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To the Right Reverend and Right Ho
nourable NATHANAEL Lord Crewe, Lord Bishop of Durham and Baron of Stene.
· My Lord, TT OUR Command, that this Sermon mould:
y be Published, is as full a Testimony of the
1 Prevalency of True Zeal and Candour in Your Lordship, as the Publication of it is, of a Readiness in me to Obey Your Commands. For the Warmth of Your Pious Regard to the Greatness of the Subječt, made You Overlook the Weakness of the Discourse. The very Mention of fo Important an Article, was sufficient to put Your Lordship upon Exercihing and Filling Your Soul, with Your Own Inlarged and Moving Notions of it; infomuch, that you were not at Leisure to Recollezt, that the Holy Flame, which You felt in Your Breaft, was of Your Own Raising. And Hence it easily came to pass, that in the Heat of Thought, Your Lordship Generously Approved of my Discourse, which only gave Occafion to Your Own exalted Sentie' ments, as if it had indeed Supplied You with’em.
If This had not been Plainly the case, Your Lordship's Approbation might have proved a Dana gerous Trial of my Humility. And the Reader will easily Agree with me in This, when I have told him, for his Satisfaction, what I have Lately observed, with a mixture of Wonder and Delight
my self, That All the Faculties of Your Noble Mind are still as Perfe&t and Intire, as they can be well Imagin’d to have been, even in those Remote Times, when you were, for many years together, Particularly Distinguish'd in a Court, which did as Juftly, and as Nicely, and as Constantly Distinguis men of Accurate and Polite Underftanding, as any Court that the English Nation ever saw. And yet the Sense of such Engaging Favours and Honours, was not Able to make Your Lordship, either with Vanity, whilst 'they were Present, or, with Uneahness, when they were Past.
Your Example will be a Lasting Evidence, that 'tis no Impráæticable Thing, to Reconcile those Powerful Temptations to Indulgence and Ease, which press Hardest upon men of Quality and a State of Affluence, with Stri&tness, and Purity of Life; or, a True Spirit of Discipline and Government, with all the Endearments of Affability and Good Breeding; or, the Integrity and Simplicity of a Christian, with the Arts and Glories of a Court.
Such a Faithful and Wife Conduet as This, in all the Ative parts of Life, hath made thoje fucceeding periods of it, Seasons of Refreshment to Your Lordship, which are, Commonly, with Others, the Subjeet of Complaint. You are now Blessed with all the Šoft, and Serene, and Satisfactory Reflections, which Tully ascribes to Cato's Agé; and those Improved and Inrich'd, to fuch à Degree by full Streams of Consolation Derived from the Gospel, -as the Virtuous Heathen could not conceive.
But, when men have once given up theit Hearts, Intirely, to any Thing, their Pursuits of it do feldom Keep any Bounds. Your Lordship cannot Still Forbear to Increase Your Accumulated Stores of Spiritual Delight ; still making new Way with Ēagerness, in the Course of Piety, and still Multiplying Your Numbers of Good Works, which are Already too Great to be easly Told.
I beseech Your Lordship to forgive my taking this Opportunity of Glancing upon a Few, of the Numerous Reasons I have, for accounting Your Lordship’s Patronage an Abundant Honour. And I must beg leave to Add my Humble Thanks, in a Particular manner, for this Great Circumstance, in the Generohty of Your Lordship's Favours to me, that they were Unsought for, as well as Undeserved by,
ISAMUEL II. Ži
T HIS Divine Attribute, which
· gives Laws to all the Counsels
and Dispensations of God, is a Main Spring of Religion amongst Men. For our Belief of it is Apt to introduce the Highest Reverence towards our Maker, and the Strictest Watchfulness over our Selvęs. And 'tis the Want of this Belief, that strikes off Mens Hopes and Fears, and sets them Loose from the notions of Duty, For how should they Hope to be Rewarded for their Obedience, pr, be Afraid of Suffering for their Sins, so long as they do not Apprehend, that any Notice is taken, either of the One, or of the Other.
To this purpose, the Psalmist represents Wicked Men, as Supporting themselves, under their Sins, by means of this Disbelief, and saying, * The Lord Mall not see, neither Mall the God of Jacob regard it. Thus do they Devise for themfelves a Shelter without Safety, and lay the Foundations of their Hope and Comfort, in Falfhood and Folly. For the Lord. is a God of Knowledge.
In discoursing on this Subject, I shall
I. Consider the Extent, and Perfe&tion of Knowledge in God, and
II. Draw fome Practical Observations from it. 33
First, Let us consider the Extent and Perfection of Knowledge in God. And in the First place 'tis obfervable, that his Knowledge does extend it felf to All his Creatures. And the Acknowledgment of This is a Direct Consequence of our Belief that there is a God, and that He iş
* Psal. xciy. 7.