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His Third Impeachment at the Clergy
CHA P. XV.
HE Author of Christianity as CHAP. old, &c. has given fo imper- XV.
fect an Account both of Na-
ftianity, as in a manner to be
Aids, external Motives, and
the Helps and Inftruments that appertain to Religion ; neceffarily arising out of the Nature of Things, as Man is a religious, sociable Creature, and of a weak impotent Nature, strong Passions and unruly Affeclions, great Hindrances of Religion. The first is á new Advocate to the Regenc Power of Man's Actions; the second is a Balance to the Pallions ; and the third mightily promotes Religion as he is a fociable Creature. I shall endeavour to supply his Defects, and treat of each of them.
First, of INTERNAL AIDS: It does not com port with our Author's vain-glorious Principle, the All-fufficiency of human Reafon to attain the Favour of God in all Circumstances of Opa portunity, as well in Heathen as Christian Re. gions, to admit of this. For, as they scorn exVOL. II. B
CHAP. ternal Afiftance of a Revelation from God; or,
which is the fame thing, every part of it, but
YET the Heathen Philosophers were perfect-
all Nations I, and the Expectation of the Genliles ll; and the Creatures general Mankind, to be in earnest ExpeEtation to be delivered from the Bondage of Corruption, the Redemption of the Body from the Grave : Both which Desire and Expectation, so good and advantageous to the Human Creature, the modern Deifts unnaturally
Page 351, 352. # Which are well collected in Hisoire de la Philosophie Payenne, Tome Premier 8vo, 1724, P 374 to 389. Vid Alnetan Quaft. Lib. XI. C. 10. I Hag.
| Gen. xlix. 10. + Rom. viii. 19, 21, 23.
disclaim. So loft, and so much worse is the CHAP. Condition of those who contemn, than of those, XV. who never had the use of Revelation.
If they would reconcile themselves to the Sentiments of the wisest and most sensible ancient Philosophers in this matter, they might, by an easy Transition, be brought to the Acknowledg. ment of Revelation by the fame Spirit; the written Word of which, in the Opinion of some Christians, affords fuch effectual Assistance, as to superfede che occasion of inward Aid. The first may be called the still fmall external Voice wherein God is present, and more certainly fo than in Earthquakes, and Whirlwinds ; yet it is most certain, he is moreover inwardly present by his Holy Spirit. But as long as they reject both, they evidently make it appear, that they have a Perverseness in Principle, and Degeneracy of Reason beyond common Mortals.
I SHALL here take an occasion to quote fome Pallages from Dr. Samuel Clark.
“ În Experi“ ence and Practice it hath appeared to be alto
gether impossible, for Philosophy and bare “ Reason to reform Mankind effectually without “ the Allistance of some higher Principle. - So “ chat without some greater Help and Affistance “ Mankind is plainly left in a very bad State. “ Indeed in the original uncorrupted State of “ human Nature, before the Mind of Man was “ depraved with prejudiced Opinions, corrupt “ Affections, and vicious Inclinations, Customs “ and Habits, right Reason may juftly be fup“ posed to have been a sufficient Guide, and a “ Principle powerful enough to preserve Men in “che constant Practice of their Duty: But in “ the presenc Circumstances and Condition of Mankind, the wisest and most sensible of the
CHAP. “ Philosophers themselves have not been backXV.
“ ward to complain, that they found the Under
standing of Men so dark and cloudy, their Wills "Jo bias'd and inclined to Evil, their Passions fo
outrageous and rebelling against Reason, that they Se look'd upon the Rules and Laws of right " Reason, as very hardly practicable, and which " they had very little Hope of ever being able “ to perfuade the World to submit to : In a S Word, they confessed that human Nature was s strangely corrupted, and acknowledged this & Corruption to be a Disease, whereof they knew s not the true Cause, and could not find out a
fufficient Remedy: So that the great Duties of Religion were laid down by them as Mac
ters of Speculation and Dispute, rather than as " the Rules of Action; and not so much urged
upon the Hearts and Lives of Men, as proposed “ to the Admiration of chose, who thought them “ scarce possible to be effectually practised by " the generality of Men. To remedy all these “ Disorders, and conquer all these Corruptions,
there was plainly wanting some extraordinary " and supernatural Asistance, which was above 6. bare Reason and Philosophy to procure, and
yet without which the Philosophers themselves “ were sensible there could never be any truly
great and good Men: Nemo unquam vir magnus fine Divino Afflatų fuit *." Cicero.
He had before + given a beautiful Description of the Corruption of Nature from Tully as the Ground of this Asistance. If we had come into the World in such circumstances, as that we could have clearly and distinctly discerned Nature herself,
• Evid, of Nat. Rel. &c. p. 238, 239, 240.