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PREFACE.

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Creation is a subject which ought to fill every reasonable creature with wonder ; and in no season more than Spring. Then Nature, having burst the iron fetters of stern winter, and broken down its icy prison, shivering at first, creeps gently forth ; but now, having become vivid, wantons gaily over all the fields, strewing the earth with flowers, and pouring melody from every grove, while it awakens in the human breast agreeable sensations, enlivening the mind to sublimity of thought and sweet contemplation. It is therefore in order to point out some suitable subjects for this, which may be happily improved for our advantage, that the following work is

composed.

I am well aware, that those who expect to find in it, that elegance of expression, sublimity of thought, or strength of judgment, which the subjects require, will be much disappointed; and also that those who wish

to shew their skill in criticism, may find ani. ple scope for employing their

pens.

All I shall say by way of recommendation of it to my Readers is, I hope they will find nothing in it contrary to sound principles, but may find some little entertainment to pass a vacant hour, and some passages which, through the Divine blessing, to them may prove useful. And that this last may be the case, hath been, during the time of

composing it, and still is, the sincere wish of its

AUTHOR.

vii

A few Lines Spoken at EDNAM, the birthplace of the celebrated Thomson, when in the Room where it is supposed he was born.

And is this the place where he who sung in strains sublime the sweets of spring, with all the beauties of the flushing year, was born! the honour of his nation, and the delight of the Muses,---whose works, chiefly those of his Seasons, stand unrivalled even by the Georgics themselves : nor could Virgil, that Prince of Latin Poets, boast of more harmonious numbers than thou, O THOMSON ! whose lofty verses, fam'd through the world, supply the place of a stately monument, which, if ever due to the memory of a Poet, thine well deserved. Up that majestic ladder, the rounds of which thou hast so elegantly described, may all ascend to contemplate, not only the God of Nature, but also the God of Grace, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the worlds were made, If this be not the use which is made of thy lofty strains of poetry, and my low themes of prose, I'm afraid all will prove but a triflipg amusement.

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The works of God are a great book, consisting of three incomprehensible volumes, namely, Nature, Providence, and Grace; which continually lie open for the perusal of all in heaven and all on earth. It was on the former of these man first opened his eyes in paradise.

Beholding the magnificence of the ample page, how astonished would he be at finding himself, and observing creation around ! Incomparably more so than man now, who is born of a woman, and gradually comes from an unthinking to a thinking state ; from infancy to childhood, and from child

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