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upon them, never mentioning religion and virtue, but with the utmost devotion and fervour of soul.
Opportunities of this kind will never be wanting to the master, who has himself a good heart. I shall take notice of a few of them; and though every classic author may be made to furnish them, I shall confine myself to the five learned classes last mentioned, because I would be brief. I shall take care to ascribe nothing more to the scholar than I myself have felt, nor can I ascribe half so much to the master, as I have known the good Aratus to put in practice; for under him I had the happiness to pass through these five classes, being one of the youth with whom he opened the college, and which he could not open higher than the first or Greek-Class aforesaid.
Now, in this class, the reading of Homer under such a master, was like travelling through some delightful country, richly variegated with every thing that could please the fancy or exalt the genius. Numerous were the opportunities which the good man took, from the writings even of this heathen author, to press home upon us respect for kings, magistrates, parents, and all superiors. Beautifully would he mark for us the Decorum and Honestum of life, painted in the characters, and every thing ignoble and unworthy exposed. Often would he dwell with rapture on the poet's noble images of ancient hospitality, ge. nerosity, benevolence, justice, honour, piety, integrity, friendship, fidelity, sincerity, intrepidity, patience, resignation, and the like. At the same time, while he taught us to gather the roses of such an author, he not only made us shun the thorns; but, as bees from
poisonous herbs extract healing liquids, he taught us even to reap advantages from those absurdities, which were more the fault of the age than of the poet. Such are the monstrous fictions about the nature of the Gods, their jars, thefts, robberies, rapes, incests, drunkenness and the like; from which Aratus would take occasion to teach us the just value of those sacred volumes, which have rescued us from such superstition and blindness.
In the second class, what fresh opportunities did he find of leading us from wonder to wonder, and bringing the Deity as it were before our eyes, in the study of his stupendous works! How were our minds dilated and exalted when he led us to consider the heavenly bodies, and put them in competition with what we usually called great! Even the terraqueous globe on which we dwell, with all its kingdoms and boasted grandeur, seemed in our eye but a point in the solar-system! The solar-system itself dwindled into a narrow spot, when compared with the numerous systems of those stars that in a clear night stud the Cerulean! All these systems again were lost in the vast expanse, when compared with that infinity of systems, which philosophy's purer view can descry beyond the reach of all optics.
Thus, having raised us from system to system, beyond all definite space, till he perceived us lost in the imagination, and, as it were, labouring under the weight of our own conceptions; the good Aratus, knowing his opportunity and exulting in his success, would turn his address immediately to us in words like these.
“My dear youths! I think it not strange that such speculations should fill your minds with wonder and amazement. Yet be assured, (if we may use the inadequate language of men) that so far are we from having even in thought reached the limits, that we are still but on the frontiers, of the Creator's kingdom. How much, then, ought we to be astonished at our own littleness, and his grandeur, whose * hand framed all those clusters of systems, kindled all their suns, and feeds their immense fires from age to age! How daring is it for us, the atom-lords of this atom. world, to exalt ourselves against the great Sovereign of such an incomprehensible domain! How ridiculous to strut about in pride, and boast that all these systems were made for us!--Certain I am, that very different sensations must now actuate your bosoms. Doubtless, you have already, in your own imagina- . tions, peopled all these various systems with ten thousand various orders of being, rising rank above rank in the scale of intelligence. Nay, if I deceive myself not, your very souls are now ardently affecting that period when, shaking off this cumbrous vehicle of flesh, you shall soar perhaps through the wide realms of nature, see all things as they are, and be indulged in a correspondence with all those systems, and all their inhabitants. Such affections as these, my dear youths, are from above;-they are divinely in.
• Whose arm almighty put these wheeling globes
spired; -O check them not! They speak the worth and immortality of your Souls! If a God, that does nothing in vain, has endowed you with desires so in. commensurate to all terrestrial objects, and a capaci. ty of soaring so far beyond them; if he has given you such a restless curiosity of prying farther and farther into the boundless scheme of nature; be assured that this curiosity will not be frustrated. There are in reserve for you future periods of existence, when all these noble desires will be fully satisfied, and superior displays be eternally opened upon you, as your powers are forever enlarging."
But it was not alone, by ascending in the scale of nature, that our amiable tutor taught us to admire the Creator's goodness: We were forced to acknowledge him still greater, if possible, in the smallest than in the greatest things, when in the third class we descended in the study of nature towards its other extreme.
To speak only of that single branch of physics called micrography, how did it surprise us to disco. ver living creatures, thousands of which would be imperceptible to the unassisted sense, swarming by legions in each leaf and grain; animating our choicest viands, mantling our purest liquors, and crouding even the transparent atmosphere? But when we were convinced that these animalcules are so far from be. ing the last degree of smallness, that there are others as much smaller than them as they are smaller than us, we were then as much lost in the divisibility of matter, as formerly in its multiplicity. As in the one case, we could conceive no end of the magnitude and addition of heavenly bodies, so in the other we could conceive no end of division and smallness. On either side of us, the gradation exceeds all our conceptions; and, astonished at ourselves, we now saw man in a different light. He that but a little before seemed only an atom of an atom workl, almost imper. ceptible in the bosom of the universe, seemed now disiended into a world, even into an universe, when compared but with the last degree of perceptible smallness. Taking the view, therefore, on both sides, we were naturally led to assign him his proper place as the-nexus utriusque mundi.
But, to proceed. How greatly was our astonishment increased, when we were convinced that the minutest of these animals is formed with as exact proportion, nicety and design as man himself! That they have their distinct joints, limbs and vessels, all disposed in number, weight and measure; and that
Each within this little bulk contains,
UNIVERSE. Such speculations, conducted by the pious and servent Aratus, did not fail to impress us with grand and elevated conceptions of the Deity!
“ Think, my dear youths (he would say to us) * Oh! think how wonderful, how incomprehensible