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SER M. have been without an eternal Superior Caufe; I. because in the Nature of Things themselves there is manifeftly no Neceffity, that any fuch Succeffion of tranfient Beings, either temporary or perpetual, fhould have existed at all.
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 exquifite Harmony of Nature, by which (as St. Paul expreffes it, Rom. i. 20.) the invifible things of God, from the Creation of the World are clearly feen, being understood by the things that are made. And This Argument, as it is infinitely strong to the most accurate Philofophers, fo it is alfo fufficiently obvious even to the meanest Capacities. Whofe Pf. civ. 2. Power was it, that framed this beautiful and ftately Fabrick, this immenfe and spacious World? that firetched out the North over the empty place, and hanged the Earth upon nothing? Job xxvi. 7. That formed those vaft and numberless Orbs of Heaven, and difcxlvii. 4. pofed them into fuch regular and uniform Motions? that appointed the Sun to rule the Day, and the Moon and the Stars to govern the Night? that fo adjusted their fe
Pf xix. 1.
Pf. civ. 19.
veral distances, as that they should neither SER M. be fcorched by Heat, nor deftroyed by Cold? that encompaffed the Earth with Air fo wonderfully contrived, as at one and the fame time to fupport Clouds for rain, to afford Winds for Health and Traffick, to be proper for the Breath of Animals by its Spring, for caufing Sounds by its Motion, for tranfmitting 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 diverfified the Climates of the Earth into fuch 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, fo 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, fo different from each other in particular, and yet All in the whole fo much alike? that framed with exquifite workmanship the VOL. I. Eye
SER M. Eye for Seeing, and other parts of the Body, neceffarily in proportion; without which, no Creature could have long fubfifted? that beyond all these things, indued the Soul of Man with far fuperiour 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 Unbelievers, that all these things are done by Second Caufes. And fuppofe they were, (which however is not univerfally true: But fuppofe they were effected by Second caufes,) yet How would That diminish the Neceffity of acknowledging the First Cause? If among Men, many things are performed by the Ufe of Inftruments; are thofe things therefore ever the lefs juftly afcribed to the Hands which used the Inftruments? Because every Wheel in a Watch moves only naturally, according to the Frame of its parts, and the Strength which the Spring impreffes upon it; is therefore the Skill of the Workman the lefs to be acknowledged, who adjusted those very things? Or because 'tis natural for the Wheels of a Watch, or for
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for the Rooms of a Houfe, to be of fuch SER M. particular Shapes and Dimenfions, does This make it poffible, that therefore they may have been formed fo without any Artificer? All Natural, All Second Caufes, are nothing else, but either the inanimate Motions of fenfelefs 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 Permiffion, of Him who ruleth over all? Mens neglecting therefore to infer the Being of God, from every thing they fee or think of every day, is in reality as great a stupidity as if from the conftant and regular continuance of the day-light, men fhould cease to observe, that there is fuch a thing as the Sun in the Heavens, from whence That Light proceeds. Nor would it be more abfurd 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, without the Being of God who causes those Effects. To evade this Argument there is no other poffible way, but to affirm either that all things were produced by Chance, or that they are all Eternal neceffarily of them
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. Befides, in the works of God, the further men fearch, and the more discoveries they make, the greater exactness they conftantly 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 lefs accurate they appear. Beyond all Credulity therefore is the credulousness of Atheists, whose Belief is fo abfurdly ftrong, as to believe that Chance could make the World, when it cannot build a House; that Chance fhould produce all Plants, when it cannot paint one Landfkip; that Chance fhould form All Animals, when it cannot fo much as make a lifeless Watch. On the other hand therefore, if they will affirm that all things are eternal; yet ftill the Argument holds as ftrong as before, that things which cannot for any time exist without a caufe, can much lefs without a cause exist through all time. Unless they will affirm, that All things exift by an internal abfolute Neceffity in their own Nature. Which