Bates - HP BX5200 B3 1700

The Immortality of the Soul. ~ the Earth. This gives us convincing evidence for recompences hereafter. For there Chap. 11. is no way of proof more certain, than by fuch Maxims as are acknowledged by all to ~ be undoubtedly true by their own light. In the motives of intellellual affent the Mind mu!'c finally re!'c on fome that are felf-evident, without depending as ro' their clearnefs on any fuperiour proof; and are therefore called fir(( Principles, the fountains of Difcourfe. Now that God is mo!'c ri~hteous and equal in his Judgment, before whofe Throne Man mu(( appear, that he wrll by no means condemn rhe Innocent, nor juflifie the Guilty; that he is fo Pure and Holy that he cannot firffer Sin unrepented of, to go unpunif\Jed, is a prime Truth, declared by the voice of Nature. The weake!'c :~Y~~ ~[ e~~~fo~~~~:r~~/~~~~n~f~~~a~!rsrl¥~r;,?~·~~~~~n~n·~~~~r~h~o~~?;,ffe;~~~ was abfolutely carelefs of Venue and Vice, without diflinguifhing them in his Affellions and R.etributions: This were to debafe him beneath the mo!'c unreafonable Men, for there is none of fuch an impme Mind, fo perrell: a defpifer of Moral Goodnefs, but has fome re!pelt for Vertue, and fome abhorence of Vice in others, efpecially in their Children. From hence it certainly follows, that'·as Vertue and the Reward, Sin and th~ Punifbmenr, are allied in a direc:t li!le by a mo~ wife Confiitution; fo 'tis jufl: rhat the effdJr fhould truly corre fpond with the quai>ty of Mens aaionr. If they reverence God's Laws, 'tJs mo!'c becomi ng hrs Nature and R•lation to make them happy: If they abufe their Liberty, and violate his Commands, ' tis 1nof\ righteous that they fhould feel theeffell:softheu Chofen .W•ckednefs. Now rf we look only to things feen , we do not find fuch equal chflnb~uons as are (mtable to the clear Light where-- with God has irradiated the Undet!'candmg ofMan, concerning his Governing-Ju!tice. 1 • Sometimes V er me and Vice are c:qually miferable here. In common Calamities ii there a difference between the Righteous and the Wicked? Is there a peculiar Antidote ro fecure them from pe!'cilential Infell:ion ? Or a !'crong retreat to defend them from the Sword of a conquering Euemy ? Have they fecret Provifions in times of Famine 1 Are nor the Wheat and Tares bound in a bundle and ca!'c into the fame fire. o. Many times the mo!'c guilry Offenders are not punifht here. They not only efcape the Ju!'crce of Men, by fecrecy, by deceit or favour, by refi!'cance or fl•ght, but are under no confpicuous marks of God's Ju!'cice. Nay, by wicked means they are profperous and happy. 3· The be!'c Men are often in the wor!'c condition, and mcerly upon the account of their Goodnefs. They are oppre!'c becaufe they do not make refiltance, and Ioaden with fufferings, becaufe they endure them with patience. They are for God'r .fok! made the rue~ft~~ ofe~~~:~· ~~~~~ ~i,~i;~d~~~ei~[~1~~~~~e::nt>J~:~e~a~n~o:~~m~:J i}n~oz . der the difpleafurc of Heaven, or Wickednefs more profperous if favour'd by it? But this is fuclr a mon!'crous incongruity, that unlefs we abohfh the Natural Notions of the Divine Excellencies, it cannot in the lea!'c degree be admrtted. If therefore we confine our thoughts to humane affairs in this Life, without taking a profpeCl: into the next World, where a new order of things prefents it felf, what direful confequences will enfue? This takes away the Scepter of Providence from the Hands of God, and the reverence of God from the Hearts of Men, as if the prefent fiate, were a game wherein Ch1111ce reigned, and not under the infpellion and difpofure of a Wife, Ju!t and Powerful Governour. If there be no Life after Death, then Natural Religion in fome of its greate!'c Commands, as to Self-denial, even to the fufferin~ the greate!'c Evils, rather than do any unju!'c, unworthy allion , and to facrifice Lrfe it fclf when the Honour of God and the Publ.ick Good require it, is irreconcileable to that Natural Defire and Duty, that binds and determines Man to feek his own Felicity in conjunllion with the Glory of his Maker. But it is impo!lible that the Divine Law fhould foil it felf, that contrary obligations fhould be laid on Man by the Wife and Holy Lawgiver. And what terrible confufion would it be in the Minds of the be!'c Men? What coldnefs of affellion to God, as if they were not in the comfortable relation of his Children, but wholly without his Care? What difcouragements in his Service? What defpair in fuffering for him? What danger of their murmuring again(( Providence, and ca!'cing off Religion as a towre unprofitable feverity, and faying, S•re!J I hdVe cleanfed my Heart i11 vain, and WAjbed. my Ha11d.s in i11nocmcy ; or exclaiming with Brutur in a defperatemanner, when he was ov ercome in Battle, and d~feated of his defign to recover Rome from Tnanny; 0 injt.elix Jlirtur! itane, cum nihil nifi nomen ejfer, Egote, t4nqllamremal'iquamexercui? And the Enemies to Holine;s re!'crain'd by no refpell:s to a Superiour Power, will obey their Brutif\1 Lu!'cs as theirSupream Law ; and if fuch di[eafes or troubles happen that