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did not err? But however, be that as it SERM.
will, Defects there are, and consequently VIII.
a Want of Liberty: The Introduction of
Evil, come which way it will into the
World, being an Introduction of Slavery,
the next Question then is, where shall
we find a Remedy for it? What says Hu-
man Reason to this? Why, nothing at all;
but, conscious of her own Weakness, fends
us to seek a Remedy from Faith: Accord-
ingly, in all Ages and Countries of the
World, Faith, of one kind or other, has
ever subsifted, there being always a Ground
and Foundation for it, arising from the
Defects of Reason, excepting only among
a few Advocates for Human Reason, who,
carrying the Matter too far, would needs
make it every thing, infinitely perfect, an
absolute Guide in all things, &c. But in
the mean time it is not so, it is not an ab-
solute Guide in Philosophy, any more
than in Religion. This Reasoning of
theirs

goes all along upon the Supposition
that Men are otherwise than they are, like
the Stoic Philosophy, which, mistaking
the Nature of Man, was level'd against

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Serm. State, we see everything by Succession, VIII. and can fee no more of any thing, than the Portion of Time we take

up

will admit of.

The whole of the Matter in short is this: Liberty consists in a Power of thinking and acting right; and we are then most free, when nothing hinders us from it: But now Man, as he is an imperfect Creature, must of course, as far as he is imperfect, want so much Liberty; i. e, he must be in Proportion a Slave; and the greater this Imperfection is, the greater will be the Slavery of such a Being. The Scripture gives us an Account of the Original of this Imperfection, that it was brought into the World by Sin; which the Deift despises and ridicules: But then it is easier to laugh at Things than to difprove them; and this Account must be allow'd to stand good, till we have a better in the room of it. 'Tis plain, Man could not be made incapable of Error without being made a God at the fame Time; and if he was capable of Error, who can take upon him to prove that he

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did not err? But however, be that as it SERM. will, Defects there are, and consequently VIII. a Want of Liberty: The Introduction of Evil, come which way it will into the World, being an Introduction of Slavery, the next Question then is, where shall we find a Remedy for it? What says Hu. man Reason to this? Why, nothing at all ; but, conscious of her own Weakness, sends us to seek a Remedy from Faith: Accordingly, in all Ages and Countries of the World, Faith, of one kind or other, has ever subsisted, there being always a Ground and Foundation for it, arising from the Defects of Reason, excepting only among a few Advocates for Human Reason, who, carrying the Matter too far, would needs make it every thing, infinitely perfect, an absolute Guide in all thing., @s. br: in the mean time it is not is, it is not an ab solute Guide in Philosopas 2 more than in Religion. Ti seturing of theirs goes all along upo: 7.4 PPOLLION that Men are otherwitt wie art. ite the Stoic Philosophy, 1... mering the Nature of Mar, -...

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SERM. more than one half of the Human ComVIII. position, and calculated to perswade Men

out of their Senfes, by directing them to regard nothing but Reason: But yet, notwithstanding this, we find that this was only thwarting Nature all the while ; for the Stoics wenton believing, hoping, fearing, loving, &c. as thefe Gentlemen, and all the rest of the World do: Thus, at the same time that they pretend to have disbanded all the Forces that come from any other Quarter but Reason, they are forc'd to call the Passions to their Affistance therefore it matters not how it

appears in Speculation, fince the fact is otherwise.

They talk great things indeed of Uniformity, and Immutability of Reason, but the Fact wants to be prov'd, since it has not yet been able with all these Advantages to produce any one consistent Scheme, Morality and Virtue too are much talk'd of, as if they were to be found no where but in Deism, but they have there no folid Foundation to rest upon : Man has ever had Authority enough to

settle

Aill;

For no

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settle the absolute Nature of it, nor to Serm.
give it a proper Sanction : So that this . VIII.
Religionof Nature, or Reason, is no one
knows what, because it is to be found no
one knows where.

Now upon the Foot of Christianity
every thing is clear and easy; here every
thing goes on consistent with Nature.
This Scheme considers Man, as being
what he is, in a State of Corruption and
Slavery by Sin; for of whom a Man
is overcome, of the fame is he brought in
Bondage, and provides a Remedy for it
by directing every Faculty within us to its
proper Object. It destroys no Advantage
to be had from Reason, but carries it on
to greater Perfection: It destroys Reason
indeed, when it becomes arrogant, and
exalts itfelf into the Throne of God. In
this Sense it is, that it destroys the Wif-
dom of the Wife, and brings to nothing the
Understanding of the Prudent: For, as the
Apostle further observes, God bath made
foolish the Wisdom of this World. And we
shall see a lively Instance of this, if we
compare two Sorts of people together ;

they

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