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least diminish from the abfolute glory and happiness of God; yet, as to us, the dishonouring, that is, the disobeying his laws, is a difhonouring of himself; that is, it is, as much as in us lies, a de{pifing his lupreme authority, and bringing his government into contempt. Now the same reason that there is, why honour should be paid to the laws of God at all; the same reason there is, that that honour should be vindicated, after it has been diminished and infringed by fin. For no law-giver, who has authority to require obedience to his laws, can or ought to fee his laws despised and dishonoured, without taking some measures to vindicate the honour of them, for the support and dignity of his own authority and government. And the only way, by which the honour of a law, or of its author, can be vindicated after it has been infringed by wilful fin, is either by the repentance and reformation of the transgreffor, or by his punishment and destruction. So that God is ne cessarily obliged, in vindication of the honour of his laws and government, to punish those who presumptuously and impenitently disobey his commandments. Wherefore, if there be no distinction made by suitable rewards and punishments, between those who obey the laws of God, and those who obey them not, then God fufers the authority of his laws to be finally trampled upon and despised, without ever making any vindication of it." Which being impoffible; it will follow that these things are not really the laws of God, and that he has no such regard to them as we imagine. And the consequence of this must needs be the denial of his moral attributes ; contrary, as before, to what has been already proved. And consequently the certainty of rewards and punishments in general is necessarily established.

IV. Though, in order to establish this fuitable difference between the fruits or e fects of virtue and vice, so reasonable in itself, and so absolutely necessary for the vindication of the honour of God; the nature of things, and the constitution and order of God's creation, was originally such, that the observance of the eternal qu'es of justice, equity, and goodness, does indeed of itself tend by direct and natural consequence to make all creatures happy; and the contrary practice, to make them miferable : yet since, through some great and general corruption and depravation (whencesoever that may have arisen), the condition of men in this present state is such, that the natural order of things in this world is in event manifestly perverted, and virtue and goodness are visibly prevented in great measure from obtaining their proper and due effects in establishing men's happiness proportionable to their behaviour and practice; therefore it is absolutely impossible, that the whole view and intention, the original and the final design of God's creating such rational beings as men are, and placing them on this globe of earth as the chief and principal, or indeed (to speak more properly) the only inhabitants, for whose fake alone this part at least of the creation is manifestly fitted up and accommodated; it is absolutely impossible (I


say) that the whole of God's design in all this should be nothing more than to keep up eternally a succession of such short-lived generations of men as we at present are; and those in such a corrupt, confused, and disorderly state of things as we see the world is now in, without any due observation of the eternal rules of good and evil, without any clear and remarkable effect of the great and moft necessary difference of things, and without any final vindication of the honour and laws of God in the proportionable reward of the beft, or punishment of the worst of men. And consequently it is certain and necessary (even as certain as the moral attributes of God before demonstrated), that, inftead of the continuing an eternal fucceffion of new generations in the present form and ftate of things, there must at some time or other be such a revolution and renovation of things, such a future state of existence of the same persons, as that, by an exact distribution of rewards and punishments therein, all the prefent disorders and inequalities may be fet right; and that the whole scheme of providence, which to us who judge of it by only one small portion of it, seems now so inexplicable and confufed, may appear at its consummation to be a design worthy of infinite wisdom, justice, and goodness, I. 1 HAT, ACCORDING TO THE ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION OF


In order to establish a juft and suitable difference between the refpective fruits or effects of virtue and vice; the nature of things, and the constitution and order of God's creation, was originally fuch, that the obfervance of the eternal rules of piety, justice, equity, goodness, and temperance, does of itself plainly tend by direct and natural consequence to make all creatures happy, and the contrary practice to make them miferable. This is evident in general; because the practice of universal virtue is (in imitation of the divine goodness) the practice of that which is best in the whole ; and that which tends to the benetit of the whole muft of necessary consequence originally and in its own nature tend also to the benefit of every individual part of the creation. More particularly: a frequent and habitual contemplating the infinitely excellent perfections of the all-mighty creator and all-wise governor of the world, and our moft bountiful benefactor, so as to excite in our minds a fuite able adoration, love, and imitation of those perfections, a regular employing all our powers and faculties in such designs and to such purposes only as they were originally fitted and intended for by nature, and a due subjecting all our appetites and passions to the government of sober and modest reason, are evidently the directest means to obtain such settled peace and folid satisfaction of mind as is the first foundation and the principal and most necessary ingredient of all true happiness. The temperate and moderate enjoyment of all the good things of this present world, and of the pleasures of life, according to the measures of right reason and fimple nature, is plainly and confessedly the certainest and most direê me.


