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deed, they compel in the seeking and subduing of them, they fit men to the necessarily rough state of primary occupation; and, in barbarous lands, where man is uncivilized, we find most things which relate to the support of his life to depend upon them: as civilization advances, they disappear, and the cattle, as the word stands translated in this instance, take their place in usefulness and enjoyment.
Now let us admire the wisdom and goodness of the Creator, which called into being so many kinds of creatures, which so endued them with properties advantageous to themselves and to others. There is every variety of them which we can desire or conceive. Those, which are fitted for man's domestic purposes, are made with such nature as to render them easily reconciled to obedience of his will; those, which are even savage, and fierce, and untameable, are yet in many respects useful to him; directly so, I mean; and he is gifted with abilities, whereby, if he cannot soften their dispositions, he can subject them to his service and pleasure. To particularize, would be foreign to the present plan : it would lead into a wide field, and not be in character with the design. Enough is said to show the veracity of the Bible account-enough, to lead us into adoration of the might of that High and Awful Being, on whose command they were brought forth. We see them, created from the same material from which ourselves have, bodily, sprung, the dust of the ground, and with instincts and appetites similar to our own; in considerable degree too, with powers of provision,
which vastly raise our wonder, and would almost cause us to think that they approach more nearly to us than they really do. But, they have no other connection with us than as earthly beings: whatever faculties they possess, they derive, by the command of God, from the earth; and therefore, whatever powers of provision they exercise, are of it, and tend to their use as earthly creatures. Here ceases all comparison between them and ourselves : in nothing else is there a similarity—they go not beyond. God created them for the service of earth, and endued them with no quality or property but such as should be consistent with their station and necessities as creatures of earth. To it they return: when they die they perish ; and, it would have borne an appearance of uncalled for severity, to have granted to them any superior or mental endowments, by which they could have understood all the realities of their condition. To know that with death would end their being, to have a consciousness in the matter, would be an unavailing and a perpetual source of misery; they are, thus, devoid of
perceptions which would impose considerations of that kind. A reasonable being, who is aware that bodily dissolution will some day happen to him, has a consolation-has even a hope and a trust in it, that a better state of existence is in preparation for him; but, what and how wretched would be the thoughts of his heart, if he knew that death was not only the end of his mortal life, but the destruction of his being altogether! So is God's goodness apparent in all
things, each being suited to its proper appointment, every one being accordant with the circumstances of its kind.
All these creatures are in their true purpose designed for the service of man : numberless generations of them, certainly, pass away, and return to their dust, without being in themselves of immediate or visible advantage to him; but, we must consider, that, besides their use as present occupants of the earth, it is necessary that their kinds should have uninterrupted propagation and succession, in order that there might be no deficiency when man should appear to require and claim them. How great and manifold is the goodness of the Lord! How is it to be seen in all his works! Whatever has proceeded from his hands, has in it a purpose of wisdom and goodness, and should teach us to adore Him, and to love Him; to fear Him, and to obey Him. We behold these his wondrous doings ; these, the operations of his will; all of them admirable in their formation and use; many of them beauteous and delightful to look on; many of them magnificent, astonishing, and fearful. Yet, of whatever power, of whatever strength, of whatever appearance, they are are all subjected to the dominion of man; and, how, and in what respect? By means of the superior faculties, caused by the high favour shewn to him in his creation; and, as they are creatures of earth, though their personal strength is much greater than his own, he is, by the force of his mind, able to master and control it. This their condition, then, should
set before him the amount of value at which mortal endowments are to be estimated: he enjoys them in common with the beasts that perish, and, in some points, in less measure—with those, whose “spirit goeth downwards when they die.” For all these wonders, it is our duty to praise and magnify our God, and to laud His glorious name; acknowledging His power to be supreme and infinite; acknowledging Him as the Master and Ruler of all, whose name only is excellent in all the world. The strength and might of all else is but as dust, exists but by his command, and fades away if He wills it. The same word that commanded the existence of the smallest reptile, commanded the existence of “Behemoth;" and each is equal in his sight, as being of his creation; each is to Him of equal observance and care.
The same Almighty Power created either; and it required no greater, or closer, or larger application of it, to create the one than the other.
Either He pronounced, when He went down to view it, to be equally “good;" to be equally worthy of Himself as Contriver and Framer; equally adapted to the purpose for which its existence was designed, and, by reason thereof, as equally having the promise of his own superintending providence. These are things which ought to sink deeply into the hearts of men, as the reasonable and favoured creatures of this great God and Creator: they are they which ought to induce them to all holy, and faithful, and obedient thoughts and resolves; to all just notions of other creatures, of themselves, and of Him ; for, by such is it that his purpose, his great and gracious purpose in them, will be best and most acceptably fulfilled, and his sentence of approval, or of blessing, be most happily realized.