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ji&s jl.e/vermm, adnuxuum inrt 
I &olumnu (Milhuu. nuper Cpifcopi 


O F T H E 

Principles and Duties 

O F 

Natural Religion ; 

T wo B O OK S. 


B; the Right Reverend Father in G p D, 

Late Lord Biftiop of CHESTER. 

To which is added, A Sermon preached at his 
Fumralsy hy William Lloyd y D. D. then Dean 
of Bangor^ now LordBifliop of fVarce/ler. 

-- \ 

€fje ^ixtf) CDitioit. 


Printed for R Chifivell^ in St. T^mh Chorch- 
Yard ; C. Browe, ac the We (t End of St. 
Paul's i y. Nicbolfon and J. Sfrint^ in L/V- 
tU'Britain. M DCC X, 




TH E enfuing Treatifc is 
fufHciently recommended 
to the World by the Name 
of the Author y and needs nothing 
elfe to make way for its Entertain-, 
mcnt. I fliall only therefore give 
a ihort Account of thefe Q^mains 
of that Learned and Excellent ^«r- 
/on , and of the particular Defiga 
and Intention of them. 

He was pleafed by his Lafl Witl 
to commit his Papers id my' Care, 
and out of his great FriehdflifpJ ind 
undeferved good Opimbn of me, 
to leave it wholly to my difpofal, 
whether any, or what part of them, 
iliould be made publick. This Trea-- 

- A 3 ti/e, 

Tfje freface. 

tlfcy I knew, he always defigned for 
that purpofe j and if God had been . 
^leafed to have granted him but a 
itcle longer Life , he. would have 
pi^blifiied it himfelf : And,. t|iere- 
fpfe thqugh a conndecable Part of 
it wanted his la^ Hand , yet neither 
cpul,d I be fo injurious , to deprive 
the World of it, becaufe ic was le(s 
perfe<5t than he intended it j nor 
durft \ ^e fo bold , to attenipc cq 
finifh a Tiece .dengpe4 and carried 
<^n fo far by fo great a Mafter, 

The fir ft Twelve Chapters w^c 
written out for the Prcfs in his Life- 
tifpe^ The Remainder hath been 
gathered and made up out of hi$ 
^ajf^riy as well as the Materials left 
for that purpofe , and the Skill of 
the Compikr would allow : So thar 
ic cannot be expe^ed, that the 
Worh. fliould bje of equal Strength 
and Beauty in all the Parts of it, 
plowever, fuchasicis, I hope it 

The Preface, 

may prove of confiderable ufe and 
benefit to the World , and not aU 
together unworthy of its Author^ 

The Vefi^ of it is Threefold. 

Firft^ To eftablifli the greaf J^W«- 
c'lphs of ^ligton^ the ^t'tng of God^ 
and a Future State^ by (hewing 
how firni and (olid a Foundation 
they have in the Nature and Rea- 
(bn of Mankind 5 A Work never 
more neceffary than in this degene* 
rate Age, which hath been fb mife- 
rably over-run with Sceftkifm and 

Secondly ,, To convince Men of 
the natural and indifpendble Ob- 
ligation of Moral Duties 5 thofe I 
mean, which are comprehended by 
our SaViour, under the Two General 
jfieads of the LoVe of God and of 
our Neighbour, For all the great 
Duties of ^iety and Jujiice arc 
written upon our Hearts, and every 
Man feeU a fecret ~ Obligation to 

A 4 them 

The frefaci. 

them in his own Confcience, which 
checks and reftrains him from doing 
contrary to them , and gives him 
Peace and Satisfai^ion in the pi(- 
charge qF his Duty ^ or in cafe he 
pfl^nd againi^ it, fills him with Guile 
ajid Terror. 

. And certainly it is a thing of 
v^y conOderable ufe , rightly to 
underftand the natural Obligation 
of moral Duties, and how neceiTa- 
lily they flow from the Confidera- 
tion of God and of ottr felves. For 
it is a great Miflakc, to think that 
the Obligation of them doth folely 
depend upon the Revelation of 
CJod's. Will m^ade to us. in the Holy 
Scriptures, . It is; plain that Man- 
Idbd was always under a L4Ufy even 
b^oteCod' had made any external 
aad e^ctraordinary Revelation 5 elfe, 
hpw fluU God judge the World i 
hpw fiiall: they to whom< the WorJ 
of God ■ nsyer ciwne , be ^<pitisd > 

The ^neface, 

^t, ■■ cQndetl:ifiecl; u (he. Oreat Day ? 
For wherei ^ereris. M Lup y • thetc- can '■ 
neither be OMen^rinor Tr tj-" 

It is indeed att unfpcakable Ad^ 
vantage which we who are; Chn* 
Jiians do enjoy , both in refpeft of 
the more clear and certiain Know- 
ledge of our Duty in all the Bran* 
che$ of it, and like wife in regard of 
the powerful Motives and Affidance 
which our blelTed Sayiour in his 
Go/pel offers to us , to enable and 
encourage us to the Difcharge of 
our Duty. But yet it is neverthe- 
lefs very ufeful for us -to conHder 
the primary and natural Obligation 
to ^iety and Virtue y which we cdra- 
monly call the Law of Tslature 5 this 
being every whit as much the Law 
of God, as the fReVelation of hiis 
Will in his Word ^ and cbniequent- 
ly, nothing contained in the Word 
of God) qi in any pretended (l{fVe- 

the Tnfiicel 

Ution from Htm, can be incerpretel 
CO difTolve the Obligacian ox mo' 
fal Duties plainly required by the 
Law of Nature. And if this one 
diing w^re but well confider'd, it 
would be an cfFedual Antidote a-' 
gainft the pernicious Dod^rines of 
the Jntinomians , and of all other • 
Ubertlm - Bnthufinjis whatfoever-: 
Nothing being more incredible, than 
that Divine ^Velation fliould con- 
tradiA the clear and unqueftionable 
Didates of Natural Light 5 nor any 
ihing more vain, than to fancy that 
the Grace of God does releafe Men 
from the Laws of Nature. 

This the Author of the follow- 
ittg "Difcourfis was very fenfible of, 
and wifely faw of what Confe- 
^uence it was to . eftablifli the 
irinci^es and Vuties of Religion 
upon th^ir true and natural Foun- 
dation :5 which is fo far from being 
a- Prejudice to '. Pivine ^Vflatiw , 


The Treface. 

that it prepares the ;way for it ] and 
gives it greater Advantage and Au- 
thority over the Minds of Men. 

Thirdly , To perfuade Men to 
the TraB'tce of ^ligiony and the yir^ 
tues of a good Life, by (hewing how- 
natural and dired an Influence they 
have , not only upon our future 
Bledednefs in another World, but 
even upon the Happinefs and Profpe- 
rity of this prefint Life. And fure- 
ly nothing is more likely to prevail 
with wife and coniiderate Men to 
become Religious , than to be 
throughly convinced, that i^ligion 
and Happinefs , our Duty and our 
Jnterefl , are really but one and the 
fame thing confidered under feveral 



• ( 

. > 

•^ • 

• . 1 

f • • 


- • 


^ • ^ 

,vio';iT-v/.;M.t :. 





Of the . ^afonahknefs of the PW»- 
ctples and Duties of Natural Re- 

C.H A P. L 

Concerning the feveral kinds of Evi- 
dence and Afleht. Pag. i 
C H A P. 11. 

Two Schemes of Principles^ relating to Pra* 
(Jlical things^ whether Natural orlAotzl j 
propofed in the Method ufed hy Mathema-^ 
ttcians , of Poftulata , Definitions and 
Axioms, ^ p. IX. 


Some Propofitions necejfary to le premifed 
for the removing of feveral Prejudices in 
Debates about Religion. p. xz 


Concerning the Exiftence of a Deity ; and 
th^e Arguments for it. i . Arg. From the 
Univerfai Gonfent and Agreement of 
Mankind .• And the Ohjeaions againfi 
it anfwe/d. P* 3^ 



C H A P. V. 

!• Arp ftom the Original of the World. 

C H A P, VI, 

3 . Arg. From the admirahle Contrivance of 
.Mxaural things. p. 78 

CHAR vn. 

4. Arg. From Providence, unJ the Govern- 
ment of the World: P* 8 j 

CHAP. yilL 

Concerning the Excellencies and PerfeAi- 

ons of the Divini Nature : AnJfrJl^ of 

thofe which are commonly called Incom* 

municable j namely ^ Simplicity, Unity i 

C Immenfity, 
Immutability, Infinitenefs,^ 


p 100 
C H A P. IX. 

Of the Communicable Perfections of God : 
And fir fl of thofe which relate to the Di- 
vine Underflanding, viz. Knowledge^ 
Wiidom, particular Providence, p 124 
C H A P. X. 

Of the Perfections relating to the Divine 
Will ; Goodnefs, Juftice, Faithfulnefs; 


Of the Perfe(3:ioris belonging to the Power 

and Faculties of Ading, viz. Power, 



Dominion, Diftribut ion of Future Re- 
wards and Punifliirients. P-X43 
: C H A P. XIL 

Concerning the Duties of Religion natu- 
rally fiomng from the Qonfiderationy>f the . 

[^Vi'Vine Nature an J P erf eS ions : And 
frfiy I?/ Adoration cif%d^ oxMi^. p. 176 

. OH A p; XIIL 

Of Tahh or Affiance. p. 189 

C H A p. XIV. 
0/"Love. p. lOo 

C H A P. XV. 
Of Reverence and Fear. p- xi tf 

C H A P. XVI. 
Of A(9:ive Obedience to the Laws of God. 

p. ^^7 
0/Pa(Tive Obedience; or Patience and Sul- 
niiffton to the Willof God. P* 2. 3 9 


- " — ' ■ ■' - — "- 

of the Wifdom of Pra<aifing the Du- 
ties of Natural ^^eli^ion, 

C H A P. J. 

S Hewing /» general, how Religion condu- 
ces to onr Happinefs. p. zSy 
C H A P. II. 
How it conduces to our frefent Happinefs in 



tr T^ Oztvud-muL I. A rgfe 

C H A P. nL 

C H A P. IV. 

Rii^aKS. P* 


C H A R VI. 
;■* •-» >t* r /.*' Honour jwY RtfMtjthw. p, 


r>«f Irovoni-tnaci. •^br /V m^/i to the 
ti^:bI^ .an/ regulating of our Facul 
rf«'/ .V tk< l\:ace «rf Tranquiiit 
vHir M.ovii;. p. 

c H A R vni- 

i HH^ R^CS^i^t^ H^mduKifS tm Mr H^fpimt 

C H A R IX. 

r xcx':.V*iO irr .' NrChritlian Religioi 






The Reafonablene/s of the Princi- 
pies and Duties of Natural ^li^ 

C H A P. I. 

Concerning the federal kjnds of Evi- 
dence and Aflent. 

I Intend, by God's affiftance, in this 
FirftBook, to treat concerning the 
Reafonablenefs and the Credibili- 
ty of thePrinciples of Natural Re^ 
ligion , in oppofition to that Hu- 
mour of Scepticifm and Infidelity which 
hath of late fo much abounded in the 
World, not only amongft fenfual men of 
the vulgar fort, but even amongft thole 
who pretend to a more than ordinary mca- 
fure of Wit and Learning* 


this World .• And fir fi to the ffapplnefs 
of the Outward-mad. i. In refpeSl of 
Health. P- 3 1 4 

CHAR in. 

In reffe^ of Liberty, Safety, mi Quiet 

p. JX4 
In reffeU of. our EJlates and PoffeJJions ; 
Riches. P- 31^ 

In refpell of Pleafure ; or the chearful En- 
joyment of outward BleJJings. p. 344 
In refpeSl of Honour and Reputation, p. 3 5*3 

How Religion conduces to the Happinefs of 
/J&i? Inward-man. As it tends to the per- 
fecSting ^lr^/ regulating of Our Faculties ; 
and to the Peace ^»^ Tranquility of 
our Minds. P-372r 

How Religion conduces to^mr Happinefs in. 
the next World. p. 388 

C H A P. IX. 
The Conctufion of the whole ; fhewing the 
Excellency of the Chriftian Religion, and 
the Advantages of it , hoth as to the. 
Knowledge and?x2i&XQt ofmr Puty^ a- 
hove the mere Light of Nature, p. 3 94 






The Rea(bnablene(s of the Princi- 
pies and Duties of Natural ^li^ 


Concerning the federal Iqnds of Evi- 
dence and Aflent, 

I Intend, byGod'saffiftance,in this 
Firft Book, to treat concerning the 
Reafonablenefs and the Credibili- 
ty of thePrinciples oi Natural Re^ 
ligion , in oppofition to that Hu- 
mour of Scepticifm and Infidelity which 
hath of late fo much abounded in the 
World, not only amongft fenfual men of 
the vulgar fort, but even amongft thole 
who pretend to a more than ordinary mca- 
fure of Wit and Learning* 

of the TrincipleSy 8cc. Lib. I. 

In my entrance'upon this Work, I am 
fenfible of what ill confequence it may 
be, to lay the ftrefs of a weighty caule 
Vpon weak or ohfcure Arguments, which 
inftead of conviming men, will rather 
harden and confrm them in their Er- 

And therefore I cannot but tliink my 
felf obliged in the management of this 
Argument, to ufe my utmoft caution and 
endeavour, that it may be done with fo 
much flrength and perfpicuity, as may 
be fufficient to convince any man, who 
hath but an ordinary capacity ^ and 2Si.ha^ 
neji mind; which are no other qualifica- 
tions than what are required to the Infti- 
tution of men , in all kind of Arts and 
Sciences whatfoever. 

In order to this, I judge it expedient 
to premife fomething concerning the (e- 
vevol kinds and degrees of Evidence and 
Affent^ and to lay down fome common 
Principles^ which may ferve as a founda- 
tion to the following Difcourfe. 

The feveral ways whereby men come 
to the knowledge or belief of any thing 
without immediate Revelation^ are either 
by fuch Evidence of things as is more 


( r 

Chap. 1 1 of ^Statural (^ligion. ; 

Simpl^y relating to th« 

f OutwarJ. 
Under fiandingy irifirlg either from 
Uature of the things in them- 

Teflimony of others concerning 

I them. 

MixeJy relating both to the Senfis and 

Under fianding 

1. By Senfesy I mean thofe Faculties 
whereby we are enabled to difcern and 
know fuch particular Objedts as are pre- 
fent. Thefe are either, 

I • Outwardy By which w^e can apprehend 
external OhjcQiSyZS when we fee, or hear, 
or touch any thing prefented to us. 

2. hwardy By which we can difcern in-- 
ternal Objedts, and are confcious to our 
felves, or ferifible both of the impreffions 
that are made upon our outward Senfesy 
and of the inward Motions of our Minds j 
namely, our apprehenfions, inclinations, 
and the powerof determining our felves, 
as to our own Actions ; and by which we 
can at any time be affured of what we 
think, or what we defire or purpofe. 

B % 11.^^ 

of the principles y Sec. Lib. I. 

11. By UnderflanJin^^ I mean that Fa- 
culty whereby we are enabled to appre- 
hend the objects of Knowledge, Generals 
as well as Particulars^ Ahfent things as 
well as Prefent ; and to judge of their 
truth or Falfhoo^ Good or EviL • 

That kind of Evidence may be faid to 
arife from the nature of things^ when, 
there is fuch a Congruity or Incongruity 
betwixt the Terms of a Propojition^ or the 
Deduliions of one Propofition from ano- 
ther, as doth either fatisfy the mind, or 
elfe leave it in doubt and hefitation about 

That kind of Evidence is faid to arife 
from Teftimony^ when we depend upon 
the credit and relation of others for the 
truth or falfliood of any thing. There 
being feveral things which we cannot o- 
therwife know, but as others do inform 
us of them. As namely Matters of Fail^ 
together with the account of Perfons and 
Places y^t a diflance. Which kind of E- 
vidence will be more or lefs clear, ac- 
cording to the Authority and Credit of 
the Witnels. 

Befides thefe, there is a mixed kind of 
Evidence relating both to the Senfes and 
Underflanding, depending upon our owni 
obfervation and repeated trials of the If- 



chap. I . of Natural ^li^m. J 

fues and Events of AdlionsorThings, cal- 
ied Experience. 

Thefe are the le veral kinds of Evidence 
whereby we attain to the knowledge or 
belief of things. 

The kinds of Ajfent proceeding from 
them, arc reducible to thefe two Heads. 

n. Knowledge or Certainty^ which may be 
diftinguiflied into three kinds, which I 
crave leave to call by the names of 

^ \PhyficaL . 
S. Mathematical. 
i.tfpimoftXit Trohalility. 

I. That kind of Ajfent which doth 
arife from fuch plain and clear Evidence 
as doth not admit of any reafonable caufe 
of doubting, is called Knowledge or Cer^ 

I. I call that Phyfical Certainty which 
doth depend upon the Evidence of Senfe^ 
which is the firft and higheft kind of Evi-- 
dence of which human Nature is capa- 

Nothing can be more manifeft and 
plain to me, than that I now fee fome- 
what ^hich hath the appearance of fuch 
a colour or figure, than that I have in my 

B 3 mind 

of the Trinciples^ &c. Lib. !• 

mind fuch a thought, defire, or purpofe, 
and do feel within my felf a certajwi power 
of determining my own ad:i0ns, which 
is called Liherty. 

To fay that we cannot tjtll whether we 
have Liberty , becaufe we do not under- 
ftand the manner of VoUtion^ is all one 
^s to fay , that we cannot tell whether 
we fee or hear^ becaufe we do not un- 
derftand the manner of Senfation^ 

He that would go about tb confute me 
;n any of thefe Apprehenfions,^ ought to 
bring a Medium that is better known, and 
to derive his Argument from fomewhat 
that is more evident and certain than 
thefe things are , unlefs he can think to 
overthrow and confute that which is 
more plain and certain, by that which 
is lefs plain and certain ,* which is all one 
as to go about to out-weigh a heavy bo- 
dy by fomewhat that is lighter, or to at 
tempt the proving of ten to be more than 
eleven ,• than which nothing can be more 
gbfurd- - 

X. I call that Mathematfcd Certainty, 
which doth more eminently belong tq 
Mathematical things, not intending here- 
by to exclude fuch other matters as are 
capable of the like certainty j. namely, ail 
fuch fimfle abftradted Beings, as in theif 

Chap. I. of Katural Religion. 

own natqres do lie fo open, and are fo ob- 
vious to the underftanding, that every 
man s judgment (though never fo much 
prejudiced > muft neceflariJy aflent to 
them. 'Tis not poflible for any man in 
his wits (though never fb much addid:- 
ed to Paradoxes^ to believe other wife^ but 
that the whole is greater than the part ; 
That contradi^iions cannot he both true ; 
That three and three make fix \ That four 
is more than three* 

There is fuch a kind of Connexion be- 
twixt the Terms of fome Propofitions, 
and fome Deductions are fo neccflary as 
muft unavoidably enforce our aflent; 
There being an evident neceflity that 
fome things muft be fo, or not fo, accord- 
ing as they are affirmed or denied to be , 
and that fuppofmg our faculties to be 
true, they cannot pofTibly be otherwife , 
without implying a contradidtion. 

3 . I call that Moral Certainty, which 
hath for its objecSt fuch Beings as are lefs 
fimple^ and do more depend upon mixed 
circumftances. Which though they are 
not capable of the fame l^ind of Evidence 
with the former, fo as to neceffitate 
every man's Affent, though his Judgment 
be never fo much prejudiced againft 
them J yet may they be fo plain , that 

B 4 cv^t^ 

8 Of the fprincipksy &c. Lib. f. 

every man whofe judgment is frte from 
prejudice will confent unto them. And 
though there be no natural neceflity, that 
fl^ch things mud be fo, and that they 
cannot poflibly be otherwise , without 
implying a contradidion j yet may they 
be fo certain as not to admit of any rea- 
fonable doubt concerning them. 

Under each of thefe Heads there are. 
feveral Propofitions, which may be ftiled 
Self-eviJent^ zndi Jirjl Principles* 

Self-evident ^ Bccaule they are of them- 
felves fo plain , as not to be Capable of 
proof from any thing that is clearer or 
more known. 

Firji Principlesy Becaufe they cannot 
be proved a priori ; That which is firfl: 
can have nothing before it. 

Only they may receive fome kind of 
Illuftration by Infiances and Circuwjlaficesy 
and by fuch univerfal effe^'s as do proceed 
from them ; and from the monftrous 
Ahfurdities that will follow upon the de^ 
nial of them. 

Such Detlu^icns as do neceflarily flow 
from thefe Principles, have the fame kind 
of Certainty, whether Phyfical^Mathema- 
tifal, or Moral J with the Principles them- 
felves from which they are deduced. 

The two firfl: of thefe, ijajnely, Physical 
-^ and 

Chap. 1. of Kat4iral%digton. 

and Mathematical Certainty may be ftiled 
InfaSihle ; aqd Moral Certainty may prO: 
perly be ftiled Induhitahle. 

By Infallible Certainty^ I do not nieafl 
alfolute Infallibility, becaufe that is an 
Incommunicable Attribute. And it were 
no lefs than a blafphemous arrogance, 
for any man to pretend to fuch a perfed; 
unerring judgment on which the Divine 
power it ,k\i could not impofe. But I 
mean a Conditional Infallibility^ that 
which fuppofes bur faculties to be true, 
and that we do not negle(3: the exerting 
of them. And upon fuch a Suppofition 
there is a necelTity that fome things muft 
be fo as we apprehend them, and that 
they cannot poflibly be otherwife. 

By Indubitable Certainty y I mean that 
which doth not admit of any reafonable 
caufe of doubting, which is the only cer- 
tainty of which moft things are capable j 
and this may properly be afcribed both 
to that kind of Evidence arifing from the 
Nature of things , and likewifc to that 
which doth arife from Tefiimonyy or from 

I am from the nature of the things 
themfelves Morally certain, and cannot 
make any doubt of it, but that a Mind 
free from paffion and prejudice^ is more fit, 


I o of the principles ^ 8cc. Lib. I. 

to pafs a true judgment ^ than fuch a one as 
is hiajfedhy affe^ions and inter efis. Yhat 
there are fuch things as Virtue and Vice. 
That Mankind is natural!) defigned for a 
fociahle life. That it is mofi agreeable to 
reafon and the common inter efts of thofe in 
Society^ that they Jhould he true to their 
Compass ^ that they Jhould not hurt an in-- 
nocent perfon^ &c. ' 

And as for the evidence from Tefiimony 
which depends upon the credit and au- 
thority of the Witnefles, thefe may be fo 
qualified as to their ability and fidelity^ 
that a man muft be a fantaftical incredu- 
lous fool to make any doubt of them. 
And by this it is that I am fuiBcIently 
aflured, That there was fuch a perfon as 
Queen Elizabeth j That there is fuch a 
place as Spain. 

And fo for the Evidence of BxperiencCy 
I am by that to a great degree afliired of 
the fucceflion of Night and Day, Winter 
and Summer; and have no fuch reafon to 
doubt, whether jthe houfe wherein now 
I am, (hall this next minute fall upon me, 
or the earth open and fwallow it up , as 
to be in continual fear of fuch accidents* 

II. That kind of AfTent which doth a- 
rife froni fuch evidence as is lefs plain and 


Chap. I . of Natural (IJe/igion. 1 1 

clear, is called Opinion and Prolahility. 
When "though the proofs for a thing may 
preponderate any thing to be faid againft 
it, yet they are not fo weighty and per- 
ipicuous as to excludis all reafonable doubt 
and fear of the contrary. 

And this doth arife from a moreim- 
perfed: and obfcure reprefentation and 
conception of things, either by our Sen- 
fes or Underftandings, by Teftimony or 
by Experience. 

When the Evidence on each fide doth 
equiponderate, this doth not properly 
beget any Aflent, but rather a Hefitation^ 
OX fufpenfion of Affent. 



I z of the Tmciples, dec. Lib. I. 


Two Schemes of ^r'mciftles relating to 
Pra(Slical Things^ whether Natu- 
ral or Moral, propofed in the Me-- 
thod ufed by Muthematicians of 
Poftulata, Definitions, and Axi- 


Aving premifed thefe things in ge- 
neral concerning feveral kinds of 
Vii.Dr.H. Evidences and Aflents; I ihall in the next 
^rg. place offer fome particular Schemes of 
Principles relating to Pradical things, 
whether Natural 6r Moral, in the fame 
way and method as is ufed in the Mathe- 
maticks, confiding of Poflulata^ Defini^ 
tions and Axioms. 

A Scheme of Natural Principles. 


Every thing is endowed with fuch a na- 
^^^ tural Principle^ wherehy it is necejfarily 
inclined to promote its own frefervation and 

That which hath in it a fitnefs to pro-- 


chap. 2. of Natural ^ligton. i ; 

mote this endy is called Good. And en ^fi"- '^ 
the contrary^ that which is apt to hinder it^ 
is called Evil. Amongft which there are 
feveral At^ttts^ according as things have 
tnoreorlefsfitnefsy to promote or hinder 
this end. 

The lejjening orefcaping of Evil is to he Dcfin.2» 
reckoned under the Motion of Good. 

The lejfening or lofs of Good is to be 
reckoned under the Uotion of EviJ. 

That which is Good is to be chofen and f^^^^ \ 
profecutedy that which is Evil to be avoi- 

The greater Good is to be preferred before 2.' 
the lefsj and the lejfer Evil to be endured 
rather than the greater. 

Such kinds of things or events ^ whether VJ 
Good or Evily as will certainly come to pafs^ 
may fall under computation^ and be efiima- 
ted as to their feveral degrees y as well as 
things prefent. Becaule jvhen fuch a 
fpace of time is elapfed, that which \s 
nowfuiurey will become prefent. Which 
is the ground of men's dealing for Re-- 

And thus likewife is it for fuck things ^ 
as may probably come topafs j Though this 
probability ftiould be lomewhat remote, 
it is counted a valuable thing, and may 
beeitimated at a certain rate^ for a man 


1 4 Of the Principles ^ 6cc. Lib. t. 

to be one artiongft four or five equal 
Competitors for a place, to be the fourth 
or fifth Expediant of an Inheritance j 
tho' in fuch Cafes there be the odds of 
Three or Four to One, yet the price 
that is^fet upon this, may be fo propor- 
tioned, as either to reduce it to an equa- 
lity, or make it a very advantageous 

^. A prefent Good may reafonally he par- 
ted with J upon a prohalle expeSlation of a 
future Good which is more excellent. "Which, 
is the cafe of Merchants, who have large 
Eftates in their own pofTeflion, which 
they may fafely keep by them ; and yet 
chufe to venture them upon a thoufand 
r hazards, out of an apprehenfion that 
there is a greater probability of their 
gaining, than of their lofing by fuch Ad- 

And this would be much more reafon- 
able, if befides the probability of gain- 
ing by thefe Adventures, there were the 
like probabiUty of their being utterly un- 
done and ruined, if they fliould negledt 
or refufe to venture. 

The greater the advantage is, the more 
reafonable muft; it be to adventure for it. 
If it be reafonable for a man to run 
the venture of twenty pounds for the 


chap. 2. of Natural (^U^ion. . i y 

gain of a hundred pounds^ much more 
lor a thoufand. 

The reafon why men are moved to 
believe a probability of gain by adventu- 
ring their Stocks into fuch foreignCoun- 
tries as they have never feen, and of 
which they have made no trial, is from 
the Teftimony of other credible Perfons, 
who profeft to have known thofe places, 
and the Advantages of Traffick thither 
by their own Experience. And this 
is generally accounted a fufficient Argu- 
ment to perfuade others unto the like 

The reafon which moved men to ad- 
venture for the firft difcovery of unknown 
Countries, isy^ becaufethey had fair pro- 
babilities to perfuade them, that there 
were fuch places, which would probably 
afford very gainful Traffick 

And upon the fame ground, if any 
confiderable number of men, fuch whom 
we efteem the mod wife and the moft 
honeft, fliould afTure us, that they did 
firmly believe (though they did not 
know it by experience) that there was 
lljch an undifcoverd Country^ to which 
if men would make any Ventures, their 
Gains would be a thoufand times more 
than could be expelled by any other 


\6 Of the IPrincipleSy Sec. Lib. f. 

way of Traffickj and that upo^n thisper- 
fuafion, they themfelves did refolve to 
venture their Eftates, and (hould withal 
offer fuch Arguments for the reafonabkL- 
nefs of what they aflert, as to any men, 
whofe Judgments were unprejudiced , 
would render it much more probable thaa 
the contrary : In this Cafe, he that would 
z6t rationally, according to fuch Rules 
and F^rinciples as all mankind do obferve 
in the government of their A(5lions,mufl: 
be perfuaded to do the like, unlefs he 
would be counted foolifli , and one that 
did affedl Singularity. 

6. A prefent Evil is to he endured for the 
avoiding of a prolahle future Evil^ which is 
far greater. Which is the reafbn of mens 
undergoing the mifchiefs and hardftiips of 
War, the charges and vexations of Law- 
fuirs, the trouble of Fading and Phyfick, 
A man will endure the pain of Hunger 
anc^Thirft, and refufe fuch Meats and 
Drinks as arc mod grateful to his Appe- 
tite, if he be perfuaded that they will 
endanger hishealth,efpecially if he believe 
that they are poifoned. He will chufe to 
take naufeous offenfive Phyfick, upon a 
probable expedation that he may there- 
by prevent or cure a dangerous* Sicknefs. 


Ch4pv 2. of Natural ^ligion, xy 

The greater the Evil isy the more reafon 7. 
is there to venture the lofs of a lefs 600 J^ 
or thefuffering of a lefs EviX for the ef^ 
coping of it. 

J Scheme of Moral Principles. 



There are feveral /f/^^^/j of Creatures in ^f^"^ 
the world, and fevGYzl degrees of dignity 
amongft them, fome being more excel- 
lent than others, Animate more than In- 
animate^ Senfitives more than Vegetives^ 
and Men more than Brutes. It is a great- 
er prehenunence to have ///e, than to be 
without it J to have life and fenfey than 
to have life only ; to have ///(?, fenfe^ 
and re^fon^ than to have only life and 

That which doth conftitute any thing Dcfin. ti 
in its being, and diftinguiih it from all 
other things, is called the Form or Ejjence 
of fuch a thing. 

That (late or condition by which the j^^^ ^; 
nature of any thing is advanced to the 
utmoft perfed:ion of which it is capa- 
ble according tio its rank and kind, is 
called the chief end ox happinefs of fuch 
a thing. 

The nature of Plants doth confift in 

C havia^ 

1 8 Of the frinciplesy Sec, Lib. I. 

having a Vegetative Soul, by whicH they 
receive nourifhmentand growth, and are 
enabled to multiply their kind. 

The utmoft perfection which this kind 
of Being is capable of, is to grow up to 
a flate of Maturity, to continue unto its 
natural period , and to propagate its 

The frature of Brutes (befides what is 
common to them with Plants) doth 
confift in having fuch fdculties, where- 
by they are capable of apprehending ex- 
ternal obje'ds, and of receiving pain or 
plealure fronrt them. 

The perfellion proper to thefe doth 
confift in fenfitive pleafures,orthe enjoy- 
ing of fuch things as aire grdtefulto theiip 
appetites and fehfes. 

The nature of Man ( befides what is 
common to him with tldnts and Brutes) 
doth confift in that faculty of Reafoo', 
whereby he is made capable of Religi- 
on, of apprehending a Deity, and of ex- 
. ipedirig a future ftate of rewards and pu- 
iiifliments. Which are capacitiies com- 
mon to all mankind, notwithftariding tlie 
utmoft endeavours that can be ufed for 
the fupprefling of them ; and which no 
other Creature in this vifible world, ex- 
cept Man, doth partake of. 


chap. 2. of Natural ^ligmu ip 

The happinefs of man doth confift in 
the perfeAing of this faculty ; that is, 
in fuch a ftate or condition as is moft 
agreeable to reafon, and as may entitle 
him to the divine favour, and afford him 
the beft aflurance of a blefled eftate after 
this life. 

That which every man doth and muft 
propofe unto himfelf, is the being in as 
good a condition as he is capable of, or 
as is reafbnable for him to exped. And 
the dcfire of this is not properly a duty 
GT a moral virtue^ about which men have 
a liberty of Ading, but 'tis a natural prin- 
cipky like the defcent of heavy bodies, 
it flows neccflarily from the very frame 
of our natures J men muft do fo, nor 
can they do otherwife. 

The Cuftomary Anions of men, con- o^g^^ 
fidered as Folunthryy and as capahh of 
Keward or Punijpment , are ftiled Mo- 

As that which hath a fitnefs to pro- Dcfin.4. 
mote the Welfare of man con fidered as a 
fenfitiye Being, is ftiled natural Good ; 
fo that which hath a fitnefs to promote 
the Welfare of man as a Rational^volunta- 
ry and free 'Agent , is ftiled Moral 
Good. And the contrary to it Moral £- 

C z TVv^t 

2 o ^ ' Of the Principles y &cc. Lib. L 

Axiom I. xhat which is morally good is to be 
Jejired and profecuted, that which is 
Evil is to be avoided. 
Axiom 2. The greater contruity, or incongruity 
there is in any thing to the reafon of 
Mankind, and the greater tendency it 
hath, to promote or hinder thQ perfedtiion 
of man's nature, fo much greater degrees 
hath it of moral Good or Evil. To 
which we ought to proportion our Ineli-^ 
nation or Averjion. 

There is in fome things fuch a natural 
decency and fitnefs, as doth render them 
moft agreeable to our reafon, and will be 
fufficient to recommend them to our 
pradice,* abftradring from all confidera- 
tions of Reward, As in loving thofe 
who are kind to us, and from whom we 
receive benefit : In compenfating Good 
with Good, and not with Evil. 

It is moft fuitable both to the Reafon 
and Intereft of mankind, that every one 
fliould fubmit themfeives to hioi, upon 
whom they depend for their Well-being, 
by doing fuch things as may render them 
acceptable to him. 

It is a defirable thing for a man to 
have the affiftance of others in his need 
and diftrefs. And 'tis not reafonable for 
him to expe<% this from others, unlei^ 


chap. 2. of Natural ^ligm. ii 

he himfelf be willing to ftiew it to others. 

The rational nature and the Perfect- Ax. 3. 
on belonging to it being more noble than 
the Senfitive^ Therefore Moral Good is 
to be preferred before Natural ; and that 
which is Morally Evil is more to be ha- 
ted and avoided, than that which is Na- 

' A prefent natural Good may be parted Ax. 4. 
with upon a probable expectation of a /w-^ 
ture Moral good. 

A prefent Natural Evil is to be endu- Ax. j; 
red for the probable avoiding of ^ future 
Moral EviL 

C3 chap;) 

2 2 Of the fmci^lesy 8lc. Lib. L 

C H A P. in. 

Some Tropofitionsfiecejfary to be pre^ 
mifed for the remoVtng of feveral 
Prejudices in debates about 5^i?- 


Efides what hath been already fu^- 
gefted concerning the firft foundati- 
tions to be laid, in order to a Difcourfe 
about Natural Religion, I (hall in the 
next place offer to confideration thefe 
feven following Propofitions, as being 
very proper to prevent or obviate the 
Cavils ot Sceptical captious men. 
j^ I. Such things as in themf elves are e- 

qually true and certain^ way not yet he capa- 
f?le of the fame kind or degree of Evidence 
as to us. As for inftance, That there was 
fuch a man as King Henry the Eighth^ 
that there are fuch places as America, or 
China. I fay thefe things may in them- 
felves be equally true and certain with 
thofe other matters, That we now fee 
and are awake , That the three Angles 
in a Triangle are e^ual to two right ones* 

Though for the firft of thefe we have 


Chap. J. 0/ Nat4iral ^eli^ion. 2 J 

only the teftimony of others, and human 
tradition : whereas for the other we have 
fenfrtive proof , and Mathematical de- 
monftration. And the reafon isbecaufe 
all Truths are in themfelves equal, ac- 
cording to that ordinary Maxim, Feritas 
ncn recipit magis ^ minus. And there- 
fore nothing can be more irrational than 
for a man to doubt of, or deny the truth 
of any thing, becaufeit cannot be made 
out by fuch kind of proofs of which the 
nature of fuch a thing is not capable. A 
man may as well deny there is any fuch 
thing as Light or Colour^ becaufe he can- 
not hear it ; ox founds becaufe he cannot 
fee it, as to deny the truth of other things 
becaufe they cannot be made out by fen- 
fitive or demonftrative proofs. The kinds 
of Probation for feveral things being as 
much difproportioned, as the objedJ^s of 
the feveral fenfes are to one another, 

X. Things of feveral kinds may admit 
andrequire feveral forts of proofs^ all which ^^^aj^^ 
may ie good in their kind. The Philofo- EthJib.i. 
pher hath long ago told us, that accord- SIP- '^-^ 
ing to the divers nature of things, fo iiki*^ca*p. 
muft the Evidences for them be ; and that uit- 
'tis an argument of an undifcipliried wit 
not to acknowledge this. He that is rati- 
onal and judicious will expert: no other 

C 4 kind 

^4 Of thefPrirtclbks, 8cc, Lib. I. 

kind of Arguments in any cafe than the 
fubjed:-matter will bear, flow incongru- 
ous would it be for a Mathematician to 
^ perfuade with eloquence, to ufe all inia*- 
ginable infmuations and intreaties that he 
V might prevail with his hearers to believe 

that three and three make fix ? It would 
be altogether as vain and improper in' 
matters belonging to an Orator to pre- 
tend to ftrid Demonftration. All things 
are not capable of the (ame kiqd of Evi- 
dence. Though the Conclufions in Ma^ 
ihewaticksy by reafon of the atfira^led 
nature of thofe Sciences^ may be demon- 
flrated by the cleared and mofl: unquefti- 
^ onable way of Probation to our reafon, 
yet it is not rational to exped: the like 
proof, in fuch other matters as are not of 
thehke nature. This he himfelf applies 
to Moral things, which being not of fuch 
fimpJe ahfira^ed n^XMKS , but depending 
upon w/Ar(?^/ circumftances, are riot there- 
fore capable of fuch kind of Demonftra- 
tive proofs.- 'Tis a Saying of Jamhlkus^ 
Jn Sym^*^ That demonftrations are not to be expe- 
boi- ^$. (a:ed in matters concerning God and di- 
vine things. Nor is this any greater pre- 
judice to the certainty of fuch things, 
than it is that God is invifible. And thus 
fijvewife itis^forthe fame reafon, with ma- 

Chap. J. of Natural (Religion. 2 5 

ny. particular conclufions in Natural Phito^ 
fophy. And as for matters cf Fa^yConccm- 
ing Times, Places, Ferfons, Adions, 
which depend upon ftory and the rela- 
tion of others, thefe things are not ca- 
pable of being proved by luch fcientifi- 
cal Principles as the others are. Now no 
fober Man can deny but that feveral 
things in Moral and in Natural Philofophy 
are in themfel ves, as abfbluteJy and as cer- 
tainly true, and as firmly believ'd by us, 
as any Mathematical principle or conclu- 
fion can be. From whence I infer this, 
That it is not, ought not to be, any preju- 
dice to theTruth orCertainty of any thing, 
that it is not to be made out by fuch kind 
of proofs , of which tht nature of that 
thing is not capable, provided it be capa- 
ble of (atisfacStory proofs of another kiqd. 

3. When a thing is capable of good proof ^^ 
in any kind^ men ought to reji fatisfyd in 
the left evidence for it^ which that kind of 
things will bear , and beyond which better 
could not be expeBed^fuppofing it were true. 
They ought not to exped: either fenfible 
proof, or demonftration for fuch mat- 
ters as are not capable of fuch proofs, 
fuppofing them to be true.Becaufe other- 
wife nothing muft be aflented to and be- 

Jieve4 but; that which bath the highefl: 


2 6 of the Principles J 8cc. Lib* I. 

Evidence : All other things being to be 
looked upon, as uncertain and doubtful, 
and wholly excluded from all poflibility 
of being known. And at this rate, men 
muft believe nothing at all in ftory, be- 
caufe fuch things cannbt be demonftra- 
ted ; and 'tis poflible that the reft of Man- 
kind might have combined together to 
impofe upon them by thefe relations. 
And how abhorrent fuch Sceptical Prin- 
ciples muft needs be to common reafon, 
I need not lay. Thofe who will pretend 
fuch kind of grounds for their disbelief 
of any thing, will never be able to per- 
fuade others, that the true caufe why 
they do not give their Affent, is becaufe 
they have no reafon for it, but becaufe 
they have no mind to it. Nolle in caufa 
eft^ non pojfe prcetenditur. . 

And on the other fide, when we have 
for the proof of any thing, fome of the 
higheft kinds of Evidence^ in this^ cafe it 
is not the fuggeftion of a mere poffibili- 
ty, that the thing may be otherwife, that 
ought to be any fufiicient caufe of doubt- 

To which I fliall only add , that we 
may b6 unqueftionably fure of many 
things as to their exifience , and yet we 
may not be able to explain the nature 


chap. 5. of Natural <^ligm. 27 

of them. No man in his wits can make 
any doubt, whether there be fuch things 
as Motion, and Senfation, and Continu- 
ity of Bodies : And yet thcfe things arc 
commonly efteemed inexplicable. So 
that our not being able to fee to the 
bottom of things, and to give a diftinc9: 
account of the ttature and manner of 
them, can be no fujffident caufe to doubt 
of their leing. 

4. The mind of man may and muft give 4* 
a firm affent to fome things , without any 
kind of hefitation or doubt of the contrary j 
where yet the Evidences for fuch things 
are not fo infallible^ but that there is a pof 
fibility , that the things may he otherwife. 
Qi.e.) There may be an indubitable cer- 
tainty, where there is not an infallible 
certainty. And that kind of certainty 
which doth not admit of any doubt, may 
ferve us as well to all intents and purpo- 
fes, as that which Is infiillible. A man may 
niake no doubt, whether he himfelf were 
baptized, whether fuch perfons were his 
parents, of which yet he can have no o- 
ther Evidence than Tradition, and the 
Teftimony of others. Who is there fo 
wildly Sceptical as to queftion, whether 
the Sun (hall rife in the Eaft, and not irt 
the North or Weft, or whether it Ihall 


2 8 of the Principles y &c. Lib. L 

rifeat all i Becaufe the contrary is not im- 
poflible, ajid doth not imply any Contra- 
didion ? Stippofe that in digging of the 
Earth amongft fome ancient ruins, a man 
ihould find a round flat piece of Metal y 
in the exadt fhape of an old Medal, with 
the Image and Infcription of one of the 
Roman Emperors. Or fuppofe he fhould 
dig up a large (lone, of the fhape of an 
. / ancient Tomb-ftone , with a diftind In- 
fcription upon it, of the name and quali- 
ty of fome perfori faid to be buried un- 
der it. Can any rational man doubt, whe- 
ther one of thefe were not a piece of 
Coyn, and the other a Grave-ftone ? or 
ihould a man be bound to (iifpend his af- 
fent and belief of this, barely upon this 
ground, becaufe 'tis poffible that thefe 
might have been the mutual fliapes of thjtt 
particular Metal and Stone, and that 
thofe which feem to be letters or figures 
engraven or embofled upon it, may be 
nothing elfe but fome cafual dents or ca-- 
vities, which by the various motions and 
temper of the matter did happen to 
them, amongft thofe many millions of 
other figures which they were capable 
of ? Who would not think fuch a man to 
be flrangely wild, and irrational, who 
could frame to himfelf any real fcruples 


Chap. g« if Natural ^Ugtm. * 29 

from fuch Confiderations as thefe i Why, 
'tis the fame kind of abfurd dotage that 
Scepticks in Religion are guilty of, in 
fufpendiog thejr ^nt merely upon this 
ground 9 becauie fbme Arguments for it 
do not (b infallibly conclude, but that 
there is a poflibility things may be other- 
wife. He that will raife to himfelf, and 
cherifh in his mind, any real doubts, ac- 
cording to the mere poflibility of things, 
ihall not be able to determine himfelf ta 
the belief or prad:ice of any thing. He 
muft not flay within doors, for fear the 
houfe fhould fall upoa him, for that is 
poflible .* Nor muft he go out, left the 
next man that meets him fhould kill him, 
for that alfo is poflible. And fb fliuft it 
be for his doing or forbearing any other 
action. Nay I add farther, that man is 
furc to be deceived in very many things, 
who will doubt of every thing , where 
'tis pofTible he may be deceived. 

I appeal to the common judgment of 
Mankind, whether the h.uman nature 
be not fo framed, as to acquiefce in fuch 
a Moral Certainty ^ as the nature of things 
is capable of; and if it were otherwile, 
whether that reafoa which belongs to 
us, would not prove a burthen and a tor- 
ment to us, rather than a privilege, by 


30 Of the ^rincipks^y 8ccl Lib. I. 

keeping us in a continual fufpenfe , and 
thereby rendring our conditions perpe- 
tually reftlefs arid unquiet ? Would not 
fuch men be generally accounted out of 
their Wits, who could pleafe themfelves, 
by entertaining a^ual hopes of any thing, 
merely upon account of the poflibility of 
it J or torment themfelves with a^ual 
fears^ of all liich evils as are poffible ? Is 
there any thing imaginable more wild 
and extravagant amongft thofe in Bed- 
lam, than this would be ? Why, Douit is 
a kind of fear^ and is commonly ftiled 
formido oppojiti ; and 'tis the fame kind 
of madnefs for a man to douht of any 
thing, as to hope for ^ or fear it, upon a 
mere polTibility. 
5. 5. '7/t fufficient that matters of Faith 

and Religion he propounded in fuch a way^ 
as to render them highly credible y fo as an 
hontfl and teachable man may willingly 
' and fafely affent to them^ and according to 
the rides of Prudence be jufiifed info doing. 
Nor is it either necejfary or convenient , 
that they Ihould be eltablijOhed by fuch 
cogent Evidence, as to neceffitate af- 
fent. Becaule this would not leave a- 
ny place for the virtue of Believing , or 
the freedom of our obedience ; nor 
any ground for Reward and Punifh- 


Chap. 3 . of Natural ^ligion. 31 

ment It would not be thank-worthy 
for a man to believe that which of ne- 
ceflity he muft believe, and cannot o- 
therwife chufe. 

Rewards and Puniftiments do proper- 
ly belong to free Anions, fuch as are 
under a man's ^ower either to do or for- 
bear ; not to fuch as are necejfary. There 
is no more reafon to reward a man for 
believing that four is more than three, 
than for being hungry or fleepy j Becaufe 
thefe things do not proceed from cboicej 
but from natural neceffity. A man muft 
do fo, nor can he do otherwife. 

1 do not fay, that the Principles of 
Religion are merely prolahle^ I have be- 
fore averted them to be Morally certain. 
And that to a man who is careful to pre- 
ferve his mind free from prejudice , and 
to canjider , they will appear unquefiiona- 
lUy and the deduSlions from them demon- 
jlrahle : But now becaufe that which is 
necedary to beget this certainty in the 
mind, namely, impartial Confideration^ is 
in a man's power, therefore the helief or 
disheliefoH thefe things is a proper fubjeft 
for Rewards and Pmtfhments. 

There would be little reafon for the 
Scripture fo much to magnifie the Grace of 
Faith ^ as being fo greit a virtue and fo ac- 


31 Of the Principles] 8cc, Lib. L 

ceptable to God,if every one were necefln 
tated to it,whether he would or no. And 
therefore God is pleafed to jpropbfe thefe 
matters of belief to us in fuch a way, as 
that we might give fomeTeftimony of our 
teachable difpofitions, and of our obedi- 
ence by our aflent to them. Ut fermo £- 
G A '^^^^f^^^ tanquam lapis eJfetLyJius^ a J quern 
Verit, ingenia fanahilia explorarentur ^ as the 
lib. 2. learned Grotius (peaks concerning the 
Dodrine of the Gofpel, whereby God was 
pleafed as with a Touch-ftone to prove 
and try what kind of tempers men are of, 
whether they are fo ingenious as to accept 
of fufficient Evidence,in the confirmation 
of a hoIyPocStrine. And theScripture doth 
in feveral places make ufe of the word 
Faith , according to this notion of it, as it 
tronfifts in 4 readinefs of mind to clofe with 
and give aflent unto things upon fuch evi- 
dence as is in it felf fufficient. To which 
purpofe IS that expreffion of our Saviour 
to Thomas^Blejfed are they that have not feen 
and yet have believe d^ J oh. 20. 29. Signi-, 
fy ing it to be a more excellent commenda- 
ble and blefled thing for a man to yield his 
aflent, upon fuch evidence as is in it felf 
fuflicient,without infilling upon more ; It 
denotes good inclinations in men towards 
Religion, and that they have worthy 


Chap. ^. of Katural Religion. '""'" ' 3 J 

thoughts of the divine power and good- 
neft, when they are willing to fubmit 
unto fuch arguments id the confirmation 
of a holy dodrine , as to unprejudiced - 
perfons are in themfelves fufficient to in- 
duce belief. It was this difpofition that was 
commended in the jB^re4» J, for which they Aft. 17. 
are ftiled ivy^vigtfot^ more ingenious,teach- ^ '' 
able and candid, more nohle than others, 
Becaufe they received the voord with all rea^ 
dinefs of mind. (i. e.^ Were ready and wil- 
ling to aflent to the Gofpel , upon fuch 
evidence as was in it felf fufficient to con- 
vince reafonable and unprejudiced Men. 
Arid on the other fide, it was the want 
of this difpofition which is condemned. 
Mat. i^. 58. where 'tis faid that our 
Saviour did not many mighty works in his 
own Countrey^ lecaufe of their .unbelief : 
^i. ^.) That prejudice which there was 
upon them , by their knowledge of his 
mean parentage and birth, and their 
ignorance of his divine commiflion and 
high calling, did indifpofe them for an 
equal judgment of things, and render 
them unteachable. And having tried 
this by Aoingfome mighty works amongft 
them, he would not do many^ becaufe of 
their incapacity of receiving benefit by 

D Wicked 

34 Of the f r maples y &c. Lib. L 

Wicked men are in the Scripture-phrafe 
EjA- z. 1, jiiigd ^^qJ ct7roi»eicxjc,/ilii infuafihilitatis'.MTi- 

Col. 3. 6. perfuadable raen^ fuch as no reafon can 
2 Ther 3. convince. And elfewhere they are ftyled 
a. *7D7ro/. ^^^Qj ^ which we tranflate unreafonabic 
men. But the word may fignifie abfkrd, 
contumacious perfons, who are not to be 
fixed by any Principles, whom no topich 
can work upon, being dire(3:ly oppofiteto 
this virtue of Faith, as appears by the 
next claufe, For all men have not Faith. 

Suppofing Mankind to be endowed ("as 
all other things are) with a natural princi- 
ple, whereby they are ftrongly inclined ta 
feek their own prefervation and happi- 
nefs; and fuppofing them to be rational 
and />^^Creatures able to }u^gt of, and to 
chufe the means conducing to this end:no^ 
thing can be more reafonable in this ca(e» 
than that fuch Creatures fliould be under 
the obligation of accepting fuch evidence, 
as in it felf is fufficient for their convid"ion. 
6. 6. When there is no fuch evident <ertain^ 

ty^ as to take away all kind of doubting j in 
fuch cafes J a judgment that is equal and inp- 
partial mufi incline to the greater proiabili- 
ties. That is no juft balance, wherein the 
heavieft fide will not preponderate. In alt 
the ordinary affairs of Iife,men ufe to guide 
their adionsby this rule,namely,to incline 


chap, J. of Natural (I(eligm. 35 

to that which is mod: probable and like- 
ly, when they cannot attain to any clear 
unqueftionable certainty. And that man 
would be generally counted a fool who 
fliould do otherwife. Now let it be fup- 
po(ed , that fome of the great Principles 
in Religion, (hould not feem to fome men 
altogether fo evident as to be wholly un- 
queftionable,yet ought their aflent ftill to 
incline to the greater probability. 

When it is faid to be a duty for men to 
believe anything, or to acquiefce in fuch 
kind of Evidence as is fufficient for the 
proof of it : The meaning is not,as if there 
were any moral obligation upon the Uit- 
€ierflandiffg^whkh is proper only unto the 
fViS ; but the meaning is, that men fliould 
be careful to preferve their minds free 
from any wilful prejudice and partiality, 
that they (hould lerioufly attend to, and 
confider the Evidence propofed to them, 
fo as to take a juft eftimate of it. For 
though it be true, that the judgments of 
imen^rauft by a natural neceffity, prepon- 
derate on that fide where the greateftEvi- . 
dence liesj fuppofing the mind to be e- ^ 
qually difpofed, and the balance to be 
juft } yet muft it withal be granted to be 
a particulur virtue and felicity to keep the 
mind to fuch an ^qual frame of judging* 

V z ■ Ibere 

l6 Of the ^rim^ks^ &cc. L ib. I. 

There are fome men, who have fufficient 
abilities to difcern betwixt the true diffe- 
rence of things J but what through their 
vicious affedtions and voliintary preju- 
dices, making them unwilling that fome 
things (hould be true; what throu^ 
their inadvertency or negledJ: to confider 
and compare things together, they are 
not to be convinced by plain Arguments.; 
not through any infufficiency in the evir- 
ilenccy but by reafon of fome defed: or cor- 
ruption in the faculty thsA ihould judge 
of it. Now the negled of keeping our 
minds in fucb an equal frame, the not 
applying of our thoughts to. confider of 
fuch matters of moment,as do highly con- 
cern a man to be rightly inform'd in^ 
mufl needs be a vice. And though 
none of the Philofophers ( that I know 
of ) do reckon this kind of Faith ( as it 
may be (tiled > this teachablenefs and e« 
quality of mind in confidering and judg- 
ing of matters of importance , amongft 
other intellettual virtues ; yet to me it 
ieems,that it may juftly ch^lenge a place 
amongd: them; and that for this reaibn^ 
becaufe the two extremes of it by way of 
Exc^fs and Defe^y I mean the aflenting 
unto fuch things upon infufficient Evi- 
dence, which is called Credulity ^ and the 


chap. 3. of Natural f^ligkn. }7 

not aflenting unto them upon fufficient 
Evidence, which is called Incredulity or 
Unheliefy are both of them Vices. Now 
where the Excefs and Defe£l do make Vi- 
ces , or fuch things as ought not to be , 
there the Mediocrity muft denote fomf- 
thin^ that ought to be, and confequent- 
lyonuft be aVirtue,and have in it the ob- 
ligation of Duty. 

7. If in any matter offered to confide^ 7, 
ration^ the prohahilities on loth fides he 
fuppofedto ie equal: (In this cafe, though 
an impartial judgment cannot be obli* 
ged to incline to one fide rather than to 
the other, becaufe our Affent to things 
muft by a Ncceflity of Nature, be pro- 
portioned to our Evidence for them j And 
where neither fide doth preponderate, 
the balance (hould hang even ) Tet even 
in this cafey men may he ohliged to order 
their Ailions in favour of that fide j which 
appears to he moftfafe and advantageous for 
their own intereft, Suppofe a man travel- 
iing upon the Road to meet with two 
doubtful ways, concerning neither of 
which he can have any the leaft probabi- 
lity to induce him to believe that one is 
more like to be the true way to his jour- 
ney's end, than the other j only he is 
upon good grounds adiired , that in one 

D 3 ^f 

38 of the Principles y &c. .Lib. I. 

of thefe ways he ftiall meet with much 
trouble, difficulty, danger, which the 
other is altogether free from.^ In this 
cafe, though a man be not bound to be* 
lieve that one of them is a truer way 
than the other, yet is he obliged in pru- 
dence to take the fafeft. 

Nay I add farther, if the probabilitie* 
on the one hand fhould fomewhat pre- 
ponderate the other, yet if there be no 
confiderable hazard on that fide which 
hath the leaft probability , and a very 
great apparent danger in a miflake about 
the other .• In this cafe, prudence will 
oblige a man to do that which may make 
moft for his own fafety. 

Thefe are thofe preparatory Principles 
. which I thought fit to premife, as a ne- 
ceflary foundation for any debate with 
dptious men about thefe firft grounds 
ef Religion. And they are each of 
them ( I think ) of fuch perfpicuity, ts 
to need little more than the bare Tropofal 
of them, and the Explication of their 
Terms, to evince the truth of them. 


( ' 

Chap. 4. of Natural ^H^ion. 3 p 


Concerning the Exiftence of a Diery , 
and the Arguments for it. The 
I. Argument y Fiom the uni\^erfal 
<onJent and agreement of Mankind*^ 
and the ObjeElions anjwered. 

THefe things being premifed, I be- 
take my felf to that which was at 
firft propofed as the chief defign of this 
Book , namely , to prove the Reafonahle- 
nesfand the QredililUy of the Principles of 
Natural Religion. 

By Religion , I mean that general ha- 
bit of Reverence towards the DivineNa- 
ture,whereby we are enabled and inclined 
to worlhip and ferve God after fuch a 
manner as we conceive mod agreeable to 
his will, (b as to procure his favour and 

I call that Natural Religion j which 
men might know, and fhould be obliged 
unto, by the mere principles of Reafon^ 
iniproved by Confideration and Experi- 
ence, without the help of Revelation. 

D 4 This 

40 ; Of the principles y &c. Lib. I. 

This doth comprehend under it, thefe 
three principal things .• 

I. A belief and an acknowledgment 
of the divine Nature and Exiftence. 

X. Due apprehenfions of his Excellen- 
cies and Perfedions. 

3. Suitable A ffedions and Demeanour 
towards him. 

Concerning each of which I fhall treat 
in order. 

I. There muft be a firm belief of the 
Divine Nature and Exiftertce. Primus efi 
Peorum cultus^ Peos creJerCj (aith Seneca. 
Anfwerable to that of the Apoftle, He 
Hebii.^. that conies to God^ tniiji helieve that he iu 
Now that this is a point highly credible, 
and fuch as every fbber rational nian who 
will not offer violence to his own facyl- 
ties, mpfl: fubmit unto, I (hall endeavour 
to. evince by the plaineft Reafon. 

In treating concerning this Subjed:, 
whi^h both in former arid later times h^th 
been fo largely difcufled by feveral Au- 
thors, I (hall not pretend to the inventi- 
on of any new arguments , but content 
my felf with the management of fpme of 
thole old ones, which to me (eem moft 
plain and Qonvincing.. Namely, fronj 

I. The univerfal confenj; pf NatipR?, 

in ^U pljices ^d4 times, 


Chap. 4. of Natural f^eligion. 4 1 

2. The Original of the World. 

3. That excellent contrivance which 
there is in all natural things. 

4. The Works of Providence in the 
Government of the World. 

I. From the Univerfal Confcnt of Na- 
tions in all places and times, which muft 
needs render any thing highly credible to 
all fuch as will but allow the human na- 
ture to be rational, and to be naturally 
endowed with a Capacity of diftinguilh- 
ing betwixt Truth and Fallhood. 

It is laid down by the * Philofopher as ♦ jtrifiot. 
the proper way of Reafoning from Autho- Top. 
ri/y, That what feems true to fame wife 
men, may upon that account be efteem'd 
fomevohat probable ; what is believed by 
moft wife men , hath a farther degree of * 
probability ; what mofi men^o\\\ wife and 
unwife, do adent unto, is yet more pro- 
bable .• But what all men have generally 
confented to, hath for it the higheft de- * 
gree of evidence of this kind, that any 
thing is capable of ; And it muft be mon- 
ftrous arrogance and folly for any fingle 
perfons to prefer their own judgments be- 
fore the general fuffrage of Mankind. 

It is obferved by Mltan^ that the noti- y^^^ ^m, 
pn;s concerning the Exiftence and Naturq Hb.i.esi! 

- of 

42 of the Principles y &c. Lib. I. 

of God, and of a future (late, were more 
firmly believed, and did ufually make 
deeper imprefTion upon the illiterate Vul- 
gar^ who were guided by the more fimple 
dictates of Nature, than upon feveral of 
the Philofophers^ who by their art and 
fubtilty were able to invent difguifes^and 
to difpute themfelves into doubts and un- 
certainties concerning fuch things as 
might bring difquiet to their minds. 

That all Nations of men now do, and 
have formerly owned this Principle, may 
appear both from prelent experience,and 
the Hiftory of other Times and Places. 
And here I might cite abundance of the 
beft Authors that are extant, concerning 
the truth of this in air other Ages andNa- 
tions. But for brevity's fake I mall menti- 
on only two, Tully and Seneca. Qua gens 
Kb rTa * ^> ^^^ quod genus hominum^ quod non ha- 
ieat fine doQrin&y anticipationem quan^ 
dam Deorum^ quam appelUt 'ur^i/^^iv Epi^ 
eurus. * What kind of men are there any 

* where, who have not of themfelves this 

* prenotion of a Deity ? And in another 
DeLegik place: Nulh gens ej{^ neque tarn imman- 
'*^- '• fueta neque tarn fera^ qu^ non, etiamfi /g- 
. J noret qualem hahere Peum deceaty tamen 

• '.*, habendum fciat. * Ariiongft all mankind 
^ there is no Nation To wild and barbarous, 

! who 

Chap. 4> of Katurd ^ligton» 43 


* who though they may miflake in their 
due apprehenfions of the ndture of God, 

* do not yet acknowledge his being. And 
ellewhere .• Nulla ejl gens tarn fera^ nemo Tufi. Qa2 
cmnium tarn mtnanis^cnjus men t em non im- lib. i. 
hi^rit Deorum timor. * There is no Nation 

* fo immenfely barbarous and favage , as 

* not to believe the exiftence of a Deity, 

* and by fome kind of (ervices to exprefs 

* their adoration of him. So Seneca^ Nulla Ep"*-"^' 
gens ufjuam efl^adeo extra leges morefq\ pro- 

je£ia^ ut non aliquos Deos credat. ' There 

* is no where any Nation fo utterly loft 

* to all things or Law and Morality, as 

* not to believe the exiftence of God. 

He that (hall traverfe over all this ha- 
bitable Earth, with all thofe remote cor- 
ners of it, referved for the difcovery of 
thefe later Ages, may find fome Nations 
withoutCities ,Schools,Houfes,Garments , 
Coin,but none without their God. They 
may,and do vaftly differ in theirManners, 
Inftitutions,Cufto9is : But yet all of them 
agree in having fome Deity to worftiip. 

And befides thisUniverfality as to Na- 
tifins and Vlaces^ it hath been fo likewife 
as to times. Religion was obferved in 
the beginning of the World, before there 
were Civil Laws amongft men, I mean 
any other than the mere wills of their 
iPrinces and Governors. Ttvs 

44 Of the principles, Sec. Lib. I. 

The Works of Mofes are by general 
confent acknowledged to be the moft an- 
cient Writings in the World. And the' 
the defign of them be to prefcribe Do- 
<5trines and Rules for Religion, yet there 
is nothing offered in them by way of 
proof or perfuafion concerning the Ex* 
iflence of God; but it is a thing taken for 
granted, as being univcrfally acknowleded 
arid believed. Nor do we read that any 
of the other ancient Law-givers orFound- 
ers of Commonwealths, who thought fit 
to prefcribe Rules for the Worfhip of God, 
have endeavoured to perfuade the people 
concerning his Being j which yet had 
been moft neceflary, . if any doubt or que- 
ftion had then been made of it ; as be- 
ing the very foundation of Religion, and 
a dilpofition fo requifite to qualifie men 
for Society and Government. 

And as it hath been thus in former 

times, fb it is now amongft the Nations 

more lately difcovered,and not known to 

former Ages. 'Tis excellently faid by 

De Nat. TuSy , Opinionum comment a delet dies , 

Dfioram, i^af^^^ judicia confirmati That time 

wears out the fidtions of Opinion, and 
doth by degrees difcover and unmask the 
falacy of ungrounded- perfuafions, but 
confirms the dilates and fentiments of 

nature f 

chap. 4* of Natural <I(elipon. * 45 

nature; and 'tis a good fign that thofe 
jJotions are well eflablifhed which can 
endure the Teft of all Ages. 

There are two things may be objec3:ed 
dgaind: this Argument. 

I . That there is no fuch Univerfal 
Confent as is pretended. 

X. If there were, this would fignifie 
but little , becaafe it may as well be ur- 
ged for Polytheifm znd Matty. 

I. That there is no fuch Univerfal 
Confent as is pretended, becaufe there 
are fome Nations in the World fo wild 
and lavage, as not to acknowledge any 
Deity ,• which by feveral Hiflorians is re- 
ported of the Canniials in America , and 
the Inhabitants of Soldania in Africk^^ho 
are fo fottifli and grofly ignorant, that 
they differ very little from Brutes, having 
fcarce any thing amongft them of Civil 
Policy^ and nothing at all of Religion^ or 
any publick Aflemblies for Worftiip : Be- 
fides fuch particular perfons, pretending 
to Learning and Fhilofophy, as in feve- 
ral Ages have openly aflerted, and pro- 
feffedly maintained Atheiftical Principles, 
as Diagorasj Theoiiorus^ Pherecides^ and 
others are faid to have done. 


4^ Of the principles J &c. Lib. L 

To this it may be faid, that' fuppofing 
thcfe reports ta be true, there may at 
mod in all kinds be fome few inftances, 
befides and agaiiift the general courfe of 
things, which yet can no more be urged 
as prejudices againft the common and 
mod: ufual order belonging to them, than 
Prodigies may to prove, that there is no 
Regularity in the Laws of Nature. Is 
there any Equity or the leaft Colour of 
Reafon in this ; for a man to take an Ef- 
fay of the nature of any Jpecies of things 
from fuch particular Inftances, as in there 
kinds are monftrous ? Becaufe Beads may 
fometimes be brought forth with five legs, 
and it may be two Heads, isitreafbn 
therefore to conclude, that no other Ihape 
is natural to their kind ? Specimen naturse 
cujuflihetj a naturi optimk fumend$nn efl^ 
( faith Tully. ) The Eflay of any kind is 
rather to betaken from the beft and mdft 
ufual, than from the word and mod de- 
praved part of it. Will it therefore fol- 
low, that honey is not naturally fwect 
to our tade, becaufe a Tick palate doth 
not judge it to be fo? Such diffoluteper- 
fons as are altogether immerfed in fenfu- 
ality, whereby they have befotted their 
judgments, cannot be looked upon as 
the mod competent indances of what 
belongs to Human Nature. Where 

chap. 4. of Natural <I(eligm. 47 

Where there is either a defed: of rea- 
fon, or«a grofs negled: in exciting a 
man's natural Faculties, or improving his 
reafon, by a due confideration of fuch 
conlequences as do mod naturally refult 
from it : In fuch cafes, it cannot other- 
wife be expe<3:ed, but that he mufl: come 
ihort of that knowledge which he is na- 
turally capable of, and fhould have^ 
were it not for their defeds. 

Some men are born blind, or have lofl 
their light, will it hence follow, that 
there is no fuch thing in nature as Light 
or Colour ? Others are Lunatick or Ide- ^ 
ots, fhould any man from hence infer, 
that there is no fuch thing asjteafon > 
No man may raife any doubt from fuch 
inflances as thefe, but he that will make 
it a ferious Queflion, who are the mad 
men, whether thofe in Bedlam^ or thofc 
cut of it J Whether Ideots are not the 
wifefl of men , and all other the veriefl 
fools , according as they are not the wi- 
deft diflance from them? Can th^t man 
be thought to need any farther confuta- 
tion or purfuit , who is forced to fly to 
fuch a retreat ? 

As for thofe inflances o^ particular per- 
fons^ whom flories deliver down to us^ 
as being profeffej Atheijls^ it may be faid. 


4S Of the Principles y Sec. Lib. 1. 

I. *Tis plain, that feme of thefe were 
counted Atheifts and defpifers of Religi- 
on, bccaufe they did endeavour to con- 
fute the fopperies of the Heathen wor- 
fliip, and deny the Sun and Moon, and 
the feveral Idols that were adored in their 
Countries, to be true Gods; The Ibofe 
and vicious Poets^ having fo far debaucht 
the underftandings of the \rulgar,in thofe 
darker ages, as to make them believe vile 
and filthy things of their Gods, unfuita- 
ble to all Principles of fobriety and com- 
mon Reafon: Upon this,feveral men,who 
were more judicious . and virtuous than 
others, thought themlelves obliged to re- 
claim the people from fuch mifchievous 
fopperies .• In order to which, befides the 
moft ferious arguments which they made 
u(e of, they did hkewife by jeers and 
feoffs endeavour to r-ender thefe vicious 
Deities contemptible, and to deride them 
out of the world. And for this were they 
by the foolifh fuperftitious multitude 
counted Atheifls , which was the cafe of 
Anaxagoras^ Socrates^ and others. 

%. Let it be fuppofed , that fome men 
have declared a disbelief of the Divine 
nature in general ; yet as there have been 
always fome Monfiers amongft men,inre- 
fped of their BodiesSo may there be like- 

Chap. 4^ of Natural (l(eli^i6n. 4p 

wife in refpeiSt of their minds. And this 
no prejudice to the ftanding-laws of Na* 
ture. And befides it ought to be confi- 
dered, that the fame (lories which men- 
tion fuch perfons as profeft Atheifts, do 
likewife give an account of divers fignal 
judgments, whereby they were witnefled 
againft from Heaven. 

3. But fadd farther. There nevfef y6C 
was any fuch Perlbn , who had any full 
and abiding convidion upon his mind^ 
againft the Exiftence of God. Mentiuntur 
qui dicunt fe non fenfire ejfe Deum, nam 
etfi tihi ^rment interdiuy noSlu tamen ^fi- 
ti dulttant. " They lye who fay that they 
" believe there is no God (faith Seneca) ; 
" though they may profefs this (bme- 
^* what confidently in the day-time, wheii 
** they are in company, yet in the night 
*' and alone they have doubtful thoughts 
*^ about it. 'Tis their wi^y but not their 
opinion. The intereft of their guilt doth 
make them defire it. But they are never 
able with all their endeavours wholly tq 
extinguifti their natural notions about it. 
Witnefs thofe continual fears and terrors; 
whereunto fuch kind of men are above 
all others moft obnoxious. 

The fecond OhjeSlion was,, That if the 
confent of Nations be a fufficient evidence 

E to 

5© of thi frinciplesy &c* Lib. I. 

to prove the Exiflence of God ^ it may as 
well prove Potytheifm and Idolatry , fof 
which the like confent may be pleaded. * 
To this two things may be Snfwered :. 
J. Tho* the Unity of the Godhead, 
and the unfitnefs of worlhipping him by 
tdols^ be difcoverable by the light of na- 
ture } yet thefe things are not fo immediate^ 
and fo obvious to every ones Ainderftand- 
ing as the Being of God is , but will re- 
quire fome deeper confideration, and fome 
skill in the rules of reafoning. Now it 
could not be reafonably exped:ed, that ei- 
ther the generality , or any confiderable 
number of theVulgar,(lioulcl attain to fuch 
a degree of knowledge ,as their own natu- 
ral reafon, duly exercifed and improved, 
might have furniflied them with. Partly by 
' reafon of the /reyWw of Education^v/hich 
muft needs incline them to acquiefce in 
what is delivered down to them , as the 
lelief or ^aSlice o( their Forefathers ; and 
confequently hinder them from an impar- 
tial enquiry into the nature of things : But 
chiefly for want oifufficient liifure to ap- 
ply themfelvestothebufmefs of contem- 
plation, by reafon of their being immer- 
fed in the affairs of theWorld,either ptea- 
fures, ambition, riches, or elfe being whol- 
ly taken up with cares, about providing 


chap. 4. of Katttrat^ligion. 5 1 

the rieceflitries of life for therafel ves and 
their families ; which muft needs much 
divert them from the ferious confiderati^ 
on of things » and hiildef them from the 
improvement of their natural light to all 
the due confequences of it. 

