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dom and goodness, in preferving and governing the world, and all things in it. And it tends to fupprefs and even eradicate all true piety, by leading to conceive of the Creator, as at a distance, and in a great measure out of fight; and as it obliterates a fenfe of our immedi ate dependence on God, and encourages felf dependence. In a word, it makes too much of creatures, and raifes them infinitely too high, by which the Creator and Governor of the world, is concealed and hid; whereas in a right view of divine providence, every creature and all events exhibit Deity to view, as conftantly prefent in every thing, in the exercise of omniscience, power, wisdom, rectitude and goodness; and unite to imprefs that fenfe of the divine Being on the mind, and lead to that acknowledgment of him, in which all true piety most effentially confifts.

II. We are therefore, in the next place, led to observe, that the true, philofophical and fcriptural account of di vine providence, opens the most ample field for the exercife of piety and religion; as it leads us to fee God in all things, and in every event; to fear him, truft in him, and acknowledge him in all our ways, feeling our immediate, conftant, absolute dependence upon him. This leads us to hear him speaking important truths, in an intelligible language, by all creatures and things with which we are furrounded, and in all events; which calls for answerable exercises of prayer, acknowledgments, thanksgiving and praise, and a conftant glorifying him, in whofe hand is our breath and all our ways. Of fuch exercifes and expreffions of piety we have many examples in the holy fcriptures; which, at the fame time, appear perfectly rational.


III. HENCE we learn the reasonablenefs and duty of a cheerful fubmiffion to God, and acquiefcence in the events which take place under his direction and providence, Not to do this, is to oppose God and his will, and to refift infinite wisdom and goodness. Every event that takes place, is under the immediate direction of unerring wisdom and goodness, and ordered for the greatest good, to promote the most important and best ends; and is therefore fo far from being the reasonable ground of any reluctance and regret in us, that we ought not only barely to fubmit, but to acquiefe with pleasure, and rejoice that God reigns, and hath done, and continues to do, whatsoever he pleaseth; and worketh all things, according to the counsel of his own will.

IV. How fafe and happy are they who put their trust in God! He who directs and governs all things, and orders every event; who is infinitely above all control, on whom all things intirely depend; who does whatsoever he pleases in heaven and among the children of men on earth: He is engaged by repeated promises to them, that no evil fhall come near them to hurt them; but that every thing fhall work together for their good. If God be thus for them, who or what can be against them? The Lord reigneth, let them who truft in him always rejoice. Well may they fay, "God is our refuge and ftrength, a very prefent help in trouble. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midft of the fea. Though the waters. thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the fwelling thereof." "Oh Lord of hofts, Bleffed is the man that trufteth in thee !"


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On the Providence of God, as it refpects Moral Agents, Angels and Men.


Concerning Divine Providence, as it refpects the Angels.

AS moral agents are the highest and most noble and important part of the creation, they are the end of all the reft; and all the inferiour creatures and things were made, and are preserved and governed, for the fake of thefe, who are the fubjects of moral government; which is by far the moft excellent and important. Of these, we know of none but angels and men: And it has been observed, that we have no evidence that there are any other creatures in the created universe, capable of moral government. We know nothing of the existence, number, capacity or employment of angels, but what we learn from divine revelation. We are there informed, that in their original formation, they were made a higher. rank of beings, than man, and with greater natural capacities; that their number is very great; that they were made perfectly holy, and under law to God, otherwife there would have been no foundation for the fall which and ruin of any of them, by disobedience and fin, we are told has been in fact the cafe. And were they not at first holy, there, could have been no apoftacy, by rebellion, or by leaving their firft ftate.


But that they were under moral government, we may be certain, from the reafon and nature of the cafe. They being made rational creatures and moral agents, and fo capable of moral government, must be under such a government, in order to be treated properly, or according to their nature and capacity. A moral law is effential to moral government; requiring of rational creatures, those exercises, and that conduct, of which they are capable, and which are reasonable and proper. We are not

exprefsly told what this law was, as it relates to angels, and what was particularly required of them. But we can be at no great lofs about the general requirement of it. They must be under obligation, from the first of their exiftence, to love God with all their hearts, and their fellow creatures as themselves. This therefore was required of them. The law they were under, muft require this, as it was the rule of their duty; and therefere muft require the whole of their duty. This law did not, ftrictly speaking, make it their duty to exercise and express this love; but required and commanded it, because it was their duty. And it could require no more; this being the whole of their duty; unless it were to point out in particular inftances in what way they fhould exercife and exprefs this love to God, and to other creatures, by exprefs, pofitive injunctions and prohibitions. How many, or whether any of these ; or if there were any, in the law given to angels, we are not particularly and exprefsly informed.

In order to this being a complete law, or having the nature of a law, fo as to exercise and maintain moral goyernment, there must be a penalty expreffed or implied, threatening evil to difobedience to the precept: For if the creature be expofed to no evil, by difregarding the command, more than by obeying, he cannot be faid to be under any moral government; nor does God express or exereife any authority, as moral Governor, as if he nei


ther inflicts nor threatens evil to the tranfgreffor. And if it be a perfect law, and a perfect government, as God's law and government certainly are, the evil or punishment threatened must be exactly proportioned to the crime, or the defert of the tranfgreffor. And as the tranfgreffion of the law of God, must be a crime proportioned in its magnitude, to the creature's obligation to obedience; and this obligation, is great in proportion to the excellence, dignity and authority of God, which are all infinite, it follows, as certain and clear as any ma thematical demonftration, that fuch a crime is infinitely great; and therefore deserves a punishment which is infinitely great and dreadful, that is, an endless punishment.

We therefore have fufficient light and evidence to determine, that the angels were under a law, requiring them to love God with all their hearts, and their fellow creatures as themselves; and to yield perfect obedience to every pofitive command which God had given, or fhould give to them; and threatening them with infinite evil, even endlefs deftruction and mifery, for the least fingle inftance of difobedience: For no less than this was their duty, and therefore God muft require it of them; and the leaft tranfgreffion, or neglect of coming up to their duty, could deferve no less than complete and endless evil; and therefore God muft threaten it; or this must be the penalty of his perfect law.

That the angels were under fuch a law, with fuch a pepalty, is yet farther evident, if poffible, from known fact, which has taken place. Some of the angels have finned by tranfgreffing this law; and for one, the firft tranfgreffion, they have fallen into fallen into endless deftruction. For, St. Peter fays, "God fpared not the angels that finned; but caft them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment." And our Saviour tells us what will be their doom at the day of judgment; and that they will then be caft into everlafing fire, which is prepared for


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