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Consequence of his losing Paradise ; for when he was banished from the Tree of Life, he could have no Remedy nor Preservative against Death. Now I suppose, no Man will question, but God might very juftly turn Adam out of Paradise for his Disobedience, and then he must die, and all his Posterity die in him ; For he being by Nature mortal, must beget mortal Children ; and having forfeited the Tree of Life, he and his Pofterity who are all shut out of Paradise with him, must necessarily die : Which takes nothing from them, to which any Man had a Right, (for no Man had a natural Right to Paradise, or the Tree of Life) but only leaves them to those Laws of Mortality, to which an earthly Creature is naturally subject. God had promised Paradise and the Tree of Life to no Man, but to Adam himself, whom he created and placed in Paradise ; and therefore he took nothing away from any Man, but from Adam, when he thrust him out of Paradise. Children indeed must follow the Condition of their Parents. Had Adam preserved his Right to the Tree of Life, we had enjoyed it too ; but he forfeiting it, we lost it in him, and in him die : We loft, I say, not any Thing that we had a Right to, but such a supernatural Privilege, as we might have had, had he preserved his Innocence : And this is a fufficient Vindication of the Justice of God in it. He had done us no Injury ; we are by Nature mortal Creatures, and he leaves us in that. mortal State: And to withdraw Favours
upon reasonable Provocation, is neither hard nor unjust.
II. For we muft confider farther, when Sin was once entered into the World, an immortal Life here became impossible, without a constant Series of Miracles. Adam had sinned, and thereby corkupted his own Nature, and therefore muft necessa
rily propagate a corrupt Nature to his Posterity : His earthly Passions were broke loose, he now knew Good and Evil, and therefore was in the Hands of his own Counsel, to refuse or chuse the Good or Evil: And when the Animal Life was once awakened in him, there was no great Dispute which Way his Affections would incline : To be sure it is evident enough in his Posterity, whose boisterous Paffions act such Tragedies in the World. Now fuppose in a State of Innocence, that the Tree of Life would have preserved Men immortal, when no Man would injure himself nor another ; when there was no Danger from wild Beasts, or any intemperate Air, or poisonous Herbs; yet, I suppose, no Man will say, but that even in Paradise itself, (could we suppose any such Thing) Adam might have been devoured by a Beast, or killed with a Stab at the Heart; or had there been any Poison there, it would have killed him, had he eaten or drunk it, or else he had another Kind of Body in Paradise than we have now, for I am sure that these Things would kill us: Consider then how impossible it is, that in this fallen apoftate Scate, God should preserve Man immortal, without working Miracles every Minute : Mens Passions are now very unruly, and they fall out with one another, and will kill one another if they can ; of which the World had a very early Example in Cain, who flew his Brother Abel; and all those Murthers and bloody Wars since that Day put this Matter out of Doubt: Now this can never be prevented, unless God should make our Bodies invulnerable, which a Body of Flesh and Blood cannot be without a Miracle: Some die by their own Hands, others by wild Beasts, 0thers by evil Accidents ; and there are so many Ways of destroying these brittle Bodies, that it is
the greatest Wonder that they last so long. And yet Adam's Body in Paradise was as very Earth and as brittle as our Bodies are ; but all this had been prevented, had Men continued innocent ; they would not have died by their own Hands, nor drank themfelves into a Fever, nor over-loaded Nature with riotous Exceffes, there had been no wild Beasts to devour, no infectious Air, or poisonous Herbs, and then the Tree of Life would have repaired all the Decays of Nature, and preserved a perpetual Youth ; but in this State we are now, the Tree of Life could not preserve us immortal if a Sword or Poison can kill; which shews us how impossible it was, but that Sin and Death came into the World together: Man might have been immortal, had he never sinned; but brutish and ungoverned Paffions will destroy us without a Miracle. And therefore, we have no Reason now to quarrel at the Divine Providence, that we are mortal, for in the ordinary Course of Providence, it is impoffible it should be otherwise.
III. Considering what the State of this World necessarily is, since the Fall of Man, an immortal Life here is not desirable: No State ought to be immortal, if it be designed as an Act of Favour and Kindness, but what is completely happy; but this World is far enough from being such a State. Some few Years give wise Men enough of it, tho' they are not oppressed with any great Calamities; and there are a great many Miseries which nothing but Death can give Relief to : This puts an End to the Sorrows of the Poor, of the Oppressed, of the Persecuted; it is a Haven of Rest after all the Tempests of a troublesome World ; it knocks off the Prisoner's Shackles, and fets him at Liberty; it dries up the Tears of the Widows and Fatherless ;
it eases the Complaints of a hungry Belly, and na-ked Back; it tames the proudeft Tyrants, and restores Peace to the World ; it puts an End to all our Labours, and supports Men under their present Adversities, especially when they have a Prof-. pect of a better Life after this. The Labour and the Misery of Man under the Sun is very great, but it would be intolerable, were it endless : And therefore since Sin entered into the World, and fo. many necessary Miseries and Calamities attend it, it is an Act of Goodness, as well as Justice in God, to shorten this miserable Life, and transplant good Men into a more happy as well as immortal Siate.
IV. Since the Fall of Man, Mortality and Death is necessary to the good Government of the World : Nothing else can give Check to some Mens Wickedness; but either the Fear of Death, or the Execution of it; some Men àre fo outragiously wicked, that nothing can put a Stop to them, and prevent that Mischief they do in this World, but to cut them off: This is the Reason of capital Punishments among Men, to remove those out of the World, who will be a Plague to Mankind while they live in it. For this Reason God destroyed the whole Race of Mankind by a Deluge of Water, excepting Noah and his Family, because they. were incurably wicked : For this Reason he sends Plagues and Famines, and Swords, to correct the exorbitant Growth of Wickedness to lefsen the Numbers of Sinners, and to lay Restraints on. them: And if the World be such a Bedlam as it is under all these Restraints, what would it be, were. it filled with immortal Sinners!
Ever since the Fall of Adam, there always was, and ever will be, a Mixture of good and bad Men in the World: and Justice requires that God should
reward the Good, and punish the Wicked : But that cannot be done in this World ; for these present externa! Enjoyments are not the proper Rewards of Virtue. There is no compleat Happiness here ; Man was never turned into this World, till he finned, and was Aung out of Paradise which is an Argument that God never intended this world for a Place of Reward and perfect Happiness ; nor is this World a proper Place for the final Punishment of bad Men; because good Men live amongst them : And without a Miracle bad Men cannot be greatly punished, but good Men must share with them; and, were all bad Men punished to their Deserts, it would make this World the very Image and Picture of Hell, which would be a very unfit Place for good Men to live and to be happy in. As much as good Men suffer from the Wicked in this World, it is much more tolerable, than to have their Ears filled with the perpetual Cries of such miserable Sinners, and their Eyes terrified with such perpetual and amazing Executions. Good and bad Men must be separated, before the one can be finally rewarded, or the other punished; and such a Separation as this cannot be made in this World, but must be reserved for the next.
So that considering the fallen State of Man, it was not fitting, it was not for the Good of Mankind, that they should be immortal here. Both the Wisdom and Goodness, and Justice of God required that Man should die ; which is an abundant Juftification of this Divine Decree, That it is appointed for Men once to die.
V. As a farther Justification of the Divine Goodness in this, we may observe, chat before God pronounced that Sentence on Adam, Duft thou art, and to Dust thou shalt return; he expressly promised, F 2