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SECT. XI. And the affairs of this lower world.

AND they are under a very great mistake, who confine this providence to the heavenly bodies;1818   This was the opinion of Aristotle. See Plutarch concerning the opinions of the philosophers, book. ii. chap. 3. and Atticus in Eusebius’s Gospel Preparation, book v. ch. 3. Le Clerc. as appears from the foregoing reason, which holds as strong for all created beings; and moreover from this consideration, that there is an especial regard had to the good of man, in the regulation of the course of the stars, as is confessed by the best philosophers, and evident from experience.1919   Though not for man only; for it doth not appear that there are no other intelligent beings in other planets; yet partly for him, and, so far as he makes use of them, without any detriment to other creatures. Because we cannot live without the sun, we may well conclude it was made upon our account; unless we can imagine that chance provided every thing that is necessary for us; which is very absurd; just like a man who, happening upon a house well furnished, should deny that it was built for the convenience of men, who are alone capable of enjoying it. Le Clerc. And it is reasonable to conceive, that greater care should be taken of that for whose sake the other was made, than of that which is only subservient to it.

And the particulars in it.

NEITHER is their error less, who allow the universe to be governed by him, but not the particular things in it.2020   This was the opinion of the stoics: see Arrius’s Dissertations upon Epictetus, book i. ch. 12. and Justin Lipsius, in his stoical physiology, Le Clerc. For if he were ignorant of any particular thing, (as some of them say), he would not be thoroughly acquainted with himself. Neither will his knowledge be infinite, (as we have before proved it to be). if it does not extend to individuals. Now, if God knows all things, what should binder his taking care of them; especially since individuals, as such, are appointed for some certain end, either particular or general? and things in general (which they themselves acknowledge to 17be preserved by God) cannot subsist but in their individuals: so that if the particulars be destroyed, by providence’s forsaking them, the whole must be destroyed too.

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