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necessities, or in violation of the established principles of being; and therefore that omnipotence might be exercised on nothing through eternity, and, because it acts alone, it would remain alone,—because it is associated with no object, it would produce no effect. Besides, in the theory under consideration, the mind is required to grasp that which lies entirely beyond its reach. It is impossible, as before explained, to conceive of nothing. The attempt to do this is at once productive of mental confusion. There must first be established some basis on which the mind may rest, or it can not think. The soul, being a substance in itself, must have something on which to act, otherwise its powers can not be exercised. Hence the idea of Absolute nothing constituting the empty void of space, can never be comprehended by the human mind, inasmuch as every conception which it is able to form, implies by necessity an entity to be conceived. It is useless and unreasonable, therefore, to affirm that the Universe was derived from nothing, when the mind has really no power to conceive of such an origin.
But it is-still further evident that no substance can originate from nothing, because there are contained in this no elements, essences, or forces from which matter may be derived. All substances, whether- visible or invisible, must be formed of necessity from some preexistent germ, in which their constituent elements are embosomed in an undeveloped state. This lesson is clearly unfolded in the process by which all forms are produced on the earth. The plant, the flower, and the tree are developed from the elements and forces existing in the seed from which they originate. Without some original germ from which to spring, these forms could never have been created. And so the very law by which the process of growth and production is governed, shows conclusively that every form of matter must be derived from some primitive substance. But . there is no germ of being in absolute nonentity from which any thing could be created; and hence where there are no elements, essences, or forces to constitute a source of production, it is evident there can be nothing produced. In view of the absurdity manifested in the prevalent theory on this subject, we might well exclaim with an ancient writer: "O ye whose hearts are pure! how could something arise out of nothing 1"
The theories which have been taken into consideration in this review, represent the extremes into which all minds are liable to fall, which are unenlightened by the true principles of Reason and the divine revelations of Nature. On the one hand,^the agency of Deity is discarded, because the essence of which his being is composed is not visible to the eye, and so matter is supposed to be the only real God; and on the other hand, the Deity is endowed with an omnipotent power which1 acts in direct violation of all law, and with absolute independence as respects all the necessities of being, creating an illimitable Universe from nothing, and speaking into existence all matter from an empty void. Does it not appear rational that the real truth should occupy a middle ground between these extremes, and that it should harmonize and justify, so to speak, the relations that exist between God and matter? If so, this truth will recognize God as the original germ of being, and all material creations as the productions evolved therefrom. And it will be seen, in this view of the subject, that the Philosophy of Creation is only the philosophy of growth, expansion, and birth, which is beautifully and perfectly illustrated by every sprouting plant and unfolding flower.
In contemplating, therefore, the spiritual and indivisible substance which is ultiinated in the Divine Soul, it is proper to recognize this as the primary source of all existing materials, —that is to say, the essential and inherent elements of all present forms, were contained undeveloped in the great original germ. It may be accordingly assumed that in this mighty vortex of unparticled matter, the real constituents of all existing formations have had an existence from eternity. Dwelling in the depths of this primitive substance, yet inherently blended with the moving mass, were the germinal elements of the gross earth, water, air, electricity, magnetism, and spirit. Hence in the long lapse of ages, when that stage of creation had been reached in which the existing Universe was brought forth in its sublime order, these inherent elements gradually assumed a more distinct form and being, and ultimately occupied their appropriate positions and relations to each other, as denoted by their different degrees of refinement. That which is, therefore, is a development from that which was • and so beauty, life, and form are but the ultimated thoughts of God, whose being comprehends the Eternal Past. In the beautiful language of Akenside,
"Ere the radiant sun
The mountains, woods, and streams, the rolling globe,
And Wisdom's mein celestial. Prom the first
Of days, on them his love divine he fix'd,
His admiration; till, in time complete,
What he admir'd and lov'd his vital smile
Unfolded into being. Hence the breath
Of life in forming each organic frame;
Hence the green earth, and wild-resounding waves;
Hence light and shade alternate; warmth and cold;
The clear autumnal skies, and vernal showers;
And all the fair variety of things."
PRINCIPLE OF DIVINE ACTION.
Haying previously arrived at the conception that the primitive origin of the Universe is to be traced to the Divine Mind, as the perfect and concentrated essence of all being, it is proper to investigate the principle on which the various external forms of Creation have been produced. The sentiment has been quite generally entertained that God created the heavens aud the earth by the direct and special action of his own will—that, at some particular point in the eternity of time, He was moved by a desire to create worlds and systems as they exist in the present constitution of Nature, in accordance with which He suddenly put forth the divine energies which had until this time slumbered in the depths of his own being,^and labored during a period of six days for the accomplishment of the design conceived. This view of the subject is one which has been derived by theological teachers from the traditional account of creation contained in the Primitive History. It will, however, be readily perceived by the free mind, that a blind reverence for authority in this instance has essentially interfered with the operations of human reason. Indeed it has been