X. The moft confidering and the tvifefi 
rtien in all Ages and Nations , have con- 
, ftantly differed from the f^ulgar in thek 
thoughts about thefe things, believing 
but one fupreme Deit/, the Father of all 
other fubordinate Powers : 

■' Htminum fatot atq; DeorUm. 

Whom they called Jupiter or Jove^ with 
plain reference to the Hebrew name Jeho- 
vah. And to this one God did they afcribe 
feveral names, according to thofe feveral 
virtues they fuppofed to be in him, or be- ^ 
nefits they expeded from hxm.Bacchus and 
Neptune^ Ifafure^ Fortune^ Fate: Omnia 
qui Jem Dei nomina funt , varie utentis fua 
poteflatey faith Seneca. So likewife Pytha- DeBimfi:. 
goras, Socrates^ Phto, Ariflotle^ ^c. And ^'^' "^'^^^^ 
they advife meil to wprlhip this God not 
fo much by Images or by Sacrifices^zs by in-i- 
ward goodnefs, by endeavouring to be 
like him j as I (hall fhe vv more largely after- 
wards. Now though the Opinion of the 
f^«/g^r, with the confent of the fVife^mzy 
be of great Authority j yet being feparated 

E % from 

5 2 Of the Principles y Sec. Lib. L 

ftom or efpecially oppofed unto ^ their- 
opinion, who are beft able to judge, it- 
mijift needs figoify but liiltle. 

If the quedion ihouldi here be {»rQp<;)^d, 
How comes it to pafs , that oiaaJkiiid: 
fhould thus confent and agree in the noti- 
on of a Deity, and to what ground or 
caufe may it bQ a^fcribed > 

To thisi ftiaUfuggefl: fomething by way 
of anfwer, both Negatively^ and Pojttive^. 

I. Negatively , From what hath been 
faid it may appear, that this belief doth^. 
not proceed {torn, apy pari;ipi|lar hfiimi- 
ty^ot occafional frejudiee in the judgcneat,* 
becauie it hath been fo conCUnt andiuai^ 
verfal amongO; Mankind. . And befides^ 
there is not the lead probability lor the(e 
things which are aligned as the grounds 
* ofthis Prejudice , namely, Fear^ Policy^ 

I . Not Feary or a certain jealoufy of 
the word that may happen. For thou^ 
it mud: be granted natural to. the minds 
of men, to be poflefled with an awe to* 
wards fuch things as are abk to hurt then} ; 
yet 'tis much more probable , that the 
fear of a fuprei^ie Being,is rather the con- 
fequcnce and Effect of fuch a. belief, than 
the Caufe of it^ For this reafon^ becaufei 
tit6 Notion of a Deity doth comprehend 


ChsLif.4. <>f Natural ^ligion. yj 

under it infinite Goodnefs and Mercy , as 
well as Power and Juflice ; and there is 
no feaibn why JF^ar fliould difpofe a man 
to fancy a Being that is infinitely Goofl 
and Merciful 

i. Nbt J^(?//ry or the deviteof Statifts, 
t6 keep iliehis Confciences in awe and ob- 
lige them to fubjcdlion. i. Becaufethfe 
greateft Princes and Politicians them- 
felves^ haveiii all ages been as much under 
this convidion of a Deity, and the lalhes 
of Confcience, as any other perfons what- 
fbever ; which could not be , had they 
known this bufinels of Religion to have 
been a device or ftate-engine , whereby 
their Subjedts were to be impofed upon. 
z. Becaufe this belief is amongft the more 
rude and favage Nations , fuch as in all ^ 
other regards are ignorant and wild and 
utterly deftitute of all common Policy. 

3. Not Stipulation or mutual agree- 
rtent, for the fame reafon : Becaufe 'tis 
amongft tfaofe barbarous and favage peo^ 
pie, who decline all kind of commerce 
with others. Nor is it imaginable, how 
fuch kind of perfons fliould agree toge- 
ther to promote any opinion , who are 
widely feparated from one another, by 
Seas, and Mountains, and Defarts ; and 
yet not at fo great a didance in their 

E3 Habi- 

54 Of theTrincipleSy Sec. Lib; I. 

Habitations,9s in their Cudoms and Man- 

From all which it piay appear, That 
this Opinion or Belief v^hich is (p^^w- 
ral amongft men, doth not arife from any 
prejudice or partiality upon their minds ; 
But rather the Jouhting or queJUqning of 
thefe things, which hlongs hut to few. 
There is reafon enough to be|ieve , thaf: 
this may be founded in prejudice. Nor i? 
it difficult to determine whence their pre-* 
judice doth arife, namely, from the viti- 
ous inclinations of men, which wi|l cor- 
rupt aijd byafe their judgments. When 
pnce men are immerfed in fenfual thingj?^. 
and are become flaves to their Paflion^ 
and Lulls , then are they ipoft difpofed 
to doubt of the E^ciftence of God. Where- 
$LS on the contrary, the more juft and hq- 
neft any man is , the more willing antj 
careful he is to walk up to the didates 
of his naturial light, by fo much the mo^p 
iirpily are fuch perfons convinced of this 
Truth. fTis the Confcience of Guilf: 
which makes it the Intereft df fome tha^ 
there fhould J^e no GocJ. And confe- 
guentjy being defirous to haye it fo, thi^ 
piakes them ftudipus how' to find out 
fome doubt and obfcurity about it. 
%• Affirmtiv^ty,. It i? i? ^ knov^nRiilq, 
:- ^' -- •■' "' ' * that 

i f *i* 

Chap. 4* p/ Natural ^eli^tM. 5 j 

That the Caufe mufi he as univerfal as the 
Ejfell is. If this belief have been one and 
fonfiant in all places and times,then muft 
the caufe of it be fo likewife. And what is 
there imaginable that hath a fairer pre- 
tence to this, than the very nattire of our 
minds ^ which are of fuch a frame as \xi 
th^ ordinary exercife of their faculties, 
will eafily find out the ncceflity of a fu- 
preme Being. And it feems very congru^ 
ous to reafon, that he who is the great 
ercator of the world,(hould fet fome fuch 
mark of himfelf uponthofe Creatures that 
are capable of worfliipping him , where- 
by they might be led to the Author of , 
their Being, to whom their worftiip is 
to be dire<3:ed $ as is obferved in a late rli mf^ 
Difcourfe^ wherein there are many other ^^ •/ ^^ 
things to this purpofe. Z^'^^'^ 

Such kind of Notions as are general to 
mankind, and not confined to any parti- , 
cular Sed or Nation, or Time, areufu- 
ally {tiled y^swcti eWofai, Common Notions, 
hJ^Qi amffjLom-ns)^ Seminal Principles ; and 
Lex nata , by die Roman Orator , an in- 
nate Law , in oppofition to Lex fcripta^ 
and in the Apoftles phrafe, the Lavo mit^ 
ten in our hearts. Which kind of Noti- 
ons, though they are of themfelves above 
fiU other naatters rooft plain and perfpicit- 

. E 4 ous 

€6 of the frincipleSy &cc. Lib. h 

ous,. yet becaufe learned Men do fome-' 
what differ in their Apprehenfions con^ 
cerning the firft rife and original of thera, 
I Ihall therefore take this occafion to fug- 
ged briefly, that which to me (eems tha 
moft eafy and natural way for the ex- 
plaining of this, namely by comparing 
the inward Senfation of our minds and 
underftandings, with that pf our out- 
ward fenfes. 

It hath been generally agreed upon, 
and we find it by fufficient experience, 
that the ads of our minds are reducible 
to'thefe three kinds. 

I . Perception of fuch fingle objects as 
are propofed to them , which is called 
Jimple Apprehenfion. 

%. Putting together fuch fingle objeds, 
in order to our comparing of the agree^ 
jnent or difagreement betwixt them, by 
which we make Propofitions„ which is 
called fudging. 

3 . The difcerning of that connexion or 
dependance which there is betwixt fe- 
veral Propofitions , whereby we are en- 
abled to infer one Propofition from ano- 
ther , whi^h i$ called Ratmmtiouy of 

Now as there is an univerfal agreement 
lo tlie (eniatiOQ of outw^ objei^s; The 

Chap. 4. of Natural <I{eUiion. j/ 

Eye and the Ear of all fenfitive Creatures, 
having the fame kind of perception of 
vijiile and audible things; Thoie things 
which appear Green, Blue, or Red to one, 
having the fame appearance to all others. 
So muft it be with the underflandings 
of men likcwife , which do agree in the 
fame kind of Perception or fimple Ap- 
prehenfion of intelligible objcds. 

And as in making of Propofitions, or ^ 
compounding our Apprehenfions about 
fenfible things, we determine that the 
Green in this objed is like the Green in 
that other, and unlike the Yellow or Blue 
in^ a third ; that it is more or Ms^ or 
equal to fomething d(^y with which we 
compare it ; So like wife is it for compoun- 
ding other fimple notions belonging to 
the underftanding , By which we judge 
one thing to be like or unlike, agreeable 
or djfagreeable, equal, or more or lefs in 
refpedl to fomething elfe compared with it. 
Now thofe kind ofApprehenfions wheret 
in all men do agree, thefe are called natu^ 
ral Notions, And of this kind are i\\ thofe 
Opinions which have in them fuch a fui- 
tablenefs to the minds of men, as to be 
generally owned and acknowledged for 
true, by all fuch as apply their thought^ 

f:o the coafideratioa of them. 


S Of the fmciplesy dec. Lib. I. 

As for fueh Dodrines as depend meerly 
lapon inftittxtion and the inftru(9:ion of 
T)thers, men do frequently differ both- 
from themfelves, and from one another 
about them ; becaufe that which can 
plant, can fupplant. If meer inftitution 
be able to fix fuch opinions, it may be 
able to unfettle them again. , Whereas no 
kind of inftitution will be fufficient to 
eradicate thefe natural notions out of the 
minds of men. 

But now , though the underftanding^ 
have naturally this power belonging to 
It ^ oi Apprehending^ and Comparing , and 
Judging of things j yet it is not to be 
expeded, either from Infants, or from dull 
fottifh people, or from (uch as are defti* 
tute of all the advantages of Educlation, 
that they fliould improve this natural abi- 
lity, to all the due confequences of it. 
But in order to this, ^tis neceilary that 
men (hould firft be out of their Non-^ge 
before they can attain to an adtual ufe of 
this Principle. And withal , that they 
fhould be ready to exerl and exercife their 
faculties to obferve and confidcr the nature 
of things, to make ufe of that help which 
is to be had, by the inflru<5tion and experi- 
ence of thofe with whom they converfe. 
Nor can this be any juft exception againft 


chap. 4, 0/ Natural ^ligm. j^ 

the naturalnefs of fuch actions, that they 
are promoted by the experience and in- 
^rudtion of others ; Becaule mankind is 
naturally defigned for a Sociable life, anjd . 
to ^e helpful to one another by mqtmal 
converfation. And without: this advan* 
tage of difcourfe and con verfatipn, where- 
by they communicate their thoughts aijcj 
opinions to one another, it could not o- 
therwife be, but that men muft needs be 
ftrangely ignorant, and have many wild 
and grofs apprehenfions of fuch things as 
are. in themfelves very plain and obvious,' 
^nd do appear fo to others. 

For the better underftanding of this, 
let us fuppofe a Perfon bred up in fonje 
deep Cavern of the Earth , withoiit any 
inftru(Jli6n from others, concerning the 
flate of things in this upper fuirfa'ce qf 
the World : Suppofe thi§ perfon, after he 
is arrived to a mature age, to be fetched 
up from this folitary abode , to behold 
^his habitable World , the Fields , and 
Towns, and Seas, and Rivers, the various 
revolutions of Seafpns, together with the 
beautiful Hoft of HeaVeq , |;he Sun, and 
Moon, 3nd Star§ ; It could not otherwife 
be, but that fuch a Perfon mufl: at firO: 
view have many wild imaginations of 

things. He might conceive thofe ufefijl 

^•' ^ ' ' ■"' -'^'^ ■ and 

• ■ f 

Of the Tmciples^ 8cc. Lib. T. 

and beautiful contrivances of Houfes andl 
Towns, to (bring up and grow out of the 
Earth,as well as Trees ; or elfe tliatTrees 
were made and built by men, as well as 
Houfes. But fuppofing him to be a man, 
hcfmuft be endowed with fach a natural 
faculty , as upon farther confideratioh 
and experience, will quickly fatisfy him. 
That one of thcfe was statural , and the 
other artificial,* and that the buildings 
were framed to that elegance and conve- 
nience by the Art and Skill of men. 

It would not at firft feem credible to him, 
that a large Tree (hould proceed from a 
fmall Seed or Kernel : That an Egg fhould 
produce a Bird. And as for Man himfelf, 
he would not be able to have any con- 
ception of his true Original ; how it 
could be poffible, that a young Infant 
fliould be bred in, his Mother's womb, 
where it fliould continue for fo many 
months inclofed in a bag of water, with- 
out breathing j yet upon experience thefe 
things would appear to him unqueftiona- 
ble, and of Natural Evidence. 

From what hath been faid, it will fol- 
low, that fuch things are evident by na- 
tural lights which men of a muture age, 
in the ordinary ufe of their faculties with 
the common help of mutual Society may 


chap. 4, of Natural ^li^ioru 6.1 

know and be fufficiently afliired of, with- 
cnit the help of any fpecial Revelation^ 
And when it is faid that the Notion of 
God is natural. to the Soul, the meaning 
of it is. That there is fuch a faculty in 
the Soul of man, whereby upon the ufe 
of reafon he can form within himfelf a 
fettled notion of fuch a firft and fopreme 
Being • as is endowed with ail poffible 
perfedion. Which is all I fhall fay as to 
this firft Argunoeo);. I fhall be briefer in 
the reft. 


61 Of the frinci^leSf &c. Lib. I^ 

C H A P. V. 

i, Arg. From the Original of the 



Othing can be more evident , than 

that this vifible frame which we 

€all the World, was either from all eter-- 

ftityj or elfe that it had a ieginning^ And 

if it had a beginning, this mud be either 

from Chance or from fome wife Agent. 

Now if from clear Principles of Reafbn^ 

it can be rendred more credible, that 

the world had a beginning, and that from 

fome wife Agent •• This may be another 

Argument to this purpofe. ^ 

I cannot here omit the mentioh 6f ft 

Dr TiUi^t' ^^^^ Difcourfe, wherein this fubjed: hath 

/wiWscr" been fo fully treated of, that I (hall need 

«on- to fay the lefs of it^ having little that is 

material to add to what is there deli* 


In the difcufTmg of this, I fhall pur- 
pofely omit the mention of thofe argu- 
ments which relate to Infinity , as be- ^ 
ing notfo eafily intelligible , and there- 
fore more apt to puzzle and amufe« than 

^ to 


(jhap. 5. of Natural ^Ugion. 6^ 

to convince. Let it be fuppofed , that 
each of the two Theories , whether a- 
bout the Eternity of the World , or its 
having a Beginnings ar6 not impoffible, 
and that neither of them does imply a 
contradidion. And farther, that neither 
of them can be infallibly demonftrated by 
the meer principles of Reafon. In this 
cafe the queftion mud be, which of them 
is moft credible. 

He that would rationally fix his ppini- • 
oh and belief about this matter, hath butv 
thefe two kinds of proof to enquire after. 

I. Teftimony^ or the Tradition of the 
moft Ancient times. 

X. Reafon^ or fuch Probabilities as do 
arife from the nature of the thing. 

For the firft of thefe Opinions , con- 
cerning the Eternity of the World, there 
is very little to be faid froni either of 

I . As to Teflimony, Ariftotle^ who was De c^u , 
a great Patron of this Opinion, ^nd held i**^-^^®' 
that the world was a neceflary Emanati- 
on from God, as light is from the Sun ; 
doth of himfelf acknowledge, that thePhi- 
lofophers before him,were of opinion that 
the world had a beginning j which ac- 
knowledgment of his, is no fmall preju- 
dice to the Authority of his opinion, as 

I (hall 

^4 Of the Principles y Sec. Lib.L 

I fhall fliew afterwards. And then, 

%. As to Reafon^lt is a meer precarious 
Hypothefis^ having no fufficient argument 
that I know of, to render it probable. 

But now for the other opinion, name- 
ly, the beginning of the World, there are 
as fair and convincing -proofs for it, of 
feveral kinds, as the nature of the thing 
is well capable of. 

I • From Tradition. If the world were 
made and had a beginning, it is but rea- 
fonable to exped, that fo memorable a 
thing as this, ftioul4 be recorded in fome 
of the mod ancient Hiftories ; And that 
fome extraordinary means (hould be lifed , 
to perpetuate the memory of it, and to 
convey it down from ode generation to 
another by Univerfal Tradition : And if 
it (hall appear, that all the evidence of 
this kind is for this opinion , This mud 
needs render it highly credible. 

Now the Hiftory of Mofes , hath 
been generally acknowledged, to be the 
mod ancient Book in the world , and 
always efteemed of great Authority , e- 
ven amongft thofe Heathens who do not 
believe it to be divinely infpired : And 
there is no man of learning,but mufl: allow 
to it (at lead) the ordinary credit of other 
ancient Hidories ^ elpecially, if he conff- 


Chap. 5i. ofl^atural ^li^ionl 65 

dfer what ground there is for the Credibi- 
lity of it, from the Theology of the dark- 
er Times, which is made up of fbmeim- 
perfed Traditions and Allufions, relating 
to thofe particular ftories which are more 
diftin Aly fet down in the writings ofMofes. 

IJowMofes does give fuch a piain,brief, 
unaSed:ed account of the Creation of the 
world, and of the moft remarkable pafla- 
ges of the firft ages, particularly of the 
plantation of the world by the difperfioa 
of Noah's Family, fo agreeable to the moft 
ancient Remains of Heathen Writers, as 
rauft needs very much recommend it to the 
belief of every impartial man. 

Though the y^j were but a fmall Na- 
tion, and confined to a narrow compafit 
in the World j yet the firft rife of Letters 
and Languages is truly to be afcribed to 
them. It is attefted by feveral of the beft 
and moft Ancient Heathen Writers, that 
. the Hehrew Alphabet, or ("which is all 
one) the PhkHuian^ is that from which 
both the Greek and the Latin ^ and con- 
fequently the generality of the reft now 
known, are derived; fo Heniotus^, Tlu-^ 
tarch^ Pliny^ Curtius^ Lucan^ ^c. From 
whence it may be probably inferred, that 
the account given by the firft Language^ 
is the mo9i ancieac^ and therefore the cQoft 

F likely 

66 Ofthefrinciples^ &c. Lib. I* 

likely to be a true Account of the firfl: 
Original of things. 

The ufual Courfe obferved by all Na- 
tions to prcferve the memory of things 
moft remarkable, which might otherwife 
in trad of time be forgotten, elpccially 
amongft fuch as are not acquainted with 
Letters, hath been by fome praSiicai 
Jnflitution^ as by appointing fome Fefti- 
valior theCommemoration of fuch things. 
And thus likewife hath it been in the pre- 
lent cafe ; The Sahhath (is Mofes expref. 
ly tells us) was inftituted for this very pur- 
pofe, to keep up the memory of the Crea- 
tion. And though perhaps it maybe diffi- 
cult to prove, that this Day hath upon 
this Account been obferved by any other 
Nation, but the ^evos ; yet the divifion of 
Time by Weeks, hath been univerfally 
obferved in the World, not only amongft 
the Civilizd^ but likewife amongft the 
moft Barbarous Nations. - And there be- 
ing no foundation in Nature for 'this kind 
of diftributioii of days. It muft therefore 
depend upon fome ancient general Tradi- 
tion, the Original whereof, together with 
the. particular reafon of it, is preferv'd in 
the moft ancient of all other Hiftories,x;/2. 
that of Mofes. "- 

As for the derivation .of. this from the 


Chap. 5. of Katural ^ligion. 67^ 

(even Planets, whole names have been an- 
ciently afligned to them ,• this being well 
confider'd, will appear to be lb far from 
invalidating what I now allert, that it 
will ratjier contribute to the probability 
of it. 

It is commonly believed that the at * 
fignation of the names of the Planets to 
the days of the Week, was by the Chal^ 
deans^ who were much devoted to Aftro- 
logical Devices, and had an opinion that 
€very hour of the day was governed by 
a particular Planet, reckoning them ac- 
cording to their ufual order, Saturny 7«- 
fiter^ Marsy Soly FimSy Mercury^ Luna ; 
That Planet which was afcribed to the 
firft hour, giving name to the whole day ; 
fuppofing Satfirn to belong to the firft 
hour of Saturday^ then the fecohd hour 
will belong to Jupiter^ the third to Marsy 
&c. and according to this order, the fif- 
teenth hour will belong likewife to .?<?- 
tur^y and fo will the twenty-fecond, the 
twenty-third to Jupiter ^ the twenty-fourth 
to Marshy and (b the firft hour of the next 
day muft belong to Sol^ which muft ac- 
cordingly give the denomination to that 
day J and fo for the other days of the 

Now if itmay appear, that in this very 
' • F ^ • account, 


Of the Principles y &cc. Lib. I. 

account, which all forts of learned men 
do agree in, there is fuch a fpeclal regard 
to the fewi/h Sahhath^ or Seventh-Day ^ as 
cannot be pretended for any other, this 
will ftill render it more credible, that the 
Tradition of the Sabbath did precede 
• thefe Aftrological Names : If we fuppofe 
thefe Aftrologers to reckon from the firft 
day of the Creation,, and to begin with 
the moft noble Planet the Sun ; then the 
Seventh day will be Saturday ^ or the Jew^ 
ijh Sahhath • Or (which is more proba* 
ble^ if we fiippofe them to begin their 
computation, from the firft day after the 
Creation was finifhed, and from the high- 
eft Planet, of floweft motion,and fo more 
proper to fignify a day of reft j according 
to this way of computation, there is a 
peculiar privilege belongs to the Jemi/b 
Sabbath, which cannot be faid of any of 
the other days. 

The Teftimony of greafeft Antiquity, 
next to the fiooks of Mofesy muft be 
fought for amongft^ thofe ancient Nati* 
jons, the Egyptians , Chaldeans^ Ph^nicians^ 
from whom the Grecians derived their 
Learning, and amongft whom the firft and 
inoft famous Philofophers of Greece were 
wont to travel, for the improving of their 
knowledge; it being {HX)bable that fome 


chap.- 5. ofKatural ^ligion. 

Memorials might be preferved amongfl: 
thofe ancient Nations,conc^rning the firft. 
beginning of things ; and that they were 
acquainted with what ^vas the Univerfal 
Tradition of the firft Ages. Upon whicU 
account, thofe Grecian Philofophers be- 
fore Arijlotle^ (uch as Thales^ Anaxagoras^ 
Tythagorasfic. who by theirTravel were 
converfant amongfl: thefeNations,mufl by 
this advantage be more competent Judges 
than he was, concerning the general be- 
lief and opinion of former times, and 
what grounds they had for it. 

Now it is well known to have been a 
general Tradition amongfl thelQ Nations^ 
that the World was made, and had a^ be- 
ginning. And though there be fome pro- 
digious accounts amongfl: them, which 
may feem inconfiftent with the Writings 
of Mofes^ as namely that of the Qhalieans^ 
who reckon forty-three thoufand Years 
from the beginning of the World to ths 
Time o^ Alexander :ytt this way of Com- 
putation is acknowledged by Diodorus Si- 
cuius and Plutarch^ to be meant of Lu:ia- 
ryYearSjOr Months; which being reduced 
to Solary Years, will fall our. to be much 
about the time afligned by Mofes for the 

r 3 ^^^ 

70 Of the TrincipleSy &c. Lib. 1. 

But be fides thefe Teftimonies of the 
Ancient Nations, and the firft Grecian Phi- 
lofophers who converfed amongft them; 
This hath been liKewife believed and pro- 
fefled by the mofi eminent Writers fince, 
SocraieSy and PlatOi ^nd TuSy and Seneca^ 
and the generality of the reft, whether 
Thilofophers or Toets^ of greateft Repute 
for their Learning, who have afferted^ 
That God was thi? Maker of the World. 

There are feveral Paflages to this pur- 
pofe amongft thofe ancient Greek Poets, 
Linus y Hefiody Orpheus ^ EpicharmuSy Ari^ 
fiophanesy which relate to the Creation of 
the World j and Ovid particularly, who 
fetched his Matter from the Grecian Wri- 
tprs, doth give fuch a plain Defcription of 
it, as i{ he had been acquainted with the 
Book of Mofes\ in thofe known Verfes : 

MTcfam* Ante Mare & terras y & quodtegit omnia 
*^'^' caluniy &c. 

Nor hath it been thus only amongft the 
moreCiviliz'd Nations j but the Barbarous 
Indians likewife have owned thisTraditi^ 
on,and profefTed the belief of it. Now it is 
not eafy to imagine, how any fuch Tradi- 
tion could arife fo early y and fpread lb uni- 
verfalfyyii there were not a real ground for if . 

, . As 

Ohap. J. of Natural Religion. 71 

As for thp Arguments from Reafofty I 
would offer thefe things to confideration; 

I . If the World had been either with- 
out a beginnings or elfe very old, much 
older than the time affigned for it in the 
Hiftory of Mofes; 'tis not Jikelyybut there 
fhould be Tome kind of Memorials of thofe 
former Ages, or fome real Evidence that 
there had been fuch, Quis Juhitet^ quin Satumal 
Mmdus recens ac novus fity cum Hiftoria ^^* ^* 
Graca^ his miHe annorum hiftortam vix csn^ 
tineat > faith Macrohius. The World can^ 
not he very oldy hecaufe the Grecian Hiflory 
doth fcarce extend to Two thoufand Tears^ 
This was that which convinced Lucretiuf^ 
that the World could not be Eternal, Be- 
caufe there were fuch obfcure footfleps 
or Reliques in any credible Story, either 
amongftthe Grecians ori?^wtf;/5',conGernHig 
any Perfons that lived, or any confidera- 
ble A^ion that was done, much before 
the Trojan War^ 

X. The firft rife and progrefs of Arts, 
and Sciences in the world, may likewile 
sffbrd another fair probability-^ to thi« 
purpofe. Seneca aflerts, that there was 
not above a Thoufand Years fmce the be^ 
ginning of Arts and Sciences, to the time 
wherein he lived. There is fcarce ony 
pne of them fo an!:ient,but thattljeOrigif 

F 4 na^ 

/2 Of the Trincipks^ Sec. Lib. \. 

inaland firft Inventors of them are recorded 
in Story. Nor is there any Nation in the 
world, now accounted Civil, but within 
the Memory of Books, were utterly rude 
and barbarous. Now it is not imaginable 
that fo fagacious, fo bufy a Creature aS' 
Mankind is, could all of them have livec) 
^n infinity of Ages, deftitute of thofe 
Arts, lb advantageous for the comfort 
and benefit of Human Life, without fome 
fuccefsful attempts for the fiipplying of 
theirWants by them. 

If it be faid, that it is fofthle theA 
might havehapened many generallnunda- 
tionSjby which former Inventions might 
be loft and forgotten, and fuch a kind of 
Simplicity introduced into theWorld, as is 
proper to the firft and ruder Ages of it. 
,To this I have fliewed before, that a 
jneer poflibility to the contrary, can by 
no means hinder a thing from being highly, 
credible. To which I ihall presently add 
Ibmething farther. 

3 . If the World had been eternal, how 
comes it to p^ifs that it is not evejry-where 
inhabited and cultivated ? How is it, that 
tery probably a confiderable part of it is 
yet unknown ? It is not yet two hundred 
Years fmce, that one half of that which is 
now known lay undifcpvered. Whereas 

Chap. 5. 0/ Natural ^eli^n. 

jf we judge of its beginning by the pre- 
fent Plantations and Fulneft of it, accor- 
ding to thofe proportions wherein men 
and families are now multiplied, allowing 
for fuch kind of Devaftations, by War, 
Famine, Peftilence, Inundations, as are re- 
corded in credible Story to have hapned 
in former times ; I fay according to this, 
it will appear highly credible, that the be- 
ginning of the world was much about the 
time mentioned by Mofes for the Creati- 
on of it ; whereas had it been eternal, it 
muft long ere this have been over-flocked, 
and become too narrow for the Inhabi- 
tants, though we (hould fuppdfe the ad- 
dition but of one man every year. Nay, 
though we fuppofe but the addition of 
one man for every thoufand* years, yet 
long before this time there (hould have 
befen a far greater number than there 
^ould be fands in the earth, though the 
whole Globe were made, up of nothing 

If it be faid, that there may have been 
great checks given to the Increale of 
mankind by Wars, Famines, Peftilences, 
and Inundations;. 

To this it may be replied, that either 
jthefe extraordinary devaftations of man- 
Jkind, muft fall out regularly, fo as not to 

''"■••■■ be 

Of the Trinciples^ Sec. Lib. (^ 

be too much or too little ; and in this 
cafe, they mu ft be ordered by fome Wife 
Agent, which is God ; or elfe they muft 
be purely Cafual j And then it is by no 
means credible, but that the world muij: 
long .e're this have been wholly wafted, 
and left xjefolate of Inhabitants, or el(e 
frequently too much jepleniflied. 

But the moft plaufible (hift againft the 
force of this Argument is fetched from the 
inftapce of I^oab's Flood, by which the 
whole world was deftroyed, excepting 
one Family. The like whereto may fre- 
quently have hapned before, when per-_ 
haps one-onely Family did efcape, and 
thofe fuch ignorant perfons, as could give 
no true account of what w^as before. 

But neither will this fhift ferve the 
turn. Becaufe no man can give any ra- 
tional account, how 'tis poffible thatfuclj 
a general Flood fhould come, by any m- 
tural means. And if it htfup^matural^ 
that grants the thing I am proving, name- 
ly fuch a Supreme Being as can alter the 
courfe of nature ? But let it be fuppofecj 
natural'^ How comes it to pafs that fo much 
as one Family doth efcape ? Such kind of 
Deluges, as muft prevent the over- flock- 
ing of the world, muft beneceflary once 
livery tenor twenty thoufand years. A^^ 


chap. 5. of Katiiral (^Upon. 7j 

there muft ^ave happened m?^ny millloas 
pf them from all eternity. And who (hall 
take pare for the adjudging of theni to 
their proper feafon ? or for preventing 
the total deflrudlion of mankind ? Though 
we fliould grant this poflible cafualty, yet 
he who can believe that to be a probable 
cafualty which hath never come to pafi 
in an eternal duration, muft not pretend 
to be an enemy to Credulity. 

By what hath been faid it may appear,' 
that there is a very great advantage in 
the proofs for this Opinion, concerning 
the Beginning of the tvorU^ above the o- 
ther for the Eternity of it. 

Now for the Difficulties on each fide : 
Thofe relating to the Eternity of the 
world, have been already difcufled, in the 
proofs I have lately infifted upon. And as 
for the Opinion, concerning the Creation 
of it, the chief difficulty which Ariftotle 
doth mention, is from that Principle of 
his, Ex nihilo nihil fit ^ which is generally 
acknowledged to be true concerning natu- 
ral Generations, but muft not neceflarily 
be extended to fupernatural produdiions. 
It is one of the natural notions belonging 
to the Supreme Being, to conceive of him 
that he is Omnipotent. And it is very rea- 
Ibnable for us to believe, that our finite 


7^ Of the Principles, 8cc. Lib. I. 

under (landings cannot comprehend the 
utmoft extent of Omnipotence. And 
though the making of fomething out of 
nothing do argue an inconceivable pow- 
er, yet there is no contradi<ftion in it 
And if fuch things mud be denied which 
our Reafons cannot comprehend, we muft 
theri deny that any thing can be felf-ex- 
' iflent ; which yet is and muft be (uppofed, 
on both fides j It being altogether as dif- 
ficult for us to conceive, how any thing 
fhould he of it fdfy as how any thing 
fhould h made of nothing. So that this 
difficulty is not fuificient to overthrow 
this Opinion, and withal it doth extend 
equally to both fides. 

So then if it do appear, that betwixt 
tjiefe two Opinions the leaft and feweft 
difficulties do lye on that fide which 
hath the plaineft and ftrongeft proofs: 

There is no queftion to be made, 
which way every impartial man will de- 
termine his opinion* 

I do not pretend that thefe Argunients 
are Demonfirations^ of which fhe nature 
of this thing is not cajpable : But they 
ire fuch ftrong probabilities, as ought 
to prevail with all thofe, who are not 
^ble to produce greater probabilities to 
the contrary. 



chap. 5. of Natural ^Ugion. 

As for that other OpimoHj concerning 
Epicurus his Atoms, it is fo extravagant 
and irrational, and hath been fo abun- 
dantly confuted by others, that I cannot 
think it expedient to fpend any time in 
the difcuffing of it. 



5^8 Of the principles y Sec. Lib. I 


3, Arg. From the admirable contri^ 
Vance of Natural Things. 

3.T7ROM that excellent Contrivance 
Ji which there is in all natural things. 
Both with refped to that Elegance and 
Beauty which they have in themfelves fe- 
parately confidered, and that regular Or- 
der and Subferviency wherein they (land 
towards one another ; together with the 
exadt fitnefs and propriety, for the fcve- 
ral purpofes for which they are defigned. 
From all which it may be inferred, that 
thefe are the productions of fome Wife 

The mod fagacious man is not able to 
ifind out any blot or error in this great vo- 
lume of the world, as if any thing in it 
had been an imperfcd: Effay at the firft, 
fuch as afterwards flood in need of mend- 
ing : But all things continue as they were 
from the beginning of the Creation. 
De divi- ^^^ ^^^ frequently inpft upon this, 
mtionc, as the moft natural refult from that beau- 
lib. 2. |.y ^nd regularity to be oblerved in the 
Univerjfe, Ejfe pra:Jlantem aliquam^ (Bter- 


chap. 6. of Natural fl(eligion. p^ 

namqi naturam^ & earn fufpicienJam ado- 

randamq; hominum generic pulchritudo mun^ 

di ordoqi rerum caleftiutn cogit confiteri. 

^ The great elegance and order of things 

^ in the world, is abundantly enough to 

** evince the Neceffity of fuch an eternal 

** and excellent Being, to whom \^e owe 

" adoration. And in another place, Qjfid dc Natur 

foteft ejfe tarn apertum^ iamq\ perffumm^ Dcor, lib 

cuni cmlum fufpeximm^ cadeftiaq\ cent em- ^* 

plati fumus , qu&m altquod effe Numen 

praftantijjima mentiSy quo hmc regatitur. 

" What can be more obvious than to in- 

** fer a fupreme Deity, from that order 

" and government we may behold a- 

*^ mongft the heavenly Bodies ? 

The fevcral viciflitudes of Night and 
Day^ Winter and Summer^ the producti- 
on of Aft^fr^/i, the growth of Plant s^ the . 
generation of Animals according to their 
feveral Species ; with the Law of Nati4ral 
Inftin^y whereby every thing is inclined 
and enabled, for its own prefervation : 
The gathering of the Inhabitants of the 
Earth into Nations, under diftind: Poli- 
cies and Governments j thofe advantages 
which each of them have of mutual 
Commerce, for fupplying the wants of 
each other, are fo many diftindl Argu- 
ments to the fame, purpofe. : 


8o Of the Trmciplesj 8cc, Lib. I. 

I cannot here omit the Obfervations 
which haye been made in thefe latter times, 
fince we have had the ufe and improve- 
ment of the Microfcopey concerning that 
great difference, which by the help of 
that, doth appear betwixt natural and ar^ 
tificial things. Whatever isNiirtrj/doth 
by that appear adorned with all imagi- 
nable Elegance and Beauty. There are 
fuch inimitable Gildings and Embroide- 
ries in the fmalleft Sti^s of Plants, but 
efpecially in the parts of Animals, in the 
head or eye of a fmall Fly : Such accu- , 
rate Order and Symetry in the Frame of 
the moft minute Creatures, a Lovofe or a 
Mite ; as no man were able to conceive 
without feeing of them. Whereas the mofl: 
curious works of Art, the ftiarpeft fined 
Needle, doth appear as a blunt rough Bar 
of Iron coming from the Furnace or the 
Forge. The moft accurate Engravings or 
Emboflments , (eem fuch rude bungling 
deformed works, as if they had been dwie 
witha Matsock or aTrowel. So vaft a dif- 
ference is there betwixt the skill of Nature^ 
and the rudenefsand imperfe<3:ionof Art. 
And for fuch kind of Bodies, as we are 
able to judge of by our naked Eyes, that 
excellent contrivance which there is in the 
feveral parts of them ^ their being focom- 


Chap. 6. of Natural ^ligton. 8l 

modioufly adapted to their proper ufes, 
may be another Argument to this purpofe. 
As particularly thofe in humane Bodies^ 
upon confideration of which, Galen him- 
felf, no great Friend to Religion, could 
not but acknowledge a Deity. In his Book 
de Formattone Fistus^ he takes notice, that 
there are in a humane body above 600 fe* 
veral Mufcles^ and there are at leaft ten 
feveral Intentions, or due Qualifications, 
to be obferved in each of thefe ; Proper 
figure j juft majgnitude, right difpofition of 
its feveral enck, upper and lower Pofiti- 
on of the whole, the infertion of its pro^ 
per Nerves, Veins, and Arteries, which 
are each of them to be duly placed j fo 
that iabout the Mufcles alone, ho left than 
6000 fevefal ends or aims are to be at- 
tended to. Thq Bones are tedfconedtobft 
184 J the diftind fcopes or ihterit?i[ons ift 
each of thefe, are above forty, in all a- 
bout looooOi And thus is it in fon'ie pro- 
portion with all the other parts, tiieSkhy 
. Ligaments J Fipffe/sy Glandules^ ^Humors j But 
more efpeciaily with the feveral Members 
of the Body, ^yhich do in regard of the 
great variety and multitude of thofe feve- 
ral intentions required to them, very much 
.exceed the Himegi^neous pzrts. And the 
failing in any one of thefe, would caufe an 

G irre- 

of the Trhicipks, &c. Lib. T. 
irregularity jn the Body, and in many of 
them, fuch as would be very notorious. 
And thus likewife is it in proportion 
with all other kinds of Beings j Mineralsy 
Vegetables : But e(pecially with fuch as 
are Senfitive., Infe^ls^ P'fies-, BirefsyBeafts; 
And in thefe yet more efpecially, lor 
thofe Organs and Faculties that concern 
Setifatim : But raofl: of all, for that kind 
of Frame which relates to our Unekrfland- 
ing Power, whereby we are able to corredl 
the Errors of our Senfes and Imaginati- 
ons, to call before us things pafl: and fu- 
ture, and to behold things that are invi- 
fible to Senfe. 

Now to imagine, that all thefe things, 
according to their fc vera! kinds, could be 
brought into this regular Frame and Order, 
towhichfachaninfinitenumber of Inten- 
tions are required, without the contri- 
vance of fome wife Agent, mufl needs be 
Irrational in the higheft: degree. 

And then, as for the Frame of Hnmayie 
Mature it felf. If a Man doth butccn/ider 
how he is endowed with fuch a Natural 
Principle, whereby he is neceflarily incli- 
ned to feek his own well-being and Hap- 
pinefs : And likewife with one Faculty 
whereby he js enabled to judge of the na- 
ture of things, as to their fitnefs or unfit- 

Chap. 6. of Natural <I(eligm. 83] 

nefs for this end : And another Faculty 
whereby he is enabled to chufe and pro- 
fecttte iuch things as tnzy promote this 
end, and to reject and avoid fuch things 
as may hinder it. And that nothing pro* 
' perly is his Duty^ but what is really his 
tnterefi : This may be another Argument 
to convince hint, that the Author of his 
Being muft be infinitely Wife and Pow-^ 

The wifefl: Man is not able to imagine 
how things (hould be better than now 
they are, (uppofing them to be contrived 
by the Wifeft Agent ; and where wd . 
meet with all the Indications and Evi-^ 
dences of (uch things as the thing is ca* 
pable of, fuppofing it to be true, It mufli 
needs he very Irrational to make an]p 
doubt of it. r 

Nt)w I appeal xmto any confidering; 
Man, unto what Caufe all this Exadneft . 
and Regularity can be reafonably afcri- . 
l?ed, Wh^her to blind Chance^ or to blind 
Necefjity^ .or to the Condudt of fome wife . . 
Intelligent Being. 

Though we fliould fuppofc both Mat-- 
^et and Motion to be Eternal, yet is it not 
in the leaft credible, that infertfible Mat- 
ter could be the Author of all thofe ex- 
cellent Contrivance? which we behold in 

G % thefe . 

?4 - Of the Trinciples] &c. ^ Lib. P. 

thi^fe natural i things. : If oaoy jone (hall 
furraife^ . thatthefe E{fedls?imay ;pr^ 
from the Amni^MuHiii r^ I ^otM isk jfoch 
a piie. Is this Anifka 'Mun^i\n iriteUigient} 
Being, or is it. void of all ^ Berceptionand 
Reafott ? If it have no. kind of. fcnfe oir 
knowledge,' Then-'tis ahrogeiher iitecdle& 
to: aflert any fuch Priiicipte, ibccoiife Mat-? 
ter and Motion- iniay fervse'fb 
pofe as \yell. If it be an Intelligent.Wife 
Eternal Being, . This iis GDt>, under ano- 
ther Natee;' *•■:■ ..-.! i \.::m -^'U: \. 
./ As for75i/tf^or'jN^(frtj^^^ 
be as blind iaind as u^t t6 prbducetwiie 
Effed:si as O&^^ce it felf. \?. :^^/ 

from whenoe. it will follow, That it 
mud be a Wife Being ithat is the Ckuie 
of thefeWifeElFecas. . ./ vJ /) 

By what hath been faidupoii tUsSub-^ 
}edy it 'may / rappear^ Tiiajt thdfe/.YiSble 
Rom-i*ao. things of the World zttfajficient toJeav't 
Aa$ 14- a 'Man without Excufcy As being the iVit-^ 
*^' nefes of a Deityy jahdfuch as do plainj^ 

PfilMQ* declare his great t^iver and Ghry. ^ 

" I 

J _ 

ill. I • -■ ' - I . • 



X • 

^hap. 7. ofNiituml ^l^ioii^ ' Zf 

. C H /k P. VII. 
4. 4fgt- Froni^frQyiifmSy and the^ 

r • ■ , , . . . 

•". ■;• 7^ I • , : )■ - M- )] *■' ■ ■•. ■ ♦ ■ ^ ■ i". 

4\pR6M tlifi WoEks of ProvUeme 
XP in the Government of the World ; 
and that continual Experience which we 
have of fofiie wife ;and powerful Being, 
who doth prefidft over, arid govern all 
things ; not only by his general Concourfe 
in preferving all kinds of thingj in their 
Beings, and regulating them in their Ope* 
rations : But chiefly in his wife and juft 
Government over Mankihd, andHunjane 
Affairs, which may appear by fuch EffeSs 
as are Y Ordinary. 

^ Extraordinary* 
I. For the more r(wi»^» Effeds of it ; 
namely, that general SucceG which in the 
ordinary Courfe of .things dotji accom- 
pany Honefl and virtuous Aiftions : And 
the Puriifliment and Vengeance that doth 
one time or other in this World ufually 
befal fuch as. are wicked. Both Virtue 
and Vice being generally, and for the 
mo^ part, fumcieritly diftinguiftied by 
Rewards and Punilhments in this Life. . 

• <j 3 There 

^6 Of the frinciplesy 8cc. Lib, I. 

There are indeed fome Inftances to the 
' contrary, concerning the Miferies of good 
Men, and the Profp'erity of the Wicked : 
^ut thefe have been by (everal of the 
wifeft Heatbeffj Plato, Plutarch, tuUy, Se^ 
neca^ &c. fufficiently vindicated, by the 
cleareft Principles of Reafpn, from being 
any Prejudice to the wife Government of 

It is not either Neceflary or Conveni- 
ent, that Happinefs and Profperity in this 
Life , which is the ufual Reward of Vir- 
tue, ftiould have either fiich a Phyfical 
or Mathematical Certainty, as could not 
poffibly fail. Becaufe, 

I. It would not be confident with our 
dependent Conditions, that Worldly Pro- 
fperity Ihould be fo infallibly under the 
Power of our own Endeavours, as that 
God himfelf might not fonietimes inter- 
pofe for bur Difappbintment. If I may 
have leave to .fuppofe what I ani now 
proving, namely, a Wife and Omnipotent 
Providence, It muft needs appear highly 
reafonable, that it fhould be left to his In- 
finite Wi(cloin and Power, to make what 
referved Cafes he pleafcs, from the ordi- 
nary Courfc of things}. From whence it 
\i^ill follow; that thefe unequal DiQ)ea- 
fations can be ho fufRcient Ground for the 
ibisbelief of Providence. • %. 1\ 

chap. 7. of Natural ^ligion. S7 

a. It would very much prejudice ano- 
ther great Principle of Religion, which is 
of mighty Influence for the regulating of 
Mens Lives and Adions in this World, 
namely, the Belief and Expectation of a 
Future State of Rewards and Punilhments. ' 

3 . If Temporal Profperity did infalli- ^ 
bly attend all good A<ftions, This wbuld 
be a Diminution to Virtue it felf, Men 
would do good by a kind of Natural Ne- 
ceflity ; which would abate juft fb much 
from the Virtue of their Adions, as it 
does from the Liberty of them. It is fuf- 
ficient, that Morai J^ ions ihouldhzve Mo- 
ral Motives. And that Virtue doth gene* 
rally, and for the mod part, make Men 
profperous and happy in this World. We 
ifnowby Experience, that all Mankind do 
in their moft weighty Affairs, think it luf- 
ficient to depend upon fuch Caufes as d6 
commonly, and for the moft part prove 
effediial to the ends for which they are 
defigned. So that this very thing, which 
is ufually looked upon as the greateft Ol- 
jeHiin againfi Providence, is really and 
truly an Argument for it. 

z. Tor ExtraordinaryE^c&so( it. If we 
give any credit to the univerfal Hiftory of 
>all Ages and Nations Jt will by that appear, 

G 4 I. That 

S$ of the principles y Sec. Lib, L 

1. That there have many times hap- 
pened fuch fpecial figdal Providences-fdr 
the//^;wyJiAig of obftinate Sinners, and for 
the Deliverance oi fuch ds were Reh'gious, 
in anfwer to their Prayers, whereby the 
Supreme Governor of the World hathfo 
yifibly pointed out his Will and Meaning, 
and fo plainly manifefted his Power, thSt 
every Impartial Man muft be forced to 
fay, douhtlefs there is a God that judges in 
fhe Earth. 

2. That fometimes Miracles have btta 
wrought, which could not be effeAed 
without the help of fpme Superior Power ; 
And fometimes there have been plain Pror 
phecies and Predidions concerning fuch 
future things, as in their various Circum- 
fiances were contingent, of which the 
^tfftals of all Ages and Nations, as well 
Heathens as Chriftians, do give very par- 
ticular and large Accounts* And though 
we niay^ikfely grant, that-fome of the 
Stpries |o this purpofe, delivered either 
from the more^witf/^/ or /^/(frtimes, were 
fabiiloiis and vain ; yet for a Man to deny 
^that ever fuch things, happened in the 
Wprld, but that they were all meer For- 
geries aijd Designs to. cheat Ppfterity, 
this were .to fubvert the Credit of aU 
Hiftory j which is fo immodeft a thing* 


Chat). 7. (/ Natural ^eli^iou. ^p 

as any Sober Man would . be alhamy of. 
Thefe Arguments are more largely dif- 
cufled by others, who have writ upon 
this Subje(3;: But there is one Particular 
which to me feems very confidcrable to 
this purpofe, though but little notice .of 
it be taken by others : And that is^ The 
State of the Jewijh Nation, who for thefe 
idoo Years have been driven out of their 
^wn Country, having now no particular 
Place of abode belonging to them as a Na- 
tion ; but are fcattered arid dilperfed o^ 
ver ail the habitable World, hated and dcr 
fpifed whereever they are permitted to 
dwell J very frequently, perfecutcd, iro- 
poveriihed, . baniOied, furthered ; in .va^ 
multitudes ;. and notwithftanding all th.($, 
they are not yet. fo mixed and blended 
with other Nations,as to be loft amongft 
them ; but are ftill kept up a diflindl: 
People, there being no Inftance like this 
in any Story. As if they were intended 
for a {landing Memorial and. Example to 
the World, of the Divine Power add ' 
Vengeance* To me it feems, amongfl: 
Rational Arguments, one of the plaineft, 
not only for the proof of a Deity, and b 
Juft Providence in purfuing that Nation 
^ >vith fuch [exemplary Vengeance j but 
**Jikewife for the Authority of Scripture, 
/ ' ' - and 

<^b Of the Trinciples^ Sec. Libt I. 

and the Truth of the Chriftian Reli- 

1 might here add another Argument to 
the fame purpofe, from Natural Confci- 
ence^ which is God's Deputy, and doth 
internally witneft for him, as other Crea- 
tures do externally. *Tis plain, that all 
Mankind are in fome meafure endowe4 
with this ; and one may as well aflert, 
that Hope and Fear are not natural to 
Men, as that Confcience is not. To this 
purpofe I might farther argue, from thofe 
natural Notions of our Minds concerning 
Cood and JEi/i/, the Bounds of which are 
fixed in the Nature of Things, and do not 
depend either upon Cuflam or Pofitive 
JLaw. Thole things which have in them 
a fitfiefs to promote our chirf end, being 
fly led Goadj and implying 4n the very 
Definition of then^ Comelinefs and Reward; 
Thofe things which^ have in them a na- 
tural aptitucje to hinder our Chief End, 
being ftyled EvU^nd idiplying in the de- 
finitions of them Turpitude and Vuntfh- 
went. From whence it will follow, that 
there muft be fome Superior Pow^r, who 
by framing things with fuch refpedls to- 
wards one another, may be faid to have 
declared this Law of Nature, and to have 
taken care to enforce the obfervance of 



chap, 7. 0/ Natural ^lipon. 9 1 

it ; both thefe belonging to the nature of 
a Law. But I may perhaps have occafi- 
on to fpeak more particularly to this af- 

Thefe things put together,are fo ftrong 
$n evidence, and fo fufficient to convince 
the Exiftence of a Deity, that thh Man- 
muft be very wilful who doth hot fub- 
mit and acquiefce init* And for this Rea- 
fon is it (faith a Nolle Author)^ that God L- s^w 
never yet wrought any Miracle to con- ^*J^* 
yince an Atheiji j becaufe to a Man that 
is capable of being convinced,hisi ordinary 
Works are fufficient to this purpofe. And 
I fhould think it much more eafy and ra- 
tional Cfaith the fame Author) to believe 
9II the Fables in the Poets^ the Le^nJ^ 
the Talmud^ and the Alcoran^ than that 
this Universal Frame fliould be without a 
Creator and Governor. 

And now it may not be improper to .. 
Ipok back, and, take a review of what kind 
of Evidence hath been produced in this 
Matter. As for any mmediate Proof fromi 
our outward Senfes^ this cannot be pre- 
tended to, for the demonftration of fuch 9 • 
Being as i$ fuppofed to be a pure Spirit 
and invifible j but for the mediate Proofs 
from theeffedisof a Wife Omnipotent A- 
gent, we pjin Iqpk po \yjiere a|?put us, but 
' every 

p i Of the ^riiiciphsj &G. Lik ll 

every Objed doth;, afford* evidence dfil; 
There is nd conclufion In Phifofophy f rfoe 
immediately apparent to the Senfe|)that irf 
capable of fo full and unqueilionabfe a» 
Evidence from plain ^Effeilsy as this. 

As fojf that kind of Tftv&ard Senfatidni 
whcrdby we can difcern the ImpreflTionrf 
of pur own Minds, They that have any 
fenfe of a Law written in their Hearts, oi* 
any Natural Notions about Good and E-- 
vil, -mull,' by thefe effeds be cortvinced 
of a Supreme Being. And as for that kinl^ 
of Evidence which belongs to our Under- 
ftandings, if the Univerfal Confent of 
Mankind be of any Authority: If this Yi^ 
fible' Worlds replenifiied With fuch admi- 
rable variety of Creatures, preferved and 
governedf in fuch an excellent Order, be 
any evidence of Infinite Power lartd Wif* 
dom : If befides what we our felves have 
known by our own Experience, any Gre- 
dit be to be given to Univerfal Hiftory,- 
attefting to many Signal Providences- that? 
have happ6n'd in the World : Befides the 
feveral Miracles and Prophecies that have 
been taken notice of in feveral Ages and 
Nations. ITay if any, or all of thefe things 
be of any force, they muft needs' fender 
the thing I am proving to be credibte in 
the higheft decree, and ieven altogether 
unqueftionable. In^- 

chap. /• .if Natural (I(eUgml) pj 

•V Irribrniich,. tfeatif a l>eity be fuppofed, 

ill is not infiii^ible:b5r what other kindof 

Eifidetite JSFie ftiould'be adGTared of it,- thaii 

Whdt \ve are bow* fuf niftied withal. And 

it .was before laidJdawfa as a Principle, 

That whewd .thing is caf able of good proof chap. 5. 

inaf^y kindj iMen oiigkt ti refi fatkfyd in Prop- 3- 

tht i(fi Evidence for it ngohich ihat kind tf 

tking.mtl MoTy and heyond n^icb 'letter 

could not he expeffed^ fi^fpofi^g ^t were 


.,. If any ihould imagine, that frequent 

Miracles ndi^t be a more powerful means 

to cptivincf^ Men of , this Principle. To 

this it may be faid. 

I. That this is not fitting : The proper 
Work of Miracles being for the confirma- 
tion of fuch Do<ftrines as are not knowa- 
ble by .natural Light, not for^fuch thing* 
of which fMen may tefiifficiently convin- 
ced by Reafon, 

X. /Tis not fo certiin, that this WQuld 
hteffeBual. Thofe frequent Miracles in 
the Paflage of j^^id'i?/ out of Eppt ^AThff 
Dividing of die iifd-Eear The Waters out 
o£^he Rock, The Cloud' ^and Pillar of Fire> 
the Mannah,The Quails, The Deftrudioa 
of Korah^ .&c. did not prevail with the 
geiaerality. of ih^Ifrdelites. Thofe con- 

AvsA Mir«cle& uikJo: the Mofaical Diipeo'- 
''■■-' ' ■ fation J 

96 Of the Principles, Sec. Lib. I. 

fidered thefe Arguments,! would then ask, 
Have you not as much Reafon for this, as 
ypu your felves would think fufficient 
for the proof of any thing you were not 
unwilling to believe? Do you not know- 
ingly and wilfully entertain Prejudices a- 
gainft fuch things ?. Have you been true to 
fo much Light as'you have received? Or 
have you not riather with-held it in Un- 
righteoufnefs ? If fo, 'tis plain that you 
have Diftioneft Minds, that you meafure 
by an Unjiift Balance, and therefore can- 
not be competent Judges of Truth or 

If it be fuppofed yet farther, that the 
Probabilities on each Cxd^ fliould be equal, 
or that thofe on the other fide fliould 
fomewhat preponderate ; yet if there be 
no confiderable hazard on that fide which 
hath the lead probability, and a very 
great and moft apparent danger in a mi- 
llake. about the other j in this cafe tvtry 
rational and prudent Man is bound to or- 
der his Adions infavour of that Way which 
appears to Ipe niofl: lafe and advantageous 
ifor his owfi Intereft, as I have fliewed 
ffopij. before. 

So that in fuch cafes as may feerh'tid- 
to us not altogether free from fpme kind 
of doubt, and which we could not fo fair 


Chap. 7. of Natural ^ligion. > p7 

dear up to our felves , as to make thent 
appear wholly unqiieftionable ; I fay, in 
fuch cafes, Men that would ac^ prudent- 
ly, (hould enquire, Where lies the danger 
of Miftaking ? 

Why,on the one fide, All the inconve- 
nience of Believing this (if it be not fo,> 
will be, that we are hereby occafioned 
to tie our felves up to fome needkls R^ 
ftraints during this (hort time of our Lives, 
wherein notwithftanding there is as to the 
/r^;f/,muchpeace,quiet,and fafety; And . 
as for the futurej our Errors fhall die with 
us, there being none to call us to an ac- 
count for our Miftake. 

But now on the other fide, what if 
there fliould be a Deity fo holy, and jufl, 
and powerful, as isfuppos'd? ifthisfhould 
prove to be a real truth (and no man can 
be fure of the contrary)what Vengeance 
and Indignation may fuch vile Mifcreants 
and Traitors expert, who have made it 
their bufineft to banilh Him out of the 
World, who is the great Creator and Go- , 
vernor of it ; to undermine his Being, to 
eradicate all Notions of Him out of the 
Minds of Men; to provoke his Creatures 
and Vaflals to a contempt of Him , a flight^ 
ing of his Fear and Worihip, as being but 
&ch imaginary Chimera's, as are fit only 

H to 

9 8 Ofthefrinciplesy &c. Lib.l. 

to keep Fools in awe ? Certainly, as this 
is the higheft Provocation that any Man 
can be guilty of, fo fhall it be puniihed 
with the foreft Vengeance. 

There are two things that Athetftical 
Men propofe to themfelves By their Pro- 
phane Loofe Principles, namely, to avoid 
the imputation of Credulity, and the Fears 
Md Perplexities of Mind, to which Reli- 
gion makes Men obnoxious. But their 
Frinciples are not more irratiMal^ than 
their Dejign is foolijhi for of all Mankind 
thefe Prophane Perfons are, 

X. The mod Credulous^ who can be-- 
lieve themfelves to be wifer than all the 
World, who can believe the Eternity of 
the World, or its Produdion by a cafual 
Concourfe of Atoms, without any kind of 
Argument for it, againft the many Rea- 
fons that are urged to the contrai^. Who 
if they fhould demean themfelves about 
Matters of the World, as they do about 
ReligicMi, would be counted ridiculous, 
ienfelefs Perfons, and altogether unfit for 
Human Converfation. 
^^^ , X. The moflt Timorous. ThUj hath ob- 
Del^uKi . ferved, that no kind of Men are more a- 
cSiJ. fraid of God, than fuch as pretend not to 
beltQve his Being. Thefe are the Men 
who above all others are ttioH liable to he 


Chap. 7. of Natural Religion. y 9: 

affeded with Dread and Trembling, at 
Thunder and Lightning, at Solitude and 
Darknefs, and more efpecially then when 
k doth mod concern theoi to be freed 
from fuch DifquietSy namely^ in the time 
of Sicknefs, and the Approaches of Death. 
. From whence it wUl follow, that upon 
all accounts Atheifm may juftly be ac- 
counted F^lly ; both as it is diredly con- 
trary to the Principles of Reafon^ and the 
Rules of ff^W. 

1 have now done With the /Ir/? thing 
required to a ftate of Religion, namely^ 
A Bdi^And an AcknmleJgment of the Df- 
vine Nature and Exijlence. 



1 00 Of the principles y &c. Lib. L 


Concerning the Excellencies and PerfeSionf 
of the Divine Nature : AndFirfi oftbofe 
which are commonly c^i^^^/Incommuiiica- 
ble, namely y Simplicity, Unity, Imma- 

ability. Infinitenefi. {^^^'J' 


Proceed to the Second thiog propo- 
sed as a principal part of Natural Re- 
ligion, namely, Due Apprehenfions of the 
Divine Excellency and PerfeSHans. ' With^ 
out which, the mere belief of his Being, 
will contribute but little to a true ftate 
of Religion. A Man may have fuch un- 
worthy Notions of a Deity, that it would 
in fome refpedJs be as good, nay much 
better, to be without a God^ than to have 
fuch a one, as he may frame. ^' It would 
.ord »/•- "be better (faith a great Author) to have 
ms Ef- « ^Q Opinion of God, than fuch a one as 
"is unworthy of him j the one is but 
" mere Unhlief^ the other is Contumely. 
'Tis a common Saying cited out of PA- 
tarch^s Book of Superftition , where he 
prpfefleth it much more defirable to him, 
that Pofterity fhould fay, that there ne- 
ver was any fuch Man as Plutarch^ rather 


C hap. 8* of Katural ^ligkn. i o I 

than that he was a fierce, unconftant, re^ 
vengeful Man, one who upon the leaft 
omiflion of any fmall Circumftance to-^ 
wards him, by Men otherways virtuous 
and worthy, would tear out their Hearts, 
deftroy their Families and Children, blaft 
their Fields, fpoil their Cattel with Light- 
ning iamd Thunder. This would be fuch 
a reprefentation as would make the notion 
and remembrance of him hateful ; and^ 
it were better to be forgotten, than to 
be remembred with Infamy. Now there 
are fomeOpinions which do thus i*eproach 
the Deity, and render him under fuch a 
Notion, that if the Giants had prevailed 
in theirAttempt againft Heaven,that place ^ 
had not beenworfe fupply'd. Thiis there- 
fore ought to be moft carefully avoided* 
Whereas the Divine Nature is fuppofed 
to be the firft and fupreme Good,therefore 
the Ideadi allabfolutePerfet^ion muftbe 
eflential to the Notion of him. And tho' 
it be very difficult for us to raife our 
Minds toany due apprehenfions of this; yW 
we muft endeavour in our Thoughts of 
him, fo far as our Finite Underftandings 
are capable, to remove and (eparate from 
him whatever is in any kind evil and un- 
worthy, and to afcribe unto him the utmoft 
degree of all Goodnefs and Perfection. 

H 3 The 

I03 Of the frincipksy &Ct Lib. L 

The raoft general Notion that Men 
have of God, is, that be is the j/frft CaiM/e», 
and a Beiffg of altfoffihle PerfeHion. 

Some of his principal Excellencies diC- 
coverable by the Light of Nature,nwiy b© 
reduc'd to thefeHcadsj namely, ftich as arc 

StlHconttminicahle ; 

^Ahfolute Sim/ikHy. 
Ejjetitial Unity. 

^ I Infinitenefs^]^. in refpe<3: of Place 
and Time. 
\ J$ifint€i^ty» 
L {jpcmmunicaile ; beloogtflg either to the 


f J ^Particular Providence. 
Will, namely^ his 

II I ^Goodnefs. 
(I (-Faithfulnefs. 
{^Faculties of Ailing^ his 
k Pother. 

^DominioH over w in this Life. 
I Dlfirihtaingof Fntnre Rtwardsi 

and PunifimoMfs^ 


chap. 8. of T^tural <^Ugioru 103 

Each of tbefe Attributes are upon this 
account of very great confequence to be 
believed and conadered, becaufe they are 
the foundations of thofe Duties of Religi^ 
on which we owe to him. According as 
a Man apprehends God to be, fo mud his 
Efieem be of him^ and his Demeanor to- 
wards him« 

And whereas thefe great and neceflary 
Points, of fo much influence to Religion, 
have been ufually treated of by others 
either too largely^ by the inferting of fe- 
veral thinK lefs pertinent j or too ohfcure- 
fyj by , offering fuch Proofs concerning 
them as are le^ intelligible, or intermix^ 
ing the Difcourfes about them with fiich 
Niceties as are neither very eafy to be fol- 
ved, nor material for Men to know : I 
ihall therefore in this place endeavour to 
avoid both thefe Inconveniendes,by treat- 
ing concerning each of them with all ima- 
ginable Brevity and plainnefi : Gbfcrviog 
this Af ethod. 

Firtt, I (hall endeavour to exj>lain and 
defcribe what is meant by each Attri- 
bute ; and then prcve^ that thefe Attri- 
butes, fo explained, muft belong to the 
Natural Notion of God. Which I fliall 
make out, both by the coT^ent of the 
wifeft Heathen^ exprefs'd by their deckr'd 

H 4 Opinions, 

1 04 of the Trmciples^ &c. Lib. I. 

Opinions, and by their general Pradice 
fuitablc thereunto : And from the Nature 
pf the things themfelves ; their congruity 
to the Principles of Reafon, and the Ah- 
furJities that will follow upon the denial ' 
of them. 

Thofe are called Incommunicahle Attri- 
butes,which are proper to God aloneii and 
not communicated to any Creature. ./ 

The frfi of thefe I have propofed to 
treat of, is his Ahfolute Simplicity. By v 
which I mean his freedom from all kind 
of compofition or mixture, either of 
Principles or of Parts : And that this doth 
belong to the Natural Notion of the Deity, 
may be evident, 

I. From teftimony of the Heathen Phi- . 
lofopherSi who do generally acknowledge 
him to be the Firfl Caufe, and the mod 
Simple Being, and do frequently ftile him 
mens pur a ^ fincera fegregata ab omni con- 
cretione morta/ij &c. And not only Scrip- 
ture^hut the very Heathen likewife do ex- 
prefe this Attribute by the Similitude ^of 
Ught^ amongfl: all vifible things the mod 
pure and Ample. 

X. From Natural Reafen^ by which it 
will appear, that God cannot be com- 
pounded of any Principles, becaufe the 
Principles and Ingredients which concur 


Chap. 8. of Natural Religion. 105 

to the making of any thing, muft be an- 
tecedent to that thing. And if the Di- 
vine Nature were compounded, it would 
follow that there muft be fomething in 
Nature before him. Which is inconfiftent 
with his being the firft Caule. 

And here I (hall take occafion to fpeak 
fonjewhat concerning the Spirituality of 
the Divine Nature, as having fome Affini- 
ty with this, though it be none of the //f^ 
communicable Attributes. 

I know it hath been faid, with Confi- 
dence' enough, that the Notion of a Spi- 
rit^ or Immaterial Suhfiance^ doth imply 
a Contradiction ; and that there is an ut- 
ter Impoflibility of any other Being be- 
fides Matter. But though this hath been 
faid^ yet was it never proved^ nor can it 
be, till either a Man be able to evince, 
that the Notion of the word SuhftancCy 
according to the moft general ufe of it^ 
C which gives Signification to Words) doth 
neceflarily imply Corporeity ^ than which 
nothing, can be more falfe j or unlefe a 
Man (hall pretend to the certain Know- 
ledge and Comprehenfion of all things 
that are or may be, than which nothing 
can be more vain. 

What the Tofitive Notion of a Spirit is, 
is not fo neceffary to enquire after, or de- 


P4 V ^^^ TrincipleSj 6cc. Lib. L 

fation J The Waters of Jealoufy j The ex- 
traordinary Plenty of the SixthYear jThc 
Urim and Thummimj The (peciai Prote-p 
<^on of the Coafts of Ifrael every Third 
Year, when all the Males were to go up 
to Jerufalem to worfliip j which Cuftom ot 
theirs muft needs be known to theirEne- 
mies who lived round about them : None 
of all thefe did prove effedflal for the 
conviiStion of obftiriateMen. Thofe oc- 
cafional Miracles wrought by our Savi- 
our, though they were (o many, and fo 
great, as were never before wrought by 
any one,- yet did they not prevail with 
many of the jfews. 

If it be faid, That none of thefe Proofs 
do fo infallibly conclude, but that there 
doth ftill remain a Pafthility that the thing 
may be otherwife. To this I have fhew- 
f^^op.4. gj before. That there may be an induUia- 
hie Certainty ,whcre there is not an infaU 
lible Certainty; And that a mter poffihtlity 
to the contrary, is not a fufficient Caufc 
of doubting* To which I now add, That 
if it Ihould be fuppofed, that a Man could 
not be fure of the Being of God, yet 'tis 
moft evident that he co'ald not be fi^re of 
the contrary ; For this plain Reafon, Be^ 
caufe no Man can be fure oizPureNega-* 
tiyey namely, That fuch aThing is not j 

. unlefs 


chap. ?• of Natural ^liglon. pj 

unlefs he will either pretend to have a cer- 
tain knowledge of all Things that are or 
may be; than which nothing can be more 
monftroufly and ridiculoufly arrogant j or 
el(e, unlefs he be fure that the being of 
what he denies doth imply acontradidion, 
for which there is not the lead colour in 
this cafe ; The true Notion of God con- 
fiding in this, That he is a Being of all pof- 
fille PerfeSlion. 

If it be^ fuppofed,that notwithftanding 
all that hath been faid, there may yet be 
fome Probabilities to the contrary. To 
this it may be anfwer'd, that unleft thefe 
Probabilities were greater and ftronger 
than thofe.on the other fide, no man who 
a(5ts rationally will incline to them. And if 
there be any fuch, why are they not pro- 
duced ? Where are they to be found ? 

If Men (hall yet pretend, Thattho'they 
cannot anfwer thefe Arguments, yet they 
do really find fome doubt in their own 
Minds. I would ask fuch. Have you fe- 
rioufly and impartially confidered what is 
alledged in this cafe? It (hould be no preju- 
dice to any Propofition in Philofophy or 
Mathematicks^that an ignorant Man,who 
never apply 'd hisThoughts to fuch things, 
doth pretend to doubt of it. If you do 

yn fome meafure uaderftand,and have con- 
fidered ' 


108 of the Principles y 8cc. Lib. T. 

the Laws of Matter arc neceffary^ there 
can be no auT^^woi', or arbitrary Principle 
in meer Matter. And it is worth Obfer- 
vation, how this very Argument puzzled 
Epicurus and his Followers, as is repre- 
(ented by Lucretius. If all material things 
move by neceflary Laws, and the parts 
of Matter be naturally fo difpos'd, that 
they do not move unlefs they be moved, 
and cannot but move when prefs*d upon 
by other parts that are in motion ,• whence 
comes that Liberty which we may by an 
inward Senfation perceive to be within 
us ? 

Unde efl hac inquam fatis avolfa 
voluntas ? 

To which he gives fo wild and irrational 
an Anfwer, from the motion of declining 
Atoms, as doth fuificiently manifeft him 
to be baffled by this Obje^ion. 

The fecond Incommunicable Attribute 
. to be treated of, is the efential lenity of 
the Divine Nature. By which 1 mean , 
his being One and no more. And that 
this PerrecStibn doth belong to the natu- 
ral Notion of God, may be made evident 
both by Tefiimony and by Reafw. 

