« AnteriorContinuar »
that unless some very plain and ungainsayable demonstra- | had certainly pressed it to their service in this warfare, and tion be brought against the grounds of it, (which will be not have endured, rather, the molestation of continual time enough to consider when we see it pretended to,) no checks and rebukes from it. opposition, fit to be regarded, can ever be made to it. That Nor need we yet to let our minds hang in suspense, or is, none at all can possibly be made, but what shall pro be in a dubious expectation, that possibly some or other ceed from the most immodest and rash confidence, animated great wit may arise, that shall perform some great thing in and borne up only by a design of being most licentiously this matter, and discover the groundlessness and folly of wicked, and of making the world become so. Immodest religion, by plain and undeniable reasons that have not as confidence it must be, for it is not a man, or a nation, or yet been thought on; but betake ourselves to a stricter and an age, that such have to oppose, but mankind; upon closer consideration of our own grounds, which if we can which they shall cast, not some lighter reflection, but the once find to be certainly true, we may be sure they are of vilest and most opprobrious contumely and scorn that can eternal truth, and no possible contrivance or device can be imagined. That is, the imputation of so egregious folly ever make them false. and doiage, as all this while to have worshipped a shadoro, VI. Having therefore seen what common consent may as the author of their being; and a figment, for their com- contribute to the establishing of them jointly; we may mon parent. And this not the ruder only, and uninquisi- now apply ourselves to consider and search into each of tive vulgar, but the wisest and most considering persons in them (so far as they are capable of a distinct consideraall times. Surely less than clear and pregnant demonstra- tion) severally and apart. Having still his mark in our tion (at least not wild, incoherent, self-confounding sup- eye, our own confirmation and excitation in reference to positions and surmises, of which more hereafter) will never what is the proper work and business of a temple, religion be thought sufficient to justify the boldness of an attempt and conversation with God: how little soever any enthat shall carry this signification with it. _And it will be deavour in this kind may be apt to signify with the othera confidence equally rash, as immodest. For what can be wise-minded. the undertakers' hope, either of success or reward? Do VII. And, first, for the existence of God; that we may they think it an easy enterprise, and that a few quirks of regularly and with evidence make it out to ourselves, that malapert wit will serve the turn to bafile the Deity into he is, or doth exist, and may withal see what the belief of nothing, and unteach the world religion, and rase out im- his existence will contribute towards the evincing of the pressions renewed and transmitted through so many ages, reasonableness of erecting a temple to him. It is requisite and persuade the race of men to descend a peg lower, and that we first settle a true notion of him in our minds; or believe they ought to live, and shall die, like the perishing be at an agreement with ourselves, what it is that we mean, beast? Or, do they expect to find men indifferent in a or would have to be signified by the name of God: othermatter that concerns their common practice and hope ? add wise we know not what we seek, nor when we have found wherein their zeal hath been wont to be such as that it hath him. obtained to be proverbial: to strive as for the very altars. And though we must beforehand professedly avow, that And what should their reward be, when the natural we take him to be such a one as we can never compretendency of their undertaking is to exclude themselves hend in our thoughts; that this knowledge is loo excellent from the expectation of any in another world? And what for us, or he is more excellent than that we can perfectly will they expect in this, from them whose temples and know him; yet it will be sufficient to guide us in our altars they go about to subvert? Besides, that if they be search after his existence, if we can give such a descripnot hurried by a blind impetuous rashness, they would tion, or assign such certain characters of his being, as consider their danger, and apprehend themselves concerned will severally or together distinguish him from all things to strike very sure. For if there remain but the least pos- else. For then we shall be able to call him by his own sibility that the matter is otherwise, and that the Being name, and say, This is God; whatever his being may condoth exist, whose honour and worship they contend against, tain more, or whatsoever other properties may belong to it, they musi understand his favour to be of some concern- beyond what we can as yet compass in our present thoughts ment to them; which they take but an ill course to entitle of him. themselves unto. Much more have they reason to be VIII. And such an account we shall have of what we are solicitous, when their horrid cause not only wants evidence, inquiring after, if we have the conception in our minds of nor hath hitherto pretended to more than a bare possibility an eternal, uncaused, independent, necessary Being, that of truth on their side, but hath so clear (and as yet alto- hath active power, life, wisdom, goodness, and whatsoever gether unrefuted) evidence lying against it
, that quite takes other supposable excellency, in the highest perfection away that very possibility, and all ground for that misera- originally, in and of itself. ble languishing hope, that it could have ever afforded Such a being we would with common consent express them. Therefore is it left also wholly unimaginable, what by the name of God. Even they that would profess to principle can animate their design, other than a sensual deny or doubt of his existence, yet must acknowledge humour, impatient of restraints, or of any obligation to be this to be the notion of that which they deny or doubt sober, just, and honest, beyond what their own inclination, of. Or if they should say this is not it, or (which is all and (much-mistaken) interest, or conveniency, would lead one) that they do not deny or doubt of the existence of them to.
