Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]


to unfold the peculiar features of his cha- religion as the rule of our actions, we shall racter, preparatory to the irreversible de- be enabled to live without the perturba cree of the final audit, before the assembled tions of fear, or the anxieties of guilt ; to myriads of the human race. The inter- rejoice without extravagance, and triumph course of human society opens a field of without ostentation. sufficient magnitude, for the exhibition of

Thos. Royce. all the kindly virtues of our nature, to Leicester, June 23, 1831. assume their prominence, and sustain their force. While our connexion with the world subsists, we must be brought into contact with its affairs, and apply to the

(Continued from p. 316.) concerns, which more especially devolve In Essay No. 5, we progressed outward, on us, with a diligence proportioned to the from the sun, dwelling upon each of the station that we occupy. For it is as plainly planets, in order, until we arrived at that! the dictate of reason as it is the injunction group of small primaries which were disof scripture, that we are not placed here to covered, between the orbits of-Mars and be inactive spectators of the scene which Jupiter, early in the present century. -* passes around us, but that we must engage remains for us to pursue the subject, in the in its transactions, and attend to its claims, same direction, until we arrive at the bom.

Therefore, the injudicious conduct of dary of the system, agreeably to our present those who sequestrate themselves entirely discoveries. Many planets, however, may from all secular competition, must appear yet remain unknown to us, which the acu. reprehensible, because it is founded on a men of future astronomers, furnished with false idea of religious requirements; these superior instruments, may discover, and abstain from all kinds of amusement that enrich with their discoveries the volumes minister to the senses, and voluntarily of future generations, while they yet more retire from all the innocent pleasures which widely make known the manifold wisdom rational and well-regulated society is capa- and power of God. To whom be praise. ble of yielding. They imagine, that by Having descended to the least, we all at practising a certain number of austerities, once ascend to the largest planet in the and going through a prescribed routine of solar system. This orb was named Jupiter religious duties, they shall more effectually by the ancients, perhaps on account of its propitiate the divine favour, (which, unac- superiority over the host of the universe; companied by renovation of heart, is com- which name it yet bears. The diameter of pletely a mental hallucination, and obtain Jupiter is about eighty-six thousand four the rewards promised to penitence in the hundred miles : it revolves round its lown kingdom of God. But monastic seclusion, axis, from west to east, in somewhati less and perpetual celibacy, would, if it were than ten hours, and it moves in the same universal, tend to subvert the established direction, in an elliptic orbit, round the laws of the universe ; for it is necessary for sun, in somewhat more than four thouthe support of animal life, that confede- sand three hundred and thirty days. The racies should be formed, to cultivate even mean distance of Jupiter from the sun is the most indispensable articles of food; about four hundred and ninety-seven miland likewise that the sexes should be law- lions of miles. fully united, to prevent extermination by This planet is of the complex order, the ravages of death. By refraining from having four satellites, or secondary planets, any kind of coalition with the rest of the which revolve round it, each in a distinct world, they may retain their innocence, but orbit. Several superb belts also surround they are deprived of the purest motives Jupiter, which have the appearance of and highest incentives to a virtuous life, small satellites, appearing and disappear which arises from the successful encountering, and then clustering, in succession, all of temptation ; and of practising the duties but in contact each with each, revolving in of private benevolence, and public pa- a most eccentric manner, now shining and triotism.

then in shade, round the primary planet, · Then let us endeavour so sto use this like a royal train. In the centre of these world as not abusing it; for the fashion of hosts, in one orbit, this magnificent orb the world passeth away." Amidst all the moves round the sun in royal state, the vicissitudes of life, and the fluctuations of superior of the orbs of heaven. 'I external condition, may we be always The next planet in succession was named willing to listen to the voice of duty, and by the ancients Saturn, perhaps on account hearken to the claims of humanity and of its magnitude and immense attendants, justice. By taking the laws of virtue and which name it now bears. The diameter

