« AnteriorContinuar »
termine my Meaning, that a Man who is awake when he reads thein, might juitly wonder how my Adversaries could miss it fo widely, or luppose me to mean so abiurdly as they do. Nay, the very Nature of the Thing speaks it self. For supposing I had not laid in any Cautions againit such a Construction, nor had dropt one word whereby my Meaning might have been ex. plain'd, yet if they will but allow me to have Common Sense (which their very Writing against me supposes me to have) how could they imagine that my words were intended in such a Meaning as by their opposition of it they pur upon me!
As tirit of all for the World's being a Good, can these Menimagine that I ever meant to deny the Creatures to be good in the lax and popular sinle of the Word, meaning, thar they contri. bure lome way or other to our good, and serve to the Neceflity and Conveniency of Life, so that it is better to have them than to be without them? Or do they in good earnest think that I would scruple in the ordinary way of 1peaking, to call the Furniture cf my Houle, or the Books of my Scudy, my Goods, especially lince the late augmentation it has received by their two Learneri Discourses? There is indeed a Senle wherein I do nor, cannor allow them to be my Goods, but sure not in the Sense that is pretended. . And then again as to not loving the Creatures, can any Body imagine that’was ever my intent to deny the lawfulnels of love ing them in the lax and popular senie, as chat signifies the wil. ling the use of them, or the deliring to have them, or serve our felves of them for our present Accommodation and Conveniency while we are here? Or that I would scruple to conform to the common way of speaking, by saying, that I desire Meat when I am Hungry, or Drink when I am Thirsty, or Cloachs when I want them to keep me warm, or Phylick when I have occasion for it for my Health : Or that I would make any doubt to say, I love a Pen that writes weil, or a Knife that cuts well, or a Horse that goes easie, or an Adversary that reasons closely and to the purpole. There is indeed a Sense wherein I cannot allow the Love of these things, but sure not in that popular Sente which is pleaded for, which as my D.fcourses do not condemn, so I can lafely say it was never in my Thoughts to deny.
To what purpose ihin does Dr. Wh--- lay himself cut so profusedly to prove that the Creatures are good, quoting thar Text for is, P. 8. that every Creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with Thanksgiving, for it is fanctified by the Word and Prayer. Upon which he gravely Comments, by the Word giving us Authority, to eat of every Herb, and every living Cycature, quoting for it Gen. 9. 3. And by Prayer, asking these good Creatures of him who is the giver of every good t bing. From whence he very folemnly draws two Weighty (I
do not say Heavy) Inferences: First, That every Creature of God is good, i. e. good for Food to be received by us, (I fancy ’rwas abour Dinner-tiine when he wrote this, and he thought he was saying Grace) and therefore for our Food and consequently for our good, And why else is it to be received with Thanksgiving, for what we are obliged to thank him for is sure his Blessing, and our good. Secondly, That every Creature which is thus good for us must be desired of God, it being Janétified or fitted for our use by intercession to God for the ene joyment of it. Ibid. To wbar purpose again does he tell us that Temporal things are good because God promises them as the Reward ofvur Obedience, and thatRubies are good,p.io.because Wisdom is berter than Rubies, Prov. 8. 11. p. II. And that Life, Plenty, and the Fruits of the Earth, Kine, Sheep, are good things, because in certain Cases God threatens to deprive Men of them Ibid. And thar Temporal Enjoyments are good things because Mens Iniquiries are said to with hold good things from them. p. 12. And because they are God's Blessings, and his Gifts, and are also calld the good of a Man's Labour, Ibid. Eccles. 3. 13, And because in the Story of Lot we have twice mention of his Goods; and in that of Jacob, thar be carried away all his Goods. And because St. Luke says, of him that taketh away thy Goods ask them not again. And because the Rich Man is introduced, saying, There will I beltow all my Fruiçs and my Goods. As also Abraham saying to Dives, Son remember that thou in thy Life time receivedit thy good things. As also Zacheus saying, Half of my Goods I give to the Poor. And lays St. Paul, Tho'l give all my Goods to the Poor, and have not Charity---And he Comniends the believing Jews for taking joyfully the spoiling of their Goods. And then comes in the Wise Man allo frequently informing us that it is the good of Man to Ear and Drink, and make his Soul Enjoy the good of all his Labour. p. 13. Well, here are a great many good things secka on'd up, and yer I can tell him of a very good thing (though not always well used) that he has lettout, and that is a good Concordunce, which I find has done him good Service.
