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quickly recompensed with a smart if he go too deep: or, like the pleasure of drinking cold water to a man in a fever, or a dropsy, which increaseth the disease. Sin is their sickness, and corrupteth their appetites, and though it have its proper pleasure, it depriveth them of the pleasures and benefits of health.b

Sect. 16. These vices, also, so deprave men's minds, making every wicked man to be principally for himself and for his lusts, that they are commonly distracted with envy, malice, contention, persecutions, the fruits of pride, and covetousness, and sensuality; and these diseases are still troubling them, till they work their ruin where they do prevail.c

Sect. 17. The same vices set kingdoms and other commonwealths together in bloody wars, and cause men to study to destroy one another, and glory in the success; and fill the world with rapine and violence by sea and land, and make it seem as necessary to their own preservation, to kill one another, as their enemies, as to kill toads and serpents, wolves and tigers, and much more; and, with much more care, and cost, and industry is it done.

Sect. 18. If any wise and charitable persons would heal these vices, and reconcile these contentions, and persuade persons and nations to a holy, sober, peaceable course, they are commonly hated and persecuted; they seldom succeed, nor can their counsel be heard, through the multitude and fury of the vicious, whose folly and violence bear down all.d

Sect. 19. And God himself doth give the sinful world a taste of his displeasure by painful sickness, consuming plagues, famines, poverty, and many the like calamities which fall upon

mankind.e

Sect. 20. But his sorest judgments are the forsaking of men's souls, and leaving them in all this folly and disorder, this sin and misery, to destroy themselves.

bUt Scarabæi et vultures unguentis offenduntur; ita non omnibus placent optima.-Plutarch.

Vir bonus et sapiens qualem vix reperit unum.

Millibus è cunctis hominum consultus Apollo, &c.—Virgil.

Vitio nostra quæ amamus defendimus ; et malumus ea excusare quam excutere.-Sen. Ep. 117.

d Absurdum est putare eum qui ab aliquibus ex bono malus fuerit factus, eundem ab illis iterum ex malo bonum fieri posse.-Dion. Hal. 11.

* Ubi divitiæ honori sunt, et eas gloria, imperium, potentia comitantur, hebescere virtus, paupertas Probro haberi innocentia pro malevolentia duci incipit.-Salust. in Cattilin.

The principal mercies and punishments of this life are found on the souls of men themselves. The greatest present reward of obedience is, when God doth more illumine the mind, and send in more of his celestial beams, and shed abroad his love upon the heart, and fill it with the love of goodness, and delight it in himself, and confirm the will against temptations. And the greatest punishment is, when God, in displeasure for men's disobedience, doth withdraw this grace, and leave men to themselves, that they that love not his grace should be without it, and follow their foolish, self-destroying lusts.f

Sect. 21. God cannot pardon an incapable subject, nor any, but on terms consistent with the honour of his justice, laws, and government; nor is there any that can deliver a sinner from his punishment, upon any other terms whatsoever.

Sect. 22. The conclusion is, that the sin and misery of mankind in general is great and lamentable, and their recovery a work of exceeding difficulty.

Object. All this showeth, that man's nature was not made for a holy life, nor for a world to come, else their averseness to it would not be so great and common.

Answ. This is fully answered before: it is proved, that nature and reason do fully bear witness against his wickedness, and declare his obligations to a better life, and his capacity of higher things; and that all this is his rebellion against nature and reason. And it no more proveth your conclusion, than your children's or servants' averseness to obedience, peace, and labour, proveth that these are not their duty; or subjects' rebellion, proveth that they are not obliged to be loyal.g

Object. But it is incredible that God should thus far forsake his own creation.

Answ. 1. There is no disputing against the light of the sun, and the experience of all the world: it is a thing visible and undeniable, that this case they are in de facto, and, therefore, that thus far they are forsaken: it is no wisdom to say,

f Elian (var. Hist. 1. 13) saith, That Theodata, a whore, told Socrates that he could draw away none of her followers, but she could draw away his at her pleasure; and he answered, Non mirum: tu siquidem ad declivem tramitem omnes rapis; ego vero ad virtutem cogo, ad quam arduus plerisque insolitus

est ascensus.