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


399 211 of Saturn is upwards of seventy-nine thou. Herschel to this day, but more generally *7** sand four hundred miles, it revolves round Georgium Sidus. This planet, although ** its own axis, from west to east, in ten hours inferior in size to Jupiter or Saturn, is much e and sixteen minutes, and it moves in the larger than any other in the solar system,

same direction, in an elliptic orbit, round save these two. Its diameter is about | the sun,ii in about ten thousand seven thirty-four thousand five hundred miles ; it

hundred and fifty of our days. The mean revolves round its own axis, from west to distance of Saturn from the sun is upwards east, in a period not yet accurately known, of nine hundred and eleven millions of and it moves in the same direction, in an miles.

elliptic orbit, round the sun, in thirty thouThis planet, with its attendants, seems to sand five hundred and eighty-nine days, S T be more complex in its motion than any viz. eighty-three years and two hundred other in the solar system. Seven satellites and ninety-four of our days.

The mean ; or secondary orbs revolve, each in its se- distance of the Georgium Sidus from the

reral orbit round it, perpetually; and a sun is nearly one thousand eight hundred * huge ring encompasses it, apparently com- and twenty-two millions, six hundred I posed of smaller spheres, to us innumerable, thousand miles.

which in one common orbit of immense This huge planet is of the complex order, breadth move, each in near vicinity to each, having six satellites, or secondary planets, incessantly round their primary; while, which, in distinct orbits, move round the like one great father to the whole, it con- primary orb, and in one orbit they all move ducts them in its orbit round the sun. The round the sun. At this immense distance diameter of this ring, or rather rings, (for from the sun, the complicated movements Dr. Herschel discovered a division, which of this vast primary, with all its secondary resolves it into two rings,) is upwards of planets, have been, no doubt, continued'; one hundred and eighty-five thousand miles, and they remain the same, after a lapse of which is more than double the diameter nearly six thousand years. Who would not of Saturn, and the breadth of the two rings bow to the Creator and Supporter of this is twenty thousand miles.

vastness, and hail Him Lord of all ? - To be engaged in the contemplation of According to our present knowledge of these immense fields of life and light, and the celestial orbs, we have now arrived at in full prospect of their plenitude and gran- the utmost verge of the solar system : how deur, must ever and anon rear up the soul far future discoverers may enlarge the knowto the Infinite Creator-He who fills all ledge of its boundaries, who can inform space, and has reared up this monument Herschel's discoveries have added of His wisdom and power for the admi- a diameter of nearly two hundred millions ration of the ages of time—ages of intel. of miles to the heretofore known bounligent beings, who to him owe life and all daries of this system; and millions more things.

may, perhaps, be added to these by the = In our progression from the sun, the last patient investigations of future astronomers, planet we can enumerate in the solar system who may discover other orbs to be planets is called the Georgium Sidus. This orb which are now ranked with the fixed stars. was discovered to be a planet, in the train The immense bulk and numerous attendof our central sun, by that great astronomer ants of the Georgium Sidus, with the preHerschel, in 1781, and it was named, in cision of their movements round the sun, honour of its discoverer, Herschel ; but proclaim the solar system, even at that out of respect for a monarch, the king of immense distance from the centre, to be Great Britain, who was the patron of science bale and healthful; and leave no doubt, in his day, he named it Georgium Sidus. if it pleased the Great Creator, that further The immense distance of this planet from extension was as possible as the extent of the earth concealed it from the ancients, its present known field of operations. From who had no instruments which would render the length of time which elapsed while the its motion visible to them; and the ap- Georgium Sidus, Vesta, Juno, Pallas, and parent slowness of its motion, owing to the Ceres, rolled in their orbits unseen by asvastness of its orbit, ranked it with the tronomers, and the short period which has fixed stars, long after instruments were con. elapsed since the discovery of these planets, structed which rendered it visible to astro- the probability is, that future discoveries nomers. The patience of Herschel, in ob- will he made, and yet more of the universe serving the heavenly bodies, led him forward, will become known to man. To our sucuntil it became obvious to him that this orb cessors, perhaps, we must leave these dis was a planet, moving in a regular orbit coveries, and rejoice in what we already round the sun. It is occasionally called know.

[ocr errors]

us ?

