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ledge, when it conceived all of him it can, the Darkness of a Soul's Ignorance is then, as being over come with that dazling more manifested by this Light, and not Brightness of his Glory, to think him in more covered, and one's own knowledge conceivable, and to express him in such is rather darkned, and disappears in the Terms as withaliexpresses our Ignorance: glorious Appearance of this Light ; for in There is no Name agrees more to God, all new Discoveries, there is no other than that which faith, we cannot name him, thing appears : But that this which the we cannot know him, such as, invisible, in- Soul is seeking is fupereminently unknown, comprebensible, infinite, &c. This Sa and still further from Knowledge than ever crates, an Heathen, profest to be all his i. conceived it to be. Therefore whatKnowledge, that he knew he did knowno- ever you conceive or fee of God, if ye thing, and therefore he preached an un- think ye know what ye conceive and see, known God to the Atbenians, to whom it's not God ye see, but something of God's, after they erected an Altar wish that lo- less than God : For it's said, Eye bath not fcription, To the unknown God. I confess, Seen, nor Ear beard, nor batb it entered indeed, the most part of our Discourses, into tbe Herrt of Man to conceive, of our Performances, have such a writing what be bath laid up for them ibat love on them, To the unknown God, because we Him: Now, certainly, that's Himself he think we know him, and fo we know no- hath laid up for them; therefore, whate. thing; But O that Christians had lo much, ver thou conceives of him, and thinks now Knowledge of God, so much true: Wif thou knows him, that is not He ; for he dom, as folidly, and willingly to confess hath not entred into Man's Aeart to conin our Souls our own Ignorance of him, ceive Him. Therefore this must be thy and then I would desire no other Know Soul's Exercise and Progress in it, to reledge, and growing in the Grace of God, move all things, all Conceptions from him, but to grow more and more in the Believas not beseeming his Majesty, and to go in Ignorance of such a Mystery, in the Itill forward in such a dark negative Dif Knowledge of an unknown, unconceivable, covery, till theu know not where to seek and unfearchable God, that in all the De- him, nor find him. Si quis Deum videat grees of Knowledge we might ftill con- & intelligat quod vidit, Deúm non vidit, ceive we had found less, and that there is if any see God, and understand what they more to be found than before we appre see, God they do not fee; for, God baib bended. This is the most perfect Know no ban seen, 1. John iv. 12. And no ledge of God, that doth not drive away Man knows the Fatber but the Son, and Darkness, but encrease it in the Soul's none knows the Son by the Father; it's Apprehenfion; any Encrease in it doth not his own Property, to know Himself, as declare what God is, or fatisfie one's Ads to be Himself; silent and seeing Ignorance, miration in it, but rather shews hin to be is our safeft and higheft Knowledge. more inviable and upsearchable ; so that


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Exod. iii. 14. I AM THAT I AM. Psal. xc. 2. Before the Mountains, &c. from everlasting to everlasting thou art Göd. Job.

xi. 7, 8, 9. Canf thou by searching find out God, &c. This is the chief Point of Saving faith Paul, Rom. viii. But how mucho Knowledge, to knuw God: And

more odious is it, to compare God with this is the first point or Degree of the Creatures. Call Him Higheft, call Hine true Knowledge of God, to difcern how | most Powerful, call Him moft Excelleni, ignorant we are of him, and find him be. Almighty, most Glórious' in respect of yond all Knowledge : The Lord gives Creatures, you do but abase his Majesty, a Definition of Himself, but such a one to bring it down to any Terms of Com. as is no more clear than Himself to our parison with them, which is beyond ail Bapacities; A short one indeed, and you the Bounds of Understanding; all these do may think it says not much, I am. What but express Him to be in fome Degree is it that may not say so, I am rbal. I am? eminently feated above the Creatures, as The least and most inconsiderable Crea some Creatures are above all others, ro ture hath its own Being ; Man's Wisdom

you do no more but make Him the Head would have learned him to call Himself of all, as some one Creature is the Head by fome high Stiles, as the Manner and of one Line or Kind under it; but what Custom of Kings and Princes is, and such is that to his Majesty ? He speaks other: as the Flattery of Men attributes unto them; wife of Himself, ifa. xl.17. All Nations you would think the Superlatives of wise, are before Him as noibirs, and they are, good, ftrong, excellent, glorious, and accounted to Hin less than nothing. fuch like, were more beseeming his Ma. Then, certainly, you have not taken up jefty; and yet there is more Majesty in the true Notion of God, when you have the fimple Siile than in all others; but a conceived" him the most eminent of natural Man cannot behold it, for it is all Beings, as long as any Being appears {piritually discerned. Let the potsbeards as a Being in his Sight, before whon of the Earth ( faith he ) Arive with the all Beings conjoyned are as nothing; while, Paisteards of the Earth, Ifa. xlv. 9. But you conceive God to be the best, you still let tbem not rrive with tbeir Maker. So, attribuite something to the Creature, for all I'lay, let. Creatures compare with Crea. Comparatives include the Positive in both tures ; let them take fuperlative Stiles, in Extreams: So then, you take up only regard of others ; let some of them be fome different Degrees between them called good; and some better, in the Com- who differ. so infinitely, so incomprehensparison among themselves, but God must libly ; the Distance beewixt Heaven and not enter in the Comparison. Paul | Earth is but a poor Similitude, to express thinks it an odious Comparison, to comthe Distance between God and Creatures : pare present Crofies to eternal Glory, 1 What is the Distance betwixt a Being and Spint them not wortby to be compared, nothing? Can you measure it ? Can

