— Joseph Priestley English theologian, chemist, educator, and political theorist 1733 - 1804
Context: That miracles are things in themselves possible, must be allowed so long as it is evident that there is in nature a power equal to the working of them. And certainly the power, principle, or being, by whatever name it be denominated, which produced the universe, and established the laws of it, is fully equal to any occasional departures from them. The object and use of those miracles on which the christian religion is founded, is also maintained to be consonant to the object and use of the general system of nature, viz. the production of happiness. We have nothing, therefore to do, but to examine, by the known rules of estimating the value of testimony whether there be reason to think that such miracles have been wrought, or whether the evidence of Christianity, or of the christian history, does not stand upon as good ground as that of any other history whatever.
General Conclusions, Part I : Containing Considerations addressed to Unbelievers and especially to Mr. Gibbon