[ocr errors]

Jupiter fart

and meetod

of the cont

od it is verb belts and the ve the

caring 26

with each
anner, oro

od the present
In the country

this matte in in portalen of heaven

1, perhaps et

immer bear,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Supposing the Georgium Sidus to be the have become masses, and the largest planet; most distant plavet from the sun in exist- as well as the smallest pebble, is subject to ence, then his distance from that central this law. Gravitation is so universally disorb will be a semidiameter of the solar tributed throughout this universe, that no system, or this universe. The diameter, portion thereof has yet been discovered, in then, of this universe would amount, in. which it does not exist. However, what cluding such a proportion of ether, without this powerful agent is, is a question which, the orbit of that planet, as would enable it although it has occupied the attentions of to move with freedom, and also the dia- the greatest men that our earth has known, meters of the sun and all the planets, to is yet undecided. Sir Isaac Newton, after about four thousand millions of miles! having patiently observed its effects on all The circumference of this extended diameter the planets, and on all terrestrial matter, must include an area of immense extent upon the most extended scale, with an -100 vast for the human mind to survey, acumen and patience never exceeded by as a whole. It is only in its parts that it man, during a long period, indeed a long can be comprehended by man; and many lise, concluded, that the cause of attraction, of these parts are so huge, that it requires a or gravitation, is a subtile and powerful stretch of intellect to receive them fully, too fluid, distributed throughout the whole solar extended for millions of the buman race; system, the action of which is universal and who, not having habituated themselves to incessant. thinking, cannot comprehend these gigantic Supposing the existence of this subtile subjects.

fluid, it becomes a question, and it is worthy An area, the diameter of which is four of being put, because the answer is of imthousand millions of miles, full of motion, portance to the inquirer after truth, Is this and fraught with life! What a task, to subtile and powerful fluid light? Is it light, maintain this motion, to sustain this life! in action, with an adjunct, capable of creatCrystallization, vegetation, animation, intel. ing thereto, or therein, an excitement which ligence, to say nothing of rolling spheres may be compared with fame, with that and their attendant moons, to be sustained action induced by fuel on fire, or with that and maintained, from season to season, so that action thereon which is the product of tlie the return of each, with all its plenitude, solar rays ? This powerful something, which shall be ensured to all, meet to supply each acts universally upon all matter, is certainly want, and crown the whole with joy! Who the first of all secondary causes; and its is equal to this? He alone, who all created, perfect invisibility, both when at rest and is equal to the task of sustaining and main. when in action, stamps it with so subtile taining all. We behold His power in these a character, that we are completely lost in His works. For ours is not the day of our researches after its substance, and cang creation, nor the primeval age; nearly six therefore, find no answer. thousand years have wreaked their havoc Supposing no such fluid to exist, and over this fair scene; long has been the wear that attraction, or gravitation, must be atand furious the rush of elemental rage, tributed to some other cause; we are and, far other seed than life, an enemy hath equally at a loss to conjecture what that sown—a potent enemy, the god, at least, of cause is, and how it operates. We cannot earth-and death it bears, that awful tree, render its substance or its action tangible, from the fair tree of life an opposite. or even visible, and therefore we cannot Death ! death ! how awful is the contrast to arrive at data whereon to ground even a this field of life! But maugre death, life, conjecture as to what it is. We behold yet sustained, prolific bears around its life, the effect, for it passes and repasses, again and like from like, or vegetates, or gene- and again, in review before us, under the rates, age to age; succession of that germ most substantial and regular forms, but the which the Creator formed, and bade it live. cause is as completely invisible to us, as if His word is power, it lives!

it were utterly foreign to our sphere, The delegated force, second cause, or Thus, amidst His visible creation, we created law, by which motion is produced note agents which receive power from the and continued, whether in the celestial orbs great Creator, and are brought into action or terrestrial, on matter, liquid or solid, is on the most powerful and extensive scale, that of attraction or gravitation. This is although, even amidst their most powerful distributed throughout the universe; be- operations, they are, while their operations cause, every where throughout this vast field are visible, perfectly invisible to us; yea, we observe its effects. It acts upon the while we ourselves move in their midst, and atoms of matter, while individual, iu com- are acted upon by them. Should we then mon with aggregated aloms, when they wonder that intelligences, the agents i or