you imagine it? Suppose you take the in his presence there is no such reckoning, most high, and the most low, and mea. upon this account all Things are alike, fure the Distance betwixt them, you do God infinitely diftant from all, and so not but consider the Difference betwixt two more or less: Infiniteness is not capable of Beings, but you do not express how far No- fuch Terms of Comparison. This is the thing is diftant from any of thein : Now, Reason why Christ says, There is none if any Thing could be imagined less than good, but one, even God. Why, because, nothing, could you at all guess at the vast in respect of his Goodness, nothing des Distance between it and a Being ? Now serves that Name; lesser Light in the View so it is here; thus faith the Lord, all Na- of the greater is a Darkness, as less Good tions, their Glory, Perfection, and Num in Comparison of a greater, appears Evil : ber, all of them, and all their Excellencies How much more then shall created Light. united, do not amount to the Value of an and created Goodness lose that Name and Unity, in regard of my Majesty; all of Notion, in the Presence of that uncreated them like Cyphers, joyn never so many of Light, and Şelf-sufficient Goodness: And them together, they can never make up a therefore it is, that the Lord calls Himself Number, they are nothing in this regard, after this Manner, I am, as if nothing elle and less than not bing. So then, we ought were. I will not say, faith he, that I am. thus to conceive of God, and thus to attri- the Highest, the best and moft Glorious. bụite a Being and Life to him, as in his that is; that suppofeth other Things to Sight, and in the Consideration of it, all have some Being, and some Glory that is created Beings might evanish out of our worthy the accounting of; But I am, and Sight'; as, the glorious Light of the Sun, there is none else, I am alone I lift up my though it do not annihilate the Stars, and Hand to Heaven, and fwear, I live for make them nothing, yet it annihilates their ever. There is nothing else can say, I am, Appearance to our Senses, and makes them I live, and there is none else ; for there is disappear, as if they were not ; although nothing hath it of it self : Can any boast of there be a great Difference and Inequality of that which they have borrowed, and is not the Stars in the Night, some lighter, some their own ? As, if the Bird that had stoldárker, fome of the first Magnitude, and len from other Birds its fair Feathers, fome of the second and third, &c. fome of should come forth and contend with them greater Glory, and some of less: But in the about Beauty, would not they presently eDay-time all are alike, all are darkned by very, one pluck out their own, and leave the Sun's Glory : Eyen so it is here, though her naked, to be an Object of Mockery to we may compare one Creature with ano-alt? Even so, lince our Brearb and Ben ther, and find different Degrees of Per-:| ing is in our Nostrils and that depends upon fection and Excellency, while we are on his Majesty's breathing upon us, if he should ly comparing them among themselves; but keep in his Breath, 'as it were, we but let once the glorious Brightness of thould vanish into nothing, He looketb upGod shine upon the Soul, and in that Light on Man and be is not, Jub vii. 8. That all these Lights shall be obscured, all their is a strange Look, that looks Man not onDifferences unobserved ; an Angel and a ly out of Countenance, but out of Life and Man, a Man and a Worm, differ much Being, He looks him into his first nothing ; in Glory and Perfection of Being; but ol and then can he say, I live, I ain; no, he


must always say of himself in respect of nity, Before the Mountains were brought God, as Paul of himself in respect of fortb, from Everlafting to Everlasting be Chrift, I live, yet not 1, but Cbrijt inme; 1| is God, Pfal. xc. 2.

Now this is proam, yet not I, but God in me: I live, I am, perly to be, and this only deserves the yet not I, but in God, in whom I live, Name of Being, which never was nothing, and bave my Being. So that there is no and never shall be nothing, which may alother thing beside God can say, I am; beways fay, I am; you know it is fo with cause all things are but borrowed Drops of nothing else but God; the Heavens and this felf-sufficient Fountain, and Sparkles of Earth, with the Things therein, could not this primitive Light ; let any thing inter- not say 6000 Years ago, I am. Adam vene between the Scream and the Foun- could once have said, I am, bue now he tain, and it is cut off and dryed up; let cannot say it; for that Self-being and anything be interposed between the Sun Fountain-being hath said to him, Return and the Beam, and it evanishes. Therefore to Dujt; and so it is with all the Generatithis Fountain being, this original Light, this ons past, where are they now? They Self being d'utó oy, as Plato called him, de were, but they are not: And we then were ferses only the Name of Being; other not, and now are ; for we are come in Things that we call after that Name are their Place, but within a little Time, who nearer nothing than God, and so, in re of us can say, I am ? No, we flee away gard of his Majesty, may more fitly be and are like a Dream, as when one am called nothing than something. You see then waketh : We are like a Tale that is told,

