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of the Deity, as goodness or wisdom, but as the extent or infinity of many others. The omnipresence of God is that universal property by which he communicates himself to all, diffusés himself through all, is the great director of all, or, to confine ourselves to more distinct ideas still, the infinite spirit is present in every place.

1. By a boundless knowledge.
2. By a general influence.
3. By an universal direction.

God is every where, because he seeth all, because he influenceth all, because he directeth all. · This we must prove and establish. But if you would judge rightly of what you have heard, and of what you may still hear, you must remember that this subject hath no relation to your pleasures, nor to your policy, nor to any of those subjects which occupy and fill your whole souls; and consequently, that if you would follow us, you must stretch your meditation, and go, as it were, out of yourselves.

1. The first idea of God's omnipresence is his omniscience, God is every where present, because he seeth all. This the prophet had principally in view. O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known

Thou knowest my down-sitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thoughts afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me ; it is high, I cannot attain unto it, ver. 1, 2, 3, &c. Then follow the words of our text: Whither shall I go from thy spirit ; and so on.

Let us not then consider the Deity, after the example of the schoolmen, as a point fixed in the universality of beings. Let us consider the univer



sality of beings as a point, and the Deity as an im mense eye, which sees all that passes in that point, all that can possibly pass there ; and which, by an all-animating intelligence, makes an exact combination of all the effects of matter, and of all the dispositions of spirit.

1. God knows all the effects of matter. pert workman takes a parcel of matter proportioned to a work which he meditates, he makes divers wheels, disposes them properly, and sees, by the rules of his art, what must result from their assemblage. Suppose a sublime, exact genius, knowing how to go from principle to principle, and from consequence to consequence, after foreseeing what must result from two wheels joined together, should imagine a third, he will as certainly know what must result from a third, as form a first and second ; after imagining a third, he may imagine a fourth, and properly arrange it with the rest in his imagination; after a fourth a fifth, and so on to an endless number. Such a man could mathematically de

. monstrate, in an exact and infallible manner, what must result from a work composed of all these different wheels. Suppose further, that this workman, having accurately considered the effects which would be produced on these wheels, by that subtle matter which in their whirlings continually surrounds them, and which, by its perpetual action and motion, chafes, wears, and dissolves all bodies ; this workman would tell you, with the same exactness, how long each of these wheels would wear, and when the whole work would be consumed. Give this workman life and industry proportional to his imagination, furnish him with materials proportional to his ideas, and he will produce a vast, immense work, all the different motions of which he can exactly combine ; all the different effects of which he



can evidently foresee. He will see, in what time motion will be communicated from the first of these wheels to the second, at what time the second will move the third, and so of the rest : he will foretel all their different motions, and all the effects which must result from their different combinations.

Hitherto this is only supposition, my brethren, but it is a supposition that conducts us to the most certain of all facts. This workman is God. God is this sublime, exact, infinite genius. He calls into being matter, without motion, and in some sense, without form. He gives this matter form and motion. He makes a certain number of wheels, or rather he make them without number. He disposes them as he thinks proper. He commanicates a certain degree of motion agreeable to the laws of his wisdom. Thence arises the world which strikes our eyes. By the forementioned example, I conceive, that God, by his own intelligence, saw what must result from the arrangement of all the wheels that compose this world, and knew, with the utmost exactness, all their combinations. He saw that a certain degree of motion, imparted to a certain portion of matter, would produce water; that another degree of motion, communicated to another portion of matter, would produce fire ; that another would produce earth, and so of the rest. He foresaw, with the utmost precision, what would result from this water, from this fire, from this earth when joined together, and agitated by such a degree of motion as he should communicate. By the bare inspection of the laws of motion, he foresaw fires, he foresaw shipwrecks, he foresaw earthquakes, he foresaw all the vicissitudes of time, he foresaw those which must put a period to time, when the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, when the elements shall melt



with fervent heat, when the earth with all the works that are in it shall be burnt up. 2 Pet. iii. 10.

2. But, if God could combine all that would result from the laws of motion communicated to matter, he could also combine all that would result from intelligence, freedom of will, and all the faculțies which make the essence of spirits; and, before he had formed those spiritual beings which compose the intelligent world, he knew what all their ideas, all their projects, all their deliberations would forever be.

I am aware, that a particular consequence, whick follows this doctrine, hath made some divines exclaim against this thesis, and, under the specious pretence of exculpating the Deity from the entrance of sin into this world, they have affirmed that God could not foresee the determinations of a free agents for, say they, had he foreseen the abuse which man would have made of his liberty, by resolving to sin, his love to holiness would have engaged him to prevent it. But to reason in this manner is, in attempting to solve a difficulty, to leave that difficulty in all its force.

All they say on this article, proceeds from this principle, that a God infinitely just, and infinitely powerful, ought to display (if it be allowable to say so) all the infinity of his attributes to prevent sin. But this principle is notoriously false. Witness that very permission of sin which is objected to us. You will not acknowledge that God foresaw man's fall into sin: acknowledge, at least, that he foresaw the possibility of man's falling, and that, in forming a creature free, he knew that such a creature might chuse virtue or vice ; acknowledge, at least, that God could have created man with so much knowledge, and could have afforded him so many succors; he could have presented such powerful mo

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tives to holiness incessantly, and discovered to him the dreadful consequences of his rebellion so effectually; he could have united obedience to his commands with so many delights, and the most distant thought of disobedience with so many disgusts; he could have banished from man every temptation to sin, so that he would never have been a sinner. Yet God created man in another manner; consequently, it is not true, even in your system, that God hath exerted all the power he could to prevent sin's entrance into the world. Consequently it is false, that a Being, who perfectly loves holiness, ought to display the whole extent of his attributes to prevent sin, and to establish virtue. Consequently, the principle on which you ground your denial of God's comprehension of all the dispositions of spirits, is an unwarrantable principle, and to attempt to solve the difficulty, in this manner, is to leave it in all its force.

But if you consult revelation, you will find that God claims an universal knowledge of spirits. He says, he searcheth and knoweth them, Jer. xvii. 10. Rev. ii. 23. He foresaw, he foretold, the afflictions which Abraham's posterity would endure in Canaan, Gen. xv. 13. the hardening of Pharoah, the infidelity of the Jews, the faith of the Gentiles, the crucifixion of the Messiah, Exod. iii. 19. the coming of the prince or leader, that is of Vespasian, or Titus, who would destroy the city and the sanctuary, Dan. ix. 25, 26. And consequently, we have a right to affirm that God knows all the thoughts of the mind, and all the sentiments of the heart, as well as that he knows all the motions of matter.

Perhaps you wish, my brethren, that our speculations were carried further; perhaps you would have us disentangle the subject from all its difficul

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