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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : THE CONTENTS. THE Introduction, concerning the causes of Atheism 1

A Discourse Concerning The Being And Attributes Of God by Samuel Clarke

THE CONTENTS. THE Introduction, concerning the causes of Atheism 1

PROP. I. That Something has existed from Eternity
7

Of the difficulty of conceiving Eternity
8

That Difficulties arising merely from the Nature of Eternity, are not to be regarded, because equal in all Suppositions
ibid.

PROP. II. That there has existed from Eternity some one Immutable and Independent Being
10

Of the Absolute Impossibility of an eternal Succession of dependent Beings, existing without any original independent cause at all 11

PROP. III. That that Immutable and Independent Being, which has existed from Eternity, without any external cause of its Existence, must be Self-existent, that is, Necessarily-existing
13

Of the true Idea of Self-existence; That it is the Idea of a Being, the Supposition of whose Non-Existence is an express Contradiction 15

That every Man may be more certain of the Being of a Supreme Independent Cause, than he can be of any thing else besides his own Existence
18

Of the Idea of God, including Self-Existence
ibid.

That the Material World cannot possibly be the first, original, and independent Being
21

The Form of the World not necessary
22

Nor its Motion
ibid.

Mr Toland's pernicious opinion of Motion being essential to Matter, confuted
ibid.

The Matter of the World not necessarily existing
23

A Confutation of Spinoza's opinion concerning one only Substance 25

Concerning the Eternity of the World, and that the opinion of the best Ancient Philosophers in that Matter did not at all favour the Sentiments of Modern Atheists
28

PROP. IV. What the Substance or Essence of that Being, which is Self-existent or Necessarily-existing, is, we have no idea, neither is it at all possible for us to comprehend it
35

Of Infinite Space
36

Of the Vanity of explaining things by such School-terms as have really no Signification at all
37

PROP. V. That though the Substance or Essence of the Self-existent Being is itself absolutely incomprehensible to us, yet many of the Essential Attributes of his Nature are strictly demonstrable, as well as his existence; as, in the first place, that he must of necessity be Eternal
38

Of the manner of our conceiving the Eternity of God with respect to succession
ibid.

PROP. VI. That the Self-existent Being must of necessity be Infinite and Omnipresent
40

Of the Simplicity, Unchangeableness, Incorruptibility, &c. of his Nature
41

Of the Manner of our conceiving the Immensity of God 42

PROP. VII. That the Self-existent Being must of necessity be but One 43

Of the Blessed Trinity
44

Of the Absolute Impossibility of two different Self-existent Independent Principles, such as God and Matter
ibid.

The Error of Spinoza concerning one Uniform Substance ibid.

PROP. VIII. That the Self-existent and Original Cause of all Things, must be an Intelligent Being
46

This the main Question between us and the Atheists
ibid.

Not easily proved a priori
ibid.

But demonstrably proved, a posteriori, from the variety and degrees of perfection in things, and the order of Causes and Effects 47

From the Intelligence that created Beings are confessedly indued with 48]

That, if Intelligence be a real distinct Quality or Perfection, and not a mere Effect or Composition of Unintelligent Figure and Motion, then Beings indued with Intelligence can never possibly have arisen purely out of that which itself had no such Perfection
49

That Intelligence is such a real distinct Perfection, and not possible to be a mere Effect or Composition of Unintelligent figure and motion 51

Mr Hobbes forced to recur to that prodigiously absurd Opinion, that all Matter, as Matter, is indued with Thought
52

The Proposition demonstrated further from the Beauty, Order, and Final Cause of Things
53

From the Original of Motion
55

That the Material World cannot possibly have been Self-existent 56

PROP. IX. That the Self-existent and Original Cause of all Things is not a Necessary Agent, but a Being indued with Liberty and Choice ibid.

This Proposition a necessary consequent of the foregoing 57

Proved further from the Arbitrary Disposition of Things in the World, with a full answer to Spinoza's arguments for the necessity of all things
58

Also from Final Causes
63

And from the Finiteness of Created Beings
ibid.

