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By P. M. Carey

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What, indeed, could they substitute ? Some denied the being of a God, and taught that the world was formed by a concourse of atoms. fortuitous Others, admitting the existence of a First Cause, another set a providence allowed a general providence, but denied a particular one; some believed, others doubted, while did not believe in : a third set disbelieved a future religion could be opinions, or religion established state. in What such discordant which of them was to prevail ? could exist among those in neither a providence, a future state, accountability of mankind ?

For if we do not admit spect, good Christians ; the divine origin of Revelation, it stands only on the individual authority of the writers of the Scriptures, who certainly could derive no claim to our confidence an attempt impose their own opinions on us the pretense of their being a revelation upon from heaven. from to If such be all the authority of these writers, the doctrine of a future state, which, unless founded on must ever remain an object of doubt and controversy, would again be weighed in positive revelation, the scales of probability ; for, if the writers of the New Testament were not taught from above, they were no more competent to decide the question we On and on every other point, to reason alone we must have recourse, for if we do than are.

Being, call alternative. Some, indeed, have imagined, that this world was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms but this ; only loads the discussion with absurdities, without removing any of the difficulties inherent in the subFor, setting aside the evident absurdity of a confused heap of atoms, the chaos of the ancients, ject. resolving themselves by chance into we may reasonably the present ask, what are regular system, these atoms out of which the universe has been so NATURAL RELIGION. composed ?

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