LECTURES ON THE
MORAL GOVERNMENT OF GOD.
NATHANIEL W. TAYLOR, D. D.,
THE MORAL GOVERNMENT OF GOD
BY THE LIGHT OF NATURE.
3. First leading proposition continued. -- God enforces conformity to his law by authority. -- (a) He assumes the right to give a law. -- (b) he dispenses good and evil as powerful inducements; for good and evil are the proper effects of right and wrong action; -- as self-complacency and remorse am enjoyed and suffered; reflection can be avoided only in part; -- (c) The providence of God in other ways works against evil and for good by discipline, restraint, sickness, disappointment, death. -- Forebodings of evil after death.
IN support of the proposition, that God is administering a moral government over men in some import of the language, I have adduced the facts --
1. That men are moral beings.
2. That God has given them a law or rule of action.
I now proceed to show as I proposed --
3. That he enforces conformity to this law by the influence of authority.
By this I do not intend to decide whether he does or does not evince the equity of his administration and his rightful authority. It is common to speak of the authority of a parent or of a civil ruler, notwithstanding the manifest imperfections in the administration of his government. In such a case, we mean that he assumes and exercises the right to give law or prescribe a rule of action to others, and treats them in many respects, as if this right truly and properly belonged to him. He does so particularly by showing that he can dispense good and evil, and that it is his purpose to do so in such a manner as to create a powerful motive a good and sufficient reason for doing his will because it is his will; in other words, for submitting to it without further inquiry, as the ultimate standard, the true and decisive rule of duty.
It is in this general and somewhat indefinite sense, that I now speak of God as enforcing conformity to his will by the influence of authority. As the parent, whatever imperfections and even inconsistencies may mar the government which he exercises over his children, may still be said to govern by authority, in like manner God governs men. That more than this is true, I shall attempt to show hereafter. This is all that I maintain at present, it being necessary to show that God is administering a moral government over men as distinguished from any other, before I attempt to prove the perfection of his moral government.
I remark, then --
In the first place, that God assumes and exercises the right of giving a law or of prescribing a rule of action to men. We have already shown in the preceding lecture, that God has clearly manifested his will to men in respect to their moral conduct by giving them a rule of action. This is in its own nature an act of sovereign prerogative--an assumption and exercise of the right to govern. The nature of virtue, of right moral action is not a creation, dependent on and coming forth from the divine will. That does not make it right though it may prove it to be so--in other words, it is not right because he wills it, but he wills it because it is right. But the nature of man is a creation, making manifest the design of his Creator in giving him existence. God as the author of man's nature and condition, has placed him under the necessity of acting morally right to secure his own well-being. He has, etymologically speaking, bound him by the cords of this necessity, that is in common language, placed him under a moral obligation to act morally right. In so doing God claims his conformity to the rule of right action. This God does not by compact, not by permission or consent--but in the exercise of his own supreme right or sovereign prerogative. Thus then the infinite being who made us, assumes the relation of a governor over us by law, thus taking the position of claiming submission to his will, on the ground that he has a right to it. I am not saying that he has this right (this may appear hereafter); but that he assumes it in the very act of giving a law, and that this assumption is itself and by itself, a clear and convincing intimation that he will vindicate and sustain this right, if not perfectly, to that degree which shall entitle it to respect.
No man can think of the greatness of God, how entirely he has the happiness of man at his own disposal-how clearly he has manifested his will respecting human conduct, and especially, how worthy of such a Being is the august relation of a perfect moral governor, without feeling a peculiar influence, an absolute and imperious necessity urging him to unqualified submission to his will.
