« PreviousContinue »
the Almighty before maker of heaven and earth, if out of a necessity of material concurrence, the making of them left a mark of impotency rather than omnipotency.
The fupposition then of an eternal Matter, is so unnecessary where God
works, and so derogatory to the infinity of his power, and all-sufficiency of * As Hiero- himself, that the later * Philosophers, something acquainted with the truth - cles, Kei tiwhich we profess, though rejecting Christianity, have reproved those xconóto Cox mms een of the School of Plato, who delivered, as the Doctrine of their Master, rej blac?avs- an eternal Companion, fo injurious to the Father and Maker of all og slij me noen mings. ist Omperseys Wherefore to give an answer to that general position, That out of no968 aluzagothing nothing can be produced, which f Aristotle pretends to be the opion Voimv;
Se invece in cui to, nion of all natural Philosophers, I must first observe, that this Universal Pro-
z site, hence the
ncluded that the maker of it was the most exact * Artif Ta era disfs- and consequently had his matter from all eternity prepared for him. Again, výta ians ow.considering the works of nature and all parts of the world subject to genera
Miration and corruption, they also † observed that nothing is ever generated but wasécn, pócs out of something pre-existent, nor is there any mutation wrought but in a yoy, ucuws on Portes y subject, and with a presupposed capability of alteration. From hence they
luoy pirsgrein da presently collected, that if the whole world were ever generated, it must seat. De Pro- have been produced out of some subject, and consequently there must be a vid. e Fato." to não có yrvó- matter eternally pre-existing. refor velfyn. give at jeg 79700 À éx uni ? Ww. TýTWY Z to fx pe raz ő97 www vive at odvice?ov med os taúrns ópoliwpovsos of Šočng «V765 oi
ÚTEwg. Phyfic. l. 4. 61. Ut igitur Faber cùm quid ædificaturus est, non ipfe facit materiam, fed eà utitur quæ fit parata, fictorque item cerà : sic isti providentiæ divinæ materiam præftò esse oportuit, non quam ipse faceret, sed quam haberet paratam. Cicero de Nat. Deorum, ’ATHxaséon TW JEQ T TEXvítlu, ä erdeiks 7e2 TW xóo MW, Methodius med formür. * So Hierocles calls him xornoToldy sj cessórixvov Geor, in Aur. Carm. t'Oro j ai óriou, soru öāna draws ovia is whoxes l'o tovos, give y, F167078070 gfúoil às pars ago.csi gs isi to ô Waikat), & give y tá gufuópefuos, dior ta' Quice xj ta bäc ix origucla. Arift. Phys. 18.104.22.168.
Now what can be more irrational, than from the weakness of some creature to infer the same imbecillity in the Creator, and to measure the arm of God by the finger of man? Whatsoever speaketh any kind of excellency or perfection in the Artificer may be attributed unto God: whatsoever signifieth any infirmity, or involveth any imperfection, must be excluded from the notion of him. That wisdom, prescience, and preconception, that order and
beauty of operation which is required in an Artist, is most eminently conwijd. 11.26. rained in him, who hath ordered all things in measure, and number, and
weight: but if the most absolute Idea in the Artificer's understanding be not fufficient to produce his design without hands to work, and materials to make use of, it will follow no more that God is necessarily tied unto pre-existing Matter, than that he is really compounded of corporeal parts.
Again, 'tis as incongruous to judge of the production of the world by those parts thereof which we fee subject to generation and corruption: and thence to conclude, that if it ever had a cause of the Being which it hath, it must have been generated in the fame manner which they are; and if that cannot be, it must never have been made at all. For nothing is more certain than that this manner of generation cannot possibly have been the first production even of those things which are now generated. We see the Plants grow from a feed; that is their ordinary way of generation : but the first Plant could not be so generated, because all feed in the same course of nature is from the pre-existing plant. We fee from spawn the fishes, and from eggs the fowls receive now the
original original of their being : but this could not at first be fo, because both spawn and egg are as naturally from precedent fish and fowl. Indeed because the feed is separable from the body of the plant, and in that separation may long contain within it self a power of germination ; because the spawn and egg are sejungeable from the fish and fowl, and yet still retain the prolifick power of generation ; therefore some might possibly conceive that these feminal bodies might be originally scattered on the earth, out of which the first of all those Creatures Ihould arise. But in viviparous Animals, whose off-spring is generated within themselves, whose feed by feparation from them loseth all its feminal or prolifick power, this is not only improbable, the.....
