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job xxxvii. 16. last part,
Of Him that is perfeB in Knowledge.
HE SE words are a Declara- S E R M, tion of that Divine Attribute, XI. the Perfection of Knowledgey**^* §| In discoursing upon which Subject, I shall \st endeavour to prove plainly and intelligibly, that God who is the Governour and Judge of all, must be a Being indued with perfeB Know* ledge. 2dfy, I shall offer some Observations concerning the particular Nature and Circumstances of the divine Kr.owR 4 ledge.
Serm. ledge, And 3 dly, I shall make some pro* ftical Reflections upon the whole.
I. In order to prove plainly and intelligibly, that God is a Being which must of Necejjity be indued with perfect Knowledge; 'tis to be observed, that Knowledge is a Perfection, without which the foregoing Attributes are no Perfections at all, and without which those which follow can have no Foundation. Where there is no Knowledge, Eternity and Immensity are as nothing; and Justice, Goodness, Mercy, and Wisdom can have no place. The Idea of Eternity and Omnipresence devoid of Knowledge, is as the Notion of Darkness compared with That of Light; 'tis as a Notion of the World, without the Sun to illuminate it; 'tis as the Notion of inanimate Matter, ( which is the Atheists supreme Cause, ) compared with That of Life and Spirit. And as for the following Attributes, Justice, Goodness, Mercy, and Wisdom; 'tis evident that, without Knowledge, there could not possibly be any such thing as These at all.
Again: That God must be himself a Being indued with perfect Knowledge, appears from his having to other Beings communicated certain degrees of that Per?
section. For whatever Perfection is in S E R M. any Effeft, must of Necessity have been ^. much more, in the Cause that produced it. ^"^^ Nothing can give to Æother, that which it hath not itself: - And therefore from the Figure and Motion, from the Compositions and Divisions of lifeless Matter, 'tis evident nothing could ever have arisen, but lifeless Matter. Wherefore since in Created Beings there are many degrees of Knowledge, it follows necessarily that the Perfection of Knowledge, must be in Him that created them: Ps xciv. 8, Ye Fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the Ear, shall He not hear? He that formed the Eye, shall He not see?
he that teaches man Knowledge, shall
not He know? In the case of ImpcrfeBicns indeed, the Argument lies otherwise: These may be in the Effect, though they were not in the Cause: And the reason is evident j Because though nothing can give what it has not, yet any cause may forbear to give all that it has; Though nothing can communicate more, than it has itself; yet it may communicate as much less, as it pleases. Finiteness therefore, which is bus a Negation j and all the consequences of
SeRm.being Finite, such as Figure, Motion, XI- Composition, Division, and the like; may
*/*vnn' be in the Creature, though they are not in the Creator. But whatsoever is a real positive Perfection, as Knowledge is; tnujl have been first and perfect in tlie original Cause, or else it could never have been transmitted to any thing that was produced.
Lastly, To conclude this First Herd, as needing not much inlargement; From the Immensity or Omnipresence of God, may the fame Truth be likewise clearly evinced: For from thence it follows, if he is an Intelligent Being at all, ( as has already been proved by the foregoing Arguments ;) it follows, I fay, from his Omnipresence, that his Knowledge mul be Infinite and Perfect. For where-ever Himself is, his Knowledge is, which is inseparable from his Being, and must therefore be infinite; And where-ever his infinite Knowledge is, «'tis plain it must necefiarily have a thorough prospect of the inmost nature and essence of e erv thing; so that nothing can be concealed from his In-? section.