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II. What are the Arguments where-Sermon by this Faith or Perfwafion of these Principles of Natural Religion is wrought? You may remember that I reduc'd all those Arguments whereby any kind of Faith or Perfwafion is wrought in us, to these four Heads; Senfe, Experience, Reafons drawn from the Thing, and the Teftimony or Authority of fome Perfon. Now a Faith or Perfwafion of these Principles cannot be wrought in us by Senfe: for No Man hath feen God at any time, and being a pure Spirit, he cannot be the object of any Corporeal Senfe. Nor can the Soul, or any mode of its Existence, fall under any of our Senses: nor a Future State; because Senfe is only of things prefent. Nor can it be wrought in us meerly by Experience: for no Man can conclude from any thing he experienceth in himself, that there is a God, unless he be firft perfwaded of it by other Arguments: and the Immortality of the Soul, and a Future State, are things which none in this Life can experience. Nor can the Au
thority or Teftimony of
be the Argument that induceth that Volume Perfwafion. Not any Humane AuthoXII. rity: for these things are of fuch Confequence, and fo much depends upon them, that is, the belief of them puts us upon fo many things, which Men would not do if they did not believe them, as particularly the venturing of our Lives upon the account of Religion, and all our Worldly Interests, if occafion call for it; that it were a fond thing to take Matters of such Moment and Importance upon any Man's bare word, without other af furance of them. Nor can the Teftimony or Authority of God be the Argument that perfwades me of the Exiftence of a God. I grant that for the other two, the Immortality of the Soul, and a Future State, it is an excellent, and may be a fufficient Argument. Tho' that thefe may be proved likewife by other Arguments without a Revelation, is evident in the Heathens, who by the Light of Nature did affent to them without a Revelation. But a Divine Revelation cannot poffibly be an Argument inducing me to believe the Exiftence of a God, for this plain Reason; becaufe
cause a Divine Revelation can be no Argument to any that is not perfwaded that it is a Divine Revelation: but before I can be perfwaded that any Revelation is from God, I must be perfwaded there is a God; and if fo, there is no need of this Argument to prove to me that there is one: and therefore you do not find it any where reveal'd in all the Scripture, that there is a God. The Scripture often declares that Jehovah is the true and living God, and that befides him there is no other: but it doth not reveal, but every where fuppofe, that there is one.
It remains then that it must be another kind of Argument whereby we must be perfwaded of the Existence of a God, and that is by fuch Reasons as may be drawn from things themselves to perfwade us hereof; as either from the Notion and Idea which we have of a God, that he is a Being that hath all Perfections, whereof neceffary Exiftence is one, and confequently that he must be; or else from the Universal confent of all Nations, and the geneD 2 rality
rality of Perfons agreeing in this Volume prehenfion, which cannot be attribuXII. ted reasonably to any other Cause, than to impreffions ftamp'd upon our Understandings by God himself; or (which is most plain of all) from this vifible frame of the World, which we cannot, without great violence to our Understandings, impute to any other Caufe than a being Endow'd with infinite Goodnefs, and Power, and Wisdom, which is that we call God.
As for the other two Principles of Natural Religion, the Immortality of the Soul, and a Future State; after we believe a God, we may be perfwaded of these from Divine Revelation; and that doth give us the highest and firmest affurance of them in the Refurrection of Chrift from the Dead. Yet I do not find but that these alfo are rather fuppos'd, than exprefly reveal'd in the Bible. Indeed the Immortality of the Soul may be infer'd from feveral places of Scripture, and the tenour of the whole Bible: and fo a Future State, which, as for the thing it felf, feems to be fuppofed as a thing
a thing acknowledged by Natural Light; only the Scripture hath reveal'd the circumftances of it more particularly to us, and given us higher affurance of the thing: but if there were no Revelation, Men might be perfwaded of thefe; and fo the Heathens were by Arguments drawn partly from the operations of the Soul, which would almoft perfwade any Man that the Soul is Immortal; it being altogether unimaginable how a Principle that is nothing else but Matter, can either understand, or determine it felf by its own Will; all the motions of Matter that we know of, or can imagine, being neceffary: and partly from the Juftice and Goodnefs of God. The confideration of God's Goodness would perfwade a Man, that as he made all things very good, fo he made them of the longelt duration they were capable of and the Juftice of God would eafily induce a Man to believe, feeing the Providence of God doth generally in this Life deal promifcuoutly with good and bad Men, that there fhall be a Day which will make