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walking about the world in that disguise now, how easily may we be cheated, and mistake the sons of God for the prince of darkness! and how could we tell one from t'other? But of that hereafter.

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Of the apparition of spirits unembodied, and which never were embodied; not such as are vulgarly called ghosts, that is to say, departed souls returning again and appearing visibly on earth, but spirits of a superior and angelic nature; with

an opinion of another species. THERE appears a question here in the very beginning of the debate, which will be very hard to decide, and perhaps impossible: however, that we may not stumble at the threshold, I will touch it as gently, and yet as clearly, as I can. The question is this; whether are there any spirits inhabiting the visible world, which have never yet been embodied, and yet are not to be reckoned of the species of angels good or bad ?

By angels good and bad, I suppose I may be easily understood to mean what you all think you mean when you sort or rank them into only two kinds, viz., angels or devils ; in which vulgar and general, not to say foolish way of expressing it, I humbly conceive the self-wise world much mistaken. It is true it is a speculation, and every one is at liberty to think for themselves, and, among them, so am I; in which, though I have a better opinion of my own judgment than always to sacrifice it to vulgar potions, and that too at the price of my reason; yet I have withal so little pride, and so mean an opinion of my own thoughts, that I shall not venture to advance anything in a case so exceedingly liable to cavil and exception.

Two places in Scripture speak of angels in a dif

ferent style from the ordinary and usual way of understanding the word. Matt. xviii. 10. speaking of little children, Christ says, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven: the other is Acts xii. 15. when Peter knocked at the door where the disciples were gathered together, and they believing him to be in chains, and in the prison, said, It is his angel.

The learned expositors and annotators extremely differ

upon the meaning of these texts, and it is not my business here to reconcile them. Some will have it to mean nothing but a kind of an exclamation or admiration; What can it be! It is an angel! and of the first, about children, they say it only intimates that their souls, when glorified, shall always, if they go away in peace, behold the face of God in heaven.

Others run out to an imaginary scheme of guardian angels attending every man and woman while they are upon earth; a notion so uncertain, if granted, and that has so many difficulties to reconcile, before it can be believed, that it is much better to leave it where it is, and which I shall explain presently a much easier way. Now,


say, it is not my present business to reconcile these distant and clashing opinions, at least not in this work. I have started a question; possibly my opinion is with the affirmative, at least I think it possible, and that it is rational to believe it; perhaps I may name you as improbable a notion, and much more inconsistent with the Christian religion, which yet philosophy bids us call rational, and directs us to believe.

How are we put to it to form inhabitants for the planetary worlds : philosophy says they are habitable bodies, solid, opaque, as this earth, and we will have them be inhabited also, whether it be with or without, for or against our reason and understanding;

it is no satisfaction to them, or will it stop their cavils, to say it is not fact; that they are not habitable; that both Saturn and Jupiter are uncomfortably dark, unsufferably cold, would congeal the very soul (if that were possible) and so are not habitable on that account; that Mercury and Venus are insufferably hot, that the very water would always boil, the fire burn up the vitals; and that, in short, no human creatures could subsist in such heat; but this is not satisfactory neither; but rather than not have all those opaque worlds be inhabited, and even their satellites or moons about them too, they will have God be obliged to create a species of bodies suitable to their several climates.

In Saturn they are to live without eyes, or be a kind so illuminated from their own internal heat and light, that they can see sufficiently by their own beams.

In Jupiter there must be another kind, that can live in twilight, and by the reflection of its own moons, and subsist in continued frost.

In Mercury the species must be all salamanders, and live in the continued fire of the sun's beams, more intense than what would be sufficient to burn all our houses, and melt our copper, lead, and iron, in the very mines; so the inhabitants must be of a kind better able to bear the fire than those metals, and would still live though they were continually calcining, if not vitrifying into glass.

In Venus the heat would boil the water, and consequently the blood in the body, and a set of human bodies must be formed that could live always in a hot bath, and neither sweat out their souls, or melt their bodies.

In Mars, so very dry in its nature, no vegetables or sensitives could subsist that we have any notion of, for want of moisture; and the man that lived there must be dried up sufficiently for pulverising on any suitable occasion, I mean human beings, and of our species.

Now if God must not be supposed to have created so many habitable bodies without peopling them, and that it would reflect upon his wisdom to lay so much of his creation waste; that all the planets should seem to be made for nothing but to range about the waste as a kind of dark inhabitants; of no use but to shine a little, and that with but borrowed beams too, upon this little point called earth, where, only, a set of rationals can exist; I say, if this must not be supposed, but on the contrary there are certainly people of one kind or another in all those bodies, let the trouble of making them be what it will; if this be the case, and that this must be believed in spite of so many difficulties and inconsistencies, then allow me to argue


upon the following inquiry: Why, may I not as well suggest, and that with every jot as much probability, that there are, or at least may be, a certain number of appointed inhabitants, in the vastly-extended abyss of space, a kind of spirits (other than the angels good or bad, and other than the unembodied or uncased souls of men) who dwell in the invisible world, and in the vast nowhere of unbounded space, of which we can neither say what it is, what it contains, or how determined? that great waste, of whose extent it is hardly possible even the soul itself can conceive, and of which all the accounts we give, and guesses we make, are so remote, look so enthusiastic, so improbable, and so like impossible, that instead of informing the ignorant part of the world by it, we only arm them with jest and ridicule, and resolve them into incurable unbelief; depending that what it is not possible to conceive of, is not possible to be.

Now is this immense space indeed a void? is it all a waste? is it utterly desolate ? or is it inhabited

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