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mercies of the wicked are cruel.” That is, the seeming-kindnesses of cruel persons are not done from motives of humanity towards the beast, but are meant merely to make him subservient to his own self-interest, and which are, too often, signal instances of cruelty in the owner, and of suffering to the pampered beast.
9. When God had determined to destroy the great city of Nineveh, and sent the prophet Jonah to warn the inhabitants of their approaching destruction, one reason with him for sparing the city was besides that there were “ more than six score thousand persons that could not discern between their right hand and their left hand”—that there was, “ also, much cattle.” (Jonah iv. 11.) Well may we, indeed, exclaim with the Psalmist, “The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercy is over ALL HIS WORKS:” (Psalm cxlv. 9.)
I have now gone through the principal passages in the Old Testament which relate to the brute creation, and the precepts given by God to man respecting them. The passages on this subject in the New Testament, I shall consider in my next discourse. In the mean time, I request you to view this subject in a light in which, perhaps, you have not before been used to contemplate it-as one of very great importance; and I shall now conclude with a few lines from the Christian poet, Cowper, who, speaking of the animal creation, says,
They are all the meanest things that are
To check them. But, alas ! none sooner shoots,
TASK, b. vi. 1. 584-600.
END OF THE FIRST DISCOURSE.
THE ANIMAL CREATION.
GENESIS I. 26.
And God said, Let them have dominion over
the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
In my last discourse, I undertook to show from these words, the case of man and of the brute creation, and of our duties towards them. I went through the principal passages on this subject in the Old Testament, and proposed in this, to consider the case of animals under