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Meditation is a duty to which the rational soul naturally prompts man. by contemplating the works of creation, that the heathens themselves came to the knowledge of a God;
« because that which may “ be known of God, is manifest in them, “ for God hath showed it unto them; for “ the invisible things of him from the crea« tion of the world, are clearly seen, being “ understood by the things that are made,
even his eternal power and Godhead," Rom. i. 19, 20. If heathens made so great a progress by reading in the volume of creation, at the dim light of nature, what ought Christians to do in the sunshine of divine revelation !
The royal Psalmist, struck with beholding a few of the great outlines of creation, even the celestial bodies, crieth out with rapture andastonishment to the Lord, saying, “What " is man, that thou art mindful of him ! and “the son of man, that thou visitest him !" Psalm viii, 4. And well might he do so, in consideration of that infinite power, wisdom, greatness, and glory, that hung those immensely ponderous luminaries in the midst of the vast expanse of ether, poised them so nicely, and bade them, to a punctilio, observe their courses, and still supporteth these vast orbs in their stations. 1
say, in consideration of that Almighty Being, who wrought out the heavens with his fingers, adorning them with stars, which in lustre, number, and magnitude, far surpass
the ken of the most acute astronomer, and lighted up these wonderful lamps, or rather globes of fire, in the stupendous arch---that a Being of such infinite wisdom, power, and glory, should condescend to take notice of such a little thing as man! yea such a vile thing as man had made himself.
But 0, what notice was it that Jehovah did take of him! “ Hear, O heavens, and be astonished, 0 earth!" it was not only to create him a holy and happy creature, nor, when he had fallen by his iniquity, still to continue to preserve him in being, and supply him out of his bountiful hand with numberless temporal good things; but how shall it be told for wonder and amazement ! that that same God, who made the stars, counteth their numbers, and calleth them all by their names; measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the
span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure; and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance; before whose face the earth and the heavens flee away, and in whose presence the highest seraphim in heaven veil their faces with their wings, (Gen. i. 16. Psalm cxlvii. 4. Isaiah xl. 12. Rev. xx. 11. Isaiah vi. 2.) sent his own eternal, only begotten, and well-beloved Son, one in essence with himself, into this world, to become an infant of days, to lead a sorrowful life, and at length to bear all that infinite wrath, or equal to it, which the elect should have borne through all eternity, and die the shameful, painful, accursed death of the cross for man ; vile, sinful man, his avowed enemy!
unspeakable love! was ever love like this? Well might the royal Psalmist stand amazed at it, when he considered that that God, who wrought out the heavens with his fingers, made the moon and the stars, and all the host of heaven; sustaineth all the planets with his hand, and swaddled the ocean with thick darkness, setting doors and bars, saying, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no farther; and here shall thy proud waves be stay
ed : should himself be wrapt in swaddling cloathes, and laid in a manger; have his hands and feet nailed to the accursed tree of the cross, groan, bleed, and die, for such a sinful creature as man! If the king of Israel was lost in thought at viewing this afar off, what ought we to be who live in gospel days! The works of nature naturally lead the contemplative mind up the stream of creation to God the fountain-head. This they did to David, and so should they do to us. All the works which we behold shew forth his wisdom, power, and goodness. “ The heavens “ declare the glory of God, and the firma
ment sheweth his handy-work : day unto
day uttereth speech, and night unto night “ sheweth knowledge : there is no speech
nor language where their voice is not heard: “ their line is gone out through all the earth, " and their words to the end of the world.' Ps. xix. 1. to 4.
These, though in silence, preach a loud sermon in the ear of reason ; every planet declaring, as it revolveth, that it is made and sustained by an Almighty hand; while every comet which blazeth with incredible swiftness through ether, proclaimeth, as it shoot
eth along, the arm that launched it is infinite; and all the constellations shew forth, as they shine, the goodness, wisdom, power, and glory of their infinite Almighty Maker. Nor are terrestrial things less silent in his praise. If we only cast our eyes around, and behold the surface of the globe, how may we be struck with wonder at the agreeable variety of objects which present themselves to our view ? Not a mountain, rock, plain, vale, wood, river, nor sea, but proclaimeth aloud its Maker's goodness, and is stored with inhabitants, animate and inanimate, suitable to its nature.
The mountains, being a repository for granite, metals, and minerals, which are so indispensably necessary for mechanical labours and medicine, display the wisdom of the Creator ; for if such had not been stored
up in the bowels of eminences, how scarcely, if at all, could they be dug up ? For, where should the miner find a descent to carry off the water which otherwise must deluge his work? And is it not from the hills we have our springs, which, falling down their sides in rills, at the bottom are formed into rivers, which gliding gently along, are thereby ren