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SERM.perhaps be answered (as fome learned men XVI. have done) that the All-wife Creator of the World, when he fixed the prefent Laws and appointed the conftant course of Nature, forefaw at the fame time all the Difpofitions and Exigencies of men, and therefore accordingly fo ordered the feries of Natural Causes, as to make the very fame Provifion for all thefe Occafions in the original Conftitution of things, which he would otherwife have done by the miraculous Interpofition of his Providence : Though, I fay, it might perhaps filence this Objection, to fay that the Conftitution of the natural World was fo fettled upon God's Forefight of the Difpofitions of the Moral, as that the Justice and Goodness of Providence muft equally be acknowledged in all the great Events of Nature, as in miraculous Operations; and this Obfervation might perhaps be of great use against the Afferters of Fate: For, as it no Objection against the Skill of the Workman, to fay that every Wheel of a Watch is moved only naturally according to the frame of its parts; fo it is no Objection against Providence, to fay that things

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things are brought about by Second Caufes, SER M.
fince it is God who is the Author of thofe XVI.
Causes: Yet because the Scripture every
where plainly teaches that God actually
interpofes in the Government of the
World; and because it is a more honour-
able Notion of God, to fuppofe him con-
stantly infpecting and ruling all things,
than that he should have fixed certain un-
changeable Laws of Nature, and then left
the World to be governed by them as
by Fate; therefore in answer to this Dif
ficulty about the Workings of Providence,
it is more reasonable to fay, that as God
must be acknowledged to have upon fome
great occafions made fuch Alterations in the
vifible Course of Nature, as we call Mira-
cles; fo he does at other times, at least so
the first Springs of
govern and
Natural Caufes, as to bring about, though
without any vifible Alterations of Nature,
whatever his infinite Wisdom fees fit.
And this is fo far from being contrary
to true Philosophy, or inconfiftent with
the State of Nature and the regular Ap-
pearances of Things, that the best Phi-
lofophy that ever yet appeared in the
Bb 4

SER M.World, has not to this day determined. XVI. whether the firft Springs of the commoneft and most univerfal Operations of Nature, be moved by fome general laws impreffed by God on Matter, or whether even in These things he does not continually employ the Offices of intelligent Beings: Or rather, it has determined, that God is immediately the Author, even of all those we call Natural, as well as of Miraculous Events. For to caufe either the Sun or the Earth to move, is plainly an Effect of the fame Power, as to caufe them to stand ftill; and the only reason why men usually look upon One as the immediate hand of God, and the Other they fancy is done without Him; is no other but This, that what God does Once, they cannot but acknowledge is done by Him; but what He does Always, they therefore childishly think it is not He does it all. But However This be, yet to be fure nothing can be more reasonable than to fay, that God, upon whofe good pleasure all the Laws and Powers of Nature perpetually depend, does at least in fome great Events determine the Influ


ences of Natural Caufes to produce fuch SER M. or fuch particular Effects. Thus much XVI. we fee God has put even in the Power of Men, that by fkilful and artificial Application of Causes, they can in many Inftances determine the natural Powers of things to produce fuch Effects, as they would not naturally have produced without that guidance and direction of Art: And nothing can be more abfurd, than to imagine that God does lefs in the Government of the World, than even some of the meanest of his Creatures are able to do. When therefore we fee Natural Causes confpire ftrangely and by a long feries to produce fome remarkable Event; we have all the reafon in the world, to believe that thing brought about, by the peculiar direction of Providence; and to behave ourselves accordingly in our Prayers or Thanksgivings to God. Thus we have all poffible reafon to believe, that the Wisdom of Providence directed that train of Accidents, by which the Great Confpiracy of This Day was discovered: And that the fame Wisdom and Power fince worked for us thofe later Deliverances,

SER M.ances, in confequence of which we ftill XVI. enjoy our Religion and Liberties; and governed the Springs of the first causes of the Winds and Weather and of numberlefs other Circumftances of things, on which depended the Success of his late Majefty's Enterprize; in confequence of the Succefs of which, we ftill enjoy our Religion and Liberty, the happy Effects of that feafonable and neceffary Revolution, which cannot without the greatest Ingratitude, but be acknowledged with all Thankfulness, to have been the immediate Work and fingular Bleffing of Providence. For

II. Secondly; As this Direction of the firft Springs of Natural Caufes by the Providence of God, is to be observed and acknowledged in all other confiderable Events; fo does it more efpecially and remarkably discover itself in the Accomplishment of fuch Events, on which the Fates of whole Nations and Kingdoms depend. It muft indeed be confeffed, as I have already obferved, that the smallest things of all, are no lefs truly Objects of the Care of Providence, than the greatest ; that

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