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CHAP. of Salutation, with much the fame fort of ReXIX. wards in his Hand, as observed before. And it is obfervable that Tully brings Scipio confeffing himfelf much more active and vigilant in the Race and Pursuit of Virtue, from the Suppofition of having Heaven for his Prize.
BUT these Gentlemen, wifer in their own vain Conceit than all other Teachers, reject the Refurrection of the Body, reject future Rewards and Punishments as an Herefy, in their general Syftem of Morality; one of them admitting the Thoughts only in a particular Cafe, as obferv'd before; when they fpeak of them generally as a Principle of Virtue and Religion, I appeal to all their Readers whether it is not moft conftantly, if not always, with Contempt and Derifion? What is that but obftinately declaring how much they are bent to reproach and oppofe God, the Conftitution of Things, and the Practice of all wife Men in the World? And with the like Self-conceit of Sufficiency of Knowledge, disbelieve with the old Gnoftick Hereticks, the future Judgment of Quick and Dead?
AND thus feparating the Body from the Spirit that enlivens it, they make a dead Carcase of Morality. Shut themselves out from the Pale of future Happiness and Salvation: And fooner will the Publicans and Harlots; Hottentots, and Laplanders enter into the Kingdom of Heaven and true Religion, than these modern Pharifees in Morality. They fuppofe an End, without competent Means, and Motives in the moral or religious Conduct of Man; which is as
enormous an Abfurdity, as in Nature, to expect CHAP. an Effect without a Caufe. They divorce the Performance of Duty to God, our Neighbour, and Ourselves, from the true Obligations and moral Reasons of thofe Duties. They feparate and distinguish Virtue from Religion, or what amounts to the fame, Morality from true real Chriftianity which is putting asunder what God, and Reason, and the Constitution of Things have moft furely join'd together. And fo, by a Scheme of Irreligion and Confufion refolutely divorce themfelves from the Favour of God, the common Honefty, common Reafon, common Faith, of Mankind.
THIS Principle of Principles, especially in its Evolution of the Mediator, feems to be that Defideratum or wanted Medium, for making manifeft and projecting the Light of Proof for exhibiting a Demonftration of true Morality and Religion, which the great Mr. Locke perhaps had not the full Notion of in his frequent Declarations; for ftill *, (tho' invited) he declined to give the Sample, how Morality is capable of Demonftration; by which he muft mean the Natural Religion of Man as he is a Sinner, manifefted as we fee it has been in all its Dependencies, by that Light which came into the World to render it plain and perfpicuous.
THIS great Fundamental of Natural Religion, that God is a Rewarder, &c. without Faith in which it is impofible to please him, effectually confutes all the four forts of Deifts. 1. Thofe, who allow the Being of a God, but
CHAP. deny his Providence. For, if God is a Rewarder, XIX. that fuppofes him a Punisher, and that implies Providence and careful Infpection over Mens Actions, in order to fupport his Juftice and Equity in Rewarding and Punishing. 2. Thofe, who grant a Providence, but deny the Distinction between Good and Evil. For, if God is a Rewarder, and Punisher, that can import no less than that there are fome Things naturally pleafing to him, and fome Things difpleafing; which establishes the eternal Diftinction between Good and Evil. 3. Thofe, who admit Providence, and the Difference of Good and Evil, but deny the Immortality of the Soul. For, if Rewards are not diftributed in this Life according to Mens Behaviour by the conftant diftinguishing Balance of Juftice, it is indubitably certain, it will be fo in an After-ftate; and that afcertains the Immortality of the Soul. 4. Thofe, who admit all the three former, but deny the pofitive Diftribution of Rewards and Punishments in the future State; and that Gofpel which has brought that Life and Immortality to Light; and by fo doing, fubvert Natural Religion.
IT is not the Writings and Opinions of these fort of Authors, or any of the ancient Philofophers that make and conftitute the Law of Nature, any more than the Opinions and Comments of Lawyers make the Law of the State; but Reference had to God the Legislator, the fupreme Author of Nature, and to the Sanctions he has referv'd and fix'd, and a confcientious Regard to his eternal Juftice in feeing them effectually and diftinguishingly take place upon the Obedient and Difobedient, that makes it the Law of Nature, gives the Authority, and founds the moral
Obligation. But thole Sanctions, which are to CHAP. clear up the Conduct of Providence, and vindi- XIX. cate all the Perfections and Attributes of the heavenly Governor, before the Univefe of rational Agents, cannot take place without a pofitive diftinguishing Retribution, and a manifeft Revelation of the righteous Judge of the whole Earth. Why not then worthy of God, as it is most beneficial to Man, to give unto Man, both a previous written Revelation of the Duties and Tranfgreffions of that Law, and likewife the fure Sanctions of them? Thus the Law of Nature rightly confider'd, infers a reveal'd Law, and establishes a written Revelation of the Will of God in the Defires of all Men.
AND as the Religion of Nature truely delineated is founded, more efpecially in our prefent lapsed State, in this great Foundation Truth of all Revelation, and Recovery to Divine Favour, That God is, and is a Rewarder of thofe who diligently feek to pleafe him, rather than in the Confideration of Truth in general; infomuch as that particular Truth, in the Reason of Things, actuates and enlivens the whole Syftem of Morality, refers it to God, and turns it into Religion; which Truth in general does not, though it contradicts it not.
VIRTUE and Truth are as different as a Part is from the Whole; every Virtue is Truth, but every Truth is not Virtue. When, as in Job and Socrates, the Reafon and Underftanding, Will and Affections are duly (Man-like) difpofed to confider and retain, and in the Prevalency of all those Powers attach'd with all Fidelity, to that fundamental Bafis of all moral Truth Z 4
CHAP. and Virtue, viz. That God is, and is a Rewarder, XIX. &c. fo as to form the whole Plan of moral Behaviour upon it, as well in the Profperity, as Adverfity of this dependent Life; the Substance, or rational Ground or Confidence, (as in the Margin) Heb. xi. 1. of fuch unfeen Things heartily confided in, is Faith; and out of that Direction and Intention arifes the whole Concern and Obligation of Morality which appertains to the Law or Religion of Nature. And therefore the Religion of Nature, rightly understood, infers the only true Religion of the Mediator, JESUS CHRIST, and establishes the written Revelation of that Way, Truth and Life in the Value, or in the Defires of all reafonable and unprejudiced Men, as the best and most perfect, as well as the only Manner, HOW God is a Rewarder, &c. with every thing else that follows from that Faith, being in all Wisdom, as well as Mercy, the fittest both to the pure fpotlefs Nature of God, and the prefent confcious finful State of Man. For if Natural Reason fays, God is a Rewarder; and the Voice of Nature fays, he beareth not, much less rewardeth, Sinners; and the Experience of Mankind confeffes that if we say that we have no Sin, we deceive ourselves and the Truth is not in us; then there must be a third Perfon, thro' whofe Hands the Reward is conferr'd: and, previously to that in order to preserve God whole in all his Attributes as he is infinitely worthy of them all, he muft become, or must have been willing and qualified to be the righteous Medium of the Difference, for reconciling the punishing Juftice, with the forgiving Mercy of God. And who is that but the Mediator I have been fpeaking of, and what is the Gospel but the good News of Remiffion of Sins, and eternal Life, in that Method?