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You see my mind in my actions, as you

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God of the

phatically said to be "the living, not of the dead;" clearly implying, that those who are are gone in millions before us, are yet alive in him. I am convinced beyond all doubt, that when my soul shall leave my body, it will be alive somehow and somewhere, in a state of happiness, or in a state of misery. My conscience tells me there is so vast a difference between virtue and vice, as these relate to me who am a rational creature, accountable to God, that my soul cannot be destroyed by death. How much better is it to cherish such reflections, than to mourn over the sad remains of mortality! The more I think of these glorious truths, the more joyful my heart is. I appear to myself surrounded by a heavenly guard. I feel as if my soul, already loosed from its earthly shackles, were smiling over my grave!"

The excellent FELLTHAM, in his Resolves, after stating the vague opinions of DEMOCRITUS, DIOGENES, VARRO, EPICURUS, and other heathen theorists, concerning the nature of the soul, says, "its consciousness shews the character of a God stampt in it; and the apprehension of eternity, by which it is distinguished, proves it to be a shoot of everlastingness. For, though I doubt whether I may be of their opinion, who utterly take away all reason from beasts; yet, I verily believe these things (i. e. conscience, a divine character, and apprehensions of eternity) were instincted in them. Man hath these things in grant only; whereby the soul doth seem immortal; and, by this seeming, is proved to be so indeed: else seeming would be better than certainty, and falsehood better than truth. Therefore they which say the soul is not immortal, yet that 'tis good men should think it so, thereby to be awed from vice, and incited to virtue; even by that argument, argue against themselves. They that believe it not, let them do as philosophers wish

those to do, that deny fire to be hot, because they see not the means which make it so! let them be cast into it, and then hear if they will deny. So, let them that deny the immortality of the soul, be immerged in the horrors of a vulned conscience then let them say what they believe. 'Tis certain man hath a soul; and as certain that it is immortal. But what and how it is, in the perfect nature and substance of it, I confess my human reason could never inform me. And why should I strive to know that which now I cannot know? Can a man dissect an atom? Can he grasp a flame, or hold and seize on lightnings? I am sure I have a soul, and am commanded to keep it from sin. O God! let me do that; and I know thou art not such an enemy to ignorance in man, but that thou art better pleased with his admiration of thy secrets, than his search of them."


A firm conviction of the soul's immortality, and, of course, of its continued existence after death, in a state of immediate and indescribable happiness or misery, is a doctrine, surely, that must act upon every mind which admits it, as a powerful restraint from vice, and as a strong incentive to virtue. For does not an immediate prospect of reward stimulate to great and noble actions? Does not the view of immediate punishment appal the vicious? Remove the reward of the one, and the punishment of the other, to an inculculable distance, and the glowing energies of virtue will cool; the awakened apprehensions of vice will subside. Doom the soul to sleep or insensibility, at the moment of death, and an idea will be formed in the

mind, that such sleep or insensibility will not only be extended to an indefinite length; but probably to one that is infinite and and unending. No thief would steal, if he were sure immediately to suffer for it. However he may expect, sometime or other, to be detected and punished for his offences, he hopes the time is distant, and that, for the present, he is safe.

In the same way, the punishments of a future state are dreadful, chiefly, as they are expected to be immediate, to commence instantaneously as human life has closed. A quiet sleep in the grave, for a few hundred, or a few thousand years, would render the horrors of hell, like remote fears of temporal punishment, less terrific in apprehension; leaving but a weak barrier between the hardened conscience of an abandoned sinner and his fancied good, but a slender and inefficient stay to the wavering obedience of the dissolute and thoughtless. If they who, from the inherent corruption of their nature, are too much disposed to

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