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On the Omniscience and Omnipresence of the Deity, together with the Immenfity of his Works.
[Spec. N°. 565.]
WAS yesterday about fun-fet walking in the open fields, 'till the night infenfibly fell upon me.
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, feveral stars and planets appeared, one after another, 'till the whole firmament was in a glow. The blueness of the ather was exceedingly heightened and enlivened by the feafon of the year, and by the rays of all thofe luminaries that paffed through it. The Galaxy appeared in its most beautiful white. To complete the fcene, the full moon rofe at length in that clouded majesty, which Milton takes notice of, and opened to the eye a new picture of nature, which was more finely fhaded, and difpofed among fofter lights, than that which the fun had before difcovered to us.
As I was furveying the moon walking in her brightnefs and taking her progrefs among the conftellations, a thought rofe in me which I believe very often perplexes and disturbs men of ferious and contemplative natures. David himself fell into it in that reflection, When I confider the heavens the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou haft ordained; what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the font of man that thon regardeft him! In the fame manner when I confidered that infinite hoft of fars, or, to speak more philofophi cally, of funs, which were then shining upon me, with
those innumerable fets of planets or worlds, which were moving round their respective funs; when I ftill enlarged the idea, and fuppofed another heaven of funs and worlds rifing ftill above this which we difcovered, and thefe ftill enlightened by a fuperior firmament of uminaries, which are planted at fo great a diftance, that they may appear to the inhabitants of the former as the ftars do to us; in fhort, while I purfued this thought, I could not but reflect on that little infignificant figure which I myself bore amidst the immenfity of God's works.
Were the fun, which enlightens this part of the creation, with all the hoft of planetary worlds that move about him, utterly extinguished and annihilated, they would not be miffed, more than a grain of fand, upon the fea fhore. The fpace they poffefs is fo ex-ceedingly little in comparison of the whole, that it would fcarce make a blank in the creation. The chaẩm would be imperceptible to an eye, that could take in the whole compass of nature, and pafs from one end of the creation to the other; as it is poffible there may be fuch a fenfe in ourselves hereafter, or in creatures which are at prefent more exalted than ourselves. We fee many ftars by the help of glaffes, which we do not discover with our naked eyes; and the finer our telefcopes are, the more ftill are our difcoveries. Huygenius carries this thought fo far, that he does not think it impoffible there may be ftars whofe light is not yet travelled down to us, fince their first creation. There is no question but the univerfe has certain bounds fet to it; but when we confider that it is the work of infinite power, prompted by infinite goodness, with an infinite space to exert itself in, how can our imagination fet any bounds to it?
To return, therefore, to my first thought, I could not but look upon myfelf with fecret horror, as a being that was not worth the smallest regard of one who had fo great a work under his care and fuperintendency. I was afraid of being overlooked amidst the immenfity of nature, and loft among that infinite va