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been, when as the effects that serve so justly to endear and incomparably greater certainty, than the latter doth an recommend to us civil government, (as peace, safety, order, in-dwelling reasonable soul. In which way we shall find quiet possession of our rights) we cannot but know, are what will aptly serve our present purpose, though we are pot inseparably and incommunicably approriate, or to be far from apprehending any such union of the blessed God attributed to the person of this or that particular and mor- with this world, as is between the soul and body of a man. tal governor, but may also proceed from another: yea, and it is manifestly possible to our understandings, that there the same benefits may (for some short time at least) be may be, and (if any history, or testimony of others be continued without any such government at all. Nor is worthy to be believed) certain to experience and sense, this intended merely as a rhetorical scheme of speech, to that there often hath been, the appearance of human beguile or amuse the unwary reader ; but, without arro- shape and of agreeable actions without a real man. But gating any thing, or attributing more to it, than that it is it is no way possible such a world as this should bave ever an altogether inartificial and very defective, but true and been without God. That there is a world, proves that naked, representation of the very case itself as it is. It is eternal Being to exist, whom we take to be God, (suppose prosessedly propounded, as having somewhat solidly argu- we it as rude a heap as at first it was, or as we can sup mentative in it. That is

, that (whereas there is most con- pose it,) as external appearance represents to us that creafessedly sufficient, yet) there is unspeakably less evidence iure which we take to be a man: but that as a certain into most people in the world, under civil government; that fallible discovery, necessarily true ; this but as a probable there actually is such a government existent over them; and conjectural one, and (though highly probable) not imand that they are under obligation to be subject to it; than possible to be false. there is of the existence of a Deity, and the consequent And if we will yet descend to a more particular inquiry reasonableness of religion. If therefore the ordinary into this matter, which way will we fully be ascertained effects and indications of the former be sufficient, which that this supposed man is truly and really what he seems have so contingent and uncertain a connexion with their to be? This we know not how to go about, without recolcauses, (while those which are more extraordinary are so lecting what is the differencing notion we have of a man; exceeding rare with the most,) why shall not the more that he is, viz. a reasonable, living creature, or a reasoncertain ordinary discoveries of the latter be judged suffi- able soul, inhabiting, and united with a body. And how cient, though the most have not the immediate notice of do we think to descry that, here, which may answer this any such extraordinary appearances as those are which common notion we have of a man? Have we any way have been before mentioned ?

besides that discovery which the acts and effects of reason VI. Moreover, I yet demand further, whether it may do make of a rational or intelligent being? We will look be thought possible for any one to have a full rational cer- more narrowly, i. e. unto somewhat else than his external tainty that another person is a reasonable creature, and appearance; and observe the actions that proceed from a bath'in him a rational soul, so as to judge he hath 'suffi- more distinguishing principle in him, that he reasons, discient ground and obligation to converse with him, and courses, doth business, pursues designs; in short, he talks carry towards him as a man? Without the supposition and acts as a reasonable creature: and hence we conclude of this, the foundation of all human society and civil him to be one, or to have a reasonable soul in him.. conversation is taken away. And what evidence have And have we not the same way of procedure in the other we of it, whereunto that which we have of the being of case ? Our first view or taking notice of a world full of God (as the foundation of religious and godly conversa- life and motion, assures us of an eternal active Being, betion) will not at least be found equivalent.

sides it, which we take to be God, having now before our Will we say that mere human shape is enough to prove eyes a darker shadow of him only, as the external bulk of such a one a man? A philosopher would deride us, as the the human body is only the shadow of a man. Which, Stagyrite's disciples are said to have done the Platonic when we behold it stirring and moving, assures us there is man. But we will not be so nice. We acknowledge it somewhat besides that grosser bulk, (that of itself could is, if no circumstances concur (as sudden appearing, va not so move,) which we take to be the soul of a man. nishing, transformation, or the like) that plainly evince Yet, as a principle that can move the body makes not up the contrary; so far as to infer upon us an obligation not the entire notion of this soul,/so an eternal active being, to be rude and uncivil; that we use no violence, nor carry that moves the matter of the universe, makes not up the ourselves abusively towards one that only thus appears a full notion of God. We are thus far sure in both_cases, human creature. Yea, and to perform any duty of jus- i. e. of some mover distinct from what is moved. But we tice or charity towards him within our power, which we are not yet sure, by what we hitherto see, what the one or owe to a man as a man. As suppose we see him wronged the other is. But as when we have upon the first sight or in necessity, and can presently right or relieve him; thought it was a reasonable soul that was acting in the though he do not or cannot represent to us more of his former, or a man, (if we will speak according to their case than our own eyes inform us of. And should an act of sense who make the soul the man,) in order to being sure, marder be committed upon one

