« PreviousContinue »
wise, and the only potentate, as the supreme and sole monarch of the world.
I have the utmost reason to rejoice, when I consider, that thy immense and unfathomable wisdom guides and co-operates with all thy other glorious attributes, in their great and stupendous operations ; so that they all conspire to promote the same end, and can never interrupt or obstruct each other.
Even thy unbounded power, O God, which might othera wise fill us with dread and confusion, is now become a pleasing object of my contemplations, as I am assured, that it can never be exerted but in producing what is fittest and best. And, O thou perfect excellence, it is thy goodness and wisdom united, in which I desire to confide for the defence of the blessings which I enjoy at present, for the supply of my future wants, and the provision of happiness, suited to my whole nature, and to the general state and order of the creation, both now, and for ever...
But, O God, though I would always acknowledge with profound humility, that it is impossible for me to form an adequate notion of thy unerring wisdom, into the deep recesses of which nothing but itself can penetrate, yet at the same time, I am under the strongest obligations to render thee my devout thanksgivings for the evidence, which thou hast been pleased to afford me, that thou art really possest of this unlimited perfection. I bless and adore thee, that thou hast so dignified my frame, and adorned it with such peculiar facul. ties, as may enable me to discern the harmony and inviolable connection of thy several attributes. In thee, therefore, the first cause and author of universal being, I adore a fountain of wisdom, equal to the great work of creation; to the producing an unlimited extent of intelligent creatures, and capable of preserving the whole in an uninterrupted order, for ever.
But, Othou, the common father of all ! as thou hast been pleased thus far to unveil and manifest thyself to the pure, natural reason of our minds, thou hast also graciously adapted the frame of the visible world in such a manner, as to confirm and strengthen these my inward convictions. In the general constitution of the universe, so far as it is subject to our senses, or falls within the notices and contemplations of the human understanding,
I trace the work of thy wisdom, power, and goodness,
I behold wonders of wisdom comprehended in the minutest, as well as more obviously exposed in the greater and more magnificent objects. The deeper I search, the more thy hand appears, and the more I discern of inimitable and incomprehensible contrivance. In thy marvellous fabric of nature, though composed of infinitely various parts, I see nothing but one regular, consistent scheme. To the glory of thy eternal and unlimited wisdom, I see nothing redundant, nothing short and imperfect, in respect to the general intent and scope of being ; nothing disproportioned to its own particular nature and design.
Nor are there wanting, O God, among the works of nature, particular instances of thy immense wisdom, the most splendid and illus trious, the most engaging and admirable, to employ my sublimest faculties, and afford: abundant matter for my everlasting wonder, reverence, and praise. For it is thou, who hast ordained and fixed the sun in the firmament of heaven, so as to dispense his light and heat regularly, and in the most exact proportions, to its dependent planetary worlds. Thou hast marshalled all the stars in the nicest order, and preserved them in their proper places. Thou hast laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed ; till the time cometh for the dissolution of the present system, that thy eternal and inexhaustible wisdom may create new worlds.
The whole earth, O God! I acknowledge is full of thy riches, and affords most convincing proofs of thy infinite skill. I have also equal reason to adore thee for thy wonders in the deep, which thou hast so greatly formed, and with such amazing skill, as to strike the mind at the first sight of it, with a religious awe and veneration. I praise thee, O supreme ruler of this vast and mighty ocean, that thou hast set a strict bound which it may not pass over, that the waters return not to cover the earth. I have equal reason to adore thee for adorning the earth with verdure and beauty, and for furnishing the means of the support and refreshinent of all its living inhabitants ; that thou hast placed in it both small and great beasts, to adıninistero, in various respects, to the convenience and service of thy rational creature, man. I praise thee for this most illustrious effect of thy gracious wisdom, that thou hast made the watery regions a means of mutual communication and intercourse between the most distant nations
the earth. Thus, O God, am I strongly
animated, by considering the greatness of thy works, their admirable composition, exquisite beauties, and harmonious and variously conspiring uses, for the making all to centre in one common point of universal good, to magnify thee, the great former and disposer of the whole. - Mighty art thou, O God, in wisdom, thou art wonderful in counsel and excellent in working. Wisdom was co-eternal with thee, and thou didst possess her in the beginning of thy ways, before thy works of old. Thy glory has been from everlasting ; and thine be the praise for ever. Amen.
ON THE SAME SUBJECT.
O LORD, thou hast established the world by thy wisdom, and stretched out the heavens by thy discretion.
Thou hast made every thing perfect in its kind, and beautiful in its
And as thou hast eminently displayed thy astonishing skill in the make and constitution of man, and especially in his internal frame, thou hast also in so exact à inanner disposed and adjusted the outward course of things, that by reason of the different relations, orders and dependencies of mankind, and the