XV. The Glory of God in his Works of Creation, Providence and Redemption.

My Being immediately flows from thee, and should I not praise my omnipotent Maker? I receiv’d the last Breath I drew from thee, thou dost sustain my Life this very Moment, and the next depend entirely on thy Pleasure. ’Tis the Dignity of my Nature to know, and my Happiness to praise and adore my great Original. But oh! thou Supreme of all Things, how art thou to be [59] extoll’d by mortal Man? I say to Corruption, Thou art my Father and to the Worm, Ye are my Brethren; my Days are as a Hand’s Breadth, and my Life is nothing before thee; but thou art the same, and thy Years never fail: From everlasting to everlasting thou art God, the incomprehensible, the immutable Divinity. The Language of Paradise, and the Strains of celestial Eloquence, fall short of thy Perfections; the First-born Sons of Light lose themselves in blissful Astonishment in search of thy Excellencies; even they with silent Extasy adore thee, while thou art veil’d with ineffable Splendor.

The bright, the bless’d Divinity is known

And comprehended by himself alone.

Who can conceive the Extent of that Power, which out of Nothing brought Materials for a rising World, and from a gloomy Chaos bid the harmonious Universe appear?

Confusion heard the Voice, and wild Uproar

Stood rul’d; stood vast Infinity confin’d.

At thy Word the Pillars of the Sky were fram’d, and its beauteous Arches rais’d: Thy [60] Breath kindled the Stars, adorn’d the Moon with Silver Rays, and gave the Sun its flaming Splendor. Thou didst prepare for the Waters their capacious Bed, and by thy Power set Bounds to the raging Billows: By thee the Vallies were clothed in their flowry Pride, and the Mountains crown’d with Groves. In all the wonderful Effects of Nature, we adore and confess thy Power; thou utterest thy Voice in Thunder, and doest scatter thy Lightnings abroad; thou ridest on the Wings of the Wind, the Mountains smoke, and the Forests tremble at thy Approach; the Summer and Winter, the shady Night, and the bright Revolutions of the Day, are thine.

These are thy glorious Works, Parent of Good,

Almighty; thine this universal Frame:

Thus wondrous they; thyself how wondrous then?

But O! what must thy essential Majesty and Beauty be, if thou art thus illustrious in thy Works: if the Discoveries of thy Power and Wisdom are thus delightful, how transporting are the Manifestations of thy Goodness? From thee every thing that lives receives its Breath; and by thee are all upheld in Life. Thy Providence reaches the least Insect, for [61] thou are good, and thy Care extends to all thy Works. Thou feedest the Ravens, and dost provide the young Lions their Prey: Thou scatterest thy Blessings with a liberal Hand on the whole Creation; man, ungrateful Man, largely partakes thy Bounty. Thou causest thy Rain to descend, and makest thy Sun to shine on the Evil and Unthankful; for thou art good, and thy Mercy endureth for ever.

As the Creator and Preserver of Men, thou art gloriously manifest; but oh! how much more gloriously art thou reveal’d, as reconciling ungrateful Enemies to thyself by the Blood of thy eternal son? Here thy Beneficence displays its brightest Splendor: Here thou dost fully discover thy most magnificent Titles, the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in Goodness: How unsearchable are thy Ways, and thy Paths past finding out? Infinite Depths of Love, never to be express’d by human Language! and yet should Man be silent, the Stones themselves would speak, and the mute Creation find a Voice to upbraid his ungrateful Folly.

Text: Elizabeth Singer Rowe, Devout Exercises of the Heart in Meditation and Soliloquy, Prayer and Praise. By the late Pious and Ingenious Mrs. Rowe. Review’d and Published at her Request by I. Watts, D. D. (London: Printed for R. Hett, at the Bible and Crown in the Poultry. M.DCC.XXXVIII [1738]), pp. 58-61.