I. By 

Chap. 8. of Natural ^lipon. • 105^ 

I. By Teflimon^. I have (hewed before^ 
how that notwitbftanding that Polythe-^ 
ifm which did fo generally abound a- 
mongft the Heathen^ yet the wifer and 
more confiderate Perfons amongft them, 
have in all Ages acknowledged One Su^ 
preme Deity. The E^ptians of old, tho' 
of all others the moft Infamous for their 
multiplicity of GoJs^ yet did aflert Ow 
Maker and chief Governor of the World, 
under whom they did fuppofe (everal Sub-* 
ordinate Deities^ who as his Deputies did 
prefide over feveral parts of the Uni- 

The firft occafion of thefe lejjer Deities^ 
was probably from a defire that Men had, 
to exprels their Gratitude to, and to Ho- 
nour the Memories of, fuch Heroical Ter^ 
fonsy as in thofe firft and ruder Ages of 
the World, had either by their Inventions 
or their Prowefsy been highly Beneficial 
to Mankind^ or to their own Countries ; 
who thereupon were for fuch publick Ser- 
' vices, thought fit to be advanced * to the 
higheft Honour after their Deaths, and ad- 
mitted in a fubordinate way, to fome ftiare 
of Government, efpecially in taking care 
of the Welfare of" their Countries. And 
to this doth the Jpoftie feem to allude, 
I Qor. 8. 4, 6. where he faith, iVe know 


lib Of the principles ^ Sec. Lib* L 

there is no other God hut one^ for though 
thete he that are caUed Gods^ hoth in Hea^ 
venand in Earthy Qas there be Gods ma- 
ny, and Lords many: ) But to us there 
is hut one God^ the Father^ of whom are all 
things^ and nv in him. 

There are manyAtteftations amongftthe 

Heathen HPT-i/^r ^concerning this Attribute, 

the Unity of the Godhead. It is obferved, 

that Orpheus was the firft amongfl: them 

that wrote concerning the Genealogy of 

the Gods^ where be reduces them to thQ 

Number of 3 (So- But he was afterwards 

€0 fcnfible of this impious Folly, that he 

writes a particular Difcourfe to his Son 

Mufaus^ and his other Friends, wherein 

he doth folemnly recant thefe wild ab* 

furd Fables, profefling to them, that he 

thought himfelf obliged to redifie thefe 

Errors and Abufes, which his former 

Foem might have occafioned. And liere 

be doth in the firfl: place admonifh them^ 

that there is but one God, of himfelf, 

and nohe befides htm ; ei^ %^ w^^^q by 

whom ail other things are made, and 

. upon whom they depend. And then he 

'goes on to (hew, that God is Invifible, 

and yet fees and knows all things ; th^t 

as he is Merciful, fo is he Juft, being the 

Author of tuofe Judgments which bef«l 


chap. 8. of Natural ^ligion. 1 1 1 

wicked Men, with (everal other things to 
this purpofe. And though Hom^r dq$too 
often follow Orpheus in thefe Fi<ftions» 
concerning a Multitude of Deities, yet 
when he is mod ferious, he fuppofes but 
one, *e!^ Tffifsfi^ro; t^* So Sophocles^ 

There is hut one QoJy who made the Hecih 
ven and the Earth. 

So Pythagoras^ and feVeral others aftear 
hitn, (tile God by the Name of Monas or 

It is commonly (aid, that Socrates was 
put to death for his endeavouring to un- 
deceive his Country- men in that Vanity 
they were addi<9:ed to,- of worfliipping a 
Multitude of Deities ; and that this made 
the Writers after him, more iby in (peak- 
ing their thoughts about this matter : Butf 
though Plato do^in fbme places (for fear 
of incurring the fame Danger ) feem to 
favour this popular Error, by defending 
Polytheifm^yct he acknowledges thefe fub- 
ordinate Deities to be begotten ; and 
he lays it down in another place as ^Prin^ 
cifky that whatever is begotten is corrupt 
tiile^ and therefore incapable of being 


1 1 1 Of the Trimples, 8cc. Lib*. I^ 

properly a God. And (if thei^th Epiftle 
be truly his,) there is a remarkable Paf. 
(age in it to this purpofe, where he gives 
this Note, That in thofe Epiftolary Dif- 
courfes, where he defigns to benioi;e fe- 
rious, he doth mention the Name of GoJ 
in t\itfingular Number ; but when he is 
not fo, then he mentiotis Gods in the 

Hierocles in his Comment upon Tythago* 
rj:;G(?/flfeif/^^r/^^, doth ftile him 0g^5 ^^oov^ 
God of Gods , the only Maker of all 

Arrian in his D^Jfertations of Epi^etus^ 
doth afliire us, that in his time ( which 
was about i xo Years after Chrift) it was 
an ufualForm in the Prayers of the Hea- 
fhen^ to (ay, hjuqjli i>\iYi(Jov^ Lord have Mercy 

y upon usj whereby they did acknowledge 
the Z/nity of that God whpm they did 
invoke in their Prayers. Which Clauje is: 
thought to ba from that ufage taken into 
the Liturgies of the Chriftians. So far then 
as the Confent of the wifeft and bed Men, 
in former Times, is of any Authority, fo 
. far is this Attribute rendered highly cre- 

I {hall only add that remarkable Paf- 

z>iftrf. u ^S^ ^^ Maximus Tyrius : *' Though Men 

^differ much in theiHDpinions aboutother 

" mat- 

chap. 8. of Natural Q^eligion. 1 1 j 

^' mattert, yet in this they all agree,That 
** there is one God, the King and Father of 
*' all J under whom there are Subordi- 
*' nate Deities, his Off-(pring,who are ad- 
" mitted to fome fhare of Government 
** with him. In this the Grecian confents 
" with the Barhariany the Inhalitants of 
"the Continent with the IJlanders^ thtWife 
" with the Unwife. 

z. But befides the Teflimonies to this 
purpofe, it may likewife be made evident 
by Reafon, That a Plurality of Gods is not 
only unnecejfaryj and therefore improhahle; 
but that it is luch a Suppofition as doth 
imply in it vrnny Inconjiftencies^ and there- 
fore \s impojfthle. ' 

I . 'Tis unneceffary^ and therefore high-* 
\y improvable. Thofe have been always 
efteemed good Rules, Fruflra ft per plura^ 
&c. Entia non funt multiplicanda fine necef^ 
fitate. It v^ moft fuitable to that com- 
mon Analogy to be obferved amongft na-. 
tural things, even in leder Matters, that 
there is nothing amongft them fuperfluous 
or redundant; and therefore much more 
ought it to be fo in the greateft and high- 
eft Matters of all. Now nothing can, be 
more evident, than that one infinite Being 
may be fu/ficient to all Purpofes whatfo- 
ever ; for if it had any limit s^ it were 

I not| 

^'14 Of theTnnci[>les^ &cc. Lib. L 

not infinite ; and nothing can be more ab* 
furd, than to fuppofe more Gods than are 

X. 'Tis not poffihUy that there (hould be 
two fuch infinite Beings. Becaufe either 
they muft have/ever^l Perfe(9:ions, or the 
fame : Neither of which is confiftent with 
the moft obvious notion of God, that he 
is a Being of aU poffihle Perfellions. 

To fuppofe two Gods, with feveral Per- 
fe^ionsy fome belonging to one, and Tome 
to another, will plainly prove, that nei- 
ther of them can be GoJ^ becaufe neither 
of them have all poflible Perfedions. 

To fuppofe two Gods of tht fame and 
equal PerfeSionSy would likewife prove, 
that neither of them can be God ; (i.e.^ 
not abfolutely perfect ; becaufe it is not 
ib great a privilege, to have the fame 
equal perfections with another, and in a 
kind of partnerfliip , as to be alone and 
fuperior above all others. 

And to fuppofe one of them, whether 
of feveral or tht fame kinds oi Perfedions 
with the other, but only in an inferior 
Degree^ may fufficiently evince that one 
of them is not properly God, becaufe not 

3- The 

€hap. 8. o/" Natural (^elipojt. . 1 1 5 

3 • The third Attriiute to be difcuf^d, 
is the Divine Immutahility . By which I 
mean a freedom from all kind of ci^^irge 
or inconflancy^ both as to his Uature and 
his Purpofes. 

And that this Attriiute is likewife very 
fuitable to thofe natural Notions . which 
men have of God, may appear, 
, I. By tefiimony. Plato having propo- ^»^*-'*'' 
fed the Queftion, whether God be muta- 
ble and inconftant, anfwers exprellyj 'Tis 
moft neceflary that he Ihould be always 
^e fame and alike. His words are moft 
emphatical> b^Wt^ n^fAM S^fiZq aAAo/*- 
mt s^fjucw o^^5t?.2)» ^^^^ ^^ ^ never in any 
mfe capable of any kind of change whatfo^ 

And in another place, he mentions thefe oe Refu$, 
two things, as being the grand Principles; J^^- ^• 
pf Religion, i. That God is the caufe 
of all good, and in no wife of any evil. 
X. That he is conftant and immutable^ 
and cannot deceive by snaking various 
reprefentatiofls of himfelf. 
. So Senecaj fpeaking of the neceffity of 
afcribing this Attribute to the Divine Na- 
ture as to his Purpofes or Counfels, hath 
this paOlage ; Statuerunt qua non muta- pt Benefit 
runty nee unquam primi confilti Decs pee- ^* 
nitet. God is always conflant to his own 

I % Decrees, 

i\6 Of the Principles y &c^ Lib. L 

Decrees, and doth never repent of his 
T^^^' Parpofes. And in another place, Necejje 
efl ei eadem placer e^ cut ntfi optima placer e 
non poffunt j nee oh hoc minus liher ac po^ 
tens efl^ ipfe enim eft Necejfitas fua. Tis 
necejfary that he' fl)OuU he always pleafed 
with the fame things^ who can he pleafed 
ivith nothing hut what is heft : Nor can this 
he any Prejudice to his Liher ty or his Tower ^ 
fince he is his own Neceffity^ u e. nothing 
from without, but his own Natural Per- 
fedlion lays this Neceflity upon him. 

1. By Reafon. There is an excellent 
Argument to this purpofe, in that place 
before-cited out of Platb^ which accord- 
ing to his manner, he delivers in a more 
copious way of expreffion. But the fub- 
llance of it is this j AH Change mull be 
either involuntary^ and upon neceflity; or 
voluntary^ and upon choice. Now God 
being the moft powerful Being, cannot 
by any thing be neceflitated to an invo- 
luntary Change. And for any voluntary 
Change, whereas it muft be either for 
the hetter or the worfe^ it is not imagi- 
nable that any wife Being ftiould be wil- 
ling to change for the worfe ; nor is it 
poffible that any perf^£l Being fliould 
change for the hetter. And therefore 'tis 


chap. S. • ' of Natural ^ligion. 1 1 7 

neceflary that the Divine Nature Ihould 
be immutable. 

We efteem Changeablenefs in Men ei- 
ther an Imperfection, or a Fault. Their 
Natural Changes, as to their Perfons^ are 
from Weakness and Vanity j their Moral 
Changes, as to \i\\€\T Inclinations 2XiA Pur- 
pofesy are from Ignorance and Inconftan- 
cy. And therefore there is very good rea- 
fon why we ihould remove this from God, 
as being that which would darken all his 
other Perfediions. The greater the Divine 
PerfeSions are^ the greater Imperfe^ion 
would Mutalility he. Be fides, that it would 
take away the foundation of all Religion, 
Love and Feary and Affiance^ and Worfhip: 
In which Men would be very much dis- 
couraged, if they could not certainly re- 
ly upon God, but were in doubt that his 
Nature might alter, and that hereafter he 
might be quite otherwife from what we 
IK) w apprehend him to be. 

^. Infinitenefs is another Attribute mofl: 
natural to the Notion of God. By which 
is meant, his not being bounded by Placey 
or Space^ or by Duration^ but being Im- 
menfe and Eternal. 

' I. This Attribute of God's Immenfity 
doth fignify- his not being fo confined by 
any Bounds oi Space y but that he doth 

I 3 rpread 

1 1 8 Of the fmciplesy Sec. Lib. L 

fpread himielf to ail Places that we can 
fee or can imagine, and infinitely beyond ; 
So as we cannot fay, he is here and not 
there, thus far he reaches and not farther. 
Some have thought,that it is not ab(blute« 
ly neceflary to believe fuch a kind of Ow- 
niprefence of the Divine Subftance, as to 
be ad:ually prefent in every place. But 
this is mofl: necef&ry to be believed,That 
God is every- where in refped of his Power 
tnAProviJence^^htxthy he doth influence 
and govern all things , ( which is hardly 
podible to conceive without his adlual 
prefence in all places ) and in xefyoSt of 
his Knowledge , whereby he doth fee and 
take notice of every thinjg, though never 
fo fecret ; and that he can pierce through 
all thefe created things, with greater ia^ 
icility than the Light doth through the Air, 
And that this doth belong to the natural 
notion of God, may appear, 

I. By the general confent of the Hea^ 
ihen^ teftUied by their praying to him at 
any place or time, which fliews that they^ 
were perfuaded that he was always and 
every-where preient,at leaft by his Know-- 
^J^^'^ra i^j^^ ^j^d his p^^^^ ^^iiy Cites Pytbagi^ 

ras affirming , Penm ejffe Mimum per na^ 
turam rerum omn^^m ifiieHtum ^ ctmmem^ 
tern , That God is % Spirit or Mind ^ 


Ghap. 8. of Natural (^ligion. lip 

which doth pafs tlirough all things. And 
in another place, he cites it as Thales his i>e Lega. 
faying, whicJh he commends, Homines ex- ^^^' *• 
ijlimare oportere^ Deos omnia cernere^ Deo* 
rum omnia effe plena ^ That men ought to 
think^ that God beholds every things and 
Jills every place. Plato affirms, that God ^^ ^ .^ 
doth fee and take notice of all our a<Sti- lib. lo. 
ons, words and thoughts So Firzih 5f^^* h 
V Jovis omnia plena. And m another 

Deum namque ire per omnes 

Terrafque , trallufque maris , caelumque 

So Seneca fpeaking of God,(aith,J[7%/^tf £///?. 95. 
^ omnibus praflo eft. He is every-where, 
and always at hand. And in another place, 
Quocunque te fiexeris y iht ilium videiis ^^^^^^\^^ 
occurrentem tihij nihil ab illo vacate Opus 
fimm ipfe implet. We can turn our felves 
no whither but we Jhall meet him , noplace 
is without him J he fills his own IVorh 

X. By the principles of Reafon. If it 
were otherwifb, and the Divine Nature 
fhould be limited, this would contradict: 
his uhiverfal Providence, and render all 
Worihip of him vain and ufelefe. Why 

1 4 ihould 

120 Of the principles ^ &cc. Lib, |. 

Ihould a Mao either fear him, or ferve 
him, if he could neither hear our Pray- 
ers, nor take notice of our Wants, nor 
receive our Acknowledgments. 

X. For the Attribute of Eternity ;whtT^ 
by is fignify'd God^s being of infinite Ju- 
r^f/^», witUotit Beginning ox End^ that 
this likewife doth belong to the Natural 
Notion of God, may be evident, 

I . By the general confent of the Hea^ 
then Philofophers. And though there have 
been Difputes amongft them, about fome 
of his other Attributes, yet in this all of 
them have agreed.They do indeed defcribe 
the Genealogies of their Heroes and fub- 
ordinate Gods, but for thtfupreme Deity 
he is conftantly acknowledged to be with- 
out beginning of Time, or end of Days. 
Epicurus himfelf, who had the lo weft and 
meaneft Opinion of God , and robb'd him 
of as many of his other Perfedions as by 
the utmoftftraining ofhis Wit'he was a- 
ble to do, yet is forc'd to leave him this 
.r / r. .. Attribute. So tuHy relates of him, fpeak- 
Lib. 1. ing to thole or thatSecr,i7*/ tgttur vefinm 
• leatum & JEternum^ quihus duohm verbis 
fignificatis Deum i Where is that Blejfed 
and Eternal Being of yoijrs ? which are the 


Chap. 8. of Natural Religion. 1 1 1 

twp uCual Words whereby you defcribe 
the Nature of God ? And Lucretius^ who 
made ijt: his De/ign to reprelent to the 
World the DcKSrrine of that Philofopher, 
doth from him give this Account of the 
Divine Nature, 

Omnis enim per fe Divum naturcf- ne^ 

ceffe eft 
Immortali ievo fumma ctfm pace frua- 


It is eflential to the Notion of God, 
that he (hould be happy and immortal. 
The P^^rj themfelves, who amongft all 
others had the wildeft Thoughts of God, 
yet do continually give him the Title of 
^AflavaT©-, and feldom mention his Name 
without it. And the Oath moft ufual 
amongft them was in this Form, Dems 
tefior immortales^ I appeal to the Immor- 
tal Gods. Arijiotle doth in feveral places DeCaU, 
make Eternity to be eflential to the ^^' ^ 
Notion of God. And Tully aflerts it 
impoflible to conceive of God without 
this Perfed:ion j Nos Deum nifi fempi- 
ternum intelligere qui poffumus ? How 
is it poffihle for us to conceive of God , 
. but as being Eternal i There never yet 


121 Of the Principles J Sec. Lib- I. 

was any man, that had any conception 
of God, who did not efteem him to be 
Everlafting. To fpeak of a God that 
fhould be corruptible and mortal , is fo 
monflrous an abfurdity, that a njan could 
Afftinft "^'> though he fliould purpofely ftudy 
Cfhte/. for it, devife any thing more wild and 
extravagant, (z\t\\ Pint arch. 

X. There is very good reafon , why 
this Attrihttte fhould not by the molt 
Sceptical Atheiftical men be efteemed im- 
poflible, becaufe they themfelves are \yil-. 
ling to grant it to the Worlds or at leaft 
to Matter. And if we fuppofe God to 
be the firft Caufe or Mover, it will thence 
neceflarily follow, that he muft always 
be, and could not have a beginning ; be- 
caufe if he ever were only in poffibilityy 
he could not from thence pafs into atlual 
Being , without fome precedent Caufe 
and Mover, which is inconfiftent with his 
Being the frfi Caufe. And if nothing 
could caufe his Being , then nothing can 
*tafce it away, and confequently he muft be 

It would be a great abatement to all 
the other Divine Perfe<aions , if they 
>V€re finite and periftiing. Befides, that 
^t would be altogether inconfiftent with 


chap. 8. of Katural <I(eligion, 12 j 

ibme of them, namely, his Self-exifience^ 
and neceffary Exiftence^ And withal, it 
mud needs take o^ from the obligation 
to Duty on the Creatures part, if they 
were uncertain of the continuance of 
his Being, by whom Rewards and Pa<» 
nifhments were to be diftributed in the 


124 of the Principles f Sec. Lib. K 


C H A P. IX. 

Of the Communicable ^erfeSlions 
of God : And firfi , of thofe which 
relate tg the Divine Underftariding, 
Vi;^. Knowledge, Wifdom , par- 
ticular Providence. 

BEfides tholSb incommunicable Attri- 
butes already infifted upon , there 
are others fliied communicahle , becaufe 
they are in fome lower degree, and by 
way of participation , communicated to 
other inferior Beings. . And concerning 
thefe, there is a neceflity that we (hould 
make an eftimate of them, by fuch rules 
^d meafiires as our natures are capable 
of. And becaufe the chief perfedions that 
we can apprehend in any reafonable Ef- 
fence, muft refer to one of thefe three 
things, the Underftanding^ the WilU the 
Faculties of working ; for this reafon,the(e 
Divine perfections may be reduced to. 
Siefe three heads. And whatever is the 
mod excellent of rational Beings, muft 
excel in each of thefe, (/• ^.) There is 


chap. 9. of Natural (I(eligm. 125 

no kind or degree of Perfedion that our 
Imaginations are able to conceive, but 
thefe Excellencies of the Divine Nature 
muft run out ftill beyond it, fo as not to 
be determined by any real or imaginary 

I purpofe to treat particularly concern- 
ing each of them, beginning with thofe 
Perfections that belong to the Divine C^- 
^erfiartJingj namely, his Knowledge^ Wif* 
riomy and particular Providence. 

I. By the Knowledge of God, I mean 
that Pcrfedionor Faculty whereby he un- 
derftands and confiders things abfolutely 
and as they are in their own natures, thoir 
Powers^ Properties^ Differences^ together 
with all the Circumftances belonging to 
them. And 'tis qeceJflary to the Notion 
of God, that this Ihould be afcribed to 
him, in the utmoft perfection of it, infi- 
nitely beyond what the mod knowing and * 
the mod learned Men can pretend unto. 

I • His Knowledge is moft deep and in- 
timate, reaching to the very Effence of 
things, ours but flight and fuperficial. 

X, His is clear and diftind:, ours but 
confuled and dark. 

3. His Infallible, ours doubtful and lia« 
ble to Miftakes. 

4« His Eafy, and without Labour and 


ti6 Of theTrinclpteSy &c. Lib/L 

difitcttlty, always prefent and adiiai ; ours, 
gotten by fore travelj and cafily loft again 
by the defects of Memory or age. 

$. His univerfal, extending to all ob« 
jeds ; our fhort and narrow, reaching on* 
Eccl.i.f 5. ly to (bme few things. That which is want^ 
ing cannot he numhred. 

He hath a perfed Comprehenfion of alt 
things, that have been, that are, or ihall 
be, according to all the various relations^ 
dependencies, circumftances, belonging to 
each of them. So that this Attribute of 
his muft be infinite and unbounded, both 
e;r/w/?i;^,with.refpe(ft to the feveral kinds 
of Objeds which it comprehends; and 
like wife /;i;/«7fi;^ , as it fees every fmglc 
Objc(9: with a moft perfeA infallible view. 
He doth not only underlland all Particu^ 
lars ; but he knows every particular fo 
exadly, as if he were wholly taken up 
and intent in his thoughts upon that alone. 
There is a vaft difference betwixt the wi- 
feft of men, and fuch as are grofly igno- 
rant and fbttifh ; and much greater be- 
twixt men and other creatures^ the little 
Infers, Ants and Worms, which are no 
ways fit to pafs a judgment concerning 
human counfels and defigns. And yet 
thefe things hold fome proportion to one 
another, being both finite j whereas be- 


chap. p. of Natural (J^eU^iou. 1 17 

twixt God's Knowledge and man's, the di- 
(lance is infinite. 

And that this Attribute doth belong to 
the. natural notion of God, may appear^ 

I. From the acknowledgment of the 
Heathen. tuUy mentions it as an ufual 
Saying of JhaUs^ Decs omnia cernere fiod 
beholds all things. So Seneca^ Nihil Dei 
ciaufunty interefi animis noftris , & mediis 
cogitationihus int erven it. Nothing is hid 
from 60 J^ he is intimate to our minds^ and 
mingles himfelf with our very thoughts. 

Befides, that general pradice amongfl: 
them of fwearing by him , and attefting 
him in their moft folemn compaAs, doth- 
fufficiently imply their belief of his Om* 

1. From natural Reafon. , Nothing can 
be more manifefl: , than that knowledge v^ 
a perfedtion, and therefore ought to be 
afcribed to that Being which is iuppofed 
to have all poflible perfedjion. 'Tis a per- 
fecStiori that we know to be in fome of the 
Creaturesyznd therefore muft be n[iuch more 
in the Creator himfelf. He that made the 
eye J /hall he not fee ? He that gives to men: 
underfianding^ fhall not he know i 

Befidcs, that the denial of this Perfe- 
<9:ion, would neceflarily infer many other 

Imperfe^ions in the Divine Nature. It 


1 18 Of the (ptincipUs, Sec Lib. I. 

would deftroy his Wifdom^ ProvUence^ 
Dominion. Where there-is no Knowledge, 
there can be no Forecaft or JProvifion tor 
the future, nor any kind of Regular Go-- 
vernment. In brief, the denial of this 
Attribute muft take away his Ggddnefs^ 
Veracity , Jujlice. That Being cannot 
properly be faid to be Goody which doth 
acJt either out of Ignorance, or blind Ne- 

%. As Knowledge doth refpe(2: Things 
abfolutely, fo Wijdom doth confider the 
relations of Things one to another, under 
the ^oivoi^ Means and £»i/,and of their 
fitnefsjor unntneft for the various Purpofes 
to which they are defigned. 

And that this likewife doth belong to 
' the Natural Notion of God may be evi- 

I. By Teflimony. The Heathen Writers 
are full of Expreflions to this purpofe. 
yiato alTerts Wifdom to be a Thing of that 
Excellency, that it cannot properly be 
Natur. afcribed to any but God. It is a Saying 
^,'^^' of Tully , Sapiens eft Homo^ (^ pr opt ere a 
Deus ? ^ Man is voife^ and therefore much 
more God. And in the fame Book , Deo 
triluenda e[l ratio retia^ conflanfque ; To 
God is to be afcribed Right and^ fleady 




Cha{). 9. of Ndtural f^ligiorti 1 1) 

Reafon; and & little after he fays, it mud 
be fuch as is perfeR and a i/olntc^ . s . 

Nothing more fre(]{uent in Senecay Jkpi^ 
BetuSy AntoninuSy than to perfuade Men 
to an Acquiefcence under all the Dilpen- 
fations of Providence, becaufe they arc or- 
dered bytheiiigheft Wifdom. 

%i By Reafon. The want of Wifdoni 1$ 
cfounted a Very greslt Impferfediort, and 
one of die word Defe(5s belon^ng td 
Men, and that which every one is moft urt- 
willing to own, bein^ content to be count- 
ed any thing rather than 3 FdoL And 
therefore there is very good Reafon why 
wefhould remove this Imperfedion from 
that Beings which is fuppofed to have all 
poflible Pel'fe<9:ionSi And what was faid ^ 
before, concerning the denial of his Knorv^ 
ledge^ muft be, equally true like wife in thk 
cafe, thdt it muft neceflarily deftroy his 
other Perfe<5tioris,G^ render them infi^ifi-^ 
Cant* What reafon would there be for Meii 
to truft either to his Goodnefs or his Jii^ 
ftice, or his Providence in the managing 
of things, if he were not withal infinitely 
wife > And as for his Pow&i that without 
Wifdom would be but a kind of blind force^ 
to much to be feared and bated^ a^ loved 
tnd traded to* 

\^6 , Of the Trinciples^ 8cc. Lib. I. 

3. The Third Attribute to beconfiderd 
is his partfcular Providence^ whereby he 
does fuperintend and take care of every 
individual thing intheWorld j continuing 
them in their Beings , difpofing of their 
Operations and Effeds, in fuch a wife or- 
der, as may be moft fuitable to thofe Ends 
and Purpofes for which they are defign'd. 
This likewife doth belong to the Natural 
Notion of God. Though it muft be grant- 
ed > that the Belief of this Attribute hath 
met with fome Oppofition from feveralof 
the Philolbphers, chiefly Epicurus ; who 
in truth was an Atheift , and out of a 
pretended Refpedt to the Deity, did think 
it to be below his Greatnefs , and for the 
Trouble of it, inconfiftent with his Hap-^ 
pinefsy to have any Regard to thefe Infe- 
rior Things J which he therefore imagi- 
ned to be left to their own Courfes , 
whilft the Divine Nature is wholly taken 
up in the Contemplation of it (elf. 

Semota k noflreis rehtu fejuti^aq^ lofigt^ 
as Lucretius fpeaks. But becaufe this 
might feem to argue too flight and nar- 
row Apprehenfions of the Deity , there- 
fore others, to mend the matter , have 
thought that he riiight have Leifure, and 
perhaps an Inclination, to extend his Pro- 
violence to Heavenly things^ but not to 
I Earthly. 

Ghap. 9. of Natural fJ^eUgion. 1 j t 

Earthly. Others yet more bountiful, will 
allow it to reach both to Celeftial and 
Terrefirial Things *• But then it muft be 
only to the general kinds of them, which 
are to be put into a natural Courfe j not 
to every Particular of each kind by it 
ielf , which they conceived muft needs 
prove too. great a Trouble and Diftriadti- 
on to his Mind. 

But 'tis evident, that all thefe wild Con- 
ceits did proceed from a Mifiipprehenfion 
«f what kind of Knowledge or Wifdom 
does belong- to the Dr//)^ ; nahiely, inji- 
'ftite\ and Mfolutely perfeB ; hot to be li- 
mited, nor capable of any Difficulty to 
be put upon it, by the Natilre of Num- 
ber of Things. 

Any particular Man, whonj we know 
1k> he d Ptrfen of Diligence\nn^ Sagacity^ 
thty without any Trouble to himfelf un- 
d6f take the Management of any ^ngle Bu-' 
finefs* Why , God can wiih far greater 
facility J)rovide for aff^ than any firfgle 
Matt Can for one. Though wo fliould fup- 
p6fe- that the Particulars to be taken cate 
of afe Infinite^ yet fo is his Wifdom 
like wile ; and there is the fame. Propor- 
tion of Infinite to Infinite , as of One to 
t)ne. Arid thdt this Attribute doth belong 
to the Nftturftl Notion of God , fliay be 
ihade evident, K a i.By 

Ijz OftheTrinclpleSyScc. Lib.^L 

1. By the more general confent of the 

Wife and Learned Heathen Writers (rtot- 

withftanding the diflent of fome amongd 

them J Arifiotle himfelf, or whoever elle 

Chap. 6. ^^ thg Aqthor of that Book de Munda^ 

amongft other Teftimonies he gives of 
the Divine Providence, hath this for one, 
" That as a Governor is to a Ship, as a 
" Law to a City, as a General in an 
" Army, fo is God in the World ; but 

* Vith this difference, that they perform 

* 'their Bufinefs not without Labour, Care 
** and Difficnlty J whereas the Divine Pro- 
" vidence doth difpofe of all and every 
*' particular thing, without the lead kind 
**of trouble, tuliy doth acknowledge 

*r . r^.^ that the Providence of God doth extend 

lib, 2. not only , unrverjo genert honttnum , Jed 

etiamJinguliSj to Mankind in general^ but 

likewife to every particular Perfon. And 

Sa^/!''''''* in another place : Deorum providentU 

mundus adminifiratur j iidemque confidunt 

retus humanh , neque foUm unrverfir^ fed 

etiam fingulisn the whole World is govern d 

hy Divine Vrovidence^ and not only Human 

K Stu S ^ff^^^^ ^^ general^ hut likewife every par-* 

if£S?! ticular Bupnefs. Seneca (peaking of fuch 

as denied particular Providence, hath this 

remarkable Paflage ; Sunt qui putant^ 

^i. "There are fome wha think fa well 

Chzp. p. of Natural ^llgm. i } ) 

" of their own Minds, that they are able 
^* to take care of their own Bufinefs, and 
** to provide for other Mens Affairs like- 
^* wife : And yet are to abfurd as toqfue- 
^^ ftion, whether this great Univerfe, 
^* whereof they themfelves are but a very 
** inconfiderable part, be, managed by 
** any kind of WifJom or Counfel, and. 
** not left wholly to Chance. Hierocles ^^^ 
doth adcnowledge, that the Providence of ^^' 
God doth extend to Contingencies. And 
to fay no more by way of Teftimony, 
this may Efficiently appear ^ by the ge- 
neral Pradice oJF Swearing by Him, and 
Praying to him, which doth fufficiently 
evttlce their Belief of his particular Pro- 

2. By Reafon. The Denial of this At- 
tribute will evacuate feveral others ; 
namely, his Goodnefs^ Jn/iicey Dominion j 
which mud all fignifie nothing without 
providence in the Application of them. 
And withal, the Denial of this doth take 
away the Ground of Worlhip. The Be- 
lief of a particular Providence, being ne- 
cef&ry unto that Adoration which we 
owe to the Divine Nature. The Great- - 
nefs and the Excellency of the Deity in 
t» felf^ abflrai3:ed from any Concernment 
pf our own^ will have but a very flat 

R 3 and 

• 3 4 ^f ^'^' ^mclplesy &cc^ Lib. I. 

and jejune Operation upon our Hearts. 
Do we not find by experience, that Men 
have but little Regard to the Great Ma^ 
gul^ the Cham of Tartary , the Empe- 
>w;t«/- rprs of China and P^rjiaj and fuch other 
Potentates of Remote Countries? who 
though they are PrioceS; pf great Power 
and Magnificence^ aw ?bl^ t6 t^irjng many 
hundred thoufands of Fighting-men into 
the field J yet they having nothing to do 
with us , noi^ we with them , we have 
therefore but a fmall Rggard for them. 
Whereas, the next ordjfj^ry<jentleman> 
who is but )Lord pf a Manor , or Jur 
ftice of pe^ce, with whom \ye are con- 
cerned to deal, and who hath any Power 
of punifliing or rewarding, of doing u^s 
cither a Kiarfnefs or a;Difcourt?fy, we ufe 
to be accordingly affe^aed in our Efteem 
wd Veneration Awards him. And thus 
mull it be like wife for our Adoration of 
the Divinp Nature j which: will be either 
more or hfk\ accor^ling^^ we copoeive 
ourfelves Bfi^lre or Iffe coflcerned iqhii 
Proyidertce tpwards us. 

4 '. 

v; " ;• ' ■•■•■.' ■•')■■': 


*i f- fit* ' 

■*•}■•' r i»'si ••»>i iiJv.'/ rj • ; . ... • , 

chap. 10. ofNaturalJ^ligion, 135 

m . 


Of the Perfections relating to the 
Divine Will 3 Goodnefs, Juftice, 

X. 'TT^HE Perfedions belonging to the 
J. Divine fr//7,were before reckon- 
ed to be, I. His Goodnefs. x. His Juftice. 
3.. His Truth and Faithfulnefs. 

I. His Goodnefs. By which word is fome- 
times fignified, the notion olTerfe^ion in 
general ; and fometimes it denotes Moral 
Goodnefs, in oppofition to all kind of 
moral imperfedions.Of both which kinds 
of Goodnefs, God is the Fountain and 
Author, the Rule and Meafure, from 
whom all created goodnefs is derived,and 
by conformity to whom it is to be efti- 
mated. But that more particular fenfe of 
this word, according to which it is now 
to be treated of, doth refped: the incli'* 
nation of the Divine WiU toward his 
Creatures ; that prot>enfion of bis, where- 
hy he is gcn^YaUy Jiff ofe J to /procure their 
happinefs , in oppofition to emy 6t ma-- 
lice^ which delights in withholding good 

K 4 from 

.13^ of the Principles ^ Sec. Lib. L 

firom others, or doing Mifchief to them 
And that this Attribute is natural to the 
Notion of Gpd, ujay appear, 

I. By Teftimony. There being no one 
FerfeAioq about which the generality of 
Meij are njore agreed than about this, if ex- 
cepting only the Epicureans^ ) who attri- 
bute nothing to God but everlafting Hap- 
pinefs and Bloflednefs, which yet cannot 
be without (7(?^//i/i?y}. Tlato ftiles him 
^ xpajx^v, the heft Betn^. Aqd his common 
Title ariiongft the Latins y'wzs Det^ Optimus 
' Maximus. And our Forefathers in this 
Nation, feeni to have given this very Name 
of God from $ood. That is a known and 
an excellent Paflage in Seneca-y Primus efi 
Deorum cultus^ Dhs credere ; deinde red- 
Tderey iffis Majejiatem fuam^ reddere honi- 
tdterriy fine qua nuffa Maj[^as. " The mott 
^' Fundamental thing in Religloq, is to ac- 
V' knowledge the Being of God,and then to 
/^ demean our felv'es towards him fuitably 
^* to the greatnefs of his Majefty,and to his 
♦* Goodnefs,without which there can be no 
^Brii./.. « Majefty. Aqd in ^riot}ier>Plac^, '' He 
7? ' t* '^ that doth not acknowledge ihtboodnefs 
* • of the Divine Nature, doth not take n(^. 
♦* tice of the general Cuftom amongftMen, 
♦* of praying to him in thei^* Dift'refs, and 
l^ paking Vowsbo^h publick and priv4t5^, 

MT^ ' u ^ ' t '* I ** which 

Chap. 10. of Natural ^eli^ion. i j 7 

** which would not be, unlefs they ha4 
^* this Perfwafion well fixed within them, 
'* that God was ready to hear and to help 
" them, and that he is in his own natur? 
" propenfe to Kindneis and Pity. tTec /> 
bunc furorem omnes mortales cenfenfijfentj 
alloquendi fur da numina & inefficaces Deos. 
** Nor is it poflible that all Mankind 
^' Ihould fo unanimpufly agree together 
** in fo great a Madnels, of praying to 
^' fuch Deities as they did not believe 
1^ could either hear or help them. 

And in another Place, Qjfadam funt i^ttrsX^ 
qua nocere non fojfunt^ &c. ** Somethings 2, cap. 27', 
'^^ there are of fo benign and helpful a na- 
^^ ture, fo niild and beneficial, that no- 
^* thing oF evil or hurt can proceed from 
*^ theni : Such is the beity , who neither 
^*can, or will do any thing that is raif- 
" chievous; being as remote from anyAi^i- 
^ ^ on that is injurious to others, as to it 
i' felf. 

And elfe where. Ecu feeler atisfol oritur^ ibidJib^. 
fif Piratis patent Maria. ^* He caufeth cap.a6. 
^' his Sun to (hine upon the Juft and Uri- 
" jqft^ and the Seas are open to Pirates as 
/' well ai Merchants.He communicates his 
^* Bounty to us in our Infancy and Childi 
^* hood, when we can have no fenfe of it: ^^ ^^^^ 
t'Nor doth he prefcntly withdraw and 7/31.^' ' 
- ' ' ? ceafe 

IjS Of the Principles, 8cc. Lib. 1. 

" ccafe his Favours towards fuch Wretch- 
" es as make a queftion and doubt con- 
*^ cerning the Author of them : Nor is 

Di Beuific, *^ ^^^^^ ^ny Perfon fo miferable and 
lib- 4. ' " wretched, who hath not in feveral re- 
" fpedts had experience of the Divine 
" Bounty. Hierocles aflerts, that God is 
fythig. . ijfpntially good j not by accident, and 
csrm* from external Motives and Confiderations. 
, X, By Reafon. It is fo plain, fo funda- 
mental a Notion, that Goodnefs muft be- 
long to God, that I know not how to go 
about the proof of it. 'Tis the brighteft 
Ray of the Deity, the firft and cleared 
Notion we have of God. We may fee 
every day many thoufand vifible Eneds 
of this Goodnefs in the World. And 
there are fome Glimpfes, and weak Im- 
preffions of it amongft the Creatures, and 
therefore much more muft it be in the 
Creator himfelf. 

This is the foundation of all Worlhip . 
and Religion amongft Men, the Reafon of 
their Prayers to God, and Praifqs of him. 
Without this his other Attributes would 
not afford any fuificient ground for our 
Love and Adoration of him. Knowledge 
and Porter without Goodnefsy would be 
but Craft ai 1 Violence. He can by his 

WifJom oi)t*wi^ hi$ Creatures^ and eafily 


chap* I o. of Natural <]^ligm. 1 39 

impofe upon them ; and by his J^ou>er\it 
could tyrannize over them, jind play with 
their Mifery; but that he will not do thus 
we are aflured by his Goodnefs. This is 
fo eflential to.him,. that to imagine him 
without Gaodnefs. were to imagine a God 
.without a Deity, i. e. without that which 
chiefly conftitutes him what he is : Nay, 
it were to imagine indead of a God, a 
worfe Devil, and more qualify'd to do 
mifchief, than any is now in the Worldy 

a. The Second Attribute belonging tp 
the Divine Will, is his Jujlice. By which 
is meant not only the Reditude of hjs 
Nature in general, but more fpecially his 
dealing with his Creatures according to the 
defer t of their Deeds. 

And that this Perfedion is natural to 
the Notion df God, may appear, rb tt 

I , By Tefiimony. It is an Aflertion of Plato j ! ^ ^' 

®^i; iktfjLn 8^«a!^ aSl3(fJ<, oi^' d^ pSby rtt Si- 

xajjiTtti^. "God cannot be faid in 
" any kind or refpedt whatfoever to be un* 
** juft, but fo far as is poffible to be mofl: 
" juft. 7uffy lays it down as a Principle, Pl^^f'^^ 
phat before Men are fit to aflbciate under 
Government, tliey ought to be firft cpn- 
yiac'd that Qod is thp . fupreme Governor of 
theWorld^i ^ (joth take particular notice. 

1 40 Of the Principles y Sec. Lib. I. 

Qualis quifque fitj quid agatj quid in fs a J- 
wittaty qua mente^ qui pietate religtonfs 
eolaty pioru9nque & impiorum habere ratio-- 
, nem j " What kind of Perfon every one 
** is, what he doth, and what he thinks, 
** how his Heart (lands indin'dtothe Du- 
** ties of Religion, and will deal with e- 
** very one according to his Reality or 
** Hypocrify in all fiich Matters. 

And that this was the general Belief 
ampngft them, may appear by the uni- 
. vetfal Cuftom of attefting him by Solemn 
paths J whereby they did appeal to him 
as a Righteous Judge, who would certain- 
ly revenge all Falfliood and Injuftice. 

X. FroiTi Reafon. And that not fo much 
becaufe Juftice is a Perfedion, as because 
InjufticQ is fo great a Blemiflb and Imper- 
fcdHon; efpeciallyin the Great Sovereign 
and Judge of the World, who having all 
Power and Authority in his Hands, can 
have no Temptation or By^fs imaginable 
to do any thing that is unjuft. 

3. His Truth zndi Faith fulnefs. By which 
is meant, the congruity of his Words to his 
Intentionsy efpeciaUy in refped of any Prp- 
mifes which he hath made. 

And that this doth belong to the Natu* 
f al Notion of God^may be made evident, 

I. From 


Chap* 1 o. of Natural ^ligionl 14 1 

t. From Tejiifnony. Plato aflerts, " all ff^^"*- 
" kind of Lying and Falihood to be Im- ^* 
*' perfei3:ions moft odiows both to God 
" and Man^and that the Divine Nature is 
*' abfolutely free from all kind of Temp- 
** tation to it; fo that there can be no 

imaginable Reafon why God fhould 


Porphyrys in the Life of Pythagoras^ tells 
iiSythat it was one of his Precepts /M^sAi^ 
^ d?ii^dj€tv^ That Men ihould moft of aU 
endeavour after Truth, becaufe this only 
can make them like God. And he adds 
afterwards. That Truth is fo great a Per- 
fection, that if God would^render himfelf 
vifible to Men, he would chufe Light for 
his Body^ znd Truth for his SouL 

2. From Reafon. It is one of the great- 
eft Reproaches, and an Argument of Bafe- 
nefs amongft Men, to be counted a Lyax;: 
And therefore muft it neceflarily be re- . 
moved from that Being which is fuppofed 
to. have all poffible Perfections, and to be 
the Father of Truth , as the Devil is of 

That which tempts Men to falfify, is 
ufually either the fear of fome Evil, or the 
hopeof fome Advantage.The Reafon why 
they break their Words, is either becauie 
of . their rafiinefs and inconfideratenefs in 


14* Of the Principles ^ &cc. Lib. t. 

nhdcing Promifesj or their forgetfolnefs in 
not minding them, or their Inconftancy 
in rtot keeping to them, or their Impo- 
tence to perform them. But now the Di- 
vine Nature being infinitely wife, and 
all-fufficient, can have no Temptation to 
bb otherwife than true and faithful. His 
infinite Knoyoledge and Wifdom doth fecuj^e 
! lilm from being ^e:i*iw^iiim'feif j his Ow- 
fiipdtence doth exempt him from ftanding 
in n^ed of deceiving others; and his Good- 
^1?/} fecures us from the leaft fufpicion of 
ftny inclination- thereto. ' 

. r , ■ . 


chap. \\. of Natural (^liglon. 14 j 


Of the Perfedtions helongtng to the 
Powers and Faculties of A6ling, 
V/^. Power, Dominion, Diftri- 
bucion of Future Rewards and 

THofe Perfedions which are eflential 
to the Notion of God, with refped: 
to his P^iculties of workings are likewife 
threefold : 

I . His Power or Omnipotence.- 

a. His Dominion or Right to govern 

us in this Life. 
3. His Diftributing of Future Rewards 

and Punilhments after this Life. 

I. By the Power or. Omnipotence of 

God is meant, an Ahility of doing allfuch 

things^ the doing of which way argue Per* 

fetiion^ and which do not imply a Con- 

tradidlion, either in the things them/elves^ 

or to the Nature and Perfedion of the 

Doer. Some things are repugnant to the 

Perfe^ion of God , either Naturally^ as 


1 44 Of the Tiinciplesj 6cc. Lib. h 

that lie (hould be fick, or dye ; or elfe 
Morally y as that he fhould lye, ordeceivef 
Both which imply Imperfeliion. And 
fome other Things may imply Contradi- 
iiioHj either cjiredly, or by pllin confer 
quence. Arid of ftich Matters it is not (b 
prbper to fiy, that he cannot Jo them^ as 
thdt thky cannot hi ioiie. As f he Objed: 
df the Underftanding, the Eye, and the 
" Ear, is that which is intelligible, vifiblc, 
audible : So the ObjecSt of Power muft 
be that which is Poflible. And as it i$ 
no prejudice to the mod Pferfed: Under- 
il^nditig,' or Sight, or Hearing, that it 
doth not underftand what is not intelligi^ 
hle^ or fee what is not vifihle^ or hear 
what is wot audible*^ fo neither is it to the 
moft perfed: To\x>er^ that it doth not dtf 
what is not pojfihle. Every kind of Facul- 
ty being neceflarily determined to its 
^ own proper ObjecSt. 

But as for all Poflible Things, it is na- 
tiiral and aecefTary to apprehend of God, 
that he c(^n do whatsoever any othef 
fingle thing, or a combination of all 
other things put together, can perfqrm,- 
and infinitely more j and that without 
any kind of Labour or Difficulty : So that 
his Pow6r muft be infinite extenjively i 
withrefped to aUObjeSiS.; tm inten- 


chap. I iJ of Natural <]^ligm. 14 j 

fivefyy with refped: to the A£ts of it, to- 
gether with the Manner and Degrees of 

That this kind of Omnipotence doth 
belong to the Natural Notion of God, 
may appear, 

I . By Teftitnony. It is a frequent Ti- 
tle given unto God by the Grecian Pbilo- 
fophers, who ftyle him ^xvloK^-mpj Om- 

And nothing is more frequent amongfl: 
the Latins, than the Titles of Jupiter Om^ 
nifotenSy Optimus-Maximus : He is gene- 
rally ackno;^ledged to be the Creator and 
Governor of the World ; upon which 
accouni^tftey call him, Opifex rerum^ and 
ReUif/mundi. It is an Acknowledgment 
of tuOy , mhil eft quod Deus ejficere non JJ^^^'^^' 
poffit^ & quidemfine utto labor e. " There 
•* is nothing which God cannot do , and 
" that without any kind of Labour. 

X. By Reafon. If the Power of God 
could be limited or.circumfcribed, itmufl 
cither be by fomething of greater Power, 
which is inconfiftent with the Notion of 
his being Supreme and Sovereign : Or elfe 
by the Difficulty and Repugnancy which 
tnere is in the Nature of things j which 
could not be ia the Brft Creation of them, 
becaufe there was nothing then to make 

L any 

1^6 Of the f met pies ^ Sec. Lib;!. 

any Refiftancc ; and fince that, there is no- 
thing but what was made by him, deri- 
ved trom him , and is dependent upon 
him, and therefore muft be fubjeift to him. 
And befides, alJ fuch things being finitei 
muft therefore be at a vaft diftance of In- 
equality from the infinite Power of God. 

To which may be added , that all his 
other Perfections would be infignificant 
and ineffedual , if his Power of adting, 
whereby they were to be communicated 
to inferior Natures, were not anfwerable 
to them. Vitrt KnmUdge y without F^u^^r, 
would be but an idle Speculation j Wif- 
dom to contrive, without Tower to effe<9:, 
would be but vain and ufelefs* What 
could his Goodnefs and Mercy fignifie to 
us, if he were not able to give any Proofs 
of it. And fo likewife for his J:uftice and 
Faithfulnefs , which there would be no 
reafon to fear or to depend upon, if Re- 
wards and Punilhments were not at his 
Difpofal, and he had not fufficient Power 
to perform what hepromifes. Nor could 
there be any fufficient ground for his be- 
ing acknowledg'd the Supreme Lawgiver* 
For why ftiould any one take upon hira 
to intermeddle in the Affairs of the Worlds 
and to prefcribeLaws to others, who had 
00 Power to, diij'ofc of things^ and werq 

• „ not 

Chap. II. of Natural (^eli^wn. 1 4/ 

ttot able to enforce Obedience to his own 
Laws ? 

In brief, without the Belief of this At- 
tribute , there can be no Foundation foi* 
Religion, anrongft Men j becaufe there 
could be no Ground for our Faith ot 
^Trufly no Reafon for our Hope or Fear. 

2* Befides this tf^/^/^/f Cbnfideration of 
the Divine Power ^ there is I ike wife a re- 
lative Notion of it, relpecSting thzt Domi- 
nion and Jurifdicftion which he hath over 
Reafonable Creatures, his Right to govern 
them in this Life ; to command, and pro- 
hibit what he pleafes, to reward and pu- 
nifti as Ihall feem good unto him. Add 
that this doth belong to the Natural No- 
tion of God, may appear, 

I. By Teflimony. Plato and TuSy^ and 
Plutarch, do often fly le him, tht Lor J of ^/^f^P' 
a 3 things; the Eternal God y Father and * * '^* 
Creator of the World , and all things in it. 
Deo nihil praflantim , ah eo igttur necejfe 
eft mundum regi, faith Tully ; '' God is the ^*' ^'' 
" moft excellent Being ; and therefore is 
*' it neceflary that he fliould be the Go- 
" vernor of the World. And irt another 
place, Deorum innnortalium numine , om^ 
nia regi guhernariq; credimus. " We be- 
^^ lieve that God is the Governor of all 
5/ things. Li To 

1 48 Of the ^Principles, 8cc. L ib. I. 

To which I ihdl add thatTeftimony of 

a Heathen King, Nehuchadnezzar^ in that 

j^4-34) Remonftrance which he publiflied to aU 

people^ nations^ and languages , that dwell 

in all the earth , viz. thai God*s dominion 

is an everlafting dominion , and his king-- 

dom is from generation to generation , and 

all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed 

as nothing before him. And he doth ac- 

cording to his mil, in the armies of heaven^ 

and amongd the inhabitants of the earth j 

and none can flay his hand, or fay unto him, 

what dofi thou ? 

And as this was their declared Opini- 
on, fo was their Pradlice fuitable to it j 
by owning that to be their Duty which 
they fuppofed to be agreeable to his Will, 
and which would render them acceptable 
f o him. 

2. By Reafon. If we confider thofe fe- 
veral Titles which can give Right ta Do- 
minion amongd Men, we ftiaJl find theni 
all to concur in God. Now Men claim a 
Right of Government,eitherbyConquefl:, 
or Purchafe, or Compact, or by having 
others born in a (late of Subje6tion under 
them , or by their having obliged others 
with any fpecial Bounty or Favour ; but 
above all thefe^ there is another Ground 
of Subjeiflion^ which Men cannot pretend 


Chap. IK of Natural ^li^m. 1 4p 

to, namely, the ghing ofBeiffg to a thing. 
•And this muft needs, above all other 
Claims, be the greateft imaginable Right, 
for the Government and Difpofal of that 
thing, according to the Pleafure of him 
that made it. It is he that made us ^ (fays P^- »«°- 
the Pfalmifl ) and not voe our f elves ; and ^* 
therefore voe are his People^ and 'tis rea- 
fonable that we fhould be under his Do- 
piinion and Government. 

3. The diftribution of future Rewards 
andPunilhments to Men,according as their 
Lives and AcStions have been in this World. 

That this likewife doth belong to the 
natural Notion of God, may appear, 

I. By Tefiimony. From all kind of Hea- 
then Writers. Nothing hath been more 
univerfally believed in all places and times, 
not only amongft the civilized Nations, 
the Grecians and fiomans ; but likewife a- 
mongft'fuch as were mod wild and bar- 

All forts and Profeflions of Men, of any 
^cial Eminence, as Princes, Statefinen, 
Soldiers, Philofophers, Poets, Artifts, have 
had great Impreffions upon their Minds 
concerning a future ftate. And it may be 
reafonably prefumed Q as Tully obferves^ 2>/«i/. q.^ 
that thofe who dofo much excel others in ^^^' '• 

L 3 theu: 

1 5 o Of the frincipks^ &c. Lib. I. 

their Parts and their Virtue, are not ge- 
nerally miftaken in their Judgments a- 
bout a Natural Truth. 

Whereas feveral other Opinions and 
Do<5trines,which at fome times have pre- 
vailed, -have afterwards been rejeded j 
this hath ftill kept up in its Vigor and Au- 
thority, amidft all the various Revoluti- 
ons of Government and Religion^ of Na- 
tions and Churches. 

The moft ancient Philofophers amongfl: 
the Grecians^ who reduced that People to 
Civility, were Tbales^ PhereciJeSy Pythago^ 
ras ; the laft of whom was for a long time 
of fo great! Authority, that no others were 
counted Learned but fuch as were his Fot 
lowers. And each of thefe have moft ex- 
prefly aflerted this Dodrine. And befides 
there are many other Teftimonies to this 
purpofe, pited out of FlatOy EmpsJocles^ 
Plutarch^ together wifch Homer ^ Eurifi- 
^es^ SophocUsy for the Grecians j t^e anci- 
, e^nt Druids amongft the Gauls ; the Bracb- 
mans amongft the Indians^ who are all 
mentioned as bearing Witnels to this Truth, 
by fuftin Martyr^ Clemens Alexandrinus^ 
and others. 

Atid as for the Latins^ I ihall ftiemion 
i.Kb.i; only two Teftimonies f That of /i///y,F^r- 
manere animos orHframurj confenfu natia- 


chap. II. 0/ Natural ^ligton. I 5 1 

num omntHm. *' We do believe that the 

" Souls of Men do abide after Death, by 

" the Confent of all Nations. And that 

of Seneca^ Cum de animarum at emit ate dif- Efifi. 117^ 

ferimus , non leve momentum apudnos bar 

iety confenfus omnium^ aut timentium infe^ 

rosj aut colentium. '* When we Difpute 

*' about the Immortality of the Soul, the 

" general Confent of Men, either fearing 

*• or worlhipping the Infernal Powers, is 

" of no fmall Moment with us. 

That common Pradice amongft the 
Heathens, of worlhipping their departed 
Heroes^dioxh fuppofe a general belief that 
their Souls did remain after Death, and 
were advanced unto a higher State of 
Happinefs and Power. 

In brief, all the Atteftations amongft 
them, concerning the SouPs Immortality^ 
are founded in their belief of the NeceA 
fity . of this Principle, That there mu(fc 
be a futyre State of Rewards and Punifli- 

Though it mufl: be granted, that this 
State as to the Manner of it, is by them 
defcribed in fuch a Poetical way, as is 
more fit to amufe and make ImprefEon up- 
on tht fl'ulgar ^ than to fatisfie t\xt Reafon 
of the Judicious. 

They tell us, that good Men fliall after 

L 4 their 

I J X of the frlttcipksy &c. Lib. T. 

their Death be received into the Elyfian 
fields and Gardens, which are always 
flourrftiing and pleafant, where Men (hall 
be continually exercifed in fuch kind of 
]£niployments as are molt fuitableto their 
Inclination^ ; fome in Combats, Runnings 
Wreftling j others in Philofophical Dif* 
courfes j others in Dancing or Mufick ; 
where fuch kind of Adions or Things, 
whether in themfelves worthy, or merely 
innocent^ in which good Men during the 
time of their Lives, did find any fpecial 
Pleafure, fhould be enjoyed by them in 
the utmoft Perfedion. 

And as this ihall bf the State of fuch 
9S have been Virtuous^ fo thofe who have 
been Wicked (hall he thruft down into 
the Infernal Regions, into Prifons and 
dark Cavernsy where Furies are appoint- 
ed for their Tormentors, who fliall xoSlsOl 
ppon them various kinds -JJfPunifhments, 
according to the Nature and Quality of 
the Crimes of which they have been 

And though fuch kind of Enjoyments 
wherein thefe Heathen placed their fu- 
ture Happineft, be not altogether fo fen- 
fual as the Turkijh Paradife^ yet are they 
^00 earthly and grofs for any Rational 
. Man fq rpft in »s his^phi^f Felicity ; And 

Chap. 1 !• of Katural ^eligm. i j | 

muft, even to the Judgment of mere Rea- 
Ton, f^em altogether defpicable in compa- 
rifon to the Chrifiiat$s Heaven; which 
con Ails in 'the raifmg of our Natures to 
the highcft Perfc(3:ion^ of which they are 
capable, in a perpetual Vifion and Fruiti« 
on of the Supreme Good. 

It muft be granted, that the principal 
Evidence for this DoArine concerning a 
future State of Rewards and Punilhments, 
is to be derived from Scripture^ efpecially 
from the New Teftament, where 'tis faid 
that Life and Immortality is Irougbt to % Tim- 1. 
lightly the GofpeL »©• 

Not but that there is Evidence for it^ 
both from the Old Teftament and from 
the Light of Nature. 'Tis true indeed, 
that Temporal things are more expreOy 
infiftecj upon in the Promifes and Threats 
of the Old Teftanient, upon account of 
the grofsnefs an^ dulnefs of the People of 
the fews^ who being more immerfcd in 
fenfible things, were therefore more eafie 
to be wrought upon by fuch Confiderati- 
ons, ' But that thefe things were not then 
intended for the chief Motives of Reli- 
gion, may appear from the Hiftories con- 
cerning fuch Religious Perfons as lived in 
thofe firft Ages. Amongft whom, there 
ijvere but yery few ( if any ) that did at- 


154 Of the Principles J See. Lib, I. 

tein to any fuch pcrfed Felicity in refpedr 
of worldly things, but that they might 
very well apply to themfelves the Words 
of old facoij and fay with him, Few and 
evil have the days of my Life teen. «And if 
God had intended thefe Temporal Enjoy- 
ments, for the chief Felicity which that 
Religion was to entitle them unto ,• thofe 
very Hiftories upon Record, where thefe 
Promifes are mentioned, concerning the 
Sufferings of the beft Men in thofe times, 
mud needs have been a difparagement and 
confutation to thefe Promifes themfelvcsi 

But befides the Teftimonies. to this pur- 
pofe from Scripture and Revelation, it is 
not imaginable that in a Point of fo great 
Moment, and fo uhiverfal Confequence as 
this is, God Ihould have left himfelf 
without a Witnefs unto all the Nations of 
the World ; but that all Men fhould be 
endowed with (iich natural Capacities and 
Notions, as * being improved byConfi- 
dcration , will afford fufficient Evidence 
for the Belief of this Great and Funda- 
mental Principle. 

As for fuch Men who live under the 
fenfe of Guilt, whofe Interefl it is that 
there fliould be no future Account ; It 
cannot be otherwife expeded from fuch, 
\mt that they ihould be willing to disbe- 

chap. II. of Natural (^li^iwu i j j 

lieve this. And from hence it is, that fome 
of the AncientPhilofophers have employed 
their Learning and Subtilty, to difpute 
Ijhemfelves into fome kind of doubt and 
incertainty about it. And yet the gene- 
rality even of thefe have been forced to 
acknowledge it much more probable than 
the contrary. And as for the Vulgar fort 
of People, who are guided by the more 
fimple Didrates of Nature, thefe have in 
all Ages and Nations fubmitted themfelves 
to this Dodrine, and profefled a firm be- 
lief of it. And tho' Vulgar Opinion be 
but a very badTopick, about fuch Matters 
as may gratify Men in their Eafe and Sen- 
fual Appetites, yet in fuch other Opinions 
asarecrofs to their worldlyInterefts,it may 
argue fuch. things to be from fome naturaL 
impreffion upon their Minds, which they 
muft believe, and cannot otherwifechufe. . 
The Arguments I would make ufe of 
to this purpofe,, may be reduced to thefe 
Xbree General Heads : 

I. The Suitablenefs of this Principle to 
the moft Natural Notions of our 

%. The Neceflity of it to the Govern- 
ment of Mens Lives and Adions in 


3- The 

%^6 Of the Trincipksy 6cc. Lib, I. 

3. The Neceflity of it for the vindica- 
tion of Divine Providexicc, 

I. I begin with the firft, The fuitable- 
ncfs of it to the moft Natural Notions of 
our Minds, and thole kind of Impre/IioBS 
which belong to us as we are reafbnable 
Creatures. We fee by experience that all 
other things (Co far as we are able to 
judge) Minerals^ Plants^ Beafisj &c. are 
naturally endowed with iuch Principles as 
are moft fit to promote the Perfedlion of 
their Natures, in their feveral kinds. And 
therefore it is by no means credible, that 
Mankind only, the moft excellent of all 
other Creatures in this vifible World, for 
the fervice of whom fo many other things 
ieem to be defigned, ihould have ftich 
kind of Principles interwoven in his very 
Nature,as do contain in them meer Cheats 
and Delufions. And therefore whatfbever 
thofe things are, which the generality of , 
Mankind,e(pecially the moft wife and the 
moft confiderate part of them do agree 
m, ought to be allowed for highly credi- 
ble ; otherwife it muft follow, that we arc 
framed with fuch kind of Faculties, as in 
our moft cautious exercife of them, trc 
more like to feduce us and expofe us to Er- 
ror> than to direct and lead us to theTruth. 


chap. I !• of Natural ^ligim. 1 57 

' But I (hall endeavour to manifefl: this 
more particularly by thefeThree Confide- 

I. This Principle is mod fuitableto the 
general Apprehenfions of Mankind, con- 
cerning the Nature of Good and EviL 

1. To thofe Natural Hopes and Expe- 
dations which the generality of Good 
Men have concerning a State of Future 

J. To thofe Natural Fears and Expedla-" 
tions w hich the generality of wicked Men 
are poflefs'd with, concerning a Future 
State of Punilhment and Mifery. 

i» This Principle is moft fuitable to 
the General Apprehenfions of Mankind, 
concerning the Nature of Good and Evil. 
All Men heretofore have agreed that there 
is fuch a thing as the Law of Nature^ 
whereby things are diftinguiih'd into Good 
and Bad ; according to which the Adions 
of Men are determined to be either virtu- 
ous or vicious. And as the one of thefe 
doth in the Eflence of it imply Comelinefe, 
and Reward, fo doth the other denote Tur- 
pitude and Puni(hment ; thefe things being 
imply'cf in the very Definitions of Virtue 
andVice. And from hence it will follow^ 
That as there is foipe Superior Power who 
hath put this Law into our Natures^ (b will 


1 5 8 Of the WmctpUsy &c. Lib. L 

he take care to enforce the obfervance of 
it, by rewarding and punilhing Men ac- 
cordingly. This being imply'd in the Na- 
ture of a Law. 

- If there be nothing in the naked Eflenc^ 
of things that makes them to differ, but 
what doth merely arife from Cuftom and 
pofitive Lawsj why then Cuftom andLaw 
would be able to render it a very virtuous 
and commendable thing for a Man to be 
ingratefiil, a breaker of CompadJ^s, a falfe 
Witnels, a perjured Perfon j which is fb 
monftrous a Pofition, that the Common 
Reafon of Mankind will abhor it upon the 
firft propofaL Nothing is more obvious 
than that there is an univerfal defire 
amongft Men of feeming honeft : The 
moft impudent and profligateWretch be- 
ing loth to be efteem'd what really he is. 
The verySin of Hypocrify, fo general a- 
mongft Men, doth give a largeTeftimony 
to the Beauty of Goodnefs,and the Defor- 
mity of Vice. Nor is there any Account to 
be given why there (hould be imprefs'd up- 
on the Nature of Men fuch a value for the 
one ^ and diflike for the other , .if there 
were not in the things themfelVes fonie- 
thing fuitable to thofe contrary^ffedions. 
We fee by experience that there is fuch 
a kind of Reft and Acquiefcence in the 


chap. II. of Natural (^(ellgton^ ijp 

Mind, upon the difcovery of Truth, and 
the doing of Virtuous Adions, as belongs 
to natural Bodies when they are in their 
proper places ; which may argue thefe 
things to have fome peculiar fuitablenefs 
to the Soul of Man, and that the Oppo- 
iltes to them. do offer violence to fome 
natural Principle belonging to it. 

X. This Principle is moft fuitable to 
thofe natural Hopes and Exped^ations 
which the generality of good Men have 
concerning a State of Future Happinefs. 
From whence doth arife that Confidence 
and Courage whereby thofe of meaneft 
quality and abilities (if other wife virtuous 
Perfons) can fupport themfelves in their 
Sufferings for that which is good,* which 
3oth neceffarily fuppofe in them a ftrong, 
and even a natural belief and periiiafion of 
fuch a Future State wherein their Suffer- 
ings (hall be confider'd and rewarded. 

Befides that, there is a ftrong averfion 
amongft Men againft a dark State of anni- 
hilation, which no Man can think. of with- 
out great regret of Mind: And likewife a 
natural Defire in all Men after a State of 
Happinefs and Perfedion, And no natural 
t)cfire is in vain. All other things have 
fome what tofatisfy their natural appetites. 
And if we confider the utter imi 

i ^o Of the Trinciplesy 8cc. Lib. L 

of attaining to any fuch condition in this 
Life, this will render it highly credible, 
that there muft be another ftate wherein 
this Happinefs is attainable ; otherwife 
mankind muft fail of his chief end, being 
by a natural Principle moft ftrongly incli- 
ned to fuch a ftate of Happinefs as he can 
never attain to j as if he were purpofely 
fram'd to be tormented betwixt thefe two 
Paffions, Defire and Defoair j an earneft 
propenfion after Happineft, and an utter 
incapacity of ever enjoying itj as if Na- 
ture it felf, whereby all other things are 
difpofed to their perfed^on, did ferve only 
in mankind to make them mifeluble. And 
which is yctmore con fiderable, the better 
and the wifer any man is, the more earneft 
Defires andHopes hath he after fuch a ftate 
of Happinefi. And if there be no ftich 
thing, not only Nature, but Virtue like- 
wife muft contribute to make men mife- 
rable J than which, nothing can feem more 
Unreafonable to^thofe who believe a juft 
and a wife Providence. / 

3. This Principle is moft fuitablc to 
thofe Feacs and Expedations Which the gev 
nerality of wicked men are poflefs'd with , 
concerning a Future State of mifery. Wit- 
nefs thofe natural Suggeftions of Confcience 
in the worft of men, jchat upon any wicked 


Ohap. 1 1!! of Natural (I{eUpon. 

idkiotis ("though never (i) private) areoffc- 
ehtimes (lattling of them, with the ap- 
j^rehenfioils of another Judicature and 
Tribunal, bfefoi'e which they fliall be caL 
kd to art account for the clofeft Sins* All 
that fecrat Regret, and thofe inward, Smi- 
tings, Laftiatus (S liluSj which are fo ofr- 
tn felt in the Minds of Men, upon the 
'tfbmraiflidii of any great 5in, do argue 
(bme common Intimations, even in the 
Light of Nature, of another Judgment af- 
tef this Life, wherein they fhall be ac- 
countable for fuch AAions as Men do 
not puni(h or take notice of. 

And thefe natural Fears do ufually {ei2e 
upon all kind of Men promifcuoufly j Evert 
thofe who are moft potent, who by their 
Own Will cart give Laws to Nations, and 
command mighty Armies j yet cannot they 
dvoid theie checks and lafhes of Confcience^ 
. but that they will feize upon them, and 
{hake them as well as the poorefl: meaned 
Subjedt. Nor can liich as are moft obfti-* 
ttately wicked, who with their utmoft 
ftudy arid endeavoun^ apply thpmfelves 
to the fuppreffing aim^i ^ b elief of thefe 
Notions, fo wholly ftifle them, but thaif 
they will be continually rifing up in theif 
Minds, and puffuing of them. 
Now is there is no Man whatfoever> thas 

M is 

I df 2 Of the Principles , &c. Lib* h 

is wholly freed from thefe Featrs^ of fu- 
ture Mifery after Death j fo there is np 
iCttatuie below Man, that hath any Fears 
of this kind. And if there be no real 
[round for this, then it mud follow^ That 
le who framed all his other Works with 
(uch an excellent Congruity, did yet (b 
contrive the Nature of Man,the mod noble 
amongfl: them, as to prove a oeedlefs tor- 
ment and burden toit felf- 

If it be faid. That thefe Notions may 
|)roceed from fiich Principles as Men have 
derived from IniHtution and the teaching 
of others, but that ' they do not imply 
It neceffity of any fuch Natural Im- 

To this it m^y be anfwered^ That it is 
fufficient to denominate diem Natural No- 
tions^ if they have filch a faitablenels to 
the minds of men, as makes them to be 
generally owned by all thofe who apply 
their Thoughts to the confideration of 
them : And that they have (uch a natu- 
ral fuitablenefe, may appear, becaufe In- 
ftitution cannot fo eafily eradicate thefe 
Notions, as it can fix theoL Now if the 
mere teaching of others were it felf fuffi* 
cient to imprefs thefe Notions,without any 
fiich peculiar congruity in the things them- 
(elvesi it would be as fi(i3icient to deface 


Chap. U; of Katurd ^ligion. \6.j 

them again : Efpecially confidering the 
Advantage on this, ftde, from that natural 
Repugnancy which we have to any thing 
which brings difquiet to our minds. And 
nothing is more troublefome in this kind^ 
thian the fear which follows upon guilt. 
. But Qow> though there have been (g- 
iyeratinen. of no mean abilities in feveral 
iiges» . who have: made it their BufmeB^ 
to root out of the minds of men all fuch 
troublefome Notions about a future State, 
endeavouring to perfuade themfelves and 
others, That as theiie: was a time before 
they w«e born into the World, when 
they were not ; fb at their dying or going 
out of it, they (hail exift no more. And 
yet, though it be their Iqterefl: to believe 
thisi thou^ they make it their ftudy and 
•bufmefstd perfuade themfetves and others 
f£ it,; it may teafonably be doubted, whe^ 
ther ever yet there hath beai fo much as 
one Perfon, that hath hereby become ab- 
folutely free from thefe fears : But for the 
mod part, th6(e who would have them 
£(faeemed vain and iniaginary, without any 
Foundation in Nature, thefe are the Perfons 
who are mofl: aflaulted with them. 

:. Hifuntfui trepidant .^ & omnia fidgura 
foUtnu . . .^ 

M ^ 5o 

1^4 Of.the Principles, Sec. lib.f. 

So powerfat and unconquerable ar6 
thefe ImprelTtons , and therefore Natu^ 

• tSl ■■-.■-•..•.•:. " 


X. The fecood Reafon I propofed to 
fpeak to, was from the ncccflky of this. 
Principle, to the right government of 
mens lives and aiStions in this World^ and 
th$ preferviflg: of Society amongft thenx 
Nothing can be more evident, than that 
Human Nature is fo framed, as not to be 
regulated and kept within due Bounds^ 
without Laws ; and Laws nrafl: be infig^ 
nificant, without the Sanction of .Rewai^k 
and Punifhnients, whereby men may be 
induced to the obfervance of them; 
Now the temporal Rewards ^nd Punifh- 
merits of this Life, cannot be fuffident to 
this end t and therefore there is a necelTi^ 
ty that there Ihould be another future 
State of Happine(s and Mifery. . 

