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to unfold the peculiar features of his character, preparatory to the irreversible de cree of the final audit, before the assembled myriads of the human race. The intercourse of human society opens a field of sufficient magnitude, for the exhibition of all the kindly virtues of our nature, to 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 concerns, which more especially devolve on us, with a diligence proportioned to the station that we occupy. For it is as plainly the dictate of reason as it is the injunction of scripture, that we are not placed here to be inactive spectators of the scene which passes around us, but that we must engage in its transactions, and attend to its claims. Therefore, the injudicious conduct of those who sequestrate themselves entirely from all secular competition, must appear reprehensible, because it is founded on a false idea of religious requirements; these abstain from all kinds of amusement that minister to the senses, and voluntarily retire from all the innocent pleasures which rational and well-regulated society is capable of yielding. They imagine, that by practising a certain number of austerities, and going through a prescribed routine of religious duties, they shall more effectually propitiate the divine favour, (which, unaccompanied by renovation of heart, is completely a mental hallucination,) and obtain the rewards promised to penitence in the kingdom of God. But monastic seclusion, and perpetual celibacy, would, if it were universal, tend to subvert the established laws of the universe; for it is necessary for the support of animal life, that confederacies should be formed, to cultivate even the most indispensable articles of food; and likewise that the sexes should be law fully united, to prevent extermination by the ravages of death. By refraining from any kind of coalition with the rest of the world, they may retain their innocence, but they are deprived of the purest motives and highest incentives to a virtuous life, which arises from the successful encounter of temptation; and of practising the duties of private benevolence, and public patriotism..
Then let us endeavour so "to use this world as not abusing it; for the fashion of the world passeth away." Amidst all the vicissitudes of life, and the fluctuations of external condition, may we be always willing to listen to the voice of duty, and hearken to the claims of humanity and justice. By taking the laws of virtue and
In Essay No. 5, we progressed outward, from the sun, dwelling upon each of the planets, in order, until we arrived at that group of small primaries which were discovered, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, early in the present century. It remains for us to pursue the subject, in the same direction, until we arrive at the boun dary of the system, agreeably to our present discoveries. Many planets, however, may yet remain unknown to us, which the acu men of future astronomers, furnished with superior instruments, may discover, and enrich with their discoveries the volumes of future generations, while they yet more widely make known the manifold wisdom and power of God. To whom be praise.
Having descended to the least, we all at once ascend to the largest planet in the solar system. This orb was named Jupiter by the ancients, perhaps on account of its superiority over the host of the universe; which name it yet bears. The diameter of Jupiter is about eighty-six thousand four hundred miles: it revolves round its own axis, from west to east, in somewhat less than ten hours, and it moves in the same direction, in an elliptic orbit, round the sun, in somewhat more than four thousand three hundred and thirty days. The mean distance of Jupiter from the sun is about four hundred and ninety-seven millions of miles.
This planet is of the complex order, having four satellites, or secondary planets, which revolve round it, each in a distinct orbit. Several superb belts also surround Jupiter, which have the appearance of small satellites, appearing and disappear! ing, and then clustering, in succession, all but in contact each with each, revolving in a most eccentric manner, now shining and then in shade, round the primary planet, like a royal train. In the centre of these hosts, in one orbit, this magnificent orb moves round the sun in royal state, the superior of the orbs of heaven. I
The next planet in succession was named by the ancients Saturn, perhaps on account of its magnitude and immense attendants, which name it now bears. The diameter
CREATION, NOJ VI.
t of Saturn is upwards of seventy-nine thou *?* sand four hundred miles, it revolves round its own axis, from west to east, in ten hours and sixteen minutes, and it moves in the same direction, in an elliptic orbit, round the sun, in about ten thousand seven A hundred and fifty of our days. The mean distance of Saturn from the sun is upwards of nine hundred and eleven millions of miles.
This planet, with its attendants, seems to be more complex in its motion than any other in the solar system. Seven satellites Z or secondary orbs revolve, each in its several orbit round it, perpetually; and a huge ring encompasses it, apparently composed of smaller spheres, to us innumerable, which in one common orbit of immense breadth move, each in near vicinity to each, incessantly round their primary; while, like one great father to the whole, it conducts them in its orbit round the sun. The diameter of this ring, or rather rings, (for Dr. Herschel discovered a division, which resolves it into two rings,) is upwards of one hundred and eighty-five thousand miles, which is more than double the diameter of Saturn, and the breadth of the two rings is twenty thousand miles.
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To be engaged in the contemplation of these immense fields of life and light, and in full prospect of their plenitude and grandeur, must ever and anon rear up the soul to the Infinite Creator-He who fills all space, and has reared up this monument of His wisdom and power for the admiration of the ages of time-ages of intelligent beings, who to him owe life and all things.
