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Eternal ; fo, in respect of Greatness, itSer m. must likewise be immense
. Otherwise, VIII. its Perfections will be limited; which is the Notion of Imperfection : and, by being supposed to be Finite in Extent, the Perfection of its Power will as totally be destroyed, as it would be, supposing it to be Temporary in Duration. For as Any Being, which is not Always ; at the time when it is not, is as if it never was ; fo whatever Being is not every-where ; in those places where it is not, is (to all the purposes of Power and Activity) as if it had no Being in any place at all. For no Being can act where it is not, any more then when it is not. Power, without Existence, is but an empty word without any reality; and the scholaftick Fiction of a Being acting in all places, without being present in all places, is either making the Notion of God an express contradiction, or else a supposing him so to act by the ministry of Others, as not to be Himself Present to understand and · know what they Do. He therefore that will frame to Himself a true Idea of this Divine Attribute, (so far as finite Under
Ser m. standing can comprehend what is InfiVIII.
nite ;) must in This, as in others of the divine Perfections, form in his Mind, the Notion at the same time, and by the same steps, by which he ascends to the Proof of it. And That, in the present case, is more distinctly as follows. All created Beings are, by the necessary condition of their Nature, finite and circumscribed. They can be present but in one certain determinate place at once, and they can move but within certain bounds, in certain periods of time. The larger those Limits are, in which
Creature can be and act; which it can either at once fill with its presence, or supply with its activity, swiftness and vigour ; so much the greater share has it of this kind of Perfection: And, by inlarging this perfection to its utmost Possibility, we must consequently ascribe to God, the most Perfect Being, Infinity or Immensity : That is, we must conceive of him, as of a Being that fills all things, and that contains all things within his own boundless Nature ; that is not defined or circumscribed by any Space, but co-exists with, and is pre
sent with all things, and infinitely beyond S er m.
Again: It cannot but be evident, e-
must all be understood to prove equally likewise
his actual Omnipre-
Lastly : He who exists by Necesity of
SER M. at all times and in all places the fame. VIII. Whatever can be abfent at any time, may
be abfent at all times; and whatever can be abfent from one place, may be absent from another; and consequently can have no Necessity of existing at all. He therefore, who exifts neceffarily, muft neceffarily exist Always and Every-where : that is, as he must in duration be Eternal, fo he must also in Immensity be Omniprefent.
THE Truth of the Doctrine itself, that God must of Necessity be Immenfe or Omnipresent, being thus briefly proved by such Arguments as are most obvious and universally intelligible; I proceed now in the
IId place, To offer some particular Observations, concerning the Nature and Circumstances of this divine Attribute. And
ift. 'Tis to be observed, that this Attribute of Omnipresence, as 'tis constantly ascribed to God in Scripture, so is it in Reason likewise fo plain and obvious, that the generality of Moral Writers even among the Heathens themselves, have not
been wanting to assert it clearly and with-Ser M. out hesitation.
The only difficulty has VIII. been, in explaining the particular Manner of our apprehending or conceiving it. Concerning which, the Schoolmen have presumed to affert with great Confidence, that the Infinity of God is a Point only,
and not a proper Immenfity; just as they | fancy his Eternity to be an Instant only,
and not a proper everlasting Duration. But thefe Notions of theirs, as they are absurd and unintelligible, so they are frivolous and vain. For the Excellency of the Perfections of God, does not confift in impossible and contradictory Notions but in true Greatness, Dignity, Majesty, and Glory. And vain men, while they have affected to clog Religion with Abfurdities which could not be understood, have made its Doctrines, ( as far as in Them lay, ) not venerable, but ridiculous. The Eternity of God, does not confift in making time past to be still present, and future Time to be already come, (which is a manifest Inconsistency, and Impossibility ;) but it consists in a true proper everlasting duration, without Begin