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operation of his hands; which expreffi- SERM. ons may be understood as requiring us t^-^t to have God upon our thoughts under two views; to regard his work, as the Author of nature; and to consider the operation of his hands, as the Governor of the world. Let us attend more particularly to each of these views of the Supreme Being.
In the first place, we are to view God as the Author of nature, or to regard the work of the Lord. With his works we are in every place surrounded. We can cast our eyes no where, without discerning the hand of Him who formed them, if the grofsnefs of our minds will only allow us to behold him.—Let giddy and thoughtless men turn aside a little from the haunts of riot. Let them stand still, and contemplate the wondrous works of God; and make trial of the effect which such contemplation would produce.—It were good for them that, even independently of the Author, they were more acquainted with his works;
.good for them, that from the societies of loose and dissolute men, they would retreat to the scenes of nature; would oftener dwell among them, and enjoy their beauties. This would form them to the relish of uncorrupted, innocent pleasures; and make them feel the value of calm enjoyments, as superior to the noise and turbulence of licentious gaiety. From the harmony of nature, and of nature's works, they would learn to hear sweeter sounds than what arise from the viol, the tabret, and the pipe.
But to higher and more serious thoughts these works of nature give occasion, when considered in conjunction with the Creator who made them. —Let me call on you, my friends, to catch some interval of reflection, some serious moment, for looking with thoughtful eye on the world around you. Lift your view to that immense arch of heaven which encompasses you above. Behold the fun in all his splendor rolling over your head by day; and the moon, by night, in mild and
serence majesty, surrounded with thatSERM. host of stars which present to your ima- Ur.i_vJ gination an innumerable multitude of worlds. Listen to the awful voice of thunder. Listen to the roar of the tempest and the ocean. Survey the wonders that fill the earth which you inhabit. Contemplate a steady and powerful Hand, bringing round spring and summer, autumn and winter, in regular course; decorating this earth with innumerable beauties, diversifying it with innumerable inhabitants; pouring forth comforts on all that live; and, at the fame time, overawing the nations with the violence of the elements, when it pleases the Creator to let them forth. After you have viewed yourselves as surrounded with such a scene of wonders; after you have beheld on every hand, such an astonishing display of majesty united with wisdom and goodness; are you not seized with solemn and serious awe? Is there not something which whispers you within, that to this great Creator reverence and homage
S E R M. are due by all the rational beings whom ^ ;_, he has made? Admitted to be spectators of his works, placed in the midst of so many great and interesting objects, can you believe that you were brought hither for no purpose, but to immerse yourselves in gross and brutal, or, at best, in trifling pleasures; lost to all fense of the wonders you behold; lost to all reverence of that God who gave you being, and who has erected this amazing fabric of nature, on which you look only with stupid and unmeaning eyes?—'No: Let the scenes which you behold prompt correspondent feelings. Let them awaken you from the degrading intoxication of licentiousness, into nobler emotions. Every object which you view in nature, whether great or small, serves to instruct you. The star and the insect, the fiery meteor and the flower of spring, the verdant field and the lofty mountain, all exhibit a Supreme Power, before which you ought to tremble and adore; all preach the doctrine, all inspire the spirit, of devotion,
on, anri\ reverence. Regarding, then, SERM. the work of the Lord, let rising emdti- \^^^t ons of awe and gratitude call forth front your fouls such sentiments as these:— "Lord, wherever I am, and whatever "I enjoy, may I never forget thee as "the Author of natures May I never "forget that I am thy creature and "thy subject! In this magnificent tem"pie of the universe, where thou hast: "placed me, may I ever be thy faithful "worshipper j and may the reverence "and the fear of God be the first senti"ments of my heart!"—It is to such considerations of God I would now recal your thoughts, from the wine and thefeaji>. as proper to check the spirit of levity and folly; and to inspire manly and becoming sentiments, in the place of criminal dissipation. But,
In the second place, there is a consideration of a nature still more serious, to be employed for the fame purpose; the consideration of God as'not only the Author of nature, but the governor of his creatures.