( 8 )
would happen; O, heavens! ſaid I, can this perſon look into futurity, or what connection is there betwixt one of the celeſtial orbs going its ample round, and famines, wars, or plagues? No; there is only one univerſal eye ſees into futurity, to whom all things, paſt, preſent, and to come, are perſpicuous: it is the eſſential perfection of deity alone to be omniſcient. Perſons have indeed been commiſſioned by him to predict future events, but this has never happened ſince the world had a plenary revelation of agenda and credenda. To preſume then, from ſigns or prodigies above or beneath, to fore-know and foretel futurities, is the groſſeſt profaneneſs and impiety; it is no leſs than to claim wiſdom equal to our maker. Surely then, ſaid I, this impious pretence is only deſigned to work on the weakneſs, and fill the breaſts of ſilly mortals with imaginary fears.
Again, Are their not ſuch things as ghoſts, viſions or apparitions? Do we not read, and have we not heard of many of them well atteſted? No; I cannot believe them: Why? Becauſe a ghoſt or ſpirit is, by its very nature, inviſible; it cannot be ſeen: I allow indeed, that ſpirits have a vehicle for an inſtrument to them of local motion, which they may rarify or condenſe; but that they rove about on earth or air, like floating atoms, I cannot believe. Why? Becauſe I believe in a particular Providence; that the