To what purpose again is he fo free of his Pains and of his Readers Patience in proving so largely (in Sense as well as Com. pals) that the Creatures may be lov’d, char we may delire our daiiy Bread, p. s. that we may move towards our Meat when we are Hungry, and Drink when Thirity, p. 14. and that we may rejoice in these things, and that the Jews were Commanded to rejoice in their Feafts, p. 7. telling us withal that the Contrary Doctrine (as he will have it, though I know of no such) is con. trary to our Prayers for daily Bread, to God's Promises of Temporal good things, and his Threats of Temporal Evils, to the reprefentation of them as God's Cifs and Blessings, and our good
Things, Things. p. 3. To God's Command to Rejoice in them, p. 15. To the ludustry required by Goi to procure these things, and his Bleifing promised to that Induttry, p. 21. And that 'tis incongAtent with our Obligation copray for Tenporal Bleifings, and with the Prayers of our own and Antient Liturgies. With the Praises due to God for Temporal Bleifings, and wñh the Thanksgivings for them, used in our Liturgy, p. 22. That it tends to depreriate the Divine Gifts, to reach Men ro flight God's Promises (he might as well have said to stand upon their Heads) and Con. remh his Threars, p. 24. to destroy all Industry in our Calling, and that it lays the vileft Imputation upon the Dispensations of God's Providence towards us, p. 25. To what pui pofe again does be Appeal to Solomon's Prayer at the Dedication, imploring Tem poral Mercies, and asking Deliverance from the peftilence, Fa.' mine, Mildew, Blafting, Locust, Drought, Exile, p. 21. And to Dr. Cömber about the Antient Liturgies, Praying for Temperate Air, Gentle Showers, Refreshing Dews, and Plenty of all Fruits; and to our Liturgy, Praying that God would give and preserve to our Use the Kindly Fruits of the Earth.--. And that the King may study to preserve his People in Wealth, Peace and Godliness; with a long Story about the Land of Cannan flowing with Milk and Honey, p. 72. and tedious Quotations our of Deuteronomy, Exodus; and Leviticas, about being bless'd in the City, and blessid in the Field, in the Basket, and in the Store, c. I say to what manner of purpose is all this, and abundance more that I might Muiter up together of the same importance, but that I am weary of Repeating, what once said is too much. For 'tis visible, to the Ejerhat can see anything, thatall this is quite of from the Point, valtly Wide of the Mark (whoever 'twas that poem'd him his Ground) and a puré Ignoratio Elenchi, such as Learned Men use to be guilty of, that won't Think. Of which we have a lare and fresh Infance in the very Noisy Controversy between F. Malebrancheand M Arnauld, Dr.of the Sorbonne, who with great Zeal arid Earneikness write Volum after Volum against the Other and yer very seldom, if ever, Opposed his true Meaning.
Suppose I should say áñer St. Austin, that the World is not to be Enjoy'd, taking the word (Enjoy) as he dốes, ftrictly, as 'tis oppoled to, and distinguished from Uling, and a Zealous and Over Orthodox Adversary thinking to Contradict me, should with great Paflion Contend that we may enjoy the World, ufing the Term (Enjoy) in the large Populár Sense, as it signifies the Having, Poileiling, or using of a thing, and should quote Scripture for it, who giveth is richly all things to enjoy, and fiould also pretend that the Contrary is again't the Doctrine of the Church of England, who Prays in her Liturgy, That it may please thee to give and preserve to our use the Kindly Fruits of the
Earth, so as in due time we may enjoy them, would not this be mere Stuff, wretched Trifling, quite beside the Marter, a perfect Ignoratio Elenchi, and as much to, the Purpose as if he had faid jult Nothing?
