Bates - HP BX5200 B3 1700

The Exijlence of G 0 D. CHAP. Y. The beginning ofthe World proved from the uninterrupted tradition ofit through aU Ages. The invention of Arts, and bringing them to perfeYlion, 11n argument of the Worlds beginning. The weaknefs of that famy that the World U; in a perpetual C1rculat10n from Infancy to Youth, and to fuU Age, and aDecript fiate,and backagain,fo that Arts are lofl and ruovered in that change. The confent of Nations a. clear ~rgument that there U; a God. The impre.ffions of Nature are mfaU1ble. . 1 'hat th~ moft Men are pr~Bteal .Atheifts ; that fome doubt and de'!Y God m '!'ords, u of no force to _di[prove hu Eziftence. There are no abfolute Atheifts. Nature m eztremztm ha& an irrejiftible force, and compels the mofl obdurate to acknowledge the. Deity. I ~~~~nn~:m c3,1~1~r~~~~1~f ;~~0:o::~~te~fn~i:~:~~~~~ ~~f,e~~~ f,xJ~~~~s~~a~~~ 0~:~~ nal lntelleCl:nal CaufC gave it bemg accordmg to his p1eafurc. For it implies an exquifite contradiCtion that any thing fhould begin ro ex if\ by its ow1\ power. Whatever is temporal, was made by a Superior Eternal Power, that drew it from pure nothing. And the other confcquence is as f\rong, that the Cau(e is an IntelleCtual Being that produc'd it according to his VV ill. For (uppofing a Cau(e to be intirely the fame, and not to produce an effetl: that afterwards it produces, without any precedi ng change, 'tis evident that it operates nor by nece!liry of Nature, but volnntarily, and therefore with underf\anding: As a Man who (peaks, that before was filent, according to the liberty of his will. Now of theWorlds beginning there is a general tradition derived down through the uninterrupted courfe of [o many Ages to us. 'Tis true, the Philo(ophers reneWed the confufion of Tongues, that difumted the Builders of Babe!, in their account of the Architell:ure of the World: Yet they generally agreed 'twas made by a mof\ wife Agent. And this Doll:rine is fo agreeable to Rea(on, that you may as Coon bridle the current of Ni/u,, and make it return to its Fountain, as fu(pend the perfwafion of it in the minds of Men, ·or make it turn back as falfe. Now what account can be given of . this uncontroulable Opinion? 'Tis moll rational to conceive that it came from the fir(\ Man, (inf\rutl:ed by his Creatour) when the Tradition was cafie, the World not being numerous. Add to this the rudcne(s of former Ages, and the fimplicity of living becoming the new-made World, This account d1e mofi ancient Hif\ories give of the rife of Common" wealths, that d1e fir(\ Nations were a confufed Chaos, till the Soul ofSociety was infuf<d tCI regulate them. But that which I fhali particularly infif\ on as a convincing proof, is this ; The invention of many Arts beneficial to Men,and the bringing them to perfell:ion hy degrees. If the World were without beginning, it would have had no age of childhood ~~~~~~n~;~~~·w~~; ~~;~~~~;~~~ ~i~~c~~~~~?;~~~~t ~~ :~~~~~~o~~~ t~~~a~~~~n~h~ui; ~ Chap. 5· v-v---' fand years, lince the memorials of profane Hif\ories are tranfmi tted to us: Some that' ' alferted the Eternity of the World, were fenfible of the force of this Argument, ;.and made a pitiful !hift to evade it. They fancied, that though the World had no beginning, yet as Animals proceed by different ages, till they arrive at extream and impotent old age; in like manner it happened to the Eanh, not in all its parts at once: For then in that vaf\ fucceffion of Ages , the World and race of Men had been fpent ; .but (ometimes in one part, and after in another. But with this difference, >that whereas Man afi:er de" crepit Age never renews his Youth, a Country once waf\ed with Age, returns. by venue oftheCelef\ial influences to its former vigor, and isin a perpetual circulation to newlnfa~cy, new Youth, ·and fotoold Age. And fronihence it is, that it learnS: again thofe thmgs that were well known m former ages, the r~membrance of which was ·Tntirely loft. But the vanity of this fiilion iseafily difcover'd. . ' 1. Is it poffible that in(ucha number ofyears, ofwhich Memorials remain before anci fince this Fitl:ion, that in no part of the World !hould be feen or heard of this decrepit qge _and new childhood, which according to this opinion hath innumerable times hapned m the circle ofEternity, fometimes in one, another Province ? If we fan- . D cy