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creatures, that he is their God, their Fæther, their Benefactor; pearer to them by the ties of nature, dearer to them by the ties of grace, and should be more precious to them by the ties of gratitude, than any other being whatever. This he can do, without infringing our liberty, or acting incompatibly with his own divine attributes; and I will add, this he does do, and has done: but alas! the purest light will pot enlighten those, who will not see, por the most powerful reasoning con. vince those, who will not listen to reason. The most superlative beauty, we may look upon with disgust; and in like manner, from the sacred splen. dours of everlasting and uncbangeable truth, we may turn our eyes. If it should be asked, why has God created fallible beings? I answer, because he has made them finite intelligencies. To make them infallible, is to make them gods, as perfect as himself; which is a thing impossible. :
6 Well, but could not the Almighty employ his divine wisdom, power and
goodness to force his intelligent creatures to relish, to admire, to obey, to love the truth? I answer in the negative. Though God does, and can eternally do what he pleases in the armies of heaven, and throughout his vast creation, yet he cannot, with any degree of consistency, use his absolute power to destroy the free nature of intelligent beings, in order to make them happy. It would be the same, as a tender father wbo has a very tender child, who refuses to take any nourishment; but the father, in order to save his child's life, forces him to take food, by previously lulling his senses with laudanum ; the son of course does not act from choice but from necessity. Thus, God could compel bis creatures to obey him from necessity, but not from choice; of course, they would not love: and pure love is. what our God demands, and it is the only worship worthy of him. I would not be understood, that God requires our love because it is advantageous to him, or that bis happiness in any degree depends upon it: by no means.
He is infinitely and superlatively happy, in and through, and from himself: he wills the happiness of bis creatures, from motives of pure philanthropy; and he knows, they can only be happy from a love of pure choice; because, any other love would be hypocritical. Happiness, and even heaven itself, exelusively consists, in this love of pure choice. To love God supremely, and exclusively, this, and this alone is heaven."
An investigation of the primitive and present power of
royal princes, and dignified prelates. Shewing that the power and privileges they assume, is a flagrant infringement on the Rights of God.
IN this department I propose to make but few political remarks, and hasten on to the subsequent one, in which I place my chief hopes of being useful to the miserable, by eradicating from their minds, the wrong apprehensions they entertain, of their heavenly Friend and Benefactor, and which is the most formidable barrier to their happiness; and is too often supported, instead of being removed, by their mercenary ministers.* The most superficial view of the first usurpation of royal princes, or dignified robbers, sickens the philanthropist, and causes the spontaneous tears of regret to steal from his eyes, and trickle down his cheeks. It was an easy thing for an artful designing villain, in the early and solitary ages of the world, while the chief employment of men was attending their flocks, and cultivating their lands, to usurp authority over his neighbours'; and to influence them by his false eloquence, to relinquish their peaceable and profitable employments, and become a banditti, to overcome a country, lay it under contribution, and enslave the defenceless and innocent inhabitants. · It was also an easy thing for this artful villain, when his power was established by multiplied con. quests, or rather robberies, to entitle himself the chief or king of his band, and consequently of his country. Thus, most assuredly, robbery was the foundation on which monarchy originally was built.
* In ancient times, there were false prophets in Israel, who prophesied falsely; and through their means, the priests were the lords of God's heritage, and devoured the flock; yet the priest-ridden Jews loved to have it so. The same complaint may be made against many of the priests and people of modern times.