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tho' he knows not why, gives him a great deal of ease and liberty, and he can Sin bravely without a check from his Conscience for it. Supposing then these five Brethren to be bur of this lower form of Irreligion, which is, in all reason, enough for Gentlemen, yer would they be able quickly to difæurse, or laugh themselves out of that fear, which they had, it may be, been surprized with. Firft, They would make some question of it, whether this Lazarus, whom they once knew well enough to have been alive, had indeed ever been dead. Why might he not have been fecretly bid, or convey'd out of the way for a cime; and to make the World believe he was dead, something or other buried in his stead? Why might not such a Chear as this be put upon the World, that whenfoever he should have a mind to appear abroad again to those who once knew him, he might be taken for one that was risen from the Dead, and so the better impose what fine Stories he pleas'd on the Faith of credulous Men? Such Tricks as this have sometimes been done, and therefore we may well fuppofe, that such Men as these would not believe, without some Enquiry and Search into the Truth of Lagarus his having been dead. And then, Secondly, suppose, That Lazarus's Friends do all that is in their power to do, to fatisfie them touching his Death, they witness for him that they saw him die, and buried, and they bring others to testifie the fame. Well, when all this is done, might not chefe Gentlemen again raise another Question, to wit, whether all these had not entred into a combination to put a Trick upon them. Why might nor this be à Plot cunningly laid to abuse them? Such

.: red ; Conspiracies

Conspiracies there have been, and why might they not suspect this to be fo too? However it was, what better reason could they have to believe LaZarus his Friends concerning the Reality of his Death, than they had to believe a great many more far more credible Witnelles concerning the Truth of the Things recorded in Holy Scripture?? Wee'll yet go on, and suppose, Thirdly, That these Men were convinced that Lazarus had been dead. Bat then supposing this, doth it follow, that they must also believe, that this Thing which appeared and spake unto them was that very Lazarus who had been dead? Might they nor here again be at a stand, and doubt that it might be some other who came in his Name? Suppose they once knew Lazarus very well, and thoughe him that appeared unto them very like him, was this enough to make them believe it was he? May not one Man be very like another, and so be mistaken for another? And might not some such Man be found, who was fo like Lazarus, that they who saw not him and Lazarus together, and had been no more intimately acquainted with Lazarus than they had been, who may well be supposed not to have been so curious as to take notice of every Feature in the Face of a defa picable Beggar, take one for the other? And might not chey who had a mind to abuse them, pollibly find out such a Man as this to abuse them with, and hire him to be their Tool to that end? Such a Thing might be, and therefore they who disbelieve the Holy Scripture for this Rcafon, because they suppose it not impossible that it may be false, might, for the same reason, not believe this to be Lazarus, for they could not think it


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impossible, that it might be some other like him. They might suspect him for an Impostor, and a cunning Fugler coming either of his own ACcord, or sent in by some others, who had hired him to put them into a fright. : it

I do not see, how Men of their Principles, who will not be facisfied with any thing less than that which excludes all possibility of the contrary, could be convinc'd that this was Lazarus, or any other from the Dead ; unless they were first satisfy'd, that it was really the Ghoft or Spirit of Lazarus without any Body. For, as long as they perceiv'd any thing of a Body, they would still fufpect some trick or juggle in it, knowing what Feats of that kind have been, and may again be done by the art of deceivers. Therefore,

Thirdly, We will proceed in our concessions, and suppose that these Brethren were no Sadducees, who own'd neither Angel or Spirit, nor any immaterial Substance. We will suppose them to believe that there are Spirits. And so I think it necessary to suppose they must, before they could be persuaded by one who pretended to come from the Dead. But then tho they believ'd that there were Spirits, and more than so, that this thing that now appear'd unto them was one of those Spirits : Yet, might they not think themfelves oblig'd to believe all that such à Spirit Mould tell them, as a certain truth. Why must they believe this Spirit upon his own bare word. Are there not evil and malicious Spirits, as well as good onės? And how shall they distinguish the. one from the other ? Or, how thall they know of which of the cwo sorts this Spirit is? Why may he not be one of those malicious Spirits, which


envy the present happiness of Men here in this World, and hating them, endeavour all they can to make their life miserable, and them weary of it ; and would therefore afright them with a lie out of their pleasant way of living, that they may spend the remaining part of their time in Corrow and sadness? If it be said, that this was the Spirit of Lazarus, who was known to be a very good Man, and therefore cannot be suspected to have any "such malicious design against them. Might they not ask again, how they could be sure of that? Might not an evil Spirit call himself Lazarus ?' May not one Spirit, for ought we know, be like another, that is, appear in the same likeness? And, is it easy to conceive, that if a Spirit can appear in the likeness of a living Man, than fome of these malicious Spirits might appear in the likeness of Lazarus, as well as of any other Man? But suppose it were indeed the Ghost of Lazarus : How, might they say, can we be sure, that Lazarus was indeed fo good a Man, as Men took him for? Why might he not have been a close Hypocrite, notwithstanda ing all. his seeming Piety?". And if so, as he might beso, for ought that any Man can tell, why may not the Ghoff of Lazarus be one of those Lying Spirits, seeing his whole life was (for ought we know) a lie? Lazarus, 'tis true, found but little respect and kindness from our Brother or us in his life time, and he may, 'tis very likely now, remeniber it, and study how to be reveng'a on us for it. He envied our happiness then, be, cause he wanted it ; and it may be is yet tormenred with thoughts of it, and in this Spiteful and malicious way he labouis to affright us out of


those pleafures, which he himself would always fain have enjoy'd, but could not. He has, 'iis possible, a particular Quarrel with our Brother, who is now Dead, and he would now persuade us, and all the World, to have a very ill Opinion of all such Men as he was, and make us believe that all such shall be miserable when they die, lying ( as he saith he saw him lie) in torments. We have, however, yet but the bare word of one Spirit for all this, and whether it be a true or a lying Spirit none can assure us. However, it is the Spirit of our Eneiny, if he call himself by a right Name; one that we have reason to think, bears us no good Will. He tells us, that the Spirits of such as we are, shall be tormented; he had, indeed, heard this often enough told us by those who pretended to minister to our Souls, and hath not his leflon now to learn. He knows it may be, that there are no torments at all in another World, but that all Souls are there alike, and fare no worse one than another; only he has a mind to be reveng'd on us, if he can, for not relieving him heretofore; and he has no other way to do it, but to persuade us to lose all our present pleasures. Suppose now another Spirit Thould appear to us, and call himself by the Name of our late dear Brother ; whether he should contradi&t or confirm all that this had told us, we should still be at as great an uncertainty as ever. For whether he were the true Spirit of our Brother, or any other Spirit, and whether good or bad, we could not know. And therefore should he tell us all over again the same Story that this hath told us, it might still, for ought we could tell, be a forged tale of a malicious Spirit ; and if

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