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tan notion, that they have no souls; though, perhaps, our fine gentlemen may imagine, that by convincing a lady that she has no soul, she will be less scrupulous about the disposal of her body.

The ridiculous notions maintained by freethinkers in their writings, scarcely deserve a serious refutation; and perhaps the best method of answering them would be to select from their works all the absurd and impracticable notions, which they so stiffly maintain in order to evade the belief of the Christian religion. I shall here throw together a few of their principal tenets, under the contradictory title of

The Unbeliever's Creed.

I believe that there is no God, but that matter is God, and God is matter; and that it is no matter whether there is any God or no.

I believe also, that the world was not made; that the world made itself; that it had no beginning; that it will last for ever, world without end.

I believe that a man is a beast; that the soul is the body, and the body is the soul; and that after death there is neither body nor soul.

I believe that there is no religion; that natural religion is the only religion; and that all religion is unnatural. I believe not in Moses; I believe in the first philosophy; I believe not the evangelists; I believe in Chubb, Collins, Toland, Tindal, Morgan, Mandeville, Woolston, Hobbes, Shaftesbury; I believe in lord Bolingbroke; I believe not St. Paul.

I believe not revelation; I believe in tradition;

I believe in the Talmud; I believe in the Alcoran; I believe not the Bible; I believe in Socrates; I believe in Confucius; I believe in Sanconiathan ; I believe in Mahomet; I believe not in Christ. Lastly, I believe in all unbelief.


REFLECTIONS ON CONSCIENCE; WITH AN EXEMPLIFICATION OF ITS POWER IN AN INFIDEL. THAT guilt and anguish are inseparable, and that the punishment of a man's sin begins always from: himself, and from his own reflections, is a truth every where supposed, appealed to, and inculcated in Scripture. The consequence of the first sin that was ever committed in the world is there said to have been, that our offending parents perceived their own nakedness, and fled from the presence of God; that is, a conscious shame and fear succeeded in the room of lost innocence; and the presages of their own minds, those auguria pænæ futuræ, of which even the heathen moralists speak, anticipated the sentence of divine vengeance. This is the genuine and necessary result of offending against the light of our consciences. Nor is it possible, in the nature of the thing, that matters should be otherwise. It is the way in which guilt doth, and must always, operate. For moral evil can no more be committed, than natural evil can be suffered, without anguish and disquiet. Whatever doth violence to the plain dictates of our reason, concerning virtue and vice, duty and sin, will as certainly discompose and afflict our thoughts, as a wound will raise a smart

in the flesh that receives it. Good and evil, whether natural or moral, are but other words for pleasure and pain, delight and uneasiness: at least, though they may be distinguished in the notion, yet they are not to be separated in reality; but the one of them, wherever it is, will constantly and uniformly excite and produce the other. Pain and pleasure are the springs of all human actions, the great engines by which the wise Author of our natures governs and steers them to the purposes for which he ordained them. By these, annexed to the perception of good and evil, he inclines us powerfully to pursue the one, and avoid the other; to pursue natural good, and to avoid natural evil, by delightful or uneasy sensations, that immediately affect the body; to pursue moral good, and to avoid moral evil, by pleasing or painful impressions made on the mind. From hence it is that we so readily choose or refuse, do or forbear, every thing that is profitable or noxious to us, and requisite to preserve or perfect our beings. And because it is an end of far greater importance, and more worthy of our all-wise Creator's care, to secure the integrity of our moral, than of our natural perfections; therefore he hath made the pleasures and pains, subservient to this purpose, more extensive and durable; so that the inward complacence we find in acting reasonably and virtuously, and the disquiet we feel from vicious choices and pursuits, is protracted beyond the acts themselves from whence it arose, and renewed often upon our souls, by distant reflections; whereas the pleasures and pains, attending the perceptions of natural good and evil, are

bounded within a narrower compass, and do seldom stay long, or return with any force upon the mind, after the removal of the objects that occasioned them.

Hence then the satisfactions, or stings of conscience severally arise: they are the sanctions, as it were, and enforcements of that eternal law of good and evil, to which we are subjected; the natural rewards and punishments originally annexed to the observance, or breach of that law, by the great promulger of it; and which, being thus joined and twisted together by God, can scarce by any arts, endeavours, or practices of men be put asunder. The prophet therefore explains good and evil by sweet and bitter. Wo be to them that call evil good, and good evil : that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!' Implying that the former of these do as naturally and sensibly affect the soul, as the latter do the palate, and leave as grateful, or displeasing a relish behind them.

But there is no need of arguments to evince this truth; the universal experience and feeling of mankind bears witness to it. For say, did ever any of you break the power of a darling lust, resist a pressing temptation, or perform any act of a conspicuous and distinguishing virtue, but that you found it soon turn to account to you? Did not your minds swell with a secret satisfaction at the moment when you were doing it?And was not a reflection upon it afterwards always sweet and refreshing? On the contrary, did you ever indulge a criminal appetite, or allow yourselves sedately in any practice which you

knew to be unlawful, but that you felt an inward struggle and strong reluctances of mind before the attempt, and bitter pangs of remorse attending it? Though no eye saw what you did, and you were sure no mortal could discover it, did not shame and confusion secretly lay hold of you? Was not your own conscience instead of a thousand witnesses to you? Did it not plead with you face to face, as it were, and upbraid you?

The jolly and voluptuous livers, the men who set up for freedom of thought, and for disengag ing themselves from the prejudices of education, and superstitious opinions, may pretend to dispute this truth, and perhaps in the gaiety of their hearts may venture even to deride it; but they cannot, however, get rid of their inward convictions of it; they must feel it sometimes, though they will not own it. There is no possibility of reasoning ourselves out of our own experience, or of laughing down a principle woven so closely into the make and frame of our natures. Notwithstanding our endeavours to conceal and stifle it, it will break out sometimes, and discover itself, to a careful observer, through all our pretences and disguises.

Look at one of these men, who would be thought to have made his ill practices and ill principles perfectly consistent; to have shaken off all regard to the dictates of his own mind, concerning good and evil, and to have gotten above the reproofs of his conscience; and you will find a thousand things in his actions and discourses testifying against him. If he be, indeed, as he pretends, at his ease in his enjoyments, from whence come

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