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for the abominable idolatries and wickedness of the inhabitants in general, and of its kings in particular: and Cyrus we know was appointed by name two hundred years before the event to destroy the Babylonish empire. And that the Heathens entertained the idea that God

avenges violent injustice and impiety, is to be fully proved from the records of profane history. Among a variety which might be selected, the following instance is related of the Carthaginians by Diodorus : “ When “ Agathocles invaded Africa, totally defeated “ the Carthaginian army under Hanno, en“ tered and plundered their camp, and threat“ ened the entire overthrow of the Cartha

ginian state ; these people wholly ascribed 6 their misfortunes to the wrath of the gods, 6 and believed that they sent Agathocles to

punish them; first, for their having omitted " to send to Tyre a tenth of the revenue of “ the republic, which they were accustomed

annually to do, as an offering to Hercules, “ the patron and protector of Tyre and Car

thage; and, secondly, for having only sa“ crificed to Saturn the children of slaves “and beggars, instead of those of the best “ families in Carthage. In consequence of " their supposed impiety, they made an open

“ and public confession of it; and, to expiate “ their guilt, they sent to Tyre a great num“ ber of shrines of their deities, made wholly 6 of gold, and a sacrifice of two hundred 66 children of the first rank was offered to

appease the wrath of their sanguinary

god.” I mention this to prove the sense the Pagans had, first, of the interference of their gods in human concerns; and, secondly, that they believed them to be avengers of impiety and injustice, and that such vengeance was, inflicted by means of human agents. In whichever view therefore we consider the objection to God's providence, from tyrants being occasionally seated on thrones, whether placed there to punish the wickedness of mankind or not, their being so seated is no argument against that providence; for if they are raised up for the express purpose of accomplishing the will and designs of God, it is an irresistible, an invincible argument of his interference in the affairs of mankind. And if they succeed to the throne in lineal descent, and wantonly and unnecessarily act as tyrants, their conduct being then contrary to the will of God, and to the directions given them by reason, conscience, and a moral sense, if Heathens;

and by reason, conscience, a moral sense, and the express revelation of his will on this subject, if Christian princes ; nothing can be more absurd than to ascribe the nefarious conduct of such monarchs as an objection to the providence of God, when that very providence has been peculiarly careful, in various intelligible ways, to prescribe to these monarchs, as free agents, a particular course of conduct perfectly in their power to adopt, and they wantonly and wilfully presume, in direct defiance and disobedience to that particular course, to act in a way in all respects diametrically opposite to it.

Upon the whole, though it is impossible that a finite being should be able to comprehend the ways and proceedings of an infinite Being; and though with respect to God's providence man can only, in general, be said to view it “ as through a glass “ darkly;" yet we are permitted to see clearly into it so far, with respect to his conduct to the human species, as to be absolutely certain, that it is his invariable will that virtue should ever be the parent of human happiness, and vice of misery: this conclusion being equally agreeable to the reason and conscience of man, and its truth

confirmed by the records both of sacred and profane history.

When the Jewish people, as a nation, served and feared God, as they did under the reigns of Joshua and Solomon, it is particularly mentioned, that“ every man sat peace“ably under his vine and fig-tree,” &c. And in profane history, Aristotle observes *, that, “ from the foundation of Carthage to his

time,” (upwards of 500 years,)“ no consider“ able sedition had ever disturbed the peace “ of the state.” And Polybius, in his 6th book, remarks, that, “ during the several ages “ that the laws of Lycurgus were observed in

Sparta, no commotions or seditions of the “ people alarmed the city.” And Plato equally observes, in his first book de Leg. that 66 the hard and sober manner in which “ these people were educated, inspired them " with a natural taste for temperance; so

that drunkenness, debauchery, and all “ their concomitant disorders, were banished “ from Sparta, and its dependent territory.” Now Plato, Aristotle, and Polybius, all ascribe the periodical happiness of these nations to virtue, as implicated in the wis

* Lib. ii.c. 11. de Repub,

dom of their laws, and in the wise and virtuous manner of their administration. The same truth applies particularly to the earlier part of the Roman commonwealth, to the whole of the reign of Numa, and to the middle and latter part of the reign of Augustus. In lesser bodies and communities of men, as in the small Grecian republics, we see the same event, that is, their happiness was for the most part in proportion to their virtue: and every individual, by applying to his own breast, must be convinced that guilt is the source of sorrow; and not only so, but that the providence of God usually, at least very frequently, inflicts a punishment analogous to, or flowing immediately from, his crime; so that men generally, or very often, are able to see their crime in their punishment. How many characters, for example, who have violently transgressed the duties of husbands, fathers, and masters, have been retributively punished in a second conjugal union, in disobedient, worthless children, and treacherous and faithless servants ! and how often does intemperance occasion diseases peculiarly appropriate to, and flowing directly from, that intemperance! Then, if we consider how

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