We have now presented the organization of mind as the chief evidence of
the grand design of its Creator in forming all things. We now will trace
the evidences of the same beneficent object in the social and material

First, then, in regard to the domestic relations. We have seen that
while all happiness depends on obedience to laws, every mind comes into
existence in perfect ignorance of them, and without any power to learn
what is good or evil but by experience and instruction. The intention of
the Creator that each new-born being should be taught these laws and
trained to obey them, is clearly seen in the first and highest domestic
relation. In this we see two mature minds, who have themselves been
trained to understand these laws, drawn by sweet and gentle influences
to each other. They go apart from all past ties of kindred; they have
one home, one name, one common interest in every thing. The one who has
most physical strength goes forth to provide supplies; the delicate one
remains behind, by domestic ministries to render home the centre of all

Then comes the beautiful, helpless infant, of no use to any one, and
demanding constant care, labor, and attention. And yet, with its
profound ignorance, its tender weakness, its delicate beauty, its utter
helplessness, its entire dependence, how does it draw forth the
strongest feelings of love and tenderness, making every toil and care a
delight! And thus, month after month, both parents unite to cherish and
support, while, with unceasing vigilance, they train the new-born mind
to understand and obey the laws of the system into which it is thus
ushered. Its first lessons are to learn to take care of its own body.
And when the far-off penalty of pain can not be comprehended by the
novice, the parent invents new penalties to secure habits of care and
obedience. During all this period the great lesson of _sacrifice_
constantly occurs. The child must eat what is _best_, not what it
desires. It must go to bed when it wants to sit up. It must stay in the
house when it wants to go out. It must not touch multitudes of things
which it wishes thus to investigate. And so the habits of self-denial,
obedience, and faith in the parents are gradually secured, while the
knowledge of the laws of the system around are slowly learned.

But the higher part of the law of sacrifice soon begins to make its
demands. The child first learns of this law _by example_, in that of
_the mother_, that most perfect illustration of self-sacrificing love.
Then comes a second child, when the first-born must practice on this
example. It must give up its place in the mother’s bosom to another; it
must share its sweets and toys with the new-comer; it must join in
efforts to protect, amuse, and instruct the helpless one. And thus the
family is the constant school for training ignorant, inexperienced mind
in the laws of the system of which it is a part, especially in the great
law of self-control and of self-sacrifice for the good of others.

Next comes the discipline of the school and the neighborhood, when the
child is placed among his peers to be taught new rules of justice,
benevolence, and self-sacrifice for the general good.

Next come the relations of the body politic, for which labors are
demanded and pain is to be endured under the grand law of sacrifice,
that the individual is to subordinate his own interests and wishes to
the greater general good, and that the interests of the majority are to
control those of the minority.

Lastly, the whole world is to be taken into the estimate, and the
nations are to be counted as members of one great family of man, for
which every portion is to make sacrifices. Thus, as age, and experience,
and habits of obedience to the laws of rectitude increase, the duties
and obligations grow more numerous and complicated. But the same grand
principle is more and more developed, that each individual is to seek
the greatest possible happiness with the least possible evil, for the
vast whole as well as each subordinate part, while _self_ is to receive
only its just and proper share.

The same great design of the Creator can be detected also in specific
organizations, by which minds so differ from each other as to fit them
for the diverse positions and relations that the common good demands. If
all were exactly alike in the amount of constitutional powers and in the
proportionate combinations, it can easily be seen that the general
result would be far less favorable to the happiness of the whole. But as
it is, some have the love of power very large, and love to lead and
control; others have it small, and love to follow. Some have elevated
intellect, and love to teach; others have humbler capacities, and better
love humbler pursuits.

These varied combinations also give scope to the virtues of pity,
tenderness, patience, mercy, justice, self-denial, and many other graces
that could not be called into being without all the disparities, social,
domestic, intellectual, and moral, that we find existing. Meantime, the
principle of habit and the power of the will give abundant opportunities
for modifying these natural peculiarities to accommodate to varying

To these indications of benevolent design may be added the organization
of the bodily system, and the constitution of the material world
without. In examining the body we inhabit, so nicely adjusted, so
perfectly adapted to our necessities, so beautifully and harmoniously
arranged, so “fearfully and wonderfully made,” it is almost beyond the
power of numbers to express the multiplied contrivances for ease,
comfort, and delight.

We daily pursue our business and our pleasure, thoughtless of the
thousand operations which are going on, and the busy mechanism employed
in securing the objects we desire. The warm current that is flowing from
the centre to the extremities, with its life-giving energies, and then
returning to be purified and again sent forth; the myriads of branching
nerves that are the sensitive discerners of good or ill; the unnumbered
muscles and tendons that are contracting and expanding in all parts of
our frame; the nicely-adjusted joints, and bands, and ligaments, that
sustain, and direct, and support; the perpetual expansion and
contraction of the vital organ; the thousand hidden contrivances and
operations of the animal frame, all are quietly and constantly
performing their generous functions, and administering comfort and
enjoyment to the conscious spirit that dwells within.

Nor is the outer world less busy in performing its part in promoting the
great design of the Creator. The light of suns and stars is traversing
the ethereal expanse in search of those for whom it was created; for
them it gilds the scenes of earth, and is reflected in ten thousand
forms of beauty and of skill. The trembling air is waiting to minister
its aid, fanning with cool breezes, or yielding the warmth of spring,
sustaining the functions of life, and bearing on its light wing the
thoughts that go forth from mind to mind, and the breathings of
affection that are given and returned. For this design earth is sending
forth her exuberance, the waters are emptying their stores, and the
clouds pouring forth their treasures. All nature is busy with its
offerings of fruits and flowers, its wandering incense, its garnished
beauty, and its varied songs. Within and without, above, beneath, and
around, the same Almighty Beneficence is found still ministering to the
wants and promoting the happiness of the minds He has formed forever to
desire and pursue this boon.