Bates - HP BX5200 B3 1700

The Immortality of the Soul. ~ not expell: us. Philofophy worthy of Brutes ! But Prudence will cm1clude if the conditiChap. o. on of Souls that go hence be immutable, and in that place where they arrive, they mufl: ~ be for ever, it !hould be ourchiefefl: care to diret:l them well: If upon lour entrance " into the next World Eternity !huts the Door upon us, and the Happinefs and Mifery of it is not mea[ur'd by time, bm the one excludes all Fear, the other all Hope of Change 'tis neceffary to govern all our ACtions with a final refpell:to that fl:ate. This is to difcourfe as a Man according to the Principles of right Rea[on.. 2. If it be objeCted that it feems hard that a tranfient Sin !hould be puni!h't with Eternal Torments: A clear and jufl: anfwer may be given. T his conceit in Men proceeds from a fuperficial deceitful view of Sin in the difguifes of a Temptation as it flatters the [en[es, without a fincere difl:inct refleCI:ion ' on its etTential mal ign ity. From hence they judge of their Sins, as light [pots, inevitable accidents lapfes that cannot be prevented by humane frailty, errors excufable by common practice: Thus the fubtili ty of Satan joyned with the foll y. of Men repre[ents great Sins as fmall, and fmall as none at all, to undervalue and extenuate fome, and to give full Jicenfe and warrant to others. And thus deceived, they are ready to think it difagreeing to the Divine Goodnefs to puni!h Sin fo feverely as ' tis throatned. But did they with intent and feel ing thoughts look through the pleafing furfac~ into the intrinfick Evil of Sin, as it is rebelli?n againfl: God, and the progeny of, a Wtll corruptod .by its own perverfnefs and pernicwus Habtts, they would b7 convmc d, that. God all:s m a m>~ner worthy. of his Nature, in the ordammg and mAzChng. Eternal Pumfhmemon Impemtent Sinners. And 'ri s obfervable that mofl: dangerous effects follow by feparating thefe two in the Minds of Men. For if rhey confider Eternal Death withoutrefl'ecttothemerit of Sin, theyeafi• ly conceive of God as incompaffiona~e) . an .Enemy to his Creature, that is pleafed with , its mifery. And fnch fearful ; concetrs, fuch black melancholy vapours congeal the Heart and fl:upifie its all:ive powers, and.caufe a defperate negleCt of our Duties, as if God would not accept our fincere .endeavours to pleafe him. But if en the other fide, tbey regard their Sins abfl:rall:ed from the dreadful Punifhment that enfues, they forrn the Notion of a Deity fofi and carelefs, litde moved with their faults, eafie and indulgent to pardon them. Thus, the fenfual pre[umer becomes fecure and incorrigible in his Wickednefs. But we mufl: confider thefe two objeCts as mofl:firictly join'd ; the Judgment of God with refpect to Sin tbat always precedes it, and Sin with refpect to the l'u~i!hment that follows it, in the mfallible order <>f Divine Jufl:ice. And thus we fhall conceive of God becoming his PerfeCI:ions; that he is Gracious and Merciful, and Loves the Work of his H<tnds; but that he is Holy and ]ufl:, and hates Sin infinitely more than Men love it. Thefe are the two principal ideas we !hould form of God, wi th refpetl: to his Moral Government, and aremainly influential on his Subjo;~. For the correfpondent affel.tions in us to thofe Attributes, are a reverend Love of his Goodnefs and tender Apprehenfion of his Difpleafure, the ·powerful motives to induce us to the pra" tHee of Holinefs, and. avert us trorn Sin.. Now that the Divine law is not hard in its Sanll:ion, forbidding Sin upon the pain . of Eternal Death, wi ll appear by a due reprefentation of the effential evil of Sin. This is difcovered by confidering. . I. The Glorious Object againfl: whom it is committed. 'Tis a Rule univerfally acknowledged, that from the quali ty of the Perfon offended, the Meafure and Weight is taken ofthe offence. Now as the Nature and PerfeCtions of God, fo his Dignity and Majefl:y is Infinite, and from hence the ttanfcendent guilt of Sin arifes. The form•lis ratio of Sin is difobedience to the Divine Law, and the leafi: breach of i t, even. a vain thought, an idle word, an unprofitable aCI:ion, is in its proper .Nature a rebellious contempt of the Authority of the Wife and Holy Law-giver. Now that a poor Worm lhould dare to rebel againfl: the Lord of Heav.en and Earth, and if it were poflibl e dethrone him, what underfianding can conceive the vafl:nefs of its guilt? No ·finite fuf.. feri ngs in what degree foever are equal reparation for the offence. After th~ revolution of millions of years in a fl:ate of mifery the !inner cannot plead for a releafe; becaufe he has not made full payment for his fuult, the rights of Jufl:ice are not fatisfi ed. If it be objected, that this will inferr an equality between all Sins. , I anfwer, Though there is a great difparity in Sins with refpeet to their immediate Caufes, Cli"curnfrances, complicated Nature andQuality, by ~vbich forne have a more odiou5 turpitude adhering to them, yet they al l .agree in the geheral ~ature of Sin, relating to the Law of God, and confequently in thetr order to Eternal Death. The leafl: tlifobedience has as truly the formality ofSin, as what is fo in the Supreme degreo. This may be ill ufl: rated by a comparifon. As the pa rts oftheWorld compared with one another, are ofdifferent elevation and greatnefs; the Earth and Water are in the lowefl: place, aud but as a point to the Celefl:ial Orbs, that are above the highefl: regions of the Air ; yet if we compare them