such a Being as this; they on the other hand that would By all which we have a sufficient measure of the persons argue for his existence, may conclude the cause is yielded from whom any opposition unto religion can be expected, them; this being that which they designed to contend and how much their authority, their example, or their for. scorn, ought to signify with us. And that a more valuable It must indeed be acknowledged, that some things beopposition can never be made, our experience, both that longing to the notion of God might have been more exhitherto it hath not been, and that it would have been if it pressly named. But it was not necessary they should, could, might render us tolerably secure. For surely it being sufficiently included here, as will afterwards appear: may well be supposed, that in a world so many ages lost nor perhaps so convenient; some things, the express menin wickedness, all imaginable trials would have been made tion whereof is omitted, being such as more captious perto disburthen it of religion ; and somewhat that had been sons might be apt at first to startle at; who yet may specious at least, to that purpose, had been hit upon, if the possibly, as they are insinuated under other expressions, matter had been any ways possible. And the more wicked become by degrees more inclinable to receive them afterthe world hath been, so directly contrary and so continually wards. And however if this be not a full and adequate assaulted a principle, not yet vanquished, appears the more notion, (as who can ever tell when we have an express, displainly invincible. And that the assaults have been from tinct, particular notion of God, which we are sure is adethe lusts of men, rather than their reason, shows the more quate and full?) it may however suffice, that it is a true one, evidently, that their reason hath only wanted a ground to as far as it goes, and such as cannot be mistaken for the work upon, which if it could have been found, their lusts notion of any thing else. And it will be more especially sufDre Plex, mame subject and title. Calvin Instit. Episcopius his Instit. in it to recommend him to us as a fit and worthy object of
ficient to our present purpose, if enough be comprehended Taeol wbo has written nervously on this subject; with many more : but espeenlly Dr. Stillingfleet, in his Orig. Sacr.
religion; and whereto a temple ought to be designed: as
it will appear there is, when also we shall have added not. And so, since you find that something novo is, that what is intended, concerning his conversableness with there was a time when any thing of being did begin to men; the ground whereof is also in great part included in be, that is, that till that time, there was nothing; but now, this account of him; so that the consideration of it can- at that time, somewhat first began to be. For what can not be wholly severed from that of his existence; as hath be plainer than that, if all being sometime was not, and been intimated above. That is, that if such a Being ex now some being is, every thing of being had a beginning? ist, unto which this notion belongs, it will sufficiently ap- And thence it would follow that some being, that is, the pear, he is such as that he can converse with men, though first that ever began to be, did of itself start up out of it doth not thence certainly follow that he will. For it nothing, or made itself to be, when before nothing was. were a rash and bold adventure, to say he could not be But now, do you not plainly see that it is altogether God, if he did not condescend to such terms of reconci- impossible any thing should do so; that is, when it was liation and converse with apostate creatures. Whereof, as yet nothing, and when nothing at all as yet was, that therefore, more is to be said, than the mere manifesting it should make itself, or come into being of itself? For his existence, in its own place.
