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tion to fin, so that he would never have been a finner. Yet God created man in another mapner;, consequently it is not true, even in your -fyftem, that God hath exerted all the power hecould to prevent fin's entrance into the world. Confequently it is false, that a Being, who perfe&tly loves holiness, ought to difplay the whole extent of his attributes to prevent fin, and to eftablish virtue. Confequently, the principle on which you ground your denial of God's compre.. hension of all the dispositions of spirits, is an unwarrantable principle, and to attempt to folve the difficulty in this manner, is to leave it in aļl its force.
But if you consult revelation, you will find that God claims an univerfal knowledge of fpirits. He fays,' he searcbeth and knoweth them, Jer. xvii. 10. Rev. ii. 23. He foresaw, he foretold, the afiliations which Abraham's posterity would endure in Canaan, Gen. xv. 13, the hardaening of Pharaoh, the infidelity of the Jews, the faith of the Gentiles, the crucifixion of the Mefe fiah, Exod. iii. 19, the coming of the prince or Jeader, that is of Vefpafian, or Titus, who would destroy the city and the sanctuary, Dan. ix. 25, 26. And consequently, we have a right to affirm, that God knows all the thoughts of the mind, and all the fentiments of the heart, as well as that he knows all the motions of matter..
Perhaps you wish, my brethren, that our fpeculations were carried further; perhaps you would have us disentangle the fubject from all its diffi. culties ; perhaps you wish we could make you: comprehend, in a clear and distinct manner, how it is poffible that such immense objects can be always present to the Supreme Intelligence ; but what mortal tongue can express fuch fublime truths, or what capacity is able to conceive them! On this article, we are obliged with our prophet to exclaim, such knowledge is too wok.
derful for' me ; it is bigb.; I cannot attain urit is vei, 6.
In general, we conceive that the: fphere of divine knowledge is not contracted by any of the limits that coufine the fpirits of mapkind.
The human spirit is: upired to a portion of matter. Man can perform no operation without the agitation of his brain, without the motion of his animal fpirits, without the help of bis fenfes.. But the braio wearies, the fpirits evaporate, the fenfes are blunted, and the minutes alteration's of body clogs the most penetrating and active genius. But God, as we have reprefented him, thinks, understands, meditates, without brain, without fpirits, without any need at senses; not participating their nature, he never participates: their alteration, and thus hath intelligence in mediately from the treasure of intelligence-itfelf.
The spirit of man owes its existence to a fupe, rior fpirit, to a foreign cause, to a Being who gives him only fuch ideas as he thinks propery, and who hath been pleased to conceal numberless mysteries from him.. But God, Goa no: only does not owe his existence to a foreign coufe, but all that exist derive their existence from him. His ideas were the models of all beings, and he hath only to contemplate himself. perfectly to know them...
The spirit of sman is naturallye finite, spirit; he can consider only one circle of objects at once, . many ideas confoued him; if he would fee too unuch, he fęes nothing; he mult successively contemplate what he cannot contemplate in one moment. But God is an infinice: spirit ; with one single look: he beholdeth the whole sniverse. This is the first idea of the omnipresence of Gode
As I am accounted pretent in this auditory, be1 cause I see the objects that are here, becaule. I
ain witness of all that passes here ; fo God is ere ery where, because he fees all, because veils tlie
frost impenetrable, darkness the most thick, dil
tances, the most immense, can conceal nothing from his knowledge. Soar to the utmost heights, fly into the remoteft climates, wrap thyself in the blackest darkness, every where, everywhere, thou wilt be under his eye. " Whither thall I go from thy Spirit.? or 'whitlaer fhall. I flee from thy presence ?"
But, 2. The knowledge of. God is not a'bare knowledge, his presence is not an idle presence; it is an active knowledge, it is a prelence accompapied with action and motion.
