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which it is composed, forms an ob- beyond our comprehension. We ject great beyond our conception. form no adequate conception of And if, as astronomers suppose, the vast multitude, who inhabit the fixed stars are so many suns,

this earth at once. And the earth in the centre of their several sys- is continua ly changing its inhabitems; and that there are other tants. What, then, must be the suns and systems without number, number, who inhabit the earth, in beyond the remotest star ever dis- seven thousand years? At present, covered by human eye, how im- the computation, from the bills of mense the creation of God! But mortality, is, that as many die, as whether this opinion be correct or one for every second. According not, what we behold, and know, to this, three thousand and sis of the works of God, is enough to hundred leave this world, and go make us sink, with the Psalmist, into eternity, every hour. This into nothing before him.

His being continued for many thouwords are these, “ When I consi- sand years, what will be the numder thy heavens, the work of thy ber of the human race, which fingers; the moon and stars which must meet at the bar of God, in thou hast ordained; what is man the day of judgment! that thou art mindful of him? and All these beings and things are the son of man that thou visitest comprehended in God's works of him?"

creation. “By him were all things Besides the planetary system, made, and without him was not God has made a vast variety and anything made, which was made." an innumerable multitude of ani- God's works of Providence are mals. The number of these on the his most holy, wise and powerful earth, in the air, and in the sea, upholding and governing all things at one time, is, to us, infinite. which he has made. What, then, must be the number The apostle, to the Hebrews, of the continued successions of speaking of the Word, or Son of these different kinds of animals, God, says, “ Who being the for seven thousand years?

brightness of his glory, and the Of intelligent creatures, God express image of his person, and has made angels and men. Of upholding all things by the word any other intelligent creatures, we of his power.” Job, speaking of have no account. I believe it to himself, says to God, “Thou hast be the general opinion, that God granted me life, and thy visitation made a great multitude of the an- hath preserved my spirit.” Dangels, both of those who stood holy, iel says, “The God in whose hand through the term of their proba - thy breath is, and whose are all tion, and of those who fell, by sin- thy ways, liast thou not glorified.” ning, and are now reserved in The apostle says, “ In him we chains of darkness 66 unto the live and inove and have our being": judgment of the great day.” Our And again, “ He is before all Lord told his disciples, that more things, and by him all things conthan twelve legions of those who

By these passages, we are stood, and are now confirmed in plainly taught, that we, and all holiness and happiness, might, at creatures and things, are constanthis request, be sent to his assist-ly upheld, or kept in existence, by ańce, And the reply of one of the power of God. Without his the fallen angels was, My name is divine and constant energy, we Legion: for we are many.

can neither live, nor move, nor The number of our race is far have a being.

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We are more abundantly taught | instrument, and as much under his that God governs all the works of direction, and doing his work, as his hands. David says, “ The the axe, or the saw, is the instruLord hath prepared his throne in ment of the mechanic and governthe heavens; and his kingdom rul- ed by him in performing his work.

eih over all.” And again, “ Thy Yet he declares his purpose to Le kingdom is an everlasting king punish the stout heart of the king

dom, and thy dominion endureth of Assyria. And he gives this throughout all generations. He good reason for his wickedness

upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth and for his punishment: The As• up all that be bowed down. The syrian did not mean to be the in

eyes of all wait upon thee; and strument of God, nor to do his will thou givest them their meat in due or work. Isaiah says, "6 The Lord season. Thou openest thine hand, hath purposed, and who shall disand satisfiest the desire of every annul it? And his hand is stretchliving thing.” He also represents ed out, and who shall turn it the elements of nature as being back: Nebuchadnezzar says, under his government.

66 Fire

" He doth according to his will in and hail, snow and vapour; stormy the army of heaven, and among

wind fulfil his word.” Solomon the inhabitants of the earth. God i says, “A man's heart deviseth says, “ I have withholden the rain

his way: but the Lord directeth from you. I caused it to rain upon his steps. The lot is cast into one city, and caused it not to rain the lap: but the whole disposing upon another city. I have smitten thereof is of the Lord.” God you with blasting and mildew: says, “0) Assyrian, the rod of when your gardens, and your vinemine anger, and the staff in their yards, and your fig trees and your hand is mine indignation. I will olive trees increased, the palmer send him against an hypocritical worm devoured them. I have sent nation, and against the people of among you the pestilence: your my wrath will I give him a charge, young men have I slain with the to take the spoil, and to take the sword, and have taken away your prey, and to tread them down like houses. Lo, he that formeth the the mire of the streets. Howbeit, mountains, and createth the wind, he meaneth not so, neither doth and declareth unto man what is his heart think so; but it is in his his thought, that maketh the mornheart to destroy and to cut off na ing darkness, and treadeth upon tions not a few. Wherefore it the high places of the earth, the shall come to pass, that when the Lord, the God of hosts is his Lord hath performed his whole name."

