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By P. M. Carey

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Some The ob- attended with esteem, reward, and honour, while the infraction of them servance of these rules incurs disgrace is and punishment ; and actions are re- puted morally good or bad, in proportion as they are consistent with or repugnant to those duties which the laws, institutions, or manners of that society, have, by tacit consent or public authority, established for the general welfare. feels at forfeits The regret which a man having been guilty of actions by which he the esteem and good-will of his companions, their hatred and contempt, and, perhaps, himself to punishment, is what is called reexposes morse of conscience, and may exist independent of and incurs though it will undoubtedly operate with additional force and energy when all religious considerations ; the dictates of morality are enforced by religious obligation, and when to the apprehensions arising from the temporal consequences of delinquency are added the more appalling horrors of future tion.

The wish of continuing in a state of being which we find on the whole plea- sant and comfortable, and the dread of losing it for ever, is so natural, and so immediately resulting from the situation in which a man is placed, that it necessabut we are not to rily gives birth to such an idea : conclude that a thing must be, because it is our wish or interest that it should be so. Whether there is to be such a state or not, I E do not conceive how it is 50 ON THE BELIEF IN A FUTURE STATE. possible that such a wish should to arise in the fail heart of man.

Such a case would be, to adopt such a line of conduct as would be most likely to secure him as happy an ex- ON THE BELIEF IN A FUTURE STATE. istence, during this life, as the situation in 43 which he was placed could procure him, without troubling his head with any metaphysical researches concerning the deity, or with moral duties, except in so far as they would conduce to his well-being in this world. This, in my opinion, would exclude all notions of religion ; because religion would hold forth no mo- were no hopes beyond the grave.

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