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hymns of gratitude; for great is the eternal God, holy and wonderful are all his works, he is all pure and good, and the righteous forever shall sing his praises.
God, s all
The time was when this earth, the heavens, and their revolving suns existed not; God ordained. their being, and at his almighty will they arose. Before that period the whole was one huge and shapeless mass, where confusion ruled and chaos held her empire; the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. On the first day of the creation the spirit of God moved upon the face of this rude and formless heap, which now felt a motion penetrate deep as the centre, from above and beneath, and all around. He said let there be light, and there was light; and God called light day, and darkness he called night. Hitherto the waters and the earth were confounded together, undistinguished from each other. God separated them, and said let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters that were under the firmament from those that were above the firmament, and it was so; and God called the firmament heaven: and the evening and the morning were the second day. The waters still covered the face of the earth, when on the third day God said, let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear; let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed
and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind; and it was so. On the fourth day God said, let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and for years: and it was so. The sun appeared as the greater light to rule the day, and the moon with inferior splendour to rule the night; the stars also were then created. On the fifth day God said, let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life; and immediately the whales rolled in the ocean, and the seas teemed with life: and the winged fowl he gave to possess the air. And God blessed them, saying be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas; let the fowl multiply in the earth.
And God said, let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind and it was so. Every thing was now prepared; and God created man, to whom he gave dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowls of the air, and over cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For this purpose he created him in his own image after his own likeness, and endued him with a rational soul. As a companion to man he created woman, with equal gifts and equal rule: to them both he gave dominion over the earth and all created things, and with them he rested from all the works which he had made.
Can any one reflect upon this sublime history without being astonished at the power, the intelligence, and infinite wisdom manifested in the works of creation? Or can any one peruse it without pausing awhile to admire the grandeur of the objects and the sublimity of the design? Wherever we cast our view, we see the proofs of a Divinity whose glory the heavens declare, whose power unlimited their extent gives to know. It is only by being led from the sight of the objects of the creation to a contemplation of the Divinity, of his attributes, and of our own real condition, that we derive any true benefits from their presence, or even that we deserve to be inhabitants of this fair universe. But we cannot acknowledge the greatness and the glory of God in the works of creation, without our souls being enlarged, and our hearts penetrated with love and gratitude for the divine author. If this truth were universally felt, we should have little need of coercion to deter men from vice, or of lectures to excite them to virtue. Let those whose feelings are not yet callous walk abroad and contemplate nature, where they will find objects sufficient to arrest their attention, to excite their utmost admiration, and to call forth their charity and their love. Here is the source of every thing that is sublime, beautiful and enrapturing; and here is ever to be found the Almighty God, who alone is worthy of our homage, our praise, and our adoration.
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 are created, and enjoy a portion of that felicity which is reserved for the blessed in Heaven. How contemptible and insignificant 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 reflection upon God will produce, in order to give me firmness to employ myself in such a pleasing duty as often as I am required? Alas! instead of filling my mind with this great and sublime object, my thoughts too often ramble upon trivial 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 plea