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upon our view, with here and there a prominent or con. spicuous species. And the whole Psalm concludes with a distinct avowal of the Spirit of God as the great author of this teeming and endless variety of life. “Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created, and thou renewest the face of the earth.'
No further, nor any more explicit proof can be desired. The seraph, glowing in the full ardor of Jehovah's glory, is as absolutely dependent for his life, on the agency of the Spirit of God, as is man, formed of the dust of the ground. Nor does dependence cease here.
He is the great operative and efficient agent that quickens, sustains and promotes the life of all—from man, the image of his maker, to the invisible animalcule. “The eyes of all wait on Him, and He giveth them their meat in due season. He openeth His hand and satisfieth the desire of every living thing."
What a charm does this fact give in the christian's eye to the whole subject of natural history! With what a rich zest of spiritual enjoyment too may he pursue its study! In all that contributes to the beauty, and order of the inorganic , kingdom, whether he looks into the air, the waters, or the earth, he may trace the footsteps of the blessed Spirit of God, the Comforter, who dwells in his own heart. It was under impressions of this sort, the holy Psalmist, as he lay by his flocks in the open air, gazing on the vaulted heavens and the unnumbered and innumerous worlds that sparkled on his view, burst forth, in these expressions of amazement and delight, mingled with the deepest self-humiliation: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers: the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of
man, that thou visitest him?" It is indeed well calculated to excite the most powerful emotions. As we roam through the wide expanse of creation, and on fancy's rapid wings, 1 Psalm, civ. 30. 2 Psalm, cxlv. 15, 16. 3 Psalı, vüï. 3, 4.
visit world after world, and systems of worlds are seen woven together, and all in harmonious motion, obeying the Creator's will, and think, as we are authorized, both from the word of the faithful God and the experience of our own souls—this lofty Being, whose glory fills immensity, dwells in the midst of us, has chosen Zion for his holy habitation, yea takes up his peculiar and special abode in our hearts, dwelling within us, walking with us, and filling us with life and joy. Oh, how are we lost in wonder and delight! As we sink into utter insignificance in our own estimation, we feel an holy impulse within, that lifts us up on high, and causes us to soar above the skies. How exquisitely blissful is it, to hear the voice of this mighty Maker of heaven and earth-of Him that thunders in the sky, and roars in the tempest, and spreads to the utmost verge of space-rebuking the elements, and marshalling His universe, in sweetest, sofest accents of love, as from the inmost and most retired recess of our spirits, accost and comfort us, "Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness," Oh, there is a communion thus had with Him that created the heavens and stretched them out," of which, the man, who views these things with merely a philosophic eye, can form no idea. The christian may “joy in the Holy Ghost” when he gambols o'er creation,
And when we look into the minuter wonders of organized bodies, and scan the delicate organs, and admirable texture of vegetable beings, or the almost miraculous functions of animal life, and survey the mechanism of our own bodies, how "fearfully and wonderfully” we are made; and the immortal energies of our minds how lofty are their aspirations? who is not ready to exclaim, 1 Isaiah, xli. 10
2 Isaiah, xlii. 5.
Helpless immortal insect infininite!
And in myself am lost! But every rising fear is hushed, and the heart is lulled to rest, as we reflect; all these are but exhibitions which the ever-living and operative Spirit makes of his wisdom, and power, and benevolence. If our minds are overwhelmed, and we feel lost, the heart rejoices to know, that we are lost in God. We can pity while we fully comprehend the feelings which led the more philosophic heathen to deify the heavens, and the earth, and regard all life, as the soul of the divinity, and bless and adore God, for that bright and steady light of his word, which guides us through all the mazes of nature directly to Himself. Every form of life does indeed introduce to us a present God. We trace the movements of that wonderous Being who in another than the poet's sense,
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
As the rapt seraph that adores and burns. But it is in a much sublimer and more delightful aspect the christian beholds Him, than that in which He is contemplated in the cold and heart-chilling philosophy which proclaims
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body nature is, and God the soul. However we may admire the production, we are not satisfied unless we know something of its cause. It is but
1 Estne Dei sedes nisi terra et pontus, et aer
Et cælum, et virtus? Superos quid quærimus ultra?
Luc, Phar. I. 9 v. 578..
cheating the mind and heart to present the effect as absorbed in, or as being part of the cause. Philosophy never satisfies the heart;' but guided by the scriptures, we pass from every living thing directly to God the Holy Spirit, the great vivifying agent; and in the agency of One, infinite in wisdom, power and benevolence, we rest as a cause most ample, and satisfactory to account for all that we observe. We apprehend His presence; but confound Him not with His productions. We discern an intelligent Spirit in all the living creation, breathing life into all as at the first. And when the thought rolls in upon our minds it is
in Him we live and move and have our being”—this living and life-giving Spirit dwells in me, and sustains, supports, strengthens and sanctifies all my powers. How rich and ennobling is the delight!
Let no one then say, that our ideas, of God, and of his government of grace, and of the method of salvation through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, His son, who died the just for the unjust, and the renewing and sanctifying influence of His Spirit, shut out from our view the beauties of creation, and render the heart insensible to their charms. Redemption is indeed a loftier theme, and the wonders of redeeming love do indeed surpass the whole grandeur of creation. But the introduction, as is done in the plan of redemption, of an ever-present and operative agent in the person of God the Holy Spirit, to impart and sustain life in all its endless varieties, who is the very same that ministers to our highest and most ennobling life, enables us, throughout the whole extent of what are so sadly misnamed Nature's works, to hold communion with living intelligence, and that in most endeared friendship.
1 This has been inadvertently confessed by the great apostle of modern infidelity, whose remark is as true in its full extent as in reference to the particular circumstances of distraction that induced it.
"Il n'en tira que des lumieres, ct n'en reçut aucum soulagement.”
Our God is not a vague abstraction. The study of nature with such views promotes a blessed fellowship with Him, and does not debauch the mind. With other views, it has often led to atheism. Do we ask why? The reason is, that scepticism and infidelity, which too often conceal themselves in science, and proudly arrogate its name, will not apprehend an ever-present operative Deity. They attribute to general laws, what can only be referred to His immediate agency, and thus they exclude from the view, and thrust from the thoughts, the infinite, every-where present God. Like thoughtless, inconsiderate children, they play about the threshhold, but enter not into the palace, to hold communion with the king. The blessed Spirit of God, who dwells wherever life is found, is not known, and the mind wanders as through a desolate and dreary universe.
Take God from nature, nothing great is left;