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them. That infidel (an infidel, because he had not opportunity of knowing better) that archetype of our modern servile copyists, imagining the universe to have been formed out of a multitudinous concourse of atoms, (of what kind, he has not condescended to inform us) gives it a tutelary or presiding god, equally regardless of human concerns and of human actions: a god, who

"Ne'er smiles at good, nor frowns at wicked deeds;"

making no distinction between vice and virtue; whose consequences, of course, are the same, or rather there are no consequences of either. That his motive, and that of modern materialists, for such an oblivious creed, are the same also, charity-the "charity that thinketh no evil," would make us unwilling to suppose. In one feature of character, however, we shall find a close resemblance; namely, a love of singularity; a wish to be thought "wise above what is written." As if to walk in the same path, to pursue the plain highway of religious


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truth, with the generality of their fellowtravellers through this vale of tears to a better country, were ignoble and inconsistent with the dignity of philosophy and the pride of science; notwithstanding honest, unsophisticated reason pronounces that

way the safest and the best. Why, then, do they not walk therein? Because it is so plain, that every way-faring man may find it! No singularity, no celebrity, is to be found that way. Differ in opinion from the multitude; and "the multitude of fools" will admire.

Accordingly, LUCRETIUS, like these his sapient disciples, in the soft complacency of his delectable system says,

""Tis sweet to crop fresh flow'rs, and get a crown, For new and rare inventions.

An honourable crown truly! that is to be worn as the meed for endeavouring to ́prove, that man having no immortal soul, dies like the beast that perishes

The modern materialists may say, "No: I believe the soul and body of man will rise again, will be re-animated at the last

day, out of the dust where they sleep, and enter, together, the state of felicity they have merited." Merited? Man can merit nothing. Whatever a God of mercy may please to bestow is of grace, a free gift,—not for man's deservings, but for His, who died and rose again.*

This important tenet of Christianity, however, not forming a part of our present argument, must no sooner be touched upon than left. Yet, as every modern materialist denies the great corner-stone doctrine of the Gospel-Christ's atonement, it would have been wrong to have allowed even an incidental word to pass, without showing the union of the two errorsmaterialism and self-righteousness.

However he may protest against the connexion, the materialist must admit into kindred or partnership with him those visionaries, who supposed the soul to consist of an assemblage of atoms, fortuitously brought together, or combining some subtile properties, which, after the extinction

* See a Refutation of Deism, published by Messrs. Simpkin and Marshall.

of one body, where it abode for awhile, passed instantaneously into another,

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Roaming from heav'n to earth, from earth to heav'n,"

alternately swaying the sceptre of authority, in the hands of a monarch; and then punished for its sins of oppression while on a throne, by feeling the hardships of a beast of burden! Nay, mirabile dictu! passing from a mighty bun ́ter, into a fox or a hare, to be pursued and worried by his own hounds !-But endless are the childish aberrations of a vain philosophy: and, though to such absurd notions the modern materialists are not addicted; yet, with what panoply are these "disputers of the world" armed against the fears of death?" Either,” say they" the soul dies with the body, or it survives it." Wonderful sagacity! "If it die with the body, it cannet suffer.” Superlative discovery! "If it survive it, it will be happy." Gratifying intelligence for guilt!-This may be modern philosophy, but it is very like ancient nonsense.

How much nearer the truth was an honest Pagan, who, on account of the pure conceptions which he formed concerning God and Eternity, has been designated by the epithet Divine! Looking with an impartial eye on all the advantages and disadvantages of the present scene of things, and darting a really philosophic glance towards the scenes of eternity, the almost Christian PLATO says, "the good and evil things of this life are nothing, as to number and greatness, compared with the rewards of virtue, and the punishments of vice, which await men after death:”* rewards and punishments, to which the Great Founder of Christianity plainly alludes, at the close of his own unequalled description of the last day; when, he says, "these (the wicked) shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.”

* Phædon, sive de Animo.

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