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tained at a cheaper Rate. But, when you say or think this, do you pretend to know by what other Way all the Purposes of God in fending his Son into the World might have been answered ? If
do not, poffibly this was the only Way to answer all the Ends and Intentions of Providence in this great Work ; and, if it was, the Means used were necessary, and therefore, without doubt, proper: And, supposing them
proper, you will not surely be surprized, that God should design, and his blessed Son undertake to perform what was proper to execute the wise Ends of Providence. It was indeed a very great Thing for a Man to be born of a Virgin : But in what Sense was it great? only as being unusual, and contrary to the established Course, in our Eyes : With respect to God, I' see no Reason to call it so. Were God to form a Ráce, under this new Law of Nature, that all should be born of Virgins, I conceive, there would be nothing in it more wonderful than in the present established Course of Nature.
It is more wonderful still to think of the Son of God living on Earth in the Form and Fashion of a Man : And, if we - speak in relation to our own Abilities of searching
into this mysterious Work, it is, and it ever must continue to be, a Wonder : But, with respect to God, have you any Reason to think this wonderful and mysterious, or a Thing difficult to be performed ? God has united our Spirits, our Souls, to these Bodies : A wonderful and mysterious Thing it is to us: But can you imagine there is any Thing in the Works of God, that is wonderful, mysterious, or difficult in the Execution to Him? If not, how weakly do we amuse ourselves, when we set ourselves with great Wisdom to weigh the Works of God in our Scales, and to judge which are great and difficult in the Performance ?
But this is not the only Mistake Men are liable to, when they set themselves
for Judges in this Matter. That the Redemption and Salvation of Men is the End of Christ's coming into the World, is certain, and is revealed in the Gospel : But whoever shall say God had no other Purpose in view than this only, will judge hastily, and, I doubt, rashly. What relates to us immediately in this great Dispensation, God has been pleased to reveal to us distinctly; but he has no where told us that we are the only Persons concerned: That others probably are, inay be collected from many
Intimations in Scripture. Our blessed Redeemer has all Power given him in Heaven as well as in Earth : Principalities and Powers, the invisible Powers, are made subject to him : And they cannot be thought to be unconcerned in that Work, for the sake of which their King was exalted, and every Knee made to bow to him. How they are concerned, we know not : But this we know, that we are but a small part of the natural World. That there are many intelligent Beings besides ourselves, we know : That they may be numberless, we have Reason to believe: That God is the common Governor of all, is out of question : That all his Dispensations in the moral Government of the World regard the whole, and will finally appear in the Eyes of every rational Creature to be just and equal, we have great Reason to conclude ; and that God will be justified in bis Sayings, and clear when he is judged. If this be so, the great Work of our Redemption, however immediately it relates to us, must be supposed adapted to answer the general Ends and Purposes of God's Government in the universal moral World. And this plainly shews, that we cannot judge of the Propriety of the Means made use of for redeeming the
World by considering only the Relation they have to Men ; for probably they relate to others, and to other Purposes, and are, upon the whole, in every respect proper and fit : But the Propriety cannot be discerned by us, nor will it, 'till we come into a clearer Light, and see the whole Scheme of Providence together.
You see then, upon the whole, that the Objections against God's Government in the natural and moral World, founded upon the Disproportion between the means made use of, and the Ends proposed, are really the Effects of Shortsightedness, and of that great Propensity which Men have to judge, though they want proper Materials to form a Judgment upon.
But let us consider, whether the Observations, which have given rise to these perverse Reasonings, will not, if duly attended to, open a Way to far other and far
That Men are weak and wretched, and not worthy of the Care of Providence over them, we know by fad Experience; and have Reason enough, in this View, to fall into the Pfalmist's Reflection, Lord! what is Man, that thou regardest bim? But still most certain it is, that God does regard Man: All Nature bears
witness to the Truth of this; for he is ferved by the Works of Nature : And, though the Works of Nature may hundred Purposes more, yet it cannot be doubted but that they were made to serve Man, though not him alone. This must appear upon the strictest Inquiry : For, considering this Solar System, of which we are à Part, we have no Reason to think but that it bears as great Proportion to the whole, as any other System : In this System our Earth is one considerable Part and this Part was manifestly prepared for Man, who has Dominion over it. So that the human Race is no inconsiderable Part of the Crea tion in this Way of reckoning : And it is reasonable to say, that the World was made, if not for him only, yet as much and as truly for him, as for others.
Being then possessed of this Fact, That, weak and infirm as we are, God has abundantly provided for us in this Life; and that, considered as part of the natural World, we have a very full Proportion of good Things allotted to us; what Conclusion does it lead us to, if we consider ourselves as Part of the rational and moral World ? Is it reasonable to imagine, that God has taken so much Care of us in his natural Govern