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the other hand, treat with gentleness those inferior creatures, which bear so much of ours. The soul of man, a most active intelligent being, must, of necessity, according to its essence, always be thinking on something, and can it be employed in a more reasonable service, or train of thought, than meditating on the fountain of its being, and his wonderful works?
WHILE drowsy mortals are as yet supinely snoring on their couches, some it may be, struggling in their dreams with sore conflicts, and others exulting in imaginary bliss; let me, this fine morning, stray into the fields, and while I wet my foot with the virgin dews, regale my scent with the balmy odours which the zephyrs breathe from the flowering herbage ; the beauties of which are at present obscured by the darkness.
Now, in this season, of all others best adapted for meditation, may I employ my
thoughts on suitable subjects, and begin with contemplating the goodness of my Maker, in bringing me safely through the last night, acknowledging with the prophet, “ his mercies are new every morning;” while yonder dappled East declareth, that “great is his faithfulness,” who hath promised that there shall be day and night while the earth remaineth.
The light now approaches. How feeble are its rays! Yet I know it to be the dawn, for I begin to discover some of the objects around me. How rapid is its motion ! like the swift tide which overflows the sand till all is lost in one vast ocean ; so prevails the light over the darkness, but with incredibly more velocity, till night is overwhelmed in the glare of day. Truly the light is sweet,
(saith the inspired Solomon,), and a
pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold “the sun.” Eccl. xi. 7. This putteth me in mind of the creation of the world, when God said, “ Let there be light, and there was
light.” Gen. i. 3. Had that'omnipotent, infinitely gracious word, not been spoken,
how miserable, if at all, had our world been ! man would have groped in darkness, and worn out a short life in wretchedness and grief.
But this calleth to my memory a still more interesting subject ; namely, the fall of man, and the first promise of the Gospel; when Adam, by his awful apostacy from the path of rectitude, eternally benighted, not only himself, but all his posterity, in misery and woe : Thus was man in gross darkness, going headlong down to the pit of destruction, when, lo! a voice was heard which might well astonish both heaven and earth, for it was the voice of mercy, the Lord God saying, as it were, Suffer him not to go down to the pit, for I have found a ransom, Job xxxiii. 24. ; when, to the wonder of angels, and the astonishment of men, he said in effect, as he said with respect to the natural world, “ there be light.”
When he gave that infinitely merciful and unspeakably precious promise, that the seed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent, Gen, iii. 15, this no doubt surprised Adam with joy inexpressible, and enkindled such a flame of gratitude in his soul as eternity itself shall never be able to extinguish.
This first promise of the gospel, like the natural dawn, unfolded itself still more and more, through all the Old Testament dispensation, until at length it shined in the perfect day in the New.
When Christ Jesus, the Sun of righteousness, arose with healing in his wings, and shone on our earth, in a body of flesh, for about the space of thirty-three years; though, indeed, he had no form nor comeliness in the e eyes of those who were still in a natural state,---how salutary were his beams to those who belieyed in his name! He, to the apprehension of his enemies, finally set on the cross, when he yielded up the ghost : while the sun in the firmament hid his face with à sable covering, as if ashamed to behold his Creator's sufferings; and the vail of the temple rent in twain from top to bottom; to