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they have passed, has been written in unmistakable characters on the bosom of the wide-spread Creation. And the one great lesson taught in all things is that of progressive development. Forms which have arisen from chaos to a state of beauty and perfection, have left their marks on the upward pathway along which they came, and they manifest their relations to, and dependence upon, all the inferior grades and states of being. The mind may therefore perceive in the chain of connection which binds the Universe in one grand structure, the innumerable and unbroken links of unfolding, which were necessary to make this chain complete. Suns, planets, and satellites—minerals, plants, and animals—motion, life, sensation, and intelligence, all display, in their several progressive spheres, the systematic gradations of refinement through which all matter has been carried. Accordingly it is found that these gradations, existing now as the evidence of primary unfoldings, form the parts of a vast and almost incomprehensible system, each of which is essential to the harmony and perfection of the whole. To use the language of a true philosopher,

"From Nature's chain whatever link you strike,
Tenth or ten thousandth breaks the chain alike;
And if each system in gradation roll,
Alike essential to the amazing whole,
The least confusion but in one, not all
That system only, but the whole must fall.
Let earth unbalanced from her orbit fly,
Planets and suns run lawless through the sky;
Let ruling angels from their spheres be hurled,
Being on being wrecked, and world on world,
Heaven's whole foundations to its center nod,
Aid Nature trembles to the throne of God."

Now to suppose that the several departments of the cosmical structure were special and independent creations, would involve no necesssity for concluding that there exists between them any necessary connection or dependence ; but if these are regarded, as they- should be, as so many successive developments of matter, having been created gradually in a progressive order, then it will be easy to appreciate the fact which really exists, that they are all united in one indissoluble chain of being. Hence, according to the evidence presented in the settled order of Nature and in the relation which subsists between its various departments, it will be wise to recognize in all surrounding creations the erection of one ascending scale, that reaches from the gross earth to the summit where Man is seated on his throne of power.

How perfect, how harmonious, and how divine are all the arrangements of the Universal Temple 1 Sweet breathings from the Soul of All, are diffused and expanded through every particle of the material world; and the power of the attraction which dwells therein, leads upward and forward the great multitude of living and unliving forms, in the direction of that end in the human body which corresponds with the beginning in the Eternal Soul. Creation is but one continued series of progressive developments, extending thus from the Divine Brain to the germ of the human being, and all the intermediate gradations in this series are so many necessary steps, without which the end could never be attained. In all that is below Man may be viewed the essential parts which were employed in the formation of his complete organism. Every thing manifests an aspiration to attain the position which he occupies, and all look up to him as the crowning work, in which the ontbreathing love, will, and wisdom of God have found their finite embodiment. And is there not here a key which will unlock the mysteries of creation? By understanding the principle of progressive development, and by comprehending the end toward which that development tends, may we not discern the law, the use and purpose of all existences 1 Yes. The true philosopher needs only this general basis, in order to descend into the vailed regions of the great Arcana, and unravel the secrets which have been long buried in its depths.

In the light of such views, the philosophy of creation is disrobed of the mists and shadows of mythological theories, and stands forth in the beautiful sunlight of eternal Truth. The conclusions arrived at, though they are not consistent with the long-cherished opinions of theologians, are to be regarded as the legitimate results of a rational investigation into the principles and revelations of Nature. Reasoning from the existing effects which are every where apparent in the Universe, the mind is capable of taking an analogical, if not a direct view of the causes that were originally in operation. It is true that it can not comprehend all which is embraced in the stupendous work of God, since to do this would require a power equal to that of Omniscience itself. Indeed the subject embraces a field of thought which is illimitable in extent, and may never be entirely explored by the human mind. Yet moved by the inspiration which is ever flowing down from the spiritual heavens, the seeking soul may enjoy sublime and expanded contemplations in relation to the origin, constitution, and laws of the mighty structure of Creation, and attain to a perception of beautiful and exalted truths which are interwoven with the very elements of existing things. There is no more fruitful or attractive field of investigation than Nature. If minds on earth would attract the divine thoughts of God; if they would commune with the invisible reality, and feel the breathings of the pervading Spirit, they must worship in the" courts of that sanctuary which is hallowed with the presence of celestial Love, and is replete with instructions which are divine and eternal

CHAPTER IX.

STRUCTURE OF THE UNIVERSE.

Forms of beauty adorn the azure sky and rest on the widespread bosom of the earth. And all are filled with the essence of the ParentSpirit—all reveal the action of his divine intelligence, and all are warmed and illuminated by the breathings of his exhaustless love. Nature .in all its parts is a representative of the Divine will, and an embodiment of the Divine thoughts. When the mind desires to know what God thinks and purposes, let it look forth on the existing structure of the Universe, and let it investigate the laws and uses of the material creation. The Divinity is revealed in all his works, and if these works were more interiorly and comprehensively viewed, the revelation would serve to elevate the human soul to a sphere of spiritual illumination, where the very nature and movements of the First Cause would be perceived and appreciated. That which exists in the external world has a perfect analogy with that which has being in the interior world, since the one is simply a correspondential effect from the other. To investigate, therefore, the causes which primarily operated in the spiritual sphere to produce physical results, it is not neces

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