Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

F i rft Commandment. 81 Again, Thirdly, If there h~ve already been infini.te iucccffions of Ge?erations in the World certainly thofe whtch are yet to come, Will make them more, ~nd fo we fhaii find a'Number greater than that which is allowed to be actually Infimt~. Or, iftf) avoid this ContradiCtion, the Atheift Ihould affirm, That the Ge~crat.IOns to .Abraham and the Generations to David, were both equal, bccaufe both mfimte; he will ther~by fall into two other grofs Contradict ions: the one, That a Number. added to a Number 01ou ld make no addition; the other, That fince the Generattons to Abraham were but a part of the Generations to David, the part fl10uld be equal to the whole. fi ·· Fourthly There is no one moment in Succeffio'n which was not once pr e eat; 4· and confc~<luently, imagine a Duration as long as you .rlcafc, y~t . . in it of neceffity there muft be fome one moment, whtch when tt Mm Mtt~ph. P11; t 1. Cdp. 1c .. was prefent, :Ill the reft were futur.e ; .and if all the. r~ft. were future, this Moment was then the bepm~mg. So that 1t 1s .unpoffiblc .there fhould be a fucceffive Duration without a begmnmg, and therefore tmpofiibtl! It fhould be from Eternity. ' A~ain, Fi(thty, I~ all the ~evolutions of Ge~eration and Co~ruption that can be 5; inugmed, yet the Ltfe of Ammals muft neceffanly be before thetr death. For .none can die till he bath lived; and none can live, but u. t'bid & Plm 9· Tht[. he muft pafs fome time before he dies. There was therefore a fi"lm. Dtjl.uuA.d"nJ.mtehlp· time before any Animal died:, confequently their corruption and um. death was not from Eternity: neither before their death, had they lived an infinite Time, but only fame few Days or Years; and therefore their generation and life was not from Eternity. · Thefe things 1 do but curforily mention, to give yon a tafrc of the Foliy and Unreafonablenels of Athe ifin; nor perhaps would it be proper to in lift on them at large. But by there few ArgumenM you may fee how unreafonable it is for an Athelft to boggle at the Belief of a Deity; wher eas, let himlaydt1wn whatfocvcrPrin· ciples he will, he fhall find his Reafon more puzled and intangled by there Abfhrdi~ ties that will necclfarily follow upon t hem, than he fhall by any Difficulties that are conrequent upon the Belief of a God. \Vhich Belief unlcrs we entertain, we c~n give no tolerable account at all of the various Beings that arc in the \¥orld; for neither are they eternal, neither ·have they h:~pned by chance, as I have demonftrated to you. It is therefore abfolutcly necetfary, that there be fame firft Caufe of all Things which we behold, which is not it fclf can fed, nor produced by any other·: for if every thing were eau red by fome Prc-exiftcnt Being, then there never was a Being before which there was not another; and fo thi s grofs Abfin·dity will folJow, that before there was a Being, there was a Being. A tit conrequence for Atheifts, who pretend only to rational Speculations, to [wallow. Therefore we muft neceffarily rcft in fomefirftCaufe from which all other things h:~.ve their origine, and is it felf caured by none; and th:It is the great God whom we adore, the great Creator, and both Governour of Heaven and Earth, and of all things viliblc and invifible. This is therefore a th ird Demonitration ofa Deity. Fourt hly, Perhaps it would furcwdly puzlc the Mctaphyficks of an Atheift, to 4· anrwcr the Argument of Bradtvardinc. It is poffible that there fhould be fi1ch a Being as fhou ld cxifr neccJT'arily; lince itisnomore Dradw3rtf. de c,uf" n,;. a Contrad iCt ion to exifr necelfarity, than to exifr cont ingently, and 1· 1 ' e. L & 1• '• '· 'i· a far hig~er and mo_re,abrolu~e Perfetl:ion :. But if it be poffible that.t here might be fuch a Bemg, then Jt JS certa in that there ts ; becaufe neceility of Ex tfrence is i nclud~ cd. in the very effential conception of it; ·or elfe this Con t radiaion would follow, Th:n it is poffible for that not to be, which yet is necelfarytobe. This Being there. fore muft needs be Eternal, Independent, and Self-fuf!icient; and that is the God whom we adore. But to leave thefe more Abftrufe and Scholaftick Notions; in the Fifr!J place, If 5 • there be no God, then netther have there been any Mtraclcsperformed.in-thc World· nor any Prophefies or Predidions of future Contingencies. ' Firft, '!her~ can he no Miracles performed without a Divine and Infinite Power · for ccrtatnly, 1f there be no Being above Nature, there can be noEtfeCtseither above' . f• or contrary to t~e courfe of Nature ; for Nature when it is left to it fclf, cannot act contrary to Jt~ own Laws. Now that there have been miraculous Works per. formed, the Ath01ft cannot deny, unlefs he will deny the ttuth of all Records, and Y think