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try to ascertain the natural meaning of the future condition of the heathen? Perhaps term “unquenchable fire." It may mean our opponents will admit that the virtuous that it is “ unquenchable" by man, or by heathen, as the phrase is, who act according any other than God; but we rather under- to what inward light they possess, may be stand it to mean, that so long as any souls accepted for what they have done; their own need the purifying process thereby denoted, consciences being a law unto them. But of so long will this place or state continue. Not such, alas! how few! And what of the to trespass upon another subject under dis- terrible--the overwhelming majority? What cussion, we may simply remark that there of the myriads who have been broug up appears to us every reasonable assumption in, and have cherished the very worst forms in favour of the “plurality of inhabited of polytheism, and who have long since worlds” theory; and if sin le not confined to passed away? What of the millions who, our world, what a vast regenerative process in our own day, are shrouded in superstiwill have to be carried on! Measuring it tion's blackest night—a “darkness that may by human computations, we may well term be felt;"—who have never had an opporit “unqnenchable.” These remarks are tunity of listening to the heavenly proclamaequally applicable to Matt. xxv. 46; 2 Thess. tion of “good tidings of great joy;"—what i. 7—10, and several other passages. This of these? Oh! we have heard with horror suggests a difficulty which we should be good men, while pleading the cause of glad to have explained by some friend on christian missions, endeavour to arouse symthe other side:-How is it that so many pathy by dwelling upon the eternal doom of persons reject the "fire and brimstone" as the heathen. What! can I, dare I, think literal, while they retain the “everlasting" for one moment, that the God and the Father in its strictest application ?
of my spirit would place them in such cirPsa. ii. 9, and Rev. ii. 26–27, have gener- ' cumstances that, humanly speaking, no inally been regarded as indicative of destruc- struction could reach them, and then eternally tion—total and irremediable; but we perceive condemn these miserable, ignorant beings for in them a design worthy of God—the re- obeying their brute instincts ? No; our modelling of these marred and shattered soul recoils with a just horror from such an vessels. Jer. xviii. 1-10, and Rom. ix. idea. We dare not charge God with this 20–21, form a striking cominentary on palpable injustice. these passages. And who can conceive a 2. Again, supposing this doctrine true, more beautiful or appropriate figure? Those who is there, possessed of even ordinary acquainted with the art referred to, will the benevolence and good feeling, that would better be able to realize the full force of the incur the fearful responsibilities of a parent, idea intended to be conveyed.
when possibly his children might be eternally Prov. xvi. 4, and 2 Pet. ii. 9, have been separated from him ? Why, procreation sadly perverted; although we are at a loss would be positively cruel under such circumto conceive how these passages can be made stances; and the command of God, “Be to sanction the doctrine of eternal punish- fruitful and multiply,” equally absurd and ment. Is it, then, supposed that this was the unkind. If those who avow this doctrine object which God had in view in creating were to fully act out their belief, they must men? But we shall have again to allude necessarily remain unmarried; but this, if to this; and only remark here, that by some universally practised, would be defeating the first passage is rendered—“ after the another design of God; so here is a dilemma days of evil;" which to us appears consonant in which the advocates of this doctrine are with the former part of the verse. This placed ! only another instance of isolated passages 3. But do our friends really and truly being made to contradict the general scope believe it; and are they willing to abide by of the Bible, as expressed in Psa. ciii; Lani. the legitimate conclusions to which it leads? ii. 31–33, and Micah vii. 18—20. Of the great majority, we think not; and we
II. We have now to consider sundry col- will briefly state our reasons. How often do lateral points which demand attention. we hear among orthodox Christians the
1. Supposing the doctrine of eternal pun- remark made, of some one who, they fear, ishment true, what can we regard as the died impenitent:—“Well; we must hope for
the best; although we do not know for certain | of her child, trusting in that love and justice what were his last feelings.” Now, we respect, which were precious to her own soul. Now, we and would cherish, the motive which prompts appeal to any reader who has had to part with such a hope; and while we arrive at exactly some near and dear relative, but of whose the same conclusion-rather, we should say, spiritual fitness for a better world, little or at something more confident—but by a very nothing could be hoped. As you watched by different course of reasoning, we accept it that bedside, did you deliberately believe that from them as indicative that they are more the parting was eternal? Did you not cherish liberal than their creed. And even in cases a hope—faint, it might be, but still a hope where the utmost stretch of charity on the that it would at some time terminate? If part of friends forbids them to hope, we shall not, we set a very low estimate on such find those dearest to the deceased," hoping Christianity; nay, more, we think it has against hope;" their better nature refusing had the effect of deadening or destroying to admit of an eternal separation. We re- those natural feelings which God has imcently met with an instance—alas! too com- planted in every human breast. mon-where a mother mourned an only son, There are several other and most interestwhose waywardness had caused his ruin. ing points which we might notice, did space He died with no friendly hand to administer permit; as—how far a pure, unselfish love to his wants, and no friendly voice to which to God can exist in harmony with a belief he could listen in his last moments; nothing in this doctrine; and the connection between was known beyond that he died, where and the avowal of such a belief and the prevalent as he lived. Acquaintances shook their | infidelity or indifferentism our time. We heads, and, while pitying the mother, said it think, however, enough has been said fully was a just judgment from God. A minister, and fairly to place the subject before our acting out his convictions, spoke to her of readers, and to their careful attention we the final doom of the impenitent; but the again commend it. maternal heart refused to believe it in the case
IS THE NOTION OF A PLURALITY OF INHABITED WORLDS CONSONANT
WITH SCIENCE AND REVELATION ?
