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sphere. Principles are necessary, Sensations are contingent: thus, all the elements of the mind are absolutely necessary; and it is absolutely uncertain, being purely accidental, what sensation will next affect the SENSE which may be thus displayed :
To begin a state of itself, or to commence a series of events, is freedom; and this power is PRACTICAL REASON, which originates its own principles, that arise out of its own nature. Now, as these principles are not laws of matter, which only regard the action of matter on matter, these laws must therefore regard the com
munion of spirit with spirit, and compose a code of laws, which may very properly be termed Moral, having the Moral Law at their head. Hence man is free with regard to the motive which induces the action. Every object of nature is bound down to certain laws impressed upon it at its creation, and every alteration depends on a prior cause. The nail knows no freedom when driven by the hammer, nor the poor Negro who labours in fear of the lash. This is the instinct of Nature, and, with regard to man, slavery. Freedom in man depends on the exercise of his PRACTICAL REASON, and regards the purity of his motives, for which alone he is accountable. Slavery, on the contrary, is produced by the employment of physical power to compel actions. That these opposing powers can exist together is rendered quite evident by an inspection of the table, where the soul, or the accountable part of man, resides in a totally different region – ETERNITY—from that which the body occupies-TIME. So that there is no contradiction in saying that man is both free and constrained. Free in the choice of the motive, but, not having full control over nature, he can never precisely say what effect the action will produce.
We trust we have fully established the position that the Divine Essence is ONE, simple in its substance, a spirit in its nature, eternal in its duration, immutable in its quality, all-sufficient both as to all that is possible and all that is actual - that, in fact,
THERE IS A GOD!
This is, indeed, the idea of a Spirit with which nothing on earth can compare.
Whatever exquisite properties we discover in the CREATURE, as to order, beauty, perfection, arrangement, morality, and goodness, how much, nay, how infinitely more, must all these be surpassed in the CREATOR! Who but the Creator made the CREATURE! And is he not, then, the work of his Maker? -and can either the Creator or the Creature deny the RELATION that exists between both ? Hence, we obtain a glimpse of the Triune Notion of a GODHEAD.
Who will deny his REASON, and forswear his Gop ! Has he then lost his REASON !—that faculty which alone elevates and distinguishes man from all created beings displays its powers in the realms of infinitude; that faculty, which is simple in its nature and eternal in its existence – which is so sublimely designated in
the “ Scriptures” by those all-expressive words—“God made man in his own image!”—No one! For the consciousness of the control which this faculty exerts over the carnal inclinations is too fully acknowledged and too easily proved to be for a moment doubted. PURE Reason cannot reside among the changeable phenomena of nature — it must exist wholly apart from them, in a region entirely free from their influence, and which is the sacred abode of holy spirits.
Here the Will sits enthroned on the highest pinnacle of pure intellect, defying the impotent endeavours of the whole material universe either to approach or disturb the serene and sublimely exalted station from which she authoritatively dispenses her laws to the entire
Kingdom of Rational Beings,” commanding them, as they value the salvation of their souls, to act, on all occasions, in strict conformity with these pure and perfect laws — that is, always to act rationally.
Herein consists the Dignity of man, that he possesses a power to originate and to establish for his own govern
“ Code of Laws,” which are not only cut of the sphere of nature but totally free from its influence. What a prospect does this open to the ultimate destination of man !
When the Moral Law is made the determining motive of the Will, who can doubt the purity and sanctity of this holy law, which is the ground of the action that operates on the things of SENSE! Who can doubt the honesty and sincerity of that individual whose motives are ever drawn from this
pure source- -even though a chain of unfortunate and disastrous events follow the very first action he performs? God, judging from the purity of the motive alone, acquits him wholly of all the evils he has produced : man, wanting omniscience, judges solely from the utility of the action. But to allow no other incentive to the Will than reverence for this sacred and holy law—the Moral Law-is acting from a consciousness of the objective Law of all rational beings - PRACTICAL REASON. Hence, Free Will and Practical Reason are synonymous. Actions performed from pure motives like these leave a calm satisfaction and pure delight in the soul, which defies description, and to which no earthly bliss can, in the least, compare.
But for the twofold nature of man, Virtue would not be possible, and the victory obtained over the sinful lusts of the flesh—the highest merit of the Christian could not exist. This is beautifully exemplified in the