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CHRIST be my Guide; and I fhall fcorn to afk, as well as despair of receiving, any predic tive Information from fuch lifelefs Maffes.What! fhall" the Living seek to the Dead* ?” Can these Bodies advertise me of future Events, which are unconscious of their own Existence? Shall I have Recourse to unintelligent stupid Matter, when I may apply to that all-wife Being, who; with one comprehenfive Glance, diftinctly views whatever is lodged in the Bofom of Immenfity, or forming in the Womb of Futurity? -Never will I fearch for any Intimations of my Fate, but often trace my Creator's Footsteps, † in yonder
* Ifa. viii. 19.
"It is moft becoming, (fays a great Author) "fuch imperfe&t Creatures as we are, to contemplate the Works of GOD with this Design, that 66 we may difcern the Manifeftations of Wisdom "" in them ; and thereby excite in ourfelves those "devout Affections, and that fuperlative Refpect, "which is the very Effence of Praife, as it is a rea
fonable and moral Service.-Abernethy on the Attributes. And, indeed, if we are fincerely dif pofed to employ ourselves in this excellent, this comprehenfive Duty, of praifing the infinite Creator; the Means, and the Motives, are both at Hand. His Works, in a wonderful and inftructive Variety, present themselves, with pregnant Manifestations of the moft tranfcendent Excellencies of their Maker. They pour their Evidence from all Quarters, and into all the Avenues of the Mind. They invite us, especially in the magnificent Syftem of the Universe,
yonder ftarry Plains. In the former Cafe, they would be Teachers of Lyes; in the latter, they are Oracles of Truth. In this therefore, this Senfe only, I profess myself the Pupil of the Stars.
THE Vulgar are apprehenfive of nothing more than a Multitude of bright Spangles, dropt over the ethereal Blue. They have no higher Notion of these fine Appearances, than that they are fo many golden Studs, with which the Empyrean Arch is decorated.But ftudious Minds, that carry a more accurate and strict Inquiry among the celestial Bodies, bring back Advices of a most aftonishing Import. Let me juft recollect the moft material of these ftupendous Discoveries, in order to furnish out proper Subjects for our Contemplation. And let the Unlearned remember, That the Scene I am going to display, is the Workmanship of that incomprehenfible GOD, who is "perfect in Knowlege, and mighty in "Power:" Whofe Name, whofe Nature, and all whofe Operations, are "great and marvel"lous:" Who fummons into Being, with equal VOL. II. I
to contemplate-Counfel confummately wife, and Execution inimitably perfect:-Power to which nothing is impoffible, and Goodness which extendeth to All, which endureth for ever. -To give, not a full Difplay, but only fome flight Strictures of thefe glorious Truths, is the principal Scope of the following Remarks.
Eafe, a fingle Grain, or Ten thoufand Worlds.To this if we continually advert, the Affertions, though they will certainly excite our Admiration, need not tranfcend our Belief.
THE Earth, is, in Fact, a round Body; however it may seem, in fome Parts to be funk into Vales, and raifed into Hills *; in other Parts, to be fpread into a fpacious Plain, extending to the Confines of the Heavens, or terminated by the Waters of the Ocean.-We may fancy, that it has deep Foundations, and refts upon fome prodigiously folid Bafis: But it is pendent, in the wide tranfpicuous Æther; without any vifible Caufe, to uphold it from above, or fupport it from beneath.-It may seem to be fedentary in its Attitude, and motionless in its Situation:
* A learned Writer, I think, Dr. Derham, has fomewhere an Obfervation to this Purpose. That the loftieft Summits of Hills, and the most enormous Ridges of Mountains, are no real Objection to the globular Form of the Earth. Because, however they may render it, to our limited Sight, vaftly uneven and protuberant; yet, they bear no more Proportion to the entire Surface of the terraqueous Ball, than a Particle of Duft, cafually dropt on the Mathematician's Globe, bears to its whole Circumference. Confequently, the rotund Figure is no more destroyed in the one Cafe, than in the other.-On the fame Principle, I have not thought it neceffary to take any Notice of the comparatively fmall Difference, between the Polar and Equatorial Diameter of the Earth.
Situation but it is continually failing through the Depths of the Sky; and, in the Space of twelve Months, finishes the mighty Voyage. Which periodical Rotation, produces the Seafons, and completes the Year.-As it proceeds in the annual Circuit, it fpins upon its own Centre; and turns its Sides, alternately, to the great Fountain of Light. By which Means, the Day dawns in one Hemisphere; while the Night fucceeds in the other. Without this Expedient, the one half of its Regions would be fcorched with exceffive Heat, or languifh under an un-intermitted Glare; while the other would be frozen to Ice, and buried in perpetual Darknefs.
I cannot forbear taking Notice, that, in this compound Motion of the Earth, the one in no wife interferes with the other, but both are entirely compatible.-It is not thus, with the Precepts of Religion, and the needful Affairs of the present Life; not excepting even the innocent Gratifications of our Appetites ?Some, I believe, are apt to imagine, that they must renounce Society, if they devote themselves to CHRIST; and abandon all the Satisfaction of I 2 this
* With what amazing Speed, this Veffel (if I may carry on the Allufion) filled with a Multitude of Nations, and freighted with all their Poffeffions, makes her Way thro' the Ætherial Space; See page 148, in Note
this World, if they once become zealous Candidates for the Felicity of another.—But this is a very mistaken Notion, or else a very injurious Representation, of the Doctrine which is according to Godliness. It was never intended to drive Men into Defarts; but to lead them, through the peaceful and pleasant Paths of Wifdom, into the blissful Regions of Life eternal. It was never intended to ftrike off the Wheels of Bufinefs, or cut in funder the Sinews of Industry; but rather, to make Men induftrious from a Principle of Confcience, not from the Instigations of Avarice; that fo, they may promote their immortal Happiness, even while they provide for their temporal Maintenance. It has no Design to extirpate our Paffions, but only to restrain their Irregularities; neither would it damp the Delights of Senfe, but prevent them from evaporating into Vanity, and fubfiding into Gall.-A Perfon may be chearful among his Friends, and yet joyful in GOD. He may tafte the Sweets of his earthly Eftate, and, at the same time, cherish his Hopes of a nobler Inheritance in Heaven. The Trader may profecute the Demands of Commerce, without neglecting to negotiate the Affairs of his Salvation. The Warrior may wear his Sword, may draw, in a juft Caufe, that murtherous Weapon; and yet be a good Soldier of JESUS CHRIST, and ob