"C; * These words but inconceivable. . And therefore being the * Philofophers them fess, that whereas now all animals are generated by the means of seed, and are very ob-" that the animals themselves must be at first before the feed proceeding from chiable, them ; it followeth that there was some way of production antecedent to Sputes against and differing from the common way of generation, and, consequently, whar Speusippus..
and the Pythawe see done in this generation can be no certain rule to understand the first goreans, who production. Being then that universal Maxim, that nothing can be made of thought nothing, is merely calculated for the meridian of natural causes, raised fole-thrudiments
of things first ly out of observation of continuing creatures by successive generation, which made, out of d not have been fo continued without a Being antecedent to all such which
grew unto fuccefsion; it is most evident, it can have no place in the production of that perfection? antecedent or first Being, which we call Creation." 15. D u 5 : Ocon i Woo
napbóv8on, arie, oi Nude Toquor sj Erótotal, čersoy sj xáadison regal cu dzzh elves, Age to one ourão se Las av cas escas αιτία είναι, το 5 καλόν και το τέλσον ών τοϊς εκ τέτων, εκ ορθώς οίον 9. το δ ασέρμα εξ ετέρων εσί προτέρων τελείων και το πρώτον ο πέρμα έσιν, αλλα το τέλειον. οίον πρότερον άνθρωπον αν φαίη τις είναι το τέρμαG, ε τ ι τότε ξυνώμεμον, αλλ' este egy ég g có aigua. By which words Aristotle bath sufficiently destroyed his own Argument, which we produced before out of the first of the Physicks, and is excellently urged in that Philosophical Piece attributed unto Justin Martyr: Εί πρώτον έσι το σάρων ασέρμα , και ύσερον το εκ σέρμα/G» γινόμενον, και δυνηθα αμφότερα, την πέσει το κειμωρε εκ
Diese]@ 7: 88 x xe) và 0 gue' = 356G1 av7©- sexẽ là quá to succ7ày. ky nang de Tee • Tà Quló cir coriguaia. Aristot. Dog. Evers. Plut. Sympos. l. 2. Probl. 3. "Odev šdris aéye tő cégpeale kreu Zv@gwtov, göè og ass elves to ensx7oeide op Q árexloeida på või eivou, saj so wigua tã cv@gásms aéropify.
Now when we thus describe the nature of Creation, and under the name of Heaven and Earth comprehend all things contained in them, we must distinguish between things created. For some were made immediately out of nothing, by a proper, fome only mediately, as out of something formerly made out of nothing, by an improper kind of Creation. By the first were made all immaterial substances, all the orders of Angels, and the Souls of men, the Heavens and the simple or elemental bodies, as the Earth, the Water, and the Air. a In the beginning God created the hea-. Gen
be a Gen. 1. 1. ven and the earth; so in the beginning, as without any pre-existing or antecedent matter : this earth, when so in the beginning made, was with-b Verse 2: out form and void, covered with waters likewise made, not out of it but with it, the fame which, when the waters were gathered together unto e Verle o. one place, appeared as dry Land. * By the second, all the hosts of the earth; * Hic vifibili the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea, - Let the earth, said God, mundus ex bring forth grass, the herb yielding feed, and the fruit-tree yielding fruit materia quæ i
la pe drumurbegreraing sur Deo facta fueafter his kind. e Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving crea-rat, factus est türe that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth; and more ex- & ornatus.