thod to preserve the health and strength of the body. And the practice of universal justice, equity, and benevolence, is manifestly (as has been before observed) as direct and adequate a means to promote the general welfare and happiness of men in society, as any physical motion or geometrical operation is to produce its natural effe&. So that if all men were truly virtuous, and practised these roles in such manner, that the miseries and calamities arising usually from the numberless follies and vices of men, were prevented; undoubtedly this great truth would evidence itself visibly in fact, and appear experimentally in the happy Itate and condition of the world. On the contrary; neglect of God, and insensibleness of our relation and duty towards him; abuse and unnatural misapplication of the powers and faculties of our minds ; inordinate appetites, and unbridled and furious passions ; necesarily fill the mind with confusion, trouble, and vexation. And intemperance naturally brings weakness, pains, and ficknesses into the body. And mutual injustice and iniquity; fraud, violence, and oppression; wars and desolations ; murders, rapine, and all kinds of cruelty; are sufficiently plain causes of the miseries and calamities of men in society. So that the original conftitution, order, and tendency of things, is evidently enough fitted and designed to establish naturally a juft and suitable difference in general between virtue and vice, by their respective fruits or effects. 2. BUT THAT NOW, IN THIS PRESENT WORLD, THE NATURAL


But though originally the constitution and order of God's creation was indeed such, that virtue and vice are by the regular tendency of things followed with natural rewards and punishments; yet in event, through fome great and general corruption and depravation (whencefoever that may have arifen, of which more hereafter), the condition of men in the present state is plainly such, that this natural order of things in the world is manifestly perverted; virtue and goodness are visibly prevented in great meature from obtaining their proper and due effect, in establishing men's happiness proportionable to their behaviour and practice ; and wickedness and vice very frequently escape the punishment which the general nature and disposition of things tends to annex unto it. Wicked men, by stupidity, inconsiderateness, and sensual pleasure, often make shift to filence the reproaches of conscience, and feel very litle of that confufion and remorse of mind, which ought naturally to be confequent upon their vitious practices. By accidental strength and robustness of conftitution, they frequently escape the natural ill consequences of intemperance and debauchery; and enjoy the same proportion of health and vigour, as those who live up to the rules of strict and unblameable fobriety. And injustice and iniquitv, fraud, violence, and cruelty, though they are always attended indeed with sufficiently calamitous consequences in the general; yet the most of those ill


consequences fall not always upon such persons in particular as have the greatest share in the guilt of the crimes, but very commonly on those that have the least. On the contrary ; virtue and piety, temperance and fobriety, faithfulness, honesty, and charity; though they have indeed both in themselves the true springs of happiness, and also the greatest probabilities of outward causes to concur in promoting their temporal prosperity ; though they cannot indeed be prevented from affording a man the highest peace aud fatisfa&tion of spirit, and many other advantages both of body and mind in respect of his own particular person ; yet in respect of those advantages which the mutual practice of social virtues ought to produce in common, it is in experience found true, that the vices of a great part of mankind do so far prevail against nature and reason, as frequently to oppress the virtue of the beft; and not only hinder them from enjoying those public benefits, which would naturally and regularly be the consequences of their virtue, but oft-times bring upon them the greatest temporal calamities, even for the fake of that very virtue. For it is but too well known, that good men are very often afflicted and impoverished, and made a prey to the covetousness and ambition of the wicked; and sometimes most cruelly and maliciously perfecuted, even upon account of their goodness itself. In all which affairs, the providence of God seems not very evidently to interpose for the protection of the righteous. And not only fo; but even in judgements also, which seem more immediately to be inflicted by the hand of heaven, it frequentiy suffers the righteous to be involved in the same calamities with the wicked, as they are mixed together in butiness and the affairs of the world. 3. THAT THEREFORE THERE MUST NEEDS BE A FUTURE

