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SER M. have been without an eternal Superior Cause;

because in the Nature of Things themselves
there is manifestly no Necesity, that any

Succession of transient Beings, either tem-
porary or perpetual, should have existed at

Secondly, The other Argument, to which the greatest part of the Proofs of the Being of God may briefly be reduced, is the Order and Beauty of the World; That exquisite Harmony of Nature, by which (as St. Paul expresses it, Rom. i. 20.) the invisible things of God, from the Creation of the World are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made. And This Argument, as it is infinitely strong to the most accurate Philosophers, so it is also sufficiently obvious

even to the meanest Capacities. Whose Pf.civ. 2. Power was it, that framed this beautiful and

stately Fabrick, this immense and spacious
World ? that siretched out the North over the
empty place, and hanged the Earth upon no-
tking ? Job xxvi. 7. That formed those vast .

and numberless Orbs of Heaven, and discxlvii. 4. posed them into such regular and uniform Pf. civ.19.

Motions ? that appointed the Sun to rule
the Day, and the Moon and the Stars to go-
vern the Night ? that so adjusted their se-

P{ xix. 1.

veral distances, as that they should neither Serm. be scorched by Heat, nor destroyed by

1. Cold? that encompassed the Earth with Air so wonderfully contrived, as at one and the same time to support Clouds for rain, to afford Winds for Health and Traffick, to be proper for the Breath of Animals by its Spring, for causing Sounds by its Motion, for transmitting Light by its Transparency? that fitted the Water to afford Vapours for Rain, Speed for Traffick, and Fish for nourishment and delicacy ? that weighed the Mountains in Scales, and the Hills in a Balance; and adjusted them in their most proper places for Fruitfulness and Health ? that diversified the Climates of the Earth into such an agreeable Variety, that in that great Difference, yet each one has its proper Seasons, Day and Night, Winter and Summer? that clothed the Face of the Earth with Plants and Flowers, so exquifitely adorned with various and inimitable Beauties, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of them ? that replenished the World with Animals, so different from each other in particular, and yet All in the whole so much alike? that framed with exquisite workmanship the VOL. I.



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Serm. Eye for Seeing, and other parts of the Body,

necessarily in proportion; without which,
no Creature could have long subsifted ? that
beyond all these things, indued the Soul of
Man with far superiour Faculties ; with
Understanding, Judgment, Reason and Will;
with Faculties whereby in a moft exalted
manner. God teaches us more than the Beasts
of the Field, and maketh us wiser than the
Fowls of Heaven? Job xxxv. 11.

'Tis commonly alledged by Unbelie-
vers, that all these things are done by Second
Causes. And suppose they were, (which
however is not universally true : But sup
pose they were effected by Second causes,)
yet How would That diminish the Necessity
of acknowledging the First Cause? If among
Men, many things are performed by the
Use of Instruments ; are those things there-
fore ever the less justly ascribed to the
Hands which used the Instruments ? Because

Wheel in a Watch moves only naturally, according to the Frame of its parts, and the Strength which the Spring impresses upon it; is therefore the Skill of the Workman the less to be acknowledged, who adjusted those very things ? Or because 'tis natural for the Wheels of a Watch, or


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for the Rooms of a House, to be of such SERM.

particular Shapes and Dimensions, does This
make it possible, that therefore they may
have been formed fò without any Artificer?
All Natural, All Second Causes, are no-
thing else, but either the inanimate Mo-
tions of senseless Matter, or the voluntary
Motions of dependent Creatures. And
What are these, but One of them the direct
Operation; and the Other, only the free
Permission, of Him who ruleth over all ?
Mens neglecting therefore to infer the Be-
ing of God, from every thing they see or
think of every day, is in reality as great a
stupidity as if from the constant and re-
gular continuance of the day-light, men
should cease to observe, that there is such
a thing as the Sun in the Heavens, from
whence That Light proceeds. Nor would
it be more absurd to imagine, that the Light
would continue, though the Sun, which
causes it, were extinguished ; than that the
Effects of Nature can regularly go on, with-
out the Being of God who'causes those Ef-
fects. To evade this Argument there is no
other possible way, but to affirm either that
all things were produced by Chance, or that
they are all Eternal necessarily of them-


C 2

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SERM. felves. As to Chance, 'tis evident That is

nothing but a mere Word, or an abstract
Notion in our manner of conceiving things.
It has itself no real Being; it is Nothing,
and can do nothing. Besides, in the works
of God, the further men search, and the
more discoveries they make, the greater
exa&tness they constantly find; whereas in
things done either by the Art of Man, or
by what we call Chance, the contrary always
is true ; the more they are understood, the
less accurate they appear. Beyond all Cre-
dulity therefore is the credulousness of A-
theists, whose Belief is so absurdly strong,
as to believe that Chance could make the
World, when it cannot build a House ; that
Chance should produce all Plants, when it
cannot paint one Landskip; that Chance
should form All Animals, when it cannot
so much as make a lifeless Watch. On the
other hand therefore, if they will affirm
that all things are eternal; yet still the
Argument holds as strong as before, that
things which cannot for


time exist without a cause, can much less without a cause exist through all time. Unless they will affirm, that All things exist by an internal absolute Necessity in their own Nature.



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