In our progression from the sun, the last planet we can enumerate in the solar system is called the Georgium Sidus. This orb was discovered to be a planet, in the train of our central sun, by that great astronomer Herschel, in 1781, and it was named, in honour of its discoverer, Herschel; but out of respect for a monarch, the king of Great Britain, who was the patron of science in his day, he named it Georgium Sidus. The immense distance of this planet from the earth concealed it from the ancients, who had no instruments which would render its motion visible to them; and the apparent slowness of its motion, owing to the vastness of its orbit, ranked it with the fixed stars, long after instruments were constructed which rendered it visible to astronomers. The patience of Herschel, in observing the heavenly bodies, led him forward, until it became obvious to him that this orb was a planet, moving in a regular orbit round the sun. It is occasionally called
Herschel to this day, but more generally Georgium Sidus. This planet, although inferior in size to Jupiter or Saturn, is much larger than any other in the solar system, save these two. Its diameter is about thirty-four thousand five hundred miles; it revolves round its own axis, from west to east, in a period not yet accurately known, and it moves in the same direction, in an elliptic orbit, round the sun, in thirty thousand five hundred and eighty-nine days, viz. eighty-three years and two hundred and ninety-four of our days. The mean distance of the Georgium Sidus from the sun is nearly one thousand eight hundred and twenty-two millions, six hundred thousand miles.
This huge planet is of the complex order, having six satellites, or secondary planets, which, in distinct orbits, move round the primary orb, and in one orbit they all move round the sun. At this immense distance from the sun, the complicated movements of this vast primary, with all its secondary planets, have been, no doubt, continued; and they remain the same, after a lapse of nearly six thousand years. Who would not bow to the Creator and Supporter of this vastness, and hail Him Lord of all?
According to our present knowledge of the celestial orbs, we have now arrived at the utmost verge of the solar system : how far future discoverers may enlarge the knowledge of its boundaries, who can inform us?
Herschel's discoveries have added a diameter of nearly two hundred millions of miles to the heretofore known boun daries of this system; and millions more may, perhaps, be added to these by the patient investigations of future astronomers, who may discover other orbs to be planets which are now ranked with the fixed stars.
The immense bulk and numerous attendants of the Georgium Sidus, with the precision of their movements round the sun, proclaim the solar system, even at that immense distance from the centre, to be hale and healthful; and leave no doubt, if it pleased the Great Creator, that further extension was as possible as the extent of its present known field of operations. From the length of time which elapsed while the Georgium Sidus, Vesta, Juno, Pallas, and Ceres, rolled in their orbits unseen by astronomers, and the short period which has elapsed since the discovery of these planets, the probability is, that future discoveries will he made, and yet more of the universe will become known to man. To our suc cessors, perhaps, we must leave these discoveries, and rejoice in what we already know.
Supposing the Georgium Sidus to be the most distant planet from the sun in existence, then his distance from that central orb will be a semidiameter of the solar system, or this universe. The diameter, then, of this universe would amount, in cluding such a proportion of ether, without the orbit of that planet, as would enable it to move with freedom, and also the diameters of the sun and all the planets, to about four thousand millions of miles! The circumference of this extended diameter must include an area of immense extent -too vast for the human mind to survey, as a whole. It is only in its parts that it can be comprehended by man; and many of these parts are so huge, that it requires a stretch of intellect to receive them fully, too extended for millions of the human race; who, not having habituated themselves to thinking, cannot comprehend these gigantic subjects.
An area, the diameter of which is four thousand millions of miles, full of motion, and fraught with life! What a task, to maintain this motion, to sustain this life! Crystallization, vegetation, animation, intelligence, to say nothing of rolling spheres and their attendant moons, to be sustained and maintained, from season to season, so that the return of each, with all its plenitude, shall be ensured to all, meet to supply each want, and crown the whole with joy! Who is equal to this? He alone, who all created, is equal to the task of sustaining and maintaining all. We behold His power in these His works. For ours is not the day of creation, nor the primeval age; nearly six thousand years have wreaked their havoc over this fair scene; long has been the wear and furious the rush of elemental rage, and, far other seed than life, an enemy hath sown-a potent enemy, the god, at least, of earth—and death it bears, that awful tree, from the fair tree of life an opposite. Death! death! how awful is the contrast to this field of life! But maugre death, life, yet sustained, prolific bears around its life, and like from like, or vegetates, or generates, age to age; succession of that germ which the Creator formed, and bade it live. His word is power, it lives!
