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we may see these are the deductions of natural reason, without the advantage of revelation, we shall find the Heathen, who were deftitute of divine revelation, did attribute this perfection to God. Tully tells us, that Thales was wont to say, Deos omnia cernere; and we know the Heathen were wont to swear, Diis immortalibus teftibus interpositis, which is an owning of his omniscience : Quis enim non timeat Deum omnia pervidentem, eu cogi. tantem, ex animadvertentem, curiosum eu negotii plenum Deum. De nat. deor. 1. 1.

2. From scripture and divine revelation. I will not heap up all those testimonies of scripture, which might be gathered together upon this argument; I will

only instance in two or three : Job xxxvi. 4. He that is perfect in knowledge, is with thee. - xxxvii. 16. Doft thou know the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge ?

Hither we may refer those texts which represent God by way of condefcenfion to our infirmity, as having eyes and ears, which fignify his knowledge of what is done in the world, and those which Speak of him, as communicating to us all the knowledge which we have ; he giveth wisdom to the wise, and understanding to them that know understanding, Dan. ii. 21. And those which speak of God, as knowing the most secret things, the hidden things of darkness, the hearts and the thoughts of men ; and those things which are at the greatest distance, as future things, and of the greatest uncertainty, as the contingent acts of free creatures ; each of these I shall particularly confider; for in proving that God knows all there, his knowledge of all other things will be proved with advantage : for if any thing be out of the reach of the divine understanding, it must in all probability be either those things which are secret and hidden, as mens secret actions, or their thoughts ; or else those things which are to come, and depend upon no certain cause, as future contingencies : and the proving of this may be of great use to us, as having a great

influence

upon practice; it tends very much to the advancement of religion,

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and the good government of our lives. I begin with the

Firft of these, viz. That God takes very exact and particular notice of all the actions of men, even those that are most secret. And in the handling of this, I shall fpeak distinctly to these three things :

1. That God takes knowledge of all our actions : bis eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all bis goings, Job. xxxiv. 21.

2. That he is a curious observer of them ; he seeth all his goings, he marks all his steps, takes very ex. act and particular notice of all that we do. 13. He takes notice of those actions which are most secret and hidden; there is no darkness nor Ma. dow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves, Job xxxiv, 22.

1. That God takes notice of all our actions. And that this notion was planted in the mind of man, and a beam of the light which comes with us into the world, will appear by the general agreement of heathens in it. I will but produce one or two testimonies to this purpose. Tully lays down this principle, as that which makes men regular and orderly, and fit for fociety ; sit igitur hoc persuasum civibus, qualis quisque fit, quid agat, quid in se admittat deos intueri. Socrates, as Xenophon tells us, was wont to fay, πάντα θεους ειδέναι τά τε λεγόμενα και πραττόμενα και τα σιγή βουλευόμενα. Αrrian in his discourse upon Epictetus, tells us, it is necessary that every one should be persuaded of this, ότι έκαςον των πραττομένων έφοράται από του θεού, , that every thing that is done by men is seen of God.

The fcripture frequently mentions this, Pril. cxxxix. I, c. Prov. v. 21. The ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and be pondereth all his goings. Jer. xxxii.. 19. Thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the fons of men, to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

2. He is a curious obferver, one that takes exact norice of all that we do. Job faith, he seeth all our fteps; and Solomon, that he pondereth all our goings

the

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the word is, he weighs them in a balance. So s Sam. ii. 3. The Lord is a God of knowledge, by him actions are weighed. Job xxxi. 4. Doih he not see my ways, and count all my steps? Which doth not imply the difficulty, but the perfection and exactness of God's knowledge ; he knows the quality of our actions, and all the circumstances of them, all the degrees of good and evil that are in them, whatever may commend' an action or blemish-it, whatever may aggrapate a fin or excuse it. Isa. 26. 7.. Thou most upright dost weigh the path of the just. There is not a good word that we speak, but God hears it, Mal.. iii. 16. And the Lord hearkened and heard, and a book of remembrance was written before him and all that we do is noted in his book, Psal. lvi. 8.

