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ing good : And if the natural Course ofCHAP.
things be the Appointment of God, and our H.
natural Faculties of Knowledge and Experi- VW
ence, are given us by him; then the good
and bad Consequences which follow our Ac-
tions, are his Appointment, and our Forefight
of those Consequences, is a Warning given us
by Him, how we are to act.

« Is the Pleasure then, naturally accompa-
nying every particular Gratification of Para
« fion, intended, to put us upon gratifying
“ Ourselves in every fuch particular Instance,
« and as a Reward to us for so doing?” No
certainly. Nor is it to be said, that our Eyes
were naturally intended to give us the Sight
of each particular Object, to which they do
or can extend; Objects which are destructive
of them, or which, for any other Realon, it
may become us to turn our Eyes from. Yet
there is no Doubt, but that our Eyes were in-
tended for us to see with. So neither is there
any Doubt, but that the foreseen Pleasures
and Pains belonging to the Passions, were in-
tended, in general, to induce Mankind to act
in such and such Manners.

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Now from this general Observation, obvious to every one, that God has given us to understand, he has appointed Satisfaction and Delight to be the Consequence of our acting

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PAR in one Manner, and Pain and Uneasiness of

I. our acting in another, and of our not acting at
Wall; and that we find the Confequences, which

we were beforehand informed of, uniformly
to follow; we may learn, that we are at pre-
sent actually under his Government in the
strictest and most proper Sense; in such a
Sense, as that he rewards and punishes us for
our Actions. An Author of Nature being
supposed, it is not so much a Deduction of
Reason, as a Matter of Experience, that we
are thus under his Government: under his
Government, in the fame Sense, as we are
under the Government of civil Magistrates.
Because the annexing Pleasure to some Ac-
tions, and Pain to others, in our Power to do
or forbear, and giving Notice of this Ap-
pointment beforehand to those whom it con-
cerns; is the proper formal Notion of Go-
vernment. Whether the Pleasure or Pain
which thus follows upon our Behaviour, be
owing to the Author of Nature's acting up-
on us every Moment which we feel it ; or to
his having at once contrived and executed his
own Part in the Plan of the World ; makes
no Alteration as to the Matter before us. For
if civil Magistrates could make the Sanctions
of their Laws take place, without interposing
at all, after they had passed them; without a
Trial and the Formalities of an Execution :
If they were able to make their Laws execute

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themselves, or every Offender to execute CHAP,
them upon himself; we should be just in the II.
fame Sense under their Government then, as
we are now, but in a much higher Degree,
and more perfect Manner. Vain is the Ri-
dicule, with which, one foresees, some Per-
sons will divert themselves, upon finding lesser
Pains considered as Instances of divine Punish-
ment. There is no Poisibility of answering or
evading the general thing here intended, with-
out denying all final Causes. For final Causes
being admitted, the Pleasures and Pains now
mentioned must be admitted too as Instances
of them. And if they are ; if God annexes
Delight to some Actions, and Uneasiness to
others, with an apparent Design to induce us
to act so and fo; then He not only dispenses
Happiness and Misery, but also rewards and
punishes Actions. If, for Example, the Pain
which we feel, upon doing what tends to the
Destruction of our Bodies, suppose upon too
near approaches to Fire, or upon wounding
Ourselves, be appointed by the Author of Na-
ture to prevent our doing what thus tends to
our Destruction ; this is altogether as much
an Instance of his punishing our Actions, and
consequently of our being under his Govern-
ment, as declaring by a Voice from Heaven,
that if we acted so, he would inflict such
Pain upon us, and inflicting it, whether it
be greater or less.

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PART Thus we find, that the true Notion or

I. Conception of the Author of Nature, is That mof a Master or Governor, prior to the Confi

deration of his moral Attributes. The Fact
of our Case, which we find by Experience,
is, that He actually exercises Dominion or
Government over us at present, by rewarding
and punishing us for our Actions, in as strict
and proper a Sense of these Words, and even
in the fame Sense, as Children, Servants,
Subjects, are rewarded and punished by those
who govern them.

WA

And thus the whole Analogy of Nature, the whole present Course of things, most fully shows, that there is nothing incredible in the general Doctrine of Religion ; that God will reward and punish Men for their Actions Hereafter : nothing incredible, I mean, arising out of the Notion of rewarding and punishing. For the whole Course of Nature is a present Instance of his exercising That Government over us, which implies in it rewarding and punishing.

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UT as divine Punishment is what Men

chiefly object against, and are most unwilling to allow; it may be proper to men

. tion fome Circumstances in the natural Course

of

of Punishments at present, which are analo-Chap. gous to what Religion teaches us concerning a II. future State of Punishment: Indeed fo analogous, that as they add a farther Credibility to it, so they cannot but raise a most serious Apprehension of it in those who will attend to them.

It has been now observed, that such and such Miseries naturally follow such and such Actions of Imprudence and Willfulness, as well as Actions more commonly and more distinctly considered as vitious; and that these Consequences, when they may be foreseen, are properly natural Punishments annexed to such Actions. For the general thing here infifted upon, is, not that we see a great deal of Misery in the World, but a great deal which Men bring upon themselves by their own Behaviour, which they might have foreseen and avoided. Now the Circumstances of these natural Punishments, particularly deserving our Attention, are such as these ; That oftentimes they follow, or are inflicted in consequence of, Actions, which procure many present Advantages, and are accompanied with much present Pleasure : for Instance, Sickness and untimely Death is the Consequence of Intemperance, though accompanied with the highest Mirth and Jollity: That these Punishments are often much greater, than the

Advan

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