whose true humanity was (as sure as the case can admit,) we have no other way, not otherwise evident, would not the offender be justly li- but to consider what belongs more distinguishingly to the able to the known and common punishment of that event? notion of a man, or of a reasonable soul ; and observe how Nor could he acquit himself of transgressing the laws of actions and effects, which we have opportunity to take humanity, if he should only neglect any seasonable act of notice of, do answer thereto, or serve to discover that. So justice or mercy towards him, whereof he beholds the pre- when we would be sure what that eternal active Being is sent occasion. But if any one were disposed to cavil, or (which that it is

, we are already sure, and) which we have play the sophist, how much more might be said, even by taken to be God, that, I say, we may be sure of that also, infinite degrees, to oppose this single evidence of any one's we have the same thing to do. That is, to consider what trae humanity, than ever was or can be brought against more peculiarly belongs to the entire notion of God, (and the entire concurrent evidence we have of the existence would even in the judgment of opposers be acknowledged of God. It is, here, most manifestly just and equal, thus to belong to it,) and see whether his works, more narrowly to state the case, and compare the whole evidence we have inspected, do not bear as manifest correspondency to that of the latter, with that one of the former; inasmuch as notion of God, as the works and actions of a man do to that one alone is apparently enough to oblige us to carry the notion we have of him. And certainly we cannot but towards such a one as a man. And if that alone be suffi- find they do correspond as much. And that upon a sericient to oblige us to acts of justice or charity towards man, ous and considerate view of the works and appearances of he is strangely blind that cannot see infinitely more to God in the world; having diligently observed and ponoblige him to acts of piety towards God.

dered the vastness and beauty of this universe, the variety, But if we would take a nearer and more strict view of the multitude,

the order, the exquisite shapes and numerthis parallel, we would state the general and more obvious ous parts, the admirable and useful composure, of partiaspect of this world on the one hand, and the external cular creatures; and especially the constitution and powers aspect and shape of a man on the other; and should then of the reasonable soul of man itself; we cannot, surely, see the former doth evidence to us an in-dwelling Deity if we be not under the possession of a very voluntary and diffused through the whole, and actuating every part with lobstinate blindness, and the power of a most vicious pre

judice, but acknowledge the making, sustaining, and go- active and designing cause ? So much would plainly converning such a world, is as god-like, as worthy of God, clude the sum of what we have been pleading for; and and as much becoming him, according to the notion that what can be plainer or doth require a shorter turn of hath been assigned of him, as at least the common actions thoughts? At this easy expense might any one that had a of ordinary men, are of a man; or evidence the doer of disposition to use his understanding to such a purpose, them to be a human creature. Yea, and with this advan- save himself from being an atheist. And where is the tageous difference, that the actions of a man do evidence flaw? What joint is not firm and strong in this little frame a human creature more uncertainly, and so as it is possible of discourse { which yet arrogates nothing to the contrithe matter may be otherwise. But these works of God do ver; for there is nothing in it worthy to be called contriwith so plain and demonstrative evidence discover him yance; but things do themselves lie thus. And what hath the Author of them, that it is altogether impossible they been further said concerning the perfection and oneness could ever otherwise have been done.

of this Cause of all things, (though

somewhat more remote Now therefore, if we have as clear evidence of a Deity, from common apprehension,) is what it is likely would as we can have, in a way not unsuitable to the nature and appear plain and natural to such as would allow thempresent state of man; (and we can have in a suitable way, selves the leisure to look more narrowly into such things. ihat which is sufficient;) if we have clearer and more Atheism therefore seems to import a direct and open certain evidence of God's government over the world, hostility against the most native, genuine, and facile dicthan most men have or can have, of the existence of their tates of common reason. And being so manifest an enemy secular rulers; yea, more sure than that there are men on to it, we cannot suppose it should be at all befriended by earth, and that thence (as far as the existence of God will it. For that will be always true and constant to itseli, make towards it) there is a less disputable ground for re- whatsoever false shows of it a bad cause doth sometimes ligious than for civil conversation; we may reckon our- put on; that having yet somewhat a more creditable name, selves competently well ascertained, and have no longer and being of a little more reputation in the world, than reason to delay the dedication of a temple to him, upon plain downright madness and folly. And it will appear any pretence of doubt, whether we have an object of wor- how little it is befriended, by any thing that can justly ship existing, yea or no.