surely making itself is doing something. But can that And as to this, we shall endeavour to proceed gradual which is nothing do any thing? Unto all doing there ly, and in the most familiar and intelligible way we can, must be some doer. Wherefore a thing must be, before
I am not unapprehensive that I might here indeed, fol. it can do any thing; and therefore it would follow that lowing great examples, have proceeded in another method it was before it was; or was and was not, was something than that which I now choose. And because we can have and nothing, at the same time. Yea, and it was diverse no true, appropriate, or distinguishing idea or conception from itself. For a cause must be a distinct thing from of Deity, which doth not include necessity of existence in that which is caused by it. Wherefore it is most appait, have gone that shorter way, immediately to have con- rent that some being háth ever been, or did never begin to cluded the existence of God, from his idea itself. And I be. Whence further, see not, but treading those wary steps which the incompa X. It is also evident, 2. that some being was unrable Dr. Cudworth (in his Intell. System) hath done, that caused, or was ever of itself without any cause. For argument admits, in spite of cavil, of being managed, what never was from another had never any cause, since with demonstrative evidence. Yet since some most per- nothing could be its own cause. And somewhat, as tinaciously insist that it is at the bottom but a mere so appears from what hath been said, never was from anphism; therefore (without detracting any thing from the other. Or it may be plainly argued thus; that either force of it as it stands in that excellent work, and the some being was uncaused, or all being was caused. But writings of some other noted authors) I have chosen to go if all being were caused, then some one, at least, was this other way, as plainer and less liable to exception, the cause of itself: which hath been already shown imthough further about. And beginning, lower, to evince possible. Therefore the expression commonly used confrom the certain present existence of things not existing cerning the first Being, that it was of itself, is only to be necessarily, or of themselves, their manifest dependence taken negatively, that is, that it was not of another, not on what doth exist necessarily or of itself; and how ma- positively, as if it did sometime make itself. Or, what nifestly impossible it was that any thing should exist now, there is positive, signified by that form of speech, is only or hereafter to all eternity, if somewhat had not existed to be taken thus, that it was a being of that nature, as necessarily and of itself, from all eternity. And I trust, that it was impossible it should ever not have been. Not not only this will appear with competent evidence in the that it did ever of itself step out of not being into being: sequel of this discourse, but also that this necessary self- of which more hereafter. existent Being, is God, a Being absolutely perfect, such XI. And now it is hence further evident, 3. that some to whom the rest of his idea must belong; and to whom being is independent upon any other, that is, whereas il religion or the honour of a temple is due.
already appears that some being did never depend on any And because that was the point at which this discourse other, as a productive cause ; or was not beholden to any principally aims, and wherein it finally terminates, not other, that it might come into being. It is thereupon merely the discovering of atheism, but irreligion; from equally evident that it is simply independent, or cannot an apprehension that as to use and practice, it was all one be beholden to any for its continued being. For what did to acknowledge no God at all
, as only such a one to whom never need a productive cause, doth as little need no temple or religion could belong : it was therefore be- taining or conserving cause. And to make this more sides my purpose, to consider the several forms or schemes plain, either some being is independent, or all being is of atheism, that have been devised in any age, as that dependent. But there is nothing without the compass of excellent person hath done; and enough for my purpose, all being, whereon it may depend. Wherefore to say, to refute the Epicurean atheism, or theism, (it is indif- that all being doth depend, is to say it depends on nothing, ferent which you call it,) because that sect-master, while that is, that it depends not. For to depend on nothing, is he was liberal in granting there were deities, yet was so not to depend. It is therefore a manifest contradiction, impious as to deny worship to any, accounting they were to say that all being doth depend : against which it is no such, as between whom and man there could be no con- relief to say, that all beings do circularly depend on one versation ; on their part by providence, or on man's by re- another. For so, however, the whole circle or sphere of ligion. Therefore, if we shall have made it evident in being should depend on nothing, or one at last depend on the issue, that God is, and is conversable with men, both itself; which negatively taken, as before, is true, and the the Epicurean atheism vanishes from off the stage, and thing we contend for; that one, the common support of with it all atheism besides, and irreligion.
all the rest, depends not on any thing without itself. IX. We therefore begin with God's existence. For the Whence also it is plainly consequent, evincing whereof we may, 1. Be most assured, that XII. That,4.such a being is necessary,or doth necessarily there hath been somewhat or other from all eternity, or exist; that is, that it is of such a nature as that it could not that looking backward, somewhat of real being must be or cannot but be. For what is in being neither by its own confessed eternal. Let such as have not been used to choice, or any other's, is necessarily. But what was not think of any thing more than what they could see with made by itself (which hath been shown impossible that their eyes, and to whom reasoning only seems difficult
, any thing should) nor by any other, (as it hath been proved because they have not tried what they can do in it, but something was not,) it is manifest, it neither depended on use their thoughts a little, and by moving them a few its own choice, nor any other's, that it is. And therefore easy steps, they will soon find themselves as sure of this, its existence is not owing to choice at all, but to the ne as that they see, or hear, or understand, or are any cessity of its own nature. Wherefore it is always by a thing
simple, absolute, natural necessity; being of such a nature, For being sure that something now is, (that you see, for to which it is altogether repugnant, and impossible ever not instance, or are something,) you must then acknowledge, to have been, or ever to cease from being. And now hathat certainly either something always was, and hath ever ving gone thus far, and being assured that hitherto we feel been, or been from all eternity; or else you must say, the ground firm under us; that is, having gained a full that sometime, nothing was; or that all being once was certainty that there is an eternal, uncaused, independent.