how profound a Mystery of God's absolute that makes a prefent Noise, and it is past; . felf-sufficient Perfection is infolded in these within few Years this Generation will

three Letters, I am, or in these four pass, and none will make Mention of us, (Jehovas.) If you ask what is God? our Place will not know us, no more There is nothing Occurrs better than this, than we do now remember those who I am, or be that is: If I should say He is have been before : Christ said of John, the Almighty, the only Wise, the most He was a burning and fining. Light, Perfect, the most Glorious, it is all con- he was, faith be, but now he is not: But tained in that Word, I am that I am, Christ may always say, I am the Light and nempe boc eft ei elje, bæc omnia ele; Life of Men. Man is,but look a little backFor that is to be indeed, to be all those Perward, and he was not; you shall find his fections simply, absolutely, and as it were Original ; and step a limle forward and he solely, if I say all that, and should reckon thall not be, you Thall find his End: But out all the Scripture-Epithets, I add no- God is Alpha and Omega, the Begin, thing; if I say, no more, I diminth no- ning and the End. But Oh, who can rething.

tire so far, backward as to apprehend a As this holds out God's absolute Per Beginning, or go such a start forward as fection, so we told you that it imports his to conceive an End in such a Being as is Eternity, and his Unchangeableness. You the Beginning and End of all Things; know Pilate's Speech, wbat I bave writ. but without all Beginning and End? Whofe ten I bave written, wherein he meant, Understanding would it not confound? that he would not change it, it should stand There is no way here but to Aee into fo. So this properly belongs to God's Eter- Paul's Sanctuary, o tbe Heightly and


Breadth, and Length and Depth! We Number being multiplyed will amount in cannot imagine a Being,'bat we must first to the greatest that you can conceive. conceive it nothing, and in some instant But 0, where shall a Soul find it self here? receiving its Being; and, therefore canft It is inclosed between Infiniteness before; thou by Searching find out God? There- and Infiniteness behind, between two Erer. fore what his Being is, hath not entred in- laftings, which way soever it turns, there. to the Heart of Man to consider. If any is no out going ; which way soever it looks, Man would live out the Space but of two it must lose it self in an Infiniteness round Generations, he would be a World's Won- about it, it can find no Beginning and no der; but if any had their Day's prolonged End, when it hath wearied it self in scarchas the Patriarchs before the Flood, they ing, which if it find not, it knows not what would be called ancient indeed, but then it is, and cannot tell what it is. Now what the Heavens and Earth are far more An- are we then? what are we, who lo cient; we may go backward the Space of magnifie our selves? We are but of near 6000 Years in our own Minds, and yesterday, and know nothing, Job viii. yet be as far from his Beginning as we 9. Suppose that we had endured the ! were ; when we are come to the Beginning Space of 1000 Years, yet faith Moses, of all Things, a Man's Imagination may yet Psal. xc. 4. A thousand Years are. extend it self further, and suppose to it self as but as yefterday in thy Sight ; Time many Thousands of years before the Be- hath no Succeffion to thee, thou beholdest ginning of Time, as all the Angels and Men at once what is not at once, but in several of all Nations, and Generations from the Times, all that hath not the Proportion Beginning, if they had been imployed in no of one Day to thy Days: We change in other thing but this, could have fummed our Days, and are not that to-day we up; and then suppose a Product to be made were yesterday, but He is the same les of all the several Sums of Years, it would terday, and to-day, and for ever, Heb. be vast and unspeakable, but yet your Imagi- xiii

. 8. Every Day we are dying, fome nation could reach further, and multiply Part of our Life is taken away ; we leave that great Sum as often into it self as there still one Day more behind us, and what are Unites in it: Now when you have is behind us is gone and cannot be recodone all this, you are never a whit nearer vered: Though we vainly please our selves the Days of the Ancient of Days., Sup in the Number of our Years, and the Expose then this should be the only Exercise tent of our Life, and the Vicillicudes of of Men and Angels throughout all Eternity, Time, yet the Truth is, we are but still all this marvellous Arithmetick would not losing fo much of our Being and Time, as amount ynto the least Shadow of the Con- palleth: First, we loft our Child-hood, tinuance of Him who is from Everlast- then we lose our Manhood, and then we ing; all that buge Product of all the Mul- leave our old Age behind us allo, and tiplicationsof Men and Angels,hath no Pro- there is no more before us, even the very portion unto that never Beginning, and ne- present Day we divide it with Death: But ver ending Duration: The greateft Sum when he moves all Things, he remains that is imaginable hath a certain Proportion immoveable, though Days and Years be to the leaft Number, that it containerh it in a continual Flux and Motion about him, fo oft und no ofiner, fo that the least


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