[ocr errors][merged small]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


401 messengers

ers of the infinite Elohim, move been taken in his compounded state to around, and even act upon us, although heaven; so the Almighty would, in the invisible and unknown? Or should we be same manner, at the hour of death, receive amazed, " although the Lord reigneth, and the invisible part, or soul, of every good the earth rejoiceth, and the multitudes of the isles are glad thereof—that clouds and Though the scriptures are silent, as redarkness are round about Him," and, gards the revelations given to Adam while veiled from us, we cannot behold our God. in paradise; yet there is a strong presump

WM. ColdweLL. tion, that he had an intimation of the imKing Square, May 28, 1831.

mortality of the soul ; that he handed the same to his successors; and that the trans, lation of Enoch was intended, by the Al.

mighty, to confirm that tradition. ON THE EVIDENCE, FROM SCRIPTURE, THAT “ And it came to pass, as they still went

THE SOUL, IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE on and talked, that behold there appeared 1. DEATH OF THE BODY, IS NOT IN A STATE a chariot of fire and horses of fire, and *1*OF SLEEP, ETC.NO. VII.

parted them both asunder, and Elijah went (Continued from p. 373.)

up by a whirlwind to heaven," 2 Kings

į, 11. The appearance of Elijah on the IV. The certainty of the soul's immediate mount of transfiguration, removes all doubt entrance on happiness or misery, at death, of his existing in a separate state. It has does not rest upon visions, metaphors, and been justly observed, that the translation of some peculiar doctrines; but there are Enoch before the law, that of Elijah under plain declarations in scripture, which teach the law, and that of Christ under the gosthe important truth. The former are aux- pel, is to teach us, that, in every dispeniliaries, the latter are the principles which sation, the kingdom of heaven has been support the doctrine of the separate state of open to mankind, and that the doctrine of the soul after death.

the soul's immediate happiness or misery 16 Enoch walked with God, and he was at death, has been always directly or indinot, for God took him," Gen. v. 24. By rectly taught. The more immediate effects God's taking of Enoch, we are to under- of this rapture would be to encourage other stand, that he was received to immediate prophets to stand as boldly up for the cause glory; * for St. Paul informs us, that he of truth as Elijah had done; to stimulate was translated, that he should not see the comparatively few worshippers of Jehodeath,” Heb. xi. 5. This may be called vah to persevere in their course; to demonan ocular demonstration of the soul's im- strate the superior reward of the wor, mortality. By the change which the body shippers of the God of Israel, to that of the undergoes, a fitness for the immediate besotted followers of Baal, and that, as fruition of heaven was imparted to it: and soon as earthly trials cease, heavenly joys as we have no reason to doubt the soul's accompanying it, so we must believe that - Thou wilt guide me with thy counsel, both entered the heavenly country at the and afterward receive me to glory," Psalm same time.

lxxiii. 24. Here is an expression of The circumstance of Enoch's body ac- David's persuasion, that he should immecompanying his soul to the invisible diately at death enter upon a state of ex. world, does not in the least affect the quisite enjoyment. That enjoyment he general argument; but, on the contrary, calls glory, which is a word frequently used strengthens it. For, as the design of these to denote the heavenly state. St. Paul papers is to prove, that as soon as the calls it by this name, 6 received


into body ceases to act in this world, the soul glory," 1 Tim. iii. 16. That this glory, to enters immediately into a state either of which Christ was received up, was the heahappiness or misery; so the translation of venly fruition, is evident from the words of Enoch's body from this world put an end the angels to the disciples, “This same to its earthly existence, and it accompanied Jesus is taken up from you into heaven, the immortal soul to the immediate enjoy- Acts i. 11. The time when David was to ment of heaven. Such a phenomenon be received into this glory, was after he would naturally excite much speculation had been guided by the divine counsel. among the antediluvians, and elicit a Afterwards means a succession of time variety of curious observations. If they connected with some event previously had any distinct notion of the compound mentioned. In this case, it refers to the nature of man, they would conclude, that, time succeeding his having been guided by as Enoch had been a good man, and had the divine counsel. When speaking of 2D SERIES, No. 9. - VOL. I.