3. He takes notice of those actions which are most secret and hidden, the good as well as bad; when we do our alms in secret, when we enter into our clo.. sets and put the doors, our Father seeth in secret, Mat. vi. Nor can w retire ourselves to any place, where we can fin fo as God shall not see us, where we can hide our sins from his fight, or ourselves from his wrath. Hear how sensibly a heathen speaks of this και όταν κλείσετε τας θύρας, και σκότG- ένδου ποιήσητε, μέμνησθε μηδέποτε λέγειν ότι μόνοι εσέ, å gap ese. dar'ó soos vovesi, xoh uuétapos δαίμον εσί, και τις τέτοις χPεία φωτός, ας το βλέπεις Ti OITS; Arrian in Ep. 1. 1. c. 14.

The scripture is full of testimonies to this purpose, Psal. xc. 8. Thou haft set our iniquities before thee, and our secret fins in the light of thy countenance ; those fins which we commit in the dark are in the light of the divine knowledge; darkness and light are all one to him ; Psal. cxxxix. 11, 12: Jer. xvi. 17. xxiii. 24. Can any hide himself in secret places, that I shall not see him.

11. God knows the hearts and thoughts of men ; which implies these two things :

First, His perfect knowledge of them.
Secondly, That this is his peculiar prerogative.

First, God perfectly knows the hearts of men, Jer, xyii. 19. I the Lord search the heart, and try

the

the reins ; where, by heart and reins, which are the most inward parts of the body, and ly least open to discovery, are signified the most secret thoughts and motions of the soul ; these God is said to Search and try, not as if it were a work of labour and difficulty to the divine knowledge to penetrate the hearts of men, and to dive into their thoughts, but to signify to us the perfection and exactness of the divine knowledge ; as when men would know a thing exactly, they search into every part of it, and examine every thing narrowly ; fó God is said to search the heart, to signify to us that he knows the hearts of men as thoroughly as we do any thing upon the strictest search and most diligent ex. amination ; upon the same account he is said else. where in scripture to weigh the spirits of men, Prov. xvi. 2. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes, but the Lord weigheth his {pirits; that is, he hath as perfect a knowledge of the secret motions and inclinations of mens hearts, as men have of those things which they weigh in a balance, with the greatest exactness.

Now that God bath this perfect knowledge of mens hearts, the scripture frequently declares to us; that he knows the hearts of all men, 1 Kings viii. 39. For thou, even thou, knowest the hearts of all the children of men, i Chron. xxviii. 9. The Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the ima. ginations of the thoughts. How close and reserved Toever men may be, what disguise soever they may use to hide their purposes from men, yet God sees them ; the things which are most dark and secret are open to his vicw. Psal. xliv. 21. He knoweth the secrets of the hearts. Prov. xv. II. Hell and destruction are before him, how much more the hearts of the children of men ? Whatever pretences men may make, God sees through them, and discovers the very intentions of their hearts. Psal. vii. 9. The righteous Lord trieth the heart and reins. Heb. iv. 13. It is said there of the word of God, that it is a difcerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart; for all things are naked, and open to the eye of him

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with whom we have to do, and there is no creature that is not manifest in his fight; nay, he knows our thoughts at a distance, what they will be, before they a&ually are. Psal. cxxxix. 2. Thou knoweft my thoughts afar off. It is true indeed every man is conscious to his own thoughts, and privy to the motions of his own mind, when they are present, and when they are past, it he have noi forgot

them but no man knows what he shall think 1Q-morrow; but this God knows ; for he knows us more intimately and thoroughly than we do ourselves ; God is greater than our hearts, and knows all things, 1 John iii. 20.

And though the scripture had not revealed this so plainly, yet we had not been wholly ignorant of it; it is a principle implanted in us, and born with us, as being part of that natural notion which inen have of God; the reason of our minds tells us, that God knows our hearts ; and the fears and jealousies of our minds are an evidence of it.

First, The reason of every man's mind tells him, that the supreme Being whom we call God, is endued with all perfection, and among his other perfe&tions, that he excells in knowledge, and to the perfection of knowledge it is required, that it extend itself to all objects, and that nothing be exempted from it. The knowledge of God, in re. fped of all objects, is like the sun in respect of this lower world ; nothing is hid from the light of it. We have naturally this apprehension of God, that he is an immense Being, every where present; that he intimately penetrates all places and things, and consequently that he is present to our spirits, and fees all the motions of our minds, and discerns the very

fecrets of our hearts ; and there can be no such thing as secrecy and retirement from an eye that is every where, and a knowledge that pierceth into all things.

And to convince us that these are the dictates of natural reason, without the help and assistance of divine revelation, we shall find that the heathen, who had only the advantage of natural light, wer: Vol. VI.

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