trecessary Being, and therefore aetually and everlasting could be given how other things came to be. But what! existing; we may advance one step further, and with doth it signify any thing towards the giving an account of, equal assurance add,
the original of all other things, to suppose only an eternal, XIII. 5. That this eternal, independent, uncaused, self-subsisting, unactive being ? Did that cause other necessary Being, is self-active, that is, (which is at pre- things to be?" Will not their own breath choke them if sent meant,) not such as acts upon itself, but that hath they attempt to atter the self-contradicting words, an unthe power of acting upon other things, in and of itself, active cause (i. e. efficient or author) of any thing. And without deriving it from any other. Or at least that there do they not see they are as far from their mark; or do no is such a Being as is eternal, uncaused, &c. having the more towards the assigning the original of all other things, power of action in and of itself. For either such a Be-by súpposing an eternal, unactive being only, than if they ing as hath been already evinced is of itself active, or supposed none at all. That which can do nothing, can no unactive, or either hath the power of action of itself, or more be the productive cause of another, than that which not. If we will say the latter, let it be considered what is nothing. Wherefore by the same reason that hath conwe say, and to what purpose we say it.
strained us to acknowledge an eternal, uncaused, indeFirst, we are to weigh what it is we affirm, when we pendent, necessary being, we are also unavoidably led to speak of an eternal, uncaused, independent, necessary Be- acknowledge this being to be self-active, or such as hath ing, that is of itself totally unactive, or destitute of any the power of action in and of itself; or that there is ceractive power. If we will say there is some such thing, tainly such a being, that is the cause of all the things we will confess, when we have called it something, it is a which our sense tells us are, besides, existent in the world. very silly, despicable, idle something, and a something (if XIV. For what else is left us to say or think? Will we we look upon it alone) as good as nothing. For there is think fit to say, that all things we behold, were, as they but litle odds between being nothing, and being able to do are, necessarily existent from all eternity'? That were to nothing. We will again confess, eternity, self-origination, speak against our own eyes, which continually behold the independency, necessity of existence, to be very great and rise and fall of living things, of whatsoever sort or kind, highly dignifying attributes; and that import a most in- that can come under their notice. And it were to speak conceivable excellency. For what higher glory can we against the thing itself, that we say, and to say and unsay ascribe to any being, than to acknowledge it to have been the same thing in the same breath. For all the things we from eternity of itself, without being beholden to any behold are in some respect or other (internal or external) other, and to be such as that it can be, and cannot but be continually changing, and therefore could never long bé in the same state, self-subsisting, and self-sufficient to all beheld as they are. And to say then, they have been coneternity? And what inconceivable myriads of little sense- tinually changing from eternity, and yet have been necesless deities must we upon that supposition admit! (as sarily, is unintelligible, and flat nonsense. For what is would appear if it were fit to trouble the reader with an necessarily, is always the same; and what is in this or that explication of the nature and true notion of matter, which posture necessarily, (that is, by an intrinsic, simple, and the being now supposed, must be found to be !) bụt what absolute necessity, which must be here meant,) must be can our reason either direct or endure, that we should so ever so. Wherefore to suppose the world in this or that incongruously misplace so magnificent attributes as these, state necessarily; and yet that such a state is changeable, and ascribe the prime glory of the most excellent Being, is an impossible and self-contradicting supposition: unto that which is next to nothing? What might further And to say any thing is changing from eternity, signifies be said to demonstrate the impossibility of a self-subsist- it is always undergoing a change which is never past over, ing and self-original, unactive Being, will be here unsea- that is, that it is eternally unchanged, and is ever the same. sonable and pre-occupying. But if any in the mean time for the least imaginable degree of change is some change. will be so sullen as to say such a thing,
What is in any the least respect changed, is not in every Let it, secondly, be considered to what purpose they say respect the same. Suppose then any thing in this present it. Is it to exclude a necessary self-active being? But it can state or posture, and that it is eternally changing in it; signify nothing to that purpose. For such a being they will either a new state and posture is acquired, or not. If it be forced to acknowledge, let them do what they can (be- be, the former was temporary, and hath an end; and sides putting out their own eyes) notwithstanding. For why therefore the just and adequate measure of it was not will they acknowledge any necessary being at all, that was eternity, which hath no end; much less of the change of ever of itself? Is it not because they cannot, otherwise, it, or the transition from the one state to the other. But for their hearts tell how it was ever possible that any thing if no new state or posture be acquired, (which any the at all could come into being? But finding that something least gradual alteration would make,) then it is eternally is, they are compelled to acknowledge that something hath unchanged in any the least degree." Therefore eternal ever been, necessarily and of itself. No other account changing is a manifest contradiction.