All the Rewards and Poniihments of 
this Life are to be expedred, either from 
the Civil Magiftrate, who by virtue of 
his Place and Calling is obliged to the 
duty of diftrilmtive Juilice : Orelfefrom 
DivineProvidence, adcordingtothat moft 
ufual courfe which we fiAd by experience 
to be obfervedhy him, in his difpenfation 
^ of thefe Temporal tnings. Now neither 
i of 

Chif. I iC ^ of Natural ^li^hn. i6$ 

^f t^efe can affofd fu/Hcieot Motives for 
the government of mens Lives and Acti- 

.1. Not all that may be expeded from 
the Civil Magiftrates, hecaijfe there may 
be many good and evil Anions which they 
cannot take notice of ; and they can re- 
ward and punifti only &ch things as come - * 
under their cognizance. And if this <vere 
the only reftraint upon men, it could be 
tio hindrance frbitn any fiich miichiefs or 
villanies which men had the opportunity 
of committing fecretly. Nor would it ex- 
tend to thofe who had power and ftrength 
enough to defend themfelves from the 
Law, and efcape the Penalty of it, but. 
that fuch might without any kind of check 
or fear follow the Inclinations of their own 
appetites : Nor would it afford any reme- 
dy in the cafe of fuch wicked Magiftrates 
as fliould invert the Order of their Inftitu- 
tion, proving Terrors to well-doers, and 
Encouragers to thofe that do ill. 

X. Not all that may be expeded from . 
common Providence : For tho' it Ihould be 
granted^ that according to the moftufual 
and general courfe of things, both virtu*- 
ous and. vicious Actions are rewarded 
and puniihed in this Life, yet there may 
pQ many particular cafes which this 

M 3 Mot 

%66 / €f tUfrinciplesi 8cci Lib: li 

mbrfve woiildirat reach; tintx>; ftarAelyv 
nil iuch Cafes where a man's Reafoa (hall 
inform him, that there is far greater pro-^ 
bability of fafety and advantage by com* 
fliiciing a Sixkv than can be rea^Aably et^ 
pedetTc according to his Experience of 
the ufual courfe ofthings in the World ) 
by doing his Duty. Suppofe the Cafe of 
the Tkrte Chiiiretry or of any other tal* 
led to Martyrdom^ who may be thi'eatned 
\^thl1ormen(s and Deaths ihnlefs they Xvill 
blafpheme God, and renounce their tUAu 
^on I if it appear. to them very probable 
Cfuppofe a hundred to on&} that upon 
their refufal, their Perfecutots will really 
execute what they ttuleaten i Asod if on 
the other fide, it prove very improbable 
Cfuppofe ten thoufand tx> one> that they 
fliaJl be delivered by a Miracle : In fuch 
Cafes, it is not to be expeddi, that the 
consideration of th6 ordinary .<}ourfe of 
Providcffiice ih the diipeiifatio]aof Rewards 
and Puni(hmdnts^ 'ihould be fuificient to 
reftrain a man from any kind of filafphe- 
jfiy Of Villtay whatfoevcr^ 

But the tiling I am ^seakingto^ will 
rri&ft'-iti\Ay a)^)ear^ by confideration 0^ 
thole foonrid Mifehi^s of ^aUkinds,. that 
vO<bttld wyoft iiaturally follow ^rcto the de«f 
miilof «5lM$Po(ftrii». 

c * • Jf 

chap* 1 1 • •/ Natural (?{f%w». 167^ 

If there be no fuch thing to be expe^ 
t9:edashappineis ormiiery hereafter, why 
theft the only bufineis that men are to take 
care of, is their prefent well-being in this 
World. There being nothing to be coont« 
ed either good or bad, but in order to 
thele : Thoie things which we conceive 
to be condudble to it, being the only Dli* 
ties ; and all other things that are crofs to 
it,being the only 6ins. And therefore what* 
ever a man's appetite fhall incline him to, 
he ought not to deny himfelf in it C be 
the thing what it will) (b he can have it, 
or do it,! without prolxdble Danger. 

S^ppofe it be matter of gain or projft 
he is dilpoied to ; if he can cheat or (leal 
(ecurely, this will be fo far from being a 
fault, that it is plainly his duty, thatis, 
reafonable for him to do, fiecaufe it is a 
proper means to promote his chief end. 

And fo for other Gales of Aftger^ Hatred^ 
RevefigCy Sec. according to this Principle, 
a man muJt talce~the--OTft-epportuhity of 
fatisfying thele Paffions,by doing aiw kind 
of milchief to the Perfon he is ofkinded 
with ; whether by hUe Accufation and 
Perjury, or (if need be) by poylbning or 
tabbing of him ; provided he can do 
thele things £0^ as to efcape the fulpicioa 
cf others^ aod Ebunan Penalties. 

M 4 Now 

\6i 'Ofthefrincipks^Scc. Lib. I. 

- Now kt any man judge what Bearsy 
and Wolvety and Devils men would prove 
to one another, if every thing ihould be 
not only lawful, but a Duty, whereby 
they might gratify their impetuous Lufts; 
if. they might either perjure themfelves,^ 
ar ileai,or murther as often as they could 
dp it: Tafely, and: get any advantage by 

. But thefe things are fo very obvious 
gnd undiraiable , that the mod prophane 
Atl^eifticjl Perfons , do own the truth of 
)!hem. And upon this they are willing to 
apknow^ledge. That Religion, and the Be- 
lief of aaother Life, is a very politick In- 
vention, and needful for the well govern- 
ing of the Worlds and for. the keeping of 
^inen ip awe, from the doing any fecret 
mifchiefs* Which (by the way) is a con^ 
ceffion of po fmaU advantage to the hor 
nowr of Religion, confidcring that it pro' 
peedg from the grpatefl: profefled Enemies 
to it. Whereby they grant, that it is fit 
thefe thing? Ihould be true, if they are 
f^t'ij or at 4eaft^ that it is fit that the ge^ 
ncriil^y <>f men (hicmld believe them to be 
•itr^!?,; 2^pd:th6^ themfelves pretend to 
oheWjs ^tHerwifc, yet are they riot fo 
xfof ,P«t Pt HbQir Wiits^ as to J^ewiUing that 
fhpfe wisS^lipair fbeyicfeav^rfe,' their 

.^ ^-^y * TT*fyi| 

Chap. II. of Katural^eligionl t6p 

Wives, and Children, and Servants (hould 
he of the lame Opinion with them j be-' 
caufe then they could have no Reafon to 
exped any fafety amongft them. What 
fecurity couid any man have of his Edate^ 
or Honour, or Life, if fuch with whom 
he is mod familiar and intimate, might 
think themfelves at liberty to do all the 
fecret mifchiefs to them which they had 
the Opportunity to commit ? 

But there is one thing more which tho(e^ 
who profeis to disbelieve this Principle 
fliould do well to confider ; and that is 
this. That there is no imaginable Reafon/ 
why C^mongft thofe that know them) 
they lliould pretend to any kind of Hc- 
nefty or Confcience, becaufe they arc 
wholly deftitute of all fuch Motives as 
may be fuflficient to oblige them to any 
thing t}f this nature .* But according to 
them, that which is called Virtue and Re^- 
ligion muft be on^ of the mod filly and 
ufelefs things in the World, 

As for the Principle oi Honour j which 
fome imagine may fupply .the room of 
Confcience : This relates only to Extfrnal 
'Reputation, and the efleem which we have 
amongft others; and therefore can be pf 
00 influence to reftrain men from- doing 
any fecref rnifchief. 


170 Of the Trincipksy Sec, Lib. T.' 

Frdm what hath been faid k will follow. 
That thcKi who have aoy regard to their 
own Safety, ought to abandon all kind of 
Sdciety with fuch p«nicioasPeffons,wha 
accordi ng to thdir jO wn Principles, mafi: 
take all 'Oppdrtuhitiegof doiqg any mii-t 
di^f to oithers, which the^ are able txi 
effe(^ >)i/iih atiyadvanta^ to themfelKes. 

Naw if this be fo (as I have proved> 
that the Nature of man isfo ftum'd, as noi: 
to^ie^ eJ9e(^dfUy' perfuaded and wrought 
tep^i withotft the cotifideration of fiich 
a FiJtiire State ; if it be «ece(£ffy to add 
everMl^ motives, as the Safidions of 
that iiaW, by which the Human Nature 
15 to b^ governed ; - this mud render it 
highly ci^dibld} that there is lubbs Stat»» 
becaiife it ttitift needs be very unworthy 
of G&d,t'0 Gonce^ ($f him, that hel hath 
contriv'd the Nature of oneof hisbeft and 
moO: noble Creatures after Tach a manner, 
as to jnake it inca(|able of being gpvem'd 
without Falihbod ^d'Decett; The iieceC* 
fiiy 6f thfe ftinciple to the -government 
6F Mens Lives and A(^onsj is^jiie ground 
of that "Saying amongft the Rollins, 
Tht^ Paradife and Hell are two of the 
Sb^- Pillars xtpon< which God is faid 
W hvtb founded- the World. : As If it 

. -.could 


Chftp. 1 1^ 0/ Natural (I(elipM] 1 7 \ 

^ould not be upheki^ without fiich a fup-^ 

3. The third and laft Argument I pro-' 
pofed to fpe^ to^ was from the nece(ijty 
of this Principle to the vindication of Di- 
vine Providence. : Nothing is more uni- 
Verfally acknowledged, tlnin that God is 
Good and Juft ; That wetl-doing ihatl be 
rewarded) : aqd Evii Actions pupiQied by 
him. And yet we fee that his DiCpenfati- 
ons in this Life are itiany limes promif- 
cii'ous and uncertain, fb that a man can- 
not judge pf lave «r hatred^ ly aU that is 
before him. The worft of iiien arefome- 
timesin riie beft Condition : If in this life t Cor. 15^ 
cnly we had hope^ we fhfuld ievf aMtnen '^' 
mftm^erahley faith the Aptfilt^ (peaking 
concerning thofe primitive Times of Per- 
fecution, when the better any man was, 
the more was he exposed to Sufferings 
Nor is it thus only in; the cafe of parti- 
cular Perfons, or in the fuCctfs of private ' 

Differences betwixt men and itien ; but 
likewife for fome of thofe Dedfions that 
are made by the Sword, in the pubiiclc 
Contefts of Princes and Nations ; thcfe 
xilay fpmetimes be fo Hated, as to the 
Event of them, as may in the judgmem: 
of Wife and GoodMen feem unequal, and. 


• • • " ^ ^ ^_ ft 

171 Of the Principles] Sec Lib.!. 

riot accordiiig to Juftice, arid the Right ctf 
the Caufe. ' • ^ 

Now the greater uncertainty there i«, 
tts to the prefent affairs of this World, by 
fo much greater is the certainty of a Faf - 
ture Judgment. It is true indeed , that 
Virtue may be (aid to be a ReW^ard to it 
felf, and Vice a Punifhment j in regard 
t>f that Satisfa(9:ion,or that Regret of Mind 
which doth accompany fuch things. But 
thefe are not fuch kind of Rewards and Pul 
nifliments as La.\k^givers are> to take care 
of J hy which they are to excite thofe tinder 
the Government, to overcome the La- 
bours and Difficulties that they may fonre- 
times meet with in doing their Duty, and 
td teftrain others from wicked Anions* > 
. It would ftem a wild extravagant La w, 
which (hould propofe by way' of Re^ 
ward, that tho(e who had upon account 
of Religion or Virtue, undergone any 
great Dangers artd Troubles, fcould for 
their reward be put again^ to undergo^ 
more and greater. That they who had 
been guilty of Robbery, (hould by way 
of puni(h(!ient be obliged to commit Mur- 

Befides thofe Moral advantages or inif- 
chiefs, which are properly the effeds of 
Virtue and Vice j there is likewife Tome 

Chap. IK of Natural ^llgkn. i>j 

Physical Good or Evil, that may be er- 
ped^ed as the Reward and Pufiilhment of 

t Would it become a joft Governor, to 
permit his Rebellious Sutjeds, thofe whd 
contemn his Laws, to perfecute fuch as 
^ere obedient to him, with all kind of 
^orn and Vialencej Stripes, Imprifort- 
'inbat^. Torments, and Death it felf,- and 
that for i*[is very Reafon, becaufe they - 
were willing to do their puties , and to 
obferve the Laws ? tVouId it be a Reafo- 
inable Excufc for fuch a Ruler tolay,That 
obe' of thefe had received fufficient Pu- 
•rtiihriient in the very cdmmiffion of fuch 
-Crimes j and that the other had a fuffici- 
ent Reward,both in the doing of his Du- 
^ty, and in his fufferirig fo* it ? What 
could be more inconfiftent with the Rules 
^of Juftice, and the wife Ends of Govern- 
ment > 

What could be a greater difparagement 
to Divine Providence, than to permit {he 
Calamities and Sufferings which Good 
Men undergo in this World, many times 
upon the account of Religion , to pafs 
unrewarded j and the many Mifchiefs 
anc^, Prophanations , which wicked 
men take the advantage of corainit- 
ting by their Greatnefs and Profpe- 
.' -• " rity* 

174 ^f ^^* fnmplesy:,8c(:,. Lib. I. 

rity in tihis World to gd unpuniftied ? 
Wb«t great Glory would it be to pre- 
fide over this material World, Stars add 
Meteors, Sea and LaodyPlants and Be alls » 
to put thefe things into fuch a regular 

courfe as may be fuitable to their Nib- 
tures, add: the Operations for which they 
are defign'd ; and in 'the mean fpace to 
have no projportioiiahlQ regard, dithw for 
tbofe that reverence the Deity, or thofe 
who contemn him ? 

'Tis very well faid to this pUrpofe by 
^^^r^fJ^' ^ late Author, That not to .conduct the 
courfe of Nature in a due manner,: might 
(peak fomedefecS; of Wifdom in God; bui: 
not to compenfate Virtue and Vice, be- 
fides the defed: of Wifdom in not adjulb- 
ing things fuitable to their qualifications, 
but croriy coupling Profperity with Vice^ 
and Mifery with Virtue, woiidd argue too 
great a defedl of Goodnefs and of Juftice. 
And perhaps it would not be lefs expedi- 
ent (faith he) with Epicurus^ to deny all 
Providence, than to afcribe to it fuch 
defeds : it being lefs unworthy of chp 
^ Divine Nature to negled theUniverfe al- 
together, than to adminifler human zS- 
fairs with fo much Injuftice anql Irregular 

•rity. ^ : .*:.::»,: 


chap. w. of Natural (J^ligian. 17 j 

And therefore 'tis neceflary for the 
vindication of Divine Providence , that 
there (hould be a Future State, and Day 
of Accounts, wherein every man (hall be 
forced to acknowledge , that verily there „ - 
is a Reward for the Righteous^ douhtlefs uV^ ' 
tbere^is a Goathat juJgeth the Earth. 

f ■ 


« ■ 

. { 


1^6 Of the Trinci^ks, Sec Lib. I. 

*'*■''■■•"-■- ' ^ - • - ^» -r ■ * ..,^ 

G H A P. xir. 

Concerning the Duties of^llgion ndtU» 
rally flowing from the Confideration 
of the Divine Nature and ferfeEii'- 
ons : And firft^ of Adoration and 

HAving difpatch*d the two firft things 
I propofed as the principal Ingre- 
dients to a State of ileligion, namdy, 
1. A beliefand an acknowledgment of the 
Divine Nature and Exiflence. z. Due ap- 
prehenfions of his Excellencies and Per- 
fedions ; I. proceed now to the Third, 
namely, fuitable af7e(3:ions and demeanoi* 
towards him : Which muft naturally fol- 
low from the former* The ferious belief 
and confideration of thofe incomparable 
Excellencies which there are in the Di- 
vine Nature, ought not to be terminated 
in mere Speculation, but muft derive att 
Influence upon the Heart and Affedions ; 
it being natural for men to proportion 
their efteem of things according to that 
Worth and Dignity which they apprehend 


Chip. I !• of Natural ^li^ion. 177 

to be in theoi. And therefore that Being 
which hath in it all poffible Perfe(3:ions, 
may juflJy challenge all pofTible efteera 
and veneration as due to it. 

In the enumerating of thofe feveral af- 
fe(3:ioas and duties, I ihall obferve the 
fan^e method which I have formerly ufe^ 
in reckoning up the Attributes them- 

1. God's Incommunicable Excellen- 
x?ies fliould difpofc our Minds to Adorati- 
PH and Worjhip. 

: x.The communicable Attributes,which 
jpplong to the Divine 

I. UnderfiandUgy namely, his infiqite 
Knowledge and Wiidom, and his particu- 
ht Providence, fliould work in us, Faith^ 
Affiance i Hope^ Confidence. 

%. . Will^ namely, his Qoodnefs^ Jf^flice^ 
^dithfulnefs, , are naturally apt to excite 
in us^ Lovey Defire^ ZeaL 
; 3, Faculties of A£ling ^ namely, his 
Powerj which fliould produce in us Re- 
verence and Pear : His Dominion over us, 
and diftribwting of future. Rewards and 
Punifliments,which calls for o^^sx Obedience^ 
. both A^ive and PaJ/ive. 

Though i cannot fay,that each of thefe 
AfTeilionsand Duties are To to be reflrain- 

N ed 

178 Of the principles, Sec. Lib.!.^ 

cd to thofe refpedlive Attribotes unto 
which I have afcribed them^but that the 
confideration of any of the reft, may have 
a proper Influence to difpofe Men to any, 
or to all of them ^yet that there is fome 
more peculiar Reference and Correfpon- 
dence betwixt thefe Attributes and thefe 
Affedions and Duties, as they are here 
conjoined, I (hall endeavour to (hew in 
treating concerning each of them. 

I. Thofe incommunicable and fuperla- 
tive Excellencies of the Divine Nature, 
whereby God doth infinitely tranfcend 
all other Beings, are naturally apt to work 
in us , a high Efteem and Admiration of, 
him ; a reaoinefs of Mind, upon all occa- 
fions, to exprefs our Adoration and Won- 
jhip towards him. 

That Worjhip is due t6 God, hath been 
univerfally acknowledged, in all Ages and 
' ^'^*^- ' • ?• Nations. And Ariftotle aflerts, that who- 
foever doth doubt of, or deny this, ought 
not to be dealt with by Arguments, but 
by Puniftiments. 

That it is the Excellency of any Being 
which is the proper ground of the Wor- 
fliip we pay to it, hath been generally ac- 
knowledged. The Philofophers have own- 
tJMt. De9r. ed this. So TuffVy Prafiam Deorum natu- 
lib. I, ra^ 

Chap, II. of Natural ^ligion. i7p 

ra^ &c. " The Nature of God may juftly 
*' challenge ^thcWorfhip of Men, becaule 
" of its fuperlative Excellency , . Blefled- 
"nefe, Eternity, For whatfoever excels, 
* * hath upon that account aVeneration due 
" to it. So Seneca j Detu colitur propter 
Majeflatem eximiam , Jingularemq; natu-- 
ram. "God is therefore worftiipped, be- 
" caufe of his Excellent Majefty and In- 
/" coniparable Nature. And to this the 
Scripture like wife doth atteft. AH nati- PfaJ.89.9, 
ons whom thou haft made , fhafl come and *^- 
toorjhip Before thee , and {hall glorifie thy 
name , for thou art great , and doft won-^ 
drous things y thou art God alone. And 
again, Pfal. 95. 3. having faid , For the 
Lord is a great God y and a great King a- 
hove all Gods ; it is prefently fubjoined, 
come let us voorfhip^ and full dovon^ and kneel 
before the Lor dour maker. And yet again, 
TfaL 97.7- Worfhip him all ye gods \ And 
the Reafon is given prefently after ; For 
thou Lord art high above all the earthy 
thou art exalted far above all gods. 

By Worfhip^ I mean in the general, the 
higheft Efteem and Admiration of him in 
our Minds, whereby we do continually 
bow down our Souls before him, in the 
Acknowledgment of his Eeccllenciesj de- 
pending upon him , invoking of him in 

N 2 our 

i8o Of the fprmeiples, 8cc, Lib. I. 


our Neceflities^making our Acknowledg- 
ments to him, as being the Author of all 
the Mercies we enjoy ; together with fuch 
external Services, as may be fit to teftifie 
unto others that inwardVeneration which 
we have for him,whethcr by the humbled 
Geftures , of Proflration or Bowing our 
felves before him,Kneeling, lifting up our 
Hands and Eyes unto him j being always 
ready to /peak goo J of his Name , to make 
his praife glorious. Which muft be ac- 
companied with a hearty Zeal and Indig- 
nation, againft all fuch things as refle<% 
Diftionour upon him. 

Befides this general habit of Worjhip^ 

' with which our Minds (hould always be 
pofleded, there are likewife fome parti- 
cular Adions and Services, which by the 

' light of Nature, and the confent of Na- 
tions have been judged proper to exprefs 
our honouring of him : As the fetting a- 
part of particular Perfonsy and Places^ add 
Times^ peculiarly for his Worlliip. 

It hath been the general praiJlice of all 
Nations, to have amongft them a diftind: 
calling of men, fet apart to officiate in Sa- 
crisy to adift the People in their publick 
Wor(hip,to inftrud them in their Duties, 
and to excite them to the performance of 
them; Which being a work of fo pub- 

Chap. iz. of Natural <^ligion. i8i 

lick ufefulnefs and general neceflity, com- 
mon Reafon will aflure us, that the bed 
way of providing for it, is by fuch Per- 
Ibns as are bred up to it, and (et apart for 
it. Such men are like to have the great- 
eft siill^ who have made it their Bufmels 
and their greateft Care^ and who are obli- 
ged to it by way of Office. 

It is natural for men who are joined 
together in Civil Societies^ to join like- 
wife in Religious Worjhip. And in order 
to this, 'tis neceflary that there Ihould be 
publick Places,and folemn Times fet apart 
for fuch Aflemblies. Which hath accor-^ 
dingly been the practice of all civilized 
Nations. And in the manner of perform- 
ing their publick Worfhip, it was ftill 
required to be done with all imaginable . 
Submiffion and Reverence.This the Stoick 
comniends,and cites Ariflotle for it ; Egre- Stn. Nat. 
gie Arifioteles ait , nurtquam nos verecun- q^- ^^^ i- 
diores ejfe dehere^ quam cum de Diis agi- ^*^' ^^* 
/«r, &c. " Men are never more concern- 
** ed to be humble and modcft, than when 
** they have to do about God, We (hould 
** enter the Temples with an humble and 
*' compofed* demeanour. When we ap- 
" proach to Sacrifice^it ihould be with all 
** imaginable exprertions of reverence and 
**modefty,in our countenance and carriage, 

N X As 

it of theTrincipkSy 6cc. Lib. L 

As for the chief Matter and Subftance of 
Natural Worfliip, unto which the Light of 
Reafon will dired:, I know no other than 
Invoking of the Deity, Returning Thanks 
to him, and Enquiring after hisWill. Thofe 
things which are fuperadded to thefe in 
that moft acceptable way of Worfliip re- 
vealed in the Gofpel , are not proper to 
be difcourfed of here , becaufe they de- 
pend merely upon Revelation, 

It is true indeed, that ail Nations pre- 
tending to any Religion from the moft an- 
cientTimes to which any Record doth ex- 
tend, have agreed in the way of Worftiip 
by Sacrifice. And from this general PraStice^ 
there may feem to bfe fome ground to in- 
fer, this way of Worfhip to have been di- 
reded by the Light of Nature. But when 
'tis well confidered , what little ground 
there is toperfuade a Man,left to his own 
free Reafon , that God (hould be pleafed 
with the killing and burning of Beads, 
or with the destroying of fuch things by 
Fire of which better ufe might be made, 
if they were difpofed of fome other way j 
I fay , when 'tis well confidered, what 
little Reafon there is to induce fuch a Man 
to believe, that the killing or burning of 
Beads or Birds, or any other thing ufeful 
to Mankind, fhould of it felf be a proper 


chap. 12. of Natural ^ligkn. 183 

and natural means to teflify our Subjedli* 
on to God } or to be ufed by way of ex* 
piation from fin ; It will rather appear pro- 
bable, that the original of this Pra^ice 
was from Infiitution , and that our firfl; 
Parents were by particular Revelation in- 
flruc^ed in this way of wor(hip,from whom 
it was delivered down to their fucceffive 
Generations by verbal Tradition j and by 
this means was continued in thofeFamilies, 
who departed from the Church,and proved 
Heathen in the firft Ages of the world; a- 
mongft whom thisTradition w^s in courfe 
of time, for want of care and frequent re- 
newals, corrupted with many human Su- 
perinducements, according to the genius 
or interefts of feveral Times, or Nations. 

As for the Reafons,why God was plea- 
fed to inftitute to his own People this 
way of WorQiip, there are thefe two things 
may be fuggefted. 

I. Sacrifices had a typical Reference un- 
to that great defign which was to be ac- 
complilhed in the fuUefs of time y by the 
Sacrifice of Chrift upon the Crofs, which 
is at large explained and applied in fe- 
veral parts of the New teftament , parti- 
cularly in the Epiftle to the Hebrews^ from 
whence many ftrong Arguments may now 

N 4 be 

1 84 Of the frlncipks, See. Lib. L 

be deducedj for confif rmcion of the truth 
of the Gofpel. . 

X. Becaiife this way of worffiip was moft 
fuitable to thofe Ages ; the Providence of 
God having purpofely adapted his own 
inftitutions of Worfhip, Unto the abilities 
'and capacities of men in feveral times. 
Difcovering himfelftohis People ia divers 
Htb. 1. 1, nfannersj according to fundry times. And 
therefore in thofe firft and ruder Ages of 
the World, when People were more gene- 
rally immerfed in fenfible things,and Aood 
in need of fomewhat to raife ind fix their 
Imaginations, God was pleafed toamufe 
them with external Pomp and Solemni- 
ties, and to employ that time of their 
mnage^ about thefe plainer rudiments or 
Gal. 4. 3. elements of the world. But when they 
were grown up from this nonage ^ when 
the generality of men became more no- 
tional,better able to contfider and abflra<il 
things ; when by the fpreading of the 
Roman Conquefts, which extended to the 
moft confiderable parts of the world, they 
had likewife fpread their Arts and Civi- 
lities, reducing the Provinces which came 
under their power, from that favagenefs 
and barbarifm with which they had for- 
merly been overfpread , to the love and 


chap, 1 1. of Natural <I(eligkn. 1 8 J 

defire of alt peaceful Arts, and the ftudy 
of ail ufeful Knowledge, whereby the 
minds of men were rendred more rational 
and inquifitive than before they had been, 
and confequently better prepared for the 
reception of the Chriftian Religion : In 
thisfulnefs of time (zs the Scripture ftyles 
itj did the Providence of God think fit to 
introduce Chriftian Religion, a more ra- 
tional and fpiritual way of worfliip^ whole 
Precepts are raoft agreeable to the purefl: 
and (ublimeft Reafon j confifting chiefly 
in a regulation of the mind and fpirit, 
and fuch kind oi practices as may pro- 
mote the good of human focicty, and 
raoft effedually conduce to the perfedling 
of our Natures, and the rendring of them r 

And that the moft rational kind of 
Wor(hipdothconfift in fuch kind of Qua- 
lifications and Services , befides the at- 
teftation of fevcral Scriptures to this pur- 
pofe, may likewifc be made evident by 
the acknowledgement of the wifeft Hea- 
thens. Eufehius quotes Menander a Greek 
Poet to this purpofe, ( fomecimes cited 
by St. faul^ J Men do in vain^ faith he, Prcpar.E- 
endeavour to make the Gods propitious ^^^^* ^* 
hy their cofliy Sacrifices ; if they would '^'^' '^' 


1 8^ Of the Principles, Sec. Lib. I. 

have the Divine Favour y let them lave and 
adore God in their Hearts^ he jujl and holy 
in their Converfations. And in another 
place he cites the like Sayings out of 

Lib, 4. c. Porphyry , in his Book de Sacrifciis^ and 

'?• Apollonim^ &c. 

Diferf.^s. So Maximus tyrius^ fpeaking concern- 
ing thofe divers Solemnities wherewith 
feveral Nations did honour their Gods, 
faith, He would he lothy hy denying any 
of thefe^ to derogate from the Honour of 
the Deity ; hut men jhould chiefly labour to 
"have him in their mindsy t<^wjttf fjuivovy 
i^Tomtv (LMvovy they fh6uld principally 
endeavour to know him, and to love 

Epift.^j. So Seneca^ having difcourled concern- 
ing thofe external Adorations and Gere- 
monies, whereby feveral Men were wont 
to exprels their Devotion, he fays , //«- 
mana ambitio ijlis capitur officiis , De- 
um colit qui novit ; " Such Formalities 
may be acceptable to the Ambition of 
Men, but he only can truly worftiip 
" God who knows hiffl. . The firft ftep 
(faith he} unto Divine Worlhip , is to 
believe the Being of God, and then to 
demean our felves towards him fuitably 
to the greatnefs of his Majefty. f^is 



• ■ 

Chap- 1 2. of Katurd Religion. ' 1 87 

Decs propitiate , ionus efio ; fatis iQos 
coluit quifquis tmitatus eft. " Would you 
** render him propitious to you , endea- 
*' vour to be good j that Man only doth 
*' truly worftiip him, who labours to be 
" like him. So TuBj ,• Cultus autem Deo- d$ i^st. 
rum eft optimus^ ie/ewq; caftiftmus^ atque jj^^^' 
fanHifftmus^ plenifftmufque pi et at is , ut eos 
femper pura^ integra , incorrupt^ winte & 
voce veneremur. 

To which I fliall only add that Saying , 
of Perfeusy where he prefers an honeft and sstjr. 2. 
a virtuous Mind , above all other coftly 
Sacrifices and Offerings. 

Compofitum jus fafque animi , faniiofque 

Mentis y & i^coiium generofo peSus ho^ 

Hac cado^'Ut admoveam templis , ^ fane 


If TrueWorlhip did confift only in coft- 
ly Sacrifices,then fuch alone as were rich 
could be religious ; whereas God is more 
ready to accept the meaneft Offering, 
from a Perfon of a juft and worthy, and 
generpus Mind, who doth truly love arid 
devote himfelf to him, than of the moft 

pom- ' 

lS8 Of the Principles ^ &c. Lib. \. 

pompous cofUy Sacrifices from others. 
And thus have I done treating of thofe 
kind of AfFedions, which naturally fol* 
low from due apprehenfions of the tncariu 
municahle Attributes belonging to the Di- 
vine Nature j namely , Adoration and 



Gfaap. 1 3. 0/ Natural f2^r/i^io». i8j^ 

i I* 

Of Faith or Affiance m GoJ* 


t Proceed to thofe other Affe<9:ions 
whereby we are to give unto God 
( fo far as Creatures are capable ) that 
Honour which is due to thofe communi- 
cable Perfedions belonging to the Divine 
Under (landings WiU^ Faculties of A£ling ; 
namely , his Wifdom , G$odnefs , Power , 
Dominion^ and Superiority over us, and 
his dijlrihuting of future Rewards and Pu^ 
niflments; which (hould re(pe<Jlively excite 
in us, Affiance^ Love^ Reverence^ and 0- 
bedience^ both atlive and pajfive. And 
though each of thefe Graces,have Effici- 
ent foundation in every one of the Divine 
Excellencies promifcuoufly, ytt there is 
fome more peculiar reference and corrc- 
fpondence amongd them, according to 
this order, 

I purpofe to fpeak to each of them fe- 
verally and briefly, 

Firft, Concerning Affiance ; by which 
I mean an acquiefcence of theMind,where- 
by it is fupported againft all unneceflary 


ipo ^ Of the Principles, Sec. Lib. L 

doubts and fears, upon account of the Di-; 
vine AU-fufficiency in general, with more 
ipecial refpeA to his Knowledge, and Wit 
dom and Providence ; whereby he doth 
take notice of our Conditions, and is able 
to order all things for the be(l, and doth 
not permit any thing to befal us without 
his knowledge of it, and being concerned 
for it. This Grace, according to its diffe- 
rent Relations,is ufually diflinguifhed into 
thefe Three Branches : i . As it refpeds an 
Ad of the Judgnient in aflenting to aUDi- 
vine Truths, whether difcoverable by Rea- 
fon, or by Revelation j fo 'tis fly led Faith. 
' X. As it imports a Refling of the Will and 
AfTedions in the Divine Goodnefs, whe- 
ther difcover'd to us by the Light of Na- 
ture, or by Revelation ; fo 'tis llykdTrtifi ; 
and according to the greater Meafure or 
Degree of it , Confidence and Tlerophory. 
So the Heathen, who have no Revelation, 
can fupport themfelves in their SufTerings 
for that which is good, with the Confi-. 
deration that God will take care of them. 
3. As it relates to the Expedation and 
Defire after fome future Good which we 
(land in need of, or the Efcaping of fqme 
Evil'^t are obnoxious unto ; fo 'tis fly led 
Hope. But I fhall treat of thefe promifcu- 
ouuy, becaufe they agree in the general 


chap. I J . of Natural <I(eligm. • 191 

nature of Affiance. And how reafbnable 
and proper this Affiance in God is ^ will 
appear from thefe Confiderations. 

!• 'Tis neceflary to our prefent ftate in 
this worId,that there fliould be fomething ^ 
for us to lean upon , and have recourfe 
unto, as our Support and Refuge. 

iL. God alone is an all-fufficient (lay, 
upon which the Mind of man can fecure- 
ly repofe it felf in every Condition. 

I. TTis neceflary to our prefent State 
in this world, that there (hould be fome- 
thing fer us to lean upon, and have re- 
course unto, as our Support and Refuge. 
This the ancient Toets have iignified ia 
their Fable of Pandoras Box, which when 
Epimetheus had opened, and faw all man- 
ner of Evils flying out of it, he fudden- 
ly clofed it again, and fo kept in Hope at 
the bottom of it, as being the only reme- 
dy left to Mankind, againfl all thofe Evils 
to which they are obnoxious. Every man 
at his bed Eftate , is but a feeble unfirm 
Creature : what from the Impotence of his 
Mind, and the Diforder of his Paflions 
from within^ together with the Troubles 
and Difficulties that he (hall meet withal 
from without ; the great Obfcurity which 
there is in the nature of things, that Un- 
certainty which attends the ifTues and e- 


Ipl Of the principles ^ &cc. Lib^.I. 

vents of them j the mutability of all hu* 
man Affairs, which cannot poffibly be fe- 
cured by all the imaginable WiiHora and 
f orefight which Men are capable of.From 
all which it fufficiently appears, thatFa/tk 
and Hppe and 7>i?//are altogether necefla- 
ry to the (late of men in this World j and 
that they muft always be in an unlafe un- 
quiet condition, unlefs they have fbme- 
what to fupport and relieve them in their 
Exigencies. -Tisobferved of th^J^pp^ 
and other fuch climbing Plants, whicb *re 
not of flrength enough to bear up tbem^ 
felves, that they will by natural iniliad: 
lean towards and clafp about agj^. thing 
that is next, which ma;^ help tobji^rthei^ 
up; and in the want of aTree£>f*Po|e, 
which is their proper fupport > i^ty^ will 
wind about a Thiftle or a Nettle* or any- 
other Weed , though in the iflue it will 
help to choak and deftroy the growth of 
them, inftead of furthering it. Theappli- 
Ifi. 40; 6. cation is eafy, Allflejh is grafs , and the . 
glory thereof^ as the flower of the jleld ^ of 
a fading impotent condition , {landing in 
need of fomething without it felf for its 
protedion and fupport. And a miftake in 
the choice of fuch helps, may fometimes 
prove fatal. Our conditions in this world 
are often in Scripture reprefented by a 



Chap«i^. of Natural Q^eligion. ^ Ipj 

ftate of Warfare j wherein the Virtues^ of 
Faith and Hope are faid to be our Breajf- iThcf. s. 
plate^ oqr Shield zndi our Helmet ^ the gU^iy^ 
chief defenfive Arms, whereby we are to 
be guarded againft all Aflaults. Andfome- 
times by a- ftate travelling by Sea, where- 
in Hope is our Anchor ^ that which muft 
fix and keep us fteddy in the midfl of all 
Storms. ' 

%. God alone is an all-fufficient ftay, 
upon which the Mind of Mart can (ecure- 
ly repofe it felf in every Condition* For 
which R^afon he is in the .Scr/^/ir^ phrafe 
ftyled the Hope of Ifrael , the confidence 
of all the ends of the earthy and of fuchds Pfah(fj. ^ 
are afar off upon the Sea, the God of Hope. J^^^J^- 
Which Titles he hath been pleafed to af- 13^°^' '^* 
(iime unto himfelf, to teach us this Lef- 
fon, that: our faith and Hope fbould he in^i 

- The principal conditions requifite in 
that Perfon, who is fit to be a proper Ob- 
jedl of our G^nfidence are thefe four : 

r. Perfe(3: knowledge and wifdom, to 
underftand our Conditions, and whatn^ay 
be the moft proper Helpa and Remedies " 
for them. j.. 

X. Unqueftionable Goodnefs , Love^ 
Faithfulnofs, to be concerned for us, and 
to take care of us. . 

O 3.SujfEcient 

ip4 Of the frinciples ^ &c. Lib. I. 

5. Sufficient Power , to relieve us in 
every Condition. 

4. Everlaftingnefs, that may- reacji to 
Bs and our Poflerity to all Generations. 
All which are only to \)t found in Cfod* 
From whence it will appear, that as hie is 
the only proper Objedl of ourTnift/p by 
not trufting in him, we do deny to him 
the Honour which is due to thcfe Divine 
Excellencies , and confequeotly are defi- 
cient in one of the chief Parts of Reli- 

I. He alone hath perfect: Knowledge and 

Wifdom to underftand our Conditionsf, aqd 

» what may be the moft proper Remedy for 

Pfal. 147. them. His ufiderfianJing is infinite^ Our 
moft fecret Thoughts and inward Grojin- 
ings are not hid from hinL He knows our[ 
Difeafes , and what Phyfick is fitteft ft>r 
us, the beft Means of Help, and the moft 
fitting Seafon to apply thofe Means. He 
is infinitely wife to contrive fuch ways of 
Safety and Deliverance, as will furmount 
all thofeDifficulties and Perplexities which 
would put Human Wifdom to a Lofs, H^ 
doth fomstimes accomplifti his Ends with- 

P£ 17. 14, out any vifible means; fiSing mtnshUies 
with his hid treafure , making them to 
thrive and profpsr in the World, by fuch 
fecret ways as raM underftaod aot. And : 


Chap. 1 J . of Natural Religion. i p y 

(bmetimes he doth blaft the mod likely 

meails , fo that the battel is not to the ^^^^^^^ 9^ 


flroHgy nor yet Bread to the voife^ nor riches 
to men of underjianding , nor yet favour to 
tnen of skill ; but it may happen to 
them, as the Prophet fpeaks, that though 
iheyfow muchy yet they Bring in But little^ ^^S* ^' ^^ 
they eat and have not enough , they drink 
iut are not filledy they are cloathed But not 
toarnij earn wages But put it into a Bag with 
holes. And therefore upon this account, 
there is very good reafon why God ftiouid 
be the Object of our Confidence. 

X. He is likewife infinite as to his Good- 
tiefs. Love, Truth, Faithfulnefs, whereby 
he is concern^ for our Welfare, and doth 
take care for us. The neareft and deareft 
Relations which we have in theWorld, in 
whom we have moft Reafon to be confi- 
dent , Our father and mother may forfake P^ ^i>tpl 
tu : And as for fuch whom we have ob- 
liged by all imaginable kindnefs, they may 
deal deceitfully with us , and prove like 
winter Brooksy which in wetSeafons, when JqI,^ ,j^ 
there is no need of them , will run with 
aTorrent, but are quite Vanifli'd in a time 
of Drought. Whikt we are in a profperous 
Condition, they will be forward to apply 
themfelves to us, with great Profeflions of 
.Kindnefs add Zeal ; but if our Condition 

O X prove 

Ip6 Of the Principles y 8cc. Lib. I. 

prove any way declining^ they prelently 
fall off and become (Irangers, forgetting 
and renouncing all Obligations of Friend- 
fhip and Gratitude, rather th^n run the 
lead ha2:ard or trouble to do us a Kindnefs. 
That Man hath had but little "Experience 
in the World, to whom this is not very 
evident. But now the Mercy and Good- 
Pfal-68.5. nefs of God w over all bis works ^ and 
more efpecially extended to fuch as arc 
145- H- in a (late of Mifery, the Fatherlefs and 
i4<^-9. yfTidowSy the Prifonersy the Poor, and the 
pfil. lo. Stranger. He is a helper of the fr ten J- 
14. lefs. That which amongft Men is ufually 

the chief occafion to take off their Af- 
fedlion and Kindnefs ; namely, Mifery and 
Afflidtion, is a principal Argument to en- 
title us to the Favour of God, and there- 
fore is frequently made ufe of by good 
K.2?.ir. Men in H. Scripture to that purpofe. go 
not far from me, for trouble is nigh at hand, 
and there is none to help me ; I am in mife- 
ry, hear mefpeedily. 

3. He is of infinite Power, for our re- 
lief and fupply in every Condition ; being 
Pf.13^'1' able to do whatfoever he pleafeth both in 
heaven and in earth , and in the fea , and 
in all deep places. He is the firft caufe of 
every thing,both as to its Being and Ope- 
ration* We depend wholly upon his Pow- 

Chap.i^. of Natural f^ligm. 197 

er, not only for the Iflues and Events of 
things, but lilcewife for the Means. And 
therefore 'tis in Scriptute made an Argu- 
ment why we Ihould not truft in Riches, 
or in any worldly thing, hecaufe power be- pf<, 
longs to God. And 'tis elfewhere urged for n- 
a Reafon why we (hould truft in the Lord 
for ever ^ lecaufe in the Lord Jehovah is Ifa. 25.4. 
everlaflingjirength. And upon this Gon- 
fideration Abraham is faid to have hoped Rom. 4. 
againft hope , being fu//y perfuaded that a 8, 21. 
what God had promts d he was able to per^ 

4. He is everlafting, whereas all other 
Helps and Coniforts which we can pro- 
pofe to our felves are traofient and fading. 
As for our fathers^ where are they ? ^W Zcch,i.y. 
do the Prophets^ or Princes, live for even 
Their days upon earth are a Ihadow that 
fleeteth away, their breath goeth forth j and 
they return to the earthy and then all their 
thoughts perijh : Whereas he is from ever- 
lafting to^verlafting, God blefled for ever; 
and his righteoufnei^extendethtochildrens 
children, even to all generations. We fee 
by daily experience,perfpns of great Hopes 
and Expectations, when their Patrons dye 
upon whom they had their dependance^ 
to what a forlorn and helplefs Conditioa 
chey are reduced : But now this can ne- 

O 3 ver 


19,8 Of the Principles ^ &c. Lib. I. 

Jcr. 17.7. ygf ijgfg^l ^jjg jjjj^jj jj,^^ trufleth in theLorJ^ 

andvohofe hope the Lord is. And 'tis one 
of the greatcft Privileges of Religion, 
that it doth furniih a Man with fuch a 
fure Refuge and Support againfl: all kind 
of Exigences , whereby he njay bear up 
his Spirit under thofe Difficulties where- 
with others are overwhelmed. 

'Tis true indeed, it cannot be denied, 
but that God doth exped, and the Nature 
of things doth require , that Men (hould 
IV be fuitably affedled with Joy or Sorrow, 

according as their Conditions are; but yet 
with this difference , that thofe who be- 
lieve the Providence of God, fhould not 
be fo deeply affed-ed with thefe things as 
other men, they fhould weep as not weep- 
ing , (tnd rejoyce as not rejoycing. They 
fliould not upon any occafion fear or for- 
row as men without hope , but fhould de- 
mean themfeives as Perfons that have an 
higher Principle to be a<fled by , aqd to 
jive upon,than any of thefe fenftble things. 
I cannot omit to fuggefl one Obfer- 
yation concerning tliis Duty of Ajfiance^^ 
which i have now been infilling upon j 
That though this particular Virtue, and 
pthers of the likeAffinii:y,be evidently iw^ 
falDutieSy our Obligation to them being 
f leaf ly dcducible fropi the^uigbt of Nature 

chap. 13. tf Natural ^UgufH, i^^ 

and the Principles of Reafon, and confe- 
quently mufl: be owned by the Heathen 
Philofophers j yet they do in their Wri- 
tings , fpeak but (paringly , concerning 
thofe kind of Virtues which are of a more 
Spiritual Nature,and tend mofl: to the Ele- 
vating and Refining of the Mind. And on 
the other Tide j the Scripture doth moft 
of all inrid: upon the Excellency and Ne- 
ceffity of thefe kind of Graces. Which is 
one of the main Difierences, betwixt the 
Scripture and other moral Writings. And 
for this Reafon it is, that in (peaking of 
thefe Graces and Virtues, I do more fre- 
quently allude to Scripture-Expreffions. 


ioo OftheTmcipks,Scc» Lib. t. 


of the Love of God. 

SEcondly^ As for thofe P erf e^ ions be- 
longing to the Divine Will i namely, 
, his Goodnefs^ hi^ Jnfiice , his Truth and 
Faithfuinefs : The due apprehenfion of 
thefe, Ihpuld excite in us the Virtue of 
Lovi^ with ail the genuine Fruits of it* 
^y Love', I mean an efleeming of him, 
and a feeking after him as our only Hap- 

So that there are two Ingredients of this 
Virtue of Love^ Eftimation and Choice. 

I, An Eftiwationoi the Judgment ; a 
due Valuation of thpfe Excellencies which 
are in the Divine Nature, whereby we look 
upon Gofl as the fuprdnie Being in gen^re 
^toni : From whom all created Goodnels 
is derived, and by conformity to whom 
it is to be meafured. And this Notion is 
the proper importance of the word Cha- 
rity^ whereby we account a thing deai; 
or, precious. And in this fenfedoth our 
Mat.^.iV'^ Saviour oppofe ekfp^g to loving^ Either 
he mufi hate the one^ and love the other ; 


Chap. 1 4. of Natural ^eli^iofL 201 

or he nAiJi hold to the one^ and defpife the 
other • 

Now thcfe Pferfedions . of the Divine 
Nature may be confidered,either abfolute- 
ly or relatively. 

I . Aifolutelyj as they are in themfel ve^ 
abftrading from any Benefit that we c(ur 
felves may have by them. -And. in this 
fenfe they can only produce in us an efteem 
of our Judgments, without any deiire or 
zeal in our Will or Afledions. The De- 
vil doth underfland thefe abfblute Perfe« 
dions of the Divine Nature, that God is 
in himfelf moft wife,moft juft, and pow- 
erful : And he knows withal that thefe 
things are good^deferving Efteem and Ve- 
neration ; and yet he doth not love God 
for thefe Perfedions, becaufe he himfelf 
is evil, and is not like to receive any Be- 
nefit by them. 

^. Relatively , with reference to that 
Advantage which may arrive to us from 
ihe Divine Goodnefs. When Men are con- 
vinced of their infinite need of him, and 
their mifery without him ; and that their 
utmoft Felicity doth cpnfift in the Enjoy- 
ment of him : This is that which proper- 
ly provokes Af{e(9:ion and Defire, name- 
ly, his relative Goodneis as to us. There 
is fcarce any one under fuch tranfports of 


to» of the ^rinctpla^ Sec. Lib* L 

Ldve^ ai to believe the PerfoA whom .he 
loves, to be in all Refpeds the moft vir-. 
'tuous, wife, beautiful, wealthy that is in 
the world/ He may know many others^ 
that doinfome, if not in allthefe ttfpt&si 
exceed. . And yet he hath not an . equal 
love for them, bepaufe he hath dot the 
iame hopes of attaining an interefl: in 
them, and being made happy by them. 
So that this Virtue doth properly conHft 
in (uch a kind of efteem, is is withal ac*- 
cbtnpanied With i hope and belief of pto^ 
mocing our own Happineis by them^ And 
this is properly the true ground and origi- 
nal of our Lcfve toGod^ From whence 
will follow, 

%. Our choice of him, as being the on^^^ 
ly proper ObjeA of our Happineis,, pre- 
ferring him before any thing elfe that may 
come in competition with them. Not 
^ only (as the Scripture exprefleth it) lo- 

TLuk?i'^.' ^^^E ^^^ ^^^^ father and mother^ but 
a<s. hating father and mother^ yea and life it 

W^rfetffor his fake i Counting all other things 
lut drofs and dung^ in comparilbn of him. 
Now it cannot otherwife be, but that 
n due apprehenfion of the Divine Excel- 
lencies in general efpecially of bis parti- 
cular Goodnefs to us, mufl: excite in the 
Soul fuitabie A ^ed^ions towards him.^ Anid 


• /■ 

chap. 14. of Natural ^U^ion. 20J, 

hence it is, that. the Miiapprehenftoil of 
the Divine Nature, as to this Attribute^ 
doth naturally produce in Men that kind 
of Superftition ftilcd ^^m^ajifJiBvU^ which 
imports a frightful and over-timerous no- 
tion of the Deity, reprefenting God as 
auftere and rigorous, eafily provoked by 
every little circumftantial Miftake, and as 
leafily appeafed again by any flattering and 
flight Formalities. Not but that therd 
is (ufficicnt evidence from the Principle$ 
pf Natural Reafon,to evince the contrary ; 
but the true ground.of their Miftakes irt 
this matter, is from their own vitious and 
corrupt AfTedions. *Tis moft natural for 
felfifti and narrow Men, to make tbem-^ 
felves the Rule andMeafureofPerfeiflion 
in other things. And hence it is, that 
according as a man's own Inclinations are, 
fo will he be apt to think of God ; Thou Pfily^-a'^ 
tboughte/i that^ I was altogether fuch an one 
as thy f elf. Thofe that are of ill Natures 
and of little Minds, whofe Thoughts arc 
fixed upon fmall and low Matters, laying 
greater weight upon Circumftances, Sa- 
lutes, Addrefles, than upon the real worth 
of Perfons and fubftantial Duties , being 
themfelves apt to be provoked unto wrath 
and fiercene^, upon the omilTton of thefe 
leHer Ci^rc^mftances, and to be pacified 

• agaiQ 


204 Of the principles y 8cc. Lib. L 

?gain by any flattering and formal Ser- 
vices ; fuch Men muft confequently think 
themfelves obliged to deal jufl: fo towards 
God, as they exped: that others ihould 
deal with them. And according to the 
different natures and tempers ofthofe Men 
who do miftake this Notion of the' Di- 
vine Goodnefs, fo are the Effeds and Con- 
Mr. Smith fcquences of this Miftake various ( as a 
of Super- learned Man hath well obfervedj: When 
ftitiom it meets with fiout and Ar^/j' Natures, 
who are under a Confcioufnefs of tjuilr, 
it works them to Atheifm, hardens them 
to an Oppofition of him, to an endeavour 
ofundermining and deftroying the Notion 
of that Deity, by whom thoy are not like 
to be fafe or happy. If with lAorefoft 
and timerous Natures, men of bafe and 
ilavifh Minds,it puts fuch men on to (lat- 
ter and collogue with him , and to pro- 
pitiate his Favour by their Zeal in lefler 
Matters. And though in this kind of Tem- 
1 per and Carriage there may be a (hew of 
Religion, yet the terminating of it in fuch 
things is moft deftrudlive to the nature of 
it,rendring all converfe with the Deity irk- 
fomand grievous, begetting a kind of for- 
ced and prasternatural Zeal, infteadofthat 
inward Love and Delight, and thofe other 
^ genuine kindly Advantages which fhould 


chap. 14. ' of Natural (l(eligi<ml 20 j 

arife to the Soul from an internal frame 
of Religion. 

And that the Perfedions of the Divine 
Nature, and particularly his Goodnefs, 
Ihould excite our Love of him, may be 
made evident by all kind of Proofs, There 
being no kind of motive to Affe(ftion,whe- 
ther imaginary or real , but 'tis infinitely • 
more in God than in any thing elfe be- 
fides. I ihall mention only thefe three 

1 . His abfolute Goodnefs and Excel- 

2. His relative Goodnefs and Kindneft 
to us. 

3. The neceffity we are under of being 
utterly loft and undone, without an inte- 
reft in his Favour. 

I. His abfolute Perfedlions are infinite, 
being the original of all that good which 
we behold in other things; Whatever 
attradives we find diffufed amongft other 
Creatures , by which they are rendred 
amiable, they are all derived from him, 
and they are all, in comparifon to him, 
but as little drops to the Ocean. There 
is much of lovelinefs in the Fabriek of this 
beautiful world , the glorious Sun , the 
Moon and the Stars which he hath ordain- 
ed i which is abundantly enough to ren- 

20^ Of the Trincipksj 8cc. Lib^ !• 

der the notion and the Ifame of him e^^ 
cellent in all the earth. We may perhaps 
know fome particular Perfons fo very emi- 
nent for all kind of Accomplifhrnents, vir- 
tuej and mfdon^ and goodnefs^ &c. as to 
CQntra(9: an Efteem and Veneration from 
all that know them. But now the higheft 
PerfeiStions that are in Men, befides that 
they are derived from him , are fo infi^ 
nitely difproportionabJe to his, that they 
may be faid not to be in any of the Crea- 
tures. There is . fome kind of communi-^ 
cated Goodnefs, and Wifdom, and Power, 
and Imroortahty in Men ; and yet thefe 
Pcrfedions are in Scripture appropriated 
to the Divine Nature in fuch a manner^as if 
Mat. 19.7. no Creature did partake of them. There is 
I Tim. 1. none good^ or rx>ife^ but he. He is the 
ch!tf.j5, (ndy Potentate \ who only hath immorta- 
^^' litf. No man can take a ferious view of 

the works he hath wrought, whether they 
concern Creation or Providence, but he 
muft needs acknowledge, concerning the 
Author of them, that he is altogether 
lovely J and fay with the Prophet , How 
2ech. 9. great is his Goodnefs} and horn great is his 
*7. Bounty ? The comelinefs of them is upon 

all accounts fo eminent and confpicuous, 
as caniiot but be owned by every one 
who confiders theoou lor any man to as|£, 


chap. 14. of Natural (J^Ugim. 207 

what Beauty is, this is 7i;jjA« Ifdr^fMtjtB 
Arift^tU fpeaks, the qu^ftion of a blind 
man. Every man who hath Ey^s, may 
judge <Jf it at ftrft view* Not tp difcern 
it4$a fure Argument of blindneis and dark- 
nef^ And that the Divine nature is noc 
morp amiable to us, (hews the great Jm- 
p^rf^^ion of our prefent condition. It 
IHaJl be the perpetual Employment of our 
future State in Heaven, to celebrate thefe 
Excellencies of the Divine Nature. The 
BMI?d Angel5,and the Spirits of juft Men v 
made perlie<3: , do receive a chief part 
pf their Felicity, by contempl?iting thefe 
Divine Perfe(a:ions in the beatifical Vi- 
fK)n, . , 

X. His relative Goodn^fs and Kindnefs i teAifiedin fo mapy|>articulars,^hat 
v^htn we wouii-rf^ktm them up^ they are ppj ^^^ 
more in numher than the fan J. He is the 3. 
Author of our beings, and our well-beings. 
// « he that made m^ and not we our/elves, pfal. sy, 
Hefpreads our tables^ and fills our cups : in 
him we live^ and mcvey an^ have our he^ 
ings. He doth daily follow m^ compafs 
us about , load us with his henefits* He 
gives us all that we (njoy^ and he is wil- 
ling upon our Repents nee to /£>rgw^ us all 
that; we 00^n4. And to whom nttich is 

givfPf ^jfifrgivw, the} fbsi^ld U'Vt fnu^k* 


20 8 Of the Trinciptetf Sec Lib. I. 

To love them that love us, is a duty but 
of a low attainment, the Puilicans and 
Sinners do the fame; nay, the very Beads 
will do it. The Ox knows his Owner^ and 
the Afs his Mafi^rs crit. That perfbn muft 
be void of the Reafon of a Man,who will 
not admire and love God for his Excellen- 
cies J but he that doth not love him for 
his Kindne(s,mu{l be more (lupid and fenfe* 
lefs than the brute Creatures. 

3 . We »re utterly undone, without an 
Intereft in his Favour. So that if the ap- 
prehendon of his ^^/^f^Goodnels cannot 
work upon our /f^j/J>»,northeSeofe of his 
relative Goodnefs or Kindnefsupon our />• 
genuity and gratitude j yet the confideration 
of our undone eftate without him, ought 
to prevail with all fucb, as have npt forfeit- 
ed the firft and moft univerfal Principle 
of Self-prefervation. The not having him 
for our Friend , and much more the ha- 
ving him for our Enemy, putting a man 
into an abfolute incapacity of ill kind of 
Happinefs. Tis a queftion propofed by 
St. Aiiflinj why wc are fo often in Scri- 
pture enjoy ned to loveGod and our Neigh- 
bours, but have no^where any Precept 
commanding us to love our felves ? To 
which he gives this anfwer, Fingi non po- 
teji major dilefiiofuiy qaam dileSiio Dei ; 

t! The 

6ha{>. 14. 0/ ^atutal <^lioion. 209 

*" the hi^heft ind trueft felf-love^ is to 
^^ love that whith cain alone make us hap» 
** py-Men do not need any motive or argu« 
ment to perfuade them to love themfelves. 
'Tis a Hitural principle^ rather than a tno^ 
ral dn^ ; they inuft do fo,nor cad they do 
txherwife; Only this is that wherein they 
ftadd in gredti^ft nted of diredion, how 
to (et this natural Principle on work up- 
on its due objed:. Felicity muft be eve- 
ry man's chief end, there is no need of 
t^uading any one to that ; all the diffi- 
culty is to convince men, wherein this hap^ 
pinefs doth confift. And there is no rational 
confidering man, but mud: needs grant it 
to be in the fruition of the firfl and fu- 
preme Good ; fo that to love God as our 
happinefs is to love our felves , beyond 
which there is nothing to be faid or fan« 
cied by way of motive or perfaafion. 

Tis a duty this, upon all accounts, (b 
plain and reafonable, that no man . what- 
foever can pretend to any kind of doubt 
or difpute about it. And therefore I (hall 
add no more by way of proof or confir- 
mation of the neceffity of it. 

I fliall only offer two Confiderations, 
which ihould engage men's utmoft dill* 
gence aod caution in this matter. 

P i.Tis 

2 lo Of the Principles J &c. ^ Lib. L 

T /Tis a bufmefs of greated confcquence, 
to know whether we truly love God, 

X. 'Tis a matter wherein we jare very 
liable to miftake. 

I. *Tis a bufmefs of unfpeakable con- 
cernment, to underftapd whether we love 
God or not :. It being the fame thing as 
to enquire , whether there be any thing 
in us of true Religion or not. "Tis not 
a queftion about the Fruits or the Branches, 
but about the Root j not about the De- 
greeSjbut about the very Eflencc of Grace 
and Holinefs. There being no Medium)x^ 
twixt loving God and hating of him. He 
that is not with me^ is againji we , ^ faith 
our Saviour) X,uk. ii. 23% 

%. And then 'tis a matter wherein Men 
are liable to miftake. There is naturally 
ifi all Nations of wen , who JvoeD on the 
face of the earthy a kind of confufed In- 
Lfts 17. clination towards God, voherehy theyfeek 
7- the Lord ^ if l^aply they wight feel after 

biwy andfndhiw,y as the Apoflle fpeaks. 
And men are apt to midake this natural 
propenfion for the grace of Love j where- 
as this is rather an inclination, than a firni 
chtiice and refolution ; rather a natural 
difpofition, than an acquired or infufed 
habit. None could have more confident 
perfuafions of their love to God, and 


Chap ' 1 4* of Natural (Religion. ill 

their 25eal for him > than the ^w^ had j 
and yet our Saviour tells thcm^Buf I know J^^ ^- ^*^ 
jtou^ that you have not the loveofGod inyou* 
'Tis not an outward Profeflion, though 
accompanied with zeal, that is afufficient 
argument of our Love. Though there are 
many in the world, who both live and 
die under this delufion, Mat. 7. xi. Mafty 
tviOfay unto me in that day^ Lord^ Lord^ 
have we not prophejied in thy name^ and in 
thy name have cafl out Devils , and in 
thy name done many wonderful works. 
And then will J prof eft unto them^ I ne- 
ver knew you y depart from me you that 
work iniquity. 'Tis not the being gifted 
and called for thefe extraordinary works 
of Prophefying and Miracles ; 'tis not an 
ability to undergo the Flames of Martyr- 
dom, and the giving our Bodies to be 
burned : Neither Gifts nor Privileges, 
nor fome particular A£ts of Duty, though 
of the raoft noble kind and greateft diffi- 
culty, can be a fufficiem: evidence of this 
Love. So that 'tis a matter wherein Men 
are very liable to miftake, and where a mi- 
ftake will prove of infinite confequence. 
And therefore will it concern us , to be 
very confiderate and cautiqus in our en- 
quiry about it. / 

There is one kind of afTeiftion feared in 

P ^ t\\^ 

Ill of the Principles, Sec. Lib.L 

the rational part of the Soul, the Undcr^ 
fianding ana WiU ; and another in the 
Senfitivcy the Fancy and Appetite. The one 
confiding in a full convidion, deliberate 
choice,and firm refolution ; the other con- 
fiding more in fome fudden impetus and 
tranfport of defire after a thing. Thefirft 
of thefe may be ftiled the virtue^ the 
other the pajfton of Love. Now though 
a man (houJd, in fome fits of devotion^ 
love God with as great a degree of fer-. 
vor, as to paffiortate fenfitive Love, as 
fome Martyrs have done ; yet were it 
poffible for him in his judgment, to efleem 
any thing elfe but equally , or never lb 
little more than God ; fuch a kind of af- 
fedion, though it were fufficient to mal» 
the other a Martyr, yet could not pre- 
ferve him from being an Apodate , and 
renouncer or blafphemer of Religion (as a 
Mr.pinke. learned Author hath proved more at laige;> 
nay, I add farther, ^om the fame Author^ 
though a man flrauld love God with an 
equal degree of af{e<9:ion, yet becaufe the 
obje&s are fb infinitely difproportionable^ 
and 'tis the nature of moral Duties to be 
meafured from thofe Motives by which 
we are to be induced to^ them j therev 
fore of fuch an one it may be affirmed^ 
that he doth not love God« He that makes 


chap. 1 4* of Natural ^ligion. 2 1 } 

him bat equal to any worldly things may 
ht (aid infinitely to dtfpiie and underva- 
lue him. 

For the farther explanation of this, I 
(hall fugged to you adi(l:indion,not com- 
monly Qf at all) taken notice of by o- 
thers, betwixt natural principles and moral 
Juties. The mifunderftanaing of which, 
is the occafion of many Difficulties and 
Confufions , about this and fome other 

I. By natural principles y I mean fuch 
kind of impreflions as are originally (lamp- 
ed upon the nature of things, whereby 
they are fitted for thofe fervices to which 
they are defigned in their creation ; the 
acJh of which are neceflary , and under 
no kind of Hberty of being fufpended : 
All things muft work according to their 
natural principles, nor can they do other- 
"wife ; as heavy bodies muft tend down- 
wards. The beauty of the world, and the 
wilclom of the Creation, is generally ac- 
knowledged to confift in this , that God 
was pleafed to endue the kinds of things, 
with fuch natures and principles, as might 
accommodate them for thofe works to 
which they were appointed. And he go- 
verns all things by fuch laws, as are fuited 
to thofe (everal natures which he had at 

P 3 firft 


2 1 4 of the frinciples^ Sec. Lib. L 

fird implanted in them. The mod: -uai^ 
verfal principle belonging to vail kind of 
things, is felf-prefervation, which in man 
('being a rational Ag^nt } is fpmewhat 
farther advanced to (Irong propenfions 
ind defires of theSoul after a ftate of Hap- 
pincCs, which hath the predominancy over 
all other Inclinations^as being the fupreme 
and ultimate end, to wliich all their de- 
igns and adions mufl be fubfervient by 
a natural Neceflity. 

X. Whereas on the other hand, thofe 
rules or means which are moft proper for 
the attaining of this end , about which 
we have a liberty of adding, to which men 
are to be induced in a moral way, by 
fuch kind of motives or arguments as are 
in themfelves fufficicnt to convince the 
reafon: Itiefe I call moral duties ; duties^ 
as deriving their obligation from their con- 
ducibility to the promoting of our chief 
end J and morale as depending upon mo^ 
ral Motives. So that Self-love, and the 
. > propofing of Happinefs as our chief end, 
though it be the foundation of duty, that 
lafis otfuhftratum upon which the Law 
is founded, yet it is not property a moral 
Duty, about which Men have a liberty 
of ading. They mufl do fo, nor can they 
do otherwife. The moft vile and profli- 

Chap. I4« of Natural ^Ughn. 115 

gate wretches that are, who are mofl: op- 
pbfite to that which is their true Happi- 
ne(s, they are not againft Happinefs it felf, 
but they miftake about it, and erroneoufly 
fubftitute fomething elfe in the room of 
it. So that if Men were upon all accounts 
firmly convinced, that God was their chief 
Happinefs, they would almoft as necefla- 
rily love him,^ as hungry men do eat, and 
thirfty men do drink. I have enlarged 
fomewhat the more upon this particular, 
the better to manifeft the true Caufe or 
ground of this Love, to confift in this 
perfuafion, that our chief Happinefs is in 
the Favour of God , and the enjoyment 
of him. 


21^ Of the ^rincipksy See, Lib. 1, 

G H A P. XV. 

Qf Reverence and thf Fear pf God. 

THirdly, As for thqfe kind of affc- 
dions, which ftiould be wrought 
in us, more efpecially frotp the apprehen^ 
iion of the Divine Power ; thefe are reve- 
retice^ fear^ humility^ a fubmiffiye and fi- 
lial awe, which is fo fuitable to the nq- 
tion of Omnipotence, and fo qeceflary a 
cpnfequence from it ^ as not to be f^p^- 


By this Reverence^ I mean^fuch an bymr 
ble, awful, and ingenuous regard toward^ 
the Divine Nature,proceeding from a due 
efteem and love of him, whereby we are 
rendred unwilling to do any thing which 
may argue contempt of him,or which may 
provoke and offend him/Tis a duty which 
we owe to fuch as are in a fuperior relation, 
and is in the fifth Commandment enjoin- 
ed under the name of Honour ; which io 
the notion of it doth imply a mi!|^ture of 
Love aqd Fear^ and iq the ohjtdt of it 
doth fuppofe Qoodnefs and Tower. Th^t 
Power which i$ hurtftil to men, and dc^ 

Vf • 

Chap. 15. of Natural 7(eHgim. 1 1 jr 

void of goodaefs^may raife in their miods 
a dread and terror , but not a reverence 
and an honour* ^ And therefore all (lich 
Dodrines as afcribe unto God what is 
harih and rigorous^ and unworthy of his 
infinite goodnels, inftead ofthisjflialj do 
beget zferuile fear in Men. This is the 
meaning of that Citation] in St. Aufiiny 
where he mentions it as f^rr^'s judgment^ 
Deum a religiofo vereri^ a fuperftitiofo ti^ 
meri. The pafiion of fear and dread be* 
longs to fuperftitious perfons, but the vir- 
tue of reverence to thofe that are reli* 
gious. And that of Seneca^ Deos nemo fa- ^^^ . 
nus timet ^ furor enim efi metuere falutaria^ ..cap. 1*9! 
nee quifquam amat quos timet. No man in Eptfti -$• 
his right Mind will fear God in this 
fenfe ; 'tis no lefs than madnefs to have 
frightful apprehenfions of that which is 
moll: benign and beneBcial ; nor can true 
love confift with this kind of fear. 

But as for this reverence, or filial fear, ' 
it is fo eflential to a flate of Religion , 
that not only the Scripture, but the Hea- 
then lUoralips likewife do defcr^ Reli- 
gion it feif by this very name of fearing 
God. And men who are pious an4^evour, 
are by the Gentiles ftiled oo}\;c^€i^ and 
ipo0<!/u^$y men of reverence and fear. 

Now though eyery one of the Divine 
^ * ' per- 

2 1 8 of the frincipUs^ &c. Lib. t 

per fed ions may juflly chall^gethis aflfe^ 
^ion as due to it, particulary his infinite 
wifi/om and goodnefs^ yet doth it more 
particularly belong to his power. I fhali 
ipeak briefly of each of thefe. 

I . For his infinite knowledge and wif- 
dom^ which are things that have been al- 
ways counted venerable. He knows all 
our infirmities and moll: fecret faults,and 
therefore ought to be feared upon that 
account. 'Tis a notable Saying in Cicero 
to this purpofe ; Quis non timeat omnia 
providentem & cogitantem , Sf animad- 
vertentem^ & omnia ad fe pertinere pu- 
tantem^ curiofum & plenum negotii Deum. 
** Who would not fear that God who 
^* kts and takes notice of «11 things, to 
•* curious and full of bufmefs, as to have 
** a particular concern for every action 
" and perfon in the world.. And in ano^ 
ther place he makes this Notion'^of the 
Deity^ and the fear confequent thereupon, 
to be the chief hafis of Government, the 
firft foundation of that civil policy where- 
by men are gathered together and pre- 
pc Legib. ferved in regular Societies. Sit perfuafum 
r* ' *' civihus^ DeoSy qualis qui/que fit , quid in 
fe admittatj qua mente , qui pietate re- 
Jigiones colat , intueri j piorumque & im- 
piorum habere ratioitem.^^ This is one of 


chap. 1 5- of Natural <I(elipon. 1 1 9 

" the firft principles , which men who 
** would aflbciate under goverment ought . 
" to be convinced of, that God takes par* 
" ticular notice, what kind of perfon eve- 
*' ry one is, with what niind and devoti- 
*' on he -appKes himfelf to the duties oF 
" Religion, and will deal with men accor- 
*' ding as they are pious or impious. From 
whence will follow, fuch a fear of offen- 
ding liim by any diflioneft acStion, as muft 
maKe men capable of living under go- 

a. HiSgooe/nefsyholiHefs, kinJnefsy and 
mercy , do afford another reafon why he 
ought to be feared ; though thefe are the 
moft' immediate objeds of our love and 
joy, yet will they likewife afford ground 
for our reverence. W^ read in, one Text, 
oi fearing the Lord and his goodnefs ; which n^^^^. - 
is, when men have fuch a fenfe of his good- . ** 
nefs, as thereby to be .affeded with an 
holy awe and fear of offending him. And 
elfewhere 'tis (aid. There is forgivenefs with Pf.130,4. 
him^ that he ought to he feared. The mean- 
ing of which place may be this, We (land 
in continual need of pardon and remiC- 
fion, being utterly undone without it ; 
and God only doth give this, and there- 
fore upon this account we ought to reve- 
rence and fear himv 

3- This? 

tto of the Trincipks^ 8cc. Lib. I. 

3. This duty doth iQore elpecially re« 
fer to that Attribute of his pewer^ toge- 
ther with the eSeSts of it^ in tbdjuag" 
ment$ which he executes in the world. 
Now nothing is more natural to meoy than 
to fear fuch as have power over them, 
and are able to help or to hurt them. 
The Civil M agiftrate is to be feared and 
reverenced upon this account , becaufe 

il^^a-n* h^ ifcars the fworJ. and is a revenffr \ 
Much more the (uprerae Governor of 
the world. Men can hut kiUthehoif^ 
and after that mud die themfelves ; but 
God lives for ever, and can punifh for 

' Mat. 10. ever j he can caft both hodj and font into 

^^* heU: And therefore we have very great 
reafon to fear him. 'Tis menticxi'd in 
Scripture, as one of thole Attributes and 
Titles whereby the, Divine Nature is de- 

PCy*. ir ^i^> The fear oflfrael^ He thai ought 
' * to he feared. And that by thofe who need 
not to fear others, the Princes and Po- 
tentates of the World. Thofe very Per- 
fens, whom others are mod afraid of, 
ought thepnfelves to ftand in fear of him ; 

Vcr. I J. for he cuts off the fpirits of Princes y and 
if terrihle to the Kings of the earth , as it 
follows in that place. 

