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Israelites, who were ordained by Jehovah to be the scourge of the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, went on conquering and to conquer, to execute the divine vengeance on guilty nations, so has Bonaparte succeeded in all his daring plans, and invincible arrangements; and as Alexander was satiated with his unparalleled conquests in Asia, so is Bonaparte, perhaps, before this time, satiated with his conquests in Europe, and seeking other climes to display his victorious banners in.
We will close this department by applying the following words of Christ, to the people of Christendom: “If I had not come, they had not had sin, but now they have no cloak for their sin.” St. John's Gospel, Chap. 15, Verse 22.
Tbe infinite and impartial goodness of God, in the creation
and preservation of the buman family, briefly displayed.
IN the antecedent department we have in the most brief manner, pointed out a few of the nations of antiquity, who rebelled against the laws, and infringed the rights of God; and who became the victims of their own degeneracy and ingratitude. To particularise what could be said on this lamentable topic, would be to swell our work to many volumes ; but our limits will not permit us to enlarge, as we must leave room for more interesting matter. The subject of the present department is of the most important nature, in which every rational being is interested. Indeed the infinite goodness of God manifested in the creation, is so exceeding great, that I scarcely know how to begin to paint any part of it in its native colours. Wherever I cast my
intellectual eyes, I see the harmonies and beauties of nature. I am always desultory and precipitate in my composition, and never transcribe, but must necessarily be so here, as the beauties and benefits of nature are so diversified and abundant, that it would take a folio volume to give a methodical description of the most diminutive part thereof. I shall be plain and simple in my phraseology, as I conceive the present subject does not require the flowers of rhetoric, or the embellishments of fancy, to adorn and beautify it, no more than a diamond requires paint to enhance its beauty. My object is, to pluck a few flowers from the garden of nature, and present them to the reader as a small specimen of the beneficence and beauty of the Creator : For if the architecture is so beautiful, how much more beautiful must the Architect be!
My highest ambition in this work is, to promote the glory of God and the happiness of men. If only one unhappy person
is comforted by the perúsal of these strictures, if but one “ doubting Thomas” has his doubts removed, finally, if one ungrateful sinner is led to forego this base crime, and to admire, to love and serve his God, my object is gained, I am abundantly rewarded.
I feel the most cogent desire to refute the objections raised by philosophical unbelievers against Providence, to accomplish which requires systematical disquisition; the want of which, therefore, will no doubt manifest the insufficiency of the author. Was my power equal to my will, there should not be a solitary individual under the broad canopy of heaven, who would not be constrained by the most indubitable testimony, and reasonable argumentation, to admire and love his Creator. I would point them to that happy state of being, in reservation for all who love and fear God; and would give them a glimpse of future glory, through the dark clouds of this
wretched life. The magnificence of nature it is impossible for man to know, much less express : How can a worm so feeble as man, intellectually embrace the beauties, the benefits, and the wonders of nature ? The earth alone is covered over with animals, vegetables, and minerals, which it is out of the reach of all mankind united to scrutinise ; how vain then is it, for our proprietors of museums and academies to say, That they are the great repositories of all the arts and sciences, and are even the Book of Nature! There are harmonies and beauties in nature, which no man or nation will ever be able to develope. Let others shew their knowledge, by pointing out the scientific properties of fire, air, meteors, thunder, volcanoes and fossils; and show their wisdom, by their metaphysical reseaches : I will think myself useful to my fellow creatures, if I am enabled to convince them of their ignorance. Our illu. mination consists in our humility, as our force consists in the sense of our weakness.