Gennad. c. preslly yet, f Out of the ground God formed every beast of the field, and ser every fowl of the air. And well may we grant these plants and animals to d Gen. I. 11. have their origination from such principles, when we read, & God formed. Verde, 20,
cu f Gen. 2. 19. man out of the dust of the ground; and said unto him whom he created in 8 Gen. 2.7. his own image, Dust thou art,
b Gen. 3. 19. Having thus declared the notion of Creation in respect of those things which were created, the next consideration is of that action in reference to the Agent who created all things. Him therefore we may look upon first
as moved ; secondly, as free under that motion; thirdly, as determining under that freedom, and so performing of that action. In the first we may see his Goodness, in the second his Will, in the third his Power.'
I do not here introduce any external impulsive cause, as moving God unto the Creation of the World; for I have presupposed all things distinčt from him to have been produced out of nothing by him, and consequently to be posterior not only to the motion but the actuation of his will. Being then nothing can be 'antecedent to the Creature beside God himself, neither can any
Can any thing be a cause of any of his actions but what is in him ; we must not look
for any thing extrinsecal unto him, but wholly acquiefce in his infinite Gooda Mat. 19.17. ness, as the only moving and impelling cause, - There is none good but one, "Addo g8sò that is God, faith our Saviour ; none originally, essentially, infinitely, indebaix?nov álco
od, but he. Whatsoever goodness is found in any Creature is dov, care to Penaculiy good, but 11C. WE xubizan dilc- but by way of emanation from that Fountain, whose very Being is diffusive, Bòr, asno. To whosé Nature consists in the communication of it self. In the end of the w górws alco
. Proclus in sixth day b God faw every thing that he had made, and behold it was very Timeum. good: which shews the end of creating all things thus good was the commuTò ã ou TOKme to the nication of that by which they were, and appeared so. ál cs6o. ibid. · The ancient Heathens have acknowledged this * truth, but with such dif
Gen. 1:31. advantage, that from thence they gathered an undoubted Error. For from * As Plato,
'di the Goodness of God, which they did not unfitly conceive necessary, inki aitier gfús- finite, and eternal, † they collected that whatsoever dependeth of it must over to tão be as necessary and eternal, even as light must be as ancient as the Sun, zódé o wisa's Ewishopy, d. and a shadow as an opacous body in that light. If then there be no instant ye@os mas imaginable before which God was not infinitely good, then can there likeજબ્દoછે . અંતે Weisdavos sa
2 none conceivable before which the World was not made. And thus 867076 bylo they thought the Goodness of the Creator must stand or fall with the Eter
äv, závice oro pénisz iborhon géas agarnácide outras cou? rv ö sluérews xéoux pecaus' v ris dexlew nuewwerny wars' ev-
For the clearing of which ancient mistake, we must observe, that as God is essentially and infinitely good without any mixture of deficiency, so is he in respect of all external actions or emanations absolutely free without the least necessity. Those bodies which do act without understanding or preconception of what they do, as the Sun and Fire give light and heat, work always to the utmost of their power, nor are they able at any time to suspend
their action. To conceive any such necessity in the divine operations, were to deny all knowledge in God, to reduce him into a condition inferiour to some of the works of his own hands, and to fall under the censure contain: ed in the Psalmist's question, He that planted the ear, shall be not bear? be that formed the eye, shall be not see? he that teacheth man knowledge, mall he not know Those creatures which are endued with understanding and consequently with a will, may not only be necessitated in their actions by a greater power, but also as necessarily be determined by the proposal of an infinite good : whereas neither of these necessities can be acknowledged in God's actions, without supposing a power beside and above Omnipotency, or a real happiness beside and above All-fufficiency. Indeed if God were a necessary Agent in the works of Creation, the Creatures would be of as necessary a Being as he is ; whereas the necessity of being is the undoubted prerogative of the first cause. · He worketh all things after the coun- Ether, w e fel of his own will, faith the Apostle: and wherefoever counsel is, there is election, or else 'tis vain ; where a will, there must be freedom, or else 'tis weak. We cannot imagine that the all-wise God should act or produce any thing but what he determineth to produce ; and all his determinations mult flow from the immediate principle of his will. If then his determinations be free, as they must be coming from that principle, then must the Actions which follow them be also free. Being then the goodness of God is absolutely perfect of it self, being he is in himself infinitely, and eternally happy, and this happiness as little capable of augmentation as of diminution ; he cannot be thought to look upon any thing without himself as determining his will to the desire, and necessitating to the production of it. If then we consider God's goodness, he was moved : if his All-fufficiency, he was not necessitated : if we look upon his will. he freely determined ; if on his power, by that determination he created the World.
