Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

justice and mercy. TRUTH, pure, unadulterated truth, and this only, received into a willing mind, is all that is necessary, accompanied by the influence of the Holy Spirit, to renew the mind, and to create a clean heart" before God, and "a right spirit" in man's affections toward his fellow-man.

66

How emphatic, how impressively full to the point, are the declarations of Inspiration! The soul that sinneth it shall DIE: They that sow to the flesh, shall of the flesh reap CORRUPTION: To the one [that perishes,] the savour of DEATH UNTO DEATH." What a contradiction of the doctrines of men, do these declarations of Divine Truth present, for our serious consideration! How different from the doctrine of the immortality of the soul of sinners! Death is unto death-not unto immortality in a future, an endless, a cruel, an abominable, and a pagan Hell! Sinners, impenitent, rebellious sinners, that reject the Gospel of Christ, have mortal souls to lose; not immortal souls to save: How impious is the presumption of modern soul-savers, who deny the asseveration of JEHOVAH, His Son Jesus Christ, and His inspired disciples and apostles, and wickedly arrogate to themselves, the power of OMNIPOTENCE! Let these vile pretenders no longer make merchandize of the souls of men. But, especially, let the world at large look to Jesus, and to Him alone, who is "the Author and finisher of our faith," for doctrine; and to His Divine Character and Conduct, for examples. Away with the vicars, who arrogate the power of saving soulsGo to JESUS," the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world." (John i. 29.) AMEN.

Vol. II.-40

2

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

SERMON XXIV.

THE GLORY OF THE HEAVENS.

"The heavens declare the glory of GoD; and the firmament sheweth PSA. xix. 1. His handiwork."

"His arm Almighty, put these wheeling globes

In motion, and wound up the vast machine :
HE rounded in His palm these spacious orbs,
And bowled them flaming through the dark profound,
And set the bosom of old Night on fire."

THERE is a peculiar emphasis in the interrogation of the wise man, "How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge ?" (Prov. i. 22.) KNOWLEDGE, in the legitimate signification of the term, extends beyond the elements which comprise the mental stamina of vain minds; the busy, fluttering throng, whose sole object is. the gratification of animal propensities; whose business in life is made up of exertions to pamper the body, and gratify the various passions that reign predominant in hearts wedded to pride, ambition or pleasure. To such persons, the little globe we inhabit, is the boundary of their hopes and expectations: therefore the world, in this restricted sense, as it affords the means of gratification to the animal, is seldom considered in any other light, than as a mean of furnishing the requisites to quell the longings of insatiate appetites. The inference that necessarily exists, and the conclusions that are the inevitable result from these premises, are a burning reproach, that fastens upon the worldling, and condemns him, as a deluded and a debased creature. The conduct of the multitude is such as reason and common sense must decide, that inferior, shortsighted, vain and foolish creatures would pursue, whose only home is earth; and the boundary of their hopes, desires and expectations, is the dirt they tread on. To arouse these dreamers from their dream of stupidity-to alarm them, not by the fabled ter rors of a future hell, but by representations of their fol

ly and blindness-to consider, and awake from the death of ignorance, and drink from the fountain of knowledge; to arise from the grave of moral darkness, and see the Sun of Truth shining around them with a celestial refulgence and divine splendour, exhibiting the works of God the Great Architect, and leading the mind to a contemplation of the glory of the heavens, is the design of this

sermon.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork." What is there of earth, the little globe we inhabit, that can compensate a man for confining all his views, hopes, desires, and expectations to the earth, its changing scenes, fleeting, unstable, uncertain, and unsatisfactory enjoyments? How narrow the mind, how confined the view, how limited the conception, which are satisfied with the little, dirty spot, that men tread on! What an immense field, has the light of science opened to the view of man! How vast the range of the mental vision, guided by truth Divine, to contemplate, through the medium of His handiwork, the Great, Wonderful, and Excellent Being who hath made us; and who upholds all things by the Word of His power! "O that men were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter [final] end!"

ASTRONOMY is truly the handmaid of science, and the road to knowledge. For if the heavens declare the glory of God, that science which opens a door to the investigation into the heavens, which declare God's glory, and furnishes the means of illustration of the firmament, where God's handiwork is seen and exhibited, is a Divine Science. And here, in the vast laboratory of the Infinite Creator, the Almighty Architect, is the place where is exhibited the wonders of Infinity, and the glories of God's transcendant wisdom, knowledge, power and goodness.

