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another, the Dead Sea and Caspian excepted; so that -- trading can be freely expedited and carried on through the world. A less heap of waters would not so well answer this end, and more were unnecessary
Should not then that power, wisdom, and goodness, which created that vehicle of commerce, and made and discovered the power of the loadstone, by which means navigation is arrived at such perfection, draw forth our affections to our bountiful Creator ? And do not the different species of animals, which inhabit air, earth, and water, all
proclaim the wisdom and goodness of their and our almighty Lord ?
The fowls, destined to fly in the
firmament of heaven, are all provided with wings and tails of convenient lengths, which serve as oars and rudders, to steer their bodies through the aerial ocean : while their beautiful, glossy plumage, supports them aloft with ease, and sheweth forth to every intelligent Being, that their Creator must be glorious, good, and wise, seeing he hath decked them with such graceful pinions, and
otherwise qualified them for performing the functions of animal life.
How admirably are they suited with bills! whereas, if their mouths had been large, and in their heads, as those of quadrupeds are, how could they then have taken up small particles of grain from the earth, or digged insects out of the mould ? whereas now, by their beaks, they can peck such with ease ; and if without claws, many of them which roost on the trees could not have done so, but must have been much exposed to the rayages of beasts during the night.
Those of them which are of the aquatic kind are all provided with members answer, able for gathering their food in the watery element : such as are swimmers, being webfooted, and having their breasts and bellies strongly lined with downy feathers, close as scances long in the water, and defended from the injuries of its cold; and those which cannot swim, but wade, with long legs and necks, whereby they are enabled to hunt in the shallows for the finny tribe ; some of them, too, such as the heron, having the middle
claw on each foot toothed like a saw, can thereby more readily seize and hold their slippery prey. All which show the bounty and care of the indulgent Creator, who hath left none of his creatures destitute of suitable means for preserving life. But though these kinds find ample provision in the waters, what becomes of those that live wholely.on the land, which neither sow nor gather into barns ? Shall they starve ? No: for we are told our heavenly Father feedeth them. Mat. vi. 26.
Grudge not then, ye husbandmen, when the birds of the air descend upon your cultured fields, and peck a few of those inpumerable grains, which your Creator and theirs hath bountifully bestowed upon you ; nor' wish too keenly for their destruction for, perhaps they serve you more than all the injury they do. - This the inhabitants “ of New England experienced, when, after
they had given a reward for destroying " the purple jack-daws, the intent was al" most effected at the cost of the inhabi“ tants; who discovered, at length, that “ Providence had not formed these seeming"ly destructive birds in vain. Notwith
“ standing they caused such havoc among " the grain, they made ample recompence by clearing the ground of the noxious
worms with which it abounds. As soon " as the birds were destroyed, the reptiles “ had full leave to multiply, and the consequence was the total loss of the
in 1749, when the New Englanders, too late
repentants, were obliged to get their hay “ from Pennsylvania, and even from Great — Britain *."
As for the beasts of the earth, no less conspicuous doth the wisdom and goodness of the Creator appear in them, whether we consider their numbers, uses, colours, or forms. That those quadrupeds which are of a ferocious kind should be few in number, and those which are gentle and docile, and of great utility to man, very numerous, is certainly a display of infinite wisdom and kind
The more we consider the latter, the greater reason we have to adore the Lord of all for his wise disposal of things.
* See Encyclopædia Britannica.
Did the horse, that most beautiful of all the four-footed kind, the strength and courage of which is terrible in war; or the lusty ox, which bellows in our fields, know properly what strength they are possessed of,—would the one, by means of a simple boy, be made to draw in the plough, and drudge in our carriages ; or the other be driven or turned away by a little child ? How wisely, then, hath our Creator apparently deprived them of this knowledge, or magnified man greatly in their eyes ! otherwise, how would the labours of the husbandman be facilitated !
Is not the Creator's goodness, too, greatly manifested in the provision he hath made, both for the protection and subsistence of the inferior animals? Those of them which have the least means of defending them. selves by offensive operations, against the attacks of enemies, are either put more immediately under the care of man, such as the sheep, or enabled to elude the foe by agility and swiftness, such as the hare ; while all of them are supplied with suitable food ouť of His ever-liberal hand. Let us then adore the bounteous Lord, since the highest angel