« EelmineJätka »
Creatour. Neither is it any eclipse, or diminution of the Liberty of that first Being, co say, that there is some evil so foul, and illfavour'd, as chat it cannot but be forbidden by him; and chat there is some good so fair, and eminent,as that he cannot but commandit.
For, as the Schoolmen observe, Divina voluntas, licèt fimpliciter libera fit ad extra, ex fuppofitione tamen nnius. Altús liberi, poteft necelfitari ad alium.
Though the Will of God be compleatly free in respect of all his looks,and glances towards the Creature, yet notwithstanding, upon the voluncary, and free precedency of one At, we may justly conceive him neceflitated to another, by virtue of that indissoluble connexion, and concatenation between these two Afts, which does in a manner knit, and unite them into one.
Thus God has an absolute liberty, and choice, whether he will make a promise, or no; but, if be has made it, he cannot but fulo filit. Thus he is perfe&ly free, whether he will reveal his mind, or no; but, if he will reveal it, he cannot but speak truth, and nifeft it as it is.
God had the very fame liberty, whether he would create a World, or no; but, if he will create it, and keep it in its comelinesse, and proportion, he must then have a vigilant, and provi. dential eye over it ; and, if he will provide for it, he cannot buc. have a perfect, and indefective Prividence agreeable to his own wisdom, and goodness, and Being: so that if be will create such a Being, as Man, such a Rational Creature, furnish'd with sufficient knowledg to discern between some good, and evill; and, if he will fupply it with a proportionable concourse in its operations, he cannot chen but prohibit such ačts,as are intrinfecally prejudicial, and detrimental to the Being of it: neicher can he but command such acts, as are necessary to its preservation, and welfare.
God therefore, when from all Eternity in bis own glorious Thoughts he contriv'd the Being of Man, he did also with his piercing eye
see into all conveniences and disconveniences, which would be in reference to such a Being, and by his eternal Law did restrain, and decermine it to such acts, as should be advantageous to it, which in his wise Oeconomy, and dispenlation, be publish'd to man by the voice of Reason, by the mediation of this Natural Law.
Whence it is, that every violation of this Law is not onely an injury to man's being; but ultra nativam rei malitiam, (as the Scholes speak J 'cis also a virtual, and interpretative contempt of that Supreme Law.giver; who, out of so much wisdom, love, and goodnelle did thus bind man to his own happinesse.
So much then, as man does start aside, and apoft arize from this Law; to so much mifery, and punishment does he expose himself.
Though it be not necessary, that the Candle of Nature should discover the full excent, and measure of that Punishment, which is due to the breakers of this Law; for to the nature of Punishment non requiritur,ut præcognita fit poena, sed ut fiat actus dignus tali pena. The Lawyers, and Schoolmen both will acknowledge this Principle.
For, as Suarez bas it, Sequirur reatus ex intrinseca conditione culpa, ita ut, licèt pæna per Legem non fit determinata, arbitrio tamen competentis Iudicis puniri poffit. Yet the Light of Nature will reveal,and disclose thus much; That a Being totally depen dent upon another, esentially subordinate, and subject to it, must also be accountable to it for every provocation, and rebellion; And, for the violation of so good a Law, which he has set it, and for the singing against such admirable Providence, and fustice, as shines out upon it, must be lyable to such a Punishment, as that glorious Lar.giver shall judge fit for such an offence ; who is so full of Justice, as that he cannot, and so great in Goodnefje, as that he will not punish a Creature above ics
Here are stamp’d, and printed upon the the Being of Man,
some clear, and undelible Principles, fome first, and Alphabetical Nosions; by purring cogether of which is can spell out the Law of Nature. There's scatter'd in the Sonl of man some seeds of Light,which
fillic wich i vigorous pregnaocy, with a multiplying fruitfulness, so that it brings forth a numerous, and sparkling pofterity of see? condary Notions, which make for the crowning, and encompasling of the Soul with happinesse.
All the fresh Springs of Common, and Fountain-Notions are in the Sunl of Man, for the warring of bis Elence, for the refreshing of this beavenly Plans, this Arbor inversa, this enclof<d-Being, this Garden of God..
And, though the wickedness of man may stop the pleasant Motion, the clear, and Chrystalline progress of the Fountain; yet they cannot binder the first rifings, the bubbling endeavours of it. They may pull off Natures leaves, and pluck off her fruits, and chop off her branches, but yet the root of ic is efernal, the foundation of it is inviolable.
Now chele first, and Radical principles are winded up in some such short bottoms as these: Bonum eft appetendum, malum eft fugiendum; Bearisudo eft quarenda; Quod ribi fieri non vis, alteri ne feceris. And Reason thus a'o ro'un or too póvor, incubando super hac ova, by warming, and brooding upon these first, and Oval Prine ciples of her own laying, it being it self quicken'd with an bcavenly vigour, does thus hatch the Law of Nature.