Wherefore that ancient conceit of a necessary emanation of God's goodness in the eternal Creation of the World will now easily be refuted, if we make a distinction in the equivocal notion of Goodness. For if we take it as it signifi- • Rév: 4. II. eth a rectitude and excellency of all virtue and holinels; with a negation
"Alexandrinus all things morally evil, vicious or unholy; so God is absolutely and necessa-speaks of God, rily good: but if we take it in another sense, as indeed they did which made tag on bó this Ărgument, that is, rather for benefiçence, or communicativeness of some way or
yu, eru nó good to others; then God is not necessarily, but freely, good, that is to say, vov ibtaioase profitable and beneficial. For he had not been in the least degree evil or un- avtor PRO 2
- roze&uñas. just, if he had never made the World or any part thereof, if he had never Protreptes communicated any of his perfections by framing any thing beside himself. I rovesta Every proprietary therefore being accounted master of his own, and thought passionatefreely to bestow whate'er he gives ; much more must that one eternal and L. S. Bafil. independent Being be wholly free in the communicating his own. perfections”Otavä Parke without any necessity or obligation. We must then look no farther than eve the determination of God's will in the Creation of the World.
farefu, i' cx Tas For this is the admirable Power of God, that with him to will is to effect, to seamma?o por
il silómetice determine is to perform. So the Elders speak before him that sitteth upon the redd melodeThrone; a Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure (that is, by thy Suc@grotwill) they are and were created. Where there is no resistance in the object. He becam. Id. in where no need of preparation, applicaticn, or instrumental advantage in the A- Tivós cangrigent, there the actual determination of the Will is a sufficient production. Thus aşd101?o Sco
nus apcelo rovov God did make the Heavens and the Earth by * willing them to be. This Imperiseños, was his first command unto the creatures, and their existence was their first poi ri Berantau obedience. † Let there be light, this is the injunction; and there was light, that's the creation. Which two are so intimately and immediately the same, l.2.adv. Es
15 des y pnea sy
* Asgerndýrw that though in our and * other Translations those words, let there be, which Pãs, aixívelo express the command of God, differ from the other there was, which denote pas. Fiat lux, la facta eft the present existence of the Creature; yet in the Original there is no diffelux, or as A-rence at all, neither in point nor letter. And yet even in the diversity of the quila, yeveta, Translation the phrase seems so expressive of God's infinite power, and imsejényévelo, as Symmachus, mediate efficacy of his will, that it hath raised fome admiration of Mofes in sw, xey iyével the t enemies of the Religion both of the Jews and Christians. God is in all with a difference:** the heavens, be hath done whatsoever be pleased, faith David; yea in the whereas in making of the Heavens, he therefore. created them, because he pleased; the Hebrew it is a most
reu nay more, he thereby created them, even by willing their creation. expressive and fignificant tautology. 718 1711 7788 179 t As Dionyfius Longinus, nei 48, Sect. 7. Tautas o en 'Is daw geomobétes, s'x tuxar cévng, éred of r8 Sólo dwózepeso seco em cizícey iluwerte naší ples, Estos c rõ sicboað rega ψας ή νόμων. Είπεν ο θεός, φησί: τι; γενέθω φώς, και εγένε7ο: γενέθω γή, και εγενέτο. where obferve, Longinus made use of the Translation of Aquila. #11cével öcs néancev étoinney TW Beava rj úr rñ opós öxi aegs Tidnussgyias Šú rõ või móvov, anal sej wegs mi xlico para duodépewn nexeos : Siangis autó pórn. S. Chryfoft. 1. trei tô céralcanals.
