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We desire with profoundest humility to bow down before thee, full of gratitude, which we know not how to express; that, in the vast variety of thy works, animate or inanimate, it hath pleased thee to make us rational creatures ; capable of arriving at some knowledge of thee, the great first cause and benevolent author of all things, and of being supremely happy in that knowledge, and in observing and recognising thy goodness, which exceeds all thought.
Teach us to value as we ought, and to improve this thy gift of reason to us, without whose light, thy whole creation would be dark; and thou, the great source of light, and of
every thing fair, and excellent, and good, be lost and unknown to us.
Make it our most delightful thought and employment to inquire after thee in thy sacred oracles, and the revelations thou hast been pleased to make of thyself, and also in thy works abroad ; for all nature is but the discovery of thee, its great author: but with this end always proposed by us, that increasing knowledge may lead to greater piety and obedience to thee, and desires of being useful to others.
Whilst the lives of many of our fellowcreatures in this wide world are made miserable by vain fears of invisible evil spirits being permitted to molest and mislead them; and others, by the inscrutable decrees of thy providence, are deprived of the light of reason, and all rational moral improvements suspended and gone ; inspire us with becoming thankfulness that our rational faculties are preserved to us, by which, through thy help, which we earnestly implore, we may grow, and make advances, in all moral and spiritual attainments, that
may qualify us for thy favour : and cause us highly to prize the records of thy holy truth, from which we learn, however dark, through unhappy prejudices, to others, that thou, the Lord God omnipotent, reignest alone; that thy creatures are wholly in thy hands ; that no unseen being hath any power over us; and that nothing ever befalleth us but by thine immediate appointment, o parent of good!
Favour us still, we beseech thee, with the illuminations of thy truth; and continue, O thou gracious Being, to give us only good, and to remove from us the evil which by our ignorance or misconduct we bring upon our.
selves; and enable us to make daily acquisitions of those holy dispositions towards thee and our fellow-creatures, which may
be the foundation of that endless happiness, which out of thine unspeakable goodness thou hast promised to us by Christ our Lord !
Now unto thee, &c.
June 21, 1789.
END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.