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laws of nature. Then they would despise the useless knowledge attained with much labour and expense in studying vain sciences, and vicious books. Of the millions of publications which are continually teeming from our presses, how few do we find, exhibiting the excellency of the benefits of nature, and the deformity of man's ingratitude! Where do we find an author, whose primary solicitude is to search after truth, in order to promote the happiness of man, and the glory of God? and yet the most futile and frivolous books, if sanctioned by a great name, will be patronized by the public. It is too often the case, that the name, and not merit, gives currency to a publication. If a master of arts, a doctor of divinity, or a right reverend worm of the earth is the author of it, it is read (though full of errors) with avidity, while the book of nature is neglected. Hence so many absurd, nay, deleterious opinions, in every branch of scientific re
own greatest enemies ; how then can I expect them to be my friends ? My happiness or unhappiness, does not consist in the praise or dispraise of dying man, but in the approbation of the living God: His presence makes my sequestered enclosure a paradise ; in my beautiful flower garden, methinks I see a particle of the sovereign beauty, in miniature. The expanding rose and tulip, wherein thousands of ephemeral beings participate the liberality of their Maker, teaches me a more profitable lesson, than all the Greek and Latin schoolmasters in the universe ; namely, that God supplies the wants of the most diminutive insects, and embraces the concerns of my circumscribed garden, as well as the boundless garden of nature. If then, his beneficence extends to the smallest insect in my garden, can I for a moment think he will forget me? it is impossible.
The chief evils of society, I am persuaded, arise from the wrong association of
ideas among the rich, who are imitated by the poor ; the rich are continually seeking novelties to procure them pleasure, and in so doing, render themselves miserable ; and the poor, are often equally miserable, for the want of those novelties, because they suppose, very improperly, that they in reality are productive of pleasure. Were it not for this, what pleased the poor man yesterday, would likewise please him today; what was sufficient for his simple maintenance, would always appear good and desirable. Did the poor know the painful disquietude of the rich, they would no doubt be contented, and of course happy. In what are called colleges, and other seminaries of learning, the foundation of the misery of thousands is laid ; the sentiments inculcated in such places, are in opposition, and not in subordination to the gospel, the same as ambition is to humility. The philosophical clergyman himself, with all his boasted wisdom, is carried away
from the central point of bliss, by the same pride, the same impulse. To no purpose does he harangue, or sermonize on the fluctuation of all things, and on the excellency of moral rectitude, while his conduct is at variance with his eloquence, his supercilious physiognomy, his powdered hair, the gold ring on his finger, his sacerdotal robes, embroidered with silk and cambric, demonstrate that he infringes the rights of God in a compendious way, merely because he puts himself in his place. When such men, with all their self-consequence and pride, are exhibited as a pattern for our youth, who are imitative animals, what can we expect, but wretchedness and misery ? The fact is, a grateful sense of an omnipresent Deity, will change a cottage to a palace; and the want of it, will metamorphose even a superb church to a prison.
When a man thinks of nothing but his own aggrandizement, he puts himself in the place of God. In vain do such men make
bulwarks around them, of the gifts of fortune ; when a sentiment of the Deity is excluded from the heart of man, misery takes possession of it; he sinks into despair, and often closes the scene by suicide! And is not his dreadful end a just re-action of Providence? without any mamer of doubt. When the inconceivable benefactions of Jehovah, with which this man was crowned, his wealth, his servants, his horses and his hounds, his health of body, his vigour of mind, the knowledge he had of his obligations to God, who by his divine spirit was continually entreating him, to learn from the divine kindness to him, to be also kind to the miserable--I say, when these mercies are contrasted with his ingratitude to God, and cruelty to his fellowmen, we cannot wonder at his unhappy end. He is the author of his own misery, and God remains impartial, just and good.
I know a man, who professes much religion, and belongs to a very religious so