he is To eminently dilHnguiihed, by a feries of proportions, mutually connected and dependent, and fornni; a complete and unasfwcrablc argument in proof of the attributes oi the Deity., Something, he fay«, has cxifted from all eternity j for, fince fomething now is, fomethirig always was: other wife the things that now are muft have been product! out of nothing, nbfolutely and without caufe, which is a plain contradiction in terms. T here muit have exiited from all eternity lome one unchangeable and independent Being; or elie, there has, been an infinile fucceffion of changeable and dependent beings, produced one from another in an end Ids progrefiion, without any original caufe at all. For other wife this fsries of beings can have no caufe of its exiltence, bean lie it includes aM things that are or ever were in the univerfe; nor is any one being in this infinite fucceflion felf-exiflent or neccflary, and therefore it can have 110 reafon of .ts exigence within iifelf; and it was equally pofhble, th it from eternity there fhould never have exiited any thing at all, as that a fuccefiion of fuch beings ihould have exiited from eternity. Confequently their exiltence is determined by nothing; neither by any neceflity in their o\vn nature, hecaufe none of them are felf-exiitent; nor by any other being, becaufe no other .s fuppoftd to exiit.—1 he unchangeable and independent Being, which has exiited from eternity, without any external caufe of its exiltence, mufl be ielf-exiltent; it muit exiit by an abfolute neeeffity originally in the nature of the thing itfelf, and antecedent in the natural order of our ideas to our fuppoiition of !ts being. Fur whatever cxiits, mult either come into being without a caufe; or it mult ha\e been produced by fome external cauie; or it mult be felf-exiftent: but the two former fuppoiifiens are contrary to the two iirit propoiitions. From this lalt propoiition ir follows, that the only true idea of a felf exiitent or necef-farily exifting bting, ;s the idea of a being, the fuppoiition of wnoff nou-exiitence is an exprels contradiction ; and this idea is that of a molt limplc being, ibfolutely eternal and infinite, original and independent. It follows alfo, ihat nothing is fo certain as the exiltence of a fupreme independent caufe; and likewife, that the material world cannot poifibly be the tirlt and original being, uncreated, independent, and of itielf eternal; bccaufe ii does not exilt by an abfolute neceifity in its own nature, fo ax that it mult be an exprefs contradiction to fuppofe it not to exilt. With refpeCt both to its form and matter, the material world may be conceived not to be, or to be 111 any refpeCt diiferent from what it is, without a con-tndietiun. 'I he Jubilance or offence of the felf-exiitent Being is abib-lutcly incomprehenfible by us ; nevertheless, many of the eller.tial attii-butes of his nature are itrictly demonitrable, as well as his exiltence.— The felf-cxiilcnt Bting, having no cauie of its exigence but the abfolute neceility of its own nature, muit of necefiity have exiited from everiait-jng, without beginning j and muit of neceifity exilt to everlalting, without end.—I lie felf-cxiilcnt Being muit of neceifity be infinite and omnipre-
fcnt lent. Such a being rmift be every where, as wcil as always unalterably the lame. It follows horn hence, that the felf-exiftent Being muft be a moft Simple, unchangeable, incorruptible, being, without parts, figure, motion, divinbility, and other properties of matter, which are utterly in' confident with complete infinity. The felf-exiilent Being muft: of necefiity be but one ; becaufe in abfolute necefiity there can be no diiKirence or uiverfify of exiltence; and, therefore, .t is abfolntely impoFible, that there fhould be two independent felf-exilrent piinciples, lbch as Gcd and matter.--The ftlf-exiilent and original Caufe cf all things muit be an intelligent being. 1 his propofition cannot be demonstrated firicUy a.id properly a priori; bj.:t, a pcjieriori, the worid affords undeniable arguments to prove that all things Sbc the effedls of an Intelligent and know-irg caufe. The caufe rauft be always, more excellent than the e fait; and, therefore, from the various kinds or powers and degrees cf excellence and perfection, which vifible abj«<3bs pofiefs ; from the intelligence of created beings, which is a real divtinct quality or perfection, and not a mere effect or compofition of unintelligent figure and motion j from the variety, order, beauty, wonderful contrivance, and filriefs of all things to their proper and refpeCtive ends; and from the original of motic/n; the felf-cxittent creating being is demonstrated to be intelligent, 1 he felf-exiftent and original Caufe cf ali things is not a neceflarv agent, but a Being enlued with liberty and choice. I.ibertv is a neoeffarv confequent of intelligence; without liberty, no being can be find to be an agent, or caufe cf any thingSince to adt neceffarily, is really anu properly not to aCt at all, but to be aCted upon. Beiidcs, if the Supreme L'aufe be not endued with liberty, it will fellow, that nothing which is not, could poffibly have been; that nothing which is, could pollibly not have been ; and that no mode or circumfhmce of the existence cf anv thing could poaiblv have been in any refpeit oiherwife than what it now actually is. Farther, if there be any final caufe in the univerfe, the Supreme Caufe is a free agent; and, on the contrary fuppoinicn, it is impoiiible that any efTeit fhbu d be fiiiite; and in every effect, there muft have been a progreffion of catties hi i/ijiniium, without any original caufe at all.—The f if exiilcnt Being, the Supreme Caufe of all things, muft of neccffily have infinite power; fince all thirigs were made by hi:n, and are entirely dependent upon him ; and ail the powers of all things are derived from him, and perfectly Subject to him ; nothing can refiii the execution of his will.—The Supreme Cau.e and Author of all things mi1 ft of necefiity be in finitely wife. Tliis follows from the proportions already eitablilhed ; and the proof a pofteri:-ri, of the infinite wifdom of God, frorn the consideration of the exquilite perfection and confumnrate excellency of his Works, is no lefs Strong and undeniable.—The Supreme Caufc anel Authcr of all things muft of necefiity be a being of infinite goodnefs, juftice, and truth, and all ether moral perfections; fuel» as become the Supreme Governor and judge of the ' ' t World.
