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his government, with his knowledge, extends to nations ; yet this does not imply, that individuals, as such, are not regarded. But few, perhaps, will ever think, that so important a piece of divine workmanship, as a human creature, or a moral subject of any description, would be in danger of being overlooked by the Creator. A inan's reason must get to a very low ebb indeed, before he will doubt, whether God may not have moral subjects within the boundaries of his kingdom, and not know any thing about them; though princes, among men, may have multitudes of subjects, of whose individual peri sons they have no knowledge. But a little consideration and judgment will bring a per: son over to the belief, that God must know of the existence of the most material and con. spicuous parts of the created system ; but the greatest difficulty will be with respect to little things, such as are deemed of small consequence, and are almost too obscure and imperceptible for the observation of man. The wicked are represented as saying, “Howdoth God know ? can he judge through the dark cloud ? Thick clouds are a covering to him that he seeth not, and he walketh in the circuit of heaven." A pertinent reply may be found in the following words ;
“ Hast thou not known ? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his
understanding He that planted the ear, shall he not hear ? he that formed the eye, shall he not see ? he that teacheth man knowl. edge, shall not he know?" When it is said, " The heart is deceitful-above all things, and desperately wicked ; who can know it ?” it is immediately added ; “ I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings." It is said of Jesus Christ, the true God, that “ he knew all men ; and needed not that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man. God not only takes knowledge of men indi. vidually, but of all their individual exercises.
man looketh on the outward appear? ance; yet God looketh on the heart.” But men, and the things belonging to them, are not the only creatures, with which God makes himself acquainted. “I know all the fowls of the mountains," saith he ; " and the wild beasts of the field are mine." And our Saviour reproves his faithless disciples by saying, “Not a sparrow falleth to the ground without your Heavenly Father.” But those we have mentioned are not the least, and, to us, most unobservable, things, which attract the notice of Deity. “Even the very hairs of your
head are all numbered.". It is of the same iinportance, that God should know ev. ery hair upon the head of every man, as that his knowledge should extend to every individual person of the great body of mankind. The same may be observed of every spire of
grows, of every particle of dust on the earth, of every sun-beam, that shoots, through the atmosphere, of every falling leaf of autumn, and of every flying mote that is wafted from breeze to breeze. Individuation cannot be carried so far as to multiply objects, beyond the knowledge of him whose understanding is infinite.
2. God knows all the properties of things, and their relation to each other.
This is a branch of knowledge of so much importance, that all knowledge must be useless without it. The utility and value of things arises wholly from their relative state.
Could they be entirely disconnected from all other things, it would reduce them to a mere nullity. It would be equivalent to their annihilation, Should that universal bond be severed, which binds all things together into one body, give ing them offices and uses similar to those of our corporeal members, the great system of created being would degenerate into a trifle, or a mere blank.. A professed mechanic, who should be found so completely ignorant of the laws of matter, as not to know what were the natural powers of the several ma. terials to be used in the construction of some certain piece of workmanship, no one would suppose him capable of doing any thing to purpose in his profession; and of course, would make no dependence upon him for any thing belonging to his art. Things cannot be put together so as to subserve a good end, unless their several properties are
such as will harmonize and co-operate. Nebuchadnezzar's image was a fit representation of something exceedingly incoherent and im. perfect ; because it was composed partly of iron, and partly of miry clay. Iron and clay are valuable articles, used aright; but when compounded together are of no worth. A workmanship, produced by such an improper mixture, or combination, is good for nothing. Hence by analogy we see, that God, as the modification and good government of the universe depends upon him, must have infinite knowledge, with respect to the qual. ities and relations of things, in order to carry his work to the highest possible state of perfection. On no other supposition can jars and disfigurements be avoided. It is imposible for imagination itself to conceive how many, and how great a variety of things are brought in, to aid and help on, those providential events, of which we are often made witnesses. To particularize in a sin. gle instance : The transportation of Joseph into Egypt was brought about under the influence of a great many circumstances and ina cidents ; and these, too, were severally dependent on others. But the series does not end here. Joseph's servitude, and even his advancement, in the land of Egypt, was but a step to some other event in providence, and this to another still, and so on, in succession, until the great end of providence is fully answered. Unless Deity discerns all that appertains to things, and what their
mutual relations are, he cannot combine and mould them together, so as infallibly to render them instrumental of the greatest possi
And it he fails in this point, he has not a right to the confidence of the rational and wise part of creation. If he has not the knowledge we have been speaking of, in an infinite degree, there can be no wellgrounded assurance, that he will do right.
3. The divine knowledge of things is eternal and indivisible. By this it is meant, that there is not, in the whole vast round of eternity, a single point, or instant, of duration, when the Deity has not a distinct and perfect view of all things, which ever did, or will, exist. That knowledge cannot be infinite, which has any deficiency in this respect. Though it should be granted, that the understanding of the most High does actually discover and comprehend every object in the universe, either at one time or another ; yet if it is only by parts and in succession, as the student in theology, or in some other science, gains the knowledge of one truth to-day, of another to-morrow, and so on until he has become an adept in his theory ; his knowl. edge, it must be perceived, will leave him but imperfectly furnished to that work, which devolves upon him, as the rightful sovereign and supreme manager of the universe. It is found, by experience, that men are incapable of projecting, or carrying into execution, any schemes of interest, which may be deemed faultless, and for this plain reason, viz. that