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susceptible of a double interpretation ! Might not we rather assert, that such prophecies, which relate directly to Christ, have but one meaning, like that of Daniel, of Micah, &c? And could it not even be said, that the truth of religion would be proved, tho' we had never heard of the prophecies?
XVI. The infinite distance between the body and Spirit points out the infinitely more infinite distance between spirit and love; this being supernatural.
XVI. We may reasonably suppofe Mr. Pafchal would never have introduc'd such wild stuff into his work, had he allow'd himself sufficient time for the composing it.
XVII. Such particulars as are most apparently weak, are found very strong by those who consider things in their proper light : for instance, the two genealogies given by St. Matthew and St. Luke. 'Tis manifest this was not done by confederacy.
XVII. The editors of Paschal's thoughts ought to have suppress'd this reflection, the bare
explication of which would, perhaps, be of prejudice to religion. Of what use is it to declare that those genealogies, those fundamental points of religion, clash with one another, unless a method be pointed out to reconcile them? An antidote should have been administered at the same time with the poison. What an idea should we form to ourselves of a lawyer who was to fay, my client contradicts himself ? but these apparent weaknesses will be found of great strength, by those who view things in their proper light.
XVIII. Let no one, therefore, reproach us with want of light, since we ourselves' declare this profesedly, but_Let_them acknowledge the truth of religion even in the gloom and obscurity of it in the very little tight we have 17
and in the indifference which we hew with regard to gaining Tight into it.
XVIII. What odd characteristics of truth are here brought us by Pafchal ? Which then are the characteristics of fallhood ? How ! wou'd it be enough for a man, who was desirous of being believed, to say, I am obscure, I am unintelligible ? 'Twould shew much more judgment to present nothing
but the light of faith to the eye, rather than such abltrule touches of erudition,
XIX. If there was but one religion, the Almighty would be too manifeft*.
XIX. How ! you say that if there was but one religion the Almighty would be too mani. fest. You surely forget that you tell us, in every page, that the time will come when there will be but one religion. According to your reasoning; the Almighty. will then be too manifest.
XX. I affirm that the Jewish religion did not confift in any of these things, but only in the love of God: and that God rejected and combine demned all otber things.
XX. How! did God reject and condemn all thofe things, the performance of which he himself had so strictly, and so minutely, enjoined the Jews? Is it not more just to assert, that the law of Moses consisted in love and in worship? The reducing all things to the love of God argues much less a love for God, than the hatred which every Jansenist bears to his neighbour Molinijt.
* Dr. Kennet has translated this (page 138.) in a very diffuse way, his words are these : “ Were there “ but one religion in the world, the discoveries of the “ divine nature might seem too free and open,
and “ with too little distinction." The original stands thus : s'il n'y avoit qu'une religion, Dieu feroit trop manifeste. I believe the learned Doctor's paraphrastical version is liable to the fame objections, which Mr. de Voltaire has made to the original. Rem.
XXI. The most important action in life, is the choice of a trade, and yet chance determines on this occasion. 'Tis custom makes soldiers, , bricklayers, and such like:
XXI. What is it should determine soldiers, bricklayers, and mechanics in general, but the things we call chance or custom ? *Tis only with respect to arts of genius that perfons find a self-impulse ; but as to those trades or professions which all men are capable of exercising, 'tis extremely just and natural that custom should determine on those occasions.
XXII. Every man who examines his own thoughts will find they are always busied in things past, and in those to come. We scarce ever reflect on the present; and if we ever do reflect on it, 'tis with no other design then to borrow
lights lights from it, in order for our disposal of futurity. The present is never our cim: pajt and present cre cur useans : ficiurity only is cur chjefl.
They uudistauduig of the futures The difference
XXIII. 'Tis our duty, fo far from complaining, to thank the author of nature, for in- forming us with that instinct which for ever directing us to futurity. The most valuable treasure possessed by man, is that hope which softens our cares; and which, whilft we are enjoying present pleasures; paints future ones in the imagination. If mankind were so unhappy as to employ their minds only on the time present, no person would low, build, plant, or make the least provision in any respect ; but would be in want of all things in the midst of this false enjoyment. Was it possible for fo elevated a genius as Mr. Pafchal to insift on the truth of so false a proposition ? Nature has settled things on such a foot, that every man should enjoy the present, by supporting himself with food, by getting children, by liftening to agreeable sounds, by employing his faculty of thinking and feeling; and that, at the instant of his quitting these several conditions, and even in the midst of them, he should reflect on the morrow, without which he would die for want to day.