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troubled." What is meant by the light of nature, it must be the hidings of God's face, and allowed, that they are abundantthe withdrawment of the lightly proved by the scriptures. If, of his countenance, and what then, there is a God, who is pos. darkness and distress immedi-sessed of every natural and mor: ately fill the mind, the childrenal perfection, it can be clcarly of God, and they only truly proved that he has a right to know. This the 'salmist ex-govern the world, and that all perienced, and serisibly expressa moral beings are accountable to ed in the 42d. Fsalm, and at tht him. same time reproves himself foi | By right, as it is here used, is his dejection and stirs himself to be understood, just claim. It up to exercise hope and trust ir. | is said that a man has a right to God. “Why art thou cast govern his children. If it be down, O my soul, and why art asked, whence is the origin of thou disquieted within me? Hope this right, aside from what is said thcu in God, for I shall yutin revelation upon the subject! praise him for the help of his The reply is, that it is fit and countenance."
suitable that he should govern ASAPH. them, and that they should be (To be continued.)
obedient to him. It is manifesto ly for the good of children, that
they should be in subjection to On accountability to God.
their parents. It is true, that
in some extraordinary cases, a MF who admit the exist-child is not under obligation to V ence of a God, are unwil. obey its parent. If the parent Jin. to believe that he is a moral be deranged in mind, the obligov. 17:0r. It is more consonant. gation to obedience on the side to their feelings, to suppose, that of the child ceases; or if the he is a. Being supremciy happy parent, from anger or any other in the contemplation of his own cause, should command any perfections, but totally uncon- thing to be done, which is morcerned about the affairs of this ally wrong, the child would not world. From such a God, they be obliged to obey. But the would have nothing to fear. government of a parent over They might saftly be as regard- bis children, does not fully and less of him and his perfections ustly illustrate the divine gov. and attributes, as he is of them. ernment over the worid. A pa.
But such a God as this, is á ment is liable to give unjust coin. being of their own imagination: | mands through ignorance ; the and not such an one, as reasoi. Most High is not. The gover: and revelation declare him to be por of a family may command who created the heavens and thic that to be done, which is moralearth. The same arguments | ly wrong ; the governor of the which prove the existence of a world cannot. God, prove also his natural per God has a right to the world, fections. If any be disposed to because it is his property. He believe, that his moral perfec- created it out of nothing, and tions are not demonstrable from therefore, it is his own and at
his disposal. If it is his own, / out any revelation. The nature and he has the requisite qualifi. of things and that which is suit. cations of a governor, his right to able in itself are not altered by govern it is indisputable. With the publication of a law. Such regard to his qualifications both a character, as that of the Most for natural and moral govern High, always did and always ment, there can be no doubt. / will deserve to be loved, aside His goodness, and knowledge, from the consideration of any and power are fully adequate to revealed law; and it always was the undertaking. His goodness | and always will be wrong to rewill dispose him to do that which fuse to love such a character. is best; his wisdom will enable Mankind would be proper subhim to judge what is best ; and jects of reward and punishment his power will enable him to car- in a future world, if they had ry that judgment into execution. never been favored with a revelaSince, therefore, he is, in every tion from heaven. It would be respect, completely qualified for wrong for them not to love God a governor, and since the world and each other, whether they is his property, in the most strict expected ever to be called to an sense of the word, he has a account or not. The propriety perfect right to govern it. of their loving is not affected,
As the Most High possesses because they are to be rewarded those qualifications, which are or punished. The heathen are, necessary to constitute a moral therefore, the proper subjects of governor ; so mankind possess moral government. Whether those qualifications, which are they expect a future state of exnecessary to constitute moral, istence or not, they are capable accountable beings.
