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Various instructions for this purpose
Of Negative Goodness
Of Justice and Injustice, with respect
The whole Species forined naturally ca-
Of social Duties, and first, of the Love
Reciprocal Duties of Parents and Chil-
dren-of Spiritual Pastors and their
Flocks-of Teachers and Sebolars-of
Masters and Servants-ot Husbands
and Wives--of collateral Relations
--of Friends of the Rich and poor 78
Cur Duty, with respect to Ourselves,
Creator; and first, Of impressing our
Miuds with a rational and practical
tal* and the bodily
Of bis Right to our Obedience and Ado-
Previous Directions necessary towards
Useful Moral Reflections on the Di.
Absurdity of Pride, and Advantages of
On the Omnipresence of God--his
Eternity-his Power-his Wisdom--
30 of the Duty of Prayer, and Objections
ib. Thoughts and Directions, chiefly Mo-
0! the Love of Riches
or the Appetites of Hunger and Thirst,
OF REVEALED RELIGION.
the US and Abuse of them
44 That supposing it possible, or probable,
that a Revelation may have been
given by God, it is a Duty of Natural
Religion to inquire with Candour,
into its Pretensions, and to give it a
may have been given
trealed of in the foregoing Book.
neglecting a Revelation from God 133
of the Wisdom of attending to Reve vine Dispensation to that People
Previous Requisites for a proper In-
Point of Natural Religion, more pro-
perly considered under Revelation;
Previous Objections against a Revela Arguments for its Truth, first, from
Reason, as from the Necessity of a
continued Divine Interposition, and
The Hottentots, and other barbarous Na. of the Fall, upon the species in ge.
State of Nature
of the Efficacy of his Death for the Res.
succreding Times, and Countries, in
of the Resurrection of the Body ib.
pears in the Mahometan and Popish Requisites for thoroughly examining
141 the various kinds of Evidence for
142 Fallacious Proceedings of the Opposers
tion and Course of the World 145 of the Difficulties of the Dæmoniacs 213
Absurdity of opposing Revelation on of Prophecy
account of its not suiting our pre-con-
A view of some of the most unquestion-
146 able Predictions of Holy Scripture 220
Difficulties to be expected in a Reve No satisfactory Account to be given of
lation from God
148 the Prevalence, and Establishment
Difficulties no objection ; though direct of Christianity, but its being really a
absurdities and Contradictions are 150 Divine Institution
That Revelation might be expected That Christ must have either been truly
to suit our Notions in some particu. the Son of God and Saviour of the
lars, and in others to differ froin them 151 World, or an Impostor. or Madman 234
of the Scripture-Style
153 That he could not be either of the lat-
That the Christian Religion is not a
A Compendious View of the Scheme pious Frau i, shown
of Divine Revelation
155 Presumption in Favour of Christianity
156 at the Time of its first Appearance-
The Accounts given by it, plainly supe of the Apostles, and particularly of
rior to Humon Sagacity
157 St. Paul
of the Creation--the Fail, and Death, The Character and Conduct, or Christ
its Consequence-of the first Prophe himsell considered more partirularly,
cy of a future Restoration of 'Man as a Presumption in favour of his
kind-of the general Deluge-the Religion
Nonchic Dispensation-the Tower of
Babcl-the Destruction of the Cities Self-examination recommended to the
Reader, on the chief Points in which
SECTION V. The present very proper for a state of Discipline. Objections answered.
Were we to imagine a plan of a state of discipline, for improving a species of beings, such as ours, for high stations, and extensive usefulness, in future states; how could we suppose it contrived in any manner that should be materially different from the state we find ourselves in ? What scheme could be imagined, likely to answer the purposes of planting in the mind of the creature the necessary habit of obedience to the Supreme Being; of giving it an inviolable attachment to virtue, and horror at irregularity; and of teaching it to study a rational and voluntary concurrence with the general scheme of the Governor of the Universe ; what method, I say, can we conceive of for these noble purposes, that should not take in, among others, the following particulars, viz. That the species should be furnished with sufficient capacity, and advantages of all kinds, for distinguishing between right and wrong: that the ingenuity of their dispositions, and the strength of their virtue, should have full exercise, in order both to its trial, and its improvement: that they should have rewards and punishments set before them, as the most powerful motives to obedience : and that, upon the whole, they should have it fairly in their power to attain the end of their being put in a state of discipline ?
