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intelligent cause; but moreover that it depends every moment on fome superior being, for the preservation of its frame'; and that all the great motions in it are caused by some immaterial power, not having originaliy impressed a certain quantity of motion upon mat-1 tor, but perpetually and actually exerting itself every moment in every part of the world. Which preserving and governing power, whether it be immediately the power and action of the same supreme cause that created the world, of him “ without whom not a sparrow “ falls to the ground, and with whom the very hairs of our head are « all numbered;" or whether it be the action of some subordinate inftruments appointed by himn to direct and preside respectively over certain parts thereof; does either way equally give us a very noble idea of providence. Those men indeed, who, merely through a certain vanity of philosophizing, have been tempted to embrace that other opinion, of all things being produced and continued only by a certain quantity of motion, originally impressed on matter without any determinate design or direction, and left to itself to form a world at adventures; those men, I say, who, merely through a vanity of philosophizing, have been tempted to embrace that opinion, without attending whither it would lead them, ought not, indeed, to be directly charged with all the consequences of it. But it is certain, that many under that cover have really been Atheists; and the opinion itself (as I before said) leads necessarily and by unavoidable consequence to plain Atheism. For if God be an all-powerful, omnipresent, intelligent, wife, and free being (as it hath been before demonstrated that he necessarily is), he cannot possibly but know, at all times and in all places, every thing that is; and foreknow what at all times and in all places it is fittest and wisest should be; and have perfect power, without the least labour, difficulty, or opposition, to order and bring to pass what he so judges fit to be accomplished: and consequently it is impoflible but * he must actually direct and appoint every particular thing and circumstance that is in the world, or ever shall be, excepting only what by his own pleasure he puts under the power and choice of subordinate free agents. If therefore God does not concern himself in the government of the world, nor has any regard to what is done therein; it will follow that he is not an omnipresent, all-powerful, intelligent, and wise being; and confequently, that he is not at all. Wherefore the opinion of this fort of Deifts stands not upon any certain consistent principles. but Icads unavoidably to downright Atheism ; and, however in words they may confess a God, yet in reality and in truth they deny him t. HUMAN AFFAIRS NOT BENEATH THE REGARD OF PRO

VIDENCE, If, to avoid this, they will own God's government and providence over the greater and more considerable parts of the world, but deny

*« Quo ernfello, confitendum est eorum confilio mundum administrari.” Cic. De Nat. Deor. lib. II. 7" Lpicurum verbis reliquitte Deos, re fuftuliffe.” Cic. De nat. Deor. lib. II.

his inspection and regard to human affairs here upon earth, as being too minute and small for the supreme governor of all things to concern himself in *; this still amounts to the faine. For if God be omnipresent, all-knowing, and all-powerful; he cannot but equally know, and with equal ease be able to direct and govern, + all things as any, and the I minuteft things as the greatest. So that if he has no regard nor concern for those things, his attributes must, as before, be denied; and consequently his being. But, besides ; human affairs are by no means the minutest and most inconfiderable part of the creation. For (not to consider now, that excellency of human nature which Christianity discovers to us), let a Deilt luppose the universe as large as the widest hypothelis of astronomy will give him leave to imagine; or let him suppose it as immense as he himself pleases, and filled with as great numbers of rational creatures as his own fancy can suggest; yet the system wherein we are placed will, at least for aught he can reasonably suppose, be as coníiderable as any other single system; and the earth whereon we dwell, as considerable as most of the other planets in this system; and mankind manifestly the only considerable inhabitants on this globe of earth, Man therefore has manifestly a better claim to the particular regard and concern of Providence, than any thing else in this globe of ours; and this our globe of earth, as just a pretence to it, as most other planets in the system; and this system, as just an one; as far as we can judge, as any system in the universe. If therefore there be any providence at all, and God has any concern for any part of the world; Mankind, even separate from the consideration of that ex, cellency of human nature which the Christian doctrine discovers to us, may as reasonably be supposed to be under its particular care and government, as any other part of the univerfe.