We will acknowledge an impropriety in this word, and its conjugate, or that particle, but you must suppose it in some or other ubi, or point of miferir inate, sometimes hereafter used which yet is recompensed by their space, and if it be necessarily, it is here necessarily;
for what is simply Doveniency; as they may perhaps find who shall make trial how to ex. no where is nothing. But if it be here necessarily, (that is, in this or that press the sense intended by them in other words. And they are used with point of space, for in some or other it must be, and it cannot be here and out suspicion, that it can be thought they are meant to signify as if ever There at once, it must be here etemally, and can never not be here. ThereGod save original to himself; but in the negative sense, that he never fore we can have no notion of necessarily alterable or moveable matter, recerved it froin any other ; yea, and that he is, what is more than equivalent which is not inconsistent and repugnant to itself. Therefore also motion to his being, self caused ; namely, a Being of himself
so excellent as not to must proceed from an immoveable mover, as hath een (though upon Dead or be capable to admit any cause. Vid. c. 4. Sect. 3. And with the ex another ground) concluded of old. But how action ad extra stands with rectanon of the same allowance which hath been given to avrairios,
or other the immutability of the Deity, must
be fetched from the consideration of ke words. We also take it for granted, (which it may suffice to hint here other perfections belonging thereto. Of which metaphysicians and schoolonce for all.) that when we use here the word self-subsistent, it will be under men may be consulted, discoursing at large. See Suarez, Ledesma de distood we intend by it, (without logical or metaphysical nicety,) not the mere vina perfectione, with many more, at leisure. Whatsoever difficulty we exclusion of dependence on a subject, but on a cause.
may apprehend in this case, or if we cannot so easily conceive how an s And whether by the way this will not afford us (though that be none eternal mind foreseeing perfectly all futurity, together with an eternal of our present business) plain evidence that there can be no such thing as efficacious determination of will concerning the existence of such and such Doessary, alterable matier, may be examined by such as think fit to give things to such an instant or point of time, can suffice to their production themselves the diversion. Por let it be considered, if every part and par. without a super-added efflux of power at that instant;, which would seem ticle that makes up the matter of this universe were itself a necessary to infer somewhat of mutation : yet as the former of these cannot be de. being, and of itself from all eternity,
it must have not only its simple monstrated insufficient, (nor shall we ever reckon qurselves pinched in this bring, but its being such or such, of itself necessarily; or rather every matter till we see that plainly and fully done,) so they are very obstinately, thing of it, or any, way, belonging to it, must be its very simple being blind that cannot see upon the addition of the latter the vast difference of iteelt. For whence should it receive any accession to itself, when it is sup these two cases : viz the facile silent egress of a sufficient power, in posed equally independent upon its fellows, as any of them upon it? Sup pursuance ļo a calm, complacential, eternal purpose ; for the production pose then only their various intercurrent motion among themselves, requi. of this creation, by which the agent acts not upon itselt, but upon its own etter to prepare them to, and unite them in, the composition of particular creature made by its own action, and the c'eral, blind, ungoverned action bodies, and no other change of any other individual particle needful of matter upon itself, by which it is perpetually changing itself, while yet thereto, but only of their figure, place, and situation, till they shall come it is supposed necessarily what it was before. And how much more easily aptly to be disposed in the now attempted composition. How is even this conceivable that is, than this ; how also liberty of action consists with nechange possible? For suppose one of these particles from eternity of such cessity of existence, divers have shown: to which purpose somewhat not such a figure, as triangular, hooked, &c. how can it lose any thing from inconsiderable may be seen, Ficin. lib. 2. cap. 12 de immortal. &-c. But in Reelf, or suffer any alteration of its figure which essentially and necessarily this there can be little prelence to imagine a difficulty. For our own being, belonged to it from etemity? That to which it is necessary to be such
it is though not simply, yet as to us is nocessary, t. e, it is imposed upon us : mpresible to it not to be such. Or suppose no alteration of figure (which for we come not into being by our own choice; and yet are conscious to our: Eperus admits not) were necessary but of situation and motion till it selves of no prejudice hereby to our liberty of acting. Yea, and not only doth becorde conveniently situate. Even this change also will be simply im the former consist with this lattor, but is inferred by it. Of which see Gibbeut possible. Because you can frame no imagination of the existence of this de libert. Dei, & creat.
