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from this Eternal Source, through the bodies of the stellar and solar
systems, the earth, vegetable and animal existence, Mankind, and
Intelligence.

These attributes are distinctly displayed throughout every depart-
ment of Nature, and in all tiungs therein contained ; and uniting (as
all other principles invariably and unchangeably do), tbey form each
successive link in the great chain of universal progression and devel-
opment. And so, in contemplating the First Cause, a correct idea
is obtained of its Nature as an Eternal Mind!



§ 18. No possible combination of figures would be adequate to
present to the human mind the number of spheres contained in the
broad ocean of the stellar system. If each particle of matter com-
posing this sphere could be numbered, the whole would not even
convey an idea of Uie number of worlds contained in infinite
space ! A constant formation is takmg place in every part of the
Universe. Each of these parts is changing and exchangmg; and
particles are thrown from existing spheres and added to others, or
unite in forming new ones. There is a universal condensation and
consolidation of matter constantly going on, caused by the dissipation
or repulsion of that heat and ether which it contamed in its fluid state ;
and consequently there is a constant reception and rejection of par-
tielcs taking place between all bodies in the Universe. This constant
farmation, creation, or rather reproduction, is caused by the law
•ripnally instituted, and which is perpetually dischargmg its legitimate



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108 THE PRINCIPLEB OF NATURE.

office. Besides this, there is no disqualification of the united Whole
to produce essential and particular results. Also the universal mo-
tion and recreative activity of the Whole is caused by the same pro-
gressive law that produces the modifications and refinements which
are constantly observed in the parts : and hence the Whole becomes
fitted for different spheres of association.

Orbs, planets, spheres are thus organized ; and the whole plane
of the solar system is presented in corresponding formations to
the mind. Thus are represented the constant, unchangeable action
of all things, and the ascending forms which each assumes ; and thus
is represented the mighty power which eternally acts through the
Whole!

There are therefore centres around which innumerable planets re-
volve ; and planets revolve around these again : and thus one circle
after another is developed. Like the sun and its planets, there is
formed one sphere of action, around which subordinate spheres move
with undeviating and mathematical precision, until from the centre
outward there are concentric circles constantly developed from the
one circle, until the farthest point of its powerful and controlling in-
fluence is attained.

Conceive of the sun, its planets, and their satellites — their com-
position, and the offices which they perform — and you will be able^
by the laws of analogy, to indefinitely comprehend the movements of
infinite space, and to conceive of the innumerable suns and centres
of like motion and activity. For each sphere or orb in boundless
space may be conceived of and comprehended by the light of anal-
ogy. Contemplate a Power so great, so omnipotent, so eternal, as to
institute a Law in matter which thus produces what is known to be
existing ! Meditate upon the unimaginable number of spheres that
are contained below, around, and above your more transient theatre of
existence ; and let the thoughts which are contemplating the things and
powers that are contained in the celestial spheres of existence be no
less active ! And think of the omnipotent force and power which they
manifest in all their united and harmonious motions ! You thus have
a pefect system of material formation, supported by an invisible
Power and Law, perfect in all its forces and motions which are openly
observed and known to exist !

There can be no thought profound and expansive enough to com-
prehend the overwhelming idea of Infinite Power ! For this power
is no less perfect in the solar system than it is in all the systems and
kingdoms existing upon this earthly sphere which you are associated



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THB PBINGIPLI8 OF KATUBB. 109

with. It is manifest in the yarions divisions of formation ; in the
gSDeral kingdoms which have been progressively developed ; and in
the perfect and efficaoions process by which they are constantly and
vncfaang^bly being produced. In eveiy kingdom of the physical
and organic formations of the eiurth there is evinced an inexhausti-
ble, incomprehensible, and omnipotent force, which actuates them and
all their developments and reproductions ! So perfect is this force,
so harmonious and beautiful is its action, that nothing is destroyed or
annihilated ; but all things answer the end for which they were orig-
inally designed. And both in a minute and general field of observa-
tiOQ the same power may be seen as unchangeably active in the pro-
duction and purification of particles, as also in causing their association
with those of like affinity, until the very substance of Sensation is
developed into Intelligence; and then intelligence, as a refinement of
all else existing, can associate with all corresponding intelligence.
And thus the reason is made manifest why the mind is pleased to as-
date with that of an intellectual nature. It is thus able to conceive
of Intelligence in Omnipotence.