2. OF THE SECOND SORT OF Deists. . Some others there are, that call themselves Deists, because they believe, not only the being, but also the providence of God; that is, that every natural thing that is done in the world is produced by the power, appointed by the wisdom, and directed by the go. vernment of God; though, not allowing any difference between moral good and evil, they suppose that God takes no notice of the morally good or evil actions of men; these things depending, as they imagine, merely on the arbitrary conftitution of human laws. But how handsomely soever there men may seem to fpeak of the natural attributes of God, of his knowledge, wisdom, and power;

* Eisi yae Tives di yopilegon aivan med Seid, ke? tolaita bokep inoze. aità itiriver, έγα θα, και δύναμιν έχονlα την ακροάτην, και γνώσιν την τελεολαίην των μεντει ανθρωπίνας xca poveti, ás phixpax xai súTEÀão orlar, xai ayatim tiş tautas Toyenelas. Simplic. in Evitet.

+ " Deorum providentia mundus administratur iidemque consulunt rebus humanis; " neque folum univerfis, verum etiam fingulis." Cie, de Divinat. lib. I.

Ι 'Αλλ' δεν τάχ' άν ίσως είη χαλεπόν ένδειξασθαι τατόγε, ως επιμελείς σμικρών εισι θεοί, έκ ήτον ή, ταν μεγέθει διαφερναν. Lio X

Eloi të öe noone SE S Š T 1748Xitab, mvayun xże tão peção auti o forosis; Cię xal ai tézeto 1761. Kai yag laty is é ad ombrez Topelmeiver je bede sro, 8x ax e A :: T !! ? v? :, xo75 42, 9 GUÀ TI%; a: 2 Th 742 view ajuneguirararayan xrigóvwg tê bao doa tidschan implic, in Epictet.

yet

yet neither can this opinion be settled on any certain principles, nor defended by any consistent realoning; nor can the natural attributes, of God be so separated from the moral, but that he who denies the latter may be reduced to a necessity of denying the former likewise. For since (as I have formerly proved) there cannot but be eternal and necellary differences of different things one from another; and from these necessary differences of things there cannot but arise a fitness or unfitness of the application of different ihings or different relations one to another; and infinite knowledge can no more fail to know, or infinite wisdom to chcose, or infinite power to act according to these eternal reasons and proportions of things, than knowledge can be ignorance, wisdoin be folly, or power weakness; and consequently the justice and goodness of God are as certain and necessary, as his wisdom and power : it follow's unavoidably, that he who denies the justice or goodness of God, or, which is all one, denies his exercise of these attributes in inspecting and regarding the moral actions of men, must also deny, either his wisdom, or his power, or both; and consequently must needs be driven into absolute Atheism. For though, in some moral matters, men are not indeed to be judged of by the confequences of their opinions, but by their profession and practice ; yet in the present case it * matters not at all what men affirm, or how honourably they may seem to speak of some particular attributes of God; but what, notwithstanding such profession, must needs in all reason be supposed to be their true opinion; and their practice generally appears answerable to it. PROFA:E AND DEBAUCHED DEISTS, NOT CAPABLE OF BEING

ARGUED WITH. For, concerning these two forts of Deifts, it is observable, that as their opinions can terminate consistently in nothing but downright Atheisin; so their practice and behaviour is generally agreeable to that of the most openly professed Atheists. They not only oppose the revelation of Christianity, and reject all the moral obligations of natural religion, as such; but generally they despise also the wisdom of all human constitutions inade for the ordor and benefit of mankind, and are as much contemners of coinmon decency as they are of religion. They endeavour to ridicule and banter all human as well as divine accomplishments; all virtue and government of man's self, all learning and knowledge, all wisdom and honour, and every thing for which a man can justly be commended or be esteemed more excellent than a beast. They pretend commonly, in their discourse and writings, to expose the abuses and corruptions of religion; but (as is too manifest in some of their modern books, as well as in their talk) they aim really against all virtue in general, and all good manners, and against whatsoever is truly valuable and commendable in men. They pretend to ridicule certain vices and follies of ignorant or superstitious men; but the many

" Quafi ego id curem, quid ille aiat aut neget: illud quær', quid ei consentaneum « Si diccre, qui, &c." Cic. de Finib. lib. II.

