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infirmities they may now labour under, SER M. their happiness in the final event fhall be fecured. All the inexplicable difpenfations of providence, that perplex them now, fhall then be unravelled to their joy and fatisfaction; and there fhall be a just distribution of happiness and glory to them, by the righteous Lord, who loveth the righteous, and whofe countenance doth behold the upright.
In the last place, the Juftice 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 unjuft and oppreffive 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 deftruction and mifery? 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 teeth.
SERM. teeth. So fhall the Juftice of God be VI. then fully vindicated, in fuffering them to triumph and profper a little in this state of things: and to everlasting ages it shall be proclaimed, Juft and true are thy ways, thou King of faints!
The Omniprefence of GOD.
JEREMIAH XXIII. 24.
Can any man hide himself in fecret places, that I fhall not fee him? faith the Lord: do not I fill beaven and earth? faith the Lord.
F all the attributes of the Deity, SERM his immenfity, or being every moved where, seems most nearly to concern us: for though he were infinitely powerful, wife, and good, yet if we could conceive him not to be always with us, those properties would be of much lefs confequence to us, because it is poffi→ ble, we might not feel their effects. But to think of him as ever existent with us, in whatever fituation 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 confidering their connexion with what goes before, we hear the prophet afferting, that God is every where prefent; that there is no place, how retired and fecret foever, where he is not; no part of fpace where he does not exift; 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 fecret places, that I shall not fee him? faith the Lord: do not I fill heaven and earth? faith the Lord.
In difcourfing on this fubject, I fhall
1. Endeavour to reprefent to you, the truth of this atrribute of God, his immenfity, or his being every where prefent.
II. I fhall mention fome general confequences of this doctrine. And
Lastly, make some practical uses of it.
I. Then I am to represent to you, the truth of this perfection of God, his being every where present.
Before the light of the gofpel fhone upon the world, the heathens had but very dark and imperfect notions of this attribute. They seem to have had no
apprehenfion of God, as an infinitely S E R M. perfect being, who existed every where. For as they imagined a plurality of Gods, so they thought each of them to be confined within the limits of his proper fovereignty and power. They fancied them to be fet 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 fea; others in the air, and fire; fome over woods and forefts; 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 prefent. Some indeed, of the more rational and philofophic among men, apprehended, that there was one God fupreme over all the reft, and that he was unlimited with regard to his prefence and power; but these were fo. very few, that they had no influence to remove the prevailing ignorance.
But in the revelation which we have now, which has brought life and immortality to light, we are taught in the cleareft manner, what we are to believe concerning this perfection of God. For in the fcriptures, there is frequent men