« PreviousContinue »
SER M. Time, can change his Hatred towards unVII. righteous Actions; or hinder him, with
out true Repentance and effectual Amendment, from punishing unrighteous Men. His Wifdom, his Honour, his Goodness, obliges him to preferve the Dignity of his Laws and Government; and 'tis therefore a dreadful thing for willful Sinners to fall into the hands of the ever-living, everunchangeable God.
3dly, ON the contrary, the confideration of the Mercy of Him, who is unchangeable in his Perfections, ought to be a no less conftant incouragement to fuch as are truly penitent, and fincerely defirous to amend. Men, are oft times weak and paffionate, and implacable when provoked: But the Mercy and Compaffion of God, is, like all the other Perfections of his Nature, unchangeably ready to extend itself towards thofe, who at any time become capable Objects of it. And from the fame confideration, appears likewife the abfolute and indifpenfable Neceffity of Repentance: For as the Mercy of God is always open to the penitent, fo from it the impenitent are irreverfibly excluded.
"Tis impoffible, that God should change: SERM, The Sinner may change, and must do fo, VII. W or perish.
4thly and Laftly; As Unchangeableness is an Excellency and Perfection in God; fo in Man on the contrary, to change his -opinion and manner of acting, when there is juft caufe fo to do, is one of his greateft Commendations. And the Reason in Both, is the fame; namely, that Right and Truth are to be followed unchangeably. As therefore God, who never can err in his judgment of Right and Truth, must consequently be unchangeable in his acting according to it; fo, for the very fame Reason, frail and fallible Man, whenever he finds he has erred from what is True and Right, muft immediately return unto it. But in things certainly and demonftrably True; or which, upon the fullest and most careful examination, are found evidently and undeniably Good; in these things, men ought to be firm and ftedfaft without wavering; and not like children, toffed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, by the flight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive
SER M.deceive. For Jefus Chrift, i. e. the Doctrine or Gofpel of Chrift, is the fame yefterday, and to day, and for ever Be not therefore (fays the Apostle) carried about with divers and frange doctrines; for it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace. And our Saviour himself, Rev. iii. 15, I would thou wert cold or hot, and not luke-warm: The meaning is; If men pretend to make profeffion of Religion at all, they ought to be, not lukewarm, not, careless and indifferent, in matters of Religion; but they ought to. be zealous, that is, not hot in their paffions, not, fierce and contentious about difputable opinions, about things uncertain and indifferent; but zealous and stedfast in the purfuit and practice, of what is clearly and indifputably Juft and Right, I conclude with the exhortation of St Paul, 1 Cor. xv. 58, Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfaft, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forafmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
I KINGS viii. 27.
But will God indeed dwell on the
S the Eternity of God fig-SER M. nifies his continued exiftence, VIII. through all the periods of boundless Duration: fo his Immenfity or Omniprefence, fignifies his being equally prefent in every
SERM.Part of the infinite Expansion of the UVIII. niverse. In difcourfing upon which At~ tribute of the Divine Nature, I fhall ft,
indeavour briefly to prove the Truth of the Doctrine itself, that God must be immenfe or omniprefent. 2dly, I shall offer fome particular Obfervations concerning the Nature and Circumftances of This Divine Perfection. And 3dly, I shall confider (which is the most important of all,) how This Meditation, may become useful to us in influencing our Practice.
First, IN order to prove the Truth of the Affertion itself, that God must of Neceffity be Omniprefent; 'tis to be observed, (and it may easily be apprehended even by the meanest Capacities,) that if Being or Existence be at all a Perfection, (as it manifeftly is the Foundation of all other Perfections,) it will follow, that in like manner as continuing to exift through larger Periods of Time, fo alto Extent of Existence (and confequently of Power,) through larger portions of Space, is the having a greater degree of this Perfection. And as That Being, which is abfolutely perfect, must with regard to Duration be