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V. 1. Life of Jean Paul F. Richter, compiled from various
2. Flower, Fruit and Thorn Pieces. By J. P. F. Rich-
ter. Translated from the German by E. H. Noel.
3. Walt and Vult; or, the wins. oslated from the
Flegeljahre of Jean Paul by the Author of the · Life
VI. 1. The Metaphysic of Ethics. By Immanuel Kant.
Translated out of the original German, with an In-
troduction and an Appendix. By J. W. Semple, ,
2. The Elements of Morality, including Polity. By Wil.
3. Lectures on Systematic Morality, delivered in Lent
Term, 1846. By W. Whewell, D.D.
4. The Elements of Moral Science. By F. Wayland, D.D. 407
VII. The Vegetable Kingdom; or, the Structure, Classifica-
tion, and Uses of Plants, illustrated upon the Natural
System. By John Lindley, Ph. D., F.R.S. & L.S.
With upwards of 500 Illustrations
VIII. The Lands of the Bible visited and described, in an exten-
sive Journey, undertaken with special reference to
the Promotion of Biblical Research, and the advance-
ment of the Cause of Philanthropy. By John
Wilson, D.D., F.R.S., &c. With Maps and Illus-
IX. Bells and Pomegranates. By Robert Browning
X. 1. Die Verfassung der Kirche der Zukunft. Praktische
Erläuterungen zu dem Briefwechsel über die deutsche
Kirche, das Episcopat und Jerusalem. Mit Vorwort
und vollständingem Briefwechsel herausgegeben von
C. C. J. Bunsen, der Philosophie und der Rechte
2. The Constitution of the Church of the Future, a prac-
tical explanation of the Correspondence with the
Right Honourable William Gladstone, on the German
Church, Episcopacy, and Jerusalem, with a Preface,
Notes, and the complete Correspondence. By C.C.J.
Bunsen, D. Ph. and D.C.L. Translated from the
German under the superintendence of, and with addi-
XI. A Letter on the Present Position of the Education Ques-
AUGUST 1, 1847.
ART. I. (1.) Thoughts on some important Points in the System of the
World. By J. P. Nichol, LL.D. Wm. Tait, Edinburgh. (2.) Professor Airey's Statement regarding Leverrier's Planet. (3.) Dr. Mädler on the Central Sun. THERE is for the minds of almost all a fascination in vastness, and a charm in the contemplation of it, whether it be of space or time, which is not, we are inclined to think, so readily explicable as it is generally assumed to be; or rather, perhaps, so perfectly defensible as at first sight it may appear to be, at least
on the ground of origination to which it is currently referred. Fundamentally, and as to its essential source, this charm of vastness is generally, we believe, referred to an intuitively recognised relation of vastness to infinity; of vastness of space to infinitude, of time to eternity; and both to Him who is the infinite and eternal. Infinitude is presumed or assumed to be the mere extension of indefinitude, and eternity the mere prolongation of time: and the more suggestive of that indefinitude vastness of mass or of distance, or long continuance of epoch is, the nearer is it supposed to approach the spirit to contemplation of these essential attributes of Deity. In conformity with these assumed or presumed relations, we find
many moved to reverence amid the vaster phenomena of nature, who remain cold and silent before her simpler, yet as divine manifestations: many who would worship, if they well knew how, by the glare of the volcano, amid the surging of the American woods, under the sweep of the tropical hurricane, or beneath the still and far magnificence of the winter night-sky,
whose emotions are only of gladness, or at most of thankfulness, beneath the stealing calm of the autumn twilight, or amid the sea-like waving and glancing of the young green corn: many to whom the storm of judgment and the crash of empires reveal the hand of an infinite Providence; but not the feeding of the ravens, or the clothing of the lilies of the field.
