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"cipled companions,—with those who would encourage them to cast off the fear of God, and by their infidel maxims betray them to their ruin!”
(Innes's Domestic Religion : p. 110.)
REFLECTIONS ON THE WORKS OF CREATION.
We read that ALMIGHTY God, having finished his works of creation, rested on the seventh day from all his works that he had made.
66 And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold it was good.” Let us take a brief view of the Creation, in order to koow the wisdom, the power, and above all, the goodness of our MAKER.
Let us first survey the heavens, and ask, what power suspended this mighty, arch' over our heads, and spread out the heavens like a curtain ? Who em. bellished the heavens with such a multiplicity of splendid objects? Who painted the clouds with such a diversity of colours and shades ? Who formed the sun, that source of light and heat, and placed it at so convenient a distance? If it were nearer, we should be burned to death; if farther off, we should be frozen. Has it ever failed to rise and set at the usual . time? By whom is it sent, in its diurnal and annual course, to give to us the vicissitudes of day and night, and the regular succession of different seasons ? Who causes the moon to supply the absence of the sun in illuminating the earth, and to regulate the sea in its fluxes and refluxes, so as to keep it in constant motion, whereby the water is preserved from putrefaction, and accommodated to the convenience of man? How won. derful is it that the planets, and the innumerable host of heavenly bodies, are in their courses and revo. lutions so exact as not to fail for six thousand years ? These are plain proofs of an ALMIGHTY CREATOR, and of the wisdom with which he governs the universe; the consideration of which made Cicero, the Roman philosopher, conclude, that whoever ima. gines that the wonderful order, and almost incredible constancy, of the heavenly bodies, and their
THE WORKS OF CREATION.
motions, (upon which the preservation and welfare of all things depend,) are not governed by an Intelligent Being, he himself is destitute of understanding. For shall we, when we see an artificial engine, acknowledge, at first sight, that it is the work of art and understanding, and yet, when we behold the heavens moved and whirled about with incredible velocity, most constantly completing their anniversary vicissitudes, entertain any doubt that these were made by a Divine Intelligence."
If we descend from the heavens to the orb on which we live, we are compelled to acknowledge the proofs of the divine wisdom in the expansion of the air, which is so wonderfully contrived as to support the clouds for rain, and winds for the health of animated nature, without which the human race could not exist. By what wondrous power is the water drawn from the sea, and, by a natural distillation, made fresh, and, condensed in the clouds, to be sent, upon the wings of the wind, to divers countries, and distributed over the face of the earth in gentle showers ? « O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of Gop!” What power, what wisdom, are exhibited in covering the earth with shrubs, plants, and beautiful flowers; in replenishing the land with various species of beasts, the air with birds that fill the creation with harmony, and the waters with innan merable fishes. Whether we look at the stately elephant, that bids defiance to all, except man, or at the diminutive insect, which can scarcely be perceived by the naked eye, but when viewed through a microscope, appears a perfect animal, with limbs, muscles, nerves, arteries, veins, and blood, we are lost in wonder and praise, and are forced again to say, “O the depth of the wisdom and knowledge of the great God! If we look at the instincts of the brute cr
creation, we are struck with similar astonishment. Who directed the salmon to go from the sea up the river, for several hundreds of miles, to deposit its spawn, and secure it from the enemies which the sea contains ? Who taught the birds to build their nests? Some choose to build on the tops of trees, others on the ground; some prefer bushes, others roofs' of houses; some will use moss and wool; others employ feathers, others sticks and the fine parts of stubble ; and some, again, prefer mud. If we look at the spider's web, the silk-worm's produce, the ant’sgranary, or the bee's cells, we cannot help exclaiming, “O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all.”
If from the earth we turn our eyes on man, the peculiar favourite of heaven, (for to him all nature is given,) we behold a grand display of the goodness of God. If we were to see a lump of clay rise in an instant to 'a complete man, of full strength and symmetry, and endowed with rational parts and faculties; if we saw him move gracefally, talk freely, reason justly, and, in short, exercise all the functions of body and mind, should not we be struck with as tonishment? Yet such was the case of our first parents. And now, if serious attention be paid to the formation and structure of man's body, to the bones, muscles, nerves, tendons, the circulation of the fluids, &c., we shall discover abundant proofs of the wisdom and goodness of the First Cause of all things. GALEN, on viewing a skeleton, was so struck at the surprising mechanism, that it effected his conversion. Portsmouth.
ACCOUNT OF À CONVERSATION WITH A
By the Rev. PARTES HASWELL. I Have often been requested to send the following conversation for insertion in The Youth's Instructer. Perhaps it may encourage some who are engaged in the laudable toil of Sunday-schools, as well as show the power of religion on a youthful mind.
Being about to preach in a village in the York Circuit, just before I entered the pulpit, a person came to me, and requested the prayers of the congregation
WITH A SUNDAY-SCHOOL GIRL.
for a girl who had been taken ill on the road, and who was then, with her mother, at her house. I inquired if I could see her; and being answered in the affirmative, after preaching I went to the house, and found a girl, very ill in bed, who appeared to me to be twelve or fourteen years of age. The following conversation took place.
P. II. “ Well, my girl, did you feel the need of the prayers of the congregation which you requested to-night?”
Girl. “ I did, Sir."
P.H. “ How did you come to feel the need of prayer?”
Girl. “ I saw myself a sinner.”
Unmov'd by shame or fear,
And stopp'd my mad career.
In agony of blood;
While near his Cross I stood." P. II. 66 The sight of a crucified Saviour, then, convinced you of the evil of sin. Have you reason to think that God has heard your prayer?"
Girl. “ Yes, I know he has.”
Girl. " Because I have redemption in his blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
P.H.“ But as a sinner, are you not now afraid of Gon?"
Girl" No: for being justified by faith, I have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
P. H. 6 But do you never doubt of your having such an interest in the atonement of Jesus?"
Girl. “Sometimes I get into a doubting way; but then I lift my heart to God, and say,
« Behold for me the Victim bleeds !
His wounds are open'd wide :
P. H. “ But does Satan never tempt you to think that you are deceiving yourself, and that you do not love God?
Girl. “ Yes, sometimes; but I say, Get thee behind me, Satan ;' and I pray to God, and he delivers me."
P. H. “ You do right, my girl ; but are you not sometimes ready to think that God uses you hardly? You are young, very ill, and likely to die.”
With a look which I can never forget, turning her bead on the pillow, she replied, “Use me hardly? Sir! Why should a living man complain,-a man for the punishment of his sins?"
P. H. " Where did you receive your religious in. struction?"
Girl. In a Sunday-school. P.H. “ And where do you remember first to have felt a serious concern about your soul ?”
Girl. “ At the Sunday-school."
I prayed with her, and gave her suitable advice; and heard that she died in a short time afterwards.
OBSERVATIONS ON YOUTHFUL PIETY.
By Mr. W. B. BROWNE, of Kettering.
(Concluded from page 387.) 5. Early Piety will secure the soul against those painful regrets, which will certainly visit persons destitute of religion. The season of such regrets, though it may not occur until after the lapse of years, will surely arrive; when the description of Solomon will be verified in the experience of unnumbered myriads, who have " forsaken the guide of their youth," and disobeyed the commandments of their God:-And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, and say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof ; and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me." How distressing are these dying regrets, occasioned by the neglect of religion !