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it is a vaft collection of things. - Are all these things reducible to genera? Mr HUME does not deny it. — Each of these things, then, if it had a beginning, muft alfo have had a caufe? It muft.. What thing in the univerfe exifts uncaufed? Nothing. Is this a rational conclufion? So it féems.-It feems, then, that though it be rational to affign a cause to every thing in the univerfe; yet to affign a cause to the univerfe is not rational! It is fhameful thus to trifle with words. - In fact, this argument of Mr HUME's, fo highly admired by its author, is no argument at all. It is founded on a diftinction that is perfectly inconceivable. Twenty fhillings laid on a table make a pound: though you take up thefe twenty fhillings, yet have you not taken up the pound; you have only taken up twenty fhillings. If the reader cannot enter into this diftinction, he will never be able to conceive in what the force of Mr HUME's argument confifts.

If the univerfe had a beginning, it must have had a caufe. This is a felf-evident axiom, or at leaft an undeniable confequence of one. We neceffarily affent to

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it; fuch is the law of our nature. If we deny it, we cannot, without abfurdity, believe any thing else whatsoever; because we at the fame time deny the authenticity of those instinctive fuggestions which are the foundation of all truth. The Atheist will never be able to elude the force of this argument, till he can prove, that every thing in nature exifts neceffarily, independently, and from eternity.

If Mr HUME's argument be found to turn to fo little account, from the fimple confideration of the univerfe, as exifting, and as having had a beginning, it will appear (if poffible) ftill more irrational, when we take a view of the univerfe, and its parts, as of works curiously adapted to certain ends. Their exiftence displays the neceflity of a powerful caufe; their frame proves the caufe to be intelligent, good, and wife. The meaneft of the works of nature, (if any of Nature's works may be called mean), — the arrangement necessary for the production of the smallest plant, requires in the caufe a degree of power, intelligence, and wifdom, which infinitely tranfcends the fublimeft exertions of human ability. What then fhall we fay of the

the cause that produces an animal, a rational foul, a world, a fyftem of worlds, an univerfe? Shall we fay, that infinite power and wisdom are not neceffary attributes of that univerfal caufe, though they be neceffary attributes of the cause that produces a plant? Shall we fay, that the maker of a plant may be acknowledged to be powerful, intelligent, and wife, because there are many other things in nature that resemble a plant; but that we cannot rationally acknowledge the maker of the univerfe to be wife, powerful, or intelligent, because there is nothing which the universe resembles, or to which it may be compared? Can the man who argues in this manner have any meaning to his words?

For an answer to the other cavils thrown out by Mr HUME, in this flimfy effay, against the divine attributes, the reader is referred to the first part of Butler's Analogy of Natural and Revealed Religion. It needs not be matter of any furprife, that we name, on this occafion, a book which was published before Mr HUME's effay was written. With infidel writers it has long been the fashion, lefs frequently inQ2 deed

deed with this author than with many others), to deliver as their own, and as entirely new, objections against religion, which have been repeatedly and unanfwerably confuted. This piece of craft gives no offence to their difciples; these gentlemen, if they read at all, generally chufing to confine their inquiries to one fide of the controverfy: to themselves it is a confiderable faving in the articles of time and invention.


Of Probable or Experimental Reasoning..

IN all our reafonings from the cause to the effect, we proceed on a fuppofition, and a belief, that the course of nature will continue to be in time to come what we experience it to be at prefent, and remember it to have been in time paft. This prefumption of continuance is the foundation of all our judgements concerning future events; and this, in many cafes, determines our conviction as effectually as any proof or demonftration whatfoever; although

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although the conviction arifing from it be different in kind from what is produced by strict demonftration, as well as from thofe kinds of conviction that attend the evidence of fenfe, memory, and abstract intuition. The higheft degree of conviction in reafoning from caufes to effects, is called moral certainty; and the inferior degrees refult from that fpecies of evidence which is called probability or verifimilitude. That all men will die; that the fun will rife to-morrow, and the sea ebb and flow; that fleep will continue to refresh, and food to nourish us; that the fame articulate founds which to-day communicate the ideas of virtue and vice, meat and drink, man and beast, will to-morrow communicate the fame ideas to the fame perfons; no man can doubt, without being accounted a fool. In thefe, and in all other instances where our experience of the past has been equally extensive and uniform, our judgement concerning the future amounts to moral certainty: we believe, with full affurance, or at least without doubt, that the fame laws of nature which have hitherto operated, will continue to operate as long as we foresee


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