صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

II. The belief of God's immense and uncontrollable power is also of great importance and influence on practice. 1. It serves to beget in us a due awe and dread of him; &c. 2. It consequently dissuades and deters us in a high manner from sin, nothing being more reasonable than that advice of the preacher, contend not with him that is mightier than thou. 3. Whence the consideration of this point may dispose us to weigh well our counsels, &c. 4. It may also serve to depress confidence in ourselves, and in all other things, as to any security they can afford : 5. it therefore may be of special efficacy to quell and mortify in us the rices of pride, arrogance, self-will, &c. 6. Also to breed and nourish faith in God, as to the certain performance of his word and promises, which, be they never so difficult, he is so able to perform, &c. 7. Hence also particularly it may produce and cherish faith in the sufficiency of God's Providence, and induce us intirely to rely on it: this topic enlarged on. 8. Farther, it affords comfort and encouragement to us in the undertaking and prosecution of honest and prudent enterprises, giving us hope and confidence in their success : this head also enlarged on.

III. That notion of the word Almighty, which implies God's being universal proprietary and possessor of all things, has also many good uses.


thence learn, 1. That we are not our own, and therefore are obliged to submit with patience to his disposal of us. 2. We ought to be content with that share of accommodations which he allows, since all things are his, and we can claim nothing from him : 3. to be satisfied when he withdraws that of which he has before afforded us the enjoyment : 4. to be heartily thankful for all we ever have or enjoy: 5. carefully to manage and employ all which is put into our hands for his interest and service : 6. to be bumble and sober, not to be conceited, or to glory in regard to any thing we love.

IV. That sense, according to which the word siguifies God's containing all things by his immense presence, is also of most excellent use.

We thereby may learn with what care, circumspection, modesty, and integrity we ought always to manage our conversation and behavior; since we continually think, and speak, and act in the immediate presence of God, whose eyes are on the ways of men, &c. Hence also we are prompted to frequent addresses of prayer, thanksgiving, and all kind of adoration.

V. Lastly, the consideration that God upholds all things, and consequently ourselves, in being, may powerfully deter us from offending him : for put the case, that our life and all the comforts of living depended on the bounty and pleasure of any person ; should we not be very wary and fearful of offending such an one? Application of this in respect to God. Conclusion.

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Che Father Almighty,



O Lord God Almighty.

Every attribute of God is a proper and useful object for our consideration ; as being apt to mind us of our duty, and to excite us to the practice thereof; to beget in us those dispositions of mind (that love and reverence toward God, that faith and hope in him) which we ought to have; and to draw from us real performances of obedience to him : each of them doth ground obligations to piety, and yieldeth arguments to the practice thereof; to which purposes, that considering this divine attribute, 'Almighty,' (mentioned in our text,) doth much avail, and that it therefore well deserveth to be pressed on us, will appear more distinctly from the application we shall make thereof: at present we may perceive how considerable it is, by observing in gross ; 1. That it is frequently in holy Scripture singled forth, as most proper to God; as most fully expressive of his glorious excellency and majesty; particularly the most illuminate ministers of God's praise, the seraphim's in Isaiah, the four wights (or living creatures) in this book ; ånd the twenty-four elders in this place, do therefore use it. 2. It is that attribute, which is alone most expressly set down in our Creed, as especially necessary to be believed and considered : we say therein, I believe in God the father almightp. 3. It is that with which we daily address our devotions unto God; in our prayers we say, • Almighty and most merciful Father ;' in our praises we cry, 'Holy, holy, holy, Lord God

Almighty,' or (which is the same) Lord God of Sabaoth.' It seems therefore fit and useful, that we should well understand the proper and full meaning thereof, together with the obligations grounded thereon, and the inducements it affordeth to good practice; that so when we hear it used in Scripture, when we profess to believe it, when we apply it to God in our devotions, we may so reflect thereon, as to be admonished of our duty, and moved to the performance thereof. First therefore I will endeavor somewhat to explain it; then shall make a practical application thereof.

The title, epithet, or attribute Tavrokpárwp, which we (finding no other word more properly and fully to express it) do render Almighty, or omnipotent, is frequently in a manner peculiar and characteristical ascribed to God : the use thereof in the New Testament is, by citation or imitation, transferred from the Greek of the Old, where it serveth to express those two famous and usual names of God, Sabaoth and Shaddai : especially it answereth to the former; for the latter is only rendered thereby in some places of the book of Job: but the former, Sabaoth, (when interpreted and not left in its own sound) is constantly rendered Tavrokpátwp. I call Sabaoth a name of God; for that it is so, it is in several places expressly affirmed; as in Jeremiah ; • Their Redeemer is strong, Jehovah Sabaoth is his name :' and in Isaiah ; · For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves on the God of Israel; the Lord of hosts is his name :' and in Amos; · He that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought—Jehovah Elohei Sabaoth is his name,' (from a sort of Jove, called Zeùs Zaßbários, mentioned in some Pagan writers,* was, as some critics supposé, deduced.) Now as all the names and appellations of God are significant, and denote some perfection, or some prerogative belonging to him, (as Jehovah signifieth his self-subsistence, independency, immutability, and eternity :: Elohim his omnipotence; Shaddai his all-sufficiency; Adonai bis supreme dominion and authority,) so doth this name or title, Sabaoth, primitively seem to import God's universal conduct and managery

Cicero, Aristoph. &c. Seld, de Diis S. cap. 3. .

of all creatures : for all things in the world, as being ranged in a goodly and convenient order, (like an army marching in array, or marshalled to battle,) are called armies, or Sabaoth. Thus, (after the history of the creation it is said,) • The heavens and earth were finished, and all the host of them,’ (Fås Kóopos airwr, all the furniture, or all the battalion of them :) and, . By the word of the Lord were the heavens made,' saith the psalmist, and all the host of them :' and, • Bless the Lord all ye his hosts, ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure;' that is, all creatures which are subject to his command, and subservient to his will : and, Lift up,' saith Isaiah, your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things; that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names, by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth :' where God is represented to us as the general of an army, drawing forth and ordering his creatures, as a general summoneth to a rendezvous, mustereth and embatelleth his troops: hence this title of Sabaoth, which is rendered ravrokpátwp, doth seem derived.

But we need not deal so strictly, as to limit the sense of this word, according to its original rise, or its use in translation ; but since it hath been authenticated by its use in the holy fountains of truth, the New Testament, and is there used so as to signify or imply the sum of divine perfections and pre-eminences; being, as it seems, selected especially for that purpose, we may presume to take it in its common latitude, for ó rávtur κρατών, or ο πάντων κράτος έχων; according to which extent, it may have various importances, somewhat different; it may accordingly denote, 1. right, or authority, over all beings, omnipotestas ; and, 2. a power, or ability, to do all things, omni. potentia : 3. the actual exercise of such authority, and such power in ruling and disposing all things; omni-potentatus: 4. the possession of all things; or the containing and holding all things in his hand; omni-tenentia, (it is St. Augustine's word :) 5. the preservation or upholding of all things in their being and state : for the word "pareir, according to its propriety and ordinary use, may infer and ground all these significations; and according to them all, God is truly tarrokpátwp. Let : us survey the particulars, and show how

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