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such Order and Harmony, and ennobled it SÉRm. V: with such Magnificence and Grandeur.
Yet this Earth, all these Worlds, which move above us, far more, than the naked Eye, than Glasses, than the Imagination can reach, are but before him (in the Language of the Prophet Isaiah) as a Drop of a Bucket, and are counted as the small Dust of the Balance : Bebold be taketh up the Isles, as a very little Thing : That is, the Illes and indeed the whole Universe are in bis Hands, what a light insignificant Weight is in ours, which we take up and manage at our Ease, without being in the least encumbered by it. What is your Spirit amidst such a Multitude of Spirits, as probably inhabit these Worlds ? No more, than a Drop amidst the vast Collection and Assemblage 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 pro- . tect and love but you. No Person howsoever little or insignificant, who regards him, can be unregarded by Him, who, with one Glance of Thought caii know every Thing, without Study and painful Researches ; and with one Motion of his Will can do e
SERM. V. whole World. For if God be For us, it
will in a short Time. signify little or nothing, who was against us: But if He bę against us, what will it fignify, who was for us? Our Communication and Intercourse with our nearest and dearest Relations may be intercepted by our Misfortunes : But our Intercourse with the nearest Object of all, éven Him, in whom we live, and move, and have our Being, cannot be intercepted but by our Vices. He who never
faileth them that seek bim, will never forJake.us, till we forsake Him and Virtue. He is, according to the expressive Description of Sti John, Light and Love, pure unclouded Light, without any Mixture of Darkness and Ignorance ; and pure unallayed sLove, without any Tin&ture 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 disastrous Incident finally terminate in our Benefit.
The intrinsic Excellency of the Scrip
tures, a Proof of their divine Infpiration.
In Two SERMONS.
i PETER III. 15.
Man that asketh you a Reason of the
T is surprising to observe, what a clofe Serm.VI.
Connexion and Alliance one material
Truth has with another. Thus, for Instance, that there is a God, those manifest Traces of infinite Wisdom, which appear through the whole Oeconomy of Nature, sufficiently make out. The whole World is in this Refpect, as it were, one great Temple, where, as in the Jewish, the Shechinah or divine Presence shines
SERM,VI, confest in a visible Glory. The fame Ar
guments, that prove our own Exittence, demonstrate 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 shall we not from the stupendous Operations of the Universe conclude, there is a Being that actuates and invigorates all Nature*? Matter cannot be a necessarily existent Being. Because that alone is necesarily existent, which exists immutably, and cannot but be, what it is. Whereas, on the other Hand, Matter does not perfist 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 shews a mamfold Wisdom, is no more consistent with the Scheme of unintelligent Necessity; than Regularity, Uniformity and Design is with that of Chance.
And * Ex, eft profecto illa Vis; neque in his Corporibus, atque in hac imbecillitate ineft quiddam, quod vigeat ac sentiat :' et non inest in hoc tanto Naturæ tam præ claro motu , nisi forte idcirco esse non putant, quia non
And if there be a God, there must be Serm. VI: Come Religion ; or, in other Words, some Homage must be due from an indigent and dependent Creature, to his great Creator, Preserver and Benefactor. And if fome Religion be necessary, it must be one that is sufficient, or is sufficiently 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 considerable Number of Doctrines up to the Fountain-Head from which they flow, by the Strength of unaffifted Reason, and to pursue them to their remoteft Confequences, is a Task at leaft extremely difficult to Men of Letters, but I may venture to say impracticable to the Ignorant. Besides, pure natural Religion is a mere Utopian Scheme, which may perhaps have exifted in the Minds of some few recluse contemapparet, nec cernitur : proinde quafi noftram ipfam mon. tem, quâ fapimus, quâ providemus, quâ hæc ipfa agima ac dicimus, videre, aut plane qualis, aut ubi fit, sentire poflumus. Cicero pro Milone. Unde fcis tibi ineffe vitale Principiam ? Respondebis, quia loquor, quia ambulo, quia operor. Stulte, ex operibus corporis agnofcis viventem i ex operibus Creationis non agnoscis Creatorem ? S. Auguftinus,