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ing the influence of civil government upon liberty, security, property, and public decorum, which we have stated to be its first and immediate objects; and, from its bearing upon these objects, shall next proceed to estimate its influence on virtue and happiness: only premising that, in order to simplify our discourse, we shall reduce the four heads now stated, under those of liberty and property, which, when taken extensively, will be found to comprize the other two.

SECTION III.

An Estimate of the Influence of Civil Govern* merit on Virtue and Happiness, from the Relation it bears to Liberty.

It is intended, in the present section, to take a view of civil government in the following respects: first, As it restrains liberty; secondly, As it improves and enlarges it; lastly, As it is a species of moral discipline: and in each of these cases to estimate the effect on Virtue and Happiness.

I. What I have to offer on the first point proposed, I shall introduce with the following brief remarks on natural liberty, and the limitations under which it is found in man.

The liberty of every agent must be limited by his power, the liberty of doing any thing necessarily presupposing the power of doing it; hence that being only whose power is infinite possesses absolute liberty.

Whatsoever God determinately wills to do, is done. He spake, and the earth was-, ing the influence of civil government upon liberty, security, property, and public decorum, which we have stated to be its first and immediate objects; and, from its bearing upon these objects, shall next proceed to estimate its influence on virtue and happiness: only premising that, in order to simplify our discourse, we shall reduce the four heads now stated, under those of liberty and property, which, when taken extensively, will be found to comprize the other two.

SECTION III.

An Estimate of the Influence of Civil Govern" merit on Virtue and Happiness, from the Relation it bears to Liberty.

It is intended, in the present section, to take a view of civil government in the following respects: first, As it restrains liberty; secondly, As it improves and enlarges it; lastly, As it is a species of moral discipline: and in each of these cases to estimate the effect on Virtue and Happiness.

I. What I have to offer on the first point proposed, I shall introduce with the following brief remarks on natural liberty, and the limitations under which it is found in man.

The liberty of every agent must be limited by his power, the liberty of doing any thing necessarily presupposing the power of doing it; hence that being only whose power is infinite possesses absolute liberty.

Whatsoever God determinately wills to do, is done. He spake, and the earth was; he commanded, and it stood fast; he said, Let there be light, and there was light*. In respect to all other beings, their volitions are only efficient within a certain sphere marked out by their Creator.

As man apparently holds the lowest place in the scale of rational existence, it is probable his liberty corresponds to his situation, and is consequently of less extent than what naturally belongs to the other orders of intelligences; of whom the least, for any thing we know to the contrary, may be able to wield these elements at his pleasure, over which the most powerful combination of human strength and skill has so little command.

Whatever then is naturally beyond the sphere of human power, is no object of human liberty; no one, for instance, is free to walk across the ocean, or fly to the moon; to control the course of the winds, or the tides of the ocean-f-; and in innu

* Ps. xxxiii. 9. Geti. i. 3.

t "Canute was the greatest and most powerful prince of his time. Some of his flatterers breaking out one day in admiration of his grandeur, exclaimed that every

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