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instance, it is not destroyed, or even impaired, by ainputation of the limbs or members, it does not evaporate by the continual flux and exhalation of the corporeal humours, is not disturbed by motion of the limbs, nor deprived of it's powers by their inaction; it is not necessarily involved in the sickness and infirmity of the body, for whilst that is decaying and diffolving away by an incurable disease, the intellectual fa. culties: sliall in many cases remain perfect and unimpaired : Why then should it be supposed the soul of a man is to die with his body, and accompany it into the oblivious with it into life, nor partook of it's decay, grave, when it did not make is ré it's fluctuations, changes and casualties?

If these obvious reflections upon the nature and properties of the soul lead to the persuasion of a future state, the same train of reasoning will naturally, discover that the condition of the foul in that future state must be determined by the merits or demerits of it's antecedent life. It has never been the notion of heathen or of deist, that both the good and the evil shall enter upon equal and undistinguished felicity or punish

: ment;

ment; no reasoning man could ever conceive that the soul of Nero and the soul of Antoninus in a future state partook of the same common lot; and thus it follows upon the evidence of reason, that the foul of man shall be rewarded or punished hereafter according to his good or evil conduct. here, and this consequence is the more obvious, because it does not appear in the moral government of the world, that any such juft and regular distribution of rewards and punishments obtains on this fide the grave; a circumstance no otherwise to be reconciled to our suitable conceptiɔns of divine justice, than by referring things to the final decision of a judgment to come.

Though all these discoveries are open to reason, let no man conclude that what the reason of a few discovered were either communicated to, or acknowledged by all: No; the world was dark and grossly ignorant ; fome indeed have argued well and clearly; others confusedly, and the bulk of mankind not at all; the being of a God, and the unity of that Supreme. Being struck conviction to the hearts of those, who employed their reason coolly and dispassionately in such

sublime

sublime enquiries; but where was the multitude meanwhile ? Bewildered with a mob of deities, whom their own fables had endowed with human attributes, passions and infirmities; whom their own superstition had deified and enrolled amongst the immortals, till the sacred history of Olympus became no less impure than the journals of a brothel : Many there were no doubt, who saw the monstrous absurdity of such a fystem, yet not every one, who discerned error, could discover truth ; the immortality of the soul, a doctrine fo harmonious to man's nature, was decried by system and opposed by subtilty; the question of a future state was hung up in doubt, or bandied between conflicting disputants through all the quirks and evasions of sophistry and logic : Philosophy, so called, was split into a variety of sects, and the hypothesis of each enthusiastic founder became the standing creed of his school, which it was an inviolable point of honour never to desert: In this confusion of fyftems men chofe for themselves not according to conviction, but by the impulse of passion, or from motives of convenience; the voluptuary was interested to dismiss the

gods

. gods to their repose, that his might not be interrupted by them ; and all, who wished to have their range of sensuality in this world without fear or controul, readily enlisted under the banners of Epicurus, till his followers outnumbered all the rest ; this was the court-creed under the worst of the Roman emperors, and the whole body of the nation, with few exceptions, adopted it; for what could be more natural, than for the desperate to bury conscience in the grave of atheism, or rush into annihilation by the point of the poniard, when they were weary of existence and discarded by fortune? With some it was the standard principle of their sect to doubt, with others to argue every thing; and when we recollect that Cicero himself was of the New Academy, we have a clue to unravel all the seeming contradictions of his moral and metaphysical sentiments, amidst the confusion of which we are never to expect his real opinion, but within the pale of his own particular school, and that school professed controversy upon every point. I will inftance one passage, which would have done honour to his sentiments, had he spoke his own lan

guage

movens.

guage as well as that of the Platonists, whom he is here personating--Nec vero Deus, qui intelligitur a nobis, alio modo intelligi potest, quam mens soluta quædam et libera, segregata ab omni concretione mortali, omnia sentiens et

Whilst the purest truths were thrown'out only as themes for sophistry to cavil at, the mass of inankind resembled a chaos, in which if some few sparks of light glimmered, they only served to cast the general horror into darker shades.

It must not however be forgotten, that there was a peculiar people then upon earth, who professed to worship that one Supreme Being, of whose nature and attributes. certain individuals only amongst the Gentile nations entertained suitable conceptions.

Whilft all the known world were idolaters by establishment, the Jews alone were Uni'tarians upon system. Their history was most wonderful, for it undertook to give a relation of things, whereof no human records could possibly be taken, and all, who received it for truth, must receive it as the relation of God himself, for how else should men obtain a knowledge of the Creator's thoughts and operations in the first formation of all

things?

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