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survive their bodies, or that both body and soul were to perish together in the grave.

With regard to the ancient philosophers “ having been referred to as discoverers of a future state," there is no occasion to say that they were discoverers of a future state ; for no doubt there always was a traditional belief in a future state among the people whom those philosophers taught. And with respect to what the ancient philosophers have said on this subject, we may make the following observation :—In those parts of their writings in which they inculcate the belief of a future state, they go with the stream of commonly received tradition; when they leave this traditional belief, they do exactly what under such circumstances might be expected; they lose their way in those "

; dering mazes” and endless doubtings naturally incident to inquiring minds attempting to direct their course by their own imperfect light.

It may appear like presumption thus to have called in question any opinion of an author deservedly high in public estimation; and the charge of presumption might have been just, had One without pretensions to deep learning ventured to pass censure on his own responsibility. But without much learning it may be possible to detect in any work passages of a dangerous tendency; and by calling in the assistance of those whose power

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of intellect, Time, and general consent have fully established, it may be easy to prove that the sentiments implied in such passages are erroneous, and consequently inadmissible. This plan, therefore, will be adopted in the following work. The opinions of several of the most able Christian writers will be adduced, most decidedly in favour of the doctrine of an intermediate state, and supporting that doctrine by the strongest arguments and the clearest reasoning. If, therefore, their opinions are sound, and their arguments conclusive, the opposite notions must be erroneous.

The apology for appearing thus to impugn the opinions of an eminent modern writer, must be found in the probable evil consequences of suffering to go abroad, on such high authority, unquestioned, the idea that the souls of men sink at death into a state inconsistent with what the Scriptures teach us to be their nature; an idea almost subversive of the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, since it would affirm, that the souls of many human beings have been to all intents and purposes DEAD for thousands of years, and may continue so still for an indefinite period. Surely this must tend to confirm any hesitating mind in the entire disbelief of any future life.

The two conflicting opinions may thus be stated : --the one affirms, that man never dies; for that

though his grosser part may be dissolved preparatory to a glorious change of nature, yet his living principle always continues to live. The other insinuates that death is virtually the death both of body and soul; for that both are equally to remain unconscious of existence for thousands of years. It may fairly be asked, which of these two opinions carries with it most easily the belief of a future life; that which supposes the living principle never to be suspended, or that which supposes it for thousands of years to be lost?

We may observe, that in speaking of the resurrection, the sacred writers never allude to the rising again of any thing but the body. Unless, then, we are to suppose the soul annihilated, we must suppose them to mean, that the body when raised will be joined by the soul, which in the mean time has been placed in some separate abode. But the soul is purely spiritual ; life is the very essence of spirit; if spirit ceases to live, it ceases to be: neither can spirit live without self-consciousness. Therefore, we may fairly come to this conclusion, that the soul of man, whilst separated from the body by death, will be alive, and in full possession of self-consciousness of its own exist

cnce.

CHAPTER I.

That this life is a mixed scene of joy and sorrow is acknowledged, and has been experienced by almost all men. It is indeed a great proof of the Divine mercy, that the condition of no màn is so utterly void of comfort, as not to afford at least occasional gleams of sunshine to cheer what otherwise might well be called a dark and lonesome path! And it is beyond a doubt an equal proof of Divine mercy, that the condition of no man is so absolutely exempt from disquietude, as not to be disturbed sometimes by circumstances of a nature sufficiently adverse to rouse the mind to serious consideration, and to make it confess that uninterrupted happiness is not to be commanded by any of the sons of men.

Convinced, then, that even under the most favourable circumstances, this world can give no security for permanent enjoyment, every man who ever thinks seriously must be led to look forward to some other state of being, in which more perfect happiness may be found. Yet he knows that all merely bodily happiness will be terminated by

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