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seems, when compared to the whole, of so little importance. If we ascribe this great Work to the Divine Love and Goodness, it cannot be controverted that they are strongly and evidently expressed and manifested in this Proceeding; too strongly, it may be thought; fince Divine Love and Goodness must be bounded by Divine Wisdom, and can never degenerate into Fondness and Partiality; confequently, his Love and Goodness can never do what his Wisdom does not approve as fit to be done.
Upon this Foot it may be asked, Where is the Wisdom of erecting such a Building as this for the Service of such a Creature as Man ? The Works of Nature are so immense and wonderful, that, if they are formed for the sake of providing a proper Habitation for Man, the House seems to be of far
greater Dignity than the Master, and the End pro, posed by no means to answer and justify the Means made use of. So again, in the Work of our Redemption, if the only Son of God came down from Heaven, and did and suffered all that is reported of him in the Gospel; what is there in Man, confidered in the most advantageous Light, that bears any Proportion to this wonderful Method made use of to save him, or to justify the Wisdom
of God in fending the Lord of Power, and of the whole Creation, to die for the meanest, perhaps, of all intelligent Beings belonging to it?
Now, whether these Reflections upon our own weak and infirm Condition, and the low Rank we hold in the Order of intelligent Beings, be a sufficient Ground for calling into question the Credibility of the great Things said to be done for us, is a Matter deserving serious Consideration. And
The first Question we should ask ourselves, is, whether we are proper Judges in this Matter? It is a great Undertaking to judge of the Wisdom of God, and to say what is fit, or not fit, for him to do; especially where the Subject of the Inquiry is the Counsels of God in governing the natural and moral World; Points, 'not only of the highest Consequence, but of all others the most removed out of our Sight.
In human Affairs' we pretty well know the Powers and Abilities of Men; and can oftentimes judge of the Ends they propose to themselves; and this Knowledge of their Powers, and this Ability to judge of the Ends they propose, qualifies us in many Cases to estimate comparatively the Means and the End, and to discern whether the
Thing aimed at is worth the Expence or Labour employed in obtaining it.
This Judgment cannot be made merely by confidering and comparing the Means and the End together; but Consideration likewife must be had of the Power and Ability of the Agent. The End of building a House is for the Habitation of Men: But, whether the House be too big, or too little, too magnificent, or not - magnificent enough, can never appear from considering merely the End of building of an House, which is for Men to dwell in; but you must take into the Account the Power, Station, Wealth, arid other Circumstances of the Builder, and then you may reasonably say whether too much or too little Pains and Cost have been bestowed on it. To apply this to the prefent Cafe: When you view the Works of Nature, you think them too great and too magnificent to be intended for the Use of Man : But consider a little, Who is the Builder? Is it not One of whose Power and Ability you cannot possibly judge? How do you
know then that it was not as eafy (and 'doubtless it was as easy) to God to produce this beautiful and wonderful Order of Things, as to have produced a much worse, and more adapted, as you may ima
gine, to the Circumstances of Man, the Inhabitant of this World? You cannot say, too much Pains, or too much Colt, has been bestowed: For all these. Considerations are relative to the Power of the Agent; and, when the Agent has infinite Power, this Confideration is wholly excluded.
But farther; In order to judge rightly in the Case before us, we ought perfectly to comprehend the End proposed. If you see a great Building, but know not for what Use it was intended, nor what Use is made of it, it is impossible to judge whether it be too large or too confined; for that Judgment must arise necessarily from knowing to what Purpose and to what Use it was erected. And where is the Man, who will pretend to know all the Ends of God in the Creation of the Universe? What relates to ourselves we know tolerably well from Sense and Experience: We feel the Inflyence of the heavenly Bodies, and are sure that we are the better for them; but, that no others are besides ourselves, we can never be sure.
Since then we know nothing of the Power of God but that it is infinite; the true Confequence from which is, that all poffible Things are equally easy to be effected
by his Hand; since the Purposes of God to be served in the Creation of the Universe are various, and more than we can discover, probably more than we can even imagine ; we act the absurdest part in the World, when we pretend to judge of the Works of Providence by comparing the Greatness of the Works of Nature with such Ends and Purposes as we can discover to be served by them: Foř, with respect to the infinite Power of God, we talk childishly, when we call his Works great, or little; and, with respect to the Ends and Purposes of Providence, supposing a just Measure of his Works were to be taken from thence, yet it is a Measure of which we are not Masters.
As this Reasoning must necessarily hold in the Works of Nature ; fo is it equally strong, when applied to the Works of Grace. It is indeed a furprizing and wonderful Event, the Coming of the Son of God into this World, being made Man, and born of a pure Virgin, living and dying as a Man, to redeem Sinners. But what is there that fhocks
your Faith in this?: You think perhaps the Means too great and too confiderable to be made use of for the fake of the End proposed, which might have been ob