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being able to distinguish objects. The rising sun labours a long time to pierce through these fogs, and to restore the earth to its former appearance. It succeeds at last in dissipating these vapours. Sometimes they light upon the earth, and sometimes they ascend into the middle region of air. By degrees, the objects rise out of that obscurity, and appear again in their usual state. The sky resumes all its brightness, all its serenity; and it is only near the ground, or on the roofs of houses, that any traces remain of the fog, which had for several hours covered the horizon. At the sight of this meteor I recollect those unhappy times, when the sciences were in a manner wrapped up in an impenetrable mist of superstition and ignorance. In what thick darkness whole provinces and kingdoms were plunged, before the sun of truth could show itself in all its splendour. The human understanding was so limited and short-sighted, that it scarcely comprehended the things which immediately surrounded it; and the power of error was such, that no ray of light could penetrate into those souls, darkened by prejudice and superstition. At length the sun appeared again, and suddenly enlightened countries, which, during whole ages, had been buried in thick shades. We learned lo distinguish error from truth. A happy futurity, eternity itself was opened to us, and we began to feel the greatness of our lot.
It is, however, but too true, that as long as I remain here, during the days of my earthly pilgrimage, I shall still walk in darkness. The mist which surrounds me does not permit me to have a clear and distinct view of futurity. My ignorance, my prejudice, my credulity, still increase the darkness of my present state. O may they soon be dissipated ! May the light of truth and joy enlighten me in this vale of darkness! But thanks to God, a way is open to me, and I see through the shades which surround me, the path that leads to a blessed eternity. Every cloud will soon vanish, and I shall be transported to a'scene of light and felicity which no shade will ever darken. There I shall know, by the light of heaven, what had appeared on earth dark and gloomy. There I shall feel the wisdom and holiness of those ways of Providence, which were here incomprehensible to me. There, my soul, penetrated with admiration and gratitude, shall behold the wonderful chain, and perfect harmony, in the works of the Most High.
The Rain waters the Earth and makes it
fruitful. The fertility of the earth depends chiefly on the moisture it receives from rain and other watery vapoirs. If the watering of the earth 'were left to the care of man, notwithstanding his efforts, drought and famine would destroy us. How necessary, therefore, was it, that the vapours should be collected into clouds, as in reservoirs, and fall afterwards, by the assistance of the winds upon the earth, to water the trees and plants. Every shower of rain enriches the earth. The treasures which its 'surface prodigally bestows upon us are infinitely more valuable to us than all the metals and precious stones it contains in its bowels. Society might subsist very well without gold or silver, but not without corn, vegetables, and pasture.
Let us reflect on the inexpressible blessings that rain produces on our globe. A seasonable shower renews the face of the earth, and has much more force and effect than the dew, which in the night
'time moistens the grass and the leaves. The furrowed fields drink with avidity the beneficent rains poured upon them. The principles of fertility unfold themselves in the seeds, and second the labour of man. The husbandman ploughs, sows, and plants, and God gives the increase. Men do what is in their power: and whatever is beyond their ability, the Lord himself provides for In winter he covers the seed as with a garment. In summer he warms and refreshes it by the rays of the sun, and by rain. He crowns the year with his blessings, and he grants them so successively, that mankind are not merely nourished, but their hearts are filled with joy and gladness. The divine blessing does not fall on cultivated fields only; it extends also over the meadows and fields of the deserts. Even the countries that are forsaken by man, and from which no direct use is drawn, are still objects of providential care: for such is the goodness of God, that the hills and the valleys rejoice, and are adorned with smiling verdure. The rain does not fall in vain upon them. And if they do not yield fruit for our support, they are, at least, immense reservoirs of water for our earth; and they produce a great variety of wholesome plants and simples good for our health, and which serve also as food for animals..
Never let us forget these blessings, but learn to know the full value of them, and consider how gloomy, barren, and desert all nature would be, if the sky had been to us like brass, and the earth as iron. All the plants and trees would perish; every living creature would faint; the rivers would dry up; and we should breathe death in the air. Then let us not complain or murmur when the winter rains are heavy, or last any length of time; but rather let us bless the Creator, and praise his goodness towards us. By his order the seasons are renewed, and regularly succeed each other. It is for us that the rain falls, and makes the earth fruitful. God opens his liberal hand to do good to man. His blessings light upon our land, and fill it with peace and plenteousness. What has he not already done for us, and what may we not still expect from his goodness.,,
The equal Distribution of the Seasons.
WHEN the sun is far from us, and when , the severe cold binds and shuts up our earth, there are some countries where the inhabitants enjoy all the beauties of spring; others, where they are gathering rich harvests; and others, where autumn fills their
granaries with fruit. It is in this manner that -Divine Wisdom bas regulated the change of seasons, '. and distributed the same favour to all his creatures,
at different times. His impartial love extends itself i over every being he has made, without respect to rank, nation, or merit. It is sufficient that they require his blessings, for him to take pleasure in granting them. His beneficent views extend over the deserts of Arabia, with as much goodness, as over the smiling countries of Europe; and his
government is the same from pole to pole. But if faithe Deity, distributes the pleasures of this life ' equally, why are some countries deprived of the
pleasures of spring, while we enjoy them in such . abundance? Why are the rays of the sun so par
tially spread, that, in some climates there is darkness, and in others light, for whole, months together? Why are not the frozen countries near the pole, as beautiful and fertile as our plains and valleys ? What art thou, O man, who darest to ask such questions? What right hast thou to demand an
account of the infinitely wise Being, for the manner in which he rules the world ? Vain mortal, learn to be humble, and to acknowledge traces of a sovereign wisdom, in the very things wherein thy weak understanding imagined there were defects. Perhaps thou supposest Providence has refused, to certain parts of the earth, advantages and happiness, which have been lavished with profusion elsewhere. Not so: the Creator has given to each country what was necessary to the life, support, and content of his creatures. All is planned according to the climate in which they live; and Providence has, every where, provided for their preservation and support. The hours of the day vary in different parts of the world, according to certain rules; but all the zones have nearly the same number. There is scarcely any inhabited country, which the sun shines more upon than another. All the difference is, that they enjoy it at different times. With the inhabitants of the torrid zone, the days and nights are always of equal length; while, with the neighbouring zones, that is the case but twice a year. It is true, that the sun quits them by turns, and gives summer to one side of the earth, while it abandons the other to winter. But it never fails to return regularly, from one of the limits of its annual course to the other; and if the winter days are shorter than the nights, summer makes ample amends in that respect. Even the inhabitants of the frigid zone, who are deprived of the sight of the sun for several months, see it afterwards on their horizon several following months; and though they have some hours less of day-light, they are made amends for it by long twilights. Thus we see, that the earth is full of the mercies and goodness of the Almighty, who loveth his creatures without respect to persons.