The gre^t prejudice which ignorant 
men bavea^ainft this zSk&xoa of /^r, is» 


Chaip. \{. of Katurat ^Ugtm. 1 1 i 

that it is a check anfd refhraiift to a mfin 
in his liberty, and confequentty brings 
dilquiet to his mind ; which is fo far froti^ 
truth, that on the contrary it may be 
manifeded, that one of the greateft pri- 
vileges belonging to a (late of Religi* 
on, doth arile from this true fear of God^ 
as being that which mud fet us at liber- 
ty from all other tormentful fears. That 
which hath the greateft infhience upon 
the troubles and difcontents of men in the 
world, whereby their conditions oreren- 
dred uncomfortable, is their inordinate 
fear, thofe mifgiving Thoughts and Sur- 
mifes, whereby they are apt to multiply 
their own dangers , and create needlefs 
troubles to themfel ves. And whatever a 
man's outward condition may be , as to 
the (ecurity and flour^fliing of it, yet wlnle 
fuch fears are in his mind, His foul doih P£»J-Jt^ 
not JweB at eafe^ as the phrafe is; where*^ 
as, he that fears the Lord ^ his foul fhaS 
Jwett at eafe^ i. e. fuch an one need not 
be afraid of any thing elfe. Difcat timere^ 
qui non vult timer e ; difcat ad tempus 
eft folicitus qui vult ejfe femper fecurus^ 
faith St. ^i^/ir ; " He that would not fear 
** other things, let him learn to fear God j 
" let him be cautious and folicitous for a 
** time, that would be everlaftinglyfeaire. 


%lt Of the frinciples^ 6cc. Lib* L 

And in another place, Hphm time Deanf 
^ ^ minantem jmunJum ridehis ; ^^ O Man, 

^^ learn to feartiod, and thou wilt defpife 
" the threatnings of the world. And a- 
gain , Exhorrefce quod vninatur Omnipo^ 
tens J ama quod promittit Omnipotens^ & 
vilefcet mundus five promitteni five ter- 
renf ; ^^ He that hath a true fear of what 
^' the Omnipotent God doth threaten^apd 
" a love to what he promifes, to fuch an 
* * one the world whether fmiling or frown- 
•* ing will feem contemptible. The Hea- 
ven, and Earth, and Men, are all but: his 
Inftruments, and cannot do any thing o-. 
ther wife than as they are permitted or ad:- 
ed by him. Though they ihould feem to 
be angry with us, yet he can reftrain their, 
wrath, and when he pleaieth can recon- 
cile them to us. But if he himfelf be of- 
fended, none of thefe things will be able 
to afford us any Comfort or Relief. 'Tis 
above all other things the mod fearful 
/^ faQ into the hands of the living God., 
That's a notable Speech to this purpofe, 
which I find cited out of Plutarch; "They 
** that look upon God as the chief rewarder 
** of Good and Evil, and fear him accord- 
** ingly, are ^hereby frceed from other 
^ . •• perplexing fears. Such Perfons, minus 
animo conturhantuty quam qui indulgent w- 


Chap. \y of Natur4l ^li^m. 2 1 1 

tiis audentpiefceleraj " have more inward 
peace than otliers who indulge them;* ^ 

{dvGS in their Vices, and dare commit 
" any Wickedneft. 

And as on the one fide, the more men 
have of this Fear towards God, the left , 

they have of other Fears : So the lefs they 
have of this, the more fubjed are they 
to other Fears. Amongft the many judg- 
ments denounced againfl: the want of this 
fear of God , the Scripture particularly 
mentions a fearful Mind , If thou wilt not Dcut. at, 
fear that glorious and fearful name^ the ^ ^^* 
Lord thy God^ the Lord voiU make thy 
plagues voonderfuly &c. And this is reckon- 
ed as oneof them, 7>&^ Lord fhall give thee ^^' ^^ 
a trembling heart. And if we confult ex- 
perience, there are none more Obnoxious 
in this kind, than prophane Atheiftical 
Perfons, who by-rfheir vile Dodrines and 
Pradices,endeavour to harden themfelves 
and others againft this fear of God, None 
fo cowardly and timerous as the(e, none 
fo eafily frightned with the leaft appea- 
rance of danger. The Satyr iji of old ob-f 
ferved it of them .• . 

Hifunt qui trepidant ^^ ad omnia fulgura 


114 V ^^' ^t'tncipht, 6cc. Lib. t 

None Are fo fbarful, as thdfe that pre- 
tend not to fear God at all. Atid 'tis 
but juftice, that thofe who wiU not re- 
verence him as fons , ihould be over- 
whelmed with dread and aftonilhment 
towards him as Jla^es. . And this cOrifide- 
ration ought to bedofmall inducemeiit to 
men, to labour after this difpofition. As 
Jodg. 9.1. jilif^clech faid to the men of Sichem, Judge^ 
Iprayyou^ whether it be letter for you^ 
that threefcore and ten perfons reign over 
yoH^ or that one reign orver you. So in 
' this cafe, confider whether it be better 
for you, to be difltad^ed by the ^reat 
variety of worldly Cares and Fears,which 
as fo many Tyrants, will domineer over 
you, and keep you in perpetual flavery, 
or to fubmit your felves to this one fear, 
the fear of God, which is perfed peace 
and liberty. 

To all which may be added. That it 
is by this fear that we are to give unto 
God the glory of his Power and Juftice. 
'Tis this that muft make us pliable to 
his Will, and efled^ually remove all fuch 
obftacles as may hinder us from fubmit- 
ting to him ; fubdue our reludancies, and 
make us bow down before him. Upon 
which account this exprelTion of fearing 


chap. 15- ^2 

It- » li -•*• « 

•:m*ii — . 


the whole 

Jigion ; 

fixed in diefuarc. 

linefs and R _ 


It harf; x sore 
ftir up in IS "^scc 
aod Ig X 73r^ 

•» « • f t 

flf" 'JvOXlBED 


Star .liii.rr.i . 




notice fT 

ai^s OcKJC trr in 

Awe and Dnac VLff^z^i. r;^ 

("414 Of the fprinctpki, 6cc, Lib J, 

Kone are fo fearful, as thofe that pre- 
tend not to fear God at all. And 'tis 
but juftice, that thofe who will not re- 
verence him as fans , fliould be over- 
l whelmed with dread and aftonilhment 
rtowards him as Jli^'Vcs. And this cOnfide- 
r ration ought to benofmall inducement to 
men, to labour after this difpofition. As 
Jiiifi. 9.1. jiifimelechfziA to the men of Sichem, JuJge^ 
I pray you, whether it he letter for youy 
that threefcere anJ ten perfons reign over 
yoMy or that one reign over you. So in 
this cafe, confider whether it be better 
for you, to be diflradted by the great 
' variety of worldly Cares and Fears.which 
* 85 fo many Tyrants, will domineer over 
^ you, and keep you in perpetual flavery, 
'' or to fubmit your felvcs to this one fear, 
^ the fear of God, which is perfed peace 
and liberty. 

To all which may be added, That it 
is by this fear that wc are to give unto 
God the glory of his Power and Juftice. 
'Tis this that muft make us pliable to 
his Will, and effcia'ually remove all fuch 
obftacles as may hinder us from fubmit- 
ting to him ; fubdue our relu(5t;ancies,and 
make us bow down before him. Upon 
which account this expreflion of fearing 

chap. I y . of Katural Q(eUgm. 1 2 j 

Go J is frequently ufed in Scripture for 
the whole bufinefe of Worfhip and Re- 
ligion ; becaufe where this fear is well 
fixed in the heart, all other Parts of Ho* 
linefs and Righteoufnels will naturally 

It hath a more peculiar Influence tOi 
ftir up in us Watchfulnels and Caution, 
and like a wary Friend is apt to fug- 
ged to us the fafeft Counfel and Ad- 
vice. 'Tis the vigilant Keeper of all 
Virtues, that which muft fortifie us in 
our Temptations, and reftore us in our 

He that will but ferioufly ponder up- 
on what the mere Light of Nature di- 
i^ates, . cpncerning the Omnipotence of 
him who is the great Creator and Go- , 
vernor of the World, his infinite Holi- 
nefs and Juftice, and that wife Provi- 
dence which extends to every particu- 
lar Perfon and A<ilion, whereby he takes 
notice of them, and will be fure to re- 
ward or puniih them, according as 'they 
are Good or Evil : Such an one muft 
needs have his heart afFecSted with a great 
Awe and Dread tb wards the Divine Na- 

Ql The 

^i:d Of the Principles ^ &c. Lib.l. 

. Tl^ very He^them were wont upoti 
this. Account to paint their Jupiter with 
a; Thunderbolt in his hapd ; to flrike an 
awe into .Men, from daring to pflend 
him who Hands always ready armed 
with Vengeance againft fuch as provoke 

• f 

■>. • J : 

I r 



Chap. 1 6. of Natural 3^e/j^ioM. 1 27 


0/ Obedience:. And firft of Adive 
Obedience to the Laws of God. 

HAving difpatched the Duties we are 
more efpecially obliged to, with re* 
gard to God's WifJom^ Gooinefsy Power j 
I (hall now treat concerning fuch other 
Duties, as refer more particularly to his 
Dominion and Superiority over us," his 
right to command and govern us, which 
are comprehended under the General 
Name of OheJience. 

The Habit of which may be defcribed 
to confift in fuch a fubnjiflTive Frame o£ 
Spirit, whereby a Man doth always de- 
vote and refign up himfelf unto the Dif- 
pofal of his Maker, being ready in every; 
Condition to do or fuffer that \yhich he 
apprehends to be moft reafonable and ac- 
ceptable, and whereby he may bed expreft 
his Love and Subjeaion. 

By which Defcription it may appear 
thatthisOWi^»c(?is of two kinds, JT^^Sf/w. 

1 y8 0/ the fprinciplesy 6cc. L ib. I. 

I. Aliive. Which confifts in a readinefe. 
oF mind to do what God Ihall enjoin. 

X. Pajfrve. In* an aequiefcence of mind 
under what he (hall inflid. Both which 
do neceflarily flow from the Apprehen- 
fion of God*s Dominion over us, his right 
^ to govern and difpofe of us as he plea- 
feth. OMidnce, in the true Notion of it, 
being nothing elfe but that homage which 
we owe to fuch as are in a fuperior rela- 
tion, who have a right to command us. 
Every relation of fuperiority and domi- 
nion being a diftincSt engagement to fub- 
jedion ; whetlier Oeconomical^ as that be- 
twixt Parent and Child ; Political^ as be* 
twixt MagifiratezviA Suhje^ ; Moral^zs ht^ 
twixt Benefaiior and Beneficiary ,-or laftly, 
. that which is Naturalj which above all 
other things gives the highefl:Title to Do- 
minion, as that betwixt the Maker and his 
Work, the firft Caufe, and that which he 
beftows *Being upon. And God by all 
thefb Titles, and many more, mayjuftly 
challenge Dominion over us. 

Under this firft kind ofObedience,ftiled 
A^live, are comprehended thefe three par- 
ticulars : I. A knowledge of, and an ac- 
quaintance with thofe Laws which we are 
to obferve. x. A confent to them, or an 
approbation of them. 3, A conformity to 
them. I. An 

Ghap^ 1 6. of Natural Religion. 2ip 

I. An acquaintamJe with the Laws of 
God ; whether dilCovered to us by Reve- 
iation (the Principles of Nature obrging 
us to obferve and fubmit to all things 
which we have reafon to believe do pro- 
ceed from God ; ) of by natural Light, 
abllrading fromScripture andRevelation, 
as the fubftance of that which we call the 
MpraiXaw is. Now tho' fuch Perfons 
only, are under the Obligation of thofe 
Laws which depend upon Revelation, to 
whom ^Revelation is made and fufficiently 
propofed ; becaufe Promulgation is eflen- 
tial to a Law ^ yet the Moral Law being 
^ifcoverable by nfatural Light, to every 
Man, who will but excite the Principles 
of his own Reafon, and apply them to 
their due Confequences ; therefore there 
mud be an obligation upon all Men, who 
have but the ufe of their Reafon, to know 
thefe Moral Laws ; and the Ignorance of 
them muft be an inexcufableSin. Ignoratttia 
juris can be no Plea in this Cafe, becaufe 
the Law is written in every Man's heart 
by Nature, and the Ignorance of mankind, 
^ to any part of it, hath been wilfully 

. The duties concerning natural Worfliip, 
our adoration of the Deity by affiance, 
iove, reverfence, praying to hun, expedt- 

Q 3- i^SL 

a JO Of the fmciples^ 8cc. Lib. I. 

itig mercies from him, returning to him 
our thanks and ackno\Vleclgments, being 
reverent and foiemn in all our AddrelTes 
towards him, our thoughts and fpeeches 
of him, and of the things that refer to 
his Service, may be evidently inferred 
from thofe natural Notions, which we 
have concerning the Ejccellencieis of his 
Nature, and our own Depcndance upon 

The Duties which concern the promo- 
ting of our own and our neighbours wel- 
fare, that mutual Juftice, Charity, Help- 
fulnefs, which we are to exercife towards 
one another ; tliefe may eafch of them be 
deduced from that common Principle of 
Self-love, whereby every one doth natu- 
rally feek his own Welfare, and Pre^ 
fervation, Wc arc all of us defirous 
that others Ihould be juft to us, rea- 
dy to help us , and do good to us j 
*nd bccaute 'tis a Principle of the high*- 
lefl: Equity and Reafoni tMt we fliauld bt 
willing td doto others, as we defire and 
think them obliged to deal with us, tbik 
inufl tbenelbrje oblige ns to the fame Adbs 
of charity and helpfulnefs to\*l3trds tthcfli. 
Jfow: thfe drawing ositrot thefe <3dl£feral 
Rurlcs,and^tirtg^'£hetn tacparticdah ca&s ; 
a flqdious ahd d^iiifitziy e.£iidbiVQury . t6 
' s. : find 

,Chap. 1 6. of Natural <^eUgm. i}i 

find out what our Mafter^s Will iSy in fe- 
deral relations and crrcumdances , this I 
call the Duty of knovoipig the Command- 
ments. And 'tis neceflary , that they 
ihould be thus diftindlly kttown^ before a 
Man can keep them. 

- X. A confent to theni, or approbation 
jof them, as beiiw floty^ Juft^ and G&oif. 
Which will necef&rily follow from a trtifc ^''^^'^'^' 
notion of the ground and reafon of theni, 
^nd muft nGceffzxWy f recede a genuiite 
obedience and conformity to them/ He -y .- 
that looks upon them as fetters and bonds, 
doth rather endure them out of neceffity , 
than obey them out of Choice and Love. 
I confent to the Lavoj that it is goodj faith Ilo»7.itf. 
the Apofile ; that is^ I do iii my judgment 
own the fitnefs and reaforiablenefs of the 
things therein enjoined, as being the moft 
proper means to advance the Perfe<Stk>n 
of our Natures, the Law of the Lord is ^^^^' '^-7. 
perfect C faith the Pfalmift^;^ not only 
formaliter^ in it felf, but alfo effeSive as 
to us, it makes us to be fo. And in ano- 
ther Place, Thy Law is the truths namdyj ,,p, ,42. 
fuch as it ought to be. There is a con- 
gruity betwixt our Well-beings, and the 
Nature of the things enjoirted. And it is 
this Convidiion alone, that mufl beget in 
jjts a 1^0 ve of it, and a Delight to prad:ire 

0.4 it 

21% Of the principles y 8cc. Lib. I. 

it. He that harbours any prejudice in his 
mind againft the ways of God, as if they 
were unprofitable, or unequal, ca^n never 
fubmit to them willingly, but out erf a 
conftraint; he may look upon them as his 
Task and Burden, but not as his Joy and 
Delight. Our external Submiflion to the 
Law, can never be kindly and regular, 
till our minds be caft into the fame mould 
with it, and framed unto a fuitablenefs 
:ahd conformity to it. And fuch a tem- 
D Vita P^'^ doth, in the Judgment of Stneca^ ren- 
Bcata/iy. derthe mind truly great and noble, Hie 
eft magnus animus qui fe^ Deo tradidit. 
And in another Place, in regno nati fu- 
wuSj Deo parere iiiertas eft. *' Such a man 
hath a truly great and generous mind, 
who canrefign up himfelf to God's dif- 
pofal. The greateft liberty is to fub- 
mit to the Laws of our Sovereign. His 
Service is perfect Freedom. 

3 , An obfervance of them, and con- 
formity to them in our Lives. This is the 
end both of the Commandments them- 
felves, andlikewife of our knowledge and 
approbation of them, namely, thePradiee 
of Holinefs and Virtue in the Condud of 
our Lives ,• whereby we are to be advan- 
ced unto that ftate of happinefs, where- 
in the Perfedion of our Nature, and our 



Chap. \6. : of Katttral^eligml ijj 

refembknce of the Deity doth confift. 

And becaufe the beft of men do fre- . 
quently fall ftiort of that obedience which 
is due to the Laws of God ; therefore in 
cafe of trangreflion^natural Jight doth di- 
red men to repentance, which is an hearty ^ 
forrow for our negleds and violations of 
tjie divine Law, accompanied with a firm 
and effedual jpurpofe and refolution of 
amendment for the future. WhicJh though 
it do fuppofe the Commandments of God 
not to have been duly obfcrved, yet is it 
the only remedy left in fuch cafes. 

Some have queftioncd. Whether there 
be any obligation upon us for this by the 
light of Nature j partly,becaufe the Stoicks 
deny it j and partly, becaufe Reafon will 
tell a man that it cannot a^ord any com* 
penfation to Divine Juftice, To which 
I (hould fay. That the Stoicks indeed do de* , 
ny this, becaufe it implies paflion, which 
their wife man muft be without j yet they 
will admit a man to be difpleafed with 
himfelf for any error or miftake, which is 
much the fame thing with forrow,though 
under another name. And though this be 
not enough to fatisfy infinite Juftice, yet 
it is th^t which Reafon doth oblige us to. 
We expeift from thofe who offend us, that 
they ihould profefs their forrow and fhame, 


2 34 ^f ^^^ Principles y 3cc. Lib. T. 

beg pardon and pron^ife amendment. And 
the men of Nineveh did upon a Natural 
principle betake thcmfel vres to this reme- 
dy, and with good fuccefs, though they 
Joh. }. 9. were doubtful of it , Who can tett if God 
voitt turn And repent K 

This Conformity to the Law of God 
requires a twofold Condition, 

X. Univerfality^ j Both as to the time, 
and the Duties tfaemfelres ; without any 
fuch picking and chufing amongft them, 
as may bend the Laws to make them fuita- 
ble to our own Interefts and Humours. 

%. Regularity i • In the due proportion- 
;ing of our Love,and Zeal,and Obfervance, 
according to that difference which there 
, is in the true nature add confequence of 
the things themfelves ,• preferring ntercy 
and ohedtence , before facrifce j and the 
voeighty matters ^the LaWy before ty thing 
(ff mint and cummin 5 righteoufnefs and 
feacfy before meast and drink. 1 is true, 
Ithe leaft Commandment is not to be neg- 
ie(Sed, as having flamped upon it the au- 
thority of the great God : But then we are 
to confidcr, that the fame authority by 
which that is enjotned,^ doth oblige us to 
prefer other t^ng$ before it. So that a 


chap, 1 6y '^ of TiMufil (^li^m. i j 5 

man doth difol>cy in doing a good thing, 
whert upon that dccownt he ncgleds what 
is far better. And the miftake of men 
abojit this, is the true caufe of that which 
we call Superftition, which is one of the 
oppofites to Religion, and fo dcftrudrive 
to the true nature of it. Men being apt 
to think thcmfelves privileged for their 
negleds and failings in fome greater mat- 
ters, by their zeal about lefler things. 

Now nothing will coiitribuite more to 
bani(h this Sopcrftition out of dte worW, 
than a fober enquiry into the nature and 
caufes of things, whereby we may be able 
to take a juft eftimate of their evidence 
•and importance^ and consequently to pro- 
portion our zeal about them. 
: I mention this the- tather^ becaufeA: 
hath been by fome objeded, that human 
Learning and Philofophy doth much in- 
difpofe men for this htimble fubminiDn to 
Divine Laws^ by framiiogtheir minds to 
tother notions md incliniitions than what 
are agreeable to Religion. 

But that this is a falfe and groundlefs 
prejtidice,may be made very evident : The 
true-knowledgcof the nature of things: be^ 
in^ ambbgft natural helps, ohe of themoft 
feffed:ual 156 keep men offiromthofetwo 
extremes of RcHgion , SupiifiitieH and 
f'^i^h^nenefa, . i* For 


%:^6 <)fthefmcifiefy8cci Lib. I. 

X. for Superflition ,• this doth proper- 
ly confift in a mifapprehenfion of things, 
placing Rdigion in fuch things as they 
ought not for the matter^ or in fuch a de- 
gree as they, ought not for the meafure ; 
' which proceeds from Ignorance. 

z. For Prophanenefs ; This doth confift 
in a ncgle(ft or irreyerence towards facred 
things and duties, when fuch matters as 
ought to have our higheft efteem, are 
rendred vile and common. And this like- 
wife doth proceed from ignorance of the 
true nature of things. Now one of the 
beft remedies againft this, is the fludy of 
Philofophy and a skill in Nature , which 
will be apt to beget in men a veneration 
for the God of Nature. And therefore to 
thbfe Nations who have been deftitute of 
Revelation , the fame Perfons have been 
both their Philofaphers and their Priefis ; 
chofe who had moft skill in one kind of 
Jknowledge, being thought moft fit to in- 
Six\x€t and diredl men in the othen And 
if we confiilt the ftories of other places 
and times, we (hall conftantly find thofe 
Nations moft folemn and devout in their 
worlhip, who have been moft civilized 
and moft Philofophical. And on the con- 
trary thofe other Nations in Atnerka and 
Africa^ whom Navigcitoa report to be 

^ mofl: 

Chap. 1 6. of Natural ^}igm. i^f 

moil deftitute of Religion, are withal 
moft briitilh and barbart>us as to other 
Arts and Knowledge. 

It cannot be dehied indeed , but that 
a flight fuperficiai knowledge of things, 
will render a man obnoxious either ta 
Superftition, or to Atheiftical tiioughts ; 
efpecially if joined with a proud rnxHd 
and vicious inclination. He that hath made 
fome little progress in natural enquiries, 
and gotten fome fmattering in the phraies 
of any Theory y whereby (as he conceives) 
Iiecanfolvefomeof the commoti Thano^ 
mena^* may be apt to think , that all the * > 
reft will prove as eafy as his firft begin- 
ning^ feems to be ; and that he ftiall be 
able to give an account of all things : ^ut 
they that penetrate more deeply into the 
nature of things, and do not look upon 
fecond caufes, as being fingle and Matter- 
ed, but upon the whole chain of them as 
linked together, will in the plainefl: things, 
fuch as are counted moft obvious,acknow- 
ledge their own ignorance, and a Divine 
Power ; and {q become more modeft and 
humble in their thoughts and carriage. 
Such inquifitive perfons will eafily difcern, 
("as a noble Author hath well exprefled it> 
that the higheft link of Nature's chain is 
faftned to Jupiter s Chair. 

'^ This 

t |g Of\ the Principles, &c. Lib. I. 

" This (notwithftandiqg it be a digref- 
fipn) I thought fit to fty, by way of vin- 
dication and anfwer to thofe prejudices, 
which focie men have raifed againft hu- 
man Learning and the ftudy of Philofo- 
phy, as if this were apt to difpofe men 
unto Atheifticat Principles and Pradices. 
Whereas^ fober enquiry into, the nature 
of things, a diligent perufal of this Vo- 
lume of the World, doth of it felf natu- 
rally tend to naake men regular in their 
Minds and Converfations j and to keep 
them off from thofe two oppofites of Re- 
ligion, Supirjtition and Fr^phanenefs. 


chap. ij. 9f Natural ^Ugiint, 2 j9> 



Of Paflivc Obedience , or Patience 
and Snhmijfm to the WiU of 

THus 'much may fufiice concerning 
the Nature anjl Duty oiASlive O- 

I proceed to that of Paftve Obedience, 
or patient Submiffion under the afflicting 
hand of God. 

And though this may feem one of the 
moft difficult of all other Duties,and moft 
repugnant to human Nature ^ yet is there 
no fubjedl more excellently difcufled by 
the Heathtfk Moralifisy and wherein they 
feem more to exceed themfelves , than 

I (hall mention out of them fome of 
thofe Paflages, which feem to me moft 
appofite and material to this purpofe, un- 
der thefe four Heads^ which contain the 
feveral Arguments to this Duty, viz. 

I. Such 

240 Of the Principles J 6cc, Lib. I. 

I. Such as refer to God, by whofe Pro- 
vidence all our SufJerings are pro- 
cured, or permitted. 

a. Such as concern our felves. 

3. Such as may be derived from the 
nature of Afflidlion. 
. 4. And laftly, luch as refer to this 
Grace of Patience. 

1. There are many Arguments to con- 
vince, us of the reafonablenefs of this du- 
ty, from the Nature and Attributes of 
God 5 who either fends Afflidions, or per- 
mits them to fall on us. I (hall ranfc 
them under thefe three heads : i. His /»- 
finite knowledge and mfdom. x. His good-- 
, mfs and patience towards us. 3. His povoer 
and dominion over us. 

i I. From the confideration of his /»yf- 

nite knowledge and wifdom^ whereby he 
• takes notice of , and doth concern him- 
felf about every particular event in the 
world, making uO things Beautiful^ and 
in their timej difpofing of all to the beft. 
Which is an argument, that divers of the 
Heathen Phtlofophers do very largely in- 

Lib.5.39. fiftupon. Particularly Antoninus , who 
bath this Paflage : " If God ( faith he) 
" do nbt take particular notice of , and 

" care 



Chap. 17. of Natural ^fi^iofU 14! 

" care for me and my Affairs, why do I 
" at any time pray to him • and if he doth 
*^ exercife a fpecial Providence towards 
all Events, no doubt but he doth con- 
fult well and wifely about them,, nor' 
" would he fuffer any hurt or prejudice 
" to befal me, unlets it were for a great- 
^' er good upon fome other account, and 
"in this I, ought to acquiefce. And in 
another place faith the fame Author^ " I Lil?.8. 2: 
refer every thing that befalls me to God, 
as the Contriver of it, by whom all 
Events are difpofed in a wile order. 
There are alfo many great and excel- 
lent Sayings in Epicletus to this purpbfe. ^•^•4<^'7 
" That mud needs be much more defire- 
" able, which is chofen by the wifdom 
•" of God, than that which I chufe. A 
reludtancy againft the Divine Will, is the 
ground of all Irreligion and Atheifm in 
the world. " Why may not a man refufe ljj, ^ 
*' to obey Gtfd in what he commands, as 2^. 
" well as to fubmit to him in what he in- 
" flicSts ? And then what ground can there 
*' be for any pretence to Religion ? Wc 
" (hould all (faith he^ conform our Minds 
" to the Will of Providence, and mod 
" willingly follow w hither ever he fliall 
" lead us, as knowing it to proceed from 
* * the beft and wifeft Contrivance. I do Enchyrid. 

R '' la 



Of the Principles, &cc. I ib. h 

*' in my Judgment more confent to that 
" which God would have, than to that 
" which my own Inclinations lead unto: 
" I would defire and will, juft fo , and 
" no otherwife than as he doth. And in 
Tiflcr. 3. another place, *^ Ufe me as thou pleafefl:, 
r. 2. 16. (€ J j^ jy ijy confent, and fubmit to it, and 

(hall refufe nothing which (hall feem 
" good unto thee. Lead me whither ever^ 
" thou wilt, put me into what condition* 
^* thou pleafcft ; mufti be in a private,not 
** in a publick ftation; in poverty, not in 

wealth ? il'oi \5S^ (tTmyJtoy rS'rav 'srep^ 

T«4 aj/9p3tVa; ^c7DAoj4i<TO/Leai, I will not orr- 
ly confent to it, but mtake it my bufineft 
^ to apologize for it, to juftify and main- 
*' tain before all men , fuch thy dealing 
*' with me to be moft fitting and prudent, 
• ** moft fuitable and advantageous to my 
** condition. 

And befides the Reafons to this pur- 
pofe from natural light, which are fo ex- 
cellently improved and urged by fome of 
the PhilofopherSj there are likewife fev«- 
ral Atteftations of this Nature in Scripture, 
Pfal. up. wherein God is faid to afflra out of faith- 
^^' fulnefs ; To be wife in counfel, and excellent 

in workings fignifying all the works of his 
Providence to be moft excellent, becaufe 


Chap. 17. of Katurd ^Ugton. 24) 

they proceed fitom the wifcft Counfeh 
And though fome particular Difpenfa^ 
tionsmayfeemudtoiisto be difficult an4 . 
obfcure^ Ijtis juJgtnefi^ts heing unfearchahlif 
And his ways paft finding out ; yet we may 
be mod fure that there is an excellent cort- 
trivarice in all of thenu Though cloudi 
nnddarknefs tnay he rouad ahMt him y yet 
righteoufnefs and judgment are the haiitatiw 
4f his throne* 

And befides the more general Ailertioos 
which the Scripture d oth frequently men- 
tion to this purpofe , It doth likewiie 
more particularly iilfift upon thofe fpeci* 
al Reafons and Ends, whereby the WiClom 
of fuch Difpenfations are to be juftified ; 
as namely, to make us partakers of Godts Hct. 11* 
holinefs j to work in us the peaceatde fruits 
of righteoufnefs \ to (ave us ifom hiing iComi, 
condemned with the world; to preferve ^^• 
in us a holy Awe and Rev6rertce. They 
have no ehanges , therefore thiy fear not 
Gody Pfal. 5'5, 19. To quicken our re- 
lifli of thofe Mercies which we enjoy, 
and our Thartkfulnefs for them: To wean 
our AfTedions from the things of this 
World ; to prevent the Surfeits of Profpe- 
rity i tb enlarge our Experience, to coo- 
tra<^ fuch a kind of Hardinefs and Cou- 
rage as may. become a militant ftate ; to 

R_ X keep 

2 44 Of the (Principlesy tec. Lib. I. 

keep up in our Minds a continual: Senfe 
of our dependent Condition j which are 
• fome of the principal things, \yherein our 
Happinefs doth confift, 

To which may be added, That the 
Scripture doth likewife contain feveral 
exprefs Promifes, to aflure us of the bcr 
licfit and advantage to be had by the 
CrofTes that befall us. That all things in 
. the ifliie fhaS voork together for our good^ 
Rom. 8. 28. So that there is not a Trou^ 
ble or AffliAion that we meet with, 
which we could be without, but it hath 
its neceflary place and work, in that frame 
and defign ot Events, which the Provi- 
dence of God hath ordained,for the bring- 
ing of us to Happineis. And though all 
of them may for the prefentfeem grievous j 
and (bme of^them perhaps not fuitable 
to the Divine Goodnefr and Promifes; 
yet of this we may be mod afliired, that 
Pf. 25. 10. all the ix>ays of the Lord^ are mercy and 
truths tofuch as keep his covenant , and his 
tejiimonies. And there are few Perfons 
who have been obfervant of God's Deal- 
^ings towards them, but are able to fay 
from their own Experience, that it is good 
for them^ that they have been c0i^ed. 

z. A 

chap. i;^. of Natural ^ligionl 24 f 

±, A fecond Argument to this purpofe, 
is from the confideration of God's gooi/- 
ffffs and patience towards us. I have 
fliewed before from feveral acknowledge- 
ments of the Heathen^ what apprehenfi- 
ons they had of the Divine Goodnefs and 
Forbearance towards Sinners,from whence 
'tis eafy to infer the equity and reafon- 
ablenfs of our patient SubmifTion under 
his afflidting hand. He is merciful and Exoi34. 
gracious , long-fuffering^ abundant in good- ^' 
nefs and truth. The Apojtk fpeaks of 
the riches of his goodnefs and forkearanqe Kom.i.^. 
and long-fuffering. He doth indulge us in 
our Failings and Infirmities, with fuch a 
kind of Tendernefs, as Nurfes ufe to their 
young Children. Now there is all ima- 
ginable Equity in this confequence, that 
if he bear with us in what we cannot law- 
fully do, that we fhould bear with him, 
in doing what he will with his own. If 
he be patient towards us in our iTnning 
againfl: him, when we oppofe and pro- 
voke him, 'tis but reafon that we fliould 
be patient in our fufferings from him, 
when he endeavours to heal and reclaim 
us. . ' 

It is of the Lord's mercies that we are ** ' '^* 
not confumed^ and hecaufe his compaffions 
fail not. Tis a great Argument of Favour ' - 

R 3 and 

1^6 Of the Principles y &cc. Lib. I. 

and tendernefs , that God is pleafed to 
fpare us in the midft of pur Provocations, 
•Twere but juftice if he fhould fuddenly 
fnatch us out of this Life, and caftus in- 
to Hell : If he doth abate any thing of 
this, lie doth then punijh w lefs than our 
iniquities deferve^ and we have more Rea- 
fon to praife him , than to complain a- 
gainft him : For he hath not dealt with m 
after our finsy nor rewarded us according t a 
our iniquities. 

He that confiders the Mercies he enjoys, 
as well as theEvils he fuffers,and will im- 
partially compare them both together, 
may find that though his affliHions do a- 
^^Cor.i.^ hound ^ yet i)is confolations do much wior^ 
abound ; and that upon the whole mat- 
ter, when his condition is at the worft, 'tis 
piuch better than whathejiimfelf deferves, 
or what many others enjoy. 

They th^t are fenfible of every thing 
they enjoy, as being the free Gift of God, 
will not murmur againft liiqi, when he is 
pleafed to refume any thing from them. 
There muft qeed? be much unreafonable- 
ptis and want of Eq^iity in that Difpofi- 
tion, which cannot bear with Ibme Suffer- 
ings froni that hand, from which we re- 
peive all our Enjoyments. ShjaH we re- 
a. 10, ceive good 0t the hand of ^odj and jhall 

' ' ' /■' '" m 

i>i / '.r ■:! :;;:;• ■' . >/ 

chap, t ?• of Natural ^Ugion. 2 \7 

ive not receive evil ? The Evils we fuffer 
are much fliort of our defer t y the good 
we eHJoy is much beyond our deferts. 
And therefore upon either account , it 
muft be highly unreafonable for a man to 
be guilty of impatience, and murmuring. 
Ittiquus eft qui niunerisfui arhitrium danti 
mn relinquiti faith Seneca ; " That Man ^j p^^ 
** muft needs be unjuft and unequal, who lyb. c. a^. 
*^ doth not think fit to leave the Giver 
^* unto the Liberty of his own Gift, to re- 
** fume it again when he pleafeth. And 
fuch an one may juftly be reputed gree- 
dy, who is more fenfible of lofs in the 
reftoring of a thing, than of gain in the 
^Enjoyment of it. He is an ungrateful 
Wretch, who complains of that as an in- 
jury , which is but reftitution of what 
was freely lent. And he is a Fool,, who 
knows not how to receive benefit by good 
things, any otherwile than by the prefenr 
fruition of them. 

So EpiHetHSy fpeaking concerning the DUTcrt. i, 
unreafonablenefs of murmuring at any ^•^* *^' 
icro(s Events, he hath this Paflage, T) sv 
^iouxf^ ; " What reafon have I to fight 
• * againft God ? Why fhould I defire things 
" not defirable ? He that gave hath pow- 
** er to take , and why fcould I refift > 
I This would not only te great Folly, to 

R 4 1* <^P!?<^fe 

24S of the Trincipies^ 8cc. Lib. L 

*^ oppofe one that is much (Ironger, but 
•• great injuftice likewife, to fight againlT: 
*' a Benefa^or. You have received all 
^^ that you have, and your own very Be- 
" ing from him, and why (hould you take 
"^' it fo heinoufly, if he is pleafed to re- 
" fume fomething back again ? 

3. The confideration of the Divine 
power and dominion over us , mud needs 
engage us to a quiet fubmiffion under 
his hand. There are many excellent Dif- 
courfes to this purpofe amongft the Hea- 
then PhilofopherSj as particularly in Sene- 
ca. *' There is nothing (Taith he) more 
*' defirable, than for a man to arrive un- 
" to this Temper of Mind, to be able in 
" all Troubles and Afflictions , to quiet 
" himfelf with this Thought, Diisaliter 
** vifum eft J God thinks not fit to have it 
** fo, and therefore I ought to be con- 
^* tent ; which is the fame fenfe with that 
I Sam. 3. *' in the Scripture^ It is the Lordjehovahy 
Pfil 59. ^^^ ^^^ ^^ what feemeth good unto him. I 
was dumh^ and opened not mj mouthy hecaufe 
thou didft it. 

^* In all thpfe Conditions which feem 

E Ift 5 " ^^^^ ^^^ grievous to mc ("faith, the 

^* ' ^ ' " fame Author) I do thusdifpofe my felf, 

I confider they come from God , Et non 

pareo Deo fed ajfenticr^ fx ^nimq ijlum^ 



Chap. 17. of Natural fl{elipon. 24^ 

nan quia necejfe efty fequor : " And I do 
" endeavour not mieerly to fuhm it ^ but 
" to ajfent to him in his Dealings, not to. 
*' follow him only out of Neceffity^ but out 
** of Choice. And in another place giving 
Counfel to fuch as were in an afflided 
Eftate, he thus advifeth, Qudcunque fiunt ^ Epift,io7. 
dehuiffe fieri putet , nee velit ohjurgare na- 
turam : Optimum eft pati quod emenJare 
non pojjis^ & deum (^quo autore cuft£la pro- 
veniunt^ fine murmuratione comitari : " Let 
fuch a Man think that nothing comes 
to pafs, but what ought to be j and let 
" him not take upon him to reprehend 
" Providence : 'Tis bed for a man to bear 
** what he cannot mend , and to follow 
" God (by whom all Events are difpofed) 
" without murmuring. Let us {fiiith he) 
befpeak God as Cleanthes did, 


Due me parens^ eelfique dominatur poli^ 
Quocunque plaeuit^ nulla parendi mora eft. 
Affum impiger ; Fae noOcy comitahor ge- 


Malufque patiarj quod pati licuit bono. 

" Let the great Governor of the World, 
" lead me into what condition he plea- 
'^ feth, I am mod ready to follow him ; 
♦' or fuppofe I Ihould find a relgdtancy 

" againfl: 

t j6 Of the Principles y See. Lib. I. 

^* againft his dealings with me, yet I wiH 
" ftill follow him, though it be flghing, 
^* and fuffer that as an evil and WTetched 
** Man, which I ought to bear as a good 
" Man, with Patience and Submidion. 
And a little after. Sic vivamus , (ic loqua- 
pfiur — — — Hie eji magnus ammus quife Deo 
tradidit ; Sf contra^ iOe pufi/ltu ac Wegener ^ 
qui ollu^atuKj & de or dine mundi male ex^ 
ijlimaty & emendare mavult Deos quamfi. 
•* It becomes Men both to fpeak and live 
" up to this Principle. He only is a tru- 
" ly generous man ^ who doth thus re- 
fign up himfelf to God ; and on the 
contrary he is a little Wretch of a de- 
" generate Mind , who ftruggles againft: 
" him, having a hard opinion of the Go- 
" vemment of theWorld,and thinks it fitter 
^* to mend God than himfelf. Where is 
^here any thing amongft thofe who profefs 
Chriftianity, better and more becomingly 
faid to this purpofe? Or how can the Wit 
of man frame any fenfe or words, that do 
ipore fully exprefsthis (elf-xefignation, and 
fubriiiflion to the Providence of God,than 
is done in thefe excellent Speeches of ^ 
JEleathen Philofopher ? 

Epi^etus likewife , fpeaking concern- 
ing the reafonablenefs and fitnefs of 
mens refigning themfelves up to God -^ 


Chag. \7. ef Natural ^l^eligion. 251 

difpofai, hath this Paflage , Qj^is vera es 
tu ? aut )nnde venifii i aut quare ^ " Do 
*' you conftjder what you are, and whence 
^' you camejand upon what J)ufine(s ? Did 
*' not he give, you a Being in the World ? 
** Endow you ^ith fuch a Nature? Put you 

^* into fuch aconHition,whereinyo^ ftiould 
*' be fubjed to hisGovernment and Dilpo- 
" fal ? Did not he appoint the time, and 
^^ place, and part you are to adt upon the 
** Theatre of this World ? And this is 
** properly your bufinefe, to apply your 
^* felf to the fitteft means of reprefenting 
the part allotted to > you, not to take 
upon you to murmur or repine againft 
" it. Hoc tttum eft J datam perfonam bene Enctiyri^. 
effingere ; earn aut em eligere alter ius. ** It cap. 13. ' 
^* doth not belong to us to chufe our 
" parts, but to adt them. Would it not 
*' better become us to go off the Stage 
*^ with Adorations and Praifes of him, for 
f ' fo much as he hath permitted us to 
*• hear and fee , rather than mutinying 
" againft him, becaufe we had no more? 
And in another place , he fuggefts this 
Confideration , ** That our Condition ^ ^^"^^j^^^ 
*' whiift we are in this World , is m/7/- 14'. ' v 
' ^ tant^ wherein every one is without re- 
** lu(9:ancy to fobmit to the Orders of his 
" great Captain or General % in whatever 


151 0/ the Principles, dec. Lib. I. 

" he fliall appoint j whether or no it be 
•* to dig in the Trenches, or (land upon 
•^ the watch, or to fight. Every man can- 
'" not be a Commandeer j and a common 
** Soldier is to obey, not to difpute or of- 
" fer counfel. If thou mayeft refufe the 
Condition or Work afligned thee, why 
may not another do fo,and according to 
this, what order could there be in the 
•* World ?' 

To the fame purpofe Antoninus : "That 
; ** Man (faith he') is to be efteemed a Fu- 
»p. ^5. ** gitive and an Apoftate, who runs away 
•* from his Mafter. Now the great Law- 
•* giver who governs the World, is our 
*' common Mafter and Ruler, and his Will 
*• is the only Law we are to fubmit unta 
** And therefore Jbr a Man to be angry 
** or grievedyl)ecaufe things fall not out 
according to his will, what is this but 
revolting from him, and declaring En-' 
** mvty a^ainft him ? 

Befides thefe Teftimonies from fome of 
the wifer Heathen^ the Scripture likewifc 
doth abound in feveral Atteftations to this 
purpofe,as particularly that in jF^^ 34. jr. 
Surely it is meet to he [aid unto God^ I 
have horn chaflifement, I will not offend 
anymore j that which I fee not^ teach thou 
me J // / have, done iniquity^ I will do fo 


Chap. 1 7. of Natural (2^%io?i. t y j 

f^o fnor€. , And chap. 3J« ix, 13. God h 
greater than man^ why dofl thou Jlrive ^ 
againji him ? He gives not account of /my 
of his matters. As if he had iaid, ihai 
man doth ftrangely forget his Condition, 
who by his murmuring and repining doth 
think to call God to an account ; why, 
he is the Supreme Lord of all, and may 
do whatever he pleafeth. Should not the 
potter have power over the clay ? There 
is no man but mud thhi^r it jufl that the 
Potter jhould diipole of his Clay as. he 
pleafeth, giving it fuch a fliape, and de- 
figning it to fuch a ufe as hef (ball think 
meet. And can any one judge it reafon- 
able, that God fliould have lefs Power 
over us, than we have over the Works 
of our hands? Behold^ 0' Lord ^ thou art 
our Father y we are the clay^ and thou art 
the potter , Ifa. 64. 8. Wo to him that 
ftriveth with his maker ^ fhall the potfheMrd 
ftrirve with the potjheards of the earth ? 
fball the clay fay to him that fafhionetb 
ity what makejl thou i or thy work , be 
hath no hands ? Ifa. 45*. 9. This fin of 
Impatience and Murmuring, is here ftiJed 
flrivlfig again fl God ; contelting with his 
Wifdom and his Power, faying to him^ 
. what makefl thouy which refleds upon his 
Wifdom ; and he hath na hjfidsj which rts- 


1J4 Of the Principles ^ Sec. Lib. I. 

fle<9:s upon bis pffwer^ as if he were rtot 
able extremam apponere manum^ to finifii 
what he had begun ; both which are not 
only high Affronts to the Divine Nature, 
but exceeding foolifh and mifchieVous id 
the confequcnce of them. The mutual 
contention of Med amongft themfelves, 
tefta cum teftis^ one Potfheard with a- 
tiother, may prove fatal to them / If two 
earthen Veflels ,da(h together, they can 
get nothing by tt; they may both be bro- 
ken ; but for the Clay to drive \l^ith the 
Potter, that is fo foolilh and fo unequal 
a contention, as nothing can be fflore!> 
and muft neeck expofe it to the word of 
Dangers. Murmurers are in the •Sm^/i^rdf- 
phrafe ftyled Children of reheUion^ MumL 
17. 10. Becaufe they that fpeak againd: 
God, would actually refid him likewife^ 
if they could. 

If we receive all that we are or have< 
our Beings and our Well-beings from God^ 
nothing can be more evident , than that 
he may juftly refume any thing again, of 
inflidi upon us any evil,that is either (hort 
of, or but equal unto, the good he hath 
bedowed upon us. 

Thus much Ihall (erve for the fird kirid 
of Arguments, referring to the Divine Na- 
ture and Attributes. 

^ a.Iprcu 

chap. 17. of Natural ^tgion. r 15 J 

X. I proceed to the fecond fort of Ar- 
guments to this purpofe , from the con- 
Jiileration of our fehes ; which I Ihall 
treat of in thefe three Particulars, i . We 
are Men. x. We are Sinners. 3. We are 
living Men^ Upon each of which grounds 
it will appear a very unreafonable thing, 
that we fliould niurmur and complain 
againft God. The Prophet hath put thefe 
three Confiderations together , Why doth Lam.3-39 
a Ihhg man complain^ a wan for tbepunijh- 
tnent of his fin ? 

I . We are men^ which is a Mercy f&r 
above any tenlporal Afflidion that we can 
iuffer.God might have made us Worms in- 
Aead of men,fuch defpicable Creatures asr 
are below common Notice, Whereas in 
being Men,we are become Lords of Hea- 
ven and Earth, having an Excellency 
above all other Creatures that ever God 
made, excepting the Angels. And is it 
not a fbame for fuch an one, to be a flave 
to every flight trouble ? that any light 
affliSion , which is lut for a moment^ 
Ihould make our Souls which are immor- 
tal^ to bow down under it ? Should not "^ 
the Nobility of our Natu^res advance us tcf 
a more generous temper , and make uff 
ered: and chearful under fuch Troubles i 
See bow David was affeciled with this 


2^6 Of tht TrmcipteSy Sec. Lib. I. 

Pf. 8. 4. thought. Lord ! what is man that thou 
art mindful of him , or the fon of Wan 
that thouvijiteft him ? 'Tis amercy and a 
condefcenfion to be admired , that God 
doth fo much as take Notice of us.though 
with his Chaftifements , and therefore 
ought not to be the ground of our com- 
plaint. He might fuffer us to go on (e- 
« curely in our fins, without any reftraint. 
We do not think our felves concerned 
to take notice of every little Fly or Irl- 
fecSt, or the poor Worms under our Feet. 
And therefore when he Ihall take (iich 
fpecial care of us, as to reftrain us in 
our wandrings, to adminifter Phyfick to 
us in our Difeafes , we ought upon this 
account, rather humbly to thank and 
admire him, than to murmur againft 

Again, we are hut men j Creatures of a 
dependent Being, not Lords of our own 
Happinels. And who art thou, man^th^t 
repliefl againji God > how vile and defpi- 
cable in coniparifon to him, and how un- 
fit to judge of his ways ? It is the com- 
mon condition of Humanity to be expo- 
fed to Sufferings, For man is lorn to 

Job 5.7. t roubles as the fparks flie upwards, that is, 
by a natural unavoidable Neceffity. And 

I Cor. 10. there is no temptation Or trouble that he- 

'3- ^ fals 

Chap. 17. of^Katural ^ligion. 2]fj 

faffs uSf hut what is common to men. We 
are born into, and mud live in a trouble* 
fbme tiimultuous Worlds, where 

LuHus^ & ultrices pofuere cuhilia curai^ ' 
PaBenteffi hahitant morhi j triJUfqi fe^ 




*^ Which is the proper place of Grief, 
and Care, and Difeafes, and the infir-* 
ties of Age j and therefore we cannot 
exped: a total exemption from thefe things. 

Omnia ifta in longa vit& funt^ quomodo in « - 
longk wV4, ^ pulviSy fif lutum^ & pliruia. 9^, * ^ 
" Thefe things in a long life, are like 
^^ dud, and dirt, and rain in a long jour- 
" ney J which it were a vain thing tor a 
man to think he could wholly avoid, but 
that he muft fome time or other have his 
fhare of them. Now Men ufually vck 
and repine at that which is extraordinary 
and unufual, not at that which is gene<^ 
ral and common to all. 

X. We are 5/>»<?ri,and fo Afflictions are 
our wages, our due j and there is no Rea^ 
fonable Man that will repine at jufl; and 
e<^ual Dealing ; there is a fpecial emphafis 
to this purpofe in the very phrafe of that 
Text forecited : A Man for the punt (hment 
of his fins ^ implying , that, if he be but 

2 5 8 Of the frinclpks^ 8cc^. Lib. I. 

a nfan^ii hfe have but rational Principles^ 

he muft needs acknowledge the Equity of 

Luke 23. i^gjj^g puoiflied for fin. The Thief upon' 

the Crofs had fo much ingenuity, as ta^ 
confefs it reafonable, that both he and 
his fellow, (hould fubmit to juft punifh- 
ment. Now the Apoftle tells us, that eve- 
Rom. 3. ry man is by a natural Convidtion conclu- 
^^- ded under fin J Tor this very Reafon , that 
Ver ^x;fry tnosith may he fi^oppid ^ and that God 
may be jufiified in his faying^ and clear 
xvhen he judgeth^ One chief Reafon which- 
,. makes Men apt to ^omplain^ that God^s 
*" .; voays ate unequal is becaufe they do not 
E^k. 18. confider that their own are fo. It is the 
pride and folly of out Natures,as to afcribc 
all the Good we enjoy to our own endea* 
vours and merit, fo to murmur and com- 
plain againd Ged for the Evii we fuffer j 
than which nothing can be more fajfe and 

Pi-ovF 5 ""^9^^J- T^^^voife man bath obferved it, 
' . thzt the foolijbnefs pf wan perverteth his 
ways , ^nd his heart fretteth againjl the' 
Lord. ' We fivft run our felves into MilX 
chief, and thert complain againfl God ; 
Whereas according to common Reafon, the 
hlame flibuld be where the fault is. It 
would be 1^ much more befitting tenwer^ 
to demean oyr felv^ upon this confide^ 

Job 3 4.3 1, ration, as Elihu adviies j Surely it is meet 
i ,. to 

Chapi 17. of Natural ^Ugion. aj9l 

to hefaiduntQ Qod^ I have horn chafiife-^ 
ment , / will not offend any more , &c; 
And upon this ground it is, that the Tro^ 
phei having in one Verfe,in the forecited 
place 9 difmaded from murmuring and . 
TompIaints,he dpth in the very next Verfe, ™'^ ^* 
exhort to Self-Examination, Juet usfearch 
and try our w^s: implying, that he who 
rightly underftands his own Sinfulnefs^ 
will find little Re2^fon to repine at his Sufp 

3. Wc ^re living men , whereas the 
ivages of fin is death ; all the Plagues that 
we are capable of, either in this or the 
Other World, being but the due rewarci ^ 

of Sin. And W€ have no Reafon to re- 
pine at Jrindacid moderated Corredrions. 
He mig^t have (truck us dead in the adt 
of fome Sin, and fo have put us out of a 
poffibility of Happinaft. It was Davids pfti.rit; 
comfort, that though the Lord had chaften^ »9. 
ed himfore^ yet be had not given him over 
to death : And the advantage which he en- 
joyed in this refpetft , did abundantly 
fiience him againft any Complaints in re- 
gard of the other, // is of the Lords met- ItVxuyx'C 
cies that we are not confumedj iecaufe his 
comfaffions fail not. The words are very 
emphatical, mercies in the plural^ for the 
numhr^ intimating a multitude of Favours 

^ ^ in 

1 d o of the Trincifksj &c. Lib. f. 

in thi^ one a(St of his forbearance. And 
'tis Contpafftons or Bowels for the nature of 
them, which fignifies tender afFedrionate 

3 . From the confideration of Affli<9:ions, 
which in themfelves are neither good nor 
evil, but fecundum modum recipientis^ ac- 
cording to the dirt>o(ition of the Subjed. 
To wicked Men they may prove Curfes 
and Judgments, teftimonies of God's ha- 
tred and anger. But to others they may 
upon thefe two accounts prove benefits ; 
from their 

Indication^ what they fignify. 
End^ what they effed. 
I. Yxomi^t indication oi them, what 
they denote and fignify j not God's ha- 
tred of us, but his fpecial care towards 
us. They may be teftimonies or earnefts 
HcTj.iit. of God's Favour, /(?r vohom he loves here- 
^«v. 3.19. ^^;^^j and chaftens y even as a father afon 
Provj.ri. ^^ y^hom he delighf^th. Blejfed is the man 
whom thou chajinethy Lord^ Ye are the 
Children of God (faith Seneca) and there- 
fore ^cut fe^verus pater durius educat , he 
carries a ftri^er iiandover you, as having 
a fpecial regard to your Welfare , that 
you may not mifcarry, or, as the Apoftle 
r Cor I ^'^P'^^^^^ i^> that j^^^ fnay not he condemn^ 
31. " ' ed with the ivor/d. The Holy Ghofl eUccms 


Luk. 16. 

Chaprir* of Natural ^ligml 261^ 

afflidions to be a fpecial Privilege. Speak- 
ing of St. Paufs being a-chofeft vejfel ^ toAStsoAs 
lear his n^ime before the Gentiles and Kings ^ 
in the next verfe it is reckoned up as ano- 
ther privikge, that he JhouUfuffer many 
things for his name fake. And therefore 
the fame blefled Apoftle fpeaks of Affli- 
fflions as a gift ; Toyi>u it is given^ not on- phii.1.29. 
ly to believe on bim^ but alfo to fufferfor 
his fake. If ye are without affliilionsy then Hcb.ia.$. 
are ye boards andnotfons. 'Tis reckoned 
upon as a curfe to have our good things in \^ 
this life. And that was one of God's fcf- 
verejft Punimments which he threatens to 
thofe, H(f. 4. 14- that he will not punifh ' 
them for their whoredoms and adulteries. ' 
Not to be troubled liket)ther men, may be ^^*'- ^^ ^• 
align of negleift and disfavour. 'Tis ne- 
oefmry to our Conditions in this World : 
and God doth afflidhis own Children out P^*'- ^ '9- 
offaithfulnefs. He hath fo appointed, ^?* 
that the way to the heavenly Canaan fliali 
be through the Wildernefs. 

2. From the end of them, what they 
arc.defigned for and effet^, namely, our 
profit and improvement ; Jbeing intended 
either for our Correiftion or Probation, 
for our Amendipeat or Trial, as I have 
&ewed Ipefore. 

S 3 4. This 

i6% Of the frinciplesy 8cc] Lib. I. 

'4. /This Virtue of Patience and Sub- 
^ miffiott is highly reafoiiable, upon ac- 

count of thofe Advantages which do fol- 
low fuch a temper of Mind. 

I. It keeps ourHappinefs in our own 
Power,by bringing our Minds to our Con^- 
ditions, which is the only remedy things 
are cs^pable of^ when we caftnotl)ring ouf 
^rt. Up, Cohdjitioiis to our Minds. Hant nrum C9H^ 
^^^* ditionem mttfare ndH poj^uthus , iJ poffi^- 
musj niagnumfumere animim , ^ viro ho^ 
no dignum^/quf^ foftiter fortuitd fatiaWmr. 

*' It is not in our power to change our 
*^ Condition J but this is in our power, to 
** attain uflto fuch a greatttefs of Mind,as 
*' becomes worthy Men^whereby we may 
" be lifted up aboVc the hurt of outward 
*' CrofTes. If a mm would be furc never 
to meet with any impediment in thtj thing 
he defires, never to be forced to any thing 
againft his will, his only way is to con- 
form bis Mind to the Will of God , and 
to lit htm do with ui ^hat fiemtfh good 
unto tim " If he would have me (faith 
u^i " ^pi^^f^^ ^o be fick or poor, I will be^ 
^^^P'^ ' « willing to be fo ; whatever employ* 
** ment he will defign for me, I will not- 
** decline ; and whatevec ht would not' 
*' have me be or do, I will be againft it 
^\ likewife. 

%. It 

Chap. 1 /• «/ Natural fl^e%/W 26^ 

%. It will be a means to promote our 
Peace, Comfort, Quiet, ana to alleviate 
our Troubles, and make our Yoke more 
eafy. Ducunt voleHttm fata^ nokntem tra- 
hunt. The ftruggling with our Yoke will 
but make it gall os fo much the more ^ 
^twill be a greater eafe for us, to follow 
it willingly, and to be led by it, rather 
than to be dragged along with it. Nul- Seneca de 
lum tarn arQum tft ji^um quoJ mn minus j[*/jj^*'* 
iaJat Jucentem quam repuffiantem. Unum 
efi levamentum mahrum ingenfinrnj pati^ 
SS neceffitatihut fuh oifefuL " There is 
" no Yoke fo ftreight and hurtful in k 
*^ felf but will prove more hurtful for our 

ftruggling with it. The only allay 

under great Sufferings, is to bear them 
^* quietly, and obey iieceflity, to fubmit 
** to what we cannot remedy. It may 
be in the power of others to difturb our 
outward Conditions, but it Ihould be in • 
our power, that they fhould not dillrub 
our Minds. And fo long as we can pre- 
ferve pur Tranquillity there, we may be 
faiid to be.truly happy. 

An impatient Man is in the Scrip fute 
Phrafcj comp^rtd to a wi/J Bu^ in a nety 
hing full of the fury of the Lord^ Ifa. j i. io. 
As that fierce Creature, being muzled in ^ 
theHuatfman's toyl, doth by all hisftrug- 
" ' S ^ lin^ 


i 64 Of the frinctfks] 8cc. Lib. L 

ling but farther intangle himfelf ; fo do 
men increafe their own Perplexities , by 
their impatieace under them. There is 
no one thing wherein the Folly of Men 
doth more appear , than that fooli(b ex^- 
change which they make of their inward 
jQuiet and Pcace,for outward Trifles,* both 
as to their impatience under the things 
they fuffer , and their impetuous defires 
Up. ^1. after the things they want. Ex eoftup&r 
nofler apparet ( faith Seneca ) quod eafo* 
la putamus emi ^ pro quihus pecuuiamfil' 
ivimus , ea gratmta vocamus , pro quihus 
mos ipfos impenJimus. ^^ Hereit) appears 
** the flupidnefs of Men,that they efteem 
I f* thofe things only to be bought , for 
" which they pay Jtfyney ; but count fuch 
?* things of free coft, for which they pay 
f^ themf elves yt\mT inward Quiet and Trari- 
iquillity , which is far more to be valued 
than their outward Poflcffions. Whereas 
if they were but as wife in this kind of 
tjierchandife as in others,tbey would con- 
sider the juft r»te and value of every thing 
and pay no more for it, either in the pur- 
jghafe of it> or parting with it, than it is 
really worth. 

3. 'Tis very much for our Honour and 
Reputation to bear Afflictions decently. 
h Take jj\yay frpm a gopd man^faitfii^^y/- 

Ch*p^ 17* of Tl^turd ^eU^ionl 16 f 

mus Tyrhi }, ** the honour of his Suffer- 
" ings> «$ Tiiog^tpavci^i^ ^iavMfitmlei^find you 
** rob him of his Crown ^ you hide and 
" obfcure his Glory. Si hominem vtdcris^ ^ ^ 
interritum ptriculhy inter adverfa felicem^ ^^"' ^' 
inmeJiistempeftatihusplacidHmj exfuperi- 
ore loca himines viientemy ex aquo DeoSy 
non fuhit te veneratio ejus , ^c. *^If 
^^ thou feefl: a Man undaunted in the 
** midft of Danger^ happy in Adverfity, 
^^ placid and ferene in a Temped, placed 
^^ in a (lation equal with the Gods,whence 
^f he look$ down upon other Men, as be* 
** ing in a vale below him ; Art thou not 
• ' prefently pofleft with a high Reverence 
^* and Veneration for fuch a Perfofi ? And 
in another place ("faith the fame Author^) 
Quam venerationem praceptioribus meis de- Ep. €^ 
leoj eandem iOis prseceptorihus generis bu-- 
mani. Speaking of mch Perfons, faith 
he, " Such Veneration as I owe to my 
" Maftcr and Tutor, fuch and much more 
" ought I to pay to thefe Teachers of man- 
'* kind, who fet them fuch excellent Lef- 
" fons for their Imitation. 

God himfelf upon this account, (eems 
(as it were) to glory and to triumph o- 
yer the Devil, in the behalf of jF^?^: SeeJl3oh t. 
thou my ffrvavt Joh^ that there is none lite 
hfm upon earth ? 'Xwas an high Elogium 



t66 Of the Principles:, Sec. Lib. f. 

that, ftnd tended much to his honour. 
^^^' *• And the Apofile tells us elfewhere, that 
a meek and a patient fplrlt is with God cf 
' great price. The fpir it of glory ^ and of God 
refteth upon fuch as endure Sufferings. 
Men think to fet out themfelves, and to 
get repute amongfl: others,by their haugh* 
tinefs, looking upon every little injury 
as a high indignity; but of fuch a frame 
of mind, it may be truly faid, non eft mag- 
nitudo^ tumor ^ ; It is not greatnefs, but 
a fwelling of Mind. It Ihews a narrow- 
iiefs and Uttlenefs of Soul, Invalidum om- 
me naturi querulum. ^* The more weak any 
"*• thing is , the more apt to complain. 
Whereas on the other fide, Patience doth 
enlarge the Minds of Men, and raife their 
eftcem, making them triumphant without 
fighting. The Heathen ^nd their Idola- 
tries were heretofore fubdued, non k tt^ 
pugnantihus, fed a morientihus Chrifiianisp 
as St. Auftin fpeaks, not hy the refifiance^ 
ifutly the patient fufferings of the dying 
Chrijlians. So mightily did this Grace 
•conduce in the Primitive Times, to the 
Spreading and propagation ofChriftianity 
through the Heathen World. 
' But are all Complaints then in Affli<5ti- 
on unlawful ? To this I anfwer : 

/ .. n * . 

'I. Na- 

t. Natural exprelSons of Grief ire al- 
lowable. A man muft be fenfible of his 
Sufferings, and confequently canHoC but 
grieve under them. That fhipor and be- 
nummednefs of Spirit, whereby men are 
made unapprehenfive of their Affli<9:ion^9 
is in it felt both a great Sin and 8' great 

2. But theft thefe Expreffions of era? 
Grief muft be rightly qualified wirii their 
due Circumftailces : 

1. They mttft not be JifproportiMaile 
to the Octafion. A great complaint Tor 
ft little Cro^, like Jonah's trouble for bis 

2. Not flfif//f iurg for the manner j not 
accompanied with bitter in vedives agaihft 
fecoftdCaufes andlnftrumcfhts j they Ihoulcl 
rather exprcfs our Humility , than our 

3. Thqr muft not be immoderate for 
the degree ; as if we were without hope, 
like David's paffionate Complaints for the 
death of his Son Aifoioth. 

4. ' They muft not ■ be finfrl for the na^ 
ture of them, blaming God's Juftice, adi 
reviling his Providence. '- 

: ;, ; V... .:,,.•- 

And now that I have fo abundantly 
fiiew\i the redfonableflefs of thiis virtye 

t • . « . ' ■ •* /Yr 

2^8 Of the <Pnmptes] Sec. Lib. I. 

Df Patience and Submift^n^ I am fUU (en^ 
. ftble how hardly Men are brought to it 
when there is real occafion for the pra« 
fStice of it ; and therefore I think it may 
be of great ufe to add (bme DireSiitms 
which may help to prevent^ or at lead 
abate our impatience under AfHidlions,and 
to promote this fubmiffive temper and 
diipofition. And accordingly they (hall 
be of two forts , fome negative 9 otberfi 
pofitive^ : 

. I begin with the n^i/h^. 

I • Take heed of aggravating AfHidliot»^ 
^ypnd their due Proportions. Do not 
fix your Eye or your Thoughts , chiefiy 
upon the fmart of them, without regard- 
ing the benefit of them. 'Tis true indeed 
Heb. u. (as the ^<j^/^ tells us > Mo affliSion is 
w* J4fYW^ fpr\tbe time^ ita grievous ^ ntver^ 
tbelefs aftehpards it yieldeth the peacea-- 
ble fruit of^ righteoufnefs , to them that 
are exercifed thereby. *T were as unrear 
ibnable thing and an argument of great; 
frowardnefs , for a Patient to mind only 
the bitternefs of his Potion , the corro- 
fiyenefs of his PJaifter , without haying 
any regard to the remedy and the health 
which may be procured by them. For 
a man always to h^ve his hand upon his 
fore, wiy ingreafe thp, pjiin^; and hindejr. 

. the 

Chap: ir* 0/ Natural ^Ugm. 16^ 

the cure <rf it. To infift upfon every par-^ 
ticular Circumftance whereby Men may 
aggravate their Affli<9:ions , is the ready 
means CO add fbel to their impatience, 
and to drive them to defpondency. This 
is a fure way to bring upon our (efves, 
much needleis trouble. 'Tis all one as 
it a man Ihould chew the Pills which ought 
to be fwallowed whole, which will make 
us more fick, and thereby rather hinder 
the due operation df them than promote 

%. Beware of refufing comfort, or re- 
jedting the means that are afforded us for 
our relief and fupport under th« Troubles 
that befal us. This were to take part 
with our Difeafe againft our (elves, to re- 
fxx(t the Phyfick, and to pull ofFthePlai- 
fler that Ihould heal us j which argues 
much frowardnefs, befides the folly and 
ingratitude of rejedling the cimfolatims of jot i j.i 
GoJy as if they were lutfmaHto usy as £//- 
phaz fpeaks. Whatever our Loflcs or DiC 
appointments are, he can be ten times bet- 
ter to us, than thofe things are , by the 
lofs of which we are provoked to difcon^ 
tent and murmuring. 

3 . Do not give Liberty to Paffions ; 
which, of all other things belonging to 
the Soul, are moft impetuous and unruly* 


27© of the ^rinciples^ Sec. Lib. I. 

if not redraiaed within fitting boundsJ 
The fenfitive appetite ^to which the paC 
fions belong } is the inferior and brutifii 
part of the Soul, anfwerable to the dregs 
of the People in a political Government^ 
of themfelves apt to be heady, tumuku^ 
ous, rafli, mutinous, if not reflraiiied by 
{ovM fuperior Power : So is it with tlie 
paf&ons of the Soul , which therefore 
ought to be watched over with great ax^ 
cumfpe^ion ; and the rather , becauft 
they have ufually the Empire over us, du- 
ring our younger years,befbrereaibncomes 
to exercifeitsSoveraignty: And if once 
we give way to them, 'twill be a bufi^ 
nefii of no i^iall Diificulty to reduce them 
into order again. 

. Xboievery thoughts which opcaiioa 
jqoiuch diicontent and trouble to the Soul, 
wIhKI: cbey lye in the Bread in a huddle. 
. ^ and . confudon, if they be but diftini^ly 
* confidered, and coolly debated, wil] feem 
tntjch leis , if not vaniih into no(hxng* 
Tisthe nature ofdlforder, to .make things 
appear more than indeed they are* Which 
is one reafon that Pbilofophers give why 
the Stars feem innumerable, beqaufe they 
are commonly looked upon, as being 
Wildly (cattered up and down, out of all 
regular fornit 'Tis ib Ukewife with mens 


Chap« 1 7# . of Natural (^li^kn. 2 7 1 

inward Diftontents^ which are exceeding- 
fy multiplied by the confufion of them ; 
and would appear much left, if but di- 
ftincStly reduced and examined. Mofl: of 
tiiofe which occafion much perplexity , 
whilft they are mixed with many others 
in a crowd , would upon a ckar view 
and fevere examination, appear much left 
confiderabk : And that's another good 
means for the preferving of our Minds 
from this impatience ; To put a flop to 
pur Paflions in the beginning of their 
Courfe, before they be in their full ca- 
reer, and then grow too hard for us. 

4. Do not chiefly regard the Inftru- 
ments of your Troubles, which will be 
apt to provoke impatience and diftem- 
per ; but rather upon the fupreme Difpo-* 
fer of them. Though Men may deal ve- 
ry unworthily with us, yet God is juft 
in ali his way&. This was that which fa^ ^ 
tisfied old .£//, // is the Lord^ let him Jo i Sam. 3; 
what Jiemeth. him good. Though the Sa- ^^* 
hoeans had Ipoiled Job of his Oxen and job i. xjj 
Alles, and the Chaldeans plundred him ^r- 
of his Camels; yet we find no Complaints 
againfl them, he takes notice only of God 
as the Author of thefe Sufferings. The 
Lord gives and the Lord takes, away ^ and 
therefort hle^ed he the name of the Lord. 


IT 1 Of the Trmctpks, Sec, Lib. f, 

Tis worth your notice to obftrve the 
ftrarfge variety of DavieTs Cirridge, ac- 
• cording as he was either mitldful oj* for- 
getful of this confideration. How meek 
and humble upon the Rebellion of Aijo^ 
a Sam.iy. i^^ . fj the Li^rd fhall fay t have Ho delight 
* * in thee ; hehold here 1 anty let him do ti 

ruie as fiemeth good unto him. And fb in 
Vcr. 10. the next Chapter, when Shimei did fo bit- 
terly revile him, that which pacified all 
impatient revengeful Thoughts, was this 
confideration , The^ tor d hath Bid Shimei 
curfe. Whereas at another time , when 
he was not fo careful to. fix his Thoughts 
upon this, how ftrangely is his carnage 
altered ? How furious at the churlifhneft 
I Sam.a J. of tfabal ? How paffioaate at the death 
- &mis ^^ Ahfolom ? Such great power ]^ there 
33. in this one meditatibq^^ if ferioufly^ fixed 

upon, to fubdue the natural Rage and 
Dtftemper of our Hearts. When he looks 
upon God , he fubmits and is fitent. / 

voas dumb and opened noYmy^mouth^ hecaufe 
^f&i. 39. fij^^ jij^ i^^ gut when lie confiders the 

Inftruments, his Heart begins to rife^and 
his PaflTions to tumulate and ternjent into 
a ftorm. 

