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has done, and is doing, and will do; what he seeks and intends by them. Nothing else pretends to show, with any distinctness or certainty, how the world began at first, or to tell us the original of things. Nothing but the scriptures sets forth how God governed the world from the beginning of the genérations of men upon the earth, in an orderly history; and nothing else sets before us how he will govern it to the end by an oredrły prophecy of future events; agreeable to the challenge which God makes to the gods, and prophets, and teachers of the Heathen, in Isa. xli. 22, 23. Let them Bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: Let them shew the former things what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods.”
Reason shows that it is fit and requisite, that the intelligent and rational beings of the world' should know something of God's scheme and design in his works; for they doubtless are the beings that are principally concerned. The thing that is God's great design in His works, is doubtless something concerning his reasonable creatures, rather than brute beasts and lifeless things. The revolutions: by which God's great design is brought to pass, are doubtless revolutions chiefly among them, and which concern their state, and not the state of things without life or reason. And therefore surely it is requisite that they should know something of it; especially seeing that reason teaches that God has given his rational creatures reason, and a capacity of seeing God in his works; for this end that they may see God's glory in them, and give him the glory of them. But how can they see God's glory in his works, if they do not know what God's design in them is, and what he aims at by what he is doing in the world?
And further, it is fit that mankind should be informed something of God's design in the government of the world, because they are made capable of actively falling in with that design, and promoting of it, and acting herein as his friends and subjects; it is therefore reasonable to suppose, that God has given mankind some revelation to inform them of this; but
there is nothing else that does it but the Bible. In the Bible this is done. Hence we may learn an account of the first original of things, and an orderly account of the scheme of God's works from the first beginning through those ages that are beyond the reach of all other histories. Here we are told what God aims at in the whole, what is the great end, how he has contrived the grand design he drives at, and the great things he would accomplish by all. Here we have a most rational, excellent account of this matter, worthy of God, and exceedingly shewing forth the glory of his perfections, his majesty, his wisdom, his glorious holiness, and grace and love, and his exaltation above all, showing how he is the first and the last.
Here we are shewn the connexion of the various parts of the work of providence, and hów all harmonizes, and is connected together in a regular, beautiful and glorious frame..... In the Bible we have an account of the whole scheme of providence, from the beginning of the world to the end of it, either in history or prophecy, and are told what will become of things at last; how they will be finished off by a great day of judgment, and will issue in the subduing of God's enemies, and in the salvation and glory of his church, and setting up of the everlasting kingdom of his Son.
How rational, worthy, and excellent a revelation is this! And how excellent a book is the Bible, which contains so much beyond all other books in the world! And what characters are here of its being indeed a divine book! A book that the great Jehovah has given to mankind for their instruction, without which we should be left in miserable darkness and confusion.
VI. From what has been said, we may see the glorious majesty and power of God in this affair of redemption: Especially is God glorious in power. His glorious power appears in upholding his church for so long a time, and carrying on this work; upholding it often times when it was but as a little spark of fire, or as smoking flax, in which the fire was almost gone out, and the powers of earth and hell were combined to destroy it. Yet God has never suffered them to VOL. II. 3 A
quench it, and finally will bring forth judgment unto victory.
The glorious majesty of God appears in conquering all
God's power gloriously appears in conquering Satan when exalted in that strongest and most potent Heathen kingdom that ever he had, the Roman empire. Christ, our Michael, has overcome him, and the devil was cast out, and there was found no more place for him in heaven; but he was cast out unto the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Again, his power gloriously appears in conquering him in that kingdom wherein his pride, and subtlety, and cruelty, above all appears, viz. the kingdom of Antichrist. It gloriously appears in conquering him in that greatest and strongest combination and opposition of the devil and his adherents against Christ and his church, just before the fall of Antichrist, wherein his visible kingdom has a fatal blow given it, on which an universal downfall of it follows all over the world.
The glorious power of God appears in thus conquering the devil, and bringing him under foot, time after time, after long time given him to strengthen himself to his utmost, as he was once overthrown in his Heathen Roman empire, after he had been making himself strong in those parts of the world, ever since the building of Babel. It appears also in overthrowing his kingdom more fatally and universally all over
the world, after he had again another opportunity given him to strengthen himself to his utmost for many ages by setting up those two great kingdoms of Antichrist and Mahomet, and to establish his interest in the Heathen world. We have seen how these kingdoms of God's enemies, that, before God appears, look strong, as though it was impossible to overthrow them; yet, time after time, when God appears, they seem to melt away, as the fat of lambs before the fire, and are driven away as the chaff before the whirlwind, or the smoke out of the chimney.
Those mighty kingdoms of Antichrist and Mahomet, which have made such a figure for so many ages together, and have trampled the world under foot, when God comes to appear, will vanish away like a shadow, and will as it were disappear of themselves, and come to nothing, as the darkness in a room does, when the light is brought in. What are God's enemies in his hands? How is their greatest strength weakness when he rises up! And how weak will they all appear together at the day of judgment! Thus we may apply those words in the song of Moses, Exod. xv. 6. "Thy right hand, O, Lord, is become glorious in power; thy right hand. O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy." And how great doth the majesty of God appear in overturning the world from time to time, to accomplish his designs, and at last in causing the earth and heavens to flee away, for the advancement of the glory of his kingdom!
VII. From what has been said, we may see the glorious wisdom of God. It shows the wisdom of God in creating the world, in that he has created it for such an excellent use, to accomplish in it so glorious a work. And it shows the wisdom of divine providence, that he brings such great good out of such great evil, in making the fall and ruin of mankind, which in itself is so sorrowful and deplorable, an occasion of accomplishing such a glorious work as this work of redemption, and of erecting such a glorious building, whose top should reach unto heaven, and of bringing his elect to a state of such unspeakable happiness. And how glorious doth the
wisdom of God appear in that long course and series of great changes in the world, in bringing such order out of confusion, in so frustrating the devil, and so wonderfully turning all his most subtle machinations to his own glory, and the glory of his Son Jesus Christ! And in causing the greatest works of Satan, those in which he has most vaunted himself, to be wholly turned into occasions of so much the more glorious triumph of his Son Jesus Christ? And how wonderful is the wisdom of God, in bringing all such manifold and various changes and overturnings in the world to such a glorious pe riod at last, and in so directing all the wheels of providence by his skilful hand, that every one of them conspires, as the manifold wheels of a most curious machine, at last to strike out such an excellent issue, such a manifestation of the divine glory, such happiness to his people, and such a glorious and everlasting kingdom to his Son!
VIII. From what has been said, we may see the stability of God's mercy and faithfulness to his people; how he never forsakes his inheritance, and remembers his covenant to them through all generations. Now we may see what reason there was for the words of the text, "The moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool; but my righteousness shall endure for ever and ever, and my salvation from generation to generation." And now we may see abundant reason for that name of God which he reveals to Moses, Exod. iii. 14. "And God said unto Moses, I am that I am; i. e. I am the same that I was when I entered into covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and ever shall be the same: I shall keep covenant forever: I am selfsufficient, allsufficient, and immutable.
And now we may see the truth of that, Psal. xxxvi. 5, 6. "Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep.” And if we consider what has been said, we need not wonder that the Psalmist, in the 136th Psal. so often repeats this, For his mercy endureth for ever; as if he were in an ecstacy at the con