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LECTURE VII.
INTERMEDIATE LECTURE.

A SCRIPTURAL REPRESENTATION OF THE NATURE AND DESTINATION of MAN.

GEN. II. 7,

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

JOB xxx II. 8.

There is a spirit in man; and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

WHY does my heart beat with pulsations of rapture, when my eye measures yonder heavens, or glides over hills and vallies along the surface of this beautiful world P. When the dew sparkles upon the ground, a kindred tear glitters upon my countenance: but it is not the tear of sorrow; it springs from a well of unspeakable pleasure which I feel flowing within my bosom Is it merely the softness, or the grandeur, of the scenery by which I am surrounded, that affects me? No! but my spirit meets a Parent walking invisibly on the globe that he formed, and working manifestly on my right hand and on my left. All these lovely objects are the productions of his skill, the result of his wisdom, the tokens of his benevolence, the imperfect images of his greatness. Every thing demonstrates the being and perfections of Deity. I see him empurpling the east before the sun in the morning, and wheeling the orb on which I live round upon it's axis. I behold him throwing the mantle of darkness over me in the evening, and kindling the skies into radiance by unveiling suns and worlds without number and without end. I gather a flower, and am revived by it's fragrance: I see shade melting into shade infinitely above any combination of colours, which art can produce. To aid the organ of vision, I inspect, through the microscope, an insect : I see it painted into a thousand brilliances, and displaying a thousand beauties, imperceptible to the naked eye. I stand convinced that no mortal pencil could

delineate the loveliness of it's form. I perceive a grain of corn peeping above the earth. It scarcely rears it's light green head over the ground. I visit it day after day, and month after month. It gradually increases. It is an inch—it is a foot in height. Now it assumes a new shape. It vegetates afresh. The ear begins to form—to expand—to fill. Now it has attained it's growth–it ripens—it is matured. I have narrowly watched the progress of vegetation; and have seen it's advancement. I beheld every day adding something to it's height, and to it's perfection: but the hand which raised it from “the blade to the ear, and to the “full corn in the ear,” escaped my researches. I find a crysalis, and watch the secret movements of nature. The insect is shrouded in a living tomb. It begins to stir–it increases in strength—and the butterfly breaks from it's confinement. Meeting with ten thousand such wonderful productions every day—I recognise in them the great Spirit that animates all created nature, and I am compelled to acknowledge, “O Lord our Governor how excellent is thy “name in all the earth; and thou hast set thy “glory above the heavens.” I pass on to the animal creation. There I perceive other operations, and am overwhelmed with new wonders. The principle on which

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they act, and which is termed instinct, is the gift of God; and it appears to differ from the immortal principle in man, in it's confinement to a certain inferior standard, and in it's direction to one particular pursuit, adapted to the peculiar nature and exigencies of it's possessor. I see the timid acquiring courage while they have a maternal part to perform; and, forgetting to measure the disproportion between their own strength and that of their antagonist, boldly assaulting those superior animals, which, designedly or unintentionally, disturb the repose of their young. Their instinct enables them to perform those things to which it is particularly adapted, with more order and facility than man, with his superior understanding, can accomplish; and, with the simple tools of nature they effect that which the complex machinery of art cannot produce. All the animate creation, from the elephant, and “that great leviathan,” among animals, to the bee, and the ant, among insects, still conduct us to the invisible God; and we say, “The earth is full of thy riches; “so is this great and wide sea, wherein are “ things creeping innumerable, both small and “great beasts. O Lord, how manifold are “thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them “all.” - * But all these are far inferior to man. He

blends in his own person, the nature and properties of all. He has the vegetation of the plant—for his limbs expand and grow; and he combines with it the properties of the animal— for he lives and moves; he possesses also their distinguishing principle of action, instinct— for his eye closes self-instructed against the fly which blindly rushes upon it, on a summer's evening. But he has a superior principle; and here is he in truth the Lord of Creation. “There “is a spirit in man; and the inspiration of the “Almighty giveth him understanding.” These words well express the substance of the Lecture proposed for this evening : the subject of which is

A SCRIPTURAL REPRESENTATION OF THE NATURE AND DESTINATION of MAN.

While Elihu declares what man is, Moses leads us back to the contemplation of what he was; and both develope how he came to be what he is. “And the Lord God formed man of the “dust of the ground, and breathed into his “nostrils the breath of life; and man became “a living soul.” The combined testimonies of these scriptures require us to declare the NATURAL DIGNITY of man, and to unveil The source

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