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Dr. Lucas, Enquiry after Happiness, Part iu, p.. 245. 'The Rpecurians consined the happiness 4 of man to this short life; and by a probable 'consequence resolved it ultimately into the en
* joyments of the body.' Ihid. p. 145. * Without 'another life, all other motives to perfection will
* be insusficient. For though, generally speaking,
'such is the contrivance of human nature, &c
'yet it is certain, that not only in many extraor
* dinary cafes, there would be no reward at all for
* virtue, if there were not one reserved for it in a
* nother world, but also, in most cases, if there 'were not a future pleasure that did insinitely 'outweigh the enjoyments of this life, men would 'fee no obligation to pet section. For what 'should raise them above the love of this world, 'if there were no other? or above the love of the 'body, if, when they died, they should be no 'more for ever?"
I Prabl. Chriftanity, part ii. Chap. 1 ] * For the
* law of our nature being I humbly conceive, no«thing else but the law and dictates of reason; 'and the business of reason being, in this respect 'at least, only to distinguish between good and
* evil; our reason would talk to as at another
* rate, because it would proceed by disferent 'principles: Good and evil would than perad
* ventur be disferent things ("from what they are
* at present]; for whatever would make for the
* pleasure and interest of this present world, s would be good; and even pleasure and interest
* would not peradventure be the fame thing then, 'as now; for the foul would not challenge so 'distinct a consideration and provision then, as
* now: 1 now: For it would not only be lawfol, but wise, 1 for it to become sensual and wordly : and so the 1 same pleasure and interest would minister to the 'happiness of both body and soul, e>c."
[Ibid. Chap. 4 ] " Were there no lise to come, : it would behove every man to be content with and make the most of this. Nor do I at all doubt, : hut that men may manage their lusts so, as that i they may not be able to inser reason enough to relinquish them, from any influence they have upon their worldly interest. Or if anyone Ihould 'think it necessary to purchase a pleasure by shortening his lise, or lessening his estate, I cannot see why he may not have reason on his side: For a short lise and a merry one, and my mind to me a kingdom is, would, upon the former supposition, be wise proverbs: for upon this supposition, the pleasures of the mind would be narrow and faint, and the checks of conscience none, [or] [and] insignisicant." Bp. Pearjon on the Creeds p. 304, 305. 4 Such is the sweetuess of our sins, such the corinaturalness of our corruptions, so great our considence of impunity here, that, except we looked ; for an account hereafter, it were unreasonable 'to expect that any man should forsake his delights, renounce his complacencies by a severe repentance, create a bitterness to his own soul —"We are naturally inclined to follow the bent of our own wills, and the inclination of our own hearts. All external rules and prescriptions are burthensome to us; and did not we look to give an account, we had no teason to satisfy any other desires than our own, &c.'
c 2 Mr.
Mr. Glanville's Sermons, p. 27S. * If this be
* all the life of man, [1. e. the only life he i* tti 'lead] * his end and happiness would then be to 'provide for the body, and the gratisications of 'its fenses.'
Mr. Pemb'e's Sermon, p. 479. 'Poor is the
* contc.niment that can be found in virtue and re
* ligion, if it stretch no farther than to the end
* os this life—Cut from a man his hope in Christ: 'for hereater, and then the Epicure's counsel will 'seem good, Let us eat and drink, for to-d'orro-u
* -we d c. Let us take our pleasure while we may, 'If we die as beasts, and come to nothing, theft 'let us live as beasts too, 4se. What avails us tO 4 joy in virtue and religion? to follow an empty 'name of goodness? when nothing is got by it
* after death, and for the present, nothing worth
* the desiring? Let us restrain our eyes and out 'hearts from no pleasures that may be procured;
* let virtue be only our stale to win honour, where 'men out of error, esteem highly of it: Among 'others love we vice, where virtue is banished,
* be. Good wholesome counsel if the day of
* pur death were the utmost period of our time',
* beyond which no happiness were to be enjoyed f
Dr. Stradling's Sermons, p. 476, 'The im-, 'mortality of the foul once denied, the concern
* for it could not be much; it being not probable
* that such men should please themseves with %
* pretence of virtue, who denied the future re
* wards of it. And from such premises that con
* elusion mentioned by St. Paul could i>ot but
* follow, Let us eat and drink, /or to-morrow ive
* die, Jt is but reasonable to imagine that they,
* who * who thought they should die like beasts, should
* live likfc them i husoand that life the belt they 'could, which should neves return when o»ice ■* gone I and make it as pleafant as they Uw it
* was short. Which, if there wns no other lift 'to come, was no doubt, a rational courie, and « the highest wisdom, rW P. 479. * But hert
* some may object, that if thert were no God, no 'life to cOme, yet there is so much fatisfaction in
* living according to the rules of right reason and 'virtue, that even that consideration Ihould o.»
* blige men to do so and make men molt happy.*
In aniwer to this objection he confesses(p. 48c.) That, 4 to live according to the rules of right
* reason is most agreeable to human nature, and 4 conducing to happiness in this life; But adds—•
* It may be questionable, whether a dry platonical 'idea of virtue, perishing with ourselves, or it 'bare moral complacency in it, might, in the ba* 'lance of reason,weigh down those other moreseiiJ 'sual delights,which gratify our lower faculties; or 'a severe and morose virtue have charms in it e*
* qual to all those various pleasuies which sooth
* and flatter our appetites.' And he f >oh after subjoins these admirable words, which I do In t •very particular manner recommend to the consideration of the Writer of the Letter: 'Far be is 1 from me to decry moral virtue, which even 4 heathens have granted to be a reward to irielf;
* but surely in the cale of anihilatiob very short
* of a complete one. And to cry it up, as some 'do, to the weakening of our belief and hope of 'the immortality of the soul, however at sirst 'blush it may seempiaujiole, is in effeSt, no better
'than « than a subtle invention to ruin virtue by itself i
* since it cannot possibly subsist but by the belief 'and support of another life,'&c. p. 48 I, 482,483.
The Letter-writer (unknown as he is, and resolves to be) cnnnot, I persuade myself, even in his privacy, read these citations without blushing, after the censident charge he hath advanced against me, of preaching new doctrine. If he had not any of these pasfages in his eye (as one would be charitably inclined to suspect) the accufation is extremely rash; if he had, it is base and dishonest. Either way there is little room to hope for any candor, or common justice, in the management of this dispute, from a man who lays the foundation of his reasonings in so notorious an untruth.
St. lustin, as I sind him cited by Gretius, was exactly of the fame sentiments. Auguftinus, sublatis pramits pœmsque post hanc vitam, verum Jlatumm aiupartib.us Epicuri, in Matth. xvi. 24.
Lactantius speaks very largely, and very emphatically, to the fame pnrpose; where he argues against the opinion of Epicurus concerning the souls mortality. I will not swell this pieco with a tranflaion of the passages. ' Quis cum hoq
* affirmari audiat, vitiis et sceleribus abstineat i
* Nam, si perituræ sunt animæ, appetamus divi
* tias, ut omnes suavitates capere possimus. Qua 'si nobis desunt, ab iis, qui habent auseramus 'clam, dolo, vi; eo magis, si humanas res Deus 'nulhis curet: quandocunque spes impunitatis
* arriscrit, rapiamus, necemus—Vohiptatibus it gitur quoque modo pollumus, servidmus. Brevi 'enim teinpore nulli erimus omnino. Ergo nu,U