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Philofophical Meditations,


Divine Inferences, &c.


HEN I behold the Glories of the Heavenly Bodies, even those of our Solar System, and confider the Beauty, Order, and Harmony thereof, and obferve feveral Bodies not vifible to the na

ked Eye; as for Example, the Satellites of Saturn and Jupiter; I muft hence conclude these things to be the Product of infinite Wisdom and Power, and not the Effects of Inactivity and blind Chance, (of which more hereafter) but the Works of Intelligence, Forefight, and Contrivance; and of which we have fufficient Footsteps upon our own Globe to convince any reasonable Man B


of, who is not biafs'd by Vice. But what are these Works of our Syftem, in comparifon of those of the whole Universe, which, as far as our Sight can reach, we find interfpers'd with glorious Bodies, which in all Probability do all or most of them equal the Splendor of our Sun, and for ought we know (and as 'tis reasonable to believe) have the like Ufes in being serviceable to concomitant Planets, which are revolving round them, as we, the Inhabitants upon this Globe, with our neighbouring Planets, do round our Sun, the Centre of our System? These things duly look'd into, one would think fhould be fufficient to filence all Atheism for ever; which indeed had never had any Entertainment in the World, had not Immorality, Vice, and Wickedness firft caufed Men to lofe their Hopes of future Rewards; and that the Fears of future Punishments might not be an Allay to their fenfual Pleasures, they would thence perfuade themselves that there is no future Reckoning for them. How weak and foolish these Perfuafions are, and how dismal the Confequences will be, I fhall endeavour to fet forth in the following Difcourfe; in which I fhall, as agreeable to my Purpose, make ufe of feveral Topicks, and draw proper Conclufions from them.

First, I fhall prove a neceffary, eternal, felf-existent, and independent Being, upon which

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which depends the Order of Nature, and from whom all things that ARE have receiv'd their Beings throughout the univerfal Space, whether animate or inanimate, material or fpiritual.

Secondly, I fhall confider the Nature of Eternity and infinite Space.

Thirdly, I fhall enquire into the Nature of the Punishment of the Wicked, and give my Opinion of the Place of their Tor


Fourthly, I fhall enquire into the Nature of the Creation of our Globe the Earth, and. make fome Remarks upon the Deluge: In all which I shall avoid the defcanting upon. fuch things as I have found before obferv'd by other Authors, except where it is neceffary, or elfe to make fome further Improvements; and fhall make Divine Inferences from every Particular, as they fall in Courfe.

Fifthly, I fhall prove the Goodness of God: in his Dealings with his Creatures he has given Reafon and Understanding to, parti-: cularly to us, having put it in our Power to be happy for ever in a future State, and having given us to that End all imaginable Encouragements and Advantages.

Sixthly, I fhall prove the Chriftian Oeconomy to be the only true one now in the World.

And, Lastly, I fhall recommend Religion and Virtue to every one's Choice.

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Of a neceffary, felf-exiftent, independent and eternal Being.


HEN I form my Conceptions of an Eternity past, I find it much eafier to believe and conceive a neceffary, felfexiftent, independent, and eternal Being, than to imagine any Beings produced out of the Gulf of Eternity by blind Chance; which, if allow'd of, must be a neceffary. Agent, which is a plain Contradiction in Terms; for that which is a neceffary Agent must have a Power to act; and Chance acts not, but is confequent upon Action; therefore if any thing be acted, it must be by the Power of an Actor; or, in other Words, if any thing be made, it must have a Maker: And therefore, had there not been an infinitely wife and powerful, felf-existent, independent and eternal Being, the whole univerfal Space must have continued in utter Darkness, without Matter or material Bodies interfpers'd; fuch as the glorious Sun, · Fixed Stars, and their concomitant Planets, with their various and numerous Inhabitants. But to go no further than our felves: That we find our felves in Being is undeniable, but how we came into Being we know not, nor had

had we any Hand in procuring it, but were produced in Time; we must therefore receive our Beings from a Being that is eternal; and our Existence not being in our selves, we must therefore exist in a Being that is felf-exiftent; and our Dependence not being upon our felves, we must therefore depend upon a Being that is independent: So that it is as abfurd to deny the Being of a God, as it would be to deny our own Beings; fince without a Creator, 'tis evident, there could have been no Creature. It is with very good Reafon therefore that the Pfalmift calls that Man a Fool, who has faid in his Heart, There is no God.

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Of the Nature of Eternity and infinite Space.

OW what Conceptions I can form of this neceffary Being, and his eternal Existence, is, that his Eternity is to him as Time present, or just now, is to us; for Eternity admits of no Measure or Progref fion, as Time does; for Time is itself a Creature produced out of Eternity; so that let the Almighty begin his Creations at what Distance

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