5. Take heed of engaging your De- 
fires upon thefe tranfientperiihable things. 
Le^rn to eftitnate every thing,- according 



Chap. 17. «/ Tiatttral ^ligion. 17% 

to its juft Rate and Value j and this will 
be a means to wdrk in us weaned AC- 
fedlions from the World. They that love 
too muchy muft grieve too much. If we 
would u>eep as not weeping^ we muH: re- 
, joke as not rejoicing. Tney that think 
the greateft Gain to be but fmall^ will 
thinjc the greateft Lofs to be fo too. Ne- ^^^. ^^j^ 
fnif^em aJverfa fortuna comminnit^ nifi quern cap. 5. 
feoum/a i/ecepit. . ** Thofe that are moft 
apt to be deceived and puft up by 
the Flatteries of Profperity, will be 
** moft apt to be dejeifked by the Frowns 
** of Adverfity. Andthere^reonepfthe 
(iireft ways , to make all Crofles eafy to 
us, is to have a low Efteem of thefe tem- 
poral things ; for which we (hall find rea- 
fbn enough, if we confider theVanity and 
Vexation of them. There being a thou- 
fand ways of Fraud and Oppremon and 
Cafualties, whereby we may be deprived 
of their PoflefHon; and as many, where- 
by they may be rendred ufelefs to us 
in their Pofleffion ; as in the cafe of pain 
and ficknefs, either of Body or Mind : 
yAad as many whereby they may^ be ren- 
dered hurtful , and expofe us to the En- 
vy of others, to many kind of Tempt^t- 
tionsunto Sin, and particularly to many 
kind of Griefs and Vexations upon the ac- 

T . count 

474 Of tkTmciples, &c. iLib^L 

count of our Unwillingticfs to part with 
them. All which an^ to be provided a- 
gaind, by oufentertainingfuch thoughts 
of them, as may be fuitable to their vft^ 
lue. . - • 

6. Take heed of being folicitous about 
the IJfue of thingJ, varw of determining 
your fclves too peremptorily to particn* 
lar Events. 'Tis our Bufmefs indeed to. 
ferve Providence in jhe ufe oiMeans^ but 
the ffTue of things ibelongi to God. We 
have nothing to 6o\ With them^ and; that 
which is not within our Powti^, (houid 
be out of our Care. Every man's great 
end is happineft. The various JEvents 
that befal us in the Wotld,' are 'but fep 
veral iVajs to tbis^ Endv. And \^t%^t 
\\s veryreafbriable and .coingruous^^ that 
every one fhould haye a Travelkrs Irp- 
diffeSfency towards themi A man upon 
the Road, who is travelling fo fuc^- % 
Town, and comestpforj^.dOubtfiiMiiiipi- 
ipgs, is noc .concerned eifhar jBpr -the dg^t 
Orleft4iand way, hath. Hot artj^lnclinar 
tion to one more than the other, anyfarr 
ther than to be direded to that wh^cjh 
is the: true way^ and tyijl bric^^i^ 
^otirwey. s^enfl.. Now that :way which ibp 
FrovicfeiiOT ^of God ddthiead Hsiritp^oiuft 
iiced^t^e the beft and the fureft way- to 
^his-end. " Thou 


Chap. 17. of Natural <^ligton, 1 yj 

^ Thou fooUfli man (faith EpiSietus) Lib-i.c.?* 
'* doft not thou defire that which may be 
^* mbft convenient for thee ? And can 
" there be any thing better than vvhatGod 
** appoints ? Do but then confider (faith 
he) ^' what is the meaning of being ea- 
** gerly folicitous about particularEvcntsf, 

*f Aoy, thou doft thereby as much as in 
** thee hes to corrupt thy Judge, and fe- 
"ducc thy Counfellor .* Than which 
*^ there cannot be a greater Folly. Thefe 
are the Negative Diredions. 

I proce^ to thofe that are pojitive j 

I . Labour for true apprehertfions of the 
Divine Nature and Excellencies j his in-^ 
finite Power, and Wifdom, and Goocjnefs. 
When our Hearts are once poffeft with 
right Notions, and a due Efteem of thefe 
PCTfe<fHons, they will not b6 fo apt to 
break out into murmuring agaihft him. 
That which Benhadad fpake proudly to ^Kjngj.o; 
Ahah ; thy filver and thy gold , thy wives 3, 
and thy children are mine : That may 
God truly fay to us ; what haft thou that 
thou haft not received f And x^^'t\\?.VQ' 
received it, as we have no reafon to glo- • 
ry in the Poffeffigo, fo neither have we 
to complain at the Lofs of it j when he 

T ir that 


Of the ^maples, Sec. Lib. 

that hath lent it us doth refume It again. 
It is, or fiiould be our daily Prayer, thar 
God's IViS may he done en Earth as it is in 
Heaven. And it were a mofl: unreafo- 
nable thing, for men to murmur at the 
Grant of their Petitions. 'Twasa nota- 
ble faying, which is commonly reported 
of Luther^ when Philip Melan^hon was 
much difquieted in his own Thoughts, at 
the confufeal State of things in the firft 
Reformation ; Monendus eft Philippusy de- 
finat effe reHor mundi ; * MelanBhon is to 

* be admonilhed that he would ceafe to- 

* take upon him the Government of the 

* World, as if the IlTue of things did be- 
' long to his Care.. God is infinitely wife 
and faithful, and will proportion ourSuf- 
ferings to our Abilities. He hath promi- 
fed that alt things fhall work together far 
our good. 

%. Confiderthe Mercies you enjoy, as 
well as the Evils you fuffer. That was a 
mod unworthy temper in^;f'<j^,and 'mHa- 
ma»y to receive no fatisfadion in all their 
great Poflefllons and Enjoyments,becaufe 
they were difappointed in fome one fmall 
particular. *Tis the Advice of the wife- 
man^ Ecclef. 7. 1 4. In the day of profpe- 
rity rejoicGy in the day of aduerfity conji'- 
der. But what is that which we (liould: 


Chap. 17. of Natural ^Hpml 2/7 

confider? Why, that Go J hath fet the one 
againfi the othfr : And fo ftiould we too, 
(et one againd another ; and then we (hall 
find, that we haVe as mirch reafon to be 
patient under our Sufferings, as to rejoice 
in ouir Mercies, *Tis a remarkablePailage 
fJE^tf/,concerning Mephih/heth; when 2iia * S*"™'9' 
had by his falfe Accufation, caufed the 
King to confifcate his Goods, and beftow 
them upon himfelf ; this had been enough 
one would think, to provoke Mephiho^ 
fbeth unto high Complaints, both againll 
die Injuftice of Davids and the Bafenels 
and Unfaithfulnefs of his Servant Ziia : 
But fee how he demeans himfelf, / have y,^y ^^^ 
hen Jldndered^ unto my Lord the Rlng^^ hat * 
Jo what is good in thine eyes. ThoH haft fet 
thyfervant amongfi them that eat at thine 
own tahle^what right therefore have I to cry 
any more unto the King ? Where he makes 
the Kindnefs that David had formerly 
fhewn him, to weigh down and fatis^ 
for the Wrong that he then fuffered. And 
if men had but fuch a grateful temper of 
Spirit, they would not be foapt to mur- 
mur. Thofe that deferve leaft, doufu- 
ally complain mod. The moft unwor- 
thy are the mod impatient 

Suppofe all manner of evils and afHidi- 
ODS; which are now promifcuoufly fcdt- 

T 3 tered 


280 Of the Trincipksy Sec. Lib. h 

4. Be careful whilfl: you are in a pro* 
fpcroiis Eftate, to prepare for Trouble and 
AfHi<%ions^ by a prudent Confideration of 
the Mutability of things. This will be a 
means to alleviate the Burden of theai. 
Ep^ jf' Pracogitati malt woUis iSus venit. And 
in another Place, inexpe£lata plus ag^jra^ 
vanty ntruitas aJjicit calamitatiius pon-- 
dm ; " That ftroke will have lefs force 
which is forefeen and expedled ; where-^ 
as the fuddenneis and furprize of it, 
" will add to the weight and fmart of 
Scji.Tran. ^* it. In tanta reram furfum ac ieorfwm 
cap! 12" euntium vtrfatime^ fi non quicquid fieri 
potefly pro future haieSj das in te vires 
rehus adverfisj qua^ infregit quifquis prior 
vidit ;*' InthatvariousChange andRevo-^ 
*' lution of Events which we behold in 
*' the World, if we dp not look upon poC- 
^' fibleDangers andTroubles as future, we 
^' do thereby ftrengthen our Adverfaries 
■' and difarni our felves. When we fee at 
any time tbeLofles and Imprifonmcnts,or 
Poverty, or Funerals of others, we ought 
prefently to refled, this may be our cafe^ 
Cutvis pat eft accidere quod cuiquam pot eft. 
One lofesHusbjind,Wife,Children, Eftate : 
Weopglit frofii all fqchSpedacles to infer 
that though this be not at prefent, yet it 
fpay ftipr^ly be pyy Condition ; and ac- 

Chap. 17' of Natural '!{eUpQn. iSl 

cordingly by expe(9^ation to fortify our 
felves agajnft it. Hie nes error elecipity hie ^"' ^^ 
effaminat^ dum patimur^ gua: Hunquam pati cap. 9. 
»os poffe prtEviflimus. Aufert vim prafen~ 
tihus malii^ qui futura profpexit. " This 
" is the Error which doth deceive and 
" efTeminate Men, whiJft: they fuffer fuch 
** things as they did not exped, and are 
*' not prepared for. It breaks the force of 
" Evils when they come, to forefee they 
" will come. 

J. Often refie<5t upon your former ex- 
perience. That will be a means to pre- 
vent all Defpondencies, to work in us , 
Hope and Confidence. There is no man 
fo mean and inconflderable, If he will but 
I ;Uke an impartial view of what he hath for- 
Rinerly leen and obferved, concerning God's 
■^eaUng with himfelf and others, but may 
7 upon this account find reafon enough to 
J allay ail murmuring difcontented thoughts. 
I WehavefrequentExampIestothispurpofe 
[-in Scripture, Jacoh., Davie/, Jehofaphafy ^^"' ^^' 
l.theApoftleSt. Paui^'m (everal places,who iSim-ij. 
IiaU have had recourfe to this remedy, v- 
■,;When they would flrengthen themielves \o. 7™"' 
!3gainfl: difcontent and deipondency. And ■ Cor. i. 
\i. fuppofe, there is fcarce any ferious man '*' 
■ ■offo little experience , but hath taken 
■ potice of, and can remember how fome 


iS» Of the Principles ^ ice. Lib. I. 

CroHes and Difappointments, have in the 
idue proved Mercies and Benefits to him. 
And if it have been fo formerly, why 
may it not be fo again ? 

6. And laftly, Labour after thofe par- 
ticular Virtues, which are of near affinity 
to this of patience ; whereby it will be 
very much ftretigthened and promoted. 
There is a certain chain of them men-' 
tioned, Gal 5. %%. and {tiled by the A- 
poftle the fruits of thefpirit , as belong^ 
ing more particulariy to the Spirit of 
Chriftianity. The firft is Ltyve , d^wm ; 
which beareth all things , aad endureth 
all things : The next is ^(fj^ ;fc»ept> * chear- 
fill temper of mind , in oppofition to 
iliorofenefs and frowardneft : Then Vea^^ 
mfUfuU^ a compoiednefs and fedatenefs of 
Spifit, fi?ee from all inordinate pertuiv 
bations, and without any kind of itch of 
^quarrelling with others ; And next i>^ 
fufferin^y fAMtejMvfAJky whereby the miild 
is npt eafily provoked or tired^but is «f- 
fily appealed : Then Ge^lenefsy Xf^^^im;^ 
: ^emfofity^' Benignity , which fignifies a 
Mind mod ready to part with anything, 
towards the help and relief of others ki 
their neceiTities : Then Gpodnefsy d^aAo&trtwn^ 
(i. e^ fuch an equal and lUiget^uous fiia- 
|>licity of maoatrSj wbeis^by men are ren- 
' ^ ^ . dred 

t ' 


chap. 1 y, p/ Katwtnl ^e{j^'o»I |t 8 % 


dred eafily trad-able tod plainble > nld 
mod amiable in the whole coitr& ofthcir 
Converfations : Then Faitb^ W« , a d^*- 
pendance upon God for our fopport and 
deliverance .• Then Meeknefs , rsrest-im;^ 
whereby we put a reftraint upon our 
anger, fo as not to be provoked for any 
leflerCaufe, or in a greater meafure, or 
for a longer time, than may be fitting for 
the occafion j always prelervingour minds 
free from any fudden gufts of paflion. 
And laftly, Temperance^ i^Kptr^dj conti-^ 
nence, whereby we contain all our pat 
fions within their juft bounds, either of 
j&y in the affluence of things, or of grief 
in the lofs , or of dejire in the want pi 

A rtiind that is modelled and prepa- 
red with thefe kind of Virtues , will 
thereby be rendred Generous and Cou- 
ragious, fit for the undergoing of any 
kind of Trouble or Suffering, which the 
Providence of God (hall think fit to call 
a Man unto. » ^ ^ 

I have now done with the Firfi thing 
I propofed to tr^latof, namely, The Ret^ 
fonahlenefi and Credihility of the Prin- 
ciples of Natural Religion ; in which I 
have endeavoured to eftablilh the lelief 
of God's Beings to clear the natural No'^ 


284 of the Wtnclptesy &c. LiK I. 

ttMs of his ExceSeneies and Perfe&hnsj 
and to deduce the Ohligatien of iV<?rtf/ 
Duties^ from the Belief and Acknowlede- 
ment of the Divine Nature and P^ro- 






Wifdom of pra^ifing the Du- 
ties of Natural Religion. 

c H A p. I. 

Shemng in general how ^Ihion con-^ 
duces to our Happinejs. 

IProcoed now to i^t fecondVztt of mjr 
defign, which was to (hew the Wif- 
Jem ofPra^ifing the Duties of Hatural Re^ 
ligion. In which I fiiall endeavour ta 
convince Men, how much it is» upon all 
accounts^ their chief htppineis and inte- 
reft to lead a religious and virtuous courfe 
of life. 

Solomon^ who isfo much celebrated in 
Scripture for his Wifdom and Knowledge, 
hath purpofely written a Book^ the main 
argument whereof is to enquire, wbere^ 


tU Of the frincipJes, Sec. Lib. IL 

in the chief happincft of man doth con- 
fift 2 And having in the former part of 
it (hewed the infu/ficiency of all other 
things tl^at pretend tait^ he comes in the 
condtffion tb'fix it npon its true Bafts , 
aflerting every man's grcatcft Intereft and 
Happinefs, to confift in being religious. 
Eccl.i2. Let, fs hfar the v9nclufioft of the whole 
*3- matter ; fear God and keep his com^' 

mandifteftts i for^ this 1$ the whole of tnan: 
That is, the ferious pracStice of Religion 
k-^hat wbkb e¥efy confidwatc mftn af-^ 
ter all his other dilcjuifitions, will find 
to be his chief intefgft, and that which 
doth deferve his utmoft Care and Dili- 

And heciufe thefe words o^ Solomon^ 
do fo fully exprefs that , which is to be 
tiic nrain Ar^ment 6f sny following Difl 
caoiie^ I; (hall by way of Preface or Ip- 
tfodoc^tonfoit, more particularly con^ 
iider tbc comttieridation which he here 
gives tcclK praidicc of Religion, in that 
iuti ankit figtaficaac Eicprieilion, this is the 
wkvie vf-man. 

Which Words are by the Septuagint 
mdt ifTulgkr riius rendred f this is AII^ or 
Every, man. The v^ord Doty which is 
fapptied by OUT Englifi?y beiflg not in tlic 
origi^tai^ or in ctlier irariftations. This oagbi: 


Ohap.K of Natural ^li^ioni 28;^ 

to 3e the -way andcourfe of aJ{ mankhJ; fo 
the Tar gum. this is the courfe to which e^ 
"ixery wan is deftgneJi fo the Syriaci. J%is 
will he mcfi profit atle and aihantageous to 
men; £p' the Araiick^ Hoc eft to turn bomi^ 
nisj This is the whole of man ; fo foille of 
our later. Interpreters^ moft properly to 
the fcope of the place^ it being an utual 
BnaUage in the Heirewj totitu univerfaUs 
pro toto integrantCy AH for Whole. • . 

. . Sq that according to thefe variqus Jtn- 
tei*priBtatipns of the word^, they may con-- 
tain in them a threefold reference^ To 
thcEffencej th^ Happinefs^ the Bufinefsoi 

According, to which: the ienfe of theqcj 
muft bcj, that Religiojfi, or the.^^/^jj of 

Go/ and keeping his commandmentSyXs ^ 
matter of fo great cpnfequeijcc to jlu- 
man Nature, that 

' ■ • ■ *. • 

I. the £j^ctf <^ aebg of man may 
be iaid taxoniift in it. 

X. The gxtztBufinefs^at duty of man,' 
is to be converfant about it^ and to la^ 
hour after it,. - 

3 . The Happinefs op 'W€ll:belng of mam 
doth^epend upon it, : . . 

Xbefe ^ paiti(^ulars. I ihall eqdeavour to 
make out by j^chclear Principles of Rea- 

' . . fofi, 

Of the fnnnpksy &c. Lib. U. 

fon, attefted to by feveral of the wifeft 
Heathen may be enough to fa- 
tisfy any ferious Man, who is able to un- 
derftand the reafon and confequence of 
things, and will but attend and confi- 

Firji y Religion is of fo great impor- 
tance, that the Ejfence of man may be 
faid to confift in it. Man may be confi- 
dered under a twofold notion : 

I, In his fingle capacity, according to 
that principle whereby he is conflituced 
in fuch a rank of Creatures. 

L. In Society^ for which man feems to 

y be naturally defigned, and without which 

\%E. could not well fubfift. Now Religion 
will appear to be Ejfential to him, in both 

^■Hiefe refpeds. 

*' I. As confidered InhiisjHgle capacity ^ 

• according to thofe principles by which he 
, is framed. That which doth conftitute 
"any thing in its Being, and diftinguilh 
■it from all other things, this is that which 

* sve call the Form or Edence of a thing. 
Now the things which diftinguilh Hu- 
man Nature from all other things, are 

** 'the chief Pri»crples and Foundations of 
Religion , namely, the Apprehenfion of a 

' Deity y and an expeilation of a future Jiate 

after this life : Which no other Creature, 


Chap. I. bf Hatural <l{eli^m. 28^ 

below man, doth partake of; and which 
are common to all mankind j notwith- 
ftaridirig the utmoft Endeavours that can 
be ufed for the fuppreflTing of them. 

As for what is commonly alledged in 
the behalf of Reafon^ it may be obferved 
that in the Adtions of many hrute Qrta- 
tures^ there are difcerniblefomeFootfteps, 
fome imperfed Strictures and Degrees of 
Ratiocination j /uch a natural Sagacity 
as at lead bears^i near Relemblance to Rea- 
fon. From whence it may follow , that 
it is"^ not Reafon in tht general i which is 
the Form of Human Nature ; But Reafon 
as it is determined to Adions of Religion, 
of which we do not find the-leaft Signs or 
Degrees in Brutes : Man being the only 
^Creature in this vifible World, that is for- 
med with a Capacity of worfliipping and 
enjoying his Maker. Nor is this any 
flew Opinion , but what feveral of the 
Ancient Writers , Philofophers, Orators, 
Poets, have attefted to ; who make the 
Notion of a Deity, and Adoration of him, 
to be the true difference betwixt Man and 

So TuSy : E^ tot generihus nuUum efi ^^^^^^ 
animal prater hominem , quod haheat no^ 
titiara aliquam Dei ; ip/ifq; /» hominihtUy 
nulla gens efi , neqi tarn immanfueta^ neq; 

. U tarn 

29© OfthefrincipleSj &cc. LibJL 

tarn fera , y«^ noft etiamfi ignoret , y«tf- 
Urn hahere Denm deceat , tamen habendum 
fciat. " Amongft all the living Creatures 
" that are in the World, there is none but 
" Man, that hath any Notion of a Deity ; 
** and amongft Mankind, there is no Na- 
** tion fo wild and barbarous , but pre- 
" tends to fome Religion j whence it 
Ihould feem that this is the moft proper 
difference betwixt Man and Beads, And 
in another place , he makes this to be 
the Character of that Reafon , which is 
the Form of Man ^ that it \% Vinculum 
Dei & hominisy which imports both Name 
and Thing, . 

Of the lame fenfe is that of thtSatyrifij 
who fpeaking of Religion and a Senfe of 
Divine Things, faith this of it .• 

Ifuv SMt. ' . ^ f eparat hocnos 

*^ A grege mutorum y atj; ideo venerahile 

Sortiti ingenium^ divinorumq; capaces. 

** 'Tis this, faith he, which doth di- 
*' ftinguilh us from brute Creatures, That 
*' we have Souls capable of Divine Ira- 
" preifions. 

There are abundance of Expreflions to 
this purpofe kt feveral other of the Hear 


Chap^ K of K(ttttral ^Vtgton. 191 

then Writers. 7%at in Plutarch , where ^' ^«/^^- 
he ftylcs Irreligion a kind of Jfupor ,^ ^'''^'"• 
whereby Men are as it were deprived 01 
their Senfes. ^^ And in another place, he 
" atlfert^ it to be an exceeding improper 
" thitig , to alcrHJe true Reafon to thofe^ 
** who^dp nbtacknbwiedgeand adore the 
^^ Deity. ■ So agahi tuOy^ ejfe Deos qui ne- ^ff- ^'^ 
gaty vtx cumfana mentis extfttmem. " I 
^ can hardly think that Man to be in his 
^ tight Mind,Whb isdeftituteof Religlon.^ 
And ih another xhjtt of the fame Bovk. 
dm hunt bomincm . dixerit ? &c. " W hy 
*' Ihould any one ftyle fuch an one a Man, 
** who by what he (ees in the World is 
*Vnot convinced 6F a Deity, and a Pro- 
^ videiice, and of that Adoration he owes. 
^* to the Deity ? ' l^on mo Jo non phUpfo- uB^nt. 
phos , fed nee homines quiJemfuiJfe dixe-^ 
rim , (faith another. ) " Men that are 
dcftitute of Religion, are (b far from 
being learned Pliilofophers , that they 
ought not to be efteemed (b much as 
** Reaforiiable Men, 

'Tis true, nothing is more ordinary 
than for fuch Perfons as arc Sceptical in 
theic firft Principles • ro entertain great 
Thoughts of thetnfefves , as if they had 
coofidered things jiiore deeply, and wcf e 
arriv'd tmto a higher pitch of Reafon and 

V % Wit 

2^1 Of thtrfnncipksy Sec. L ib. If^ 

Wit than others. But yet the pjain Truth 
is, they who have not attained to this 
CoQvidion of placing, their; chief latercft 
in being reh'gious , they are fo far froia 
exceeding others in Degrees ^ that th^y 
come fliort of the very Nature zcid j^fnce^ 
of Men, as being deftitute of. thote firft 
Notions concerning Truth and Falftio^dy 
Good and Evil, wherein, the Eflence of a 
Rational Being doth confift .• Bqfides th^iii 
palpable Deficiency in fuch plain Confer 
quences and Ded unions of Reafon , .^S 
would become thofe, whp. in any jneafurei 
pretend to that Principle.. 

So that, by what hath been faid , it 
may appear, that the Definition of Mapp 
may be rendred as well by the Diffe- 
rence of Religiofum as Rationale. As for 
• that Inconvenience which fome may ob- 
jedt, That Atheiflical and prophane Per/- 
fons will hereby be excluded : Why, fo 
they are by the other Difference likewife ; 
fuch Perfons having no juft pretence to* 
Rea/orfj "who renounce Melighn : And it 
were well, if they might not only be* 
reckoned among Beads ( as they are by. 
the Pfalmift , where he ftyles theni .hru^ 
tijh^ ) but driven out amongft themlike-^ 
wife , and banifhed from all lEluman So*, 
ciety , as being pviblick pefts * and mif^ 


Chap. I . o/Txatural ^Ugion. 2p j 

cliiefs of Mankind, fuch as would debafc 
the Nobility of our Natures to the Con- 
dition of brute Creatures , and therefore ^ 
are fit only to live amongft them. Which 
brings me to the 

' zJ. Confidcration of Man as afocial^/e 
Creature. Religion is ejjential to him, in 
tSiis refped: alfo j is being the fureft Bond 
to tye Men up to thole refpedive Duties 
towards One another , without which 
6oy3dlifirtient and Society could not fub- 

There is a remarkable Paflage mPlutarch 
to this.purpofej where'he ftyles Religion 

jLut^the Cement of aSComwunity^and the chief Againft 
Bafis of all Legiflative Tower. And in ano- ^•^''^^^• 
ther place he fays, " That 'tis much more 
** eafy to build a City in the ppenAir ,with- 
" out any Ground to found it upon, than 
** to eftablidi Government without Reli- 
" gion. A City (Taith he) may makefome 
fhift tofuhjijl without WaOsy Scboohy thea- 
tres^ Hqufes ; nai^ without Money ^ hut not 
without Religion. 

If it were not for this Notion of a Dei- 
ty, and thofe natural Impreflions which 
we have concerning Juftice and Probity, 
fo neceflary for the Confervation of Hu- 
man Society j inftead of thofc well-or- 

U 3 dered 

2^4 of the frincipksy Sec. Lib.lL 

dered Governments and Cities which arc 
,^now in the World , Mankind muft have 
lived either wild and foJitary in Caves and 
Dens, like favage Beads j or elfe inTroops 
of Robbers , lubfifting upon the Spoil 
and Rapine of fuch as were weaker than 
Nat, Dtor. Pietate fullat^^ fides etiam , (S f octet (U 
^^^' '• hunt am gefteris^ & una exceOentiJJima vir- 
tus jujiitia toBitury faith TuOy. ** Take 
but away the Awe of Religion^ ,and. all 
that Fidelity and Juftice , fo neceflary 
" for the keeping up of Human Society^ 
" muft peri(h with it. 

'Tis this Fear of a Deity, and the Senfe 
of our Obligation to him , that is the 
only effedlual means to reftrain men with- 
in the Bounds of Duty. ^And were this 
wholly extinguiflied , there would fol- 
low fuch wild Diforders and Extravagan- 
cies amongft Men, as woiald not leave fo 
much as the Face or leafl: Shadow of Vir- 
tue or Honefty in the World* There be- 
ing no kijjd of Vice which Men wpuld 
not abandon themfelves unto, confidering 
the Impetuoufnefs of their own natural 
Appetites , and the Power of externaj. 
Temptations , were this Reflraint from. 
P.eliglpn,pjice removed or aboliftied. 


Chap, u of Natural ^ligion. ipy 

The two chief Oppofitcs to Religion^ 
are Propbanenefs and Superfiition. Both 
which are prejudicial to Civil Govern- 
ment J the one by Jeftroying Confcience, 
the (Irongefl: Obligation to political Du- 
ties ; the other by perverting and abufing 
it ; introducing in the (lead of it a new 
primum m0^//r,which ravilheth the Spheres 
of Government^ * and puts them into a 
prapternatural Courfe, as a Uolle Author Lord 5^. 
exprefleth it. ''^^'^'^' 

The two grand Relations that concern 
Society, are Government and Suhjeiiion : 
And Irreligioh doth indifpofe Meil for j 

both thefe. 

I. For Government. Without Religion 
Magidrates will lofe that Courage and 
Confidence belonging to their Stations, 
which they cannot fo well exert in pu- 
nilhingthe Offences of others, when they 
are guilty of the fame or the like them^ 
fdves. Thofe that fit on the throne ofjudg-- 
ment , Jhould he able to fcatter away evil 
with their eyes^ as Solomon fpeaks, Prov, 
xo. 8. By their very Prefence and Looks 
to ftrike an Awe upon Offenders. Which 
will not be fo eafily done , if they lye 
under the fame Guilt themfelves; Sine ho- 
nitate nulla majeflas , faith Seneca ; the 
very Nature of Majefiy doth denote Good- 

U 4 nefs 

ip6 ^ Of the T rincl pies y Sec. Lib. IF. 

ftejs as well as Power.. And without this. 
Governors may eafily lofe that Reve-- 
rence which is due to them from others, 
and confequently that Authority which" 
they ought to have over them. Whea 
they ceafe to be Gods in refped: of their 
Goodnefsj they will foon diminifli in their 
Power. And though they fliould be ablq 
to keep Men under , as to their Bodies 
and Eftates, yet will they decline as to 
that Awful Love and Reverence whereby 
they (hould fway over the Hearts and 
Affedions of Mem 
pp. II. The Fhilofipher in the fifth Book of his 
Politicks^ doth lay it down as. a Rule for 
Magiftrates , That they muft be careful 
to give publick-Teftimoriies of their be- 
ing religious and devopt j for which he 
gives this double Reafon ; Becaufe the 
People will be lefs fubjedl to entertain 
any Jealoufy or Sufpicion o^fuffering In- 
jury J from fuch whom they believe to be 
religious ; And withal, they will be left 
fubjedt to attempt the ^oiftg of Injury a- 
gainft fuch j as knowing that good Ma- 
giftrates are after a more^efpecial manner 
ynder the Divine Favour and ProtecStion,. 
Kj ai^i^ud^Hc; ?^v^ ^g 9e8$, having God U$ 
fight with them^ and for them. > 


Chap. K of Natural ^eliglm. 297^ 

z. The want of this wiUindifpofe VR^n 
for the condition of Suijeits^ and render 
them loofe and unliable in thofe Duties 
of Obedience and Submijfion required to 
that (late. How can it be expeded from 
that man, who dares affront and defpiie 
God himfelf , that he fliould have any 
hearty reverence for his Deputies and 

He that is fubjeA only upon the ac- 
count of wrath y and the power cf the 
fword which is over him , will be no lon- 
ger fo, when he hath an opportunity of 
efcaping or refilling that Po wen Nor is 
there any poflible way to fecure Men in 
their quiet Subjedion and Obcdience,but 
by their being obliged for confcience-fake. ^^^' ^3 
And therefore fuch kind of Perfons, as ^' 
by their open Prophanenefs and Contempt 
of ReUgion , do endeavour to deftroy 
Confcience from amongfl Men, may juftly 
be efteemed as the word krnd of feditious 
Perfons, and mofl pernicious to Civil 

That temper of Prophanenefs , where-, 
by a man is difpofed to contemn and 
defpife all Religion (how (lightly foever 
men may think of itj is much worfe than 
Infidelity^ than Fanaticalnefsj than Idola-^ 
(ry ; and of the two, 'tis much more elir 
^ , ' gibfe 

tyB Of the frinciplesy Sec. Lib. IL 

gtble for a man to be an honeji Heathen 
and a devout Idolater , than a prophane 

Whatever Difputes have been raifed, 
concerning the lawfulnefs of puniihing 
men for their diiientingConfciences in mat- 
ters of Religion j yet never any man que- 
flioned the lawfnlnefs of puniihing men, 
for their prophanenefsand contempt of all 
Religion. Such men as renounce Confci- 
ence, cannotpretend that they fuflerfor it. 
And certainly this Vice doth upon many 
accounts deferve the greateft feverity of 
Laws, as being in its own nature deflru(3:ive 
of the very Principles of Govemment| 
and the Peace of all human Societies : 
Befides the mifchiefs conjequent upon it, 
from Divine Vengeance. 
Be Bcncf. 'Tis an obfervation of Seneca^ ** That 
lib«3c.^. « feveral Countries do appoint y^er^/ 
** Punilhments for the Violation of Reli- 
** gion, but every Country appointsy^^m^, 
" and it doth not any where efcape un- 
tki. 10. *' punifhed. Tlato in his Book de Legi- 
hu^ would have it punifhed capitally, as 
being a thing of mod pernicious conie- 
quience to Government. 'Tis a Rule in 
th^ Civil Law J that Religia contawinata 
Lib^cap. ad Omnium pertinet injuriam ; The ahufe 
I • vf Religion is tp he looked upon as being 

a cok$- 

chap. !• «/ t^tural ^hgion] app 

a common injury , and every man is con- 
cerned to endeavour a Vindication of it. 
And there are fome Inftances in Story, 
of Wars that have been undertaken up* j^^ belli 
on this very account, to bring a Nation &paci$,i 
to puniftiment for that prophianeriefs they f^P^*^^ 
have exprefled to wards the Religion they 
profeded and pretended to, as being in- 
jurious to mankind , quod oriis yirihus Vh. %. 
expiari Jehit , as fufiin the Hiftorian 
^aks , which the whole world ought to 
vindicate and expiate ly their common 

There can be no afTu ranee from loofe 
irreligious Perfons , that they will be 
faithful in the ordinary Duties belonging 
to their feveral Ranks and Stations. Apcl 
as for any extraordinary Heroical A&ijon^ 
by which the publick Welfare is to be 
promoted, Men that are without Confd* 
ence of Religion, and a fenfc of Virtue, 
can never apply themfelves to any thing 
of that kind, as having their Minds de- 
ftitute of all fuch Principles as are fubr 
lime and generous, without any the leafl: 
feed of Honour, and Piety, and Virtue ; 
and therefore they can have no fparks of 
Magnanimity, nor any the leaft loclina-^ 
tlon to A<3^ipfl$ that; are truly GitRt and 
Noble. ;* ' 


5.d6 Of the Principles; &c. Lib. !f. 

• * So that upon all thefe accounts , it is 
very evident, That Religion is totum ho- 
minis in this firft (tnitj as it refers to the 
BJfence of Man , confidered eitherjn his 
Jingle Capacity^ or as a Member of Socie- 

x. 'Tis fo likewife as it refers to the 
Bufinefs and Duty of Man, that which he 
ought to be moft intent upon , and con- 
verfent abptit, as to his employment in 
this Worldf ; That General Calling , in' 
Avhich eVery man of what rank or qua- 
lity foever, is to be engaged. Men are 
diftributed under other particular Cal- 
lings, according as their Education, Abi- 
lities, Friends, and feyeral Opportunities 
do difpofe of them. But the Obligation 
of Religion, being of univerfal Concern-- 
Aient, doth extend to all and every par- 
ticular, there being none exempted from 
it. Hoc efi omnis homo. Every M^rn is 
concerned in it. And it is totum homi- 
nis likewife ; ^Tis his calling, the chief 
bu(ine(s about which he is to be cm- 

I do not fay, that a man^s Thoughts are' 
always to be taken up about the imme-- 
diate Ads of Religion, any more than a 
Travellei* is always to haVie his Mind a-' 
<ftually fixed upon the thought of his jour- 

• ' ney's 

I . of Natural ^eligim. 3 • * ^ 

^cy's end. This would be inconfiflent 
with the infirmity of our Natures, and the 
neccfljty of our Conditions in this World. 
But yet, as he that is upon a Journey, 
doth fo order aU his particular Motions, 
as niay be mod conducible to his general 
f nd ; fo ihould Men hahitually^ Uiough 
thiey cannot aStually^ in every Aflair have 
refpecSt to their chief end, fo as to ob- 
ferve all the Duties of Religion, and ne- 
yer to allow themlelves in zfxy thing a- 
gainil the Rules of it. And he that hath 
this Care continually upon his Mind 
^though hebebut afecular Perfon) may 
properly be faid to make Religion his Bu- 
ftnefs. . 

The Wife Man.m the begipning of his Ecckf. &. 
Bookf had propofed it as his great Que-^ ^* 
liion to be difcuded , to find out what 
ivas that good for the fons of meny which 
they fhould do under the Heaven Sj all the 
days of their lives, (i e.J What was the 
chief employment or bufinefs, which they 
fliould apply themfelvesto in this World > 
And in the Conclufion of his Difcourfe, 
after aa Indudiioa and Refutation of 
all other Particulars, ^hich may feem to 
faiive any claim, or pretence to this ^ b^ 
dierts it to be the Bufinefs. of Religibn, 
Fearing God ^ and keeping his command" 

ments : 

}0l of the Principles ^ 8cc. Lib. IL 

tnents : Suitably to that Precept of Mofes^ 
Deut. lO. II. An J now^ (/ifracl^ what 
iloth the Lord thy Go J require of^hee ^ 
hut to fear the Lard thy GoJ^ to wathin^ 
his v^ctfSy and to ferve the Lord thy GoJ^ 
and keep his comrhandments i And the 
Pr/iflice of St.- Pauly who made this his 
AGs 24. ^2iity exercife , to keep his confcience votj 
i6. of offence^ ioth towards God and towards 

To the Reafbnablenefs of this, (everal 

of the wifeft Heathens have atteftedi 

Moral. I. That's a remarkable Paflage in Arifiotli 

adEudem. to this purpoie, where he ftates that to 

be the mod defirable proportion of al! 

worldly Felicities and Enjoyments, which 

is mod confident with men's devoting 

themfelves to the bufinels of Religion : 

And that to be either too much or too 

little of Wealth, pr Honour, or Power, 

Gfc. whereby Men are hindred in the^r 

meditating upon God , or theif worlhip* 

ping of him. 

tMflcrt. I. So Epiffetus , difcourfing concemin| 

^- the work and bufinels he was defignei 

to, hath this excellent PafiSige : " If I had 

*^ hem ttisAt t Ifi^htingak or a Swa^t^ I 

** (hould have effiip^I<ryred tht time of my* 

^ life in fuch a way as is -fuitable to thb' 

"^ condition of thofe Creatures : But be* 


chap. 1 . 0/ Natural <I(eli^ion. j p } 

^^ ing made a Man capable of ferving and 
** worftiipping that God from whom I 
** had my Being, 'tis but Reafon that I 
** ihould apply my felf to this, as being 
^' my proper work and bufinefc : tSto fjt4 
70 ejjfoy '^. " And therefore hereunto will 
" I devote my fclf , as being the chief 
" employment to which I am deHgned. 
" I am now, as to the Condition of my 
** Body, lame and old ^faithhe in the 
fame placed to which he might have ad« 
ded that he was fickly and deformed ; 
and as for his outward Quality, he was 
Poor and under Servitude, being a Slave 
to EpaphroJituSy one of the Roman Cour« 
tiers ; which are Conditions that ufually 
expofe Men to repining and difcontent ; 
and yet he concludes it to be his Duty^ 
*' wholly to devote hinifelf to the Praifes 
^* and Worihip of that God who was the 
" Author of lus Being, Which upbraids 
fo many Profeflbrs of Chridianity, who 
have both more Advantages of kiiowiog 
their Duty, and greater Engagements upr 
on them to exercife themfelves in the Du* 
ties of Religion. 

There is another appofiteTeftimpny e9 
this purpofe in Antoninus. " Every thng £a>. t. 
^^ (faith he) is defigned for fome kind Sea. % 
^ of work. Btafts and Fknts » the Snn 


; 64 Of the ^rincifiesl ice. Lib. it. 

" and Sfah; (jv iv nrep<; li; And what do 
' ** you conceive your Bufinefs to be ? fen- 
" fual Pleafures? Bethink your felf a little 
** better, whether this befuitable to your 
natural Sentiments, to the Nobility of 
your Mind, and thofe excellent Facul- 
ties with which you are endowed. 
Now 'tis the ufual C6urfe of Men to 
apply themfelves to that as their chief 
Bufinefs, by which their Incerefl: is moft 
promoted, and which may moft conduce 
to that main end which they propofe to 
themfelves. And can any thing be more 
reafonable, than for that to be the chief 
iufinefs of a man's Life, which is the chief 
end of his Being ? 

3. Religion is totum hominis^ with re- 
fpeift to the Happinefs and well-being of 
Man. That is properly faid to be the 
chief End or Happinefs of a thing, which 
doth raife its Nature to the utmoft Per- 
fedion of which it is capable, according 
to its rank and kind. This is the chief 
end which he ought to propofe , that a- 
lone wherein his true Felicity doth con- 
fift, that which doth advance his Nature 
to the utmoft Perfe<5tion it is capable of. 
The chief good belonging to a' Vegetable 
or Plant, is to grow up to a ftate of Ma- 
turity^ to continue to its-natural period, 


Chapel. of Natural ^Hiligm. jpj 

artd to propagsyte its kind , which is the 
utmofl: Perfedlion that kind of being is 
capable of. And whereas fen fitive Crea* 
tuf es, befides thofe things which are com- 
morito them with Plants, have likewife 
fuch Faculties, whereby they are able 
to apprehend external ObjecSts, and to re- 
ceive pain or pleafure from them : There* 
fore the Happinefs proper to them, mufb 
coftfift in the Perfedlion of thefe Faculties^ 
namely, in fenfible Pleafures, in the En- , 
joyment of fuch things as may be grate- 
ful to their Senfes. But now Mankind 
(if we allow it to be a diftinit rank of 
Creatures, fuperior to Brutes) being en- 
dowed with fuch Faculties, whereby 'tis 
made capable of apprehending a Dcityi 
and of expeding a future State after thi« 
Life ; It will hence folio w,That the pro* 
per Happinefs of Man muft confift in the 
perfecting of thefe Faculties ; namely^ in 
fuch a State as may reconcile him to the 
Divine Favour , and afford him the beft 
afliirance of a blefled Immortality here-, 
after : Which nothing elfe but Religion 
can fo much as pretend to. 

'Tis true indeed , the nature of Matty 
by rcafon of thofe other Capacities com- 
mon to him with Plants and Br^tesy may 
Hand in need of feveral other things, to 

X render 

^o6 Of the Principles y Sec. Lib.II. 

render his condition pleafant ttnd com* 
fortable in this world, as Heakby Riches^ 
ReputatioHy Safety ^ &c. Now herein is the 
great Advantage of Religion, that befide» 
the principal work which it doth for us^ 
in fecuiing our Future Eftates in the o- 
. ther Woirld, it is likewife the moft effe- 
diial means to promote pur Happinefs in 
this World. 

f In my Difcourfc of this I fliall firft fug- 
gefl: (bmething more generally ^ conceri>« 
ing the natureof our chief end; And then 
delcend to thofe Particulars^ which are 
efteemed to be the chief ingredients to a 
State of Happinels. 

Under the M of thcfe I fliall fpeak 
briefly to thefe three things. 

I. Thare is a neceifity that every Man 
who will ad rationally mould propofe to 
himfelf fome chief fcope and end. 

X* The chief end ot every thing muft 
be of fuch a Nature, as may be moil: fit 
to promote the Perfedionof that thing in 
its rank and kiml. 

3. This in rational Beings which arc 
capable of it, muft confift in a Commu- 
nion with, and a Conformity unto the 
chief Good, and confequently in being 

i. There 

Chap. !• of Katural ^Ugion. ^of 

I. There isaneceflity that every mart 
who will ad: rationally fliould propofe 
to himfelf (bme chief fcope or end. The 
having of an end, is not fo much a mo^ 
ral duty J which fuppofeth a Liberty of 
Adling, as a natural Principle , like thac 
of the defccnt of heavy Bodies ; Men 
muft do fy^ nor can they do otherwife* 
Such is the Principle of felf-prefervatiott 
in all things ; and this of ading for art 
end, in all rational Agents. The moft Idofe 
and profligate Wretches that are, do and 
muft ad for an end, even in^ thofe very 
conrfes, wherein they put the thought 
of their future State and their laft Account 
far from them. The very fupprefling and 
hardening themfelves againft the thought 
of their true end, is in order to theit* pre- 
fcnt Peace and Qmtt^ which they da fer-. 
roneoufly fubftitute in the room of theif 
chief end. That wherein Men are com- 
monly defedive, [^ in not exciting the 
thought of their chief end, and not fufli- 
cicntly confidering and ftating in theif 
own Minds, the moft proper meads for 
the attaining of it. There are too many, 
in the world that do avTo^hd^w ^ 0iirf 
live ex tempore^ without any parttcttlar 
reference to their chief end, being itiT- 

X* raffed 

J d 8 Of the Principles y Sic. Lib. IL 

merfed only in prefent mzittts^animaliafine 
praterito ^ futuro^ without any regard tq 
what is paft or future j like Ships upon the 
vaft Ocean,without any Compafs or Pilot, 
that do rather wander than travel^ being 
carried up and down according as eve- 
ry voind or tide doth drive thenx And 
this the Philofopher doth worthily brand 

Seneca, with the name of Folly j Vita fine propo- 
fitOy fiultitice atgumentum ejly " No great- 
** er Argument of Fooliihnefs, than for a 
" Man not to be fixed upon fome parti- 

Idem Ep. ** cular defign. Troponamm , oportet^ finenh 

Ss. fMmmihohi , ad quern omne failum noftrum 
diiiumve refpiciati veluti navigantihus^ ad 
fidus aliquod dirigendus eft curftu , faith, 
the fame Author. " There ought always 
" to be ibme particular Scope and Mark, 
*^ propofed^ as the main end and drift of 
*? all our Adtions^as the Star by which we 

Ep» 3i» " are to be guided in our Voyage^ \Nof^ 
difponet fingula ,. nifi cut jam vitafuafum- 
ntd propofita eft. " 'Twill be a hard mat- 
*^ ter to proportion our Particulars, till 
^\ we know what is the main Sum, This 
is the true ground of the common 
Miflakes amongft Men, whilft they deli:- 
berate concerning the ftveral parts of 
lieir lives,but negleft the dating of what 


Cfiap. 1.' of Natural ^li^n/il \e^ 

fliould be the main Defign of the \V^hoIe. 
He that intends to flioot at any thing, 
mufl fo mariage the whole Action, in le- 
velling his Arrow,and regulating his hands, 
and exerting his Strength fo as may be 
mod advantageous for hitting the Mark 
As the efficient is in natural^ To is the end 
amongft moral Caufes, of Principal Eifi-' 
cacy . 'Tis this which is the chief Rule 
of all OOT Adtions. And therefore there 
is a neceflity that fome end be propofed 
and fix'd upon. 

1. The chief end of every thing mufl 
be of fuch a Nature, as may be mdft 
fit to promote the Perfed:ion of that 
thing in its rank and kind. Any thing ^ 
that is ihort of this , may be a means, 
or a fubordinate eiid ; but cannot be 
the chief and ultimate end , if ther^ be 
any thing defirable beyond it ; tbA@L i^iv * ' 

faith Arijiotle; That is truly the chief Sb^/ 
end, which is defired for it felf j which cap, a. 
being once oltaineJy we want no more j 
" That which doth fatiate and fill up the 
' * defires. HiBc nihil vacare patitur loct^ Epill. 74 
totum animum tenet ^ defiderium omnium 
toUit^ fola fatis efty (faith Seneca.^ In brief, 
^tis that (late, wherein a thing enjoys all 

X 3 that 

119 Of the frinciplesy 8cc. Lib.IL 

that good that 'tis capable of^ and which 
is moft fritable to its nature. 

3. This in rational Creatures muft con- 
fift, in a communion with, and a confor- 
mity to the Supreme Good ; and tronfe- 
quently, in being religious. Which is the 
meaning of thofe Scripture-expreflions, 
of walking voith Gody and as hecomes the 
fons of the Moji High ; being followers of 
him ; holy as he is holy ; ieing made far-r 
takers of q divine nature. And to- this 
the Philolbphersdojikewife confent,This 
is the meaning of that Speech in Pythago- 
rasy 7«A@L '<52i ofjiglooais 0gc£,*' Every man's 
** chief end fhould be a refemblance to 
<* God, a being made like to the Deity. 
So Plato and EpiSiettu will have it to con- 
fift in following ofGodj tbA!^ '<^ ^"^^ ^^^^ 
And another, iwitari quern colisy in imi- 
IPpift. 74. tating him whom we worftiip: So Sene- 
ca , Summum honum efi , quod honefitunn 
eft y ^ quod magis admirere , folum lo* 
num eft quod honeftum eft. Not only the 
phief, but the only good doth confift, in 
what is honed and virtuous. Now the 
fruition of God cannot confift in any ex- 
ternal union or contract: of our Souls with 
|hq peity, whiph Spirits are not capaWi^ 
^\ nor in any ipeer Speculation, or iq- 

.Ghap. I. of Natural ^ligim. 

telledual gazing upon his Excellencies : 
But in fuch an influence^ whereby he doth 
communicate to us^ fuch Divine Quali- 
tiesy as will exalt our Faculties beyond 
their natural State, and bring them into 
an aflimilation and conformity to the mofl: 
pcrfed: iJeaOi Goodoefs , t^ether with 
an inward fenfation of the etteds of this 
in our felves. 

Having thus dilpatched what I had to 
fuggeft concerning the nature of Happi- 
nefs in generAk I proceed to fpeak to fuch 
Particulars J as are e(};eemed to be themoft 
ufual Ir^redients into fuch a State, and 
which do conduce to the compleating of 
it : whether they concern 

X 4 Our 

^ 1 1 of the frinctpks^ 8cc. LiK II. 

"Our prefect Condition in this World j 
either our 
i External Welfare ; confiding in 



* # 



"i. Health. 

%. Lihertyy Safety^ Quiet. 
J. Pofleffions ; with refpecS: tu 
ther to the fufficiency of 
them, for anfwering our ne- 
ceflities,' which is called /fi- 
4 ches or Profit : Or to 
4. The Delight or Satisfadion 
we i-eceive in thefe Enjoy^ 
ments^in the nfe and fuitable^ 
nefs of the things we pofleft j 
which is called Pleafure. 
J. The Efteen) which we have 
amongft good men, whereby 
we are rendered acceptable 
and ufeful to others j ftyled 
Honour or Refutation, 
t^rnal Welfare , or the Happinefi 
pf our Minds J which dothconfift 
in thefe two things. 
I. The due regulating and ex* 
alting of our faculties to their 
proper fundion. 
%,. The Peace^ Joy^ Contentment^ 
rs con(eq|jeqt thereupon, 

llie Happinefs of dm future State, This 
tJoth cpqfift ii^ fuch ^ fruition of the 

Chap^ 1 ] of Natural ^eliiionl 3 1 j 

Supreme Good, as our Souls are ca- 
pable of; and muft depend upoa* 
fuch Coqiies, as can afford us the 
mod; rational Affurance of Blefled- 
nefs and Glory hereafter. 

Now I Ihall endeavour to make it out 
by plain Reafon , that the Happinefs of 
pur Condition, in all thefe rerped:s, doth 
depend upon Religion, And that not 
only morally , upon Account of that Re- • 
ward which virtuous Ad:ions do entitle 
ia Man unto , from a juft and wife Provi- 
dence J but mturaUj alfo, by reafon of 
that phyficat EfScacy which the Duties of 
Religion have, to procure for us all thofe 
things wherein our temporal Happinefi} 
confiftsj to promote the Wellfare , not 
only of particular Perfons, but of publicfc 
Communities, of Mankind in general,and 
of the whole Univerfe, 


2 14 ^f tht^rmciplts^ Sec, Lib. If. 

C H A P. If. 



How ^ligion conduces to our pre' 

Jent Happitufs in this World : 

And frfl to the Happimfs of the 

Outward Man. i . Jn refpeil of 


r A N D becaule thefe things I havq mea- 
X\ tioned , Q efpecially thofe of them 
*€4^i which concern our ^etmml Happinels in 
this Wpfldr) are the great aims and defigns, 
by which the generality of men are chiefs 
ly fwaved in their adions ,• and there- 
tore like to prove very powerful Motives 
^o maKe Men religious, if they could be 
once effedualiy perfuaded, that Religion 
is the mod proper means for the attain* 
ing of thefe things ; I (hall therefore en- 
deavour to make out this Truth, by the 
plaineft and mod: convincing Evidence 
that may be. And the rather^becaufe m 
fuch kind of AfTertions, as are befides 
the common Opinion, and (eem Paradox*- 
es,;Men will be apt to be jealous of their 
being impofed upon by fonae kind of So- 
phifn; or Fallacy. In 

chap. 1. of Natural fJ^Ugtoiu j i f 

In order to this, I (hall obferve this 
Method : Firfl:, I (hall endeavour to ftate 
and define the Nature of thefe things, and 
to (hew wherein the true Notion of them 
doth confifl. And then proceed to the 
Proof of this Propofition, That Religion 
is the mod proper means to procure and 
promote thefe Ends. And befides the E« 
vidence to this Purpofe, from the con- 
current opinions of wife Men , in feyer^l 
Ages ; J fhall likewife make them out 
both by Reafon and by Experience^ which 
are all the kind of Arguments that fucl^ 
Matters are capable of. 

Only I muft premife one Caution J that 
when I fay Religion is the Caufe of thefe 
things, the Meaning is not , that it is (q 
neceflary, and fb infallible a Caufe, as can 
never fiaiil of its Efleds. This would nof: 
be confiftent with our dependent Condi- 
tion , there being nothing in this World 
fo much under the Power of human En- 
deavours, but that the Providence of God 
piay interpofe for the Difappointment of 
it. To whom it muft be left , to make 
what referved Cafes he pleafes from the 
ordinary Courfe of things. But though 
it be not an tnfallille Caufe, yet is it fucl^ 
» Caufe as doth generally and ^ ti) ^roAt), 

produce its EfieA; And all Mankind do 

yi6 Of theTrinciple^, 6cc. Lib, If. 

think it a fu/Kcient Inducement , to ap- 
ply their Endeavours unto fuch Courfes 
for the procuring of any thing, as are the 
beft means to be had, arid do for the mofl 
part effect the Ends they are defigned 

This being premifed, I doubt not but 
to offer fuch Arguments for the Proof of 
thefe things, as (hall be fufficient for the 
Gonvidion of any Man who will but 
underftand and confider them. 

I begin with the Firft. The welfare 
©f our prefent condition in refpedt of our 
Outward-man Aoth depend upon Religion. 

Firft J Religion is the bed means for 
Health. By Health I mean fuch a Con- 
ftitution of our Bodies, - whereby ouf 
Members and Faculties are inabled for 
the due Performance of their natural Fun- 
ctions, and freed from Pain ; 'tis proper- 
ly oppofed to Jicknefs pr Difeafe. As for 
the Infirmities of Old Age, thefe are fb 
eflential to all living Creatures, fo ne- 
ceflarily ipring from the very Principles 
of our Natures^ that though they may 
V be fomewhat ledened and alleviated, yet 
are they not capable of any complete 

, This BlefTing of Health is fo neceflary 
%o our well-beirgs in this World, that 


chap. 2. of Natural (I(eliglon] 3 1 7 

without it , we cannot enjoy any thing 
elfe 9 no not our own (elves ; infomuch 
that Men do^ and may juftly put a great 
value upon it^ and are willing to purchafe 
it at any rate.. And therefore to all (ucb, 
this Confideration muft needs be a very 
powerful Motive. 

; Now I (hall make it plain that this 
doth depend upon Religion, 

f Morally. 

I. Morally^ By reafon of thofe Bleflings 
of this kind, which by the Light of Na- 
ture Men may reafonably expedl from 
the Goodnefs of God , upoa the Obfer- 
vance of his Laws ; befides the feverai 
Aflertions and Promifes in Scripture to 
this purpofe, where Sin is often rcprefen- 
ted as the meritorious Caufe of Sicknels, 
and pifeafes are often threatned, and ac- 
cordingly inflided as the due Rewards of 
Sin .• And on the other fide, upon Mens ^ 
obferving the Duties of Religion, God 
promifes to take away ficknefs from the miJfi Exod. a j^. 
of thenfj to beftow upon them kealtb ^J- 
and length of Jays. The fear of the Lor J, Dcut. ?• 
and departing from evil , fball be health to ^^'^ 
thy navel ^ and marrow to thy Bi^nes. 3 

Prov. ' 

? 1 8 Of the Principles ^ Sec. Lib. If. 

f^^-J-^J- Prw. 3. 7, 8. Prav. 11. 19. As Righ* 
' teou(he(s tendeth to Life, to he that pur- 
iiieth Evil , purfueth it to his cvon death. 
Chap. a. XX. The voicked Jhall he cut off 
from the earth , and the tranfgrejjors Jhall 
ie rooted out of it. 

2. Religion is the natural Caufe of 
Healthy which may appear upon this 
twofold Reafon j becaufe it doth remove 
thofe things that will hinder it, and doth 
promote fuch things as will help it. 

I. It doth removere prohihens^ it Is apt 
to prevent and remove fuch things as are 
the great Impediments of our HealtLNp- 
thing is more evident, than that there 
are leveral Vices which have a phyfical 
Efficacy in the producing of Difeafes, as 
all kind of Intemperance of Body, all in^ 
ordinate Paffions of Mind ; to one of 
which , the greateft Part of the Sickneft 
amongft Men may be afcribed j aitd con* 
fequently the Virtues oppofite to thefe , 
Temperance, Sobriety, Moderation, muft 
lieeds have a natural Caufality for the 
hindring of thefe Difeafes. 'Tis by Reli- 

• gion that Men are inabled to prevent alt 

ftich Excefles as are prejudicial to Nature^ 
to reprefi all fuch violent Tranlports of 
Paffion, Hatred, Anger, Fear, Sorrow, 
Envy, ^c. as are io tlwnafclves vtty perr 


Cliap. 1. of Katural^Ugion. }«9 

nicious to our bodily Health, and by that 
violent Commotion which they are apt 
to put the Humours into , do fometimes 
caufe prefent Sicknefs, and always lay in 
us the Seeds of future Difeafcs. 

X. It doth pnm&vere adjuvans , pro- 
mote all fuch things as may mod effeiflu- 
ally conduce to the improving of our 
Health; by obliging us upon the Account 
of Duty and Confcience, to a careful 
Obfervance of the moft proper means to 
this End : Keeping us within due Bounds 
in our Eating, Drinking, Exercife ; pre- 
ferving our Minds in an equal Frame of 
Serenity and Cahnnefsj fupporting our 
Spirits with Contentation and Chearful- 
nefs under every State of Life; fo that no- 
thing can be niore true than that of Solo^ 
mon^ That a chearful mind doth gmd like a ^if ijVj* 
medicine J and wakes a healthy countenance j la. 25- 
whereas heavinefs and Cares will break 
a^ mans fpirity and make itjloop. 

I know there are other Means to be 
madeAife of in order to the procuring of 
Health, various kind of Medicaments 
to be apply ed by the Art of Phyfick, ac-r 
cording as the Nature of feveral Difeafes 
fliall require^ which Religion doth oblige 
a Man not to neglect : But yet this I 
think may be tiiuly faid , That thofe 


jio Of^e Principles, 8Cc, Lib. IF* 

who afe rboft expert in the Profeflioil 
of Pby fick, are not able to prefcribe any 
CatholiccHy which (hall more effedually 
operate, both by way of Prevention and 
Cure J than theObfervance of thofe Duties 
which Religion and Virtue do oblige us 

Nor is this true only in Theory and 
Speculation, but it may appear to be Co 
upon common Experience, to which I 
fhall appeal for tlK further Confirmation 
of it. What kind of Perfons are thofe 
who enjoy the beft State of Health and 
the loflgeft Lives ? Are they not fucb ge- 
nerally who are moft Ibber and regular 
in their Converfations , moft temperate 
as to their lo^/iesj moft free from all 
kind of inordinate Paffions, Fiercenels, 
Anxiety, Cares, as to their minds > 'Tis 
Dcut-34.7. faid or MofeSy that though he were ex^ 
' ceeJing old , yet his eye was not dim , nor 
was his natural force abated. Which 
(amongft other Caufes) may be afcribed 
to thofe eminent Virtues he was endowed 
with, the Temperance of his Body, and 
Meeknefs of his Spirit. That heloved Dif- 
ciple whofe Thoughts and Writings feerti 
. to be wholly taken up with the Divine 
Virtue of Love, is upon Account of this 
Temper of his Mind, thought to have ent 




Ghap. i.' &f Natural (!(^liptfn. Jll; 

Jbyed a more vigorous old Age than any 
of the reft : Such a Power is there in 
Religion^ though not wholly to prevent 
the Infirmities of bid Age, yet in a gteac 
meafure to alleviate and abate them. 
. And on the other fide , if we confiik 
Experience ; Who are the Men moft ob- 
noxious to Difeafes? arc they not fuch 
generally as are moft vicious in their 
Lives ? moft given to Surfeits, Debauche- 
ries and Lewdnefe ; whereby they do fa 
ht inflame their Blood and waft their 
Spirits, as not to live out half their 
Pays : Infbmuch that no Man of ordi-^ 
nary Prudence, who is to take a Leafe 
foi^ Lives, will be content (if ^^ ^^^ well 
avoid it^ to chufe fuch a one whom h« 
knows to be vicious and intemperate. 

But thefe things are fo obvious to 
common Experience, that I need not 
enlarge upon them,: Only I would not 
be miftaken. I do not fay that none of 
thofe are religious , who are liable to 
Difeafes, and are taken away in their 
younger Years; or that all fuch are reli- 
gious, who are free from Difeafes, and 
live to old Age. Some may. be naturally 
of fo tender and brittle a Make, that e- 
very little Blow will break them J others 
jof fo tough and ftrong a Conftitutioni as 

Y to 

} I z of the principles ^ &c. Lih.IL 

to hold out againft mtny Batteries and 
AflTauItsj and yet neither of thefe to be- 
afcribed, either to the Vices of the one, 
or the Virtues of the other, but do ra- 
ther belong to their Condition and Tem- 
per, which being natural, and not falling 
under the Choice of our Wills, is not . 
therefore capable of any moral good or 

Befides, there ought Allowance to be 
made (as I faid before) for fuch ex- 
empt Caies, as (hall feem good to the 
Providence of God in the Government 
of Human Affairs. Some good Mea 
may be taken away from the evil t9 
come f others may be exercifed with Dif- 
cafes in their Bodies for the Cure of 
their Minds , or to make their Patience 
arid Courage exemplary to others. And 
fome that are good Men for the Main, 
may yet by their own Carelefneft in u- 
fing the fitteft Means for the Preiferva- 
tion of their Health, expofe themfelves , 
to iSicknefs ; none of which can be any 
Prejudice to the thing I have been pro- 
ving. This being that which I affirm, 
that Co f^r as the Infirmities of our na- 
tural Tempers are capable of Remedy by 
any thing in our Power, it is the Ob- 


chap. 1. of Natural (^Ugion. J13 

fervarice of the Duties of Religion, thlt 
doth for the moft part and generally 
prove the moft effeAual Means to this 
Purpofe. Which is all I (hall fay to the 
Jfrft thing I propofed to (peak to , con^ 
cerning the Health of our Bodies* 



i r 1 'f- ' 'i •' '" 

■i^— 4 



>' m ii X>*— ^w 


' » 

324 0/ '^^ Trincipksy 8cc. L ib. II. 


How (^U^ion conduces to^ the Hapfi^ 
nefs of the Outwards-man , in 
refpeH of Liberty , Safety , and 

Q Econdly, Religion is the moft proper 
<^ Means to procure our external 7&/%/)r, 
liiertYj quiet. 

By fafetyy I mean a Freedom from thofe 
common Dangers and Mifchiefs which o^ 
thers are expofed to. 

Byjihertyy the being at our own Dif- 
po&I, and not under Bondage^ Re(lraint» 

By quiet y an Exemption from thofe 
many Moleftations and Troubles by Rea- 
(on of Difappointments, Enmity, Con- 
tentions, whereby the Conditions of (bme 
Men are rendered very burthenfome and 

I put thefe things together, becaufe of 
their near Affinity to one anothen 

Now Religion is both the moral and 
the natural Caofe of thefe things. 


chap. ^^ of Natural (^ligm. ^zj 

1. 'Tis the moral Czxi{c of them, upon 
account of that Divine Protedtion and 
Afliftance, which the Light of Nature will 
aflure us we are entitled unto in the do- 
ing of our Duties; befides the many Affer- 
tions and Proraifes in Scripture to this 
purpofe, of being proteded in our ways 
and fecured in times of danger. Ifyouwill i^^^^^^^^^ 
keep rny ftatutes^ye Jhall Jtvell in the land 
infafety. Whofo hearkenetb to tney /ball froy.w^Ti. 
dwell fafelyj and jhaU he quiet from the 
fear of evil. There (hall no evil' happen to ^'^^-^ ^•"• 
the juft^ hut the wicked flyall he filled with 
mi/chief The Lord delivers the righteous pfiL34.i7. 
^ut of all their troubles. When a mans ways 
pleafe the Lordy he will make his enetufiesto 
he at peace with him. 

X. Tis the natural Caufeof thefe BJet 
fings, by preventbg or removing all fuch 
things, whereby the contrary Evils are 
occafioned. The moft ufual and general 
Caufe of mens fufferings, is from the ne- 
gled: of their Duty, and the Violations 
of Law ; they are obnoxious to the Pu- 
niflimentsof Banilhment, Imprifonment, 
Lofs of GoodSjOr of Life,upon the accouixt 
of fome illegal irreligious Ad: ; Murder, 
Theft, Sedition, injuring of others, need- 
le(s Contentions, meddling in other mens 
Affairs where they are not concerned/Tis 

Y3 • \ Ob- 

l%6 Of thefrinciplesj Sec. Lib.IL 

obfervable, that in the legal Form of in- 
didling Men for Crimes, our Law doth 
afcribe their Guilt to their want of Re- 
ligion, their not having the fear of Godhe^ 
fore their eyes , which doth difpofe them 
to commit fuch Ads as makes them ob-f 
noxious to legal Puniftiment. Now nor- 
thing can fo effedlually prevent fuch 
things as Religion. This will teach Men 
to obey Laws , and fubmit to Govern- 
ment : This will keep them within the 
Bounds of their Duty, both towards God 
and Man ; This will remove all thgfe 
dividing Principles , of Selfiflmeft , and 
Pride, and Covetoufnefs : It 'will teach 
them Charity and Meeknefs and Forr 
bearance, to ftudy publick Peace and 
pommori Good, to be generous and large 
V in their Well-wilhing and their well-do- 
ing : Which are the moft proper Means 
to provide for our own Quiet and Safety. 
And the Truth of this may be evident 
Ukewife from common Experience ,• by 
. wnich it \«^ill appear, that for the gene-? 
|*alj no kind of Men do enjoy fo much ex- 
ternal Peacp, and Freedom, and Safety, as 
thofe that are truly religious. The Afofih 
feeffls to appeal to that common Notion 
in the Minds of ilf Men concerning thfe 
Safefy bek50giDg to Inpocence^ when hq 

* put^ 

Chap. J . 0/ Natural ^li^ion. 3 27 

puts it by way of Queftion, who is he 
that will harm you^ if you he followers of 
that which is gooJi Implying, that /tis a 
tiling generally known and taken notice of, 
that there is a kind of natufal Reverence 
add Awe amongft the worft of Men, to^; 
wards (uch as are indocent and virtuous. 

And on the other fide, no Men do in- 
cur fo mady Hazards, Moleftations, Con- 
tentions, as thofe that are vicious ; what 
from their Violations of Law, their need- 
left Provocations of thofe they converfe 
with, being fcarce ever free from Danger 
and Trouble j which the Wife-man feems 
tp appeal to, as a thing evident from Ex- 
pedience, in thofe fliort Queftions which 
he propofeth; H^ho hath woe? who hath if rov. 22. 
forrow ? who hath contentions i who hath ^^' 
failings i who hath wounds without caufe ? 
who hath rednefs of eyes ? 'Tis particu- 
larly fpoken of the Drunkard, but 'tis 
proportionably true of other Vices like- 

There is one Objedion that lies very ob- 
vious againft what t have been proving ; 
and that 1$ from thofe Scriptures where 
'tis faidf t\i^ wbofver win live goMy in 
Chrift Jefuii mufi fuffer perfecution^ and 
that the world fhouQ hate them; befldes 

wh$t may be-alledged &om commonExpe- 

y 4 rience 

|5tK Of the Trinclpks^ &c. Lib. If. 

rience to this purpole, • concerning th« 
Sufferings of feme that are good men. 

To this two things niay be faid by way 
of anfwer. 

I . Every thing is not Persecution for 
Religion, which men may be apt toftile 
ic. Some Perfons Who for the main may 
be truly religious, may yet by their own 
tollies and Imprudence,expofethemfelves 
to needlefs Sufferings. And in fuch cafes. 
Religion is not to be charged as being 
thecaufe of their Suffering, but their de- 
ftSt in it, and miftakes about it. 
' X. There may be (as was faid before^ 
feme exempt Cafes from the generalRule. 
and fuch muft thofe be granted to be, 
•' which concern Times of Perfecution j 
when Religion will be fo far from proted:- 
ing a man, that it will rather expofe him 
to Danger and Sufferings. And fuch were 
thofe primitive times to which thefe^cr/^- 
fures do refer, when it feemed good to 
Divine Providence, to make ufe of this 
as one means for the propagating of Chri- 
ftianity in the World, namely, by the fuf- 
fering of thofe that profefled it. And in 
fuch cafes, when men are pcrfeciited pro-^ 
perly upon the account of Religion, God 
(floth ufualJy. eorhpenfate their outward 
^lafferinps with fpme inward Advantage, 

Chap. ; . of Katural ^lipm^ j ip^ 

fupplying them with (uch Patience and 
Courage, as will fupportthem with Joy 
and Comfort in their Suffering for that 
which is good. But then it mud withal 
be grantel, that thefe Scriptures are not; 
eaually applicable to fuch other times ancf 
places, when and where the true Religi- 
on is publickly profeded and encouraged, 
when Kings are nurfing Fathers ^ and Queens 
nurfing Mothers to the Church j becaufb 
in fuch times and places, the profeffioa 
of Religion will be fo far from hindring, 
that it will rather promote a Man's Secu^ 
Jar Advantage. 


» N 


^}Q! 0/ thefPrincipleSj 8cc. Lib.II. 

G H A P. IV. 

jf/oip ^eti^ion conduces to the Hap' 
finefs of the Oktward'man in refpeSi. 
0/ Riches. 

• • 

Thirdly/ as to our Eftatesand Pot 
ftCions^ I (hall (hew that Religion 
tf tht Caufe of RicJ!fes. In Order to the 
Proof of this, fhe firft thing to be enqui^ 
red into , is, what is the true Nature of 
Wealth or Riches , and wherein it may 
properly be faid to confiff. And here it 
is to be noted , that the Word Riches is 
capable of a twofold Senfe, 


I. In the more ahfolute Senfe, it may 
be defined to confift in fuch a meafure of 
Eftate as may befufficient for a Man'sOc- 
cafions and Conveniences ,- when his PoC- 
(ibflions are fo proportioned, as may fully 
anfwer all the Neceflities of his Conditi- 
on , and afford him a comfortable Subfi- 
ft^oe,9ccording to his quality,the Station 


chap, 4. of Natural ^Ugiofh J } | 

wherein he is placed. In which fenfe 
Men of all Ranks and Degrees are capable 
of being rich. A Husbandman, or an 
ordinary Tradefman,may be as truly fti- 
led a rich Man , as he that is a Gentle^ 
man, or a Lord, or a King. Tho' pert 
haps what thefe can very well afford to 
fling away upon their Diverfions, be 
more than all the Eftate and Pofleffions 
which the other can pretend to. And 
upon this ground it is, that all Men will 
grant , one Perfbn to be as truly /iierai 
in giving but z penny ^ or a poor wi/r, as 
another in giving a hundred pounds , be- 
caufe thefe things are to be meafured by 
the different Conditions of the Givers : 
And ar .Man may as well be rich with a 
little J as liberal with a little. 

