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are ruled, and these purposes are prompted, entirely and solely, by boundless, unchangeable benignity. The design of the Almighty is to make his creatures happy: no other motive worthy of the divine character can be alleged for calling them into existence. To believe, as some profess to do, that the great Creator has brought millions of beings into existence for no other purpose than to glorify his justice in their eternal misery, is a most unworthy, a most injurious, conception of God: it is to believe the righteous and merciful Ruler of the universe to be the most wanton, the most capricious, the most cruel and unfeeling tyrant. Some


that the love of rectitude was the great spring of action in the divine mind : and so it was; if by rectitude we mean, as we always should, the best means of

promoting happiness ; so that the love of rectitude is perfectly synonymous with perfect benevolence, acting under the direction of perfect wisdom; and Love, boundless, unchangeable Love, maintains its character as the paramount attribute of Deity : the primary spring of action in the great Supreme, which governs all his counsels, and gives birth to all his designs.

4. The works of God, and all the dispensations of his government towards his creatures, are the fruits and effects of Love.

Creation is the commencement and the chief of the works of God; and it originates in his benevolent purpose. Behold the fair and beautiful world which we inhabit. Contemplate the various substances of which the earth consists; the atmosphere which surrounds it, the waters which encompass it, the fire which glows in various forms within it, and upon it; the multitude and beautiful variety of vegetables with which it is clothed and adorned. Turn your attention to the living beings by which it is inhabited. All nature swarms with life. Millions and millions of animals, from the half-reasoning elephant, from the huge leviatban, to the worm, the insect, the animalcule, discernible only by the assistance

of the best instruments; beasts, and birds, and fishes, and insects, and reptiles, in all their various animated forms, inhabit their respective elements, and triumph in their existence. Superior to these, and lords of this lower creation, is man; who, in his various tribes, is scattered over the vast regions of the habitable globe, erect in form, endued with an intelligent principle, with god-like capacities and powers, adapted by constitution to the climate in which he resides, and attached by habit to the circumstances in which he is fixed. Inanimate nature yields to his plastic hand. The vegetable creation grows and blooms, and ripens for his convenience and use; and inferior animals bow to his yoke and acknowledge his authority. Behold the starry orbs, glittering like spangles, innumerable in the vast expanse of heaven. Conceive each star a sun: and each sun as the center, the fountain of light and heat to many habitable worlds, as large, or, it may be, larger than the planet in which we dwell, equally crowded with inhabitants, and equally pro

vided with means for their sustenance and comfortable accommodation. Extend your views still further. Conceive of suns and worlds far beyond what the most penetrating eye, assisted by the most powerful instruments, have ever yet been able to discover, or ever will. Give your imagination its utmost scope. Conceive of thousands of worlds, and clusters of suns and systems beyond these: of millions and millions remoter still than those. Pursue the thought till imagination faints under the immense idea ; you will still fall infinitely short of the vast and boundless universe of being. Two questions naturally occur to the

this magnificent survey. Who was the author of this stupendous fabric ? And for what purpose was it raised, and crowded with myriads of inhabitants? Reason suggests a reply to the former, and the text contains the answer to the second of these interesting inquiries. God is the sole Architect of this stately frame. And God is Love. Infinite, immutable Love: the boundless desire to communicate happiness

mind upon

to a boundless multitude of beings, is the only conceivable motive which could induce an all-perfect and happy Being, to the production of this magnificent effect.

The Providence of God, in the administration of the natural world, moves under the direction of boundless goodness. The laws of nature maintain their consistency and uniformity from age to age.

The seasons perform their accustomed and necessary revolutions; and night and day remember their appointed time. The sun enlightens, warms, and fructifies the earth. The clouds distil their refreshing drops upon the fields : the vapours exhaled from the ocean feed the fountains and the streams. Lightning and thunder, wind and storm, with awful but not ungoverned fury, sweep through the agitated atmosphere, and carry off the noxious and pestilential exhalations. The pastures are clothed with grass. The valleys are enriched with corn. The mountains are crowned with forests. The process of vegetation, in all its beauteous and graceful forms, is carried on upon the sur

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