BISHOP BUTLERby@edwinabbott

BISHOP BUTLER

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The principal faults in this style are (a) a vague use of pronouns (5), and sometimes (b) the use of a phrase, where a word would be enough (47 a). ORIGINAL VERSION. PARALLEL VERSION. Some persons, (15) upon Some persons avowedly reject all pretence[33] of the sufficiency of revelation as[34]essentially the light of Nature, avowedly incredible and necessarily reject all revelation as, in its fictitious, on the ground that the (47 a) very notion, light of Nature is in itself incredible, and what (47 a) sufficient. And assuredly, had the must be fictitious. And indeed light of Nature been sufficient in (32) it is certain that no such a sense as to render revelation would have been given, revelation needless or useless, no (32) had the light of Nature been revelation would ever have been sufficient in such a sense as to given. But let any man consider render (5) one not[35] wanting, the spiritual darkness that once or useless. But no (15 b) man in (41) prevailed in the heathen seriousness and simplicity can world before revelation, and that possibly think it (5) so, who (41) still prevails in those considers the state of religion in regions that have not yet received the heathen world before the light of revealed truth; above revelation, and its (5) present all, let him mark not merely the state in those (11) places (8) natural inattention and ignorance which have borrowed no light of the masses, but also the from (5) it; particularly (19) the doubtful language held even by a doubtfulness of some of the (12) Socrates on even so vital a greatest men concerning things of subject as[36] the immortality of the utmost (11) importance, as the soul; and then can he in well as the (15 a) natural seriousness and sincerity maintain inattention and ignorance of that the light of Nature is mankind in general. It is (34) sufficient? impossible to say (12) who would have been able to have reasoned It is of course impossible to deny out that whole system which we that some second[36] Aristotle call natural religion, (30) in its might have reasoned out, in its genuine simplicity, clear of genuine simplicity and without superstition; but there is a touch of superstition, the certainly no ground to affirm whole of that system which we that the generality could. call natural religion. But there (44) If they could, there is is certainly no ground for no sort of probability that affirming that this complicated they would. (44) Admitting there process would have been possible were, they would highly want a for ordinary men. Even if they had standing admonition to remind them had the power, there is no of (5) it, and inculcate it upon probability that they would have them. And further still, were (5) had the inclination; and, even if they as much disposed (47 a) we admit the probable inclination, to attend to religion as the they would still need some better sort of men (15 a) are; standing admonition, whereby yet, even upon this supposition, natural religion might be there would be various occasions suggested and inculcated. Still for supernatural instruction and further, even if we suppose these assistance, and the greatest ordinary men to be as attentive to advantages (50) might be religion as men of a better sort, afforded (15 a) by (5) yet even then there would be them. So that, to say revelation various occasions when is a thing superfluous, what supernatural instruction and there (47 a) was no need of, assistance might be most and what can be of (47 a) no beneficially bestowed. service, is, I think, to talk wildly and at random. Nor would it Therefore, to call revelation be more extravagant to affirm that superfluous, needless, and (40 a) mankind is so entirely useless, is, in my opinion, to (40 a) at ease in the present talk wildly and at random. A man state, and (40 a) life so might as reasonably assert that we completely (40 a) happy, that are so entirely at ease and so (5) it is a contradiction to completely happy in this present suppose (40 a) our condition life that our condition cannot capable of being in any respect without contradiction be supposed (47 a) better.—(Analogy of capable of being in any way Religion, part ii. chap. 1.) improved.

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Edwin A. Abbott

Edwin Abbott Abbott FBA was an English schoolmaster, theologian, and Anglican priest, and author.


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by Edwin A. Abbott @edwinabbott.Edwin Abbott Abbott FBA was an English schoolmaster, theologian, and Anglican priest, and author.
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