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18 6 0.
VOLUME XLII.-FOURTH SERIES, VOLUME XII.
D. D. WHEDON, D.D., EDITOR.
PUBLISHED BY CARLTON & PORTER,
LIRARY UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
CONTENTS OF VOL. XLII.-1860.
JUL Y NUMBER.
METHODIST QUARTERLY REVIEW.
JANUARY, 18 6 0.
ART. I.—THE MORAL ARGUMENT FOR IMMORTALITY.
The argument for another life which nature affords is, by different parties, variously estimated at from zero to conclusiveness. We place it midway between them.
Granted, that reason did not originate the idea of a future state. Her argument implies a taste for abstract science, which implies & state of civilization, and this, in turn, implies the bonds of morals and religion : granted also, that the voice of philosophy concerning a future state is rather that of hope than of conviction, and that the reasonings of ancient sages would not satisfy us, and led them to believe in the pre-existence of the soul: yet may reason construct an argument important and impressive, fitted to resolve doubts, answer cavils, develop harmonies between nature and revelation, and create an antecedent probability which may prepare the mind to receive the Scripture revelations; an argument sufficient, of itself, to lay men under obligations to act as if it were demonstrative, seeing that probability is the only guide of human life, though not adequate to restrain the passions or assuage the wocs of the masses of mankind. Of this argument four things may be premised.
It is cumulative: each element of the series has an independent power and a separate influence upon the conclusion, so that its strength is to be estimated not by its weakest part but by the combined force of the whole. It may be compared to a number of chains arranged to sustain the same weight.
It is progressive: it acquires increased force as man advances in civilization : we may infer that when he reaches his highest state of culture, which is his most natural state, it will shine as the noonday sun.
FOURTH SERIES, VOL. XII.-1