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and elements, it presents Creation in the light of a beautiful and perfect unity—a unity which embraces the two-fold realms of matter and spirit, and which comprehends innumerable degrees of refinement and perfection, reaching from the outermost surface of the material world to the sphere of the animating and divine Soul. How grand and majestic is this mighty harp of many strings ! And how melodiously rolls the anthem of creation through the deep of space! God whispers to the soul in all his works. From the great temple which is not made with hands—where even silence itself is voiceful with divine love—there issues a never-ceasing flow of melody, which descends into the recesses of the listening spirit. Thus the Universe is the one perfect and living instrument, through which the thoughts of the Divinity are breathed into the hearts of his children, and by which they are led up into a higher and purer sphere of spiritual communion.
THE ALPHA AND OMEGA
The Great Spirit lived when time was not measured by days and years. He rested in the shining depths of an illimitable sphere ; and yet He rested not, for action was a law of his being, and sleep came not over his eternal thoughts. And there was no darkness where the smile of the Great Spirit was diffused, but in that smile was a living and immortal radiance; yea, it was itself the glory that streamed forth from the unfading Sun. A boundless, infinite expanse of shining substance which men call space, surrounded the Eternal Mind ; and this was the home—the sphere—the world, of the One who was uncreated. Then thoughts as circles of light revolved around the germ of the omniscient Soul, and these thoughts corresponded to the systems of worlds which came forth in the fields of space as their external expression. But what are the thoughts of a Being who has lived in all the past ? Can mortals comprehend their vastness ? Nay. For behold, the most enriched and expanded souls of earth are only as sparks that fell from the shining atmosphere of God. The mind of the Uncreated is composed of millions on millions of those germs that make the central magnets of human souls ; and the regular, harmonious, and circular movements of these living germs around the central, superior Essence, constitutė the thoughts of Deity.
Therefore God was the first—the Alpha-in whom was con centrated and embodied all the elements and principles which were essential to the unfolding of the glorious worlds that shine on the brow of Heaven. But He was not destined to reside alone in his vast and illimitable sphere. As like tends to produce like—as the flower begets the flower—as the plant reproduces the plant, and as all the animate and intelligent beings on the earth generate and give existence to other kindred beings, so the Great Spirit, as the Alpha of all thought, mind, and consciousness, contained within his nature those immutable tendencies which resulted in the production of finite intelligences, and these were the ultimate—the end—the Omega of existence. Power resided in the eternal substance of God, and this power was the cause which produced all external and visible effects ; but these effects contained within them the undeveloped germ of an ulterior creation, which was to be unfolded in the great laboratory of Nature. The mind therefore must look at results beyond the mere exterior birth of the Universe, in order to comprehend and appreciate its full significance. There is a glory in this process which is not visible to the superficial observer-which is not seen by those who dwell solely on the plane of outward effects—and which can be only revealed to the mind that has the requisite strength and daring to penetrate the shadowy vail of matter, and seek the grand ultimate which is enshrined within the inner sanctu ary of being.
Thoughts of the spring-time are woven into visions of beauty,
and the mind sees trees, and flowers, and fruits, as ideal pictures. But the mind is not content to dwell alone on beauty, and it is not thoroughly satisfied with the most beautiful landscapes which are hung in the chambers of memory. It inquires, what is the use—the design-the ultimate of all these things ? And so when the soul contemplates the works of God,—when it looks up to the heavens and admires the spangled and glittering robe of Night-when it realizes that the stars are suns, and that suns are the centers of mighty systems of worlds, and that all these systems are dependent on a still mightier and more majestic center, it is not contented to rejoice in the splendor, to bask in the glory, or to reverence the magnitude of these works, but there is a yearning within to know the purpose for which they were created—the end which they are made to subserve. It is evident that there was a design in their existence, and this design can not be supposed to be comprehended in their visible glory or harmonious movements. Surely there is an end beyond this, for the attainment of which the worlds were born. Let the mind retire within itself—let it enter a sphere of thought and contemplation where it will not be dazzled or blinded by external glories, and it will be able to comprehend the fact that the end was contained in the beginning—that the ultimate must be a reflection of the producing cause. And this principle will unfold the truth in which the soul may deeply and eternally rejoice, that while the Divine Spirit is the Alpha, the human spirit is the Omega of existence.
Nothing can be more useful and attractive to the enlightened understanding, than to trace the operations of the Creative Cause in Nature, and discover the intimate and beautiful rela
tions which all things maintain with the human spirit. While the Universe is really a combination of those primitive elements which were unfolded from the bosom of the Divinity, it is pervaded in every part by the subtile and sublimated essence from which it was primarily derived ; and this essence, containing the very ambrosia of divine life, has an innate aspiration and tendency toward the perfect individualization of the soul in man. Hence a constant struggle is going on between this essence and the grosser materials with which it is mingled, for the attainment of this superior and independent position. It is this which constitutes the principle of motion in the mineral, the principle of life in the vegetable, the principle of sensation in the animal, and the principle of intelligence in the human being. This essence tends toward a circular and spiral movement, because this is the movement which it has originally in the Divine Brain ; and so in its progress to this end, it molds the matter which it pervades into ever-higher and ascending forms of beauty, until it attains in the human spirit the harmonious form of motion to which it naturally aspires,-presenting thus a perfect reflection of the Original Mind.
Thus it will be seen that the birth of the Universe was necessary, that this might be succeeded by the development of the human being, and the birth of the godlike soul. The soul is the child of God—it is that living and immortal image of the Father, toward which his thoughts are ever tending; and this soul, being an ultimate creation, is capable of comprehending all that is beneath its own lofty sphere of being. Nature is employed only as a means in the unfolding of this divine form. Worlds, with all they contain of a material nature, have no glory to equal that which proceeds from and surrounds the hu