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Hand by Writing: And I have made choice of this Subject, as thinking myself beft qualify'd to treat of it. If what I have now written fhall find fo favourable Acceptance as to encourage me to proceed, God granting Life and Health the Reader may expect more; if otherwife, I must be content to be laid afide as ufelefs, and fatisfy myself in having made this Experiment.

As for this Difcourfe, I have been careful to admit nothing for Matter of Fact or Experiment but what is undoubtedly true, left I should build upon a fandy and ruinous Foundation; and by the Admixture of what is false, render that which is true fufpicious.

I might have added many more Particulars; nay, my Text warrants me to run over all the visible Works of God in particular, and to trace the FootSteps of his Wifdom in the Compofition, Order, Harmony, and Ufes of every one of them, as well as of thofe that I have selected. But, First, this would be a Task far tranfcending my Skill and Abilities; nay, the joint Skill and Endeavours of all Men now living, or that fhall live after a thousand Ages, Should the World laft fo long. For no Man can find out the Work that God maketh from the Beginning to the End, Ecclef. iii. 11. Secondly, I was willing to confult the Infirmity of the Reader, or indeed of Mankind in general; which, after a fhort Confinement to one fort of Dish, is apt to loath it, tho never fo wholfome, and which at first was most pleaJant and acceptable; and fo to moderate my Dif courfe, as to make an end of writing before I might prefume be should be quite tir'd with reading.

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I shall now add a Word or two concerning the Ufefulness of the Argument, or Matter of this Dif courfe, and the reafon I had to make choice of it, befides what I have already offer'd.

First, The Belief of a Deity being the Foundation of all Religion (Religion being nothing but a devout worshipping of God, or an Inclination of Mind to ferve and worship him) for he that cometh to God muft believe that he is God, it is a Matter of the highest Concernment to be firmly fettled and eftablifh'd in a full Perfuafion of this main Point; now this must be demonftrated by Arguments drawn from the Light of Nature and Works of the Creation; for as all other Sciences, fo Divinity, proves not, but fuppofes its Subjects, taking it for granted, that by natural Light Men are fufficiently convinc'd of the Being of a Deity; there are indeed fupernatural Demonftrations of this fundamental Truth, but not common to all Perfons or Times, and fo liable to CaJo vil and Exception by atheistical Perfons, as inward Illuminations of Mind, a Spirit of Prophecy, and foretelling future Contingents, illuftrious Miracles, and the like; but thefe Proofs, taken from Effects and Operations, expos'd to every Man's View, not to be deny'd or question'd by any, are most effectual to convince all that deny or doubt of it; neither are they only convictive of the greatest and fubtleft Adverfaries, but intelligible alfo to the meanest Capacities; for you may bear illiterate Perfons, of the lowest Rank of the Commonalty, affirming, that they need no Proof of the Being of a God, for that every Pile of Grafs or Ear of Corn fufficiently proves that; for, fay they, all the Men of the World cannot make Such

fuch a thing as one of thefe; and if they cannot do it; who can or did make it but God? To tell them that it made itself, or sprung up by chance, would be as ridiculous as to tell the greatest Philofopher fo.

Secondly, The Particulars of this Difcourfe ferve not only to demonftrate the Being of a Deity, but also to illuftrate fome of his principal Attributes; as, namely, his infinite Power and Wisdom; the vast Multitude of Creatures, and thofe not only small, but immenfely great, the Sun and Moon, and all the heavenly Hoft, are Effects and Proofs of his Almighty Power. The Heavens declare the Glory of God, and the Firmament fheweth his Handy-work, Pfal. xix. 1. The admirable Contrivance of all and each of them, the adapting all the Parts of Animals to their feveral Ufes, the Provifion that is made for their Suftenance, which is often taken notice of in Scripture. Pfal. cxlv. 15, 16. The Eyes of all wait upon thee: thou giveft them their meat in due feafon. Thou openest thy hand, and satisfiest the defire of every living thing. Matth. vi. 26. Behold the fowls of the air, for they fow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Pfal. cxlvii. 9. He giveth to the beaft his food, and to the young Ravens when they cry. And lastly, their mutual Subferviency to each other, and unanimous confpiring to promote and carry on the Publick Good, are evident Demonftrations of his Sovereign Wisdom.

Laftly, They ferve to ftir up and increase in us the Affections and Habits of Admiration, Humility, and Gratitude. Pfal. viii. 3. When I confider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon

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and the ftars which thou haft ordain'd: What is man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that thou vifiteft him? And to thefe Purpofes the holy Pfalmift is very frequent in the Enumeration and Confideration of thefe Works, which may warrant me doing the like, and justify the denominating fuch a Difcourfe as this rather theological than philofophical.

[Note, That by the Works of the Creation in the Title, I mean the Works created by God at first, and by him conferv'd to this Day in the fame State and Condition in which they were at first made; for Confervation (according to the Judgment both of Philofophers and Divines) is a continu'd Creation.]

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