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From the positive and negative relations that subsisted between magnetism and electricity, there occurred a spontaneous union and assimilation of these elements, from which was produced a still more material substance, differing in its appearance from both of these in their primitive condition. This substance is known in Chemistry as Xhcygen. It is now recognized as that form of matter which supports combustion, and which, being essential to respiration, is the basis of vitality for vegetable and animal bodies. This element occupies about onefourth of the bulk of the earth's atmosphere, and may be viewed as a third unfolding from the uncreated Essence,->-which is another step in the direction of tangible matter.
Again the process of chemical union, condensation, and reproduction, went forward. The elements heretofore evolved, being drawn together by a mutual affinity, entered into a new combination, and generated the element which is called nitrogen. This is a gas which constitutes the greater proportion of the common atmosphere, and is known as its unrespirable constituent. The elements of which it is composed are so perfectly and harmoniously blended as to form apparently one simple element, though existing in a compound state; and in this is represented the fourth development of primitive matter, which forms a still nearer approach to the realm of the visible creation.
From this point in the process of unfolding, we may now turn to another and still more material substance, which has been designated by the term hydrogen. This element was an outbirth from the fourth creation as this was the offspring of the third, the third from the second, and the second from the first. It results from a union and combination of all the inherent elements which had an existence in previous unfoldings. By chemical analysis and experiment, it has been discovered that this gas forms the base of water in a certain combination with oxygen; and yet it is found that, "when mixed with three or four times its volume of air, or with half its volume of pure oxygen, it burns rapidly, and in the latter case with violent explosion." Hence from the very nature and effects of this element, its unfolding will be recognized as another essential gradation in the development of external nature.
We have now before us, according to the discoveries of modern Science, the constituent elements of the air, water, and fire; and it will be seen by the candid mind, that it is only necessary that these primitive elements should be properly arranged and combined, in order to produce the substances here mentioned in their tangible form. Furthermore, the conviction is forced upon us by all the apparent results of nature, that the original elements have an innate tendency to unite and blend together, so as to form the dense and chaotic masses of matter to which reference is above made. Hence it will be wise to assert what may be rationally supposed to have occurred, in the primary unfoldings of Creation. At that period, then, which can be conceived as the first stage of progress in which external substances were produced, there occurred a combination and blending of certain essences and gases which have been previously mentioned, by which process a material atmosphere was formed. Then by a different combination and blending of the same essences and gases, there was produced a substance which corresponds to water in its rarefied and diffused state, this being extended through the immeasurable immensity, as one unimaginable ocean of etherealized vapor. And then still farther, by a certain arrangement and combination of the primitive elements in another form, there was created as the necessary result of existing causes, a vast and mighty expansion of liquid flame, whose hight, and breadth, and depth, no earthly mind can comprehend.
The original condition of matter, therefore, was the natural condition of the inherent elements of which matter is composed; in other words, "matter primarily existed in its most simple and uncompounded form, as a representative of elementary substance. Hence matter did not exist in its primitive developments, as a substance which would be tangible to the external sense; but the essential principles, essences and elements of all matter were here embodied, having their eternal seat in the deepest heart of space. These principles, essences, and elements, formed the basis of all subsequent creations, for in these were contained the intrinsic powers and resources from which all existing forms of matter in the whole Universe were gradually and naturally created; and this truth will make its silent but irresistible appeal to the reasoning mind. It is known by chemists and philosophers that all the visible forms of Nature are but the compounds of elementary substances; it is known that all these forms may be separated, analyzed and resolved into their more simple elements, and that this process may be carried on to an extent which reaches beyond the perceptions of the human eye. For example, it is known that, by a simple process in the chemistry of Nature, the watery element which in its compound state is visible to the eye, is caused to arise by insensible exhalation from the bosom of the ocean, and that, in this rarefied state, it is susceptible of being still farther decomposed into its elementary and constituent gases. And this is Imt 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 bv 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 elementary 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 etherealized 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 rudimeutal 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.