Animi morbi sunt cupiditates immensæ, inanes divitiarum, gloriæ dominationis, libidinosarum etiam voluptatum accedunt ægritudines, molestiæ, mærores, quæ animos exedunt conficiuntque curzis.-Cic. 1. de Finib. naturalibus desideriis pauci non peccant.-Aristot. 3 Eth.

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'That is not,' which all the world seeth to be so, because we think it unmeet that it should be so. 2. Is it incredible that God doth further than this forsake the wicked in the world of punishment? If he may further forsake hell, he may thus far forsake earth, upon their great provocations. We have no certainty of it, but it is not at all unlikely that the innumerable fixed stars and planets are inhabited orbs, who have dwellers answerable to their nature and pre-eminence; and if God do totally forsake hell, as to his mercy; and, next to hell, do much forsake a sinful earth, that is likest and nearest unto hell, and do glorify his more abundant mercy upon the more holy and happy inhabitants of all, or almost all, the other orbs, what matter of discontent should this be to us? 3. But God hath not left this dark and wicked earth itself, without all remedy, as shall be further showed.

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Read Cicero's third book De Nat. Deor.,' and you will see, in Cotta's speech, that the notoriously depraved reason of man, and the prevalency and prosperity of wickedness, was the great argument of the atheists against God and providence ; which they thought unanswerable, because they looked no further than this life, and did not foresee the time of full, universal justice. And whereas Cotta saith, "That if there be a God, he should have made most men good, and prevented all the evil in the world, and not only punish man when it is done;" I shall answer that among the objections of the second tome and I before showed, how little reason men have to expect that God should make every man as good as he could make him, or make man indefectible; or to argue from man's sin against God's goodness: the free Creator, Lord, and Benefactor, may vary his creatures and benefits as he seeth meet, and may be proved good, though he make not man angelical, and though he permit his sin, and punish him for sinning.i

God only can recover lapsed man. Nemo magnus sine aliquo afflatu divino unquam fuit.-Cicero de Nat. Deor. 2. Of the paucity of the good, and the abounding of wickedness, almost all poets, orators, philosophers, and historians openly complain.

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i Pauci quos æquus amavit. Jupiter aut ardens avexit ad æthera virtus. In vitia alter alterum trudimus: quomodo ad salutem revocari potest, quem nullus retrahit, et populus impellit?-Senec. Ep. 29. Serpunt vitia et con

tactu nocent, et in proximum quemque transiliunt.—Id. de Tranq. vit.

Nam vitiis nemo sine nascitur; optimus ille

Qui minimis urgetur.-Horat. 1. Ser. 3.

Unicuique dedit vitium natura creato.-Propert.

Quid ulcus leviter tangam? Omnes mali sumus.-Senec.

Si cupis bonus fieri, primum crede quod malus sis.-Epictet. Enchri.

CHAP. XVII.

What natural Light declareth of the Mercy of God to Sinners, and of the Means and Hopes of Man's Recovery.

SECT. 1. Notwithstanding all this fore-mentioned sin, and guilt, and misery, of man, and justice of God, experience assureth all the earth, that great mercy is still continued to them, and that they have to do with a most merciful God. k

Men's lives are continued even while they sin; patience endureth them; time is vouchsafed them; food, and raiment, and friends, and habitations, and health, and ease, and liberty is given them; the sun sendeth them its moving influence, its light and heat; the earth supporteth them, and affordeth them fruit, and maintenance, and pleasure; the clouds yield them rain, the air breath, and the sea itself is not unkind and incommodious to them. Beasts, birds, and fishes, and all inferior creatures, serve them; and yet much more mercy they receive from God. 1

