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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 a 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 ayowed enemy !
0, 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 stayed; should himself be wrapt in swaddling clothes, 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.” Psalm 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 swift, ness through ether, proclaimeth, as it shooteth 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 infinité 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 for carrying 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 rendered pure and healthful : whereas if, otherwise, the surface of the globe had been level, they would have stood stagnated, and proved rather prejudicial than helpful and nourishing to plants and animals.
Besides, do not the mountains beautify the landscape, and keep the eye from being fatigued with space, and likewise constitute a proper temperature of the air ? where the climate is cold, keeping the vallies warm ; and in hot countries preserving a refreshing cooling breeze, on their summits, for the salutary benefit of the inhabitants. Also from their tops they afford an agreeable prospect
of the lowlands; and enable to descry enemies at a distance in time of war, and so timely to provide for safety.
To this we may add, they are admirably adapted for the accommodation of wild-fowl and beasts, nay, even serpents, which otherwise would prove troublesome to man. There the adder and the snake in wanton curls can sport among the heath, and bask themselves amid the sunny beams, without either much annoying man, or being annoyed by him : “ The high hills are a refuge for the wild
goats, and the rocks for the conies,” Ps. civ. 18. Come we now to the valleys, which are so well adapted for culture and vegetation : here again appeareth the goodness of God; for if all had been hills and mountains, how fatigued would man and beast have been in culturing them for their sustenance! But, blessed be the Lord, though, in consequence of the fall, he said man should eat bread in the sweat of his face, he did not say he should eat it in the blood thereof, which doubtless would oft have been the case if this had been the form of the globe.