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Distance of Time foever, there had been an Eternity paft before that Beginning; and this Beginning of Time, had it not yet been begun, could not have lengthen'd the Eternity paft before the Beginning: But with refpect to us, the Time paft fince the Beginning has Length and Duration, and fo it must be to all created Beings. But now the fupreme infinite Being includes, in his Eternity, all things as prefent; as, for Instance, when he fent Mofes to the Ifraelites, and Mofes requir'd his Name, Tell them, faith the Almighty, I AM hath fent thee; by which Word is fully comprehended his eternal Exiftence. Now that this was the Son of God, who was to be our Redeemer, that spoke to Mofes, may indeed be made a Dispute and Cavil by those who will not allow his Divinity; but our Bleffed Saviour's own Expreffion to the Jews, Before Abraham was, IAM, will eafily folve it, as having the very fame Word, and therefore the fame Weight and Force in it: For had our Saviour been a Being created in Time, (as fome have had the Boldness to affert) he would not have us'd that emphatical Expreffion, which can imply no less than eternal Existence, viz. Before Abraham was, I AM: On the contrary, he must have faid, Before Abraham was, I was; and as fuch an Expreffion would as naturally have fhewn him to have had a Creation as it did Abraham, fo
fo the Expreffion I AM does as naturally fhew his eternal Existence.
Now when we confider the Works of the fupreme, infinite, and eternal Being, (who out of Eternity produced Time, and out of infinite Space produced Place) we may be convinced that they are of no Use to himfelf, but to his Creatures only: But whether the whole Creation of every thing was produc'd at once, or when this Globe in particular, which we inhabit, was created, is a Question, which, after all Refearches, cannot be known in this State; tho' fome have believ'd on the negative. All thofe glorious Bodies of the fixed Stars are indeed, with very good Reason, believ'd to be so many Suns, with Planets revolving about them, with various and numerous Inhabitants, rational and irrational; and fome have question'd whether the whole univerfal Space may not be throughly interfpers'd and furnish'd with like heavenly Bodies, because, notwithstanding their vast Distances from us, befides what we can discover by the naked Eye, there are every Day more and more difcover'd by good Glaffes. Now whether any or all of thefe were created before this Earth or Solar Syftem of ours, or all together with it, is in vain to seek to determine; fince 'twas all one to the Almighty Creator whether he began all this Work at once, or at different Times, for fo I may call it, be B.4 cause
cause Time must commence to all created Beings at the Time of their Creation: "Tis fufficient to us that we find ourselves launch'd into Being, which we may from hence look upon as an eternal one, it having been the Pleasure of our Creator to endue us with immortal Souls, which, during their Stay in thefe Bodies, are capable of fearching into and admiring the reft of his wonderful Works, and if truly prepar'd for their Exit from them, shall then be made perfect in all Knowledge, and fully enjoy this fupreme Infinite, than which nothing lefs can fatisfy the unbounded Defires of the Soul, or yield her true Happiness: And as the Soul is more or less fpiritually refined here, so much the more or less will the be capable to receive thofe unlimited Enjoyments. These Treafures we cannot too much covet and breathe after; for the more we hunger and thirst after Righteousness, the more nourishing will the Bread and Water of Life be; or the more we feek to be familiar with the Works of the Great Creator, and covet to have those things made plain to us, which now we only fee as thro' a glass darkly, and thereby have our converfation in heaven, and spiritually breathe and long after it, having lodg'd our Treafures and our Hearts there; I fay, the greater Attainments we make herein, the greater Felicities will await our Reception there; and the more fpiritual Virtues
we carry thither, the brighter will our Souls shine with them.
Now as to the univerfal Space being thoroughly interfpers'd or furnish'd with heavenly Bodies, I am, for my own Part, apt to judge on the negative; else there are no Bounds to the Creation, which I think has Bounds as well as Time, or we make the Works of the Creation infinite. 'Tis true, we cannot put Bounds to his Power, which is unlimited: God fills the univerfal Space; but to imagine that he has thoroughly interfpers'd it with heavenly Bodies, (which if so must be infinite) is almost the fame as to imagine he has never been without Creatures; and that no Creature could be from Eternity, is manifest from its very Creation; and tho' God may have had Creatures ten· Thousand times ten Thousand Millions of this World's Ages before its Creation, yet all things created muft neceffarily have a Beginning: From which I would infer, that it is still most probable that there are Bounds to the material Creation, and still an univerfal Space unfurnish'd or uninterfpers'd with heavenly and material Bodies, and may be to all Eternity, tho' God should ever continue to create new Suns and Planets at never fo great Distances, which ftill make the Room never the less for more; for universal Space, like Eternity, admits no Beginning nor End; and every Body therein created is ftill exact
ly in the Middle of it*, just as Time prefent is to Eternity: For fuppofing a Body to move in a strait Line with the greatest Velocity imaginable, even as fwift as Lightning or Light from the Sun, when it has moved with this Swiftnefs Millions of Ages, 'tis no nearer the End of infinite Space, but the fame, as to it, as if it had stood perfectly ftill all the while: Similar to which is God's Eternity, which admits of neither Measure nor Progreffion; for his Eternity past can never be lengthen'd, no more than his Eternity to come can be fhorten'd; and therefore his Existence has been, is, and will be always the fame, and is therefore fully exprefs'd in his comprehenfive Name, I ÁM.
Now the late Difcoveries from the Princi ples of Sir Ifaac Newton, concerning the fixed Stars being fo many Suns, with Planets revolving round them, and refpecting them as their Centres, and receiving Light and Heat from them, afford us very great Matter of Admiration of the wonderful Works of the Great Creator, as containing in them, I think, more than a bare Probability of Truth; For to what End must all these glorious Bodies be created, if not for further Ufes than only to be serviceable to us on this Globe? Is
*Hence it is that every Part of the Surface of Globes does agreeably attract its proper Inhabitants, and that the Inhabitants on every Side do agreeably gravitate to its Centre, and in their Walking obferve a Poiture accordingly.