“It is more suitable to the wisdom, power, and | terms of this debate; he may have defined greatness of God, to suppose that the fixt stars them very much to his own satisfaction, but are all of them suns, with systems of inhabitable planets moving about them, to whose inhabitants certainly he has not done it to ours. he displays the marks of his goodness as well as not see what right he-following the example to us, rather than to imagine that those very re- of the essayist whom he seems so much to mote bodies, so little useful to us, were made only admire, and to whom he is so deeply indebted for our sake."— Locke, Elements of Nat. Phil.
has to limit the words“ plurality of inhabited The subject of a plurality of worlds has worlds” to “more worlds than one inhabited long been an interesting one to us, and we by men.” He appears to delude himself naturally took up the January number of with the idea that we are going to allow the British Controversialist with much ea- such a definition; and then endeavours to gerness. With the article of “ Philalethes” prove that the notion of more worlds than we were much pleased; but, expecting to dis- one inhabited by men is not consistent with cover an equal show of ability in the produc- science and with revelation.
Even with tion of his opponent, we were grievously this interpretation, however, he has failed. disappointed.
But we would not have it thought that H. D. L. very kindly defines for us the ! we include as inhabitants of the orbs of the universe "angelic beings, spiritual exist
“The thunder of jarring icebergs; the stops of ences, or any ethereal forms;" but we would a shepherd's pipe;
“The howl of the tiger in the glen; and the include various grades of animal life, as wood-dove calling to her mate; there have been on this our world (from the “The vulture's cruel rage ; the grace of the graptolite of the Silurian rocks to man in stately swan; his pride and his glory). The forms, the and the dull stupor of the sloth;
“ The fierceness looking from a lynx's eye; numbers, the powers of these creatures we “ To these, and to all, is there added each its are unacquainted with, but that they minis-use, though man considereth it lightly; ter to the wants of some intelligent being or
“For i’ower hath ordained nothing which eco
nomy saw not needful.” * beings is certain. We do not know anything about the number, form, or capabilities of
We say, then, that every atom of matter these beings, nor do we need to know. There on this globe has its use in answering the is no reason why their average height should design of its Creator, and in some way or be five feet six inches, or why they should other contributing to the well-being of man. possess two eyes, two ears, one mouth, &c. But the orbs of heaven, which man could do The Almighty could as easily put a soul in without, are wasted if we consider them as the frame of the mighty elephant, or an tenantless. H. D. L. appears to have a pious intellect or a conscience under the skin of horror of talking about "wasting;" but we the spotted lynx, or the feathers of the turtle cannot perceive why our declaration that if dove, as place them in the possession of the the planets are not inhabited they are wasted, genus homo. Therefore we would maintain, can by any means rank us with “ infidels that the inhabitants of the heavenly orbs and blasphemers.” For while we behold the may be as small as Gulliver's Lilliputians, stars, and are acquainted with many facts or as immense as the inhabitants of Brob. concerning them, we have two suppositions dignag; or the intelligences of those worlds respecting them, according to one of which may not wear the guise of men at all. the creation of those stars is entirely consis
Of course it is probable that some worlds tent with the character of God as revealed are in a “brute and inert and chaotic state,” to us, but according to the other, such as was our earth, when preparing for its oc- creation appears inconsistent with the Divine cupation by man; just as it is probable that attributes, we are, then, surely justified in sone have finished this preparation, and speaking as we do. In our opponent's first have received their last and best inhabitants, argument of a moral kind,”ť he, reasoning -for it is not likely that our world is of from his own definition, asserts that if other greater age than the other planets.
worlds are inhabited, it would be needful for H. D. L. supports his own view of the the Saviour to die over and over again, as an matter by counterbalancing the facts of as- atonement for their inhabitants! Such a tronomy with those of geology. But what supposition involves several preliminary ones does geology prove-that God has been very that God follows out the same plan in all kind to man?
