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to adore the great Former of all Things ! who regard all the Creatures as the Monuments of his Praise, and, when they taste their Sweetnefs or admire their Beauty, are thereby led to the supreme original Goodness and Excellence! How meanand how low, compared with this, are the Pleasures of thofe who are absolutely immersed in fenfual Enjoyments, or who fpend their whole Time in trifling Diversions and Amusements, whilst they in a great Measure neglect the chief End of their Being ! But let ús act a nobler Part, as becometh reasonable Creatures and Christians. It is true Religion alone

that teacheth us make a right Use of the Creatures, to fpiritualise material Objects, and to difcern the Impressions of the Divine Glory upon them. What a just Foundation doth this lay for the noblest Joys, which tend not only to delight but to exalt and purify our Souls, and to prepare us for that State where we hope to see God, not merely in the Glass of the Creation, but to behold him Face to Face, and to join with an innumerable Company of Angels and glorified Saints in admiring, adoring, obeying, and enjoying him to all Eternity.

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CON.

On Delighting in God's Works of Provia

dence.

DISCOURSE IV.

PSALM cxi. 2.

The Works of the Lord are great, fought out

of all them that bave Pleasure therein..

I

N the foregoing Discourse it was

duly considered and improved, have a Tendency both to fill the Heart with the most adoring Thoughts of his Divine Majesty, and with holy Affections and Dispositions towards him, and also to produce a pure and noble Pleasure, which will greatly contribute to the Satisfaction of a good Man's Life. Let us now turn our Views to God's

Works

I 3

Works of Providence. And here also a glorious Subject presents itself to our Minds, which openeth a large and ample Field in which we may delightfully expatiate. The Works of Providence are what the Pfalmift seems here to have especially in View, and which it is the principal Design of this Psalm to celebrate. And these Works of the Lord may be justly said to be great, fought out of all them that have Pleasure therein. A good Man searcheth into them, not from ą vain and presumptuous Curiosity, but with a pious and upright Intention to reverence and adore the most wife and righteous Lord and Governor of the World, and to strengthen his Faith and Confidence in him, which will naturally produce a divine Satisfaction and Delight.

The Works of Providence may be com; prehended under two main Heads: God's Preservation of the World and his Government of it. And both furnish a most useful and delightful Subject for our Meditations.

First, The Providence of God is exercised in preserving and sustaining this World which he hath created, and all the Orders of Beings in it. Hence in that noble Address to God made in the Name of the Jewish Church, Nehem. ix. 6, after

having faid, Thou, even thou, art Lord alone : Thou haft made Heaven, the Heaven of Heavens with all their Hosts ; the Earth and all Things that are therein; the Seas and all that is therein; it is added, and thou preserves them all. We must not imagine that, when the Creatures are once brought into Being, they are able to continue themselves in Existence, without any farther Care of the Almighty; No. They depend on the Hand which first formed them for their continual Conservation. He upholdeth all Things by the Word of his Power, and it is by or in him that all Things confift. It is by his constant wisé and powerful InAuence, acting on every part of this vaft universal System, that what we usually call the Course of Nature is maintained, and that all Things in the" inanimate. Creation still proceed according to a settled Rule and Order. To this it is owing, that the Sun, Moon, and Stars preserve their several Courses or Stations, from which they have not deviated through so long a Succession of Ages ; that the several Viciffitudes of Seafons constantly return, so that Seed-time and Harvest, and Cold and Heat, and Summer and Winter, and Day and Night do not cease. Gen. viii. 22.

Gen. viii. 22. and that the Earth continueth to bring forth abundantly in

an orderly Series such an amazing Variety of Productions. The Minerals are still

ger nerated and ripened in it’s Bowels; and the Herbs, Trees, Flowers, and various kinds of Grain, preserve their several Virtues, and their distinct Forms and Appearances. To this also it is owing, that the different Species of Animals are preserved, and continue to be furnished in all Ages with the same Organs and Appetites for exercising the various Functions of the sensitive Life. The fame Observation holds with Regard to the higher Orders of rational intellectual Beings, none of them have an independent Existence. By the sustaining Influence of the Almighty the glorious Angels are maintained in their noble immortal Life, and in the Use and Exercise of their admirable and sublime Powers. And, as to the human Race, it is in bim that we live, and move, and have our Being, as St. Paul observes, Afts xvii. 26. To his providential Care ‘and Concourse it is to be ascribed, that the human Body still retaineth it's curious Form and all it's exquisite Organs ; that the animal and vital Functions are carried on; and that the human soul is upheld in its noble Faculties, and inabled to put them forth to Action. Who can attentively con, tider this universal Dependence of the

whole

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