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Empiricus, Plato, Chrysippus, Strabo, Aristotle, Epictetus, M. Antoninus, Seneca, and others, but testimonies, clear and evident, either of the parties concerned, or of some of their school, or of those who give us historical accounts of the Doctrines of those Schools, that none of the Theistical Sects of Greek Philosophy did believe any thing of a future state of rewards and punishments.

So much for that kind of evidence which the learned person says I have not given.

Let us consider the nature of that kind, which he owns I have given, but owns it in terms of discredit. -- In tanti momenti accusatione-conjecturis tantum, exemplis nonnullis denique consectariis ex institutis, &c. - -

1. As to the CONJECTURES he speaks of —Were these offered for the purpose he represents them; that is to say, directly to inforce the main question, I should readily agree with him, that in an accusation of such moment they were very impertinently urged. But they are employed only occasionally to give credit to some of those particular testimonies, wbich I esteem clear and evident, but which he denies to exist at all, in my inquiry.

2. By what he says of the instances or ExAMPLES in some particulars, he would insinuate that what a single Philosopher says, holds only against himself, not against the Sect to which he belongs : though he insinuates it in defiance of the

very

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very genius of the Greek Philosophy, and of the extent of that temper (by none better understood than by this learned man himself) which disposed the Members of a School

- jurare in verba Magistri. 3. With regard to the INFERENCES deduced from the Doctrines and Institutes of certain of the Philosophers; by which he principally means those deduced from their ideas of God and the Soul; We must distinguish.

If the inference, which is charged on an opinion be disavowed by the Opinionist, the charge is unjust.

If it be neither avowed nor disavowed, the charge is inconclusive.

But if the Consequence be acknowledged, and even contended for, the charge is just : and the evidence resulting from it has all the force of the most direct proof.

Now the Consequence I draw from the Doctrines of the Philosophers concerning God and the Soul, in

my charge against them, is fully and largely acknowledged by them. The learned person proceeds, and assures his reader that, by the same way of reasoning, he would undertake to prove that none of the Christian Divines believed any thing of that future state which they preached up to the people. Ego quidem mediocris ingenii homo

et tanto viro quantus est IVarburtonus longe

support of

“ inferior,

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“ inferior, Omnes Christianorum Theologos nihil

eorum, quæ publice tradunt, credere, et callide “ hominum mentibus impietatis venenum afflare “ velle, convincam, si mihi eadem eos via invadendi

potestas concedatur, qua Philosophos Vir doc“ tissimus aggressus est.”

This is civil. But what he gives me on the side of ingenuity, he repays himself on the side of judgment. For if it be, as he says, that by the same kind of reasoning which I employ to convict the Philosophers of impiety, the Fathers themselves might be found guilty of it, the small talent of ingenuity, which nature gave me, was very i!l bestowed.

Now if the Learned Person can shew that Christian Divines, like the Greek Philosophers, made use of a double doctrine--that they held it lazeful to deceive, and say one thing when they thought another --that they sometimes owned and sometimes denied a future state of reward und punishment--that they held God could not be angry, nor hurt any one-that the soul was part of the substance of Godand avowed that the consequence of these ideas of God and the Soul was, no future state of rewards and punishments--- When, I say, he has shewn all this, I shall be ready to give up the Divines, as I have given up the Philosophers.

But if, instead of this, he will first of all inisrepresent the force of my reasoning against the Phi

losophers,

losophers, and then apply it, thus misrepresented, against the Divines; bringing vague conjectures in support of the main question; making the case of particulars (Synesius for instance) to include the whole body; or urging consequences not seen or abhorred when seen (such as Polytheism from the Trinity): If, I say, with such kind of proof (which his ingenuity and erudition may find in abundance) he will maintain that he has proved the charge in question as strongly against Christian Divines as I have done against the Greek Philosophers: why then I will agree with the first Sceptic I meet, that all enquiries concerning the Opinions either of the one set of men or of the other, is an idler employment than picking straws: For when Logic and Criticism will serve no longer to discover Truth, but may be made to serve the wild vagaries, the blind prejudices and the oblique interests of the Disputers of this IVorld, it is time to throw aside these old Instruments of Vanity and Mischief,

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BUT it may now perhaps be said,

ow perhaps be said, “ Though I have designed well, and have obviated an objection arising from the present question; yet—Was it not imprudent to employ a circumstance for this purpose, which seems to turn to the discredit of the Christian doctrine of a future state? For what can bear harder on the REASONABLENESS of this

doctrine,

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doctrine, than that the best and wisest of Antiquity did not believe a future state of rewards and punishments ?”

To this I reply

1. That if the authority of the Greek Philosophers have found weight with us in matters of religion, it is more than ever the sacred Writers intended they should ; as appears from the character they have given us of them, and of their works.

2. Had I; indeed, contented myself with barely shewing, that the Philosophers rejected the doctrine of a future state of rewards and punishments, without explaining the grounds on which they went; some slender suspicion, unfavourable to the Christian doctrine, might perhaps have staggered those weak and impotent minds which cannot support themselves without the Crutch of AUTHORITY. But when I have at large explained those grounds, which, of all philosophic tenets, are known to be the most absurd; and the reader hath seen these adhered to, while the best moral arguments for it were overlooked and neglected, the weight of their conclusions loses all its force.

3. But had I'done nothing of this; had I left the Philosophers in possession of their whole auTHORITY; that authority would have been found impertinent to the point in hạnd. The supposed force of it ariseth on a very foolish error. Those, VOL. III.

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