The delegated force, second cause, or created law, by which motion is produced and continued, whether in the celestial orbs or terrestrial, on matter, liquid or solid, is that of attraction or gravitation. This is distributed throughout the universe; because, every where throughout this vast field we observe its effects. It acts upon the atoms of matter, while individual, in common with aggregated atoms, when they
have become masses, and the largest planet, as well as the smallest pebble, is subject to this law. Gravitation is so universally distributed throughout this universe, that no portion thereof has yet been discovered, in which it does not exist. However, what this powerful agent is, is a question which, although it has occupied the attentions of the greatest men that our earth has known, is yet undecided. Sir Isaac Newton, after having patiently observed its effects on all the planets, and on all terrestrial matter, upon the most extended scale, with an acumen and patience never exceeded by man, during a long period, indeed a long life, concluded, that the cause of attraction, or gravitation, is a subtile and powerful fluid, distributed throughout the whole solar system, the action of which is universal and incessant.
Supposing the existence of this subtile fluid, it becomes a question, and it is worthy of being put, because the answer is of im portance to the inquirer after truth, Is this subtile and powerful fluid light? Is it light, in action, with an adjunct, capable of creat ing thereto, or therein, an excitement which may be compared with flame, with that action induced by fuel on fire, or with that action thereon which is the product of the solar rays? This powerful something, which acts universally upon all matter, is certainly the first of all secondary causes; and its perfect invisibility, both when at rest and when in action, stamps it with so subtile a character, that we are completely lost in our researches after its substance, and can, therefore, find no answer.
Supposing no such fluid to exist, and that attraction, or gravitation, must be attributed to some other cause; we are equally at a loss to conjecture what that cause is, and how it operates. We cannot render its substance or its action tangible, or even visible, and therefore we cannot arrive at data whereon to ground even a conjecture as to what it is. We behold the effect, for it passes and repasses, again and again, in review before us, under the most substantial and regular forms, but the cause is as completely invisible to us, as if it were utterly foreign to our sphere.
Thus, amidst His visible creation, we note agents which receive power from the great Creator, and are brought into action on the most powerful and extensive scale, although, even amidst their most powerful operations, they are, while their operations are visible, perfectly invisible to us; yea, while we ourselves move in their midst, and are acted upon by them. Should we then wonder that intelligences, the agents or
THE SOUL NOT IN A STATE OF SLEEP.
(Continued from p. 373.)
IV. THE certainty of the soul's immediate entrance on happiness or misery, at death, does not rest upon visions, metaphors, and some peculiar doctrines; but there are plain declarations in scripture, which teach the important truth. The former are auxiliaries, the latter are the principles which support the doctrine of the separate state of the soul after death.
Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him," Gen. v. 24. By God's taking of Enoch, we are to understand, that he was received to immediate glory for St. Paul informs us, that he was translated, that he should not see death," Heb. xi. 5. This may be called
an ocular demonstration of the soul's immortality. By the change which the body undergoes, a fitness for the immediate fruition of heaven was imparted to it: and as we have no reason to doubt the soul's accompanying it, so we must believe that both entered the heavenly country at the same time.
The circumstance of Enoch's body accompanying his soul to the invisible world, does not in the least affect the general argument; but, on the contrary, strengthens it. For, as the design of these papers is to prove, that as soon as the body ceases to act in this world, the soul enters immediately into a state either of happiness or misery; so the translation of Enoch's body from this world put an end to its earthly existence, and it accompanied the immortal soul to the immediate enjoyment of heaven. Such a phenomenon would naturally excite much speculation among the antediluvians, and elicit a variety of curious observations. If they had any distinct notion of the compound nature of man, they would conclude, that, as Enoch had been a good man, and had 2D SERIES, NO. 9.-VOL. I.
been taken in his compounded state to heaven; so the Almighty would, in the same manner, at the hour of death, receive the invisible part, or soul, of every good man.
Though the scriptures are silent, as regards the revelations given to Adam while in paradise; yet there is a strong presumption, that he had an intimation of the immortality of the soul; that he handed the same to his successors; and that the translation of Enoch was intended, by the Almighty, to confirm that tradition.
