Page images

about trivial Matters (2), when in truth they are ingenious and noble Difcoveries of the Works of GOD. And how often will many own the World in general to be a Manifestation of the Infinite Creator, but look upon the feveral Parts thereof as only Toys and Trifles, scarce deferving their Regard? But in the foregoing (I may call it) tranfient View I have given of this lower, and moft flighted Part of the Creation, I have, I hope, abundantly made out, that all the Works of the Lord, from the most regarded, admired, and praised, to the meaneft aņd mot flighted; are great and glorious Works, incomparably contrived, and as admirably made, fitted up, and placed in the World. So far then are any of the Works of the . LORD, (even thofe efteemed the meaneft) from deferving to be difregarded, or contemned by us (3), that on the : they deferve (as shall be shewn in the next Chapter) to be fought out, enquired after, and curiously and diligently pryed into by us; as I have fhewed the Word

[ocr errors]

(2) Non tamen pigere debet Lestores, ea intelligere, quemadmodum # Naturam uidem pigis ea reipfa efficere. Galen ibid. L. I 1. fin. |- ; : ! , (3) An igitur etiam fi quemadmodum Natura hæc, & ejusmodi, summa ratione, ac providentia agere potuit, ita & nos imitari aliquando possemus ? Ego vero existimo multos nostrum ne id quidem poje, neque enim artem Nature exponunt : Eo enim modo omnino eam admirarentur: Sin minus, eam faltem non vituperarent, Galen, ib. L. I o. c. 3.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

That G o D’s Works ought to be enquir’d into, and that fuch Enquiries are commendable.

HE Creator doubtlefs did not beftow fo much Curiofity, and exquisite Workmanship and Skill upon his Creatures, to be looked upon with a carelefs, incurious Eye, especially to have them flighted or contemned ; but to be admired by the Rational Part of the World, to magnify his own Power, Wisdom and Goodness throughout all the World, and the Ages thereof. And therefore we may look upon it as a great Error, not to anfwer thofe Ends of the infinite Creator, but rather to oppofe and affront them. On the contrary, my Text commends G O D's Works, not only for being great, but also approves of those curious and ingenious Enquirers, that feek them out, or pry into them. And the more we pry into, and difcover of them, the greater and more glorious we find them to be, the more worthy of and the more exprefly

to proclaim their great Creator. - Commendable then are the Refèarches, which many amongst us, have, of late Years, made into the Works of Nature, more than hath been done in fome Ages before. And therefore when we are asked, Čui Bono? To what purpose fuch Enquiries, fuch Pains, fuch Expence? The Anfwer is eafy, It is to anfwer the Ends for which GO D bestowed fo much Art, Wifdom and Power about them, as well as given us Senfes to view and furvey them ; and an Understanding and Curiofity to fearch into them: It is to follow and trace him, when and whither he leads us, that we ": |- CE fee and admire his Handy-work our felves, and fet it forth to others, that they may fee, admire and praife it alfo. I shall then conclude this Inference with what Elihu recommends, Job 26. 24, 25. Remember that thou magnify his Work, which Men behold. Every Man may fee it, Men may behold it afar off. - |

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

T: concluding Words of the preceding Chapter fuggests a third Inference, that the Works of GO D are fo visible to all the World, and withal fuch manifest Indications of the Being, and Attributes of the infinite Creator, that they plainly argue the Vileness and Perverfness of the Atheift, and leave him inexcusable. For it is a fign a Man is a wilful perverfe Atheift, that will impute fo glorious a Work, as the Creation is, to any thing, yea, a meer Nothing (as Chance is) rather than to G0D (1). ’Tis a fign the Man :: - , . |- W11

(1) Galen having taken notice of the neat Distribution · of the Nerves to the Muscles, and other Parts of the Face, cries out, Hec enim fortuna fant opera ! Cæterum tum omnibus [partibus] immitti, tantosque elle fingulos Unervos ] magmitudine, quanta particulæ erat necesse ; , haud foto an hominum fit fobriorum ad Fortunam opificem id revocare. Alioqui quid tandem erit, quod cum Providentia & Arte efficitur ? Omnino enim hoc ei contrarium esse debet, quod cafu ac Fortuito fit. And afterwards, Hec quidem atque ejufmodi Artis feil. . ac Sapientie opera efe dicemus, fi modo Fortune tribuenda funt quæ sunt contraria ; fietque iam quod in proverbiis, Fluvii furfüm fluent ; fi opera quæ nullum habent neque ornamentum

- neque

wilfully blind, that he is under the Power of the Devil, under the Government of Prejudice, Luft, and Pailion, not right Reason, that will not difcern, what every one can fee, what every Man may behold afar off, even the Existence and Attributes of the CREATOR from his Works. For as there is no Speech or Language where their Voice is not heard, their Line is gone out through all the Earth, and their Words to the End of the World: So all, even the barbarous Nations, that never heard of G O D, have from thefe his Works inferred the Existence of a Deity, and paid their Homages to fome Deity, although they have been under great Miftakes in their Notions and Conclusions about him. But however, this fhews how naturally and univerfally áll Mankind agree, in deducing their Belief of a God from the Contemplation of his Works, or as even Epicurus himfelf, in Tully (2) faith, from a Notion that Nature it felf bath imprinted upon the Minds of Men. For, faith he, what Nation is there, or what kind of Men, that without gny Teaching or Instruttions, have not a kind of Ahticipation, or preconceived Notion of a Deity ? An Atheift therefore (if ever there was any fuch) may juftly be esteemed a Monfter among Rational Beings ; a Thing hard to be met with in the whole Tribe of Mankind; an Oppofer of all

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


the World (2); a Rebel against human Nature, and Reafon, as well as against his G 0 D. But above all, monftrous is this, or would be, in fuch as have heard of G 0 D, who have had the Benefit of the clear Gospel-Revelation. And ftill more monftrous this would be, in one born and baptized in the Christian Church, that häth ftudied. Nature, and pryed farther than others into God's Works. For : an one (if it be polfible, for fuch to be) to deny the Existence, or any of the Attributes of G0D, would be a great Argument of the Infinite Inconvenience of thofe Sins of Intemperance, Luft, and Riot, that have made the Man abandon his Rea: fon, his Senses, yea, I had almost faid his very human Nature :) to engage him thus to deny the Being of G 0 D. - - - - - So alfo it is much the fame monftrous Infideli: at leaft betrays the fame atheistical Mind, to : GO D’s Providence, Care and Government of the World, or (which is a Spawn of the fame Epicurean Principles) to deny Final Causes (5) in God’s Works of Creation ; or with the Profane in Pfal. 73. II, to fày, How doth God know? : is - - - - . - - 1bÉ7'e

[ocr errors]

(2) The Athelft in denying a God, doth, as Plutarch faith, - immobilia movere, G bellum inferre non tantum longo tempori, fed & multis hominibus, gentibus, & familiis, quas religiosus Deorum cultus, quasi divino furore correptas, tenuit. Plutar. de Ifide.

(4) See before Note 2. - - -

(# Gelen having substantially refuted the Epicurean Principles of Afclepiades, by shewing his Ignorance in Anatomy and Philofophy, and by Demonstrating all the Causes to be evidently in the works of Nature, viz. Final, Efficient, Instrumental, Muterial and Formal causes, concludes thus against his fortuitous Atoms, ex quibus intelligi potest. Conditorem nostrum in formardis particulu unum hunc sequi scopum, nempe ut quod melius est eligat. Galen, de Ulf Part. L. 6. c. 13.

« PreviousContinue »