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* Most pevotRD,
IS, WITH ALL RESPECT, INSCRIBED, IN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE HIGHEST OBLIGATIONS
to The t.A.T.E.
AY HIs LorpsHIP's Most putIFUL,
AND MOST HUMBLE SERVANT,
CHAP. II. Of the supposed Presumption against a Revelation, considered as miraculous - 130 CHAP. III.
Of our incapacity of judging, what were to be expected in a
contain Things appearing liable to Objections 135 ... CHAP. lv. Of Christianity, considered as a Scheme or Constitution, imperfectly comprehended - 144 CHAP. V. Of the particular System of Christianity; the Appointment of a Médiator, and the Redemption of the World by him 149 CHAP. vi. Of the want of Universality in Revelation; and of the supposed Deficiency in the Proof of it - - - - - 161 CHAP. VII. of the particular Evidence for Christianity 173
CHAP. viii. of the Objections which may be made against arguing from
the Analogy of Nature to religion 195 Conclusion 203 DISSERTATION I. of Personal Identity - 211 - D1SSERTATION II. of the Nature of Virtue 216 A Charge to the Clergy of the Diocese of Durham, 1751 225
PROBABLE evidence is essentially distinguished from demonstrative by this, that it admits of degrees; and of all variety of them, from the highest moral certainty, to the very lowest presumption. We cannot indeed say a thing is probably true upon one very slight ro for it, because, as there may be probabilities on both sides of a question, there may be some against it; and though there be not, yet a slight presumption does not beget that degree of conviction which is implied in saying a thing is probably true. But that the slightest possible presumption is of the nature of a probability, appears from hence, that such low presumption, often repeated, will amount even to moral certainty. Thus a man’s having observed the ebb and flow of the tide to-day, affords some sort of presumption, . though the lowest imaginable, that it may happen again to-morrow; but the observation of this event for so many days, and months, and ages together, as it has been observed by mankind, gives us a full assurance that it will. . That which chiefly constitutes probability is expressed in the word likely, i.e. likely some truth,” of true event; like it, in itself, in its evidence, in some more or fewer of its circumstances. For when we determine a thing to be probably true, suppose that an event has or will come to pass, it is from the mind’s remarking in it a likeness to some other event, which we have observed has come to pass. And this observation forms, in numberless daily instances, a presumption, opinion, or full conviction, that such eveat has crwill come to pass, according as the observation is, that the like event has sometimes, most commonly, or always so far as our observation reaches, come to pass at like distances of time, or place, or upon like occasions. Hence arises the belief that a child, if it iives twenty years will grow up to the stature and strength of a man; that food will contribute to the preservation of its life, and the want of it for such a number of , days, be its certain destruction. So likewise the rule and measure of our hopes and fears concerning the success of our pursuits; our expectations that others will act so and so in such circumstances and our judgment that such actions proceed from such principles; . all these rely upon our having observed the toe to what we hope, fear, expect, judge; I say upon our owing observed the like, either