THE OMIPRESECE OF GOD.
THE REV. C. SIMEO, M.A.
Jer. xxiii. 24, Can any hide himself in secret places^ that I
shall not see him P saith the Lord. Do not I Jill heaven
and earth ? saith the Lord,
ME universally encourage themselves in sin,
from the hopes of impunity. But they are under a
fatal delusion : for however secret their iniquities
may be, there is one who beholds them, with all their
aggravating circumstances, and will bring them forth
to the light, as grounds of his righteous indignation.
The false prophets of old imagined that their pre-
tensions to inspiration would subject them to no
danger, provided they could preserve appearances
before men ; but God expostulates with them in the
words before us, and appeals to their own con-
sciences for a testimony against them. He appeals
to them respecting the omnipresence of the Deity ;
to which important subject we would now call your
I. In a way of rational inquiry —
The Heathen believed their gods to be confined to
particular temples, or to certain districts" : but can
we imagine that Jehovah is thus limited ?
Consult reason —
[Is God the Creator of the world ? How then can he he absent
from any part of it, seeing that he must have been present with
» 1 Kin. XX. 23.
561.] THE OMKIPRESECE OP GOD, 77
the whole at the time he formed it ? Is he the Governor of the
world ? how then can he he limited to any place, since he must
be every where, to direct and manage those events, which, without
his superintending providence, would throw the universe into
confusion. Is he God? if he be, he must be perfect; but if
he be circumscribed by space, he must he imperfect; he must be
ignorant of those things which he cannot behold, and impotent ia
respect of those things which he cannot reach.]
Consult Scripture —
[The Sacred Records testify that he is in heaven ; for *' he
dwelleth in the high and holy place ''." Yet they do not limit
him to heaven ; for " the heaven of heavens cannot contain
him '^." He is spoken of as existing upon earth ; for " in him
we live, and move, and have our being'*." Yet it is not in any
particular part of the earth that he exists ; for " he fiUeth ail
Consult conscience —
[Every man who has ever heard of God has within him a
consciousness that the Divine Being is present with him, and is
privy to his most secret thoughts. In the midst of their wicked-
ness indeed men try to persuade themselves that God does not
see them^: but in seasons of reflection they cannot divest them-
selves of the conviction, that his all-seeing eye penetrates the
inmost recesses of their hearts. What David confessed with joy,
they feel with terror and <iismay ; that, whether they be in heaven,
earth, or hell, they cannot for one moment escape the notice of
their God s.
God is said indeed to have dwelt in the Temple, and in the
bush ; and to be " far from the wicked :" but all such expressions
relate, not to his essence, but to the manifestations of his pre-
sence. In every possible view, the appeal made to us in the text
defies an answer, and precludes a doubt.]
ot to rest in mere theories, let the same subject
II. In a way of practical improvement —
umberless are the truths which this subject would
suggest to our minds; but we must of necessity
confine ourselves to a few of the most important :
1. What folly is it to commit sin under the idea of
[That such folly obtains in the world, is manifest to all. The
^ Isai. Ivii. 15. * I Kin, viiu 2/. ^ Acts xvii. 28.
* Kph. i. 23. ''Gen.iii. 8. Job xxii. 13, 14. Pa. xciv. 7.
» Ps.cxxxis 1 — 12.
TS' .r JEREMIAH, XXIII. 24. [561.
thief takes advantage of his privacy to lay his hand upon his
neighbour's property. The adulterer watches for the return of
night, when he may accompHsh his wicked purposes without de-
tection '^. dinners of every description commit in secret what
they would not dare to perpetrate, if they knew that the eyes of
their fellow-creatures were upon them. But whence is this, unless
from the atheistical conceit that God is not privy to their actions,
or from an utter forgetfulness of his presence? Such conduct
however is folly in the extreme: for *' God's eyes are in every
place, beholding the evil and the good'." " The darkness is no
darkness to him : the night and the day to him are both alike:"
and, as he observes, so will he also '' bring to light the hidden
things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the heart^,"
as a ground of that sentence which he will one day pass upon all
the workers of iniquity.
Let this be remembered in reference to all the sins we have,
ever committed in secret ; and let it teach us to seek the remission
of them while yet the day of mercy is continued to us.]
2. How vain are the hopes of the hypocrite!
[It is no very difficult matter to impose upon men: yea, we
may also deceive our ownselves; but we cannot deceive God.
However specious our conduct may be, he will discern our corrupt
motives and principles, and will judge us according to the real
quality of our actions. There is one way, and only one, in which
we can hide our sins from God; and that is, by fleeing to the
Lord Jesus Christ for refuge : then, though God will behold the
sinner, he shall not be able to behold the sin ; for it shall all be
" blotted out as a morning cloud," and be " cast behind him
into the depths of the sea:" the vilest sinner in the universe, if.
he " be found in Christ," shall be "complete^" "without spot or
blemish""." Such a hiding-place is Christ"; and such shall be
the felicity of all that believe in him °. But it is in vain to hope
that by any other means we shall escape the wrath of God : for
" all things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him with whom
we have to do;" and every sin not purged away by the blood of
Jesus shall be visited with just and everlasting judgments.]
^ 3. How secure are they who put their trust in
[Many of the enemies with whom the Christian has to con-
tend, are hidden from his view: but neither they nor any of their
devices are concealed from the eyes of God. He is everywhere
present to protect his people, and to defeat the plots of their ad-
versaries. He it is that has given to our enemies the strength
••Jobxxiv. 15 — 17. 'Prov.xv. 3. "^ 1 Cor. iv. 5.
' Col. ii. 10. ¦" Eph. V. 27. " Isai. xxxii. 2. "
° Acts X. 43.
and wisdom which they exert against us ; and he engages that
" none of the weapons which they form against us shall prosper p."
" Let the weak then say, I am strong :" for " if God be for
them, who shall be against them?" Only let them '^acknow-
ledge him in all their ways," and depend upon him in all their
trials, and they need not fear^; for "his eyes shall run to and
fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in t heir
P Isai. liv. 10, 17. ^ Ps. xlvi. 1,2. '2 Chron. xvi. g.
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