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which alone, God has more regard to them, and is more concerned about their state.
By what has been already said, God is most concerned about the state and government of that which is highest in his creation, and which he values most; and so he is principally concerned about the ordering the state of mankind, which is a part of the creation that he has made superior, and that he values most: and therefore, in like manner, it follows, that he is principally concerned about the regulation of that which he values most in men, viz., what appertains to his intelligence and voluntary acts. If there be any thing in the principal part of the creation, that the Creator values more than other parts, it must be that wherein it is above them, or, at least, something wherein it differs from them. But the only thing wherein men differ from the inferior creation, is intelligent perception and action. This is that in which the Creator has made man to differ from the rest of the creation, and by which he has set him over it, and by which he governs the inferior creatures, and uses them for himself; and therefore, it must needs be, that the Creator - should be chiefly concerned, that the state of mankind should be regulated according to his will, with respect to what appertains to him as an intelligent, voluntary creature. Hence it must be, that God does take care, that a good moral government should be maintained over men; that his intelligent, voluntary acts should be all subject to rules; and that with respect to them all, he should be the subject of judicial proceeding. For unless this be, there is no care taken, that the state of mankind, with respect to their intelligent, voluntary acts, should be regulated at all; but all things will be remedilessly in the utmost deformity, confusion and ruin. The world of mankind, instead of being superior, will be the worse, and more hateful, and the more vile and miserable, for having the faculties of reason and will; and this highest part of the creation will be the lowest, and infinitely the most confused and deforned, and detestable, without any provision for rectifying its evils. And the God of order, peace and harmony, that constituted the inferior parts of the world, which he has subjected to man, and made subservient to him, in such decency, beauty and harmony, will appear to have left this chief part of his work, and the end of all the rest, to the reign of everlasting discord, confusion and ruin ; contradicting and conflicting with its own nature and faculties; having reason, and yet acting in all things contradictory to it; being men, but yet beasts; setting sense above reason; improving reasor only as a weapon of mischief and destruction of God's workmanship. God has so made and constituted the world of mankind, that he has made it natural ani necessary, that they should be concerned one with another, linked together ir society, by the manner of their propagation, their descending one from another and their need one of another, and their inclination to society. We see, that in other parts of the creation, wherein many particulars are dependent and united into one body, there is an excellent harmony and mutual subserviency throughout the whole; as in all bodies natural. How then can we believe, that God has ordered so much of the contrary in the principal part of his creation ?
Secondly, I would argue, that God must maintain a moral government over mankind, thus :-It is evident, that it was agreeable to the Creator's design, that there should be some moral government and order maintained amongst men ; because, without any kind of moral government at all, either in nations, provinces, towns, or families, and also without any divine government over the whole, the world of mankind could not subsist. The world of mankind would destroy itself. Men would be not only much more destructive to each other, than any kind of animals are to their own species, but a thousand times more than any kind of beasts are to those of any other species. Therefore, the nature that God has given all mankind, and the circumstances he has placed them all in, lead all, in all ages throughout the habitable world, into moral government. And the Creator doubtless intended this for the preservation of this highest species of creatures that he has made; otherwise he has made much less provision for the defence and preservation of this species, than of any other species. There is no kind of creature that he hath made, that he has left without proper means for its own preservation. Every creature is some way furnished for this. But unless man's own reason, to be improved in moral rule and order, be the means he has provided for the preservation of man, he has provided him with no means at all. Therefore, it is doubtless the original design of the Creator, that there should be such a kind of thing as moral subordination amongst men, and that he designed there should be heads, princes or governors, to whom honor, subjection and obedience should be paid. Now, this strongly argues, that the Creator himself will maintain a moral government over the whole, several ways:
1. Without this, the preservation of the species is but very imperfectly provided for. If men have nothing but human government to be a restraint upon their lusts, and have no rule or judgment of a universal omniscient governor to be a restraint upon their consciences, still they are left in a most woful condition, and the preservation and common benefit of the species, according to its necessities, and the exigencies of its place, nature, and circumstances in the creation, is in no wise provided for, as the preservation and necessities of other species are.
2. As the Creator has made it necessary, that there should be some of our fellow-creatures that should have rule over us, he has therein so ordered it, that some of them should have some image of his own disposing power over others. (For, as was shown before, God has the disposing power of the whole world.) Now, is it reasonable to think, that the Creator would so constitute the circumstances of mankind, that some particular persons, that have only a little image and shadow of his greatness and power over men, should exercise it, in giving forth edicts, and executing judgment; and that he who is above all, and the original of all, should exercise no power in this way himself, when mankind stand in so much more need of such an exercise of his power, than of the power of human governors ?
