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of what may be looked for in the following Treatise. And I shall begin it with that which is the foundation of all our hopes and of all our fears-all our hopes and fears which are of any consideration mean a Future Life,
dom and goodness of it, as it stands so imperfectly made known to us at present : that this world being in a state of apostasy and wickedness, and consequently of ruin, and the sense both of their condition and duty being greatly corrupted amongst men, this gave occasion for an additional dispensation of Providence, of the utmost importance, t proved by miracles, I but containing in it many things, appearing to us strange, and not to have been expected; § a dispensation of Providence, which is a scheme or system of things, ll carried on by the mediation of à divine person, the Messiah, in order to the reco. very of the world ; 1 yet not revealed to all men, nor proved with the strongest possible evidence to all those to whom it is revealed; but only to such a part of mankind, and with such particular evidence, as the wisdom of God thought fit.** The design, then, of the following Treatise will be to show, that the several parts principally objected against in this moral and Christian dispensation, including its scheme, its publication, and the proof which God has afforded us of its truth; that the particolar parts principally objected against in this whole dispensation. are logous to what is experienced in the constitution and course of Nature, or Pravidence ; that the chief objections themselves, which are alleged against the former, are no other than what may be alleged with like justness against the latter, where they are found in fact to be inconclusive, and that this argument, from analogy, is in general unanswerable, and undoubtedly of weight on the side of religion+t, notwithstanding the objections which may seem to lie against it, and the real ground which there may be for difference of opinion, as to the particular degree of weight wbich is to be laid upon it. This is a general account
# Part II. Ch. i.
† Ch. ii.
CONSTITUTION AND COURSE OF NATURE.
OF NATURAL RELIGION.
Of a Future Life.
STRANGE difficulties have been raised by some concerning personal identity, or the sameness of living Agents, implied in the notion of our existing now and hereafter, or in any two successive moments ; which whoever thinks it worth while, may see considered in the first Dissertation at the end of this Treatise. But, without regard to any of them here, let us consider what the analogy of Nature, and the several changes which we have undergone, and those which we know we may undergo without being destroyed, suggest, as to the effect which death may, or may not, have upon