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? in a miserable stable in an inn at Jerusalem. And her lowly son, the meek and heavenly Messiah, whose mission was to preach peace and goodwill towards man,was first exhibited to the beasts; and to them was he indebted for his cradle and first lodgings. By them he is often represented to us, as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. A dove was the harbinger of glad tidings to Noah when he was pent up in the ark, as, by the olive leaf he knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. They have been used often since that time as the messengers of good news, being employed as the bearers of dispatches from one distant country to another. The Holy Ghost is often represented to us in the likeness of a dove. And, the proud and avaricious Balaam was checked in the midst of his impious cruelty by an ass, the most sottish of brutes.
Brutes are also, in many cases, liable to the miseries of this life as well as man, alto' they are innocent of the cause. Gen, vi. 17, And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from un ler heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. Deut. xii. 15, Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of
the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword. 1 Samuel xv. 3, Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. Ezek. xiv. 13 and 21, Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread theieof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it. For thus saith the Lord God, How much more when I send
my judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast ? Zeph. 1. 3, I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumbling blocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the Lord.
As they are thus subject to the changes and vicissitudes which sin has caused on the the earth, God was pleased to remember them • in his covenant with Noah, Gen. ix, 9 & 10, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; and with every living creature that is with you, of the
fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. He also commands that they shall partake of that rest on the Sabbath which he has appointed for man, Exod.xx.10, But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-serwant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. XXII. 12, Six days thou . shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest; that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid and the stranger may be refreshed.
Man is also enjoined to assist and show lenity to the brute part of the creation, Deut. XXII. 4, 6 & 7, Thou shalt not see thy brother's ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide thyself from them; thou shalt surely help him to lift him up again. If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree,or on the ground,whether they be young ones or eggs, and the dam sitteth upon the young, or on the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young; But thou shalt in any wise let the dam
and take the young to thee: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days, And our
Saviour commends acts of mercy shown to animals,Math.xii. 11, And he said unto them, What man shall there beamong you that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? Luke xv. 4, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? As a further proof of God's regard for the brutes, we may see that it was partly upon their account that, He was pleas
ed to spare from the impending destruction • that threatened that spacious city of Nineveh,
Jonah iv. 11, And should I spare Nineveh, * that great city, wherein are more than six
score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle? For we are informed by the writings of the same prophet n. 7&8,
That the beasts as well as men were clothed 31 in sackcloth, and commanded by the king of * Nineveh to fást, and cry mightily unto God, tb and turn from their evil ways,that they might i avert the ruin that hung over them.
We are certain that, previous to man's fall, 14 the brutes were made, and enjoyed a more
perfect and happy state than at present; for W we are informed by Moses that, their Maker,
after their formation, pronounced them good. They were placed in the garden of Eden, and enjoyed all its privileges and sweet repose, as well as man.-They did eat of its delicious fruits, and sported harmlessly together under the cool and refreshing shadow of its green spreading trees—Their drink was from the pure and purling stream which gave moisture to this earthly Paradise-Their beds were among the lilies and sweet scented flowers, and their covering the gold-tinted canopy of heaven.
Pride then was not; nor arts, that pride to aid :
In this innocent and happy state they would have continued immortal, had not man, by his disobedience, offended the great Author of his being
As we now see from what original the cause of their misery has sprung; doth it not therefore become us, to strive to alleviate their sufferings to the utmost of our power, and to show that charity towards them, as their several cases require, as we wish the