3. He has infinitely the greatest right to exercise the power of a moral governor, if he pleases. His relation to man as his Creator, most naturally leads to it. He is infinitely the most worthy of that respect, honor and subjection that is due to a moral governor. He has infinitely the best qualifications of a governor, being infinitely wise, powerful and holy, and his government will be infinitely the most effectual to answer the ends of government.
4. It is manifest, that the Creator of the world, in constituting human moral governments among men, has, in that constitution, had great respect to those qualifications, and that relation, and those rights and obligations, in those that he has appointed to be rulers, and in putting others under their moral government, which he has in himself in a vastly more eminent degree. As particularly, in family government, or the government of parents over their children, which of all other kinds of human moral government is most evidently founded in nature, and which the preservation of the species doth most immediately require, and most naturally and directly lead to. Here God hath set those to be moral rulers, that are the wiser and stronger, and that are the causes of other beings, and that are their preservers, and that provide for them; and has appointed those to be in subjection that are less knowing and weaker, and have received being from their rulers, and are dependent and are preserved and maintained. Would not be therefore maintain moral government himself over mankind, who is their universal father, is the author of all their beings, is their universal preserver, and maintains all, and provides all with food and raiment, and all the necessaries and enjoyments of life, and is infinitely wiser and stronger than they? Would not he maintain a moral government over men, who need his government, as children need the government of their parents, and who are no more fit to be left to themselves in the world without his rules, directions, his authority, promises, threatenings and judgment, than children are fit to be left to themselves in a house?
Thirdly, As man is made capable of knowing his Creator, so he is capable of a high esteem of his perfections, his power, and wisdom, and goodness, and capable of loving him, and entertaining great respect for him and for his perfections. He is capable of a proper esteem of God for his wise and excellent and wonderful works, which he beholds; and for their admirable contrivance, which appears in so excellently ordering all things; and of gratitude to him for all the goodness that he himself is the subject of; or, on the contrary, of slighting and despising him, and hating him, finding fault with his works, reproaching him for them, slighting all his goodness which he receives from him ; yea, hating him for ordering things in his providence to him as he has done, and cursing and blaspheming him for it.
Now, it is unreasonable to suppose, that God should be an indifferent spectator of these things in his own creature, that he has made in his own image, and made superior to all other creatures, having subjected the rest of the creation to him, and whom he has distinguished from all other creatures, in giving him intelligence, and making him capable of knowing himself; and in a creature that he values above all the rest of the creation, and that he has had more respect to in the creation than to every other species. It cannot be equally agreeable to him, whether he gives him proper esteem, and love, and honor, and gratitude, and pays proper respect to him in his own heart; or on the contrary, unreasonably despises, hates, and curses him. And if he be not an indifferent spectator of these things, then he will not act as a perfectly indifferent spectator, and wholly let men alone, and order things in no respect differently for those ends one way or other. But so it must be, if God maintains no moral government over mankind.
Fourthly, As man is made capable of knowing his Creator, so he is capable of knowing his will in many things, i. e., he is capable of knowing his ends in this and the other works of his, which he beholds. For it is this way principally that he comes to know there is a God, even by seeing the final causes of things; by seeing that such and such things are plainly designed and contrived for such and such ends; and therefore he is capable of either complying with the will of his Creator, or opposing it. He is capable of falling in with God's ends, and what he sees his Creator aim at, and co-operating with him, or of setting himself against the Creator's designs. His will may be contrary; as, for instance, it is manifest that it is the Creator's design, that parents should nourish their children, and that children should be subject to their parents.
If a man therefore should murder his children, or if children should rise up and murder their parents, they would oppose the Creator's aims. So if men use the several bodily organs to quite contrary purposes to those for which they were VOL I
given, and if men use the faculties of their own minds to ends quite contrary to those they were fitted for (for doubtless they were given and fitted for some end or other), so he may use that dominion over the creatures that the Creator has given him, against the ends to which they were given. For, however far we suppose man may be from being capable of properly frustrating his Creator, yet he is capable of showing that his will is contrary to his Creator's ends. He may oppose his Creator in his will; he may dislike God's ends, and seek others. Now, the Creator cannot be an indifferent spectator of this; for it is a contradiction to suppose, that opposition to his will and aims should be as agreeable to him in itself, as complying with nis will. And if he is not an inditterent spectator, then he will not act as such, and so he must maintain a moral gov. ernment over mankind.
