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Divine Inferences, C.
HEN I behold the Glories of the Hea. venly Bodies, even those
of our Solar System, W
and consider the Beauty, Order, and Harmony thereof, and observe several Bodies
not visible to the naked Eye; as for Example, the Satellites of Saturn and Jupiter ; I must hence conclude these things to be the Product of infinite Wisdom and Power, and not the Effects of Inactivity and blind Chance, (of which more hereafter) but the Works of Intelligence, Foresight, and Contrivance; and of which we have sufficient Footsteps upon our own Globe to convince any reasonable Man
of, who is not biass'd by Vice. But what are these Works of our System, in comparison of those of the whole Universe, which, as far as our Sight can reach, we find interspers’d with glorious Bodies, which in all Probability do all or most of them equal the Splendor of our Sun, and for ought we know (and as ’tis reasonable to believe) have the like Uses in being serviceable to concomitant Planets, which are revolving round them, as we, the Inhabitants upon this Globe, with our neighbouring Planets, do round our Sun, the Centre of our System? These things duly look'd into, one would think should be sufficient to silence all Atheism for ever; which indeed had never had any Entertainment in the World, had not Immorality, Vice, and Wickedness first caused Men to lose their Hopes of future Rewards; and that the Fears of future Punishments might not be an Allay to their sensual Pleasures, they would thence persuade themselves that there is no future Reckoning for them. How weak and foolish these Persuasions'are, and how dismal the Consequences will be, I shall endeavour to set forth in the following Discourse; in which I shall
, as agreeable to my Purpose, make use of several Topicks, and draw proper Conclusions from them.
First, I shall prove a necessary, eternal, self-existent, and independent Being, upon
which depends the Order of Nature, and from whom all things that ARE have receiv'd their Beings throughout the universal Space, whether animate or inanimate, material or spiritual.
Secondly, I shall consider the Nature of Eternity and infinite Space.
Thirdly, I shall enquire into the Nature of the Punishment of the Wicked, and give my Opinion of the Place of their Tor
Fourthly, I shall enquire into the Nature of the Creation of our Globe the Earth, and make some Remar
upon the Deluge: In all which I shall avoid the descanting upon such things as I have found before obfervid by other Authors, except where it is neceffary, or else to make some further Improvements;
and shall make Divine Inferences from every Particular, as they fall in Course.
Fifthly, I shall prove the Goodness of God in his Dealings with his Creatures he has. given Reason and Understanding to, particularly to us, having put it in our Power to be happy for ever in a future State, and having given us to that End all imaginable Encouragements and Advantages.
Sixthly, I shall prove the Christian Oeconomy to be the only true one now in the World.
And, Lastly, I fhall recommend Religion and Virtue to every one's Choice.
Of a necesary, self-existent, inde
pendent and eternal Being.
HEN I form my Conceptions of WI
an Eternity past, I find it much easier to believe and conceive a necessary, selfexistent, independent, and eternal "Being, than to imagine any Beings produced out of the Gulf of Eternity by blind Chance; which, if allow'd of, must be a necessary Agent, which is a plain Contradiction in Terms; for that which is a necessary Agent must have a Power to act; and Chance acts not, but is consequent upon Action; therefore if any thing be acted, it must be by the Power of an Actor; or, in other Words, if any thing be made, it must have a Maker: And therefore, had there not been an infinitely wise and powerful, self-existent, independent and eternal Being, the whole universal Space must have continued in utter Darkness, without Matter or material Bodies interspers’d; such as the glorious Sun, Fixed Stars, and their concomitant Planets, with their various and numerous Inhabitants. But to go no further than our felves : That we find our selves in Being is undeniable, but how we came into Being we know not, nor
had we any Hand in procuring it, but were produced in Time; we must therefore receive our Beings from a Being that is eter
and our - Existence not being in our selves, we must therefore exist in a Being that is self-existent; and our Dependence not being upon our selves, we must therefore depend upon a Being that is independent : So that it is as absurd to deny the Being of a God, as it would be to deny our own Beings; since without a Creator, 'tis evident, there could have been no Creature. It is with very good Reason therefore that the Pfalmift calls that Man a Fool, who has said in his Heart, There is no God.
Of the Nature of Eternity and in
OW what Conceptions I can form
of this necessary Being, and his eternal Existence, is, that his Eternity is to him as Time present, or just now, is to us; for Eternity admits of no Measure or Progresfion, as Time does; for Time is itself a Creature produced out of Eternity ; so that let the Almighty begin his Creations at what