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gels of Peace, or good Angels, acting according to the Direction of God himself; or elfe the evil Angels or wicked Dæmons, acting according to their own evil Inclinations, by God's Permiffion; but ftill for ever under his omnipotent Controul, in all Cafes whatfoever. Thus in the oldeft Book in our Bible, the Book of Job, the fore Afflictions of that holy Man were, by the Permiffion of God, brought upon him by Satan, or the Devil himself. [ob. i. ii. with xxxviii. xlii.] And his Delivery from thence at laft, and his long and great Profperity afterwards, were owing to the Appearance of his Redeemer, the divine Person of the Meffiah, or of God himself by him. Thus when Senacherib, that proud and blafphemous King of Affyria, was to be deftroyed for his Pride and Klafphemy against the God of Ifrael, [2 Kings xix. If. xxxvii.] It was effected most probably by a fiery Blaft, or Wind; but certainly by the Miniftry of an Angel, who flew 185000 Men of his Army in one Night's. Time. [2 Kings xix. 35. I. xxxvii. 36.] Nor, in my own Opinion, are the ordinary Phænomena of our Air, excepting thofe that are optical and not real, fuch as are our Pictures in a Glafs, to be folved barely. by Principles of natural Philofophy, without the Agency of fome invisible and rational Powers. Nor indeed, where the Phænomena are optical, and not real, fuch as Halos, Rainbows, Mock Suns, &c. can we at all foretell their Appearance beforehand, as in Solutions of Phænomena properly mechanical, fuch as the Laws of Motion, both unelaftick, perfectly and imperfectly

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elaftick Bodies, we can readily do. [See my Difcourfe upon the Northern Lights, A. D. 1715-6. Pag. 68-72.] Nor is there, I think, the leaft Pretence to any fuch mechanical Power in our Air, as can collect a Mass of nitrofulphureous Vapours, more than equivalent to 100000 Barrels of Gunpowder, and throw them with fuch a prodigious Force, as a Ball of Fire, 250 Miles, in half a Quarter of a Minutes Time; which yet the Obfervations of that Ball of Fire, A. D. 1718-9, undeniably prove to have been certain Fact. And this Inftance is the more pertinent to the prefent Occafion, because in my Pamphlet published about that latter Meteor, I have fhewed, that it seems to have been no other Fire and Brimstone, by which Sodom and Gomorrah were deftroyed, than that Ball of Fire exhibited to us. And I venture to fay, in Confequence of what is there demonftrated, that if the like Crime of Sodomy, fo frequent in London of late, be to be punished after the like Manner, as were Sodom and Gomorrah in the Days of Abraham, fuch a Ball of Fire can do it effectually, if it please God to fend it; and if it be fent, we have no poffible Security against it at this Day; but all the Inhabitants of London, Weftminster, and Southwark, as I have said already, may be destroyed thereby in a small Part of a fingle Minute alfo; without any Means of Deliverance whatsoever. Our only Hope is in the Mercy of God, and that this farge City, how wicked foever it be in the Generality of its Inhabitants, has many more than the Ten; nay, I hope


proportionably more than the fifty righteous within the City; [Gen. xviii. 23-33.] which Numbers, upon the Interceffion of Abraham, had they been found in Sodom, God would have spared the whole City for their Sakes.

What fuch greatMen as Mr. Boyle, or Dr. Lifter, or Dr. Hale, or even Mr. Flamsteed say, which laft seems me to go upon greater Evidence than the reft, and to write with more Judgment, in his Letter concerning Earthquakes, lately published, comes to no more, I think, than fome poffible, rather than probable Hypotheses, of a mechanical Solution of Earthquakes; nay, proposes rather to find the Materials than to ascertain the Agent or Manner of Action or Explosion; whether it be within the Earth or in the Air, which later Mr. Flamsteed fuppofes. Nor would these Hypotheses be much rely'd on I imagin, by fuch eminent Persons, but out of that Fear which induced Sir Ifaac Newton himfelf, at Mr. Machin's Suggeftion, to make his very weak, and indeed almoft wholly groundless Hypothefes, for a mechanical Solution of Gravity, I mean that Royal Societies, and their Members ought to have a Care of propofing what will be thought unphilofophical; as was the Cafe of Sir Ifaac, even against the constant declar'd Senfe of his own Mind for many Years together. However, Mr. Flamfeed is here fo juft and fair, as very nearly to come into my Opinion, that an higher Agent or Agents are concern'd in thefe aerial Explosions, as he fhews most of the Earthquakes to be, Pag. 10, 11. [I fay only most Earthquakes, not all: For it evidently appears

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appears by that at Taunton, in the Tranfactions, No 488. Pag. 400, and others, that the Motion comes fometimes from the Ground, and not from the Air.] You will afk, fays he, how Explosions are • made? I must answer, I know not whether it be by diffolving fome glutinous Matter, that holds • the nitrous Particles close wrapt up, like Springs in Watches, and fo permitting them to explicate themselves, or otherwife. For all our Knowledge ' is but a Train of Comparisons, which are clear and • distinct when abftracted from Matter, as in geo'metrical Contemplations; but dark and obfcure * when involved with it, as in this Subject. All I

can pretend to, is by comparing fome of the before' mentioned Circumftances of Earthquakes, with • Accidents more common amongst us, and which ⚫ we think we understand well enough, to fhew you * fuch Similitudes as may fatisfy you, that both pro'ceed from like Causes. Which how they operate we • must be content to be ignorant, till we reft in the Bofom of Providence, the firft Caufe, where they lie bid, and whither all the Confiderations of Nature tead us; enquire not therefore how Explosions are • made. And as for the vast Caverns and Paffages for this nitrofulphureous Matter, to be fuppofed fo very deep underground, as to move so vast a Bulk of Earth, as all the South Parts of England, all the Netherlands, with Part of Germany, all France, and perhaps Italy, which were fhock'd at once, Sept. 8, 1692, or Part of Afia, and near all Europe, which trembled together the fame Day 91 Years before, which Mr. Flamsteed cannot di

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gest, I take the Hypothefis to be quite precarious and like that to which the Fear of owning too much the Influence of invisible Beings or Dæmons in the heathen Oracles, brought Sir Isaac Newton himself, I mean to fuppofe fuch Caverns and Paffages for counterfeiting the heathen Oracles in their Temples, as was deftitute of all Foundation in the World. No fuch Caverns or Paffages having ever been discovered by the Chriftians, when under Conftantine, they were demolished; [See Reflec tions on Free-thinking, Pag. 21.] the Discovery of which would yet have greatly confounded the Heathens and served the Chriftians of that Age. But of fuch fictitious Hypothefes I fhall add no more here.

But now, to digrefs a little, it may deferve Confideration here, what I infifted on at one of thefe Lectures, and in my Obfervations on Dr. Middleton, Pag. 6-12. as to thofe Demoniacal Powers, which the Devil fet up in the 4th Century, inftead of the truly genuine Divine or Angelical Powers before that Time; I mean to take diftinct Notice how fuch Powers were foretold, as Punishments for that Antichriftianism, which was then beginning to be established by Law. Take first the Texts that contain Predictions of thefe Dæmoniacal Powers in order as follows

[2 Theff. ii. 8, 9.] Then shall that wicked [Man of Sin,] [the Son of Perdition, v. 3.] be revealed, whom the Lord fhall confume with the Spirit of his Mouth, and shall destroy with the Brightness of his coming: whofe coming is after the working of Satan, with all Power, and Signs, and Wonders of a Lie,

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