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its existence: I clearly discern its use and importance. But in no respect is it more important, than as it suggests the idea of a moral Governor. Let this idea be once effaced, and the principle of conscience will soon be found weak and ineffectual. Its influence on men's conduct has, indeed, been too much undervalued by some philosophical inquirers. But be that influence, while it lasts, more or less, it is not a steady and permanent principle of action. Unhappily we always have it in our power to lay it asleep.-Neglect alone will suppress and stifle it, and bring it almost into a state of stupefaction: nor can any thing less than the terrors of religion awaken our minds from this dangerous and deadly sleep. It can never be matter of indifference to a thinking man, whether he is to be happy or miserable beyond the grave."

Page 22. [F.] The ignorance of man is a favorite doctrine with Bishop BUTLER. It occurs in the second part of the Analogy; it makes the subject of his fifteenth Sermon; and we meet with it again in his charge. Whether sometimes it be not carried to a length which is excessive, may admit of doubt.

Page 22. [G.] Admirable to this purpose are the words of Dr. T. Balguy, in the IXth of his Discourses, already referred to. “The doctrine of a life to come, some persons will say, is a doctrine of natural religion; and can never therefore be properly alleged to shew the importance of revelation. They judge perhaps from the frame of the world, that the present system is imperfect: they see designs in it not yet completed; and they think they have grounds for expecting another state, in which these designs shall be farther carried on, and brought to a conclusion, worthy of Infinite Wisdom. I am not concerned to dispute the justness of this reasoning; nor do I wish to dispute it. But how far will it reach: Will it lead us to the Christian doctrine of a judgment to come? Will it give us the prospect of an eternity of happiness? Nothing of all this. It shews us only, that death is not the end of our beings; that we are likely to pass hereafter into other systems, more favorable than the present to the great ends of God's Providence, the virtue and the happiness of his intelligent creatures. But into what systems we are to be removed; what new scenes are to be presented to us, either of pleasure or pain; what new parts we shall have to act, and to what trials and temptations we may yet be exposed; on all these subjects we know just nothing. That our happiness for ever depends on our conduct here, is a most important! proposition, which we learn only from revelation."

Page 23. [H.] “In the common affairs of life, common experience is sufficient to direct us. But will common experience serve to guide our judgment concerning the fall and redemption of mankind? From what we see every day, can we explain the commencement, or foretel the dissolution of the world? To judge of events like these, we should be conversant in the history of other planets; should be distinctly informed of God's various dispensations to all the different orders of rational beings.

Instead then of grounding our religious opinions on what we call experience, let us apply to a more certain guide, let us hearken to the testimony of God himself. The credibility of human testimony, and the conduct of human agents, are subjects perfectly within the reach of our natural faculties; and we ought to desire no firmer foundation for our belief of religion, than for the judgments we form in the common affairs of life; whereas we see a little plain testimony easily outweighs the most specious conjectures, and not seldom even strong probabilities.” Dr. Balguy's 4th Charge. See also an excellent pamphlet, entitled, Remarks on Mr. Hume's Essay on the Natural History of Religion, Sv. And the 6th of Dr. Powell's Discourses.

Page 46. [1] Dr. ARTHUR ASHLEY SYKES, from whose writings some good may be collected out of a multitude of things of a contrary tendency, in what he is pleased to call The Scripture Doctrine of Redemption, opposes what is here advanced by Bishop BUTLER; quoting his words, but without mentioning his name, If what is said above be not thought a sufficient answer to the objections of this author, the reader may do well to consult a charge on the use and abuse of Philosophy in the study of Religion, by the late Dr. Powell, who seems to me to have had the observations of Dr. Sykes in his view, where he is confuting the reasonings of certain philosophizing divines against the doctrine of the atonement. Powell's Discourses, Charge III, p. 342-348.

* See the Observations on the texts cited in his first chapter, and also in chapters the fifth and sixth,

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ADVERTISEMENT.

IF the reader should meet here with any thing which he had not before attended to, it will not be in the observations upon the constitution and course of nature, these being all obvious, but in the application of them; in which, though there is nothing but what appears to me of some real weight, and therefore of great importance, yet he will observe several things which will appear to him of very little, if he can think things to be of little importance, which are of any real weight at all upon such a subject as religion. However, the proper force of the following treatise lies in the whole general analogy considered together.

It is come, I know not how, to be taken for granted by many per. sons, that Christianity is not so much as a subject of inquiry, but that it is now at length discovered to be fictitious. And accordingly they treat it as if, in the present age, this were an agreed point among all people of discernment, and nothing remained but to set it up as a principal subject of mirth and ridicule, as it were by way of reprisals for its having so long interrupted the pleasures of the world. On the contrary, thus much, at least, will be here found, not taken for granted, but proved, that any reasonable man, who will thoroughly consider the matter, may be as much assured as he is of his own being, that it is not, however, so clear a case that there is nothing in it. There is, I think, strong evidence of its truth; but it is certain no one can, upon principles of reason, be satisfied of the contrary. And the practical consequence to be drawn from this is not attended to by every one who is concerned in it.

May, 1736.

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