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An Argument for the Christian Religion

An Argument for the Christian Religion

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Excerpt from An Argument for the Christian Religion: Drawn From a Comparison of Revelation With the Natural Operations of the Mind, Being the Substance of Twenty-Four Sermons Preached at the Lecture Founded by the Hon. Robert Boyle, Esq. In the Parish-Church of St. Mary Le-Bow, in the Year 1778, 1779, 1780

And what is more, even our artificial habits, as a consequence indeed of this, are nearly the same; or if this is not naturally the case, from the great pliableness of the human mind, we have very little doubts of being able to make it so: and our education must be undertaken upon such a belief; for the very attempt to educate supposes that a man can form the same habits in another which have been formed in himself. And thus the firmest foundation seems to be laid for the greatest harmony of efforts and opinions among men. By exhibiting only one side of human nature, a rational creature, who knew nothing of man but what he could learn from that view, ought to be convinced that there never could be such a thing as a dispute in the world; nothing but wisdom and ignorance listening and instructing each other.

Yet notwithstanding this general uniformity of character and abilities discoverable in the human species; it is no less true that, in many respects, the faculties and inclinations of men are extremely different, indicating, whenever occasions offer, strong inclinations to different pursuits, from the earliest infancy. And although mankind are all formed with the same faculties, and should happen to have the same seeds of instruction sown in their minds, yet they will neglect some and cultivate others without any reason of preference, apparent to themselves or others; and this will produce many different opinions and views of things, which, we say, very properly, spring from prejudice.

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