X. In the more relative Senfe , Riches 
may be defcribed to confift in the having 
of large Pofleffions, when a Man's Eftate 
and Revenue is of fuch a Proportion as 
is commonly efteemed Greaiy whether 
with relation to the generality of other 
Men, and fo only thofe at the upper End 
of the World are capable of being count- 
ed rich ; or elle with refped to others of 
the lame Rank and Order, and fo all fuch 
arc counted rich, who do in their Pof* 
feffions exceed the coipmon fort of thofe 


3 J * ^/ ^^' Principles ^ ice. Lib. 11. 

that are of the fame rank with them ; this 
kind of Wealth confiding properly in 
comparifon .• There being not anyone 
determinate Sum, or proportion or Re-^ 
venue, to which the Name of Riches may- 
be appropriated, but that it may be as 
much below the occafions of fomePerfons 
as it is above the condition of others who 
yet live plentifully. 

Now the firft of thefe is the only pro- 
per Notion of Riches^ becaufe this alone 
is agreeable to the chief end of Wealth, 
which is to free us from want and neceC« 
iity. And the other may be rather ftiled, 
the being Proprietor of great poffeffi- 
ons, the mere having of which cannot 
denominate one a truly rich mah,fbr this 
plain Reafon ; becaufe tho' fuch Pofleflir 
ons be in themfelves great, yet they may 
not be fufficient to free theOwner of them 
. from want and poverty, \yhether in re- 
fpecSt to his real or imaginary occafions 
for more : And that is not Riches which 
cannot free a man from being poor. And 
want of Neceflaries^ is as truly poverty 
in him that hath much, as in him that 
hath but a little. He that in any one con- 
dition of Life, hath enough to anfwer all 
his Con venienceSjfuch a man is more truly 
rich than he whofe Revenue iis a thoufand 


Cha^ 4. tf Natural ^It^m. 3 j j 

times greater, if it be not equal either to 
his Occafions, or to his Mind. 

Now when it is faid , that Rehgion is 
the Canfe of Riches, the Meaning of this 
cannot reafonably be underftood of Riches 
in the fecond Senfe, as if he that were 
religious (hould be thereby advanced to 
the greateft Pofleffions that any Manelfe 
doth enjoy, frcim the Condition of a Pea- 
lant or a Tradefman to that of a Prince. 
Becaufe this would no more condft with 
thofe feveral Degrees and Subordinations 
required to the Order of the Univerfe, 
than it would for every common Soldier 
to be a General, or every private Man to 
be a King. But the meaning of this Pro* 
pofitioa mud be, that. Religion will be a 
means to fupply a Man with fuch a Suf* 
ficiency as may denominate him rich.; 
and to free him from fuch Neceflities, 
whether real or imaginary , as others of 
his Rank and Station are liable unto. 

So that by what hath been faid, it may 
appear , that the true Notion of Riches 
doth comprehend under it thefe two 

I . A Sufficiency for a Man's Qccafions 
and Conveniencies. 

X. AnAcquiefcence of Mind,inro mjucl 
as is in it leif really fulBcient, and whicl 
; ^ will 

J J 4 Of the (Principles, 8cc. Lib. IL 

wili appear to be fo, fuppofing a Man to 
judge according toi right Reafon. 

And that this is not a mere Fancy or 
Notion, but the moft proper Senfe of the 
Word Riches, wherein all Mankind have 
agreed^ may be made very evident, 
' Concerning the Jfrfi of thefe there can 
be no Colour of Doubt. All the Scrapie 
will be concerning the fecond; Whether 
that be necedary to make a Man rich^ 
And to this the Philofophers do generally 
atteft. ^riE/?£?f/ip in particular, doth affirm 
fapf/- that the true Nature of Riches dpthcon-^ 
fid in th« contented Ufe and Enjoyment 
of the things we have, rather than in the 
Polleffion of them. Thofe that out of Pc- 
nurioufnefs can fcarce afi^rd themielves 
the ordinary Conveniencies of Life out 
of their large PoflefTions, have been al^ 
ways accounted poor,- nay, he that can-* 
not ufe and enjoy the things he doth po(^ 
k% may upon this Account be (aid to be 
of all otners the moft indigent, becaufe 
fuch a one doth truly want the things he 
hath, as well as tho(e he hath not. 

ThatMan who is not content with what 
is in it felf fufficient for his Condition, 
neither is rich, nor ever will be fo j be- 
caufe there can be no other real Limits 
to his Defires, but that of fttffUiemy i 


Cliap. 4. of Natural (^Ugionl \ j 3 J 

whatever is beyondi this, being bouadlefs: 
md infinite* And though^ Men may 
pl^afe themfelves with an limagiqatioo tl ■''- 
that if they bad bvt fbch ao Addition to 
their Eftates, they (hoqtd then think they 
bad enoqgh ; yet that is but a mere Ima-^ 
gination^ there real Cauiib, why 
they ihould b^ more fatisfied then, than 
they are now. 

He that is in fuch a Condition as doth 
place him ^bove Contempt, and below 
Envy, cannot by any Enlargement of his 
Fortvine be made really more rich or more 
happy than he is. And he i$ not a wife 
Man, if he do not think fo ; nor is be in 
this either wife or worthy, if he be fo far 
foUcitous as topatt wkh his Liberty, 
thoujgh it be but in fome little Servilities 
for the increafing of his Eilatew ■ ; 

Thefe things being premifed, it may be 
made very evident , that the Defign of 
being truly rich, that is, of having enough 
and being contented, will be mod c&^ 
^Sually promoted by Religion ; and that 
both MoraOi and Naturally. 

I . Morally j upon which Account this is 
by the Philofophers owned to be one of 
the Rewards belonging to Virtue ; good 
Men only having a moral Title to Wealth 
upon Account otiitnefs and DeferL There 


1^l6 Of the frinciples, &c Lib. IL 

are many Aflcrtion$ and Promiies in Scrip-* 

ture to this Purpofe, of being profpered 

Pfil. 34^ in our flores and labours^ and ah that u>e 

fet dur hands unto ; of lacking nothing that 

is good for us. *Tis this that niuft entitle 

US to the BleflTmg of God, and 'tis the 

hlejjing of God that maketh rich. SolovMn^ 

prov.3.16. fpeaking of Religion under the Name of 

c7.«»«8. iVifdom^ faith, that in her left hand arte 

••*'• riches y durable riches \ that (he caules 

thofe that love her to inherit fuhflance^ 

and doth fill their Treafures. And the 

Apoftle tells us, that Godlinefs hath the 

fromifes of this life. 

%. Religion is a natural Caiife of Rich- 
es, with Reference to thofe two chief 
Ingredients required to fuch a State; 
namely, the fupplying of us with a plen- 
tiful Sufficiency,as to our PoflefTionSjand 
a Satisfadion, as to our Minds. 

I. A Sufficiency as to ourEftates and 
Pofleffions. There are but thefe two ways 
chat can contribute to the improving of 
Men's PoflSflions, namely, the Art cX get-^ 
ting and of keeping. Now Religion is an 
Acivantage to Men in both thefe Refpe<9:s. 
Nothing can be more evident than that 
there are many Virtues which upon thefe 
Accounts have a natural Tendency to the 
increafmgof Men's EftateSyas Diligence in 


Chap[ 4.^ tf Katural ^UgUn. ^^f 

dur Callings, The Jiligent hand maketh 
rich ; heedfulnefi tp improve all fitting " 
Opportunities of providing for our felves 
and Families, beirtg provident in 'our 
EXpences, keeping within the Bounds of 
our Income, not running out into need- 
left Debts : In brief^ all the lawful Arts 
of Gain and good Husbandry , as to the. 
Eicercife of them , are founded in the 
' Virlwes which Religion teaches. 

On the contrary it is plain, that there 
are many kind of Sins which have a di- 
rc£t natural Efficacy for the impoverifti- 
ihg of Men i As all kind of Senfuality, 
arid Voluptuoufiieft, Idleneftj Prodigali- 
ty, Pride, Envy, Revedge, &c. of all 
which may be faid what Solomon fays of 
one of them, that they iri^^ a man to a 
morfel of bread ^ and cloath him with 

X. And as for the fecond requifite to 
Riches,Satisfat5tion of mind with ourCon- 
ditions, and a free Ufe of the things we 
erijoy. This is the property of Religion, 
that it cat! enable a man to be content 
with his Eftate, and to live comfortably 
without fuch things as others know not 
how to want. And the Ability of being 
content with a little, may be much more 
truly called Riches, than the having of 

Z much. 

5)8 Of theTrinfl^ks, ^c. UbJl. 

much, without being fjtisfied therewith* 
'Tis better to be in Health with a mo- 
derate Appetite, than to be 'continually 
eating and drinking under the Difeale of 
a voracious Appetite or a Dropfie : And 
P(kL37.a*^^ thisfenfe, A little that the righteous^ 
bath^ is httir than great riches of the un- 

Bift this may appear tikewi(e from ex- 
perience. Let any man impartially con- 
fider, what kind of Perfons thole ijre a- 
mongft the Generality of men^ who in 
their feveral Degrees and Orders are coun- 
ted moil; able, and mod wealthy, and it 
will appear that they are fuch ^ are 
moft ferious in the matter of Religion^ 
IBoO; diligent m their Callings, moft juit 
and honeft in their Dealings, moft regu- 
lar and fober \n their Converfatiops, ojoft 
liberal towards arty good Work ; upon 
which account it is, that iuch places, 
where Men have the Opportunity of be- 
ing inftrudted in, and excited to the Du- 
ties of Religion, do thereupon thrive and 
flourifli moft ; it being one property of 
Religion to civilize Men, and make thenj: 
more inquifitive in Learning, and more 
diligent in prac^ifing their feveral Rrofef- 

'\ " 'And 

chap, 4. of Kataral Religion. 3 39 

And as for Contentment of Mind, this 
being in it felf aVirtue as well as a Pri- 
vilege, it is not to be attained but upon 
the Account of Religion ; nor are there 
any that enjoy it, but fuch as are truly 

There are feveral Objedions that may 
be made againft what I have been pro- 
ving, but all of thenj capable of a plain 
and fatisfad:ory Solution. 

I. There are fome kind of Virtues that 
feem to have a contrary Tendency j as 
Charity to thofe that want, Bounty and 
.Liberality tp any good Work, which in ^thk Kb; 
AriflQtles Judgment is fcarce confident 4. c. i. * 
with growing Rich. 

; By th^t Siying of Arifiotky may be 
me^ant Riche? in the (^nd Senfe, ^s it 
deoof^s large Pofleflioos^ which this. Vir- 
tue of. iiberi^lity doth not naturally pro- 
mote J but it n)ay very well confift with 
Riches in the firft and moft properNotiou 
of it, asi? denotes Sufficiency for our oc- 
cafions ; and the Abilitsr of contributing 
in fome Proportion, towards any worthy 
and charitable Work, is in the Efteem of 
every good man, one of thofe Occafions 
and Conveniencies required to fuch a fuf- 
ficiency, and cannot any more be a Pre-^ 
judice to it, than it would be for a 

Z X Man 

34° Of the principles y Sec. Lib. II. 

man to lay up fome partof his Wealthin 
the fafeft place,to lend it out upon the bed 
Intereft, to part with it for the purchafe 
of the fame Favour and Affiftance from 
others in the like Exigencies j to ky it 
out upon his pleafure, with reipedt to that 
inward Comfort and Satisfaction, which 
doth accompany the Confcience of doing 
worthy things. And befides all this, Ex- 
' - perience will affure us, that there is a (e- 
cret Blefling which doth for the moftpart 
accompany fuch Adtions ,• fo that Men 
grow the richer and not the poorer for 
them : And they that in this kindy^w 
bountifully^ do very often, even in this 
World, reap hountifully. 

2. There are fome kind of Vices that 
feem to have a Tendency to the enrich- 
ing of Men, as Frauiy Extortion^ Sordid- 
Tiefsy all kind of unlawful ways of get- 
ting and keeping an Edate. Btrt to this 
it may be faid, 

I. Thefe Vices may tend to the increa- 
fmg of Mens Pofleffions, but not to the 
making of them truly rich : And 'tis a 
plain Argument that fuch Perfons do not 
think themfelves to have a Sufficiency , 
who can apply themfelves to fuch wretch- 
. ed Cotirfes for the getting of more. 


Cliap. 4^ of Natural ^Itgim. 541 

X. 'Tis commonly feen upon Experi- 
encey that there is a fecret Curfe attends 
fuch Pra6tices,a Canker that eats into fuch 
Gain, a Hole in the bottom of the Bag, 
by which it infenfibly dreins out andj^^ ,yj, 
wafts away. As the Partridge fitteth upon 
eggs J and hatcheth them not^ fo he that 
getteth riches y and not hy rights jhaH 
leave them in the midfl of his days^ and 
at the end (hall he a fool. As that filly 
Bird xloth fometimes take much needleft 
Care and Pains, in fitting upon and che- 
riftiing fubventaneous Eggs, fuch as can 
never be fruitful, which (zs Naturalifis 
obferve) that Creature is very fubjedl 
unto, or as the fecund Eggs, of that Bird 
being laid upon the ground, are many 
times . trod upon by Paflengers or wild 
Beafts, after it hath beftow*d much pains 
for the hatching of them : So are the 
wicked Defigns of Gain often difappointed 
in the Emhryo ; and the Contrivers of 
them, inftead of approving themfelves to 
be more wife and fubtile men than others, 
do appear at laft to be Fools. He that 
will carefully obferve the ufual Courfe of j 
things in the world, may from his own 
Experiejice find Inftances enough, to con- 
firm tl(iofe (ayings of the wife vaznithere pro.n.5. 
is that jfcatteretbf and yet increafeth^ and 

Z 3 thtxt 

34* Of the Trincipksy &c. Lib.II. 

there is that withholdeth'more than is meety 
cap. 13. lut it tendeth to Poverty. Wealth gotten 
"' **' hy vanity Jhall he dminijbed. the wealth 
cap.22.itf.^/ thefinner is laid up for the jufl. He 
that opprejjeth the poor to increafe bis riches^ 
cap. %%.%./hallfurel)i come to want. He that by un^ 
juft gain increafeth his Suhftance^ Jhall ga- 
ther it for him that will pity the poor. 

3. There are feme good Men that are 

poor. And 'tis faid that God hath chofen 

Jam. 2. 5. ^y^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^.^ world, to receive the Gof- 

pel and to he rich in faith. To this it may 
be faid, 

I. The Providence of God may fo or- 
der it fometimes, as to reduce good Men 
to great Exigencies^ to wander up and 
down in fheepsklns and goat-skinsy being 
deflitute, affiled, tormented. But then 
thefe are fuch particular exempt Cafes, as 
are not fuitable to the mod ufual and ge- 
neral Courfe of Things. And befides, fuch 
as are good Men, may fometimes be de- 
fedive in fcvcral of thofe Duties which 
Religion doth oblige them to, Diligence, 
Caution, &c. And the Poverty of fuch 
may juftly be afcribed to their D^kGt in 

%. As for that Scripture, that God hath 
thofen tht poor in this world} It is flot 

Chap- 4. of Katural (I(eligion. • ^4 j 

to be underftood in the more ahfolute 
Senre, for fuch as want NeceflarieSjbecaufe 
'tis plain from other Texts, that though 
fome of the Primitive Believers, were by 
reafon of the Perfecution of thofe times 
reduced to great Exigencies j yet the ge- 
nerality of the reft were very liberal in 
their Contributions towards them. But 
it muft be underftood in the relative 
Senfe, concerning fiich as might be ftiled 
comparatively poor, (/. e?j fuch as are 
of a lower Rank and meaner Condition 
than others, and confequently had lefs 
Temptation to corrupt and feduce them, 
than thofe that did more abound in theie 
earthly things. 


3 44 ^f ^^f principles ^ $cc. Lib. II. 


flow ^ligion conduces to the Hap'- 
f'mejs of the outward Man in 
reJpeB of Plcafure 5 or the chear^f 
ful Enjoyment of outward ^lej^ 

Fourthly^ Religion is the moft proper 
means to promote the Intereft of 

In the handling of this, I Ihall firft en^ 
deavour to (late the true nature of Plea- 
furcy and to fliew what is the moft pro- 
per Notion of it. Now Pleqfure doth con- 
fift in that SatisfacStion which we receive 
in the Ufe and Enjoytnent of the things 
we poflefs. It is founded in a Suitablenels 
and Congruity betwixt the Faculty and 
the Obje^i.Thofe are called pleafantTaftes 
^nd Smells, which are apt to excite fuch 
^gentle Motion as is agreeable to the 
Nerves appointed for thofeFundions.Now 
it cannot be denied, but that Beajis an^ 
fnfe^s may be faid to be capable of Plear 
te,pri)per tp their ijrid, 8§ well as men. 

Chap. 5. of J^twral Religion, 34J 

Only this mufl: withal be granted , that 
the more noble and the more capacious 
the Faculties and theObjedts are, the greats 
cr will the Delights be that flow fronj 
the Union of them. Upon which Account 
all intellectual Delights,do far exceed thofe 
that are fenfual; and amongft Perfons that . 
are capable of intellexSlual Pleafures, their 
Enjoyments muft be greateft, whofe Fa^ 
qulties are moft enlarged and mioft vigo^ 
rous. 'Tis true indeed, Men of vitiated 
and depraved Faculties, though they are 
thereby difabled for paffing a true Judg- 
ment upon the Nature of things, being apt 
to miftake fowre fot fweet,- yet will it 
not thence follow, that they are incapa- 
ble pf Pleafiire ; They may have fuch pe- 
cuhar kinds of Gufts,as will be able to find 
a SatisfaiStion and Sweetnefe in fuch things 
as appear naufeous and loathfome (o others. 
Andv'tisthe Congruity of things that is 
the Foundation of Pleafure, But then fuch 
Perfons are beholden to their Ignorance 
and their Delufion, to the Diftemper of 
their Faculties, for their Relifh of thefe 
things. None but thofe that are foolijh 
and deceined^ and under the Servitude of 
divers lufts^ devoting themfelves to fuch Tit. 3; i 
kind of things for Pleafures. ^uppofing 
a M^n to have found healthy Faculties , 

• Tuch 

34^ Of the 'Principles y Sec. Lib. II. 

fuch an one will not be able to find any 
true SatisfacStion and Complacence,but on- 
ly in thofe things which have in them a 
natural Goodnefs and Red^itude, They 
muft be regular Objects that have in theni^ 
a Suitablenefs to regular Faculties. 

This being premifed by way of Expli- 
cation, I (hall proceed to prove, That 
Religion is the moft proper means for the 
promoting of this Intereft j and this it doth 


I . Morally ; as it is one of the Rewards 
belonging to Virtue, which alone upon its 
own Account doth deferve all fuch Ad- 
vantages, as may render its Conditiorr 
pleafant and comfortable in this World. 

Befides the feveral Aflertions and Pro- 

mifes in Scripture to this Purpofe. Prov. 

3. 1 7.fpeaking of Religion under theName 

of Wifdom , it is faid , that her ways are 

Mat- 1 r. ways cf fleafantnefs. The Toke of it is 

? Joh. 5. ^^/^> ;tP^^^» gracious and fweet, anJ the 
3. burden light. The commandments of it 

Gal.5. 21. not grievous. The fruits of it are l&ve^ and 
' joyy and peace. The Duties of Religion 
are in feveral Placcs-of Scripture com- 

chap. ^^ ..of Natural ^ligion. 547 

pared to Mufick and to Feafling ; and are 
laid to be fweeter than the honey and the 
honey- comh. I delight to do thy voillj 
my God^ Pfal. 40. 8. 

X. Religion is the Natural Caufc of 
Tleafure. Which I (hall endeavour to 
make out by Reafbn and Experience* 

I. By Rcafon j Religion hath a natural 
Efficacy in promoting the Intereft of 
Pleafure, teaching a Man a chearful Ube^ 
ral Ufe of the things he enjoys, how to 
make his foul enjoy good in his laiour; 
fcow to fwceten and allay all the Difficul- 
ties and Troubles of this Life. Nor doth it 
reftrain Meafrom any fuch fenfible Plea^ 
fures, as are agreeable to Reafon, or our 
true Interefts. It only prohibits Miftakes 
arid Exceiles about them, teaches us fo to 
regulate our felves in the ufe of them, 
that they may truly deferve the Name of 
Pleafurej how to provide againft that 
natural Emptinefs and Vanity, which 
there is in all fuch things, whereby they 
are apt quickly to fatiate and weary us j 
and upon this Account 4t may be faid to 
promote rather than hinder the Intereft 
of Pleafure* 

As for the Pleafures of the Appetite i 
^hefe abide no longer than till the Necnifc 
tks and Conveniences of Nature are fa- 

tisfied ; 

^4^ ^f ^^^ Principles, Sec. Lib* If. 

tisfied J and fo far Religion doth allow 
of them. When our Hunger and Third 
is well appealed , all that follows after is 
but a faint kind of Pleafure, if it be not 
rather to be {tiled Satiety and a Burden, 
i As for thofe kind of things, which we 
call by the Name of Sports and Diverfions, 
Religion doth likewife admit of a mode- 
rate ufe of thefe j and what is beyond 
fuch a moderate ufe,doth rather tire Men, 
than recreate them : It being as much the 
Property of fuch things, to weary a Man 
when he is once fulficiently refreflied by 
them, as it is to refrefh him when he is 
wearied by other things. 

We read indeed of thepleafures of fin; 

but befides that they are of a bafer and 

grpfler kind ,, 'tis (aid alfo , that they are 

hut for a feafon^ lut fir a mornent^ and 

Job 10. 5. ^^^ ^^j ^jT fy^^ £j heavinefs. The ways 

of fin may feem broad and pleafant, but 

p they lead down to deaths and take hold 

' ^' ^' of helL There are fome Vices that feem 

ao. 17. fweet to the Palate, but do after fill the 

mouth with gravel. There are feveral fins 

which have very fpecious and tempting 

Appearances, which yet upon trial do 

lite like aferpent , and fiinz like an ad- 


Chap- 5.^ of Natural (^ligion. / 349 

By what has been faid, it appears, that 
Religion is a natural Caufe 6f promoting 
thefe fenfiblePleafures; befides, that it 
affords Delights incomparably beyond all 
thefe corporeal things, fuch as thofe who 
are firangers to Religion cannot under- 
ftaild, and do not intermeJdle with. 

2. But befides the Reafons to this Pur- 
pofe, it may appear likewife from Expe- 
rience , that the great Pleafure of Men's 
Lives is from the Goodnefs of them ; fuch 
only being capable of a free and liberal 
Enjoyment of what they poffefs, who 
know how to regulate themfelves in the 
Fruition of them, to avoid Extrertieties on 
cither Hand, to prevent thofe Mixtures 
of Guilt and Fear, which will imbitter all 
their Enjoyments. • Such Perfons only 
who have good confciences , being capable 
of having a continual feaft. 

The great Objedtion againft this will 
be, from the Difficulty of the Duties of 
Mortification, Repentance, Self-denial, 
taking up the Croft, &c. AH which do 
imply in them a Repugnancy to our Na- 
tures, and confequently an Inconfiftency , 
with Pleafure. 

For Anfwer to this it 'muH be oWerved, 
That difficulty doth properly arife from 
a Difproportion betwixt the Power and 


3 JO Of the ^Principles, Sec. Libt II 

the Work j as when a Pcrfon of little 
Strength is put to carry a great Burden , 
when one of a mean Capacity is put toaQ- 
fwer an hard Queftion in Learning. Now 
fuppofing Men to retain their vicious Ha- 
bitSji it mud be granted, to be as difficult 
. for fuch to perform the Duties of Reli- 
gion, or to forbear the A&s of Sin, as for a 
, lame and impotent Man to run, or for a 
Man under a violent Fever to be reftrain- 
ed from drinking. But fuppofe thefe Men 
cured of tliefe Maladies, and their Facul- 
ties to be re(9:ified , then all this Difpro- 
portion and Unfuitablenefs will yaniSi j 
and thofe things will become eafie and 
delightful, which were before very diffi- 
cult and unpleafant. Now it is the Pro- 
perty of Religion, that it changes the Na- 
tures of Men, making them ttew creatures. 
It puts off the old man^ which is corrupt 
uccording to deceitful lufts , 4nd futs on 
the new man^ which after God is created 
in righteoufnefs and true holinefs* It re- 
moves our vicious FIabits,and endows the 
Mind with other kind of Inclinations and 
Abilities. And though there (houU be 
feme Difficulties in the very Paflagp from 
one State to another, yet this ought not 
to be objedSled as a PrejudifCe agjinft Re- ^ 


Ohap. 5. 0/ Katural (t(elt^ion. J j i 

ligion J becaufe there are far greater Dif- 
ficulties and Pains to be undergone in 
the Service and Drudgery pf impetuous 
Lulls. The Trouble of being cured, is 
not fo great as that of being fick ; nor 
is the Trouble of being fober compara- 
ble to that of being debauched and in- 
temperate. That godly Sorrow which 
is required as one of the firft Ads in 
the Change of our Condition , is always 
accompanied with fecret Pleafure .• And 
as ii: is faid of wicked tnen^ that in the 
midfl of laughter their heart is forrowful; 
fo may it be faid of good men^ that in the 
midfl of their for row their heart is joyful.^ 
And when the Conditions of Men are 
once changed , when they are pafled o- 
ver to another State , it will then prove 
as cafie to them to obferve the Duties of 
Religion, as it was before to follow their 
own finful Inclinations. An evil Tree 
doth not more naturally bring forth evil 
Fruit, than a good Tree doth bring forth 
good Fruit. 

As for that Moroicnefs and Sdwre- 
nefs of Carriage which forae Men, who 
pretend to Religion 7 are noted for j 
This is not jultly to be afcribed to 
their Religion, but to their want of 


3 5 1 Of the principles ^ Sec. Lib, it 

it. Joy and Chearfulnefe being not only 
d Privilege , but a Duty which Religiori 
doth oblige Men to , whereby they ar6 
to adorn their Profeflion , arid win ovet 
others to a Xove of it. 


chip. 6. of Hattiral ^Itgiori, j 5 j 

* * 

■ I I I - I - I |< ii I n I III r ii^— ^MMi— — :y( . - ■ | i i i 1 n 

Hovf ^^%W8 conduces to our Ho* 

Fff^thiji for the ititefeft bf ^Mour and! 
Reputation. This is oicle of the great- 
eft Bleffings which this World can afFordj 
much to be preferi*ed before Riches or 
Weafures, or Life it felf. A good name is ^^^^' *** 
rather to he chofen than grtM rkhis^ and 
loving fa'Donr rather than filver and gold. 
Qii^ that is a generous Virtuous Mad 
will chuie tQ <lye> rikthet than do ^njr 
^hifig th$t njiay expofe him to Iix&qQyi 

St. Pmi was of this Mifld* // were Better i Cor. |t 
for metp dyi >$ ihoH that any Jhould make 
my glorying ^foid. And becauie i^ is a 
thing of fo great Excellericy , therefore 
we do pdy it^ as the beft ferVice we cart 
do, to God, and to his Deputies, Ma- 
giilrates and Parents. 'Tis l^ this that 
we are rend red ufeful arid acceptable to 
Dthefs. Add befides the Adirantagewe 
have by k while we jjivc, *ti^ qrie df* 
thpfe things that will dl)ide s^er u$) wiiert 
we are gone ow: of the World j aiid fof 

. A a that 

354 OfthefrincipteSyScc. Lib.IL 

that Reafon a fpecial regard is to be had 
to it. And the more wife and virtuous 
any Man is, the more care will he take 
to tranfmit a grateful Memory of himfelf 
to future times ; and fmce ne muft be 
fpoken of after his departure, to take care 
that he be well-fpoken of, that his Name 
may be as precious Oyntment , leaving 
a Perfume behind it, that Men may rite 
up at the mention of it and call him blef- 
fed. Nor can any Man defpife Honour, . 
but he that doth either defpair of it , of 
refolve againft doing any thing that may 
deferve it. 

Now Honour is properly the Efteem and 
good Opinion which Men have concern- 
ing the Perfon or the Anions of another, 
together with fuch external Expreflions 
of Reiped as are fuitable thereunto. 

And I ihall make it appear , that this 
kind of Happinefs doth depend upon^ Re* 
ligion, both 


i. Morally. Nothing being more ge^^ 
nerally agreed upon amongft all the Phh^ 
lofophersy than that Honour is the pecu^- 
liar Reward of Virtue^ and doth not pro- 

Chap. 6. of Natural 1{eligidnl j y j 

periy belong to any thing elfe. And that 
Shame is the proper Reward of Vice, nor 
Can it beldng to ady thing elfe. 

The Scripture is Very copious in Ex- 
prefllons to this purpofe. Such as are re- 
ligious, are fly led the excellent of the earthy 
TfaU 1 6. 3 . and (aid to be more excellent Cap. 1 1. 
than their UeighhourSjVtov. 17. %y. They ^^• 
are God's peculiar treafure^ the dearly be- ^^'^ 
loved of hisfouL He fets apart the man Exo-ip.^r' 
that is godly for kimfelf Though fuch Jf/ai'4; y 
Perfons may be but low in their outward 
Condition ; being put to Vi)ander up and 
doum in [beep-skins and goat-skinsy heing 
deflitutej affUiled^ tormented , feeking for 
refuge in defarts and mountains , in dens 
and caves of the earth ; yet are they upon 
the account of Religion, of fuch an ex- 
cellent Value, than in the Judgment of the 
Holy Ghojlj the world is not worthy of them^ 
i7(?^. II. 37, 38. 

The Wife-man fpeaking of Religion, 
faith, that it fhaS he an ornament of grace Prov.i.p. 
to thy head^ and as a chain ahout thy neck. 
Exalt her^ and fhe fhall promote thee^ ^WCv^-s,^* 
Iring thee to honour. She fhall give to thy 
head an ornament of grace and a Crown 
of Glory. God hath engaged himlelf by 
Promife to thofe People that are Religi- ^^^^ ^^^ 
ous, that he wifffet them above other na- 1^. ' 

A a X tions ; 

;5^ Of theTrimptes, &c. Lib. I!. 

' ^S*«n- 2- flotfs ; they jhaU he made the head and not 

Joli. 12. the tail. He will honour thofe that howouw 

^- him. And certainly, he who is the King 

of Kings, muft needs be the Fountain of 

Honour, and be able to difpofe of it as 

he pleafes. 

And on the other fide^Shatnc is in Sjcrip^ 
ture^ faid to be the proper Reward and 
Confequent of Sin, efpecially in the Wri- 
tings of David and Solomon. Religion 
is (tiled by the Name of IVifdom^ and Sin 
by the Name of Folly. And the IV/fc'^am 
having faid, Prov. 3.35. that the wifi^ JhaS 
inherit glory^ *tis added , Sut fhame JhaB 
he the promotion of fools : It flail be their 
promotion \ the utmoft that fuch peflons 
ihall ever attain to, will be but Difgrace f 
when they are exalted and lifted up, it 
fliall prove to their Difparagement , to* 
make their Shanae more confpicuous. And 
Frov. 1 3 . y. *tis faid,^ ivicked man is loatb^ 
fome^ and comet k t4> flmme. The word tran- 
flated loathfome-^ properly denotes fucb 
kind of Perfons ta be asnaufcous andof- 
fenfive to the judgments of others, as the 
mod loathfome unfavory things are ta 
their tads or fmells.They are ftyfed by the. 
name of Wolves and Bears, Swines, Dogs^ 
and Vipers,things both hurtful and hatemF. 
Men that are truly virtuous, have a re- 

€l)ap. 6. »/ Natural 3^c/rg/o». 357 

vercncfe pa^id thent by alt that know them* 
And on the other fide , vicious Men arc 
defpifed. Not bur that wicked Perfons 
may be* inwardly honoured, by fuch as 
do not know them to be wicked ,• and 
on the other fide, thofe that are good , 
may by others be efteemed and ufed , as 
being the rubbifh and off^fcouring of all 
things. But this is to be afcribed chiefly 
to their Miftake and Ignorance of them, 
whilft they look upon fuch Perfons as be- 
ing the mod dangerous pernicious Per- 
fons. But the generality of Mankind have 
heretofore, and ftill do pay a Reverence 
to any Pcrfon whom they believe to be 
Innocent and Virtuous. 

2. Retigion is the natural c^nCc of Ho.' 
nour and Reputation, (b far as fuch things 
are capable of any phyficatefficacj^. This 
I fliall endeavour to prove, both from 
Reafon and Experience. 

I. By Reafon. For the better under- 
{landing of this, we are to take notice, 
that Honour may be confidered under a 
twofold Notion. 

T. According to the Defert and Foun- 
dation of it, in the perfon honoureJ. 

X. According to the acknowledgment 
or attribution of it, in the perfon honour^ 

A a 3 Now 

358 Of the Principles ^ 8cc. Lib. !!• 

Now Religion doth by a natural cau^ 
(ality influence both thefe. 

I. According to the Foundation of it^ 
in the Perfon honoured^ which is true 
Virtue and Merit. I have (hewed before, 
that the EfTence of Man may be faid to 
confid in being Religious,and confequent* 
ly this muft oe the Rule and Meafure of a 
Man's real Worth j it muft be our excel- 
ling in that which makes us Men, that 
itiuft make us better Men than others. AH 
pther things have fome kind of Standard, 
by whiph the natural Goodnefs of them 
is to be meafured j fo it is with Men like- 
wife. And this is ufually from their fuir 
tablenefs to that chief End they are de* 
figned for. Qua conditio rerum , eaiem 
Epift ^6. ^ howinum eft ; ttavis hona Jicitur , non 
^ qm pntiojis colorihus pi^a eft^ &c. (faith 

Sfneca^ '' We do not therefipre efteem a 
** Ship to be good, becaufe itjs curioufly 
*' painted and gilded, or carved and in- 
♦^ lay'd, but becaufe 'tis fitted for all the 
" purpofes of Navigation , which is the 
^* proper end of a Ship. Nor do we there- 
fore count a Sword to be good, becaufe 
\l hath a rich Hilt and an embroidered 
Scabbard, but becaufe it is fit for the pro- 
per ufe of a Sword, which is to cut, ^c. 
fn l^omine quQ^^ue nihil ad rem pertinet^ 

Cliap. 6. of Natural ^H^ton. 3 f9 

quantum arety quantum fosnerety a quam 
mult is falutetur , fed quam bonus fit. It 
fhould be fo likewife in our Efteem of 
Men, who are not fo much to be valued 
by the Grandeur of their Eftates orTitles, 
as by their inward Goodneft. Itre true 
Stamp of Nobility is upon the Minds of 
Men, and doth confift in fuch virtuous 
Habits, as will enable a Man for worthy 
befigns and Anions ; when the Image of 
God, who is the Rule of Excellency and 
the Fountain of Honour^is in any Meafure 
reftored upon it. 

Every Man is endowed with a natural 
Principle inclining him to a State of Hap- 
pinefe, and hath in fome meafure both an 
Ability to judg of, and a Freedom and Li- 
berty for applying himfelfunto, thofe Dur 
ties which are the proper means for the ' 
promoting of this end : Nor is he upon 
any other account to be juftly praifed or 
blamed , but according to the right or 
wrong ufe of this natural Liberty. And 
' therefore as fuch a Man doth find either 
in himfelf or others, a conftant and firm 
Refolution to make a right u(e of this ; fb 
fhould he proportion his Edeem accor- 
dingly, prefeiring this inward Greatnefs, 
this reAitude of Mind, whereby a MiEin is 
refolved in every Condition, to do that 

Aa4 which 

%69 Of the TrincipUsy Sec. Lib. !!•, 

\yhich (hall appear to be his Duty before 
any kind of external greatnefs whatfo- 

There is a Refped: and Honour due to 
all kind of Virtue? whatfoever, as render- 
ing Men amiable and lovely, Butamongft 
the reft there are two, which are by ge* 
peral Confent efleemed venerable , aqd 
iuch as do greatly advance the Repute 
f:ion of thofe who are endowed with 
them ; namely, 

L Qourage^. 


Becaufe they haye a more intrinfick 
rife, and do lefs depend upon external 
Advantages, but feem rather to be rooted 
in the inward Frame and Temper of our 
Minds ; and withal are mod beneficial 
both to our fclves and others. The for-, 
mer fignifyipg a Man to have thofe /#• 
ielle^ml Abilities which are proper to hi$ 
kindj \ivhereby the human Nature is to 
be diftinguiftied from other things .- The 
other becaufe it argues a re(Stitude in the 
Willy and a tower to fubdue the Padion 
of Fcar,which is moft natural to our pre- 
fent ftate. of Infirmity j and withal doth 
fupport; a Map againll Di^ultieSjand eni 

chap- 6. of Kafural ^Ugm\ |<J^^ 

nble him for thofe two great SenriccSy c$ 
(doinfi ifid Juferiftg as he ought. And fdr 
this Reafon,- the Vices that are oppofite to 
thefe, arc amongft all others counted the 
moft fliameful ; there being no greater 
Reproach to be caft upon any one» thad 
to be efteiSmed a Fool or a Coward 

Now a Man that is irreligious cannot 
Juftly pretend to either of thcfe Virtues^ 

I. For WifJom. This is fb eflential to 
Religion,that in the Scripture-phrafe they 
both go under the fame name. And there 
is very good Reafon,why it ihould be fo|) 
becaule there li fiich an intimate agree- 
ment between the natures of them. The 
Philofop^fer doth define Wifdom to con- 
fid in aii Ability and Inclination, to make 
choice of right iwfaw in the pro&cutioit 
of our true end. And nothing can enable* 
a Man for this but Religion, both as td ^ 
th^fuhordinate end of /^w^^r j/ happineft 
in this world , and chiefly with refped: 
to that great and fupremt end of eternal 
HappiYiefe in the World to come. 

X. And then for Courage. *Tis ndt pot 
fible for 8 Man to be truly valii^, untefir 
he be withal truly religious : Hemaybcj 
bold and daring , and able in a fearlefs 
manner tq rqfh upon any danger 5 bul^ 
then he muft ftifle his Reafon from conCw. 


^6 1 Of the Principles ^ &c. Lib. IL 

dering what the Con (equences of things 
may be, what fhall become of him here- 
after if he fliould mifcarry .• There be- 
ing no Man whatfoever fo totally free 
from the Apprehenfions of a fticure State, 
but that when he is (erious and confide- 
rate, he muft be flartled with Doubts 
and Fears concerning it .* So that there 
cannot be any rational, fedate, deliberate 
Courage, but only in fuch as have good 
Hopes of a better Eflate in the other 
World J And 'tis Religion only that can 
enable a Man for this. 

%. Honour confidered according to 
the Acknowledgment or Attribution of it 
in the Perfons Honouring j which is the 
external Form, or as the Body of Honour, 
being much in the Power of others. And 
diis may be diftin^ifhed into thefe two 


X. Inward. Honouring is properly an 
hSi of the Underftanding , in paiikig 
Judgment upon the nature of things : 
When we do in our Minds, own and 
acknowledge the real Worth or Virtue of 
a Thing or Perfon. And every one who 


Chap. 6. of Natural Religion* 3^3 

will ad rationally, not mifcalling good 
evil, and evil good, muft proportion his 
Efteenj of things, according to the real 
value of them. Nor is it in any Matfs 
Power, fo far to offer Violence to his 
own Faculties , as to believe any thing 
againd Evidence ; to efteem that Man to 
be either worthy or unworthy, whom he 
knows to , be otherwife. He may call 
him and ufe him as he pleafes , and he 
may be willing to entertain Prejudices, 
either for or againfl: him ; And in this 
Senfe , Honor eft in hanorante : But he 
cannot inwardly think or believe other- 
wife than according to his Eviden,ce. 
For Men of no real worth to exped: this 
inward Honour from others, as it is very 

unequal , requiring hrick without ftravo ; 
and very unlawful , it being as well a 
Man's Duty to contemn a vile perfon , as 
tq honour thofe that fear the Lord ; fo nei- 
ther is it poffihte^ becaufe Men muft 
neceffarily judge according to the moft 
prevailing Evidence ,• nor can they efteem 
luch a one to be worthj)r whom they know 
to be otherwife, any more than they can ^ 
believe that to be white and ftreight 
^hich they fee to ^le black and crooked. 


'}64 Of the TriHciples, 8cc. Lib. IL 

There arc tndeed feme other thingSf 
that do commonly go under this Name, 
as the feveral degrees of Nobility, Titles, 
and Places of Dignity which are ufually 
called by this Name of Honour; butthefe 
things Qtsthey are abftraded from Ma-' 
giftracyj being wholly extrinfecal, have 
no more due to them , but a mere ex- 
ternal Re(pe(9; : They may challenge from 
us that we fliould give them their due 
Titles, and demean our (elves towards 
them with that obfervance and ceremony 
whidi becomes their Quality: But then as 
for that inward efteem aiid valuation of 
our minds belonging to good Men, fuch 
Perfons can chaltenge no greater fhare 
of this than according as their real Me- 
rit and Virtue fhall require. The Royal 
Stamp upon any kind of Metal may be 
fufficient to give it an extrinfick value^ 
and to determine the rate at which it is 
to pais amongft Coins ; but it cannot 
givb^n intrinfick value, or make that 
which is but Brafs to be Gold. 

*Tis true indeed there are fome Cal- 
lings and particular Relations of Men, tq 
which an inward Veneration is due , 
though the Perfons themfelyes fhould aot 
be Virtuous; namely, Magifirates ^ and 
Sfinijhrsj and Parents^ and Benefailors j 


chap. 6. of Natural ^ligion. ^6^ 

who having fomewhat of a Divine Stamp 
and Imprefs,may therefore challenge from 
us, that we (hoiild demean our felves 
towards them, both with fiich an ouf^ 
war J refpe(9: as becomes their //;jc^j, and 
with fuch an inward refped too, as ipay 
be fuitable to that Image which they 
bear J to our defendance upon them, and 
ohligations to them. But then we can- 
not be obliged to think fuch Perfons 
good Men, unlefs we have fome Evidence 
to believe them to be fb , or at leafl: not 
to be otherwife ; fo that they are behold-- 
en to fomething extrinfecal to their Per- . 
fons, namely to their Callings and Rela^ 
tions, for that Honour which is paid to 

X. 0///u?Jr^/ Honouring is, when Meri 
do by their Words or Adlions teftify that « 
Efteem and Refpeft which they have for ' 
thp worth of others. And this indeed 
may be truly faid to be in the Power 
of others , becaiife Men have a greater 
command over their Words and Actions, 
than they have over their Beilief. No\y' 
all Men that are truly virtuous and re- 
ligious, will be ready to give unto eve- 
ry one his due Honour ; and fuch are the 
beft Judges of it. Upon which account 
tullj defines true Honour to be confen-^ ^ >. m - 


3 6& Of the Trinciples, 8cc. Lib. It. 

tlens laus honor uniy the concurrent appro* 
bation of good Merij fuch only being fit 
to give true Praile , who are themfelves 

As for vicious and irreligious Perfons, 
'tis npt to be expedcd that they fhould 
be forward to commend that which is 
dppofife to therti. But then 'tis to be 
confidered, that thefe are no competent 
Judges of fuch Matters : And for a Man 
to rcfent deeply the Contempt of unwor- 
thy Perfons, were overmuch to honour 
them, as if their efteem could add any 
thing to his Reputation. 

And yet, even thejfe Perfons cannot a- 
void having an inward Veneration for 
Goodncfs and Religion, which is the Rea- 
fon why they are fo forward to diflcm- 
ble it, to di(gui(e themfelves under the 
fhew of it. Men do not ufc to counter- 
feit common Stones and Metals, but fuch 
as are precious , Jewels and Gold; nor 
would any one take the pains to cort- 
terfeit being Religious, if he did not 
think it a matter of fome value , and a 
means to procure Efteem from others. 
And when fuch Men do revile arid per- 
fcCute any one for being Religious , yet 
is there fuch a natural Veneration belong, 
ing to the thing it felf , as makes them 


chap. 6. tf Natural ^ligion. 3 67 

to difguife it under the Name of Hypo- 
crify, Herefy, Superftition, &c. whereby 
they may juftify themfelves in their op- 
pofing of it. 

!!• But this is only general Difcourfe, 
and in the Notion, The beft Argument 
to this purpofe would be from Experi- 
ence ; by which I mean that practical 
Knowledge, which every Man may attain 
by his own Obfervation of the ufiial 
courfe of things in the World. And by 
this it will appear, that no kind of Per- 
fons have been more highly reverenced 
in the Hearts and Confciences of others, 
than thofe who have been moft eminent 
fortheir Virtue and Religion ,• which hath 
been always true, both with refped: to 
publick Communities, and private Per- 
fbns. , 

1. For Nations. If wx confult the 
Hiftories of former times , we ftiall find 
that Saying of Solomon conftantly verifi- 
ed. That Rigbteoufnefs doth exalt ana-- p^^^ 
flon , hut Sin doth prove a reproach ta it. 34. 
And more efpecially the Sin of Irreligi- 
oufnefs and Prophanenefs : As this doth 
increafe in any Nation, fb muft the Ho- 
nour and Rep^ation of that Nation de- 
creafe. The Roman Empire was then at 
the highefl:,as to its Name and Greatnefs, 


%6% Of the principles y 8cc. Lib. It 

irbeii it wai f> as to its Virtue ; whed 
they were moft punctual in obierVingthe 
Rites of their Heligion, (" though thd 
were a falfe way of Worlhip) moft He^ 
roical in their Jtiftice, Courage, Fidelity, 
Gratitmie ; then it was that they deiervod 
to govern the World , and to be had 
in greateft Honour above all other Na* 
tions. And not only Cicer^j and Poty- 
iim^ two Heatben-Writers , who , upod 
that account, might be thought more 
|>artial .; fiut St. Auflin alfo and Lan^an^ 
iim^ two of the Fathers^ do afcrihe the 
flouriihii^ of that Empire, when it was 
it its height, to the Religion and Piety 
and Virtue of thofe times ^ and as they 
did afterwards degenerate from this,^ib 
did tliey decline likewise in their Great-f 
nefs and Honour 

r %. Thus alfo hath it been with parti- 
cular Ptrfifrs ; Amongft the Heatheifl 
what Elogies do we find in the Honou^ 
6f Socratei^ AriJlideSy Cat€f^ Bfi^etus ? 
The \z^ erf whom, though but '« pooj? 
*^lave, bad yet fuch a Verieratiort pftid rtjpf 
h\s Memory, that his Eartten Lamp hj 
which he was wont to ftudy, was, afteif 
bis Death , fold for Three TliQtigKkl 


. • ■ ■ * 

chap. 6. of Kdtural ^ligion. 1^9 

Nor was it otherwife amongft thtChri- 
ftians J The Affiles were but poor Fi(h^ 
ermeri, illiterate Mechanicks; many of 
the Martyrs were but of mean Condition^ 
iliuch oppofed, arid perfecuted in the 
World; and yet thef? Men, during the 
time of their Live?, were highly reveren-* 
ced amongft thofe that knew them ; and 
fince their Deiths, what can be more . 
glofious than that Renown which they 
have amongft Men, when the greatell 
Kings and^ Princes will not mention theit 
Names without Reverence , when whole 
Nations are willing to fet apart, and ta ^ 
cbferve folemn Days and Feftivals in Ho- 
nour of theif Memories ? 

Arid as it hath always been thus fof- 
nierly, fo I appeal to every Man's Breaft, 
whether it be not fo now.. Let them 
but examine what their Inclinations are 
towards fuch Perfons whom' they believe 
to be truly virtuous ; not only to fuch 
among them, as are their particular Ac- 3 

quaintance add Friends; but like wife to 
Strangers, flay, to very Enemies,whether 
they do not efteem and love them, and 
will-well to them. 

It cannot be denied, but that there 
are too many in the World, who propofe 
to themfelves fuch Ways and Courfes for 

B b the 

37© Of the frinciplesy &c. LiK II. 

the promoting of their boHour and Repu- 
tation, as are quite oppofite to that which 
I have now been difcourfing of; namely, 
Prophanenefs and Contempt of Religion, 
defpifmg that which other Men ftand in 
Awe of ; by which^they think to get the. 
Reputation of IVit^ztid Courage ; of fVit^ 
by pretending to penetrate more deeply 
into the Nature of things, and to under- 
ftand them better than others do j not to 
be fo eafily impofed upon, as other cre- 
dulous People are ; Of Courage^ by not 
being fo eafily feared at the Apprehenfi- 
on of Danger at a Diftance. 

But the plain Truth is, fuch Perfons 
do hereby prove themfelves to be both 
Fools and Cowards. 

Fools i In miftaking their great Inte- 
reft, in making Choice of fuch Means, as 
can never promote the End they defign. 
There being no kind of Men that are 
moreexpofed (whatfoevcr they them- 
felves may think of it ) than thofe that . 
feek for Credit by defpifing of Religion. 
Fools y in venturing their future ejiates 
and t\itiT fouls upon fuch Hazards, as all 
Mankind would cry out upon for the 
mod palpable Folly and Madnefs, if they 
ihould do the like towards their Temporal 
Eftatesy or their Bodies, 

Ghap. 6. of statural Religion. j 7 1 

Covoafjs J In being more afraid of lit- 
tle Dangers, becaufe they are prefentj 
than of greater, becaufe they zT^future^ 
and at a Diftance* As that Soldier, who 
doth more dread the prefeiit Danger of 
fighting, when he is obliged to it, thaii 
the future Danger of fiiffering by Martial 
Law for running away, may juftly be e- 
deemed a notorious Coward ; fo may that 
Man, who is more afraid of a prefint In- 
convenience > by incurring the Prejudice 
and Difpleafure of his loole Companions^ 
to whom he would be acceptable, than 
of a /irf/«r^ Mifchief from the Judgment 
of God. No Man will efteqm anothet 
to be truly valiant, becaufe he is not a- 
fraid to do fuch vile unworthy Things as 
will eKpofe him to the Difpleafure anid 
Puni(hment of the Civil Magiftrate; 
much lefs ihould he be fo accounted, for 
daring to do fuch things , as will in the 
Ifliie exppfe him to the Divine^ Veoge* 


j 7 1 Of the Principles , &c. L ib. IX. 


How ^li^ion conduceth to^ the Happi'-^ 
ne/s of the Inward-raan, as it 
tends to the regulating of our Fa- 
culties , and to the Pfeace and ' 
Tranquility of » our Minds. 

AS for the Internal Welfare of our 
Minds, this (as I obferved before), 
doth depend upon thefe two Things. 

I. The perfecting and regulating of 
our Faculties, inabling them for their 
proper Fundions, and the keeping of 
them in due Subordination to one another. 

a. In the Peace, Quiet, Contentmenti. 
confcqucnt thereupon.. 

And both thefe do likewife depend up^ 
on Religion. 

I. For the perfecf^ing and regulating, 
of our Faculties ,^ and inabling them for 
their proper Functions. Thefe things da- 
depend upon Religion, both 


tJhap. 7. of Natural ^ligion. • 3 75 

I. Morally ; As thefe things are Bleiflings 
snd Privileges , fo do they belong to Re- 
ligion as the proper Reward of it. Thofe 
Men only being fit to have free and large 
Minds, and refigned Faculties, who are 
willing to improve them to the beft Ufe 
and Advantage. To this Purpofe there 
are feveral Exprertions in Scripture: A 
good ufiderflandiftg have all they that do his 
tommandments. Thou through thy command^ 
ments haft made me wifer than mine enemies. 
He that doth the will of Godjhall know 

^. Naturally^ As thefe things are duties] 
fo are they the proper Effeds of Virtue. 

The Generality of the Heathen Philo- 
fophers have agreed in this, that Sin is 
the naturalCauie of debafmg the Soul,im- 
merfing it into a State of Senfuality and 
Darknefs, deriving fuch an Impotence and 
Deformity upon the Mind , as the moft 
Loathfome Difeafes do upon the Body. 
And therefore it muft be Religion and 
Virtue, on the other fide, that muft en- 
lighten and enlarge the Mind, and reftorc 
it from theDegeneracy of its lapfed Eftate, 
renewing upon us the Image of our Ma- 
ker , adorning us with thofe Beauties of 
Holinefs, which belong to the hidden man 
of the heart. 'Tis the proper Work of 

Bb3 Re- 

3:74 Of the frinciplesy 8cc. Lib.II. 

Religion, to frame the Mind to the near- 
eft Conformity unto the Nature of God ; 
upon which Account it is faid in Scrip- 
ture to confift in a participatioti of the 
a Ppt. I. JifDifi^ nature. Other things may be faid 
to have fome remote Refemblance to the 
Deity ; but Man only amongft the vifible 
Creatures , is capable of thofe more im- 
mediate Communications from him , by 
Religion : And all kind of Pcrfedlion is 
to be raeafured by its Nearnefs orRemote- 
nefs to the firft and chief Pattern of al| 

As all kind of Vice doth go under the 
Name of Impotence j fo Religion is defcri- 
bed to be the fpirit of power^ and of q 
found mind. Becaufe it doth eftablim in 
^ Man a juft Empire over himfelf , over 
all thofe blind Powers and Paffions which 
of themfelves are apt to raife Tumults 
and Commotions againft the Dominion 
pf Reafon. That which Health is to the 
Body , whereby the outward Senfes are 
enabled to make a true Judgment of 
^ings , that is Virtue to the Mind, 
whereby the inward Faculties muft be fit- 
ted and difpofed to diicem betwixt things 
That difier , which thofe who are under 
the Power of yicious Habits are not able 

Ghap. >• ^/ Natural (Religion. 37 j 

But to (peak more, particularly , Reli- 
gion doth, 

1. Enlarge the unJerflanJing , enabling 
it to fee beyond the narrow Bounds of 
Senfe and Time, to behold thihgs that are 
invifible ; God being in the intelledual 
World, as the Sun is in the fenfible World; 
and as natural Blindnefs doth difable Men 
from feeing the one, fowill fpiritual 
Blindnefs for the other. 

2. It doth exalt and regulate the will 
to a Defire after, -and Acquiefcence in 
fuch things as will promote the PerfecSti- 
on of our Natures, and confequently will 
beget in the Mind, the trueft Liberty, In- 
genuity , Generofity , which are altoge- 
ther ineonfiftent with the Servitude of 
Lulls and Paffions. 

3. It doth reduce the paffions \yxAo a 
due Subordination to the luperior Facul- 
ties J reftraining the Violence and Impe- 
tuoufnefs of them,from whence the great- 
eft part of the Trouble and Difquiet of 
Men's Lives doth proceed. As he that is 
of a healthy Conftitution, can endureHeat 
and Cold and Labour with little or no 
Prejudice to himfelf j fo can one of a 
virtuous Mind undergo various Conditi- 
ons without receiving any Hurt from them. 
Such an one is not lifted up by Profperi- 

B b 4 ty, 

176 Of the Principles ^ &c. Lib. IL 

ty, not dejeded by Adverfity ; He is not 
a Servant to Anger, Fear, Envy, Malice, 
which are the great Occafions of diftur- 
bing our inward Peace and Quiet. 

X. The fecond thing wherein the Wel- 
fare of our Minds doth confift, is Peace, 
Tranquility, Joy, Confidence, in Oppo*?- 
• fition to inward Difquiet, Anxiety, Gri^f, 
Fear , Diffidence. And thefe do depend 
upon Religion likewife, both 

^Morally ^ • 

X. Morally^ As thefe things may be con- 
ftdered under the Notion of Bleffings and 
Privileges, fo they belong to the Rewards 
of Rehgion, All Philojophers having a- 
greed in this , that inward Serenity and 
Compofednefs of Mind is the proper Re- 
ward of moral Virtue. 

To which the Scripture doth atteft, ia 

thofe Expreffions where 'tis faid, that a 

Prov. 14. gQQ^ f^an is fatisfied from himfelf; in 

y^26. ^^^ /^^^ ^f ^^^ Lord is ftrong confidence. 

c. 28. I. 

The righteous is hold as a Lion. Thou votlt 

Ifa. 3^.17- ^^^P ^^^ ^^ perfe^ peace vohofe mind is 
flayed on thee. That the fruits of righ^ 
teoufnefs fhall he peace^ and the effe^ ofrigh^ 
feoufnefs:^ quigtnefs and a^urance for ever. 

' - w 

Chap. 7. of Natural Religion. ^ 77 

That trihulation and atiguilh JhaO he upon Ro»--« 9# 
every foul that doth evil; hut to him that '°' 
doth good^ glory and honour and peace , Se- 
renity and Compofednefs of lAmA^ peace GaL^lJ^? 
that pajfeth all underfianding^ joy that is un^ 

fpeakahle and full of glory. 

" X. NaturaOy ; As thefe things are con- 
fidered under the Notion of Duties^ fo 
they are the mod genuine Fruits and Ef- 
fed:s of Rehgion ; which doth oWige us 
to them, and enable us for them. 

I. Religion doth oblige Men to Joy 
and Peace and Confidence. The very ^m- 
thens have acknowledged thefe to be fuch 
things, as all good Men are bound to up- 
on the account of Duty. And the Scrip- 
ture doth abound in Precepts to'this pur- 

' pofe. Rejoice in the Lord always^ and ar 
gain I fay rejoice ^ Commit thy way unto 
the Lord^ and he.Jhall hring it topafs. Be 
careful jor nothing. Caji thy hurden upon 
him^ as knowing that he takes fare for 

Thefe kind of Duties do formally and 
in the very EfTence of them, contain in 
them the Nature of Happinefs. 

And on the contrary,the oppofite Vices 
do contain in them the true Nature of Pu- 
nilhment, and render Men formally mi- 
ferable^ Suph a ipan muft needs be ijo" 


378 Of the Principles, 8cc. Lib.IL 

happy, who lives under the Power of 
continual Anxieties, Sorrow, Fears, Diffr- 
dence. Self-will, Malice, Envy, &c. of 
feveral of which, that may be faid which 
the Poet fpeaks concerning one of them. 

InvidU Siculi non invenere Tyranni 
Tormentum tnajus. 

The Sicilian Tyrants who were of old 
famous for inventing Engines of Tor^ 
ture, as that of Phalaris his Bull, were 
not able to find out any kind of Torment 
for the Body, equal to that which fome of 
thefe Vices do occafion to the Mind. 

a. And as Religion doth oblige us to, 
fo likewife doth it enable us for this kind 
of Happinefs, and that upon a twofold 

X. From the general Nature of Reli- 
gion and Virtue confidercd in it felf. 

X. From the moft natural Effeds and 
Confequences of in 

%. From the general Nature of Reli- 
gion confidered in it (elf. All kind of 
Virtues containing in their very Eflence, 
tliefe kind of inward Felicities, either for- 
mally or virtually .- The very Foundation 

- of 

Ghap. 7. of Natural ^Ugion. 579 

of Happinefs and Mifery, Reward and Pu- 
nilhmcnt, being laid in the very Nature 
of thefe things thenifel ves. That natural - 
Appetite, whereby Men are. carried out 
after a State of Happinefs, is for the Na- 
ture of it fo univerfal and radical, fo 
clofely fixed to our firft Principles j and 
for the Degree of it fo ardent and im- 
petuous, that 'tis not poflible for Men to 
be difappointed in it, without a very 
quick Senfation, and fome proportiona- 
ble Trouble for it. The more eager 
Men are in theif Defires, the more fcn- 
fible muft they be of Gain or Lofs. Now 
all fuch Courfes as have a natural Ten- 
dency to the fatisfying of this Appetite, 
are upon that account Parts of our Hap- 
pinefs. And on the other fide, thofe 
which are erofs to it, muft needs make 
us miferable. And if it be fo (as I have 
already proved) that our Happinefs muft 
confift in fuch a Similitude and Refem- 
blanceto the Supreme Good as we are 
(Capable of J it muft hence follow, that 
Religion is formally Happinefs. He that 
lives underthe power of Godlike Difpo- 
fitions in his Mind, and doth according^ 
ly exercifethem in the Courfe of his Life, 
may be faid eo nomine to be a happy 
fZian f Holinefs and Happinefs being but 


580 of the Principles, &c. Lik It. 

two diftind: Names for the fame thing. I 
flicwed before that the true Nature of 
Pleafure was founded in aSuitablenefs be- 
twixt the Faculty and the Objecft : From 
whence it will follow, that reafonable 
Actions have in them a Suitablenefs to 
reafonable Minds .• And the more vir*- 
tnotis and religious any Man is, the more 
delight muft fuch a Man take in fuch kind 
of Actions. That Man who hath a juft 
Senfe of his own impotent dependentCon- 
dition, and how much it is for the In- 
tereft of the World, and the good of all 
human Affairs, that there is a Supreme 
Governor, who is infinitely wife, and 
powerful and gracious, and how reafo- 
nable it is that Men (hou Id demean them- 
felves towards him fuitably to this Belief: 
He that is convinced how ncceflary. it 
js for the pVoraoting his own private, as 
well as the Publick Welfare, that Men 
be forward to do all good Offices of Ju- 
ftice and Friendlhip towards one another .- 
I fay, he that is under this Conviction, 
muft needs find much Satisfadion and 
Pleafure in fuch kind of Adions. As for 
frfl Table Duties which confift in Ac- 
quaintance with God, Communion with 
him, in meditating upon his Wifdom, 
(joodnefs, Pbwer; in Affiance,LoveJReye^ 

rence ; 

. 1 

Chap; 7. of Katural ^Hport. 3 Si 

rence } if thefe were not A(3:s of thefiigh-* 
eft Pleafure, they would never have been 
appointed for the Happineft . of our fu- 
ture State in Heaven. And as for fecond 
7v3f//(? Duties, What greater Pleafure and 
Satisfaction can there be to a generous 
Mind, than to do worthy Things, to be 
employed about Ads of Juftice and Cha- 
rity and Beneficence, to promote publick 
Peace and Good-will amongft Men? Eat-^ 
ing and Drinking is not a more proper 
Satisfadion to thofe natural Appetites of 
Hunger and Thirft,than the doing of good 
is to the rational Inclinations of a good 
Man. As all Light, and Love, and Joy are 
from above, from ,the Father of Lights j fa 
all Darknefs, Sorrow, Fear, Difquiet,muft 
be from below, from the Prince of Dark- 
nefs. Wicked men are well compared to 
the troubled Sea, which cannot reft, but ifa. 5^ 
by realbn of its being tolled to and fro- 
by contrary Winds, is ftill cafting up mire 
and dirt. He that lives under the Ser- 
vitude of Lufts and Paflions, muft always 
be in an unquiet reftlefs Condition j be- 
caufe fuch Mafters can never be fatisfied 
in any one Service they employ us about; 
befides the Interifering and Contrariety of 
thofeEmployments which they will exadl 
fisom us. Vice is multiform, feeler a dijfu- 


5 8 1 Of the principles ^ 6cc, Lib. If. 


Jeftty and therefore muft they needs be irt- 
confiftent with Reft and Quiet. One prin- . 
cipal requifite to a State of Serenity of 
Mind, doth confift in an uniform >\gree^ 
mcnt about that chief End which we are 
to purfue, together with the Means con- 
ducing to it ; whereas they that have ma- 
ny and contrary Things in Defign, muft ' 
needs be diftraded about them^ The Soul 
that cannot fix it felf upon the Enjoyment 
ofGod,who is the only Ali-fufficientGood, 
and confequently the only Center of Reft:, 
muft be like thofe difconfolate Spirits, '> 
Mar. II. -which our Saviour fpeaks of, who being / 
caft out of their Habitations, were put to ; ;:-' 
wander up and down through Defart Pla- :. 
ces, feeking reft, but finding none. \> 

2. From the moft natural Effedrs and '>^' 
Confcquences of Religion, in refpetS of 1*- 
that inward Confidence,Peace, Joy, which ^ 
muft follow the Confcience of well-doingj ^ 
infomuch, that there is not any kind of •? 
Tree which doth more naturally produce l;, 
its proper Fruits, than the Habits of Vir- r^ 
tu€ do bring forth Joy and Serenity in 
the Mind, Whena Manftiall fit down and 
take a feriousReview of what he hath done, 
and finds it to be moft agreeable both to - 
bis Duty and Intereft, from hence there 
muft needs arife an inward Satisfadion of 


Chap. 7» of Natural (I(eli^ion. j8} 

Mind. And on the other fide, a Foun- 
tain doth not more naturally fend out 
/Waters than Vice doth Punifhment and 
Mifery. Nor is this any mere Notion or 
' Fancy, which fome feyere melancholv Di- 
" vines would impofe upon the World ^ but 
it is moft agreeable to thofe natural Sen- 
timents which the very Heathen have had 
and do frequently mention •• Seneca in 
particular j Res fevera eft verum gaudium ; 
undefit^ tnterrogas? dicam^ ex bona con- 
fcientia^ ex honefiis confiliisy ex re£lis 
• a£lionihus. All folid Comfort mufl: arife 
, from a good Confcience, and honeft A- 
V (3:ions« 

^ I appeal to the Experience of all con- 
fideringMen, whether this doth not ap- 
; •! pear to them, that the generality of thofe 
% who live moft pleafantly in the World, 
^;^/.are the moft religious and virtuous part 
4' of Mankind; fuch as know how to re- 
: gulate themfelves in the Fruition of what 
*-' they have, how to avoid the Extremities 
. on either hand, to prevent thofe Mixtures 
of Guilt and Fear, which are apt to fowre 
and imbitter all our Enjoyments ? Whe- 
ther lawful Pleafures, which a Man may 
reflect upon without any fenfe of Guilt, 
be not much to be preferred before o- 
thers ? Whether thofe iDtelie<^ua|De%hts 


3[ a 4 , Of the (principles, 8cc. Lib. Xt. 

that flow from the Confcience of well- 
doing , be not much better than any fm- 
ful fenfual Pleafufe ? Whether the doing 
of any worthy j\<5tion , fuch as all good 
Meh mxifl: think well of artd commend, 
do not aiffbrd a niore folid lading Plea- 
fure than can be had from any lenfible 
Enjoyments ? Whether any thing can be 
more fui table, and confequently delight- 
ful to a generous Mind, than an Oppor- 
tunity ot being grateful to thofeby whoraf 
^ Man hath been obliged; the making of 
an ample Return for the Favours he hath 
received > Whether that noble way of 
Conqueft, overcomhg evil with gooJy fur-« 
prizing an Enemy by Kindneft, when we 
have it in our Power to be fevcre towards" 
him , be not a far greater PJeafure tharf 
that which is by fome counted th€ fweet- 
cfl of all other things, Revcngel 

Religion doth likewifeadvancethe Soul 
to ar\holy Confidence, concerning the Di-» 
vine Favour and Good-will towards us* 
If our hearts condemn us not, we, have 
cnofidence towards God. A, good Con- 
fcienCeVillfet us above all thofe Fears and 
Doubts and Cares, whereby the Lives of 
Men are rendred uncomfortable. When 
inDecrepit Age a Man cannot findComfort 
in other things, when the finders Jh(fil 


chap. 7* of Natural ^ligion, j8j 

iefew^ and Appetite ceafe^ then will this 
be a continual Feafi. The mod rational, 
folid, fublimei compleat, durableDelights, 
of all others, do flow from the Confcience 
of Well-doing, Tis a chief part this, of 
that Heaven which we enjoy upon Earth, 
and 'tis likewise a principal part of that 
Happineft which we hope to enjoy in 
Heaven. Next to the Beatifical Vifi on 
and Fruition of God , is the Happinefs of 
a good Confcience, and next to that the 
Society of Saints and Angels. 

Whereas on the pther fide, he that 
lives under the Senfe of Guilt, and a Con- 
fcioufnefs of his Obligation toPunifliment, 
mufl: needs be deftitute of all inward Peace 
and Comfort : Such an one can have no-^ 
thing to fupport him with Patience, un- 
der a ftate of Afflidlion in this World, nor 
can he have any rational grounds to ex- 
pedl a better Condition hereafter ; and 
therefore mufl: needs have very dreadful 
Appreheoflons of Dying; and he aO his 
life-finte fnijeSt to ionJage through the fear 
of death. ' And that Man muft needs be 
very milerable, who can neither have true 
Joy in Life^ nOr any ffope in Death. 

- This the Heathen Philofophers have ac- 
knowledged^ That there is always a fe- 
cret Dread .which doth accompany Guilt. > 

i.'-- ■. .■ Cc So 

3 86 OftheTrinctpks^Scc. Lib. 11. . 

So Sentca in particular, fpeaking of Wick- 
Jp.io5. ed meiii he faith, tantum metuunt quan- 
tum nocenty that fuch men mufl: have Fears 
proportionable to their Guilt. And a lit- 
tle after, Jat panas quifquis expetlatj qui/- 
quis autem meruit expeSat ; thole then da 
really fuffer Punifhment, who live under 
the Expedtation of it ; and whoever doth 
any thing to deferve it, mud needs expedb 
it. 'Tis not eafy to exprefs the Torment 
which thofe men undergo. 

-■■■■ quos dirt confciafaSi 

Mens habet attonitos^ ^ fur Jo verier e C0^ 

Occultum quatiente anima tortore flageOum. 
■ i^ M ens fibi ccnfcia fa^i 

Pr^metuensy aJbibet ftimuloSy terretque fla- 


'Tis the unfupportablenefs of t^iis, that 
many times doth caufemen inthe bitter- 
nefs of theirSouls^to chufe flrangling and 
Death rather than Life. The Heathens do . 
fet forth fuch a Man's Condition, by the 
Fi(9:ion of fi^r/V^ continually haunting and 
fcourging him : But Xophar doth ~ better; 
Job 1. a5> defcribe it^ where he faith j Terrors arc 
^^ upon him y aOJarknefsis hi J in his fecret. 

places^ a Jfre not IJown fhc^H confume hjn^u 

_/ Though 

Chap. 7* of Natural Q(eUgion. } 87 

Though fome men are fo hardened a- 
gainft the Senfe of Guilt, as to go on in 
their finftil Courles, without feeling any 
of this Remorfe for them j yet is their 
Peace fo far from being a Privilege, that 
it doth render their Condition more des- 
perate, becaule it fuppoles them to have Rom.i.2{ 
a reprviate Mind^ and fuch a Stupidity up- Ep'^-4.'^ 
on their Confciences, as makes them pafi 11:101.4.3 
feelingy bcingfeareJas itwerewitb an hot 
iron. Which though it may preferve 
them from thofe prefent Lafhes which o- 
thers are tormented with, yet doth it 
argue tlieir Conditions to be more reme- 
^ile(s aad defberate. All the difference is, 
the one is fick of a Calenture or hurning^ 
fever^ the other of a Lethar^^ or Apo^' 
plexy } the former more painful for the 
prefent^ but both of them very dange-* 
rous, only the latter lefs capable of Re-^ 
medy than the former. , 


C c 2. CHAP, 

5 88 Of thefrinclj^es^ Sec. Lib.lL 


How ^ligion conduces to our Happh 
nejs in the next World* 

AS Religion is the true Caitfe of dar 
prefent Happincfi in this WorM> 


So likewife is it the Caufe of that Hap- 
pinefs, which we expeA in bur future 
States : Which muft depend upon fucb 
Couries/as can give us the mofl: rational 
AiTurance of Bleflednefs amd Qlofy here- 

I (hail fpeak but briefly tothisSubjcd, 
becaufe 'tis fcarce pofTible for any Man 
to be fo ftrangely infatuated, fo wholly 
loft to common Reafon as to believe, 
that vicious Courfes, defpifing of Religi- 
on, walking contrary to God, can be 
the Means to entitle him to thisftittire 
Happinefs, any more than Contempt and 
Hatred of any one, is a proper Mean to 
procure his. Favour. 


