But none said, Where is God my maker, who gives songs in the night;
To inquire after God our Maker, with a view of understanding, so far as we are able, His designs, and conforming to His will, is our highest wisdom. But what are we able to know of Him? Are we able to attain no knowledge of Him? That would be denying our own reason, and degrading ourselves to a level with the brute creatures. God has distinguished us with a rational nature above them. It is therefore our privilege and duty to inquire, Where and what is God our Maker? His infinite unsearchable perfection ought not to discourage our humble and sincere inquiries; but is a consideration proper only to damp that pride, conceit, and self-sufficiency which would obstruct our inquiries, and prevent our attainment of real knowledge. All His works discover something of Him; and we are utterly ignorant of ourselves and of the world around us, if we know nothing of God. The apprehension of a Deity results immediately from the very consciousness of our own existence. Every creature around us points to a Creator. Our acquisition of knowledge was an intention of the Almighty Creator. All instruction comes from God, the original fountain of wisdom and knowledge. The Divine intention will strike our minds, if we attend to the gradual process by which men arrive at that portion of knowledge which they are severally possessed of. In the beginning of life the human soul subsists with few ideas, according to its minute capacity. But they multiply fast; the inquisitive curiosity is adapted to and gratified with a continual accession of new objects. When the stock of ideas is sufficiently increased, the comparing and judging faculty begins to operate. Here reason commences, and is henceforth continually employed in disposing the intellectual furniture of the mind, arranging everything in due place and order. Is there no design of creative wisdom in this admirable and evident process of nature? Did not God thus intend to disclose to us His works, and consequently lead us to the study and contemplation of Himself? The first branch of knowledge is that which respects ourselves and mankind around us, the relations, dependencies, connections, interests, inclinations, customs, and laws of human society. This qualifies me to live in society, and to behave as subjects of law and government, and in a manner proper to domestic and national obligations. The second branch of knowledge is that of a Supreme Being, as the maker and disposer of all things, the all-wise Governor of the whole world, the just Judge of mankind, and the original Author of all good. This knowledge is constantly taught by the still eloquence of universal nature. These two kinds of knowledge, so important and so beneficial, are common to mankind in general. Reflections —
1. It becomes us to acknowledge with all gratitude the liberality and kindness of our Creator, in forming and designing us for the acquisition of such excellent and valuable knowledge, and in bringing us to the possession of it.
2. Let us observe and pursue the Divine intention, by a diligent improvement of our advantages.
3. The knowledge of God, and of the visible intentions of His wisdom and goodness in the frame of our world, in the faculties of our minds, and in the order of society, is the best preparation for understanding and embracing the Gospel of our Saviour. We must believe in God, before we can have faith in Christ; we must previously hear and learn of the Father Almighty, before we come to Christ duly qualified for His instructions. If we wisely improve present advantages, there is a glorious everlasting constitution, which God hath established in Christ Jesus our Lord, in order to our rising again from the dead to the enjoyment of immortality.
Parallel VersesKJV: But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night;