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Fool; not fo much for want of natural Senfe, as
FROM the foregoing Arguments, and many The abfolute others, 'tis evidently prov'd there is a God; and and moral Perfections not only that, but we may from thence, and by and Attributes the fame Method of Reafoning, plainly discover of God difcoand infer moft of his Attributes and Perfections, verable by the which render him, to us his Creatures, an awful Light of Naand adorable Object. As first, that God is a ne- ture. ceffarily Self-existent and Eternal Being; that he is an Unchangeable and Independent Being; that he is but One; that he is a Being moft Simple, Uniform, Indivifible, and Incorruptible; that he is Omnipotent, or All-powerful; Omnifcient, or infinite in Knowledge; that he is a Pure Spirit, without Body, Parts, or Paffions; that he acts freely, as he pleases, without Neceffity: And, laftly, that he muft neceffarily be a Being of infinite Goodness, Mercy, Justice, and Truth, and all other moral Perfections; fuch as become the fupreme Ruler and Judge of the World.
or his Govern
THE Providence of God is most rationally in- The Proviferr'd from his being proved the Author or Maker dence of God, of the World, and all Things therein. For not ment of the only Man, as being endow'd with Understanding World, and all and Wisdom, but even Birds, Beafts, Infects, Things therein, and all Creatures having Life and Senfe, we con- plainly inferr d ftantly obferve to have a fpecial Care, Regard, from the Light and Tenderness of their Offsprings; and as it is a Part of natural Goodnefs, can we, on any account, fuppofe the fame Carefulness and providential Regard to the Works of his Hands, wanting in that great Being whom we grant to be poffefs'd of infinite Goodness, Mercy, and
A Future State of Rewards
Benevolence? But this is directly proved from feveral Obfervations on the Works of Nature, as the Motions of the heavenly Bodies, contrary to the proper Laws of Nature, &c. to answer a general End. Wherefore we must conclude, that the fame God who created all Things, and upholds and preferves them by his continual Concourse, does alfo, by his all-wife Providence, conftantly govern and direct the Iffues and Events of Things, takes care of this lower World, and of all, even the finalleft Things therein; difpofes Things in a regular Order and Succeffion in every Age from the Beginning of the World to its final Period; but infpects, with a more particular Regard, the moral Actions of Men.
A FUTURE State of Rewards and Punishments may be concluded alfo by the Strength and Punish-, and Light of Reafon. For, (1.) The Nature of ments proved. Man is fuch, that he acts freely, of choice, and First, from Man's being unconftrained; and hath a Law imprinted in his an accountable Mind, which conftantly directs him to do that, Creature; and in every Cafe, which is fit and requifite from the the Nature of Nature of Things. If he acts agreeable to this
Law of right Reafon, it is reputed Virtue; if contrary to it, it is called Vice: But Virtue merits Reward, and Vice Punishment, from the Nature thereof: Yet thefe Rewards and Punishments, 'tis plain, are not equally distributed in this Life; and fince they are from God, to whom alone Man can be accountable for his moral Actions, and he is infinitely juft, it follows there must be another and future State, in which Virtue and Vice must receive a perfect and equitable Diftribution of Rewards and Punishments, pro
portionable to the several Degrees of Merit and Secondly, from Demerit. (2.) From the natural Inclination and Man's natural Defire of Immortality, and an unavoidable ConDefire of Im cern for what is to come hereafter, implanted in motality.
all Men, we may very probably conclude a Future State. (3.) The Dignity and Excellency of Thirdly, from Man's Nature plainly fhews him defign'd and the Dignity of intended for a better and more worthy State of Man's Nature. Life, than the beft he can enjoy in this World.
(4.) The natural Self-consciousness and Judgment Fourthly, from which all Men fecretly make of their own Actions Confcience. in their own Minds, is by all allowed to be no
fmall Proof of a future State of Account. (5.) It Fifthly, from hath been the confefs'd Judgment and Opinion of the Confent of almost all the Heathen World, and has obtained Nations. as univerfally, both as to Time and Place, nearly as the Notion of a God itfelf; and therefore must be the Refult of Reason, and deem'd a Certainty.
HAVING establish'd in the Mind a firm and Piety the im rational Belief of a Deity, his Providence and mediate ConGovernment of the World, and a future State of fequence of our Belief of God, Life, there muft neceffarily enfue the Practice of bis Providence, Piety, or an effectual Senfe of the Obligations and a Future we are under to love, fear, serve, praise, pray to, and adore the facred Name, and glorious Majefty of God. From hence alfo we are induced to truft in, to rely and depend upon him; to exercise Patience and Hope in Times of Affliction and Adverfity, and to keep ourselves humble in Times even of the greatest Profperity and Felicity; to have always a due and folemn Regard to the Rectitude of all our Actions; and to be always in a proper Degree of Refignation both of ourfelves and Fortunes, to the fovereign Difpofe and Pleasure of God, who tho' he be the Moft High, and his Dominion over all, yet he is righteous in all his Ways, and his tender Mercies are over all his Works.
Of ETHICS, or Moral Virtues.
THICS is that Science, or pra- Definition of Etical Difcipline, which teacheth ETHICS. and explains the Way and Means of attaining buman Felicity, or the greatest Happiness our Natures are capable of in this Life. This Science is alfo called Morality, or Moral PhiloSopby.
IT is called Morality, because it directs the Why call'd Manners of Men aright, and determines them to Morality. the Ways of Virtue, and from the deceitful and
dangerous Paths of Vice.
SINCE the chiefest Happiness of Life confifts The Object of, in the Tranquillity and Pleasure of the Mind, and and Prerequithis can proceed from nothing but the Confciouf- fites to this nefs of a Series or Life of Actions perform'd according to the Rule of Reason, Virtue, and Honefty; it follows, that in order to have a juft Notion of this moft ufeful Science, and treat of it in a proper Manner, we must first consider the Nature of buman Action, and the Law by which it is regulated.
Human Action, or Agency, is that which/ari- Human Actions feth from the proper and diftinguishing Princi- what, and ples of Man, viz. the Will and Understanding. It how fo. muft flow from the Will, that it may be free; and from the Understanding, that it may be rational; and being thus both free and rational, it must be buman.