Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

Obscurely sepulchred. By eating rain,
And furious winds, down to the distant plain,
The hill that hides his head above the skies,
Shall fall: The plain by slow degrees shall rise
Higher than erst had stood the summit-hill :
For time must nature's great behests fulfill.

Prior's Solomon, Book. I,

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

ON THE

STATE OF THE PRESENT EARTH IN RESPECT of IMPROVEMENT AND FER

TILITY.

we consider the manifold appearances of design, and of final causes, in the constitution and government of the world; we cannot avoid concluding, that the great Author and Moderator of it must have laid down some certain plan, upon its first formation, which he constantly and invariably pursues in the conduct of the whole, and every part, throughout all its revolutions, from the first period of its existence, to the final consummation of all things. And what general notion can we form of that plan, which we can conceive to be more worthy of wisdom itself to contrive; and of goodness itself to delight in the pursuit and execution ofwhat plan indeed more necessary, after the disorder that was introduced into the world; than that of a melioration, and improvement of it, in all its parts; and in every capacity? Rising, in the language

of poetry

By, due gradation, nature's sacred law;
Nature delights in progress, in advance ;
From worse to better *
From seeming evil, still educing good ;
And better thence again, and better still :
In infinite progression t.

We have seen some instances of improvement and benefit in the last chapter,

* Dr. Young's Night Thoughts, ix. p. 383.
+ Thompson.

Сc4

and

and in some of the foregoing ones. Others may be recounted: There are several

prophecies in Isaiah, which have a near relation to that which was last under consideration ; and which seem to point at some other improvements which are actually carrying on at this time. What think you of the following passages ? In the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground Mall become a pool; and the thirsty land springs of water *

I will open rivers in the high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land

springs of water t. Behold, I will do a new thing : Now it fball spring forth, fall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert

Ifai. xxxv. 6, 7, + Jer. xli, 18. Jer, xliii. 19. Comp. ver. 20. and ch. xliv. 3.

And

And what think ye of those vast undertakings, which have been for some years of late, and still are, carrying on in this kingdom, of opening canals, and floods of water; not only for pleasure and ornament, but for the use and benefit of navigation; and carrying these artificial rivers across other rivers ; through mountains, and rocks, and moraffes, and various other places, which seemed to forbid the attempt : But which yielded to the skill and contrivance, and indefatigable industry of one man ? With such a pattern before their

may not posterity attempt? Is not this doing a new thing? Opening rivers in high places--in the very heart of them_And fountains in the midst of valleys in the very depth of thein; where they do not naturally spring? This seems to be not only controuling, but even reverfing nature's laws, by which fountains are not opened in valleys, but in hills and high places, and rivers run not over hills, but in valleys.

eyes, what

« VorigeDoorgaan »