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gives its authority and privileges into the hands of these persons; it intrusts and empowers them to make laws, to impose taxes, to raise subsidies, to make peace or declare war, to reward virtue, to punish vice, in one word, to do whatever may be beneficial to the whole society, with the felicity of

which they are intrusted.

If we consider these various forms of government, we shall find, that each nation will be more or less happy in its own mode of governing, will more or less prevent the inconveniencies, to which it is subject, according as it shall have more or less attachment to religion or righteousness.

What are the particular inconveniencies of a monarchial government? In what cases is monarchy fatal to the liberty and so to the felicity of a nation? When the monarch, instead of making the good of the people his supreme law, follows nothing but his own caprice. When he thinks himself vested with supreme power for his own glory, and not for the glory of his kingdom. When, by stretching his authority beyond its lawful bounds, he endeavors arbitrarily to dispose of the lives and fortunes of his subjects. When, in order to avenge a private quarrel, or to satiate his thirst for a glory, from which his people derive no benefit, he engageth them in bloody wars, and sacrificeth them to a vain and imaginary grandeur. When he wastes the substance of his people in superb buildings, in excessive embellishments, and in sumptuous equipages. When he imposes on them enormous tributes, and exorbitant taxes. When he is inaccessible to the widow and the orphan. When he gives himself up to indolence, and doth not study the wants of his subjects. When though he appropriates to himself the advantages of empire, yet, in order to free himself from the fatigue of go

neglected to conciliate the favor of God before a battle, they would be persuaded, even in the heat of it, that the best way to please him would be to discharge the duty of their office; whereas when soldiers feel their consciences agitated, when amidst the discharge of the artillery of their enemies they discover eternal flames, when they see hell opening under their feet, and the horrors of eternal punishment succeeding those of the field of battle, they will always fight with reluctance, and endeavor to avoid future misery by fleeing away from present death

In a virtuous state commerce will flourish, because the merchant, always speaking the truth, and dealing with good faith, will attract general credit and confidence; always following the rules of wisdom and prudence, he will never engage in rash undertakings, which ruin families and subvert whole houses; not being animated with avarice or vain glory, he will not first acquire riches by injustice, and next waste them with indiscretion; depending on the blessings of heaven, all his labors will be enlivened with courage and joy.

In such a state divinity will flourish, because each, burning with zeal for the glory of God, will carefully cultivate a science, which hath God for: its object; because, being free from a party spirit,. he will receive the truth, whatever hand may present it to him; because, by referring religion to its chief end, he will not spend his life in the pursuit of trifles; because, full of zeal for his salvation, he will be attentive to every step towards it because, not being enslaved by his passions, hé will not be enveloped in the darkness produced by them; or, to express myself in the language of scripture, because by doing the will of God, he will know whether such and such doctrines comes


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from the Supreme Being, or from the preacher only, John vii. 17.

The mechanical arts will flourish in a virtuous state, because they, on whom God hath not bestowed geniusequal to the investigation of abstract sciences, whom he hath fitted for less noble stations in society, will fill up those stations with the utmost care, and will be happy in deriving from them such advantages as they produce. Thus a just notion of arts and sciences opens to us a third source of arguments to prove the truth of our


4. The doctrine of providence opens a fourth, as others have observed. The conduct of providence in regard to public bodies is very different from that, which prevails in the case of individuals. In regard to the latter, providence is involved in darkness. Many times it seems to condemn virtue and crown injustice, and to leave innocence to groan in silence, and to empower guilt to riot and triumph in public. The wicked rich man fared sumptuously every day, Lazarus desired in vain to be fed with the crumbs that fell from his table, Luke xvi. 19. 21. St. Paul was executed on a scaffold. Nero reigned on Cæsar's throne. And to say all in one word, Jesus Christ was born in a stable, and Herod lived and died in a palace.

But providence is directed in a different method in regard to public bodies. Prosperity in them is the effect of righteousness, public happiness is the reward of public virtue, the wisest nation is usually the most successful, and virtue walks with glory by her side. God sometimes indeed afflicts the most virtuous nations: but he doth so with the design of purifying them, and of opening new occasions to bestow larger benefits on them. He sometimes indeed prospers wicked nations; but

their prosperity is an effort of his patience and long suffering, it is to give them time. to prevent their destruction; yet, after all, as I said before, prosperity usually follows righteousness in public bodies, public happiness is the reward of public virtue, the wisest nation is the most successful, and glory is generally connected with virtue.

They, to whom we are indebted for this reflection, have grounded it on this reason. A day will come when Lazarus, will be indemnified, and the rich man punished; St. Paul will be rewarded, and Nero will be confounded; Jesus Christ will fill a throne, and Herod will be covered with ignominy. Innocence will be avenged, justice satisfied, the majesty of the laws repaired, and the rights of God maintained.

But such retribution is impracticable in regard to public bodies. A nation cannot be punished then as a nation, a province as a province, a kingdom as a kingdom. All different sorts of government will be then abolished. One individual of a people will be put in possession of glory, while another will be covered with shame and confusion of face. It should seem then, that providence owes to its own rectitude those times of vengeance, in which it pours all its wrath on wicked societies, sends them plagues, wars, famines, and other catastrophes, of which history gives us so many memorable examples. To place hopes altogether on worldly policy, to pretend to derive advantages from vice, and so to found the happiness of society on the ruins of religion and virtue, what is this but to insult providence? This is to arouse that power against us, which sooner or later overwhelms and confounds vicious societies.

5. If the obscurity of the ways of providence, which usually renders doubtful the reasonings of

men on its conduct, weaken the last argument, let us proceed to consider in the next place the declarations of God himself on this article. The whole twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy, all the blessings and curses pronounced there fully prove our doctrine. Read this tender complaint, which God formerly made concerning the irregularities of his people. O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! How should one chace a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight? Chap. xxxii, 29, 30. Read the affecting words, which he uttered by the mouth of his prophet, O that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries. Their time should have endured for ever. I should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat and with the honey out of the rock should I have satisfied them, Psal. lxxxi. 13, &c. Read the noble promises made by the ministry of Isaiah, Thus saith the Lord thy Redeemer, the holy One of Israel, I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to prophet, which leadeth thee by the way thou shouldest go. O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea; thy seed also had been as the sand, and thy name should not have been cut off, nor destroyed from before me, chap. xlviii. 17, &c. Read the terrible threatenings denounced by the prophet Jeremiah, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people; cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth. And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the Lord, Such as

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