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such Order and Harmony, and ennobled jtSerm._vwith 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: Behold he taketh up the Isles* as a very little Thing: That is, the Isles and indeed the whole Universe are ist 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 protect and love but you. No Person howsoever little or insignificant, who regards him, can be unregarded by Him, who, with one Glance of Thought can know every Thing, without Study and painful Researches j and with one Motion of his Will can do eM 2 very
rm 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 be .againstus, what will it signify, 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, even Him, ik inborn we live, and move, and have our Being, cannot be intercepted but by our Vices< He who never faileth them that seek him, will never /orfake. us, till we forsake Him and Virtue. Hq is,: according to the expreflive Description of St.- John, Light and Love, pure unclouded Light, without any Mixture of •Darkness and Ignorance ;.and pure unallayed rLove, 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 jour Good, making every disastrous Incident ^finally terminate in our Benefit.: ; (il .»;...!,. . . . '. .. * . ',
V-' ,1 v.; -Jlr ,\ .\.
The intrinsic Excellency os the Scriptures, a Proof of their divine Inspiration.
In Two SERMONS.
i Peter III. 15.
Be ready always to give an Answer to every Man that ajketh you a Reason of the . Hopes that is in you,
IT is surprising to observe, what a close Se 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 Respect, as it were, one great Temple, where, as in the Jewish, the Shechinah or divine Presence shines M 4 confest
Serm,vI. confest jn a yjflble Giory. The same Arguments, that prove oar own Existence, demonstrate God's. How do we prove there is a vital Principle within any Person? Why, because he moves, he thinks and acts: And can we from these Operations conclude there subsists 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 necessarily existent, which exists immutably\ and cannot but be, what it is. Whereas, .on the other Hand, Matter does not persist 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 manifold Wisdom, fe no more consistent with the Scheme of unintelligent Necessity; than Regularity, Uniformity and Design is with that of 'Chance,
* Est, est profecto ilia vis; jftqtfe in his Coiporibus, atque in hac imbedllitate inest quiddam, quod vigeat ac fen dat: et non inest in hoc tanto Naturæ tam pras' clafO Tn'otu; nisi forte ideirco esse non putant, quia non
And if there be a God, there must 'fad-fY* some 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 some 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 dicta*5s, is not sufficiently calculated for the Generality of Mankind, is evident from hence j that to trace a considerable Number of Doctrines up to the Fountain-Head from which they flow, by the Strength of unassisted Reason, and to pursue them to their remotest Consequences, is a Task at least extremely difficult to Men of Letters, but I may venture to fay impracticable to the Ignorant. Besides, pure natural Religion is a mere Utopian Scheme, which may perhaps have existed in the Minds of some few recluse contem
apparet, nec cernitiir : proinde quasi nostram ipiatn mraa. teni, qua sapimus, qua providemus, qua hæc ipsa agimts ac dicimus, videre, aut plane qualis, aut ubi fit, sentire, poffumus. -Cicero pro Mlone. Unde scis tibi inesse vital* Principicrm? Respondebis, quia'loquor, quia ambulo, <[uia operor. Stulte, ex operibus corporis agnoscis viventem 5 ex operibus Creattonis non agnoscis Creatorem? S. Aulustinus,