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appear the greater wisdom in this appointment, when it is considered that beauty and enjoyment will be multiplied by it in the exact degree in which the superabundance may prevail. For this care, therefore, to provide for possible as well as actual existence, we see the most bener volent reason ; so that, though every blossom de not ripen into fruit, nor every embryo develop its latent faculties, this is so far from being a proof of the frustration of the plan of the Diety, that it is directly the reverse; since this super abundant provision is the very means he has adopted to secure his purpose. These blossoms and embryos, though they perish, fulfil the dar sign of their creation: had they been necessary, they were ready to ripen into maturity to supply the want which might exist; but not being needed, they read an instructive Jessop to the intelligent creation, saying to it-Behold the never-failing care of your Creator to secure your happiness !" and then are seen no more.

In the second place, when from the failure of the blossom, and the destruction of the embryo, it is urged, that there may be a similar loss in regard to human beings, it may be replied, that there is really no sort of parallel between the two cases. Every blossom, it is true, does not ripen into its proper fruit, nor every embryo grow into a perfect animal, yet neither is any blossom or embryo perverted from its genuine nature, into one which is opposite. Every blossom of an apple does not ultimately form an apple, but neither does it become a poisonous fruit: every embryo does not grow into a perfect änimal, but neither does it degenerate into a disgusting monster. But the doctrine which teaches that man was created for purity and happiness, but that he will continue for ever vicious and miserable, and that which teaches that he will remain so for unknown ages, and then be destroyed, not only supposes that he does not attain his proper nature, but that it becomes perverted into that which is directly opposite. It supposes what never takes place, what is not only not supported by any analogy of nature, but what all analogy contradicts; it supposes a change infinitely greater than would happen, were the blossom of an apple to fail in forming an apple, and ripen into hemlock, or the embryo of a lamb, instead of producing the most innoxious of animals, to grow into an adder. Nothing like this ever takes place in any of the works of God with which we are acquainted : it is reasonable, therefore, to conclude, that it will not occur in his highest and noblest. Were this example adduced to show, that the same kind of failure might take place among human beings, that those human embryos, for instance, which never see the light, and those infants which die before the development of their faculties, perish,

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there would thus far be some analogy between the two cases, and that which happened to the one, might with some show of reason be supposed to befal the other; but for the reasons assigned, in the first answer to this objection, the conclusion would not be valid even thus far, and farther than this, it could not possibly go. To argue from it, that man, whose nature fits him for the attainments of an angel, not only falls short of these acquisitions, but degenerates into a malignant spirit, is altogether gratuitous : there is no analogy between the one case and the other.

In a word, both the doctrine which teaches that man will go on to sin and suffer for ever, and that which maintains that he will do so for unknown ages, and then be destroyed, must be founded either upon the principle that the Deity, when offended, is not to be appeased, or that man, when he has departed from the path of rectitude, is not to be reclaimed. No one will venture to maintain, that the Deity is unappeasable, and to suppose that he is unable to reclaim his offending offspring, is equally absurd.

Indeed, from what we know of man's nature, and of the adaptation of the moral government of his Creator to it, we can clearly perceive how , he may be reclaimed, even from the lowest depths of guilt.

He is (to repeat what has so often been said) the creature of circumstance. He is made what he is, entirely by the train of events which has befallen him. The powers with which he is endowed, have been called into action by surrounding objects, and the nature of that action has been determined, by that of the objects which have induced it. Had the situation of any human being varied in the least, there must have been a proportionable difference in his character.

This is so true, that any being who had entirely in his own hands the direction of the events of the world, and who possessed a perfect knowledge of the nature of man, might make his character whatever he pleased. There is no affection, however fixed, which he might not change, no habit, however inveterate, which he might not eradicate. And this he might effect, as we have already shown, without putting the least constraint upon the will, or making the slightest infringement on the liberty of the moral agent: for, by changing his circumstances, he might alter his volition, and thus excite in him the desire to do or to be, whatever he might wish him to accomplish or to become.

Now this direction of events, and this knowledge of character, the Deity is always supposed to possess in a supreme and perfect degree. There is nothing which he does not know ; no thing which he cannot accomplish. Suppose, then, it is his will to reclaim a person who has lost all taste for goodness, and contracted the most inveterate habits of vice. The reformation of such a being, is a thing in itself possible. As, then, the Deity knows every thing, he must perceive what circumstances will be adequate to produce the requisite change, and as be can do every thing, it must be in his power to cause this train of events to happen. Here, then, is a power abundantly adequate to accomplish whatever may be necessary.

That this formation of the character of man, by the circumstances in which he is placed, is perpetually going on, under the Divine direction, in the present state, is acknowledged on all hands, and constitutes what is termed the moral government of God. Now the defect of every scheme but that which it is the object of this reasoning to establish, is, that it makes the operation of this moral government to cease with the present state. But if the wicked are to exist hereafter, it is certain that they must be placed in some circumstances; these circumstances must have some effect upon their minds, and the nature of that effect, whether it be such as to confirm them in their vicious course, or to reclaim them from it, must entirely depend upon the constitution of these circumstances. It is a Being of perfect wisdom and goodness, upon

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