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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
CHA PTE R IX.
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 Parent-Spirit—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
sary, as might be supposed, to go back to some very distant period in former ages, because the effects which proceed from those causes are continually in existence, and from these effects the line of induction extends unbroken to the original Source of being. Consequently the structure of the Universe itself will reveal its own origin—the harmonious principles which are at work in all its parts, will disclose the forces by which it was brought forth into form and order, and the depths of interior life where the Divine Essence lives, and breathes, and moves, will unfold the primitive substance from which the Whole was born. In contemplating the works of creation, extending as they do into the distant fields of immensity, and containing within their sphere the infinitude in which thought itself becomes lost in adoration, the human mind may well shrink from the task of investigating and comprehending the entire realm of being presented to the mental conceptions. Yet the Universe with all its sublime and inconceivable glory, is one of the principal mediums through which the Divinity speaks to the human spirit; and its beautiful unfoldings, material and spiritual, are the treasures of celestial knowledge to which the mind on earth should ever earnestly aspire. To examine the Universe in a clear and rational light, it is necessary that the soul should attain not only an elevated, but an interior position, from which it can look forth on the operations of Nature as the external manifestations of divine principles, which are seen and comprehended by the inward perceptions. It is impossible to reach the realities of the Universe by gazing on its vast expanse with the outward eye. In this manner only a feeble and exceedingly limited conception can be obtained of those realms of being which seem to expand into infinity. Hence Science, with all its vast discoveries and important revelations, has thus far presented to the world but a small and insignificant portion of the temple of Nature; for while it could gather fragments of truth from the dark forms of earth, and search out some of the laws that govern the shining orbs of night, it could not extend beyond these into those ever-expanding fields of space which only the vision of the soul itself can visit, and it could not penetrate beneath them into the regions of the invisible world, where the life and light of God are hidden from the perceptions of sense. The Universe must be considered in two aspects; the first giving a view of the realm of material substance as revealed to the outward organs of the mind—and the other presenting the realm of spiritual substance as comprehended by the vision of the soul. Both of these views unfold an apparent infinity, but that of the former is the infinity of space or extent, and that of the latter is the infinity of life or depth. When, therefore, the mind has wearied itself in endeavoring to comprehend something of the immensity of the Universe in an external point of view, it has still to look within each particle of the worlds over which it has traveled, and find in this inner temple of the Divine Mind, another and still deeper universe. That which sense could comprehend, though it could roam over the expanse of all material worlds, would be but the mere surface of creation which is bathed only with a transient light, and is decked with forms that change and die. The human mind, then, must endeavor to expand its conceptions into a still deeper sphere of thought than that embraced in the immensity of creation; it must penetrate the world of invisible life—invis
ible to the eye, but revealed gloriously to the soul; it must go down beneath the fading objects of the material Universe; it must contemplate the minute atoms—the refined elements of which these are composed, and then it must descend still further into the arcana of Nature, and investigate the spiritual essences and divine principles by which the universal whole is sustained, animated, and moved. Yet the great truth must now be impressed, that both the outward Universe and its interior life—the world of matter and the world of spirit, are, strictly and analytically speaking, one substance. This truth may scarcely be recognized by the superficial mind, since to the outward view the Universe seems to be composed of many different substances, while the realm of the spirit is supposed to be entirely diverse in its nature from all these. But to arrive at the truth which has been expressed, it is necessary to investigate the elementary constitution of existing forms. These forms in their organic state do not represent the ultimate of matter. The outward structure which is visible to the eye, does not manifest the primitive substance of which this is composed. All things may be resolved into their component elements; and when we look within the external organism, we find that it is composed of inconceivably minute particles—that these particles are formed from still more refined and subtile elements, and that these elements may be traced back to the spiritual essence, which exists as the original source of all gross and visible matter. When, therefore, the mind would consider the nature of all existing substance, it must regard this not in the light of its outward appearance, but in the view which the soul may obtain of its primitive and constituent elements; and when these elements are contem