Page images

ordained; Lord, what is man, that thou art mindful of him! or the son of man, that thou visitest him !"

And if the stars are suns, and have worlds revolving around them, why, Father, the worlds which God has made must be innumerable. How the thought expands the mind, in reference to the power, the wisdom, the goodness, and the grandeur of God. How delightful it is,Father, to think of such things!

It is. Indeed, Frank, such contemplations gratify the mind, which loves what is vast and infinite. So great is the magnitude and immensity of the divine works, that, “were the sun,” (I use the words of Mr. Addison,) 6 with all the host of planetary worlds that move about him, utterly extinguished and annihilated, they would not be missed by an eye that could take in the whole compass of nature, more than a grain of sand upon

the seashore. The space they possess is so exceedingly little, in comparison of the whole, that it would scarcely make a blank in creation."



FATHER, you said one day, that there was a sentiment in the creed which was thought very plain, and yet no one had ever fully understood it. What was it?

That God is Almighty.

But does not that mean that he is all-powerful?

It is easy, Frank, to say, "I believe in God Almighty ; but no one can conceive the full meaning of the sentiment. No one can have an adequate idea of the power of the Most High, even as displayed in the little world in which we live.

I think, Father, that I can; the world is eight thousand miles in diameter ; that is, directly through it, and twenty-five thousand miles round it.

It is ; and it is easy to talk of eight, and of twenty-five thousand; but a very different thing to have just conceptions of the real magnitude of this immense body. Let us examine the surface of the earth; it contains about two hundred millions of square miles : have you any idea at all equal to this vast extent of country ?

I don't know ; I think I have, Father.

But I do not think so, Frank. How far does our prospect reach from this eminence?

You said it was forty miles.

Well, let us suppose, that looking on every side, we can cast our eyes over about five thousand square miles. This is a vast tract of country, and we can view it but very indistincly; there are villages, and towns, and streams, and rivers, and a multitude of houses, which we cannot see at all. How


such views, think you, must we take, before we could see all the globe? They are more than you ima

gine, Frank.

I don't know, Father.

Well, divide two hundred millions by five thousand.

O, I can do that ; there are 40,000 five thousands, in two hundred millions.

There are : this prospect, then, of forty miles every way, including, as we suppose, five thousand square miles, is but the forty thousandth part of the surface of the globe. How small a part, and how imperfectly it is seen.

Well, this is a surprising calculation! To form a just idea of the surface of the earth, we must see forty thousand such prospects as this ! What a thought! How vast are the works of God!

And vhat must be the power that made such a world! and made it two out of nothing! and recollect, we have been talking only of its surface. If a man were to walk only sixty miles a day, he would be almost ten thousand years, before he could survey every part of it. And

you have not noticed what the earth produces, Father ; nor the millions of millions of creatures that live upon it.

True, Frank; nor the inexhaustible mines, which are to be found in its internal parts. We have reason to believe, that the globe, with the exception of some caverns, of no importance in the estimate, is a solid body. And yet it is upheld every instant by its adorable Creator.

We should think him a strong man, Father, who should take St. Paul's into the air on one of his fingers !

We should, indeed, Frank. What is he then, who measureth the mighty waters in the hollow of his hand. Who weigheth the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance ; who taketh

up the isles, as a very little thing ; who hangeth the earth upon nothing."

And yet, Father, this is not the only world which God has formed; for he has made a. great many.

True, Frank; we have reason to believe, that the worlds which he has created are without number. We know, also, that some are so large, that the one in which we live, is as nothing to them.

As nothing to them, Father !

the sun.

Yes, as nothing to them. The planet Jupiter is the largest in our system.

It moves round the sun at the rate of twenty-nine thousand miles an hour.

It occupies twelve of our years in performing his revolutions about

The diameter of our earth is eight thousand miles; but that of Jupiter is eightynine thousand miles; that is, full fourteen hundred times larger that our earth.

Then there is the sun himself, Father.

Indeed, this is an immense body; more than five hundred times larger than all the planetary worlds together; and considerably more than a million times larger than our globe.

To what a vast distance the influence of our sun reaches! You showed me lately the planet Herschel, which you said was eighteen hundred millions of miles from the sun, and yet he distributes color, and light, and heat, and fertility to it, and to the six moons which revolve around it.

How surprising ! But I was most astonished and pleased, Father, with the ring of Saturn, which you showed me the other evening.

It is a grand and beautiful object; it is more than nine hundred times larger than our world.

And did you not say that one of his rings was 200,000 miles in diameter, or across it?

« PreviousContinue »