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implicit Difbelief is the reigning Folly ofSER. VII. the present. There is the fame Quantity of Folly 'ftill, just as there is of Matter and, like Matter, it admits of different Modifications, and appears in Variety of Forms. There is no furer Way of judging, of the Senfe and Difcernment of an Age, than by observing the public Entertainments, which are most in Vogue. And, if fo, then let it be obferved, that Chriftianity decayed, in an Age and Nation when and where Taste and Senfe were at the lowest Ebb; where every rational Entertainment was difcouraged; and low fantastic Performances, without the leaft Tincture of just-Thinking, Morality, and Wit, ufurped the Room of them.
The Cause of Infidelity is obvious: It is Luxury, which, wherever it got Footing, never failed to erase all religious Impreffions. Thus it was in Greece; thus in Rome of old, when the fenfeless Syftem of Epicurus was patronized by Men of much greater and more eminent Abilities, than Any, that now espouse Infidelity. Thus it was even in Judæa itself, when the Sect of the Sadducees prevailed. It may be thought, that the great Number of bad and poisonous Books,
SER VIL Books, has occafioned, the great Loofeness and Depravation of the Age: But the Truth is, the Loofenefs and Depravation of the Age, to which bad Writers will always ac-. commodate themselves to give a current Value to thofe Works, which want an intrinfic one, has occafioned the Number of poisonous Writings: Not to mention, that they are generally very defpicable Authors, almost all, except one, whom one is forry to fee in fuch bad Company; one, who whatever fine Talents he had, was never remarkable for close and folid Reasoning. Those are the most determined Enemies to ChriBianity and indeed to alli Religion, whose Thoughts run in one black Channel, foberly bad. The Generality of Unbelievers are Men, who have too enlarged a Converfation, too much Vivacity and Quickness to reft in Generals; and too little Leifure, Capacity and Application to enter fully into Particulars, and examine Things thoroughy. Hypocrify feems to be transferred from revealed Religion to natural, from Piety to Morality Morality and Benevolence make a fine, and fplendid Appearance in the Writings and Converfation of the Deifts, but feem to have little or no Influence up224 1
on their Lives; like that Luminary which SER. VII.
A long uninterrupted Flow of Eafe and
On the Evidences of Chriftianity, the
Preached at the Lady Moyer's Lecture, in the Cathedral of St. Paul, London, in the Years 1732 and 1733
On the Truth of Christianity.
JOHN III. 2.
Rabbi, we know, that thou art a Teacher come from God: For no Man can do thefe Miracles, that thou doeft, except God be with him.
HE Propofition contained in the SERM. I. Text is, that fome Miracles are fo circumftanced, as to be direct Evidences of a divine Power. By a Mira