of determining the moral quali· All beings, which are capable ty of actions, and of distinguishof distinguishing between right ing between right and wrong. and wrong, are fit subjects of They feel conscious guilt, and moral government. Brutes are consequently, desert of punishnot capable of making this dis- ment, for doing wrong, as well tinction. They do not possess as those who are enlightened by all those faculties, which are revelation. « For when the necessary to constitute a moral gentiles, which have not the law, agent. They are, therefore, not do by nature, the things containfit subjects of moral government. ed in the law, these, having not But man possesses that faculty the law, are a law unto them· which is necessary in order to selves ; which show the work of distinguish between that which the law written in their hearts, is morally right and that which is their conscience also bearing witmorally wrong. It is not neces-ness, and their thoughts the sary, that men should be ac- mean while accusing or else exquainted with the revealed law cusing one another.” Hence, of God, in order to their being it appears, that all men are unthe proper subjects of moral der a moral law. Those, who government. There is an essen- | have not the revealed law, are tial difference between right and under the law of nature and the wrong; and man is capable of law of conscience. Those, who observing this difference, witho have the revealed law, will be
judged by that, and those who , and praise or blame worthy ; if have it not, will be judged accor- he is represented in scripture as ding to the light with which they free, we may conclude with cer. are favored. All men, there- | tainty, that he is possessed of fore, are capable of virtue and that liberty which is necessary vice, and are proper subjects of to constitute a voluntary, acmoral government.
countable being that he is caSome are disposed to excuse pable of virtue and vice-and themselves for not complying consequently that he is a proper with the revealed law, and with subject of moral government. the law of conscience, on account Some are not content with the of a supposed inability, which liberty of following their own inthey are under, of complying clinations, or of doing as they with them. It is one of the please. But what freedom could plainest dictates of common there be in a man's acting cons, sense, that men are neither trary to his inclination ? Do we. praise or blame worthy for doing | blame a man for an action which or not doing certain things when he had no inclination to do, and they are involuntary and under a to which his heart was wholly natural necessity. But the ina- opposed ? Or do we ever judge: bility of doing right, which men a man praise-worthy for an act-. are under, consists wholly in ion, which is productive of good, want of inclination. If they where his heart is wholly oppo-, have a mind to do right, there is sed to that good, and it is perno obstacle in the way.
fectly contrary to his wish and Man is conscious of being intention. In such cases, a man free ; and he cannot possibly is no more blame-worthy, than: have higher evidence of any the ocean is for drowning people, thing than that which arises from and no more praise-worthy, his own consciousness. He has / than the earth is for producing the same evidence of his free fruits. dom, that he has of his exist. But whether liberty of acting ence ; and it is just as absurd for contrary to a man's inclination a man to doubt whether he is be compatible with accountabili. free, as it is to doubt whether ty or not, it is certain that he has he exists. He feels that he is a not this liberty. He cannot put proper subject of praise or forth an act of will or voluntary. blame, reward or punishment. exercise which is contrary to He also treats his fellow-men as his present inclination ; because; such, and if they do right, he that would imply, that he wills, praises them, and if they do what he does not will and that he wrong, he blames them. We chooses what he does not choose. have also the testimony of scrip. It is impossible that he should ture in favor of human liberty. | be inclined the contrary way. In that, man is represented as a from that to which he is inclined, free, voluntary agent, and the It is therefore certain that man; proper subject of reward and has not the liberty of acting conpunishment. If, then, man has trary to his inclination, and no, intuitive evidence of his own one of any consideration or refreedom ; if he treats his fel-flection can desire such a liberty. low-men as free voluntary agents,' It is impossible to conceive, that
an intelligent being can have a has been said, that mankind are higher degree of liberty, than proper subjects of moral governthat which consists in following ment. They have those faculhis own inclination.
ties which are necessary to conIt would appear very strange, stitute voluntary, moral, accounindeed, for a man to plead in ex- table beings. They are possescuse for not doing right, that he sed of that liberty which is nehad no inclination to do right? cessary to render their actions Or for a murderer to say, that virtuous or vicious. It is in his inclination to kill his neigh- | vain to pretend, that every thing bor was so strong that he could takes place by such an unavoidnot overcome it, and therefore able necessity, that men cannot he was excusable ? So far is it do otherwise than they do, and from being agreeable to common consequently that they are not sense, that criminals are excu- culpable for their evil actions. sable, because they follow their This excuse never has been and vicious inclination in doing never will be acknowledged bewrong, that their criminality is fore any tribunal as having the always considered as commen least validity. No man's unbiassurate with their propensity to ed conscience will admit it in jus: do wrong. It is therefore cer- tification of himself ; men will tain, from reason, from com- not receive it from each other ; mon sense, and from scripture, neither will it be received at the that want of inclination to do bar of Cod. It will be swept good, is no excuse.