153,-VOL, XIII



3 E



Samuel, the scriptures inform us that “he That hell in this passage does not mean blessed the sacrifice, and afterwards they the grave, is evident from one of its adeat that are bidden,” 1 Sam. ix. 13. It is juncts being torment. Whatever construcevident from this part of the history of tion quibbling sophists may put upon these Samuel, that afterwards does not signify words; yet no honest mind would attempt any given space of time, but merely the to deny, that the wisest teacher that ever continued succession of time. As soon as appeared among men, plainly and irreSamuel had consecrated the sacrifice by sistibly presents to our view, in this parable, prayer, immediately the people began to the doctrine of immediate rewards and eat it.

Apply this meaning of the word, punishments at death, as the consequence to David's expression, and then we are of the manner in which the previous life informed, that as soon as the Almighty had has been spent. finished guiding him with his counsel in Huggate.

T. R. this world, he immediately received his soul to glory; for his body “slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of


CONSIDERED, The version of Junius and Tremellius makes David's being received to glory, a consequent of his being guided by the divine counsel.” Consilio tuo deduc me, The abolition of slavery is a subject which ut postquam in gloriam recipias me, at present engages the attention of a farge “Guide me with thy counsel, that thou portion of the community, and which, at mayest afterward receive me to glory. no distant period, will be one of grave and These direct proofs, as well as others which animated discussion in Parliament. It is are indicative, ought to convince every a question between interest and humanity, unprejudiced mind, that the worshippers and which, in its discussion, will range, on of Jehovah, under the old testament dis- one side, pounds, shillings, and pence; and pensation, believed in the immediate hap- on the other, all that is righteous, and virpiness or punishment of the soul, at the tuous, and benevolent. Did the assembly death of the body. Were it necessary, before whom the case is to be argued consist proofs might be brought forward to shew, only of disinterested and virtuous men, the that the same doctrine was believed among issue would not be at all problematical, bitt the Jews, from the days of the prophets to morally certain ; but as in that assembly the coming of Christ; but we adhere strictly there are many who are deeply interested, to scripture proofs.

there will be much ingenuity and sophistry “ It came to pass that the beggar died, employed, to prove that slavery, which a and was carried by angels into Abraham's British Parliament has again and again debosom,” Luke xvi. 22. The transition of nounced, is, after all, a very humane and the beggar's soul from death to Abraham's religious thing, and that the abolitionists are bosom was immediate. And by Abra- at once fighting against every principle of hain's bosom, is meant the heavenly state, sound policy, against the happiness and which was generally designated by this interest of the slave, and, above all, against phrase among the Jews. As the Saviour the ordination of the Almighty ! was addressing a Jewish audience when he A writer in the Morning Post of the 10th put forth this parable, he endeavoured to of May, 1831, denounces all those persons convey his meaning to them in their own who advocate the cause of abolition, unless phraseology. It was common with the they will first purchase all the property

in Jews to say, when any one whom they the West Indies, including the slaves, as respected, died, “his soul is gone to para. insincere, and “the greatest hypocrites in dise, to Abraham's bosom." It was also the world.” This writer, in his zeal, forgets their opinion, that angels attended departed two things: first, that those advocates, in spirits, to conduct them to paradise. The common with all who have been partakers plain meaning, then, of our Lord is, that the of the West India produce, have already soul of this poor man was carried by angels paid a large sum, in the form of protecting to heaven, as soon as it got rid of his dis- duties, for West India property; and, seseased body:

condly, that West India proprietors have “ The rich man also died, and was accumulated large fortunes by the system, buried, and in hell he lift up his eyes,” for the continuance of which they so earLuke xvi. 22, 23. Here is also the immé- nestly contend. Let them return all their diate transition of the soul of a wicked profits, and all that the system has cost a man, at death, to a state of punishment. British public; and should these sums not

« AnteriorContinuar »