finite spirits ; a Spirit in every respect infinitely su- perior to all those who are His offspring-. I would consider God as a Spirit ; first, negatively. All matter, all time, all space, and, by necessary consequence, all imitation and imperfection, are to be banished to an infinite and eternal distance. o- thing but spirit could have existed from eternity. In the light of this important truth, we see the aw- ful error into which some of the ancient philosophers had fallen, who invested matter with the attributes of Deity by making it eternal. Matter eternal ! in the midst of all its changes and decomposition ! Impossible. Every deteriorating change in the creature has an immediate tendency to dissolution, which, were it not for the energy of creative power, would invariably take place. Wliat are we to think of man, even in his best estate, with all the advantages oflearning and science, but unenlightened by revelation ? How awfully ignorant of the true God ! He is in this respect, on a level with the most ignorant savage. The deification of matter is atheism and idolatry in the aggregate. The detail of this idolatry is pre- 186 SERMO XI f. sented to us by the ancient philosophers in the worship of fruits, vegetables, and plants ; of gods of gold and silver, wood and stone. Here a truth presents itself to our consideration, i. e, the inabi- lity of man to see the necessary dependence of the creature, upon the Creator. Without Divine reve- lation, man could never have understood the nature of his dependence on God, or his duty to Him.