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grateful and becoming us; and therefore grate-CHAP.
XVI. ful and acceptable to him. And the offering such Love must appear to the Heart and Conscience to be perfectly fincere and dutiful in such Creatures, as we are ; because it proceeds from the Sense of our Dependancy, as being his Creatures, recipient and expectant of all our Good. If our Author admits the Thought of Self-Happiness and Fruition * or Gratitude + into the Love of God, then he admits Self-Interest ; then he excludes pure Efteem, Excellency, and own Sake: And therefore can be no Apology for that Principle.
It is ridiculous in him to alledge there, in order to remove Mercenariness out of Religion, and make it liberal : “ How shall one deny " that to serve God by Compulsion, or for In“ tereft merely, is servile and mercenary?” For who that considers either the Nature of God or Man, can grant it mercenary to serve him in the Way he himself requires, and from the Motives all his true Servants recorded in Scripture have aftually ferv'd him? Was their Religion servile and illiberal? Does the greatest Wisdom we are capable of in declining the greatest Evils that can befal us, deserve the Name of Compulsion ? Or to pursue the greatest Happiness of our Nature, is that a reproachful Interest? He reproaches only himself and his own System, by adding in the next Page, “ That altho this
Service of Fear be allow'd ever so low or “ base; yet Religion still being a Discipline and “ Progress of the Soul towards Perfection, the 66 Mocive of Reward and Punishment is Pri
* Charaa. Vol. II. pag. 270.
+ Ibid. pag. 272.
Ć HA P." «
and of the highest Moment with us; XVI.
« till being capable of more sublime Instruc-
BESIDES, it is a more liberal, and less mercenary Morality, by Faith and Hope to expect the Reward of Happiness, from the interposing Distribution and Allotment of our Heavenly Governor, fulfilling his general Promise, than to depend upon and be wholly influenced by a Scoical Notion of rewarding Happiness, as necessarily and inseparably connected to Virtue by a blind Fatality. Necessicy and Fate would, in that Case, preside and be the only Deity, and there would be no longer room for Faith, or Hope, or Prayer, which helps to qualify the Soul with virtuous Dispositions ; at the same time it resigns up itself in Submission to all the Disposals of Providence in this World ; but any Regard to the heavenly Will, or his Difcrimination in the next Life, would become useless, upon that Suppofition. If Love consists in an Union of Mind and Interest, Inclinations and Designs, we must forego our own 'mistaken Ones, and, by Imitation, unite ourselves to those of God; and the Proof of that Progress in uniting ourselves by Love to him, is keeping his Commandments; which are Prescriptions, as well for our unlearning Evil, as learning Good, and correcting the false Love of Seif into that which is good and true and divine, by copying after God in so many Attitudes of Like
ness and Similicude. So that we love God because CHAP. be first loved us, in first making Man in his XVI. own Image ; and when he had unmade himself, by Transgression, making him over again as it were, by sending his Son in the Likeness of Man.
What makes the Happiness of God, makes also ours, by Imitation and Communication. When the Love of him perfects us in the Imitation of liking, desiring, and pursuing the same Things and Views with him, it gives us Poffeffion of him, makes us partake of his Happiness, and derives it upon ourselves. The more we know and consider God and his Ways, the more we love, the more we imitate, che more we are like him. And his Perfections of Holiness, Justice, Mercy, &c. are the Exemplars of all Virtue, the Patterns of our Imitation, the Objects of our Love, and the Source that communicates Happiness to us. And as that future Fruition conlifts in delighting in God, being like him, and receiving of his Abundance in proportion to the Increase of our Likeness, we must carry Oil in the Lamp with us; for there is none to be. borrow'd, or bought at the unexpected Hour; but we must be previously ficced with some Likeness and Qualification, in order to be changed into and invested with more glorious Likeness; and if we don't learn to love God in this World, where we go to School to learn it, we shall have no Notion of it hereafter, and so be destitute of all Qualification for Happiness in his Presence. So that all our Love for him here, is for the sake of being happy with him for evermore.
С НА Р.
Is it culpable? Is it not rather..commendable for a Traveller to think of his Journey's End; or a Stranger of his Home? This was certainly the Viaticum, or Provision in the Way, of the old Heroes of Faith in their Road to Heaven, insomuch that one of the Greek Commentators affirms, that the Thoughts of returning home, and being Strangers or Sojourners in this
. World, is the first Virtue, and every Virtue in this World * These Candidates for Heaven, and wise Oeconomists of Happiness, having no express Revelation of the Gospel, but as it served to shew, their Faith, that a heavenly Country was to be preferred to an earthly, wisely follow'd the Dictates of Nature in preferring a greater Good to a less, and a less Eyil to a greater, in Virtue of the Promise of God to Adam, and afterwards renew'd to Abraham.
But the noble Author last cited deviates from Nature, in order to attain his malevolent Ends against Revelation, (in Opposition to which he seems to have had the most unnatural Prejudices) by a general Law and Principle of his System of Virtue, he discards the Consideration of private Good, or Self-Affeétion, from having any Share in it; discards also the natural Dictates of common Prudence and Conscience, for preferring the greater to the less private Good; and depreciates the Virtue built upon that Principle of common Sense, and Nature, under the Notion of a Bargain. His Words are,
* Η πρώτη αρετή, και η ανάσα αρετη το ξένον είναι τα réolly TýT8. Chryft. Heb. xi. 13. And I may add, tho' they were Strangers in this World, they were intimately known to and acquainted with the Maker of it.
PICHAP Now the more there is of this violent XVI. " Affection towards private Good, the less Room « is there for the other fort' [Affection] towards “ Goodness itself, or any good and deserving Ob
ject, worthy of Love and Admiration for its “ own fake ; such as God is universally ac“ knowledg’d.” And afterwards speaking of Refignation to his Will, that there is " no more
Worth or Virtue [in such an Instance] than " in any other Bargain of Interest: The Meaning ” of his Resignation being only this, That be
resigns his present Life and Pleasures conditionally, for that whicb be bimself confelles to be
beyond an Equivalent ; eternal Living in a State qe of highest Pleasure and Enjoyment *."
And elsewhere, 6. I know too, that the “mere Vulgar of Mankind often stand in need “ of such a rectifying Object: as the Gallows be“ fore their Eyes. Yet I have no Belief that any
Man of a liberal Education, or common " Honesty, ever needed to have Recourse to this “ Idea in his Mind, the better to restrain him “ from playing the Knave.' And if a Saint had " had no other Virtue than what was rais'd in “ him by the fame Object of- Reward and “ Punishment, in a more distani State; I knov
not whose Love or Esteem he might gain be " fides: But for my own part, I should never " think him worthy of mine t.” He adds in the next Page, “ Nothing is ridiculous but what 5 is deformd: Nor is any thing Proof against “ Raillery except what is handsome and juft." And presently after, “ Nothing so successful to
* Charact. Vol. II. pag. 59.' † Ibid. Vol. I. pag. 127.