THIS is the twentieth Time of my addressing thee in this Manner, and I have reason to flatter myself my Labours have not been unacceptable to the Publick. I am particularly pleas’d to understand that my Predictions of the Weather give such general Satisfaction; and indeed, such Care is taken in the Calculations, on which those Predictions are founded, that I could almost venture to say, there’s not a single One of them, promising Snow, Rain, Hail, Heat, Frost, Fogs, Wind, or Thunder, but what comes to pass punctually and precisely on the very Day, in some Place or other on this little diminutive Globe of ours; (and when you consider the vast Distance of the Stars from whence we take our Aim, you must allow it no small Degree of Exactness to hit any Part of it) I say on this Globe; for tho’ in other Matters I confine the Usefulness of my Ephemeris to the Northern Colonies, yet in that important Matter of the Weather, which is of such general Concern, I would have it more extensively useful, and therefore take in both Hemispheres, and all Latitudes from Hudson’s Bay to Cape Horn.
You will find this Almanack in my former Method, only conformable to the New-Stile established by the Act of Parliament, which I gave you in my last at length; the new Act since made for Amendment of that first Act, not affecting us in the least, being intended only to regulate some Corporation Matters in England, before unprovided for. I have only added a Column in the second Page of each Month, containing the Days of the Old Stile opposite to their corresponding Days in the New, which may, in many Cases, be of Use; and so conclude (believing you will excuse a short Preface, when it is to make Room for something better)
Awake, my Soul! with Joy thy God adore; Declare his Greatness; celebrate his Pow’r; Who, cloath’d with Honour, and with Glory crown’d, Shines forth, and cheers his Universe around. Who with a radiant Veil of heavenly Light Himself conceals from all created Sight. Who rais’d the spacious Firmament on high, And spread the azure Curtain of the Sky. Whose awful Throne Heav’n’s starry Arch sustains, Whose Presence not Heav’n’s vast Expanse retains. Whose Ways unsearchable no Eye can find, The Clouds his Chariot, and his Wings the Wind. Whom Hosts of mighty Angels own their Lord, And flaming Seraphim fulfil his Word. Whose Pow’r of old the solid Earth did found, Self-pois’d, self-center’d, and with Strength girt round; From her appointed Sphere forbid to fly, Or rush unbalanc’d thro’ the trackless Sky. To reas’ning Man the sov’reign Rule assign’d, His Delegate o’er each inferior Kind; Too soon to fall from that distinguish’d Place, His Honours stain’d with Guilt and foul Disgrace. He saw the Pride of Earth’s aspiring Lord, And in his Fury gave the dreadful Word: Straight o’er her peopled Plains his Floods were pour’d, And o’er her Mountains the proud Billows roar’d. Athwart the Face of Earth the Deluge sweeps, And whelms the impious Nations in the Deeps. Again God spake - - - - and at his pow’rful Call The raging Floods asswage, the Waters fall, The Tempests hear his Voice, and straight obey, And at his Thunder’s Roar they haste away: From off the lofty Mountains they subside, And gently thro’ the winding Vallies glide, Till in the spacious Caverns of the Deep They sink together, and in Silence sleep. There he hath stretch’d abroad their liquid Plains, And there Omnipotence their Rage restrains, That Earth no more her Ruins may deplore, And guilty Mortals dread their Wrath no more. He bids the living Fountains burst the Ground, And bounteous spread their Silver Streams around: Down from the Hills they draw their shining Train, Diffusing Health and Bounty o’er the Plain. There the fair Flocks allay the Summer’s Rage, And panting Savages their Flame asswage, On their sweet winding Banks th’ aerial Race In artless Numbers warble forth his Praise, Or chant the harmless Raptures of their Loves, And cheer the Plains, and wake the vocal Groves. Forth from his Treasures in the Skies he pours His precious Blessings in refreshing Show’rs, Each dying Plant with Joy new Life receives, And thankful Nature smiles, and Earth revives. The fruitful Fields with Verdure he bespreads, The Table of the Race that haunts the Meads, And bids each Forest, and each flow’ry Plain Send forth their native Physic for the Swain. Thus doth the various Bounty of the Earth Support each Species crowding into Birth. In purple Streams she bids her Vintage flow, And Olives on her Hills luxuriant grow, One with its generous Juice to cheer the Heart, And one illustrious Beauty to impart; And Bread of all Heav’n’s precious gifts the chief From desolating Want the sure Relief. Which with new Life the feeble Limbs inspires, And all the Man with Health and Courage fires. The Cloud-topt Hills with waving Woods are crown’d, Which wide extend their sacred Shades around, There Lebanon’s proud Cedars nod their Heads; There Bashan’s lofty Oaks extend their Shades: The pointed Firs rise tow’ring to the Clouds, And Life and warbling Numbers fill the Woods. Nor gentle Shades alone, nor verdant Plains, Nor fair enamell’d Meads, nor flow’ry Lawns, But e’en rude Rocks and dreary Desarts yield Retreats for the wild Wand’rers of the Field. The Pow’r with Life and Sense all Nature fills, Each Element with varied Being swells, Race after Race arising view the Light, Then silent pass away, and sink in Night. The Gift of Life thus boundlesly bestow’d, Proclaims th’ exhaustless Hand, the Hand of God. Nor less thy Glory in th’ etherial Spheres, Nor less thy ruling Providence appears. There from on high the gentle Moon by Night In solemn Silence sheds her Silver Light, And thence the glorious Sun pours forth his Beams, Thence copious spreads around his quick’ning Streams. Each various Orb enjoys the golden Day, And Worlds of Life hang on his chearful Ray. Thus Light and Darkness their fix’d Course maintain, And still the kind Vicissitudes remain: For when pale Night her sable Curtain spreads, And wraps all Nature in her awful Shades, Soft Slumbers gently seal each mortal Eye, Stretch’d at their Ease the weary Lab’rers lie. The restless Soul ’midst Life’s vain Tumults tost, Forgets her Woes, and ev’ry Care is lost.
