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what our views of him will be, if we confine his mediatorial influence to the single race of fallen Adam ? Especially when we turn our thoughts upon the countless number of the several and different ranks of creatures which are to be found among the works of the great Jehovah. How countless and innumcra. ble are the number of worlds which God has made ! If we may give credit to modern astronomy, which, as it is founded upon the mathematics, that of all sciences, is the least liable to deceive, clearly discovers the number of worlds that God hath made, to exceed our most lively imagination. Our Solar System contains six primary Planets, one of which especially, is more than an hundred times as large as this earth ; and there are ten secondary planets like the moon, which accomplish their several revolutions round the primary ones, as they do round the sun. So that there are no less than sixteen worlds included in our solar system, all receiving their light and heat from
Add to this, the late transit of Venus across the sun, has discovered a small satellite or mcon attending that planet also, which, by reason of its situation between us and the sun, escaped the observation of the ancients. Such also as have been accounted as spots in the sun, are more rationally supposed to be less planets revolving round the sun in less circles. And even the sun itself, the source of light and heat to the whole system ; although vul
* This work was written previous to the late discoveries In Astronomy.
garly accounted a great mass of fre, is much moro reasonably esteemed an electrical machine, which is very consistent with the supposition of its being well replenished with rational inhabitants, capable of knowing, glorifying and enjoying the great God of the universe. Instead therefore of sixteen, there may be sixty worlds included in this Solar System. Some will say, who knows of inhabitants in any
of these planetary worlds ? I also will ask, who has any reason to doubt of it? Was not God as able to create a race of rational beings in them, as he was to form man on the earth ? The only reason why any can doubt of there being inhabitants in the planets, is because they cannot conceive how God should be sufficiently great, good and powerful as to make so many worlds, fill them with inhabitants, and exercise a constant kind providence over them. The only objections we can bring against it, arise from our too low and mean conceptions of the incomprehensible Jehovah ! Tis true, we read, these lights were set in the firmament for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years. That is, these, are the purposes for which they were to serve this earth. But does it therefore follow that these are the only purposes for which their maker designed them? Why should they not be replenished with animal and rational life, as well as this earth, when many of them are much greater, and as well formed for such a purpose ? Nor is conjecture all that may be pleaded in this case.
For the apostle expressly tells us that all things visible and invisible werc made by Christ, and for him. But in what sense can the planets, which are certainly included in things visible, be said to be made for Christ, especially considered in his mediatorial character, which is the point the apostle is there discoursing upon, unless there are dwelling in them, some rational inhabitants, between whom and God, Christ performs the office of a mediator ? Many other texts also might be alledged to the same purpose, which carry in them a strong implication, that the planetary worlds are stored with rational inhabitants, all gathered together into one, in Christ, and united to God through him. Contemplations on these things tend greatly to enlarge our conceptions, and exalt our thoughts of the great God, and of his son Jesus Christ, the universal mediator.
It will serve the same valuable end to turn our attention to the stars, whose number is a countless multitude. Such as are visible to the naked eye, are indeed a great multitude ; and yet, these are comparatively few to the number which become visible by the assistance of glasses. Now these stars being considered as so many suns in the centre of as many systems of planetary worlds, each of them as numerous as our solar system ; it will cause the number of worlds that God hath made, to increase beyond the stretches of the most lively imagination, How amazingly extensive are the dominions of God, the inexhaustible fountain of existence, who counteth the number of the stars, and calleth them all by their names ! This should teach us to veil our faces before him, and adore the infinitely incomprehensible author of nature, and fountain of life.
It is truly surprising to see the boldness of some conceited mortals in their arraigninent of God, in his works, in his laws, and in the discoveries which he hath made of himself to us, in his word ; particularly, in denying, and even bantering the mysteries of the Trinity, and the incarnation. Must these things be denied because we cannot comprehend them? The smallest parts of God's works contain mysteries that we cannot understand. Where is the philosopher that can explain so small a matter as muscular motion, a power daily exerted by the most contemptible insect? How then shall we be able to comprehend the nature and manner of the existence of him who has displayed but part of his perfections in the formation, preservation, and government of such a countless multitude of worlds ?
When we turn our thoughts upon the incomprehensibleness of the Almighty Creator, it should teach us to think and speak with modesty, concerning his moral.government, in suffering sin to take place among
his creatures. The introduction of moral evil is confessedly attended with some difficulty. But let it be considered that a state of probation must necessarily be such in the nature of it, as to admit of a possibility of sinning. For unless the state of trial be such that it is possible for sin to take place, there can be really no trial of the obedience of the creature, If then, a possibility of sinning is essential to a state of trial, where is the ground of admiration, when we find sin has in fact, took place among God's creatures? If the state of trial in which the creature is placed, is such, that humanly speaking, there is a greater probability of sinning, than of standing, it will confessedly bear hard upon the wisdom and goodness of God. But when the prospect of standing is equal to that of falling, it cannot be denied to be a fair trial. And if the prospect of standing, is much greater than that of falling, as was the case with our first parents in their trial under the first covenant, we have reason to acknowledge divine wisdom and goodness appearing in the cor.stitution, altho' the event was that man fell.
In opposition to this, some may alledge an argument from facts.
Angels did fall, and the human race have fallen ; which are all the creatures we know of; therefore we have reason to conclude from these facts, that the state of trial under which both were placed was such as to render their falling the most pro bable event.
To this I answer, we are not at present, under a capacity to form a judgment from facts, the first human pair did fall, and some angels have fallen : But wlien we lift up our eyes to the starry heavens, thousands of millions of worlds present themselves to our contemplation, doubtless well replenished with rational inhabitants, in none of which, for what yet appears, has sin taken place. Among all