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greatness. If we contemplate the firmament of heaven—the sun, with all his attendant planets, is but a very little part of the grand machine of the universe. Every star, though in appearance no larger than the diamond that glitters on a lady's ring, is really a vast globe, equal to the sun in size and in glory: nor is it less spacious or luminous than the radiant source of our day. Can any thing be more wonderful than this display of omnipotence? Yes! there are truths far more stupendous, there are scenes far more extensive: for as there is no end to the greatness of the Almighty, so no imagination can set limits to His creating hand. Could you soar beyond the moon, and pass through all the planetary armies—could you wing your way to the highest apparent star, and take your stand on one of the loftiest pinnacles of heaven, still you would there see other skies expanded: nor does the dominion of the universal Sovereign terminate even there.
How mighty are His wonders! and if so, what is the CREATOR himself! How far exalted above all praise is He, who looks down on the highest of these dazzling spheres, and sees even the summit of creation in a vale- so great, that this prodigious
extent of space is but a point in His presonce.
0 thou most sublime, and incomprehensibly glorious God, how are we overwhelmed with awe, when we consider thy excellent greatness, and our own utter insignificancy. And have we, excessively mean as we are—have we entertained any conceited ideas of ourselves? Have we felt the least elatement of thought in the presence of su majestic and adorable a being ? How should this wound us with sorrow and cover us with confusion! O, our God, were we possessed of all the high perfections which accomplish and adorn the angels of light ; amidst all those noble endowments we would fall down in the deepest abasement at thy feet: lost in the infinitely superior blaze of thy uncreated glories ; if we would confess ourselves to be nothing, to be “ less than nothing and vanity.” How much more then ought I to maintain the most unfeigned humiliaton before the divine majesty; who am not only dust and ashes, but a compound of ignorance imperfection and depravity.
How great are thy wonders, how mighty are thy works, and how mean-how low are we,
“ How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,
How complicate, how wonderful is man:
“ A worm-a God! I tremble at myself,
And in myself am lost. At home a stranger,
And while every thing both within and without us declares the glory of God. Surely we ought to pay some little attention to the truth, ought we not steadily to look at those doctrines which God has declared ? Let us then with full purpose of heart turn to the Lord, and he will shine into our hearts, and enable us to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ
ADDRESS TO THE READER.
THE “natural man knoweth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” There is a power in sin which blinds the eyes, and hardens the heart of those who are under its influence; so that even when the truth in its brightness is set before them, they can neither discern nor appreciate its value. The first and principal thing requisite to a knowledge of the truth, is a willingness to receive and to profit by it, and so long as there remains in the mind, that love of evil which is enmity against God, it is in vain to expect that truth will be received. “If any man will do his will” said the Saviour, “ he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God;" from which the opposite naturally arises, if any man will not do his will, he cannot know those doctrines which are of God. He may hear them from others, and be able to repeat what he has heard, but he cannot have that full conviction—that knowledge of them which leads onward to eternal life.
Man in an unregenerate state is described in the Word of God, as destitute of every means of spiritual enjoyment. He is “blind,” he is “ deaf,” he is “speechless,” he is “dead.” As God is the source of life, and as all true life consists in the reception of his love and truth, the merely sensual man who has them not, though he may possess a natural existence, is “ dead while he liveth.” As he only “ hears ” the truth of God, who is disposed to obey it, so the unregenerate man, who has no such disposition, is “ deaf to the voice of his Maker.” As his intellectual powers are bent to earth and the things of time, he cannot perceive, nor apprehend the glories of eternity. He has the form of man, but the true dignity of human nature is not to be found. Under these circumstances we may compare
such a character to a statue, which though nobly conceived and beautifully formed, is placed in an inverted position. The intellect of man was formed to receive the knowledge of God, and thus to be elevated to heaven; while the outward powers only were to be upon the earth : but this order is destroyed. The head, the intellectual faculties, are fixed upon the earth, and employed on earthly and insignificant objects; while the feet alone are elevated towards heaven. Or in other words, his mind is employed only upon “ the world and the things of the world,” and all the religion which he possesses is confined to conversation, or the performance of outward and formal duty. In this state the influ