• Bright effluence of bright essence increate !"'
  • About the same time Sir Thomas Mitchell, Surveyor General of Australia, communicated his notions on the subject. "My dear Sir," he wrote, "Your kind and valuable communications are as welcome to me as the sun's light, and I now thank you most gratefully for the last, with its two enclosures. These, and especially your views as to the source of light, afford me new scope for satisfactory thinking -- a sort of treasure one can always carry about, and, unlike other treasures, is most valuable in the solitude of a desert. The beauty of your theory as to the nature of the source of light is, that it rather supports all preconceived notions respecting the soul, heaven,and an immortal state."

    I still continued the study of astronomy. The sun, moon, and planets yielded to me an inexhaustible source of delight. I gazed at them with increasing wonder and awe. Among the glorious objects which the telescope reveals, the most impressive is that of the starry heavens in a clear dark night. When I directed my 20-inch reflecting telescope almost at random to any part of the firmament, especially to any portion of the Milky Way, the sight of myriads of stars brought into view within the field of the eye- piece was overpoweringly sublime.

    When it is considered that every one of these stars which so bewilderingly crowd the field of vision is, according to rational probability, and, I might even say, absolute certainty, are Suns as vast in magnitude as that which gives light to our globe, and yet situated so inconceivably deep in the abyss of space as to appear minute points of light even to the most powerful telescope, it will be felt what a sublime subject appears before us. Turn the telescope to any part of the heavens, it is the same.

    Let us suppose ourselves perched upon the farthest star which we are enabled to see by the aid of the most powerful telescope. There, too, we should see countless myriads of Suns, rolling along in their appointed orbits, and thus on and on throughout eternity. What an idea of the limitless extent of Creative Power -- filling up infinite space with the evidences of His Almighty Presence! The human mind feels its utter impotency in endeavouring to grasp such a subject.

    I also turned my attention to the microscope. In 1851 I examined, by the aid of this instrument, the infusoria in the Bridgewater Canal. I found twenty-seven of them, of the most varied form, colour, and movements. This was almost as remarkable a revelation as the mighty phenomena of the heavens. I found these living things moving about in the minutest drop of water. The sight of the wonderful range of creative power -- from the myriads of suns revealed by the telescope, to the myriads of moving organisms revealed by the microscope -- filled me with unutterably devout wonder and awe.

    Moreover, it seemed to me to confer a glory even upon the instruments of human skill, which elevated man to the Unseen and the Divine. When we examine the most minute organisms, we find clear evidence in their voluntary powers of motion that these creatures possess a will, and that such Will must be conveyed by a nervous system of an infinitesimally minute description. When we follow out such a train of thought, and contrast the myriads of suns and planets at one extreme, with the myriads of minute organised atoms at the other, we cannot but feel inexpressible wonder at the transcendent range of Creative Power.

    Shortly after, I sent to the Royal Astronomical Society a paper on another equally wonderful subject, "The Rotatory Movements of the Celestial Bodies. As the paper is not very long, and as I endeavoured to illustrate my ideas in a familiar manner, I may here give it entire:

    "What first set me thinking on this subject was the endeavour to get at the reason of why water in a basin acquires a rotatory motion when a portion of it is allowed to escape through a hole in the bottom. Every well-trained philosophical judgment is accustomed to observe illustrations of the most sublime phenomena of creation in the most minute and familiar operations of the Creator's laws, one of the most characteristic features of which consists in the absolute and wonderful integrity maintained in their action whatsoever be the range as to magnitude or distance of the objects on which they operate.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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