The earth and all things herein contained, and the system which
is above, below, and occupying all space, unite in all their unspeaka-
ble manifestations in impressing the mind with that deep and solemn
truth which is the great pillar of all truth, that the Great First Cause
poaaesses as one attribute, the essence, the quality of unimaginable,
ia eo mp rehenaible, and eternal Poweb! The impressions received
firom aU these manifestations are irresistibly subduing, convincing,
and wonderful ! The expressions which are used by Nature to con-
rej such a conclusion, are of such a character that the internal man
only can receive and associate with them. The evidences of such can
not be adequately expressed by man ; but they are demonstratively
OQQvincing and penetratmg, as the inward voice of all Nature.



^ 89. Thus the foreg(»ng train of remark establishes the eternal
attribate of Omnipotenee. — And whUe observing the powerful move-
ments of all things contained in the terrestrial and celestial spheres,
can not but be a conception of Divine Wisdom legitimately
spanying the former conclusion. The innumerable centres of
tfe stellar system ; the many suns, widi their accompanying orbs,
planets, and satellites ; the perfect precision of the general movements
of all these bodies ;. their regular and connected adjustment and unity ;



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110 THE PRIN0IPLK8 OF NATURE.

the distributive harmony and equilibriam of forces and motions which
they constantly display — are all manifestations of grandeur, beauty,
and order unspeakable. The regular inclinations of orbits and axes,
and the definite distances of globes from each other ; their constant
sameness of motion, and the uniform direction which all take ; the ap-
parent sympathy and reciprocation of the spheres and atmospheres of
the innumerable and apparently-independent bodies ; the united and
constant action which each of these manifests — all conspire to force
upon the mind the irresistible impression that the great and united
Movements of the Universe are all being performed according to a
most inconceivably-perfect adjustment of mathematical and mechani-
cal laws, and that all things are guided in the very motions of their
inherent life and activity by the essence of Omnipotent Wisdom !
Their formation and procreation ; their particles and constituent parts
manifest in their order and arrangement the perfection of pure Wis-
dom and Intelligence — while their numerical extent and diverse
modes of development infinitely transcend the highest powers of hu-
man calculation and demonstration. No process of analogical rea-
soning or of mathematical calculation has yet reached that point of
perfection by which may be demonstrated and calculated the exact
distances at which these spheres revolve, the immensity of space
which they occupy, and' the harmony of the Whole!

Again : Geological investigators have decided upon the relative
eras at which the various formations were gradually produced. Also
that the various strata, from the first to the last, were successively
developed according to the induction received from the internal ap-
pearances which they now present.

Accompanjring each of these developments were corresponding
productions of vegetable and animal life. And whether the chain is
unbroken from the first development of living species to those which
now exist, is a question which has no essential bearing upon the in-
ductions legitimately received ; for the generalization of the geolo^cal
and physiological sciences leads to corresponding universal truths.
Therefore the orderly development of the earth, and of accompanying
and corresponding organic beings, manifests unspeakable Wisdom
and Design !

So also throughout the labyrinths of the many inferior develop-
ments up to Man is the same constantly observed. The operation
of Nature upon the principle of cause and effect ; the succession of
the four seasons ; of day and night ; the continued production and
reproduction of all things, as determined by the constant and faarmo-



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THE PBIKCIPLIB OF VATUBS. Ill

opeimtioDS of these last principles in Nature, and which cause
tke fcrtilitj of the earth ; the constant perfecting and purification of
an particles composing the material and organic universe ; the com-
parattTe repoae of the functions of y^table life, during the hours
of darkness, so as to produce mature perfection, — all these speak
deeisiTelj sad impressiyelj of unbounded Wudoml

