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vide' for all cafes, it is better private men should have some injustice done them, than that a public grievance should not be redreffed. This is usually pleaded in defence of all those hardships which fall on particular persons in particular occasions, which could not be foreleen when a law was made. To remedy this, however, as much as possible, the Court of Chancery was erected, which frequently mitigates, and breaks the teeth of the common law, in cases of men's properties, while in criminal cases there is a power of pardoning still lodged in the Crown,
Notwithstanding this, it is perhaps impoflible, in a large government, to distribute rewards and punishments strictly proportioned to the merits of every action. The Spartan commonwealth was indeed wonderfully exact in this particular; and I do not remember in all my reading to have met with so nice an example of justice as that recorded by Plutarch, with which I shall close my paper for this day.
The city of Sparta being unexpectedly attacked by a powerful army of Thebans, was in very great danger of falling into the hands of their enemies. The citizens, suddenly gathering themselves into a body, fought with a resolution equal to the necessity of their affairs; yet no one so remarkably distinguished himself on this occasion, to the amazement of both armies, as fadas the son of Phoebidas, who was at that time in the bloom of his youth, and very remarkable for the comeliness of his person. He was coming out of the bath when the alarm was given, so that he had not time to put on his clothes, much less his armour; however, transported with a deGre to serve his country in so great an exigency, snatching up a spear in one hand and a sword in the other, he flung himself into the thickest ranks of his enemies. Nothing could withstand his fury: in what part foever he fought, he put the enemies to flight without receiving a single wound. Whether, says
Plutarch, he was the particular care of fome god, who rewarded his valour that day with an extraordinary protection, or that his enemies struck with the unusualness of his dress, and beauty of his shape, supposed him something more than man, I shall not determine.
The gallantry of this action was judged so great by the Spartans, that the Epbari, or chief magistrates, decreed he thould be presented with a garland; but, as foon as they had done fo, they fined him in a thousand drachmas for going out to the battle unarmed.
No. 565. FRIDAY, JULY 9.
-Deum namque ire per omnes Terrasque, tractu que maris, cælumque profundum.
VIRG. Georg. iv. ver. 221. For God the whole created mass inspires; Thro' heav'n, and earth, and ocean's depths he
throws His influence round, and kindles as he
1 Was yesterday about sun-set walking in the open
fields, until the night infenfibly fell upon me. I at first amused myself with all the richness and variety of colours, which appeared in the western parts of heaven : in proportion as they faded away and went out, several stars and planets appeared one after anvther, until the whole firmament was in a glow. The blueness of the æther was exceedingly heightened and enlivened by the season of the year, and by the rays of all those luminaries that pasied through it. The Galaxy appeared in its most beauciful white. To complete the scene, the full moon
rose at length in that clouded majesty which Miltori, takes notice of, and opened to the eye a new picture, of nature, which was more finely ihaded, and disposed among fofter lights, than that which the fun had before discovered to us.
As I was surveying the moon walking in her, brightness, and taking her progrets among the con Itellations, a thought rose in me, which I believe very ofren perplexes and disturbs men of serious and contemplative natures. David himself fell into it in that reflection: When I consider thy heavens, the works of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou haji ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou regardest him ? In the same manner, when I considered that infinite host of ftars, or, to speak more philofophically, of suns, which were then shining upon me, with those innumerable sets of planets or worlds, which were moving round their respective suns; when I fill enlarge the idea, and supposed another heaven of suns ar. worlds rifing still above this which we discoverec . and thefe ftill enlightened by a fuperior firmamento luminaries, which are planted at fo great a distance, that they may appear to the inhabitants of the former as the stars do to us; in short, while I pursued this thought, I could rot but reflect on that little infi nificant figure which I myself bore amidit the i.n. men Gity of God's works.
Were the sun, which enlightens this part of ' creation, with all the hoft of planetary worlds, th move about him, utterly extinguished and annihilated, they would not be missed more than a grain of fand upon the sea-shore. The space they potsess is so exceedingly little in comparison of the whole, that it would scarce make a blank in the creation. The chasm would be imperceptible to an eye that could take in the whole compass of nature, and pass from one end of the creation to the other; as it is pollibie there may be such a sense in ourselves hereafter,
or in creatures which are at present more exalted ihan ourselves. We see many stars by the help of glasses, which we do not discover with our naked eyes; and the finer our telescopes are, the more still are our discoveries. Huygenius carries this thought so far, ·hat he does not think it impollible there may be stars
vhose light is not yet travelled down to us fince their kirst creation. There is no question but the universe
as certain bounds set to it; but when we consider hat it is the work of infinite power prompted by innite goodness, with an infinite space to exert itself n, how can our imagination set any bounds to it?
To return therefore to my first thought, I could 10t but look upon myself with secret horror, as a be
that was not worth the smallest regard of one who had so great a work under his care and superintendency. I was afraid of being overlooked amidst the imensity of nature, and lost among that infinite varieof creatures, which in all probability swarm through
these immeasurable regions of matter. In order to recover myself from this mortifying Sought, I considered that it took its rise from those Varrow conceptions, which we are apt to entertain of he Divine Nature. We ourselves cannot attend to any different objects at the same time. If we are careful to inspect some things, we must of course nelect others. This imperfection, which we observe
ourselves, is an imperfection that cleaves in some gree to creatures of the highest capacities, as they is creatures, that is, beings of finite and limited natures. The presence of every created being is confined to a certain measure of space, and consequently his observation is stinted to a certain number of oba jects. The sphere in which we move, and act, and understand, is of a wider circumference to one creature than another, according as we rise one above another in the scale of existence. But the widest of these our spheres has its circumference. When therefore we reflect on the Divine Nature, we are so used
and accustomed to this imperfection in ourselves, that we cannot forbear in fome measure ascribing it to him in whom there is no shadow of imperfection. Our reason indeed assures us, that his attributes are infinite, but the poorness of our conceptions is such, that it cannot forbear setting bounds to every thing it contemplates, until our reason comes again to our fuccour, and throws down all those little prejudices which rise in us unawares, and are natural to the mind of man.
We shall therefore utterly extinguish this melancholy thought, of our being overlooked by our Maker in the multiplicity of his works, and the infinity of those objects among which he seems to be incessantly employed, if we consider, in the first place, that he is omnipresent; and, in the second, that he is omniscient.
If we consider him in his omnipresence: his being pafles through, actuates, and supports the whole frame of nature. His creation, and every part of it is full of him. There is nothing he has made, that is either so distant, so little, or so inconsiderable, . which he does not eflentially inhabit. His fubftance is within the substance of every being whether material or immaterial, and as intimately present to it, as that being is to itself. It would be an imperfection in him, were he able to remove out of one place into another, or to withdraw himself from any thing he has created, or from any part of that space which is diffused and spread abroad to infinity. In fhort, to speak of him in the language of the old philosopher, he is a Being whose centre is every where, and his circumference no where,
In the second place, he is omniscient as well as omnipresent. His omniscience indeed necessarily and naturally flows from his omnipresence; he cannot but be conscious of every motion that arises in the whole material world, which he tbus effentially pervades, and of every thought that is stirring in.