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which was laid in the grave, be restored. But this is a weak supposition. The sameness of man lies not in having the fame numerical parts: our bodies, while we live, are in a continual flux: there may be such a flux, or loss of parts in a dissolved state : and yet the rising bodies still be the fame. The sameness of man lies in the consciousness of being the fame person, of having the same though ts, inclinations, and habits, under a similar mode of union between the two constituent parts, the foul and body. * Whether the matter, aSlually belonging to a person in some part of his life, be neceflary to complete the future man; or ,,. (what is more probable) whether any
* For the first opinion, consult Whisky's preface to i.Cor. Clarke's Des. of Nat. and Rev. Relig. Fol. Vol. z. p. 690. For the second, consult Locke's Essay. B. 2. C. 27. Dr. Watts endeavours to reconcile the difference between both opinions. Essay 8. Bp. Sherlock seems to be for the latter. "Religion," fays he, "is con"cerned only, to preserve the identity or sameness of the "person, as the object of future judgment. Sherlock, Vol. 3. Ser. 17.
matter, joined to the soul, under a particular organization, be sufficient to answer the purposes of God; this is certain, he has power to accomplish his designs, and the wonderful changes we see in the course of his ordinary Providences leave scepticism totally without excuse.
II. The purposes of this event are equal to its grandeur and solemnity. The glory of God, and the salvation of man are concerned in it.
It would lead us into too wide a field, to take a particular view of the various disorders which the Divine Goodness is engaged to rectify in a future dispensation. It is sufficient at present to appeal to every man's experience. Who sees not, or at least hears not, every day, of numbers suffering under natural evil in some form or other? What day pastes unpolluted by outrages, either from the tongue of the slanderer, the lust of the libertine, the hand of the oppressor, or
the fraud of the deceiver? How many innocent persons suffer sometimes by the corruption of justice, sometimes even undesignedly by the blindness of human judgment, and the darkness of intricate suspicious circumstances? And who does not, upon such a sight, naturally appeal to some more equitable tribunal, where innocence shall be cleared, obedience rewarded, and guilt covered with its deserved infamy, reproach and punishment?
Were we to examine closely into the several states and conditions of mankind, and collect all they suffer, from poverty, sickness, labour, anxiety, disappointment; were we to look back into history, and bring into one common view the vast multitudes that have combated with adversity in the different ages of the world; did we imagine the still greater number, that have suffered unnoticed and fallen undistinguished — it would C draw draw tears from our eyes, and make us almost doubt of a gracious Providence.
But there are reasons for the present inequality of things. There is order enough in the world to convince us that it is not ungoverned, or left to the sport of accidents, and the caprice of human passions; and there is disorder enough to satisfy us that God intends us for a more equitable scene, where the majesty of his laws, shall be supported, and the wisiiom of virtue approved in the sight of the whole creation.
The world is at present in a fallen state. The Almighty is, through the mediation of his blessed Son, raising it by degrees, by a gradual process consistent with our freedom, to its original purity, and happiness. The scene then is disordered at present: the purposes of Providence are not fulfilled: the number of the elect is not complete. When this time comes, then this corrupt system shall be done away; the
Redeemer, who opened salvation to the whole human race, shall come in glory, to wind up the scene, and to award salvation to the good of all ages, whom he purchased by his blood and sanctified by his spirit. This is a purpose becoming the majesty of God; to bring the perplexed drama of human life to a complete issue, to clear up the mysteries of sin and misery, that puzzled and distressed us so much before, and to allot a happiness equal to our highest wishes and capacities — to take an universal cognizance of all his creatures; of princes and rulers, (the great perverters of justice here below) as well as the poor—with an authority, that shall destroy all the corrupt sources of present injustice, when power can no longer over-rule, or riches corrupt, or artifice elude, or hypocrisy deceive—and that too, in a manner so public and visible, as to support the majesty of his C 2 laws