Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

cannot pursue, both by land, and in the water. Many huge animals are the prey of insects; so that, while one is formed for destruction, it is vulnerable by insignificant creatures: and those which from their helpless state would easily be extirpated, are kept in the catalogue of creation by their wonderful prolific powers. Here are provisions, proportioned evidently by a just balance, not merely applicable to genus or species, but to the whole creation.

Again, the goodness and particular care of Providence is very conspicuous in the provision made for several important functions of the body, by which their power is increased by a twofold provision of the most useful; the eyes for fight, the ears for hearing, and similar instances. Now in the case of accidental loss of the one organ, the other remains as a supply for the defect; and in the instance of sight, the remaining perfect organ acquires additional strength. Again, in the total privation of fight, the faculties of hearing and of touch, and the mental power of memory, are considerably increased. It is impossible, when we remark the ingenuity and the increased fenfibility of the blind, their hearing, the compound nicety of their feeling, which enables them often to live

the memory

and to excel in the practice of the arts of music and others, not to be struck with the goodness of the Almighty in their capacities of improvement and fubftitution, by which the miseries of privation are lefsened, and compensations are admirably contrived. In such instances, the hand, by increased sensibility, like the antennæ. of insects, performs the office of the fight, and

becomes a substitute for letters. There is a most remarkable instance of the constant superintendence of the Deity in the balance which is ever preserved between the sexes of animals, but especially of the human race. It has been determined from many accurate registers, that the proportion of male and female, born in given periods of years,

is nearly the same. Here there is a proportion continually observable, and never fo far deviating but that the proportion is the same in a given number of years. To account for this on any known principle is impossible. It cannot be the result of what we call accident. The law is invariable, it is beyond human control. What then can we say? Is. there a mind so lost even to common sense, as not to be convinced by this unknown but astonishing influence; this regulation of events, far beyond our limited comprehension?

Equally astonishing is the proportion of things preserved, not only in the animal, but the vegetable kingdom ; indeed, in all the various parts of the creation. Chemical experiments convince us, that perpetual changes are produced in nature by the operation of mutual attraction or affinities, by repulsion or solution. These combinations and changes of nature are infinite. But are not these subject to some invincible control ? It seems as if there were in all bodies certain naturally constituent principles, which preserve them from such mutations as may interfere with the original types.

Lastly, From all that has been observed, it appears that the manifestations of the wisdom, the power, and the over-ruling providence of God, are so many, so distinct, and so decisive, that we may here almost be said to poffefs ocular demonstration. Thus the invisible things of him from the creation of the world were clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that those who will not be convinced of the superintending providence of God, are without excufe.

LECTURE III.

John i. 17.

For the law was given by Moses, but grace

and truth came by Jesus Chrift.

By these words it is not meant that the law only came by Moses, and that grace and truth were not imparted by him; but that they were more clearly revealed through Chrift. The ceremonial law of Mofes, by the coming of the latter, was abrogated, and the moral law rendered more obligatory; consequently truth was more fully established, grace or pardon only ultimately confirmed and sealed by the atonement through the second covenant; and therefore, though truth and the promises of grace were given by Moses, they were finally confirmed by Chrift.

In reviewing the Mofaic dispensation, we have now to consider its object and its evidences principally in one light, as it tends to elucidate the consistency of the great design and disclosure of the scheme of revelation.

The connection which subsists between the Mosaic and the Christian revelation is intimate and inseparable. With these the prophetic writings, and the history of the Jews and the Gentiles, form a regular chain of agreement, of which every single link is of great importance; while the separate parts are so far connected, that they contribute to complete one grand and comprehensive scheme of providence, ,, We find almighty wisdom and goodness prospectively employed for the human race, from the instant of creation. We observe the same goodness actively and uninterruptedly extend itself through all the various changes of human existence, and never terminating, because it promises to be so employed throughout all eternity.

This harmony and connection between the Old and New Testament is evident in every part. There are numerous analogies and relations. The first is full of types and representations of the events of the latter. those who are not willing to indulge in fancied images, or double interpretations, cannot deny. a. frequent resemblance. To mention

Even

« ПредишнаНапред »