Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

numerable miseries and crimes that grow out of it, may be restrained ; that the innocent may be rescued; that the transgressor may be chastened and reformed; that the poor who is in want of bread, or is obliged to acquire it by begging, may find a proper support. What numbers may hereafter bless the kind institutions in behalf of which I am now pleading, that his dreadful pains and torture did not quite overwhelm him*, and that his innocence was brought forth as clear as the day. What numbers will owe it to these institutions, that they were deterred from the ways of sin and ruin, or recovered from them ; that they were fnatched from the extreme of misery and from despair ; that they found food for their body, and help and deliverance for their soul. What prospects! Who can remain unmoved and cold at the bare idea of the manifold good that may and will arise from these institutions ? What generous,

what christian heart will not make it his duty and his joy to contribute what he is able to the realizing of these glorious hopes? This is what you will do; I expect it from your christian and beneficent dispositions : and if ye do it heartily and in sincere intentions, I can confidently promise you, in the name of God; who through

The abolition of the torture throughout the electorate of Saxony in 1771 gave the first occasion to the erection of these bouses of correction and work-houses.

me

me is inciting you to beneficence, that you will be acceptable to him, and that he will give you his blessing.

Feb. 17, 1771.

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

GOD, eternal, neverfailing source of life and

happiness! on us thy children, life and happiness of various kinds and in rich abundance inces: santly flow down from thee, and in which we here rejoice before thee; for this we thank thee with united hearts. No, thou hast not doomed any of thy creatures, any of mankind, to misery; thou hast devoted and called them all to happiness: and even the misery which our own misdeeds either have or have not wrought, must be and is the means and way to that desired end. This we are taught by the various dispositions and capacities of our nature; this we learn from thy several disposals and settlements in the material and in the intellectual world; of this we are certified by what thy fon Jesus has communicated to us and done for us. Innumerable sources of pleasure and delight are daily opened around us, whence we may all draw, and which we never can exhaust. We daily reVOL. II.

ceive

ceive from thy liberal hand innumerable benefits and blessings, demanding of us gratitude and joy. And if sometimes those sources of pleasure are troubled by our tears, and these benefits lose 2 part of their value to us by fufferings; yet the agreeable and the good with which thou dost bless and gladden us, retains a great preponderance over the disagreeable and evil that thou findest good to dispense amongst us. Yes, o bounteous author of our being, love is essential to thy nature! Thy will and thy operations tend solely to happiness; and thou dost will and effect it even when we least think so. Thanks and praise and adoration ever be to thee, the Allgracious, the Father of men! Happiness and salvation to us and all thy creatures in heaven and on earth! Oh that we were ever more attentive to thy bounties, ever more sociable in the enjoyment of them, ever more satisfied with thy disposals and appointments, ever more faithful and blithe in the use of thy benefits. May even now our reflections on these important subjects shed a clear light upon our minds and much serenity and joy into our hearts! Bless them to these ends, o gracious God, and hearken to our prayer through Jesus Christ, our lord, in whose name we further address thee, saying : Our father, &c.

PSALM civ. 24.

The earth is full of thy riches.

IT is a matter of great and near concernment, my

pious hearers, to know how to form a just calculation of human happiness, or of the stock of satisfaction and pleasure, of the sum of agreeable sensations subsisting among mankind. He that makes the amount of it too great, he that looks on the earth as a paradise, and the present state of man as a state of continued enjoyment, must be so often and fo grievously deceived in his expectations as to become ill-humoured and impatient. On the other hand, he who overlooks, if not the whole, yet at least the greater part of the various kinds of benefit that are in the world and amongst mankind, or does not ascribe to them the value they really deserve; he that imagines he perceives on all sides, only imperfection and defect, only misery and distress, near and at a distance, around him ; who sees as it were tears gushing from every

human

eye,

and fighs arising from every human breast; how can he revere the creator of himself and all mankind as the allbountiful parent of the world! How can he rejoice in his existence, and the existence of his fellowcreatures ! How enjoy the advantages and benefits, the satisfactions and comforts of life, with a grate

ful

Y 2

« ForrigeFortsæt »