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TWO CROWN'D HEADS.
Amongst my distracted thoughts
My straying thoughts to stay;
To call these wanderers home,
But that they may be read,
I think to write them down.
THOUGHT of that word, Gen. i. 1, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." I propounded to myself a question, thus: The beginning of what? The beginning of that unspeakable and glorious essence I knew it could not be, so that I see it was the beginning of his works, so, consequently, the beginning of all things that are made here. I stood amazed to think what infinite wisdom there must be in God, to have all the whole creation of heaven and earth, and all the.
whole government and management, from first to last, all ready settled in his unchangeable will. Eph. 1. 11, Acts 15 18, Prov. 3. 19, 20, Isa. 45. 12, The heavens and their hosts have their courses, the angels their numbers and their offices; men their numbers, their acts, their ends; his gifts natural and spiritual, his word, ordinances, and means, all was ready settled in his will and knowledge. The doctrine is this: That the beginning of time was the beginning of God's working, and the beginning of God's working was the beginning of God's revealing of his will, settled in himself from all eternity, Psal. 19. 2. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. I thus comment upon it: Had man been created the first day, (as angels were) he might have seen every evening what was reserved in the will of God the evening before, for day unto day declare it, till the six days work was finished, the seventh day at even, Adam might, (I suppose) Psal. 49. 12, see in his fall the will of God in respect of government and providence, and so to the world's end. Day unto day, and night unto nighutter eth knowledge in respect of us, and not in respect of God, Acts xv. 18. Known unto God are all his ways or works from the beginning of the world, which is spoken in respect of his government, which is, according to his will, settled before the world was, and not of the things that are made, for then he must know things by sight, as we do, and so consequently, know no more than we do, which is no less than blasphemy; for, if God must see all things done before he knows it, or if he must look out of himself to know any thing, then,
First, We make him like ourselves.
Thirdly, We deny him that which the heathens will not rob their gods of. To do this is heathenism, if not worse, for they have their good and evil dæmons. But if it be demanded whether God's will is in every action in respect of governing the world, as in creating of it, I answer yea; I argue thus:
First, If God knew his works from the beginning of the world, he must know it some way; he must know it either by looking in himself, or out of himself. We will sum up all with this: God saw Adam before he was made. How did God know that there would be an Adam? God knew that all the world should fall in him. How did God know that there would be a foederal covenant made with him?
Secondly, God knew that there would be no promise made to Adam to uphold him in that covenant. Thirdly, How did God know that there would be no promise given him to uphold him? It must be answered, God knew his own will, Eccl. iii. 14., Eph. i. 11. And so in respect of every thing. The Lord knew that Pharoah would not let the people go; but how knew he that? because he would harden his heart, Exod. 4. 2. The Lord knew that Cyrus would let his people go out of their captivity; but how did God know that? He knew it, because he knew he would give him power and will to do it, Isa. 45. 1, 2, 3, 4. And so much for this point. Now in respect of the elect of God in particular,
know saith God to Abraham, that he will command his children, signifying all his elect, Gal, 8. 7. that they shall keep the way of the Lord.
Quest. How did he know that? He knew it, because he would write his law in their hearts, Jer, 81. 33. Heb. 8. 10. Jer. 29. 10, 11. So much for the knowledge of God.
Obj. But it may be objected, God leaving Adam to his own will, did not that prove that Got left the government of the creature to itself?
Answ. First, If God had left Adam to his own will, to have performed the law of nature only (as a Beast) with promise of a reward, or a threat of punishment, much might have been; therefore a beastly objection. But,
Secondly, God giving him a law with a promise of reward, and a threat of punishment, by this God manifested his power as a governor and a lawgiver.
Thirdly, Had not God left Adam to his own will, his obedience could not properly have been his own.
Fourthly, Had not God left him to his own will, but had given him a promise to uphold him, his fault in eating could not have been his own neither, but his that had promised him assistance, and did not: so there was need that Adam should be left to his own will; for if he obeyed, he obeyed his governor's will; and if he fell, he fell in the hands of his governor, and to his disposing.
Fifthly, If he had not been left to his own will, God could not justly have condemned him.
Sixthly, Nor Adam could not justly have condemned himself.
Seventhly, Had God given Adam a promise of upholding, and not left him to his own will, satan assaulting of Adam, had assaulted God, as in the case of every believer, so he could not justly have overcome him, Zach. 2. 8. or God must falsify his promise.
Eightly, Had he not been left to his own will,