world, The will of a being, infinitely know ing and wife, independent and all-powerful, can never be influenced by any wrong affeCtion, and can never be milled or oppofed from without; and, therefore, ho mint do always what we know fitted to be done; that is, he mult act always according to the ftricteíl rules of infinite goodnefs, iultice, and truth, and all other moral perfections; and, more particularly, being infinitely and ntceílariíy happy and all-fuflieient, he mull be unalterably difpofed to do and to communicate good ur happinefs.*
To this more ah it r ufe argument, <z prion, for the exigence of God, we may add another, more generally obvious, and carrying trrefi&ibic conviction, wh.cli is dcduced from the frame of the world, r.nj from the traces of evident contrivance and fitnels of things for one another, that occur through all the parts of it. Thcfe confpire to prove, that the material world, which in its nature is originated and dependent, could not have been the effect of chance or necefTity, but of intelligence and defign. The beautiful, harmonious, and beneficial, arrangement of the various bodies that compofe the material fyftem ; their mutual dependence and fub-ferviency; the regularity of their motions, and the aptitude of ihefe motions for producing the moil beneficial effects, and many other phenomena refult ng from their relation, magnitude, fit nation, and ufe, aífurd unqueflionable evidences of the creating power and wife difpofal of an intelligent and almighty agent. The power of gravity, by which the ce-Iefthl bodies perfevere in ihcii revolutions, defcrves our particular confi-deranun. This power penetrates to the centres of the fun and planets, without any uiminution of its virtue, and is extended to immenle distances, regularly dccreaiing, and prodiu'ng the molt feniible and important effects. Irs action is r ropoitional to the quantity of folid matter in bodies, and not to their furfaces, as is ufual in mechanical caufcs; and, therefore, feems to furpafs mere mechan i fm. But however various the phenomena that depend on this- power, and may be expluned by it, no mechanical principles can account for .ts effects; much left could it have produced, at the beginning, the regular fituation of the orbs, and the pre-fent difpoiilion of tilings. Gravity could not have determined the planets to move from welt to eaft, in orbits nearly circular, almclt in the lame plane; nor could their power have projected the comets, with all the variety of their directions. It" we fuppofe the matter of the í y item to he accumulated in the centre by its gravity, no mechanical principles, with the afíiitance of this power, could feparate the huge and unw leldy mals into luch parts as the fun and planets; and, after carrying them to their different uiflances, project them in their fevcral diieCtions, prcler\:ng flill the quality of action and re-attion, or the Hate of the centre of gravity of
* See Clarke's DuwoiiHraLoi] of the Being and Attributes ol God.
No. 4. t1 the the fyftcm. Such an exquifite ílruíhire of things could only arife from the contrivance and powerful influences of an intelligent, free, and moft po- * tent, agent. 1 he fame powers, therefore, which at prcfent govern the material world, and conduct its various motions, are verv different from thofe, which were neccflkry to have produced if from nothing, or to have diipofed it in the admirable form in which it now proceeds.
But we fhould excced the limits of our plan, if confining our obferva-ticn to the earth, our own habitation, we were to enumerate only the principal traces of deligr. and wifdom, as well as goodnefs, which are dif« cernible in its figure and conflitucnt parts, in its diurnal and annual motion, in the poiiticn of its axis with regard to its orbit r in the benefit which it derives from the light and heat of the fun, and the alternate vi-ciihtudes of the feafons; in the atmolphere which luirounds and in the different fpecies and var-eties of vegetables and animals with which • it is repleniihed. No one can furvey the vegetable productions of „he earth, fc various, beautiful, and ufeful, nor the various giadations of «itnm.il life, in i'uch a variety of fpecies, all preferved dillinct, and propagated by a fettled law, each fitted to its own element, provided with proper food, and with iuftintts and organs fuited to its rank and fituation, and efpecially wiih the powers of fenfation and felf-rnotion, and all mere immediately cr remotely fubfervicnt to the government and ule of man, without admiring the lkill and delign of the original former. But thefe are more fignaliy manifested in the ftruituie of the human frame, and n the ncble powers and capacities of the human mind; more efpecially in the moral principles and faculties, which are a diítinguilhkig part of our confíitution, and lead to the perception and acknowledgment of die ex-iftenttf and government of God. In thofe initances that have now been recited, and a variety of iimilar initances fuggefted by them, or naturally occurring to the notice cf the curious and reflecting mind, contrivance is '«nanffeft'J and immediately, without any nice or fibtle reafoning, fuggeits a contriver. It flrikes us like a fenfation; and artful reafonings againft it may puzzle us, without fhaking our beiief. No perfun, for example, that knows the principles of optics, and the it.ructure of the eye, can believe that it was lorn.eu without fkill in that fcience; cr that the ear was formed without the knowledge of founds; jr that the male and female, created and preferved in due proportion, were not formed for each other, and for continuing the fpecies. All our accounts of nature are full of initances of this kind. The admirable and beautiful flrudture of things for final cauíes, exali our idea of the contriver; and the unity of defign fhews him to be one. The great motions in the fyfem, performed with the fame facility as the leaít, fuggeft his almighty power, which gave motion to the earth and the celeítül bodies, with equal eafe as to the rafcuktft particles j ¿he fubtiltv of the motions and actions m the internal
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