bear that name, if we consider the pitiful shifts the aiheist Wherefore we may also by the way take notice how im- makes for his forlorn cause; and what infirm tottering pudent a thing is atheism, that by the same fulsome and supports the whole frame of atheism rests upon. For poisonous breath whereby it would blast religion, would what is there to be said for their hypothesis, or against the despoil man of his reason and apprehensive power, even existence of God, and the dueness of religion? For it, in reference to the most apprehensible thing; would blow there is directly nothing at all. Only a possibility is alaway the rights of princes, and all foundations of policy leged, things might be as they are, though God did not and government, and destroy all civil commerce and con- exist

. And if this were barely possible, how little doth versation out of the world, and yet blushes not at the at- that signify? Where reason is not injuriously dealt with, tempt of so foul things.

it is permiited the liberty of balancing things equally, and VII. And here it may perhaps prove worth our while of considering which scale hath most weight. And is he (though it can be no pleasant contemplation) to pause a not perfectly blind, that sees not what violence is done to little, and make some short reflections upon the atheistical free reason in this matter? Are there not thousands of lemper and genius, so as therein to remark some few more things, not altogether impossible, which yet he would be obvious characters of atheism itself.

concluded altogether out of his wits, that should profess And first, such as have not been themselves seized by to be of the opinion they are, or were actually so ? And as the infatuation, cannot but judge it a most unreasonable to the present case, how facile and unexceptionable, how thing, a perverse and cross-grained humour, that so oddly plain and intelligible, is the account that is given of the writhes and warps the mind of a man, as that it never original of this world, and the things contained in it

, by makes any effort or offer at any thing against the Deity ; resolving all into a Deity, the Author and Maker of them? i but it therein doth (by a certain sort of serpentine invo- Whereas the wild, extravagant suppositions of atheists, if

Intion and retortion) seem to design a quarrel with itself: they were admitted possible, are the most unlikely that that is, with (what one would think should be most inti- could be devised. So that if there had been any to have mate and natural to the mind of man) his very reasoning laid wagers, when things were taking their beginning, there power, and the operations thereof. So near indeed was is nobody that would not have ventured thousands to one, the ancient alliance between God and man, (his own Son, that no such frame of things (no not so much as one single his likeness and living image,) and consequently between mouse or flea) would ever have hit. And how desperate reason and religion, that no man can ever be engaged in hazards the atheist runs, upon this mere supposed possian opposition to God and his interest, but he must be equal-bility, it will be more in our way to take notice by and by. ly so to himself and his own. And any one that takes no- But besides, that pretended possibility plainly appears tice how the business is carried by an atheist, must think, none at all.' It is impossible any thing should spring up in order to his becoming one, his first plot was upon him- of itself out of nothing; that any thing that is alterable, self: to assassine his own intellectual faculty, by a sturdy should have been necessarily of itself, such as it now is; resolution, and violent imposing on himself, not to consi- that what is of itself unactive, should be the maker of der, or use his thoughts, at least with any indifferency, but other things; that the Author of all the wisdom in the with a treacherous predetermination to the part resolved world, should be, himself, unwise. These cannot but be on before-hand. Otherwise, it is hard to be imagined how judged most absolute impossibilities, to such as do not vi it should ever have been possible that so plain and evident olence to their own minds; or with whom reason can be proofs of a Deity as every where offer themselves unto allowed any the least exercise. Wherefore the atheistical observation, even such as have been here proposed, (that spirit is most grossly unreasonable, in withholding assent, do even lie open, for the most part, to common apprehen- where the most ungainsayable reason plainly exacts it. sion, and needed little search io find them out; so that it And are not the atheist's cavils as despicably silly against was harder to determine what not to say, than what to the Deity, and (consequently) religion? Whosoever shall say,) could be overlooked.

consider their exceptions against some things in the notion For what could be more easy and obvious, than taking of God, eternity, infinity, &c. which themselves, in the notice that there is somewhat in being, to conclude that meantime, are forced to place elsewhere, will he not see somewhat must be of itself, from whence whatever is not they talk idly? And as for such other impeachments of so must have sprung? That