And there is a time also for human physical repose, in order that
the man J organs and functions of the body may regain what has been
expended during the hours of actiiity, so that therd may be a con-
stant and uniform supply of materials and forces generated hourly
and aecoodly, by the energetic movements of the organization.
CoiitemplatioQ oo the structure and mutual adaptation of all the parts
of the latter, and the uses therein manifested; on the essential
chemical properties and qualities composing the fluids and solids ;
the regular reaction and transmutation of each particle of the solid
and fluid sabstanees of the body ; the harmomous and undeviating
law upon whidi the whole is sustained, developing cause, efiect, and
endf in erery motion and particle of its organisation, — all these, con-
neeted with the previous contemplations, carry to the mind the inter-
nal and deep oooviction, that from the planetary system to geological
formalioiis and developments, vegetable and animal creations, and
Ifaa, all things ate ordered and arranged by Divine Wisdom.

The Uw of gravitation ; of repulsion ; of progression ; — also the
evaporatioo and refinement of particles existing upon the face of
Xature; the immense and inconceivable good which is thus con-
stantly being produced; finally, the beauty and harmony of all
i; the Cause, EflS^ and End; the Design; the uses; the
and eternal simplicity of movements externally mani-
feB<fd» still which are too immense and powerful to be compre-
hfdiirii — speak only the voice of eternal Power and Wisdom!
And the mind thus contemplating Nature and all her various forces
and m oliop si receives distbct and impressive truths fWmi the univer-
anls of existenee, that kindle within it an intellectual flame of rever-
cnee and adoration ! And by steady and pnrfbund meditation, this
win b«n and bri^ten, and purify the internal principle of organic
fife. And the field of such meditations is unbounded, inasmuch as
tkemhis themselves ate inadequate to conceive of the high and
deep Wisdom emanating firom the Great Cause of causation !



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112 THE PEINCIPLK8 OF NATUBK.



§ 40. And while admiring the wisdom as seen and felt in all things
around and above, the mind is impressed still more deeply, and with
a clearer perception, with an attribute still more perfect, viz., that of
GOODNESS ! The incalculable number of worlds which the mind has
previously contemplated, with their power of action and wise adjust-
ment of motion, display goodness and design in all thdr various
spheres and states of activity. Goodness is manifested in the fact
that each law of b, positive nature produces effects of a negative na-
ture ; and the equilibrium existing between all motions and forces,
causes the principle of goodness to be displayed from the very centre
to the circumference of their united actions. And also all the palse-
tiological sciences, when traced to the present time, or retraced to
causes anterior, show the constant adaptation and succession of parts
serving as agents and instruments to produce future effects, and whidi
produce others still, until the whole, up to the formation of Man,
presents a united chain of progression, — a system of concentric
circles of development, — and the Whole displays beauty, purpose,
and design. Each successive circle evinces an infinite amount of
power, wisdom, and goodness, until all combined produce Man as
an Ultimate — and that these all were essential principles and (der-
ations carried through Nature, for the ven/jnerpose of producing this
sublime Result !

And as Man contains the perfected and refined substances of all
else existing, he stands as an emblem of this great Attribute. For
man, through this principle of goodness, possesses an intellectual
composition whereby he exercises power, wisdom, and goodness over
all below his exalted state, in the vegetable and animal kingdoms.
And that the earth might be made useful, and that plants and animals
might add to the usefulness thereof, it "wt^b positively necessary and
good that they should have a lord and governor. If all things below
the composition of man were existing without him, there could be
no good results seen, known, or appreciated. For then the life of
plants, and the sensation and instinct of animals, would have been
the highest developments, and there would have been no further per-
fection of the same principle. Consequently, according to the laws
of wisdom and goodness, Man, with all his physical powers and his
capacities of mind to exercise judgment and justice toward all things,
conceives, by the action of his inner principle, the perfect adaptation
of all things to him, and also of the perfecting of all things approx-



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THE PEINCIFLES OF KATUBE. 113

iiDAting to hiiDy so that he may subsist upon the constant production
and refinement of the elements and substances contained in the va-
rious inferior kingdoms. And thus he is a controller, inventor, and
designer in respect to aH tilings thus presented for lus meditation
and use.

