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to judge the world but himself; that if he will not judge the world, the world can never be judged. And yet, as I have already proved, the effential differences of Good and Evil neceffarily require that Man fhould be judged, that good men should be rewarded, and the wicked punithed; and if there must be a Judgment, then God who is the Sovereign Lord, and the only Judge of the world, muft judge mankind: If Judgment be neceffary, as the nature of things prove, and as the general confent and unbiafs'd reafon of mankind agree it is, if we cannot hence conclude that God will judge the world, I am fure we can never know any thing certainly of God by Reafon; for there is nothing which Reafon concludes more exprefly and pofitively than this.
2. As for the other Attributes and Perfections of the Divine Nature, fuch as Wisdom, Holiness, Goodness, Juftice, if God be the Sovereign Lord of the world, we muft confider them as the Attributes of a Sovereign; it is the Wisdom,the Holinefs, the Goodness, the Juftice of a Sovereign Lord: And therefore the properexercise of these Attributes in God, confifts in the exercife of a Sovereign Authority and Power; that is, in governing and judging mankind wifely, holily, with Goodnefs and Juftice: And this certainly proves, that God as a Sovereign Lord does govern and judge the world; for he cannot exercise his Wifdom, or Holinefs, or Goodness, or Juftice, as Sovereign, if he exercife no acts of Sovereignty: He cannot judge wifely, holily, righteously, if he do not judge at all; and therefore though he be wife, and holy, and juft, and good, yet he is not a wife, and holy, and juft, and good Sove
reign, for as Sovereign he exercifes none of thefe Attributes, if he does not judge the world, if he do not reward good men, nor punish the wicked; which the Wisdom, the Holiness, the Goodnefs of à Sovereign requires. And therefore if the Natural Notion all Mankind have of God joins his Sovereignty with his other Attributes, as it muft do, unless we can divide God from himself : that he is not only a wife, and holy, and juft, and good Being,but that he is a wife, and holy,and juft, and good Sovereign Lord of the World,we muft confefs that God does govern the world, and difplay all these Attributes and Perfections in the government of it.I might add a great deal more upon this Argument, but this is fo very plain and demonftrative, that there is no need of it. a boop 15 1 SECT. III.
The External Appearances of Providence prove a Future Judgment. I D
S the Natural Notions we have of God proves that he will judge the world; fo the external Appearances, of Providence prove that God does judge the world at prefent,and that he will judge it hereafter: For the Providence of God does very often make fuch a remarkable difference between good and bad men in this world, as is fufficient to fatisfy us that God does govern and judge mankind at prefent;and yet the prefent adminiftrations of Providence do not always make a fufficient diftinction between good and bad men in this world,good men being very often afflicted,and bad men profperous; which gives us a reafonable expectation of a more juft and righteous
Tribunal in the world to come, where Rewards and Punishments fhall be more equally difpenfed.
But to difcourfe this more particularly; I obferve,that the external Appearances of Providence, prove that God does govern and judge the world at prefent, as much as is neceffary to the ends of Government in this world: I confefs, did it appear that God took no care of the Government of the world at prefent, I fhould very much queftion whether he would judge the world hereaf ter; but when there are plain and evident proofs that a wife and juft Providence does govern the world; that God makes fuch a difference at prefent between good and bad men, as the good Government of this world requires; this is a fufficient reafon to expect a more exact, impartial, univerfal Judgment of good and bad men in the next world. To ftate this matter plainly, and to make a very fenfible Argument of it, I fhall 1. Shew you what evidence we have of a Divine Juftice and Providence which governs the world: at prefent. 2. The Force of this Confequence, from the Providence of God in this world, to a Judgment in the next.
1. What evidence we have of a Divine Juftice and Providence which governs the world; and I fhall begin,
1. With that Divine Juftice which is interwoven in the nature of things: For if God have fo contrived the nature of things, that wickednefs is a punishment to it felf; and wicked men a Plague and Scourge to each other, it is a plain demonftration, that when God made man, he intended to govern him too, fince he has annexed fuch natural Rewards or Punishments to a virtu
ous or vicious Life: I am fure this is as good an Argument for a Providence, asthe wife Contrivance of things is for God's making the World. We think it very abfurd to fay, that the World was made by chance, or without a wife Creator,when there is fuch admirable Art and Curiofity in the Make of the meaneft Creature,as the wifeft Philofophers are not able to underftand,much lefs to imitate: And if all Human Art and Philosophy cannot make a Fly,nor fo much as underftand the Make of it, how can we poffibly imagine, that fuch as this, which confifts of fuch infinite variety of Creatures, and every Creature made up of fo many Natural Wonders, and all fo admirably fitted to each other,as to make up an uniform, regular, and beautiful world, fhould own any other Author, but an Infinitely, Wife and Perfect Being, who has all Power, and all poffible Ideas of Usefulness and Beauty That is to fay, Since there are fuch apparent Characters and Impreffions of an excellentand unfearchable wifdom in the Frame of the world, a wife Being must be the Maker of it: And is it not as good an Argument, That if Human Nature be fo contrived, that Man who is a Free Agent, fhall be happy or miferable as he is good or bad, that God made him to be governed,and therefore intended to govern him; nay, did more than intend it, for he contrived his Nature fo, as to govern it felf? for tho he has made him a Free Agent, yet he has left nothing at his liberty, but whether he will be happy or miferable; the one he must be, and he may indeed chufe which he will; but there could Anot be a greater natural Reftraint upona Free Agent, than to make Happiness or Mifery the reward
ward of his Choice; efpecially fince Nature teaches all Mankind to love themselves, and to be happy if they can.
That this is fo, is fo evident to our very fenfes, that it is a good Subject to declaim on, but needs no proof: What is there that can make any man miferable in this world, which is not the natural and neceffary effect of fome fome Sin or other?
Will irregular and furious Paffions make a man miferable a confounding fhame,diftracting and terrifying Fears,raging Anger, Malice, Revenge, great Perplexity,Solicitude,Anxiety of thoughts if the pain and torment of mind is mifery, thefe Paffions muft make men miferable: Now all these are the paffions of a finful mind, Sin is the Parent and the Nurfe of them: A virtuous man, who always takes care to do his Duty, and what becomes him, knows not what fhame means; if he be flander'd, reproach'd, and vilified, he may blufh a little to be thought a bad man, but his own Conscience does not reproach him: Nothing is truly infamous, but what is wicked; and therefore Shame can never difturb an innocent and virtuous mind. Good men may be afraid of fome Temporal Evils and Calamities, but it is Sin which diftracts men with guilty Fears, which are fo unfupportable to Human Nature. Nay, when our worldly fears are exceffive and tormenting, they are raised and aggravated by fome Vice or other, either by too great a paffion and fondness for this world, or a diftruft of the Divine Providence and Protection; which is the true Caufe alfo of that Thoughtfulness, Anxiety, and Solicitude, which the love of Riches, and the. fear of lofing fuch uncertain Treasures create. A