: Now although some may conceive the Creature might have been pro:: duced from all eternity by the free determination of God's will, and it is
so far certainly true, that there is no instant assignable before which God
could not have made the World; yet as this is an Article of our Faith, we a Heb. 11. 3. are bound to believe the heavens and earth are not eternal. a Through
faith we understand the worlds were framed by the word of God. And by that faith we are allured, that whatloever possibility of an eternal existence of the creature may be imagined, actually it had a temporal begin
ning; and therefore all the arguments for this World's eternity are nothing b Prov. 8. 22, but so many erroneous misconceptions. The Lord polleled me in the be
ginning of his way, before his works of old, faith Wisdom. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth jas. And the same
Wisdom of God being made man reflecteth upon the same priority, saying, John 17. sic Now, O Father, glorifie thou me with thine own felf, with the glory
which I had with thee before the world was. Yea, in the same Christ are we blesed with all spiritual blefings, according as he hath chofen us in him before the foundation of the world. The impossibility of the origination of a circular motion, which we are sure is either in the heaven or earth, and the impropriety of the beginning of Time, are so poor exceptions, that they deserve not the least labour of refutation. The actual eternity of this World is so far from being necessary, that it is of it self most improbable;
and without the infallible certainty of Faith, there is no single person car* As even Lu- ri
, than the World of its *r feth, and that out of the principles of Epicurus.
Verum, ut opinor, habet novitatem summa, recensque.
Natura est mundi, neque pridem exordia cepit.
'Tis true indeed, fome ancient accounts there are which would persuade • Plato tells us to imagine a strange antiquity of the World, far beyond the Annals of us of an ac- Mofes, and account of the fame Spirit which made it. The * Egyptian count which Priests pretended an exact Chronology for some myriads of years, and the an Ægyptian Prielle gave ro Chaldæans or | Allyrians far out-reckon them, in which they delivered not Solon, in only a Catalogue of their Kings, but also a Table of the Eclipses of the San which the A
cretius confef- "I
WOIC Cvigences O)
thenians were and Moon
9000 years old, and those of Sais 8000. Negreegan ll wag' Omiv čtect Xraioss ix yñs te 'H® úse to origuce wegde Gõran opwr. ġ uséegen declado AlgxoruhTews wall muñv ev toisiregis vegérparu óx?arigiaías Tūv desduos yéregt). In Timao. Pomponius Mela makes a larger account out of Herodotus : Ipfi vetuftiffimi (ut prædicant) hominum trecentos & triginta reges ante Amasim, & supra tredecim millium annorum ætates certis Annalibus; where, as the Egyptians much. ftretch the truth, so doth Mela ftretch the relation of Herodotus, who makes it, not 13000, but 11340 years. Diodorus Siculus tells us of 23000 years from the reign of the first King of Egypt to the Expedition of Alexander; and Diogenes Laertius out of other Authors more than doubles that account. Aigúr701 S Nelas yee ve at waida "Hausov, öv ägor Pirocopias, gs 's egesātas iegéus eivas sy weg úteis, did är ty eis Panegeerd egy À Man rédova irão eiucur revelados riosaegs, rj ox7cxigidoce oxloxória étnikóxovice renc, 48863. t 'Adrieron Ond in 'Idérbare ra, óx itra xj š xori uuescédos irão uóvas irhenoar, as oncin "Innagx@ rj Cras Smoxalasárus sej atehodos tot la xor moreg tógan pevskega wapidora. Proclus in Timeum. I 'Ey ois näis a crashes yovéas Tenaxorias codouéxorla apasa Genluns õ órlaxoriss teróxoyla dúo. Diog. Laert.