We faid just now, that God was every where, because he ino fluenced all, as far as influence could agree with his perfections. Remark this restri&tion, for as we are difcuding a subject the most fertile in controversy, and as, in a di.course of an hour, it
impoflible to answer all objections, which may be all answered elsewhere, we would give a general preservative : againit every mistake. We mean an influence which agrees with the divine perfections ; and if frozn any of our general propositions, you inferany consequences injurious to those perfections, you may conclude, from that very reason, that you have strecched them beyond
their due bounds. We repeat it then, God influenceth all things, as far as such influence agrees with his perfections.
When new beings appear, he is there. He infuences their production. He gives to all life, „motion, and being, Acts xvii. 28. 6. Thou, even thou art Lord alone, thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens with all their host, the earth and all things that are therein, the feas and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all, and the host of heaven worshippeth thee," Neh. ix. 6. 60 Lord, I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ; marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right wello My substance was not hid from thee, when I was
made in secret, and curioufly wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did fee my substance yet being unperfect, and in thy book all my members were written, which is continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them," Psal. cxxxix. 14, 15, 16. 66 Thine hands have made me, and fathioned me together round about.
Thou hast clothed me with kin and fiefn, and haft fenced me with bones and fine ws."
When beings are preserved, he is there. He influences their preservation. “Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens, and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thou preservest man and beast," Pfal. xxxvi. 5, 6. 6.When thou openelt thy hand they are filled with good ; thou hidest thy face they are troubled, thou takeft away their breath they die, and return to their dust. Thcu sendest forth thy spirit they are crea ated, and thou renewest the face of the earth," Plal. civ. 28, 29, 30.
When the world is difordered, he is there. He influenceth wars, peftilencer, famines, and all the vicissitudes which diforder the world. IE nature refuse' her productions, it is because he hath made the heaven as iron, and the earth as brass, Lev. xxvi. 19. If peace fucceed war, he makes both. If lions slay the inbabitants of Sa. maria, -it -is the Lord who sends them, 2 Kings xvii. 25. When tempestuous winds break down thofe immense banks which your industry has opposed to them; when a devouring fire reduceth your houses to ashes, it is he who makes the winds' his messengers, and bis ministers James of fire, Plal. civ. 4.
When every thing succeeds according to our wishes, he is there. He influenceth prosperity. “ Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it. 'Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in 'vain. It is
vain for you to rise up early, tu fit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows. It is God who giveth his beloved Teep," Psal. cxxvii. 1, 2.
When our understanding is ipforued, he is there. He influenceth our knowledge. For in his ligbt we see light, Psal. xxxvi. 9. lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” John i. 9.
When our heart disposeth us to our duties, he is there. He influenceth our virtues. It is he who worketh in us, botó to will and to do of bis own good pleasure, Phil. ii. 13. It is the who giveth us not only to believe but to suffer for bis sake, chap. i. 29. It is he who giveth to all that ask him liberally and upbraideth not, James i. 5.
When the groflest errors cover us, he is there. He influenceth errors. It is God who sends strong delusions that men should believe a lie, 2 Thell. ii.-11. ..66 Go make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and Out their eyes, left they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears,” Ifa. vi. 1.0.
When we violate the laws of righteousness, he is there. He influenceth fins, even the greatest mifins. Witness Pharaoh, whose heart be hardena ed, Exod. iv. 21. Witness Shimei, whom the Lord bade to curse David, 2 Sam. xvi. 11. Witness wliat Isaiah said, the Lord hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst of Egypt, chap. .xix. 14.
When magistrates, our earthly gods, consult and deliberate, he is there. He influenceth pole icy. It is he who hatb the bearts of kings in bis hand, and turnetb them as tbe rivers of wa. ter, Prov. xxi. 1. It is he who giveth kings in his anger, and taketh them away in his wrath, Hosea 11. is he who inaketh the Assyrian the rod of bis anger, Isa. 4. 5. " Herod and Pilate, the Gentiles and the people of Ifrael,