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expect some invisible Vengeance to pursue them ; especially the least Approach of Death puts them into Agonies and Fears, and they go into the other World Self-condemn'd, expecting to find there the just Recompence of all the Mischiefs they have done here. If all this be Dream and Fancy, 'cis a strange Fairy Land and enchanted World we live in ; we have not one true Notion of any thing; either these Principles, which we find stick most close to us, are all false, or we know not how to draw one true Conclusion from them ; Nature and our most natural Notions and Ideas are as mere Riddles, Mysteries, and Contradictions, as these Men pretend all Revelation to be. · Thus I have shewn you, what natural and moral Proofs we have of the Immortality of the Soul, and a Future State: And now I shall briefly Sum up the Evidence, and see what it amounts to. And if we have all the Evidence that Reason and Nature can possibly give us in such a Case, we have all the natural Evidence that any wise considering Man can expect..
Let any reasonable Man then consider, what Evidence he would expect from mere Nature, of the Immortality of the Soul. Now it is certain, this Evidence must be from within, not from with
out; we must find it in our selves, not in the visi· ble Creation : For the external Frame and Constitution of the World cannot prove human Souls to be Immortal, as it proves the Being of a God, who made it. If Nature then can discover the Immortality of the Soul, it must be our own Nature ; and if we must learn our own Immortality by reflecting upon our selves, there can be no other way of doing this, but by considering what the Nature of the Soul is, or what its natural Notions, Ideas, and Passions are.
As for the first, I have shewn you by all the fair, Probabilities that Reason and Philosophy can fursa nish us with, That the Soul is by Nature immort tal, and therefore cannot die with the Body, but must survive in a separate State.; for it is an imma.. terial Being, perfectly distinct from the Body, and independent on it. For as far as we can judge, all that peculiarly belongs to the; Squl, such as conscious Life, Sense; and Understanding, is not ef sential to Matter i. There is no other thinking, lifore there can be no Reason to lay that the Soól, which’iş a thinking, understanding. reasoning Be ing, is mere Matter. And if Life, Sense, and Understanding be not essential to Matter, as it is certain they are not, because all Matter has not Life, Sense, and Understanding. It is very unrea. fonable to think they should be in any Subject to which they do not effentially belong; for they are not transient mutable Accidents, but the most real effential Things in Nature: And yet if there: be no Subject or Natúre, to which they effentially belong, they are mere perishing Accidents, which might never have been, and may never be again...
Besides this, there is no natural Connexion be* tween Matter, and the Affections of Matter, and Thinking; nay,; as I have shewn you, there is a natural Incapacity in Matter to think : For all Thoughts and Idea's are immaterial, and immas terial Thoughts and Ideas can never be lodg'& in Matter. Now, though I will not say, that these are demonstrative Arguments of the immaterial and spiritual Nature of the Soul,' because we can't pre tend to such a perfect Knowledge of the, Nature either of Body or Spirit, as will amount; to a De, monstration ; yet" I will say, that the most visible Advantage is on that side that these are better natural Arguments to prove the Soul to be a Spirit,
than any that can be produc'd to prove it to be mere Matter: And if it be a Spirit, it may live when the Body dies. Find
Nay; we have several moral Arguments to prove that the Soul cah fubfist and be happy in a State of Separacion from the Body: For the Soul kaś a Happiness Proper and peculiar to it felf, such as the Pleafures of Wifdom, and Knowledge, and Virtúë, and Religion, which are immediately feated in the Mind, and have no relation to the Body, any otherwise than as the Soul lives and acts in the Body, and governs all its Motions: Ånd yet these are the greatest and divineft Pleasures, and these the Soul is cảpable of in a Pepárate State, And if it havé a Happiness independent on the Body, it iuft have á Principle of Life independent on the Body allo. And yet our Souls never attain their juft Perfection of this intellectual and fpiritual Happiness, while they live in thëfé Bodies, but make a gradual Progrefs toward Perfection; which is a good Argument that this Life is only a State of Trial and Probation, for a more perfect Life. För cin we think, that wheh the Soul has arriv'd: to the greatest Improvements it can make in this Body, it shall immediately fall into nothing? These are very sensible Arguments for tre Immortality of the Soul; and if they prøve no more, yet certainly they provë thus much, Thar the Soul cannot dic as the Body does, but may live and be happy in a separate Scace. And this alone is e nough to confound the Philosophy, and to deftroy the unnatural Hopes and vain Security of Infidels..
But the next Argument, I chink; cárries this a little higher, : That all Mankind have a natural Sense and Persuasion of their own Immortality.
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For ic", is not ealý to conceite, were human souls rhortal, how it should come to pass that all Men Mãould agree in this Beliéf, That their souls are immortał. But when we have fó mañy Arguments to prove that our Souls are iinmortal, the universal Confent of Mankind in this Belief is à Very good Argument to prove it to be the Voice and Sense of Natüre? For it is reasonable to think, that if the Soul be immortal, it should have some natural Sense of its own Immortality.
Especially, if to this we add that universal Délife of Immortality, which confirms the üniver: fal Belief of it. That these Desires are universal, proves that they are natural; and the Desires of Nature never rise above it self. And therefore a mortal Nature cannot naturally desire Immortality: Nor dan that Nature be mortal, which has ä nå: tural Senfe and Desire of: Immortality. These natural Desires of Immortality confirñ our natural Sense and Belief of it: For natural Delires must be founded in a natural Sense and Knowledge į and the natural Belief and Persuasion of Immortality confirms all the natural Arguments for it. And such a concurrent Testimony as this, is all that we can desire or expect from mērë Nature ; especially when all this agrees with all those other Notions we find in our Minds concerning the Difference of Good and Evil, ånd the Justice of the divine Providencé, ih rèWardmg good Men, and punishing the Wicked; and the natural Hopës and Fears of good and bad Men. I fay; laying all this together, if there be any such thing as å moral Demonstration, I think this may very fairly lay claim tô it: lam not sensible that any thing material can be objected against any of these Arguinents, taken finglý; but as they are supported by each other, there is fúch ă Harmony and Confent; as can be owing to nothing but Nature's
and and therefore I hope will be of fome Authority, with those who reject all other Means of Knowledge. I only delare they would believe with us, till they can produce as great and concurrent an Evidence of Nature on the other side. And yet, Thanks be to God, we are in a much better State than this, and have greater and better Evidence, than mere Nature, can give us. As will appear from what followş.10m V
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:'? CHA P. - III. *43 ? : What farther Evidence the Law of -Moses gives usje of the Immortality of the Soul, and a Future State.
SECT. I." ".. The Mofaical Evidence for the Immateriality ... i L
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TT: Aving shewn - what natural Evidence we
I have for the Immortality of the Soul, and a Future State ;, the next step is, to consider what farther Evidence the Mofaical Revelation gives us of this. It is very certain that the whole Jewia Nation, except the Saducees, which was but a: late Sect, and whom our Saviour himself confuted out of their own Law, did firmly believe another Life after this : And yet, we do not find any express literal Promise of immortal Life made to good Men under the Law. . They