But if it be said, though eternity be not the measure of taken to be of itself altogether unactive, must be stated one change, it may be of infinite changes, endlessly suc- the only cause and fountain of all the action and motion cecding one another; even this also will be found contra- that is now to be found in the whole universe: which is dictious and impossible. For, (not to trouble the reader a conceit, wild and absurd enough; not only as it opposes with the more intricate controversy of the possibility or the common judgment of such as have with the greatest impossibility of infinite or eternal succession, about which diligence inquired into things of this nature, but as being they who have a mind may consult others,') if this signify in itself manifestly impossible to be true; as would easily any thing to the present purpose, it must mean the infinite appear, if it were needful to press further Dr. More's or eternal changes of a necessary being. And how these reasonings to this purpose; which he hath done sufficientvery terms do clash with one another, methinks any sound ly for himself. mind might apprehend at the first mention of them; and And also that otherwise all the great and undeniable how manifestly repugnant the things are, may be collected changes which continually happen in it must proceed from what hath been said ; and especially from what was from its own constant and eternal action upon itself, while thought more fit to be annexed in the margin.
it is yet feigned to be a necessary being; with the notion But now since we find that the present state of things is whereof they are notoriously inconsistent. Which there. changeable, and actually changing, and that what is change- fore we taking to be most clear, may now the more seable is not necessarily,and of itself; and since it is evident curely proceed to what follow. that there is some necessary being; (otherwise nothing could ever have been, and that without action nothing could be from it ;) since also all change imports somewhat of passion, and all passion supposes action, and all action active power, and active power an original seat or subject,
CHAPTER III. that is self-active, or that hath the power of action mand of itself ; (for there could be no derivation of it from that Wisdom asserted to belong to this Being. The production of this world by : which hath it not, and no first derivation, but from that
mighty agent destitute of wisdom impossible. "On consideration of, 1. What
would be adverse to this production. 2. What would be wanting ; some which hath it originally of itself; and a first derivation effects to which a designing cause will, on all hands, be confessed necessary, there must be, since all things that are, or ever have been,
having manifest characters of skill and design upon them. Absurd here to
accept the works of nature ; wherein at least equal characters of wisdom furnished with it, and not of themselves, must either me and design are to be seen, as in any the most confessed pieces of art, indiately or immediately have derived it from that which had stanced in the frame and motion of heavenly bodies. A mean, unphilo
Bophical temper, to be more taken with novelties, than common things of it of itself;) it is therefore manifest that there is a neces greater importance. Further instance, in the composition of the bodies of sary, self-active Being, the Cause and Author of this per
animals. Two contrary causes of men's not acknowledging the wisdom of
their Maker herein. Progress is made from the consideration of the parts petually variable state and frame of things. And hence, and frame, to the powers and functions, of terrestrial creatures. Growth, XV. 6. Since we can frame no notion of life which outrition, propagation of kind. Spontaneous motion, sensation. The pre
tence considered, that the bodies of animals are machines. 1. How improself-active power doth not, at least, comprehend, (as upon bable it is. 2. How little to the purpose. The powers of the human soul. trial we shall find that we cannot,) it is consequent, that
It appears, notioithstanding them, it had a cause; by them, a wise and in
telligent cause. It is not matter. That not capable of reason. They not this Being is also originally vital, and the root of all vi here reflected on who think reasonable souls made of refined matter, by the tality, such as hath life in or of itself, and from whence
Creator. Not being matter, nor arising from thence, it must have a cause
that is intelligent. Goodness belonging to this Being. it is propagated to every other living thing."
And so as we plainly see that this sensible world did sometime begin to be, it is also evident that it took its be
I. We therefore add, that this Being is wise and inginning from
a Being essentially vital and active, that telligent, as well as powerful ; upon the very view of this had itself no beginning. Nor can we make a difficulty world, it will appear so vast power was guided by equal to conclude, that this Being (which now we have shown wisdom in the framing of it. Though this is wont to be is active, and all action implies some power) is,
the principal labour in evincing the existence of a Deity, XVI. 7. Of vast and mighty power, (we will not say namely, the proving that this universe owes its rise to a infinite, lest we should step too far at once; not mind wise and designing cause ; (as may be seen in Cicero's ing now to discuss whether creation require infinite excellent performance in this kind, and in divers later power,) when we consider and contemplate the vastness writers ;) yet the placing so much of their endeavour of the work performed by it. Unto which (if we were this hath been chosen for the great medium to prove that
herein, seems in great part to have proceeded hence, that to make our estimate by nothing else) we must, at least, it had a cause diverse from itself. But if that once be judge this power to be proportionable. For when our done a shorter way, and it fully appear that this world eyes behold an effect exceeding the power of any cause which they can behold, our mind must step in and supply the action and motion to be found in it
, of itself;
is not itself a necessary being, having the power of all the defect of our feebler sense; so as to make a judgment that there is a cause we see not, equal to this effect. As (which already seems plain enough;) and 'it do mosi when we behold a great and magnificent fabric, and en- evidently thence also appear to have had a cause foreign tering in we see not the master, or any living thing, fore the more carelessly consider this subject; yet no place
to, or distinct from, itself; though we shall not there(which was Cicero's observations in reference to this of doubt seems to remain, but that this was an intelligent present purpose,) besides mice and weasels, we will not think that mice or weasels built it. Nor need we in a cause, and that this world was the product of wisdom and matter so obvious, insist further. But only when our se nation can be more grossly absurd, than to suppose this
counsel, and not of mere power alone. For what imagiverer reason hath made us confess, our further contemplation should make us admire, a power which is at once orderly frame of things to have been the result of so both so apparent and so stupendous.