Chap. 8. of Natural %eUgton. \%9 ^ 

What kind of Happinefe this is, which 
belongs to oar future State, and wherein 
the Glory of it doth confift, is, aofoflov ti, 
A thing unfpeakabie, altogether above the 
Expreifions of human Orators, and paC- 
ftth all Knowledge, the Heart of Man be- 
ing not able to conceive it : Nor can it be 
cxpeded that we (hould be able, in this 
^ate of Flelh and Mortality, to compre- 
hend what kind of Irradiations glorified 
Souls are capable of. Only in the gene- 
ral, 'tis (aid, voe Jbali he like God^ and fet 
him (u he is. 

This State of future Happinefs, as it is 
above all other things of greatefl Mo- 
ment, fo ought it to be proportionably 
laboured after, with the greateft Care and 

There are feveral Varieties of Meta- . 
phorical Names or Expreflions, whereby 
this State is defcribed in Scripture ; but 
all of them do imply fomething of more 
than ordinary Care and Induftry to the 
qualifying of Men for it, as Bdlarmine ^i^^' J»c > 
hath obferved in his Tracfl de Murni^ /(?- 
Ucitate fun^orum. 

"Tis (tiled. 

The Cit) of GoJ^ the Hearventyjerufa- 
lem. And it requires fome Care and Di- 
ligence for one that is a Citizen of this 

Cc 3 World, 

3 po of the Tmclpksy &c. Lib. \h 

Epfccf 4. World, to be a FellovO'Citizen with the 
Saints ; it being no eafy thing for one 
that lives in this World , not to be of 

Mattlfc 7. the Houfe of God^ where there are ma- 
ny Manjions ; But ft rait is the gate , and 
narrow is the way to it. 

-. . An hiJTrfiafure^ z precious Tearl. Not 

^*^ *^^' to be obtained without putting fuch a 
Value upon it, as will make a man ready 
to part with all that he hath, for the pur- 
chafe of it. 

Matthio. ^ Penny. The Wages of our daily Ser- 
vice; not to-be given but tafuch as la- 
lour in the Vineyard^ and hold out to the 

Luke 14- A Feaft or rich Supper ; which they arc 
altogether unworthy of and unfit for , 
whodo wholly devote themfelves to the 
Affairs of this World. 

The Joy of our Lord and Mafter\ which 

Matth.ft5- they only are admitted to, who are care- 
ful to improve the Talents they are in- 
truded withal. 

Mfitth 15. ^^^ Solemnity of a royal Wedding ; 
' from which all lazy, flothful People, who 
have not ojl in their lamps^ and do not 
watch, for the coming of the Bridegroom^ 
fliall be (hut put, and excluded into outer 


Chap/ 8. of Natural ^ligkn. 59 1 

^Tis^^ Prize; which they only obtain ^ ^®'- P- 
who accompIifH their Race, and run to 
the Goal. 

*Tis a Crown ; which is due only to i Cor. 9. 
fuch as fight valiantly and overcome. 

*Tis an Inheritance ; and therefore be- 
longs only to Sons. 'Tis an Inheritance 
of the Saints ; and therefore unfancftified 
Perfons can have nothing to do with it. 
*Tis an inheritance of the Saints in light ; 
and therefore cannot belong to fiidi as 
ftill remain under the Powers of Dark- 

Heaven may be confidered under a 
Two-fold Notion, either as a 

X Place. 

I . In the firft Senfe, 'tis the fame with 
Holinefs, confiding in fuch Godlike Dif- 
pofitions, as may make us Partakers of 
the Divine Nature. 

z. In the fecond Senfe, ItT denotes that 
other World, where we hope to enjoy 
the Beatifical Vifion, in the bleflfed Soci-' 
ety of the Saints and Angels. Which Re- 
ligion only and Holinefs can qualifie us 
ror, by working in our Natures »iiich a 
Suitablenefe and Congruity as muft make * 

Cc4 fuch 

39* 0/ the frincipks^ 8cc] hih^VL 

fuch things to be Felidties. 

In brief ; That Salvation and Glory^ 
' which the Chriftian Religion doth fo 
clearly propole to us, is, as to the Na^ 
ture and Eflence of it, but the very (ame 
thing with Religion ; confiding in (iich a 
ConTormity of our Minds to the Nature 
of God, whereby we are madecapablq 
of the Fruition of him in Heaven. So 
that in this refped alfof Religion is the 
Whole of Mjhj that is, the whole Happi- 
nefs and Well-being of Man doth depend 
upon it. 

I have now difpatch^d what I intend- 
ed in this Difcourfe, namely, to prove 
the Reafonablenefs and Credibility of the 
Principles of Natural Religion ; which I 
have made appear to be in themfelves of 
fo great Evidence, that every one, who 
will not dp Violence to his own Facul- 
ties, mufl; believe and aflent unto them. 
I have hkewife made it plain, that *tis 
every Man's greateft Intereft, to provide 
for his prefent and future Happinefe, by 
applying himfelf to the Duties of Religi- 
on, which upon all accounts will advance 
the Perfediqn of his Nature, and promote 
bis true Welfare^ both in this World andl 
the other. Infomuch, that if we were to 
. chuie the Laws w^ would fubooit unto, 
' . •' ^ ■. . ' it 

chap. 8. of Natural ^tigion. jyj 

it were not poffible for us to contrive 
any Rules more advantageous to our owiv 
Intereft, than thofe which Religion doth 
propofe, and require us to obferve, upon 
pain of everlafting Damnation, and in 
Hope of eternal Life^ which 64fJ that can* 
not lye hath promifed^ to all thofe who By 
patient Continuance in well-doing feek for 
Glory ^ and Honour J and Immortality. 



194 0/ the Triwipksj &c. Lib. II. 


7i&^ Conclujton of the whole , Jhewin^ 
the Excellency of the Chrillian Re- 
ligion, and the Advantages of it, 
hoth as to the Knowledge and Pra- 
ctice of our Duty , abofe the mere 
Light of Nature. 

IHave now at large confidered the 
Credibility of the Principles of iST^- 
turai Religion , and our Obligation to the 
fcveral Duties refulting from thofe Prin- 
cipleS. The Purpofe of all which , is to 
Ihew how firm and deep a Foundation Re- 
ligion hath in the Nature and Reafon of 
Mankind : But not in the leaft to dero- 
gate from the Neceffity and Ufefulnefs of 
Divine Revelation^ or to -extenuate the 
great BlefTmg and Benefit of the Chriflian 
Religion j but rather to prepare and make 
way for the Entertainment of that Doilrine 
which is fo agreeable to the cleareft Di- 
drates of Natural Light. For notwithftand- 
ing all tfiat hath been faid of Natural ke- 
iigiony it cannot be denied, but vthat in. 



Chap. p. of Natural l^eligion. ^pj 

this dark and degenerate State into which 
Mankind is funk, there is great W^nt of 
a clearer Light to difcover our Duty to 
us with greater Certainty, and to put it 
beyond all Doubt and Difpute what i^ the 
good and acceptably Will of God ; and 
of 9. more powerful Encouragement to the 
Pradtice of our Duty, by the Promife of 
3 fupernatural Afliftance, and by the Affu- 
rance of a great and%eternal Reward. And 
all thefe Defeds are tully fupplied, by that 
clear and perfed Revelation which God 
hath made to the World by our blefled 
Saviour. And although, before God wa« 
pleafed to make this Revelation of his 
Will to Mankind , Men were obliged to 
^ the Practice of moral Duties by the Law ^ 
of Nature^ and as the Apoftle fpeaks, ha^ ,^^ [^l 
ving not the Law were a Law to them/elves^ ^ 
/hewing the Effe^ of the Law written upon 
their Hearts; yet now that God hath in 
fo much Mercy revealed his Will fb plain- 
ly to Mankind, it is not enough for us 
who enjoy this Revelation^ to perform 
thofe moral Duties which are of natural 
Obligation, unlefs we alfo do them inO- 
bedience to Chrifl as our' Lord and Law- 
giver/ As we are Chriflians^ whatever ^^U' ^i 
toe ^0 in word or deed^ we niujl do all in 
the name of the Lord Jefus ; and by him 


3p^ Of theTrineipleSjScc. Lik IL 

alone exped to find Acceptance with 

How far the moral Virtues of mere 
Heathens^ who walk anfwerable to the 
Light they have, may be approved of God, 
I mall not now difpute. Only thus much 
feems clear in the general, That the Law 
of Nature being implanted in the Hearts 
of Men by God himfelf, muft therefore 
be efteemed to be as much his Law ,* as 
any pofitive Inftitution whatfoever .- And 
conlequently , Conformity to it muft in 
its kind, in ifnere morum^ be acceptable 
to him. God loves the Societies of Man- 
kind, and becaufe of the Neceflity of Ju* 
ftice, and Virtue, and Probity to the 
Prefervation of human Society, therefore 
he doth generally give a Blefling and SuCr 
cefs to honeft and good Enterprizes, and^ 
blafts the contrary with fignal Judgments 
and Marks of his Difpleafure. But we 
cannot from thefe outward Difpenfations 
infer any thing certainly concerning fuch 
Men's eternal Conditions. 

Some of the Fathers indced^zsfufiipfMar^ 
fyry and Clemens AlexandrinuSy and Chryfo- 
Jjiomy have delivered their Judgments for 
the Salvation of fuch Heathens as live ac- 
fording to the Light of Nature: but the ge- 
neral Stream of the reft is for the contrary 


Chap. p. of Natural ({(elipon, \g7 

Opinion, I (hall not now enquire into the 
particular Grounds andReafons of thisDif- 
fCTcnce, It may ftffice to fay in general,that 
the' gooJnefs and mer(y of God, as well as 
his judffnent^ are a great deep j that he will 
have mercy on whom he will have merey ; 
and that when God hath not thought fit 
to tell us how he will be pleafed to deal 
with fuch Perfons , it is not fit for us to 
tell Him how he ought to deal with t^em* 
Only of this we are fufficiently afTured, 
that in all Ages and Places of the World, 
^11 that are laved are faved by the Mercy 
of God, and by the Merits of Jefus Chrift^ 
who is the Lamb flain from the Founda- 
tion of the World 5 the Scripture having 
exprefly* told us, that there is no falvati-- 
M in any other : for there is none other 
Hame under Heaven given among men 
whereby we mufi he faved. To be fure, 
there is no Reafon for any Man,who lives 
under the Difpenfation of the Golpel, to 
exped: that he fhall efcape^ if he negleSl 
fo great falvation. This is the Tenor of 
that Do<arine of the Gofpel, which Chrifi 
immediately upon his Refurredtion doth^ 
commifTionate his Difciples to preach ; 
]Mark 16. 16. He that helieveth fhall Id 
fdvedy iut he that lelieveth not fhaU le 
damned. And 7*^. 3. x8. He that helieveth 


jpy Of the fprmclptes, Sec. Lib. It. 

not^ is condemned already. And prefently 
it follows, This is the condemnation , &a 
And again,^ Joh. 7. This is life eternal^ta 
know thee the only true God^ and him whom 
thou haft fenty Jefus Chrift. . 

Now tl^t to w, to whom the Chriftian 
Dodrine is revealed and propofed , the 
Belief and Pradice of it is the only way 
wherein we can hope to be accepted , I 
fhall endeavour to make out by thefe two 

I . From the Evidence we have of its 
Divine Authority. 

X. From the Excellency of the things 
contained in it ; which are the two chief 
Grounds of our Obligation to it. 

1. From that Evidenc'e which we have 
for the Divine Authority of this Dodrine, 
above any other. It (eems to be a Prin- 
ciple of Nature^to which all Nations have 
confented, That God himfelf fhould pre- 
fcribe the way of his, own Worftiip. All 
kinds of Inventions whatfoever, that have 
been any way ufeful to human Life, efpe- 
cially fuch kind of Laws as concern Ci- 
vil or Ecclefiaftical Aflbciations of Men, 
have upon the firllDifcovery of thembeea 
(till afcribed to the Deity. As if the^uthors 
of them muft needs have been firft illu- 
minated with fome Ray of Divinity. Nor 


chap. 9. of Natural ^lipon. 39^ 

is it probable,that ever any Nation (hould, 
with any Degree of Zeal , embrace the 
relpedive Ceremonies of their Religion , • 
unlefs they had firft efteemed them to 
have proceeded from Divine Revelation* 

Upon this Account was it that Lycur^ 
gus^ and Ifuma Pompilius , and Mahomet , 
and the reft of thole kind of Founders 
of Nations and Religions, when they 
would obtain a Reverence and Devotion 
to the things they were to eftablifli, they 
were fain to pretend at leaft to Divine 
Revelation. Which Proceeding of theirs, 
though it did really abufe the People 
with grcifs Delufions, yet was it founded 
upon this common Principle , that none 
can think aright of God/ much lefs ferve 
him in an acceptable manner, unlei^they^ 
are firft inftruded by him in the true way > 
of doing it. 

Now that the Do<9:rine of Chriftiani- . 
ty is thus derived to us by Divine Infti- 
tutiod, Nve have as clear and convincing 
Evidence , as things of that Nature are 
capable of. 

As for the Old teftament^ . that hath 
by the .general Confent of learned Men, . 
all the Marks, of pureft Antiquity ; therei 
being nothing in the World whichin this! 


400 Of the Principles ^ Sec. Lib* 11^ 

refped is equal to it, or which may pre-^ 
tend to be compared with it. All other 
the mod ancient Monuments of Antiqui-^ 
ty coming ihort of it by many Ages. It 
\yzs written in the firft and moft ancient 
Language ; from which the very Alpha- 
bets and Letters of all other Languages 
(in the Opinion of the mod learned Hea- 
tbens^ Ptutarchj Plinj^ Tacitus^ Lucany 
&c.) were derived. The very Number 
and Order of Letters mod generally ufed 
in all kind of Alphalets , being very im- 
proper and unnaitural ; which it is not 
likely Men of feveral Nations would have 
all agreed upon, were it not barely upon 
this Reaibn that they were taken up by 
Imitation, and fo ^d retain the Errors 
and ImpNbrfeiStioftsr of that £lrft original 
from whence they were derived. 

This Book contains as the mod anci- 
ent, fo the mod exad Story of the Worid, 
The Propagation of Men^ and the difper** 
fmg of Families into the feveral Parts of 
the Earth ; as I (hewed before. 

And though this Book were written in 
feveral Ages and Places , by feveral Per- 
fons ; yet doth the Doctrine of it accord 
together, with a mod excellent Harmo- 
By V without any Di0bnance or Ihcon(i«- 


Chap. pJ of Natural Q^eligion. . 40 1 

And for the manner of delivering the 
things contained in it, *tis fo (blemn, re* 
verend and majeftick, fo exactly (uited to 
the Nature of things, as may juftly pro- 
yoke oar Wonder and Acknowledgment 
of its Divine Original* Infomuch that 
Longinus , a great Mailer of Eloquence a- 
mongft the Heathens^ hath obferved the 
Decorum and Majefty which Mofe$ ufeth 
in defcribing the Creation, in thofe 
Words, God faiJy let there he Lights and 
there was Light. 

And as for the l^ew tefiament. Thofe 
various Correfpondencies, which it bears 
to the chief things of the Old Tcftament, 
may fufficiently evidence that mutual Re* 
lation, Dependance and Affinity which 
there is betwixt them. That in fuch aa 
Age there was fuch a Man as Chrifty who 
preached fuch a Dodirine, wrought many 
Miracles, fuflered an ignominious Death, 
and was afterwards worOiipped as God, 
having. Abundance of Difciples ^and Fol- 
lowers, at firll chiefly amongft the Vul«- 
gar, but a while after , amongft (everal 
of the moft wife and learned Men ; who 
in a fliort Space of Time did propagate 
their Belief and Doi^rine into the i&oiL 
remote Parts of the World : I fay, all this 
is for the Truth of the Matter of l^Qc^ not 

D d fo 



40 1 Of the Trinciples, &c. Lib. II. 

fo much as doubted or called into Que- 
(lion, by Julian^ or Cetfus. or th^Jewf 
themfelves, or any other of the moft a- 
vowed Enemies of Chriftianity. But we 
have it by as good Certainty as any rati- 
onal Man can wi(h or hope for, that is, 
by Univerfal Teftimpnyj as well of Ene-' 
Plies as Friends. 

And if thefe things were fo, as to the 
Matter of FacS:, the common Principles 
. of Nature will aflure us, that 'ti? not 
confident with the Nature of the Deity, 
bisTruth,Wifdom or Juftice,to work fuch 
Miracles in Confirmation of a Lye or 

Nor can it be reafbnably objeded. 
That thefe Miracles are now ceafed j and 
we have not any fuch extraordinary way 
to confirm the Truth of our Religion: 
'Tis fuificient that they were upon the 
firfl: Plantation of it, when Men were to 
be inftituted and confirmed in that new 
podlrine. And there may be as much 
of the Wifdpm of Providence in the for- 
bearing them now, as in working theni 
then. It being not reafonable to think 
that the univerlal Laws of Nature, by 
which things are to be* regularly guided 
in their natural Coiirfe , (hould frequent- 
ly or upon every little Qccafion be viola^ 
ted or difordered. To 

* . 

Chap. p. of Natural Religion. 40^ 

To which may be added that wonder« 
ful way wliereby this Reli^on hath been 
propagated m the World, with much Sim* 
piicity and Infirmity in the firft Publifti- 
ers of it f without Arms, or Fadion, or 
favour oE-great Men ; or the Pcrfuafions 
of Philofophers or Orators; only by a 
naked Propofal of plain evident Truths 

3nxh a firm Refolution of fufTering and 
ying for it, by which it hath fu^ued 
all kind of Perlecutions and Oppofitions^ 
and Turmounted whatever Difcpurage- 
ment or Refiftance could be laid in its 
way or made againft it, 

X. From the Excellency of the things 
containctd in it, both in refpe<% to the 

{JBjjr^ propofed. 
Means for the attaining of it, 

r. From the En J it propofes, the 
qhief Reward which it fets before us, 
namely , the eternal Vifion and Fruitio|i 
of God. Which is fo excellent in it felf, 
and fo fuitable to a rational Being, as np 
pther Retigion or Profeffion whatfbeyer, 
bath thought of, or (b exprefly infided 

Soipe of the Uzvn^d Heathen have pla- 
ced the Happinefs of Man in the external 

D d X fen- 

464 of the Trlttdplesy Sec, Lib. II. 

(enfual Delights of this World ; I mean 
the Epicureanism who though in other Re- 
(peds they were Perfons of many excel- 
lent and fublime Speculations, yet becaufe 
of their, grofs Error in this kind, they 
have been in all Ages looked upon with 
a kind of Execration and Abhorrency, 
not only amongft the Fulgar^ but like- 
wife amongft the Leameder Sort of Phi- 
lofcphers. 'Tis an Opinion this, fo vcr^ 
grofs and ignoble, as cannot be (liJSici- 
ently defpifed. It doth debafe the Un- 
derftandin^ of Man , and all the Princi« 
pies in him, that are fublime and gene- 
rous, extinguiihing the very Seeds of Ho- 
nour, and Piety, and Virtue, affording 
no room for AdLions or Endeavours, that 
are truly great and noble; being alto- 
gether unworthy of the Nature of Man, 
and doth reduce us to the Condition of 

Others of the wifer Heathen^ have fpo* 
. ken fometimes doubtfully concerning a 
future Eftate, and therefore, have placed 
the Reward of Virtue, in the doing of 
virtuous things. Firtus efi fill pramium. 
Wherein though there be much of Truth, 
yet it doth not afford Encouragement e- 
nough, for the vad; Deflres of a rational 



chap. p. 6f Natural ^Itgm. 40 5 

Others who have owned a State after 
this Life » have placed the Happinefs of 
it in gro^ and (enfual Pleafures, FeaQs, 
and Gardens 9 and Company , and other 
fuch low and grofs Enjoyments. 

Whereas the Dodrlne of Chrifiianity 
doth fix it upon things^ that are much 
more (piritual and fublime, the Beatifical - 
Vifion^ a clear unerring Under (landings a 
perfed: Tranquility of Mind, aConformi-* 
ty to God, a perpetual admiring and 
praifing of him : Than which the Mind 
of Man cannot fancy any thing that is - 
more excellent or defirable. 

x« As to the Means it diredls to , for 
the attaining of this End, they are fuita- 
ble both to the GoodneCs and Greatnefs 
of the £^4/ it felf. ' ._ 

I. For the Duties that are enjoyned 
in Reference to Divine Worjhip. They are 
fo full of Sandity and Spiritual Devotion, 
as may fhame all the pompous Solemni- 
ties pt other Religions, in their coftly Sa- 
crifices, their dark wild Myfleries, aod 
external Obfervances. Whereas this re- 
fers chiefly to the Holinefs of the Mind, 
RefignatioQ to God , Love of him , De- : 
pehdance : upon him, SubmilTion to his. 
Will, endeavouring to be like him. 

Dd 3 X. And 

|o6 Of the Trinciples, &c. Lib. 11. 

1. And as for the Duties of theT^- 
cW Talle^ which concern cur mutual 
Converfation towards one another j it al- 
lows nothing that is hurtful or obnoxious, 
either to our felves , or others : Forbids 
ailkindof Injury or Revenge^ commands 
to overcome evil with good, to ptty 
for Enemies and Perfecutors ; doth not 
admit of any mental, much tefs any cor- 
poral Uucleannefs ; doth not tolerate any 
immodeft or uncomely Word or Gefture; 
forbids us to wrong others in their Goods 
and Poflcflions, or to mifpend our own ; 
requires us to be very tender both of our 
own and other Men's Reputations. In 
brief, it enjoins nothing but what is help-^ 
fill, and ufeful,' and good for Mankind, 
Whatever any Philolbphers have pre- 
fcribed concerning their moral Virtues of 
Temperance, and Prudence^ and Patience^ 
and the Duties of feveral Relations, is 
here enjoyned in a far more eminent, fub- 
lime and comprehenfive Manner. Be- 
ilde fuch Examples and Incitations to Pi- 
ety as are not to be paralleJ'd elfewhere. 
The whole Syfteni of its Dodrine being 
tranfcendently excellent , and fo exai^ly 
conformable to the higheft, pureft Rea- 
fon, that in tfaofe very things wherein it 
goes beyond the Rules pf Moral Philofo- 

Chap. 9. iff Natural Religion. 4 07 

J)hy, we f annot iri dur beft Judgment bui 
conient and Tubmit to it. 

In brief, it doth in every refped fp 
folly anfwer the chief Scope and JDeftgrt 
of Religion , in giving all imaginable 
Hbnour and Submiffion to the Deity, pro- 
ffloting the good of Mankind^ f^tisfying 
and fupporting the Mind of Man , with 
teie highefi kind of jfenjoynients , that a 
rational Soul can wi(h or hope for, as np 
other Religion or Profeflion whatfoeyei; 
tan ^etend unto. 

T • ? ■ ■ 

[What hath briem^ been faid upon this 
Argument^may fumce to (hew the exceed^ 
ing Folly and Unreafonablenefs of tholc^ 
J^n, ^ho are fceptical and indifferent a^ 
tqdtiy kiftd of Religion, 'Tis a Vice this, 
tHat, if it may not be ftildd dittOtAtheififi^ 
^et certainly it is the very next Degree to 
it. And there is too much Reafon to fuC- 
ped, that it doth in this Generatipn very 
much abound, not only amongft'tlhe ^A 
^^r,l)ut fpch alfo as wouldf be thdught the 
greateft fTi/^, and moll knowing Men. It 
hath been occafioned b^ that Heat and 
Zeal of Men in thofe various contrary O- 
jjiifiidns, which have of late abbpndedjta- 
gether with thofe great Scandals that have 
befen g^veh' by the Profeflors of Religion 

D d 4 on 

408 Of the Trincipks, 8cc, Lib. II. 

on feveral hands. From whence Men of 
corrupt Minds have taken occasion to 
doubt of all kind of Religion ; and to 
look upon it only as a political Inventi- 
pn» which doth no farthei^ oblige^ than 
a!s the Laws of feveral Countries do pro^ 
vide for it. Thefe common Scandals have 
been the Occafion^ but the true ground at 
the bottom, of fuch men*s Prejudice and 
Diflatisfa(2ion, is the Stridnefs and Purity 
of this Religion, which they find puts too 
great a Red rain t and Check Upon their 
exorbitant Luds and Paflions. 

I know they will pretend for their Hc- 
fitation and Indif!erency in this kind, the 
want of clear and infallible Evidence for 
theTruth of Chriftianity j than whiclj no- 
thing can be more abfurd and unwbrthy 
of a rational Man. For kt it be but im- 
partially confider'd j what is it, that fuch 
Men would have ? Do they exped: M^i- 
thematical Proof and Certainty in Moral 
things ? •Why, they may as well exped 
to fee with their Ears^ and hear with their 
Eyes. Such kind of things (as I (hewed 
at large in the beginning of this Trpatife) 
being altogether as difproportioned to 
fuch kind of Proofs, as the Objeds of the 
feveral Senfes are to one another. The 
Arguments or proofs to be ufed in feve- 


Chap, p* of Katural ^eUgton. ^op 

ral Matters are of various and different 
kinds, according to the Nature of the 
Thing to be proved. And it will Become 
every rational Man to yield to fuch Proofs, 
as the Nature of the thing which he en- 
quires about is capable of: And that 
Man is to be looked upon as frouard and 
(ppntentious, who will not reft fatisfied in 
fuch kind of Evidence as is counted fuf- 
ficient, either by all others, or by moft, 
or by the wifeft Men. 

It we fuppofe God to have made any 
jP^evelation of l^is Will to Mankind^ can 
any Man propole or fancy any better way 
for conveying down to Ppfterity the Cer- 
tainty of it, than that clear and univerfaf 
Xraditioh which we have for the Hi- 
iloryof theGofpel? And muft not that 
Man be ye^ry unreafqnable, who will not 
be content with as niuch Evidence for an 
ancient Book or Matter of Fali^ as any 
thing of that Nature is capable of? If it 
be only infallible and mathematical Cer^ 
tainty that can fettle his Mind, why 
(hould he believe that he was bom of fuch 
Parents, and belongs to fuch a Family > 
'Tis poffible Men might have combined 
together to delude him with fuch a Tra- 
dition. Why may he not as well think, 
that he was born a Prince and not a Sub- 

410 \ Of the Trinciplesy Sec, Lib. IF. 

jedC) and coniequently deny all Duties of 
$ubjed:ion and Obedience to thofe above 
him ? There is nothing fo wild and ex- 
travagant, to which Men may not expoie 
chemtelves by fuch a . kind of nice an^ 
fcrupulous Incredulity. 
. Whereas if to the Enquiries about Re- 
ligion a Man would but bring with hid| 
the fame Candor and Ingenuity, the fanr4 
Readinefs to be inftruded, which he doth 
tfo the Study of human Arts and Sciences ; 
^at is, a Mihd/ree fronqi viclerit Prejudi- 
ces and a Defirc of Contention; : It can 
hardly be imagined, but that he Oiuft be 
convinced and (iibdued by thofe clear £- 
yidences which offer themfelves. to ever* 
inquifitive Mind, copcerning the Truth 
ofjthe jpr/w/)>/ff of Religion in gerierali 
and concerning the Divine Authority pi the 
Holy Serif tures^ and of the Chrifiian Relt- 

\ ' 

J . . 

• . \ 


F itr IS, 

/ (' ■ ■'■■ 

.'' .i- J» 

r ^- . '■ / 


Preach'd at the 



Right Reverend Father in God, 


LateLordBiftiop oiChefter, 

At thtQmldbdlChai^XLON'DOJSt^ 

OathurfdayHtitix.oi Decemier, 167%. 

By William Lloyd, D.D, 

Then Dean of B A n g O r. 
Now Lord Biihopof Worcbstbiu 

Printed for Charles Brome, 1710, 



( I ) 



H E B. 13. 7. 

Remember them winch have the 
Rule over youy 'who have ff^lhn 
to you the Word of God ; 'whofe. 
PtUth folh'Wy cmjidering the end 
of their Cowverfation, . ' 

IN handling this Text of holy Scrips 
ture, that we may mingle nothing 
of Human AfTeftions, that our Pa^ 
fions may give no Interruption to yoa 
in hearing, or to me in fpeaking^; t 
fliopld detire to fupprefs them quite^ if 
it were polTible. And pofTible it li^ 
where they are (lightly raifed, as upon 
common and ordinary Occafions : But 
where they are grounded add (Irongi 
\vhere they dare argue » and feem to 
^ave Reaion on their fide, as there is 
too much in fig^it for ours; ther^'X 
think it is in vain to endefivour it : 
The only way in this Cafe, is to gi» 
them fome kind of Vent, to difehoi^ 


( » ; 

them in part, and to govern what remains 
of the Affedions. 

• You will I hope the rather htstr with 
my Infirmity, that I cannot contain from 
deploring the Lo(s, the irreparable Lois 
that we Tuffer, I thin^ all buffer, in the 
Death of thisEminent Perfon. He was 
the Mm in whom bis friends hid experi:- 
ence of much good , and had hopes of 
much more ; not fo much for his Great- 
nefs or Power, as abftrading from ^efe^ 
for what they found in himfelf, which 
was a great and manifold BleiSing to all 
that lived within his Converfation. He 
y^as a Father, a Gounfellor, a Comfor- 
ter, a Helper, a fure Friend : He was 
all they could wifh in every relation, aiid 
jby the Courfe of Nature, niig]ht have been 
for many Years. But for our 3in5, (^^ 
for his unfpeakable Advantage} the Grea^ 
and Wife God was notpleaied tocoptinue 
that BlefTing ; he took lumoutof du^ 
World, when for ought we could |udgi^ 
there was mod need of fuch Men to hve 
in it ; and when we had much reafbn to 
expeA more good than eyer by his Ijiving 
in it. 

Oh the unfe^rchableWays and Couofejs 
of God / Oh the Blm^eis of hufftad 
Ho|pes aqd Expedatibns f While vi^ 


( ?) 

pleafe our (elves with the good we have 
in hand, while we reach out for more, 
ds iF there could never be an End, with- 
in a few Days all withers , all vanifheth 
to this : We have nothing left, but what 
it grieves us to fee ; \ye have nothing re- 
maihs, but Wh^t we are willing to be rid 
dfi a poor Shell of Earth, that we make 
hade to bury but of our Sight. 

Yes ; of wife and good Men, which 
is their Privilege above others, there re- 
mains after Death^ a Memory, an Exam- 
ple which they leave behind them,as a far 
Cred Depojitum for ni to keep arid ufe uhr 
til we lee them again. Are thefe thing^ 
nothing in our $ight > They are above 
all Price in the Sight of God j who, that 
they may be fo to us, both telleth us the' 
Worth, and recommends therij to our 
Efteem, and requires the Fruit of then) 
in many Places of Scripture : But in none 
with more Application to our prefeht Oc- 
cafion, than innliy Text. 1 ijfiall fuffici- 
cntly juftify my Choice of it, if I can but 
make it be underftood : I (hall (hew the 
full Import of it, in thofe Duties whicj^ 
it contains : I Ihall endeavour to ftir yqd 
up to pradtife them with refpe(9: to this 
prefctit Occafion. 


( 4 ) 

Firft, For the Underllandiag of my 
Ifext, we are to look for no help from 
what goes next befoire it, or after it : 
For the whole Bufmefs of it is contain* 
ed within it felf. Tt lies in the heap a- 
mong other Diredlions, which without 
any certain Connexion between them« 
were given by the Writer of this Epiflle 
to the Heirewsy that is, to thofe Jews 
who were converted to be Chriftians. 

For the time when it was written^ 

we are certain of this, that it was while 

Timothy lived ; for be is mentioned as 

living in the X4th Verfe of this Chapter. 

And he being there faid to have fufrered 

Imprifotiment for the Gofpel, this brings 

us a little nearer to the Knowledge of 

the time : For then it muft be after both 

St. Pauts Epiftles to Timothy. In -the 

lalL of thofe Epiflles, which was fbme 

Yeafs^^fter the other, St. Paul^ fpeaks 

much o^ his own Imprifbnment for the 

Gofpel .• He warns Timothy oft, that he 

mu(l fuffer for the Gofpel :^ He infl:ru(3;s 

him what to do when God fhall call 

him to fuffer. Not a Word of any 

thing that he had fuffered already ; Nay 

he counfels him as a young Mao^^ that 

had never been tried. He invites him 

to Rome^ which was the great Place of 



Tifial ; irt which Place, as it appears irt 
the Clofe of this Chapter, Timothy did 
fuffer that Imprifbnment for the Gofpel, 
from which he was delivered , when this 
Epiftle was written. It appears, that af- 
ter the Epiftle to Timothy y how long af- 
ter we know not, he did go to RomCj as 
Paul wiird him. How long he ftaid 
there we know not, eVe he did fuffer Im- 
prifonment. How long he was in Prifon, 
we know not^ e're he was fet at Liberty^ 
Only we know, it was a confiderable 
Time, we have Reafori to think it might 
be fome Years j it might be many Years 
that this Epiftle was written after the fe* 
cond Epiftle to Timothy. 

And if fo, then it was written, not 
only, as Theodoret fays, long after thd 
Death of James the Brother of John: 
But account it how you will^ this Epi- 
ftle was written after the Death of James 
the Brother of our Lord •• Which James 
being the firft Bifliop of Jerufalem^ and 
the otiier James an Apoftle, that is, a 
Bifliop at large, and both thefe being 
put to Death at Jerufalem ; Net to 
fearch into Church-Hiftory for thofe 
others of their. Order, who died before 
this time in other Places ; nor to guefs 
how many others w^erc dead, that are 

E e not 

( 6 ) 

not recorded in Church.Hiflx)ry : If we 
lliink of 00 more but thefe two emi- 
nent Servants of Chrift, we cannot be to 
ieek of the underdanding of this Text, 
nor of the Application to our particular 
purpo(e. I (ay not, but it may have a 
more general JExtent. There is a Menio- 
ry due, not only to the Apoftles of Chrift, 
and to the Bifhops their Succedbrs ; but 
to all other good Minifters of Chrift, yea 
to ail other exemplary Chridians. But if 
the Apodle had meant this only of Bilhops, 
I cannot guefs that he would have it ex- 
prefs'd otherwife, than he hath done in 
my Text 

^ To prove this, I muft have Recourfe 
to the Original, and not wholly depend 
upon our Englijh Tranflation. For that 
he meant this of Bifliops, it appears not 
fufficiently, and of them being dead, not 
at all, in our Tranflation* And yet from 
the Original, I fee no reafon to doubt, 
that our Apoftle in this Text, meant no 
other but BiQiops, and thofe departed this 

'For the Order of Bifhops, it is de- 
(cribed by thofe Ads of Ruling and 
Teachings in the Words of our Tranfla- 
tipn i but it is much more exprefly by 



tbe Word HH^joi m the Original. For 
the meaning of which Word, to whoni 
fliould we reforc, bat either to the Greeks 
in whofe Language, or to the fews^ for 
whole immediate life this was written ? 
Among the Greeks ff^fjSfjot is a general 
Word, it fignifies Rulers, Ecclenaftical or 
Civil. In this Verfe they take it for Ec* 
defiaftical Rulers .• So Cbnfofiom on my 
Text J and Oecumenius^ <t!^J Ein(T^7mp^ 
the Apoftle (peaks of Bifliops in this 
Verfe. If the fews would fay fo too^ 
what could we have more f They do fay 
it, as much as we have reafon to exped^» 
In their Traditional Language they call 
one of our Bilhops pojiH which in tSeO: 
is the Word in my Text. So then we 
iiave the Confent both of Greeks and of 
HeiretPSy that is, of them who had mod 
reafon to^kiraw the meaning of the 
Wordy that fiUhq)s are meant by the 
Word it^iJ^oi in my Text. 

That the Apoftle here fpeaks not of 
living, but of dead Biftiops ; of them 
that haJ the Rule before that Time | 
though 'tis rendred, that Aavtj in our 
Tranflation ; it appeareth by other 
Words in my Text. Rememher them ^ 
lays the Apoftle ; What, .tljofe that are 

£ e X prefent- ? 


prefenf > They arc not the OhjeSts of 
Memory , but of Senfe, Remember 
ffifS i\^sij9/jobVj the good Biihops you have 
had .• oinvi^ iXdhrmtv^ them that havefpo^ 
ken to ycuy that have fpoken their laft^ 
and (hall fpeak no more in this World : 
ara9g(w^SjJ7g^, confidering^ looking back^ or 

looking up to r h^oLcnv -rS^ aVa^'^o^^i 

the end of their Converfation. 'Ava<^fO(pii 
fignifies the whole Courfe of this Life, 
'^Bx^axm; is the End or Period of it . Look 
back, fays the ApofUe, to your Biftiops 
deceafed, tonfider their End^ or Exiti or 
going out of this World. 

To confirm this, if any doubt, I fhall 
defire him to compare this Verfe with 
the 1 7th of this Chapter. In both Verfes 
the Apoftle fpeaks of the ^f^ju^.o', that 
is, of Bifliops, as I have interpreted and 
proved. In the 17th he (hews our Duty 
to the living, Ohq them^ fays tbe.Apo- 
ftle, and fuhmit your f elves ^ for they 
watch for your Souls. In this Verfe he 
fliews our Duty to Biftiops deceafed j 
Rewemher them^ and follovo their Faith , 
cpnfidering the end of their Converfa^ 
tion. ^ 

I think more needs not be faid, to 
ihevv the Scope of my Text, and how 



applicable it is to our prefent Occafioti.^ 
It being clear that the Apoftle fpeaks 
here of Bilhops , and of them being de- 
parted this Life. 

I now proceed to the Duties required 
at our hands j /mvyifJi^vAiiriy and />u^« sSf, . 
Rememher zndi Imitate. 

Firft, Remeniher. 'Tis a natural Dfe- 
fire that Men have, to be remembred 
when they are dead.v We. do not find 
it is fo in any other Cresiture j they de- 
fire to live as long as they can j but for 
ought we can judge, by any Indication,' 
they haVe no regard to what (hall come 
after. The Reafon is plain, for their Be- 
ing determines with their Life. But for 
Man, among many other tokens of Im- 
mortality , he hath by fecret InliindJ", ^ 
Natural Defire to be thought of, and 
fpoken of in After-Times. We fee this, 
not only in them that are inflamed with 
the Hope of a Future Life ; but even in*'- 
thofe , that , for ought appears to us>^ 
know or think little of any more but the ^ 

What elfe made the Egyptian Kings - 
lay out their Wealth on Pyramids, and 
the like ftuperidious Buildings ? What mo-^ 
ved the Old Greeks And the R&mansj ^^t^|; 
fo niuch Care and Expfence to leave Sta- 

E e } tvi^% 


tucs and other Monuments, with Inictip^ 
tions of their Names i What meant thoie 
in the unlettered Nations, by the much 
harder Shifts they have made to convey 
any thing of themfelves to Pofterity ? I 
need not feek for Inftances of this in re^ 
mote Times and Countries, when we 
iee 'tis Co frequent in our Age, and per-- 
baps no where more than in this City ^ 
ifor Men of Defign, that think long be« ' 
fore-hand, above all other things, to pro« 
vide for this kind of Immortality. Some 
venture their Lives, others wear out 
themfelves, they do and fuffer any ttiing 
to get Eftates : Not for themfelves, that 
might be happier without them ; nor fo 
much for their known Heirs, whom they 
load with Entails, as for Men whom they 
know not, but only hope they will be in 
After- times. For their inwar J thought isp 
that their houfes fhall continue for ever j and 
their Jvoelling- place tQ all generations ; they 
call their lands ly their own names. This 
iheir ivay is their folly j and thofe that fee 
it are fuch Fools to take ^fter them, fays 
PaviJy Pfalf 49. ;i. 

But if this Defign take, it muft be in 
fpite of God , who hath declared it 
ih^li not 4a Bp will thwart wicked 



Men. They that provide not for the 
true Immortality , (hall lofe, their Defiga 
in this Shadow of it. Either their Name 
fliall be forgotten ; God hath threatned 
he wiB cut it off^ be will Hot it out^ their 
memory Jhall perijh with them : Or if it ^ 
furvive, it fhall be to their Shame, their 
name jh^iU rot^ Prov. lo. 7. What they 
build for Fame, fhall be like Ahfalom% 
Pillar, which remains to this Day j but 
the Paffers by throw Stones at it, in De- 
tefliation of his Memory : Such is gene- 
rally, though not always, the Curie of 
God that purfues wicked men. 

Whereas contrariwife it is the Pro- 
mife of God to the Juft, that they JhaB 
always he ha J in remembrance^ PfaL ii%.6. 
And t\iVi their memory JhaB he hlejfed as 
far as known y Prov. lo. 7. Promifes 
which, as all other of Temporal things, 
are to be underftood with Refervation to 
the Divine Oeconomy, to that Wifdom 
of God which orders all things in the 
Government of the World. It becom- 
eth not the Majefty of him that governs 
all Things, to break his Courfe, and to 
work Miracles upon every particular oc- 
cafion. 'Tis enough that he generally 
provideth that the fame thing may be 
done otherwife, and declares it to thofe 

E e 4 by 

by whom it ought to be 3one. If they 
do it noty if there be a Failure in theq^ 
his Promife is not void^ his Word is 
not broken , fince it was given with 
that Condition : Which being not per* 
formed by them that were to have done 
it, he can make Reparation to thofe mat 
fuffer by it ; yea , he hath don6 it al- 
ready in thisy that he hath given them 
that which this typifies. And what if 
they fall fliort of the Shadow, when they 
have the Subftance, in a better and true 

The mean while, we fee what is re- 
quired on our parts. As the Servants of* 
God, out of that Store which he hath 
given us, we are to pay what he hath 
promifed Good Men. 'Tis that which 
all naturally defire, but Wicked Men fliali 
not attain j only to the Juft, God hath 
promifed that we fhall remember them, 
and he commands that we ftiould do it, 
efpecially for good Biftiops. departed this 

Our Remembrance of them doth not 
differ in kind, but in degree, from what 
we owe to the Memory of others. *Tis 
a Duty we are to pay them above others, 
in our Thoughts, in our Affedlions, in 
our Words, and in our Actions and live;.* 


Firft, In our Thoughts; 'tis not a f\m^ 
pie Rewemhrance that God requires ; for 
that being an kdt of the fenfitive Soul , 
as I conceive , doth not diredly fall un- 
der Precept. For it is not in our Power 
to remember or forget, either what or 
when we pleafe. But it is in our Power, 
to do thofe Ads which conduce to the 
exciting, or to the helping of our Me- 
mory. This is that which God requires 
at our hands, that we fhould endeavour 
to turn our Minds towards fuch Objeds, 
and contemplate in them the Gifts and 
Graces of God ; that as oft as we think 
of them, we fhould acknowledge that 
Gopd which was in them, and which we 
have received by their Means : That we 
Ihould pay them that honourable Efleem 
which we owe to our fpiritualParents and 

If we think upon them heartily in 
this manner, it will work fomething up- 
on our Affeliions. We cannot but be 
fenfible of the Want of fuch Men , and 
therefore grieved for our Loft, when 
they are taken from usj as the Ajian 
Bilhops were at thofe Words of St. Paul^ 
when he faid, they jhould fee his face no 
more. Though God intend it for their 
Cain, whom he ^akes \o himfelf, an^ 


he takes them in that time, which (bits 
beft with their Circumftaticcs : Yet, fr. 
vcn then , we have Caufe to grieve for 
our felves, and for the Church, who are 
deprived of the Prefence and Ufe of fuch 
Men. ]9ow much more, when for ought 
we. know, they are taken away for our 
Sins ? When for ought we knbw, it was 
becau(e the Age was not worthy of them? 
For ought we know , ^tis in Order to 
fome Judgment of God, which will come 
the fooner when they are gone, when 
we have filled up the Meafure of our Ini- 
quities ? 

When Elijah was taken away in a ve- 
ry evil Age, Elifia cryed out, my Fa^ 
thery my Father^ the Chariots and Horfe^ 
men of Ifraell What will become oijf. 
rael now thou art gone ? We dare not 
fhink fo highly of any one Man. We 
have no fuch Caufe to defpond of our 
Nation. When it is bad, we are to do 
tour Parts to make it better, tp pray that 
God would (end more Labourers into 
\i\s Harveft, that he would double his 
Gift^ and BlefTings on thofe that are 

And for thofe we have * loft , we 
muft refign them to God ; both ac- 
knowledging his Bounty in ^ivmg them 



f us, and fubmittiog to his Will , io ta- 
king them to himfelf. So S. BcmarJoa 
the Death of his Brother GerarJ^ Lord^ 
fays he, thou bc^fi given andthdu bafi ta-^ 
ken away ; thengh we grieve tbat thou bafi 
taken away^ yet we cannot forget that tbou 
dhifi give bim. Yea, we owe not only 
SubminTipn to God, but Thankfulnefs too 
for their Sakes who are delivered by this 
Means from fo great and fuch OGianifold 
Evils ^ as contiQually hover about us in 
this Life ; from Sicknels and Pain, from 
labour and Danger ; from Sorrow, and 
Fear, and Care> and what not ? Being 
delivered from Sin, which is the Caufe, 
and from that Ffeib, which is the Center 
of all this. 

They are paft all Evils elfe, that have 
overcome Death: They leave Sorrow 
to- us, who- call our ftlvcs the Living : 
Their Life, the only true Life, is immu- 
table Joy^ eternal Reft, Peace, and Fe- 

Which if we ferioufly believe, if we 
defire to be With them, vte cannot for- 
row for our Loft, without Joy for their 
Gain, and Thank%iving on their behalf, 
to that good God, wbo batb given then^ 
fhe viiipry througb our Lord^efus Cbrifi. 



3tftthus much we owe upon the Death 
<oi every true Chriftian, though of never 
(6 mean a Rank and Condition. We are 
to be thankful to God for his Mercies, 
and to profefs it, as we are taught, in the 
Offices of our Church ,• which have the 
fame Words of Burial, for the meaneft of 
our Communion, as for thofe that are 
higheft in their Graces and Gifts. 

But there is a Remembrance in Words 
that is due to thefe, and not to the other; 
namely, the due Praife of thofe their ex* 
cellent Graces and Gifts; which though 
ffaey have not of themfelves, but through 
the Bounty and Liberality of God, who 
is therefpre to be chiefly refpedied and 
glorified, in all the Praife that we give to 
his Creatures : Yet Tmce he is pleafed to 
do them this Honour above others ^ and 

' to make choice of them whom he fo dig- 
nifies ; we are bound to allow it them, 
we are to follow God's Choice^ to give 
them Praife whom he hath fo qualified 
for it^ Onlv witTi this Care, that we do 
I it truly, not to flatter the Dead j and 
I profitably, for the Example and Imitation 
pf the Living, 

I . We have fo much Reafon to do this,* 
that they whp had only P^eafon to guide, 
them, the Gentiles y upon the Death of 
. * any 

(l7) • 

any tmhaeM Pcrfons, had Ofatioris rM<fc 
pnblickly in their Praifc. The Jews , 
•without any particular Law for it , had 
Honour done to the Memory of worthy 
Perfons at their Funerals, % Chron. jx. mU. 
the Rites of it are partly defcribed, 
a Chron. 16. 14. They kid their Dead 
in a Bed fall of the richeft Perfumes, 
which alfo were publickly burnt at the 
Interment. To which I^ conceive the 
Preacher alludes, Ecclef. 7. i. where te 
lays, A goo J namU is htter than precious 
4fyntment , anJ the day of ones death tham 
the day of ones birth. 

When one cometh into theWorld,noi!c 
knows how he may prove j if he do well 
in it , he goes out with this publick Tc- 
ftimony. After which the Jews never 
mentioned fuch Perfons without a BleC- 
fing on their Memory, 

But above all others, the Primitive 
Chriftians were very obfervant this way. 
They faw it was the Will of their Lwd 
and Matter , that the good Work which 
was done upon him by Mary , (houid be 
kept in perpetual Memory, and is there- 
fore recorded in the GofpeL They 
faw how the Works of Dor<a5 were 
(hewn at her Death, the Coats and Gar^ 
ments which Ihe made for the Poon 

^ They 

( i8 ) _ 

They faw what need there was of great 
Incentives, inthofeDays, when ChrU 
{lianity was a moft dangerous Prote/Tion. 
It is of no fmall Force, to make Men 
love a Religion, when they fee it infu(es 
excellent Principles, that it excites (6 
fuitable Prai3:ices, that it is Proof againfl: 
Suffering and Death. And the Experience 
of that Power it hath in fome, provokes 
and animates others to the fame. 

Upon thefe and the hke Confiderati- 
ons, and perhaps with Allufion to that 
Text, where St. John is faid to have 
feen the Souls of the Martyrs under the 
Altar; They had their Memorias Mar- 
tyrrniy tlieir Places of Worftiip, where 
they placed the Altars over the Bodies 
of their Martyrs. What , with any 
Intention to worfhip the Martyrs? Ic 
was fo fuggefted by the Adverfaries, and 
as vehemently denied by the ChriiUans 
of thofe times. By thofe of Smyrna ^ in 
the undoubted Adts of Palycarfus; We 
cannot ( fay they ~) voorfhip any other than 
Chrift J We love the Martyrs as being Fol- 
lowers of Chrifi : We celebrate the Days of 
their Pajfions with Joy ; We do it both in 
remembrance of thofe Champions of God, 
and to train up and prepare others for the 
like QonfUns. 



f Befides tliis, which was pecuUa? to 
the Martyrs , they had a lower Degree 
of kemembrance , f<n: Biihops and Con- 
feflbrs, and all other eminent PerTons de^ 
parted this Life^ whom they not only 
praifed in Orations at their Funerals, bat 
writ their Names in their Diptychs, or 
two-leaved Records, which contained in 
one Page all the Names of the Living; 
in the other, the Dead that were of note 
in the Giurch. 

All thefe were- recited in tlie Commv-* 
oion S^ervice : Where, as the Living for. 
themfelves; (b for the Dead, came their 
Friends , and gave Ot4ations and Alms^ 
Which before they were diftributed a- 
mong the Poor were ifirft offered up to 
God in a Prayer like that which we ufe 
for the Church Militant here on Earth* 
Thet^ Doles were their only Sacrifices 
for the Dead : Only Alms to the Poor, 
with which Sacrifices God is well pUafeJ. 
And their Prayers were not for any Deli- 
verance from Pains; unlels the Patriarchs, 
and Prophets, and the Apoftles, and Vir- 
gin Mother of Chrift , were in the iame 
Pains too , and needeth the (ame Delive- 
rance. For they were all mentioned a- 
like, and together, as it is to be ^n in 
the ancientefl: Liturgies. 



Among all thefe Innocent Offices, tnd 
Rites of the Primitive Chriftians, was 
there any thing of Prayer for Souls in 
Purgatory ? Was there any thing of 
Prayer to Saints departed this Life ? Was 
there any foundation for thofe fuper- 
flitious Obfervances , of adoring their 
Reliques, of Proftration to their Ima- 
ges, of Pilgfimage to their Shrines, of 
making Vows , of faying Mafles , of 
Offering to them, and the like ? The 
Papifts fay there was ; they plead the 
Pradice of the Church for it ; they 
wreft places of Scripture to their pur- 
pofe. Nay , the Rhemifls and others , 
alledge this very Text, without which I 
fliould not have mentioned them at this 
time. But as the Learnedft Men among 
themfelves have been fo juft not to 
charge this upon my Text, and fome of 
them confeft they have no ground for 
thefe things in any one Text of Cano- 
nical Scripture •• So they would do us 
but Right to acknowledge, that none of 
thefe things were pradis'd for fome hun- 
dreds of Years after Chriftianity came 
into the World. 

In thofe Primitive Times all their 
Offices for the Dead, were, either to 
give Tellimony of that^ Faith in which 


they died, aiid that Death had riot di(l 
folv'd their Communidrt with the Living i 
Or they were to blefs God for their holy 
Life, and happy Death : Or to pray td 
him , not Tor their Deliverailce from Pur-^ 
gatory, of which there was no Faith ill 
thofe Times; but for the Ixicreafe of thafc 
Good which they believ'd them to be poC 
fefs*d of already, or for the Attainrtieriif 
of that farther Good which they thought 
they were fure of ; rtamely, for thei^ 
(pecdy and happy Refurredtion, for theif 
perfect Difcharge at the Day of Judg- 
ment, for the Confummatidri of their 
Bhfs with their own in the Kingdom of 

Not to fay how the Fathers differ 
among themfdves in thefc Particulars } 
br how many of thefe Particulars atH 
dmitted in the Roman Church as well 
as ours ; it is enough that here is nd- 
thing makei for theni, but riiuch a- 
gainlt thofe their Errors add Cofru|if- 
tions. All that is agreed on all hands^ 
or that we find in the Pradice of the 
firft Ages, being fufficiently contained id 
thofe Offices of our Church ; in thd 
Prayer for the Church-Militant, in the 
Coifed ofl All-Sainti Dzy^ and iri the 
Office for the Burial of the Dead ,• where 
We piray^ That it muU pleafe God of his 

F f ^rdct^ui 


gracious gdo^nefs^ Jhortly to accompli jh the 
numher of his EleSly and to haflen his Kifig- 
Jom J that we^ with all thofe that are de^ 
parted in the true Faith of hk holy tJame^ 
may have our per fell confummationand hlifsy 
loth in body and foul^ in his everlafting 

Laftly, Rememhrance in A^ien is the o- 
ther Duty enjoyn'd in my Text, Mtfj^S^ 
ids r ^19 *J', Imitate their Faith^ that is, 
-theif Chriftian Profeffion and * Practice, 
their whole Life and Converfation, ae- 
cording to their own Belief of that Word 
which they have fpoken. 

The Reafon of this Duty is plain ; for 
,it is our Bufinefs in this World to recover 
the Image of God in which he created 
us ; to be like him here in Righteoufnefs 
and Holinefs, that we may be like him 
hereafter in Glory and Happinefs. 

To this* End, God has given us thofe 
Lineaments of himfelf, which are writ- 
ten fuificiently in our Nature , but more 
fully- and diftindly in Scripture. In which 
Scripture, he fo oft and fo vehemently re- 
quires us, Be ye holy^ as I am holy ; he ye 
jujly as I arn jufi ; le ye merciful^ as I am 
merciful i leye pure^ as I am pure j ie ye 
perfeii^ as your heavenly-Father is perfeS. 

This good Word of God, which was 


given by the Prophets and Ajioftles, is (i'm 
inculcated on us by them that /peak to ui 
the Word of Go^. Which Office being pri- 
marily of Bilhops, as appears in my Text^ 
they are fir ft and above di cithers to cqn^ 
form thettifelveS to it, to fliew others hoW: 
^oflible and how ptaifticable it is. 

Our Apoftle fuppos'd this irt thofe Pri4 
mitive Bi(hopS in tiiy Text. God requires 
it of all that fucceed them in the Church; 
So of Tiinothy^ tho' he were ybting in Age,' 
yet being in that Place, Be thou an Exam^ 
pie to Believer i in tbord^ in converfation^ id 
Jpiritj in faith, in truths i Tim. 4. ix. and, 
in the lift Verfe, Take heed to thy f elf, and 
h thy Dolirine : Do this confiantly andcon^ 
tinuallyy and fo thou fbalt fave both thyfelf 
and them that hd^r thee. 

Whether they do this or no, they arS 
oUr Teachers and Rulers ; therefore in the 
17th Verfe of this Chapter , while they 
live, we muft diey their Word, and fui^ 
iwi; to their Goveifnment. When they 
are dead, both for \yhat they are, and. 
were, »we ntay do well to fay na ill of 
them ; arid fmce we can fay no good, e erf 
foTget them, and leave them to God. . 

But if they are foch ^s they oughf,^ 
which the Apoftle fuppofefs m my Texty 
if they live ds menr that beKcve themfelve^ 

F f r . >^hat 

( 24 ) 

U'hat the;f fay : 'Tis ou^ Duty> not only 
to fnhmit and ehej them while they Hvef 
but alfo ta rememier them when they 
are dead : Rememier themm our Thoughts 
with that Honour they deferve j in out 
Affeilionsy with a due Senfe of our Lofy 
and their Gain : Remember them ij^ 
WorJsy with the juft Pralfe of their Acti- 
ons and Lives : In our Prayert to God^ 
with due Thankfiilnefs for their Graces^ 
and Gifts in this Life, and for the Glory 
they receive after Death .-^ Laftly, remem- 
ber to foffow them in that JSoIy Way, 
which leads to fo happy an end > 
In our Apoftle*is Words, foll0¥b their Faitb^ 
€onfedering the Event, the blefled End of 
their good Converfation. 

What my Text fays in general of Bi- 
fliops deceafed^ 'tis raoft eafy to apply. 
I know it hath been done all this while, 
by them that knew theVirtuous add Grear 
Mind that lately dwelt in this Body. They 
know the Truth of all I fliall fay^ and 
much more that might be faid in his juft 
Commendation. Butthe little I can bring; 
witliin the Time I have left, being faid 
from many Years Experience, will at leaft 
ftir up thofe that knew him not, to en- 
quire j and if they find thefe Things true^ 
they know their Duty Df^arr^r^^tf 
^nd Imitatiw^ I ihall 

( ^i ) 

I Ibali beminate, ia dnwlag all I 
fay UBder thefe Heads .• For I (peak to 
them that can diftinguifh and fort things, 
as they belong to the one, or to the other* 

To begin with the natural Endowments 
of his Mind; I cannot think of him 
without jufl: Refledion upon that Para- 
dox, of the Equality of Souls. He was 
furely a great Inftance to the contrary ; 
having that Largencfs of Soul in every 
refpecSt, which was much above the Rate 
of ordinary Men. He had an Under- 
ilanding that extended to all Parts of ufe- 
fill Learning and Knowledge ; a Will a^ 
ways difpofed to great, and publick, and 
generous Things. He had a natural A- 
verfion from all idle Speculations, and 
firom the eager Purfuit of fmall and fri- 
volous Defigns. In great Matters, he 
judged fo well, that he was not ufually 
furprized with Events. He purfued his 
Intentions with fuch Equalneft of Mind, 
that he was never carried beyond the 
Calmnels of his Natural Temper, except 
through his Zeal for Publick Good, or 
where his Friend was concerned. 

What he was in his Studies, I have 
reaibn to know, that have often been 
tired with ftudying with him. He was 
indefatigable, and would have worn 
J^m^Uf out, if he had not been relieved 

F f 3 with 

jjvirii Multiplicity of Bufinefs. However, 
he impaired by it, a Body which (eemed 
to have been built for a long Age, and 
contraded thofe Infirmities that haftened 
his Death. 

The EdcSt x)f his Studies, in his Preach- 
ing and Writings, are fufficiently known, 
jjnd would have been much more, if God 
|iad given him Time. 

As for his Preaching, it was fometime 
femous near this Place ,• tho' he fought 
gather the Profit, than the Praife of his 
Hearers. He (poke folid Truth, with as 
Jittle Shew of Art as was poflTible. He e:K- 
prefs'd all things in th^ir true and natural 
Colours J with that Aptnefs and Plainnef? 
pf Speech, that grave natural Way of Elo- 
cutioq, that (hewed he had no Defign up^- 
pn hif Hearerst His Plainnefs was beft 
for the Inftrudion of the fimple ; and for 
Ithe better Sort, who were in truth an in- 
telligent Auditory , it was enough that they 
jROight fee he had no mind to deceive them. 
-He applied himfelf rather to their Under- 
ftandipg thariAfTedlibns. He fawfo much 
of the Beauty of Goodnefs himfelf, th^t 
Ke thought the bare Shewing of ir was e- 
pough to make all wife Men- as it did him, 
jfp be in love with it 
:' 1^1 hi? Writings he was judicious and 



plain, like one that valued not tfie Cir- 
cumftances fo much as the Subftance. And 
he (hewed it in whatfoever Argument fae 
undertook ; fometimes beating out new 

untraverdWaySjfometimes repairing thofe 
that had been beaten already : No Sub- 
JQ& he handled, but I dare fay is the bet- 
ter for him j and will be the eafier for 
them that come after him. 

If in thefe he went fometime befide 
bis Profeflbn, it was in following the 
Defign oF it, to make Men wifer and 
better, which I think is the Bufinefs of 
Univerfal Knowledge. And this he pro- 
moted with much Zeal and Sincerity, in 
hope of the great Benefit that may ac- 
crue to Mankind, 

It was his Aim, as in all things, fo ef- 
pecially in that, which I conceive is much 
more cenfured than underftood ; I mean, 
in the Defign of the Royal Society. He 
joyned himfelf to it with no other End, 
but to promote modern Knowledge,withrt 
out any Contempt or leflening of thofe 
great Men in former Times. With due 
Honour to whom,he thought it lawful for 
others to do that which we have no rea- 
fon to doubt, they themfelves would have 
done if they were Living, 

F f 4 I would 

. I would not feem' to excufp that whick 
defer veth Comtiler^ation and Encourage^^ 
ment ; or to commend other things for 
want of Subjedl in him. Therefore lea- 
ving this Theme in better hands, I pro- 
c:ced next to fpeak of his Virtues and 
jGraces ; ^nd thele the rather, as beingr 
both to be rememireJ and follcweJ. 

And in fpeaking of thefe, where (hall 
I begin > Nay^ when (hall I end/ if I fay 
gll that may be fpoken ? I think it not worth 
^hile to fpeak 0f thofe that are Vulgar, 
tho' he had them alfo in no common De« 
^ree : Nor would I feem to make any Vir- 
tue a Propriety.Put there are thofe which 
are not common to many, and were gene- 
rally acknowledged to be in him ,• tho' 
they appeared not fo to fome other Men, as 
they did to thofe that intimately knew him. 

His Prudence was great, I think it 
(^idom failed in any thing to which he 
applied himfelf. And yet he wanted 
tl^tPart, which fomehold to be eflen- 
tial J he fo wanted Diffimulation, thgt 
he had rather too much Opennefs of 
Heart. It was Sincerity indeed that was 
pfltijral to hitn j he fo aWiorred a Lye, 
isjilit hte was not at all for Shew j he could 
not put on any thing that look'd like it. 
And prefuming the fame of other Men, 
' -^ ;• ' ' . through 


through Excefs of Benigqity, he would 
be fometimes deceived) in believing they 
were what they feem'd to be , and what 
he knew they ought to have been. 

His Greatnefs of Mind, was known to 
all that knew any thing of him. He 
neither eagerly fought any Dignity, nor 
declined any Capacity of doing good. 
He looked down upon Wealth, as much 
as others admire it : He knew the Ufe of 
an Eftate, but did not cpvet it. What 
Jie, yearly received of the Church, he 
beftowed in its Service. As for his Tem- 
poral Eftate, being (ecured againft Want, 
he fought no farther, he fet up his Reft ; 
I have heard him fay often, / wi/t he no 
richer^ and I think he was as good as his 

As for Revenge, how could it enter 
into the Breaft of him that hated nothing 
but that which makes us hateful to God i 
I fay not but he had a Senfe of Perfoaal 
Injuries; and efpecially of thofe that re- 
flected upon his Name, when they pro^ 
ceeded from thofe that had good Names 
of their own. What others (aid, he 
defpifed i but by thofe he would often 
wifti he had been better underftood:/ 
That he was not, he bore as his Misfor- 
tune; he would not requite them with 
the like, but mentioned them with m 



due Rcfpcd, and was always ready to 
oblige them, and to do them good. 

Yet it was not fo defirable, ( I fay 
not to be his Enemy , for he did not ac- 
count them fo, but) to be at thofe Terms 
with him, as to be his Acquaintance or 
Friend. They that were never fo little 
familiar with him, could not but find, as 
well Benefit as Delight in his Converfa- 
tion. His Difcourfe was commonly of 
iifeful things ; it never caufed Trouble or 
Wearinels of the Hearer. Yet he would 
venture to difpleafe one for his good j 
and indeed he was the Man that ever I 
knew, for that mofl: needful and lead 
praftifed Point of Friendihip. He would 
not fpare to give (eafonable Reproof, and 
wholefome Advice, when he faw Occa- 
fxottl I never knew any that would do 
it fo freely, and that knew how to ma- 
nage that Freedom of Speech fo inofl^en- 

It was his Way of Friendfliip, not fq 
much to oblijge Men, as to' do them 
good. He did this not (lightly and fu- 
perficially, but like one that made it his 
Pufinefs. He durft do for his Friend^ 
any thing that was honeft, and no more. 
He would undertake nothing but what 
well became him , and then he was un- 
wearied till he had effeded it. 


Ashe concerned himfclf for his Friend, 
in all other Refpedls, fo efpecially in 
that, which went neareft to him of all 
earthly Concernments. He would not 
fufFer any Blot to be thrown, and to lye 
upon his Friend s good Name, or his Mc^ 
mory. And that Office I am obliged to 
requite, in giving fdme Account of that 
which has been fpoken by fome to his 

I fhall negleiU:, for he did fo, any fri- 
volous Reports; but that which feems tp 
have any Weight in it, as far as I have 
pbferved, is. That he had not that Zeal 
for the Church, that they would feem to 
hare that Obj)?<9: this. Ele feemed to 
look upon the Diflibnters with too much 
Favour to their Perfons and Ways. 

As to the Perfons: No Doubt that 
Goodnefs of Nature, that true Chriftian 
Principle, which made him willing to 
think well of all Men, and to do Good, 
or at lead no Hurt to any , might and 
ought to extend it felf to them among 
others. But befides , he was inclined to 
it by his Education under his Grandfather 
Mr. Doc/, a truly Pious and Learned Man; 
who yet was a Uiflenter himfelf in fome 

Not that he had any Delight in Con^ 
tradi(%ion, or CQvld find in hi$ Heart to 


difturb the Peace of the Church for 
thofc Matters / He was fo far from it, 
that as I have frequently heard from 
this his Grandchild and others , when 
fome thought their Diflents Ground e^ 
nough for a War, he declared himfelf 
againft it, and confirmed others in their 
Allegiance/ He profefl: to the laft a juft 
Hatred of that horrid Rebellion. Now 
his Relation to this Man , and Converfa^ 
tion with thole of his Principles, might 
incline him to hope the like of others of 
that Way. And when he found theni 
farther off from the Unity of the Churchy 
he might poffibly overdo, through the 
Vehemence of his Defire, to bring them 
off of their Prejudices, and to reduce 
them to the Unity of the Church ; in 
which his Grandfather lived and dyed; 
Why might he not hope the fame of 
other Diffenters? 

As for himfelf, he was fo far from ap- 
proving their Ways, that in the worft of 
^imes , when one here prefent bewailed 
to him the Calamities of the Church, and 
qeclared his Obedience ?ven then to the 
jLaws of it ; He encouraged him in it, he 
'^fired bis JFriendftiip , and protected 
both^im and many others, by an Into- 
reft that he had gained, and made Ufe of 
chiefly for fuch Purpofesj. 
- ' How 


t^ow he demeaned himfelf then, is 
known iq both Univerfities ; where he 
governed with Praife , and left a very 
grateful Remembrance behind him. llow 
in the next Times fince, I cannot (peak in 
a better Place. And when I have named 
this City, and the Two Univerfities, I 
think he could not be placed in a better 
Light in this Nation, There were e- 
nough that could judge, add he did not 
life to dilguife himfelf; I appeal to you 
that converfed with him irt thofe Days, 
What Zeal he hath expreft for the Faith, 
«nd for the Unity of the Church.- How 
he flood up in Defence of the Order and 
Government : How he hath aflerted the 
Liturgy, and the Rites of it : He con- 
formed himfelf to every thing that wasr 
commanded. Beyond which, for any 
Man to be vehement in little and unne- 
ceflary things, whether for or againfl 
them, he could not but diflike ; and as^ 
his free manner was , he hath oft been 
heard to call it Fanaticalnefs. How this 
might be reprefented, I know not, or 
how his 'Defign of Comprehenfion migjit 
be underflood. 

Sure I am, that fince he came into 
ifhe Government of the Church,to which 
he was called in his Abfence ; he fo welt 

. became 

becaffife the Order, that it out-did the Ex- 
peiStation of all that did not very Welt 
know him. He filled his Place with a 
Goodnefs anfwerablt to the reft 0/ his 
Life ; and with a Prudence abovfe it,' con- 
fidering the Two Extrcams, whicn were 
no where fo much as in his Diocefe.' 
Though he was, as before, very tender 
to thofe that differed ffom him ; yet he 
WdS, as befot-e, exadlly coriforniabie him- 
felf, and brought others to Conforrtiity , 
fome Eminferif Meh in his Diocefe. He 
endeavoured to bring in all that came 
within his Reach, and might have had 
great Succefe, if God hat! pleafed tb con- 
tinue him. 

But having given full Proof of his In- 
tentions and Defires, it pleafed God to 
jreferve the Ff tiit for other Hands , froni 
which wfe have great Caufe to expetSfc 
much good to the Chuf ch. 

He was irt perfect Health in all otheif 
Refpeits ; when a known Infirmity, from 
an unknown Caufe, that had been eafier 
to cure, than it was to difcover, ftole 
upon him, and foon became incurafcle. 

He was for many Days in a Profpe(9t 
of Death, which he faw as it approached, 
and felt it come on by Degrees, SomeDay S 
before he died,- he found within himfeff 
as he often faid^ a Sentence of Death. In 

all this time, firft of Pain, then of dreads 
ful Apprehenfions, at laft in the Prefenee 
of Death, Who ever faw him difmay'd ? 
Who ever found him furprized ? or heard 
aWord from him,unbecoming a wifeMan, 
and a true Chriftian ? It was my Infelici- 
ty to be fo engaged, that I could not du- 
ly attend him j and fo deceived with vain 
Hopes, that I believ'd him not dying, till 
he was dead. But at the times I was with 
him, I faw great Caufe to admire hisFaith 
towards God, his Zeal for his Church,his 
Conftancy of Mind, his Contempt of the 
World,3nd his chearful Hopes of Eternity. 
I have heard much more upon thefeHeads 
from thofe that were with him. Some of 
you may have heard other things from Ga- 
ther Men. It hath been the way of our 
Adverfaries to entitle themfelves to dying 
Men, even thofe whofe whole Life was a 
Teftimony againft them. Thus after the 
Death of our famous fewelj the Papifts 
were pleafed to fay, he dyed of their Re- 
ligion. Militiere hath ventured to infinu- 
ate the fame of our late King, of Blefled 
and Glorious Memory. Men's Tongues and 
Pens are their own, but kft they mould a- 
bufe them and you, and the Memory of 
this Worthy Prelate, as they have abusM 
others, (though nothing needs to be faid 
to (uch groundlefs Calumnies^ X declare.