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ble, what is his real nature. The most prominent features of this are exhibited in that incomprehensible display of wisdom, power, and goodness, made in the works of creation. A virtuous man stands in a relation to God which is peculiary delightful. The divine perfections are all engaged in his defence. He feels powerful in God's power, wise in his wisdom, good in his goodness.
The vitious man, on the contrary, stands in a relation to God, which is of all things the most dreadful. He is unwilling to know that God has sufficient wisdom to search out all his wickedness, sufficient good. ness to the universe to determine to punish that wickedness, and sufficient power to execute that determination. A firm belief in the existence of God will heighten all the enjoyments of life, and, by conforming our hearts to his will, will secure the approbation of a good conscience, and inspire us with the hopes of a blessed immortality,
Never be tempted to disbelieve the existence of God, when everything around you proclaims it in a language too plain not to be understood. Never cast your eyes on creation without having your souls expanded with this sentiment. There is a God.” When you survey this globe of earth, with all its appendages; when you behold it inhabited by numberless ranks of creatures, all moving in their proper spheres, all verging to their proper ends, all animated by the same great source of life, all supported at the same great bounteous table: when you behold not only the earth, but the ocean and the air, swarming with living creatures, all happy in their situation; when you behold yonder sun darting an effulgent blaze of glory over the heayens, garnishing mighty worlds, and waking ten thousand songs of praise; when you behold unnumbered systems diffused through vast immensity, clothed in splendour, and rolling in majesty; when you behold these things, your affections willrise above alltheyanities of time; your full souls will struggle with ecstasy; and your reason, passions, and feelings, all united, will rush up to the skies, with a devout acknowledg. ment of the existence, power, wisdom, and goodness of God.
Let us behold him, let us wonder, let us praise and adore. These things will make us happy. They will wean us from vice, and ch us to virtue. As a belief of the existence of God is a fundamental point of salvation, he who denies it runs the greatest conceivable hazard. He resigns the satisfaction of a good conscience, quits the hopes of a happy immortality, and exposes himself to destruction. All this for what? for the shortlived pleasures of a riotous, dissolute life. How wretched, when he finds his atheistical confidence totally disappointed! Instead of his beloved sleep and insensibility, with which he so fondly flattered himself he will find himself still existing after death, removed to a strange place; he will then find that there is a God, who will not suffer his rational creatures to fall into annihilation as a refuge from the just punishment of their crimes; he will find himself doomed to drag on a wretched train of existence in unavailing woe and lamentation. Alas! how astonished will he be to find himself plunged in the abyss of ruin and desperation! God forbid that any of us should act so unwisely as to disbelieve, when every thing around us proclaims his existence!
THE DIGNITY OF HUMAN NATURE. EXTRACT OF AN ORATION DELIVERED AT RHODE
ISLAND COLLEGE, 1796.
the abstruse regions of the philosophic world. He has originated rules by which he can direct the ship through the pathless ocean, and measure the comet's flight over the fields of unlimited space. He has established society and government, He can aggregate the profusions of every climate, and every season. He can meliorate the severity, and remedy the imperfections,
204 THE COLUMBIAN ORATOR, . of nature herself. All these things he can perform by the assistance of reason.
By imagination, man seems to verge towards creative power. Aided by this, he can perform all the wonders of sculpture and painting. He can almost make the marble speak. He can almost make the brook murmur down the painted landscape. Often, on the pinions of imagination, he soars aloft where the eye has never travelled; where other stars glitter on the mantle of night, and a more effulgent sun lights up the blushes of morning. Flying from world to world, he gazes on all the glories of creation; or, lighting on the distant margin of the universe, darts the eye of fancy over the mighty void, where power creative never yet has energized; where existence still sleeps in the wide abyss of possibility.
By imagination he can travel back to the source of time; converse with the successive generations of men, and kindle into emulation while he surveys the monumental trophies of ancient art and glory. He can sail down the stream of time until he loses “ sight of stars and sun, by wandering into those retired parts of eternity, when the heavens and the earth shah be no more.
To these unequivocal characteristics of greatness in man, let us adduce the testimony of nature herself. Surrounding creation subserves the wants and proclaims the dignity of man. For him day and night visit the world. For him the seasons walk their splendid round. For him the earth teems with riches, and the heavens smile with beneficence.
All creation is accurately adjusted to his capacity for bliss. He tastes the dainties of festivity, breathes the perfumes of morning, revels on the charms of melody, and regales his eye with all the painted beauties of vision. Whatever can please, whatever can charm, whatever can expand the soul with ecstasy of bliss, allures and solicits his attention. All things beautiful, all things grand, all things sublime, appear in native loveliness, and proffer men the richest
pleasures of fruition.
RIENDS, and confederates, welcome!
for this proof
Baal. Why thus on me, as I were worthy; me,
Hence with such dastard arts! War, open war!
I had I shall not soon forget;