mighty power, not accompanied or guided by wisdom and counsel ? that is, (as the case must now unavoidably be understood,) that there is some being necessarily existent,
of an essentially active nature, of inconceivably vast COROLLARY. And now, from what hath been hitherto and mighty, power and vigour, destitute of all underdiscoursed, it seems a plain and necessary consecta moderating principle, but acting always by the
standing and knowledge, and consequently of any selfry, that this world had a cause diverse from the mat- of its own nature, and therefore to its very uttermost, ter whereof it is composed.
that raised up all the alterable matter of the universe (10 For otherwise matter that hath been more generally whose nature it is plainly repugnant to be of itself, or exist
! Parker Tentam. Physico-Theol. Derodon. Philos. cont. Dr. More's En. with all created spirits, so its life must needs be therewithal : so the cternal, chirid. Metaphys.
self-subsisting Spint, lives necessarily, and of itself, according as necessarily u Which will also prove it to be a Spirit; unto which order of beings es and of itself it is, or hath its being. sential vitality, or that life be essential to them, soems as distinguishing a pro Which
annoted, with a design not to trouble this discourse with any perty between it and a body, as any other we can fasten upon; that is, that disquisition concerning the nature and other properties of a spiritial Being though a body may be truly said to live, yet it lives by a life that is accidental, Of which enough hath boen, with great evidence, said, by the incomparable and separable from it, so as that it may cease to live, and yet be a body still; Dr. More. whercas a spirit lives by its own essence ; so that it can no more cease to live w De Natura Deorum. than to bo. And as where that essence is borrowed and derived only, as it is * Both in his binmortality of the Soul; and Enchirid. Metaphys.
necessarily) ont of nothing; and by the utmost exertion of And that such an increase could not, upon the supposithat ungoverned power, put all the parts and particles of tion we are now opposing, but have been, is most evident. that matter into a wild hurry of impetuous motion, by For, not to insist that nothing of impressed motion is ever which they have been compacted and digested into parti- lost, but only imparted to other things, (which they that cular beings, in that variety and order which we now be suppose it, do not therefore suppose, as if they thought,
And surely to give this account of the world's being once impressed, it could continue of itself, but that original, is, as Cicero speaks, not to consider, but to cast there is a constant, equal supply from the first mover,) we lots what to say; and were as mad a supposition, "as if will admit that there is continual decrease, or loss, but one should suppose the one-and-twenty letters, formed (as never to the degree of its continual increase. For we see the same author elsewhere speaks) in great numbers, of when we throw a stone out of our hand, whatever of the gold, or what you please else, and cast of any careless impressed force it do impart to the air, through which it fashion together, and that of these loosely shaken out upon makes its way, or not being received, vanishes of itself, it the ground, Ennius's Annals should result, so as to be dis- yet retains a part a considerable time, that carries it all the tinctly legible as now we see them.” Nay, it were the length of its journey, and all does not vanish and die away supposition of a thing a thousand-fold more manifestly on the sudden. Therefore, when we here consider the impossible.
continual, momently renewal of the same force, always 11. For before we consider the gross absurdity of such a necessarily going forth from the same mighty Agent, withsupposed production, that is, that a thing should be brought out any moderation or restraint; every following impetus to pass by so mere a casualty, that so evidently requires an doth so immediately overtake the former, that whatever exquisitely-formed and continued design, even though there we can suppose lost, is yet so abundantly over-supplied, were nothing positively to resist or hinder it, let it be con- that, upon the whole, it cannot fail to be ever growing, sidered what there will be that cannot but most certainly and to have grown to that all-destroying excess before hinder any such production. To this purpose we are to mentioned. Whence, therefore, that famed restorer and consider, that it is a vast power which so generally moves improver of some principles of the ancient philosophy, the diffused matter of the universe.
