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From which her strength she draws,
The mother's lot as tried :-
(By permission of the Author.)
TIE OMNIPOTENCE OF GOD.
In the first place, the immense quantity of matter contained in the universe, presents a most striking display of Almighty power.
In endeavouring to form a definite notion on this subject, the mind is bewildered in its conceptions, and is at a loss where to begin or to end its excursions. In order to form something approximating to a well-defined idea, we must pursue a train of thought commencing with those magnitudes which the mind can easily grasp, proceeding through all the intermediate gradations of magnitude, and fixing the attention on every portion of the chain, till we arrive at the object or magnitude of which we wish to form a conception. We must endeavour, in the first place, to form a conception of the bulk of the world in which we dwell, which, though only a point in comparison of the whole material universe, is, in reality, a most astonishing magnitude, which the mind cannot grasp, without a laborious effort. We can form some definite idea of those protuberant masses we denominate hills, which rise above the surface of our plains; but were we transported to the mountain scenery of Switzerland, to the
stupendous range of the Andes in South America, or to the Himalayan mountains in India, where masses of earth and rocks, in every variety of shape, extend several hundreds of miles in different directions, and rear their projecting summits beyond the region of the clouds—we should find some difficulty in forming an adequate conception of the objects of our contemplation. For (to use the words of one who had been a spectator of such scenes), “ Amidst those trackless regions of intense silence and solitude, we cannot contemplate, but with feelings of awe and admiration, the enormous masses of variegated matter which lie around, beneath, and above us. The mind labours, as it were, to form a definite idea of those objects of oppressive grandeur, and feels unable to grasp the august objects which compose the surrounding scene.” But what are all these mountainous masses, however variegated and sublime, when compared with the bulk of the whole earth ? Were they hurled from their bases, and precipitated into the vast Pacific Ocean, they would all disappear in a moment, except perhaps a few projecting tops, which, like a number of small islands, might be seen rising a few fathoms above the surface of the waters.
The earth is a globe, whose diameter is nearly 8000 miles, and its circumference about 25,000, and consequently, its surface contains nearly two hundred millions of square miles—a magnitude too great for the mind to take in at one conception. In order to form a tolerable conception of the whole, we must endeavour to take a leisurely survey of its different parts. Were we to take our station on the top of a mountain, of a moderate size, and survey the surrounding landscape, we should perceive an extent of view stretching forty miles in every direction, forming a circle eighty miles in diameter, and 250 in circumference, and comprehending an area of 5000 square miles. In such a situation, the terrestrial scene around and beneath us, consisting of hills and plains, towns and villages, rivers and lakes—would form one of the largest objects which the eye, or even the imagination, can steadily grasp at one time. But such an object, grand and extensive as it is, forms no more than the forty-thousandth part of the terraqueous globe; so that before we can acquire an adequate conception of the magnitude of our own world, we must conceive 40,000 landscapes, of a similar extent, to pass in review before us : and, were a scene, of the magnitude now stated, to pass before us every hour, till all the diversified scenery of the earth were brought under our view, and were twelve hours a-day allotted for the observation, it would require nine years and forty-eight days before the whole surface of the globe could be contemplated, even in this general and rapid manner. But, such a variety of successive landscapes passing before the eye, even although it were possible to be realized, would convey only a very vague and imperfect conception of the scenery of our world; for objects at the distance of forty miles cannot be distinctly perceived; the only view which would be satisfactory would be, that which is comprehended within the range of three or four miles from the spectator.
Again, I have already stated, that the surface of the earth contains nearly 200,000,000 of square miles. Now, were a person to set out on a minute survey of the terraqueous globe, and to travel till he passed along every square mile on its surface, and to continue his route without intermission, at the rate of thirty miles every day, it would require 18,264 years before he could finish his tour, and complete the survey of “this huge rotundity on which we tread:"-that, had he commenced his excursion on the day in which Adam was created, and continued it to the present hour, he would not have accomplished one-third part of this vast tour.
In estimating the size and extent of the earth, we ought also to take into consideration, the vast variety of objects with which it is diversified, and the nume
rous animated beings with which it is stored; the great divisions of land and water, the continents, seas, and islands, into which it is distributed; the lofty ranges of mountains which rear their heads to the clouds; the unfathomable abysses of the ocean; its vast subter
caverns and burning mountains; and the lakes, rivers, and stately forests with which it is so magnificently adorned; the many millions of animals,
; of every size and form, from the elephant to the mite, which traverse its surface; the numerous tribes of fishes, from the enormous whale to the diminutive shrimp, which "play" in the mighty ocean; the aerial tribes, which sport in the regions above us, the vast mass of the surrounding atmosphere, which encloses the earth and all its inhabitants as swaddling band." The immense variety of beings, with which our terrestrial habitation is furnished, conspires, with every other consideration, to exalt our conceptions of that Power by which our globe, and all that it contains, were brought into existence,
16 with a
REY, GEORGE CRABBE,
To pomp and pageantry in nought allied,
Were others joyful, he looked smiling on,
In times severe, when many a sturdy swain