"The Fullness of Times"
Porteus 1811, 3: 70
Astronomy, Christianity, Plurality of Worlds, Anthropocentrism, Analogy, Instruments, Light
Remarks that some dispute whether 'the Eternal Son of God' would undergo suffering for 'the wretched inhabitants of this small globe of earth, which is [...] a mere speck in the universe, when compared with that immensity of worlds, and systems of worlds, which the sagacity of a great modern astronomer [i.e. William Herschel] has discovered in the boundless regions of space' (125). Questions the grounds for believing the redemption only to apply to humans. Observes that the anthropocentrism of assuming the sun to exist only to illuminate the earth is corrected by philosophy. Argues by analogy that the 'great Spiritual Light of the World' may illuminate other worlds. Suggests biblical texts supportive of this view. Observes that 'if we could magnify and bring nearer to us by the help of instruments, the great component parts of the spiritual, as we do the vast bodies of the natural world; there can be no doubt, that [...] a scene of wonders would burst in upon us from the one, at least equal, if not superior to those, which the united powers of astronomy and of optics disclose to us in the other'. (126)
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