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Beings there may be, which inhabit the several Parts of this stupendous Frame, we cannot tell; but whatever they be, they are all under the Government of God, from the highest of them to the meanest. But especially he ruleth over all Mankind, of whatsoever Tribe or Tongue, or Family or Nation : They are all equally the Subjects of his Kingdom. • Before I enter into a distinct Consideration of the Kingdom or Government of God, with regard to the rational moral Part of the Creation, it may be proper to premise some general Observations concerning it.
Firit, God hath an indifputable Right to the Dominion or Government over all reasonable Beings throughout the Universe, in as much as they are all his Creatures, who to him owe their Existence, and by him are continually upheld in Life. He made them what they are, and hath affigned them the Rank they hold in the Creation. He gave them their admirable Faculties and Powers, and maintaineth them in the Use of those Faculties and Powers; and therefore he is by necessary Right their absolute Proprietor and sovereign Lord, who hath the most juft Claimi to their highest Love, Reverence, Subjection, and Obedience. His Dominion over
them, and Right to rule and govern them, is not derived merely from any Compact or Covenant with them, nor doth it depend upon their own Consent, but is founded in the Nature of Things, and can never be alienated. As they are all the Creatures of his Power, so they are all the Subjects of his Government, whether they will or no: And in this respect, his Dominion is of a peculiar and unequalled Kind, the like of which cannot possibly be found in any created Beings with regard to one another.
Secondly, It strengtheneth this farther, when we consider how well qualified he is for the Government of the rational mo. ral World, by the infinite Perfection of his Nature. As his Creation and Preservation of all Things giveth him an undoubted Right to rule them, so his infinite Excellency rendereth it fit and reasonable that he should rule. Yea, it may be faid to give him an additional Right to it, since it is, in the Nature of Things, fit that the most perfect and excellent of Beings should preside over Beings that are infinitely inferior. So that if we should, by an impossible Supposition, put the case, that this World, and the Things of it, had come into Being by Chance, yet when once they did exist, the absolutely perfect Being
would have a Right to govern and order ther, on the Account of the transcendent Excellency of his Nature; and no other could be fit, or have a Right to do it : Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord, faith the Prophet, tbou art great, and thy Name is great in Might : Who would not fear thee, thou king of Nations ? For to thee doth it appertain : Forasmuch as among all the wife Men of the Nations, and in all their Kingdoms, there is none like unto thee. Jer. x. 6,7. Because there is none like unto God in Might and Wisdom, therefore to him doth the Dominion appertain. He, and he alone, hath almighty Power, whereby he can do whatsoever he willeth, and is every Way able to execute all the Purposes of his Government. And his Understanding and Wisdom is infinite, whereby he knoweth, in every possible Instance, what is best and fittest to be done ; and hath a perfect Knowledge, not only of all the Actions of all reasonable Beings, but of the most fecret Counsels and Intents of their Hearts, without which he might commit Mistakes in Government, and reward or punish Persons or Actions that did not deserve it. The Eyes of the Lord are in every Place, beholding the Evil and the Good. Prov. xv. 3. He is present to the whole Creation, and is therefore capable of seeing and ordering
every Thing with his own Eyes: Add to this, that he is of boundless Goodness and Benignity, and delighteth in the Happiness of his Creatures. The Lord is good to all ; and his tender Mercies are over all bis Works. Psal. cxly. 9. He is also a Being of impartial Righteousness and spotless Purity. Righteousness and Judgment are the Habitation, or, as it is rendered in the Margin, the Establishment of bis Throne. Psal xcvii. 2. Taking all these Things in Conjunction, it appeareth, that God, and he alone, is qualified for the Government of the World; so that if we were to with for ourselves, for our own Happiness, and that of all the Orders of Beings throughout the vast Universe, we should be desirous that theuniversal Administration of Things should be in the Hands of God. And there could not be a more unnatural or monstrous Thought, nothing that could possibly argue greater Folly, as well as Depravity of Heart, than to wish that there were no Providence, or that God did not rule. If we could suppose it to be left to the free Vote and Election of all intelligent Beings, they must all concur in this as their unanimous Desire, if they followed the Dictates of Reason and Nature, that God should govern the World, and all Things that are therein, because it is for the uni
verfal Good that it should be so, and because no other is fit to govern it but he alone.
Thirdly, As to the Nature of God's Government of the World, it is, in the stricteft and properest Sense, independent, supreme, and absolute, though at the famo Time most just and righteous. This ap: peareth, if we consider what hath been already observed, that his Right to Govern ment dependeth, not upon the Consent of his Creatures, or upon any original Compact, but upon his Creation and Preservation of all Things; in consequence of which, he hath an entire and absolute Property and Dominion over them : and that he is also possessed of infinite Power and Perfection; and infinite Power and Perfection must, in the Nature of Things, have absolute Sovereignty. He hath no Supe: rior to control hiin, or give him Laws ; no Counsellor to guide him: For who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being bis Counsellor hath taught him ? Isa, xl. 13: Nor is there any Tribunal to which he can be accountable, And that Power, above which there is no other, and beyond which there can be no Appeal, must be truly and properly absolute. This cannot be faid of any created Beings, however exalted they may appear to be. There is a Power