contemplate all nature in its awful and finished magnificence; let him observe that
splendid luminary, set forth as an eternal lamp to enlighten the universe; let him view
the earth as a mere speck within the vast circuit described by that luminary; let him
think with amazement, that this vast circuit itself is only a minute point , compared with
that formed by the revolutions of the stars...All that we see in of the creation, is but
an almost imperceptible streak in the vast expanse of the universe. No idea can
approximate its immense extent...This is an infinite sphere, the center of which is
everywhere, but its circumference nowhere. In short, it is one of the greatest sensible
evidences of the almightiness of God, that our imagination is overwhelmed by these
"Let man reverting to himself,
consider what he is compared with all that exists. Let him behold himself a wanderer in
this secluded province of nature, and by what he can see from the little dungeon in which
he finds himself lodged, (I mean the visible universe), let him learn to make a right
estimate of the earth, its kingdoms, its cities and himself."
"All things have
sprung from nothing and are borne forward to infinity. Who can follow out such an
astonishing career? The Author of these wonders, and He alone, can comprehend them."
"The stoics said, retire into yourselves,
there you will find repose: but this was not true;-others said, Go out of yourselves and
seek for happiness in amusement: and this ,too, was wrong. There are diseases ready to
destroy these delusions: happiness can be found neither in ourselves nor in external
things, but in God and in ourselves as united to Him."
"I perceive it is possible I
might not have existed, for my essence consists in the thinking principle; therefore I,
this thinking being, should never have existed, had my mother been killed before I was
animated:- then I am not a necessary being. Nor am I eternal or infinite, but I see
plainly, that there is in nature , a necessary, eternal, and infinite Being."
B. Thoughts on Religion and Philosophy. Edimburgh: Otto Schultz and Co.