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power, which we believe to proceed from the Deity. In what part or point of space, that has ever been explored, do we not discover attraction? In what regions do we not find light? What kingdom is there of nature, what corner of space, in which there is any thing that can be examined by us, where we do not fall upon contrivance or design? An agency so general, as that we cannot discover its absence, or assign the place in which some effect of its continued energy is not found, must be ascribed to a Being who is omnipresent. He who upholds all things by his power, may be said to be every where present.
In human affairs, the necessity of a vigilant superintendence, over every system of complex arrangements, is perfectly apparent to every considerate mind. In our own country, numerous are the establishments, in which the combined operations of the many are subjected to the inspection of the few, and in which there is some one individual, on whom devolves the superintendence of the whole. And if this be requisite in a thousand instances, in one limited country, can we suppose that the affairs of a globe-of a system-of the universe, require no superintendence whatever? Think of the mighty agencies which pervade, in full activity, all the departments of nature. Is there no
necessity of control over the powers of the atmosphere, or of the ocean? What would be the situation of the inhabitants of our world, if exposed to their resistless force, in the entire absence of the control of a presiding Mind—a guardian Deity? Think of the innumerable processes which are incessantly going forwards in the life and growth of animals and of vegetables, and can you imagine these to proceed with undeviating uniformity, without infinite Knowledge to direct infi
nite Power? Conceive then of the divine Omniscience as necessarily commensurate with the exertions of Omnipotence, and the extent of Omnipresence. Reflect on the amazing thought-that at every instant of time, the eye of an ever-present God beholds, with scrutinizing gaze and vigilant superintendence, the whole extent of his dominion, not only in this world, but also in other worlds, compared with which our earth is but as an atom! With what exquisite force and beauty is this thought exhibited by the Psalmist in the passage before us; "If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there," there to diffuse in all its glory the light of life, and to pour the tide of happiness upon all its blessed inhabitants: "If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there." Should I even visit the regions of woe, behold, there I should trace the operation of thy hand— there thou art, inflicting deserved punishment on the objects of thy righteous indignation, and exhibiting to the universe at large, in lessons of awful warning, the dreadful nature and tremendous consequences of sinning against God. To whatever region of the universe I might repair, on quitting the confines of earth, I should still find myself only in another province of thy vast empire, equally open to thy inspection, and subject to thy authority, and pervaded by thy presence. "If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to thee." H. F. Burder.
THE OMNIPOTENCE OF GOD.
IN the first place, the immense quantity of matter contained in the universe, presents a most striking display of Almighty power.
In endeavouring to form a definite notion on this subject, the mind is bewildered in its conceptions, and is at a loss where to begin or to end its excursions. In order to form something approximating to a well-defined idea, we must pursue a train of thought commencing with those magnitudes which the mind can easily grasp, proceeding through all the intermediate gradations of magnitude, and fixing the attention on every portion of the chain, till we arrive at the object or magnitude of which we wish to form a conception. We must endeavour, in the first place, to form a conception of the bulk of the world in which we dwell, which, though only a point in comparison of the whole material universe, is, in reality, a most astonishing magnitude, which the mind cannot grasp, without a laborious effort. We can form some definite idea of those protuberant masses we denominate hills, which rise above the surface of our plains; but were we transported to the mountainous scenery of Switzerland, to the stupendous range of the Andes in South America, or to the Himalayan mountains in India, where masses of earth and rocks, in every variety of shape, extend several hundreds of miles in different directions, and rear their projecting summits beyond the region of the clouds-we should find some difficulty in forming an adequate conception of the objects of our contemplation. For, (to use the words of one who had been a spectator of such scenes,) "Amidst those trackless regions of intense silence and solitude, we cannot contemplate, but with feelings of awe and admiration,
the enormous masses of variegated matter which lie around, beneath, and above us. The mind labours, as it were, to form a definite idea of those objects of oppressive grandeur, and feels unable to grasp the august objects which compose the surrounding scene. But what are all these mountainous masses, however variegated and sublime, when compared with the bulk of the whole earth? Where they hurled from their bases, and precipitated into the vast Pacific Ocean, they would all disappear in a moment, except perhaps a few projecting tops, which, like a number of small islands, might be seen rising a few fathoms above the surface of the waters.
The earth is a globe, whose diameter is nearly 8,000 miles, and its circumference about 25,000, and, consequently, its surface contains nearly two hundred millions of square miles-a magnitude too great for the mind to take in at one conception. In order to form a tolerable conception of the whole, we must endeavour to take a leisurely survey of its different parts. Were we to take our station on the top of a mountain, of a moderate size, and survey the surrounding landscape, we should perceive an extent of view stretching 40 miles in every direction, forming a circle 80 miles in diameter, and 250 in circumference, and comprehending an area, of 5,000 square miles. In such a situation, the terrestrial scene around and beneath us, consisting of hills and plains, towns and villages, rivers and lakes-would form one of the largest objects which the eye, or even the imagination, can steadily grasp at one time. But such an object, grand and extensive as it is, forms no more than the forty thousandth part of the terraqueous globe; so that before we can acquire an adequate conception of the magnitude of our own world, we must conceive 40,000 landscapes, of a similar extent, to pass in re
view before us: and, were a scene, of the magnitude now stated, to pass before us every hour, till all the diversified scenery of the earth were brought under our view, and were 12 hours a-day allotted for the observation, it would require 9 years and 48 days before the whole surface of the globe could be contemplated, even in this general and rapid inanner. But, such a variety of successive landscapes passing before the eye, even although it were possible to be realized, would convey only a very vague and imperfect conception of the scenery of our world; for objects at the distance of 40 miles cannot be distinctly perceived; the only view which would be satisfactory would be, that which is comprehended within the range of three or four miles from the spectator.
Again, I have already stated, that the surface of the earth contains nearly 200,000,000 of square miles. Now, were a person to set out on a minute survey of the terraqueous globe, and to travel till he passed along every square mile on its surface, and to continue his route without intermission, at the rate of 30 miles every day, it would require 18,264 years before he could finish his tour, and complete the survey of "this huge rotundity on which we tread: "-so that, had he commenced his excursion on the day in which Adam was created, and continued it to the present hour, he would not have accomplished one-third part of this
In estimating the size and extent of the earth, we ought also to take into consideration, the vast variety of objects with which it is diversified, and the numerous animated beings with which it is stored; the great divisions of land and water, the continents, seas, and islands, into which it is distributed; the lofty ranges of mountains which rear their heads to the clouds; the unfathomable abysses of the ocean; its vast subter