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is privy to all our actions and designs is a mystery: no one has ever attempted to explain it without repenting of his rafhness in difgrace. Yet many clear principles lead to establish the general truth. Are the practical uses of the doctrine leffened by its obfcurity? Clearly understood, or implicitly received, it has the fame beneficial influence; it equally tends to make us reverence the invifible fpectator and witnefs of our actions. Thus, as we saw before, men apply innumerable powers in nature, the caufes and fprings of whofe operation they have little or no conception of.

WE cannot conceive how three Divine perfons can exist in the unity of the Divine nature. Yet what difference does this make with regard to religion as a rule of conduct? Understood clearly, or implicitly received, it equally shows the importance and neceffity of that particular method of falvation, in which


the whole Divine effence has fo eminently exerted and interested itself? Reafon, you think, represents the Deity as one universal simple effence: so does religion, but, opening to you more exalted views, it represents him in three very interefting diftinct relations to mankind as Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. Now it should seem that we may acquiefce as readily in these new discoveries, as the philofopher does in the revelation of his glaffes, which open to him scenes in the heavens, with which he was unacquainted before.

THE doctrine of the fall and redemption, again, is involved in difficulties. Yet how do these destroy or leffen the moral application of it? Whether the nature of your diforder be clearly apprehended by you, or not, is matter of no confequence. Your business is to apply the remedy, which you find prepared and adapted to your distressful fituation. THE high privileges (and I fhall


content myself with this one instance more) which are defigned us by Almighty GOD in a future ftate, are inconceivably glorious nature of herself has no conception of them; the hardly dares look upwards towards them with confidence. But our ignorance here too, our ignorance of the place and other circumftances of future glorification, destroys not the benefits of the doctrine. A perfuafion, that GOD has fuch designs in favour of man, abundantly answers every moral purpose. Thus, we know, in common life, where a fuperior promifes fome ample but indeterminate reward to a particular act of fervice, a servant does not abfurdly fit down, ånd, with fullen obftinacy, infift upon preiously knowing the particulars of the reward, but flies immediately on the wings of generous zeal to the execution. Sullennefs in fuch a cafe would be doubly abfurd, fuppofing the fervice was meant entirely for his happiness, and


there were reafons, why the particular nature of the reward could not be previously discovered to him.

FOR in fact there is a very good reafon, why our conceptions in religious matters should be dark, confufed, and imperfect. We neither do nor can know any thing of Divine things, but by analogy, that is, by fome faint refemblance which they bear to the objects


*We must lay this down for a certain truth, that we have no capacities for any idea of the real nature of immaterial things in the leaft degree; no more than a man born blind hath for any idea of the fun or of light. Such a man, of no more than four senses, could not be said to have only an imperfect, glimmering, uncertain view of things; but no view at all: light would be to him in this respect as thick darkness; the fun and moon and stars, the firmament and all the heavenly bodies would be to him as imperceptible by any idea of them as if they had no being; the word light would be to this man a term to which he could affix no direct idea or conception.

LET us fuppofe then that all men were in the fame condition without the fenfe of Seeing, and that God were to reveal to us there was fuch a thing as light. We having neither a name nor an idea for it, nor any capa


of our experience. Hardly do we guess aright at things that are upon earth, and with labour do we find the things that are before

city of conceiving the true nature of it as it is in itself ; it is plain this could not be revealed to us by the name light, a word wholly unknown to us, and for which we had no idea or conception. Nor would it be revealed by any direct and immediate impreffion of the object itself ftriking upon us; there being no organ of fenfation for the perception of it. Nor would this be performed by any fupernatural operation caufing some little, obfcure, and confused glimmerings of light to break in upon the pure intellect; for though we should suppose the pure intellect capable of this, yet ftill it would be impoffible for one man to communicate this revelation to another as blind as himself; and it would require the fame Almighty power after the fame manner to enlighten the mind of every individual man, or he could have no fort of idea of it.

IF therefore it were to be revealed to fuch blind mortals that there was fuch a thing as light, this would be performed by the fubftitution or mediation of some words and ideas or conceptions already well known and familiar to us. And accordingly when we were told, that it was fomething which derived its being from the very substance of a glorious body called the fun, whereof we could now have no other dire knowledge but that of its name and its exiftence; that it was coeval with that


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