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Novi ego hoc seculum moribus quibus sit: malus bonum malum esse vult ut sit sui similis: turbant, miscent, mores mali, rapax, avarus, invidus, sacrum profanum, publicum privatum habent: Hiulca gens: Hæcego doleo: hæc sunt quæ excruciant; hæc dies noctesque tibi canto ut caveas.-Plaut. Nisi enim talis (mala) esset natura hominum, non anteponerent vindictam sanctitati et lucrum justitiæ, invidentes alienæ potentiæ non lædenti. Sed volunt homines vindictæ cupiditate communes leges dissolvere, &c.-Thucid. 1. 3. Sed et boni, dicetis, sunt in rebus humanis; viri sapientes, justi, inculpati――Res. Sint licet perhonesti, fuerintque laudabiles,——sed audire deposcimus, quot sint aut fuerint numero,--Unus, duo, tres,centum certe numero diffiniti.-At genus humanum non ex pauculis bonis, sed ex cæteris omnibus æstimari convenit, ponderari. In toto enim pars est, non totum in parte-Et quinam isti sunt, dicite? Philosophi credo, qui se esse solos sapientissimos autumant--Nempe illi qui cum suis quotidie cupiditatibus pugnant-Qui ne in vitia proritari facultatis possint alicujus instinctu, patrimonia et divitias fugiunt, ne causas sibi afferant lapsus. Quod cum faciunt et curant, apertissime animas esse indicant labiles, et infirmitate ad vitia proclives. Nostra autem sententia, quod bonum natura est, neque emendari neque corrige se poscit: Immo ipsum debet quid sit malum nescire, si generis forma cujusque in sua cogitat integritate perstare- -Qui luctatur animorum ingenitas corrigere pravitates, is apertissime monstrat imperfectum se esse, quamvis omni et pervicacia contendat.-Arnob. adv. Gentes, lib. 2. in Auctuar. Bib. Pat. Tom. 1. 20.

k Crede mihi miseris cælestia numina parcunt.

Næc semper læsos et sine fine premunt.-Ovid. 3. de Pont. When Piso (in Cicero) seeketh after the Summum Bonum, he proceedeth by these steps; 1. Omnem naturam esse sui conservatricem. Neminem esse qui

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Sect. 2. It is, therefore, manifest, that God dealeth not with the sinful world according to the utmost rigour of justice, nor punisheth them as much as they deserve.

For all these mercies they have forfeited, and deserved to be deprived of them.

Object. But it is no mercy, which hardeneth them in sin, and endeth in misery; it is rather a punishment, as to give cold water to a man in a fever.

Answ. If it hardened them of its own nature, and not merely by their abuse, and if it ended in misery by the designment of the giver, and the tendency of the gift, then were it, as you say, no mercy, but a plague. But it is mercy which, in its nature, and by the donor's will, hath a fitness and tendency to men's recovery, and to prevent their misery, and they are commanded and entreated accordingly to use it; and are warned of the danger of abuse.

Object. But God knoweth, when he giveth it them, that they will so abuse it.

Answ. God's fore-knowledge, or omniscience, is his perfection, and will you argue from thence against his mercy? His fore-knowledge of men's sin and misery causeth them not : What if he fore-knew them not? Were it any praise to him to be ignorant? and yet the mercy would be but the same. If you will not be reconciled to God's ways, till he cease to be omniscient, or till he prevent all the sin and misery which he fore-knoweth, you will perish in your enmity, and he will easily justify his mercy against such accusations.

Object. But God could give men so much more grace, as to prevent men's sin and misery, if he would.

Answ. True; he is not unable and so he could make every clod a tree, and every tree a beast, and every beast a man, and every man an angel, as I said before: but must he, therefore, do it?

Here note, that it is one thing to say of any punishment, ipse se oderit. 2. Neminem esse qui quomodo se habeat, nihil sua censeat interesse. 3. Hominem è corpore et animo constare, primasque animi partes esse, et secundas corporis. 4. Animum aliquid agere semper, neque ulla conditione quietem sempiternam posse pati. 5. Bona esse quæ naturæ conveniunt, eamque perficiunt. 6. Animi duo geuera esse virtutum ; 1. Naturales, viz. Docilitas, memoria, ingenium. 2. Voluntarias quæ in voluntate posita magis proprio nomine virtutes appellantur. 7. In prima Classe maxime excellens, considerationem et cognitionem cœlestium. 8. Virtutes autem voluntatis esse præstantissimas. 9. Et ita concludit, Virtutem esse maxime expetendam. This is the sum of the Lib. 5. de Finib.

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