, since there is somewhat his wisdom, justice, and goodness, as they take their ground effected or made, (as is plain, in that some things are al- for, from the state of affairs, in some respects, in this terable, and daily altered, which nothing can be that is of present world, (many of which may be seen in Lucretius, itself, and therefore a necessary being,) those effects have and answered by Dr. More in his Dialogues,) how incon then had an active being for their cause ? That since these siderable will they be, to any one that bethinks himself

, effects are partly such as bear the manifest characters of with how perfect and generous a liberty this world was wisdom and design upon them, and are partly, themselves, made, by one that needed it not; who had no design, nor wise and designing; therefore they must have had a wisely ! could have inclination to a fond, self-indulgent glorying

and vaunting of his own work; who did it with the grear- mission, and resignation of ourselves, and all our concernest facility, and by an easy, unexpensive vouchsafement of ments, to the disposal of fatherly wisdom and love, for a his good pleasure; not with an operose curiosity, studious sour and sullen succumbency to an irresistible fate or hard to approve itself to the peevish eye of every froward Mo- necessity, against which he sees it is vain to contend. So nus, or to the pauseous, squeamish gust of every sensual that at the best he not only rages, but tastes nothing of Epicure. And to such as shall not confine their mean consolation; whereof his spirit is as incapable, as his desthoughts to that very clod or ball of earth on which they perate affairs are of redress. And if he have arrived to live; which, as it is a very small part, may, for aught we ihat measure of fortitude, as not to be much discomposed know, but be the worst or most abject part of God's with the lighter crosses which he meets with in this short creation; which yet is full of his goodness, and hath most time of life, what a dreadful cross is it that he must die! manifest prints of his other excellences besides, as hath How dismal a thing is a certain, never 10 be avoided been observed; or that shall not look upon the present death! Against which as atheism hath not surely the adstate of things as the eternal state, but upon this world vantage of religion in giving protection; so it hath greatly only as an antechamber to another, which shall abide in the disadvantage, in affording no relief. What would the most unexceptionable perfection for ever :-how fond and joy be worth in that hour, that arises from the hope of the idle, I say, will all such cavils appear to one that shall but glory to be revealed? And is the want of that, the total thus use his thoughts, and not think himself bound to sum of the atheist's misery at this hour? What heart can measure his conceptions of God by the uncertain, rash conceive the horror of that one thought, if darted in upon dictates of men born in the dark, and that talk at random; him at that time, (as it is strange, and more sad, if it be nor shall affix any thing to him, which plain reason doth not,) What becomes now of me, if there prove to be a God? no dictate, or which he doth not manifestly assume, or Where are my mighty demonstrations, upon which one challenge to himself. But that because a straw lies in may venture, and which may cut off all fear and danger of my way, I would attempt to overturn heaven and earth, future calamity in this dark, unknown state I am going what raging phrensy is this!

into? Shall I be the next hour nothing, or miserable ? Again, it is a base, abject temper, speaks a mind sunk Or if I had opportunity, shall I not have sufficient cause and lost in carnality, and that having dethroned and ab- to proclaim, (asi once one of the same fraternity did, by jared reason, hath abandoned itself to the hurry of vile way of warning to a surviving companion)- A great and a appetite, and sold its liberty and sovereignty for the insipid, terrible God! A great and a terrible God! A great and gustless pleasures of sense; an unmanly thing-a degrad. a terrible God. ing of oneself. For if there be no God, what am I? A I only add, 'tis a most strangely mysterious and unacpiece of moving, thinking clay, whose ill-compacted parts countable temper; such as is hardly reducible to its prowill shortly fy asunder, and leave no other remains of me per causes: so that it would puzzle any man's inquiry to than what shall become the prey and triumph of worms! find out or even give but probable conjectures, how so odd

