Imágenes de páginas

ing of all imaginary places or space, but an infinite existence in an intinite being; so that as he is present with or indistant from the whole creation; for saith he, “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” Jer. xxiii, 24. So is he no less present, where there is no part of the creation. And if he should produce thousands of worlds, which he can do by his power, he would be no less present in them all. And this not by extending his essence and greatness, but by the infiniteness of his being. Neither are there parts in this immensity; for that which hath parts cannot be infinite or immense. God is wholly present every where. And thus far reason will go; it will assent to the truth of that which it cannot comprehend, because it is convinced that it cannot be otherwise. What remains, it leaves to faith and reverential adoration. Who can sufficiently admire this excellency of the nature of God? How as. tonishing this greatness! How are all the nations of the world, as the drop of a bucket, as the dust of a balance, as vanity, as nothing before him! What is a littie dust to the immensity of being? To that whose greatness we cannot measure, whose nature we cannot comprehend, whose glory we can only adore? What is a poor worm to him who is every where, and who is every where filled with his own excellencies and blessedness! “Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and measured out the heaven with a span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Behold the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balances. Behold he taketh up the isles as a very lit tle thing; all nations before him are as nothing, and they are counted unto him less than nothing and Vanity,” Isaiah xl, 12-17.



$14. Behold his infinite self-sufficiency! Had he not been every way self-sufficient, before the existence of all other things, nothing could have been produced. All the properties of his nature being infinite, have that which fills and satisfies them. His understanding is infinite: and as nothing could comprehend the infinite nature of God, but an infinite understanding, (for God could not know himself if his understanding were not infinite.) so nothing could satisfy an infinite understanding but an infinite object. And this suitableness of the properties of God one to another, as it makes them, because infinite, not really to differ from one another, or from his nature itself; so it gives them all rest, blessedness, satisfaction, and self-sufficiency. Hence is God all-susficient, and eternally blessed in the contemplation and enjoyment of his own excellencies, For self-sufficiency is the fountain of blessedness. Now what is man, that this every way all-sufficient God should mind, regard, and visit him? need of him, or his services? Doth his goodness extend to him? Can he profit God as a man profiteth his neighbor? If he sin, what doth he do against him? Or if his transgressions be multiplied what doth he against him? If he be righteous wht giveth he unto him? or what receiveth he at his hand? Job xxxv, 6,7 Nothing but infinite condescension and grace is the an

: cient fountain of all God's regard to us.

$15. Behold his infinite and eternal power! If the power of God in making this or that creature which we behold, be so admirable declaring his sovereignty and the infiniie distance of man from him in his best condition, how glorious is it in the whole universe; and in the creation of all things visible and invisible, and that by the secret emanation of omnipotency in a word of command. The art of man will go considerably

Hath he any

[ocr errors]

far in the framing, fashioning, and ordering of things; but the creating energy that is displayed in the least of God's creatures, infinitely differs from all limited and finite power. There is a peculiar impress of omnipotency upon all the works of God. And what is man that this Almighty Being should be mindful of him! The same reflections may be made on his wisdom and goodness, that shine forth in the works of his hands.

$16. On the other hand, “what is man,” as to his extract? A little dust, one made of “the dust of the ground;" that may say to corruption, “thou art my father, and to the worm, thou art my mother, and my sister,” Job xviii, 14. His fabric was not one jot of any better materials than theirs. That God put this honor upon him, to breathe into the dust whereof he was made, that he should become “a living soul,” is part of that goodness wherein he is so much to be admired. Otherwise, we are what God said to Adam, “dust thou art;” poor creature that wouldst be like to God, thou art but dust and no more! and in a becoming sense of this their extraction, did holy men of old abase themselves in the presence of God, as Abraham, Gen. xviii, 32, “How shall I speak unto the Lord that am but dust and ashes?” Poor proud man! who scornest to touch that of which thou art made, and thinkest thyself, I know not what, whilst the remainder of thee lies under the feet of all the creatures which thou des. pisest. What is this handful of dust that God should regard it? But yet this fabric being erected, perhaps is durable, strong, and abiding, and so may be considerable on that account. But alas! his frailty also is inexpressible, Psalm xc, 5, 6, “Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as asleep; in the morning they are like grass that groweth up; in the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is

cut down and withereth,” Job xiv, 1, 3. And dost thou open thine eyes upon such a “one," regard such a poor frail perishing creature? From within, from without, from himself, from all other creatures, and principally from the rage and cruelty of those of the same nature as himself, his misery is great, and his life of short continuance. And God abundantly shews what little weight is to be laid on that duration which man has in this world, in that he takes many from the very womb, who scarce ever beheld the light, into a participation of his own eternal glory.

$17. But still more: this earthly frail man hath made himself yet more unspeakably vile by sin, that sets him at the most awful distance from the glory of God. All these things being put together, they make the condescension of God in remembering man, and setting his heart upon him, exceedingly to be admired and adored. And this also will farther

appear, might consider what are the blessed effects of this mindfulness. But here our duty lies in studying what God hath revealed of himself; not with curious searchings and speculations, but with holy admiration, reverence, and fear. When these have filled us with wonder, when they have prostrated our spirits before him, and laid our mouths in the dust, when the glory of them shines round about us, and our whole souls are filled with an holy astonishment; then let us take a view of ourselves, our extract, our frailty, our vileness on every account. How poor, how undeserving are we! What is there in us, what is there belonging to us, that is not suited to abase us? Alive one day, and dead anotiier! Quiet one moment, troubled another; fcaring, caring, rejoicing causelessly; always simning, and “in our best condition altogether vanity!". Would we be wise? We are “ike the wild ass's colt;" would we be honor

if we

able? We are like the beasts that perish.” Would we be strong? We are as “a reed shaken with the wind.” In short, let the result of these thoughts be an holy admiration of God's infinite love, care, grace, and condescension in having any regard for us, as the psalmist hath given us an excellent example.

$18. Obs. 3. The respect, care, love, and grace of God to mankind, expressed in the person and mediation of Jesus Christ, is a matter of singular and eternal admiration. That is what the admiration of the psalmist respects and rests in; and this way of his grace towards us in the person of his Son, assuming our nature into union with himself, is that wherein the exceeding and unspeakable riches of his glory and wisdom are made manifest, Ephes. i, 17—23. God hath in other things set forth his glory; but yet in a very partial manner; one thing hath declared his power, another his goodness and wisdom, and that in part, with reference to that particular about which they have been exercised. But in this he hath drawn forth and displayed all the riches and treasures of his glory, so that his excellencies seem capable of no great exaltation. Now therefore whereunto doth all this tend? Why it is all to give a blessed and eternal inheritance to believers, for the hope and expectation of which they are called by the gospel. And by what way or means is all this brought about? Even by the mighty working of God in Jesus Christ, in his humiliation unto death; and his after exaltation, putting all things under his feet, crowning him with glory and honor. So full of glory, such an object of eternal admiration, is this work of the love and grace of God! which as Peter tells us, the very argels themselves deşire to look into, 1 Pet. i, 12.

« AnteriorContinuar »