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other known beings, in power; but, of all possible events, to be as able to speak oneinto existence as another; to make an insect, a man, an angel, a world, or to occupy space with a number of them, too great for a created mind to sum up. Indeed, when we have found the power, which is competent to originate existence, or, in other words, to create; we need proceed no further to inquire for another, or a greater; for the creator of worlds, however numerous or magnificient, is not superior, in power, to him, who has given being to the small dust of the balance. Should we turn our devout and astonished eyes to these fruits of the divine agency, which are enumerated in the twenty sixth chapter of Job, as thus, "He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them. He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it. He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end. The pillars

of heaven tremble, and are astonished at his reproof. He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud. By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent." We must add, as in the verse following; "Lo, these are parts of his ways; but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who

can understand ?" As little, however, as we can know of the majesty and greatness of God, of what he has done in the exercise of his omnipotence; enough appears to fill us with awe, and bring us down at the feet of the supreme regent in the following responsive confession of holy Job, "I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee." Though every thing possible has not been done; yet every thing desirable, has; and more might have been done, with the same ease, to any conceivable amount, if a valuable end could have been promoted by it. We proceed to show

Secondly. That God must have power to continue the existence which he has caused. It would, no doubt, be thought superfluous to enlarge this observation, by adding, that he must have power to destroy, as well as to create and uphold. Though among many of the works of human art and labour, as much exertion may be necessary to pull down and demolish, as to rear up; yet this is be cause the workmanship, after it is once completed, has no more dependence on the artist. It has strength enough, in itself, to maintain its own existence, without any further care, or interference, from the artist; so that whether he be living or dead, is immaterial, as respects the continuance of his work. With the work of God it is far otherwise. Independence is peculiar to himself. It is impossible, therefore, that he should communicate it to

any of his works. a creature independent of himself, than he can divest himself of his own Godhead, and impart it to another. It appears, then, that as creatures exist by virtue of an application of divine power for that purpose; so a suspension, or withdrawment, of this power must be the only thing requisite to their nonexistence. The only reason why this principle does not hold, in respect to the various. productions of human art and industry, is, that the work does not depend on the fabricator; but on that secret, invisible power, which holds the universe together. Should that common, all-supporting, power cease, creation would be extinct, in an instant. And as it would be absurd to conceive of di vine power, as operating against itself, to bring to nothing something that has been created; so it would seem preposterous to imagine, that Deity should need power to reduce to nothing, or to annihilate, any thing, which does not, and cannot, exist only as it is upheld by his hand. The only question we have any occasion to consider is, whether Deity have power to perpetuate such things. as he has willed into existence. His need of such power is just as obvious, as his need of power to give being to a system of creatures; for nothing is plainer, than that a power to acquire is nothing worth, unless it implies, or is accompanied with, a power to retain. An ambitious prince, or nation, may gain a territory by conquest, or treaty; but for

He can no more render

want of power to hold it, it may be lost as suddenly as it was gained; and the acquisition finally prove to be only a vexation, a source of disappointment and chagrin. And why may not the same happen in God's kingdom, if his power to preserve be not the same with his power to create? That more power should be requisite to prolong existence, than to begin it, does not seem natural; and that less will suffice, 'cannot be true. Or are we to conclude from its being said, that "God rested upon the seventh day from all his work which he had made," that it was with him, as it is with the husbandman, who, when he has cast his seed into the ground, lies down and rises up without concerning himself about the vegetating of his grain or as it is with the builder, who, when he has put his work together, and constructed a mansion, according to the taste of his employer, goes his way, or lies down to rest, as having nothing farther to do with it? I know not, but it may be an idea with some, that it was enough for God to create and modify the world as he did at the first, without having any after occasion to exercise his power upon it, for the purpose of its preservation, and to keep it from wandering out of its sphere. Persons of this sentiment will say, that there was virtue enough in the first establishment of things to render their being and regularity perpetual; and to sup pose the contrary, is to consider the Deity a less perfect workman, than he, who having

prepared and put together the machinery of a clock, or other such piece of mechanism, leaves it to operate by the energy of its own powers. But let the clock-maker retire into a corner, where there is no divine influence to ground his art upon, and there let him construct his machine, and put it in motion, with power in itself to continue said motion; then we shall have a case, by which to prove, that when things have begun to exist, they may continue on without a fresh exercise of power to preserve them. God's resting upon the seventh day, was not a cessation from all exercise, as it is with a man, who folds his arms to sleep, after the fatigues of the day. He ceased only from his work as Creator, which does not imply, but that at least as great a work was still going on.

Nay, the preservation of things is a work in no respect inferior to that of creating them. Upon this point we may adopt a thought of President Edwards; that preservation is no other than an act of creation continued. The same power, or exercise of will, which gave things their being, in a moment, is, every moment, put forth so long as their being lasts. In any other case, they must cease to exist. If you assign the power of God as a reason for the existence of any particular thing, the first moment; the same must be given the next, and so on, until the whole term of its being has expired. Crea tion, therefore, in its whole mass, and in its minutest parts, hangs with the same weight

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