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that he will find the latter to be a key unto the former, as our noble philosopher hath well asserted, We have ventured to try this comparison upon the general plan of Christianity, and we see how it answers.

And if Nature answers to Christianity, it contradicts Deism: and that religion cannot be called natural which is contradicted by the light reflected upon our understandings from natural things. The Socinian is nearly in the same situation with the Deist: and they may both join together in calling upon Nature, from morning until night, as the Priests of Baal called upon their Deity; but there will be none to answer; and philosophy must put out one of his eyes before it can admit their doctrines. In short, take any religion but the Christian, and bring it to this test, by comparing it with the state of Nature, and it will be found destitute and defenceless. But the doctrines of our faith are attested by the whole natural world. Wherever we turn our eyes, to the heaven or to the earth, to the sea or the land, to men or to beasts, to animals or to plants, there we are reminded of them. They are recorded in a language which hath never been confounded: they are written in a text which shall never be corrupted.

The

The Creation of God is the School of Christians, if they use it aright. What is commonly called the World, consists of the forms, manners, diversions, pursuits, and prospects, of human society. But this is an artificial world, of man's making; the subject of his study, the object of his ambition. The natural world, of God's making, is full of wonder and instruction; it is open to all, it is common to all. Here there can be no envy, no party, no competition; for no man will have the less for what his neighbour possesses. The world, in this sense, may be enjoyed without fraud or violence. The student in his solitary walk, the husbandman at his labour, the saint at his prayers, may have as much as they can desire, and have nothing to repent of: for they will thus draw nearer to God, because they will see farther into his truth, wisdom, and good

ness.

Some have expressed their astonishment at the choice of hermits, and men of retirement, as people who have fled from all the enjoyments of life, and consigned themselves to melancholy and misery. They are out of the world, it is true; but they are only out of that artificial world of man's making, in which so many are hastening to disappointment and

ruin but they are still in that other better world of contemplation and devotion, which affords them all the pleasures and improvements of the mind, and is preparatory to a state of uninterrupted felicity.

Let us then, finally, give thanks to him, who to the light of his gospel hath added this light of nature, and opened the wonderful volume of the creation before us, for the confirmation of his truth, and the illumination of his people; that we may thence know and see the certainty of those things wherein we have been instructed. As all his works are for our good, let it be our study and our wisdom to turn them all to his glory.

SERMON

SERMON V.

SING TO THE HARP WITH A PSALM OF THANKS GIVING. PSALM XCVIII. 6.

THESE words, like many others in the

Psalms of David, assert and encourage the use of music, both vocal and instrumental, in the worship of God: the propriety and benefits of which will be evident from such an examination of the subject, as the present occasion may well admit of: and I hope the good affections of my hearers will be as ready to enter into a rational consideration of the nature and uses of music, as their ears are to be delighted with music. For this art is a great and worthy object to the understanding of man: it is wonderful in itself; and, in its proper and best use, it may be reckoned amongst the several means of grace, which God

God in his abundant goodness hath vouchsafed to his church; some to direct our course through this vale of tears, and some to cheer and support us under the trials and labours of it.

Music will need no other recommendation to our attention as an important subject, when it shall be understood, as I mean to shew in the first place, that it derives its origin from God himself: whence it will follow, that so far as it is God's work, it is his property, and may certainly be applied as such to his service. The question will be, whether it may be applied to any thing else.

What share soever man may seem to have in modifying, all that is found in this world to delight the senses is primarily the work of God. Wine is prepared by human labour: but it is given to us in the grape by the Creator. The prismatic glass is the work of art; but the glorious colours which it exhibits to the eye are from him who said, Let there be light. Man is the contriver of musical instruments; but the principles of harmony are in the elements of nature; and the greatest of instruments, as we shall soon discover, was formed by the Creator himself. The element of air was as certainly ordained to give us harmonious

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