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at whichhisten grave observations chieflyaim: not to prove the doctrine itself false, but my defence of it weak and improper. And therefore he proposes every one of them with some phrases of admiration, which may be worthy of the curious reader's perufal. "i It hath (he fays) a veiy 'strange appearance, and is a very strange way of 'proceeding, L. p. 22. ft is likewise as unac

* countable, p. 23.—3. It is again wonderful, 'p. 24.—4. It is wonderful strange, p. 26. it is 'very strange, p, 27.—On the other hand, it

* is equally strange, ibid.—6. It is likewise un'accountable, p. 28.—7. It is extremely unac'countable, p. 3 5.—8. It looks very strange and 'unaccountable, p. 41.—9. It is likewise very 'unaccountable, ibid.— to. Last of all, hecan

* not but think it very strange,' p. 43.—Now all these exclamations of strange! wonderful! unaccountable! (managed with so happy a variety of expression) have plainly a personal view; and so have the reflexions themselves, which are ushered by them, being intended rather to disparage me, than disprove my doctrine; and indeed, to disprove the one, only by disparaging the other. How this is consistant with his solemn assurances, of being acted " by no other principle but a desire that the truth may be known in so important a matter," p. 44. I do not apprehend and must have leave to tell this exclaimer, in my turn, that, if that were his real aim, "his manner of proceeding is very strange, wonderful, and unaccountable." What tendency hath it towards a discovery of "truth in this important matter," to spend two pages (L. p. 11, 12, 13.) in proving,

h X that that, vhen I call the text*' a concession of the ar postle," I speak improperly? SvtrS the fortune^ of Greece do not depend upon such criticisms as these ! the merits of our depute are no ways concerned in my use of an improper expression l which, after ajl, is not so improper, it seern*» but that the l,etter-writer himself vouchfafes to employ ir in the very fame fense, and upon the very fame occasion, a very sew pages afterwards; where, having produced what he calls my explication of the text, he adds, "This is in truth a concession," hp. 17. And if it be, so also is the text itself, in that fense at least wherein I understand it.

Put let this (and some other such material remarks) pass—If there be any thing in his ten observations which deserves a reply, it is what he hath urged in the fourth of them \ which seems indeed to be directly levelled against the truth of my doctrine. And because it contains in it the sum of what he hath elsewhere loosely scattered to the fame purpose, and will give me an opportunity of proposing at one view, and briefly vindicating, what I take to be the very truth in this important matter, it shall therefore be particularly considered. He there observes, that, "The "chief hap: intss of any being, in whatsoever *' state it is, or of whatsoever duration its ife is, ** must result from t"e most exce'bnt parts of its ** ((institution; that the happiness of a being, made "capable of imitating God, though f r never so

short a time, must consist in that imita** tion; that virtue is the imitation of Gad, "there/are must he the happiness aj man: That "the chief happiness ps a reasonable creature must •' consist in, living as reason direEls, whether he lives "one day, or to eternity , whether he lives ip this state only, or in another afterwards; whether "be hath inclinations to the contrary or not, "provided they be such as may be conquered. "For neither can the time of his duration, nor "the tendency of such inclinations, alter arty *' thing in this matter, unless to.makt virtue more "difficult i -which doth not destroy the excellency of f it, and present hapuines resulting from it, hut *' enhance and improve it. Besides on the other f hand, the practice of vice, though h be with "the inclination, yet js against reason and consci"ence." {h. p. 2(5 27.) "man may be as happy upon the rack, or in "Phalaris his bull, as in the greatest ease and "freedom from pain that can be imagined; Yet 'nature cries shame of this hypocrisy ; and there "are none of those wise men, they spake of, who were ever such fools as to try the experiment."

These are his words; to which I reply— 1, That if this argument proves any thing, it proves too much; even that a man may be happy under the greatest: bodily pains and the most: grievous persecutions. For it is certain, thai, notwithstanding such pains and persecutions, he may still preserve his virtue: and if the practice of virtue he the happiness of man shappiness itself, as he elsewhere speaks L. p. 23.) then those pains and persecutions, not robbing him ot his virtue, would not rob him of his happiness. This is too romantick and absurd a doctrine to deserve a serious confutation: And therefore I shall dismiss it with the words of archbishop I Watson*:" Though ** some men have been so phantastically ©bstin tc "as, against the reason and common scale i,f "mankind, to maintain this paradox, That a wise

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2. If we consider the being of man as circumscribed within the bounds of this lise, I deny that "his chief happiness results from the most excel"lent part of his constitution" (as those words are intended to exclude all regard for the pleasures of the body): For it results, not from any one part, but from the whole. The chief happiness of a creature, composed of body and soul, and designed for this lise only is, to be as happy as it can be, during this lise, both in body and foul: .And the more and greater pleasure of both kinds it enjoys (which can be rendered consistent with each other) the more entire and persect is its happiness. I grant indeed,

3. That M the chief happiness of a reasonable "creature must consist in living as reason directs, "whether he lives one day, or to eternity." But had we no hope in another lise, the directions of reason for our conduct in this, would not be the fame, as they are now. Reason would then direct us to do eveiy thing in which we delighted; to deny ourselves no pleasures, which inclination, custom, or opinion prompted us to take; so it did not otherwise intersere with our ease, with our health, our reputation, and convenience; that is, so men judged upon the whole, that it would conduce more to their happiness to indulge themselves in such or such pleasures, than to forbear

them. them. And how falsly the greatest part of mankind would, through thecorupt tendency of their nature and the perpetual solicitations of the objects of fense, judge in such a case, I need not fay. And whenever they judged wrong, there would be no sure way os setting them right; that is, of arguing them out of their taste and experience, to which they would always retreat and appeal, as to the sure test and measure of happinels. The restraints of conscience, in such a state, would noways check men in their pursuits: For conscience being nothing but the jtidgment which a man passeth on the reasonableness or unreasonableness of his own actions, and that being to be measured from the subserviency of those actions to his present happiness; whatever appeared to him, upon the best judgment he could frame, neceflary to his present happiness, would appear highly reasonable; and his conscience would be so far from blaming, that it would approve his pursuit of it; nay, it would blame him for not pursuing it. And therefore,

4. To tell mankind, in such a state as this, that their supreme felicity " consisted in the imitation of God, would be to talk to them in a language which t'tey would not relish,, or understand. For how should a poor imperfect creature, composed of body as well as spirit, and designed for this material world only, think itself obliged, or any ways able, to imitate an eternal, insinitepure and perfect mind? or place its happiness in copying excellencies, which human life is too short, and human nature too weak, to reach? Hov» should a soul, made to inhabit flesh and

blood,

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