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upon the other, are incomprehensible; this wonderful sympathy does not depend either upon our own will or power. The beating of our pulse the circulation of our blood is likewise uninterrupted, and independent of any exertion on our part. Every thing, in short, should convince us that our faculties, our existence, and their continuation depend not upon our own pleasure. It is the power of the Almighty which gives us strength, motion, and existence. If our respiration is not yet stopped-if our blood still circulates-if our limbs have not lost their activity-if the organs of our senses retain their power-if, at this instant, we have the faculty of thinking and the use of our reason, it is to God alone we are indebted.

But how is it that we think so seldom and with so little gratitude of the daily ways of Providence? Should not the reflections I have just made be ever present, ever imprinted on our hearts? Should we not, at least every morning and evening, meditate upon and admire the blessings of our Creator? Should we not raise our voices to Heaven in hymns of praise? This homage would surely be but just; and by it we should distinguish ourselves from the brute creation, which has not received the faculty of contemplating and appreciating the works of God. Allpowerful preserver of our lives, teach us to understand thy ways and the extent of thy bounty. Inspire our souls with that holy rapture which kindled in the heart of David when he contemplated thy works. Render us sensible of the smallest of thy benefits, that we may

praise and glorify thee, and acknowledge that thou alone art the source of all human happiness. Then may we each say, with the patriarch of old*—“I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth which thou hast showed unto thy servant."



FIRE is, in some degree, the chief agent in the prosecution of the arts, as well as an indispensable necessary to the comforts of civilised life; and, in order that man might apply its beneficial effects to his constant use, Providence has not only placed it in the air we breathe and the earth we inhabit, but also in almost all other substances. What incalculable advantages do not we derive from all combustible matter? Without an ample provision of these materials we should not only be deprived of many comforts, but exposed also to the greatest inconveniences. Without fire, the long winter nights would be passed in a gloomy and melancholy obscurity!-Deprived of its artificial light, our most agreeable occupations must cease with the setting sun; we should be either reduced to the necessity of remaining fixed to one spot, or of wandering fearfully in the midst of numberless dangers. How sad would be our lot if we were compelled to resign the pleasures of domestic.

Jacob. Genesis xxxii. 10.

society, or relinquish those sources of amusement which we derive from writing, reading, or working, and which constitute so much of our felicity. The greater part of those vegetables which we use as food would be unwholesome, unless they were prepared and softened to a certain degree by fire. How many of the conveniences and luxuries of life should we cease to enjoy, if the artist and manufacturer were suddenly to be deprived of this element! Without its beneficial aid our sight could not be gratified with the various tints which now adorn our habiliments; we could not melt metals; neither mould, nor purify them from their alloy; we could not change sand into glass; neither could we convert clay into pottery, nor give to lime the consistence of stone. Without fire, nature and all its treasures would nearly be useless, and to a certainty would lose a number of its charms.

But let us confine ourselves to its utility at this season of the year. What delightful sensations does it not produce when we feel its genial influence in the interior of our houses!During the icy frosts we should be condemned to a state of total inactivity, and a prey at least to many disagreeable sensations, if we were not roused to action by its cheering effects. How much would the aged and the sick endure, were it not for its beneficial influence! What would become of the tender infant, if its feeble limbs were not sheltered from the intense cold?

O ye, for whom my heart weeps drops of blood-ye, who are exposed to the piercing

wintry blasts and nipping frosts—ye, who can only procure light and warmth by sacrificing a portion of your small pittance of food-0 ye unfortunate beings! it is in contemplating your misery that I learn duly to appreciate my own happiness. The result of this appreciation shall be the proper application of my own superfluity to your benefit.

O my God, my creator, my benefactor! deign to look upon me: search the inmost recesses of my heart, and accept its imperfect praises and thanksgivings. It is to thy paternal cares that I owe all the advantages, all the pleasures which I derive from the use of fire. At thy command the earth produces wood in abundance; and it is to thy bountiful providence that I am indebted for all the benefits I enjoy at this season of the year, for which my soul does laud and praise thee. Continue to me, I intreat, the benign influence of fire: but set boundaries, O Lord! to its fearful and powerful effects; neither for our sins employ it as the instrument of thy vengeance.



DURING this season, which some persons from habit, and others from prejudice consider as dull and melancholy, every one appears to be anxiously pursuing some unseen good, from which he hopes to derive amusement and pleasure.

There are those who seek this good in noisy

assemblies and vain and frivolous pursuits: it is, indeed, melancholy to see with what eagerness the greater part of mankind endeavour to shorten days at all times too short for the performance of their destined work; they are commonly absorbed in a succession of occupations unworthy the dignity of man, and beneath the consideration of beings endowed with immortal souls. When the sun has passed the meridian, when half his course is run, the voluptuary rises from his feverish sleep, and commences the business of the day with his morning refreshment. While he languidly partakes of his repast, he meditates upon the round of pleasure he shall pursue during the day. Perhaps he will take a morning, or rather, we should say, afternoon ride: then the important business of the toilet calls for his attention, previous to the hour of dinner, in the pleasures of which he indulges with impunity. Oppressed, perhaps, by this excess, he sinks upon a couch, till some appointment, either at home or abroad, calls for exertion. In the midst of a noisy assembly he seems to acquire a new being, and when cards present themselves he becomes animated, and, for the first time since he left his morning couch, he shows he possesses a soul: interested by deep play, the hours pass rapidly away, their flight unmarked by him, till he is reminded that the last meal of the day awaits him. From the card table he passes to the supper room, from the supper room to his bed chamber; but there he finds no downy slumbers: between sleeping and waking, a prey to frightful dreams, he passes the heavy

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