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as a Spider's web; by Storms and Tem- S E R M pefts, by Fire and Earthquakes, by Dif- XII, cafes and Death, by potent Enemies or treacherous Friends, and innumerable other unforeseen or unavoidable Accidents. But what need we mention these greater and more enormous Follies? The true Wisdom even of the best and most reafonable men, is mixt with perpetual Weaknefs; and our wife Actions bear no proportion to our Infirmities. Nay, Nay, even Angels themselves, thofe great and glorious Spirits, who always behold the Face of God, and furround the Throne of infinite Wisdom; yet even of thefe it is elegantly affirmed in the Book of Job, ch. iv. 18. that he puts no truft in his Servants, and his Angels be chargeth with Folly: With Folly; Not like the Follies of Vain Men; But with fuch Imperfections as are comparatively Folly, in the Eyes of Him who alone is Wisdom and Perfection itself.

HAVING thus briefly fhown in general, that God must of Neceffity be infinitely Wife, and that He Only is fo; I proceed Now in the


IId place, To confider more diftinctly XII. and in particular, the different Manifeftations of this divine Wisdom, in his Works, in his Government, and in his Laws. The Wisdom of God in his Works, is the Demonstration of his Being; The Wisdom of God in his Government, is the great Confirmation of the Truth of his Providence with regard to Men; and the Wifdom of God in his Laws, is the Excellency and recommendation of Religion.

ift, If we confider the Works of God, and view this ftately Fabrick which his hands have made; we ftill find, that from the brighest Star in the firmament of Heaven, to the meaneft Pebble upon the face of the Earth, there is no part of Matter, great or fmall, wherein the Wif dom of the Creator does not more clearly and undeniably appear, than the Skill of an Architect is manifefted by a Building, or the Judgment of an Artificer by the completeness of his Work. In almost every part of the Creation, the Variety of Things themfelves is greater; and the dif ferent Ufes which every single thing is with the utmost exquifitenefs fitted to ferve at once, are more in Number, than the




Wisest and Greatest Philosophers, affifted SERM,
by the perpetually growing difcoveries of
increafing ages, are ever able to exhaust
or enumerate. So that present and future
Times, after employing the Sagacity of
all Generations, fhall ftill with the fame.
Truth as at first, repeat the words of Job;
who having at large defcribed the Great-
nefs of the Works of God in Heaven and
in Earth, concludes, ch. xxvi. 14. Lo, thefe
are part of his ways; but how little a por-
tion is heard of him! Or, as Salomon ex-
preffes it, Eccles. xi. 5. As thou knoweft not
what is the way of the Spirit; (Of the
Wind, it fhould be tranflated; according
to that of our Saviour, Thou hearest the
Sound thereof, but knoweft not whence it
cometh, nor whither it goeth;) As thou
knoweft not what is the way of the Spirit,
nor how the bones do grow in the womb of
her that is with child; even fo thou know-
eft not the works of God who maketh all.
Or, as the wife Author of the book of
Ecclefiafticus; who, having given a noble
defcription of all the parts of the vifible
Creation known in his time, fums up
at laft with this judicious exclamation,
ch. xliii. 32. There are still hid greater


SERM. things than these, and we have feen but a XII. few of his Works. Nevertheless, while to

the largest Understandings, the Number of Things, and the Variety of the Ufes to which each of them is fitted, are more than can in particular be poffibly compre→ hended; 'tis yet at the fame time, even to the meanest capacities, made moft obvioufly apparent in general, through the whole frame of Nature, that every thing is with confummate Wisdom adapted to the best and noblest Uses. The invisible things of God from the Creation of the World are clearly feen, being understood by the things that are made. The Heavenly Bodies, by their being fitly placed to communicate to us in a due proportion their Heat and Light and other Influences, by never-failing Viciffitudes of Day and Night, Winter and Summer, Seed-time and Harvest, declare, even to the most vulgar Underftandings, the Glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handy work, Pf. xix. 1. For, had thefe Bodies been of any other Bignefs, at any other Distance, or in any other Motion than they Now are; (which fhows their prefent conftitution to be the effect of perfect Wisdom;) the world


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could by no means have fubfifted. By SER M. the Sun's being bigger or nearer than it is, we had neceffarily been confumed with Heat; By its being either fmaller or farther off, we had as unavoidably been deftroyed with Cold; By any inequality in its Motion, a Succeffion of Both extremes, Heat and Cold after each other, would t have brought upon us the fame deftruction, as a Perpetuity of Either. The Earth whereon we dwell, being so beautifully adorned with Plants and Animals, fo bountifully furnished with Seas and Rivers, Air and Winds, Clouds and Rain, Metals and Minerals, for Ufe, for Ornament, for Delight; gives daily demonftration, even to perfons of the lowest capacity, if not perverted and ftupified thro' Vice and Debauchery; that the Lord by Wisdom founded the Earth, that by Understanding be established the Heavens; that by his Knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down dew, Prov. iii. 19: Or, as the Prophet expreffes it, fer. li. 15. that he made the Earth by his Power, eftablished the World by his Wisdom, and stretched out the Heaven by his Understanding. Had any of these

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