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but a single illustration of a process by which all the grossest and most tangible substances in being may be resolved into their original elements, which elements lie beyond the sphere of those senses by which man is related to the external world.
If, then, the mind would trace the progress of creation,—if it would go back to that vast and mighty birth in which the Universe was evolved, it must return to the primary and elemen-. tary substances from which all existing forms were created. And when the mind beholds these substances, it will see them not as gross and tangible matter, but as the ethereal and sublimated elements which have their origin in the bosom of Deity. Thus it is clearly demonstrated to the rational mind, that the process of creation was commenced by a union, assimilation and blending of the primitive elements which were created from the Divine essence, by which association of kindred substances were produced the expanded ocean of etherealisjed vapor and the ever-moving mass of liquid fire, as the first forms of matter which can be properly conceived and appreciated by minds in the rudimental state.
THE EVOLUTION OF WORLDS.
Gazing into the immeasurable depths of space, having drawn aside the curtain which conceals the primitive condition of matter, the soul may discover, extending throughout an almost inconceivable expanse, one mighty, undivided mass of liquid, fiery substance. This great mass of chaotic materials, as stated in the foregoing chapter, was a result produced from the union of the primitive elements, which had been evolved in the breathings of the Positive Mind. Thus a complete and 'connected series of gradations became established, which extended from the inmost, unchanging Soul, to the vast ocean of fiery substance which formed the most external portions of the Divine Brain. In these gradations is presented the definite and unchangeable order of creation. The Original Essence in its union with the substance of space, gave birth to elements of a more dense and material nature; these elements, though refined and etherealized so as to be intangible to the physical senses, combined together in such a manner as to form chemical compounds, which are recognized as appreciable matter,— and from this matter, it may be properly added, the higher forms of creation were progressively unfolded.
It is indeed somewhat difficult for the mind revolving in the sphere of outward things, to conceive a process by which visible and tangible matter can be formed from invisible and intangible elements. But it is only necessary to observe with care the operations of established laws, to become convinced of the fact that such results are actually produced in the changes of surrounding things. The silent and unseen exhalations of the water arise above the surface of the earth, and, by becoming condensed, assume the form of clouds; then the same elements which have thus attained a visible form, undergo a still greater degree of condensation, and at last descend to the earth in rain, which is tangible to the dullest and grossest sense. Yet, even as I write, Nature furnishes a still more forcible' illustration of the principle which is here involved. Dark clouds have gathered in the sky, and a fearful storm is raging. The atmosphere seems heated and sultry, and the vivid lightning gives evidence that the elements are seeking their equilibrium. But hark 1 what crashing sounds are those? Behold, on the melting tide of Nature's tears, are borne large, dense hailstones, which, in obedience to their gravitating force, descend to earth with fearful and destructive violence. What is the cause of an appearance like this ?—how can such hard and heavy bodies be formed in the vapory clouds? The philosophic answer is, that the clouds contain certain invisible elements—that these elements by entering into a suitable arrangement and combination, produce globules of water,—and that these globules, changing to ice by another chemical union, coalesce from affinity, and fall to the earth by their own weight. Now, let the fact be noted while this illustration is before us, that it would only require a different combination of the same elements which produced the hail-stones, to form a substance which the senses could distinguish as liquid fire; and since these elements were the immediate and outflowing creations of the Positive Power, ultimately forming in the pi'ocess of combination a mass of igneous materials, we may very naturally suppose that these materials represented an external germ, corresponding with that from which it was derived, and containing in itself the inherent powers and forces which were essential to develop all subsequent creations.
By employing the inductive method of reasoning and tracing causes from their visible effects, we shall be confirmed in the conclusion which has been expressed in this connection. Prom the fact, then, that the earth and all other planets with which men have any acquaintance, are discovered to possess a spherical form, we may conclude that the materials of which they were primarily composed were in a liquid state, inasmuch as no solid and compact substance could ever naturally assume this figure; while, on the other hand, it is precisely the form into which a liquid mass whose particles are free to move among themselves, would be necessarily molded by a revolution upon its axis. The characteristics presented by the earth in the flattening of the poles, and the fullness at the equator, serve to confirm the same truth ; for the only way in which this peculiarity can be rationally accounted for, is to suppose that the whole body was originally in a state of fluidity, subjected to the action of the inherent forces created by its revolving movement. But again, from the fact that the great centers of the solar systems of the universe which are termed suns, constitute the innate sources of light and heat; and also that the earth, which is the representative of other planets, contains within its heart, according to the opinion of geologists, those central fires which are the obvious remnant of what primarily composed the entire .substance of this body, we arrive at the important fact that the original matter of which the worlds were created, was not only liquid, as we have before seen, but was also of a fiery, or igneous nature. To gain a more vivid conception of this condition, let us suppose that the present structure of the material world were resolved into its primitive elements ; let us conceive that the innumerable suns which fill the immensity of space, with all their attendant planets and revolving satellites, should, by some unaccountable impulse, rush from their orbits, fly to one common center, and there, being melted by the consuming breath of Omnipotence, should flow together in one vast and all-expanded ocean of liquid fire,—thus forming a mighty burning sun, whose magnitude no human thought can define, and whose brightness no human eye could bear. This, if the earthly mind has the capacity to comprehend such a result, would represent the component matter of suns and systems.
From the substance here referred to were made the first sensible advances toward the grand end to be attained, which was organization and order. This was the immediate and tangible basis on which the structure of the Universe was built, and in this is represented the union of all those more refined elements, from which the streams of life and harmony have flowed. Let it be understood that this ocean of liquid flame was pervaded and actuated by that eternal principle of motion which existed in the very being of the Supreme Intelligence. Through the constant operation of this principle, the great mass of unrefined materials was moved and convulsed with a force and grandeur which can not be conceived. Then, as a necessary