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at a glance which nothing can escape, through the dark veil of futurity. From me every thing is hidden; but to the Great First Cause every event is as clear as the noonday sun: for is not the world and every thing in it subservient to his Almighty will? If, before this season again return, I should experience unforeseen misfortune or unexpected good, they are alike permitted by God, and must therefore be alike conducive to my happiness.
Such are the feelings,-such are the convictions with which I commence this new year. Whatever shall befall me, I am but the more convinced that the eternal God will be, at all times, my father; in my old age as well as in my infancy. Should I be exposed to want or misery, 1 will look back to my childhood, to that helpless period of my life when the Lord had pity on me. Should my friends prove false, God will provide others who will console me. Should my life be imbittered by persecution, by perils beyond all foresight, I shall not despair : I trust myself to the hands of my Maker, who so long protected my infant years.
What is there then to prevent my commencing this year with tranquillity? Nothing. In boundless confidence I will therefore commit my future fate to the direction of my God;—I will follow with patience and resignation the path he shall point out, and pour out my soul in praises and thanksgivings for the innumerable mercies and benefits with which he has cheered my otherwise weary pilgrimage.
THE ADVANTAGES OF WINTER.
If we would more attentively consider the works of God than we generally do, we should find, even in the winter season, many subjects for rejoicing in his goodness, and of exalting the wonders of his ways. Few persons are insensible to the feelings of gratitude upon the return of spring, summer, and autumn, when nature displays the rich and numberless blessings of a bountiful Creator. But the most sensitive hearts are seldom excited by a spirit of thankfulness when they behold the fields stripped of their fruits and flowers, when the north wind blows round their dwelling, when the earth, chilled by wintry blasts, appears barren and desolate, and when man himself, shrinking from the piercing cold, has recourse to the genial heat of fire, or to the warmth produced by exercise, to avoid sharing in the seeming death of nature. But is it true that this season is so totally overlooked as to possess no excitement to that gratitude and piety? No, without doubt. Accustom yourself, my dear reader, to be most attentive to the works of God; more alive to the numerous proofs of his bounty towards us; and you will find innumerable inducements to the love of your Benefactor.
Reflect for one instant;-how unhappy would you be if, during the frosts of winter, you had neither wood, nor bed, nor clothing: look but around you, and behold how amply Providence
has bestowed on you not only the necessaries, but even the luxuries of life. Perhaps at this very instant you are enjoying the genial glow of a cheerful fire; and will you not return thanks for that bountiful supply of fuel which enables even the poorest to enjoy the luxury of warmth? At night you stretch your weary limbs upon a downy couch and does not your heart acknowledge the blessing? Ah! think upon the thousands of your fellow-creatures to whom such a luxury is unknown. You have abundance of clothes to protect you from the inclemencies of the weather: if this good does not excite your thankfulness, look around you, and behold your suffering brethren clothed in rags, and shrinking from the blast. Oh, had they but a part of your superfluity, how would their hearts bound with joy!—and you are insensible to your happiness, and refusing to acknowledge the great debt you owe to an unerring and inscrutable Providence.
But this is not all. Could we contemplate the Almighty in detail; could we discern the wonderful links which constitute the great chain of events in this nether world, what would be our admiration of the wisdom and goodness of its Author! But however limited may be our insight to the works of the Almighty, the little we do perceive is sufficient to establish a belief in his justice and benevolence. Winter forms a necessary part of the plan of the Omnipotent: if this season did not exist, spring and summer would lose their charms; the fertility of the earth would diminish; commerce would be at an end;
and the woods and forests would have been a useless, though beautiful part of the creation. Considered in this point of view, winter is absolutely necessary; and even allowing that its advantages were not so evident, it would be sufficicat to consider it as the work of the Creator of the spring and of the summer, to pronounce that it must be GOOD.
Ob thou Supreme Being-the benevolent and omnipotent Creator of the universe! pardon me if through ignorance I have dared to question the perfection of thy plans. Pardon the ingratitude I have so often expressed during this season, when thon wert overwhelming me with benefits beyond all power of expression. If I have hitherto been insensible of thy bounty, in future I will be more attentive to my duty. When, during the cold of winter, I feel the reviving influence of fire,-when I wrap myself in warm clothing, to shield me from the chilling frosts, or when I seek repose and warmth upon bed of down, thou shalt receive my praises and thanksgivings, O thou preserver of my days, for the benefits which thy liberal hand has bestowed upon me at this inclement season.
DAILY PROOFS OF GOD'S PROVIDENCE.
To acknowledge the active interference of God's providence in extraordinary cases only is foolishly to expose our own ignorance and weakness. In the daily and ordinary course of nature, a thou
sand circumstances present themselves which should excite our attention and admiration. The daily and unceasing increase of mankind, from the beginning of the world unto the present time, is as strong a proof of the power and wisdom of God as the first creation of man from the dust of the earth. Neither will the preservation of our lives appear less marvellous than the resurrection of the dead, if we contemplate for one instant the innumerable dangers which on all sides beset us. But the birth of man is too common an event to excite our astonishment; and his preservation, amidst a world of perils, passes alike unnoticed from the same reason.— Those two great events-his first creation, when time began, and his second and future appearance, when time shall be no more, strike us indeed with awe, because they are beyond our comprehension.
Daily experience should convince us that a divine Providence watches over the preservation of our days, and that without his interference we could not exist for a single instant. A thousand unknown and hidden causes may congeal our blood and shorten our respiration, and thus accelerate our end. Ah! I feel how incapable we are of preserving our lives, or of avoiding infirmities and dangers. Subject to so many corporeal evils, to so much weakness, to so many wants, either bodily or mental, I am thoroughly convinced that, without the tender mercies of God, we should be the most miserable of beings. The union of our bodies and souls, their reciprocal and constant action the one