"And it came to pass, as they still went on and talked, that behold there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder, and Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven," 2 Kings ii, 11. The appearance of Elijah on the mount of transfiguration, removes all doubt of his existing in a separate state. It has been justly observed, that the translation of Enoch before the law, that of Elijah under the law, and that of Christ under the gospel, is to teach us, that, in every dispensation, the kingdom of heaven has been open to mankind, and that the doctrine of the soul's immediate happiness or misery at death, has been always directly or indirectly taught. The more immediate effects of this rapture would be to encourage other prophets to stand as boldly up for the cause of truth as Elijah had done; to stimulate the comparatively few worshippers of Jehovah to persevere in their course; to demonstrate the superior reward of the wor shippers of the God of Israel, to that of the besotted followers of Baal; and that, as soon as earthly trials cease, heavenly joys
"Thou wilt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory," Psalm lxxiii. 24. Here is an expression of David's persuasion, that he should immediately at death enter upon a state of exquisite enjoyment. That enjoyment he calls glory, which is a word frequently used to denote the heavenly state. St. Paul calls it by this name, "received up into glory," 1 Tim. iii. 16. That this glory, to which Christ was received up, was the hea venly fruition, is evident from the words of the angels to the disciples, "This same Jesus is taken up from you into heaven,” Acts i. 11. The time when David was to be received into this glory, was after he had been guided by the divine counsel. Afterwards means a succession of time connected with some event previously mentioned. In this case, it refers to the time succeeding his having been guided by the divine counsel. When speaking of
Samuel, the scriptures inform us that "he blessed the sacrifice, and afterwards they eat that are bidden,” 1 Sam. ix. 13. It is evident from this part of the history of Samuel, that afterwards does not signify any given space of time, but merely the continued succession of time. As soon as Samuel had consecrated the sacrifice by prayer, immediately the people began to eat it. Apply this meaning of the word, to David's expression, and then we are informed, that as soon as the Almighty had finished guiding him with his counsel in this world, he immediately received his soul to glory; for his body " 'slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David," 1 Kings ii. 10.
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, ut postquam in gloriam recipias me, "Guide me with thy counsel, that thou mayest afterward receive me to glory. These direct proofs, as well as others which are indicative, ought to convince every unprejudiced mind, that the worshippers of Jehovah, under the old testament dispensation, believed in the immediate happiness or punishment of the soul, at the death of the body. Were it necessary, proofs might be brought forward to shew, that the same doctrine was believed among the Jews, from the days of the prophets to the coming of Christ; but we adhere strictly to scripture proofs.
"It came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by angels into Abraham's bosom," Luke xvi. 22. The transition of the beggar's soul from death to Abraham's bosom was immediate. And by Abraham's bosom, is meant the heavenly state, which was generally designated by this phrase among the Jews. As the Saviour was addressing a Jewish audience when he put forth this parable, he endeavoured to convey his meaning to them in their own phraseology. It was common with the Jews to say, when any one whom they respected, died, "his soul is gone to paradise, to Abraham's bosom." It was also their opinion, that angels attended departed spirits, to conduct them to paradise. The plain meaning, then, of our Lord is, that the soul of this poor man was carried by angels to heaven, as soon as it got rid of his disseased body.
"The rich man also died, and was buried, and in hell he lift up his eyes," Luke xvi. 22, 23. Here is also the immediate transition of the soul of a wicked man, at death, to a state of punishment.
That hell in this passage does not mean the grave, is evident from one of its adjuncts being torment. Whatever construction quibbling sophists may put upon these words; yet no honest mind would attempt to deny, that the wisest teacher that ever appeared among men, plainly and irresistibly presents to our view, in this parable, the doctrine of immediate rewards and punishments at death, as the consequence of the manner in which the previous life has been spent. Huggate. T. R.
WEST INDIAN AND OLD TESTAMENT SLAVERY CONSIDERED, OCCASIONED BY CERTAIN PARAGRAPHS IN THE MORNING POST.
THE abolition of slavery is a subject which at present engages the attention of a large portion of the community, and which, at no distant period, will be one of grave and animated discussion in Parliament. It is a question between interest and humanity, and which, in its discussion, will range, on one side, pounds, shillings, and pence; and on the other, all that is righteous, and virtuous, and benevolent. Did the assembly before whom the case is to be argued consist only of disinterested and virtuous men, the issue would not be at all problematical, but morally certain; but as in that assembly there are many who are deeply interested, there will be much ingenuity and sophistry employed, to prove that slavery, which a British Parliament has again and again denounced, is, after all, a very humane and religious thing, and that the abolitionists are at once fighting against every principle of sound policy, against the happiness and interest of the slave, and, above all, against the ordination of the Almighty!
A writer in the Morning Post of the 10th of May, 1831, denounces all those persons who advocate the cause of abolition, unless they will first purchase all the property the West Indies, including the slaves, as insincere, and "the greatest hypocrites in the world." This writer, in his zeal, forgets two things: first, that those advocates, in common with all who have been partakers of the West India produce, have already paid a large sum, in the form of protecting duties, for West India property; and, secondly, that West India proprietors have accumulated large fortunes by the system, for the continuance of which they so earnestly contend. Let them return all their profits, and all that the system has cost a British public; and should these sums not