This perfect adaptation and harmony of all things thus sends
forth throu^out the Universe the unchangeable message of the
divine attributes of infinite Power, Wisdom, and Goodness ; and in
so impressive a manner diat expression does not answer as a proper
means to convey the thoughts caused thereby !



§ 41. Agun: Throughout all this vast ocean of organic life, all
known laws, forces, and motions, whether in the celestial spheres or
on this present globe, are acknowledged to perform their office
(vnleM ineidentdUy obstfucted) with the most perfect Justice and
Ejfitty. And again, as the material constituents of all things are
combiDcd in the constitution of Man, Jie can exemplify this principle,
aod thus a true conception of correaponding Justice may be obtained.
The laws that govern the organic and mental constitution are oper-
ating, according to their nature, with a steady and undisturbed action.
But if any of tiiese laws are interfered with by any incidental or in-
tentional im pe di ment or violation, tiiey bring with them corresponding
natural reeidts. If all the demands of the physiological law are not
properly uA justiy obeyed ; if this law is in any way interfered with,
or violated in any particular or general sense, there must, and of
aeccanty vnU be, a corresponding result following the violation.

Likewise the mejUal law, if violated or disregarded as to its
dmands upon the being subject to it, will in all instances produce a
eorretpoDding result. And therefore if the physiological and intel-
lectual bws are at any time interrupted in their movements by any
cause foreign or immediate, they will illustrate and demonstrate to
the Bind the perfect harmony that exists in all the motions and laws
of Nature — that they are equal and just, and that good or evil
molts must of necessity be produced accordmg as they are obeyed
or disobeyed.

For all movements must produce natural results. Hence if any
kv is impeded, it produces as a consequence, impure results ; but if
M interfered with, but obeyed in all its requirements and demands,

8



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114 THE PEINCIPLES OF NATUBE.

it will produce pure and happy results. Therefore there is con-
stantly in operation the law and principle of Goodness, to produce
pure effects : and (as an opposite or negative manifestation) an inter-
ruption of its forces produces impure results. And between the
pure and impure ; between goodness and its legitimate effects ; be-
tween harmony and disunion, may be seen still more distinctly the
infinite attribute of never-ending Justice !

Thus Power, Wisdom, and Goodness are combined in the gen-
eral and specific compositions of all things, from the lowest up to
and in Man. They point to the united and infinite Source from
which they emanated, — and develop the principle of eternal Justice,
which is universally displayed among every class and species exist-
ing in the terrestrial spheres. And the whole is indicative of higher
and more perfect attributes, which will be gradually manifested,
directly and indirectly, in the various portions of the Revelation.

The bodies and spheres contained in the immensity of inconceiv-
able space thus follow in order the powerful Law by which they are
produced iand governed, and that with inconceivable precision, uni-
formity of motion, and reciprocal actions upon each other. The
perpetual and mutual intervolutions and revolutions ; the strict exact-
ness of the specific forces and motions uniformly existing in each
part and particle composing the celestial spheres ; the beauty and
harmony displayed in these motions with respect to each other, and
around their respective centres, and the perfect precision manifested
in every line and path in which they travel, — throwing off particles
and attracting the refined ones of others ; the constat, reciprocal,
and universal sympathy which they display, — ^manifest in their gen-
eral indications the divme attribute of Meekness^ Corrvpaasion^ and
Mercy. Each motion, action, and force, observed in the planetary
system, is a true and correct signal of distributive Justice and
infinite Mercy !

Individual and isolated observations, apparently disconnected with
the universal law of motion, will impress still more deeply upon the
mind this irresistible conclusion. Still in descending from the gen-
eral observation to the pa/rticula/r and indwtdical manifestations of
this attribute, the mind should not lose sight of its revealment in the
great and universal Law of Nature.

The known evidences contained and revealed in the traditional
histories of the world, including the many investigations into the ma-
terial and physical sciences, and the well-established axioms that



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THE PEIKCIPLES OF KATUBB. 115

hkxe been set forth in the many contemplations of Nature and
Art, carry with them conviction of the indestmctible attribute under
ooDtideration.

