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systems, is perhaps a question. But if they do not belong to this system, then they were not created at the same time with this ; and therefore will not be involved in the consequences of the judgment day.
There is good reason to believe, that all the planets, with all their satellites, all comets and systems, together with their respective suns, be their numbers greater or smaller, are inhabited by intelligent beings. It is improbable that either the sun to this, or the sans to other systems, or even the comets, are fire, as has been supposed. “ On the nature of the sun there have been various conjectures. It was long thought that he was a vast globe of fire, 1,384,462 times larger than the earth, and that he was continually emitting from his body innumerable inillions of fiery particles, which, being extremely divided, answered the purpose of light and kicat, without occasioning'any ignition, or burning, except when collected in the focus of a convex lens, or burning glass. Against this opinion, however, many serious and weighty objections have been made ; and it has been so pressed with difficulties, that philosophers have been obliged to look for a theory less repngnant to nature and probability. Dr. Herschel's discoveries by means of his immensely magnifying telescopes, have, by the general consent of philosophers, added a new. habitable world to our system, which is the sun. Without stopping to enter into a detail of the proprie ty of the position, it is sufficient to say, that these discoveries tend to prove, that what we call the sun is only the atmosphere of that globe, and that this atmosphere consists of various elastic duids, that are more or less
lucid and transparent ; that as the clouds belonging to our earth are probably decompositions of some of the elastic fluids belonging to the atmosphere itself, so we may suppose that in the vast atmosphere of the sun, similar decompositions may take place but with this difference, that the decomposition of the elastic fluids of the sun are of a phosphoric nature, and are attended by lucid appearances, by giving out light. The real opake body of the sun he considers as hidden generally from us, by means of this luminous atmosphere ; but what are called the maculæ, or spots on the sun, and have frequently been seen with the naked eye, are real openings in this atmosphere, through which the opake body of the sun becomes visible that this atmosphere itself is not fiery or hot, but is the instrument which God designed to act on the caloric or latent heat, and that heat is only produced by the solar light acting upon and combining with the caloric, or matter of pure virgin fire, contained in the air, and other substances which are heated by it.
“ Where the stars are in great abundance, Dr. Herschel supposes they form primaries and secondaries, i. e. suns revolving about suns, as planets revolve about the sun in our system. He considers that this must be the case in what is called the milky way—the stars being there in prodigious numbers. Of this he gives the following proof: On August 22, 1792, he found that in 41 minutes of time, not less than 258,000 stars had passed through the field of view in his telescope."Clark on Gen. 1, 16.
Oh! what a view is this of the great God, who has created countless systems of matter, and are all the
abodes of intelligent beings, whose nambers swell beyond the reach of all finite computation. Well might the Evangelist say, And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alletuia; for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Rev. 19,
This earth, I have endeavoured to prove, shall be cast into the great lake of fire at the judgment day; but what shall become of the other globes of the sysfem, after having been dissolved by fire, we cannot tell. It is the opinion of Dr. Clark, that at the judgment day they will be decomposed, but not destroyed ; consequently, he thinks they may enter again into the composition of a new system. See comment on 2 Pet. 3, 11.
The globes of this system may indeed (except the earth) be arranged, and newly modified into another system, and be placed somewhere in the field of interninable space, which now is void ; but the space which they now occupy nust be the site of a new creation.
Annihilation is abhorrent to the views of many relative to matter, who contend that it is altogether inde. structible ; from which the conclusion is drawn, that: the earth, and all the other globes, shall only be refined by fire, and shall then be renewed again, and thus they make out the new creation. But to me, this opinion appears opposed to the very idea of a new creation, by substituting in its place a renovation, or a new modulation, which canuot, with the proper and original sense of the word, be made to agree.
If we believe that God at first created the worlds out of nothing, then we may not suppose the pre-existence. of any particles of natter. out of which he might bave formed them. This is what we understand by creation, when we apply it to the making of the worlds in the first instance; and therefore, by the strictest rules of reasoning, ought to adopt the same sentiment in reference to the new creation.
I know of no data whereon to build the supposition, that God cannot, or that he will not annihilate matter, if he please. The fact that he can bring entity out of ponentity, is sufficient proof that he can, if he please, annihilate the same ; for it is equally above our reason to have any conceptions of a power sufficient to make something out of nothing, as it is to conceive how something can be changed to nothing. If the globes of the system, except the earth, are not to be annihilated, it follows that they must be removed to some place in the great field of interminable space, where God has not yet built a system of worlds, to make room for the promised new creation ; for it is reasonable to suppose, the same space
which now embraces the location of this system, shall also embrace the new creation ; because if the first is to be removed, that a second may arise, it strongly implies that the latter shall occupy the place of the former--wherefore, according to his promise, we look for new heavens, i. e. a new system of worlds, and a new earth ; for the first heaven (which surrounds this globe) and the first earth are passed away. Rev. 21, 1.
Then when that glorious frame shall into being rise
among the blest.