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EDITOR TO THE READER.
THE Poem, entitled “ The UNIVERSE", attracted peculiar attention from the Editor of the present edition of it, in early life. It gave him his first idea of the magnificence of the works of Crea. tion: It suggested to him a regular and solemn apprehension of a Being who must necessarily be possessed of powers, infinitely superior to those of man. The productions and economy of Nature, of that mighty machinery, conceived and directed by consummate wisdom, and applied by infinite power, and with aptitudes and advantages altogether so subtile and astonishing, excited his admiration : and the evidently providential and beneficent designations of all that he saw, equally called forth his gratitude.—The wondrous, yet generally pleasing, and always salutary operations of Nature and Provi. dence soon became, with him, a favorite theme:their influence, he may truly say, “ grew with his growth, and strengthened with his strength” :—and he even presumed to think, it must have been the will of their GREAT Author that it should be so, as their regular and proper effect.--Contemplations so distinctly transcending the comparatively mean, how. ever necessary, pursuits of temporal life, have best enabled him to relish what comforts it afforded; while they have equally served to alleviate the various infelicities to which life is exposed,
Had it been the Will of the Supreme Being that all our enquiries should have been restricted even to what was visible on the planet we inhabit, mankind would there have found abundant cause for awful admiration and devout gratitude; but being, as we are, permitted to see, and in part to understand, those distant worlds which Astronomy gives us a glimpse of, we do, as it were, enjoy a foretaste, of that exalted admiration which we have to expect in a future state of existence. It has been the opinion of wise men, that a part of the felicity of the Soul, hereafter, will consist in a more nice examination, a more expanded, and even eternally progressive knowledge of creative wisdom, power, and goodness :-that, after having studied the eco. nomy of one world, it will be permitted to waft its flight to others, and compare and admire their various relations, dependencies, uses, and ends. And should it, finally, be permitted to contemplate the august throne of the Ancient of days,” and to meditate on that great book which contains the destinies of worlds, how infinitely more will its admiration and gratitude be excited by that great Redemption, the subject of meditation, of wonder, and of praise to Prophets, and even Angels themselves !
If we contemplate the great works in Nature, worlds unnumbered, revolving in an immeasurable expanse ;-systems beyond systems, composing one grand UNIVERSE ;--the whole, subject to an exact and secure order, and to an administration as bene. ficial as it is powerful, the consideration impresses upon us the belief--the certainty of a SUPREME Mind :-of a sole, essential, efficient ORIGIN, and AUTHOR of all things.
An examination of the minute parts of Creation will, also, excite a similar conviction. If, in animated nature, we wonder at the magnitude of an Elephant, we are no less astonished at a microscopic view of a Mite; within whose small fabric we see comprized every member and faculty necessary for its existence and well-being. We know, further, that there are many species of aquatic animalcules, so small, thát a Mite, to them, is as large as an Elephant is to a Mite. Some eminent philosophers, who lived about the time when the powers of the microscope first became known, were of opinion that the minutest animalcule which the human eye