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fold engagements, and invaded with the noise of this unresting place; and therefore we hope from the sympathy of our fellow mortals, forgiveness for any injustice we have shown them; and we shall seek from the secret ear of our God that forgiveness for which he is to be feared, and that redemption for which he is to be sought after.
In casting our eye back over the eight preceding parts of our Argument, to review it all, we discern some passages in which we have spoken with liberty of men who still live under their Maker's good providence and within the reach of his tender mercy. These we could easily expunge or now soften down, or make atonement for; but we will not, we cannot-For, our zeal towards God and the common good hath been stung almost into madness by the writings of reproachable men, who give the tone to the sentimental and the political world. Their poems, their criticisms and their blasphemous pamphlets, have been like gall and wormwood to my spirit, and I have longed to summon into the field some arm of strength which might evaporate their vile and filthy speculation into the limbo of vanity, from which it came.
For which office, being satisfied that nothing less than omnipotent truth under leading of Almighty God will suffice, I am weary of the vain infliction of pains and penalties by the ruling powers, which doth but aggravate the evil, by awakening sympathy in the bosom of all who dread that power should ever intermeddle with the free circulation of thought. Seeing that Truth, which I revere, thus wounded both by friends and foes, I could not rest, but have spoken out my feelings wherever occasion offered, at the risk of offending the workers of evil, and those who by brute power endeavour to counterwork them. I have done so, I say; not that I am equal to the task, or have executed the task, but in the hope of summoning from the host of the Lord of Hosts some one (surely I cannot be mistaken that there are some such!) able and willing to take the field in the fair conflict of truth, and cast back into these blaspheming throats their vain bravadoes against the armies of the living God. One such spirit would do us more good than all the prosecutions and suppressions which all the law-authorities of the realm carf carry into effect.—But I fear the worst; that the intrigues of policy and the weight of power will in this age totally expel from the two established churches all the vigour and virtue of mind from which such apologies can alone proceed. And sometimes I hope the best; that, through the Spirit of God working better under
standing upon those powerful men who at present outwit religion with their policies and strangle her with their power, the noble spirit which now lieth depressed in both, and especially in this establishment of England, will be extricated, and the Newtons and Scotts, who still watch in her corners, will yet have wide sees to administer and provinces to watch over. Which renovation, alas! long lingereth, and the enemy taketh advantage of its tardiness. But if it linger much longer, I hope, ere this realm, which is faint at both extremes, grows sick at the heart and threatens to lay down its heavenly spirit of religion, some of those men who in our senates do both know and seek the Lord, will lift up their voice, and make the calamity of England's and Scotland's wasted parishes and faded provinces to be heard in the ears of those whom God hath appointed to rule them in righteousness and in holiness. Or do they mean to wait until we fall into the condition of prostrate Ireland? No, that can never be; for, long ere then, the generous spirit of the South and the indignant spirit of the North will have eased them of those who trouble their prosperity.
Thus again I am betrayed by my feelings into these digressions for which I meant only to explain the cogent reasons. But let them all pass, and bring what good or ill the Lord may please. And now to return to our review of what hath been said: - We seem to ourselves, allowing for these occasional digressions, to have kept with sufficient constancy to the matter of our discourse, and to have brought the subject to a good termination, arguing strictly according to the plan we chose and laid out at the beginning; and if we mistake not, we have kept generally within the sight and experience of common minds. All abstract discourse upon responsibility in general, and the freedom or necessity of the human will, we have avoided; not out of terror of that marlstroom in the ocean of thought, but because it is too nice a question to be handled by the way, and when it is taken up, should occcupy the whole diligence of the mind. But instead of such metaphysical discourse, we entered upon the inductive and experimental inquiry, How the nature of man accorded with a state of responsibility, and discovered that in no one of its relationships was it found devoid thereof, but acceded to it with a constant choice, as the very buckler of its social existence. Then we passed, to inquire what right God had to lay the human race under control, and what was the character of that responsibility under which he hath actu.
ally placed them. His claim rested upon the whole structure and sustenance of our estate, and his intention was to multiply the nobleness and happiness of our being. For which end, he hath in his mercy granted to us a constitution of law and government to live under; which we next passed on to peruse and consider.