There is a reason for this. Nothing is more certain than the execution of will, to the extent of the agent's power. On this well known principle it is, that no human being, with the knowledge of God's will respecting his conduct, can contravene it and reflect on what he has done, without the apprehension of some retributive evil, nor perform it without anticipating some expression of his favor. How plainly is this almost instinctive feeling seen in children, nay in friends, neighbors--in all relations, that of utter strangers not excepted. To imagine that men should regard it otherwise in respect to God, is to suppose them ignorant of the great law of voluntary action the law which connects with will the doing of what is willed, and the entire suspension of this law in a Being who is Almighty. Who can believe that God would be pleased with the conduct of creatures who are formed in his own image, and make no expression of his pleasure in good conferred, and be displeased with their conduct, and express no displeasure in evil inflicted? Can the infinite Being show, in the very nature of men, the end for which he made them, viz., right moral action, that he values the end as all that gives importance to their being, and do nothing which is in any respect fitted to secure the accomplishment, and to prevent the frustration of his will? Why else does he assume and exercise the right to give law? Why appear before his rational and moral creation in the exercise of such prerogative? Why has he entered upon this moral economy, if it is to be abandoned as a disgraceful mockery in the view of his moral creation? Is he too weak to maintain and vindicate the high prerogative he has assumed? This will not be pretended. Will his heart fail him -- will he, in the tenderness of his relentings, sink all that is venerable and awful in the character of a lawgiver and judge, in the weakness of parental indulgence; and so consent in the issue to expose himself to the ridicule, the contempt, and the defiance of a mere pretender to authority? Is God to stand before his moral creation, in the assumption of the high prerogative of its sovereign king, and yet in the mere pageantry of one from whom obedience has nothing to hope, and transgression nothing to fear? What an absurdity. Shall God give a law, and leave it unsanctioned by good and evil? Become a lawgiver, but not a judge? Shall his law be distinctly promulged, being written on every heart, and yet no judgment and no retribution follow? No. The mere giving of a law by our Maker is proof that we live under a retributive economy. Law bespeaks a judge. It tells of a throne in heaven, occupied by a living, reigning monarch, who takes judicial cognizance of the conduct of his creatures, and executes legal sanctions as they obey or disobey, his will.
In the second place, God so dispenses good and evil to men in this world, as to create a powerful inducement to do his will because it is his will. By this I mean, that God so dispenses good and evil to men in this world as to influence them to right moral action, not simply by the appropriate tendencies and consequences of actions, but also by the certainty of happiness or misery, as they obey or disobey. The performance or non-performance of an action, in view of its appropriate tendencies and consequences, is one thing. But to perform an action, because by so doing I shall please, and by not performing it shall displease another and a superior being on whom my happiness may or must greatly depend, is quite another thing. The former I might do, were there no superior being to be pleased or displeased with my conduct. The latter implies a direct regard to the will of another; because he can, and, as I have reason to believe, will dispose of my happiness or misery according to my actions. To be governed by this is to act from the influence of authority. What I now claim is, that God dispenses good and evil to men in this world in order to create this influence; i.e., so that we have reason to believe, that by right moral action we shall secure his favor, with its appropriate expressions in good conferred, and by wrong moral action shall incur his displeasure, with its appropriate expressions in evil inflicted. I am not now saying what degree of good and of evil we are to expect from obedience and disobedience; but that we are led by the actual providence of God to expect good and evil as the consequences of right and wrong action, in such a degree as to make it for our true interest to please him.
I remark then, that amid all the seeming mystery connected with the distribution of good and evil in this world, there is one fact too palpable to be denied, viz: so far as good and evil, happiness and misery, are seen to depend on the moral conduct of man, (and they are seen to depend on it to a great extent) all that good is the effect of virtue, and all that evil is the effect of vice. I know indeed that it is maintained by some, that vice often produces more happiness than virtue would produce in its stead. This I utterly deny. In some cases, greater good appears to follow vice, than we in our short-sightedness can see would follow virtue in its stead. This, be it remembered, is the estimate of our ignorance, and no proof of the fact alleged. Aside then from the groundless nature of this assumption, there is another equally so, viz., that the good which follows vice is its direct and appropriate effect. For in what case is the supposed greater good, which is said to follow, seen and known to be its true and appropriate effect? This is absolutely impossible in the nature of things. Vice consists simply in a selfish or malignant intention, in which the mind proposes to sacrifice both its own and also the greater good of others to the less. The sole tendency of this state of mind is to produce such a result. At the same time, the known tendency of virtue is to produce the greatest good, both to others and to the agent. How then can vice be the true and proper cause of greater good than virtue? How can it be the cause of that which it has no tendency to produce, and when virtue is known to be the only true and proper cause of the greatest good, in all cases? This can never be till the nature of things is changed, and virtue becomes vice, and vice virtue.
