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b. ii. ch. 1.
ty of the
II. sect. 3.
BOOK istent and put into motion would grind itself into those
several particles by him supposed, yet this cannot give an account of the origin of the universe without a Deity. 2. The motion of the particles of matter supposeth a Deity; for matter is no self-moving principle, as hath been fully
demonstrated in several places by that judicious philosoDr. More pher Dr. H. More, who plainly inanifests, that if motion Antidote, did necessarily belong to matter, it were impossible there Immortali- should be sun, or stars, or earth, or man in the world;
for the matter being uniform, it must have equal motion Soul, b.i.c. in all its particles, if motion doth belong to it. For mo&c.Ep.3.ad
tion being supposed to be natural and essential to matter, Cartes. p. must be alike every where in it; and therefore every par
ticle must be supposed in motion to its utmost capacity, and so every particle is alike and moved alike: and therefore there being no prevalency at all in any one particle above another in bigness or motion, it is manifest that this universal matter, to wbich motion is so essential and natural, will be ineffectual for the producing of any variety of appearances in nature; for nothing could be caused by this thin and subtle matter, but what would be wholly imperceptible to any of our senses; and what a strange
kind of visible world would this be! From hence then it appears that there must be an infinitely powerful and wise God, who must both put matter into motion, and regulate the motion of it, in order to the producing all those varieties which appear in the world. And this necessity of the motion of matter by a power given it from God, is freely acknowledged by Mr. Des Cartes
himself, in these words ; Considero materiam sibi libere Respad. Ep.3.14. permissam, et nullum aliunde impulsum suscipientem, ut Mori, p plane quiescentem ; illa autem impellitur a Deo, tantundem 104. motus sive translationis in ea conservante quantum ab initio
posuit. - So that this great improver and discoverer of the mechanical power of matter doth freely confess the necessity, not only of God's giving motion in order to the origin of the universe, but of his conserving motion in it for the upholding it; so that we need not fear from this hypothesis the excluding of a Deity from being the prime efficient cause of the world. All the question then is concerning the particular manner which was used by God as the efficient cause in giving being to the world.
As to which I shall only in general suggest what MaiMaimon. monides says of it. Omnia simul creata erant, et postea More Nev. successive at invicem separata ; although I am somewhat 1. ii. C. 30. inclinable to that of Gassendus, Majus est mundus opus,
quam ut assequi mens humana illius molitionem possit. CHAP. To wbich, I think, may be well applied that speech of Solomon; Then I beheld all the work of God, that a m n Gassendi cannot find out the work that is done under the sun : because Physic. though a man labour to seek it out; yea further, though a sect: 1. wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to Eccl. viii.
Of the Origin of Evil. 1. Of the Being of Providence. II. Epicurus's Arguments against
it refuted. The Necessity of the Belief of Providence in order to Religion. III. Providence proved from a Consideration of the Nature of God and the Things of the World. Of the Spirit of Nature. IV. The great Objections against Providence propounded. The first concerns the Origin of Evil. V. God cannot be the Author of Sin, if the Scriptures be true. The Account, which the Scriptures give of the Fall of Man, doth not charge God with Man's Fault. God's Power to govern Man by Laws, though he gives no particular Reason of every positive Precept. VI. The Reason of God's creating Man with Freedom of Will, largely shewed from Simplicius; and the true Account of the Origin of Evil. VII. God's permitting the Fall, makes him not the Author of it. VIII. The Account which the Scriptures give of the Origin of Evil, compared with that of Heathen Philosophers. IX. The Antiquity of the Opinion of ascribing the Origin of Evil to an evil Principle. Of the Judgment of the Persians, Egyptians, and others about it. X. Of Manichæism. XI, XII, XIII, XIV. The Opinion of the ancient Greek Philosophers; of Pythagoras, Plato, the Stoics; the Origin of Evil not from the Necessity of Matter. XV, XVI. The Remainders of the History of the Fall among the Heathens. XVII, XVIII, XIX. Of the Malignity of Dæmons. XX, XXI, XXII. Providence vindicated as to the Sufferings of good, and the Impunity of bad Men. An Account of both from natural Light, manifested by Seneca, Plutarch, and others.
