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Man, God's Vicegerent on Earth.

Man, God's Vicegerent on Earth.

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Published by glennpease
BY EDWARD KING, D.D.



" What is man, that Thou art mindful of him ? and the son of
man, that Thou visitest him ? Thou madest him lower
than the angels, to crown him with glory and worship.
Thou makest him to have dominion of the works of Thy
hands ; and Thou hast put all things in subjection under
his feet" — PSALM viu. 4-6.
BY EDWARD KING, D.D.



" What is man, that Thou art mindful of him ? and the son of
man, that Thou visitest him ? Thou madest him lower
than the angels, to crown him with glory and worship.
Thou makest him to have dominion of the works of Thy
hands ; and Thou hast put all things in subjection under
his feet" — PSALM viu. 4-6.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 28, 2014
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MA, GOD'S VICEGERET O EARTH. BY EDWARD KIG, D.D. " What is man, that Thou art mindful of him ? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him ? Thou madest him lower than the angels, to crown him with glory and worship. Thou makest him to have dominion of the works of Thy hands ; and Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet" — PSALM viu. 4-6. r I ^HE object of this Psalm has sometimes been misunder stood. It has been thought that the Psalmist's object was to set forth the littleness and weakness of man, and then finally by contrast to bring out the greater glory and majesty of God — " O Lord our Governor, how excellent is Thy name in all the world ; Thou that hast set Thy glory above the heavens " ; " For I will consider Thy heavens, even the works of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained ". The Psalm appears to have been composed in the night, perhaps by David, in one of the night-watches of his sheep, when a youth on the hills of Bethlehem, for it is remark able that there is no mention of the sun. He looks up to the heavens and beholds the moon and the stars in all their myriad brilliancy, hanging as they seem to hang in the darkness of an eastern sky with a peculiar nearness and splendour. Such a contemplation of the starry heavens might in- 1 An Address delivered in Lincoln Cathedral to the Members of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 4 August, 1885. MA, GOD'S VICEGERET O EARTH 207
 
deed be a fitting ground for the thought of man's littleness and God's greatness ; but such does not seem, on reflection, to have been the Psalmist's purpose, but rather the reverse. His object in the Psalm was not to make man feel his littleness ; not to crush man, but to set forth the greatness, the supremacy, the royalty of man ; and thus from man's greatness as the king and lord of creation to rise to the consideration of God's goodness from Whom all these good things have come, and thus to God's own still greater majesty as the King of kings and Lord of lords, Whose glory and power are made manifest in that He has placed man, apparently so weak, so small, in the midst of the mighty forces which are around him (the moon and the stars in the heavens, the beasts on the earth, the fishes in the sea), and yet made them all obey him. " What is man, that Thou art mindful of him ? and the son of man that Thou visitest him ? Thou makest him to have dominion of the works of Thy hands ; and Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet ; all sheep and oxen ; yea, and the beasts of the field ; the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea ; and whatsoever walketh through the paths of the seas." Thus the true object of the Psalm is to show the great ness of God, not by contrast with the littleness and weak ness of man, but by the consideration of the strength and greatness of man standing as God's vicegerent upon the earth, to discover and command the mighty forces of creation, and rule them in the name of God for the good of mankind and for His glory. It is, brethren, in accordance with this meaning of the Psalm that I desire to offer you a sincere, hearty, and grate ful welcome to this our ancient See and City of Lincoln. The object of your Association, as I understand it, is to promote the science and practice of mechanical engineer ing in all branches of mechanical construction, and to give
 
208 LICOL SERMOS an impulse to inventions likely to be useful, not only to members of this Institution but to the community at large. ow this means, surely, the scientific consideration of the varied forces in nature, whatever they may be, whether of light or heat, of coal or iron, of water, or of electricity, and making them subservient to the wants and will of man. It is, in other words, to put man in touch with the subtle forces of creation which the Creator has placed round about him, and thus to give to man a yet further extension of the mighty monarchy which he already surveys. The effect of your Association, then, is the gathering of new jewels for a still more splendid crown for man. If the general objects of your Association are so admirable, so, I would venture to say, are such assemblies of the members of your Association, as you have gathered here in Lincoln, wise and good also. As sciences work on to perfection, there is, practically, a tendency to division. The village doctor is physician, surgeon, dentist, oculist, aurist, all in one ; but if the higher knowledge in the great science of medicine is re quired, there must be division ; and different persons, and different cities, and different countries must be visited, before we can obtain the information we desire. It is the same in other sciences. In the great science of war (whose end and glory should be peace) there is the same principle of division. With the wild troops of uncivilized countries the innate and noble bravery arms itself as best it can. In scientific warfare we have infantry and cavalry, artillery, and, guiding them all, the engineers ; and it is so (is it not?) with the civil en gineer. Fifty years ago the business of the mechanical engineer was general, the same man was the maker of

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