So he has beer to all his these worlds; that he should allow the inhasentient creatures.
He has given to them bitants of all to be tempted; that all should all that is necessary to their comfort and fall, as did our first parents; and that God happiness. But it proves that he has be- should have mercy to all who have fallen stowed particular care upon man.
So it is from their integrity. All this must be suplikely that an Omniscient Creator would be posed, if we take H. D. L.'s own definition ; more careful for the welfare of an intelligent but if we do not, how preposterous is the being than for the brutes which surround idea! Even as the faithful angels, some him. It is most consistent with his charac- races of beings may have preserved their first ter as an Infinite Intelligence that he should estate. We are unable to discover be so. But this proves nothing against our theory. For nothing upon this earth is or
* Tupper,“ Prov.Phil.,"p.17, illustrated edition. has been wasted.
+ By the bye, H. D. L.'s article is sadly confused, for under the head "arguments derived from the
outer world," he gives us several texts; aud under "The zephyr playing with an aspen leaf; the his second division, i.e., "arguments of a moral earthquake that rendeth a continent;
kind," he takes us a journey through space, tinding "The moonbeam silvering a ruined arch; the the Sun too hot, and Neptune too cold, and the desert wave dashing a pyramid ;
Moon too devoid of air, to contain inhabitants,
If they unfallen, yet remain than one do not suppose that the inhabitants True to their Maker, and for ever bask In the delicious pleasure of his smile,
of Mercury or Neptune are men; men like Drowned in the fullness of His mighty love;
ourselves, who would be frozen to death at Or if sin dwelleth there, and all its train 100°, or burnt up at 300°, Fahr.! Of evils and of woes is dominant."
Our opponent says, “ Jupiter, whose bulk We may well use H. D. L.'s words with re- is 1,331 times greater than the Earth's, is ference to his religious idea—“How unrea- in density only a quarter that of the latter. sonable!”
Being also five times the distance that we But it is in his journey through the uni- are from the Sun, the idea of persons living verse that our opponent reaches the apex of there of the same race as ourselves is most absurdity. We scarcely know what to think preposterous." We should like to know why. of him. His paper is written in an interest. Were it not for its extreme lightness it ing and ornate style; he appears to under- would be impossible for beings like ourselves stand his subject, and writes very confidently; to dwell on Jupiter; " but, owing to the but he makes strange statements, and so comparative lightness of the matter commisrepresents facts. Has he studied astro- posing this great globe, the attraction which nomy or geology? or has he only read over it exerts upon bodies placed upon its surthe essay of that “anonymous author who so face, though greater than upon the Earth, electrified us all,” to prepare himself for this does not exceed terrestrial gravity in a prodebate?
portion which requires the admission of any As to the planetoids, it is almost univer- difference of organization of the inhabitants, sally believed by astronomers that they are exceeding what may be imagined without the fragments of some larger planet; and removing Jupiter from the general analogy therefore the conjecture of Dr. Dick, that of the Earth."* The difference as to heat, " the fate of the beings that inhabited the also, could be removed by the existence of a original planet must have been involved in rather different atmosphere at Jupiter to the awful catastrophe,"* is probably correct. that which surrounds our Earth. At last
We do not wish to insist on the occupa. H. D. L., running counter to all the opinions tion, by intelligent beings, of the sun and of philosophers and the discoveries of science, moon; though we are able to prove that the almost denies that the fixed stars are suns; former, at least, is capable of sustaining and adopts, with regard to the nebulæ, the them. But were it not, it has a “ use and absurd theory of the essayist, calling them end” in its relations to the planets that sur- vast masses of incoherent or gaseous matround it. It is the
ter!” Thus he spoils the universe for us, “ Informer of the planetary train,
and laughs at the beauty he has defaced, Without whose quickening glance, their cum. the ruin he has caused !
