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sure 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 out of nothing, which has given me a soul whose desires cannot rest short of eternitya being in whom every perfection and virtue are united, and to whom I will consecrate my heart, and devote myself forever without reserve and rom whom I will ever receive all my consolations 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 benefitted 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 enjoyments 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 images in the presence of the immortal God! If the gentle rivulets that so beautifully irrigate the earth are so pleasing, if a ray of light is so vivifying, how admirable must be the great Source and First Cause of the torrent of the rivers, the living fountain of all joy and excellence! how gloriously pre-eminent the Author of the blessed sun, the rays of which only have such great power.
From what we already know of God through his works, we may form some anticipation of the glory of futurity, and prepare with joy and gladness for the happy moment, when the soul, released from its dark and inferior abode, shall as
By Reflecting upon God.
cend into the heavens, and enjoy that purity and exaltation, the reward of those who by the proper use they have made of their time here, are permitted to join the heavenly choir of angels in songs of ecstacy round the throne of the everlasting God.
Wonders which God daily
Wonders which God daily effects in the Creation
THE whole universe, which continually preserves that beauty and order in which it was first established, is a miracle constantly before us. How astonishing is the world which we inhabit! How immense is the number, grandeur, variety, and beauty of the creatures which it contains! What other arm than that of the omnipotent God, could have placed in the immense expanse of the heavens, the sun and all those stars, whose prodigious size and distance fill our minds with astonishment! Who but God has prescribed to them the sphere in which they have revolved for thousands of years? Who else has determined with such skill, the respective powers of all these globes, and established a perfect balance between them and the æther in which they are suspended? Who
has placed the earth at such a just distance from the sun, that the space between them is neither too great nor too small?
The alternation of the day and night; the revolutions of the seasons; the innumerable multitude of animals, of reptiles, of trees, of plants, and of all the different productions of the earth, are the works of the Almighty God. His particular and especial providence is a continual proof of his greatness, wisdom and omnipresence. His constant cares for us, and that marked protection, instances of which almost every person has met
Effects in the Creation.
with; the various means he employs to attract man to his service; the ways by which he leads them to happiness; the misfortunes which he tries them with, to awaken them and bring them to a sense of their situation; the extraordinary events which he orders for the good of his empire; events which are commonly produced by slight causes, and in circumstances which seem to render them impossible; the great revolutions which he effects, to make his holy truth, and the knowledge of himself pass from one country of the earth to another; are all so many effects, in which we ought to acknowledge his constantly acting power, and which if we were sufficiently attentive, would make us say with the Psalmist, "This is the Lord's doing; and it is marvellous in our our eyes."
Let us be attentive to what passes before us, and we shall every where discover the traces of a God; we shall see that by the ordinary means of his grace, he continually works for our sanctification; that his divine word continually dwells amongst us, and that his saving voice may be continually heard. Surely those who refuse to listen unto him; who resists the impulse of his Holy Spirit, and who do not yield to his merciful visitations, would not be converted though new miracles were wrought in their sight. Ought not man who sees that God has created the world, which every where presents to him so many wonders; man who is constantly receiving the bles