Then from their Dens the rav’nous Monsters creep, Whilst in their Folds the harmless Bestial sleep. The furious Lion roams in quest of Prey, To gorge his Hunger till the Dawn of Day; His hideous Roar with Terror shakes the Wood, As from his Maker’s Hand he asks his Food. Again the Sun his Morning Beams displays, And fires the eastern Mountain with his Rays. 'Tis against some Mens Principle to pay Interest, and seems against others Interest to pay the Principal. Philosophy as well as Foppery often changes Fashion.
Before him fly the Horrors of the Night; He looks upon the World - and all is Light. Then the lone Wand’rers of the dreary Waste Affrighted to their Holds return in Haste, To Man give up the World, his native Reign, Who then resumes his Pow’r, and rules the Plain. How various are thy Works, Creator wise! How to the Sight Beauties on Beauties rise! Setting too good an Example is a Kind of Slander seldom forgiven; ‘tis Scandalum Magnatum. A great Talker may be no Fool, but he is one that relies on him.
Where Goodness worthy of a God bestows His Gifts on all, and without Bounds o’erflows; Where Wisdom bright appears, and Pow’r divine, And where Infinitude itself doth shine; Where Excellence invisible’s exprest, And in his glorious Works the God appears confest. With Life thy Hand hath stock’d this earthly Plain, Nor less the spacious Empire of the Main. When Reason preaches, if you won’t hear her she’ll box your Ears. It is not Leisure that is not used.
There the tall Ships the rolling Billows sweep, And bound triumphant o’er th’ unfathom’d Deep. There great Leviathan in regal Pride, The scaly Nations crouding by his Side, Far in the dark Recesses of the Main O’er Nature’s Wastes extends his boundless Reign. Round the dark Bottoms of the Mountains roves, The hoary Deep swells dreadful as he moves. The Good-will of the Governed will be starv’d, if not fed by the good Deeds of the Governors. Paintings and Fightings are best seen at a distance.
Now views the awful Throne of antient Night, Then mounts exulting to the Realms of Light; Now launches to the Deep, now stems the Shore, An Ocean scarce contains the wild Uproar. Whate’er of Life replenishes the Flood, Or walks the Earth, or warbles thro’ the Wood, In Nature’s various Wants to thee complains, The Hand, which gave the Life, the Life sustains. If you would reap Praise you must sow the Seeds, Gentle Words and useful Deeds. Ignorance leads Men into a Party, and Shame keeps them from getting out again.
To each th’ appointed Sustenance bestows, To each the noxious and the healthful shows. Thou spread’st thy Bounty - meagre Famine flies: Thou hid’st thy Face - their vital Vigour dies. Thy pow’rful Word again restores their Breath; Renew’d Creation triumphs over Death. Th’ Almighty o’er his Works casts down his Eye, And views their various Excellence with joy; Many have quarrel’d about Religion, that never practis’d it. Sudden Power is apt to be insolent, Sudden Liberty saucy; that behaves best which has grown gradually. He that best understands the World, least likes it. Haste makes Waste.
His Works with Rev’rence own his pow’rful Hand, And humble Nature waits his dread Command, He looks upon the Earth - her Pillars shake, And from her Centre her Foundations quake. The Hills he touches - Clouds of Smoke arise, And sulph’rous Streams mount heavy to the Skies. Whilst Life informs this Frame, that Life shall be (O First and Greatest!) sacred all to Thee. Anger is never without a Reason, but seldom with a good One. He that is of Opinion Money will do every Thing, may well be suspected of doing every Thing for Money. An ill Wound, but not an ill Name, may be healed.
Thy Praise my Morning Song, my daily Theme, My Ev’ning Subject, and my Midnight Dream; When Grief oppresses, and when Pain assails; When all the Man, and all the Stoic fails; When fierce Tentation’s stormy Billows roll; When Guilt and Horror overwhelm my Soul; With outward Ills contending Passions join’d, To shake frail Virtue, and unhinge the Mind; A lean Award is better than a fat Judgment. When out of Favour, none know thee; when in, thou dost not know thyself. God, Parents, and Instructors, can never be requited.
