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BIRTH OF THE UNIVERSE.
A subject of vast and majestic proportions is presented to the view of the interior mind. To see the Universe in its grand, original birth—to stand on some lofty mount of spiritual light, and look back through the dim vista of ages to the period when Chaos began to be resolved into form and order, is the glorious and ennobling gift of the soul in its expanded and illuminated condition. The spirit possesses within its inmost germ the powers of interior perception, which are not dependent on the limited vision of the external eye; and hence, when these powers have been properly exercised and developed, attaining thus a supremacy over the earth-born ties of flesh and sense, the soul is enabled to penetrate the mantle of mystery which has clothed the shadowed regions of the Past, and disclose the profound realities which embrace the origin and birth of the Universe.
In this revealment it will be the design of the author to make a constant appeal to the reasoning and intuitive faculties of the human being, while the truths which may be presented find their only proper basis in the immutable and divine principles of Nature. It is not wise to rear the superstructure of any system on the foundation of human opinions and prejudices; and hence the object to be attained of imparting truth to the world, will not be sought in any compromise with the superstitions of by-gone ages, or the prevailing errors of the present era. The fact is sufficiently evident and can not be denied, that the world has been chiefly dependent on mere traditional and mythological accounts for the knowledge which it claims to possess on the subject of Cosmogony. Therefore, with all the fanciful shapes of thought which have been evoked from , the gloom of the ancient Night, and with all the revered repositories of sacred lore to which men have been accustomed to resort for wisdom, the philosophy of Creatian continues to present a vast and interesting field of investigation, in whose wide expanse the soul may bask in light celestial and cull flowers of never-fading beauty. Let, then, the embodied spirits of earth, listening to the voice of Wisdom, enter by this avenue into the courts of the Divine Temple.
Deep after deep is unfolded to the soul as it gazes into the unexplored abyss of Time, and age after age bears its perceptions far away into the unfathomable bosom of the Past. Make thyself strong, 0 soul, that thou mayst be able to embrace in thy conceptions the Original Germ, from which all outward life, and thought, and being were created. But first it is necessary to pass within the external vail of matter—to penetrate beneath all outward and superficial forms, since these constitute only the visible crust of creation, and are simply a combination of primitive' elements which emanate from a more interior source. Then, entering still farther into the sanctuary of Being, the spirit may perceive matter as it begins to be resolved into attenuated and refined forms, which at last seem to almost lose themselves, as it were, in a world of ethereal and impalpable substance. Following now the path of light that leads to the inmost chambers of the Divine Mansion, it leaves the misty regions of material existence, and, soaring along the radiant archway of the Infinite, ascends to yet sublimer hights of being, until it views at last, with faint and wearied vision, the realm of the original and uncreated Life. In this interior realm, the physical senses of man would have no action, as they would fail to comprehend the surrounding reality. The light of the inner world falls not on the retina' of the outward eye; the gentle breathings of divine life which are ever blending here in celestial music, create no vibration that is felt by the external ear; but this world, which is the soul of the material creation, is the world of eternal and imperishable substance, whose presence only the senses of the spirit could discover, but from whose germ all exterior forms have had their birth.
To this primary and most interior source, the soul must repair to commence its investigations with respect to the origin of existing things. It must be apparent to every reasoning mind, that the external effects which are perceptible to the physical senses, must proceed from the action of some invisible and supericr cause. Thus the progressive growth and development of vegetable bodies—the unfolding of the tree, the flower, or the plant, demonstrates the operation of an unseen principle in connection with refined and imponderable elements of mat
ter. Indeed, the established process of creation and birth as manifested in surrounding Nature, is the gradual production of visible forms from a combination of unseen materials. H«nce, if acting in accordance with reason and analogy, the mind will seek the origin of all external creations, comprehending the Universe itself, in that same realm of interior life and being, in which the causes of all outward and visible effects have even now their source and dwelling-place. It would doubtless be painful to many*minds even to attempt to soar beyond the regions of visibility, inasmuch as they have not the developed strength and perceptive power which are necessary to comprehend the realities of the inner universe.. But surely the beginning of creation is not to be arrived at in the external world. The great springs of life from which the streams of all being flow, lie deeper than the realm of tangible matter. There are to be found here only changeful forms and combinations of elements; where shall we go to find the living substance? It can not be supposed that the Universe has forever existed in its present state, for the reason that it is now undergoing constant changes, which indicate a progressive development. Then the mind is compelled to trace the line of induction back to a primary source ; and in doing this, it must descend beneath the crust of all material formations to the sphere of the indwelling and impalpable Life.
Let us see if this is not the true and legitimate course of investigation. Matter which is visible to the external eye, is not a primitive substance, but exists in a compound* form. It is, therefore, only a combination of constituent elements which may be resolved again into their simple state. And this is precisely what must be implied in the act of creation. To ereate is to form; to form is to combine; and to combine is to produce visible bodies. Elements which are in themselves unseen and intangible, will, when properly arranged and condensed, be made sensible to the eye and the touch. Therefore, in tracing the origin of external things, it is necessary to follow a process which is the reverse of that of creation, by which visible substances become resolved into the particles of which they are composed, and these particles are again resolved into their constituent elements, until presented at last in their primitive form. As a familiar illustration of this process, let us take the substance termed ice. By an application of heat, which possesses the power of expanding the particles of matter subjected to its influence, this substance speedily becomes changed into a liquid form, which is known as water. This being still farther decomposed by a continuation of the same process, is resolved into a vapory element which appears as steam or mist. Then by a yet closer chemical analysis, which may be obtained through the instrumentalities of Science, this new formation is changed into insensible gasses, which evidently form the real basis of the substance with which our investigation commenced.
Thus all visible matter is capable of being divided and subdivided by the analysis of Chemistry, until its particles, ceasing to exist in a compound form, can be neither seen nor felt by "the senses. But with all this division and sub-division—go as far as we may into the depths of ethereality, matter can never be traced to absolute nothing; for matter is composed of ele"ments, and these elements, though they could be sub-divided to infinity, would still exist,—so that, in accordance with a prominent principle of natural philosophy, no particle of any substance