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conscience, expects him to rule himself correctly by these ; and if he does not, he is without relief: he must abide by the consequence in a hopeless state in this life; and as to any other, it is extremely doubtful whether Lord Bolingbroke believed there was another.
Mr. Addison had quite as sublime ideas of the omnipotence of God as Lord Boling, broke, believing the universe to have been created by his almighty fiat, and that by the same fiat he can, whenever he pleases, remand it to its original non-existence. He believed likewise, that the life and death, the happiness and misery of all living beings are entirely at God's disposal, and that in and by him every thing lives, and moves, and has its being : but then he believed, that God is not only the Almighty Creator of all beings, but at the same time their affectionate and heavenly Father; and that he has created them not merely to display his omnipotent power, but with a design that such of his intellectual creatures as trust in him, and obey, or sincerely endeavour to obey, his commands, should enjoy, from the participation of his peace and an habitual cheerfulness, a very considerable degree of happiness
in this life, and a much greater in another. As Mr. Addison inferred the omnipotence and infinite wisdom of God from his works of creation; so he inferred his goodness from his internal feelings, from his own experience of it, and from various evident proofs and exemplifications of it exhibited in real life; not only in the mere support and sustenance of all his creatures, but from a marked and evident intention on the part of God, that in a great many ostensible instances their faculties and senses should be gratified with the enjoyment of positive pleasure. Secondly, he infers his goodness from the perusal of his holy Scriptures ; from the account God has therein graciously condescended to give of his own nature, that he is “the Lord God, “ merciful and gracious, longsuffering, abun“ dant in goodness and truth, pardoning ini
quity, transgression, and sin;" and that “ he governs the world not only in' power " and wisdom, in judgment and righteous
ness, but in lovingkindness :” likewise from the relation they give of man's redemption, and all those other glorious truths, such as the knowledge of the origin of man, of his probationary state and destiny, and especially of the great readiness God expresses
of always being disposed to pardon the sins of men on their repentance and amendment of conduct; truths so abundantly calculated to convince a grateful and susceptible mind of his goodness and lovingkindness to the human species.
Now here I shall not dwell on the superior degree of happiness with which (from the admission of these spiritual truths, and the train of his ideas in consequence) the mind of Mr. Addison must have vibrated through life, and, as we are particularly informed it did, on his death-bed, and of which species of sublime happiness. Lord Bolingbroke, from his principles, could never have had any experience, or even notion ; but I must contend, these truths. were and could only have been spiritually discerned; for if they could have been discerned by mere intellect, the intelligent mind of Lord Bolingbroke would have discerned them; but this he could not do, because whoever
peruses his philosophical works must be fully convinced, that his mind was not possessed of that humility, which God ever requires to exist in the heart of man, and without which his reason (ever swayed and determined, if not in all, in most of its
judgments and decisions, by the feelings and disposition of the heart) can no more discern the luminous truths of Revelation, than a blind man can see the splendor of the
Lord Bolingbroke had not the least idea of the force and truth of that observation of our blessed Saviour, “ Except ye receive the kingdom of God as a little child, ye
shali “ not enter therein.” Probably had this passage been suggested to him, he would have answered the suggestion with a scornful smile or sneer. Neither, we may presume from his writings, had he any idea, that the grace and holy spirit of God will be imparted to those that humbly sue for it, to discern, such spiritual truths as the mere reason of man cannot discern; nor of that particular passage, “ For he that hath, to him shall be
given ; and he that hath not, from him " shall be taken, even that he hath :" the meaning of which is very well understood by every sincere believer in the Gospel, but probably is entirely unintelligible to men whose minds are suffused with a proud and conceited spirit, because the virtue, the very essence of these truths apply to, and were intended rather for, the melioration and:
comfort of the heart, than the improvement of the understanding: and therefore unless the heart (if I may be excused the expression) harmonizes and is in unison with these truths, they vibrate both on it and on his understanding in vain; and must do só; for the force and meaning of these passages in Scripture can only be felt by persons who are of that humble disposition, as to be of opinion, that reason is not in all cases capable of discerning the whole and entire meaning of the word of God; and therefore with deep and unfeigned humility implore his grace and holy Spirit, to enlighten their minds respecting such truths as it cannot of itself discern.
God Almighty himself, by the mouth of his prophets, observes, that it is from the errors of the heart, rather than those of the understanding, that men cannot know his ways;
To-day, if ye will hear my voice, harden “ not your hearts.” “ It is a people that do
err in their hearts, therefore they have not “ known my ways.” “O that there were “ such an heart in them, that they would “ fear me, and keep all my commandments
always, that it might be well with them, 6 and with their children for ever.” And