, that he does Dot essentially reside in it. His substance is within the substance of every being, whether inaterial or immaterial, and as intimately present to it, as that being is to itself. It would be an imperfection in him, were he able to move out of one place into another; or to withdraw himself from any thing he has created, or from any part of that space which he diffused and spread abrod to infinity. In short, to speak of him in the language of the old philosophers, he is a Being whose centre is every where, and his circumference no where.
In the second place, he is omniscient as well as ompipresent. His omniscience, indeed, necessarily and Datorally flows from his omnipresence. He cannot but be conscious of every motion that arives is the whole material world, which he thus essentially pervades ; and of every thought that is stirring in the intellectual world, to every part of which he is thus iotimately waited. Were the soul separated from the boily, and should it with one glance of thought start beyond the bounds of the creation; should it for millions of ytars, continue its progress through infinite space, with the same activity, it would still find itself within the ea. brace of ics Creatur,and encompassed by the immensity of the Godhead.
In this consideration of the Almighty's omnipresence and omniscience, every uncomtortable thought vanish
He cannot but regard every thing that has being, especially such of his creatures who fear they are not regarded by him. He is privy to all their thoughts, and to that anxiety of heart in particular, which is apt to trouble theni on this occasion ; for, as it is impossible he should overlook any of his creatures, si we may be confident that he regards with an eye of mercy, those who endeavour to recommeod themselves to his notice ; and, in unfeigned humility of heart, think themselves unworthy that he should be mindful of them.
Happiness is founded in rectitude of conduct. All men pursue good, and would be happy, if they knew how : not happy for minutes, and iniserable for hours ; but happy, if possible, through every part of their exis'ence Either, therefore, there is a good of this steady, durable kind, or there is not. It oot, thea all good must be transient and uncertain ; and if so, an object of the lowest value, wbich can little deserve our attention or inquiry. But if there be a better good, such a good as we are seeking; like every other thing, it inust be derived from soine cause, and that cause must either be external, internal, or mixed ; ip as much as, except these three, there is no other possible. Now ñ steady, durable good, cannot be derived from an es. ternal cause ; since ali derived from externals must fluctuate, as they fluctuate. By the same rule, it cannot be derived from a mixture of the two : because the part which is external, will proportionably lestroy its
Wbat then remains but the cause internal ? the very cause which we have supposed, when we place the sovereigo good in mind,-in rectitude of conduct.
Virtue and piety man's highest interest. I FIND nyself existing upon a little spot. surrounded every way by an inmense unknown expansion.Where am I? What sort of a place do I inhabit? Is it exactly accom podated in every instance to my convenience ? Is there ne excess of sold, none of heat, to
offend me? Am I never annoyed by animals either of my own,
or a different kind ? Is every thing subservient to me,as though. I had ordered all myself? No-gothing like it-the farthest from it possible. The world appears pot, then, originally made for the private convenience of me alone? It does not. But is it not possible so to accoin modate it, by, my own particular industry? If to accommodate man and beast, beaven and carth, if this he beyond me, it is not possible. What consequence then follows ; or can there be any
other than this.If I seek ac interest of my own detached from that of others, I seek an interest wbich is chimerical, and which can never have existence.
How then must I determine ? Have I no interest at all? If I have not, I am stationed here to no purpose. But why no interest ? Can I be contented with none but one separate and detached ; is a social interest, joined with others, such an absurdity as not to be ad
bitteu ? The bee, the beaver, and the tribes of herd. ing animals, are sufficient to convince me, that the thiog is somewhere at least possible. How, then, am I assured that it is not equally true of man! Admit it; and what follows ? If so, then honour and justice are my interest; then the whole train of moral virtues are my interest; without some portion of which, pot oven-thieves can maintain society.
But, farther still stop not here I pursue this social interest as far as I can trace my several relations. I pass from my own stock, my own neighborhood, my own nation, to the whole race of mankind, as dispersed throughout the earth. Am I dot related to them ali by the mutual aids of coinmerce, by the general intera course of arts and letters, by that common nature of which we all participate ?
Agaio-I must have food and clothing. Without a proper genial warmth, I instantly perish. Am I not related, in this view, to the very earth itself; to the distant sun, from whose beams I derive vigour; to that stupendous course and order of the infinite host of heaven, by which the times and seasons ever uniformly pass on ? Were this order once confounded, I could