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and that they have been believed by the greatest among men, such an effect has been produced, that almost all the world has acquired a tendency to believe those that are untrue. And thus, instead of concluding that because there are many false miracles, there are none true, we must, on the contrary conclude, that there are some true miracles because there are so many false ; and that there are false ones, only from this cause, that there are some true: and that, in the same way, there are false religions, only because one religion is true. The real cause of this is, the human mind, being prejudiced towards that side of the question, by some things that are true, acquires a predisposition to receive even what is counterfeit.

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PYRRHONISM has been useful to religion, for after all, men, before the coming of Christ, did not know where they were, nor whether they were great or insignificant. And those who affirmed the one or the other, knew nothing really, and conjectured without reason, and at a venture. And whichever they denied, they were still compelled to admit the principle of faith.

2. Who would blame Christians for their inability to give a reason for their belief, when they profess to shold a religion, that they cannot altogether explain. On the contrary, they declare when they propose it to the Gentiles, that it is foolishness; and should you then complain that they do not go into the proof of it? If they prove it, they contradict their own words. It is in the failure of proof, that they maintain their consistency. Yes, bu while that excuses those who present the Christian religion as such, and cancels the a blame of producing it without a full and rational explanation; it does not excuse those, who, upon the offer of it made to them, refuse to believe.

3. Do you conceive it impossible that God is infinite, and without parts? Yes. I will shew you then a thing which is infinite and indivisible.

It is a point moving every where with infinite velocity. Let this effect of nature, which, at first, seemed impossible to you,

that there may be others which you do not know. Do not infer from these your days of apprenticeship, the conclusion that there is nothing more to be known, but rather that there is, infinitely

teach you


4. The way of God, who does all things well, is to plant religion in the understanding by reasoning, and in the heart by his grace. But to seek to introduce it, either to the head or the heart, by violence, and by threatening, is not to infuse religion, but terror. Begin by pitying the incredulous. They are sufficiently unfortunate. We should not rail at them, but when it may profit them; but it injures them.

The whole of our faith is to be found in Jesus Christ and Adam. The whole of morals, in the ideas of corruption and grace.

5. The heart has its reasonings, which reason does not apprehend. We feel this in a thousand instances. It loves universal being naturally, and self naturally, just as it takes a fancy; and it hardens itself against either as it will. You have chosen one, and renounced the other. Was this a matter of reason with you?

6. The world exists for the exercise of mercy and judgment upon men; not as beings now issuing pure from the hands of God, but as the enemies of God, to whom he gives, as a matter of grace, sufficient light for their return, if they will seek and follow it: but sufficient to warrant their punishment if they refuse.

7. After all, it must be acknowledged, that the Christian religion has something very wonderful in it. It is, says one, because you were born to it. Far from it. I resist it for that very reason; lest I should be biassed by a prepossession. But though I were born to it, I believe that I should have felt the same.

8. There are two ways of inculcating the truths of our religion, one by the force of reason, the other by the authority of Him who declares them. Men do not use the latter, but the former. They do not say, We must believe this, for the Scriptures which teach it are divine ; but we must believe for this and the other reason, our own weak arguments; for reason itself is easily perverted.

Those who appear most hostile to the glory of religion, are not altogether useless to others. We would conchude, in the first place, that there is something supernatural in their hostility, for a blindness so great is not natural. But if their own folly makes them such enemies to their own welfare, it may serve as warning to others, by the dread of an example so melancholy, and a folly so much to be pitied.

9. Without Jesus Christ, the world could not continue to exist. It must either be destroyed, or be


come a hell.

Does he who knows human nature, know it only to be miserable ? And will he only who knows it, be the only miserable ?

It was not necessary that man should see nothing at all. It was not necessary that he should see sufficient to believe that he had hold of truth; but it was necessary that he should see sufficient to know that he has lost it. To ascertain what he has lost, he must see and not see; and this is precisely the state of human nature.

It was necessary that the true religion should teach us both our greatness and our misery, and lead us both to the esteem and contempt, the love and the hatred, of self.

10. Religion is a matter of such importance, that it is quite just, that they who will not be at the pains to seek it, if it is obscure, should not discover it. What can they complain of, if it is such, that it may be found for seeking?

Pride Counterbalances and cancels all our miseries. How monstrous this is, and how manifestly man is astray! He is fallen from his high estate, and he seeks it again restlessly.

After we had become corrupt, it was right that we who are in that state should know it; both those who delight in it, and those who do not. But it is not necessary that all should see the way of redemption,

When you say that Christ did not die for all, you give occasion to a vice of the human heart, which constantly applies to itself the exception. Thus you give to despair, instead of cherishing hope.

11. The wicked who abandon themselves, `blindly to their lusts, without the knowledge of God, and without troubling themselves to seek him, verify in themselves this fundamental principle of the faith which they oppose, that human nature is corrupt. And the Jews who oppose so stubbornly the Christian religion, confirm also this other fundamental truth of the religion which they oppose,—that Jesus Christ is the true Messiah, and that he is come to redeem men, and to deliver them from corruption and misery,-aş much by their state at the present day, which is found predicted in their prophetic writings, as by those same prophecies which they hold, and which they scrupuIously preserve, as containing the marks by which they are to recognize Messiah. And thus, the proofs of human corruption, and of the redemption of Jesus Christ, which are the two leading truths of the system, are drawn from the profane who boast their utter indifference to this religion, and from the Jews, who are its avowed and irreconcileable enemies.

12. The dignity of man in his state of innocence, consisted in the dominion of the creatures, and in using them; but now it consists in avoiding and subduing them,

13. Many persons go so much the more dangerously astray, because they assume a truth as the foundation of their error. Their fault is not the following a falsehood; but the following of one truth, to the exclusion of another.

There are many truths, both in faith and morals,

which seem repugnant and contrary to each other, and which are yet linked together in a most beautiful order.

The source of all heresies, is the exclusion of some one or other of these truths; and the source of all the objections which heretics bring forward, is the ignorance of some of these truths. And it usually happens, that being unable to conceive the relation between two apparently opposing truths, and believing that the adoption of one, involves the rejection of the other; they do actually embrace the one, and renounce the other.

The Nestorians maintained, that there were two persons in Jesus Christ, because there were two natures; and the Eutychians, on the contrary, that there was but one nature, because there was but one person. The orthodox unite the two truths, of two natures, and one person.

The shortest way to prevent heresy, is to teach the whole truth; and the surest way of refuting heresy, is to meet it by an unreserved declaration of truth.

Grace will be ever in the world, and nature also.There will always be Pelagians, and always men of the Catholic faith; because our first birth makes the one, and the second birth the other.

It will be one of the severest pangs of the damned, to find that they are condemned, even by their own reason, by which they pretended to condemn the Christian religion.

14. It is a common feature of the lives of ordinary men, and of saints, that they are all seeking happiness; they differ only in respect to the point where they place it. Each counts him an enemy, who prevents his attaining the desired object.

We should determine what is good or evil by the will of God, who can neither be unjust nor blind, and not by our own will which is always full of wickedness and error.

15. Jesus Christ has given in the gospel, this criterion of those who have faith, that they speak a new

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