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SECTION

V.

Concerning a Future Retribution.

I

T has been already obferved, (Section
II.) that the whole frame of nature

bespeaks design, each part being directed to anfwer fome end; to which I here add, that there is one grand design to which the whole is ultimately directed, and to which every lefser design is made fubservient, viz. a public or general good; and this, I apprehend to have been the great and ultimate end of the creation of this world. A public good is the most noble and excellent of all designs; and therefore, is the most worthy of him who is the most perfect intelligence, goodness, and boundless power. God is moft compleatly bappy in himself, independent of every thing external to him, as he is poflefled of all natural and moral perfe&tions; and therefore, he could not possibly give existence to other beings with a view of answering any pur

Cc

poic

power in

pose to * himself. And as happiness is the most desirable thing of all things that are defirable, or, perhaps, it is the only desirable thing, as all other desirable things are only desirable for it's fake; so for God to give being to other things, in order to introduce public or general happiness, is to employ his perfect intelligence and boundless serving the best of purposes. And as a public or general good plainly appears to have been the ultimate end which the creator proposed to obtain by the introduction of the present constitution of things; so there is only one species of beings that inhabit this globe, (or at least this seems to be the case)

who are, by the author of nature, rendered capable designedly and intentionally of promoting and forwarding, or of retarding and baffling this great and good end. Man is a creature endowed with a principle of intelligence, which renders him capable of discerning the natural and essential difference in things, and allo of perceiving that uw or rule of Hirtion and a&tion which

vii. men,

natu

* God cannot posibly antwer any purpose to himself, by what lie does to and for his creatures; any otherwife than as by acting properly by them, and communicuting happiness to them, he may, as it were, heighten la is own felicity; suppoling luch a ihing can be.

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