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PART ness, I mean with regard to Christianity, are

II. absolutely without Excuse. For there is no in Temptation to it, but from the Wantonness

of Vanity or Mirth: And these, considering the infinite Importance of the Subject, are no such Temptations as to afford any Excuse for it. If this be a just Account of things, and yet Men can go on to vilify or disregard Christianity, which is to talk and act, as if they had a Demonstration of its Fallhood; there is no Reason to think they would alter their Behaviour to any Purpose, though there were a Demonstration of its Truth.

The End of the second Part.



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N the first copy of these Papers, I

bad inserted the two following Dissertations into the Chapters, Of a future Life, and, of the moral Government of God, with which they are closely connected. But as they do not direEtly fall under the Title of the foregoing Treatise, and would have kept the Subject of it too long out of Sight; it seemed more proper to place them by themselves.

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Of personal Identity.

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HETHER we are to live in a fu-Diss.

ture State, as it is the most important I.
Question which can possibly be asked, so it
is the most intelligible one which can be ex-
pressed in Language. Yet strange Perplexi-
ties have been raised about the Meaning of
That Identity or Sameness of Person, which
is implied in the Notion of our living Now
and Hereafter, or in any two successive Mo-
ments. And the Solution of these Difficulties
hath been stranger, than the Difficulties them-
selves. For, personal Identity has been ex-
plained so by Some, as to render the Inquiry
concerning a future Life, of no Consequence
at all to Us the Persons who are making it.
And though few Men can be milled by such
Subtleties ; yet



proper a little to consider them.

Now when it is asked, wherein personal Identity consists, the Answer should be the same, as if it were asked, wherein consists Similitude or Equality ; that all Attempts to define, would but perplex it. Yet there is

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D is s. no Dificulty at all in ascertaining the Idea.

1. For as, upon two Triangles being compared mor viewed together, there arises to the Mind

the Idea of Similitude ; or upon twice two
and four, the Idea of Equality : so likewise,
upon comparing the Consciousnesses of ones
self or ones own Existence in any two Mo-
ments, there as immediately arises to the
Mind the Idea of personal Identity. And as
the two former Comparisons not only give
us the Ideas of Similitude and Equality ; but
also shew us, that two Triangles are alike,
and twice two and four are equal : so the lat-
ter Comparison not only gives us the Idea of
personal Identity, but also thews us the Iden-
rity of ourselves in those two Moments ; the
present, suppose, and that immediately past;
or the present, and That, a Month, a Year,
or twenty Years past. Or in other Words, by
reflecting upon That, which is


and That, which was my Self twenty Years
ago, I discern they are not two, but one and
the same Self.

But though Consciousness of what is past does thus ascertain our personal Identity to Durselves, yet to say, that it makes personal Identity, or is necessary to our being the same Persons, is to say, that a Person has not existed a single Moment, nor done one Action, but what he can remember ; indeed none but


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