Here there opened upon us a wide field of ethical and political discourse, into which we followed the train and leading of our argument. The largeness of divine law, compassing every province of purity, came under our review; the unmeasurable requirements of Christ's discipline, the unanswerable demands of his judgment, the inquisition of conscience, with the purer inquisition of God. These considering well, our mind was staggered not a little, and we applied ourselves to discover the profitableness and the fitness of an institution so incommensurate with the limited powers of man. Which application it pleased the Lord to reward to the satisfaction of ourselves, and we hope the profiting of others. For it did appear, that while the heartsearching pureness and divine simplicity of the institution answered, both to enlighten the eye of conscience and to awaken the enthusiasm of the heart after the heroism of holiness, the deficiences and defalcations into which nature fell, were hindered from oppressing the heart with fear of judgment and horror of condemnation. It did appear, that the divine invocation which it sung over every good faculty was like the songs of patriotism to an oppressed land, bringing forth the generous, the just and the good, from the neighbourhood of the base, the malicious and the wicked; making a noble insurrection within the breast for the old original condition of the soul: while the high abstractions of purity, to which every energy was summoned forth, did come to awaken and nourish that longing which there is in human nature to pass into the perfect, and return again into the embrace of an unfallen existence. And the inspection of conscience did make us supreme masters of ourselves, and elevate us into the cognizance of the Almighty's eye, abstracting us altogether from the watching of the laws and the customs and the authority of man; making every one a state within himself, better regulated of law and warded of police than the most free or the most despotic state upon earth; laying not only the foundations, but completing the structure of the good citizen, the good friend, the good relative, and the good man. Being satisfied upon the great purchase which such a spiritual institution takes upon the
spirit of man to raise it to dignity and honour, we then gave ourselves to canvass the provision which it makes for our deficiences, and to sound this question to the very bottom.
Thereto we made trial, in the opening of our Third Section, of various suggestions which nature presenteth from her own stores, and which men are wont to uphold as a sufficient account of this matter. These having tried upon principles of law, and exhibited their total inadequacy to any end, except to the end of making law and responsibility altogether void, we came to the great disclosure of Christ sacrificed for the sins of men. And here we wandered, well pleased, in a glorious field which we had no leisure nor ability to disclose to othors, though, we trust, God hath made it profitable to ourselves (alas! how little!) And we showed how this glorious revelation of the Gospel of peace took a pleasant, powerful hold upon all our affections and all our interests, sustaining and promoting all the enthusiasm which the pure law had awakened; how it fed the lamp of knowledge with oil from heaven, and enlightened the whole house, and set all useful works on foot; how it awakened, how it cheered, how it pressed us forward. Ah! it is sweet to speculate upon these glorious themes! we are sorry it is drawing to a close; we could gladly renew all that hath been done-burn these papers, only to renew them again, but that the occupations of life are so many. Then, feeling within our souls an enthusiasm arise for God, we did invoke, as Elijah did of old, all the priests of Baal to the contest, and call upon them to kindle such a flame in the cold bosom of man, such an enthusiasm after holiness, as this which glowed beneath the feeding hand of God which invocation of the Antichristian people we again repeat, praying them right early to lay down within compass their scheme for raising fallen man, and making him great and good, and we pledge ourselves to give it the same impartial trial of reason and understanding which we have given unto this.
Meanwhile, we doubt not our reader thought the wheels of our argument moved but slowly on to the great question of Judgment to come. Nevertheless we deemed it expedient to indulge our humour another turn; and for the purpose of bestirring the God-forgetting spirit of this age's policy, we adventured into the thorny path of man's political well-being, and endeavoured to study how this constitution tended to the remedy of its ills. And here, as before, we reaped the fruit of our labour, finding it to be the long
sought remedy of personal and political disorders, regenerating the sluggish and taming the fiery, and setting every subject of the realm into the position which is most easy to a good governor, and most terrible to a bad one; all which we proved by the induction of many cases, and by the ineffectual struggles which have been made and are making at social improvement, without this necessary implement of Religion. Oh! in this crisis of the world, when thrones are shaken, and nations are arising to the work of terrible revenge, and all things are unsettled, Oh! thou almighty ruler of the destinies of men, make the voice of truth to be heard by the raging people, and guide them into those measures which will ensure their success, and make Thy name glorious over the slavery and idolatry in which the nations are held.
Having thus justified the constitution to'which (od hath made man responsible, both as to its necessity, its wisdom, and its good effects, we then felt ourselves at liberty to lanch upon the great question of the Future Judgment. Yet cautiously and thoughtfully, as one who had the conviction of wakeful reason to win. Therefore, we held a parley upon preliminaries, and gave her a fair field of objections, and fair liberty to complain. We took her doubts, her rights, her very prejudices into account, to allay which we had to entertain large discussion upon many profound questions, over which some may think a shadow of indis tinctness reigns. Here it was that we began to feel the limitation of our powers. We had to forsake the realms of light, and carry the vision of our minds into the obscure of the middle state: we felt a light and a shadow upon our thoughts; they stood not constantly, but they came by glimpses, and when we sought to write them down, they were gune. Whether, if thinking men should ever again be conditioned as the ancient sages were, meditating and musing like Pythagoras in the deep groves of Crotona, or like Plato, sending from the sacred promontory of Sunium his speculation abroad into boundless regions, they might not by the new aids of revelation bring forth out of these unseen dwellings of the disembodied spirit some light of certain understanding, I do not know; but while thus they live and act under ten thousand invasions, buried in sensual gratifications, or floating amongst ambitious vanities and courting earthly distinctions, seeking chariots and horses, and costly abodes and delicious entertainment, it is vain to think that either poet or philosopher or divine will make