Imatges de pÓgina


that he may communicate to us the fruit of his faith.

“ In the mean time, since the Scripture every where bids us depend on the expectation of Christ's coming, and defers our crown of glory till then, let us be content with these limits appointed of God; namely, that the souls of the godly having ended the labour of their warfare, go into a blessed rest, where with happy joyfulness they look for their enjoying the promised glory; and that so, all things are held in suspense till Christ the Redeemer shall appear. As for the reprobate it is no doubt that they have the same state which St. Jude assigns to the devils; to be strictly confined till they are brought forth for the punishment to which they are to be condemned.”

To prove that the doctrine in question is one about which men of all parties in religion have been agreed, I will now add the following passages from Grotius, who embraced the opinions of Arminius in opposition to those of Calvin.

Many persons are inclined to doubt the Providence of Almighty God, because they observe so much wickedness in the world; because vice, as they think, is indulged by such numbers with impunity. But this is taking a very imperfect and


erroneous view of the subject;—for these very appearances, far from making us entertain doubts of God's Providence, should lead us to a full conviction that there will be a judgment after this life ;that wickedness will by no means escape without punishment; nor virtue fail of receiving it's due reward.

“ In order to establish this, we must first shew that the souls of men remain alive after they are separated from their bodies ;—which is a most ancient tradition derived from our first parents—(from what other source could it be derived ?)—to almost all civilized people; as appears from the verses of Homer; and from the philosophers; from the ancient Gauls who were called Druids *; and from the Indians called Brachmans t; and from those things related by many writers concerning the Egyptians; and Thracians †; and also the Ger

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* The Druids taught that the souls do not die.-See Cæsar's 6th Book of the War with the Gauls.

+ Strabo explains their opinion thus :-we are to think of this life as of the state of a child before it be born ; and of death as a birth to that which is truly life and happiness to wise men.

| Mela, concerning the Thracians, says, some think that the souls of those who die, return again; others, that though they do not return, yet they do not die, but go to a more happy place. Hence arose the custom of attending funerals with great joy ; mentioned by this writer.


And farther, concerning a Divine judgment after this life, we find many things extant, not only among the Greeks, but also among the Egyptians and Indians, as Strabo and others inform us. To which we may add, that upon the first discovery of the Canary Islands, America, and other distant places, the same opinions, concerning souls and judgment, were found among the inhabitants of those countries.

“Neither can we find any argument drawn from nature, which overthrows this ancient and extensive tradition. For all these things which seem to us to be destroyed, are either destroyed by the opposition of something more powerful than themselves, as cold is destroyed by the greater force of heat ; or by taking away the substance on which they depend, as the magnitude of a glass, by breaking it;—or by the defect of the efficient cause, as light by the absence of the sun. But none of these can be applied to the mind ;—not the first, because nothing can be conceived contrary to the mind; nay such is the peculiar nature of it, that it is capable equally, and at the same time, of contrary things in it's own—i. e. in an intellectual manner. Not the second ; because there is no subject on which the nature of the soul depends; for if there were any, it would be a human body; and that it is not so, appears from hence, that when the


strength of the body fails by action, the mind only does not by acting contract any weariness. Also the powers of the body suffer by the too great power of the things which are the objects of them, as sight by the light of the sun. But the mind is rendered more perfect, the more excellent those things are about which it is conversant; for instance, about figures abstracted from matter, and about universal propositions. The powers of the body are exercised about those things which are limited by time and place; but the mind about that which is infinite and eternal. Therefore, since the mind in it's operations does not depend upon the body, so neither does it's existence depend upon it; for we cannot judge of the nature of those things which we do not see, but from their operations. Neither has the third method of being destroyed any place here; for there is no efficient cause from which the mind continually flows; not parents, because children live after they are dead. If we allow any cause at all from which the mind flows, it can be no other than the first and universal cause; which, as to it's power, can never fail ; and as to it's will, that that should fail, in other words, that God ever should will the soul to be destroyed, this can never be proved by any arguments. “Nay, there are many, and those not inconsiderable arguments for the contrary ;- such as the absolute

power every man has over his own actions ; a a natural desire of immortality; the power of conscience, which comforts him when he has performed any good actions, though ever so difficult: and on the contrary, torments him when he has done any bad thing, (especially at the approach of death) as it were with a sense of impending judgment;the force of which many times could not be extinguished by the worst of tyrants, though they have endeavoured it ever so much; as appears by many examples.

" If then the soul is of such a nature, as contains in it no principles of corruption; and God has given us many tokens, by which we ought to understand His will to be that it should remain alive after the body, there can be no end of man proposed more worthy of him, than the happiness of that state; and this is what the ancient philosophers even could understand, when they said, that the end of man was to be made most like unto God. - Human beings may conjecture what happiness is, and how it is to be secured; but what God has revealed concerning it, ought to be esteemed as most true and certain."

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