Bates - HP BX5200 B3 1700

12.8 The Harmony of the Divine .Attributes Ch"6 are the Senjts of J?ifciplit_le, the other three are immerft in matter, and arc incarable to ap. · m,ake fuch clear drfcovenes. lleudes thofe impreffions that are made on the fenfes we ~ may f'?rm fame Ideas in the Imagination; upon which the r~ind reflcfting may ;rgue and drfcourfe: Thus f.11· the light and vigor of the unerflandmg can only go. So that the A~oflle declares, that the. whole plot of the Gofpel was without the compafs of our mofl tearching faculnes. ThiS will be evident by confidering, 1. Ther~ was no difcovery of it in the Creation: The Voice o.f the Heavens inllruas us conccrJJing tl1e Being of God, but not in the fecrers of his Wtll. The Oeconomy of M~n's Redemption is the merciful defign of God, which hath no connexion with the eXlflence of the Creatures, but depends only upon his good pleafure. 'Tis as impoffible to rea? the D1vme Decrees in the Volllme of the World, as for the eye to difcover a Sound, wh1ch hath neither Figure, Colour, nor vifible Motion. Befides, the Glorious Nature of God in Three Perfons, which is the Foundation of this Myfierious Mercy, is not made lmown by the vifiblc frame of the Univerfe. 'Tis true, in all external Works the Three Perfon~ are equally concern' cl: Being of one E[ence, they are of one Efficacy; and the ·Effenttal perfeCtions of the Deity as they concur, fo they are evident in the produaion of all things. The firft motive is Goodncfs, Rom. r. 20. that which orders and direas is. Wifdom, that which executes is Power: And the fev~ral ranks of Creatures1 to their flare, r~flea a~ honor ~m then· Author. Thmgs endue~ with Life, declare h:m to be the FoumatR of Ltfc, and mtelleS:ual Creatures reprefent htm to be the Pather of Lights. Hut the perfonal Being, as perfonal, operating nothing out of the Divine Nature, there is no refemblance in the World that e)Cprc[es the DiftinEi:ion, Pr?priety, and Singularity of rhe Perfons, fo as to difcover them to the human Underllandmg. Thofe deeper Myfteries of the Deity are only made known b) the Word of God. 2. 'Tis abo~e the (h·ain and reach of natural Reafon to attam to the knowledge of it There are fcmmal fparks of the La1v in the Heart of Man , Ram. 2. IS· fome common Principles of Piety, J uf\ice and Charity, without which the World would foon disband and fall into ccnfuGon ; but there is not the leaft prefumption or conjecture of the contrivance of the Gofpel. Though Mifery 01arpens the Mind, and makes it more ingeni·- ous to find out ways of Deliverance, yet bere Reafon was utterly at a lofs. How could it ever enter tnto the thoughts of the I(raelites, that by ereCting a Brazen Serpent on a Pole, and looking towards it, the wounds made by the Fiery Serpents 01ould be healed? And how could guilty Man find out a way to fatisfy Infinite J uflice by the Sufferings of ~~~i~a~~d!da1~~v~~ l~~~e ~~~~~~~1~h[W~:Je~~~fc~~~1n~~r~~;n,~~~: ~~~g~~~~ conceive, and a God be born ; nor of the Death of the Prince of Life, and the Refurrection, and AfcenGon of the Lord of Glory. We may fee hew impoffible it is for the natural underflanding to difcover the myflery of Redemption, when thofe that had the highe£1: reputation for Wifdom were ignorant of the Creation. The Phrlofophers were drvided in notbing more, than in therr account of the World's Original. (g) Some imagin'd it to proceed from Water, others fi·om Fire; fome from Order, others from ConfuGon ; fame to be from Eternity, others in Time. If the Soul's eye be fo weakened as not to fee that Eternal Power, which ts fo apparent in its effeas, much lefs could it pie~·ce into the Will, and free Determinations of G~d, of \~hich thc1e is not the leafi: in M tirnatt?n or ll1adow in the thirigs_ that are made. Tl~is W1fdom comes from a~ove, and IVM htdden from .Ages and Genera/tom, Rom. 16. S• 'TIS called theMyjhrr.ofChrifi,Ephef. J~,~ry ~~ \~h~~~ ~~~~~·y"~~r:-;~~~~~~i~~ ~t~l~h~~e0 t~ f;::,t,· Ep;~~r,'; .3~.9 a~hi~~~= Jable Secret, till he was pleafed to make it known. Were the Human Underftandmg as clear as ,tis corrupt, yet tt e2nnot, by the. firength of_dtfcour~c, arnve to the knowledge of tt. Supernatural Rcv.elation wa':i nece!fary to dtfcover tt to the Angels . The Thoughts of Men are a tecret, mto ·which the CreatOr alone had right_ to enter, 2 Chron. 6. 30 it b~ing his l'rerosativc to fearch the Heart; the Angels conjeCture only, from the difpofiuons of Men, from outward circumllanc~s, from the Images in the fancy, and f-i-om.marerial impreffions on the Blood and Sptrits, what are the thoughts of the Heart : And much lefs can they difcover the Counfel of God himlelf. The ,\ poflle tdls us, Ephef. 3· 10 To Princtpafmes ttnd Powers m J?ea' pl~ceJ, by the Church, tb~ mamfo!d H'ifdom of God it mttde knon"': . By the firft commg of Clmft, and the converUon of tl_te V\'orld, the depths of rhe Dtvme Wifdom \\ere opcn,d, and there remains much undtf~ cover'd, which his fc~ond C~:Hning. fhall gloriouOy make Imow~1 .. Before rhc firf[ they undcdlc.od not the toundat1on ; nil the fecond, not the pedel:bon of um Recovery. t;::Si~~"~~~ ~fH'e:;~:/:i::~";e:,~:~~vt~~~o;~ ~;;";~~~f~. 0~'nci ~~~',~;o~~ ,~ ~:;~.;;a~~ Wttb