IT BOOK being now manifested not only that there is a God,
but that the world had its being from him, it thence fol. lows, by an easy and rational deduction, that there is a particular hand of Divine Providence, which upholds the world in its being, and wisely disposeth all events in it. For it is a most irrational and absurd opinion to assert a Deity, and deny Providence; and in nothing did Epicurus more discover the weakness and puerility of his judgment than in this. Indeed, if Epicurus had no other design in asserting a Deity, than (as many ancient philosophers imagined) to avoid the imputation of direct atheism, and yet to take away all foundations of religion, he must needs be said to serve his hypothesis well, though he did assert the being of an excellent nature, which
God, while yet he made him sit as it were with his elbows CHAP. folded up in the heavens, and taking no cognizance of
11. human actions. For he well knew, that if the belief of Divine Providence were once rooted out of men's minds, the thoughts of an excellent Being above the heavens would have no more awe or power upon the hearts and lives of men, than the telling men that there are jewels of inestimable value in the Indies, makes them more ready to pay taxes to their princes; for that philosopher could not be ignorant that it is not worth but power, nor speculation but interest, that rules the world. The poor tenant more regards his petty landlord, than the greatest prince in the world that hath nothing to do with him: and he thinks he hath great reason for it; for he neither fears punishment, nor hopes for reward from him; whereas his landlord may dispossess him of all he hath upon displeasure, and may advantage him the most if he gains bis favour. Supposing then that there were such an excellent Being in the world, which was completely happy in himself, and thought it an impairing of his happiness to trouble himself with an inspection of the world, religion might then be indeed derived à relegendo, but not à religando; there might be some pleasure in contemplating his nature, but there could be no obligation to obedience. So that Epicurus was the first founder of a kind of philosophical Antinomianism; placing all religion in a veneration of the Deity purely for its own excellency, without any such mercenary eye (as those who serve God for their own ends, as they say, are apt to have) to reward and punishment. And I much doubt that good woman whom the story goes of, who in an enthusiastic posture ran up and down the streets with emblems in her hands, fire in the one, as she said, to burn up heaven, and water in the other to quench hell, that men might serve God purely for himself
, would, if she had compassed her design, soon have brought proselytes enough to Epicurus ; and by burning heaven would have burnt up the cords of religion, and in quenching hell would have extinguished the awe and fear of a Deity in the world. Indeed the incomparable excellency and perfection which is in the Divine nature, to spirits advanced to a noble and generous height in religion, makes them exceedingly value their choice, while they disregard whatever rivals with God for it; but were it not for those magnetical hooks of obedience and eternal interest, there are few would be drawn to a due consideration of, much less a delight in, so amiable and
BOOK excellent a nature. And it is impossible to conceive why
God, in the revelation of his will, should ever so much as mention a future punishment, or promise an eternal reward, were not the consideration of these things the sinews of religion.
Which they, whose design was to undermine the very foundations on which all religion was built, understood far better than those weak pretended advancers of religion, who while in such a way they pretend to advance it, do only blow it up. For if men ought not to have an eye and respect to their own future condition, nor serve God on the account of his power to make our souls miserable or happy, much less ought men to serve God with any regard to his Providence; since the matters which Providence is employed about in this world, are of infinitely less moment than those which concern our future state. And if we have no eye on Divine Providence in the exercise of religion, we shall scarce be able to understand for what end God should take so much care of mankind, and manifest so much of his goodness to them, were it not to quicken them in their search after him, and excite them to the more cheerful obedience to him. And when once we question to what end God troubles himself with the world, we are come next door to Epicurus, and may in few steps more delight in the flowers of his garden. For this was his strongest plea against Providence, that it was beneath the majesty and excellency of the Divine nature to stoop so low, and trouble himself so far, as to regard
what was done on earth. This being one of his ratæ. senDiog. Laert.tentiæ, or undoubted maxims, Tò paxéplov sig áp Japtov STE
αυτό πράγματα έχει, έτε άλλη παρέχει, The Blessed and im
mortal Being neither hath any employment himself, nor Max. Tyr. troubles himself with others. Which, as Maximus Tyrius Dissert. 29. well observes, is rather a description of a Sardanapalus
than a Deity; nay, of a worse than a Sardanapalus; for he, in the midst of all his softness and effeminacy, would yet entertain some counsels for the safety and good of his empire : but Epicurus's Deity is of so tender a nature, that the least thought of business would quite spoil his happiness. This opinion of Epicurus made the more raised-spirited moralists so far contemn the unworthy apprehensions which he entertained of the Divine nature, that they degraded him from the very title of a philosopher in it, and ranked him beneath the most fabulous poets, who had written such unworthy things of their Gods; as is evident by the censures which Tully, Plu