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ment of the weekly Sabbath, that their Cattle might rest as well as themselves. Exod. xxiii. 12.
God giveth it as a Reason for having Compassion on Nineveh, that not only there were Sixscore Thousand Persons that could not discern between their right Hand and their left, i. e. Infants; but that there was also much Cattle there. Yonah iv.
And it is to signify his Care even of the Brute Creation, that he is represented , after the Deluge as making Covenant not only with Men, but with every living Creature, of the Fowl, of the Cattle, and of every Beast of the Earth, that he would not any more send a general Flood to destroy the Earth. Gen. ix. 10, 11. He still so governeth the Earth and its Productions, that there is ordinarily sufficient Provision made not only for Men but for the inferior Animals. He caufeth Grass to grow for the Cattle, as well as Herb for the Service of Man. Psal. civ. 14. O Lord, thou preservest Man and Beast, faith the devout Psalmiit, when celebrating God's universal Goodness and Benignity, Psal. xxxvi. 6.
But no where is the Care of Divine Providence towards the Brute Creatures more strongly expressed than by our Saviour in those remarkable Words, where speaking of such inconsiderable Creatures as the Sparrows, he faith, that not one of them falleth to the Ground without our heavenly Father ; or, as he elsewhere expresseth it, Not one of them is forgotten bene fore God. Luke xii. 6.
This Doctrine of our great heavenly Teacher deserveth special Notice. It hath indeed been cavilled against, as if it were a degrading the divine Majesty to reptes sent him as concerning himself about such inconfiderable Things as these. And it is true, that, strictly speaking, the highest and most excellent of his Creatures may be said to be beneath his Notice. Yet lince he hath thought fit to create such numberless Orders of Beings, it is no more unwor. thy of him to exercise a providential Care over them all from the highest to the meanest, than it was at first to create them. But we are apt to form a very wrong Judgment in this Matter. Many of the Creatures which appear mean and inconsiderable to us, and unworthy of our Notice or Regard, are not really so in themselves; and it is only owing to our Imperfection of Ignorance, that we are apt to despise them. We are prone to measure all Things by the Relation they bear to us, and by their immediate Usefulness to us, or the Appearance they make to our Senses ; which, though wisely accommodated for our Convenience, are not fitted for penetrating into VOL. I. F
the Natures and Essences of Things. Even the meanest living Creatures have a Life and Enjoyment of their own, suited to the Rank they hold in the Scale of Beings, and may have many Uses both with regard to themselves, and other Beings, that we know nothing of. And to superior Intelligences, that do not judge by gross Senses, as we do, but have a clear Difcernment of their nice and curious Mechanism, the numberless Variety and exact Adjustment of their several Parts, their · Appetites and Instincts, and the Uses to which they are designed, they may appear far from despicable, and may reveal many Wonders and Beauties; and so they would do to us if we had more en-. larged Views. All the living Creatures are admirable in their several Ways; and the great Author of Nature, and Parent of the Universe, who seeth not as Man seeth, but looketh with a benign Eye upon all his Works, delighteth in communicating Happiness to them in their several Gradations, and is pleased with their several Enjoyments.
The Sun, which diffuseth its Rays to the meanest Insects and Reptiles, as well as to the nobler Kind of Animals, and imparteth its Light and Warmth to them all, and which, were its Beams intellectual, might be supposed to extend its Care and Cognizance to the smallest as well as the
greatest, exhibiteth a significant Emblem of the universal Care of Divine Providence ; which reacheth to all the living Creatures, not neglecting or despising the meanest of them. As the making a World full of Beings that have Life, so the exercising a continual Care over them in all their various Kinds and Degrees of Life, giveth a noble Idea of the immense Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of the Supreme Being. The Objection that is made against this, as if it were beneath the Majesty of God to concern himself about such trifling Matters, which even Men themselves would think unworthy of their Notice; I say, this Objection, though varnished over with a Pretence of consulting the divine Honour, doth in Reality argue very narrow and unworthy Conceptions of his infinite Majesty. It is in effect a judging of God by ourselves. Man's not concerning himself about such Things is owing to his Imperfection. He is not capable, in this present State, of difcerning their real inward Natures and Effences. His Views are narrow and limited, and he cannot take in many Things at once. If therefore he were to attend very closely to such minute Matters, he must neglect Things which are of greater Consequence to his Happiness; and his Mind would foon be distracted and overwhelmed with a F 2
Multiplicity of Cares. But it is otherwise with a Being of infinite Perfection, who is intimately present to every Part of this vaft Creation, and knoweth, and taketh Care of all Things at once, with the fame Ease as if he had only one single Thing to mind. His noticing the least Things doth not at all take him off from those Things which appear to be of greater Importance; nor doth his attending to the highest, cause him to neglect the meanest. He taketh Care of all, in a Way suited to their several Natures, Conditions, and Circumstances. And as he hath wisely established general Laws, according to which he proceedeth in his Dealings with the several Orders of sensitive Beings, so in his constant Providence he feeth to the Execution and Accomplishment of those Laws. The Events relating to them, their beginning to exist, their continuing in Life, and having an End put to their Life and Existence, are all known to him, and ordered by him, agreeably to those general Laws and Constitutions; except where in extraordinary Cases he may think fit to appoint otherwise.
Secondly, God's Government of the Brute Animals
be also considered as respecting Man, in as much as he frequently maketh Use of them for carrying on and executing his wise, his benevolent, or