The natural derelopments of the earth, from the grosser stages up
to the animal creation, unfold one united and harmonious chain of
progreatioo. And Life, Sensation, and Intelligence have also fol-
lowed in their reapectiTe orders, as the le^timate results of inherent
axwl eternal lawa. Throughout the whole vegetable kingdom there is
observed between different forms a constant giving to and taking from
each other ot particles, in order that one may sustain another, and that
thus the kingdom as a whole may be sustained : and thus also is de-
veloped the truth of universal Reciprocation, Kindness, and Mercy.

This harmony, this universal sympathy, kindness, benevolence,
and charity, eorrcsponds to the great and infinite attribute of divine
and unspeakable Compassion, and must of necessity accompany other
eternal attribatea that are contained in the Great Fountain of all
existence.

The animals display more lenity, more unqualified compassion, and
more instinctive justice, than are often known to be displayed by the
perrerted and misdirected principles of mankind. They also display
an^jualified mercy and instinctive attachment. From the lower to the
higher states of animal existence, there is one chayi of universal sym-
pathy, justice, and benevolence, corresponding to the harmonious
redproeations observed in the vegetable kingdom — also to the exalted
acrfl vBpcrverted morality of universal humanity. The vegetable and
animal forms of material production therefore manifest sympathy and
mercy, eorresponding to what is observed in the planetary worlds.
And JTan, the refined and exalted perfection of all else — the unlim-
ited governor and controller of his own bebg — ^possesses the com-
\ sMd refinements of Justice, Mercy, and Benevolenpe, known as the
anff{«akAbIe blessing — the faculty of unclouded Reason. By this
be Bkay understand Truth, and subdue all artificial feelings and de-
airrs illegitimately evolved from his nature ; and he thus stands as a
perfect standard and emblem of distributive Justice, universal Com-
pajiion and Mercy. It is his highest attainment — it is his most
Lapr>y and blessed condition of existence — to exercise judgment and
jastice withont distinction. And thus, from man to animals, with
ti-^tr constant mental developments ; and from these to vegetables,
with their sympathy and equality of action ; and from these to the
material sphere which contains these all ; and thence throughout the
iasntfnsity of universal space, — there is an indestructible impression



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116 THE PEENTOIPLES OP NATUKE.

conveyed of reciprocation, harmony, beaurf;y, and magnificence ; jus-
tice, mercy, sympathy, and eternal benevolence !



§ 42. The profound meditations on the infinitude of Space in-
duce upon the mind the parallel conception of infinite Time. For
time and space are parallel and synonymous in signification ; but as
a distinction is made between thebi, and is universally acknowledged,
it will not be disregarded, — but we will continue the association of
thoughts as thus conceived.

The surface of the earth may be compared to infinite space and
time, as conceived of by the human mind. The various and innu-
merable forms, planets, and bodies, existing in space, may be com-
pared with the forms, bodies, and organizations here existing. For
each celestial sphere can be no more than a form that matter has
assumed in obedience to its omnipotent law of progresmon. The
forms and entities here existing are no more than modifications and
correspondent productions of the material elements composing the
Universe. All bodies upon the earth are sustained upon its surface
by laws acting in connexion and correspondence with the universal
law of Cause, Effect, and End. The atmosphere of this sphere
holds to the same the many living beings and entities that are exist-
ing upon its surface. And each other sphere has, again, its atmo-
sphere, as corresponding to the earth's atmosphere, — ^governed by
the laws of attraction and repulsion, or inspiration and exhalation, in-
flux and reflux, giving to and taking from. And this whole chain
performs its specific duties on laws corresponding to those of the most
refined and exalted sphere in the regions of infinity.

Therefore a correspondence and positive analogy may be observed
as existing between and connecting all things emanating from the
Oreat Sphere or Focus of the Great Positive Mind. There is a
perfect and successive gradation and established juxtaposition mani-
fested in all forms and entities, both visible and invisible, terrestrial



Online LibraryAmerican Wood-Preservers' AssociationProceedings, ... annual meeting of the American Wood-Preservers' Association → online text (page 16 of 88)