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5. The animals will, yet further, teach the gratitude of the heart to break forth in songs of praise. The Psalmist calls upon the “feathered fowls” of the air, and “every thing that hath breath,” to “praise the Lord.” (cxlviii. 10.; cl. 6.) And what soul, that hath any feelings of piety, when he hears the varied concert of birds, and especially the lark, in his morning and his evening song, soaring aloft towards heaven, can fail to be animated to join “the voice of praise and thanksgiving?" What fitter emblem of a pious soul rising in a hallelujah to Him, who hath “made all things," and for whose "pleasure they are, and were created?” (Rev. iv. 11.)
But the animals of the lower world may not only teach us to give praise to God on earth; they may remind us of those praises, which, in a world of rest and unfading happiness, we hope to sing for ever in the presence of the
Creator,--of the Redeemer, “ the Lion of the tribe of Judah,” (Rev. v. 5.) “the Lamb which taketh away the sin of the world,” (John 1. 29.)—and of the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, who, when the Lamb of God was upon earth, “ descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him.” (LUKE iii. 22.) For, in the vision which St. John the divine had of the glories of heaven, and of the living creatures round about the throne of God, (Rev. iv. 6,) he “heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts, and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying, with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I, saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.” (v. 11–14.)
And, that WE ALL, who are here present, may so walk in the commandments of God here on earth, that we may finally join in this multitudinous and everlasting chorus in heaven, May God, of his infinite mercy, grant, through Jesus Christ our Lord, and by the assisting grace and sanctification of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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