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fufficiency of reason; or that reason, is a sufficient guide in matters of religion. And the answer in short is this, viz. That reason (where divine revelation is not) when carefully used and followed, is sufficient to guide · men to God's favour, and the happiness of another world: in opposition, to that abfolute necessity of a divine revelation, which supposes, that it is impossible, or at least that it is exceeding difficult and next to impossible, for a man to obtain God's favour, and the happiness of another world, who has only his reasoning faculty to guide him, and who has not the help of a divine revelation. Whether reason be sufficient to discover a compleat system of morality, or whether it be sufficient to any other purpose, is not the present question: if it be sufficient to guide men to God's favour, and the happiness of another world; then, it answers the most valuable purposes to them; and this is all that I am concerned to make good,

That reason (where divine revelation is not) when carefully used and followed, is sufficient to answer the purposes aforesaid, appears plain and evident to me; and that disposes me to endeavour to make it appear plain and evident to others. And, as I do it with a kind intention, and a regard to truth: so if I should shew great weakness herein, (which I hope I shall not) I pre

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sume my reader's goodness will excuse it: The question before me is, whether reason be a sufficient guide in matters of religion; that is, whether reason (where divine revelation is not) when carefully used and fola" lowed, is sufficient to guide men to God's favour, and the happiness of another world. In the prosecution of this enquiry, I shall shew what those principles are which I reason from, and likewise free them from the difficulties which may seem to incumber them: and then I shall shew, what are the conclusions, which do naturally and necefsarily follow from those principles; from which I presume it will appear, that reason is sufficient to answer the purposes aforefaid. The principles I reason from, are,

First, That there is a natural and essential difference in things. By which I mean, firm, that there is not a universal fameness in nature ; but that things and actions are really distinct and different from each other. That is to say, pleasure and pain, two and four, right and wrong, kind and unkind, are not the same thing: but those different terms are used to express, and do conveigh to the mind, ideas which are really distinct and different in nature. Pleasure is not the same thing as pain; two is not the same a's four; right is not the fame as wrong; kind is not the same as unkind; and the like. Again, when I say there is a natural and

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an effential difference in things, I mean, fecondly, that there is not an universal in difference in nature; but that things and actions are really one better or preferable to another. That is to say, pleasure is in nature (when considered abstractedly from all other confiderations) better than pain;' right is better chan wrong; kind is better than unkind ; and the like. And our discerning faculties do as naturally and as evidently perceive the difference betwixt these, with respect to their preferableness one to the other; as those faculties do discern their differing one from another. That is, we do as naturally and as evidently perceive that .pleafure is better than pain, as that pleasure is not pain; we do as naturally and evidently perceive that doing right is better or preferable to doing wrong, as we do perceive that right is not the same thing as wrong ; . that to do right is commendable and worthy of a rational being, and therefore ought in reason to determine his choice in its favour; that to do wrong is disreputable and unworthy of a rational being, and therefore his choice ought always in reason to be determined against it; and the like. And,

Tho', our reasoning faculty is absolutely necessary for the discovering the natural and essential difference in things, or to enable us to perceive it; yet this faculty does not make or constitute that difference. Things

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and actions are really distinct from, and one preferable to another in nature, when confidered abstractedly from, and independent of any power in us; and our discerning faculty does only enable us to perceive, but does not constitute that difference. So that the difference in things, does not result from, nor depend upon any particular constitution of the mind; but is founded in nature, and therefore will appear the same to all minds in which a capacity of discernment resides, supposing those minds to be differently constituted. Two and four are really distinct and different in nature, and this difference must and will appear the same to every mind, in which a capacity of discernment resides, tho’ differently constituted. Thus, again, pleasure is in nature better and preferable to pain, and this difference must and will appear the same to every mind (however constituted,) which is capable of perceiving what pleasure and pain is. The case is the same with respect to right and wrong, kind and unkind, and the like; these are not only different from, but also one preferable to another in nature; and our faculties do not constitute that difference, but only enable us to perceive it. And, as there is not an universal sameness in nature, but a real difference with respect to things and actions themselves; and, as there is not an universal indifference in nature, but a real

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difference with respect to the valuableness or preferableness of one thing or action to another, when they are brought into a comparison: so that difference in all simple (tho? it be otherways in complex) cafes, is the object of simple perception only, and as such those prove themselves; that is, they appear evident to our perceptive faculties, and do nog admit of any other kind of proof. If it should be asked, how it can be proved that the double of two is four, that the whole is equal to all its parts, that acting right is different from, or preferable to acting wrong; and the like? The answer would be, that these are self-evident propofitions ; that is, they appear evident to our discerning faculties, and as such they prove themselves, and do not admit of any other kind of proof. Again,

Secondly, as there is a natural and an essencial difference in things: so that difference exhibits, if I may so speak, a reason or rule of action to every moral agent. That is, as doing right is in nature better and therefore preferable to the doing wrong: so this difference will always be a reason (resulting from ţhe nature of the thing) to every moral agent, why he should chuse to do right, and it will be a reason against, or why he mould not chuse to do wrong. Again, as pleasure is in nature preferable to pain, the one being a natural good, and the other a

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