It is a sad, mopish, disconsolate temper; cuts off and and preternatural a disaffection as atheism should ever quite banishes all manly, rational joy; all that might come to have place in a human mind. It must be conspring from the contemplation of the divine excellences cluded a very complicated disease, and yet, when our and glory, shining in the works of his hands. Atheism thoughts have fastened upon several things that have an clothes the world in black, draws a dark and duskish aspect that way, as none of them alone could infer it, so cloud over all things; doth more to damp and stifle all it is hard to imagine, how all of them together should ever relishes of intellectual pleasure, than it would of sensible, come to deprave reasonable nature to such a degree. to extinguish the sun. What is this world (if we should 'Tis, first, most astonishingly marvellous, (though it is suppose it still to subsist) without God? How grateful apparent this distemper hath its rise from an ill will,) that an entertainment is it to a pious mind to behold his glory any should so much as will that which the atheist hath stamped on every creature, sparkling in every providence; obiained of himself to believe; or affect to be, what he is. and by a firm and rational faith to believe (when we can The commonness of this vile disposition of will, doth not see) how all events are conspiring to bring about the but sorrily shift off the wonder, and only with those slight most happy and blissful state of things! The atheist may and trifling minds that have resigned the office of judging make the most of this world; he knows no pleasure, but things to their (more active) senses, and have learned the what can be drawn out of its dry breasts, or found in its easy way of waving all inquiries about common things, cold embraces; which yields as little satisfaction, as he or resolving the account into this only, that they are finds, whose arms, aiming to enclose a dear friend, do only to be seen every day. But if we allowed ourselves to clasp a stiff and clammy carcass. How uncomfortable a consider this matter soberly, we would soon find, that thing is it to him, that having neither power nor wit to howsoever it must plainly appear a very common plague order things to his own advantage or content, but finds upon the spirits of men (and universal till a cure be himself liable to continual disappointments, and the ren- wrought) to say, by way of wish, No God, or I would counter of many an unsuspected, cross accident, hath none there were none: yet by the good leave of them who to repose on that is wiser and mightier than himself! But would thus easily excuse the thing, the commonness of when he finds he cannot command his own affairs, to have this horrid evil doth so little diminish, that it increases the the settled apprehension of an Almighty Ruler, that can wonder. Things are more strange, as their causes are more with the greatest certainty do it for us the best way, and hardly assignable. What should the reason be, that a will, if we trust him-how satisfying and peaceful a repose being of so incomparable excellency, so amiable and allurdoth this yield! And how much the rather, inasmuch as ing glory, purity, love, and goodness, is become undesirthat filial, unsuspicious confidence and trust, which natu- able and hateful to his own creatures! that such creatures, rally tends to and begets that calm and quiet rest, is the his more immediate, peculiar offspring, stamped with his very condition required on my part; and that the chief likeness, the so vivid resemblances of his own spiritual thing I have to do, to have my affairs brought to a good immortal nature, are become so wickedly unnatural topass, is to commit them to his management; and my only wards their common and most indulgent parent! what, to care, to be careful in nothing. The atheist hath nothing to wish him dead! to envy life and being, to him from whom mitigate the greatness of this loss, but that he knows not they have received their own! 'Tis as strange as it is what he loses; which is an allay that will serve but a without a cause. But they have offended him, are in a little while. And when the most unsupportable, pressing revolt, and sharply conscious of fearful demerits. And who miseries befall him, he must in bitter agonies groan out his would not wish to live, and to escape so unsupportable wretched soul without hope, and sooner die under his revenge? 'Tis still strange we would ever offend such a barden, than say, Where is my God and Maker? At the one! Wherein were his laws unequal, his government best, he exchanges all the pleasure and composure of mind grievous? But since we have, this

only is pertinent to be which certainly accompanies a dutiful, son-like trust, sub- said by them that have no hope of forgiveness, that are left

f Which story I confidently refer to, being of late date, and having had a relation gratify the scom of this sort of men, who, taking advantage from the sertain and circunstantial account of it, by one (a very sober and intelligent (sometime deceived) credulity of well-meaning, people have but that way, of

on who had the relation from him to whom that dreadful warning was answering all such things, by the one word which served 80 learnedly to confite aren, by his then lately deceased associate. But I shall not by a particular Bellarmine.

