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he must be defective; for if he is unjust in Serm. permitting Afflictions to befal good Men III.
av (for such the Argument intends them) he is so, either for want of knowing who these good Men are, or else for want of Goodness to give them their Due ; upon both which Accounts his Wisdom also will be very liable to be suspected and call'd in Question. But now God is infinite every Way, not only in Power, Duration, Extension, &c. but in every thing else; for he is either Nothing, or the Sum of all Things. The Idea of God includes in it every thing that is great and excellent, and that in an infinite Degree, according to the Son of Syrach's sublime Description of him. By his Word all Things consist ; we may speak much, and get come soort, wherefore in Sum he is all. How fall we be able to magnify him, for he is great above all his Works ? The Lord is terrible, and very great, vellous in his Power. When you glorify the Lord, exalt him as much as you can, for even get will he far exceed; and when you exalt him, put forth all your Strength, and be not weary, for you can never go far cnough. Who hath seen him, that he might tell us ? and who can magnify him as he is : There are yet bid greater Things F 2
SERM. than these be, for we have seen but a few
and righteous, and that in a most eminent
Now, because the making those Amieti-
Miftake; an impartial Eye will discover all SERM, thoseDeformities, which a too goodOpinion of III. ourselves has always plac'd in a wrong Light. The Scripture and our own Consciences have concluded all under Sin. Who, says the wife Man, can say, I have made my Heart clean, I am free from my Sin ? And this is the Case not only of Sinners, but of good Men too, and when Men are truly sensible of this, it is a sign that they are good. What is Man, 'fays Eliphaz, that he should be clean, and he which is born of a Woman, that he poould be righteous ? Behold, he putteth no Trust in his Saints, yea the Heavens are not clean in his Sight; how much more abominable and filthy is Man, who drinketh Iniquity like Water ! And, fays Bildad, Behold even to the Moon and it Jineth not, yea, the Stars are not pure in his Sight; how much lefs Man, that is a Worm, and the Son of Man, which is a Worm ! So that hąd we right Notions of God, and of ourselves, we should not make the Afflictions which happen to us in this Life an Argument against the Justice of
for then we should be convinc'd, that as God is infinite in every Respect, in Wisdom and Justice, as well as in every thing else, and is therefore a Being of all
SERM. possible Perfections, there must be a suffin
cient Reason for these Things; and a true
Tho' we can't trace out the Footsteps of
not fent as the immediate Consequence of Sin, but as Trials to exercise our Patience and Humility, or for some other Reason which we are not able to difcover. For ir Ami&tions were always the Consequence of Sin, wicked Men could then
expect but little Content and Satisfaction, Serm.