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moment Immediately preceding the Creation of Bodies, we might be apt to conceive, that there was then a Space wherein he himself, and himself alone Existed, and wherein he produced this visible frame of things. And yet this is liable to some Difficulties, which do not affect the notion of Imaginary Space, extended beyond Corporeal Substances, and wherein God can, if he pleaseth, create other Worlds, by the same uncontroulable Power, which produced the Heaven and the Earth. Thus may men raise and indulge their Pious Admiration, whilst they do, as far as their im– perfeót Capacities allow them, contemplate the Incomprehensible Essenge of God whose Presence admits of no Limitation. And surely an Unconfined. Unlimited Presence of God must be signified by the Holy Psalmist, in his Beautiful Expostulation concerning this Point, Psal. cxxxix. Whither shall I go them from thy Spirit 2 Or, whither shall 1 flee from thy Presence? If I ascend up into Heaven, thou art there;
if I make my Bed in Hell, behold thou art there. If I take the songs of the Morn
'mg, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the Sea, even There shall thy Hand lead me, and thy Right-hand shall hold me. Swift are the Wings of the Morning, those sprightly Rays, the Messengers of Light, which in a Moment dart themselves from Heaven to Earth; And yet, if our Aétivity were equal to Theirs, we should be utterly Incapable of flying, or being in the least removed, from the Face of Him who is present to Every Being, and according to the Apostle's Expression, with which I shall conclude this Head, Who filleth all in all*. Hence therefore I proceed II. To draw some Inferences from this Doétrine of God's Omnipresence. And, 1st, The Belief of it should raise in us the utmost Reverence towards him. Majesty does in so forcible a Manner command the tribute of Respećt from us, that we cannot easily prevail with our felves to with-hold it. The Presence of a Prince does Naturally strike awful Apprehensions upon our Minds, and we Inuft offer some violence to our selves * Eph. i. 23.
before we can either prevent or rase out such Impressions. How ought we then to Revere the Almighty, in whom we live and move and have our Being. Those Profane and Impious men, who make their Senses the sole Judges in Determining the Existence of Things, do of course exclude such Reverential Thoughts of God as are deducible from the Belief of his Omnipresence; But the Wiser part of Mankind, very well knowing that the Evidence of Faith is no less to be depended on, than That of Sense, and Therefore being abundantly assured, that the Essence or Substance of God fills Heaven and Earth, do, on that account, indulge in their minds the most Honourable and Awful conceptions of him. For what Bounds can be Prescribed to the veneration of him whose Essence is unbounded and Infinite? Or, how is it possible for us to refle&t Attentively upon our being in his Immediate Presence without the Prostration of our Souls before him? 2dly, The Belief of his Omnipresence should introduce and preserve upon our Minds, an Habitual Fear of Offending
him. Those Aétions which cannot bear the Light do naturally seek for Darknes; as their Refuge. And this is one Reaon why Wickedness is, in Scripture, styled Works of Darkness. Fear of Dis. covery may oblige Flagitious Men to proceed with some Degrees of Cauti- . on and Reserve in that part of their Behaviour which falls under publick Observation: But when close Retirement becomes the Scene of Aëtion, and they are no longer apprehensive that the Eye of Man can reach them, they then lay aside all Restraint, and freely execute all the Imaginations of their Hearts which are Evil continually. Thus do Men vainly flatter themselves with the Hopes of Security, not considering that they are all the while Manifeft in the Wight of God, from whose Eyes the thickest Darkness cannot Cover us, and whose Presence the most Solitary Recess does not exclude. For, if we should find out some of those lonely Apartments of Nature where no Living Creatures dwell, and There take up our Abode; even There should we find the Almighty;
There would our A&tions, and our Thoughts too, be as Conspicuous to Him, as if we were placed in the publick View of the World. And what Consideration can more powerfully restrain us from Offending God, than a deep Sense of this his Continual Presence with us? To what height of Impudence and Defiance must we be arrived, when we dare, as it were to Affront God to his Face, by doing those things which are displeasing to him, at the same time that we consider him as Beholding us? Or is it indeed possible to consider him as Beholding us, to have such a strong and lively Convićtion of his Omnipresence upon our minds, as we ought to have, and yet be prevailed upon to commit such ačtions before him, as we should not dare to Com
mit before even an Equal, or Inferiour? 3dly,The Belief of God's Omnipresence should encourage us to go through every part of our Obedience and Duty with Pleasure and Delight. And the Truth of this observation may in some measure be Illustrated even from the Principles and Pračtices of Hypocrites themselves. Their Industrious Display of Good o F f works