Our Lord says, work upon Mount Zion and on sendeth rain on the just and on the Jerusalein, I will punish the fruit unjust, and inaketh his sun to rise of the stout heart of the king of on the evil and on the good. BeAssyria, and the glory of his high hold, the fowls of the air, for they looks. Shall the axe boast itself sow not, neither do they reap, nor against him that heweth therewith? gather into barns; yet your heavor shall the saw magnify itself enly Father feedeth them. Are against him that shaketh it? As if not two sparrows sold for a farthe rod should shake itself against thing? and not one of them shall him that lifteth it up, or as if the fall to the ground without your staff should lift up itself, as if it Father. But the very bairs of were no wood. Here God rep- your head are all numbered.” The resents the Assyrian as being his l apostle says, “ It is God who work

6 He

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Daniel says,

eth in you both to will and to do worlds, all his creatures and all of his good pleasure. Another their actions. His power must apostle says, Every good gift, ever be present to uphold his creaand every perfect gift is from a- tures, bis wisdom to direct them, bove, and cometh down from the and his goodness to supply their Father of lights; with whom is no wants. variableness, neither shadow of God's work of redemption comturning.” Another apostle says, ' prehends all he does in saving sin• Angels, and authorities, and pow-ners of the buman race. It began ers, are made subject unto him.' in the covenant of redemption Paul says of Christians, including formed between the three Persons himself, “ Io whom also we have of the sacred Trinity. In this obtained an inheritance, being pre-covenant, the Word agreed to be. destinated according to the pur- come incarnate, to inake atonepose of hin, who worketh all things ment for the sins of the world, and after the counsel of his own will. to publish the gospel of reconciliaDavid says, “ God is judge; he tion. The Father agreed to give putteth down one and settetb up the Son a certain number of the another."

• He human race, as the reward of his changeth the times and seasons; sufferings, and to grant him all he removeth kings and setteth up needed assistance in his work as kings; he giveth wisdom to the Mediater. The Holy Ghost agreed wise, and knowledge to them that to renew, to sanctify and fit for know understanding. I form the salvation, all that the Father had light and create darkness: I make given to the Son. In this work, peace and create evil. I the Lord God raised up, many prophets to do all these things.”

foretel the coming of the Messiah. From these passages, selected And when the fulness of time was from many, it is strikingly evident, come, God sent his Son into the that the providence of God is uni- world, to be the propitiation, and versal and very particular. He to make atonement for sin. holds, not only the planets in their was the work of God to choose out orbits, but fixes the stations of the heirs of salvation. The aposmen, and the bounds of their hab- tle Peter calls tem the “ elect itation. He uses men, both good according to the fore-knowledge and bad, as his instruments to ful- of God the Father, through sanctifil the purposes of his providence. fication of the Spirit unto obediHe directs their steps, and dis- ence, and sprinkling of the blood poses of their lots, the most casual of Jesus Christ.” It is the work of events. He raises monarchs to the God to renew the hearts of his throne and sinks them to the dust. chosen. “ To as many as receivlle builds up individuals and king-ed him to them gave doms and pulls them down.

He become the sons of God, even to makes war, and he makes peace.

them who believe on his name. He sends blessings, and he sends Which were born, not of blood, judgments. He wounds, and he nor of the will of the flesh, nor of heals: he kills and he makes alive. the will of man ; but of God." He controls the winds and the | The sanctification of the saints is waves. He even orders the light- also the work of God. The aposing of a sparrow and the falling of tle directs Christians to a work a hair, There is no action or out their salvation with fear and erent, but what is directed by his trembling; for it is God who works providence. He governs all his in them both to will and to do of


power to

his good pleasure.” God works | imperfect. If God does not foreall the holiness in the hearts of know all things; then he is daily saints, and causes them to perse-growing in knowledge. This would vere in every step of their Christ- be inconsistent with his immutaian course. Hence the apostle | bility. If God is continually inexpresses his confidence,' that creasing in knowledge, he is conwherever God has begun a good tinually changing; he is ever muwork, he will carry it on to the table. Hence, if we conceive of day of the Lord Jesus. And if God as being absolutely perfect, the scriptures are true, it is the we must believe him possessed of work of God to harden impenitent perfect, or unlimited knowledge. sinners. The apostle says, “ He 2. The fore-knowledge of God hath mercy on whom he will have is evident from his foretelling fumercy, and hardeneth whom he