This argument is peculiarly strong, as it respects man's being capable of falling in with, or opposing God's ends in his own creation, and his endowing of him with faculties above the rest of the world. It is exceeding manifest concerning mankind, that God must have made them for some end; not only as it is evident that God must have made the world in general for some end, and as man is an intelligent, voluntary agent; but as it is especially manifest from fact, that God has made mankind for some special end. For, it is apparent, in fact, that God has made the inferior parts of the world for some end, and that the special end he made them for, is to subserve the benefit of mankind. Therefore, above all, may it be argued, that God has made mankind for some end. If an artificer accomplishes some great piece of workmanship, very complicated, and with a vast variety of parts, but the whole is so contrived and connected together, that there is some particular part which all the other parts have respect to, and are to subserve, we should well conclude that the workman had some special design to serve by that part, and that his peculiar aim in the whole, was what he intended should be obtained by that part. Now man, the principal part of the creation, is capable of knowing his Creator, and is capable of discerning God's ends in the formation of other things; therefore, doubtless, since God discovers to him the ends for which he has made other things, it would be very strange if he should not let him know the end for which he himself is made, or for which he had such distinguishing faculties given him, whereby he is set above other parts of the creation. Therefore, in the use of his own faculties, he must either fall in with the known design of the Creator in giving them, or thwart it. He must either co-operate with his Creator, as complying with the end of his own being, or wittingly set himself as his enemy. This the Creator cannot be an indifferent spectator of; and, therefore, by what was said before, will not act as an indifferent spectator of, and so must maintain moral government over mankind.
Fifthly, It may be argued, that it must be that God maintains a moral government over the world of mankind, from this, that the special end of the being of mankind is something wherein he has to do with his Creator; some business wherein he is especially concerned with God. The special end of the brute creation is something wherein they are concerned with men. But man's special end is some improvement or use of his faculties towards God. First, I would show the truth of this, and then would show the consequence.
And, as to the truth of this assertion, the following things make it manifest.
1. The special end for which God made mankind, is something very diverse and very superior to those ends for which he made any part of the inferior creation ; because God has made man very different from them. He has
vastly distinguished him in the nature that he has given him, the faculties with which he has endowed him, and the place he has set him in the creation. Now, if he has made man for nothing different from what he has made other creatures, then he hath thus done in vain.
2. Man's special end does not respect any other parts of the visible creation. All these are below him, and all, as we observed before, are made for him, to be subservient to his use. Their special end respects him ; but his special end does not respect them. For, in the first place, this is unreasonable in itself: if they are in their formation and end subordinated to him, and subjected to him, then the Maker set a greater value on him than them, and gives them to him, and for him, to be spent for him; and therefore he has not made him for them. For that would be to suppose them most valuable in the eyes of their Maker. And, secondly, it is manifest in fact that the being of mankind does not subserve to the benefit of the inferior creatures, any farther than is just necessary to turn them to his own use, and spend them in it.
We may add to this, that the special end of man does not only respect him as consisting in his own happiness as separate from God, and as having nothing to do with him, or in his own happiness consisting in the enjoyments of the visible world. The happiness of the greater part of mankind, in their worldly enjoyments, is not great enough or durable enough to prove such a supposition, as that the end of all things in the whole visible universe is only that happiness. Therefore, nothing else remains, no other supposition is possible, but that man's special end, or that which he is made for, respects the Creator, or is something wherein he has immediately to do with his Creator.
3. If God has made men above other creatures, with capacities superior to them, for some special end, for which other creatures are not made, that special end must be something peculiar to them, for which they are capacitated and fitted by those superior faculties. Now, the greatest thing that men are capacitated for, by their faculties, more than the beasts, is that they are capable of having intercourse with their Creator, as intelligent and voluntary agents. They are capable of knowing him, and capable of esteeming and loving him, and capable of receiving instructions and commands from him, and capable of obeying and serving him, if he be pleased to give commands and make a revelation of his mind. What business or enjoyment, in any measure so distinguishing and peculiar, are men capacitated for, by their superior faculties, as this? Indeed, there is nothing material that is entirely peculiar, and in its nature distinguished. Men could have done as well, and better for such things, and have been beasts or birds. It is a vast difference that God has made between some of his creatures and others; that he has made one kind capable of knowing himself, and so of loving and serving him and enjoying him. Surely this is not without some end. He that has done nothing in the inferior world in vain, has not given man this capacity in vain. The sun has not its light given it without a final cause; and shall we suppose that mankind has this light of the knowledge of their Creator, without a final cause ?
Thus it is evident, that the special end for which God has made man, is something wherein he has intercourse with his Creator, as an intelligent, voluntary agent. Hence the consequence is certain, that mankind are subject to God's moral government. For there can be no such thing maintained as a communication between God and man, as between intelligent, voluntary agents, without moral government. For, in maintaining communication or converse, one must yield to the other, must comply with the other ; there must be union of wills; one must be clothed with authority, the other with sub