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their Part properly, and contributing
Divine Intention in engaging us in
such a Variety of Connexions ib.
Selfiexamination on the foregoing Heads
Cur Duty, with respect to Ourselves,
Creator; and first, of impressing our
two Parts of our Nature, the men.
Oi bis Right to our Obedience and Ado-
Useful Moral Reflections on the Di.
Absurdity of Pride, and Advantages of
On the Omnipresence of God--his
Eternity-his Power-his Wisdom--
of the Duty of Prayer, and Objections
of the Appetites of Hunger and Thirst,
OF REVEALED RELIGION.
the Us and Abase of thein
44 That supposing it possible, or probable,
that a Revelation may have been
Religion to inquire with Candour,
into its Pretensions, and to give it a
may have been given
neglecting a Revelation from God
pears in the Mahometan and Popish Requisites for thoroughly examining
141 the various kinds of Evidence for
142 Fallacious Proceedings of the Opposers
Revelation analogous to the Constitu. or the Seripture Miracles
account of its not suiting our pre-con- A view of some of the most unquestion-
146 abl. Predictions of Holy Scripture 220
That' the Christian Religion is not a
of Divine Revelation
155 Presumption in Favour of Christianity
from the Conduct of those who lived
156 at the Time of its first Apprarance-
of the Creation-the Fall, and Death, The Character and Conduct, or Christ
its Consequence-of the first Prophe himsell considered more particularly,
cy of a future Restoration of 'Man- as a Presumption in Favour of his
kind-of the general Deluge-the Religion
Noachic Dispensation-the Tower of
Babel-the Destruction of the Cities Self-examination recommended to the
of the plain-the call of Abraham- Reader, on the chief Points in which
the miraculous History of his Poste- the Dignity of Haman Nature con-
rity, the Israelites and Jewe-the Di. sists.
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 ata tain 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 cons sequently 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 inpumerable natural directions, and ad