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enjoy them The remembrance of bodily Pleafures, unless it excites new Appetites, gives no new Pleasures to us. But Knowledge and Wifdom is always fweet to the Soul; and the remembrance of virtuous Actions is always fresh and new, and therefore a more perpetual Spring of Joy.

Bodily Pleafures depend upon things without us, which are not in our Power, and therefore cannot always be had; but the Pleasures of the Mind are always at hand, and in our own keeping; our Thoughts are at liberty; and though we cannot always do what we would, we may think of what we pleafe, and entertain our Minds with the most delightful Contemplations. We have God and his Works, the whole Creation, the whole Compafs of Heaven and Earth; all Nature and Providence; the various Revolutions of the World, and Wisdom of Governments; the Laws of Nature, of Nations, and particular Commonwealths; and which is more than all this to us Chriftians, the certain Revelations of the Divine Will in Scripture. These are delightful Meditations, which are always in our Power; and though we cannot always do good when we will, yet the very Inclination and Defire to do Good, and the remembrance of the Good we have done, is always pleafant: And a Happiness in our own keeping, as it seems moft natural, fo it is what wife Men, who always defire to be Happy, fhould prefer; for he cannot always be happy, who cannot always have that which he calls his Happiness.

In fhort, the difference between the Pleasures of the Mind and Body appear in this; That a Mind which is quiet, and easy, and satisfied with its felf, can bear all external Afflictions with Patience, and Comfort, and Hope, and Triumph;


but all the Pleafures of this Life are infipid, and taftlefs, and troublesome, to a broken, diftempered guilty Mind: As the Wife Men tells us, That the Spirit of a Man can bear his Infirmities; but a wounded Spirit who can bear? And certainly thofe are the greatest Pleafures which not only teach us to defpife the Pleafures of the Body, when there is a Competition between them, but can fupport us in the want of bodily Pleafures, and under all external Sufferings.

Well, you'll fay, what is the Confequence now of all this? Suppofe we grant, that the Pleasures of the Mind are much greater than bodily Pleafures, the higheft and nobleft Pleafures of our Nature, which do moft become a Man, and make him a more excellent Creature than thofe of his own kind, who are wholly funk into Flesh and Senfe; how does this prove the Immortality of the Soul? Now this, I confefs it does not prove by a direct and immediate Confequence, but yet it furnishes us with fuch Principles, from which this Confequence may be fairly deduced.

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For, 1. This proves that human Souls have a Happiness of their own, diftinct from, and independent on the Body; now it is impoffible the Soul fhould have a Happiness independent on the Body, without having a Principle of Life independent on the Body alfo: For the Happiness of all Creatures, refults from the Principle of Life, and bears proportion to it: And therefore thofe Pleafures which do not refult from the Body, nor depend on it, muft refult from a Principle of Life independent on the Body; and if the Soul lives independently on the Body, it can live without it, and in a State of Separation from it: And that I think proves, that there is no reafon to fufpect that the Soul dies with the Body.

2. However,

2, However, it is very manifeft, that if the Soul has a diftinct Happiness of its own, independent on the Body, it is capable of living and being happy out of the Body; for thofe Pleafures which do not depend on the Body, it may enjoy out of it: And what poffible Reafon is there to imagine, that the Soul cannot live without this Body, when it may be happy without it? As for Knowledge, Wisdom, and Virtue, which are the greatest Perfections, and the peculiar Glory and Happiness of human Souls; if our Souls can fubfift without thefe Bodies, can we think that they fhould know lefs, or be less wife and virtuous, than they are in them? And if the Body may die, and the Soul live and be happy, is not this a Reason to believe that God, who is the Author of Nature, intended fo too?

3. Efpecially if we confider, that this Rational, Intellectual, Spiritual Happiness, which is the proper and genuine Happiness of human Souls, can never attain its juft Perfection while we live in these Bodies. The Heathen Philofophers were very fenfible of this, and made great Complaints of it; That the Soul was buried and ftifled in the Body, and could not freely exert its noble Powers and Faculties, but funk into Senfe, and was intoxicated with bodily Pleasures. And the Scripture it felf owns this, That there is a Law in our Members warring against the Law of our Minds, and leading us into Captivity to that Law of Sin which is in our Members. That the Flesh lufteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the Flesh; and these two are contrary to each other, And if neither Scripture nor Philofophers had faid any thing of this, our own Senfe and Experience of our felves and the reft of Mankind too evidently prove it.


What an impatient Thirft have we all after Knowledge, and how little is it that the wifeft Men know? The neceffary Employments of Life, while we are bound to drudge, and make our Souls Slaves to fupport our Bodies, deprive the greatest part of Mankind of all Opportunities of getting Wisdom and Knowledge. Some great and generous Souls inhabit weak and feeble Bodies, which cannot bear the fatigue of Study and fevere Thoughts. And if, as fome Philofophers think, all Souls are equal, there are many Souls which have reafon to complain of very dull and heavy Bodies, which cloud their Imaginations, and will not admit the bright and clear Ideas of Truth.

But fetting afide all this; What a fhort and narrow Profpect of things have we, while we live in thefe Bodies? For though I am not of the Mind of thofe Philofophers, who think that there are no inbred or innate Notions and Ideas in the Soul; but that all the Knowledge we have comes from without, from thofe corporeal Im preffions which are made on our Senfes; which could no more teach Men Logick, and Metaphyficks, and Mathematicks, than they could teach Beafts, who have the fame Senfes that we have, were not these Ideas connatural to human Souls: But yet thus much I think is certain, that whatever Ideas we have latent in our Minds, we gain no actual Knowledge of them, but as they are awakened in us by external Impreffions, Obfervations, and a Chain of Thoughts; which reaches fo little a way, . while our Souls are en closed by our bodily Senfes, as muft needs render our Knowledge very imperfect Were our Souls fet at liberty from thefe Bodies, to view the World with a naked Eye, what Wonders would they discover, which are now concealed from us?

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We now fee only this fenfible World; and if we would discover the Curiofities of that, we are forced to borrow fome Artificial and Mathematical Eyes; But we can fee nothing of the fpiritual World, which is the largest and moft glorious Prospect.

But then as for true Virtue and Piety, where is it to be found but among fome few despised Men, who defpife the World, and are defpifed by it? But this is not the prefent Enquiry, how many good Men there are; for if their number be small, this is the fault of the Men, not of human Nature. But these good Men that are, with what Conflicts and Difficulty do they conquer their bodily Appetites and Inclinations, and how imperfect are their Attainments in Piety and Virtue, and confequently how imperfect is their Happiness? What difference can we eafily conceive between the Love, Devotion, and Raptures of the most perfect Saint on Earth, and of unbodied Spirits? And as imperfect as their Piety, Devotion, and Virtue is, fo imperfect is their Happiness.

This may be thought an Objection against the Maker of Mankind, to put human Souls into fuch Bodies, wherein they cannot attain their compleat Happiness. Some ancient Philofophers thought to folve this Difficulty by faying, That human Souls lived in a former State, and were fent into thefe Bodies, partly as a Punishment of their former Sins; but yet to be in a State of Probation, to recover their loft Happiness. But the holy Scripture gives us a better Account of it, That God made Man upright, but he fought out unto himSelf many Inventions: That our firft Parents loft their Innocence and Paradife together, and propagated a corrupt and mortal Nature to their Posterity.

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