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which is to be laid upon it. This is a general Account of what may be looked for in the following Treatise. And I shall begin it with That which is the Foundation of all our Hopes and of all our Fears; all our Hopes and Fears, which are of any Consideration ; I mean a future Life.

THE

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Of a Future Life. TRANGE Difficulties have been rai-CHAP. sed by some concerning personal Iden- 1.

tity, or the Sameness of living Agents, m implied in the Notion of our existing Now and Hereafter, or in any two successive Mo

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PART ments; which whoever thinks it worth 1.

while, may see considered in the first Differutation at the End of This Treatise. But

without Regard to any of them here, let us
consider what the Analogy of Nature, and
the several Changes which we have under-

vari gone,

and those which we know we may undergo without being destroyed, suggest, as to bere. the Effect which Death may, or may not

e carte have upon us; and whether it be not from thence probable, that we may survive this Change, and exist in a future State of Life and Perception.

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I. From our being born into the present World in the helpless imperfect State of Infancy, and having arrived from thence to mature Age, we find it to be a general Law of Nature in our own Species, that the same Creatures, the same Individuals, should exist in Degrees of Life and Perception, with Capacities of Action, of Enjoyment and Suffering, in one Period of their Being, greatly different from those appointed them in another Period of it. And in other Creatures the same Law holds. For the Difference of their Capacities and States of Life at their Birch (to go no higher) and in Maturity; the Change of Worms into Flies, and the vast Enlargement of their locomotive Powers by such Change: and Birds and Insects bursting the

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Shell their Habitation, and by this means en-CHAP:
tring into a new World, furnished with new 1.
Accommodations for them, and finding a
new Sphere of Action afligned them ; these
are Instances of this general Law of Nature.
Thus all the various and wonderful Transfor-
mations of Animals are to be taken into Con.
fideration here. But the States of Life in
which we ourselves existed formerly in the
Womb and in our Infancy, are almoft as dif-
ferent from our present in mature Age, as it is
possible to conceive any two States or Degrees
of Life can be. Therefore, that we are to
exist hereafter in a State as different (suppose)
from our present, as this is from our former,
is but according to the Analogy of Nature ;
according to a natural Order or Appointment
of the very fame Kind, with what we have
already experienced.

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II. We know we are endued with Capacities of Action, of Happiness and Misery: for we are conscious of acting, of injoying Pleasure and suffering Pain. Now that we have these Powers and Capacities before Death, is a Presumption that we shall retain them through and after Death; indeed a Probability of it abundantly sufficient to act upon, unless there be fome positive Reason to think that Death is the Destruction of those living Powers: Because there is in every Case a

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PART Probability, that all things will continue as

I. we experience they are, in all Refpects, ex-
Mcept those in which we have some Reason to

think they will be altered. This is that Kind -
of Presumption or Probability from Analogy,
express'd-in the very Word Continuance, which
seems our only natural Reason for believing
the Course of the World will continue to
morrow, as it has done so far as our Experi-
ence or Knowledge of History can carry us
back. Nay it seems our only Reason for be-
lieving, that any

any one Substance now existing,
will continue to exist a Moment longer; the
Self-existent Substance only excepted. Thus
if Men were assured that the unknown E-
vent, Death, was not the Destruction of our
Faculties of Perception and of Action, there
would be no Apprehension, that any

other Power or Event unconnected with this of Death, would destroy these Faculties just at the Instant of each Creature's Death; and therefore no Doubt but that they would remain after it: which shows the high Probability that our living Powers will continue after Death, unless there be some Ground to think that Death is their Destruction. For, if it

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I say kind of Presumption or Probability ; for I do not
mean to affirm that there is the same Degree of Conviction,
that our living Powers will continue after Death, as there is,
that our Substances will.
Destruction of living Powers, is a manner of Expreffion

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unavoidably

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