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“ he holds it but reasonable we should all think) that “ the moral attributes of the Supreme Being are absorbed in his wisdom; that we should consider them

only as different modifications of this physical « attribute *."

We are not yet near the top. However, before we go any higher, let us set together his inCONSISTENCIES, as they appear in this situation. Sometimes the ideas of divine wisdon are better determined than those of divine goodness t: Sometimes we have no ideas at all of divine goodness I: And sometimes again (as in the place before us), the divine goodness is the same as

"isdom, and therefore, doubtless, (notwithstanding his Lordship) the idea of it as well defined. Now, of all these assertions, to which will he stick? To which, do you ask? To none of them, longer than they will stick to him: And straggling, undisciplined Principles, picked up at adventures, are not apt to stick long to any side: As soon as they begin to incline towards the enemy, . he has done with them.--Come, if

-Come, if you will needs have it, you shall. The secret is this. The attributes are mere NAMES; and there is an end of them. All that remains, worth speaking of, is one undefined ETERNAL REASON: and so the Farce concludes.

“ The moral ATTRIBUTES (says he) are barely

NAMES that we give to various manifestations of “ the infinite wisdom of one simple uncompounded

being g.” “ Of divine goodness and divine justice I am unable to frame any adequate notions; and instead of con

• Vol. V. p. 335.

Vol. IV. p. 116, 117.

+ Vol. V. p. 341. 526.
Vol. V. p. 453.


* "

* ceiving such distinct moral attributes in the supreme

Being, we ought, perhaps, to conceive nothing more " than this, that THERE ARE VARIOUS APPLICATIONS


To this miserable refuge is his Lordship reduced, to avoid DIVINE JUSTICE. But why, the Reader will say, did he not speak out at first, and end his quarrel with the moral attributes at once? Your humble servant for that. Barefaced NATURALISM has no such charms as may make her received when and wherever she appears. There is need of much preparation, and not a little disguise, before you can get her admitted even to what is called good company. But then, you will say,

after he had resolved to speak out, Why did he stop again in his career; and, when his premisses are general against all attributes, his conclusion became particular, against the moral only? Not without reason, I assure you. He had need of the natural attributes, to set up against the moral; and therefore had himself analyzed this eternal reason into the specific attributes of wisdom and power. But when he saw his Adversaries might, by the same way, analyze it into goodness and justice, he then thought fit to pick a quarrel with his own method : But it was to be done obliquely. And hence arises all this embarrass and tergiversation. He would willingly, if his Readers would be so satisfied, analyze the eternal reason into wisdom and power: but there he would stop; and leave the other side of the eternal reason, unanalyzed: and if goodness and justice should chance to start out, he has a trick to resolve and absorb them into wisdom

Vol. IV. p. 117. I




and power, as only different modifications of the physical attributes. But if this should revolt his Readers, and they expect equal measure; then, rather than give them back the goodness and justice which he has been at all this pains to proscribe, he will throw wisdom and power after them, and resolve all into the ONE ETERNAL REASON.

Bashful NATURALISM has now thrown aside her Veil; and is, we see, ready to face down and defy her Rival; whom till now she was content to counterfeit. Give me leave, therefore, to repress this last effort of her insolence and of his Lordship's superior Wisdom. He now tells us, “ that these pretended attributes, as they are commonly specified, and distinguished into natural and moral, are a mere human fiction; invented, by aid of analogy from the actions, passions, and qualities observable in man: and that the simple nature of Deity is one uniforma perfection ; of which, Infinity being the base, we can have no distinct idea or conception."

To this I reply, that it is indeed true, that these specific attributes, from which we deduce all our knowledge of the nature and will of God, are formed on analogy, and bear relation to ourselves. But then we say such attributes are not on that account the less real or essential. The light of the Sun is not in the orb itself, what we see it in the RAINBOW. There it is one candid, uniform, perfect blaze of glory: here we separate it's Perfection into the various attributes of red, yellow, blue, purple, and what else the subtle optician so nicely distinguishes. But still the solar light is not less real in the Rainbow, where it's rays become thus untwisted, and each differing thread distinctly seen in its effect, than while they remained 5


united and incorporated with one another in the Sun. Just so it is with the divine Nature : it is one simple individual Perfection in the Godhead himself: but when refracted and divaricated, in passing through the medium of the human mind, it becomes power, justice, mercy; which are all separately and ADEQUATELY represented to the understanding. But that his Lordship so frequently discards his own principles, I should hope he would submit to this illustration, since he owns that we see the Deity in a reflected, not in a direct light *.

It is a true light then, and not a false ; and the knowledge which it conveys is real, not fantastic: For mirrors are not wont to reflect the species of the mind's visions, but things exterior and substantial. To turn us, therefore, from God's attributes, (though the indirect, yet the well-defined, Image of him) because they discover something to us we may not like, a HELL and a FUTURE JUDGMENT, to turn us, I


from these, to the undefined eternal reason, is doing like certain French Philosophers, who, when they quarrelled with Newton's Theory of light and colours, contrived to break the Prism by which it was demonstrated.

And now, Reader, let me ask, Who is there that deserves the name of Man, and will not own, that they are the MORAL ATTRIBUTES of the Deity which make him AMIABLE; just as the natural attributes make him revered ?-_What is his Lordship’s quarrel with the God of Moses and Paul, but that he is made unamiable, and represented without goodness or justice? Their God, therefore, he expressly tells us, shall

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not be his God* Well then: He has his God to make. And who would not expect to find him, when made by such a Workman, a God of infinite goodness and justice? No such matter : These qualities come not out of his Lordship's hands; so, cannot enter into the composition of his God: They are barely MAMES that men give to various manifestations of the infinite wisdom of one simple uncompounded Being. The pretended want of them in the God of the Jews afforded liis Lordship a commodious cavil; for he had RELIGION to remove out of his way: But when he came to erect NATURALISM in it's stead, it had been very inconvenient to give them to his own Idol.

Honest Plutarch, though a Priest, was as warm at enemy to PRIESTCRAFT as his Lordship. He'derives all the evils of Superstition from men's not acquiring the idea of a God infinitely good and just. And proposes this knowledge as the only cure for Superstition. This is consistent. But what would the ancient World have thought of their Philosopher, had his remedy, after hunting for it through a hundred volumes, been a God without any goodness and justice at all?

NATURE tells us, that the thing most desirable is the knowledge of a God whose goodness and justice gives to every man according to his works. His LORDSHIP tells us, that REASON OG NATURAL RELIGION discovers to us no such God. Now, if both speak truth, How much are we indebted to REVELATION! Which, when natural Religion failed us, brings us to the knowledge of a God infinitely good and just; and gives us an adequate idea of those attributes ! I

*“ Can any man presume to say, that the God of Moses or the God of Paul is the true God?" &c. Vok. V. p. 567.


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