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object were in every respect unlike to other objects, would this have any influence on his judgment? Would he not acknowledge a cause to be as necessary for the production of the most uncommon, as of the most familiar object?If therefore I believe, that I myself owe my existence to some cause, because there is something in mind which necessarily determines me to this belief, I must also, for the very same reason, believe, that the whole universe (supposed to have had a beginning) proceeds from some cause. The evidence of both is the same. If I believe the first and not the second, I believe and disbelieve the same evidence at the same time; I believe that the very same suggestion of my understanding is both true and false.

Though I were to grant, that, when an object is reducible to no known genus, no rational inference can be made concerning its cause; yet it will not follow, that our inferences concerning the cause of the universe are irrational, supposing it reasonable to believe that the universe had a beginning. If there be in the universe any thing which is reducible to no known genus, let it be mentioned if there be any presumption for the existence of such a thing, let the foundation of that presumption be explained. And,

if you please, I shall, for argument's sake, admit, that concerning the cause of that particular thing, no rational conclusion can be formed. But it has never been asserted, that the existence of such a thing is either real or probable. Mr HUME only asserts, that the universe itself, not any particular thing in the universe is reducible to no known genius. Well then, let me ask, What is the universe? A word? No; it is a yast collection of things.-Are all these things redu

cible to genera? Mr HUME does not deny it. Each of these things, then, if it had a beginning, must also have had a cause? It must.-What thing in the uAniverse exists uncaused? Nothing-Is this a rational conclusion? So it seems. It seems, then, that though it be rational to assign a cause to every thing in the universe, yet to assign a cause to the universe is not rational! It is shameful thus to trifle with words. In fact, this argument of Mr HUME'S, SO highly admired by its Author, is no argument at all. It is founded on a distinction that is perfectly inconceivable. Twenty shillings laid on a table make a pound though you take up these twenty shillings, yet have you not taken up the pound; you have only taken up twenty shillings. If the reader cannot enter into this distinction, he will never be able to conceive in what the force of Mr HUME's argument consists.

cause.

If the universe had a beginning, it must have had a This is a self-evident axiom, or at least an undeniable consequence of one. We necessarily assent to it; such is the law of our nature. If we deny it, we cannot, without absurdity, believe any thing else whatsoever; because we at the same time deny the authenticity of those instinctive suggestions which are the foundation of all truth. The Atheist will ne ver be able to elude the force of this argument, till he can prove, that every thing in nature exists necessarily, independently, and from eternity.

If MR HUME's argument be found to turn to so little account, from the simple consideration of the universe, as existing, and as having had a beginning, it will appear (if possible) still more irrational, when we take a view of the universe, and its parts as of

works curiously adapted to certain ends. Their existence displays the necessity of a powerful cause; their frame proves the cause to be intelligent, good, and wise. The meanest of the works of nature (if any of Nature's works may be called mean),―the arrangement necessary for the production of the smallest plant, requires in the cause a degree of power, intelligence, and wisdom, which infinitely transcends the sublimest exertions of human ability. What them shall we say of the cause that produces an animal, a rational soul, a world, a system of worlds, an universe? Shall we say, that infinite power and wisdom are not necessary attributes of that universal cause, though they be necessary attributes of the cause that produces a plant? Shall we say, that the maker of a plant may be acknowledged to be powerful, intelligent, and wise; because there are many other things in nature that resemble a plant; but that we cannot rationally acknowledge the Maker of the universe to be wise, powerful, or intelligent, because there is nothing which the universe resembles, or to which it may be compared? Can the man who argues in this manner have any meaning to his words?

For an answer to the other cavils thrown out by MR HUME, in this flimsy Essay against the divine: attributes, the reader is referred to the first part of Butler's Analogy of Natural and Revealed Religion. It needs not be matter of any surprise, that we name on this occasion, a book which was published before Mr HUME'S Essay was written. With infidel writers it has long been the fashion, (less frequently indeed with this author than with many others), to deliver as their own, and as entirely new, objections against religion, which have been repeatedly and unanswer

ably confuted. This piece of craft gives no offence to their disciples; these gentlemen, if they read at all, generally chusing to confine their inquiries to one side of the controversy: to themselves it is a considerable saving in the articles of time and invention.

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Of Probable, or Experimental Reasoning.

N all our reasonings from the cause to the effect, we proceed on a supposition, and a belief, that the course of nature will continue to be in time to come what we experience it to be at present, and remember it to have been in time past. This presumption of continuance is the foundation of all our judgments concerning future events; and this, in many cases, determines our conviction as effectually as any proof or demonstration whatsoever; although the conviction arising from it be different in kind from what is produced by strict demonstration, as well as from those kinds of conviction that attend the evidence

of sense, memory, and abstract intuition. The highest degree of conviction in reasoning front causes to effects, is called moral certainty; and the inferior degrees result from that species of evidence which is called probability or verisimilitude. That all men will die; that the sun will rise to-morrow, and

the sea ebb and flow; that sleep will continue to refresh, and food to nourish us; that the same articulate sounds which to-day communicate the ideas of virtue and vice, meat and drink, man and beast, will to-morrow communicate the same ideas to the same persons--no man can doubt, without being accounted a fool. In these, and in all other instances where our experience of the past has been equally

extensive and uniform, our judgment concerning the future amounts to moral certainty: we believe, with full assurance, or at least without doubt, that the same laws of nature which have hitherto operated, will continue to operate as long as we foresee no cause to interrupt or hinder their opera

tion.

But no person who attends to his own mind will say, that, in these cases, our belief, or conviction, or assurance, is the effect of a proof, or of any thing like it. If reasoning be at all employed, it is only in order to give us a clear view of our past experience with regard to the point in question. When this view is obtained, reasoning is no longer necessary; the mind, by its own innate force, and in consequence of an irresistible and instinctive impulse, infers the future from the past immediately, and without the intervention of any argument. The sea has ebbed and flowed twice every day in time past ; therefore the sea will continue to ebb and flow twice every day in the time to come,-is by no means a logical deduction of a conclusion from premises *.

When our experience of the past has not been uniform nor extensive, our opinion with regard to the future falls short of moral certainty; and amounts only to a greater or less degree, or smaller proportion of favourable instances we say, such an event will probably happen, such another is wholly improbable. If a medicine has proved salutary in one instance, and failed in five, a physician

*This remark was first made by Mr HUME. at great length in his Essays, part 2. sect. 4. bell's Dissertation on Miracles, p. 13, 14. Ed. 2. L

See it illustrated See also Dr Camp

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