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i up this point. Fear not (faith-he to his Disci! ples) Are rot two Sparrows fold for a Farthing? Mat, 10. tia Yet not one of them falls to the Ground without 29.
the Will of your Father. Nay, I say unto you, od the very Hairs of your Head are all numbered. O di wonderful this? what!, God Almighty numidin ber the very Hairs of our Head! Lord, what fo is Man, that thou should I have such Respect unto
him, and do that for him, which even the . .. I niceft, and most delicate of Men neyer yet did 1.1 for themselves?' But thus art thou pleased to El express thy particular Regard to the Sons of
Men. Thus art thout pleased to let us fee, that none of us are fo inconsiderable, but that we are within the Verge of thy Providence, and Objects of thy Care, And therefore much
more are Cities, and States, and Kingdoms fo, 1 wherein the Fortunes of so many Individuals are wrapt up. ;.
O, bieffed be God, for his Love to Mankind! 0; for ever adored be his Name, for
thus humbling himself to take notice of us ani and our Affairs, and likewise for giving us such af abundant Assurance that he doth fo! Since I therefore we have such mighty Evidence of all
forts, that the Lord is King, let the Earth be
And we shall still fee greater Reason thus to å be glad, if we consider a little more particular1. ly the Rules and Measures by which God ad
ministers the Affairs of his Kingdom: Which
Tho'it be true what the Pfalmift faith, That Pfal. 135.
w what foever the Lord pleaseth, that doth be in 6." Heaven and in Earth, and in the Sea, and all
deep Places: yet it is as true, that the Lord will never be pleased to do any Thing, either in Heaven or in Earth, but what is suggested by infinite Goodness, and in such Ways as are
the Result of Infinite Wisdom. For as the Pfal. 33.5. same Pfalmift tells us, He loveth Righteousness
and Judgment; the Earth is full of the Goodness Pfal. 145. of the Lord. He is holy in all his Ways, and 17, 9. righteous in all his Doings: and his tender Mer
cies are over all his Works....
To say, That God deals arbitrarily with any of his Creatures; or, that he dispenseth Good or Evil to them, meerly because he will, without any other Reason, is in Truth to disparage his Nature, and gives us such a Notion of him, as we have perhaps of some of the Great Monarchs of the World, but whom we are so far from esteeming the Beft Men..'
No, certainly, if we, Mankind, find in onrselves, that the wiser and better we grow, the less are we led by Humour and Will, and the more do we shake off our Indifferency to Good and Evil, and the more steadily do we cleave to the eternal Laws of Reason and Righteousness in all our Actions; we may be sure that God, who is Wisdom, and Justice, and Goodness itself, can never, in any of his Actions or Dealings with his Creatures, depart from these Principles.
The true Scheme of God Almighty's Goyernment, is plainly this; ir!
His Infinite Mind clearly understood all the Possibilities of Things, long before they were
1 in actual Being. He knew what Things were la possible to be ; and how they would act if - they were put into Being, and what the Events I of all their Actings would be. viii. isa
His Infinite Goodness, moved him to put' inage to actual Being every Thing that he saw was
Good to Be; and to give them all those Powers as of Action that they have ; and withal, to look w after them so, as that both they and all their
Motions and Actions should at last be to the | Praise and Glory of the famé Goodness, that first inclined him to create them.
His Infinite Wisdom contrived the Methods, t, in which all this should be brought to pass,
and fo laid the Scheme and Platform of Things, that nothing could happen in the whole Creation, from the Beginning of the World to the End thereof, (tho'it was in itself never so bad, never so mischievous) but what both might, and should be so ordered, as to be subservient to that End. ,
And Lafly, The Scheme of Things being thus laid, his Infinite Power first produced All * Things, and still upholds All Things, and from " Time to Time in their several Seasons actually
brings to pass every Thing, according to the Determinations of his eternal Wisdom. And tho' it doth it in Ways secret to us, yet it doth it certainly and surely, and withal, moft easily
and gently, with the least Violence to the esta "blih'd Laws of Nature, and without any Force at all upon the Free Wills of Intelligent Beings.
This, I say, is the Account that both Reason and Scripture give us of God's Making and Governing the World. Infinite Knowledge is
the Foundation of, All, Infinite Goodness. is the Author and Mover of All. Infinite Wisdom is the Contriver and Director of All;Andi Infinite Power executes All...,',
Admit now these Principles and fee what ) : will follow from them. Fins . It will follow from hence, in the firft Place, that every Event that happens in the World, is beautiful in its Seafon; as Solomon expresses it. That is to fay. How unaccountable foever it may appear to us, yet there is a good Reason to be given, both why it happens at all, and likewise why it happens at that Time, and with thofe Circumstances that it doth. It helps to adorn the Great Drama and Contrivance of God's Providence, and minifters to excellent Ends, tho' we, poor Creatures, do little apprehend how it makes for them; as indeed it is impossible we should, unless we had the whole Comprehension of Things in our Minds, and faw the entire Scheme of God's Government, from the Beginning to the End. This must needs be fo, if we be Govern'd by Infinite Wisdom. . Secondly, It follows from hence, that both Good and Evil are measured to Mankind according to their respective Capacities. If we be fit for Good, Good will come. If we deserve Punishment, we must expect that likewise. For All God's Ways are equal, tho’ Ours be unequal. - And therefore it is the most unreasonable Thing in the World to impute our Successes, whether they be Good or Bad, fo wholly to the immediate Hands that managed our Affairs, às not in the first place to take notice of the Hand of God in them.
There is a Divine Power that governs all these . Matters. And tho' it be true, that no Misfortune, no ill Success ever happens, but. there is a Human Reason to be given for it : and it may be found out upon what Occasion or by whát Neglect, or thro' what il Management that Misfortune happened; yet it is as true, that if those that. managed for us had the Wisdom, and the Conduct, and the Strength of the very Angels of God, yet their. Endeavours would not be effectual, for the making us happy, unless we ourfelves were in a Capacity of being so, by being proper Objects of God's Mercy and Favour. This must likewife be true, if perfect Justice govern the World. ; 1. Thirdly, "It follows from hence, that even the feverer Dispensations of God's Providence towards us; the Things we complain of, and are uneafie under ; our very Calamities, and Misfortunes, and Disappointments; even these are the Effects of God's Kindness, tho’ at the fame Time they may be likewise Instances of his Justice: That is to say, they are meant really for our Good, and will prove fo, if we make that Use of them, we should do.
3. The very Nature of God is to do all Good, at-all Times, to all his Creatures. For, he had no other End in making them, nor has he any other. End in looking after them: But God cannot do Good to all in the same way. Correction, and Chastisement, and Punishment, is in fome Cases more expedient for the bringing People to rights, and promoting their true Interests, than the giving them all that their own Hearts can with. In such cases, therefore