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compass, as must indicate a power which nothing can withstand, and for which nothing is too great. Not only is this the case in relation to the facts we have detailed, but although merely a specimen, they are such, that if they be indeed the effects of an Active Cause and thus imputable to power, they will prove that power to be-1st, Extrinsic to the universe, which with all it comprehends is the subject exhibiting the facts,—2d, Creative, forming all things, determining their properties and relations, and adjusting their place, their movements, &c. to these or to the physical laws unavoidably arising from them,-3d, A power by which all things consist, for many of the facts, (e. g. the vital motions, and all those processes of nature which constantly provide for the support or gratification of animated beings), are so clearly beyond the range of mechanical laws, that the idea of a vast machine wound up and set agoing is clearly a chimera, a mere play upon words. The power, therefore, in the judgment of reason, must be Omnipotence, which proves the Agent divine.

Reflect next on the phenomena which correspond to the known results of Wisdom. The admirable arrangements in nature, with all their provisions for existence and perpetuity, are but gradually unfolding themselves to the human mind.Confessedly they could not be conceived or planned by any mind similar to that which has not yet fully explored them. Nor are they such as can be ascribed to any intellect, the existence of which reason may admit in the compass of the universe itself, or any intellect inferior to that of a Deity. They indicate a wisdom adequate to the conception of a plan which removes all obstacles to its own execution,-a wisdom which permanently forms of the most discordant materials a system ihe most harmonious in its sum and useful in all its details, a wisdom which throughout the vast amplitude of range presented by that system, ever directs in the best and most advantageous manner all the minutiæ of its several departments. This wisdom, right reason declares, can only be the wisdom of a God. It implies Omniscience. It proves the Agent divine.

Finally, who but a Deity could either impart the susceptibility of happiness in such diversity of form as it is found to exist in animated nature, or provide so liberally for its gratificition ? The idea of divine goodness is All-sufficiency positively directed to the happiness of the creature. The facts are sufficient to show that this is the character of the goodness they display, if an agent exist in whom the attribute may reside. And if the facts be sufficient to prove a disposition in such an


agent to bless all the different orders of animated beings, any anomalies that may occur, instead of being urged to disprove the divinity of the goodness, must be traced to peculiar causes connected with the good of the whole,-perhaps with other systems, or the universe at large.

Let it now be remarked, that the subjects which present the phenomena corresponding to the effects of Power, Wisdom, and Goodness, are the same, and together constitute but one general system. If therefore an Agent exist to whom any one of these attributes or properties may be ascribed, they must all belong to him. The identity of the facts renders it necessary that the Being to whom the power shall be traced, have also the glory of the wisdom and goodness manifested in them. And on the other hand, the wisdom and goodness, if admitted as the attributes of an active Agent, could not possibly have been displayed without his possessing the creative and omnipotent power which is the medium of their manifestation in the facts.


argument, combining our previous demonstration, Sects. II. and III., with the deduction of Evidences, and the decision of their character, in the preceding propositions of this section.

Even without reverting to our former demonstration, we might say, that as it is impossible to conceive how the facts appealed to in this section, and all the phenomena of nature, should so accurately correspond to the known results of active power, of wisdom, and of goodness, without supposing an Intelligent Agent, so reason is warranted to draw the conclusion from the very parallel traced, that such an Agent exists. Set him aside, and the enigma is utterly confounding ; introduce him, and it ceases at once. Where there is a vast concurrence of circumstances, exactly coinciding with those which imply an Agent in all other cases, reason will be satisfied that it was morally impossible such a concurrence could have existed without a suitable agent. And in the case before us, the moral impossibility of the negative, which implies the moral certainty of the positive, is strengthened (as moral impossibility may be) by the wondrous amplitude of the range in which the coinciding circumstances occur, the uniformity and universality of


their occurrence, and the confessed superiority of the facts in which they present themselves to all the results of power, wisdom, and goodness among men.—This, we believe, is the compendious mode of reasoning by which common minds, often without being conscious of it, attain the persuasion of a Deity. It is the syllogism which alone can justify, and must therefore be supposed or involved in, the plan of all those writers who proceed at once to demonstrate the attributes of power, wisdom, and goodness, by facts.

