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youth of spring; others, where the rich harvest repays the toiling husbandmen; and others, where the autumnal fruits luxuriate. So equally has Divine Wisdom regulated the revolutions of the seasons, and distributed to all his creation. at different seasons, the same blessings. His heavenly love is extended alike to all the beings which he has created, without regard to any particular country or people ; it is sufficient for him that they require his assistance. The rays of his goodness shine upon the deserts of Arabia, as well as on the smiling plains of Europe ; and either pole confesses his Divine regard. But if God has so equally distributed the blessings of this life, some will be ready to ask why certain countries are deprived of the charms of spring, whilst others are so abundantly favoured? Why the sun's rays are diffused so partially, that in some climates the nights as well as days continue for months; And why, towards the poles. the countries covered with ice are not as beautiful and fertile as our plains and valleys? But who are you that presume to ask such questions? What right have you to call the Infinite God to an account for the manner in which he regulates the world? Ye proud and presumptuous men, learn hu. mility, and acknowledge the traces of supreme wisdom in those things which your want of intelligence makes appear a fault. Perhaps you imagine that Providence has refused to certain parts of the earth the advantages and the enjoy. ments which are lavished, with a profuse hand, upon other more favoured climes. Such a supposition may accord with the confined views which some people take of nature; but they who are in the habit of grasping at a whole, and not resting content with a partial view of things, perceive and know that God has given to each country all that is requi. site for the life, support, and happiness of its inhabitants. Every thing is arranged in the climate where they live according to their wants, and in a manner the best calculated for their preservation.
The length of the day varies in different parts of the globe according to certain rules; there is scarcely an inhabited, country which the sun favours with his presence longer than another, only the times in which he is visible are different. The inhabitants of the torrid zone enjoy days and nights of an equal length, whilst those of the contiguous zones have this equality only twice in the year, Though the sun, by his annual course, gives winter to one country whilst an. other enjoys summer, he never fails to return again to im. part his blessings ; and if, during our winter, the days are not so long as the nights, the summer amply compensates for the difference : and though the inhabitants of the frigid zone are deprived of the sun's light for several months, they afterward enjoy it for months together; vegetation is rapid; and in the absence of the sun they enjoy a long twilight.
Where then is the country which does not receive the marks of Divine love? or the region in which the traces of a merciful Creator may not be discovered ? Where is the being which does not experience the goodness of God in every season? or which does not rejoice to live under his dominion ; and whose heart does not overflow with joy and gratitude for the numberless blessings shed abroad on the face of the earth? May we more and more feel our minds enlarged and our hearts warmed with that pure and heavenly love which the all-bounteous God of nature has for the works of his creation ! May this happy feeling be the por. tion of every individual! And may we ever be found amongst the number of those who endeavour to know the Almighty, by imitating, to the utmost of their ability, in love, in virtue, and in true charity, the example of Him, whose sun shines upon the poor as well as on the rich-on the guilty as upon the innocent !
Utility of our Senses considered. Man is possessed of senses, through the medium of which he may acquire information and ideas of surrounding ob. jects. Our eyes enable us to perceive different objects by the rays of light being reflected from them : by this means also we become acquainted with the difference of colours; by our ears we know the different sounds which vibrate on the air; by the senses of taste and smell different odours and properties of bodies become known to us ; and by the sense of feeling we receive the sensations of hot and cold, of wet and dry, of hard and soft, &c. How miserable should we
be if deprived of these senses! If bereft of sight, how should we be preserved from the dangers which surround us, or be able to provide for our support ? We should no longer derive pleasure and improvement from contemplating the grand spectacle of the heavens, the beauties of the country, or the great objects of nature; and the delight we receive from the presence of our fellow-creatures, particularly of those whose mind-illumined face displays the culture of their souls, would cease. Without the sense of hearing we could not enjoy the reciprocal communication of thought ; nor be rapt into oblivion of care by the soothing sounds of plaintive melody, or excited to joy and to pleasure by more jocund strains. Without taste and smell we should be deprived of a thousand agreeable sensations, and should be subject to numerous inconveniences: and without the sense of feeling we should be rendered incapable of arriving at any degree of perfection in the arts, or of providing for our necessities. We cannot then too much rejoice and bless God that we are enabled to see, hear, feel, and speak.
