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The life of your friend, my dear Bonstetten, now hung upon a very flender thread. Exhausted as I had been, it was more than probable that my sleep would continue till after fun-lei, and in that case I must inevitably have fallen a sacrifice to the night-frosts, which even in this season had covered a small lake, that I pas. fed
upon these heights with a very thick coat of ice. For the hand of man to snatch me from this benumbed and torpid state, was as little to be expected as if I had been in a wilderness, upon an uninhabited island, and I shall always consider the accident to which I owe my deliverance, as one of the most extraordinary casualties that ever happened to a mortal. A bird of prey, which probably had a neft somewhere near, was the sole means of giving me back to life and the society of mankind; with a loud scream he swept so closely by me, that not. withstanding my death-like torpor 1 awoke with the noise. His voice, which I could still hear when he was at a great distance, seemed to be that of an eagle; and I was afterwards assured by the chamois-hunters, that the nests of the ftone eagle are found in abundance among these rocks. The great owl, called in France grand-ducke, is also an inhabitant of these parts, and hides in the clefts and cavities, but it does not secm probable that he was my deliverer, fince he is not accustomed to come abroad by day-light. My half-dreaming situation, when I was first routed, rendered me incapable of observing the creature with any degree of accuracy, and by the rime that my recollection was perfectly returned, he had foared to Tuch a distance as to preclude the possibility of my diftinguishing his form clearly.
It was six o'clock when I awoke, and my strength being now recruited, I was resolved once more to exerc every pollible effort for effecting my escape. I laboured ftill for about an hour with inexpreffible diffi. culty through snow and clefts, when at length I reached the bed of a mountain torrent, as yet empty of water,
and only in some places filled up with snow. My fpirits, which before had every moment been more and more depressed, were now on a sudden as highly ele. vated. I hailed the joyful harbinger of my deliverance, and entered the channel in fuli confidence, that since in milder weather it conveyed the water to the plains below, it would now convey me thither.
I wound very flowly down between towering masses of rock, which were alternately more smooth or rugged according as the stream rushed over them with increatod or diminished force, till at length I once more heard the bells of the herds, and the songs of the herdsmen. Never did the notes of the fweetest music strike with such a charm on my ear, as did now these harsh tones, hince they removed in an instant every lingering doubt remaining within me of my restoration to mankind. A smoke which I soon after observed ascending from amidit a forest of pines, served as my guide for the rest of the way, and about eight o'clock in the evening. I came to a Sennhiitte at a conliderable distance from that whence I had departed in the morning. The herdtmen fancied at first that they beheld an apparition, lo disfigured were all my features and so wan my counte pance : nor was this surprising, after fourteen hours (pent in such a toilfome expedition, without any thing to support me except a small quantity of bread and
The honest mountaineers made a circle round me to hear my itory, and evinced a tympathy for my sufferings, and an anxiety to relieve them, which affected me deeply. As I pointed out the way by which I came down, they shewed the most expreílive signs of aftonishment, and assured me that the country above bears a very ill character from the frightful precipices with which it abounds, and that it is never visited by the chamois-hunters before August, and even then not frequently. VOL, VITI. X.
Such, my dear Bonstetten, is the faithful and unembellished narrative of my last Alpine excursion.
EXISTENCE AND PERFECTIONS OF THE DEITY.
I cannot go
HAT there is “ A mighty hand that ever busy
wheels the filent spheres,” is the acknowledged belief of men of virtue and of reflection, in every age and in every country. It is a conviction stamped by the hand of nature upon the heart, and it is the result of investigation and enquiry. The untutored favage feels it, and the more we fcrutinize the footsteps of the Deity, which are impressed on all the works of creation, the more also shall we confess and rejoice in it.
If there be a God, such as we fuppose him to be ; independent, self-exiftent, the first cause of all things, and the source and fountain from which they flowed, he muft, of necessity, be infinitely perfect (i. e.) infinitely powerful, infinitely wife, infinitely good. On any other supposition our ideas of him are inconsistent and contradictory to themselves. Now if the Divine Being be infinitely wise, his penetration fees at once what regulations in his government will be most conducive to the best ends, viz.; his own honour and the happiness of his creatures. If he is infinitely good, he muft delight in this benevolent object, and if he is in. finitely powerful, he cannot but compel the procession of things to pursue that path which his wisdom and his benevolence prescribe, The knowledge of hisattributes leads us then, necessarily, to the conclusion, that his benevolence prescribes that his wisdom approves--that his
power enforces that order of things which shall most redound to the good of his creatures.
To set aside this firm persuafion of the mind, is to Sap the foundations of moral principle, to introduce confusion into a system of order, and diffipate the surest rays of confolation which illuminate the abodes of
But not to infist upon fpeculations of this sort, let us turn our attention for a few moments to the more palpable, the more pleasing manifestations of that univers fal love which smiles around us. And when we contemplate this theatre on which we are now acting our several parts, the beauties of which are no less striking than its structure is admirable, we thall scarcely with hold our aftonishment, that any one, dismissing the dictates of common fenfe, should, for a moment, believe that this planet is not the workmanship of Infinite Mercy, Infinite Wisdom, Infinite Power.
In the sweet ferenity of a cloudless evening, when I lift my astonished eyes towards that glorious vault which canopies the earth-when I contemplate the sublime picture which the firmament prefents, studded with innumerable stars, shining with splendour which mocks the diamond; when I mark the order, the re. gularity in which they move around their common cen. tre, each pursuing its path without variation--without failure--without interference with the rest, surely the bright lustre of these heavenly hosts, the admirable dil. cipline of their movements, the undisturbed regularity of their changes, each rifing at its appointed hour, at its appointed hour withdrawing again ; surely all these things bespeak-an ordering and arrangement infinitely superior to the wild, unreined, unintentional movements of chance. To reason's ear they bear the intimation of a wife and powerful agent,
“ For ever singing as they shine,
From the fublime arch of heaven let us next direct our reflections to the earth, which is extended like an elegant carpet beneath our feet; and what infinitely varied evidence of the divine agent rises to our notice, in the ten thousand thousand wonders of creation which vegetate around us ! In the innumerable objects which demand our attention in the plants in the flowersin the fruits in the trees in the animals in the in. sects with which her bosom teems, what can we see but the “ traces of a God?” Trees loaded with fruit, mountains waving with corn, meadows embroidered with flowers; what can we think of this beautiful variety, this charming diversity, so eminently adapted to the support, the comfort, the happiness of fenfitive life? These beautiful effects, pursuing each other in everlasting harmony,chaunt in unison with the music of the spheres; they are no less demonftrative of that infinite power which “ Orders all things wisely and well!"
Lastly.---Let us repair to the shores of the mighty deep ; now calm-now tranquil as the bosom of innocence, as the unalterable peace of that God who separated it from the dry land, and now raging in tempeft like the fury which will eventually overwhelm the proud oppressor! What additional reasons shall we here meet to adore the Providence which bridles its fury with the sand, and not only says to its proud waves, here shall your billows be stayed, but turns its faithless bosom to the comfort of man; and froni it, as from an inexhaustible fund, pours into our laps whatever is necessary to the elegant enjoyment of life! Let arrogance affect then to be wiser than the modest child of reason; and in the distributions now noticed, pretend to per. ceive nothing but disorder and confusion. But for me, and I may add, for all whole minds' are open to the ap. peal of argument and experience, we muit see the hea. vens, the earth, and the seas thrown into discord-the glorious luminaries of the sky extinguished--the day and the night divided no more; we must see the order