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I. ON PERSONAL IDENTITY. II. ON THE NATURE OF VIRTUE.
JOSEPH BUTLER, D.C. L.
LATE LORD BISHOP OF DURHAM.
Ejus (Analogiæ) hæc vis est, ut id quod dubium est, ad aliquid simile de quo non
John Hatchard and Son, Piccadilly;
WHITTAKER & CO. AVE-MARIA LANE; SIMPKIN & MARSHALL,
CAMBRIDGE; OLIVER & BOYD, EDINBURGH ;
AND CUMMING, DUBLIN.
THE Divine promise, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church,' has been loftily fulfilled in the annals of Christianity. During a progress of almost two thousand years, through all the vicissitudes of national institutions, it alone has never been obscured, but to shine out with additional splendour; it has never fallen, but to show its innate resistance to ruin: like its great Author, it has baffled all the enmity of evil times and evil things, by its essential virtue. And thus it shall continue; even in that final prophetic period, when faith shall no longer be found upon the earth,' it shall perish in the body only to live in the spirit; sinking into the temporary tomb, only to reascend in sudden power, and shine in an inextinguishable lustre of dominion, holiness, and spiritual beauty. The church has been removed from nations found unworthy of its presence; but it has never perished: successively the church of Syria, of Asia Minor, of Greece, of Italy, and of Ger
many; and in each the nursing-mother of countless multitudes, whom it prepared for a higher condition of existence and glory; departing from each only when the national impurity demanded this infliction of divine justice; the faith of Christ— the original revelation, and the hopes which are bound up with its knowledge, have always found teachers, believers, and champions, among mankind.
But Providence never perverts the order of nature. The advocacy of revelation has always exhibited a singular suitableness to the varying circumstances of the ages through which it has thus resistlessly fought its way. In its first era, the prejudices of the Jews, strengthened by extravagant traditions, and false glosses of Scripture, were combated by an individual of vigorous intellect, deeply learned in the law and the prophets; and who, from being a native of their country, educated in the habits of their strictest sect, and once inflamed even up to enthusiasm by all the national prejudices, was incapable of being rejected as an incompetent authority. The writings of St. Paul remain to the world a monument of large general reason, and peculiar knowledge, of powerful logic, and personal appeal, probably superior to any instrument of conviction, even in the human sense of the words, ever applied to the human mind. But the Jews passed away, and the church was to be tried,