With regard to science, then, we fearlessly Were brute, unlovely mass, inert and dead, And not, as now,
assert that the notion of a plurality of inhagreen abodes of life."'+
bited worlds is perfectly consonant with its This is of sufficient importance to the inha
teachings. We challenge our opponents to bitants of the planets to account for its cre
prove the contrary, feeling assured that many ation. So with the moon; she is of great will be found to uphold what we have just use to us: “ The moon has a particular duty
stated. to discharge. She is the circulating lamp
With regard to revelation, we would say & the light-bearer of the earth. She is the lifter few words. We fully believe that the testiof our tides, and the purifier of our oceans.” I After an imaginary tour through the pla- We will endeavour to give, as briefly as pos
mony of revelation supports our position. netary system, H. D. L.finds himself“ obliged sible, the grounds of our belief
. to hasten back to the only world suited to
I. It is most consistent with the revealed our nature, viz., the earth.” Very likely it character of the Creator. is the only world suited to our nature; the
God is almighty. We see this in his works upholders of the doctrine of more worlds - in earth, and sea, and
the orbs of heaven *“Solar System," part ii., p. 30.
in the varied grades of life. He that can + Thomson's“ Seasons." “ British Quarterly," July, 1854.
• “Museum," i., 3, p. 30.
clothe other worlds with verdure, He that can 1. Every created thing has its use. If make them habitations fit for sentient and the stars be not inhabited, they are almost intelligent creatures, He that can form those if not entirely useless. If a drop of water creatures, He that can give life, and intel contain a million animalculæ, if in a single lect, and soul, He will surely exercise his tumbler of that liquid myriads of creatures, power, and probably display it in and to endued with the unknown principle of life, other races of beings.
furnished with limbs, and joints, and flesh, God is all-knowing. Is He not able to and blood, disport themselves, can we supknow the deeds, the words, the thoughts, pose the worlds of the firmament to be the wishes, the emotions, of myriads of unpeopled ? Must we suppose that God, the beings? Can He be cognisant only of the fountain of intelligence, has created only so affairs of men and angels? Were all worlds many intellectual beings as may be outnuminhabited, would the concerns of all their bered by the sentient inhabitants of a bucket denizens be too much for the knowledge of of water? The idea is absurd ! God? Would it not rather be probable that 2. All the works of God upon this globe he would delight in exercising his infinite in some way or other conduce to the welfare and perfect capabilities? Is it not more and happiness of intelligent beings. Everyconsonant with the idea of his all-pervading thing upon this earth is created for the knowledge to imagine him conversant with benefit of mankind. Man may exclaimthe thoughts and desires and acts of myriads “For me kind nature wakes her genial power, of inferior beings?
Suckles each shrub, and spreads out every God is all-wise. Does it not, then, appear
Annual for me, the grapes, the rose, renew most reasonable that he should have created
The juice nectareons, and the balmy dew; the stars for some wise purpose-that he For me the mine a thousand treasures brings; should rather have peopled them with intel
. For me health gushes from a thousand springs ;
Seas roll to walt me." * ligent creatures than have let them roll on for countless ages untenanted? Is it the Nothing can we find on earth which does part of Divine Wisdom to form worlds for no
not in some way contribute to make its deother use than to be admired by depraved stars not being useful to man, we may con
nizens comfortable and happy.
Now, the and fallen creatures ?
“God is love." His love is conspicuous clude that they are so to other intelligent in all his works. And in all those glorious would they be useful more than to intelli
And to what sort of beings orbs of his, shall there be none to experience and appreciate bis goodness? Shall there be gences located upon their surfaces ? none on whom he can lavish the riches of his
There is another argument which might love? Shall He who is all love, dispense it be mentioned. We find the heavens” fremerely to the inhabitants of our tiny globe? quently referred to when the sacred writers Are there no others upon whom he can pour and power of the Almighty. Were we to admit
are desirous of showing the infinite wisdom the rich streams of his beneficence?
God is infinite. And are men and angels the orbs of the heavens to be unpeopled, this the only beings who can experience his reference loses its force. In such passages goodness and his power, and be the objects
as these: “ The heavens declare the glory of
God." of his unerring knowledge?
“When I consider the heavens, the We would not attempt to judge God, for work of thy fingers ; the moon, and the we are not capable of understanding his stars, which thou hast ordained; what is procedures. But when we have the charac- man, that thou art mindful of him, and the ter of God revealed; when we know that he son of man, that thou visitest him?” “ The is a God, infinite in wisdom, power, and love;
heavens shall declare his righteousness.” and that if we deny the worlds of space to
“ The heavens shall declare thy wonders, 0 be inhabited, we cast a blot upon that cha- Lord,” how instantly their force and applicaracter
, we surely are justified in saying what bility are destroyed when we consider the we do.
worlds of heaven as mere balls of matter, II. It is most consistent with the known with no end in their creation! They may, dealings of God.
even when so considered, show forth their There are two divisions of this argument.
Pope's “ Essay on Mar."