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in creatures which are at present more exalted than ourselves. We see many stars by the help of glasses, which we do not discover with our naked eyes; and the finer our telescopes are, the more still are our discoveries. Huygenius carries this thought so far, that he does not think it impossible there may be stars whose light is not yet travelled down to us since their first creation. There is no question but the universe has certain bounds set to it; but when we consider that it is the work of infinite power, prompted by infinite goodness, with an infinite space to exert itself in, how can our imagination set any bounds to it?
To return, therefore, to my first thought, I could not but look upon myself with secret horror, as a being that was not worth the smallest regard of one who had so great a work under his care and superintendency. I was afraid of being overlooked amidst the immensity of nature, and lost among that infinite variety of creatures, which in all probability swarm through all these immeasurable regions of matter.
In order to recover myself from this mortifying thought, I considered that it took its rise from those narrow conceptions which we are apt to entertain of the Divine Nature. We ourselves cannot attend to many different objects at the same time. If we are careful to inspect some things, we must of course neglect others. This imperfeetion, which we observe in ourselves, is an imperfection that cleaves in some degree to creatures of the highest capacities, as they are creatures, that is, beings of finite and limited natures. The presence of every created being is confined to a certain measure of space, and consequently his observation is stinted to a certain number of objects. The sphere in which we move, and act, and understand, is of a wider circumference to one creature than another, according as we rise one above anotner, in the scale of existence. But the widest of these our spheres has its circumference. When,
therefore, we reflect on the Divine Nature, we are so used and accustomed to this imperfection in ourselves, that we cannot forbear in some measure ascribing it to him in whom .there is no shadow of imperfection. Our reason indeed assures us that his attributes are infinite; but the poorness of our conceptions is such that it cannot forbear setting bounds to every thing it contemplates, till our reason comes again to our succour, and throws clown all those little prejudices which rise in us unawares, and are natural to the mind of man.
We shall therefore utterly extinguish this melancholy thought, of our being overlooked by our Maker in the multiplicity of his works, and the infinity of those objects among which he seems to be incessantly employed, if we consider, in the first place, that he is omnipresent; and, in the second, that he is omniscient.
If we consider him 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 tp infinity. In short, to speak of him in the language of the old philosopher, he is a being whose centre is every where, and his circumference no where.
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, and 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 t!:e noblest and most exalted way of considering this infinite space is that of Sir Isaas 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. While we are in the body he is not less present with us, because he is concealed from us. "O that T knew where I 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 butregard 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 s impossible he should overlook any of his creatures, so we may be confident that he regards, with an eye of mercy, those who endeavour to recommend themselves to his notice, and in an unfeigned humility of heart think themselves unworthy that he should be mindful of them.
No. DLXVI. MONDAY, JULY 12.
Militie species amor est.... Ovi».
Love is a kind of wavfare.
AS my correspondents begin to grow pretty numerous, I think myself obliged to take some notice of them, and shall therefore make this paper a miscellany of letters. I have, since my re-assuming the office of Spectator, received abundance of epistles from gentlemen of the blade, who, I find, have been so used to action that they know not how to lie still. They seem generally to be of opinion, that the fair at home ought to reward them for their services abroad, and that, until the cause of their country calis them again into the field, they have a sort of right to quarter themselves upon the ladies. In order to favour their approaches, I am desired by some to enlarge upon the accomplishments of their profession, and by others to give them my advice in carrying on their attacks. But let us hear what the gentlemen say for themselves.
< THOUGH it may look somewhat perverse amidst the arts of peace, to talk too much of war, it is but gratitude to pay the last office to its manes, since even peace itself is, in some measure, obliged to.it for its being.
'You have, in your former papers, always recommended the accomplished to the favour of the fair; and, I hope, you will allow me to represent some part of a military life not altogether unnecessary to the forming of a gentleman. I need not tell you, that in France, whose fashions we have been formerly so fond of, almost every one derives his pretences to merit from the sword; and that a man has scarce the face to make his court to a lady, without some credentials from the service to recommend him. As the profession is very ancient, we have reason to think some of the greatest men among the old Romans derived many of their virtues from it, their commanders being frequently in other respects some of the most shining characters of the age.
'The army not only gives a man opportunities of exercising those two great virtues, patience and courage, but often produces them in minds where they had scarce any footing before. I must add, that it is one of the best schools in the world to receive a general notion of mankind in, and a certain freedom of behaviour, which is not so easily acquired in any other place. At the same time I must own, that some military airs are pretty extraordinary, and that a man who goes into the army a coxcomb will come out of it a sort of public nuisance: hut a man of sense, or one who before had not been sufficiently used to a mixed conversation, generally takes the true turn.... The court has in all ages been allowed to be the standard of good-breeding; and I believe there is not a juster observation in Monsieur Rochefoucault, than that "a man who has been bred up wholly to busi
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