Monday, May 18, 2009

Goodness of God in Creation

16. Goodness of God in Creation.

Were all the interesting diversities of color and form to disappear, how unsightly, dull, and wearisome would be the aspect of the world! The pleasure conveyed to us by the endless variety with which these sources of beauty are presented to the eye are so much things of course, and exist so much without intermission, that we scarcely think either of their nature, their number, or the great proportion which they constitute in the whole mass of our enjoyment. But were an inhabitant of this country to be removed from its delightful scenery to the midst of an Arabian desert—a boundless expanse of sand, a waste, spread with uniform desolation, enlivened by the murmur of no stream, and cheered by the beauty of no verdure; although he might live in a palace, and riot in splendor and luxury, he would find life a dull, wearisome, melancholy round of existence; and, amid all hia gratifications, he would sigh for the hills and valleys of his native land, the brooks and rivers, the living luster of the spring, and the rich glories of the autumn. The ever-varying brilliancy and grandeur of the landscape, and the magnificence of the sky, sun, moon, and stars, enter more extensively into the enjoyment of mankind, than we, perhaps, even think or can possibly apprehend, without frequent and extensive investigation. The beauty and splendor of the objects around us, it is ever to be remembered, is not necessary to their existence, nor what we commonly intend as their usefulness. It is therefore to be regarded as a source of pleasure gratuitously superinduced upon the general nature of the objects themselves, and, in this light, as a testimony of the divine goodness, peculiarly affecting.

Timothy Dwight, Mass., 1752-1817.

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