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ear against the melting voice of a fellow-creature prostrate at his feet. And the terror necessary to be kept up among the blinded votaries, renders cruelty a proper instrument of religious flavery. The dumb executioners Atrip him of his rags. The rack is prepared. The ropes are extended. The wheels are driven round. The bloody whip and hising pincers tear the quivering flesh from the bones.

The pullies raise him to the roof. The fivews crack. The joints are torn asunder. The pavement swims in blood. The hardened minister of infernal cruelty sits upnioved. His heart has long been fteeled againit compasiion. He listens to the groans, he view's the strong convulsive pangs, when Nature shrinks, and Itruggles, and agonising pain rages in every pore. He counts the heart-rending shriels of a fellowcreature in torment, and enjoys his anguish with the calmness of one who view's a philofophical experiment! The wretched vi&tim expires before him. He feels no movement, but of vexation at being deprived of his prey, before he had sufficiently gluited his hellish fury. He rises. No thunder roars. No lightning blafts him. He goes on to fill up the measure of his wickedness. He lives out his days in eale and luxury. He goes down to the grave gorged with the blood of the innocent; nor does the earth cait up again his curfed carcafc.

Can any one think fuch scenes would be suffered to be acted in a world, at the head of which fits enthroned in supreme majesty a Being of infinite goodness and perfect justice, who has only to give his word, and such monsters would be in an instant driven by his thunder to the centre; can any one think that such proceedings would be suffered to pass unpunished, if there was not a life to come, a day appointed for rewarding every man according to his works?

Sonie have thought, that part of the arguments for the immortality of the human soul, being applicable to interior natures, might be said to prove too much, and therefore to prove nothing. For that the unequal allotment of happiness and misery among brute creatures seems to require, that those who have suffered unjustly


in this state, Mould have fuch sufferings compensated to them in some future existence.

This difficulty is easily got over, if we consider, first, that the sufferings of the inferior creation are, so to {peak, only momentary; whereas fore-boding fears and cutting reflections increase human miseries a thousandfold; which greatly abates the necessity of a future existence to make up for what they may have suffered here. Besides, justice does not require, that any species of creatures be wholly exempted from suffering; but only, that, upon the whole, all creatures have it in their power to be gainers by their existence, that is, that they have in their power a greater share of bappinels than milery. If any one thinks it most probable, that all creatures, once introduced into existence, are to be continued in being, till they deserve, by perverse wickedness, to be annihilated; and that, as material substances, which seem to us to perish, are only dillipated into small invisible parts, so the spirits of all live ing creatures, at death, are only removed into another ftate ; if any one, I say, thinks he sees reason to believe the immortality, in a succession of states, of all living creatures, I do not see that my subject obliges me to confute such an opinion.

Though the distinguishing character of man is reason, it is evident, that reason does not in general prevail in the present state; but on the contrary, vice, and folly, and madness, seem to be most of what this world was made for, if it be the whole of man. And surely, such an economy is not worthy to be afcribed to an infinitely wise Creator. Is it a design worthy of infinite Goodness to produce into being a fpecies to be continued for several thousand years, to harrass and massacre one another, and then to sink again into the earth, and fatten it with their carcases? The Creator can never be supposed to have produced beings on purpose for suffering, and to be losers by their existence, without any fault of their own. Upon this foot, the brute creatures would have eminently the advantage of our species. But it is very improbable, that the beneficent Author of nature has taken more care,


and made a better provision for the inferior creatures than for us. And still more unlikely, that he has given the advantage upon the whole to the most worthless part of our fpecies, and exposed the best of mankind to unavoidable distress and hardihip, as is conspicuously the case in innumerable instances in this world. For in the case of tyranny and persecution, it is evident, that all that the good man has to support him under his cruel sufferings, is the testimony of his conscience; the persuasion of the Divine approbation; and the hope of a future recompence of honour and happiness for the pain and shame he has suffered here. But to say there is no future state of retribution, is to say, That He, who placed conscience in the human breast, did so for the sole purpose of making the best of men the most unhappy; that He, who moit loves, and best knows the fincere and upright, will thew no favour to the fincere and upright, but the contrary; and consequently, that virtue is something worse than an empty name, being a real and fubftantial misfortune to its most faithful votary. To say the truth, were the present state the whole of the human existence, it is evident, that to give up life for the cause of religion, fo far from being virtue, the highest pitch of virtue, would be directly vicious; because it would be throwing away our exiftence for an absolute nothing. Annihilate the reality of a future state, and Christianity is a delusion; consequently not to be suffered for.