And from the Impossibility of an Infinite Succession of Causes 64

That Liberty is not in itself an Impossible and contradictory Notion 66

PROP. X. That the Self-existing Being, the Supreme cause of all things, must of necessity have Infinite Power -
67

Of working Contradictions, and Natural or Moral Evil 68

Of the Power of creating Matter
69

Of the Power of creating immaterial Cogitative Substances, and those indued with Liberty of Will or Choice
70

Of the Immateriality of Human Souls
73

That the Power of Perception is not confined to Bodily Senses 74

Of the Possibility of Communicating to a Creature the Power of beginning Motion
75

Of the Possibility of induing a Creature with Freedom of Will 78

An Answer to Spinoza's and Mr Hobbes's arguments against the Possibility of Liberty
80

That there must be somewhere a Beginning of Operation ibid.

That Thinking and Willing, neither are, nor can possibly be Qualities or Affections of Matter
82

That, supposing they were Affections of Matter, yet even that most absurd supposition would not at all affect the question about the possibility of Liberty
88

A shameful Fallacy in Mr Hobbes and his Followers arguing, who, when they would prove the Soul to be mere Matter, then they suppose Matter to be a substance capable, not only of Figure and Motion, but also of other unknown properties; and when they would prove the will and all other Operations of the Soul to be necessary, then they divest Matter of all its unknown properties, and make it mere Solidity indued only with Figure and Motion again
ibid.

Of the Necessity of the Will's being determined by the last Judgment of the Understanding
90

Of the Certainty of Divine Fore-knowledge, not repugnant to the Liberty of Men's Actions
94

Of the Original of Evil
98

PROP. XI. That the Supreme Cause and Author of all Things must of necessity be Infinitely Wise
99

Proved a priori
100

And a posteriori, from the Wisdom and Perfection of the Works of God, evidenced more illustriously in the late discoveries in Astronomy and Natural Philosophy
101

PROP. XII. That the Supreme Cause and Author of all things must of necessity be a Being of Infinite Goodness, Justice, and Truth, and all other Moral Perfections, such as become the Supreme Governor and Judge of the World
104

Of Providence
107

The Necessity of God's Moral Attributes, consistent with perfect Liberty
ibid.

Of the Necessity of God's doing always what is Best and Fittest in the whole
109

Of the Impossibility of his doing Evil
110

That Liberty is not in itself an Imperfection, but a Perfection 111

That the highest moral Perfection of Rational Creatures does not exclude Natural Liberty
112

That the Grounds of all Moral Obligations are Eternal and Necessary, and depend not on any Laws
ibid.

The Conclusion
114
THE EVIDENCES OF NATURAL AND REVEALED RELIGION.

The INTRODUCTION
131

Of the Several sorts of Deists
140

The first sort of Deists, and of Providence
141

Human Affairs not beneath the Regard of Providence
144

The second sort of Deists
146

Profane and debauched Deists not capable of being argued with 147

The Third sort of Deists
149

The Fourth sort of Deists
150

That there is now no consistent scheme of Deism in the World 153

PROP. I. That, from the Eternal and Necessary Differences of Things, there naturally and necessarily arise certain Moral Obligations, which are of themselves incumbent on all Rational Creatures, antecedent to all positive Institution and to all expectation of Reward or Punishment 156

That there are Eternal and necessary Differences of Things 157

The absurdity of those who deny the eternal and Necessary Difference of Things
159

An Answer to the Objection drawn from the variety of Opinions of the learned Men, and the Laws of different Nations, concerning Right and Wrong
163

That the will of God always determines itself to act according to the Eternal Reason of Things
165

That all Rational Creatures are obliged to govern themselves in all their actions by the same Eternal Rule of Reason
166

Proved from the Original Nature of Things
167

And from the Sense that all, even wicked Men, unavoidably have of their being under such an Obligation
169

And from the Judgment of Men's Consciences upon their own past actions 171

Of that Natural Knowledge which Plato thought to be Reminiscence ibid.

The most profligate of Men not utterly insensible of the difference of Good and Evil
172

Men's Natural sense of Eternal Moral Obligations proved further from the Judgment they all pass upon the actions of others 173

An Answer to the Objection drawn from the Total Ignorance of some Barbarous Nations in Matters of Morality
176

Of the Principal Moral Obligations in particular
177

Of Piety, or Men's Duty towards God
178

Of Righteousness, or the duty of Men one towards another 180

Of Justice and Equity
ibid.

