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In a moral view, I shall not, I believe, be contredicted when I say, that, if one train of thinking be more desirable than another, it is that which regards the phenomena of nature with a constant reference to their Supreme intelligent author. To have made this the ruling, the habitual sentiment of our minds, is to have laid the foundation of every thing that is religious. The world from thenceforth becomes a temple, and life itself one continued act of adoration. The change is no less than this, that, whereas formerly God was seldom in our thoughts, we can now scarcely look upon any thing without perceiving its relation to him. Every organized natural body, in the provisions it contains, testifies the Creator's care. We are on all sides surrounded by such bodies; examined in their parts, wonderfully curious, compared with one another, no less wonderfully diversified. So that the mind, as well as the eye, may either expatiate in variety and multitude, or fix itself down to the investigation of a particular division of science. And, in either case it will rise
from its occupation, possessed by the subject in a very different manner, and with a very different degree of influence, from what a mere assent to any verbal proposition which can be formed concerning the existence of the Deity, (at least that merely complying assent with which those about us are satisfied and with which we are too apt to satisfy ourselves,) can or will produce on our minds. More especially may this difference be perceived, in the degree of admiration and awe, with which the Divinity is regarded, when represented to the understanding, by its own remarks, its own reflections, and its own reasonings, compared with what is excited by any language that can be used by others. The works of nature require only to be contemplated. When contemplated, they have every thing in them which can astonish by their greatness: for of the vast scale of operation, through which our discoveries carry us, at one end, we see an intelligent power arranging planetary systems, fixing, for instance, the trajectory of sa
turn, or constructing a ring of one hundred thousand miles diameter to surround his body, and be suspended like a magnificent arch over the heads of his inhabitants; and, at the other bending a hooked tooth, concerting and providing an appropriate mechanism, for the clasping and reclasping of the filaments of the feather of a humming bird. We have proof, not only of both these works proceeding from an intelligent agent, but of their proceeding from the same agent: for, in the first place, we can trace an identity of plan, a connection of system, from Saturn to our own globe; and when arrived upon our own globe, in the second place, pursue the connection through all the organized, especially the animated, bodies, which it supports. We can observe marks of a common relation, as well to one another, as to the elements of which the habitation is composed.Therefore one mind hath planned, or at least prescribed a general plan for all these productions, One Being has been concerned in all.
Under this stupendous Being we live. Our happiness, our existence are in his hands. All we expect must come from him. Nor ought we to feel inse
In every nature, and in every portion of nature, which we can descry, we find attention bestowed even on the minutest parts. The hinges in the wings of an earwig, and the joints of its antennæ, are as highly wrought as if the Creator had nothing else to finish.
We see no signs of diminution of care by multiplicity of objects, or of distraction of thought by variety. We have no reason to fear, therefore, our being forgotten, or overlooked or neglected.
COMMENCEMENT OF PARADISE LOST.
Sing, heavenly Muse, that on the secret top
Say first, for Heaven hides nothing from thy view,
and revenge, deceived
ethereal sky With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
NINTH CHAPTER OF ST. JOHN.
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay
of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go wash in the pool of Siloam (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
The neighbours therefore and they which before had seen him, that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, This is he, others said, He is like him: but he said I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said, A Man that is called Jesus, made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed and I received sight. Then said they unto him Where is he? He said, I know not.
They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.
And it was the sabbath day, when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.
Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received
He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes,
and I washed and do see. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner, do such miracles? And there was a division among them. They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a Prophet.
But the Jews did not believe concerning him that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, Is this your Son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not, or who hath opened his eyes we know not: he is of age, ask him, he shall speak for himself.
These words spake his parents because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should