Let us then adore our Creator, and acknowledge and celebrate his goodness; let us offer up songs of joy and hymns of glory and of thanksgiving to the immortal God, and let our ears attentively listen to the harmonious voice of myriads chanting his praise. May we never despise or abuse the value of our senses, which have all been given us for the noblest purposes! How we should dishonour the liberal bounty of Heaven and the admirable structure of our body, if we only employed our senses in the pursuit of vain pleasures, or in the gratification of sensuality! Wretched and contemptible indeed is the man who has no higher delight, no more exalted feelings, than in sensual enjoyment; who is acquainted with the exhaustless treasures of a cultivated mind!
The period will arrive when the pleasures of sense must cease, when the eye can no longer be gratified with the views of nature, the ear no longer receive the soft sounds of the flute, nor the taste be susceptible of its accustomed sensations. The time will arrive when all outward objects will no more interest or make any impression on the senses. How miserable then will be the lot of those who have basked in the sun during their youth, given themselves up to every species of sensual gratification, and neglected to prepare, by cultivating their minds, for the evil day, when their feeble and emaciated bodies are sinking beneath a load of infirmities, and when they will have nothing to rouse their mental energies, which have long since been annihilated, nothing to cheer and encourage their drooping spirits, nor nothing to satisfy their impotent desires. May we ever be enabled, through Divine favour, to make a proper use of our senses, and never lose sight of the great end for which we were created! Let us commiserate the condition of those unfortunate beings who are defective in their senses, and do all in our power to render their existence easy and comfortable ; and by such conduct we shall best shew, our gratitude for the superior perfection we are blessed with.
The Soul becomes elevated by reflecting upon God. WHEN we give up our hearts to God, we begin to answer the end for which we were created, and enjoy a portion of that felicity which is reserved for the blessed in Heaven. How contemptible and insignificant are all the amusements of the world, when our hearts have been rejoiced and ameliorated, and our minds expanded by reflecting upon God and Christ Jesus! When I compare my imperfections and inability with the infinite majesty of God, how little and humble I appear; how my pride is lost and confounded in the infinity of Divine Perfection! and how I long for the glorious period when I shall be more nearly acquainted with the everlasting God! But am I sufficiently impressed with the inestimable advantages which the frequent reflection upon God will produce, in order to give me firmness to employ myself in such a pleasing duty as often as I am re. quired? Alas! instead of filling my mind with this great and sublime object, my thoughts too often ramble upon tri. vial and perishable subjects : instead of fixing my desires upon the meditation of Divine Wisdom; instead of loving and cherishing the bright essence and power of this Eternal Being, which unites every thing that is good, great, and
amiable, and alone can make me happy ; I perhaps feel no pleasure but in the gratification of my senses; my affections are placed on terrestrial objects, and I only love those things which are perishable, and which cannot contribute to my happiness. May my past experience render me more wise in future! Till now, I have only loved and set my heart upon temporal things, which are still more uncertain and perishable than myself.
But at present, through the grace of God, my eyes are opened; I perceive a Being which has raised me up out of nothing, which has given me a soul whose desires cannot rest short of eternity-a Being in whom every perfection and virtue are united, and to whom I will consecrate my heart, and devote myself for ever without reserve, and from whom I will ever receive all my consolation and delight. I will exchange those earthly enjoyments, which I have hitherto preferred to the blessings of Heaven, for advantages incomparably more real and permanently substantial. And though I still continue to make a proper use of the good things of this life, they shall never make me forget the love of God; but whilst I use them, and whilst I feel myself benefited by their good effects, when not abused, they shall serve as a constant memorial of the goodness of God, and call forth my acknowledgments and grateful sense of his kind care and solicitude for my welfare. Whenever I partake of any outward good, I will say to myself, If I find so much sweetness in the enjoyment of earthly things, and being only acquainted with a very small part of the works of God, that knowledge is so delightful, how happy and glorious will be my state when initiated into the mysteries of Heaven, and favoured with a portion of the purity and perfections of God! How great is the felicity of the saints, who see him as he is, and live in the constant participation of his divine communion.
If those pleasures which can only be enjoyed through the medium of a frail and perishing body have the power of so agreeably affecting my mind, what must be its delight and ecstacy when, divested of all its fetters and impediments, it has winged its flight to the regions of bliss, and uninterruptedly enjoys the pleasure arising from its own workings ; never wearied with thinking, nor injured by incessant action; but ever employed upon the sublimest