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tain the Crown that fadeth not away. The Parent may lay up a competent Portion for his Children, and not forfeit his Title to the Treafures, either of Grace, or Glory.-So far is Christianity from obftructing any valuable Intereft, or with-holding any real Pleasure; that it evidently advances the one, and improves the other. Juft as the diurnal and annual Motions are fo far from clashing, that they perfectly accord; and, inftead of being deftructive of each other, by mutually blending their Effects, they give Proportion and Harmony to Time, Fertility and innumerable Benefits to Nature.
To Us, that dwell on its Surface, the Earth is by far the most extensive Orb, that our Eyes can, any where, behold. It is alfo cloathed with Verdure; diftinguished by Trees; and adorned with a Variety of beautiful Decorations. Whereas, to a Spectator placed on one of the Planets, it wears an uniform Afpect; looks all luminous, and no larger than a Spot. To Beings, who dwell at ftill greater Distances, it entirely disappears.-That which we call alternately the Morning or the Evening Star; as, in one part of her Orbit, fhe rides foremost in the Proceffion of the Night; and, in the other, ushers in and anticipates the Dawn, is a planetary World. Which, with the four others, that fo wonderI 3 fully
fully vary their myftick Dance, are in themfelves dark Bodies, and fhine only by Reflection: have Fields, and Seas, and Skies of their own: are furnished with all Accommodations for animal Subfiftence, and are fuppofed to be the Abodes of intellectual Life. All which, together with this our earthly Habitation, are dependent on that grand Dispenser of divine Munificence, the Sun; receive their Light from the Distribution of his Rays, and derive their Comforts from his benign Agency.
THE Sun, they say, that seems to perform its daily Stages through the Sky, is, in this refpect*, fixed and immoveable. 'Tis the great Axle of Heaven, about which the Globe we inhabit, and other more fpacious Orbs, wheel their ftated Courfes.The Sun, they add, though feemingly smaller than the Dial it illuminates, is abundantly larger than this whole Earth; on which fo many lofty Mountains rife, and fuch vaft Oceans roll. A Line, extending from Side to Side, through the Centre of that refplendent Orb, would measure more than
Eight *I fay, in this refpect, that I may not feem to forget, or exclude, the Revolution of the Sun round its own Axis.
† A hundred thousand times, according to the loweft Reckoning. Sir Ifaac Newton computes the Sun to be 900,000 times bigger than the Earth. Religious Philofopher P. 749.
Eight hundred thousand Miles; a Girdle, formed to go round its Circumference, would require a Length of Millions; and were its folid Contents to be computed, the Account would even confound our Understanding, and be almost beyond the Power of Language to express *.-Are we startled at these Reports of Philofophy? Are we ready to cry out, in a Transport of Surprize; How mighty is the Being, who kindled fuch a prodigious Fire; and keeps alive, from Age to Age, fuch an enormous Mass of Flame?-Let us attend our philofophic Guides, and we fhall be brought acquainted with Speculations, incomparably more inlarged and amazing.
THIS Sun, with all its attendant Planets, is but a very little Part of the grand Machine of the Universe. Every Star, though, in Appearance, no bigger than the Diamond that glitters upon a Lady's Ring; is really a vaft Globe, like the Sun in Size and in Glory; no lefs fpacious, no less luminous, than the radiant Source of our Day. So that every Star, is not barely a World, I 4
+ Dr. Derham, after having calculated the Dimenfions of the Planets, adds, “ Amazing as these "Maffes are, they are all far outdone by that ftupendous Globe of Light the Sun; which, as it is "the Fountain of Light and Heat, to all the Pla"nets about it, fo doth it far furpass them all in its "Bulk: Its apparent Diameter being computed at
822,148 English Miles, its Ambit at 2,582,873 "Miles, and its folid Content at 290,971,000,000, *000,000." Aftro-Theol. Book I. Chap. II.
but the Centre of a magnificent System; has a Retinue of Worlds irradiated by its Beams, and revolving round its attractive Influence. All which are loft, to our Sight, in unmeasurable Tracts of Æther.-That the Stars appear like fo many diminutive and scarce diftinguishable Points, is owing to their immenfe and inconceivable DiStance. Immense and inconceivable indeed it is, fince a Ball, fhot from the loaded Cannon, and flying with unabated Rapidity, must travel, at this impetuous Rate, almoft Seven hundred thoufand Years*, before it could reach the nearest of those twinkling Luminaries.
CAN any Thing be more wonderful than thefe Obfervations? Yes: There are Truths far more stupendous; there are Scenes far more unbounded. As there is no End of the Almighty Maker's Greatness, so no Imagination can set Limits to his creating Hand.-Could you foar beyond the Moon, and pass through all the planetary Choir; could you wing your Way to the highest apparent Star, and take your Stand on one of those loftieft Pinacles of Heaven; you would there fee other Skies expanded; other Suns, that diftribute their inexhauftible Beams by Day; other Stars, that gild the Horrors of the alternate Night and other †, perhaps nobler Systems, eftablished
*See Religious Philofopher, p. 819.- -Where he exact Computation is 691, 600 Years.
+ See Aftro-Theology, Book II. Chap. II. Where the Author, having affigned various Reafons
established; established in unknown Profufion, through the boundless Dimenfions of Space.. Nor does the Dominion of the great Sovereign terminate there. Even at the End of this vaft Tour, you would find yourself advanced no farther than the Frontiers of Creation; arrived only at the Suburbs of the great JEHOVAH'S Kingdom *.
ARE we ftruck with Amazement, at this little Sketch of a very little Part of his Works? How then must we be loft in Wonder, at the Confideration
to fupport this Theory of our modern Aftronomers, adds "Befides (the fore-mentioned) ftrong Pro"babilities, we have this farther Recommendation "of fuch an Account of the Universe, that it is far more magnificent, and worthy of the infinite Crea66 tor, than any other of the narrower Schemes."
Job, after a moft fublime Differtation on the mighty Works of GOD; as they are scattered through univerfal Nature, from the Heights of Heaven, to the very Depths of Hell; clofes the magnificent Account, with this noble Acknowlegement; Lo! thefe are Parts of his Ways. Or, as the original Word more literally fignifies, and may, I think, be more elegantly rendered, Thefe are only the Skirts, the very outermoft Borders of his Works. No more than a fmall Preface to the immenfe Volume of the Creation.From the Hebrew- Extremitates-I cannot forbear thinking on, the extreme and very attenuated Fibres of the Root, when compared with the whole Subftance of the Trunk; or on the exquifitely Small Size of the capillary Veffels, when compared with the whole Structure of the Body. Job. xxvi. 14.