ture events. Certainly to foretel will. It is also the work of God future events is a prerogative, to raise the dead and judge the which belongs to God only, and world in righteousness by Jesus which he claims to himself. He Christ. “The bour is coining, says, “I am the Lord, that is my in the which all that are in their name: and my glory will I not

graves shall hear his voice, and give to another, neither my praise : shall come forth; they that have to graven images. Behold, the

done good, unto the resurrection of former things are come to pass, life; and they that have done evil, and new things do I declare: beunto the resurrectionof damnation.' | fore they spring forth, I will tell In the judgment of the great day, you of them. I have declared the it will be a work of God, in the former things from the beginning; person of Jesus Christ, to say to and they went forth out of my those on his right hand, “Come, mouth, and I showed them; and ye blessed of my Father, inherit did them suddenly, and they came the kingdom prepared for you from

to pass.

Remember the former the foundation of the world;” and things of old: for I am God, and to those on his left, “ Depart, ye there is none else; I am God, and cursed, into everlasting fire, pre- there is none like me; declaring pared for the devil and his an- the end from the beginning, and

from ancient times the things thaí, We have now taken a concise are not yet done, saying My counview of the works of God. They sel shall stand, and I will do all are complicated and immense. my pleasure.” God not only But we are assured, by our text, claims it as his prerogative to forethat they were all known to God tel future events, but he has, in from the beginning of the world. numerous instances, by his proThis leads us,

phets, declared events which took II. To show that all the works place hundreds and thousands of of God are foreknown to him. years after they were foretold, and

1. The fore knowledge of God which depended upon the free acis evident from his perfection. tions of an innumerable inultitude Reason teaches us to consider God of intelligent creatures, Hence as being perfect in all his attri- he must have known not only butes. And the Bible confirms his own works, but the works of this sentiment beyond dispute. his creatures, all this time. But if all things are not known to prophecies of the Bible, which God from eternity; then this attri- have been fulfilled, and which are bute of his must be limited, and l fulfilling at the present day, are


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by far too numerous to mention in minate counsel and fore-knowledge this place. Two or three of them of God, ye have taken, and with I will pame.

wicked hands have crucified and The character and state of the slain." Unless God hath perfect Ishmaelites were in a most aston- knowledge of all his works, from ishing manner foretold to Hagar. the beginning of the world, it It was said to her, concerning her would be impossible for him cerson Ishmael, “He shall be a wild taivly to foretel what events would man ; his hand will be against take place at any future period. every man, and every man's hand 3. The fore-knowledge of God against him; and he shall dwell in is certain from express passages of the presence of his brethren.”- scripture. Our text is as expresThis prophecy has been fulfilling sive as it can possibly be. It does for thousands of years, and is ful- not assert that God perfectly unfilling at the present day. The derstands and knows his works

. Arabians, who descended from as he performs them, but that he Ishmael, still remain an uncon- knew them, and had perfect quered poeple. They have ever knowledge of them, from the credwelt in the midst of surrounding ation of the world. It does not nations. They have been remark- assert, that God knew some of his able for their fierceness and plun- works, but that he knew all his der, and have, to this day, been works, from the creation of the unconquerable.

world. He had perfect knowlThe state and circumstances of edge of every particle of matter, the Jews, from time to time, from which he would create, and what Abraham to this time, and from end he would answer by it. He this time to their return to their had perfect knowledge of every own land, were all predicted.- creature, which he would create, They long have been, and now are,

and what he would do for and dispersed among all nations, with with every creature. Other pasout any government of their own; sages express, or imply, the same and yet they remain a distinct truth. Elihu says, “ He that is people. This is exactly as God perfect in knowledge is with thee.” foretold that it should be,

Job says to God, “I know that no The coming, the character, the thought can be withholden from work the sufferings, the death, the thee.” David says, “Great is our

" resurrection and the kingdom of Lord, and of great power: his unthe Messiah, were all foretold, derstanding is infinite. These with great particularity and with passages, as well as others like great accuracy

His crucifixion the text, plainly teach us the peris declared to have taken place ac- fect, unlimited knowledge of cording to the determinate coun- God. sel and fore-knowledge of God.

(To be concluded.) “Him being delivered by the deter



than the other apostles. He was a long time a most violent enemy to sovereign grace. He heard it

plainly preached by Stephen and Paul insists more upon the grace other teachers of divine truth. But of God in the salvation of sinners, it only served to awaken the en


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