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and his Choice always made, and in facto effe; God at once and ever both actually knowing and willing what is infallibly beft, thro the neceffary and effential perfection of his Nature. So that although God could not but create the World, yet was the actual willing thereof most voluntary and free, if freedom of Will be a Perfection; for in him dwelleth the fulness of Perfection, fect. I. par. 7.

Obj. 3. If God did at once and ever actually know and will what is infallibly beft, the World upon that account Thould have been created from eternity.

Solut. There's no neceffity of the Confequence; for although God be a pure effential Act (fect. 1.par. 9.) and fo cannot have any new Thoughts fucceeding one another, but comprehends and wills all things at once together; yet in that he not only ordains the existence of them, but also when and how they shall exift; he might from eternity will the Creation of the World to be fome thousands of years only fince as we stedfince( faftly believe from Sacred Writ that it undoubtedly was.) If it be replied, that, for the fame reason, it was in the Almighty's power. to have willed the Creation of the World to have been many thousand years

fooner

fooner than we believe it was; and if fo, then was he not neceffitated to create the World when he did ;' I rejoyn, that in regard God always of neceffity acts according to his abfolute wisdom and goodness (which are invariable and immutable) it follows, that what is at any time de facto done by God, the fame is neceffarily done by him, and for the beft. For to have the liberty of not acting when, or of otherwise acting than right Reason dictates a thing to be done,is a weakness and imperfection whence Sin arifes, from which therefore even human Nature, when perfected, is totally freed; and confequently, fince God is effentially perfect, he is effentially eftranged from

it.

Object. 4. If fo be the Creation was the effect of God's Will, whereunto it was neceffarily determined by the Perfection of the Divine Nature, it fhould feem that the Creature is not much obliged to God for the fame.

Solut. Since it is impoffible that God, in whom is the Plenitude of all Perfection (fect. 1. par. 7.) fhould create the World for any the leaft Benefit or Pleasure to himself (more than what he hath and enjoys in his own Will to communicate good) it is manifest

that

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that the End for which it was created, was the fole Good and Benefit of the Creature; which because it could not in any fort whatever merit from God, as having its existence and every other good by the fole favour of his Bounty; 'tis evident, that the Creature owes it felf and all the good it has or ever Thall enjoy folely and wholly to its Maker and Preferver, as the principal Author and Beftower of it. Nor ought the Gratitude to be lefs, because the Benefit proceeds from fuch Kindness as the giver could not be reftrain'd from fhewing by reafon of his own innate goodness, but much the greater; whilft a Benefit or Kindness done, which proceeds from Bounty govern'd by folid Reafon, is more truly and really obliging than that which has no other Bottom, or firmer Foundation than the meer accidental Pleafure of the Donor: as by the following Inftance I fhall endeavour to make out. Two Men being in extream necelity, are reliev'd by two of their Neighbors; the one chcarfully gives Relief upon this confideration, that it is a Good which his Reafon tells him, he ought by no means to omit the speedy doing of. The other affords help upon no rational folid ground which engages him thereto, but is meerly led by his Pleasure,

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or present Inclination to do it. Men preferv'd from perishing, receive each of them an equal Benefit; but when the one comes to understand that the Neighbor who reliev'd him, did it from fuch ftedfaft grounds of Reafon and Goodness within himself, that he would for certain not have fuffered him to perish. And when the other finds it was almost an equal Match, whether he had been loft or fav'd, in that his Safety proceeded from a prefent unftedfast Inclination, 'tis obvious that the former would have cause to be more intimately and cordially thankful, and to love him more tenderly and affectionately that faved him alive, than the latter would have reafon to be unto the other who preferv'd him from perishing.

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SECT. IV

Man was created by God. He has an immaterial Subftance, which is the Principle of Motion proper to him, immortal and indued with the Rational Faculties of Understanding and Will. He was created in a State of Innocency. What the State of Innocency was. The End for which Man was crea ted. In what his Chief Good and Felicity doth confist.

1.

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Hat God is the Creator of all things,

and therefore of Man, was proved Sect. 3. par. 2, 3. Who, in that it is evident by certain Experience, that he moves himself, whenever he pleases, after what particular manner he pleafes, and to whatsoever Object he pleafes (without being neceffarily agitated by Senfe, or Paffion, or Phantafie, as Brutes always are) he must have some Power or Principle within him which is not material; especially fince he doth fometimes with great Deliberatenefs and Reason, fet himfelf to oppofe what the corporeal and animal part folicits and prompts him to;and prevails thereby against the Allurements of Senfe, the Affaults of Paffion, and the Infi

nuations

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