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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 harmon us 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 existenC6. 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 relations 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 human spirit. It is a deity which is born to reign in triumph over the expanded realm of matter, looking upward for life and strength to the great Deity from whom it sprang. And this spirit is filled with the essence of immortality—it is attracted toward the great Magnet of the Universe, and so it is destined to advance in the shining pathway of beatitude, and to unfold in purity beneath the light of the Spiritual Sun. Therefore the vast system of Nature was not formed in vain, since through this as a medium has been developed a being, in which are destined to be reposited the joys of wisdom, the peacefulness of harmony, and the delights of celestial love. But wonder, O mortal, at the great Omega which is thus presented —wonder when the Divine life and image are felt within the depths of thy being ; and when thou hast contemplated the Universe in its mighty birth—when the shining heavens bend above thee as a vail of glory, reflecting in their calm grandeur the brightness of the Eternal, then look down into the troubled heart of Humanity, and see there, beneath all its gloom, the germ of a soul more radiant than the stars 1



NATURE clearly demonstrates the fact, that the birth of the Universe comprehended the various processes and operations whose continuance sustains this majestic temple from age to age. And these processes and operations are shown to be established and unvarying, from the fact that they are based on the unchanging qualities of the substances with which they are connected;—so that by the things which are visible, and by the hidden currents which stream through the myriad arteries of Creation, the contemplative mind may be introduced to a knowledge of the laws and forces which gave being to the constellations of the heavens. The theological conception of this subject is defective, because it is not based on this broad and substantial platform. Instead of embracing the evidence which the Universe itself presents of its own origin, it makes itself wholly dependent on the mythological tales of antiquity, and rejects the beautiful lessons which are constantly repeated by all living forms. This is the grand mistake of all man-made theology; and the soul that trusts thus blindly to the teachers of earth, without listening to the voice of Nature's own Divinity,

does a wrong to the godlike powers which it innately possesses, and becomes deaf to the instructions which the Great Teacher is ever breathing down from his shining throne. As the Soul of the universe existed eternally, no mind can rationally affirm that this Soul can ever change; and if it be true, as it must be, that this is the original basis and source of being, then all elements, materials, and formations that now exist, have been rolled out by the same unvarying process through all past eternity. So far, therefore, as any period of time is concerned, there was, strictly speaking, no beginning, but the beginning can be found only in the Divine Mind, and that Mind is eternal. It is here alone that the soul can properly rest in its contemplation of the origin of being ; and since in this beginning were contained the elements of all ultimate productions, so also were here embraced the immutable and uncreated principles by whose natural operation all forms were caused to exist. In view of this fact it may be seen that the love, will, and wisdom of the Divinity, which may be supposed to be primary agencies in the work of creation, were simply the definite, harmonious, and unvarying tendencies of the Divine substance, which were established from eternity; and in this case it follows that there can be nothing supernat. ural, miraculous, or even special in those wondrous methods of Deity which conduct the unending developments of the Universe. Time was in the past as time is now, and God has been in the eternity of by gone ages, as He will be in the endless cycles of the future The birth of the Universe, therefore, is not a transitory or limited process, but an eternal one—the measure of creation is not confined to any number of days or years, but covers the inconceivable expanse of all time ! No force or prin.

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