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to despair of reconciliation-Why do we sort ourselves are, perhaps, some of them the greatest pretenders to reawith devils? We profess not to be such.

son. They rely little upon authority of former times and 5 Yea, but we have no hope to be forgiven the sin we do ages, upon vulgar principles and máxims, but are vogued not leave, nor power to leave the sin which now we love. great masters of reason, diligent searchers into the myste : This, instead of lessening, makes the wonder a miracle. O ries of nature, and can philosophize (as sufficiently appears) wretched, forlorn creature! Wouldst thou have God out beyond all imagination. But 'tis hoped it may be truly of being for this ? (I speak to thee who dost not yet pro- said, for the vindication of philosophy and them that pro s fess to believe there is no God, but dost only wish it.) The fess it

, that modern atheists have little of that to glory in; I sustainer of the world! the common basis of all being! and that their chief endowments are only their skill to Dost thou know what thou sayest? Art thou not wishing please their senses, and a faculty with a pitiful sort of thyself and all things into nothing? This, rather than drollery 10 tincture their cups, and add a grace to their humble thyself, and beg forgiveness! This, rather than otherwise dull and flat conversation. Yet all this howsobecome again a holy, pure, obedient creature, and again ever being considered, there is here but little advance made blessed in him, who first made thee so! It can never to the finding out whence atheism should proceed. For, cease, I say, to be a wonder, we never ought to cease won that want of reason shall be thought the cause, what dering, that ever this befell the nature of man, to be prone hath been already said seems to forbid; that many igno- ; to wish such a thing, that there were no God!

rant persons seem possessed with a great awe of a Deity, But this is, 'ris true, the too common case; and if we from which divers, more knowing, have delivered themwill only have what is more a rarity go for a wonder, how selves. And yet neither doth the former signify any things amazing then is it, That if any man would, even never so in just interpretation) to the disrepute of religion. For fain, he ever can make himself believe there is no God! truth is not the less true, for that some hold it they know and shape his horrid course according to that most horrid not how or why. Nor doth the latter make to the reputamisbelief! By what fatal train of causes is this ever tion of atheism, inasmuch as men, otherwise rational, may brought to pass ? Into what can we devise to resolve it? sometimes learnedly dote. But it confirms us that atheism

Why such as have arrived to this pitch are much ad- is a strange thing, when its extraction and pedigree are so dicted to the pleasing of their senses; and this they make hardly found out, and it seems to be directly of the lineage, their business; so as that, for a long time, they have given neither of knowledge nor ignorance, neither sound reason themselves no leisure to mind objects of another nature; nor perfect dotage. especially that should any way tend to disturb them in Nor doth it at all urge to say, And why may we not as Cheir easy course; till they are gradually fallen into a for- well stand wondering, whence the apprehension of a God

, he getful sleep, and the images of things are worn out with and an addictedness to religion, should come, when we them, that had only more slightly touched their minds find them peculiar neither to the more knowing nor the Defore. And being much used to go by the suggestions of more ignorant ? For they are apparently and congruously sense, they believe not what they neither see nor feel. enough to be derived from somewhat common to them

This is somewhat, but does not reach the mark; for both-the impression of a Deity, universally put upon the there are many very great sensualists, (as great as they at minds of all men, (which atheists have made a shift to least,) who never arrive hither, but firmly avow it that they rase out, or obliterate to that degree, as to renderit illegibelieve a Deity, whatsoever mistaken notion they have of ble,) and that cultivated by the exercise of reason, in some, him; whereupon they imagine to themselves impunity in and in others, less capable of that help, somewhat con their vicious course.

firmed by education, and the other accessaries mentioned But these, it may be said, have so disaccustomed above. themselves to the exercise of their reason, that they have Therefore is this matter still most mysteriously intricate, no disposition to use their thoughts about any thing above that there should be one temper and persuasion, agreeing to the sphere of sense; and have contracted' so dull and two so vastly different sorts of persons, while yet we are sluggish a temper, that they are no fitter to mind or em- to seek for a cause (except what is most tremendous to ploy themselves in any speculations that tend to beget in think of) from whence it should proceed, that is common them the knowledge of God, than any man is for discourse to them both. And here is, in short, the sum of the wonor business when he is fast asleep.

der, that any, not appearing very grossly unreasonable in So indeed, in reason, one would expect to find it; but other matters, (which cannot be denied even of some of the case is so much otherwise, when we consider particular the more sensual and lewder sort of atheists,) should, in so instances, that we are the more perplexed and entangled plain and important a case, be so, beyond all expression, in this inquiry, by considering how agreeable it is, that the absurd ; that they without scruple are pleased to think matter should be thus; and observing that it proves, oft- like other men in matters that concern and relate to con times, not to be so; insomuch that reason and experience mon practice, and wherein they might more colourably, seem herein not to agree, and hence we are put again upon and with less hazard, go out of the common road; and are new conjectures what the immediate cause of this strange here only so dangerously and madly extravagant