Of Universal Mutual Benevolence
184

Of Sobriety, or Men's Duty towards themselves, and of the Unlawfulness of Self-Murder
187

The Law of Nature Eternal, Universal, and Absolutely Unchangeable 191

Eternal Moral Obligations antecedent, in some respect, even to this Consideration, of their being the Will or Command of God himself 195

The Law of Nature Obligatory, antecedent to all consideration of particular Rewards and Punishments
198

Yet it does not from hence at all follow, either that a Good Man ought to have no respect to Rewards and Punishments, or that Rewards and Punishments are not absolutely necessary to maintain the Practice of Virtue in this present World
200

The Manifold Absurdities of Mr Hobbes's Doctrines concerning the Original of Right, shown in particular
204

PROP. II. That the same Eternal Moral Obligations, which arise necessarily from the Natural Differences of Things, are moreover the Express W 1, Command, and Law of God to all Rational Creatures 218

Proved from the Consideration of the Divine Attributes ibid.

And from the Consideration of the Nature of God's Creation 222

And from the Tendency of the Practice of Morality to the Good and Happiness of the whole World
223

PROP. III. That the same Eternal Moral Obligations, which are of themselves incumbent indeed on all Rational Creatures, antecedent to any respect of particular Reward or Punishment, must yet certainly and necessarily be attended with Rewards and Punishments 226

Proved from the Attributes of God
ibid.

And from the Necessity there is that there should be some Vindication of the Honour of God's Laws and Government
227

PROP. IV. That because these Rewards and Punishments are not distributed in the present State, therefore there must of necessity be a Future State
228

That, according to the Original Constitution of Things, Virtue and Vice are attended with Natural Rewards and Punishments
230

But that now, in this present World, the Natural Order of Things is so Perverted, that Vice often flourishes in great Prosperity and Virtue falls under the greatest Calamities of Life
231

That therefore there must needs be a Future State of Rewards and Punishments
233

Of the Stoical Opinion concerning the Self-Sufficiency of Virtue to its own Happiness
234

From whence the Certainty of a Future State is again concluded 236

Why the Wisdom of God is not so Clearly and Plainly seen in his Government of the Moral, as in the Fabric of the Natural World 238

Of the Immortality of the Soul, and the Natural Proofs we have of it 239

The Natural Credibility of the Soul's being Immortal, of great Use to the Wiser Heathens
243

The Argument for a Future State drawn from Men's Natural Desire of Immortality
245

Another, drawn from Men's Conscience or Judgment of their own Actions 246

Another, drawn from Man's being by Nature an Accountable Creature ibid.

PROP. V. That though the Necessity and Indispensableness of all the great and Moral Obligations of Natural Religion, and also the Certainty of a Future State of Rewards and Punishments, be in general deducible from Right Reason, yet such is the present Corrupt Estate and Condition of Mankind in the World, that very few are able, in reality and effect, to discover these things clearly and plainly for themselves, but Men have great need of Particular Teaching and much Instruction 248

Men Hindered from Discovering and Understanding Religious Truths, by Carelessness and Want of Attention
249

And by Early Prejudices and False Notions
250

And by Sensual Appetites, Passions, and Worldly Business 251

And, above all, by Vicious Habits and Practices
252

Wherefore Men have great need to be Taught and Instructed in Matters of Religion
254

The great Use and Necessity of an Order of Preachers 256

PROP. VI. That all the Teaching and Instruction of the best Heathen Philosophers, was for many Reasons Utterly Insufficient to Reform Mankind
ibid.

