Bates - HP BX5200 B3 1700

The Immortality of the Soul. ~ 'Twas a wife Anfwer to one that asked why the"* la.cedcm'onitms werefo flow in paf· Chap. I 3· fing Capital Judgments; why fo many Examinarions taken, fo manyDefencesperm'Jtted to ! ~ the Accufed ; ~n~l after ConvJCbon and S~ntence, fuc~1 ~ fpac~ ~f. Time before Execution ? The reafon of It JS, btcaufe an Errour m that cafe 1S mcorngtble. They might kill the L1ving, but could not rev1ve the Dead. Now, fince aft~.r Death is inflicted on the guilty Soul 'tis loft for ever, how £hould it ftop Men in the voluntary and precipitate Condemnation of themfelves, by the wil ful rejell:ing of the Grace that is offered to them upan their prefcnt accepta1~ce ? • To draw to an end; it follows from what has been Difcourfed, that 'tis the mort neceffary and higheft point of Wifdom, to condull: our Lives with a refpect to the Tribunal above, that will pafs a righteous and unchangeab)e Sentence upon Men for all the good and evil done hen·. The Confcquence 1S fo manifeft and palpable that nothing but perfect Madnefs can deny. If there be a fpark of Reafon, a grain of Faith, the Mind muft alfent to it. For if Prudence confift in the choice and u{e of means to procure the Good ~~~r~~~61 ~at~:~t11 £ffi:~rr:i:gr t~~e~~h ~~r~n~~n:::~.u~e~~~"Zn~~~i~::1~h:5,~~~e~~e~~ is the WHdom inobtammg our end. Now 'ffhat1s the chiefGoodtowhichall our defires fhould turn, and our endeavours afpire? What an: Crowt~s, Scepters, Robes of Srare Splendor of Jewels, Trea.fures, or whatever the Earth has m any kind or degrees of Good? They are only the ltttleentertainments of the Body, theviler pa<t of Man: But the perfect and perpetual Fruition of <;J?d, is the Blelfednefs of the Soul, and infinitely excels the other. Andpropomonably tiS not the lofsof Temporal things that is the gteateft E>Vil, but the Jofmg Heaven and the Immortal Soul JS above all degrees of valuation.. Now 'tis ftrange to a~azement, that thofe who p:ofefs to believe thefe tbings £hould ltvc in a conflant oppolttwn to thetr behef. How v•goroully do they profecute the~r fecular defigns? They bml? Ei1ates, and· make Pr~vilions ta11q11am femper vitJuri, as tf they were 11 Eternal Inhabttants here. But how rennfs and cold are they in order to Heaven, and to efcapetheVVrarh to come? Li~ertiues are uniform and regular according to their Pri11ciplcs; they are Infidels, and ltve as Infidels There's no contradiction between their Thoughts and Actions. The remembrance of Death rather inflames than checks their Appeti~es to Sinful Pleafures; as the fprinkling Water does not quench the Fire, but make; Jt more fierce. They know they £hall contmue here but a £hort time, and re[olve to make the beft of Jt for carnal purpofes. But infinite numbers of thofe who in title are Citizens of another World, and declare their belief of a future ftate, yet are ascarelefs to prepa:e for it, as if the great J ~1dgme~t, and the. dreadfu l Eternity that follows, were Romanttek Fobles. They are Behevers m thm Mmds, and Infidels in their Lives. From wh~nce comes this rnonfirous Compofition of two extreams, fo contrary and difficult to be umted, as the Sun and Darkncfs, or Fire, and Waterin their ~~be\i~~;,s;n e~~~l~~~g"~l~l~li~~ll tr~h~r~,~~~v~fSi~:'~~~b;e~~~o;; ;~i:~ ;~e? E~r~lh~ fottifh F0lly of Men! What inticing Sorcery perverts them? Is it becau[e Temporal things are Senuble' , and Prefent , and Eternal things are Spiritual and Future ? But how gracelefs and irrational is this? Has not the Soul perceptive faculties as well as the Body? Are not its objects tranfcendently more excellent? Is not its union with them more intimate and ravi£hing? Muft the fenfual Appetites be heard before Reafon, and the Soul be unnaturally fet below the refpel:ts of the Body? If the mort fplendid Temptations of the Fle£h are but drofs to the happinefs of the Spirit; is it not true ':\'ifd~m to diflinguifi1 and ~efpife them in the comparifon? For this end God has plac d us m the W or id, that with equal Judgmen t we may ballance things, and preferring t~e great and f<?lid .Good before a vain Appearance, .ou: cl_mice may ~~u~~~~'~:t":~·i~,'gsa:l~~f~t~~ t~;: f~s~~~ ?to !se~~·~:~s; c~~!~~~;~J 1~n~5 :~a:0Lrf~~; fl10rt, that it'Aies away in a breath? And if Death be fo near, can Eternity be fo diftant? Befides, do Men want an Underftanding t? furefee things to c.ome? In their Projects for this World, how qUtck-fighted and provtdent are they, to dtfcover all probable inconveniences afaroff, and lay the Scene toavo1d them? And 1sReafon onlyufeful inthe affairs of the Body, and muft Senfe, that cannot fee an Hands-bread th beyond the prefent, be the guide of the Soul ? Well, though the mort powerful Reafons, the mort ardent Exhortations, and ftinging ReprehenGons cannot prevail with the Sons of the Earth now to be apprehenfive of the Evils that threaten them, but they live in a blind manner regardlefs of the Soul, yet in a little while Extremities will co111pel them to open their Eyes. When they are departing hence, with one foot upon the brink of Time, and the other lift up to ente r Etemity, how will they be aftonifh't to fee the diftance between this World and