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It is indeed somewhat d-ioult for the mind revolving in the sphere of outward things, to conceive a process by which risible and tangible matter can be formed from invisible and intangible elements. Bat it is only necessary to observe with care the operations of established laws, to become convinced of the fact that such results are actually produced in the changes of surronnding things. The silent and unseen exhalations of the water arise above the surface of the earth, and, by becoming condensed, assume the form of clouds; then the same elements which have thus attained a visible form, undergo a still greater degree of condensation, and at last descend to the earth in rain, which is tangible to the dullest and grossest sense. Yet, even as I write, Nature furnishes a still more forcible illustration of the principle which is here involved. Dark clouds have gathered in the sky, and a fearful storm is raging. The atmosphere seems heated and sultry, and the vivid lightning gives evidence that the elements are seeking their equilibrium. But hark! what crashing sounds are those? Behold, on the melting tide of Nature's tears, are borne large, dense hailstones, which, in obedience to their gravitating force, descend to earth with fearful and destructive violence. What is the cause of an appearance like this ?—how can such hard and heavy bodies be formed in the vapory clouds? The philosophic answer is,
that the clouds contain certain invisible elements—that these elements by entering into a suitable arrangement and combination, produce globules of water,—and that these globules, changing to ice by another chemical union, coalesce from affinity, and fall to the earth by their own weight. Now, let the fact be noted while this illustration is before us, that it would only require a different combination of the same elements which produced the hail-stones, to form a substance which the senses could distinguish as liquid lire; and since these elements were the immediate and outflowing creations of the Positive Power, ultimately forming in the process of combination a mass of igneous materials, we may very naturally suppose that these materials represented an external germ, corresponding with that from which it was derived, and containing in itself the inherent powers and forces which were essential to develop all subsequent creations.
By employing the inductive method of reasoning and tracing causes from their visible effects, we shall be confirmed in the conclusion which has been expressed in this connection. From the fact, then, that the earth and all other planets with which men have any acquaintance, are discovered to possess a spherical form, we may conclude that the materials of which they were primarily composed were in a liquid state, inasmuch as no solid and compact substance could ever naturally assume this figure; while, on the other hand, it is precisely the form into which a liquid mass whose particles are free to move among themselves, would be necessarily molded by a revolution upon its axis. The characteristics presented by the earth in the flattening of the poles, and the fullness at the equator, serve to confirm the same truth; for the only way in which this peculiarity can be rationally accounted for, is to suppose that the whole body was originally in a state of fluidity, subjected to the action of the inherent forces created by its revolving movement. But again, from the fact that the great centers of the solar systems of the universe which are termed suns, constitute the innate sources of light and heat; and also that the earth, which is the representative of other planets, contains within its heart, according to the opinion of geologists, those central fires which are the obvious remnant of what primarily composed the entire substance of this body, we arrive at the important fact that the original matter of which the worlds were created, was not only liquid, as we have before seen, but was also of a fiery, or igneous nature. To gain a more vivid conception of this condition, let us suppose that the present structure of the material world were resolved into its primitive elements ; let us conceive that the innumerable suns which fill the immensity of space, with all their attendant planets and revolving satellites, should, by some unaccountable impulse, rush from their orbits, fly to one common center, and there, being melted by the consuming breath of Omnipotence, should flow together in one vast and all-expanded ocean of liquid fire,—thus forming a mighty burning sun," whose magnitude no human thought can define, and whose brightness no human eye could bear. This, if the earthly mind has the capacity to comprehend such a result, would represent the component matter of suns and systems.
From the substance here referred to were made the first sensible advances toward the grand end to be attained, which was organization and order. This was the immediate and tangible basis on which the structure of the Universe was built, and in this is represented the union of all those more refined elements, from which the streams of life and harmony have flowed. Let it be understood that this ocean of liquid flame was pervaded and actuated by that eternal principle of motion which existed in the very being of the Supreme Intelligence. Through the constant operation of this principle, the great mass of unrefined materials was moved and convulsed with a force and grandeur which can not be conceived. Then, as a necessary
consequence of this internal movement, the component parts of the igneous mass were constantly assuming different and changing relations with regard to each other. Ultimately those portions which were related by the ties of affinity, were drawn together into a compact and condensed form; and this form, being intensified and rendered positive by the concentration of kindred elements, was repelled and thrown off from the great mass as a blazing sun. Then this body, being pervaded by the same principle of motion which actuated the original mass, was caused to undergo a similar process of evolution, by which still smaller bodies were created to attend their parent-suu in its unmeasured course. It should be noticed that, in each instance of evolution, the worlds were thrown off from their primary sun by the force of an electrical repulsion, and this corresponds to what is termed the centrifugal force in astronomical science; but having been repelled to a certain distance in space, which distance depends on the size and density of the sun or planet in relation to its primary, the worlds thus repelled were held in their position, and bound to the body from which they sprang by the force of a magnetic attraction, which corresponds to what is commonly termed the centripetal force; and so, on this principle, and by the action of these two forces, the planets, suns, and systems of worlds that make the heavens so glorious, were caused to revolve, each in its turn, around a common center.
The worlds or suns which were primarily evolved from the Parent-Body, were, of course, in relation to the latter, as mere sparks or atoms; and when, as regards the earthly idea of number, an infinity of these worlds had been created, there would still remain in the original mass materials for the formation of other innumerable universes. So, for an eternity of time, the process of creation was carried on, and mighty systems of worlds were ushered into space, and yet the great Fountain from which they sprang was unexhausted. Indeed, it is not too much to assert that, from the bosom of the same flaming substance which dwells in the unseen depths of immensity, suns and systems are still being born; and this assertion is confirmed by the established fact that occasionally new worlds, springing from some far off and invisible source, suddenly burst upon the view of the admiring astronomer, and take places among their sister orbs. And thus ever, as the ages of endless time roll away, is the mighty birth of the Universe continued. There is no limit to a process which had no beginning in time. The very thoughts become lost in its contemplation amid a boundless infinity. Soaring far beyond the limits of earth, the spirit may roam into the depths of space; and_ with every advancing step it meets with new worlds, new systems, and new glories, ever stretching out before its view and filling the inconceivable expanse, until at last, beholding no end which it may hope to reach, it falls, mute and dazzled, as in the presence of Infinite Power! Expression is insufficient to convey any appropriate idea of the greatness, the grandeur, and immensity which are thus presented, and the soul can only indulge in a delirious dream of infinitude, without the power to embody one suitable thought of the dazzling glory that shines upon the brow of God. Thus those who imagine that the earth is the only theater of human' action, which is especially and peculiarly favored with the Divine presence, are residing as it were on the outskirts of an almost illimitable creation—a creation which is too deep for the human mind to