Now this is the very Case in hand. Dr. Wh, has taken 2 great dealof pains to prove that we may desire to have Fire when we are Cold, Meat when we are Hungry, Drink when we are Thirsty, and other Accommodations of Life as we want them. And he has proved these things very Learnedly, and like a Sound Orthodox Divine. But I think he might have Ipared his Pains, for who opposes him in any of these things I know of no Adversary he has, or is like to have in any of these Momentous Points. For chough I cannot allow the Loving of Creatures in the strict and rigorous Sense of the Word, mean. ing by it the Uniting our Souls to them as our True Goods or the Efficient Causes of our Happiness (as not being able to Conceive that they can be so) yer 'cis plain enough thar I allow the Vse of them, and the Willing or Deliring them for chat Ule, and therefore he might have spared, among other Impertinencies, that Abusive Reflection, p. 5. Now is it not strange Doctrine.to afirmas Certain, tbat we cannot truly love God if we desire our daily Bread, and that we forsake God if we move towards Meat when hungry, or Drink when thirsty. Strenge Doctrine indeed, but whole 'tis I cannot ar prefent recollect. This therefore I lay might have been spared, as well as that Invidious Quotarion from St. Paul who he says Condemns those Hereticks mbo taught Men (as if I did so) to abstain from Meats, which God bath Created to be received with Toanksgiving, &c. p. 8. 1 Tim. 4. 3. The Unkindness as well as Impertinence of which Infinuation is Obvious enough both from the place it self, where this is also callid the Doctrine of Devils, and froin his distinguishing the word (Heretick) by a different Character; and I need nor aggravate it any further to ingage the Readers Norice, than by praying God to forgive him for ir.
But to ser him right in the Norion he pretends to oppose, buc indeed does not understand, and so levels his Aim ac another Mark, let him take this short Account of it. 'Tis conlider'd here that we are Beings of a Compounded Nature, confitting of Body and Spirit, having our place and Abode in a Magerial and Seafible World. 'Tis also supposed that neither the Body to which we are united, nor the Bodies which are without and about us, no part of the Material World can act upon our Spirits, which are subject to the Power of God only, whose Priviledge alone it is to act upon them. And that therefore we are not to unite our Souls to these external Objects, which cannar really and truly by way of Causal Efficiency act upon them, bur to God, who both can and does. But yer however because
Bodies Bodies do make a real Impression upon our Bodies, and by that (according to the Divine Establishment) are also Occasions of what is felt in our Souls, we may unite our Bodies to these ex. ternal Objects, which tho' occasional Causes with respect to our Souls, are yet real ones with respect to our Bodies, and therefore may be approached to and united with by our Bodily part, as the Natural Condition, Means, or Occasion of that Pleasure which God truly causes in our Spirits upon such Impressions made in our Bodies: That is, in other words, we may Will the use of these things according to the Order of Nature, or rather the Law of irs Aurlior, but not unite our Souls to them, as not being our Beatifick Objects : or, as I otherwise express it, feek or use them for our good, but not love thein as our good; or, as in the Letters, approach them by a Movement of the Body, but not by a Movement of the Soul. Which Distinction is as clear as that of the Soul and Body it self, and is not in the least invalidated by what Dr. Wh-- has offered against ir. For what tho' the Movements of the Body are not pure Mechanical Motions, but do also include a Movement of the Soul, (as he very truly observes, but not very pertinently objects, p. 122) yet'tis to be consider'd here what this Movement of the Soul is, or, what is its Term. And when we do so we shall find that all the Movement of the Soul here is only to will the Movement of the Body towards these things, and not that the unites her self to them, which comes to the same as that the wills the use of them as Occasions, but does not unite her felf to them as Causes of her Good, as was said before. So that the Distincti, on remains firm and unfhaken.
In thort then, I allow the Loving of Creatures, as that sig. nifies at large the willing the use of them; but I deny the Loving of Creatures, more strictly speaking, as meaning by it the uniting our Souls to them as our true Goods, or Beatifick Objects. Which will resolve at last into that Maxim of St. Austin, Utendum eft hoc Mundo, non fruendum, that the World is to be used nor enjoy'd; only with a better Foundation for it than he has assign'd, viz. because the Creacures are only Occasions, not the true Causes of all that Good and Happine's which accrues to us in the use of them. A Principle which I have elsewhere proved at large, and which my Learned Adversaries have not thought fit (no doubt with due Prudence i Difc. p.78.57 and Caution) so much as co meddle with, much less to Confute; tho'one of them thinks it might be done by some, if they would be at the Pains, and thought it worth their while. Now for my part I think it very well worth their Pains and their while too; and that so much, that I cannot bur worrder that Men fhould pretend to Confute a Moral Discourse built