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Prejudices; and I readily grant, that Education has a great ftroke in forming our Notions, and in awakening and cultivating our Natural Reafon; for tho we are born with a Power and Faculty of Reason, and our Minds are fo framed, as to understand and affent to fuch Truths, wher they are propofed to us; to know and acknowledge prime and original Principles at firft view, as the Eye difcerns Light,and diftinguishes Colours; yet we are not born with the Exercise of Reason, but it must be put into Act, and formed by Education: But this I fay, that it is an Argument how natural these Notions are to our Minds, that they are the first Principles all Mankind affent to without difficulty or difpute; and fuch Principles as when men grow up, they find lye even and eafy in their Minds: they are the first things which Atheists. themselves do naturally believe; and that they do not believe them now, is the effect of great Induftry and Violence: It is a piece of Art to be an Atheist, which they are a great while a learning; which very few men, tho well difpofed to it, can ever learn; but to believe a God, and to fear and reverence his invisible Power and Juftice, is not Art, but Nature, and therefore common to all Mankind, and the first thing they learn to believe.

3dly. Another Mark of what is natural is, That it is abfolutely infeperable from Nature, or at least not without extream difficulty and violence; and this proves the Hopes and Fears of good and bad men to be very natural: For how impoffible it is to conquer thefe Fears, I appeal to your own Senfe and Experience: As many bad men as there are who would be ve

ry glad to get rid of these Fears, and to laugh them out of the World, there are but very few that can do it. Some men indeed ftifle their Confciences, and lay them asleep by the various Arts of Superftition, whereby they hope to appease God, and to keep their Sins ftill; or by the deceitful Vows and Promises of Repenting before they dye, or by perpetual Business and Entertainments, which employ their Thoughts, and keep off all melancholy Reflections; or by fuch perpetual Debaucheries as ftupifie their Minds, and make them infenfible; now these Mens Fears are filenced for a while, but not conquered; whatever makes them reflect upon themselves, and confider their own State, awakens their Fears again, and makes them more outragious and tormenting than ever. The Atheist is certainly fo far in the right, that there is no way to get rid of thefe Fears, but by banishing the Belief of a God, and of another World, out of their Minds: But few Men can do this, and Atheists themselves, when they have impudently enough derided the Superftition of the reft of the World, and think they can anfwer all the Arguments for the Being of a God, and a Future State, yet cannot wholly deliver their Minds from these Fears; they ever and anon recur upon them, and after all their pretended Affurance and Confidence, they are very jealous what may be, and many times fome cross Accidents and Events, or the Approach of Death opens their Eyes, and makes them acknowledge a God, and tremble at the thoughts of Judgment, which they had fo long defpifed.

This is a certain proof, that these Fears are not owing to Education, but fpring from Nature; for the Miftakes of Education may be rectify'd by Reafon and Experience, efpecially when they are fuch troublesome mistakes, that Mankind are defirous to get rid of them: No fuch Mistakes could ever hold out long against Reason and Intereft; whatever is a Mistake, may be confuted by Reafon; and when it is mens Intereft to discover the Miftake, this will make them very fagacious in their Enquiries, and very ready to fee their Miftake; that had the Fears of bad men been the effect only of Idle Tales, and Traditionary Fables, it is impoffible they fhould have withstood all the Wit and Reason of Philofophical Atheists; that fuch men with all their Arguments fhould not be able to make themselves abfolutely fecure, much less to make many Converts; tho every Age and Nation has been filled with men whofe lives have difpofed them to be Atheists. These are the general Marks and Signs of what is Natural; that which is univerfal and common to all Mankind; that which is the first and original Senfe of Human Nature; and that which is fo deeply fix'd in our Minds, that no Art or Induftry can wholly root it out; and all this proves, that these Prefages of Confcience, the Hopes good men have of a Reward, and the Fear of Punishment and Vengeance,which haunt's bad men, are the natural Sense of mens Minds.

III. Let us now confider the force of this Argument, how these Hopes and Fears of good and bad men are natural Prefages of a Future Judg

ment.

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1. Now

1. Now in the first place, I think, I may lay it down as a certain Principle, that Nature, or the natural Senfe of our own Minds, does not deceive us; for if we should say it may, there is an end of all certainty; we must be Scepticks in every thing, if we cannot believe the natural Impreffions upon our Minds; for I know not then, why we should believe our External Senfes, what we fee, or hear, or feel; If man was made by God, who is Eternal Truth, the Natural Sense of our Minds must be as true and certain, as our Bodily Senfes are; for tho the Deductions of Reason are not always fo neceffary and certain, because men may reafon wrong; yet if the firft Principles of Reafon, and the immediate Senfe of our Minds, which are common to Human Nature, fhould mifguide us, this were the fault not of Reasoning and Difcourfe, but of Nature it felf, and therefore must be charg'd upon the Author of Nature; and certainly there cannot be fo ill a contrived Creature made, as Man is, who is purfued with the Fears of Juftice and Vengeance,when he does ill,and flattered with the promifing hopes of great Rewards when he does well, if there be no Future Judgment to reward good men, and to punifh the wicked.

2. For fecondly,These natural Hopes and Fears of Good and Bad Men, immediately respect the Judgment of God, not of Men, and concern the Rewards and Punishments of the other World, more than of this. Let bad men be never fo powerful and profperous, tho they fear no hurt from men, nor any change and alteration of their Fortune, yet the fenfe of Guilt diftracts and terrifies them with the Fears of an Unseen and Almighty

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Almighty Vengeance; and tho good men fuffer very hard things from the world, and have no profpect of better Ufage here, yet their Confciences fpeak Peace to them, and fupport them with great Hopes; and therefore unless these Natural Hopes and Fears deceive us, good men fhall certainly be rewarded by God, and bad men punished, either in this world, or in the next, or in both.

3. We may confider farther, that these Hopes and Fears of good and bad men, give a natural Confirmation to all those other Arguments which I have already urged for the proof of a Future Judgment. As to fhew this in a few words:

1. This proves a natural fense in all men, that they are accountable Creatures, and fhall be called to anaccount for their Actions; for unless men were fenfible of this,why fhould their Confciences acquit or condemn them? why should they Judge themselves, but in relation to fome higher Tribunal, which will certainly judge them? efpecially when the Confciences of bad men do not only condemn, but threaten them, and the Confciences of good men do not only acquit and abfolve, but promise a Reward; for they can neither punish nor reward themselves..

2. This proves the natural sense we have of the effential Difference between Good and Evil, and that what is Good deferves a Reward, and what iş Evil deferves Punishment, because good men expect a Reward for the good they do, and bad men fear Punishment when they have done Evil; which fhews a natural Senfe of the juft Merits and Deferts both of Good and Evil, and that they fhall receive their juft Rewards.

3. This

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