For, you must not, nor cannot think chat Natures Law is confin'd, and contracted within the compasle of two or three common Notions ; but Reason, as with one foot it fixes a Center, so with the other it measures, and spreads out a Circumference, it draws several Conclusions, which do all meet and croud into these first, and Central Principles. As in those Noble Mathematical Sciences there are not onely fome first airhuata, which are granted as soon as they are askid, if not before; but there are also whole heaps of firm, and immoveable Demonstrations, that are built upon them in the very fame manner, Nature has some Poftulata, some negantes, (which Senecu renders Prafumptiones, which og thers call' Articipationes Animi,) which she knows a Rational Being will presently, and willingly yield unco; and therefore, by vircue of these, it does engage, and oblige it to all such commands, as shall by just result, by genuine production, by kindly and evident derivation flow from these.
For men must not onely look upon the Capit al Letters of this Not years, but shey must read the whole context and cobeo
their rougher Language make these several ranks, and distribusi
rence of it; they must look to every jot, and Apex of it: for Heaven and Earth (ball fooner pass away, thin one fot, or Title of this Law fall vanih.
They must not onely gaze upon two or three Principles of the firft Magnitude, but they must take notice of the lesser Celeftial Sporades: for these also have their light, and influence,
They must not onely skim off the Cream of first Principles: buc whatsoever sweetness comes streaming from the Dug of Nature, they must feed upon it, they may be nourish'd with it.
Reason does not onely crop off the tops of first Notions, but does so gather all che Flowers in Nature's Garden, as that it can bind them together in a pleasant Pofy,for the refreshment of itself and others.
Thus, as a Noble Author of our own does well observe, Tota ferè Ethica eft Notitia communis: All Morality is nothing, but a collection, and bundling up of Natural Precepts. The Muralists did buc sodatúrey Çusex jneet, cnlarge the fringes. of Natures Garment: they are so many, Commentatours, and Expositours upon Nature's Law. This was his meaning, that Nild Moral Philofophy si ei sa'am Sparme a Peronesia, that Philofophy , which is for the maintaining, and edifying of Humane Nature. Thus Nature's Law is frequently call'd the Moral Law. But the Schoolmen in on, of Natural Precepts. Toe opăta kata puse. First, there come in the front Princpia Generalia, (as some call them) per je nota: ut, Honeftum eft faciendum; Pravam vitandum." Then follow next Principia particularia, có magis determinatai ut, Juftitia eft servanda; Deus eft colendus; Vivendum eft temperatė. At length come up in the rear, Conclusiones evidenter illata, que tamen cognosci nequeunt nisi per discurdum; ui, Mendacium, Furtum, & fi milia prava elle. Thele, thougb they may seem somewhat more remote, yet being fetchd from clear, and unquestionable Premisses, they bave Nas turi's Seal upon them; and are thus far sacred, so as to have the usual priviledge of a Conclusion, to be untouch'd, and undeniable.
For though that learned Authour, whom I mention'd not long before, do justly take notice of this, that Discourse is the usual in let to Erronr, and.coo ofçen gives an open admiffion, and courteous entertainment to such falfities, as come disguised in a Syl
logistical form, which by their fequacious windings'; 'and gradual infinuations, twinéabout some weak undertandings:yer, in the rature of the thing is self, 'tis as impossible to collect an Errour out of a Truth as 'tis to gather the blackest Night, out of the fairejt Sunshine, or the toulelt wickedness out of the purest goodness. A Conclusion therefore, that's built upon the Sand, you may very well exped its fall, but that, which is bùilt upon the Rock, is impregnable, and immoveable: for, if the Law of Nature should not extend it self so far, as to oblige men to an accurate observation of that which is a remove, or two distant from 'first Principles, 'cwould then prove extremely defective in some luch Precepts, as do most intimately, and intensely conduce co the welfare, and advantage of an Intellectual Being.
And these first Notions would be most barren, inefficacious Spe: culations, unless they did thus increase, and multiply, and bring · forth fruit with the bleffing of Heaven upon them.
So thar there is a necessary connexion and concatenation between first Principles and such Conclusions. For, as Suarez bas it, Veritas Principii continetur in Conclusione: fo that he, that questions the Conclusion, must needs also strike at the Principle. Nay, it we look to the nation of a Law, there is more of that to be feen in these more particular Limitations, then in those more universal Notions; for Lex eft proxima Regula operationum. But now Pars riculars are nearer to existence, and operation, then Universals: and in this respect do more immediately stear, and direct the motions of such a Being. The one is the bending of the Box; but the other is the shoosing of the Arrow.
Suarez does fully determine this in fuch words as chese, Hec omnia Præcepta (he means boch Principles, & Conclusions)prodeunt à Deo, Auctore Natura, o tendunt ad eundem finem, nimirum ad debitam conservationem; & natinalem perfeétionim, sen felicitatem Humane Nature. This Law of Nature, as it is thus branch'd forth, does bind
, in foro Conscientia: for as cbac Noble Author, (whom I more then once commended before ) speaks very well in this: Natural Conscience, 'cis Centrum Notitiarum communium, and tis a kind of Sensus communis in respect of the inward Faculties, as that other is in respect of the outward Senses. Tis the competent Indge of this Law of Nature: 'cis the natural Pulfe of the Soul,