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out, several stars and planets appeared one after another, until the whole firmament was in a glow. The blueness of the ether was exceedingly heightened and enlivened by the season of the year, and by the rays of all those luminaries that passed through it. The galaxy appeared in its most beautiful white. To complete the scene, the full moon rose at length in that clouded majesty which Milton takes notice of, and opened to the eye a new picture of nature, which was more finely shaded and disposed among softer lights than that which the sun had before discovered to us.
As I was surveying the moon walking in her brightness, and taking her progress among the constellations, a thought rose in me which I believe very often perplexes and disturbs men of serious and contemplative natures. David himself fell into it in that reflection, "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained: what is man, that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man, that thou regardest him!" In the same manner when I considered that infinite host of stars, or, to speak more philosophically, of suns which were then shining upon me, with those innumerable sets of planets or worlds which were moving round their respective suns; when I still enlarged the idea, and supposed another heaven of suns and worlds rising still above this which we discovered, and these still enlightened by a superior firmament of luminaries, which are planted at so great a distance that they may appear to the inhabitants of the former as the stars do to us; in short, while I pursued this thought, I could not but reflect on that little insignificant figure which I myself bore amidst the immensity of God's works.
If we considerGod in his omnipresence, his being passes through, actuates, and supports the whole frame of nature. His creation, and every part of it, is full of him. There is nothing he has made that is either so distant, so little, or so inconsiderable, which he does not essentially inhabit. His substance is within the substance of every being, whether material or immaterial, and as intimately present to it as that being is to itself. It would be an imperfection in him were he able to remove out of one place into another, or to withdraw himself from any thing he has created, or from any part of that space which is diffused and spread abroad to infinity. In short, to speak of him in the language of the old philosopher, he is a Being whose centre is everywhere, and his circumference nowhere.
In the second place, he is omniscient as well as omnipresent. His omniscience, indeed, necessarily and naturally flows from his omnipresence; he cannot but be conscious of every motion that arises in the whole material world, which he thus essentially pervades, and of every thought that is stirring in the intellectual world, to every part of which he is thus intimately united. Several moralists have considered the creation as the temple of God, which he has built with his own hands, and which is filled with his presence. Others have considered infinite space as the receptacle, or rather the habitation of the Almighty; but the noblest and most exalted way of considering this infinite space is that of Sir Isaac Newton, who calls it the sensorium of the Godhead. Brutes and men have their sensoriola, or little sensoriums, by which they apprehend the presence and perceive the actions of a few objects that lie contiguous to them. Their knowledge and observation turn within a very narrow circle. But as God Almighty cannot but perceive and know every thing in which he resides, infinite space gives room to infinite knowledge, and is, as it were, an organ to. omniscience.
Were the soul separate from the body, and with one glance of thought should start beyond the bounds of the creation; should it for millions of years continue its progress through infinite space with the same activity, it would still find itself within the embrace of its Creator, and encompassed round with the immensity of the Godhead. Whilst we are in the body, he is not less present with us because he is concealed from us. "0 that I knew where 1 might find him!" says Job. "Behold I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him; on the left hand, where he does work, but I cannot behold him; he hideth himself on the right hand that I cannot see him." In short, reason as well as revelation assures us that he cannot be absent from us, notwithstanding he is undiscovered by us.
In this consideration of God Almighty's omnipresence and omniscience, every uncomfortable thought vanishes. He cannot but regard every thing that has being, especially such of his creatures who fear they are not regarded by him. He is privy to all their thoughts, and to that anxiety of heart in particular, which is apt to trouble them on this occasion; for, as it is impossible he should overlook any of his creatures, so we may be confident that he regards with an eye of mercy those who endeavor to recommend themselves to his notice, and in an unfeigned humility of heart think themselves unworthy that he should be mindful of them.
Spectjtor, No. 5*A.
REFLECTIONS IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY.
When I look upon the tombs of the great, every emotion of envy dies in me ; when I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out; when I meet with the grief of parents upon a tombstone, my heart melts with compassion; when I seethe tomb of the parents themselves, I consider the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow. When I see kings lying by those who deposed them, when I consider rival wits placed side by side, or the holy men that divided the world with their contests and disputes, I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little competitions, factions, and debates of mankind. When I read the several dates of the tombs, of some that died yesterday, and some six hundred years ago, I consider that great day when we shall all of us be contemporaries, and make our appearance
together. Spectator, No. 96.
As a poet, Addison docs not take the highest rank, and yet he has written much that would be more valued had it not been thrown into the shade by the comparative brilliancy of his prose. One of his best pieces is his poetical Letter to Lord Halifax, written from Italy in 1701. Of this Dr. Drake' thus speaks: "Had he written nothing else, this Epistle ought to have acquired for him the reputation of a good poet. Its versification is remarkably sweet and polished, its vein of description usually rich and clear, and its sentiments often pathetic, and sometimes even sublime. We see Addison, with the ardent enthusiasm of a mind fresh from the study of the classics, exploring with unwearied fondness and assiduity the neglected relics of antiquity, and tracing every stream and mountain recorded in the songs of the Bard. His praises of liberty break forth with uncommon warmth and beauty; with that energy of phrase and thought which only genuine emotion can supply."
FROM TIIE LETTER FROM ITALY.
For wheresoe'er I turn my ravish'd eyes,
With all the gifts that heaven and earth impart,
0 Liberty, thou goddess heavenly bright,
Thee, goddess, thee, Britannia's isle adorcB;
PARAPHRASE OF PSALM XXIII.
The Lord my pasture shall prepare,
When in the sultry glebe I faint,
Though in the paths of death I tread,
Though in a bare and rugged way,
ANNE FINCH, COUNTESS OF WINCHELSEA. Died 1720.
This lady was the daughter of Sir William Kingsmill, of Sidmonton, in the county of Southampton, and was married to Heneage, Earl of Winchelsea. A collection of her poems was printed in 1713.
"It is remarkable," says Wordsworth, "that excepting a passage or two in the Windsor Forest of Pope, and some delightful pictures in the poems of Lady Winchelsea, the poetry of the period intervening between the publication of the Paradise Lost and the Seasons, does not contain a single new image of externnl nature.''
THE ATHEIST AND THE ACORN.
Methinks the world is oddly made,
And every thing's amiss,
And instanced it in this:
Behold, quoth he, that mighty thing,
A Pumpkin large and round,
Or bear it from the ground.
Whilst on this Oak a fruit so small,
So disproportion^, grows;
Its ill contrivance knows.
My better judgment would have hung
That weight upon a tree,
And small and feeble be.
No more the caviller could say,
Nor farther faults descry;
Fell down upon his eye.
Tli' offended part with tears ran o'er,
As punish*d for the sin;
Nor skull had kept them in.