Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

the wisdom and the magnificence of its Divine Author. The sun, an immense luminous world, by far the largest body in the system is placed in the centre. No other position would have suited for an equal distribution of light and heat through the different parts of the system. Around him, at different distances, twelve planets revolve, accompanied by eighteen moons,--all in majestic order and harmony, no one interrupting the movements of another, but invariably keeping the paths prescribed them, and performing their revolutions in their appointed times. To all these revolving globes the sun dispenses motion, light, heat, and fertility, and other unceasing energies, for the comfort and happiness of their respective inhabitants—without which, eternal winter and eternal night would reign over every region of our globe, and throughout surrounding worlds. Even an atheist, if there be such a being, must be compelled to confess, that in the starry heavens there is a perfect and glorious accomplishment of just such things, as, in the view of the human mind, appear to be suited to the most perfect operations of the most perfect wisdom.

The distance at which the sun is placed from the earth, (95,000,000 miles) is a manifest evidence of the wisdom of God's arrangements. If the sun were much nearer us than it is at present, the earth, as now constituted, would be wasted and parched with excessive heat; the waters would be turned into vapour, and the rivers, seas, and oceans, would soon disappear, leaving nothing behind them but frightful dells and gloomy caverns; vegetation would completely cease, and the tribes of animated nature languish and die. On the other hand, were the sun much further distant than it now is, or were the influence of his

diminished one half of what they now are, the land and the ocean would soon become one frozen mass, and universal desolation would overspread the fair face of nature; and instead of a pleasant and comfortable abode, our world would become a frightful desert. But herein is the wisdom of God displayed, that he has formed the sun of such a determinate size, and placed it at such a convenient distance, as not to annoy, but to refresh us: so that we plainly perceive, to use the language of the prophet, “He hath established the world by his wisdom, and stretched out the heavens by his understanding." We may well sing with Addison,

rays

The spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great original proclaim :
Th' unwearied sun, from day to day,
Does his Creator's power display,

And publishes to every land,
The work of an Almighty hand.
Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The moon takes up the wondrous tale,
And nightly to the list’ning earth,
Repeats the story of her birth :
Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.
What though in solemn silence all
Move round the dark terrestrial ball!
What though nor real voice nor sound,
Amid their radiant orbs be found !
In reason's ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice ;
For ever singing as they shine,
"The hand that made us is divine.'

Wisdom is also displayed in the ARRANGEMENTS OF THE EARTH.

To be convinced of this we have only to consider the figure of the earth, which we shall find to be that of a sphere, a form the best adapted for its surface, so as to be everywhere inhabited by living creatures. This end could not have been accomplished if the inhabitants of the earth did not experience a sufficient degree of light and heat; if water could not, in every part, circulate without impediment; and if the winds were not suffered to blow unretarded by obstacles. For all these purposes the rotundity of the earth is admirably adapted; it is owing to this that light and heat are so readily diffused throughout the globe. Were the earth not of this form, the succession of night and day, the different changes of the temperature of the air, of cold, of heat, of moisture, and of dryness, could not have occurred.

And if we consider the degree of density which the earth possesses,-neither too hard nor too soft,—we have still more cause to admire the Supreme wisdom. Were the earth more hard, more compact, and less penetrable, it would be incapable of being converted to the purposes of agriculture, and we should not enjoy the plants, the herbs, the roots, and the flowers, which now beautify its surface, and are nourished within its fostering bosom.

The various colouring which is spread over the face of the earth indicates the same wisdom. Were the objects of nature destitute of colour, or were the same unvaried hue spread over creation, we should be destitute of all the entertainments of vision, and be at a loss to distinguish one object from another. We should be unable to distinguish rugged precipices from fruitful hills, naked rocks from human habitations, the trees from the hills that bear them, and the tilled from the untilled lands. We should

hesitate to pronounce whether the first person we met were a soldier in his regimentals or a peasant in his sunday suit; a bride in her ornaments, or a widow in her weeds. Such would have been the aspect of nature, and such the inconveniences to which we should have been subjected, had God allowed us light without the distinction of colours. But now, in the present constitution of things, every object wears its peculiar livery, and has a distinguishing mark by which it is characterized.

And the Green Colour which so generally prevails, illustrates the same truth. Had the fields been clothed with hues of a deep red, or a brilliant white, the eye would have been dazzled with the splendour of their appearance. Had a dark blue or a black colour generally prevailed, it would have cast a universal gloom over the face of nature. But an agreeable green holds the medium between these two extremes, equally remote from a dismal gloom, and an excessive splendour, and bears such a relation to the structure of the eye, that it refreshes instead of tiring it, and supports instead of diminishing its force. At the same time though one general colour prevails over the landscape of the earth, it is diversified by an admirable variety of shades, so that every individual object in the vegetable world can be accurately distinguished from

D

« PoprzedniaDalej »