A's collateral evidence of the means of arriving at truth, possessed by those who exercise this divine science, is the astonishing fact, that before the discoveries were made of all the minor planets within our Solar System, by the aid of greatly-improved telescopes, and after the discovery of Ceres and Pallas, the astronomer "OLBERS decided, that Ceres and Pallas were too small to fill the rank of a planet, in their position in the Solar System; assigning, at the same time, the nodes of these as the proper place to look out for their fellow-planets; they

were therefore discovered, (Juno and Vesta,) by the application of theoretic principles, affording no small confirmation of the theories of astronomy, and manifesting the advanced state of the science."

There can be no truth more palpable than the following position, viz: God's greatness, and the greatness of His attributes, can only be correctly conceived by the means, and through a just conception of the immensity of His works. The divine science of Astronomy, and that only, can aid the mind to just conceptions, by exhibiting data that furnishes the medium of comparison; which is the moral instrument by which the human mind arrives at just conclusions. This truth is too palpable to require a multiplication of arguments, or a long schedule of facts, to prove and illustrate it. It is known to all persons who have only partially investigated the phenomena of the human mind, that comparison is the mental instrument, by which the mind performs its work, and attains to any excellence whatsoever.

Consider the magnitude of God's works: Let us leave this little globe, the dirty planet we inhabit, reader, and soaring on the wings of science, visit and explore, in a divine contemplation, the stupendous works of JEHOVAH. Behold SIRIUS, shining with a splendour greater than any other of the starry host. Consider his magnitude, compared to the little planet we live on. Remember, that the distance of all the stars is so great, that their discs can never be perceived, only the light that emanates from them. Taking the earth we inhabit, as a body of a cer tain magnitude, viz: a fraction less than 8,000 miles in diameter, proceed and compare, and estimate, if not positively, negatively, the immensity of the works of the Great Creator. Consider the diameter of the earth, as the base of a triangle, (8,000 miles,) used in a trigonometrical survey to ascertain the distance of Sirius from the earth, the nearest star; and it follows, negatively, that the distance of Sirius from the earth, cannot be so small as 100,000 of the earth's diameters! And this distance, is 800,000,000 of miles. Consider the greatness of the circumference of the earth's orbit, and instead of taking the diameter of the earth, as the base line to measure the distance from the earth to the star Sirius, take the length of the earth's orbit, say 190,000,000 of miles, for a base line, and even then a negative result follows. A short time since, an astronomer in Europe published an

account of an admeasurement of the distance of Sirius from the Earth, by a new process, by which he contended he had made a positive calculation of the distance; but when it is considered that it is so great, that it could not be expressed by the term millions, and that he was compelled to resort to the term trillions, to express it, and that a single trillion consists of a million of millions of millions, the mind is absolutely overpowered with the magnitude; and in imagining the Infinity of JEHOVAH, We are crushed beneath the conception of our own nothing

ness.

The result of the admeasurement of the distance of the fixed stars from the earth, taking the earth's orbit for a base line for a trigonometrical survey, by that accomplished astronomer SIR JOHN F. W. HERSCHEL, led to the following result, to give it in his own words "The distance of the stars, then, cannot be so small as 4,800,000,000 radii of the earth, or 19,200,000,000,000 miles! How much larger it may be, we know not." And he very justly remarks, "In such numbers the imagination is lost." But, taking this negative estimate of the distance of the stars, and computing that light travels at the rate of 192,000 miles per second, it would take more than three years for the light of the nearest star to travel to the earth; according to the moderate, negative estimate of their distances. How astounding, therefore, is the question, "What, then, are we to allow for the distance of those innumerable stars of the smaller magnitude which the telescope discloses to us!" Consider, that estimating the distances of the stars from the earth, by their apparent magnitudes, it will require that we calculate the distance of the farthest stars from the earth, to be 362 times greater than that of the star Sirius! Sir J. F. W. Herschel has very properly decided, that this conclusion can be avoided by no other way, "but by adopting as an alternative an intrinsic inferiority of light in all the smaller stars of the milky way.

99

This able astronomer finally says, "Quitting, however, the region of speculation, and confining ourselves within certain limits, which we are sure are less than the truth, let us employ the negative knowledge we have obtained respecting the distances of the stars, to form some conformable estimate of their real magnitudes. Of this, telescopes afford us no direct information. The discs which good telescopes show us of the stars are not real, but spu

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »