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who granted to others a freer course, but so that they never travel beyond their appointed limits; who so regulates the motions of all, that they measure days and nights, months, years, and seasons of the year; and also reduces the inequality of days, which we constantly witness, to such a medium that it occasions no confusion. So also when we observe his power in sustaining so great a mass, in governing the rapid revolutions of the celestial machine, and the like. For these few examples sufficiently declare, what it is to recognise the perfections of God in the creation of the world. Otherwise were I desirous of pursuing the subject to its full extent, there would be no end; since there are as many miracles of Divine power, as many monuments of Divine goodness, as many proofs of Divine wisdom, as there are species of things in the world, and even as there are individual things, either great or small.

XXII. There remains the other point, which approaches more nearly to faith; that while we observe how God hath appointed all things for our benefit and safety, and at the same time perceive his power and grace in ourselves, and the great benefits which he hath conferred on us, we may thence excite ourselves to confide in him, to invoke him, to praise him, and to love him. Now, as I have just before suggested, God himself hath demonstrated by the very order of creation, that he made all things for the sake of man. For it was not without reason that he distributed the making of the world into six days; though it would have been no more difficult for him to complete the whole work in all its parts at once in a single moment, than to arrive at its completion by such progressive advances. But in this he hath been pleased to display his providence and paternal solicitude towards us, since before he would make man, he prepared every thing which he foresaw would be useful or beneficial to him. How great would be now the ingratitude to doubt whether we are regarded by this best of Fathers, whom we perceive to have been solicitous on our account before we existed? How impious would it be to tremble with diffidence, lest at any time his benignity should desert us in our necessities, which we see was displayed in the greatest affluence of all blessings provided for us while

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we were yet unborn? Besides, we are told by Moses, (d) that his liberality hath subjected to us all that is contained in the whole world. He certainly has not made this declaration in order to tantalize us with the empty name of such a donation. Therefore we never shall be destitute of any thing which will conduce to our welfare. Finally, to conclude, whenever we call God the Creator of heaven and earth, let us at the same time reflect, that the dispensation of all those things which he hath made is in his own power, and that we are his children, whom he hath received into his charge and custody, to be supported and educated; so that we may expect every blessing from him alone, and cherish a certain hope that he will never suffer us to want those things which are necessary to our well- being, that our hope may depend on no other; that, whatever we need or desire, our prayers may be directed to him, and that from whatever quarter we receive any advantage, we may acknowledge it to be his benefit, and confess it with thanksgiving; that being allured with such great sweetness of goodness and beneficence, we may study to love and worship him with all our hearts.

CHAPTER XV.

The State of Man at his Creation, the Faculties of the Soul, the Divine Image, Free Will, and the Original Purity of his Nature.

VV E must now treat of the creation of man, not only because he exhibits the most noble and remarkable specimen of the Divine justice, wisdom, and goodness among all the works of God; but because, as we observed in the beginning, we cannot attain to a clear and solid knowledge of God, without a mutual acquaintance with ourselves. But though this is twofold, the knowledge of the condition in which we were originally created, and of that into which we entered after

{>() Can. i. 88. is. 2.

the fall of Adam (for indeed we should derive but little advantage from a knowledge of our creation, unless in the lamentable ruin which has befallen us we discovered the corruption and deformity of our nature), yet we shall content ourselves at present with a description of human nature in its primitive integrity. And indeed, before we proceed to the miserable condition in which man is now involved, it is necessary to understand the state in which he was first created. For we must beware lest in precisely pointing out the natural evils of man, we seem to refer them to the Author of nature; since impious men suppose that this pretext affords them a sufficient defence, if they can plead that whatever defect or fault they have, proceeds in some measure from God; nor do they hesitate, if reproved, to litigate with God himself, and transfer to him the crime of which they are justly accused. And those who would be thought to speak with more reverence concerning the Deity, yet readily endeavour to excuse their depravity from nature, not considering that they also, though in a more obscure manner, are guilty of defaming the character of God: to whose dishonour it would redound, if nature could be proved to have had any innate depravity at its formation. Since we seethe flesh therefore eagerly catching at every subterfuge, by which it supposes that the blame of its evils may by any means be transferred from itself to any other, we must diligently oppose this perverseness. The calamity of mankind must be treated in such a manner as to preclude all tergiversation, and to vindicate the Divine justice from every accusation. We shall afterwards, in the proper place, see how far men are fallen from that purity which was bestowed upon Adam. And first let it be understood, that by his being made of earth and clay, a restraint was laid upon pride; since nothing is more absurd than for creatures to glory in their excellence, who not only inhabit a cottage of clay, but who are themselves composed partly of dust and ashes. (e) But as God not only deigned to animate the earthen vessel, but chose to make it the residence of an immortal spirit, Adam might justly glory in so great an instance of the liberality of his Maker.

. (e) Gewii. 7 m. 19, 23.

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II. That man consists of soul and body, ought not to be controverted. By the "soul" I understand an immortal yet created essence, which is the nobler part of him. Sometimes it is called a " spirit:" for though when these names are connected they have a different signification, yet when "spirit" is used separately, it means the same as " soul:" as when Solomon, speaking of death, says that "then the spirit shall return unto God, who gave it." (f) And Christ commending his spirit to the Father, (g) and Stephen his to Christ, (A) intend no other than that, when the soul is liberated from the prison of the flesh, God is its perpetual keeper. Those who imagine that the soul is called a spirit, because it is a breath or faculty divinely infused into the body, but destitute of any essence, are proved to be in a gross error by the thing itself, and by the whole tenor of Scripture. It is true indeed that while men are immoderately attached to the earth, they become stupid, and being alienated from the Father of lights are immersed in darkness, so that they consider not that they shall survive after death: yet in the mean time the light is not so entirely extinguished by the darkness, but that they are affected with some sense of their immortality. Surely the conscience, which discerning between good and evil answers to the judgment of God, is an indubitable proof of an immortal spirit. For how could an affection or emotion without any essence penetrate to the tribunal of God, and inspire itself with terror on account of its guilt? For the body is not affected by a fear of spiritual punishment; that falls only on the soul: whence it follows, that it is possessed of an essence. Now the very knowledge of God sufficiently proves the immortality of the soul, which rises above the world, since an evanescent breath or inspiration could not arrive at the fountain of life. Lastly, the many noble faculties with which the human mind is adorned, and which loudly proclaim that something divine is inscribed on it, are so many testimonies of its immortal essence. For the sense which the brutes have, extends not beyond the body, or at most not beyond the objects near it. But the agility of the human mind, looking through heaven and earth and the secrets of nature,

("/)Eccks. xii.7. (r) Lute Jtttiii. 46. (h) Acts vti. 59.

and comprehending in its intellect and memory all ages, digesting every thing in proper order, and concluding future events from those which are past, clearly demonstrates that there is concealed within man something distinct from the body. In our minds we form conceptions of the invisible God and of angels, to which the body is not at all competent. We apprehend what is right, just, and honest, which is concealed from the corporeal senses. The spirit therefore must be the seat of this intelligence. Even sleep itself, which stupefying man seems to divest him even of life, is no obscure proof of immortality: since it not only suggests to us ideas of things which never happened, but also presages of future events. I briefly touch those things which even profane writers magnificently extol in a more splendid and ornamented diction; but with the pious reader the simple mention of them will be sufficient. Now unless the soul were something essentially distinct from the body, the Scripture would not inform us that we dwell in houses of clay, (i) and at death quit the tabernacle of the flesh; (/{) that we put off the corruptible, (/) to receive a reward at the last day, according to the respective conduct of each individual in the body, (w) For certainly these and similar passages, which often occur, not only manifestly distinguish the soul from the body, but by transferring to it the name of "man," indicate that it is the principal part of our nature. When Paul exhorts the faithful to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, (;;) he points out two parts in which the defilement of sin resides. Peter also, when he called Christ the Shepherd and Bishop of souls, (o) would have spoken improperly, if there were no souls over whom he could exercise that office. Nor would there be any consistency in what he says concerning the eternal salvation of souls, or in his injunction to purify the souls, or in his assertion that fleshly lusts war against the soul, (p) or in what the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews says, that pastors watch to give an account of our souls, (q) unless souls had a proper essence. To the same purpose is the place were Paul

(0 Job iv. 19. (I) 2 Cor. v. 4. (/) 2 Peter i. IS, 14.

(to) 2 Cor. v. 10. («) 2 Cor. vii. I. (o) I Peter ii. 25.

(/>) 1 Peter i. 9, 22. ii. 11. (?) Hcb. xlii. 17.

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