« ZurückWeiter »
like that originally given, the work of the finger of God. (See Exod. xxxiv. 27, and Deut. x. 2.)
It may perhaps appear to derogate something from the majesty of the Godhead, to suppose that the Great Framer of the ends of the earth, should thus become the immediate instructor of Moses in an art that we are much too ready to esteem of secondary importance; but we are well assured of the fact that our blessed Saviour,“ the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person,” condescended in a much humbler mode to practise it, when stooping down in the temple, he wrote with his finger upon the ground, as if he heard not the clamour of the censorious pharisees around him (John viii. 6); and that he is God over all, blessed for evermore, is a truth that stands infinitely beyond the need of our feeble advocacy. We must reserve our account of Hieroglyphics for a future number.
THE HEAVENS. Emma.—What a lovely evening; the stars sparkle with an almost eastern lustre! How thickly the sky is studded with these beautiful evidences of our great Creator's goodness,
“ For ever singing as they shine,
The hand that made us is divine." Maria.-Beautiful, indeed! I wish I was more conversant with astronomy; but yet I think the modern hypothesis, now so popular, is visionary and romantic.
Emma.-I am surprised to hear your remark, to me it appears in perfect harmony with reason.
Maria.—It is the commonly received opinion, that the whole planetary system, is the abode of a race of beings replete with life and intelligence; but not content with this supposition, more recent discoverers assert, that these heavenly orbs, whose distance is immeasurable, are suns to other systems, each having their planetary attendants, supposed to revolve around them as well as on their own axes !
Emma.—I give my full credence to this charming theory.
Maria.- Scripture is silent upon the subject. Is it not an attempt to pry into the secret things which belong to God?
Emma.—I think the sacred pages refer, in some measure, to the idea; but with respect to your last remark,
equal propriety, be made upon science in general. All attempts to explore the wonders of nature, are, upon this principle, presumptuous. Experimental philosophy, which has, in so many instances, produced important and beneficial results, is culpable in your estimation, because, though not contrary to it, is unassisted by revelation.
Mariu.—But this hypothesis admits of no practical benefit.
Enma. These contemplations elevate and expand our ceptions; the eye of the mind travels through the regions of space, and after viewing systems upon systems in the boundless expanse, returns to her little self, and with a deep impression of abasement, exclaims, “ Lord, what is man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that thou visitest him !"
Mariu.-Do you not think such investigations may foster pride? Your favorite author, Dr. Chalmers, says that
feeble converses ahout the heavens as if he had travelled with the line and plummet in his hand, to the outskirts of creation, or carried the torch of discovery around the world.”
Emma.—The aim of this eloquent writer is to display the glory of God, in the adaptation of mind to matter.
“ That a light struck out from the little cell of human cogitation, should have led to discoveries so magnificent, that by a calculus of his imagination, as by the power of a talisman, the heavens with their stupendous masses and untrodden distances, should be open to his gaze, can only be explained by the intervention of a Being, having supremacy over all, who has adjusted the laws of matter and the properties of mind to each other."
Maria.—I am tardy in receiving new opinions, but as they afford you so much pleasure I will pay them more attention.
Emma.— I think they will reward you. Discoveries, not now to be dated new, are highly interesting; they may be but as stepping stones to nobler attainments. Reasoning by analogy is the process of the mind, from infancy to age. Induction from what we can see, to what we cannot see, is quite in union with sound judgment.
Maria.—Is not the idea that our globe is but an atom in the vast creation, calculated to fill us with dismay, under the impression that our little planet must necessarily be overlooked amidst such boundless intelligences?
Emma.—If we limit the omniscience of God by our contracted vol. 1x, 3d SERIES.
standard, that will be the influence; but the effect upon my mind is highly beneficial. After contemplating the astonishing scene which unfolds itself to imagination, my thoughts return to this little speck of earth, and I feel that whilst nothing is too large, nothing is too small for the superintending power of omnipotence. I refer to the idea suggested by Dr. Chalmers in reference to the telescope and microscope: “ the one,” he says,
“ leads me to see a system in every star; the other leads me to see a world in every atom; the one, tells me of the insignificance of the world I tread on; the other, redeems it from all its insignificance, since I know that the most beautiful finish is displayed in every blade of grass,” and I say, “Will this glorious Being who never loses sight of one thing which he has created, overlook me?” No! his hand, his eye,
is upon me every hour of my existence. His Spirit is present with the thoughts of my
I am surrounded still with God!” Maria.- These are very desirable impressions. It is conceived by some, that the higher intelligences supposed to inhabit some of these distant worlds are interested in the grand scheme of redemption.
Emma.—There are passages in the Bible which seem to countenance such an idea. “While pursuing this train of thought, we are led to suppose the inhabitants of those regions never fell from the paths of righteousness; but I know of one poor wanderer: how woefully has she fallen from the ways of purity and peace! Small though our orbit is amidst those systems of immensity, hither hath the King of Glory bent his mysterious way, and entered the tabernacle of men.” I feel my interest in this glorious truth, and exult in the prospect of that season, when we shall be one fold under one shepherd. I would invite the principalities and powers in heavenly places, to rejoice with me, and call upon every creature in Heaven and Earth, to ascribe salvation and honour, and glory, and power, unto him that sitteth upon the throne; and unto the Lamb for ever and ever !
Maria.-If this theory produce such a tone of feeling, if not entirely a convert to your sentiments, may I catch the spirit that animates you under such a view of it! Farewell. Clapton.
mind cene this
EXPORTS AND IMPORTS.
And in return receives supplies from all.--Cowper.
tongue exports those of the individual himself, while meditation, study, and reflection, may be compared to the manufacturer who receives the raw material, and works it up into different articles, which are afterwards exported, or used for home consumption.
Every person, as to his mind, is a merchant, and as such, is engaged more or less in exports and imports. Some, like a wise merchant, are successful in their pursuits ; their minds are stored with knowledge in the use whereof their stock of valuable ideas is increased, and by free communication, society at large is benefited. Others are like the sluggard, or a slothful merchant, who neglects his affairs, and suffers every thing to go to ruin: for want of due diligence their minds are barren, and they are mere drones in the community. Now, as I wish all my young readers to rank with the first class of these merchants, I will here point out in a few particulars, a comparison between the trading and the intellectual merchant.
The first thing that a merchant considers is, generally, gain or profit. Are the commodities which he proposes to export, likely to find a ready market, and to turn to good account? And are the articles which he imports, saleable at home, and at a remunerating price for his capital? Thus the mental merchant should examine all that he receives by the eye and the ear, and retain nothing for use, brit what is likely to benefit himself or others. And in the communication of his thoughts he should consider whether what he is about to speak or write will be worth hearing or perusing. It is much more our duty to improve the mind than the fortune; and it would have been better for the world if this rule had been more followed, as it would have prevented the appearance of many thousands of pernicious volumes, and the utterance of myriads of foolish speeches.
Another particular in the conduct of an honourable merchant is, that from his traffic, all contraband or smuggled articles are strictly excluded. So it should be the constant study of the intellectual merchant, that nothing shall be imported by the eye or the ear, nor exported by the tongue, that is at all inconsistent with the true principles of religion and morality. The understanding and the judgment should here act the part of custom-house officers, whose duty it is to examine all exports and imports; and to reject every article that is contrary to the established regulations. The