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thand our divinesn the stream the
of zeal against and the world, and our dirty region ; our ma
tainty of alms and prayers being useful to the dead, they are not useless to those who offer them, from a principle of cha. rity. For a good intention gives merit to an action which in itself is harmless and inoffensive.
Sir Isaac Newton may describe the course of those heavenly bodies which swim in the planetary region ; our mari. ners may sail round the world, and our divines, in a paroxysm of zeal against Popery, may be wafted down the stream of allegory in explaining the preacher's tree that falleth to the North or to the South. I shall never acknowledge them so well versed in the geography of the other world, as to be able to persuade me, that there are only two places in it, until they remain there for some time; and after making their observations and remarks, return with a well authenti. cated map of that unknown country, from whose bourn no traveller even returns. mone The pains of the other world differ froni the pains of this life, only in quality and duration. God can punish or reward his creatures here or hereafter, according to his justice or mercy. Reason, then, divested of prejudice, will never discover any absurdity, in the infliction of a temporary punishment beyond the grave, when reason and religion combine to inform us that God can inflict punishments beyond the grave, that are lasting and eternal. The learned author, then, who in attacking the common antagonist of the Christian religion, turns his arnis against one of his own allies and confederates, is mistaken when he assigns the council of Florence as the first æra of Purgatory. He is, in like manner, mistaken in quoting St. Austin, who, according to him, says, Tertium
locum ignoramus.' For St. Austin prayed for his mother, and if that passage be his, in which he says, that he does not acknowledge a third place, he means after the day of judgment. But the passage is taken from the works of Mercator, a Pelagian, in disputing about the state of infants, who die without baptism. Calvin is more candid; for he acknow. ledges, that all the fathers believed and asserted a purgatory : "but,' says this author, 'they are all mistaken;' whether he or they were more só, I shall not now discuss. The grassy graves of our fathers, erected above the surface of the earth in our church-yards, remind us of their bodies that lie be. neath ; and I shall never decm it error or superstition to say, God have mercy on their souls. But we are engaged in a common cause ; purgatory then, and the Council of Flo. rence, I leave to iny unsociable fellow soldier, who would fain try my skill at fencing, in inducing me to skirmish with bim, about one of the branches of religion, whilst the axe of Deism is laid to the root of the tree, and myself exposed to the two-edged sword of an old warrior, who fought Moses in Genesis ; Christ in the Gospel; the fathers of the last general Council in Trent, and the Pope in the Revelalations. To him also, I leave the Council of Trent, and the Pope, with the Revelations of St. John, of which I do not understand three chapters, though I have read them twelve times over. I understand what Mead and others have written on them; but it is Mead and others, not St. John, I understand.
But to whom shall I leave the horns, which the Doctor has transplanted from the isle of Patmos to Rome, to grace the Pope's forehead? I leave them to all the Deists and Freethinkers, who would fain persuade us that we have no souls, and make materialism our family Catechism. Let them once persuade their wives that they have no souls: let them instil the same doctrine into their children :-unfaithful wives, unchaste daughters, and rebellious sons, will be the blessed fruits of their philosophy. . For the immortality of the soul is the foundation of morality: and morality should be carefully inculcated, in order to secure, inviolate, the rights of the marriage-bed; and to enforce, the respect and subordination due from the child to the parent.
But the Doctor believes, that we will be changed into spirits, at the last day, when the world will perish, for want of vegetable food ;' though he will not allow that our bodies will rise. - It is, certainly, the fittest time to change our mouths and stomachs into spirits, when we will have nothing to eat: for, after the resurrection, the hillocks will no longer smile with the beauty of the vine ; the fields will no longer curl with cars of corn. Our bodies then are useless. . Besides, in this religious chemistry, we meet with an ample compensation : for, as we are nothing but bodies now, we will be all spirits hereafter: and the gentleman, who grants us neither soul here, nor body hereafter, grants us both by turns; bodies, when we have enough to eat; spirits, when we have no food. Pray, Sir, between spirit and matter, is not there an infinite distance? Are not cheir properties so distinct, as mutually to exclude each other? God, then, must destroy the nature of the one, before he can change it into the other. A new creation must ensue: and one being must be substituted in the room of another. A spirit, then, thus created, and coming from the hands of God, whose works are pure, is it to suffer for the crimes of a Neri) or a Caligula, committed thousands of years before its existence? If those monsters of human nature, whose names stand for the most odious crimes, are to be punished in a future state, is any part of the body, in which they committed the most abominable actions, to be joined to this pretended spirit? If so, spirit and body can be united together. If no part of the body is to be joined to this spirit, then it is a spirit immediately created by the Almighty, and immediately punished, without any previous sin of its own. Reconcile this, if you can, to the justice of God, who rewards or punishes every one according to his works.