Nor is this all. Whatever good may follow a vicious or wicked action, of that good, the vice or wickedness of the action is not the true and proper cause. I readily admit that vice may, in one sense of the language, be said to be the means, and even the cause of good, viz., it may be followed with good. In this sense, we may properly speak of the pleasures of sin. I also admit, that in all voluntary action of that kind in which man aims to obtain any good, there is a tendency to secure or produce it, and of course that this is true of all voluntary sinful action. But then it is to be remembered that it is true of it only as voluntary, and not as sinful. Bishop Butler has made this important distinction between actions and that quality which constitutes them virtuous or vicious. He says, "An action, by which any natural passion is gratified, or fortune acquired, procures delight or advantage, abstracted from all consideration of the morality of such action; consequently the pleasure or advantage in this case is gained by the action itself, not by the morality, the virtuousness or viciousness of the action. though it be perhaps virtuous or vicious. Thus to say, such an action or course of behavior procured such pleasure or advantage, or brought such inconvenience or pain, is quite a different thing from saying that such good or bad effect was owing to the virtue or vice of such action or behavior. In one case, an action abstracted from all moral consideration produced its effect. In the other case--for it will appear that there are such cases,--the morality of the action, the action under a moral consideration, i.e., the virtuousness or the viciousness of the action, produced the effect." (ANALOGY, P. 1. chap. 3.) To say then that an action which is vicious produces good, is a very different thing from saying that vice, as such, produces good, or that vice, in its own proper nature and tendency, produces or is the cause of good.
Still further; a vicious action which is said to produce good, is complex, consisting of three elements, viz. the selfish preference, which is the governing purpose of the mind, the specific volition to perform the requisite external action, and the external action itself. In strict accuracy of conception, the vice is exclusively predicable of the selfish principle, and in no degree of the two other elements of the action. If now we look at the true nature and tendency of this selfish purpose, and judge of it in relation to its appropriate effect on the mind, and as wholly uncounteracted by any opposing cause, what is it? Plainly, its tendency is to act on the conscience in instant and overwhelming remorse, and thus to prevent the overt act which is the true and proper cause of the proposed good, and so either to prevent the acquisition or enjoyment of the good. It is only in counteracting this tendency of the selfish principle by at once searing and hardening conscience into a state of insensibility, that the pleasure aimed at can be experienced. Is it then the nature and tendency of this selfish principle to produce happiness in the human mind, when its only tendency, uncounteracted, is to overwhelm it in the instant agonies of remorse? The same remarks, mutatis mutandis, apply! to virtue. All the good or happiness then which follow vice, and in this sense is said to be produced by it, is known to result from something else than vice as its true and proper cause; and all the evil that follows virtue, is known to result from something else than virtue as its true and proper cause. So that the true tendency of virtue, uncounteracted by opposing causes to produce happiness and nothing but happiness, both to the agent and to others; and the tendency of vice uncounteracted by opposing causes to produce opposite results, are never in the providence of God in the least obscured by the good or evil which may ensue. It follows therefore, that so far as happiness and misery in this world can be traced to the moral conduct of men as their true and proper cause, all that good is, in the providence of God, the proper effect of virtue, and all that evil the effect of vice. I speak not here of that happiness and misery in the World, which are not the direct and proper effects of virtue and vice, but of those which are. Of all this I say, the happiness is exclusively the effect of right, and the misery of wrong moral action. Why then is this? What is the lesson to be learned from this method of God's providence? What is it, but that God is pleased with virtue and displeased with vice? What is it, but that if we would secure the favor and avoid the displeasure of God, so far as these depend on our conduct; and if we would hope to secure good and avoid evil, as these depend on his feelings toward us, we must perform right and avoid wrong moral action? Surely, no rational mind can fail to value the approbation and deprecate the disapprobation of that great Being who holds the welfare of his creatures entirely at his own disposal, as they shall obey or disobey his will. But how, in view of the laws of his providence, which are as undeviating as the ordinances of heaven--how, except by right action, can we hope or feel the least security that we shall obtain his favor and its blessings, or avoid his displeasure with its evils? How powerful then the persuasive to virtue, as the only kind of moral action by which we can hope for the approval of an infinite Being; and how powerful the dissuasive from vice, as that by which we must expect to incur his displeasure. In other words, how great the motive to do the will of God, because it is his will.
