« 前へ次へ »
and amiable wife, she, no doubt, would divide his wavering heart, and leave but half for God; and although he winks at many of our infirmities, he never can endure a divided heart. Independent of this, there is no calamity more likely to force a man to seek refuge in the bosom of his Maker, than for his home to be a hell, and his wife a she-devil!! if I may be allowed the excentric expression.
Oh that I could prevail upon my poor unhappy fellow worns, to think upon the happiness of eternity, that they may be enabled to endure the miseries of a moment! For farther argument to accomplish this desirable end, I would refer the reader to the second edition of my 6 Beauties of Philanthropy.” I will take the liberty to close this department, with a quotation from that work, page 174, it reads thus:
“The great and gracious Creator made man, with the view of bestowing upon him the plenitude of his liberality, and exalting
him to the highest possible state of béatitude: and any man with two grains of common sense, will at once see, that God could not thus exalt and happify man as a machine, without liberty or will. Liberty is a necessary consequence of our reasonable nature : God certainly must have given activity, as well as being; an activity different from his, as well as a substance distinct from his; without this, we could not possibly be susceptible of the pleasurable gratification, peculiar to the first-born sons of glory. The fact is, God could not possibly give us intelligence, without giving us liberty: an immortal mind, and a freedom of will, are inseparably connected ; destroy the one, and the other ceases ; nor can it, in the nature of things, any longer exist. It is equally evident, that God could not, without infringing our libery, have hindered us, per force, from abusing it. He exhibits truth before our intellectual eyes, in so clear and transcendent a manner, that none
but the wilfully blind can possibly mistake take it. He displays his sovereign beauty and attractive charms, so that none but the ungenerous can help admiring them; he exhibits the infinitude of his divine philanthropy, to the indiscriminate view of saint and sinner, sage and savage, reverend-men, and lay-men; so that none but the most ungrateful, can help seeing, feeling, and adoring the same. Finally, he manifests to his rational creatures, that he is their God, their Father, their Benefactor ; nearer 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 incompatible with his own divine attributes ; and I will add, this he does do, and has done ; but alas! the purest light will not enlighten those, who will not see, nor the most powerful reasoning convince those, who will not listen to reason. The
most superlative beauty we may look upon with disgust; and in like manner, the sacred splendours of everlasting and unchangeable truth, we may turn our eyes from. 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.
“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, in the subterraneous caverns of hell, 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 who had a very stubborn child, who refused 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 his creatures to obey him from pecessity, 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 his 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 his creatures, from motives of pure philanthropy; and he is well convinced, they can only be happy from a love of pure choice; because, any other love