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footstool of God. And even here, and with reference to ourselves merely, the Divine mercies are without bounds and without end. They commenced and are commensurate with our existence, They have been and still are new every morning and repeated every moment of our lives
For every thing precious in existence we are indebted unto God. From eternity he existed and was happy. Infinite in himself, he needed not our praises. His goodness however suffered him not to live alone. To display that goodness he filled the heavens not only with angels but peopled the earth also with men.
The organization of the human body, the constitution of the human mind, and the adaption of each to each, loudly proclaim the Divine benevolence.
All the senses are mediums alike of information and enjoyment; and even our passions, notwithstanding their too frequently deceptive influence, have in the economy of life, their obvious use. us of danger-desire adds alacrity to pursuit-hope softens our cares and sweetens our labors. Emula. tion prompts to excel in virtue-shame forms a bars rier to the heart against vice. Love binds us to society sympathy interests us in the welfare of others, and by compelling us to take part in their miseries, compels us the more promptly to relieve them.
The formation of the body, no less than the constru tution of the mind, proclaim the benevolence of Him who created both.
Could I here unfold the various parts of this fair fabric which DEITY hath reared up; could I lift the veil which conceals beneath it the most stupendous and kindly adjusted mechanism, and show you to yourselves-Could I do this, who among you, filled with gratitude as well as with astonishment, and looking up to your Creator, would not exclaim, I will praise thee, for I am wonderfully and fearfully, not only, but mercifully made !
From the nature of man, turn your attention to the place of his residence. Contemplate this world, fitted up principally for his use. Comtemplate it, however, not as it is now, curst by transgression and covered with ruins, but as it was when it came fresh and untarnished from the Creator's hand. When, beholding its rising grandeurs, the morning stars sang together, and the sons of God shouted for joy!
It was not a wilderness, but a paradise, that was furnished originally for the residence of man. There flowed the river of salvation-there grew
the tree of life. Its keepers were angels, and its guardian and its visitor was God.
A garden, peerless in beauty, innocent in delights, and spontaneous in fruits, unfolded its charms and presented its bounties to the guiltless pair. To dress this garden was their employment, not their toil.
No canker corroded the flower, no thorn infested the ground. The fruit-tree supplied them with foodthe river with water, and their innocence was their covering
Such was the primeval situation of man-Nor to man alone was the Divine benignity confined. The herds also, pleased with their condition, cropped the herbage their Creator had provided for them, and the sportive flocks bleated joyfully from a thousand hills. Beneath the same shade the lion and the lamb lay. down together, and there also the tyger fed and rested with the kid. The songsters of the grove chanted on every side their melodious anthems to the morn. ing ; and swarms of happy insects played in the noon-day beams, and sipped the honey from the flowers. All was life-all was innocence—all was bliss ! As yet evil, neither natural nor. moral, had entered into the system. No stain marred the beauty, or cloud veiled the lustre of the world.
Thus, originally, on every part of nature, was in. scribed the Creator's goodness. This is his glory, a glory which the heavens at first displayed, and which the firmament of heaven shewed forth.
Changed as things are by the apostacy, a God merciful and kind, is still seen in all his works. The sun, bright emblem of Divinity, disseminates his beams; the clouds shed upon the fields his showers; the breezes waft his fragrance; the seasons display his faithfuless, and the very earth itself is enriched
and covered with his bounty.
“ His paths drop fatness, they drop upon the pastures of the wilderness, and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks, the vallies also are covered with corn: they shout for joy, they also sing.'
What a glorious display of all that is benevolent and kind, do the works of nature afford. Mercy shines conspicuously in every herb, and plant, and flower of the field. These all, and more than these ; earth-heaven-the universe itself, with all its joys and lovelinesses, is but one vast expression of His benignity who created it. Who, though enthroned on high, and encircled by the praises of the blessed, hath respect unto the lowly : Who numbers, O man, thy hairs, and supplies thy wants-Thy wants, did I say? The young lions roar, and God heareth them-Yea, the cries of the young ra vens come up before his throne.
Would time permit, we might infinitely extend this article. We might rise above the earth and survey those orbs which decorate the heavens, and seen, though at an awful distance, by the eye of man, embellish the throne of God. We might do more than this : for, shall we suppose that the boundaries of God's creation are fixed by the narrow ken of mortals ? Shall we suppose that beings, inhabiting his footstool ; beings who sprung up yesterday from the dust of their mother earth, and who to-morrow shall return again into her bosom, by the help even of artificial tubes and glasses, can extend their view
over all that Eternal wisdom hath contrived or Almighty power created ? Reason, and more than reason, revelation, condemns this absurd idea. Would time permit us, we might therefore, in the spirit of the inspired writers, range the immensity of space,
where world rises above world, and system above system, till filled with profound astonishment, and descending again to our humble habitation, rendered still more humble by a comparison with other parts of the creation, we could say with David, “When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers; the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained: What is man, that thou art mindful of him ? and the son of man that thou visitest him ?" Yet over all this stupendous empire, God reigns ! Through every part of it, he dispenses numberless and perpetual blessings! And though “ thousands of thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand" beings, of different capacities and wants, are scattered abroad before him, not one of them is overlooked, forgotten or neglected. “The eyes of all wait upon the Lord, and he giveth them their meat in due scason.”
But the works of nature, rich in mercy and boundless in extent as they are, furnish a partial and imperfect view only of Divine benignity.
In the gospel alone this attribute is exhibited at full length—and in the most commanding attitude. Here DIVINITY is seen promoting happiness not only, but expiating guilt, and weeping over misery also. Here we behold the happy and immortal God,