The Works of the Late Right Honourable Henry St. John, Lord Viscount Bolingbroke, Volume 8

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Page 209 - We have the ideas of a square, a circle, and equality ; and yet, perhaps, shall never be able to find a circle equal to a square, and certainly know that it is so. We have the ideas of matter and thinking, but possibly shall never be able to know whether any mere material being thinks or no...
Page 213 - As the dealings of very wise," he says, and we may add, of very just and good men, " are sometimes founded upon maxims, and admit justifications not obvious nor penetrable by vulgar conceit, so may God act according to rules of wisdom and justice which it may be quite impossible by our faculties to apprehend, or with our means to descry. As there are natural modes of being and operation .... so there may be prudential and moral rules of proceeding, far above our reach .... peculiar objects of divine...
Page 376 - ... but content myself to be governed by the dictates of nature, and am, therefore, in no danger of becoming atheistical, superstitious, or sceptical, I should have no difficulty which to choose, if the option was proposed to me, to exist after death, or to die whole, as it has been called. Be there two worlds, or be there twenty, the same God is the God of all, and wherever we are, we are equally in his power. Far from fearing my Creator, that all-perfect Being whom I adore, I should fear to be...
Page 209 - We have the ideas of matter and thinking, but possibly shall never be able to know whether any mere material being thinks or no;* it being impossible for us, by the contemplation of our own ideas, without revelation, to discover whether Omnipotency has not given to some systems of matter fitly disposed, a power to perceive and think, or else joined and fixed to matter so disposed a thinking immaterial substance...
Page 231 - It is not only true but obvious, that man is connected by his nature, and, therefore, by the design of the Author of all nature with the whole tribe of animals, and so closely with some of them that the distance between his intellectual faculties and theirs, which constitutes as really, though not so sensibly as figure, the difference of species, appears, in many instances, small, and would, probably, appear still less, if we had the means of knowing their motives, as we have of observing their actions.
Page 370 - Governor of the universe, in whom we live, and move, and have our being, has been tried, convicted, and condemned, for his government of the world, on the general principles of human justice ; like the governor of a province, or any other inferior magistrate.
Page 177 - The universe is an immense aggregate of systems. Every one of these, if we may judge by our own, contains several; and every one of these again, if we may judge by our own, is made up of a multitude of different modes of being animated and inanimated, thinking and unthinking, rational and irrational, different natures...
Page 164 - Bolingbroke also observes, that " the doctrine of rewards and punishments in a future state has so great a tendency to enforce the civil laws, and to restrain the vices of men, that reason which (as he pretends) cannot decide for it on principles of natural theology, will not decide against it on principles of good policy.
Page 345 - Nature, is no doubt, and as that may be which supposes these providences exercised in a manner agreeable to these laws. That the world is fitted in many respects to be the habitation of men, or that men are fitted for this habitation, is true. But will it follow, even from the first, that the world therefore was made for the sake of man, any more, than it will follow...
Page 278 - The truth is, that we have not in philosophical speculation, in any history except that of the Bible, nor in our own experience, sufficient grounds to establish the doctrine of particular providences...