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which they are implanted. This progress in nature is fo very gradual, that the most perfect of an inferior fpecies, comes very near to the most imperfect of that which is immediately above it.

The exuberant and overflowing goodness of the Supreme Being, whofe mercy extends to all his works, is plainly feen, as I have before hinted, in his having made fo very little matter, at least what falls within our knowledge, that does not fwarm with life. Nor is his goodness lefs feen in the diverfity, than in the multitude of living creatures. Had he made but one fpecies of animals, none of the reft would have enjoyed the happiness of exiftence: he has therefore, Specified, in his creation, every degree of life, every capacity of being. The whole chaẩm of nature, from a plant to a man, is filled up with diverse kinds of creatures, rifing one after another, by fuch a gentle and eafy afcent, that the little tranfitions and deviations from one fpecies to another, are almost infenfible. This intermediate space is fo well husbanded and managed, that there is fcarcely a degree of perception, which does not appear in fome one part of the world of life. Is the goodnefs, or the wifdom of the Divine Being, more manifefted in this his proceeding?

There is a confequence, befides those I have already mentioned, which feems very naturally deducible from the foregoing confiderations. If the fcale of being rifes, by fuch a regular progrefs, fo high as man, we may, by parity of reafon, fuppofe, that it ftill proceeds gradually through those beings which are of a fuperior nature to him; fince there is infinitely greater space and room for different degrees

of perfection, between the Supreme Being and man, than between man and the moft defpicable infect.

In this great fyftem of being, there is no creature fo wonderful in its nature, and which fo much deferves our particular attention, as man; who fills up the middle space between the animal and the intellectual nature, the visible and the invifible world; and who is that link in the chain of beings, which forms the connexion between both. So that he who, in one respect, is associated with angels and archangels, and may look upon a being of infinite perfection as his father, and the highest order of fpirits as his brethren, may, in another refpect, fay, to "corruption, thou art my father, and to the worm, thou art my mother and my fifter."



Truft in the care of Providence recommended.

MAN, confidered in himself, is a very helpless, and a very wretched being. He is fubject every moment to the greatest calamities and misfortunes. He is befet with dangers on all fides; and may become unhappy by numberless cafualties, which he could not forefee, nor have prevented had he forefeen them.

It is our comfort, while we are obnoxious to fo many accidents, that we are under the care of ONE who directs contingencies, and has in his hands the management of every thing that is capable of annoying or offending us; who knows the assistance we stand in

need of, and is always ready to beflow it on those who afk it of him.

The natural homage, which fuch a creature bears to fo infinitely wife and good a Being, is a firm reliance on him for the blessings and conveniences of life; and an habitual truft in him, for deliverance out of all fuch dangers and difficulties as may befall us.

The man who always lives in this difpofition of mind, has not the fame dark and melancholy views of human nature, as he who confiders himself abítractedly from this relation to the Supreme Being. At the fame time that he reflects upon his own weakness and imperfection, he comforts himself with the contemplation of thofe divine attributes, which are employed for his fafety, and his welfare. He finds his want of forefight made up, by the omnifcience of him who is his fupport. He is not sensible of his own want of ftrength, when he knows that his helper is almighty. In fhort, the perfon who has a firm trust on the Supreme Being, is powerful in his power, wife by his wifdom, happy by his happinefs. He reaps the benefit of every divine attribute; and lofes his own infufficiency in the fulness of infinite perfection.

To make our lives more easy to us, we are commanded to put our trust in him, who is thus able to relieve and fuccour us; the Divine goodness having made fuch a reliance a duty, notwithftanding we fhould have been miserable, had it been forbidden us.

Among several motives, which might be made use of to recommend this duty to us, I fhall only take notice of those that follow.

The first and ftrongeft is, that we are promifed, He will not fail those who put their trust in him.

But without confidering the fupernatural blefsing, which accompanies this duty, we may obferve, that it has a natural tendency to its own reward; or, in other words, that this firm trust and confidence in the great Difpofer of all things, contributes very much to the getting clear of any affliction, or to the bearing of it manfully. A person who believes he has his fuccour at hand, and that he acts in the fight of his friend, often exerts himself beyond his abilities; and does wonders, that are not to be matched by one who is not animated with such a confidence of success. in the assistance of an Almighty Being, naturally produces patience, hope, cheerfulness, and all other difpofitions of mind, which alleviate those calamities that we are not able to remove.


The practice of this virtue adminifters great comfort to the mind of man, in times of poverty and affliction; but most of all, in the hour of death. When the foul is hovering, in the last moments of its feparation; when it is just entering on another state of existence, to converse with scenes, and objects, and companions, that are altogether new; what can fupport her under fuch tremblings of thought, fuch fear, fuch anxiety, fuch apprehenfions, but the cafting of all her cares upon HIм, who first gave her being; who has conducted her through one ftage of it; and who will be always present, to guide and comfort her in her progress through eternity?



Piety and Gratitude enliven Profperity.

PIETY, and gratitude to God, contribute, in a high degree, to enliven profperity. Gratitude is a pleafing emotion. The fenfe of being diftinguifhed by the kindness of another, gladdens the heart, warms it with reciprocal affection, and gives to any pofsefsion which is agreeable in itfelf, a double relifh, from its being the gift of a friend. Favours conferred by men, I acknowledge may prove burdenfome. For human virtue is never perfect; and fometimes unreafonable expectations on the one fide, fometimes a mortifying fenfe of dependence on the other, corrode in fecret the pleafure of benefits, and convert the obligations of friendship into grounds of jealoufy. But nothing of this kind can affect the intercourfe of gratitude with Heaven. Its favours are wholly difinterested; and with a gratitude the moft cordial and unfufpicious, a good man looks up to that Almighty Benefactor, who aims at no end but the happiness of those whom he blefses, and who defires no return from them, but a devout and thankful heart. While others can trace their profperity to no higher fource than a concurrence of worldly caufes; and, often, of mean or trifling incidents, which occafionally favoured their defigns; with what fuperior fatisfaction docs the fervant of God remark the hand of that Gracious Power which hath raised him up; which hath happily conducted him through the various fteps of life, and crowned

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