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as at once the most stable-the most enduringand the most important to them of all that can be imagined—and which thus, by a beautiful law pervading all the parts of nature-while it permits the mind of man to bring delightful views from a distance to cheer it in its onward course-still gives to it, as its chief field of duty and of happiness, the present things amidst which it is stationed-and thus disposes it to work with an alacrity and an effect, which a more extended view of its relations, and a juster conception of its fugitive being-if habitually present to the human mind-would altogether counteract.

To all this it may be added, that men are almost always greatly in the dark as to the changes that are about to occur although, when the change has taken place, it is often possible to trace a very simple and obvious connection between it and the circumstances which had preceded it. The inhabitants of this country are at present in the midst of one of the greatest changes that has ever affected its history--and though the precise course which events have taken, could not, perhaps, have been anticipated by any mind, still the general alteration, now that it has occurred, seems to us, on looking back over preceding circumstances, to have been one of the most likely to have taken place

It is needless

that could have been conceived. here to recount the symptoms that seem to have foreshewed this issue ;-but it is thus with mankind, at all times, and both in their individual, and in their more general relations;-nor could it perhaps be otherwise-for though it be true that they often overlook very obvious circumstances, and thus miss the anticipation of events that, with better attention to the ways of Providence, might have been foretold-it is also to be recollected, that in all great events, far more agents are at work than we are able at any time to con onceive, --and that thus Divine Providence, in the progress of its vast schemes, is ever reminding us, by the unforeseen results amidst which we find ourselves, at once of the limitation of our views--and of the multiplied and secret connections of the entire plan, of which events, cognizable by us, are but partial and very subordinate evolutions.

The following, then, are the general conclusions which the preceding reflections seem to suggest.

In the first place, that there is a ceaseless tendency and actual progress towards change throughout the whole system of nature and of life,--although that change is often so much under the surface that is to say, amidst causes which do not

directly meet our observation-and Providence has at the same time assigned, even amidst this ceaseless fluctuation, so apparent a stability to the different orders of earthly beings, according to their destined purposes and constitutions—that to those especially who have long lived in periods of quiet and stability, the progress of the work, which Divine Providence is working, may have become almost entirely a matter beyond their suspicion.

In the second place, that each successive state of society is but the prelude to another, which, at a nearer or more remote period, is certainly to follow from it; although, from the shortness of human life, men often become unaware of this intimate connection and ceaseless progress of events.

In the third place, that there is, at all times, a vast scheme going forward under the superintendence of Divine Providence, towards which the actions and institutions of men, throughout all their varieties, are merely subsidiary, insomuch that men almost never aim at the precise result which Divine Wisdom has it in view to bring forth; --although they commonly believe themselves to be the arbiters both of their own destiny and of that of the world around them—while, in fact, infinite wisdom is only employing their multifari

ous and often ill-judged exertions to forward the progress of his own ulterior and more general


And, in the last place, that the grand scheme which Divine Providence is thus, by the instrumentality of the limited exertions of his creatures, at all times carrying forward, is intimately connected, and mutually influential in all its parts; --although, from the small space over which our view of the parts and progress of this plan can at any moment extend, we are habitually disposed to regard it—not in this unity and comprehensiveness of its design,-but rather as a boundless complication or succession of unconnected or but slightly adhering occurrences.


"Deep in unfathomable mines

Of never failing skill,

He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will."

THE observations of the preceding section naturally suggest the idea, that the whole system of things is one grand scene of perpetual change, but at the same time of apparent repose. Thus the heavens, throughout the infinite expanse of which countless orbs are pursuing their course, seem to the eye of men, one vast and beautiful vault adorned with living and ever beaming lightsthe earth on which he treads, though also pursuing its ceaseless movements, as one of the innumerable host of worlds, yet assumes the aspect only of a boundless plain fixed in the centre of the planetary revolutions--and all the generations and families that people its surface, though subject to ceaseless fluctuations, either more secret or

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