« PoprzedniaDalej »
any way consist with the divine Goodness, and Justice and Impartiality ?--But who made us such competent Judges of what is fic for God to do with his Creatures ? Where will this Sufficiency, this Arrogance of Reason stop? May not he, who hath made of one Blood all Nations of Men, for to dwell on all the Face of the Earth, and hath determined the Times afore-appointed, and the Bounds of their Habitations, may not he see the Justness of Times, and Propriety of Seasons much better than we can do? If we know a Dispensation to be from God, the Obedience of Faith ought immediately to take place: If the Fitness of it does not appear to our Reason, it must be supposed. There is nothing so highly celebrated in Scripture, as that Faith and Obedience which was distinguished by the most difficult and trying Circumstances: Such was Abraham's, such was Elizabeth's, Joseph's and
Mary's Faith. It was this, which is there more especially said to be imputed for Righteousness, and which these Advocates for Reason would have rejected and despised. But let us reason with them in their own way: Do all Men equally deserve ? If not, why must they be treated equally ? Again, are all Men equally prepared ? If not, why must they be equally instructed ? And as God only can judge of these moral Circumstances of Mankind, as they are absolutely out of the reach of our Knowledge ; so it is the most absurd and audacious thing imaginable, for Man to arraign God of Partiality, and to set himself
for Judge of those Dispensations, which appear at the first View to be in the Deep, and past our finding out, as to the Times and Seasons of them; Paul and Timothy were forbidden by the Holy Ghost to preach the Word in Afia; when they essayed to go into Bithinia
the Spirit suffer'd them not; doubtless for good Reasons, cho' unknown boch to them and us.
To conclude, God from the Beginning had a People to whom he manifested himself, and instructed, supported and governed; and by all these Means render'd them a much more sufficient People, as to all moral and religious Knowledge, than their own Reason could ever have done, and would have continued the King of that people, if they had not, in their great Self-sufficiency, rejected him. And we can conceive nothing more immoral or unfit, nothing more opposite to the Reasons, and Relations of Things, chan for such Creatures as we are, to set up for an Independency against God, a Sin probably not unlike that of the fallen Angels. It should on the contrary behove us to desire the promis'd Return of the divine Presence to teach Man, and help his
Infirmities, and more especially to effect those great Events, which we are assured from Revelation, are yet to be brought about, The Calling of the Jews, and the Fulness of the Gentiles, When the Earth shall be full of the Knowledge of the Lord, as the Waters cover the Sea. Il. xi. 9.