hath seen a necessity to acknowledge it, as a manifest thing, Hereof make an estimate, by considering what is requi- " That God himself is the universal and primary cause of site to the continual whirling about of such huge bulks as all the motions that are in the world, who in the beginning this whole massy globe of earth; (according to some;) or, created matter, together with motion and rest; and doth which is much more strange, the sun, (according to others,) now, by his ordinary concourse only, continue so much of with that inconceivably swift motion which this supposi- motion and rest in it, as he first put into it.-For (saith he) tion makes necessary, together with the other planets, and we understand it as a perfection in God, not only that he the innumerable heavenly bodies besides, that are subject is anchangeable in himself, but that he works after a most to the laws of a continual motion. Adding hereto how constant and unchangeable manner. So thal, excepting mighty a power it is which must be sufficient to all the those changes which either evident experience or divine productions, motions, and actions, of all other things. revelation renders certain, and which we know or believe
Again, consider that all this motion, and motive power, to be without change in the Creator, we ought to suppose must have some source and fountain diverse from the dull none in his works, lest thereby any inconstancy should be and sluggish matter moved thereby, unto which it already argued in himself.”a Whereupon he grounds the laws hath appeared impossible it should originally and essen- and rules concerning motion, which he afterwards lays tially belong.
down, whereof we referred to one, a little above. Next, that the mighty, active Being, which hath been It is therefore evident, that as without the supposition of proved necessarily existent, and whereto it must first be- a self-active Being there could be no such thing as motion ; long, if we suppose it destitute of the self-moderating prin- so without the supposition of an intelligent Being, (that is, ciple of wisdom and counsel, cannot but be always exert- that the same Being be both self-active and intelligent,) ing its motive power, invariably and to the same degree: there could be no regular motion; such as is absolutely that is, to its very utmost, and can never cease or fail to necessary to the forming and continuing of any the comdo so. For its act knows no limit but that of its power; pacted, bodily substances, which our eyes behold every (if this can have any;) and its power is essential to it, and day: yea, or of any whatsoever, suppose we their figures, its essence is necessary.
or shapes, to be as rude, deformed, and useless, as we can Further, that the motion impressed upon the matter of imagine; much less, such as the exquisite compositions, the universe must hereupon necessarily have received a and the exact order of things, in the universe, do evidently continual increase, ever since it came into being.
require and discover, That supposing this motive power to have been exerted III. And if there were no such thing carried in this supfrom eternity, it must have been increased long ago to an position, as is positively adverse to what is supposed, so infinite excess.
as most certainly to hinder it, (as we see plainly there is) That hence the coalition of the particles of matter for yet the mere want of what is necessary to such a producthe forming of any thing had been altogether impossible. tion, is enough to render it impossible, and the supposition For let us suppose this exerted, motive power to have been, of it absurd. For it is not only absurd to suppose a proany instant, but barely sufficient for such a formation, be- duction which somewhat shall certainly resist and hinder, cause that could not be despatched in an instant, it would but which wants a cause to effect it; and it is not less by its continual, momently increase, be grown so over-suf- absurd, to suppose it affected by a manifestly insufficient ficient, as, in the next instant, to dissipate the particles, but and unproportionable cause, than by none at all. For as now beginning to unite.
nothing can be produced without a cause, so no cause can At least, it would be most apparent, that if ever such a work above or beyond its own capacity and natural aptiframe of things as we now behold could have been produ- tude. Whatsoever therefore is ascribed to any cause, above ced, that motive power, increased to so infinite an excess, and beyond its ability, all that surplusage is ascribed to no must have shattered the whole frame in pieces, many an cause at all: and so an effect, in that part at least, were age ago; or rather, never have permitted that such a thing, supposed without a cause. And if then it follow when an as we call an age, could possibly have been.
effect is produced, that it had a cause; why doth it not Our experience gives us not to observe any so destructive equally follow, when an effect is produced, having manior remarkable changes in the course of nature: and this fest characters of wisdom and design upon it, that it had a (as was long ago foretold) is the great argument of the wise and designing cause? If it he said, there be same atheistical scoffers in these latter days, that things are as fortuitous or casual (at least undesigned) productions, that they were from the beginning of the creation to this day. look like the effects of wisdom and contrivance, but indeed But let it be soberly weighed, how it is possible the gene- are not, as the birds so orderly and seasonably making ral consistency, which we observe things are at through their nests, the bees their comb, and the spider its web, out the universe, and their steady, orderly posture, can which are capable of no design: that exception needs to stand with this momently increase of motion.
be well proved before it be admitted ; and that it be plainly
demonstrated, both that these creatures are not capable of a D. Cartes Princip. Philosoph. part 2.
design, and that there is not a universal, designing cause,