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SER M. therefore he fhould never have created any XI. thing at all. The true Answer plainly is : Whatever is in itself, and in the nature of Things, reasonable to be done, 'tis fit fhould actually be done; And 'tis never the more nor the less reasonable, for things being known or not known beforehand. The reafon of God's fending exhortations to wicked men, is not that he himself is ignorant what they will do, but that upon their own account 'tis reasonable they should be fo exhorted: And if the thing be reafonable in itself; it cannot ceafe to be fo, upon the account of Foreknowledge. And This, concerning the Object or Extent of the divine Knowledge: 'Tis a Knowledge of all things absolutely, without exception; a Knowledge of all the Actions of Men, a Knowledge of all their Thoughts, a Knowledge of all future and even contingent


2dly, WITH regard to the Manner of this divine Knowledge; tho' it is most unreafonable to imagine we can in any meafure poffibly explain in particular, all the Ways, Manners, and Circumstances of infinite Knowledge; yet fome few general obfervations, fuch as these which


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follow, may
very usefully made by us SER M.
upon this Head. That the divine Know- XI.
ledge is not, for inftance, as Ours, and
probably that of Angels alfo, is; a know-
ledge of things by degrees and parts; fee-
ing we can fix on but one fide of a thing,
and confider it only in one view at once;
But 'tis a perfect comprehenfion of every
thing, in all poffible refpects at a time,
and in all poffible Circumftances together.
Again; it is not, as Ours, and poffibly
that of higher Beings than we, only a
fuperficial and external knowledge of
things, but an intimate and thorough pro-
Spect of their very inmost nature and ef
fence, all things being naked and opened
(as the Apostle expreffes it) to the eyes of
Him with whom we have to do. Further ;
it is not, as Ours, and probably that of
the highest created Beings more or less is,
confufed and general; but a clear, diftinct,
and particular knowledge of every even
the minutest thing or circumftance;
knowledge, which not a hair of our head
escapes, and without which not a sparrow
falls to the ground. Laftly, it is not, as
Ours, acquired with difficulty, confiderati-
on, attention, and fudy; but a Knowledge




SERM.neceffarily and perpetually arifing of itself, XI. and infeparable even from the very existence

of him whose Effence is Omniprefent. And This briefly with regard to the Manner of the divine Knowledge.

3dly, As to the Certainty of it, (which was the laft Circumftance I propofed to fpeak to,) I need but just mention, that whereas Our Knowledge, (even of those things which we are well capable of understanding, ) is disturbed and hindred by innumerable causes, by education and prejudice, by temper and intereft, by custom, humour, and diforders of mind or body; All which we must conftantly endeavour to conquer ; and may fo far do it, as to escape all fatal errors, though we cannot avoid numberlefs mistakes: And whereas the Knowledge even of the Highest Angels, is always mixed with fome degree of Uncertainty; as in that remarkable expreffion of the Archangel to Tobias, Moreover I fuppofe (fays he:) he was not certain; but, I fuppofe, (faith he) that fhe fhall bear thee children: The divine Knowledge on the contrary is in all things abfolutely infallible, without the leaft poffibility any degree of being deceived.



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III. It remains, that I conclude with a SER M.
few Practical Inferences from the whole.
And ift, Ir the divine Knowledge is
perfect, it is a proper Object of our Ad-
miration and Honour. Of our Praises
indeed and Thanksgivings, his Goodness,
Mercy, and Compaffion are more pro-
perly the Grounds: But to be admired and
adored, is what every Perfection in the di-
vine Nature equally claims. The fmall
glimpses of Knowledge, which appear in
Men; if they be fkilled in languages, that
fictitious Learning which arifes merely
from our Difperfion and Confufions; if
they have improved themselves in the
tudy of Philofophy, Hiftory, or other
Sciences; even these small glimpses of Know-
ledge, cannot but raife in us fome propor-
tion of Efteem. What Veneration then
is due to Him, whole Knowledge is in
Himself infinite, and who is the fole Au-
thor of whatever Knowledge is found in
Any Other. And how should this teach
us to think humbly and meanly of our
felves, and of all Creatures, and of all
their poffible acquirements! to confider,
that we have and know nothing, but what
we have received! (For who has put Wif



SER M. dom in the inward parts? or who has giXI. ven Understanding to the Heart? Job xxxviii. 36. That Knowledge, and all other Faculties in created Beings, not only in Men, but even in the Highest Angels also, are but little Images and Shadows of Perfection; faint and derivative rays of Light, from the incomprehenfible fountain of Glory! in Comparison of whom, our Knowledge itself is Ignorance, and our Light as Darkness !

2dly, IF God knows all, even our most fecret actions; then ought we conftantly to live under the Power of this Conviction, in all holy and godly conversation, Ηίλιος ὃς both publickly and in private. 'Twas πάντ' έφο 4 with great Elegancy, that the antient ρακί παντο επισκέψει Heathen Poets defcribed the Sun in the Firmament, as overseeing and beholding all things; but the Defcription is True, in propriety and ftrictnefs of Speech, only of the all-feeing Eye of the Father of Lights. And hence appears the Vanity, of worshipping Saints and Idols, or any other Beings which know not all things. Which Folly Elijah excellently ridiculed, when he told the prophets of Baal, that their God was purfuing, or talking, or in a journey,

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