Bates - HP BX5200 B3 1700

45 =---- -- can be more eatily f€igned thade is, than that of which there can be no proof that it is ~ not. And fuch is the Language of Infidelity: Of all that undertook that endlefs Chap. 12. Voyage to another World, whoever came back through the immenfe Ocean of the ~ Air to bring us News of fuch a happy Paradtfe as to make us defptfe thiS World ( Do they drink the Waters of forgetfulnefs, fo as to lofe the memory of the Earth and irs Inharurants? If there were a place of endlefs Torments of the mtlhons of Souls that every day depart from hence, would none return to give ad~ice to his dear Friends , to prevent their m,ifery ?, Or when they have taken that !aft f\ep, tS the preC!giCe fo f\eep that they cannot afcend hither? Or does the Soullofe irs wings that it cannot take fo high a flight ? Thefe are idle f.mcies. And from hence they conclude, that none ev,er return, becaufe they never come there, but finally perilh in the di!folution of the Bqdy, and are ]of\ in the Abyfs of nothing: When they ceafe to live whh us, they are d<4d to ihemfelves. And confequently they judge it a foolilh bargain to part with what is prefent amlcertain for an uncertain futurity. Thus they make ufe of Reafon for this end, io perfwade themfejves that Men are of the fame Nature with the Bea[\s, without Reafon. , To this I anfwer. Fir[\, Though the. evidence_ of the fitture State be not equal to· that of fenfe as to clearnefs, yet ' ttS fo convmcmg, even by Natural Ltght, that upon far lefs Men form the\' Judgments, and conduCt their weightie[\ affairs in the World. To recap\tulate briefly what has been amplified before; Is there not a God the Maker of <he World? Is there no Counfel of Providence to Govern it? No Law ofRighteoufnefsfor <hediilinffion. ofrewards? Are tltere no< Moral Good and Evil( Are R.eafon, Vertue, Grace, Names without Truth, like Chim£ra"' of no real kind, the f.mcies of Nature deceived and deceiving it felf? Are they only wife among Men, the only happy difcoverers of that which is proper and bell:, and the .dU o[ Man, )Vho mo[\ degenerate to brutilhnefs? Shall we judge of the truth of Nature in any kind of Beings, by the MonO:ers in it? What generation of Animals has any fhow of veneration of a Deity, or a value for Ju[\ice, either peace or remorfe of Confcience, or a natural defireof an intelleCtual happinefs in Life, and an eternal after Death? Is there not even i'n the prefent State fame experimental fenfe, fame impreffions in the Hearts of Men of the Powers of the World to come? Tbefe things are difcernable to all unprejudiced minds. And can it be pretended that there is not a fufficient conviction that Men and Beaf\s do not equally pe<ilh ? 2. There is avail drawn over the Eternal World for mo[\ wife R.eafons. If the Glory of Heaven were clear to Senfe, if the Mouth of the Bottomlefs-pit were open befOre Mens Eyes, there would be no place fur Faith, and O.bedience wpuld not be the effeCt of choice ~ut neceffity, and confequently there would be no viGble difcrimination made between the Holy and the Wicked. The violent inclinations to Sin would be ftopt as to the ACt, without an inward real change of the Heart. If the Blafphemcr, or folfe Swearer were prefently Jlruck Dumb. if the Dnm/zard fhould never recover his UnderO:anding, if the wclean Wretch lhould immediately be Confumed by a hidden Fi re, or his finningFlefh Putrifie and R.oraway; if for every Vice of the Mind, fame Difeafe thatrefembles it in the Body were fpeedily infliCted as a ju[\ punifhment, the World indeed would not be fo full of all kinds of Wickednefs, fo contagious, and of fuch incurable malignity. But though in appearance it would be Jefs vicious, yet in truth and reality not more vertuous. For fuch a kind of goodnefs, or rather not guiltinefs of the outward Sinful ACt, would proceed not from a Divine Principle, a free Spirit of Love to God and Holinefs, but from a low affi:ltion, meer fervile fear of Vengeance. · And Love to Sin is confif\ent with fuch an abf\inence from it. As a Merchant that in a Tempeft is forc'd to ea[\ his Goods into the Sea not becaufe he hates them, for he throws his Heart after, but to efcape dro:vning. Now that the real difference between the Godly and the Impious, the Juf\ and Unju(\, the Sober and Intemperate may appear, God affords to Men fuch Evidence of future things that may Gttisfie an impartial conGdcrirng Perfon, and be a fure Defence again[\ Temptations that in· fe{l: 'and inchant the carelefs Mind, and pervert the Will, to make a foolilh Choice of thmgs next theSenfes for Happinefs. Yet this Evidence is not(o clear, but a corrupt Heart may by a fecr_et, but effeCtual influence, darken the under[\andir.g, and make it averfe from the behef of unfeen thmgs, and f\rongly turn it from feriaus pondenng thofe terrible truths that controul the carnal defires. 3· How prepo[\erous is this inference? Departed Souls never return, therefore they have no _Exil\ence, therefore we are but a breath of Wind that only fo long remains in .being, as tt blows; a lhadow that is only whiles it appears; Jet our hours then that are but few, be fiU'd with pleafures; let us enjoy the prefent, regardlefs of hereafter, that d~~~