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reasonable and just to argue, that it may be thus productive of ultimate good, even in those very cases the beneficial tendency of which we can. not at present trace.

That a state in which there is a mixture of physical and moral evil, in which man is exposed to danger and temptation, in which he has much to fear and much to hope, in which he may render himself extremely miserable or extremely happy, according to the rectitude or disorder of his conduct; in a word, that a state of discipline, such as all believe the present to be, is admirably adapted to develop and to strengthen his facul. ties, and to form and improve his virtues, is universally admitted. But all the development and strength of his faculties, all the formation and improvement of his virtues, consequent to such a state, wholly depend on the prevalence of physical and moral evil. The constantly returning wants to which his nature is incident, the inadequacy and precariousness of the provision which is made to supply them, the absolute necessity he is under from the danger of perishing by cold and hunger to exert himself to render that provision more abundant and certain, afford the stimulus by which he is incited to cultivate the earth, and gradually to improve his condition, till, from that of a naked and houseless savage, he has

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surrounded himself with all the conveniences and comforts of civilized life.

Thus, it is obvious, that physical evil is not only conducive to the improvement of the natural condition of man, but that it is in reality the very source to which he is indebted for the creation of all those conveniences and comforts which so eminently promote his happiness, and for the inestimable advantages which have resulted from the exercise of his faculties in the cultivation of the various arts on which the fabrication of those conveniences and comforts depend. Nor is the tendency of moral evil to extend and improve his moral attainments less certain and direct. The most exalted virtues which can adorn human nature, are not only promoted by, but could not possibly exist without the prevalence of moral evil. If there were no contumely and injustice, there could be no forbearance; if men never violated the rights of men, nor neglected their mutual duties, there could be no forgiveness ; if there were no tendency in human nature to pride, there could be no virtue in humility; if there were no wants, nor weaknesses nor sorrows, and no dependence of men on each other, there could be no charity, no sympathy, no compassion, no generous forgetfulness of his own to minister to another's necessities; if there were no temptation, there çould be no joy, ņo, glory from successful. re. sistance; and if no danger, no fortitude and no victory.

In whatever shape or measure evil may assail the virtuous, it is universally admitted, that to them, at least it is but another form of good. Whether he be placed under the discipline of pbysical or of moral evil, or, of both, to the good man, according to the emphatic language of scripture, all will work together for good. When the Psalmist says, “ It is good for me that I have been afflicted,” he records that experience of the moral benefit of adversity to the truth of which wise and reflective men in all ages and all, climęs, have borne testimony: to the truth of which all men, however various the sources of their

, sorrow, and however different their modes of faith, without a single dissentient voice, still bear testimony. Nor can it be said that it is to the virtuous only that adversity is thus the minister of good; for adversity is frequently the means by which the vicious are made virtuous. The position, therefore, that, evil, both phy. sical and moral, under the government of the Deity, is the means of producing ultimate good, appears to be established on evidence as indubitable and complete as any subject of human belief.

This reasoning, it is obvious, is not adduced

to prove that the punishment inflicted on the wicked in a future state, will be corrective and ultimately restore thein to purity and happiness. The precise point which the preceding arguments are intended to establish, is, that evil, both physical and moral, is the means of producing ultimate good. One single case in which phy, sical good is clearly and certainly produced by physical evil; one single case in which moral good is clearly and certainly produced by imoral evil, is sufficient to establish this position ; especially since, as has been shewn, it is utterly impossible to prove the contrary; that is, since no instance can be pointed out in all nature, and no example in all the records of human expe. rience, which renders it certain, or even pro þable, that physical or moral evil is absolutely and ultimately evil.

From the positions, then, that God is the author of that constitution of things in which physical and moral evil originates, that there are cases in nature and instances in human expe, rience in which good indubitably results from evil, and especially that the influence of adver, sity in the formation and improvement of human virtue is oftentimes extremely great ; from these positions it does not directly follow that all mankind will ultimately be made pure and happy: but it does directly follow that evil is the means of producing ultimate good.

It does not seem possible to resist the force of this reasoning in any


than by denying the position on which it is founded, namely, that God is the author of evil, and by ascribing the benefit which all adinit sometimes results from evil, not to the natural operation of evil, but to God's counteracting and overruling it for good.

With regard to the position, that God is not the author of evil, conscious as every human being must be of the inadequacy of his faculties to comprehend fully the origin of evil, it becomes him to speak on the subject with profound humility. But surely it is not presumption to endeavor to form a clear, while it is confessed, that in the present state it is not possible to form an adequate, conception of it. In tracing back the origin of evil, then, unless the mind be paralyzed by false fear, the offspring of false system, and unless the doctrine of Manicheeism be revived, it should seem no more possible to stop till we have arrived at the appointment of the Deity, than in tracing back the series of second causes, it is possible to stop till we have arrived at the great First Cause of all things.

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