Let you and I enjoy ourselves, and be careless about what is to happen hereafter : for God will create some spirit, who will be chastised hereafter for the faults we now commit. To your resurrection, then, may be applied what Tully said of the creed of some philosophers of his time: Verbis
ponunt, re tollunt Deos.' You acknowledge it in words, you deny it in reality.
But the gentleman returns to the charge, and attacks the spirituality of the soul on three grounds: first, because matter cannot be put in motion by a spirit : secondly, the soul follows the disposition of the body; whereas, in sleep, drunkenness, palsy, infancy, &c. it has not the exercise or use of reason: thirdly, he has recourse to the infinite power of God, who can add thought to matter; and summons to his assistance the brute creation, to which he attributes a soul of the same identical nature with the soul of man, though perhaps in an inferior degree of perfection; and concludes that, as the soul of man, and the soul of the brutė are of the same nature, they both perish alike., He is so confident of the truth of this doctrine, that he affirms Solomon and Sir Isaac Newton to be no more than the production of what their fathers eat;' and deplores our blindness for having been deceived by the schoolmen, whose cunning lias first introduced this notion of im. mortality,
We shall not dwell long upon the nature of Solomon and Sir Isaac's souls, which, certainly, must have been made of the most refined and sublimated particles of matter. Old Scriblerus seems to have entertained the same opinion with the doctor:* for he would not permit his child Martinus's nurse to eat any roast beef or heavy aliments, lest his son should become too heavy and dull. Hence, his choice of Attic and Roman dishes, in order that their juices should impregnate his son with the valour and elegance of the ancients.
The doctor would oblige us, if he informed the public, of the quality and quantity of food used by king David. · We would soon have numbers of Solomons. Manifold would be the advantages accruing to society from such a discovery. Instead of losing most of our time in colleges, the outlines of the plan of education suitable to the clergyman, the statesman, the lawyer, could be sketched in the kitchen, and completed at table. The beau and belle should feed on butterflies." Calves-feet jellies would qualify the courtier and petit maitre for making a flexible and graceful bow. I believe that the harshness and acrimony of religious disputes, controversial writings, and anniversary sermons, proceed from the great quantity of black pudding and mustard, which our polemical divines eat at their breakfasts. And if we knew the spoon-meat, with which the doctor was fed, we would know the olio requisite to make a philosopher who unravels the secrets of nature and religion.
But, (to return to the objections,) you say, 'that matter . cannot be put in motion by a spirit.' Who is it that established the world by his wisdom, and stretched out the heavens by his understanding? A Spirit. Who hanged the earth upon nothing, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? A Spirit. Who clothed the face of the earth with flowers, and placed the sand for the bounds of the sea ? A Spirit.
* See Martinus Scriblerus. Chapter of nutrition.
Matter, then, and the whole frame of nature, were put in motion by a spiritual agent; otherwise they would never exist : for they could never have created themselves. The same agent can unite a spiritual soul to a material substance, in order to impel, actuate, move, and diffuse a vital influence through the dormant and unwieldy mass.
• But does not the soul follow the dispositions of the body ?' Most certainly. It is ignorant in children; ripens into maturity and judgment, in proportion to our advances to perfection; is in its full vigour, when we attain to our perfect growth; declines with age; and sinks into a sluggish torpor, when the body is encumbered with years, and worn out with longevity. In an apoplexy, palsy, drunkenness, sleep, &c. its powers are suspended.
Such is the general rule: yet to this general rule there are many and extraordinary exceptions: people, encumbered with years, reasoning, at the hour of their dissolution, in the most sublime and pathetic strain: the soul's vigour increasing in proportion as the body decayed : as the prisoner feels himself more light and active in proportion as his chains are taking off: children, at the age of seven, demonstrating Euclid's propositions without the help of a master, and with feeble constitutions.composing books, and bearing away the palm of erudition, before they attained to the age of eleven. .
In sleep itself; when the senses are lacked, and the body is consigned over, as it were, to the arms of death, in what active scenes doth not the soul appear? The student, who when awake, could not leap two yards, nor compose his theme, is secn, in a profound sleep, fly, like one of the feathered tribe, out at his window; climb, without assistance of rope or ladder, to the roof of a towering building; arrange, . by the light of the moon, his figures of rhetoric; go through all the rules of amplification; descend with the same ease that he went up; lay his piece of eloquence on his desk. In the morning, he knows his hand-writing, but cannot believe himself the author of such an elaborate composition.
But, however difficult it may appear, that a spiritual and active substance should be obstructed in its operations, the difficulty vanishes, when we reflect, that the closest con. nexion subsists between soul and body, and that the Creator