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V. Whether it be probable that the '
witnesses of the Gospel were either
deceivers or deceived . . . . 62 VI. Other objections to testimony, de
rived from the doctrine of opinion, and the illusions of the senses.
Answers . . . . . . . . . 68 VII. Experience set in opposition to
itself. -New objections to testimo
nial proof.- Answer . . . . . VIII. Reflections on moral Certainty. IX. Particular Considerations on Mi
racles, and on the circumstances which ought to accompany and to
characterise' them. X. Extraordinary doubt :-Exami. nation of it..
c inthe XI. Other doubts ---Fondness for the
Marvellous. - False Miracles.--
flections. . . . . . . . 94 XÍ. Concessions of the adversaries of * Christianity. . . . . . . . 103
BOOK III. 1. Character of the written evidence,
and of the witnesses. . . . . 106 II. Reflections on the narrative of the
witnesses.-Whether it has been formally contradicted by evidences of the same weight, and made
at the same time. i . . . . 111 III. The man lame from bis birth. 117
IV. Saint Paul..
marks.-Objections.-Reply. 147 VIII. Apparent contradictions bee
tween different parts of the deposi.
dence.-The prophecies ... 161 II. Whether the written narrative
has been altered or forged in its es.
sential parts . . . . . . . 178 III. Various readings.-Solution of
some difficulties arising from them 183. IV. The truth of the written evidence 191 V. The prophecies - . . . . . 194
BOOK V. I. The doctrine of the founder . . 207 II. Continuation of the same subject.
-Objection. - Answer . . . . 216 III. Doctrine of the first disciples of
the founder of Christianity.-Parallel between these disciples and
the sages of Paganism. . i .228 IV. Primitive church. Its princi
ples, manners, &C.-Express or tacit concessions of the adversaries of Christianity . . . . . . . 235
V. Success of the testimony.--)
ON THE ORDER AND LAWS OF NATURE, AND
THE ATTRIBUTES OF THE FIRST CAUSE.
THAT there exists, distinct from the
1 universe, a supreme intelligent cause of that universe, is a truth, which no reasonable and thinking man can controvert or deny. It is a truth obvious even to sense, it is conformable to the most natural senti. ments of the human mind, it is established by the universal consent of almost the whole human race, it is consonant to the clearest principles and the most sublime discoveries of natural philosophy, and has been proved by a variety of the most convincing arguments, which have never yet been, and we may venture to assert never can be con
I shall not therefore take up any of the reader's time, in attempting to prove the existence of a first cause; * I shall only observe, that this first cause, must be selfexistent, inust exist by an absolute neces. sity in its own nature; if it did not it would depend on another cause; and if this were not necessary, it would depend on a third cause, &c.; and I should fall into an absurd progression of causes, or rather of effects, ad infinitum. The cause therefore of the universe exists of itself: its essence is to
* The translator has omitted the two first chapters of the original, on THE IMMATERIALITY OF THE SOUL, and THE -BEING OF A GOD; both which subjects the author has treated with his usual ingenuity and force of argument. But in this country, where there are few, if any, materialists or atheists, it seemed unnecessary to enter upon the proof of truths so generally acknowledged. Besides which it was the translator's professed design to confine himself solely to those parts of the author's work which relate to Christianity, or were indispensably necessary to introduce the subject.