terms connected with it, and not from that. To represent different ends as giving a secondary or figurative meaning to the term which expresses the action, is what I apprehend no writer ever thought of on any other subject. At this rate, if I be said to walk, simply, or without an end, the term is literal: if for health, or to see a friend, it becomes figurative; and if to meditate and pray, like Isaac, it becomes still more figurative! The truth is, if I be not greatly mistaken, to baptise, to eat, or to walk, are each expressive of the actions, whatever be the end; and the term is no less literally used in the one case than in the other.

The last argument of Mr. Greatheed's, proceeds upon a principle which should not have been taken for granted; namely, that ẞatioμos signifies, any sacred cleansing. The 'divers baptisms' among the jews (to which the word BажToμos, by the way, is applied, rather than to the christian ordinance) may relate not to divers modes of baptising, but to the divers cases in which persons and things were required to be immersed in water, and which cases were numerous and diverse. Thus, or to this effect, it is expressed by Grotius. Were I to speak of divers journeys, which my worthy friend has undertaken to promote the interest of evangelical religion, it would indeed imply some kind of difference between them; but it were putting an unnatural force upon the words to understand them as intimating, that in every journey he adopted a different mode of travelling.


Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. Psal. cxlv. 16.

THIS passage expresses a plain and important truth, in a stile of peculiar beauty and simplicity. It represents the Divine Being as the Father of the whole creation, surrounded with an innumerable family, whose eyes all wait on him for daily food, while he, with paternal goodness, opens his liberal hand, and satisfies all their wants.

The desires however which God satisfies, are those only of his own creating. Men have a number of artificial wants, self-created appetites, and sinful gratifications: but God has not promised to supply these, nor would it comport with his wisdom that the profusions of his bounty should be thus misapplied. Those desires only which are natural and essential to man are provided for in the economy of providence, and these shall be satisfied.

Though God satisfies the desire of every living thing, yet not all in the same way, but according to their nature and circumstances. Many of his creatures are like the lily; they toil not, neither do they spin, but receive the bounties of providence ready prepared for them. Others, like the ant, prepare their meat in the summer, and lay it up in storehouses and barns. Man, though he liveth not by bread only, yet is doomed to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow, and must labour for the meat that perisheth. Thus judgment is mixed with mercy, and it is a part of the divine goodness to render labour necessary to human life. Idleness is a soil which produces abundance of sin, as well as destroys our relish for the good we receive. Yet such is our dependence on divine care,

that except the Lord command a blessing, all our labour is in vain. Paul may plant, and Apollos water, but it is God that giveth the encrease.

In order to supply the wants of creation, it is only necessary that the Lord should open his hand, and the desire of every living thing is satisfied. The indigence of man renders great labour, foresight and contrivance necessary, in order to supply his wants. But the great Proprietor of all, needs only to open his hand, and the earth is full of his riches, and the whole creation is replenished with the profusions of his goodness. If he shuts up his hand, the heavens become brass, and the earth is as iron under our feet.

This language is intended rather to represent God's ordinary conduct towards creation, than what is universally the case. There are seasons of famine, when the Lord appears to shut his hand, on account of the sins of man. There are also cases more common than those of famine, when such a scarcity of provisions has been felt, that multitudes have not only laboured under the hardships of poverty, but have been smitten through for want of the fruits of the field. Luxury and covetousness have also contributed in many instances to encrease the distress of the poor and needy; but this is owing to the sins of men, and not to the want of divine goodness in making provision for all; for it is the general intention of providence to satisfy the desire of every living thing.'

The proofs of divine munificence are so abundant, that it is difficult to make a distinct enumeration. The following particulars may suffice.

The rich supplies of which we constantly partake, proclaim the goodness of God. These cannot be ascribed to our own labour as the proper cause: the whole of human skill is only that which applies the bounties of heaven to our various uses, but does not furnish them. We can produce nothing: we can only modify, change the form, and apply to different purposes the various stores of good which providence bestows upon us. We

are as really dependent on God for daily food as Israel in the wilderness, when fed with bread from heaven by a continual miracle, though our dependence is not so visible, nor so sensibly felt.

The number and magnitude of the wants of creatures may convince us, that nothing short of the alsufficiency of God can supply them. How large the quantity of vegetable and animal productions is required in one day for the sustenance of a single town, a city, a nation-for the whole world! And yet what is a city, a nation, a world of men, when compared with the whole creation, which everywhere teems with life, and whose wants are all to be supplied. The air, earth, and seas abound with animated beings: and whose providence could superintend, or bounty supply, a family of such amasing extent, and whose necessities are so various and so vast? Oh Lord! The eyes of all wait upon thee, and thou givest them their meat in due season.

The means by which our supplies reach us, afford additional proof of the care of God over us. He does not provide for us immediately, so much as through the medium of second causes; and though we may be insensible of that hand which puts all in motion, yet is it no less engaged than if we were supplied by miracle. There is a connection of causes in all the works of God: every part of the creation tends to supply the wants of the other and what is this but the operation of His hand, who hath so arranged and connected the different orders of beings as to render them mutually subservient? The earth abounds with verdure, the air with salubrity, the clouds pour forth their waters upon the earth, the sun its genial rays, and all the elements are enriched with blessings for man: but all these are only the opening of God's hand. Tender parents have supplied our wants, during our infancy and youth; endeared connections have been formed, which have proved a source of perpetual enjoyment; in seasons of difficulty, affectionate friends have kindly aided us, and supplies have come from quarters

the least expected. And yet these are but the means which the Father of mercies has employed for the satisfying of our desires, while he himself is the great source from whence all our comforts are derived.

What then shall we render to the Lord, for all his benefits? All the return which he demands of us is that of a thankful heart. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart.' But where has been our gratitude and praise? The worst thing that was said of one of the worst of men was, ' He hath eaten at my table, and lifted up his heel against me.' How awful the idea, to be an enemy to God amidst all this profusion of goodness; and what an aggravation in the conduct of the sinner, to despise these riches, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth him to repentance.

If such be the bounty of providence, what encouragement have we to trust in the Lord under all our wants and difficulties. With what ease can he supply us! By how many ways unknown to us can he give a favourable turn to our affairs! And what proofs have we of this in the late abundant harvest. (1802) But lately we were as a nation on the brink of ruin: our affairs at home and abroad were highly disastrous, and pregnant with encreasing calamity. But behold, how easily the Lord can change the face of adversity into gladness. The earth is full of his riches; he hath crowned the year with his goodness, and his paths have dropped fatness upon us. The pastures are clothed with flocks, the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing.

But if such be the bounties of his providence, what must be the riches of his grace. If such be the opening of his hand, what must be the fulness of his heart. If he so abundantly satisfies the desires of nature, much more those of grace. That which is done generally in one case, is done universally in the other. Not one seeking soul shall perish for want of spiritual good, nor any desire be unsatisfied which terminates in Christ. He

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