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infirmities they may, now labour under, SER M. their happiness in the final event shall be secured. All the inexplicable dispensations of providence, that perplex them now, shall then be unravelled to their joy and satisfaction ; and there shall be a just distribution of happiness and glory to them, by the righteous Lord, who loveth the righteous, and whose countenance doth behold the upright.
In the last place, the Justice of God ought to be matter of terror to the vicious and wicked. For if God is just, how can they expect that their wickedness shall be unpunished ? Shall not he render to them according to their works, and bring upon them their own iniquity? Shall not their unjust and oppressive deeds be remembered by him, which they did in defiance of him, and in contempt of his laws and government ? Will it not be just for him to bring upon them destruction and misery? And then, alas ! who can deliver them from his almighty arm? Where will the workers of iniquity hide themselves from his vengeance? They shall be reserved as unhappy instances of his Justice, in that place where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of
SERM. teeth. So shall the Justice of God be VI.
then fully vindicated, in suffering them to triumph and prosper a little in this ftate of things: and to everlasting ages it shall be proclaimed, Just and true are the ways, tbou King of saints!
The Omnipresence of God,
JEREMIAH XXIII. 24.
that I shall not see him ? faith the Lord:
F all the attributes of the Deity, SERM his immensity, or being every woman
where, seems most nearly to concern us: for though he were infinitely powerful, wise, and good, yet if we could conceive him not to be always with us, those properties would be of much lefs consequence to us, because it is poffible, we might not feel their effects. But to think of him as ever existent with us, in whatever situation and circumstances we may be, gives us the most awful view of his nature, and represents our moral behaviour as of infinite importance; fince we must ever be observed by him, to whom all things are continually open.
SERM. In the words I have read, without considering their connexion with what
goes before, we hear the prophet asserting, that God is every where present; that there is no place, how retired and secret soever, where he is not; no part of space where he does not exist; and that it is in vain for men to conceal themselves, or their actions, from his all-feeing eye. Can any man bide himself in secret places, that I shall not see him? saith the Lord: do not I fill beaven and earth ? faith the Lord.
In discoursing on this subject, I shall 1. Endeavour to represent to you, the
truth of this atrribute of God, his immensity, or his being every where
present. II. I shall mention some general con
sequences of this doctrine. And Lastly, make some practical uses of it. 1. Then I am to represent to you,
the truth of this perfection of God, his being every where present.
Before the light of the gospel shone upon the world, the heathens had but very dark and imperfect notions of this attribute. They seem to have had no apprehension of God, as an infinitelyse Rm. perfect being, who existed every where. VII. For as they imagined a plurality of Gods, so they thought each of them to be confined within the limits of his proper sovereignty and power. They fancied them to be set over particular countries and regions, and to be their protectors and defenders; or to have dominion in particular things. Some they thought to rule over the sea; others in the air, and fire ; fome over woods and forests; others over the hills, and valleys, and rivers, &c. But no one nation except the Jews, had any notion of the unity of God, and his being every where present. Some indeed, of the more rational and philofophic among men, apprehended, that there was one God fupreme over all the rest, and that he was unlimited with regard to his presence and power ; but these were fo. very few, that they had no influence to remove the prevailing ignorance.