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may accurately take off, not only the real form, but the internal nature and state of things, with all their properties, and present them to the immediate intuition of the perceptive principle, just as they are in themselves; whereas at present the mind apprehends things only as the dull and imperfect bodily senses exhibit them to it. It may be able to contract itself to the examination of the internal structure of the body of the minutest animalcule; and it may, as it goes on to improve and enlarge its powers, come to such a perfection, as to diffuse its actual presence and intelligence over a kingdom, or round the whole globe, so as to perceive all that passes in every spot on the face of it. It may enter into, and examine the sublime ideas which are treasured up in the mind of an angel, and as now, by perusing a book, it acquires new views, and by slow degrees perfects those it had before acquired; so it may hereafter attain such a capacity of comprehension, as to be able to take off at one intuition a whole new science. Thus new powers and faculties, for which we have at present no names, may be for ever springing up in the mind, which will ever find new employment in examining and inquiring into truth. For the object of the mind is infinite.
That our fpecies should have another state to enter upon, wholly different from the present, is so far from being unreasonable to expect, that it is analogous to the whole scheme of Nature. For there is no species, as far as we know, that do not live in different succeffive states. But to instance only the infect tribe, many of that species, besides their animalcule state, before they be propagated from the male, in which they differ in nothing from the whole animal creation, appear first as eggs, and afterwards as living reptiles, capable of motion and feeding; then they enter upon their nymphor aurelia state, and continue for several months as it were coffined up in their llough, and totally intensible. At last they burst their prison, expand their wings, and fly away in the shape of butterflies, dragon-flies, or other winged insects, according to their several species. This succession of states, of which the last is the most perfect, has been considered as emblematical of our morta! life, our intermediate state, and refurrection to immortality.
But the most irrefragable proofs for the future immortality of the human species, separate from thofe which revelation yields, are taken from the confideration of the perfectionis of the Maker and Governor of the world, who designs all his works according to infinite wisdom and goodness, and according to the true state of things. No one can suppose that the God of Truth would have allowed that a whole order of rational creatures should, by any means whatever, be milled into an universal persuasion of a state for which they never were intended. For it is evident, that if we are not formed for a future immortal state, we can have no more concern with any thing beyond death, than with the world in the moon, and consequently, our whole business being with the present life, it is not to be sup: posed, that our infinitely wise Creator would have fuf. fered our attention to have been taken off from it, by our being led into the notion of any other; much less that our whole species should be irresistibly posseffed with the same useless and hurtful delusion: nor that he would have universally impressed their minds with a false notion of an account to be hereafter given of all their thoughts, words, and actions. Had he wanted them to conform themselves to his general scheme in the government of the world, he could have brought that about, and certainly would, by any other means, rather than by fuffering them to be mifled into a series of groundless imaginations and delusions. Nor would the infinitely-wise Creator have given us these vast and insatiable desires after endless improvement in knowledge, this reach of thought, which expatiates through creation, and extends itself beyond the limits of the universe ; nor would he have fired our souls with the prospect of an endless existence for carrying on those improvements, only to curse us with a cruel disappointment. Nor would he have made the human soul for himself; fixed its desires and willies upon the enjoyment of his own perfections ; drawn and engaged it to love, admire, and breathe after the fruition of bim;
raised it to this lofty height of ambition only to throw it down, baflled and disappointed, into a state of infenfibility and annihilation. Nor would he have formed the mind with a capacity for continual advances in goodness, and nearer approaches to himself, only to give us an opportunity of fitting ourselves for a future itate of perfection and happiness, to which, according as we approached nearer and nearer, we fould approach nearer and nearer to the total disappointment of all our labours and all our hopes, and find the whole at last to Gave been no other than a golden dream.
