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fuch Order and Harmony, and ennobled it SERM. V. with fuch Magnificence and Grandeur.
:: Yet this Earth, all these Worlds, which move above us, far more, than the naked Eye, than Glaffes, than the Imagination can reach, are but before him (in the Language of the Prophet Ifaiah) as a Drop of a Bucket, and are counted as the fmall Duft of the Balance: Behold he taketh up the Ifles, as a very little Thing: That is, the Ifles and indeed the whole Univerfe are in bis Hands, what a light infignificant Weight is in ours, which we take up and manage at our Eafe, without being in the least encumbered by it. What is your Spirit amidst fuch a Multitude of Spirits, as probably inhabit thefe Worlds? No more, than a Drop amidst the vast Collection and Affemblage of Waters.-Yet you are as much the Care of the great Author of all these Worlds, and Father of all these Spirits, as if there were no Creature for him to protect and love but you. No Perfon howfoever little or infignificant, who regards him, can be unregarded by Him, who, with one Glance of Thought can know every Thing, without Study and painful Refearches ; and with one Motion of his Will can do eM 2
SERM. V. whole World. For if God be FOR us, it will in a fhort Time fignify little or nothing, who was against us: But if He be against us, what will it fignify, who was for us? Our Communication and Intercourfe with our nearest and deareft Relations may be intercepted by our Misfortunes: But our Intercourfe with the nearest Object of all, even Him, in whom we live, and move, and have our Being, cannot be intercepted but by our Vices. He who never 'faileth them that feek him, will never forfake us, till we forfake Him and Virtue. He is, according to the expreffive Description of St. John, Light and Love, pure unclouded Light, without any Mixture of Darkness and Ignorance; and pure unallayed Love, without any Tincture of Malice and Hatred: He knows whatever is really Good for us; and will do whatever in his unerring Judgment is most effectually conducive to our Good, making every difaftrous Incident finally terminate in our Benefit.
The intrinfic Excellency of the Scriptures, a Proof of their divine Infpiration.
In Two SERMONS.
I PETER III. 15.
Be ready always to give an Answer to every
T is furprifing to obferve, what a clofe SERM. VI. Connexion and Alliance one material Truth has with another. Thus, for Inftance, that there is a God, those manifeft Traces of infinite Wisdom, which appear through the whole Oeconomy of Nature, fufficiently make out. The whole World is in this Refpect, as it were, one great Temple, where, as in the Jewish, the Shechinah or divine Prefence fhines
SERM,VI. confeft in a vifible Glory. The fame Arguments, that prove our own Existence, demonftrate God's. How do we prove there is a vital Principle within any Perfon? Why, because he moves, he thinks and acts: And can we from these Operations conclude there fubfifts within us a Principle, which actuates and informs the Body: And fhall we not from the stupendous Operations of the Universe conclude, there is a Being that actuates and invigorates all Nature *? Matter cannot be a neceffarily exiftent Being. Because that alone is neceffarily exiftent, which exifts immutably, and cannot but be, what it is. Whereas, on the other Hand, Matter does not perfift in an uniform State of Being, but is liable to Changes, and admits of new Modifications. The infinite Variety, that there is in the World, which fhews a manifold Wisdom, is no more confiftent with the Scheme of unintelligent Neceffity; than Regularity, Uniformity and Defign is with that of Chance.
* Eft, eft profecto illa Vis; neque in his Corporibus, atque in hac imbecillitate ineft quiddam, quod vigeat ac fentiat et non ineft in hoc tanto Naturæ tam præ claro motu; nifi forte idcirco effe non putant, quia non
And if there be a God, there must be SERM. VIfome Religion; or, in other Words, fome Homage must be due from an indigent and dependent Creature, to his great Creator, Preferver and Benefactor. And if fome Religion be neceffary, it must be one that is fufficient, or is fufficiently calculated for the Generality of Mankind. Now, that
natural Religion, or that Religion, which the Light of Nature dictates, is not fufficiently calculated for the Generality of Mankind, is evident from hence; that to trace a confiderable Number of Doctrines up to the Fountain-Head from which they flow, by the Strength of unaffifted Reason, and to pursue them to their remotest Confequences, is a Task at least extremely difficult to Men of Letters, but I may venture to Lay impracticable to the Ignorant. Befides, pure natural Religion is a mere Utopian Scheme, which may perhaps have exifted in the Minds of fome few reclufe contem→ apparet, nec cernitur: proinde quafi noftram ipfam men. tem, quâ fapimus, quâ providemus, quâ hæc ipfa agimus ac dicimus, videre, aut plane qualis, aut ubi fit, fentire poffumus. Cicero pro Milone. Unde fcis tibi imeffe vitale Principium? Refpondebis, quia loquor, quia ambulo, quia operor. Stulte, ex operibus corporis agnofcis viventem ; ex operibus Creationis non agnofcis Creatorem ? S. Auguftinus.