Bates - HP BX5200 B3 1700

The Exiftence of G 0 D. Vertue to all the intermediate. Thus Nature produces things from feminal Caufes, that ~ depend on things already in being. The Seed of Flowers and Trees fuppofe the Fruits Chap. 4· of the Earth before growing:, but the firfl Tree could not be_ fo prod~c' d. To fancy an ~ infinite fuccdlion of Caufes depending one upon another, Without arnvmg to a firfl, can only fall into the thoughts of a difordered mind. How came this Horfe, tha~ Lion in Nature? Tis by generatiOn from another, and that from another, and fo mfimtely. How came this Man intotbe World? 'Tts becaufe he was begotten by fuch a Father, and he by another, and fo infinitely. ~hus Atheifm that rejel:t.s .on~ truly Infinitt; Caufe, is obliged to admit an Infinity in all thmgs, an Incomprehenfibthty m all thmgs. Tts therelore evident the efficient principles in Nature are from the foie power of the firfl and independent Caufe. T!"Y could not proc~ed from themfelve~; and ~hat a moll wife ~nd power! it\ Beino is the ongmal of all thmgs IS as evident. Is It eoncetvable that the mfenfib!e Mafs that ~s calledMatter, fhould have had an Eternal Being without original? Whereas there is not the leaf\ imaginable repugnance in the Attributes of the firil and highefl Being, in whom all thofe PerfeCtions concur, which as proper to the Deity, are form'd in the mind in the idea of it, as his Spiritual Nature, Eternity, Immenfity, Wifdom, Omnipotence &c. of which 'tis equally true, that no one either abfolutely or relatively confider" ed, . involve> a contradiCtion, that m.ake it impoffible for the Supream Being to poffefs it; .Is it not perrel:tly inconfiflent to attnbute to Matter the lowefl and mofl contempttble of all Beings, the highefl and ~of\: noble PerfeCtiOn, and Independent Exiflencc? One may affert it in words, but not fenoufly witho~t the utter defernng of Reafon. Man incomparably excels thi_s JV!atter, . he underl!ands tt, and that underflands not him, yet he has a derived being m time, TJS therefore neceffary that that fhould have fome caufe of its Being. But fuppofing th< felf fubfiflence of Matter from Eternity ; could ~heW orld, fill/ of innumerable Forms, fpnng by an lmpetHS from a dead formlefs pnnctple? Tis equally impoffible that a blind Caufe cafual, or fatal, fhould giye Being and Order to the Univerfe. Befides, allfubordinateCaufesarefuflainedin their Beings and Powers by fre!h influ• ences from the fitft, and direCted in their operations. To attribute the manifold effeCts in (he World to Second Caufes working in a blind manner without an Univerfal Intelletl:ual Mover, thatdifpofes, tempers, and governs them, is as unreafonable as to attribute humane Works to dte common Jnflruments of Art, without the direl.tion of the Undernanding that ufes them. The Hand or Pencil has not skill to do any thing, but as it obeys the Mind, that gives it the irnpreffion of Art, and regulates itS Motion. The Earth knows not the various Fruits that fpring from it, nor the Sea its living ProduCtions. And the Sun, though a more fpecious, is not a more intelligent and artificial Agent. Nature under another name is the ordinary power of God, that by its intimate concourfe with Second Caufes produces and fupports things. And 'tis one of the confiderable Wonders of his Providence, that the ftream of perifhing things, always emptying, is always full i there being a fupply from the Fountains of continual Produfrions of what is lofl in the dead Sea: So that the Wmld is always the fame, and always new. And from what bath been argued, we may judge how unreafonable it is to doubt whe• ther there be a Principle in Nature of excellent Wifdom, becaufe not feen in his own Effence: For if Reafon compel us to acknowledge that. the works of A;t wrought by mii~ !!El ~1,;;; nual Inflrume!'tS, proceed from an unfeen mmd that d1tel:ted thm mottons according to ~·•~•• the idea fram'd in it felf, we ought more ilrohgly to conclude there is a 11 Divine Mind .:~,, •~ !T,,; though invifible to mortal eyes, 'that tontriv'd at firft, and with knowledge performs all :;':;,i;';~j'­ the works of Nature. To deny the Exiflence of a Being not fubj etl:ed to our out- •!f~"·~h~ ward Senfes, is equ~lly or n<;> force in both the inftances. ~y the fame Reafon St. Auftin ~~~!t!.e;~' confounds the AthCifl obJel:tmg that he could not fee the De1ty, To whom he propounds ~·.'· Gat. de this. quenion, That fincehisBody was only.vifi~le, and not his Soul, \vhy fhould it not be ~~·fioe honubuned? And upon the reply, That the * qmckmng prefence of the Soul was evident in the • v,d, (<i• ~aion~ of_Life J>7rform·~ by t~e Body ; he _truly inferrs, if a vital Principle imperceptible in !;~~":::t,k~~ ttfelf I! dtfcover d by VItal al:t10ns, the Detty, though by the perfeCtion of his Nature un- ' "' v,,, difcernable to our Senfes, is clearly feen by the light of his effeCts. And thofe who are f<io! Rifpo'"': Wtlfully blin~, ~fGod_fh~uld byanynewfenfibleeffel:tsmake a difcoveryof himfelf, yet ::,~<;;:,;Z';"' would rema~n mconvmahle: For the arguments of his prefence from extraordinary qHiaopmr. . efreQs, are hable to th_e fame exc~ptions pretended againft the ordinary. f:;~;;,.r;;~ To what hasbeenfatd concemmg the proofs of the Deity from the frame ofthings in mf<••"'"''"'• !~: 'ri.~~~~e~~~h~:er:la~f:x{;~~~i~: :;,a:~~~~~u~~sto~h~:1!w~~;,u:~::~:;:r~~~::~o;; ;::;~;:::~~; has clearly argued from hence, that an Immortal Providence obferves them, and rewards them accordingly. Indeed fometimes there is a promifcuous difpenfing of temporal Good and