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act of existing pleasureable in one and painful in another ; he has made it the same in all, and in all he has made it happy. No reason can be assigned for this, but that he is good to all.
Every appearance of partiality vanishes from all his great and substantial gifts. It is only in what is justly termed the adventitious circumstances which attend his bounties, that the least indication of it can be supposed to exist; yet narrow minds confine their attention to these adventitious circumstances, and hence conclude that he is partial in the distribution of his goodness; while all his great and fundamental blessings are so universally and equally diffused, that they demonstrate him to be a' being of perfect benevolence. Now we ought to reason from the great to the little, not from the little to the great, We ought to say, because in every thing of primary importance, there is no appearance of partiality, therefore there can be really none, although in lesser things there is some inequality in the distribution of the absolute sum of enjoynient: not because there is some inequality in lesser things, therefore there must be partiality, although there is no indication of it in any thing of real moment.
If to this consideration be added what has already been established, that even the most wretched of the human race enjoy a great preponderance of happiness, it will furnish another
decisive proof that the Deity designed to make all his creatures happy.
If we look inward on ourselves, and consider all the parts which minister to the perfection and happiness of our nature, whether animal or intellectual, we shall find a farther confirmation of this great truth. Did not one God fashion us? Has he given to any one of us more members than to another ? Has he superadded to one in the use of an organ, an exquisite degree of enjoyment, which he has denied to another? Are not all our organs the same, adapted to the same uses, and productive of the same gratifications? Has he not given to all the same number of senses, and made them the source of similar intelligence and pleasure? *
Indeed, no one can imagine, that in the forination and government of the world the Deity has been influenced by partiality, without entertaining the most low and puerile conceptions of his nature and conduct. When of one piece of clay he made an animal without reason, and of another a man, he felt no more partiality towards
* If those who are born blind or deaf, or are deprived of any sense by accident, should be considered exceptions to this general rule, it is still only the exception of one case in many thousands; and the loss even where it does take place, is very generally compensated, in no inconsiderable degree, by the acuteness which the remaining senses acquire.
the clay which formed the man, than towards that of which he constructed the animal without reason. But he determined to impart enjoyment to an infinite variety of organized and sensitive creatures. It was necessary to the perfection of his plan that there should be an animal without reason; it was necessary that there should be a man. He therefore gave to each the properties it
Now while we suppose that he was not influenced by partiality in the distinction which he has made between the different genera of creatures, shall we imagine that when he proceeded to form the species, and still more the individuals, he on a sudden changed the principle of his conduct, and acted solely with a view to gratify a capricious fondness for one individual, and aversion to another ; that classes and orders, those great lines of demarkation between different creatures, do not proceed from partiality, but that the slight shades of difference which distinguish individuals from individuals do? Can any conception be more puerile ? Every blessing diffused over the creation, which is of great or permanent importance, is given not to individuals, but to the species. This is the invariable law of nature.
But while the universality of the Divine benevolence will be readily admitted, with respect to the blessings which have been men
tioned, many persons believe that the Deity acts upon a totally different principle with regard to the distribution of moral and spiritual favor, and that he invariably confines the communication of this description of good to a few chosen individuals. The most popular systems of religion which prevail in the present age are founded upon this opinion. But if it be a fact that there is no partiality in the primary and essential gift of existence, in life considered as a whole, in the minor properties and felicities of our nature, in our senses, in our intellectual and moral faculties, and in the gratification of which they are respectively the source; if all these great blessings agree in this important circumstance, that they are instruments of enjoyment to all, and that the happiness they actually do impart is universal-it must follow that there is no partiality in the distribution of moral and spiritual good. For why is this spiritual good imparted to any? Why is it superadded to the merely animal and intellectual nature of a single individual? It must be to perfect its possessor, and to make him susceptible of a greater sum of enjoyment.
We perceive, that in addition to mere animal existence, man is endowed with organs which constitute him the most perfect of the creatures which inhabit the earth. Why were these organs given him? Without doubt that he might enjoy
a higher degree of happiness than the creatures beneath him. To the organs which constitute him a mere (though a very perfect) animal, there are then superadded others which impart to him a rational and moral nature, with a view that he may enjoy a more perfect happiness; but besides all these, other properties are added, which exalt him still higher in the scale of creation ; properties, for the reception of which the former only qualify him ; properties which make him capable of loving his Maker, and of enjoying him for ever. Why is he endowed with these? Certainly that he may enjoy a more perfect happiness than he could attain without them. Must not this reason then induce the Author of these invaluable blessings to bestow them upon the race as well as upon a few individuals ?
Let the mind dwell for a moment upon what it is it really supposes when it imagines that these properties are given to some and denied to others. The difference between the man who is capable of perceiving the excellence of the great and perfect Being who made him, of loving him, and of conforming to his character, and the man who not only is not endowed with this capacity, but is impelled by the principles of his nature to hate the Deity, is infinitely greater than the difference between a worm and the most exalted of the human race. For if before the religious faculty begins to be developed,