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That Natural and Reveal'd Religion having the fame End, their Precepts must be the fame.



LLOWING that the Natural Knowledge we have of God, ourselves, and our Fellow Creatures, is the Foundation of all Religion, may not external Revelation, building on this Foundation, erect a larger and nobler Edifice, by extending it to fuch Things as the Light of Nature cou'd not reach, without contradicting any Thing it teaches ?

A. I thought I had obviated this Objection, by proving that the Religion of Nature was so perfect, that nothing cou'd be added to it; and that the Truth of all Revelation was to be judg'd of by its Agreement with it: However, fince this Objection is the most plausible of any you have yet made; I reply, That if our Natural Notions of the divine Perfections demonftrate, that God will require nothing of his Creatures but what tends to their Good; whatsoever is of this Kind, is a Superstructure that belongs to the Law of Nature: Or, in other Words, what the Reason, or Nature of the Things themselves plainly point out to us; and for all other Matters, which have no fuch Tendency,


you must feek another Foundation, another Nature very different from the divine, to build Your Hay and Stubble upon. And,

If it be evident from the Light of Nature, what are those Relations we ftand in to God and our Fellow-Creatures; and that neither God nor Man, without acting tyrannically, can require more than Those require; can external Revelation any more than internal exceed these Bounds?

If original Revelation comprehends every Thing obligatory on the Account of its Excellency; that is, every Thing which tends to the Honour of God, or the Good of Man; and These are the only Ends of Traditional Religion; no arbitrary, or merely pofitive Precepts, as not tending to the Honour of God, or the Good of Man, can belong either to Natural, or Reveal'd Religion.

By the Law of Nature as well as the Gospel, the Honour of God, and the Good of Man, being the two Grand, or General Commandments; all particular Precepts must be comprehended under these Two, and belong alike to the Law of Nature as well as the Gospel; and what does not

can belong to neither. Thus any particular Precept, if by Change of Circumstances it ceases to contribute to the Honour of God, or the Good of Man, much more if it become prejudicial to either, must lose its obliging Force.

THERE must be some Rule, or Rules, which bind without Exception, because every Exception to a Rule is built on Jome Rule or other; and as there can't be Rules, fo there can't be Exceptions ad infinitum; and I fuppofe, you will not deny, but that these two Grand Rules, or Commandments, the Honour of God, and the Good of Man, are obligatory without Exception. And yet Thefe would be to little Purpofe, cou'd not Reason tell Men how to apply them in all Conditions, and Circumftances of Life. B. SUP

B. SUPPOSING no particular Precepts can oblige, if they chance to clash with either of those Commandments, yet what is to be done if these Two interfere with one another ; muft the Good of Man, or the Honour of God take Place?

A. THESE two Grand Laws are in Effect the fame, fince what promotes the Honour of God neceffarily promotes the Good of Man: The more we love and honour God, the more we shall imitate him in our extenfive Love to our Fellow-Creatures; who are equally the Children of God. The greater our Veneration is for our Maker, the more it will excite us to copy thofe Perfections of Goodness and Benevolence we adore in him; so that the Duty of a truly-religious Perfon, and of a good Subject and Citizen are the fame with relation to God and Man; for the more he honours God, the more zealous will he be to act the Patriot; and the more he does That, the more he honours God; because the happier Men are, the more Reason they have to honour That God, who made 'em fo. The Way to glorify your Father which is in Heaven, is to let your that they may fee your good Works. glorify'd, that ye bear much Fruit.

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Light so shine before Men, Mat. 5. 16.
And herein is my Father John 15. 8.
And indeed, nothing can

be plainer from Scripture, than that these two great Duties

of the Love of God, and our Neighbour, include each other.

If, fays the Apostle, a Man fay I love God, and hateth his 1 John 4. 20. Brother, he is a Liar. And, If we love one another, God Ib. Ver. 12. dwelleth in us; and the Love of God is perfected in us.

Again, Let us love one another; every one that loveth is born lb. Ver. 7. 8. of God, and knoweth God. He that loves not, knoweth not God. But whofo hath this World's Goods, and feeth his Bro-1 John 3.17. ther have need, and fhutteth up his Bowels of Compassion from him; how dwelleth the Love of God in him? And it was this Confideration, that made that great Emperor and Phi


in Mr. & Ma

Lib. 3. c. 12 lofopher Marcus Antoninus fay, "Thou wilt never do any dam Dacier's "6. Thing purely humane in a right Manner, unless Thou "knoweft the Relation it bears to Things divine; nor any "Thing divine, unless Thou knowest all. the Ties it has "to Things humane.


In a Word, As Man is by Nature qualify'd to answer all the Purposes of a social Life, and to act a Part agreeable to Reason, so in doing This he gives Glory to his Maker, by fulfilling the End of his Creation; but if he goes contrary to the Light of Nature in acting an unfociable and hurtful Part, he reflects Dishonour on his Creator by defeating, as far as in him lies, the Defign of God in making him a social Creature. But,.

BECAUSE Bigots represent these two Grand Obligations as frequently clashing; and oppofe Things which are for the Good of Man, on Pretence that the Honour of God. will either directly, or indirectly fuffer by it; and on this Pretence have frequently done fuch Mischiefs to their Fellow-Creatures, as to give Occafion for that Proverbial Saying, In Nomine Domini incipit omne malum: Give me Leave. to fay, That we can no otherwife honour God, fince that. confists in having the most exalted Ideas of him, than by fuppofing him benevolent in the most universal and impartial Manner; and confequently, to imagine he can command any Thing inconfiftent with this univerfal. Benevolence, is highly to dishonour him; 'tis to deftroy his impartial Goodness, and make his Power and Wisdom degenerate into Cruelty and Craft.

THO' we have receiv'd our All from God, we can give him nothing, nor do him the leaft Kindness, much less return Kindness for Kindness; and therefore, the only Way we have to fhew our real Gratitude to our great Creator


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and Benefactor, is to be as ufeful as we can to his Creatures, whom we ought to love as ourselves; and if there can now be a Sin against the Holy Ghoft, I fhou'd not scru ple to fay, It is making Religion the Means of destroying the End of all Religion, and rendring the Creature miferable on Pretence of doing Honour to the Creator; who, as he has imprefs'd on Bodies, in Order to preserve the Natural World, a Tendency to each other; so he has implanted in Minds, the better to fupport the Moral World, a Tendency to be kind, and beneficent to one another. And fo deep is the Impreffion of Benevolence, that we can't but applaud a Person who does brave and generous Actions, even tho' we fuffer by them; and as much condemn him who acts bafely and treacherously, tho' we are ever fo




"Is there then (fays a Noble Author) a natural Beauty Characterift. " of Figures; and is there not as natural One of Actions? Vol.2. P.414 "No foviici the Eye opens upon Figures, the Ear to Sounds "than ftraight the Beautiful refults, and Grace and Harmo"ny are known, and acknowledg'd. No fooner are Actions "view'd, no fooner the human Affections and Paffions dif "cern'd (and they are most of them as foon difcern'd as

felt) than straight an inward Eye distinguishes, and fees "the fair and Shapely, the Amiable and Admirable apart "from the Deform'd, the Foul, the Odious, or the Despicable. How is it poffible therefore not to own, "That as the Diftinctions have their Foundation in Nature, the Difcernment itself is natural, and from Nature alone.

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B. THIS, I own, is a beautiful Description of human Nature, and a strong Evidence of the Goodness of its Author; but do Men act as if they had such an innate Love for Virtue, or such a benevolent Disposition?

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