Professor Charles P. Parker gave the first of a series of five lectures on Natural Religion, in Sever 11 last evening. The subject was "The Sky and Stars."
A person who is at all observant of nature and who cares for its aspects as something more than helps or hindrances to his own particular designs, cannot have failed to be impressed in some degree by the mathematical precision displayed by every particle in earth, air and water. A few thoughts on this invariable order will not, however, fully comprehend its grandeur. It is not at first easy to realize that every law, from highest to lowest is perfectly fulfilled in the physical structure of the stars. To many men it is not sufficient to say that of course the laws of nature always hold, and that force will always produce the same effects. These men will answer that because they may spend a life time in trying to appreciate the beauty and reason in the universe, and even then be literally almost as ignorant about them as they ever were, they cannot satisfy themselves in the least, by physical or metaphysical theories about formation and perpetuation. What delights their minds in the contemplation of unchangeable laws and ever-changing beauty, and fills them with an overwhelming sense of the littleness of their own faculties is an infinite Reason and no such meaningless conception as "Force."
A new thought to many is that the universe produces nothing ugly. Aside from the beauty of exactness and invariability that the laws of Creation have for mathematical minds in particular and for du ler ones in a less degree, the visible manifestations of the infinite Reason are the most familiar parts of human existence. There is little need of presenting any of these pictures, and yet their very familiarity makes them often unimpressive and obscures much of their splendor. The night, with its stars moving with in evitable accuracy or a day of sunlight or one of clouds and wind are too common, not for a man who has opened his eyes to the infinite System, but for one who takes it as a matter of course. In sum, a true lover of nature becomes in some degree a lover of God. If he wearies of dry doctrines and explanations and feels that he can ascribe the constant display of intelligence at work, net only in sky and stars, but in his own heart, only to a divine Intelligence, he has won from his love of nature what it was intended that he should, a love of God as the Creator and Guide of all life. It he also realizes that these same laws which he has found unalterable for all matter are so for him. he has begun to realize how his life should be led; that, since inanimate things by obeying without the minutest deviation, every requirement of the laws, are always beautiful as the light, so his own life, should it follow the commands of its Creator, might break loose from the ugliness and deformity that disobedience has produced, and become the grandest piece of all God's handiwork.