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To the Right Reverend and Right Honourable N AT HANA E L Lord Crewe, Lord Bishop of Durham and Baron of Stene.
OUR Command, that this Sermon should Y be Published, is as full a Testimony of the L Prevalency of True Zeal and Camdour in Tour Lordship, as the Publication of it is, of a Readings; in me to Obey Your Command. For the Warmth of Your Pious Regard to the Greatness of the Subječi, made You Overlook the Weakness of the Discourse. The very Mention of so Important an Article, was sufficient to put Your Lordship upon Exercising and Filling 1%ur Soul, with Your Own Inlarged and Moving Notions of it; insomuch, that You were not at Leisure to Recolleč, that the Holy Flame, which You felt in 2%ur Breaft, was of 1%ur Own Raising. And Hence it easily came iopas, that in the Heat of Thought, Your Lord% Generously Approved of my Discourse, which only gave Occasion to 1%ur Own exalted Sentiments, 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 Dangerous 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 1%ur Noble Mind are still as Perfeół and Intire, as they can be well Imagin'd to have been, even in those Remote Times, when rou were, for many years together, Particularly Distinguish'd in a Court, which did as justly, and as Nicely, and as Constantly Distinguish men of Accurate and Polite Understanding, as any Court that the English Nation ever saw. And yet the Sense of such Engaging Favours and Honours, was not Able to shake 1%ur Lordship, either with Vanity, whilst they were Present, or, with Uneasings, when they were Past. Tour Example will be a Lasting Evidence, that 'tis no Impracticable Thing, to Reconcile those Powerful Temptations to Indulgence and Ease, which press Hardes; upon men of Quality and a State of Affluence, with Stričines; 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 Wise Condući as This, in all the Active parts of Life, hath made those succeeding periods of it, Seasons of Refreshment to Your Lordship, which are, Commonly, with Others, the Subječf of Complaint. You are now Blessed with all the Soft, and Serene, and Satisfactory Reflections, which Tully ascribes to Cato's Age ; and those Improved and Inrich'd, to such a Degree by full Streams of Consolation Derived from the Gospel, as the Wirtuous Heathen could not conceive. . B t/f But, when men have once given up their Hearts, Intirely, to any Thing, their Pursuits of it do seldom Keep any Bounds. Your Lordship cannot Still Forbear to Increase Your Accumulated Stores of Spiritual Delight; still making new Way with Eagerness, in the Course of Piety, and still Multiplying Your Numbers of Good M/orks, which are Already too Great to be easily 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 Generosity of Your Lordship's Favours to me, that they were Unsought for, as well as Undeserved by,
Lincoln’s-Inn, TNov. 29, 1720, 93 \ Chaplain and Servant,
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S E R M O N VI. The Omniscience of God.
1 SAMUEL II. 3.
- HIS Divine Attribute, which i 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 Striótest Watchfulness over our Selves. 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, or, 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 Psalmift represents Wicked Men, as Supporting themselves, under their Sins, by means of this Disbelief, and saying, * The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it. Thus do they Devise for themselves a Shelter without Safety, and lay the Foundations of their Hope and Comfort, in Falshood and Folly. For the Lord is a God of Knowledge. * In discoursing on this Subjećt, I shall I. Consider the Extent, and Perfeółion of Knowledge in God, and . II. Draw some Pračfical Observations from it. * . . - - f First, Let us consider the Extent and , Perfeótion of Knowledge in God. And in the First place ’tis observable, that his Knowledge does extend it self to All his Creatures. And the Acknowledgment of This is a Direét Consequence of our Belief that there is a God, and that He is