very

14

of the ey have no con thame as he debauched set of follo,cally do not

very profane and very lewd images, with which they industriously affect to dress up their discourse, show plainly that they really do not so much intend to expose and deride any vice or folly, as on the contrary to foment and please the debauched and vicious inclinations of others as void of shame as theinselves. They discover clearly, that they have no fanse at all of the dignity of human nature, nor of the superiority and excellency of their reason above even the nieanest of the brutes. They will sometimes in words feem to magnify the wisdom, and other natural attributes of God; but in reality, by ridiculing whatever bears any resemblance to it in men, they Thow undeniably that they do not indeed believe there is any real difference in things, or any true excellency in one thing more than in another. By turning every thing alike, and without exception, into ridicule and mockery; they declare plainly, that they do not believe any thing to be wise, any thing decent, any thing comely or praise-worthy at all. They seem not to have any esteem or value for those distinguishing powers and faculties, by induing them wherewith God has taught them more than the beasts of the « field, and made them wiser than the fowls of heaven.” Job XXXV. II, In a ward: “ Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever « things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things « are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of “ good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise;" these things they make the constant fubject of their mockery and abuse, ridicule and raillery. On the contrary; whatsoever things are profane, impure, filthy, dishonourable, and absurd; these things they make it their business to represent as harmless and indifferent, and to laugh men out of their natural shame and abhorrence of them, nay, even to recommend them with their utmost wit. Such men as these are not to be argued with, till they can be persuaded to use arguments instead of drollery, For banter is not capable of being antwered by reason; not because it has any ftrength in it; but because it runs out of all the bounds of reason and good sense, by extravagantly joining together such images, as have not in themselves any manner of fimilitude or connexion ; by which means all things are alike easy to be rendered ridiculous, by being represented only in an absurd dress. These men therefore are first to be covinced of the true principles of reason, before they can be disputed with ; and then they must of neceflity either retreat into downright Athcisin, or be led by undeniable reasoning to acknowledge and submit to the obligations of morality, and heartily repent of their profane abuse of God and religion.

3. OF THE THIRD SORT OF DEISTS. Another sort of Deifts there are, who, having right apprehensions concerning the natural attributes of God, and his all-governing providence, seem to have some notion of his moral perfections also. That is; as they believe him to be a being infivitely knowing, powerful, and wife; so they believe him to be also in some fenfe a being of infinite justice, goodness, and truth; and that he

goverils . 121 governs the universe by these perfections, and expects suitable obedience from all his rational creatures. But then, having a prejudice against the notion of the immortality of human souls, they believe that men perilh entirely at death, and that one generation shall perpetually succeed another, without any thing remaining of men after their departure out of this life, and without any future restoration or renovation of things. And imagining that justice and goodness in God are not the same as in the ideas we frame of these perfections when we consider them in men, or when we reason about them abstractly in themselves; but that in the supreme governor of the world they are something transcendent, and of which we cannot make any true judgement, nor argue with any certainty about them; they fancy, though there does not indeed seem to us to be any equity or proportion in the distribution of rewards and punishments in this present life, yet that we are not sufficient judges concerning the attributes of God, to argue from thence with any assurance for the certainty of a future state. But neither does this opinion stand on any consistent principles. For if justice and goodness be not * the fame in God, as in our ideas; then we mean nothing, when we say that God is necessarily juft and good ; and for the same reason it may as well be faid, that we know not what we mean, when we affirm that he is an intelligent and wise being; and there will be no foundation at all left, on which we can fix any thing. Thus the moral attributes of God, however they be acknowledged in words, yet in reality they are by these men entirely taken away; and, upon the fame grounds, the natural attributes may also be denied. And so, upon the whole, this opinion likewise, if we argue upon it consistently, must finally recur to absolute Atheisin.

4. OF THE FOURTH SORT OF Deists. The last fort of Deifts are those, who, if they did indeed believe what they pretend, have just and right notions of God, and of all the divine attributes in every respect: who declare they believe, that there is one, eternal, infinite, intelligent, all-powerful, and wise being, the creator, preserver, and governor of all things: that this supreme cause is a being of infinite justice, goodness, and truth, and all other moral as well as natural perfections: that he made the world for the manifestation of his power and wisdom, and to communicate his goodness and happiness to his creatures : that he preferves it by his continual all-wile providence, and governs it according to the eternal rules of infinite justice, equity, goodness, mercy, and truth : that all created rational beings, depending continually upon him, are bound to adore, worship, and obey him ; to praise him for all things they enjoy, and to pray to him for every thing they want: that they are all obliged to promote, in their proportion, and according to the extent of their several powers and abilities, the general good and welfare of those parts of the world, wherein they are placed; in like manner as the divine goodness is

* Kal' ipe is ydę is aütü açetń ścı Tür hinaghwy wartov' si rý j aithn åpe tà áx@gute ral Sax. Orig. contr. Cell. lib. IV,

continually

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