« AnteriorContinua »
the Caufe doth not give any Thing to the Effeet, which it enjoys not it felf; or in other Words, that what foever is in the Effe&t mult præexist in the Cause. Since therefore we can read so much Elegance and Perfection, in this huge Volume of the World, which is the Effect of God's Power, Wisdom, and Goodnefs: Since we can behold so much comelipels diffused among the Creatures by which they become amiable, and draw to them out Affections we cannot but conclude, that God who is the Cause and Creator of them, must be altogether perfect, altogether lovely: and say with Zachariah in the ninch Chapter of his Prophecy, and at the 17th Verse; bow great is bis Beauty, and bow great is bis Goodness? His Goodness and Perfections, are indeed fo infinitely great, thac 'tis impossible for our narrow Capacities to comprehend them. The fublime and rapturous Contemplation of God's Excellencies, will be a principal Ingredient in our future Happiness; but to frame' full files of them, will for ever transcend the Limits of our finite Nature.com And so nikuchr may suffice to have been Ipoken congerning God's absolute Good- nefs.
Let us now go on to his relative Goodnefs, namely, that which disposes him to do Good to his Creatures. And that God is good in this Sense, I shall endeavour to make out from the following Argu. ments."
First, From the Creation.
Thirdly, From the Redemption of the
And First, the Creation, of the World is an Argument of God's Goodnels; for you Sewas God's Goodnels which was the Cause of the Creation ; as may be thus made to appear. God was eternally before all Things that are distinct from himself; nothing therefore extrinfecal to him could be the Cause of this or any other Action of his, but it must wholly proceed from somewhat within ; and that must be the End which was propos'd by: him. Now forasmuch as God was always Self-sufficient, infinitely and effentially happy in himself; he could not be · induced to the Work of Creacion, from: any View or Proposal of encreasing his own Felicity ; because that which was al. ready infinite, was utterly incapable of any encrease: And 'cis impiously, absurd?
to think, thac the Contributions of Creatutes, should be necessary to compleat the Happiness of the Creator, who is over all,
God blessed for evitar Being therefore he God never stood in necd of any Thing;
being he never lacked any Entertainment from without; and could liave no Prospect of betrering his own Condicion ; what was there that could move him to creare the World, but a Willingness and Delign to impart lome Benefit to others? And is not this the very Essence of Goodness? For what End could he endow some Beings with the Faculties of Sense and Realon, but to qualifie them to receive that Happiness which he intended, and was disposed to give? And doth not Goodtiels conlilt in proposing and furtheriog such Ends as these ?? ..
indeed that the Goodnefs of God was che principal Motive to the Creation, is so obvious a Truth, that the old Heathens foon found it out, tho’ they had nothing but the glimmering Lighe of Nature to direct their Search. Thus after Plato had enquir'd what should be the Reason of God's making the World, he answer'd, He was Good. So again, Hierocles in his Comment upon Pythagora's Golden Verfes; there is no other rational Cause, faith
he allignable for the making of all Things,
And as the Goodness of God may be inferred from the Creation of the greater World, and the Things that are therein; so more especially from the framing the one little World, MAN.) Upon bim hes hath printed several capital Characters of his Goodness. 'Tis amazing to consider how peculiarly nice the. Fabrick even of his Body is formed; how far in Beauty the Parts of it surpass those of other Creatures. A Neither are they only for Ornament, but I Use; every one of them being fitted for several distinct Ends or Intencions; and conducing some way or other to Growth, as or Nourishment, Sense or Mótion. I add co this, that we are furnished with two of those parts which are most noble and beneficial, not only as a Reserve in Case any Misfortune should happen to one, but likewise as a Token of the Lisa berality of the Donor. Again, who can reflect upon the wonderful Operations of
the Senses, and the Adyantages redound. ing to us from the fame, without admir. ing and excolling the Goodness of the Author : These capacitate us for the Enjoyment of Objects that are without us, which without these we could not enjoy. What would the most beautiful Object signify to us, if we had no Eyes: the most fragrant Odours, if we had no Noles? the most harmonious Musick, if we had no Ears: and lo of, the rest. Isaftly, The Faculty of Speech most loudly speaks the Goodness of God who gave it. Awould be tedious to number up all the Benefits which accrue to Mankind from hence;. His sufficient to observe, that by tbis we make known our Wants to one another; and desire Assistance: By this we maintain a good Correspondence and Friendship with our Fellow-creatures, and alternately communicate Advice, Reproof, and Consolation. In a Word, that by this we declare our Gratitude to our Maker, and praise and magnify him for all his Goodness towards us.
But the Body of Man (with all its Accomplishments) is but a lower Instance of divine Goodness compared with the Soul: This is a Particle of Divinity, in which God fulfilled his Delign of making Man