Yet it is, we are persuaded, among this second class of phenomena that, circumstanced as man at present is, the most truly suggestive manifestations of the infinitude and eternity of Deity and Providence are to be found; and those which should most immediately symbolise them to the spirit. For infinitude is more than the extension of indefinitude, and eternity more than the prolongation of time. Infinitude and eternity must always work together; must always reveal themselves as working together: and their manifestations must always appear and be recognised by the spirit, in order to a just recognition of either, as the coincident revelations of the same essential attribute. Foreseeing omniscience—the specific objective manifestation of the eternity of His being, with whom one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years are as one day-cannot be dissociated from controlling omnipotence and illimitable omniprescence—the specific manifestation of his infinitude. No class of phenomena can fully reveal to man, the finite, this Divine infinity-this associated infinitude and eternity of being. Our range of vision can but embrace the foresight, not the eternal foresight; the power, not the almighty power; the localised presence, not the presence which is above locality. But we believe that, save for our native tendency to contemplate another and a meaner God than Him who inhabiteth eternity;' our tendency to regard His clear infinity' as no more than an extension of space and prolongation of time, or at least as susceptible of distinct illustration by these;
- we believe that, save for this tendency, inherent in fallen humanity, the manifestations of the vast and the long continuing would less avail to shadow forth or to suggest to us his essential attribute of being, than would those of the near and swiftly passing. To us, whose sphere of observation is limited by our createdness, and yet more by our incarnation, and the imperfection at present associated with it, this first class of phenomena present themselves as the manifestations of a power, very mighty indeed, though not self-approving as almighty; but of a power operating only in a single direction, and as if by a succession of single strokes, and for a single act. We comparatively fail to discern here the eternal element of the infinity, under its manifestation of omniscient foresight, just because the foresight has gone so long before, so slowly evolves its majestic issues, and diffuses its results over such prolonged duration. And because of the absence, to our conscious appreciation, of the manifestation of this eternal element, the revelation of the infinitude also is inefficient, and almost false. All in this vastness appears as if isolated and unconnected; the detached strokes of a power which may be the power of many or of one. The stars of the winter sky may oppress us by their number, their distance, their glory; but they exhibit themselves to our thoughts, in connexion with the Providence which abides for ever with each and all alike, rather as worlds apart and afar off, with each its specific and peculiar guidance and guardianship; than as His universe, sustained by the one Presence, living by the one Life, guided by the one Will, blessed by the one Love. The bond of dependence which, binding all into one, might speak of Him in whom and to whom all are one, is here too fine a chain, or the objects and individuals it should manifestly associate are too widely severed, for us to trace it from our present standing point of earth and earthly time, and in the homogeneous system whereinto it weaves the all, recognise the symbol, or find the suggestion, of the infinite and eternal Father. In this realm of the vast and enduring, apparent isolation continually presents itself to our view. The mountain often seems to us an excrescence on the fair and rounded earth. The volcano is an anomaly, whose crown of flame and spire of smoke break up the blue of the Italian sky. The storm is a discord, obstructing the still, glad harmonies of air, earth, and sea. The stars are a severed and self-inclosed realm, each one severed from each, and all from us. All of these command, and rightly command, our contemplation, and fascinate our regards; for in all the workings of His hand, there must be self-included within even the severed and isolated that which highest creature may well contemplate. But for us, as we on earth are circumstanced, they are wanting in that palpable manifestation of foresight of purpose and unity of will which is indispensable, in order to aught becoming rightly symbolic for or suggestive to us, of His infinitude and eternity.
It is to a great extent otherwise with the second class of phenomena—the near, minute, and swift-changing. There the manifestations of foresight are for us palpable and present, even because duration is brief, and visible change unceasingly pressing
We need not here, as in the contemplation of the vast and long-enduring, to supplement, either by an act of conscious faith, or through means of elaborate and tedious processes of observation and induction, those evidences of change which are essential in order to the Material's revealing, or rather suggesting, the eternity of the Unchanging. These are seen through the eye, heard through the ear, touched through the touch unceasingly, in this realm of the near and minute. The decay of the flower ; the swift and ceaseless lapse of the stream; the flight of the sparrow to its appointed feeding place,—tell, even to our limited observation, another tale from the fixity of the mountain, or the rest of the star, whose nightly journeyings are our journeyings away from it, not its away from us. They bring before us present foresight; while their ceaseless and defined succession exhibits to us this foresight as the present revelation of an eternal Providence and will. Here, too, all is manifest connexion and dependence of each on each, and of all on all. The flower is part of the earth, by and on which it lives: the earth is unperfect, and wanting to the full accomplishment of all its functions, without the flower. Nay, the changes of the flower are not only coincident with, they are part of the changes of the earth; and its decay may with equal assurance be held as symptomatic of partial arrestment or altered direction of the earth's vitality, or foreseen and predicated as involved in the foreknown fact of that arrestment. Here there is greatly wanting for us all apparent manifestation of single acts of power—of detached strokes of Providence and will. All presents itself as working together with all, and as working into the hands of all. There is powerfully and prominently manifest that co-operation of multitude and variety, by which alone the material, so far as it can reveal or suggest it at all, can suggest the unity of the eternal and infinite One.
It should not, then, appear strange to us, that some of the most thoughtful and far-seeing* of earth should have been found turning away from all the pomps of stars and the might of storm, to the commonplace, familiar, unobtrusive things beneath their feet and around them always and everywhere, as to them the more full of wonder, and the more eloquent of infinitude and eternity. It may be—we believe it is—that a Wordsworth, seeking in the
— contemplation of the small Celandine or the mountain daisy, rather than in that of Arcturus with his sons or Etna and its fires, to stand in contact with nature's closest approximative suggestions of the essential attribute of her Creator and Life, is in this actuated-unconsciously perhaps, or simply by that lofty and sure instinct which so often to genius stands in the room of consciousness—at once by a profounder philosophy and a more
* We were almost safe in saying the most thoughtful. Among the poets especially,—the prophets and seers of the earth with regard to physical nature,-the star-worshippers have in almost every age and country belonged to the Byronic school; been characterised by the Byronic superficiality, which never penetrates beyond the animalised rind of man's spiritual nature; and their usefulness has been of the Byronic gage.