Here is, 1. An instance given of the honour of God: It is his glory to conceal a matter. He needs not search into any thing, for he perfectly knows every thing by a clear and certain view, and nothing can be hidden from him; and yet his own way is in the sea and his path in the great waters. There is an unfathomable depth in his counsels, Rom. 11:33. It is but a little portion that is heard of him. Clouds and darkness are round about him. We see what he does, but we know not the reasons. Some refer it to the sins of men; it is his glory to pardon sin, which is covering it, not remembering it, not mentioning it; his forbearance, which he exercises towards sinners, is likewise his honour, in which he seems to keep silence and take no notice of the matter. 2. A double instance of the honour of kings:—(1.) It is God’s glory that he needs not search into a matter, because he knows it without search; but it is the honour of kings, with a close application of mind, and by all the methods of enquiry, to search out the matters that are brought before them, to take pains in examining offenders, that they may discover their designs and bring to light the hidden works of darkness, not to give judgment hastily or till they have weighed things, nor to leave it wholly to others to examine things, but to see with their own eyes. (2.) It is God’s glory that he cannot himself be found out by searching, and some of that honour is devolved upon kings, wise kings, that search out matters; their hearts are unsearchable, like the height of heaven or the depth of the earth, which we may guess at, but cannot measure. Princes have their arcana imperii—state secrets, designs which are kept private, and reasons of state, which private persons are not competent judges of, and therefore ought not to pry into. Wise princes, when they search into a matter, have reaches which one would not think of, as Solomon, when he called of a sword to divide the living child with, designing thereby to discover the true mother.
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