STATE OF REWARDS AND PUNISHMENTS. Which things being so (viz. that there is plainly in event no fufficient distinction made between virtue and vice; no proportionable and certain reward annexed to the one, nor punishment to the other, in this present world); and yet it being no less undeniably certain in the general, as has been before shown, that if there be a God (and that God be himself a being of infinite justice and goodness; and it be his will, that all rational creatures Thould imitate his moral perfections; and he * cannot but see and take notice how every creature behaves itself; and cannot but be accordingly pleased with such as obey his will and imitate his nature, and be dilpleased with such as aćt contrary thereto); it being certain, I say, that, if these things be fo, God muft needs, in vindication of the honour of his laws and governinent, fignify at some time or other

Ει δε μη λανθάνατον τες θιες, ο μεν είχαιΘ θ:ο Ριλής αν είη, ο εξ αδικών θεομισης.-Τώ & διοφιλεί, ίσα γι υπό θεαι γίγνεθαι, πάντα γίγνεθαι ως οιονε αριςα.-Ούτως άρει απολυπλέον τιρί το δικαία ανδρός, εάν τ' έν σελία γίγνεθαι, εάν τ' εν νόσοις, ή τινι αλλιω των δοκόντων κακών, ως τέτω ταύτα ας αγαθόν τι τιλευθήσει ζωνλι ή και αποθανόνι. Ου γαρ δή υπό γε 9εων ποτε αμελείται, ός ών προθυμίσθαι iding doxan yigvis beating rj émiadamy úspskrin sis cron euroca in curt pwow ówczola Isco Plato de Rom publ. lib. X.

this his approbation or displeasure, by making finally a suitable difference between those who obey him and those who obey him not: it follows unavoidably, either that all these notions which we frame concerning God, are false ; and that there is no providence, and God sees not, or at least has no regard to what is done by his creatures, and consequently the ground of all his own moral attributes is taken away, and even his being itself; or else that there must nee cellarily be a future state of rewards and punishments after this life, wherein all the present difficulties of providence shall be cleared up, by an exact and impartial administration of justice. But now, that these notions are true ; that there is a God and a providence, and that God is himself a being indwed with all moral perfections, and expects and commands that all his rational creatures should govern all their actions by the same rules, has been particularly and distinctly proved already. It is therefore directly demonstrated, that there muft be a future State of rewards and punishments. “Let not “ thine heart envy finners, but be thou in the fear of the Lord all “ the day long; for surely there is a reward, and thine expectation “ Thall not be cut off,” Prov. xxiii. 17, 18. 4. OF THE STOICAL OPINION CONCERNING THE SELF-SUFFI

CIENCY OF VIRTUE TO ITS OWN HAPPINESS. This argument is indeed a common one; but it is nevertheless strongly conclusive and unanswerable. So that, whoever denies a future fate of rewards and punishments, muft of neceflity, by a chain of unavoidable consequences, be forced to recur to downright Atheisin. The only middle opinion that can be invented, is that affertion of the Stoicks, that virtue is felf-sufficient to its own happiness, and a full reward to itself in all cases, even under the greatest sufferings that can befall a man for its fake. Men who were not certain of a future state (though most of them did indeed believe it highly probable), and yet would not give up the cause of virtue; had no other way left to defend it, than by allerting that it was in all cafes and under all circumstances absolutely felf-fufficient to its own happiness; whereas on the contrary, because it is manifestly not self-luficient, and yet undoubtedly the cause of virtue is not to be given up; therefore they ought from thence to have concluded the certainty of a future state. That virtue is truly worthy to be chosen, even merely for its own sake, without any respect to any recompence or reward, must indeed necessarily be acknowledged. But it does not from hence follow, that he who dies for the sake of virtue, is really any more happy than he that dies for any fond opinion or any unreasonable humour or obstinacy whatsoever ; if he has no other happiness than the bare satisfaction arising from the sense of his resoluteness in persisting to preserve his virtue, and in adhering immoveably to what he judges to be right; and there be no future state wherein he may reap any benefit of that his resolute perseverance. On the contrary, it will only follow, that God has made virtue necessarily amiable, and such as men's judgement and conscience can never but choose ; and yet that he has not annexed to it

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