« PreviousContinue »
lum diem, nullum temporis punctum, fluere ? nobis fine voluptate patiamur ; ne, quia ipfi o quandoque periture sumis, id ipsum, quod vixi'mus, pereat," Lib. iii. Sect. 17. Again, " Vire étus, foli, homini dera, magno argumento eft
immortales efle animas; quæ nec erit fecundum naturum, fi anima extinguitur; huic enim præ
fenti vitæ nocet, &c. Si ergo et prohibet iis bonis • hominem, quæ naturaliter appetuntur, et ad sura
tinenda mala impellit, quæ naturaliter fugiuntur; ' ergo, malam est virtus, et inimica naturæ ftultunim
que judicare neceffe eft qui eam fequitur, quo. ' niam fe ipse lædit et fugiendo bona præfentia, et
appetendo æque mala fine fpe fructus amplioris,' &c. Lib. vii. Sect. 9.
Need I urge any further authorities ? perhaps the names of Mr. Lock, and Monf. Pafcha!, may
be of greater weight with some men than most of - those I have mentioned; and therefore a few lines, taken from either of their writings, shall close these citations.
Locke's Hum. Underst. Bookxi. Ch.21. Sect. 35. Ed. 1. If men in this life only have hope, if in < this life only they can enjoy, 'tis not strange,
nor unreasonable, they should seek their hap
piness, by avoiding all things that displease them • here, and by preferring all that delight them;
wherein it will be no wonder to find variety aná • difference; for if there be no prospect beyond
the grave, the inference is certainly right, Let 'us eat and drink, let us enjoy what we delight in, for to-morrow we die.'
Paschal, according to his way, hath rather hinted than fully expressed the same thought.
However, those who are acquainted with his manner of writing, will easily learn his opinion from what follows: ''Tis certain that either the • Soul is mortal or immortal. nd the rules of « morality will be entirely different according to
the one or the other of these suppositions. Nevertheless, the philosophers treat of morals ! without any regard to this distinction. What a • degree of blindness was this * ? All our actions; and all our thoughts ought to be conducted after fo different a manner, according as there is or is not an eternal happiness to be hoped for, that
it is impossible wisely to take a fingle step in life, ! without regulating it by this view --'tis our great interest, and our chief duty, to fatisfy ourselves on this head, upon which our whole conduct ! depends ti'.
The paisages I have cited (though but few of many which might have been urged to the same purpose) may seem too large and numerous. But it became me effectually to remove this groundlefs charge of Novelty, with which I am loaded. I have the rather abounded in such authorities as relate to the notion whereon I am faid to build
Il est indubitable que l'ame est mortelle ou immortelle. Cela doit mettre une difference euliere dans la Morale. Es cependant les Philosophes ont conduit la Morale independam, ment de cela. Quel aveuglement estrange! ch xxix. $ 54
Toutes nos A&tions, et toutes nos Penses, doivent pren. dre des tours fi differentes, felon qu'ily aura des bicos Eternels a esperer ou non, qu'il elt imposible de faire une demarche avec sens et jugement, qu'en la reglant par la veue de ce point, qui doit etre nostre dernier object. Ainsi nostre premier intereft, et noftre premier devoir est, de nous eclaircir fur ce fujet, d'ou depend toute noftre conduite Chap. i.
xli my two positions, because it is but once, and then but briefly, intimated in my Serinon: And therefore these authorities may serve, not only to justify, but moreover to explain and clear it; and, by that means, fupply the omillion, which, considering the short bounds within which the argumentative part of my Discourse was neceffarily confined, I could not well avoid. And as to the Pofitions themselves, the Reader fees they are fo far from being new, that there is (which I ani not ashamed to own) nothing new even in my manner of handling them. The same instances, the fame mediums, that I employ to illustrate them, are made use of also by Archbishop Tillotjon, Dr. Sherlock, Dr. Goodman, Mr. Pemble; Dr. Stradling, &c. Nor are these assertions that dropt from their pens by chance, but delivered by them in places where they profefled to confi. der and state the points in question; and where, get, they have expressed themselves with (at least) as few guards and restrictions as I have done. It may, I think, even from hence be presumed, that I am not much mistaken in what I have laid down, since I have fallen Into like thoughts with these writers, without knowing (I ain fure, witliout attending in the least to what they had writo ten on the subject; especially since I have the honour fo exactly to agree with Archbishop Tillotson, one who, in my poor opinion, wrote and reasoned as justly as any man of his time.
II. It is plain that these writers generally built their opinions and reasonings, on that very text of St. Paul, which gave rise to my discourse;
and it being very probable that they, it is very probable also that i, have not mistaken his sense; though the ser ord article of my accusations runs, That the doctrine I have delivered, is 'extremely • foreign from the design of the apostle, on whom • I fix it.' (L. p. 20. 13.) • Of the two propositions, which I profess to maintain,
The First is this, that without hope in another life, men would be more miferable than beasts. Now this I am fo far from fixing expresly on the apostle, as the Letter-writer affirms (L. p. 12. 13. 15.) that he himself, in other places, represents me as only 'infinuating it to be agreeable to the
apostle's purpose, tho' not necessarily implied in the letter of the text,' (L. p. 6. 11.) which is much nearer to the truth ; for it is with regard to this proposition that I professed to urge (what I call) the concession of the apostle somewhat • further than the letter of the text will carry me.' (See p. 4) And therefore after enlarging on this first proposition, I conclude. by simply offirming the truth of it, (See p. 6.) without vouching the authority of St. Paul, or even alluding to his exprefsions: whereas I refer to both, at the close of the second, and say, that, 'on the accounts [be• forementioned] 'what the apostle lays down in • the text. is evidently and experimentally true, • That, if in this life only good men had hope,
they were of all men most miserable.' (L. p. 13). It is then an artifice in him, to represent me as equally building these undoubted truths on the • authority of the apostle.' (L. p. 15.) I speak only of the undoubted truth of the apostle's conces.
• fion ;
'fion; (Ibid.) and I exprefly limit that concession to the latter of these two propositions, (Ibid.) without entitling the apostle to the former; for the truth of which, I make my self (not him) answerable.
There is (1 grant) room still left for a caviller to misrepresent my meaning; and therefore he tells me, that I call the argument, into which • I have put this first propofition, that great argu* ment for a future state, which is urged by St. Paul • in the words before us,' L. p. 15. But why must I needs call it so, as including that proposition ; since in the same place I own, that I have enlarged on the apostle's argument, that is, extended it (as elsewhere speak) fomewhat farther than the Leiter of the text will carry me? Yes, but in the Paraphrase upon the Text, I explain those Words We are of all men moft miserable] by these that follow We Christians foould be the most abandoned and wretheed of creatures :]and by Greatures, my froward interpreter will understand Benfts; (See L. p. 13. 15.) forgetting that the scriptural use of that word determines it sometimes to men: particularly in that text where our saviour commands his disciples to “ preach the gospel to every creature." Mark xvi. 15. I suppose he meant not, to the brute creatures of the air, the sea, or the field: For then, St. Francis, I am sure, would have obeyed this command much better than eia ther St. Paul or St Peter. By creatures here, we are to understand reasonable creatures; and so this perverse gentleman might, if he pleased, have understood it, in that passage of my fermon; and have taken what follows there, concerning “ all