« السابقةمتابعة »
But, when men have once given up their Hearts, Intirely, to any Thing, their Pursuits of it do feldom Keep any Bounds. Your Lordship cannot Still Forbear to Increase Your Accumulated Stores of Spiritual Delight; ftill making new Way with Eagerness, in the Courfe of Piety, and fill Multiplying Your Numbers of Good Works, which are Already too Great to be easily Told.
I befeech Your Lordship to forgive my taking this Opportunity of Glancing upon a Few, of the Numerous Reafons I have, for accounting Your Lordship's Patronage an Abundant Honour. And I must beg leave to Add my Humble Thanks, in a Particular manner, for this Great Circumstance, in the Generofity of Your Lordship's Favours to me, that they were Unfought for, as well as Undeferved by,
The Omniscience of God.
ISAMUEL II. 3.
The Lord is a God of Knowledge.
HIS Divine Attribute, which gives Laws to all the Counsels and Difpenfations of God, is a Main Spring of Religion amongst Men. For our Belief of it is Apt to introduce the Highest Reverence towards our Maker, and the Stricteft Watchfulness over our Selves. And 'tis the Want of this Belief, that ftrikes off Mens Hopes and Fears, and fets them Loofe from the notions of Duty. For how fhould they Hope to be Rewarded for their Obedience, or, be Afraid of Suffering for their Sins, fo
fo long as they do not Apprehend, that any Notice is taken, either of the One, or of the Other.
To this purpose, the Pfalmift reprefents Wicked Men, as Supporting themfelves, under their Sins, by means of this Difbelief, and faying, * The Lord fhall not fee, neither Shall the God of Jacob regard it. Thus do they Devise for themfelves a Shelter without Safety, and lay the Foundations of their Hope and Comfort, in Falfhood and Folly. For the Lord a God of Knowledge.
In difcourfing on this Subject, I fhall I. Confider the Extent, and Perfection of Knowledge in God, and
II. Draw fome Practical Obfervations from it.
First, Let us confider the Extent and Perfection of Knowledge in God. And in the First place 'tis obfervable, that his Knowledge does extend it felf to All his Creatures. And the Acknowledgment of This is a Direct Confequence of our Belief that there is a God, and that He is
* Pfal. xciv. 7.
our Creatour. For 'tis not to be Suppofed, or Imagin'd, that the Contriver and Author of our Beings can be Ignorant of them. And hence 'tis obfervable, that neither the Wonderful Numbers, nor Differences of Creatures can Prevent, or Obstruct God's Knowledge of every Particucular amongst them. For, if every Single creature be as Certainly and Properly Produced and Conftituted, by his Voluntary and Pofitive Act, as if that creature Alone had been produced by him; Then every Single Being is as Diftinctly, and Fully, and perfectly Known by him, as if That Single Being were the Only object of his Knowledge.
After the Works of the Creation were Finished, the First Remark made upon them was, that God SAW every thing that he had made, that he took Special Cognizance of the Nature and Conftitution, the State and Circumftances of All created Beings: And, every Thing that he had made being Difpofed and Order'd by his Wisdom, That Knowledge of his, whereby he applies the beft Means to the best Ends, Therefore the next Thing Remark'd
was, this Judgment which the Creatour paffed upon the whole Work of Creation, And behold it was very good.
The Images of Things were all Diftinct, and Fair, and Perfect in the Divine Mind, before they were made. Creation was only the Actual Execution of God's Eter:nal Designs, That External Action, whereby he gave Existence to Beings, in an Exact and Intire Conformity to the Ideas, which he had of them, from Everlasting, within Himself. And hence appears the Perfection, as well as the Extent of that Knowledge, which God hath of his Creatures. For, as They are, in Effect, the Tranfcripts and Refemblances of his own Conceptions, His Confcioufnefs of the One, must be the confummate Knowledge of the Other. Since there is not a Figure, or Line in any Body throughout the Compafs of the Visible World; not a Principle, or Faculty, or Power, in any Being, Visible or Invifible, but what was firft Adjusted in its Grand Exemplar, the Mind of God; and fince his Conceptions are Indelible and Immutable, Therefore the View of his own Conceptions, is at once a most