Sivut kuvina

j An-ni-hi'late, an-nl'-he-làte, to reduce ( Im-men-si-ty, Im-mên-sé tè, unbounto nothing, destroy

ded greatness k Chasm, kázm, a cleft, gap, vacuity - Van-ish, ván'-ish, to disappear, be lost 1 Tel-e-scope, télé-lé-skope, a glass tofs Re-gard, re-gård', to value, observe, view distant objects

respect, reverence m Huy-ge-ui-us, hl-je'-ne-ås, € Oc-ca-sion, ok-ke'-zhån, to cause, a n Stint, stint, to bound, restrain, limit o Suc-cour, sůk'-kår, to help, relieve, u Con-fi-dent, kon'-fe-dent, a bosom

aid, assistanca, help in distress friend, positive, bold pOin-nis-ci-ent, om-nisa'-e-ênt, infi- v Mercy, mér'-sė, tenderness, clemennitely wise



Omniscience and omnipresence of the Deity, the source of

consolation to good men. 1. I was yesterday, about sun set, walking in the open fields, till the night insensibly fell upon me. I at first amused myself with all the richness and variety of colours, which appeared in the western parts of heaven. In proportion as they faded away and went out, several stars and planets“ appeared one

after another, till the whole firmament was in a glow. The blueness of the ether was exceedingly heightened and enlivened, by the season of the year, and the rays of all those luminaries that passed through it.

2. The galaxy, appeared in its most beautiful white. To complete the scene, the full moon rose, at length in that clouded majesty, which Milton takes notice of: and opened to the eye a new picture of nature, which was inore finely shaded, and disposed among softer lights than that which the sun had before discovered to us,

3. As I was surveying the moon walking in her brightness, and taking her progress among the constellations, a thought arose in me, which I believe very often perplexes and disturbs men of serious and contemplative natures. David himself fell into it in that reflection; When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers; the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained ;h what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou regardest him !"

4. In the same manner, when I consider that infinitei host of stars, or to speak more philosophically, of suns, which were then shining upon me; with those innumerable sets of planets or worlds, which were moving round their respective suns; when I still enlarged the idea, and supposed another heaven of suns and worlds, rising still above this which we discovered : and these still enlightened by a superior firmament of luminaries, which are

planted at so great a distance, that they may appear to the inhabitants of the former, as the stars do to us : in short, while I pursued this thought, I could not but reflect on that little insignificant figure which I myself bore amidst the immensity of God's works.

5. Where the sun which enlightens this part of the creation, with all the host of planetary worlds that move above him, utterly extinguished and annihilated, they would not be missed, more than a grain of sand upon the sea-shore. The space they possess is so ex

exceedingly little in comparison of the whole, it would scarcely make a blank in the creation.

6. The chasmk would be imperceptible to an eye, that could take in the whole compass of nature, and pass from one end of the creation to the other; as it is possible there may be such a sense in ourselves hereafter, or in creatures which are at present more exalted than ourselves. By 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.

7. Huygenius” carries this thought so far, that he does not think it impossible there may 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 infinate space to exert itself in, how can our imagination set any bounds to it ?

8. 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 work under his care and superintendency. 1 was afraid of being overlooked amidst the immensity of nature; and lost among that infinite variety of creatures, which in all probability, swarm through all these immeasa urable regions of matter.

9. In order to recover myself from this mortifying thought, I considered that it took its rise from 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 negleet others. This imperfection which we observe in ourselves, ie an imperfection that cleaves, in some degree, to creatures of

the highest capacities, as they are creatures, that is, be ings of finite and limited natures.

10. The presence of every created being is confined to a certain measure of space; and consequently his 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.

11. 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, aseribing it to him, in whom there is no shadow of imperfection. Our reason indeed assures us, that his attributes are infinite; but the poorness of our conceptions is such, that it cannot forbear setting bounds to every thing it contemplates, till our reason comes again to our succour, and throws down all those little prejudices, which rise in us unawares, and are natural to the mind of man.