The only reason why any one has recourse to artifice and deceit, is, that he has not sagacity enough to gain his ends by proceeding in a fair and open manner. Whoever is master of his scheme, has no need of cricks and arts to compass his designs. And who will dare to affirm, that Infinite Wisdom had no way of bringing about his important designs for the good of his universe, but by deluding his reasonable creatures, or suffering them to be universally deluded, which is the same, into the belief of a future Utopia? We know of nothing in nature analogous to this. Whatever our species, or any other, are liable to be mistaken in, is owing to the mere imperfection of sense or understanding, unavoidable in beings of inferior rank: but we have no idea of a whole species irresistibly led into a positive error, especially of such consequence as that of the expectation of a future ftate, if it were an error. And here it is highly worthy of remark, that it is not the weak, the short-lighted, and the ignorant part of the human kind, that are most inclinable to the persuasion of the immortality of the soul, as might have been expected were it an error; but quite otherwise. While the most sordid, degenerate, and barbarous of the species have overlooked, or not been sufficiently persuaded of it; the wiseft and greatest of mankind have been believers and teachers of this important doctrine; which shews it in a light wholly unaccounta, able, if it be supposed an error.
The irregular distribution of happiness and misery in the present fate renders it highly probable, that this is
only a part, not the whole of the Divine economy with respect to our species.
Do we not find, that in the present state, the highest degree of goodness is, in some cases, attended with the greatest unhappiness? For though virtue mult, in general, be owned to be the likelieft means for procuring happiness in the present; as well as future itate; yet there are numerous exceptions to this rule. I appeal to the experience of every man, who, from a course of thoughtlessness and libertinism, has had the happiness to be brought to some concern about the interests of futurity, whether he does not now suffer a thousand times more of the anguish of remorse from a reflection upon the least failure, than he did formerly for the groffest enormities. If so, it is evident, that improvement in virtue brings with it such a delicacy of sentiment, as must often break in upon the tranquillity of the mind, and produce an uneasiness, to which the hardened finner is wholly a stranger. So that in this instance we see, that virtue is not in the present life its own reward, which infers the neceslity of a future reward in a life to
Nor is the permission of persecution or tyranny, by which the best of mankind always suffer the most severely, while wickedness reigns triumphant, at all reconcileable with the Goodness of the universal Governor, upon any footing but that of a future state, wherein the sufferings, to which the mere incapacity of resisting, or the strict adherence to truth, has exposed multitudes of the species, of the best of the species, shall be suitably made up for. When an Alexander, or a Cæsar, is let loose upon his fellow-creatures, when he pours desolation, like a deluge, over one fide of the globe, and plunges haif the human species in a fea of their own blood, what must be the whole amount of the calamity suffered by millions, involved in the various woes of war, of which great numbers must be of the tender sex, and helpless age! What must be the terror of those who dread the hour when the merciless savage, habituated to scenes of cruelty, will give orders to his hellhounds to begin the general massacre? What the carnage when
it is begun? Men slaughtered in heaps in the streets and fields; women ravished and murdered before their husbands' faces; children dashed against the walls in the fight of the parents; cities wrapt in flames; the shouts of the conquerors; the groans of the dying; the ghaftly visages of the dead; universal horror, misery, and desolation. All to gain a spot of ground, an useless addition of revenue, or even the visionary satisfaction of a sounding name, to swell the pride of a wretched worm, who will himself quickly sink among the heaps his fury has made, himself a prey to the universal leveller of mankind. And what is all history full of but such horrid scenes as these? Has not ambition or superstition set mankind, in all ages and nations, in arms against one another; turned this world into a general shambles, and fattened every soil with laughtered thousands?
The blood-thirsty inquisitor, who has grown grey in the service of the Mother of Abominations, who has long made it his boast, that none of her priests has brought so many hundreds of victims to her horrid altars as himself; the venerable butcher sits on his bench. The helpless innocent is brought bound from his dungeon, where no voice of comfort is heard, no friendly eye glances compassion, where damp and stench, perpetual darkness and horrid silence reign, except when broken by the echo of his groans; where months and years have been languished out in want of all that Nature requires ; an outcast from family, from friends, from ease and affluence, and a pleasant habitation, from the blessed light of the world. He kr.cels; he weeps ; he begs for pity. He sues for mercy by the love of God, and by the bowels of humanity. Already cruelly exercised by torture, Nature shudders at the thought of repeating the dreadful fufferings, under which the had almost sunk before. He protests his innocence. He calls Heaven to witness for him; and implores the Divine power to touch the fiinty heart, which all his cries and tears candot move. The unfeeling monster talks of heresy, and profanation of his cursed superstition. His furious zeal for priestly power and a worldly church, stops his S