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to his thus doing? Undoubtedly they are many; but that, which we are now to consider, is his knowledge, or understanding, as expressed in the text. No one can be per fect in practice, whose mind is not duly furnished with wisdom to direct him. A knowl edge of what is right, is certainly prerequi site to the practice of it. Casual actions, or those that are performed unwittingly, however well they may operate, are never imputed to the doers of them, as virtues. We must know we ought to act, and regulate our conduct accordingly, in order to our deserv ing the repute of doing right. On the other hand, however fair and upright our intentions may be, yet, if they are associated with ignorance, they cannot afford a reasonable ground of confidence to the persons to be affected by them. If God is surrounded with an immense host of intelligent subjects, whose welfare depends on the proper arrangements, and faithful execution of his providence, is it not most important to them, that he should be wise as well as good? that he should know how to regulate his own kingdom in the most perfect manner? If he is judged at all deficient, in this respect, however they may admire and applaud his good intentions, they cannot cheerfully confide their interests to his hands. As the well-being of the universe rests upon the perfection of God's govern ment, upon his doing what is right; so, as it has been heretofore suggested, right, in God, is his promoting his own glory in the

highest possible degree. This, it appears, is to be done by a long and complicated series of providences; at least we must say, that some exertions of the divine hand are necessary to achieve the end. Now, if this be true, it is certain, God must have knowledge to direct his operations,in order to bring them to the desired crisis. And will any thing short of infinite knowledge suffice in this all important cause? If the end to be obtained is the greatest and best possible, it certainly requires the best possible means, and to select and apply these requires the greatest possible sum of knowledge. Could it be supposed, that Jehovah were not infinite in his understanding, it could not be certain, that the best method is in use to subserve and bring to pass the great end of his government.. One may be sure, that of all known instruments, he has chosen the best to effect his purpose; but if there are other degrees of knowledge which he has not attained, it must be uncertain, whether they might not have discovered to him something still better than what he has found. Were we to limit the knowledge of God, never so much or so little, we might, in that case, believe his works to be perfect in proportion to his knowledge; but we could not be certain that his works were the most perfect. All degrees of knowledge, less than the greatest, imply imperfection. The conclusion is infallible, and irresistable, that if more had been known, more good might have been done. Hence we must unavoidably see, that confidence cannot be placed in

God, as one who will do right, only upon the supposition that his understanding is infinite. The Omniscience of God may be contemplated in relation

First, To things possible. And then
Secondly, To those which are actual or


With respect to all created things, which have being, once their existence was only possible, not real. The same may now be said of a multitude of other objects, the time. for whose existence has not yet come. The same also may be said of an endless variety of imaginary being. Though it never has had, and never will have, a real existence, yet it is as possible as those things, which have an actual existence. When it is said in one place, "Is any thing too hard for the Lord?" In another, "I know that thou canst do every thing;" in a third, "There is nothing too hard for thee," and in a fourth, "With God all things are possible;" refer ence is evidently had, not only to things actually brought to pass, but to as many other things as one has a mind to suppose. They are possible, whether a place be actually assigned them in the universe or not, as much so as things, which really come into being. No one will deny, that it is possible for God to give animation to the trees of the forest, or cause the stones to cry out, though such things have never been known to take place. It was possible, no doubt, for God, when he made the solar system, to have given a plu

rality of moons to this earth, to revolve about her; as he did to some other of the planets. He might as easily have made the globe we inhabit of twice its present size, or even less in any given proportion, as with its present dimensions. Because it was possible that creation should assume the form that it did, it is not to be pronounced impossible, that it should have received a different form. The mere possibility of the thing as much admitted of a different state and order of things, as that which really took effect; so that the things which are have sprung from a divine election, or choice, and not from any natural impossibility of their being otherwise. Now, if we suppose the Deity proceeding to a great work, a work in which his own glory is eternally involved, and, by consequence, the well being of many other intelligences, who may gain existence from. the operations of his hand; how shall he direct his own eternal and unbounded energies to the certain accomplishment of the desired end? There is an endless number of possibilities before him.. Among these he is to seek the one most eligible; or, in other words, choose out that system of conduct, which will be productive of the most glory to his name. Here there appears to be full scope for his understanding He must have a thorough, comprehensive view of all that it. is possible for Omnipotence to do, that he may be ready to pursue his work without hesitation, and without danger of incurring

the inconveniences of a mistaken, or ill advised enterprize. If, in any thing, the Deity act upon presumption, or at random, he cannot act wisely; as it must be uncertain, whether such actions will terminate well or ill. To act wisely, he must have an eternal and all-comprehensive view of the course he takes, and see that it is, in every point of view, better than any other one possible. Implicit confidence cannot be placed in men, because, if ever they engage in a good design, they have too little knowledge of what is necessary to it, even to make a good beginning; and when they have begun, future measures are to be dictated by the good or bad effects of the past, rather than by a foresight, which connects the whole together in one consistent plan. If Deity has, from eternity and before all creation, a perfect knowledge of the whole mass of events, even to the minutest incident, which is necessary to bring the greatest possible sum of glory to himself, nothing can be lacking, on the part of his knowledge, to entitle him to confidence, and to make it certain that he will do right. But if we could conceive his understanding bounded by a narrower compass, we should from this quarter have occasion for distrust, rather than that confidence which is unreserved. The situation of Deity, when calling forth into operation a system of measures, which are designed to effect an infinite good, is infinitely diverse from that of a man, who has some great favorite object to pro

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