But although we have endeavoured to analyze the argument for the sake of trying its merits or putting its validity most rigidly to the test, and although, upon this principle, we have only considered the phenomena of nature as corresponding to the known results of power, wisdom, and goodness, when a Being exists in whom these attributes may reside, and as sufficient if such a Being exist, in the present case, to prove him divine,we did not mean, by this concession to accuracy, to surrender any part of our former demonstration, nor can it be reasonably demanded that we should, since nothing advanced in this section infers the subversion of the points already established. We are therefore entitled now to revert to the previous conclusions, and conjoin them with the present. .

Thus then the general argument stands :

1. There is a first cause of all things. (Sect. II.)-To this cause, therefore, must be traced all the facts corresponding to the known results of active power, wisdom, and good

2. The First Cause is an Intelligent Being and a Voluntary Agent. (Sect. III.)-In him therefore the attributes of active power, wisdom, and goodness may reside.

3. This being the case, all the facts or phenomena not only may without implication be regarded as the results of these attributes, but must be considered as their proper effects, demonstrative of their real existence in the agent. Thus,

4. The requisite proof of his divinity, or of his being such an agent as right reason declares to be God, is completed. For, as it cannot be pretended that the First Cause, though proved, is merely some inexplicable self-originating physical force, since we have found him to be an Intelligent Being ; so now, all that was requisite beyond the simple proof of intelligence is furnished.

We can no longer be reminded, that children discover intelligence by many contrivances, but often fail in selecting the best means for accomplishing the ends they propose, either from not understanding the properties of the


several means in their power, or not knowing the whole range of means that might be employed,—that thus through defect of wisdom, the end may be accomplished, but not at the least expense, in the shortest way, and with the happiest effect ;,

;that contrivance may be apparent, but the means not being at the option of the agent, or but partially under his control, the piece may remain unfinished, through defect of power ;or that the end may be neither worthy nor beneficial, on the contrary highly detrimental, and therefore though contrivance be sufficiently obvious, the more apparent it is, the more decidedly will the whole scheme assume the aspect of malignity. None of all these hypotheses apply to the system of nature. It displays not merely power, but wisdom also, without which power must be useless, and goodness, without which both

power and wisdom must be dangerous. The Agent has not shewn himself to be either unskilful or malignant, to disprove his divinity; but the contrary, to an unexplored and inconceivable degree.

The requisite attributes which must now be considered as conjoined in the Agent are severally indicated by the facts, (Sect. IV. Prop. i.)

And then the facts are such as must establish the true Deity of the Agent to whom these attributes belong, by evincing an Omnipotent power, an inscrutable wisdom, and an allsufficient goodness. (Sect. IV. Prop. ii.)

Thus do the several departments of proof conduct us to the grand conclusion, “ That there is a Being all-powerful, wise, and good, who made all things, and who still upholds the whole constitution of nature.”






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We have restricted our argument to the proofs afforded by the physical constitution of this world and the universe of which it is a part, because the sceptic must first be convinced of the being of a God, before he can consistently admit the idea of a moral state of things, and the relation of such perfections as holiness and justice to it, or the existence of a scheme of love and mercy for the restoration of the guilty.

But although the terms moral, holy, just, virtuous, guilty, can have no place in the system of the atheist, or at least no higher sense than that which is determined by what must be, in his reckoning, the merely conventional arrangements of social compact, for the purposes of government, trade, and civil intercourse,—we will allow that he may consistently avail himself of all the disorder which seems to deform the moral constitution of things in the world, and plead by way of argumentum ad hominem, that on the supposition of a Deity, this was not to be expected ; that the government of the Deity ought to have been more visible and effective; that there ought to have been a more equal distribution of rewards and punishments, and so on. It is of this apparent disorder indeed that the sceptical disposition in every individual takes the greatest advantage. Much may be suggested by reason itself for the solution of difficulties; but in order to obtain complete rest to our minds, we must resort to some superior source of information. We are accordingly allowed, in this Essay, to appeal to

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