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favourite topic, the Freedom of the Will, both pro and con. They might, however, in compassion to their readers, and in mercy to themselves, have saved much useless labour, only by changing the question, and disputing (for they are ready to dispute every thing) the Existence of the Will at once ; for, That the Will is free, is an identical and convertible proposition. Where there is Will, there is Freedom; and where there is Freedom, there is Will: and, however dearly the old philosophers loved disputation, they had more regard for the honour of their logic, than to waste their fyllogisms on so absurd a question.
And it is the same conscious and internal feeling, which, on the voluntary commiffion of evil, wounds the breast with a pungent involuntary pain ; and which, on the voluntary performance of good, expands the heart with a pure and involuntary pleasure: From these native sentiments springing out of our very frame, another truth results, by immediate implication, That all Good will be succeeded by Reward, and all Evil
by PUNISHMENT: for “ wickedness,” in the elegant and pointed language of Solomon, condeinneth by her “ own witness, and, be“ing pressed by consciousness, forecasteth “ grievous things.9"
These great and universal truths operating upon the mind of man, that superior and diviner part of his existence, by a necessary and incessant impulse, imply, with the help of a little reason, the existence of a superior LAW to which we are necessarily obliged, and, of course, the existence of a MORAL GOvernour, the author of that Law; who is the Rewarder of all voluntary Good, as consistent with his Nature, and conformable to his Will, the unchangeable standards of all Moral Truth; and who is the Punisher of Evil, as contrary to both. Thus we arrive at the ultimate foundation of all Moral Government and Obligation, immoveably fixed in the ATTRIBUTES AND WILL OF GOD,' erected in his Goodness, established in his Justice, and fanctioned by his Power.
9 Wisdom, xvi. 10, 11. As it is of the nature of the independent first Cause of
From this foundation all Religion springs. Hence we see that of Nature taking its origin, as a part of the Law uncreated and eternal, and, as a glympse of the divine and immaculate light, shining in the breasts of men. Hence we fee that every man has the law of God written in his heart, and is made amenable to a tribunal which is spiritual and invisible. And hence the Apostle argues, that they, who, deprived of the advantage of a fuller and clearer light, by the dictates of Conscience and the guide of Reason, conform their actions to the Will of God, “ are. " a law unto themselves.”
all things to be obliged by his own Wisdom; so it seems to be of the nature of all dependent intelligent beings to be obliged only by the Will of the first cause.
All things therefore' (fays Hooker, the great master of reason, Eccl. Pol. B. 1. $. 2.) do work, after a sort,
according to a Law, whereof some SUPERIOR, to whom "they are subject, is Author; only the works and opera
tions of God have him both for the worker, and for the • Law, whereby they are wrought. The Being of God is "a kind of Law to his workings ; for that perfection 'which God is, giveth perfection to what he doth.' Warb. Div. Leg. B. 1. §. 4. • Rom. ii. 14, 15.
All Truth is therefore, born of God : that which is Natural springing every where from his Works : and that which is Moral resulting every where from his Will, reflected upon us by the medium of ConSCIENCE or INTERNAL SENSĖ, which is God within us, that clear and invincible evidence of his Being shining in the human mind, as a ray of the divine, and discovering to men in part his Will, and by the performance of that Will, through the merits of Another, their way to Happiness: so that, upon the authority of this Natural Religion; they may exclaim, in the words of the royal preacher, “ Verily there “ is a reward for the righteous ; doubtless " there is a God that judgeth the earth.'"
As the External Senses are the ultimate criteria of all material objects, this Internal Sense is the ultimate criterion of all moral actions : and, though, in its acts and opera
· Pfal. lviii. 10.
tions as a guide to truth, it may be subsequent to them, it is prior both in use and dig. nity. In the analogy, which subsists between these two great inlets of all human knowledge in their exercise and effects, we cannot but observe with admiration that uniformity of design, which marks all the works of Him who is unchangeable and the same, and that consistency of operation which pervades his universe : And, as we know, from too frequent observation, that the one is liable, through ill-habit or distemper, to be vitiated and even lost; so the other, from similar causes, is subject to fimilar effects. But, though this sublimer PRINCIPLE of morality, which is the subject of our present consideration, may sometimes have been so far weakened in its evidence, or perverted in its use, as even to perswade a great philosopher of its non-existence;" it is an ingredient
See Mr. Locke's first book on Innate Practical Principles, Chap. iii. 5. 8. “If Conscience be a proof of In‘nate Principles, Contraries may be Innate,' &c.
The Principles, however, both speculative and practical, which Mr. Locke is in this book proving not to be innate, are Maxims and General Propositions ; not Evidences, but