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human nature.—Then, all seeming contradictions vanish. His infirmities and sufferings are applicable to him, as Man; whilst his glorious characters and titles are to be attributed to his Godhead, disguised under a human veil. Thus, in Jesus Christ we find the God that created us, whereas he is the fame with his Father; the Redeemer who purchased us, by paying our ransom ; the spotless Pontiff, through whom we find access to the throne of mercy. His cross is folly to the Jew, and a scandal to the Gentile: but to the Christian it is the power and wisdom of God. For if he was not man, he could not suffer; and if he were not God, his sufferings would not avail us. He becomes man, to suffer for our sake: and, as God, he gives his sufferings an infinite price. •
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E LETTER LETTER IV.
J.N the preceding letters-we have touched upon the weaknessjfand the necessity of revealed religion; the obscurity in which mortals were involved, and the incongruity of denying religious mysteries, when the book of nature, open to our eyes, is scarce legible; our fall in Adam, and our restoration in Christ.'
It is now time to examine your opinion concerning the soul of,man: an opinion which you deliver in the seventy-second page of your work, in these words: "Hence, I conclude that "the foul dies with the body. It is an opinion 11 conformable to reason, observation, and to the "doctrine taught by Jesus Christ-and hisapos"ties." Whatever arguments you might have drawn from observation, you should have passed over the authority of Christ and his apostles: an authority never adduced before in support of a doctrine which in every page they condemn: Or at least, you should have first a Bible of your own, and forced it on the world, as handed to you by the angel Gabriel.
Man must certainly be liable to error, when, in the blaze of revelation, and after the progress philosophy has made in the world, he still cries out, with the disciple of Epicurus:
"We know not yet how our foul's produe'd, "Whether by body born, or else infus'd: "Whether in death, breath'd out into the air, "She doth confus'dlymixand perish there, "Or through vast shades and horrid silence go "To visit brimstone caves and pools below." *
Your observation must be quite different from the observations of the greatest men the faculty of physic ever produced: men who were, and are still, as great ornaments to the literary world, ag they are useful to mankind.
We observe, sir, within ourselves, a principle that is obeyed as a sovereign; that now finds fault with what it before approved; that covets with passion what it despises after enjoying; that now rejoices and then mourns; that reasons and judges. I consult my reason: and it informs me, that this principle, so noble, and, at the fame time, so liable to such conflicting agitations, cannot be a particle of matter, round or square, red or blue; a volatilized vapour dissolvable into air; a contexture of atoms interwoven or separated by a sportive brain.
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* Creech's Lucretius, Book i.
My reason informs me, that a being, capable to take in hands the government of a vast empire,—to form projects, the success whereof depends on an infinity of different springs,- whose motions and accords must be studied and combined,—is something more than a little subtilize ed mud.
1 observe matter with all its mutations and refinements: and I perceive nothing but extension, divisibility, figure, and motion.
My reason tells me, that the combinations of the different particles- of matter, let their velocity be ever so great, Gan never reveal the sacred mysteries of faith,—^the holy rules of equity,-** the ideas of piety, order, and justice*
Moreover, reason informs' us, that master is indifferent to motion or rest, to this or that situation. When moved in any direction; the smallest particle of any body or mass of matter, must yield to the motion of the whole. On the other hand, in our temptations and struggles^ amidst the solicitations of fense, and the cravings of appetite,- we can say, with St. Paul, that we feel an interior conflict and two opposite laws in ourselves: "the law of the body warring "against the law of the mind, and attempting "to captivate us to the law of sin." Under the inconvenience of such struggles and conflicts, a
part of ourselves still remains the directing principle, always asserting its rights, and constantly supporting its native title to dominion.
Reconcile, if you can, to the laws of mechanism,—rto the cohesion of atoms,r—and to the motions of particles of matter,—the infinite ca*pacity of the soul, its strong desires aster immortality,—its power to infer conclusions from principles, in mathematical demonstrations and logical arguments,—its arbitrary and voluntary, determinations,—this shifting and changing,— those strange and sudden returns, reflections, and transitions in thought, which, by experience, we $nd it in our power to make,
We all agree, that matter touches in contact, and thaj whatever moves, is put in motion by another. We know, on the other hand, that, in reasoning, argumentations, demonstrations, &c. wherein we infer one thing from another, and another thing from that inference, and a third from thence, and so on, there is an infinity of different modes of thought. If those different modes of thought be no more than the different states of the solid, figured, divisible parts of matter, with respect to velocity and direction, it is necessary that they should have been put into these different states, by the impulse of fame foreign mover.