图书图片
PDF
ePub
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.”-Acts vii. 60.

[blocks in formation]

"Happy who walks with him! whom what he finds
Of favor or of scent in fruit or flower,
Or what he views of beautiful or grand
In nature, from the broad majestic oak
To the green blade that twinkles in the sun,
Prompts with remembrance of a present God.
His presence, who made all so fair, perceived
Makes all still fairer.”

Tas TASK.

NO where does the Deity appear more strikingly displayed to the eye of mortal man, than in the works of his own hand. All nature discovers the impress of his fingers, and shows his unbounded goodness to the human race. All nature cries aloud that there is a God, and even by the minutest of his works our affections are solicited for her infinitely amiable Author. There is not a bird that warbles, nor a brook that murmurs, but either invites our praise or chides our ingratitude. God is in every place, whether secret or public ; yet how few, how very few perceive his presence, or meditate upon his attributes !—The merchant, while endeavouring to accumulate property, seldom considers that success cometh from above; the traveller, while pursuing his weary way, seldom lisps a thankful prayer to Him, who is on his “right hand and on his left;" and the sailor, while climbing the mast of his bark, as it gently ploughs the mighty deep, seldom realizes that God's footsteps are in the waters, and that He preserves him from being the sport of conflicting elements. In short, notwithstanding the Supreme Being is continually about every individual, how thoughtless are we!-how little struck with awe!—and how little do we pay that reverential regard to Him, which so becomes us! All nature exhibits Him to ear senses, yet he is not in all, perhaps not in any of our thoughts. The sun clothed in transcendant brightness, most illustriously displays his Maker's glory. The moon in fainter beams, at the still hour of night, seems a mild emblem of his reconciled countenance. And, although the stars are fixed at an immeasurable distance from us, and consequently lessened almost to sparks, yet they come in with their evidence, and magnify their Creator, to a gazing but unaffected world. The refreshing zephyrs whisper his clemency; and, as if to reprove our inattention to their soft, persuasive addresses, the awful thunder roars, the lightning rolls in liquid fire through the heavens, and the very earth is agitated beneath. But all is vain. Man is as deaf as the adder ;-he closes his eyes-he stops his ears, and refuses to listen to the voice of the charmers, charm they never so sweetly-never so forcibly.The whole creation proclaims the excellencies of Jehovah, and demands our homage. But, who has heeded its instruction, or granted its just demand ?-How few persons “ walk as seeing Him, who is invisible, or have fellowship with the Father of Spirits,” though to walk before Him is our highest dignity, and to have fellowship with Him our only true felicity! O, the astonishing goodness and longsuffering of Jehovah! who, notwithstanding all our disregard of his presence, and all our inattention to his paternal admonitions, still continues to uphold us,-still continues to bestow upon us innumerable blessings and privileges. His goodness to us is beyond the power of man to describe. It is ever-flowing, yet inexhaustible ; and all his creatures alike participate in it. Look at yonder sun, while rolling through the firmament, and behold what a variety of blessings it scatters to all the regions of the universe. Yet, the sun is but a spark,-his greatest effulgence no more than a shade,-his uninterrupted and most profuse communication of light a poor “ diminutive scantling," when compared with the riches of Divine benignity. Pause, O man! pause, and consider for one moment, your entire dependence upon that God, whom you so wickedly and so unjustly neglect. Think, 0 think, I beseech you, ere you are carried away farther on the stream of time, that he who sustains in existence, can, at his pleasure, summon you to appear before his dread tribunal, there to render an account of the manner in which you now treat the evidences of His being and the instructions and admonitions of His providence.

CLIO.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

THERE are moments in the life of every man, when the glare of sensible objects seems overcast by the reveries of solemn thought; and when, arrested from his devotion at the crowded shrine of pleasure or ambition, he is conveyed, as it were, to some solitary world, afar from this distracting scene, where contemplation forces itself upon him, and his mind's eye is opened in the vista of future existence. He looks back upon the scenes which he has, in imagination, left behind, with a smile at his former infatuation, and with mingled emotions of indignation and regret, that things so transitory and diininutive should ever have controlled a being like himself. Upon all the field of his retrospective view his eye scarcely lights upon a blooming spot to relieve it from the mortifying sameness of the scene. He is originally a worm of the dust, and destined to return again to this humble element. Even that more exalted part of his nature, which invests him with peculiar honor in comparison with the beasts that perish, appears darkly blemished with inveterate stains of guilt. His pride of intellectual superiority is constantly shamed by the conviction of past folly, and moral sensibility, that fine feature with which the Creator completed the perfection of his being, only gives to the blush of shame a deeper crimson, and to an unwelcome consciousness a sharper pang.

If thought, for a moment sickening at reflection, wings itself upward to the region where the seraph mounts the endless scale of intellect and burns with pure benevolence, it soon returns to his bosom burthened with the impression of his own insignificance as a creature and vileness as a sinner. This is the natural perspective of the thoughtful mind, and this the humiliating aspect which it presents to man of his comparative dignity in that ascending series of existences which extends so far beyond the human apprehension towards the throne of Deity.

But there is one circumstance connected with the existence of our race that amply redeems it from this littleness and degradation. One idea, springing from the contemplation of the cross of Christ more than preponderates against the sinking estimate of human character which we have made. God manifest in the flesh! One thought of this condescension in our God lifts up the soul to an equality with better things than surround it here below. It is through this glorious medium that angels lock on man with an interest deeper than the human breast can feel. Those exalted spirits who cast their crowns before the throne of our Immanuel, and witnessed his glories in the Godhead before He became obedient unto death; who saw the many million suns with all their train of worlds, now teeming with various life, and adorned with flowers of immortality, at His word spring into existence along the eternal plain,

« 上一页继续 »