12. We shall therefore utterly extinguish this melancholy thought, of our being overlooked by our Maker, in the multiplicity of his works, and the infinity of those objects among which he seems to de incessantly employed, if we consider, in the first place, that he is omnipresent; and in the second, that he is omniscientul

13. If we consider him in his omnipresence, his being passes through, actuates, and supports the whole frame 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 not essentially reside in it. His substance is within the substance of every being, whether material or immaterial, and as intimately present to it, as that being is to itself,

14. 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 that he has created, or from any part of that space which he diffused and spread abroad to infinity... In short, to speak of him in the language of the old philosopher, he is a being whose centre is every where, and his circumference no where.

15. In the second place, he is omniscient as well as ominipresent. His omniscience, indeed, necessarily and naturally, flows from his omnipresence. He cannot but be conscious of every motion that arises in the whole ma

terial 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 intimately united.

16. Were the soul separated from the body, and should it with one glance of thought start beyond the bounds of the creation; should it for millions of years, continue its progress through infinite space, with the same activity, it would still find itself within the embrace of its Creator, and encompassed by the immensity of the Godhead.

17. In this consideration of the Almighty's omnipres ence and omniscience, every uncomfortable thought vanashes. 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 them on this occasion ;' for, as it is impossible he should overlook any of his creatures, so we may be confidentu that he regards with an eye of mercy,u those who endeavour to recommend themselves to his notice; and in unfeigned humility of heart, think themselves una worthy that he should be mindful of them,


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SECTION 1. a In-qui-ry, fn-kwi'-re, interrogation, and fro, to be uncertain, to change search

lc Es-sence, és'-sense, existence, per0 Fluc-tu-ate, firk’-tshả-ate, to roll tol

fume, odour Happiness is founded in rectitude of conduct.

All men pursue good, and would be happy, if 1. they knew how; not happy for minutes, and miserable for hours ; but happy, if possible, through every part of their existence. Either, therefore, there is a good of this steady, durable kind, or there is not. If not, then all good must be transcient and uncertain ; and if so, an object of the lowest value, which 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 must be derived from some cause; and that cause must either be external, internal, or mixed; in as much as, except those three, there is no other possible. Now a steady, durable good, cannot be derived from an external cause; since all derived from externals must fluctuate as they fluctuate.

3. By the same rule, it cannot be derived from a mixture of the two; because the part which is external, will proportionably destroy its essence. What then remains but the cause internal? the very cause which we have supposed, when we place the sovereign good in mind--in rectitude of conduct:



SECTION II. Ex-pan-sion, éks-pân'-shón, extent, or company pure space

In Dis-perse, dis-perse', to scatter, to disAu-noy, an-ndt', to incommode, to sipate

Ji Par-tic-i-pate, pår-tis'-sé-páte, to parSub-ser-vi-ent, såb-sér'-ve-ent, subor take, to have part of something dinate, useful

common with another d De-tach, de-idtsh', to separate, dis- j Ge-ni-al, je-ne-al, natural, native, engage

contributing to mirth e Chi-mer-i-cal, ke-mêr'-re-kal, imagi-k Stu-pen-dous, std-pên' -důs, wondernary, fantastick

ful, amazing of Ab-sur-di-ly, ab-sür'-de-tè, the qual- l Ad-o-ra-tion, &d-dd-ra'-shủn, divine ity of being absurd

worship & Herd, hård, to run in droves, a drovel

Virtue and piety man's highest interest. 1. I Find myself existing upon a little spot, surrounded every way by an immense unknown expansion. Where am I? What sort of a place do I inhabit? Is it exactly accommodated in every instance to my convenience ? Is there no excess of cold, 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--nothing like it -the

farthest from it possible. 2. The world appears not, then, originally made for the private convenience of me alone - It does not. But is it not possible so to accommodate it, by my own particular industry? If to accommodate inan and beast, heaven and earth, if this be beyond me, it is not possible. What consequence then follows; or can there be any other than this - If I seek an interest of my own detached from that of others, I seek an interest which is cbimer. içal, and which can never have an existence,

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