This reasoning will acquire still greater force, if we consider more particularly the appropriate results of right and wrong moral action in self-complacency and remorse. These results, with the delightful anticipations of the one and the painful forebodings of the other, are, in every just estimate of the good and evil of human life, of the highest moment to man. And yet how easily, by different providential arrangements, might the satisfaction we feel in right, and the remorse we feel for wrong action, be prevented. Indeed, it is quite conceivable that these consequences should be so prevented, by the providence of God, as to show on his part an indifference to moral conduct, or even a preference of wrong to right action. Why then is it--for the fact is undeniable--that good men feel that self-approbation, with its sustaining tranquillity and cheering anticipations, which they value above all earthly enjoyments? They are, at best, imperfect in moral character--they have acted the part of rebels against God. How easily then might their offended Sovereign so order their condition as to fill and overwhelm them with remorse for the past, and with despair for the future? What then are the joyful hope and triumphant anticipations of the good man, but the most decisive indications and proofs, furnished by the providence of God, of his friendship and favor? What is this, but God manifesting himself as the friend and patron of virtue, inviting and alluring man to do his will, by giving a present reward to even imperfect obedience.
On the other hand, why does not God conceal all displeasure toward the workers of iniquity? That excessive tenderness which some sentimental theologians are so fond of ascribing to the Deity, is wont in earthly parents to be very cautious on this point--to be at great pains to hide all displeasure, and to prevent all remorse for offences. Such however is not the method of God in his providence. Instead of being designed for this purpose, his providential arrangements are peculiarly adapted to opposite results. So much so, that it is not possible for men to avoid the full measure of remorse for their sins without much effort--without surmounting great obstacles without doing palpable violence to the most obvious tendencies. God in his providence, as it were, forces this remorse upon them; and in such a manner and in so many ways, that his purpose, that they shall feel it and regard it as an expression of his displeasure for their conduct, becomes conspicuous.
The confinement of the criminal in his solitary dungeon with its inevitable results in reflection and self-reproach, is not more expressive of its design than the providence of God, in securing to such an extent this species of mental suffering in the bosoms of the guilty, is of his purpose to make manifest his displeasure toward them. Who, in the remorse and painful forebodings of conscious guilt, does not feel the tokens of God's indignation? Who, under these frowns of an infinite being does not find a powerful motive to submit to his will and his authority? If we should behold the yet undisclosed spectacle of an assembled world, a judgment seat, and the judge thereon dispensing a full retribution to the righteous and the wicked, we should believe in the authority of God as a lawgiver. Why then do we not see in the retributions of that conscience of which God is the author, as these are disclosed to us in the certainties of experience--why do we not see in this present judgment and execution of the sentence, that God reigns in the exercise, if not of a righteous, at least of sovereign authority.
It is here most readily conceded, that reflection may be avoided, and that by voluntary absorption in sensual pleasure, by diverting thought and sensibility from our guilt, the fall effects in remorse of conscience may be avoided. Should it here be asked, if the design of our Maker be, that remorse should follow vice to impress us with a sense of his displeasure, why is it put within our power to avoid the full effect? I answer, that the possibility of our, so doing may be inseparable from the nature of human mind, and the circumstances in which the greatest good requires that we should be placed. The benignant designs of God may (and we shall see reason hereafter to believe they do) require that man should not be overwhelmed by the agonies of remorse, nor left without its painful and salutary forebodings. Be this however as it may, the fact now alleged does not at all obscure the real tendency of vice to this result. For in every case in which the full measure of remorse is not realized, we know that we have counteracted an actual and powerful tendency to that effect; and that there is nothing in the constitution of the mind which is the natural cause of quietness of spirit as the result of vicious practice. In short there is nothing to conceal, but every thing to make manifest the tendency of virtue to mental tranquillity and happiness, and of vice to opposite results. What then shall we conclude, but that he who is the author of conscience, and who has given it its supremacy and its power to legislate, to judge, and to execute its awards, is himself a lawgiver, a judge, and the executor of judgment? We should be satisfied of the designs and dispositions of a monarch, communicated through the instructions of a well accredited viceroy.
And what are the laws and the lessons of conscience, but those of the viceroy of the King of heaven? If virtue be demanded by the authority of conscience, and if obedience be followed by a satisfaction and serenity which form a rich reward, and if vice be forbidden by the same authority of conscience and visited with the severe though temporary agonies of remorse, then is it as rational to believe that the author of conscience reigns over men as a moral governor, as if we saw him on a throne in the midst of us, giving forth his law with his own voice, and with his own hand dispensing gifts to the obedient and inflicting punishment on the rebellious. The testimony of conscience is entitled to our belief in the one case, as truly as would be the testimony of our senses in the other.