When Nature sinks, when Death’s dark Shades arise, And this World’s Glories vanish from these Eyes; Then may the Thought of Thee be ever near, To calm the Tumult, and compose the Fear. In all my Woes thy Favour my Defence; Safe in thy Mercy, not my Innocence, And through what future Scenes thy Hand may guide My wond’ring Soul, and thro’ what States untry’d, He that builds before he counts the Cost, acts foolishly; and he that counts before he builds, finds he did not count wisely. Patience in Market, is worth Pounds in a Year. Danger is Sauce for Prayers.
What distant Seats soe’er I may explore, When frail Mortality shall be no more; If aught of meek or contrite in thy Sight Shall fit me for the Realms of Bliss and Light, Be this the Bliss of all my future Days, To view thy Glories, and to sing thy Praise. When the dread Hour, ordain’d of old, shall come, Which brings on stubborn Guilt its righteous Doom, If you have no Honey in your Pot, have some in your Mouth. A Pair of good Ears will drain dry an hundred Tongues.
When Storms of Fire on Sinners shall be pour’d, And all th’ Obdurate in thy Wrath devour’d; May I then hope to find a lowly Place To stand the meanest of th’ etherial Race; Swift at thy Word to wing the liquid Sky, And on thy humblest Messages to fly. Howe’er thy blissful Sight may raise my Soul, While vast Eternity’s long Ages roll, Serving God is Doing Good to Man, but Praying is thought an easier Service, and therefore more generally chosen. Nothing humbler than Ambition, when it is about to climb.
Perfection on Perfection tow’ring high, Glory on Glory rais’d, and Joy on Joy, Each Pow’r improving in the bright’ning Mind, To humble Virtues, lofty Knowledge join’d; Be this my highest Aim, howe’er I soar, Before thy Footstool prostrate to adore, My brightest Crown before thy Feet to lay, My Pride to serve, my Glory to obey. The discontented Man finds no easy Chair. Virtue and a Trade, are a Child’s best Portion. Gifts much expected, are paid, not given.
- - - - It is astonishing, and even frightful to think, that this vast and cumbrous Globe of Earth and Sea, which is almost twenty-five thousand Miles in Circumference, had recieved such an Impulse from the Almighty Arm, as has carried it constantly for above these five thousand Years, that we know of, round the Sun at the Rate of at least fifty thousand Miles every Hour, which it must absolutely do, to go round the Sun in a Year at the Distance of eighty Millions of Miles from him. So that, if an Angel were to come from some other World, and to place himself near the Earth’s Way, he would see it pass by him with a Swiftness, to which that of a Cannon Ball is but as one to one hundred, and would be left behind by it no less than the above Number of Miles in the Space of one Hour. There is no more Reason to doubt, that the Earth goes in this Manner round the Sun, than there would be for a Passenger in a Ship on smooth Water, who saw the Objects upon Land continually passing by, to doubt whether the Vessel he was in, or the Shore, was in Motion. We see the Sun continually changes his Place with respect to the fixed Stars, and must own it to be highly improbable that this Change of Place is owing to any Change in the whole Heavens, which, considering the Distance of the starry Heavens, would require a Motion infinitely more rapid than that above ascribed to the Earth. As for the common Objection against the Earth’s Motion, that we are not sensible of it, and that a Stone thrown up from the Earth ought not to fall down upon the same Place again; it is answered at once by the above Comparison of a Ship, from which (as has been often found by Experiment) a Ball fired directly up in the Air, does not fall behind the Ship, let her Motion be ever so swift, but, partaking of the Ship’s Motion, is carried forward in the Air, and falls down again upon the Deck. And as to the Objections taken from some Scripture Expressions, which seem to contradict the Theory of the Earth’s Motion, it is plain, from innumerable Instances, that Revelation was not given to Mankind to make them Philosophers or deep Reasoners, but to improve them in Virtue and Piety; and that it was therefore proper it should be expressed in a Manner accommodated to common Capacities and popular Opinions in all Points merely speculative, and which were not to have any direct Influence upon the Hearts and Lives of Men - - - -
It has pleased God in his Goodness to Mankind, at length to discover to them the Means of securing their Habitations and other Buildings from Mischief by Thunder and Lightning. The Method is this: Provide a small Iron Rod (it may be made of the Rod-iron used by the Nailers) but of such a Length, that one End being three or four Feet in the moist Ground, the other may be six or eight Feet above the highest Part of the Building. To the upper End of the Rod fasten about a Foot of Brass Wire, the Size of a common Knitting-needle, sharpened to a fine Point; the Rod may be secured to the House by a few small Staples. If the House or Barn be long, there may be a Rod and Point at each End, and a middling Wire along the Ridge from one to the other. A House thus furnished will not be damaged by Lightning, it being attracted by the Points, and passing thro the Metal into the Ground without hurting any Thing. Vessels also, having a sharp pointed Rod fix’d on the Top of their Masts, with a Wire from the Foot of the Rod reaching down, round one of the Shrouds, to the Water, will not be hurt by Lightning.