. Theirs malady should be. For did it proceed purely from a is therefore a particular madness; the dementia quoad ìoc; sluggish temper of mind, unapt to reasoning and dis- so much the stranger thing, because they whom it poscourse; the more any were so, the more disposed they sesses do only in this one case put off themselves, and are should be to atheism : whereas, every one knows that like themselves and other men in all things else. If they multitudes of persons of dull

and slow minds, to any reckoned it a glory to be singular, they might (as hath thing of ratiocination, would rather you should burn their been plainly shown) more plausibly profess it as a principle

, houses, than tell them they did not believe in God : and that they are not bound to believe the existence of any would presently tell you, it were pity he should live, that secular ruler (and consequently not be subject to any should but intimate a doubt whether there

were a God or longer than they see him, and so subvert all policy and no: Yea, and many, somewhat more intelligent, yet in government; or pretend an exemption from all obligation this matter are shy of using their reason, and think it un to any act of justice, or to forbear the most injurious viosafe, it not profane, to go about to prove that there is a lence towards any man, because they are not infallibly God, lest they should move a doubt, or seem hereby to certain any one they see is a human wight, and so abjure make a question of it. And in the mean time, while they all morality, as they have already so great a part; than offer not at reasoning, they more meanly supply that want, offer with so fearful hazard to assault the Deity, (of whose after a sorry fashion, from their education, the tradition

of existence, if they would but think a while, they might be their forefathers, common example, and the universal pro- most infallibly assured,) or go about to subvert the founfession and practice of some religion round about them; dations of religion. Or, if they would get themselves glory and it may be only take the matter for granted, because by great adventures, or show themselves brave men by they never heard such a thing was ever doubted of or expressing a fearless contempt of divine power and justice; called in question in all their lives.

this fortitude is not human.* These are without the com- ? Whereas, on the other hand, they who incline to atheism pass of its object;& as inundations, earthquakes, &c., are

Anst. Elh. I. 3.

said to be, anto which, that any one should fearlessly ex- shall have little else to do, besides only the applying of pose himself, can bring no profit to others, nor therefore principles already asserted (or possibly the more express glory to him.

adding of some or other that were implied in what hath In all this harangue of discourse, the design hath not been said) to this purpose. From which principles it will been to fix upon any true cause of atheism, but to repre- appear, that he not only can, but that in the former sense sent it a strange thing; and an atheist, a prodigy, a mon- he doth, converse with men, and is graciously inclined ster, amongst mankind; a dreadful spectacle, forsaken of thereto in the latter. And yet because the former is more the common aids afforded to other men ; hung up in chains deeply fundamental, as whereon all depends, and that the to warn others, and let

them see what a horrid creature act of it is not denied for any other reason than an imaman may make himself by voluntary aversion from God gined impossibility; that is, it is not said he doth not sus that made him.

tain and govern the world upon any other pretence, but In the meantime, they upon whom this dreadful plague that he cannot, as being inconsistent with his nature and is not fallen, may plainly see before them the object of felicity. This we shall therefore more directly apply ourthat worship which is imported by a templean existing selves to evince, That his nature doth not disallow it, bat Deity, a God to be worshipped.' Unto whom we shall necessarily includes an aptitude thereto. yet see further reason to design and consecrate a temple Nor yet, though it may be a less laborious work than for that end, and even ourselves to become such, when we the former that we have despatched, is it altogether needhave considered what comes next to be spoken of: his less to deal somewhat more expressly in this matter; Conversableness with men.

inasmuch as what opposition hath been made to religion in the world, hath for the most part been more expressly directed against this ground of it. I say more expressly ;

for indeed by plain and manifest consequence it impugns CHAPTER VI.