In the third place, the providential dispensations of God in many other forms, duly contemplated, lead to the same conclusion. If men would reason concerning the designs of God from his acts, as they do from the acts of a fellow-creature, no impression I apprehend would be more strongly made on the human mind than that God reigns over this world as a law, giver; if not on the principles of perfect righteousness, at least in the exercise of sovereign authority. If they were as willing to contemplate God under this relation as under any other, and to form those conclusions which best accord with and explain the design of his providential dealings, they would see God in every thing. And here the first premise in all our reasoning should be the fact, that all men are transgressors of his law; and beyond all question, deserve the highest possible punishment, provided the greatest good requires a perfect moral system. And now, what is the treatment of this sinful world by its Maker but a course of providence, which speaks severe displeasure, even indignation, for their iniquity, mingled with so much forbearance and kindness, as also to manifest his love of righteousness? Who does not endure, in the various forms of pain, disappointment, and other earthly calamity, sufficient evil at least to awaken the thoughts of God's displeasure for his sins; and though not perhaps in his own case, yet in others, how does God permit the same principle of moral evil to go forth unchecked, to desolate human happiness and to break human hearts, that none may be ignorant of its fearful and fell malignity, and of the woes which he will inflict on the determined workers of iniquity? What tokens of the severity of his displeasure toward sin, and of the measure of evil with which he may visit it, does this world furnish! On the other hand, what restraints does he put on human selfishness, and especially in the methods in which he governs it by human selfishness, does he show how he abhors its appropriate doings! To my own mind, this is one of the most striking and affecting facts in his providence--without which the world would become a very pandemonium. By so doing, he compels as it were human selfishness itself to perform the very external deeds which benevolence would dictate, and thus secures to a great extent the results of benevolence, and shows in the most impressive manner, how happy, how blessed the world would become, were benevolence the universal principle of human action, and how it would rejoice him to bless a world of perfect virtue.
There is yet another class of evils, from which a most impressive lesson may be learned. I refer to those (inflicted, be it remembered, on a sinful world) which are not in the way of natural consequence the appropriate effect of sin. In view of these evils brought on mankind, by famine, tempests, fire, earthquakes, pestilence, and other like causes, whose connection with sin in the way of natural consequence is entirely undiscoverable, what lesson is taught the children of men? Is it said, they are the natural results of the laws of a material system? But who ordained these laws? God, the intelligent, designing author of this moral creation, permits their appalling action on his creatures, all of whom, we know, have incurred his displeasure by sin! Can we then suppose these evils to be imposed without any reference to moral character? Are they all deserved, and is this fact to have no place, in accounting for the infliction? Are these natural and appropriate expressions of the displeasure of their Author toward his sinful creatures, and yet shall we affirm that they are not so? Do you say that they can be accounted for in some other way? But can it be done as consistently with all the facts, and therefore as rationally? And is not the most philosophical solution also the most credible and the best? Suppose God wished to make a clear and strong impression on the human mind of his high and awful sovereignty, in supporting his authority as a moral ruler; suppose that he wished to show us that he might and that he would not confine penal evils to the mere natural consequences of sin, but that, in vindication of his prerogative to reign, he had in store still other penalties for the rebellious. Are not these evils, and the manner of their infliction, exactly fitted to manifest and impress his design? Can any other mode of manifesting it be conceived, so fitted to this end? Do you ask, why are these evils so limited and partial?--why does he not desolate the earth in his anger? I answer, that would conceal his design to restore man to duty and to happiness (as I shall show hereafter). God, it should be remembered, has more designs than one to make manifest to his accountable creatures; and it would not be difficult to show, that his providence is in all respects adapted in perfect wisdom to this great purpose. In some modes and forms of providence he manifests one design, and in other modes another, and without the least conflict or incongruity in doing so. And now I ask, what is that which we are considering--what are tempests, earthquakes, pestilences, which carry desolation and woe over large portions of the earth, in such terrific forms as to compel even God-defying Atheism to cry for God's compassion. There is a way of testing an honest judgment on this question. It is, to put one's self into circumstances in which there shall be no temptation to judge unfairly, but every inducement to judge honestly, for practical purposes. Let any one imagine himself under some of these forms of evil; the tempest is bursting on his head, the earth is reeling to and fro like a drunken manor the ship is on fire in mid-ocean--every arm is palsied, every face pale with despair, and God only can help--who, despairing of life, would not feel himself to be a sinner, and filled with forebodings of greater evils to come, ask for God's mercy? What then are these evils, honestly judged of, but manifestations of displeasure, which God makes in the exercise of his own irresponsible sovereignty, and in vindication of his high authority as moral governor?
