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SERM.IV reflecting upon them. God, fay they, is all Goodness; and therefore they dare to be what he must neceffarily hate, the very Reverfe of Him- all Wickedness: Not confidering, that the Goodness of God fhould lead them to Repentance. For God cannot love a Nature directly and habitually contrary to his; and cannot but love what is in fome Degree conformable to his Holiness and Purity. Now what he loves must be for ever happy; and what he hates for ever miserable. Let Men think or fay, what they will, to the contrary; it is Goodness which ought to make every immoral Agent afraid, a determined, impartial, univerfal Goodnefs in a Being, who, because he is infinitely Good, will inflict every deferved Evil, which is productive of a prepollent Good; and will inflict none, but what is productive of fuch; who will confult the univerfal Intereft, and not that of a few incurable Member's of the whole ftupendous Body of the Universe.

Such Men would do well to reflect, that Men even here in the natural Course of Things bring upon themselves fuch ill Habits of Body, and Miferies of all Kinds, that they can never extricate themselves from, as long as they live. The Courfe


of Nature is so established, that Death alone SERM.IV. sometimes puts a Period to thofe Ills, which they have plunged themselves into by their Follies and Vices: If they were to live for ever, they would be probably miserable for ever, by the ill Confequences of their Sins, which take place in a natural Way. Now whatever comes to pass by the fettled Course of Nature, is as much done by him, who appointed the Courfe of Things, and forelaw every Confequence that would arise from every Manner of Acting; as if he had immediately inflicted the Punishment himself. And as the fame God, who appointed the Nature of Things here, is the God of the other World as well as this; may not fomething like this come to pass in that other State? May not the Impenitent be for ever lamenting those Ills, which no Prudence can redrefs, no Patience make supportable, and no Time put a Period to?

I cannot conclude this Head, without wifhing, that all of us may believe the Doctrine which I have here inculcated, to be true; and that this Belief, with the Concurrence of other Motives, may have that Effect, that none of us may feel it to be fo. SERMON



The Nature, Poffibility and Truth, of a particular Providence fet forth.


Who is like unto the Lord our God, who bath his Dwelling fo high; and yet humbleth himself to behold the Things that are in Heaven and Earth?


T is one great Recommendation of the SERM. V.
Sacred Writings, that they have ex-

preffed themselves with more Juftness of Thought concerning the Nature of God, than any other Compofitions whatever. What the Vanity of Science, falfely fo called, has afcribed to Nature, or to fecond Caufes, exclufively of the First, is by them refolved into the immediate Will and Providence of God. This is the trueft Philofophy, as well as the best Divinity. For what is Nature? is it an understanding Being? or is it not? If it be not, how can an undeK 2 figning

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SERM. V. figning Being produce plain Notices of Con

trivance and Defign? If it be an Under-
ftanding Being, who acts throughout the
Universe; then it is that great Being, whom
we call God.
For Nature, Neceffity, and

Chance, mere Phantoms, which have no
Reason, Wisdom, or Power, cannot act,
with the utmoft Exactness of Wisdom,
powerfully, inceffantly, and every where.
And here I would obferve, that no Words
are more undetermined in their Signification,
than thofe, which pafs current in common
Converfation. We never queftion, but that
we clearly underfland Terms, which are
daily in ufe, and familiar to us: Whereas
those Words are often mere Sounds, with-
out Senfe, or any fettled Signification. Thus
few feem to know (though it is the only
clear and determinate Meaning of it) that
Nature in this Cafe means nothing, but the
conftant and stated Operation of God upon


We have no lefs Reafon to beg our daily Bread of Almighty God, than the Ifraelites had to pray for their Suftenance, when they were fed with Manna from Heaven. For that a Handful of Corn should multiply to a prodigious Degree, and that the Fields fhould


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