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have given every green herb for meat:' and it And God saw every thing that he had made; and behold it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Thus the heavens, and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made: and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because that in it he had rested from all his work, which God created and made. Moses.
THE UNIVERSE CANNOT BE CONTEMPLATED
You are animated with proper sentiments of piety, when you speak of the structure of the universe. No one indeed, who considers it with attention, can fail of having his mind filled with the supremest veneration for its author. Who can contemplate without astonishment, the motion of a comet, running far beyond the orb of Saturn, endeavouring to escape into the pathless regions of unbounded space, yet feeling, at its utmost distance, the attractive influence of the sun, hearing, as it were, the voice of God arresting its progress, and compelling it, after a lapse of ages, to reiterate its ancient course? Who can comprehend the distance of the stars from the earth, and from each other? It is so great, that it mocks our conception; our imagination is terrified, confounded, and lost, when we are told, that a ray of light,
which moves at the rate of above ten millions of miles in a minute, will not, though emitted this instant from the brightest star, reach the earth in less than six years. We think this earth a great globe; and we see the sad wickedness, which individuals are guilty of, in scraping together a little of its dirt: we view, with still greater astonishment and horrour, the mighty ruin which has, in all ages, been brought upon mankind, by the low ambition of contending powers, to acquire a temporary possession of a little portion of its surface. But how does the whole of this globe sink, as it were, to nothing, when we consider, that a million of earths will scarcely equal the bulk of the sun; that all the stars are suns; and that millions of suns constitute, probably, but a minute portion of that material world, which God has distributed through the immensity of space. Systems, however, of insensible matter, though arranged in exquisite order, prove only the wisdom and power of the great architect of nature. As percipient beings, we look for something more; and we cannot open our eyes without seeing it. Bp. Watson.
IS THERE A GOD?
IS THERE A GOD?—It is a question of infinite moment, on the solution of which depend every obligation, and every consolation of religion. It is a question, however, which it is unnecessary to involve in the perplexity of abstruse speculation,
since it may be determined by a single argument, which is so obvious as to be intelligible to every capacity, and withal so conclusive, that the whole weight of the great cause of religion may be safely rested upon it.
No man observes the construction of a clock, or other piece of mechanism, without immediately concluding it to be the production of some ingenious artist. And this conclusion is the same, whether it be deduced from the relation which the mind perceives between the ideas of a work and a workman, an act and an agent, in any particular case, or referred to an universal axiom, grounded on the observation of many individual cases in which it is exemplified. When a vulgar spectator infers from the marks of design and ingenuity which any species of manufacture discovers, that there must have been some mechanic employed in producing it;-when the same observer so far generalises his ideas as to remark, that every work supposes a workman;-and when the philosopher, who has accustomed himself to contemplate the ideas of sensible objects abstractedly, maintains that every effect must have a cause, and that every effect which bears evident marks of design, must have a designing or intelligent cause; the mind, in each case, passes through the same operation; the same relation of ideas is observed; and the same conclusion is drawn, perhaps with precisely the same degree of conviction for no general truth is more evident than any particular truth comprehended in it.
All the refinements of philosophy can add nothing to the clearness and certainty with which
the mind perceives, that an effect supposes a cause; that an action implies an agent; and that appearances of design and contrivance in any production, with a view to some end, are unquestionable indications of the existence of some being, who was possessed of intelligence and skill equal to the effect produced. Nor can all the subtleties of metaphysical sophistry destroy the perception which the mind has of these relations, or render their existence problematical. The most uncultivated understanding must see, and the most ingenious sceptic will find it impossible, on any ground of solid argument, to deny, that every work which bears evident marks of design, and is adapted to answer some purpose, must be produced by an intelligent cause.
Apply this obvious principle to the great operations of nature. Observe, for example, the structure and growth of a plant. Remark the variety of delicate fibres of which it is composed, the distinct forms of the several parts, their mutual relations, the regular and complete whole which is produced by their combination, and the provision which is made for their production, nourishment and growth. Contemplate the amazing diversity of genera and species, and the nice gradations from one genus, and from one species, to another, which the scientific study of this part of nature has discovered. From the vegetable, turn your attention to the animal world, and observe, displayed in a still more wonderful manner, perfection of form, variety of species, and mutual relation and dependance. Behold every animal provided with abundant inter
nal sources, and external means, of life and enjoyment. Survey the curious structure of that complex machine an animal body, in which the several parts are exactly adjusted to each other, and combined in the most perfect harmony, to carry on the several functions of animal life. Recollect, that combinations of these materials, similar in the great outline, but infinitely diversified in the subordinate parts, form that countless multitude of animals which people the earth.
After this general review of the productions of nature, let reason judge, whether such regular, yet diversified forms could be produced, without the agency of a designing intelligence. If the ear be admirably constructed for hearing, and the eye for seeing, the ear and the eye were surely form, ed by a Being who intended that animals should hear and see-that is, are the effect of an intelligent cause. It should seem impossible to observe, in these and other instances, the tendencies of the various parts of nature to accomplish certain ends, without the fullest conviction, that there is some active Power or Being, by whom these ends are perceived, and who conducts the operations of nature with the intention of accomplishing them. Upon every page in the volume of nature, is written, in characters which all may read and understand, this great truth, THERE IS A God. Anonymous.