Puslapio vaizdai

and tornadoes fufpended for one year only, that year would be peculiarly marked with calamity:-with calamity! with a PLAGUE. The very name infpires trembling and alarm; yet from no greater caufe than a corrupt air, occafioned by fuperabundant infects, has that fcourge of mankind originated. Whatever taints the air, and fuper-faturates it with putrid vapours, engenders difeafe, which, by the addition of a certain fomewhat (not well known to us), becomes epidemic and contagious. The atmosphere is the feat of the plague; but whether it originate in the atmosphere, or arife from the earth, we cannot precifely determine. Experience teaches, that though the malady be small at firft, it foon increases, every fresh infection propagates the disorder, every patient promotes its malignity,-the family is cut off,-the houses are fhut up,-the streets forfaken! Tread with caution, for on either hand behold infcribed, the "Lord have mercy on us!" and liften to the dreadful proclamation, "Bring out your dead!"

What might difpofe it to such a state, is not easy to determine; but it was notorious, that during the great plague of London, in 1665, "there was such a general calm and ferenity of weather, as if both wind and rain had been expelled the kingdom." A heated atmosphere promotes this diftemper; but a fcorching, or violently heated atmosphere, ufually deftroys it; it is also abated by cold, and, by fevere cold, entirely ftopped. Agreeable to this, the midst of Africa never knows the plague; nor the cold climate of the north-while thic fertile provinces of Afia Minor are annually vifited by it, and

it defolates the fhores of the Mediterranean. That the plague. has its feat in the air, and not in any particular difpofition of the patient, feems evident from the fpots and marks with which it ftains the very mortar of the walls, and other partsof infected houfes.

O for a storm,-a hurricane,-a tornado, which, by its force and velocity, may remove the caufe of this deftruction! they are fierce, but tranfient; this fettled and lafting: they de ftroy only a track; this defies distance and precaution: 'they defolate a village, or a town; this depopulates a kingdom:yes, and thus it is, wherever we infpect the operations of nature and Providence, certain evils we find, and of a certain magnitude; but are not these the cures to others much greater or is not each preventative of many? I verily believe fo: I conceive it is appointed as the general and regular courfe of nature. It is the prerogative of our benevolent Author, to bring good out of evil; and where we can trace him, we perceive him exercifing this prerogative; where we cannot trace him, we acknowledge, that our shortfightedness is no impediment to his operations; it becomes us to fubmit our confined ideas to his extenfive wifdom.

If the ftorm clear the air, if the cold purify it, if the lightning correct it, though these may have their inconveniences, welcome lightning, cold, and ftorm; nay, if the plague fweep off those among mankind, who are yet more dreadful pests of fociety, we will embrace the plague :-but when we contrast with what it might be, or even with what really is elsewhere,


the bleffings of our own fituation, where Nature's movements are mild, not violent; and gradual, not vehement; where we know, only by report, the fufferings of the human race, in their terrific forms,it may well induce us to think less of our actual fufferings, and add a relish to enjoyments which are not contaminated by fuch bitter ingredients. Far be it from us, becaufe unvifited by the fe terrors, to despise our placid mercies; because free from these awful admonitions, to neglect the milder bleffings by which Providence is appealing to us, and gently calling our attention, not to tempeft, but to peace; not to devastation, but to bounty.

Thus the prophet stood unmoved, when the mighty wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks; and after the wind an earthquake, and after the earthquake a fire: but, at hearing the still small voice, he wrapped his face in his mantle. The raging wind, the trembling earth, the devouring fire, excited not that awe, that devotion, which the mild and familiar tokens of divine appearance impreffed at once on his enraptured mind.

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