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neß, the Wife Man tells us, condemnd by her own Witness is very Timorous, and being press'd with Conscience is always forecasting greivous things. (Wifd. 17.11.) And it is one great plague of the Wicked, To be in great Fear there where no Fear is. Neither indeed is it necessary, that any of the Temporal Evils that They fear should come upon them, for tho' their own Conscience punishes 'em with the present apprehension of 'em; yet God for wise reasons may think fit not to inflict ’em here, reserving his Entire Wrath to the day of Wrath. But that Fear, which is properly the Fear of the Wicked, and which {hall surely come upon him, is the Fear of Judgement, an Fxpectation of a Future Recompence, and Execution of such Vengeance, as shall to the full answer or exceed all that ever he could Fear, containing in itself eminently and virtually all kinds of Evil to all Eternity. And that this Fear shall come upon him, There is

1f, The highest Probability, from Reason.

2dly, The most undoubted Certainty, from Revelation.

And First, for this very Reason, namely that there are Naturally imprinted upon

the Mind of Man these Apprehensions of Future Reward and Punishment, it is highly probable that there shall be fuch. Now because the whole stress of this Argument will lye upon these Apprehensions being Natural, it will be necessary not only to say they are lo, as has already been said, but to prove that they must be so. And I think they may be made out so to be,

ift, By their being Universal. No Age nor Country so Remote or Barbarous but has had some Sense or Feeling of them; and tho' it should be granted that there have since the beginning of the World been some few Atheists, that have never had these Fears upon 'em, which is shrewdly to be suspected, and rather to be believ'd, that they had stifled 'em, or even while they felt 'em disguis'd and disown'd'em; yet such few and Rare Examples are to be look'd on, rather as Deviations from Nature than the standard or Measure of it: and That concluded to be Natural, which, bating Monsters which among all the works of Nature sometimes happen, is else Universal and Common to the whole Kind. This is a general Rule to prove any thing Natural; But this Fear has in it besides something particular. For tho' Common and Universal Consent may not be the best Argument in the World for such things as gratify Men in their Ease and Sensual Appetites; yet in such their Opinions as are cross to their Pleasures or Worldly Interests, it must argue such to be from some Natural Impression upon their mind, which they maft believe and cannot otherwise chuse.

upon

2dly, That they are Natural, may be prov'd, because they are the first Notions of Mankind, the first Principles all Men assent to without difficulty or dispute; the first Principles that Atheists themselves did Naturally

Believe, and if they do not still, 'tis the Effect of great Industry and Violence that they dont. They are Antecedent to all Laws, and therefore not, as some would have it, the Contrivance of Princes or Politicians to keep the People in awe. And that they were before all Laws is Evident, because they are grounded upon that which is before all Laws, Namely the Eternal Efsential difference between Good and Evil, which difference all the Lawgivers in the World can no more make, than they can a Man. Befides, were these Fears the Contrivances of Wife Kings or Crafty Statesmen to cheat the Vulgar into Subjection; then they, who were in the Plot, would be free from them themselves; but this is so far from being true, that neither the greatest Princes nor the wiseft Politicians, by their Power or their Wisdom, can defend theme selves from ’em; but stand equally at leaft expos'd to 'em, if not more than the meaneft of the common Herd. Neither are they the Inventions of Priest-craft (as some are pleas'd

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to call it) for the fame reafon; and for this farther , That tho it be granted that the Credulity of Mankind may be impos d upon; and fuperftitious, unreafonable Fears be super-induc'd; yet this rather proves that there is fuch a Natural Principle, which cunning and designing Men may manage to their own Advantage, and engraft apon it what they please. For if they had not. found ready to their hands fuch a prone ness in all Mankind to Believe a Future State, they could never have so abus'd it as some of them have done.

3dly, That they are Natural, may be prov'd by this, that they stick fo close to our very Nature and the Frame of our Being, that they cannot without extreme Violence (if at all) be rooted out of it. For hardly will it be found that the moft obftinately

Wicked, who with their utmost Study and Endeavour have apply'd themselves to the suppressing and disbelieving these troublesome Notions, could ever so wholly ftifle 'em, but that they would be continually riseing up in their minds and pursuing them. A Man may by various Business and Diverfions, or by a continual flying for Refuge from himself into Company, shake off for a while all these Melancholy Reflections; or by à course of Debauchery stupify his Mind and make it quite infenfible. But alass!

such

such a Ones Fear is not Dead but Sleepeth; and whatever occasion makes the Man come to himself again, Rouses that too and wakens it a fresh, more outragious and tormenting than before.

The great difficulty of getting rid of this Principle is also an Argument, that it did not come only by Education, as some would haye us Believe. For if we had these Notions only by being taught, Institution might as easily root out as plant 'em; which we find it cannot, tho' all other Errors of Education may be and are frequently corrected by Reason and Experience. What then should be the cause, except the congruity in the things themselves, that meer Teaching should be able to express these Notions, and not be as sufficient to Deface them again? Especially considering the Advantage on this fide, from the Natural Repugnancy we have against any thing that brings disquiet to our Minds. And surely nothing can bring more, than the Fear which follows upon Guilt. But tho' there have been several witty Men and shrew'd Philosophers in all Ages, who have bent all their Parts this way, to Banish from among Mankind this Fear; yet with all their Wit and Skill, and all the Lusts and Interests of a wicked World on fide they could never effect it. Nay it is to be doubted; whether eyer yet there has

been

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