that also of God's existence: that is, through this it strikes

at the other. For surely (howsoever any may arbitrarily, What is intended by God's conversableness with men, considered only as fun and with what impropriety and latitude of speech they

damental and presupposed to a temple. An account of the Epicurean deity. please, bestow titles and eulogies here or there that being Its existence impossible any way to be proved, if it did exist. Nor can be afirmed to any good intent. That such a being is not God. That the abso

is not God, that cannot converse with men, supposing lute perfection proved of God represents him a fit object of religion. From them such as what purely and peculiarly belongs to the thence more particularly deduced to this purpose. His omnisciency, omnipo nature of man would bespeak them. So that they who teney, unlimited goodness, immensity. Curcellæus's arguments against this last considered

have imagined such a being, and been pleased to call it

God, have at once said and unsaid the same thing. That I Nor is the thing here intended less necessary to a deity was but a creature, and that only of their own fancy; temple and religion than what we have hitherto been dis- and they have by the same breath blown up and blasted coursing of. For such a sort of deity as should shut up their own bubble, made it seem something and signify itself, and be reclused from all converse with men, would nothing: have courted it into being, and rioted it again leave us as disfurnished of an object of religion, and would quite out of it. In their conceit, created it a god; in their render a temple on earth as vain a thing, as if there were practice, a mere nullity. And it equally served their turn, none at all. It were a being not to be worshipped, nor and as much favoured the design of being wicked, to aawith any propriety to be called God, more (in some re- knowledge only a god they could imagine and dis-imagine speet less than an image or statue. We might with as at their own pleasure, as to have acknowledged none at rational design worship for a god what were scarce worthy all. It could do no prejudice to their affairs to admit of to be called the shadow of a man, as dedicate temples to a this fictitious deity, that they could make be what or wholly onconversable deity. That is, such a one as not where they pleased; that should affect ease and pleasure, only will not vouchsafe to converse with men, but that and (lest his pleasure and theirs should interfere) that cannot admit it; or whose nature were altogether incapa- they could confine to remote territories, and oblige to ble of such converse.

keep at an obedient and untroublesome distance. Nor, For that measure and latitude of sense must be allowed though no imagination could be more madly extravagant unto the expression, (conversableness with men,) as that than that of a God no way concerned in the forming and it signify both capacity and propension to such converse : governing of the world ; and notwithstanding whom, men that God is both by his nature capable of it, and hath a might take their liberty to do what they listed ; yet (as gracious inclination of will thereunto. Yea and we will hath been observed long ago, that no opinion was ever

so add, (what is also not without the compass of our present monstrously absurd, as not to be owned by some of the theme, nor the import of this word whereby we generally philosophers). hath not this wanted patronage, and even express it,) that he is not only inclined to converse with among them who have obtained to be esteemed (not to men, but that he actually doth it. As we call him a con- say idolized) under that name. Which would be seen, if versable person that upon all befitting occasions doth freely it were worth the while to trouble the reader with an acconverse with such as have any concern with him. It will count of the Epicurean deity. As it can only be with indeed be necessary to distinguish God's converse with this design, that the representation may render it (as it men, into That which he hath in common with all men, so cannot but do) ridiculous to sober men; and discover to as to sustain them in their beings, and some way influence the rest the vanity of their groundless and self-contradicttheir actions; (in which kind he is also conversant with ing hope, (still too much fostered in the breasts of not a all his creatures ;) and That which he more peculiarly few.) who promise themselves impunity in the most licenhath with good men.

tious course of wickedness, upon the security only of this And though the consideration of the latter of these will their own idle dream. That is, if there be a God, (which belong to the discourse concerning his temple itself which they reckon it not so plausible flatly to deny,) he is a be hath with and in them; yet it is the former only we being of either so dull and phlegmatic a temper that he have now to consider as presupposed thereto, and as the cannot be concerned in the actions and affairs of men, or ground thereof; together with his gracious propension to so soft and easy that he will not. But because his good the latter also.

will alone was not so safely to be relied on, it was thought As the great apostle, in his discourse at Athens, lays the securer way not to let it be in his power to intermedthe same ground for acquaintance with God, (which he dle with their concernments. And therefore being to frame intimates should be set afoot and continued in another their own God, to their own turn, thus the matter was of sort of temple than is made with hands,) that he hath given old contrived. to all breath and being and all things, and that he is near First, Great care was taken, That he be set at a disand ready, (whence they should therefore seek him, if tance remote enough; that he be complimented out of this haply they might feel after him, and find him out,) in world, as a place too mean for his reception, and unwororder to further converse. And here, our business will thy such a presence; they being indeed 'unconcerned have the less in it of labour and difficulty; for that we where he had his residence, so it were not too near them.

a Ae designare quidem non licet quibus in locis Dü degant. Cum ne noster quidem hic mundus, digna sit illorum sedos.Phil. Epicur. Syntas.

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