away among the refuges of lies. From what has been said, it. Men are conscious of their own appears, that the Most High is freedom. They feel that they the moral governor of the uni- do wrong, and that they deserve verse. All intelligent beings punishment. They will have were created by him, and to him nothing to plead, before the trithey are accountable. He did | bunal of Heaven, in excuse for not make the world, and then their evil conduct, but will unite leave it to the government of with the Judge in passing senchance ; neither did he create tence against themselves. man, and then leave him to obey It appears highly proper that the dictates of his passions with there should be a general reckimpunity. But he hath appoin- oning day. Many abuse the ted a day, in which he will judge mercies of providence, and misthe world in which he will call improve the talents which are all moral beings to an account. committed to them. Many He is abundantly qualified to sus- | crimes are not cognizable by hutain the important office of judge man tribunals ; and many crimof the universe. His character, | inals pass through life cloathed as it respects impartiality and with the garb of innocence. strict integrity, is unimpeacha- The judges of this world are ble. He cannot be deceived, for not always honest, and if they to him the thoughts of all hearts be, they are liable to errors and are known. His love of justice mistakes in judging. They can. will prevent his pronouncing an not know the hearts of men... unjust sentence.
They can determine the moral It further appears from what turpitude of actions only by con. sidering their tendency and gen- | take away, that every thing will eral consequences. But at the finally terminate in the divine great day of account every thing glory. Your sovereign sits upon will be adjusted. All will be the throne. His providence excalled upon to give an account, tends to all creatures and to all how they have improved the tal-cvents. He sits at the helm of ents which were committed to universal government, and noththem. All will be called upon ing takes place without his perto render an account of their mission. He is a glorious naconduct. The trial will be fair tural and moral governor. You and open, and perfectly free who have made the governor of from all chicanery. Before the the world your friend, have tribunal of Heaven all crimes nothing to fear. He will finally are cognizable. They will then receive you, with a smile of inbe judged exactly according to finite benignity, to those blessed their moral turpitude. All char abodes, where the wicked cease acters and actions will appear in from troubling and the weary their true light. The garb of are at rest. . sanctimony will no longer con.
| . In expectation of this day, let ceal pharisaical pride. The hy-1:
sinners be afraid. The day of pocrite will appear unmasked The hearts of all will be laid
your condemnation is coming.
Though you may now swim in open to view. The secret things of darkness will be bro't
an ocean of pleasure, though to light. Then the judge will
you may be loaded with the
wealth and honors of the world, pronounce sentence upon alla
the time will ere long come, sentence, the justice of which
when all these enjoyments will will appear to all moral beings.
be at an end, and you will be The true character of the judge will be discovered and honored
called before the bar of Heaven by the assembled universe.
to render an account of your In expectation of this solemn
conduct. Though you may day, let Christians rejoice.
put far away the evil day, it will The day of your redemption is
assuredly come. The retribucoming. Though you are now
tions of eternity are no fictions. despised and rejected of men,
You will know by your own
experience that they are dreadthough you are at licted and per
ful realities. The Almighty secuted, though the wicked triumph over you, the time will ere
God will vindicate his own gove
ernment. As sure as he sits long come, when you shall be
upon the throne, he will not let delivered from the malice of
wickedness go unpunished. If your enemies, and when your Saviour shall call them to give
you remain impenitent, your
judge will be inexorable. He an account of their conduct.
will turn to you, with a look Though many things are myste
which will fill your souls with rious and gloomy, though virtue
horror, and will consign you to is oppressed and vice triumphs, you may rest assured, that every
the regions of despair. thing will soon be rectified. In expectation of a judgment You have this consolation, which day, let all examine themselves the world can neither give nor land see whether they are pre