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next world as they are for their well-being in this world. Whatsoever gifts and talents are necessary to them, they have by nature without asking; for they cannot ask what we want, we must pray for; God having made his teaching unto us an object of choice, and endued us with speech for the great ends of praying to him and praising him. To Him therefore, who is only wise, who only hath immortality, the Lord and giver of life, who is magnified in all his works, even the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, three persons and one God, be ascribed all honour, glory, power, and dominion, now and for evermore. Amen.

SERMON

SERMON III.

AND GOD SAID, LET THE WATERS UNDER THE HEAVEN BE GATHERED TOGETHER UNTO ONE PLACE, AND LET THE DRY LAND APPEAR: AND IT WAS So, AND GOD CALLED THE AND THE GATHERING

DRY LAND EARTH,

TOGETHER OF THE WATERS CALLED HE SEAS: AND GOD SAW THAT IT WAS GOOD. GEN. I. 9, 10.

THE 'HE earth is generally considered as the place of man's habitation, and the theatre of those various actions which have filled the pages of history. When we take the earth in this sense, we find it a bad and a troublesome world, a scene of error and confusion, in which the exploits of the mischievous bear away the prize from the actions of the virtuous, and the, most wicked of men are celebrated as the benefactors

nefactors of mankind. Here warlike nations have extended their borders, and erected kingdoms, which appeared in great splendor for a time, to serve the purposes of God's providence, and then vanished away like a fiery meteor of the night. Here have busy men, by fraud and violence, obtained large possessions, which soon changed their owners, and raised magnificent buildings, which are fallen into the dust. Thus do all the works of men upon earth pass away, while the earth itself, which is the work of God, and is innocent of all the evil that is done upon it, standeth sure, and his building suffereth no decay.

This is the earth which I would now propose to your consideration: the natural his tory is very different from its political; and, I trust, we shall find it both an agreeable and an edifying subject.

Writers, who have given us descriptions of the natural world, have divided it into three grand departments, or kingdoms, of plants, animals, and minerals. Of plants and animals I have treated in two former discourses; and I shall proceed now to the consideration of the earth and its minerals; in which we shall every where see the most evident proofs of the wisdom and goodness of God, and by which

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the truth of his revelation will be illustrated and confirmed.

. I shall enter into no curious theories: nor will there be any occasion for it. The great outlines of nature are fittest for all the purposes of christian edification, The plainest things, and such as are best understood by every capacity, are generally the most wonderful, and the most improving to the mind that meditates upon them. Where there is much curiosity and difficulty, there is fres quently less profit.

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The words of the text relate the generation or birth of what is called the Earth; that immense body of land and water, which human writers call the terraqucous globe: from which we learn, that, as the dry land did not appear till the waters were gathered together, the land was formed under water. The wis dom of this mode of formation is evident; although the progress of it must be above our comprehension. For in water all the mate-; rials of the earth were easily moved; and by ineans of water, solution, separation, association and subsidence are manifestly promoted; and accordingly, by those who dig into the earth, its solid materials are found to be duly sorted, and have the appearance of a sediment,

which had once floated in water, and afterwards settled out of it. And if the strata of the earth in mountains are not now parallel to the horizon, but often very oblique, and sometimes nearly perpendicular, yet the construction of such masses shews that they had settled in a regular form, and were brought by some force afterwards to their present situa tion.

As the earth appears to have been formed under the waters, it is as manifest, to every attentive observer, that the waters did once retire from the whole surface of the earth. When we compare small things with great, we find, that as the land and the channels of rivers are worn into precipices, pits, and winding furrows, by the departure of occasional inundations, so the surface of the earth, upon a scale proportionably larger, doth every where present to the sight the effect of descending waters. From the tops of the highest mountains, it is furrowed with channels; which, meeting others in their descent, grow wider and deeper, and wind about, as water doth in its progress, till they fall into the bed of some river, or lead us down to the sea, into which they retired when they subsided from the land.

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