That there have been in the Heathen World some Excellent Teachers of Morality
257

Who seem to have been designed by Providence to bear witness against the Wickedness of the Nations wherein they lived
258

But yet none of these Men were ever able to Reform the World with any considerable success
259

Because they have been but very few that have in earnest set themselves about that Excellent Work
261

And those few were entirely ignorant of some Doctrines absolutely necessary to the bringing about that Great End
263

Particularly, they were Ignorant in what Manner God will be Acceptably Worshipped
265

And in what Method God would be Reconciled to Returning Sinners 267

And other Doctrines absolutely necessary to the same end, they were very doubtful and uncertain about
268

And those things which they were certain of, yet they were not able to prove and explain clearly and distinctly enough
271

And those things which they were able to prove and explain clearly and distinctly enough, yet they had not sufficient authority to enforce in practice
275

PROP. VII. That there was plainly wanting a Divine Revelation, to recover Mankind out of their Universal Degenerate Estate, and that both the Necessities of Men, and their Natural Notions of God, gave them reasonable ground to hope for such a Revelation
278

A Divine Revelation very necessary for the Recovery of Mankind ibid.

That it was agreeable to the Dictates of Nature and Right Reason to expect or hope for such a Divine Revelation
280

The Unreasonableness of Modern Deists in Denying the Want and Use of a Revelation
284

The great Necessity and Use of Divine Revelation
285

Yet God was not absolutely obliged to afford men the help of such a Revelation
288

Want of Universality no sufficient Objection against the Truth of a Revelation
289

PROP. VIII. That there is no other Religion now in the World, but the Christian, that has any Just Pretence or Tolerable Appearance of Reason to be esteemed such a Divine Revelation
291

Of the Mahometan Religion
291

Of the Jewish Religion
ibid.

PROP. IX. That the Christian Religion has all the Marks and Proofs of its being Actually and Truly a Divine Revelation, that any Divine Revelation, supposing it was true, could reasonably be imagined or desired to have
292

The Marks of a Religion Coming from God
ibid.

PROP. X. That the Practical Duties, which the Christian Religion enjoins, are all such as are most agreeable to our Natural Notions of God, and most Perfective of the Nature and Conducive to the Happiness and Well-being of Men
293

Proved in the Several Instances of Duty
ibid.

This a Great Evidence of a Religion coming from God 296

PROP. XI. That the Motives by which the Christian Religion enforces the Practice of the Duties it enjoins, are such as are most suitable to the excellent wisdom of God, and most answerable to the natural expectations of Men
299

Of the Acceptableness of True Repentance as a Motive to Obedience ibid.

Of the Divine Assistance as another Motive to Obedience 300

Of the Clear Discovery of Future Rewards and Punishments, as another Motive to Obedience
301

PROP. XII. That the Peculiar Manner and Circumstances, with which the Christian Religion enjoins the Duties, and urges the Motives before-mentioned, are exactly consonant to the Dictates of Sound Reason, or the Unprejudiced Light of Nature, and most wisely perfective of it
303

Proved by Particular Instances
ibid.

An Answer to the Objections drawn from the Divisions among Christians 305

PROP. XIII. That all the Credenda, or Doctrines, which the Christian Religion requires our particular assent to, are agreeable to Unprejudiced Reason, have every one of them a Natural Tendency and Direct Influence to Reform Men's Manners, and do together make up the most consistent and rational Scheme of Belief in the World 306

Of the One Supreme God
ibid.

Of the Only-begotten Son of God
307

Of the Holy Spirit
308

Of the Creation of the Universe
ibid.

Of the Formation of the Earth
309

Of the Continual Government of Providence
310

Of Paradise, and the Loss of it by Sin
311

Of the Flood
312

Of God's Revealing Himself to the Patriarchs, and giving the Law to the Jews
313

Of the other Particulars of Scripture-history in the Old Testament ibid.

Of God's sending his Son into the World, for the Redemption of Mankind 315

That it is not Unreasonable to Suppose God Making a Revelation of his Will to Men
316

That it is not unreasonable to believe that God would appoint a Sacrifice or Expiation for Sin
ibid.

That it is not unreasonable to believe that a Mediator should be appointed between God and Man
317

Of the Objection drawn from the Dignity of the Person whom we believe to be our Mediator and Redeemer
ibid.

Of the Objection drawn from the Christian Revelation not being in fact Universal -
322

Of the other Particulars of Scripture-history contained in the New Testament
323

Of the Day of Judgment and Christ the Judge
324

Of the Resurrection of the Body
325

Of the Resurrection of the same Body
326

Of the Eternal Happiness of the Blessed, and the Eternal Punishment of the Damned
328

All the Articles of our Belief agreeable to Right Reason 331

Every one of them has a Direct Tendency and Powerful Influence to Reform Men's Manners
ibid.