There is, there must be, hereafter a state, in which the present irregularities Mall be rectified, and defects fupplied; in which vice and folly shall universally, by established laws of the Divine economy, fink to disgrace and punishment, and wisdom and virtue of course rife universally triumphant, and prevail throughout the universe. For it cannot be but that what is suitable to the character of the universal Governor, Mould have the advantage, upon the whole, in a world, of which he is the absolute and irresistible Lord, and that what opposes perfect rectitude armed with Omnipotence, muft sooner or later be crushed before him. For he does in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth,

whatever whatever seems to him good, and none can stay his hand.

The virtuous and pious foul has, above all, such evidence for its own immortality, as it cannot doubt. Purified from every sordid defire, purged from every dreg of earth, and become wholly spiritual and angelic, whose prospects are large, whose views sublime, and and whose dilposition godlike; such a foul already feels her own immortality. Whild in the body, she is lenfible of her own independence upon the body, and superiority to it. While chained to flesh, and imprisoned in clay, she feels within herself celestial vigour, declaring her nobler origin. Attracted by the Divine influence, which in degenerate spirits is clogged and overpowered by fenfual appetite and fordid paffion, she raises her desires to that better world, for which the was formed. She pants for liberty; the breathes after that state of heavenly light and real life, which suits her noble powers and elevated difpofition; the spreads her impatient wing; me plumes herself for flight; the darts her angelic eye as it were athwart eternity; her vast imagination already gralps futurity; she leaves behind, in thought, this leilening speck of matter, and all its vanities; the hangs upon the verge of time, and only waits the powerful call, which spoke her into being, to seize the future world, the glories of the resurrection, to leave those lower regions, and expatiate at large thro' boundless space, to view the immentity of Nature, and to foar with choirs of seraphin, to present herself before the eternal throne.

SECT. IV: Reasonableness and Neceflity of the Connection between the

Behaviour of moral Agents and their Happiness. Di/cipline the only means for bringing oor al Agenis volunte tarily to pursue Virtue. AVING already seen, that it was necessary to the

very idea of a perfect system, that there ihould be a proper subordination, a scale, rising by easy and just degrees, of the various raoks of creatures; it is evi..

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dent, that there must have been such a creature as man, that is, a fpecies to fill the place which he pofleffes. And it is plain, that as his place is immediately above the brute, and below the angelic nature, he could not poffibly have been formed otherwise than he is. He could not be fuperior to the animal rank, without having powers and faculties superior to theirs. It is that which gives hin his fuperiority over them. Nor could he have been inferior to the angelic order of beings, without falling fort of their powers and faculties. It is the very thing which places him beneath them. Man, or whaiever creature should have been made to fill up the chasin between the angelic and the animal natures, must have been exactly what we find our species actually is. For without such a rank as man, the moral fyltem could not have been perfect, consequently could not have been at all: for it is impossible that an absolutely perfect Author Mould produce an imperfect work. So that there is no room left to complain, thať by creating man in such a station, it was necessary be should be endowed with nobler powers and faculties than the brutes, he comes to be put in a more elerated and more precarious fate.' It is true, that very few of the brutes are likely to fall short of the happiness destined for them, having,' as already observed, but few chances of missing of it, and being more effectually confined to the track appointed them, than it was proper such a creature as man should be. But is nog the immense superiority of happiness to which a human mind may, with proper attention, rise, a very great over-balance for all the disadvantages our species labour under, were there a thousand for one? Would any man, who had his choice before-hard, whether ha would be of the human or the brute fpecies, deliberately choose the latter, in which he knew it was impossible he should ever attain any considerable degree of perfection and happiness, rather than the former, in which he was sure, if he was not wanting to himself, he might rife 19 greatness and felicity inconceivable? Would any rafional creature make this absurd choice merely upon the consideration, that if he was of a species endowed

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