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PART THE FIRST.
THE CREDIBILITIES OF REVELATION IN GENERAL.
we acquire most of our knowledge from others? Is not some portion of communicated instruction necessary to awaken our faculties? Is not our natural assent to testimony a symptom in favour of an historical Revelation ?
Page 7 Sect. IV. — Upon what kind of evidence must a Reve
lation depend? Are not miracles essential to its proof? Must it not also accord with our moral sentiments ?
10 SECT. V. - Is it not probable that a Revelation would,
upon the whole, agree with the circumstances of mankind? Would it not appear congenial to our understandings, and suitable to our external conditions, by
being adapted to a state of trial and discipline? 13 Sect. VI. — Is it not probable there was some Re
velation at the first creation of man? Do not the circumstances of a new creation seem to require it? Is it consistent with our natural sentiments of God that he should create man and leave him in total ignorance of his duty ?
19 Sect. VII. -Would God have created man otherwise
than innocent ? Would he not have been the author of evil if he had created man in his present condition ?
25 Sect. VIII. — Does not the possibility of the fall neces
sarily arise out of man's free agency? Are not all free agents liable to similar abuses ? Is this any argument against the creation of free agents ?
28 Sect. IX.- Do not the contradictions which subsist in
our nature between reason and passion intimate some derangement in our moral faculties ? Could an innocent being feel sentiments of shame, remorse, and repentance ?
Sect. X. — Does not the doctrine of the fall derive some
credibility from the opposition which subsists between the wishes and the circumstances of mankind ? Would God have originally made mankind dissatisfied with their situations ? Are not these symp
toms of our being in a degraded condition? Page 35 SECT. XI. - Is not the doctrine of the fall rendered
probable from the numerous external ills to which we are exposed ? Would God have exposed innocent beings to sickness, pains, disappointments, &c. ? Do not all nations acknowledge their guilt by their cries and confessions?
38 Sect. XII. – Are not the hereditary consequences of
the fall in unison with our common observations of nature? Are not children dependent on the conduct of their parents, and subjects on that of their rulers ? Is not infamy and reputation in some degree hereditary? Does not this arise out of the nature of a race?
41 Sect. XIII. - Is it not probable there are other intel
ligent creatures in the universe besides man? Is not this rendered credible by the discoveries of modern astronomy ? Is it not probable that some of these beings are evil and others good ? Have not all nations held these opinions ?
46 Sect. XIV. - Is it not possible that some evil beings
may have tempted man to disobey his maker?. Are not superior talents often perverted to the purposes of allurement to vice? Would not the consequences be very tremendous of introducing evil into an innocent nature?
49 SECT. XV. - Is it not probable that man, upon his first
creation, might be allowed to hold converse with superior beings? Does not a state of solitude seem to demand such intercourse? Might it not be requi
site to bring him into a state of moral trial ? Page 52 Sect. XVI. - What is the present character and situ
ation of man? Is he not a mixed and intermediate being, partly good and partly evil ? Does not the world accord with this confusion, exhibiting marks both of happiness and misery? Does not hope on the whole predominate ?
55 Sect. XVII. — Might not man entertain some expect
ations of pardon on repentance? Does he wear the appearance of a hopeless outcast ? Are not there many symptoms of mercy in his providential treat
ment? Sect. XVIII. — Does it not seem probable that some
extraordinary assistance would be granted to aid man in his moral difficulties ? Might not this have been
hoped from our natural sentiments of the Deity ? 62 Sect. XIX. - In what manner does it seem probable
that a Revelation would be made known to us? Would it not be conveyed by impressing us with the sense of our guilt, and with the hopes of pardon on repentance? To impress these sentiments, would it not ivstitute a sacrificial form of worship? Would it not also republish the original moral code?
65 Sect. XX. - On the supposition of any Revelation, ,
would it not enforce the unity and personality of the Divine Being? Would not this become expedient from the universal prevalence of idolatry?
68 Sect. XXI. - On the supposition of any Revelation,