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him to know the thoughts of one or two persons, could unquestionably have enabled him to know the thoughts of as many others as he pleased ; nay, if such was his sovereign will, of the whole human race. However some may be startled at this upon the first view, yet the denial of it would amount to nothing less, than prescribing bounds to Omnipotence, and limiting the Holy One of Israel. It would be reviving the old
of unbelief"Can God furnish a table in the wilderness ? Can he give bread also ? Can he provide flesh for his people ?” Psalm lxxviii. 19, 20. ' What we are here to consider is, whether the Almighty God can empower, and enable; the blessed Jesus, in a glorified state, with his mental powers enlarged and improved beyond all that the utmost stretch of the human intellect in this present infant and imperfect state can form a conception of, to know the thoughts, and read the hearts, and past actions, of the whole human race,
if this should be necessary to qualify him to pass sentence upon every one of them, either at the same time, or within a given space of longer or shorter duration, as shall appear to his the Father's infinite wisdom to be for the best. This power, vast and extraordinary as it may appear, would be still finite, and, in comparison with Omnipotence and Omniscience, not equal to a grain of sand, compared to the entire globe of the earth.
The number of men who have already existed, and who will probably be called into existence hereafter, in this sublunary world, before the final consummation of all things, is, it is true, so vast, as at first view almost to overwhelm the minds of finite and shortsighted mortals, and to make them, before they recover from their astonishinent, and take a cooler, and more comprehensive, survey of the subject, almost ready to accede to the learned author's invitation, and to pronounce at once, that it would be affirming what is absurd and impossible, to say, that even Omnipotence and Omniscience itself could reveal to one born of a woman, or even to any created and finite being, all the thoughts, words, and actions, together with all the springs, motives, and circumstances which have influenced them, in all their endless, as he is pleased to term them, combinations, so as to qualify him to judge, and pass sentence upon, them all, according to what they have done in the body; and that nothing short of infinite knowledge is necessary for this purpose, which we can never suppose to be communicated to a creature himself finite. But when the impression made by the magnitude of the number, which however great is still finite, has a little worn off, and we begin to consider the nature of that great Being, (whose power we were almost rash enough to limit,) the immensity of his works, and the wonders of his ways; when we consider the heavens which are the work of his fingers, the moon and the stars which he has ordained, we cannot help trembling at the thought of setting bounds to his wisdom or his power, or of comparing with the infinity of his knowledge, that exceedingly small, and finite portion of it, which would be necessary to qualify our blessed Lord for the duties of the office in question, great and multifarious as they must necessarily be, and which he can with ease communicate to him, either all at the same time, or in succession, with inconceivable rapidity, for the full performance of them, either within the compass of a day, or in any shorter or longer time, which his sovereign wisdom may have determined upon, as most fit and proper. If we extend our views no further than to our own solar system, or to the sun itself, which is in the centre of it ; his magnitude, as being about a million of times larger than the globe on which we dwell, fills our -ininds with wonder, and sinks our own world into comparative insignificance: Shall we say, then, that the mighty Architect, who made this glorious luminary, cannot qualify one of his creatures to govern, or judge, the inhabitants of an exceedingly small part of one of the innumerable provinces of his vast dominions, not exceeding in size one millionth part of this resplendent sphere? But our minds may take a still wider range, and contemplate that endless profusion of similarly great and glorious orbs of light, which fill the heavens around us, one of the nearest of which, namely the fixed star Arcturus --if the observations recently made upon it by a learned professor of the present day are any thing like correct, and if they are not, it is because it is still
more distant,-is at the enormous distance of twenty millions of millions and sixty thousands of millions of miles from us; a distance so vast, that a cannon-ball, preserving all its original velocity, would be about five millions of years reaching it. Who will take upon him to affirm, that this immense space is a mere vacuum ? The majority of philosophers, or at least a considerable number of them, have, I apprebend, thought the contrary; and with whatever substance it may be filled, beings may be formed by almighty power, capable of enjoying in it life and happiness": every mile of it may be inhabited by ethereal beings, untangible by mortal touch, invisible to mortal eye, as fully, and completely, as any mile upon the surface of the earth. Even our atmosphere, which is much more extensive than the earth and sea, may, for any thing we know to the contrary, be similarly peopled : As the poet says, “Millions of spiritual creatures may walk the earth unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep," all having their respective limits, and incapable of interfering with, or of being conscious of, the presence of each other, by fixed laws of their nature, which cannot be altered, but by the interposition of that Almighty Power which prescribed, and can sus pend, or vary, their operation:as when the servant of Elisha the prophet beheld the city in which they were; surrounded by the armies, and by the horses, and chariots, of the king of Syria, and upon expressing his apprehensions to his master, was answered, “ Fear not, for they that be with us, are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee open his eyes that he may see; and the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw; and behold the mountain was full of horses, and chariots of fire, round about Elisha.” 2 Kings, vi. 15, 16. When we reflect that there are other stars of thesame description with that which I have just mentioned, aecording to all appearance innumerable, all perhaps - equally remote from each other, and multitudes of them, I had almost said infinitely more distånt from us, and each probably giving light, and heat, to other systems, as extensive and glorious as our own, the human intellect sinks at once, and acknowledges with tbe profoundest humility, veneration, and awe, that the entire globe which we inhabit, and all that it contains, which our own littleness prompts us to call great, are not in comparison what a drop of water is to the ocean. When we look downwards too,-for the works of our God are as wonderful in the little world as in the great, and consider that every drop of that ocean teems with life, and, as well as all the other parts of nature, is full of countless multitudes of his creatures, enjoying their different measures of being, and of happiness, according to his wise and benevolent appointment; how difficult would it be to forbear, even if we were desirous of it, from concluding his works to belike himself-- INFINITE; extending through all the boundless regions of space, without number,