Cornhill Magazine,  1 (1860), 248–56.

An Essay Without End

[Frederick Greenwood]




Theology of Nature, Design, Wonder, Unbelief, Descent, Creation, Meteorology, Telegraphy, Astronomy, Instruments

Publications cited:

Williams 1859

    Despite the growth of urbanization, the natural world of Creation remains eternal, and even amongst the 'chimney stacks' of Holborn Hill, it is 'impossible to forget her, or to escape her religious gaze'. Only the heart of an 'atheist' cannot be moved by the eternal spectacle of nature, and, as is added in parentheses, this 'creature, and not the ape, as some have supposed, is the link between brutes and men'. (249) A footnote employs the recently published reflections of W Mattieu Williams on the atmospheric changes of the sun even when it is at the same altitude to confirm the 'fancy that every day dies a natural death' (252n.). The 'telegraphs that we make such a noise about' pale beside the eternity of nature. Man becomes smaller still in comparison with the 'tract of light called the Milky Way, which [...] astronomers tell us [...] is a universe, in which individual stars are so many that they are like the sands on the shore'. These separate stars, moreover, cannot be made out even 'with all our appliances'. (255)

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