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Rev. Mr John Sturch. Creditor. Four Books.
Mr John Wade. Parshore.
. Mr Richard
Mr Richard Ward, Surgeon. London,
Of THEOLOGY, or the
EXISTENCE of a DEITY;
AN only, of all other Beings, Man only ra. is able fo to view and consider tional and able Things which appear all around"; discover the
Being of a God. him, that by duly comparing one with another, and a just Method
of Arguing, or Reasoning from Effects to their Causes, he can at last easily arrive to, or make a Discovery of a Prime or First Cause, the Great Author and Maker of all Things, and which, by us, is called GOD.
And as the whole Frame and Order of Things, wbich we bebold, is what we call Nature, so that Nature, Act of the Mind whereby we consider and compare Things, according to their various Natures and Relations, and deduce from thence the Existence of a God, is what we call Reason. And the Reason. Arguments and Motives which are afforded us from the View and Prospect of Nature in her feveral Parts, and whereby we are induced and inclined to give our Aflent to the Doctrine of the Being of a God, is what we call the Light of Light of Nature.
Reason capable And e'er we reckon six, eight, or ten Years of discovering from our Births, we are able, in some Degree, to a God.
exert this noble Faculty of Reason, and make some Progress in the divine Discovery aforesaid, viz. of God's Existence and moral Qualities : And this Faculty of Reason, as we grow in Years, becomes more strong and perfect, and works on the pure and untainted Mind with native Force, and such powerful and clear Proof, as we can
neither deny nor withstand. And thus, as Saint Rom. i. 19, Paul has observed, what is necessary to be known
of God, (or indeed can be known of him by us) is manifest in the Works of Creation; even his eternal Power and Godhead is clearly seen, being understood by the Things which are made. So that all Perfons, capable of Reason, are without Excuse, who do not readily acknowledge the
Being and Glory of God. The Voice of
Nor is there any Part of Nature within our Nature uni
View, (nor any place where there is not such a versal,
View of Nature) which doth not loudly call upon us to receive and confess this great and divine Truth. The Heavens declare the Glory of God;
and the rich Furniture thereof, the Sun, the Psal. xix. 1,
Moon, and Stars, shew themselves to be his 2, 3
Handy-work: Day unto Day uttereth Speech,
and Night unto Night sheweth Knowledge. and loudly
There is no Nation on the Face of the whole proclaims a
Earth, where their Voice is not heard; for it is gone thro' all the Earth, and their Words to the
End of the World. The various
From hence we are naturally led to survey Sorts of created and make a proper Distinction and Arrangement Beings. of the Works of Nature : We see all Things
consist of Matter, which is for the most part obvious to our Senses, and we are most agreeably
surprised with a wonderful and infinite Variety of Firft Class. Forms, Conditions, and Qualities of natural Sub
stances. Some Parts of Matter we observe to be without Motion, Sense, or Life, as Stones and Earth. Others we see are endued with a Power of growing and extending themselves into special Forms and Sizes, as Herbs and Trees, which there- Second Class. fore have innate Motion, and may, in some Sense, be faid to live or have Life, tho' in the lowest Degree. The next Class of Beings which present themselves, is in a Degree much fuperior Third Class;
Animals. to the foregoing, the Subjects of which are all 'endued with native Motion, Life in the most perfect Degree, and the Quality of Sensation ; that is, they are capable of Seeing, Hearing, Tasting, Smelling, and Feeling of all those Objects which come within the Reach of any of these five Senses. These Creatures are therefore called Animals, because they have the Faculty of Life, or are endowed with a living Soul. And of all Ani- Fourth Class,
Mankind, the mals, Man is the Head and Ruler, on account
moj perfect of the far more perfect and excellent Faculties of all others. and Powers of his Mind, and especially that of Reason, by which he is distinguish'd from, and set above and over all the other Creation, as King and Lord of all ; and from hence he is called a Rational Animal; not but that Reason, in various inferior Degrees, may be very justly allow'd to other Animals, who, on divers Occasions, give very convincing Proofs thereof.
But Man alone is capable of using his Reason The principal to the noblest Purposes, to wit, the finding out Argument the Being and Perfections of God, his Provi-proving the dence, and the Certainty of a future State after being of a God. Death. For he can thus reason or argue : Every Thing that is, or doth exist, receives its Being either from itself, or some other Principle or Cause; but nothing can be the Cause of itself, for that implies, that while it is not, it is capable of acting, or producing its own Being, which is