If we consider the present as a state of discipline, all is ordered as should be. We enter into life with minds wholly unfurnished with ideas, attachments, or biasses of any
kind. After a little time, we find certain instincts begin to act pretty strongly within us, which are necessary to move us to avoid what might be hurtful, and pursue what is useful to the support of the animal frame'; and these instincts are appointed to anticipate reason, which does not at first exert itself; and bring us that by mechanical means, which we are not capable of being worked to by rational considerations. Nature has ordered that our parents shall be so engaged to us by irresistible affection, as to be willing to undertake the office of caring for us in our helpless years; of opening and cultivating our reason, as soon as it begins to appear; and of forming us by habit, by precept, and example, to virtue and regularity. As we advance in life, our faculties, by habitually exerting them upon various objects, come to enlarge themselves so as to take in a wider compass. We become then capable of reasoning upon actions, and their consequences, and accordingly, do, in general, reason justly enough about matters of right and wrong, where passion does not blind and mislead us. When we come into the vigorous and flourishing time of life, excited by our passions and appetites, without which, with the slow degree of reason we then enjoy, we should be but half animated, we proceed to enter into various scenes of action. It is true, that innumerable irregularities and follies are the consequence. But without passions and appetites, we could not be the compounded creatures we are, nor consequently fill our proper station between the angelic and animal ranks. Here then is the proper opportunity for exercising our virtue; for habituating us to keep continually on our
guard against innumerable assaults; for watching over ourselves, that we may not be surprized, and fall before temptation; or if we fall, that by suffering from our errors, we may be moved to greater diligence and attention to our duty, to a stronger attachment to virtue, and a more fixed hatred to the crimes which have brought such sufferings upon us. And though the necessary propensions of our nature do indeed eventually lead us, through our own folly, into irregularity and vice, it must yet be owned at the same time, that by the wise and kind constitution of nature, we have innumerable natural directions, and ad
vantages, towards restraining and bringing them under subjection, and innumerable ill consequences are made to follow naturally upon our giving a loose to them. Which ought in all reason to lead us to reflect, that the government of our passions and appetites is a part of our wisdom and our duty.
Pleasure and pain, health and disease, success, and misfortune, reward and punishment, often at a very great distance of time after the action, are made the natural, or at least frequent consequences of our general behaviour here; to suggest to us the reasonableness of concluding that an extensive uniformity prevails through the whole of the Divine moral government, and that what we see here in shadow, will in the future state appear in substance and perfection, and that it not only will, but ought to be so, and cannot be otherwise.
If we consider the opposite natural tendencies and effects of virtue and vice, in the present state, we shall from thence see reason to conclude, that the former is pleasing to the Governor of the world, and the latter the contrary, The natural effects of temperance are health, length of days, and a more delicate enjoyment of the innocent pleasures of life. The natural effects of gluttony, drunkenness, and lewdness, are disease and pain, disgust and disappointment, and untimely death. The natural effects of universal benevolence, justice and charity, are the love of mankind, success in life, and peace in one's own mind. The consequences to be expected from ill-will, injustice, and selfishness, are the contempt and hatred of mankind, and punishment by the laws of nations. When we say such an effect follows naturally from such a cause, we mean, that it does so by the Divine appointment. For what is natural, is only so, because the rectitude requires it to be so.
Now, if our bodily frame is so formed that its well being consists in temperance, and that an immoderate indulgence of appetite tends to disorder and unhinge it; if the make of the human mind, and our social state in life, are such, that the social virtues tend to produce universal bappiness, and all this by the constitution and course of nature, of which God himself is the author; if these things be so, who is so blind as not to see, in all this, a moral go