Death, separated from the mode and circumstances in which it takes place, is an evil deserving our serious consideration. What then is death; what is it to all those creatures of God who are able, as God designed they should be, to know and feel it as it is? "Death," in nearly the words of another, "is a most serious and appalling event. It is nature's supreme evil; the terror of God's creation, the monster king, from whose touch and glance every living thing recoils. Death destroys both action and enjoyment; it mocks at wisdom, strength and beauty, disarranges our plans, robs us of our treasures, desolates our homes, breaks our heart-strings, and blasts our hopes." Death separates us from all we know and love on earth, extinguishes affection, confidence, joy, and life itself; it either carries us to God's judgment-seat or it does not--lands us in a state of untried existence or in the gulf of annihilation. "No wonder nature trembles before it. Reason justifies the feat." "It is but a tribute to the value of the life which is our Maker's gift. To make light of death is an outrage on reason, on nature and on nature's God." To such an evil has God subjected man. What is it but an expression of displeasure, an act of awful sovereignty. I do not say what will follow it. I take as it is, a known matter of fact to all God's rational and moral creatures. What is it but a proof of God's displeasure proof that he reigns in vindictive sovereign majesty, avenging his high prerogative to rule, if not in exact righteousness at least in authorizing and compelling reason to fear a more dreadful retribution.
Thus I have attempted to show, that God enforces conformity to his law by that influence which I have called authority. In other words, in view of what God has done in the creation and condition of man as a moral being, and what he does in his providence over this world, there is a very powerful motive to do the will of God, because it is his will. I now ask in view of what has been said, is there any object more worthy of being made the great end of life, than that of obtaining, the approbation and avoiding the displeasure of that Being who reigns over this world, and who holds all destiny in his hands? Is there any other way in which we can so rationally hope for substantial good, even in this world--any other in which we can avoid fear--not to say terror--in the prospect of leaving it! Say not that all is uncertain after death. Be it so; and this is the most that can be said to alleviate the prospect. All then is uncertain after death! But is it not the part of wisdom to be prepared for the worst? All is uncertain after death! And is no thought to be taken of even possible evils--and is no preparation to be made against them? All is uncertain! But is this all that can be said? Is there nothing probable after death? Look at the facts; God has made man a moral being, fitted to be held responsible for his doings--he has placed him under law as a rule of action--all adaptations, tendencies, the whole nature and relations of things show that if man would be happy, he must be good. Look at your own character. In bold, habitual defiance you have crossed the will, and so incurred the displeasure of the infinite Being who holds all destiny in his hands. Look at his providence. He tells you in a manner not to be mistaken, that he is displeased. He tells you in every painful thought, fear and misgiving, in every sting of anguish that conscience inflicts, in every evil which sin brings upon yourself and every sinner--in the sorrows, tears, woes and death of a groaning creation around you. He tells you also of a degree of displeasure that confines not its expressions in evil to the direct natural results of wrong-doing. He shows himself to you maintaining his prerogative to reign by inflicting other evils in a mode of awful sovereignty. He will terminate your existence on earth by an event full of terror as being the end of life, an event which will decide either that your soul with its stupendous faculties will be blasted into annihilation--blessed with a joyous immortality, or plunged into pain, despair and horror. Such is God. All this be hath done, and this he will do. And is there nothing probable after death? Think of these things. Think of the question which death will decide in respect to yourself. A question, the mere uncertainty of whose decision is enough to convulse a universe with trembling. Is thoughtless sin then the wisest, safest, best preparation for meeting God in death? I say not what will be. I ask you only to think of what with fearful probability may be. Do you say you can meet it with composure, and drive away the forebodings of conscious guilt? I tell you no--not if reason remains and conscience lives. Nero had not firmness of nerve enough for this. Voltaire, with his settled deadly hate of Christianity, could not do it. There is a God. He hath given a law. That law to the guilty mind will bespeak a Judge. The throne of heaven to the eye of conscience will be filled with a living, reigning, sin-avenging God.
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