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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
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.
III. It remains, that I conclude with a SER M.
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,