And all of them together make up the most Consistent and Rational Scheme of Belief in the World
335

PROP. XIV. That the Christian Revelation is positively and directly proved to be sent to us from God by the Miracles which our Saviour worked, by the fulfilling of the Prophecies, and by the Testimony of the Apostles
336

Of the Life and Character of our Saviour, as an Evidence of the Truth of the Christian Revelation
337

Of the Miracles of Christ, as the Evidence of his Divine Commission 338

Of Miracles in General
ibid.

That, in Respect of the Power of God, all things are alike easy 339

That therefore Miracles ought not to be defined by any Absolute Difficulty in the Nature of the Things themselves to be done ibid.

What degrees of Power God may have communicated to Created Beings, is not possible for us to determine
340

That therefore a Miracle is not rightly defined to be such an Effect as could not have been produced by any less Power than the Divine Omnipotence
ibid.

All things that are done in the World, are done either Immediately by God Himself, or by Created Intelligent Beings, Matter being capable of no laws or powers; and consequently there is, properly speaking, no such thing as the Course or Power of Nature
343

That therefore a Miracle is not rightly defined to be that which is against the Course of Nature, or above the Natural Powers of Created Agents
342

The Unreasonableness of those who deny the Possibility of Miracles in General
ibid.

Some Effects prove the Constant Providence of God, and others prove the Occasional Interposition either of God himself or of some Intelligent Being Superior to Men
343

Whether such Interposition be the Immediate work of God, or of some Good or Evil Angel, can hardly be discovered merely by the Work Itself 344

That there is no reason to suppose all the Wonders worked by Evil Spirits to be mere Delusions
ibid.

How we are to Distinguish Miracles wrought by God for the Proof of any Doctrine, from the Frauds of Evil Spirits
345

The Difference between those who teach that the Immediate Power of God is, or is not, necessarily requisite to the Working of a Miracle, is not very great at bottom
347

The True Definition of a Miracle
ibid.

The Strength of the Evidence of our Saviour's Miracles 348

Concerning the Objection, that we prove in a circle the Miracles by the Doctrine, and the Doctrine by the Miracles
ibid.

Of the Pretended Miracles of Apollonius and others
350

Of the fulfilling the Prophecies as an Evidence of our Saviour's Divine Commission
351

Of the Prophecies that went before Concerning the Messiah ibid.

Of the Prophecies that Christ Himself delivered concerning things that were to happen after
353

An Answer to Objections against Applying the Prophecies in the Old Testament to Christ
354

Of the Testimony of our Saviour's Disciples, as an Evidence of the Truth of the Christian Revelation
399

What Things are requisite to make the Testimony of our Saviour's Disciples a Complete Evidence
400

That the Apostles could not be Imposed upon Themselves ibid.

That they could have no design of imposing upon Others 401

That the Apostles' Testimony has been truly conveyed down to us 403

Of the Authority of the Books of Holy Scripture
404

PROP. XV. That they who will not, by the Arguments and Proofs before-mentioned, be convinced of the Truth and Certainty of the Christian Religion, would not be convinced by any other Evidence whatsoever, -- no, not though one should rise on purpose from the dead to endeavour to Convince them
405

That the Evidence which God has afforded us of the Truth of our Religion is abundantly sufficient
ibid.

That the Cause of Men's Unbelief is not Want of Better Evidence to prove the great Truths of Religion
406

But that Wickedness and Ungoverned Lusts are the only Causes of Obstinate Infidelity
408

And so long as Men are under the Dominion of their Lusts, they would not be convinced, though the Evidence of Religion was even much Stronger than it is
ibid.

Nay, not even though one should Rise on Purpose from the Dead to Convince them
410

That therefore it is Absolutely Necessary in the first place, that Men become Impartially Willing to embrace all Truth, and to obey all Reasonable Obligations
411

That Men of such a Disposition would be Religious, though the Evidences of Religion were much less than they are
412

That God may require us to take notice of some things at our peril 414

Letters from a Gentleman in Gloucestershire relative to some points stated in the foregoing Discourses, with the Answers thereto 418

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