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Proposition III - George Turnbull, The Principles of Moral and Christian Philosophy. Vol. 2: Christian Philosophy 
The Principles of Moral and Christian Philosophy. Vol. 2: Christian Philosophy, ed. and with an Introduction by Alexander Broadie (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005).
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The divine, infinitely wise, just, good, faithful, and merciful providence, governs the whole universe by general laws: and what is said in the sacred writings of the ministry of angels, and of special miraculous interpositions of providence on certain occasions, is not inconsistent with government by general laws.
It hath been already more than once observed, that the phrases by which God’s government of the material<174> world is expresseda in scripture, plainly mean the production of all natural effects according to established general laws.
And in holy writ several general laws in the moral world are mentioned or acknowledged: as the law of habits, or the improvement and degeneracy of the mind in consequence of that general law; or the established power of usage, custom or habit; the law of industry, according to which all acquisitions, external or internal, are made: and finally, this important law in the text, that it shall be rendered to every moral being, upon the whole of things, according to the foundation they have laid in their first state of probation; that every one shall reap as he has sown, or according to his behaviour: he shall reap the natural fruits of the seed he sows. Government therefore throughout all by general laws, throughout the moral as well as the natural world, is the doctrine of the scriptures. And indeed, as, seeing we can trace government by general laws in very many instances in nature, we have hence reason to presume, that the government of the moral world is analogous to it, and likewise by general laws; so were we strangers to the material world, if we can trace the observance of those general laws which have been mentioned in the moral world, we would have in like manner good ground to infer, that the material part must likewise be governed by general laws analogously to the moral; and that from this single consideration, which is evident at first sight, that the material and moral do make one system, or are intimately and closely blended together, and have but one Author, and one end or scope.
But this subject is of great importance, and therefore it is well worth while, in the first place, to shew more particularly than hath been yet done, how, or<175> upon what grounds we may reason so from the material world to the moral, as to infer government by general laws in the later from government by general laws in the former. And then, secondly, to consider, whether marvelous interpositions are not repugnant to the doctrine of government by general laws, whether in the material or moral world.
I. Let us enquire how, or in what manner, and upon what ground, we may reason from the government of the material world to that of the moral. For some consider these two as so quite distinct, that good order may appear in the one, and yet there may be nothing but disorder and confusion in the other. They think, that as one may have a very good taste of architecture, gardening, and laying out fields, and yet be a very bad head of a family in other respects; so the contrivance of the material world may shew excellent taste of beauty and order in that kind, and yet an equal good taste of moral order and harmony may be wanting. And therefore they conclude, that it is only from moral administration, that the moral character of any being can be inferred with any degree of certainty or assurance.
Now, in answer to this specious reasoning, it might be shewn, that the taste of beauty in architecture, and the other ingenious arts, is so analogous to and connected with good taste of beauty and harmony in moral conduct, that if one who hath the former be irregular and dissolute in his morals, he must be so in down-right contradiction to the sole principle upon which his delight in the ingenious arts and works of taste is founded; and so be at perpetual variance with himself. And therefore we naturally presume, that one who shews perfect good taste in the external oeconomy of his house, gardens, &c. cannot fail in his moral conduct thro’ ignorance, but thro’ the strength of ill-grounded appetites, in opposition to frequent reproaches<176> of natural conscience, not seldom excited, and always exaggerated by the exercises of his other taste, or rather of the same taste about inferior objects, which, when it is duly cultivated, naturally leads to right moral conduct: a ground of suspicion that cannot take place with regard to the Author of the universe, or any original, universal, independent mind.
But not to insist upon what would unavoidably lead us into a long enquiry into the principles of the polite arts, and the nature and foundation of good taste in them, we shall only observe, that tho’ moral philosophy be distinguished from natural, and the moral from the natural world for several good reasons; yet it would be a very great mistake, if any one should be led by that distinction to consider them as two distinct or separate worlds, or two distinct spheres of action: for not only are they but parts making one world or system; but strictly speaking, there is but one possible object of divine care or providence, which is the happiness of beings capable of happiness in their several degrees; and therefore the whole constitution and government of what is called the material part of the creation is, properly speaking, a moral constitution and government; being nothing else, but a constitution and government, according to which perceptive beings are affected in such and such manners by certain sensations. But this being true, it is unreasonable to speak of the government of a material, and the government of a moral world as distinct systems: the more proper and philosophical way, is only to speak of a moral government, or of the government of beings capable of happiness and misery. And therefore, if in tracing and examining this moral government, certain universal laws are found out; and, in general, if as far as we are able to carry our enquiries, the moral government seems to be carried on by universal and not partial laws; we have certainly reason to conclude, that universally throughout the same moral government, all is governed by general<177> laws. When we speak of arguing from the material world to the moral, it sounds at first like arguing from conduct in one sphere to conduct in an absolutely different one. But it is not really so; for it is only arguing from some parts of one and the same sphere to other parts of it; or from some samples of conduct in one and the same sphere to conduct universally in that same one sphere or system. No doubt, we may reason in many instances very justly from one’s conduct in one sphere to what might be expected of the same being in another sphere. But in the matter now before us, we do not argue from one different sphere to another, but we conclude from samples of conduct in several instances what may be judged of the conduct of the same being universally throughout the whole of that one government. But if it is said, that all being granted which is demanded, yet when we have found in the moral government of providence only general laws and good order with respect to the conveyance of sensations into our minds from without; or, in other words, with respect to the manners in which we are affected by sensible pleasures and pains; can we from thence alone conclude, that general laws and good order are universally observed with regard to every thing upon which the greater good in the whole administration depends? May not a scheme of government be well so far, and no further? And that order just mentioned, with regard to the conveyance of sensible ideas, may be, and is likely to be but a very small part of the whole scheme. True. But certainly if general laws are clearly perceived to prevail to any degree in a government, there immediately arises a presumption that they prevail universally throughout the same one government. Suppose two absolutely distinct independent governments are found at the first comparison to have a similitude, will not a presumption immediately arise, that there may be throughout the whole a similitude between them; and will not this<178> presumption strengthen in proportion, as the comparison advancing, greater likeness is found between them: and if these two governments are known to be contrived and under the administration of the same head and ruler, will not the presumption from the beginning be yet stronger on that account, that a very great resemblance will be found between them by acurate inspection and comparison? By parity of reason therefore in a government which appears plainly to be one, to be contrived, effected and governed by one and the same head, there must arise a very strong presumption, because it is such, that throughout the whole of it there is analogous or similar government; and this presumption will grow stronger in proportion to the new instances of analogy and likeness, or of similar government by general laws, that are discovered, even tho’ all these instances should be of the same category, as all instances with regard to the conveyance of sensible ideas are. But, no doubt, the presumption will become yet stronger if general laws are found to prevail likewise in some instances that are not of the same category with sensations, but so remote from them, as to belong to quite a different rank or category of effects.
II. Now, in the second place, government by general laws is no less obvious in many other instances, than it is with respect to the methods in which sensible ideas are conveyed, which are properly called the laws of nature; or the connexions between certain means and certain ends in the material part of God’s government of moral beings. In our enquiry into the moral world, several laws are proved to be general in it from their effects, in the same manner as natural philosophers have proved certain laws in the sensible world to be general. But not to repeat what hath been said there, let me but just suggest here that there is a<179> much more exact correspondence and analogy between the natural and moral world, (in what sense we understand this distinction, hath been just now explained) than superficial observers are apt to imagine or take notice of; so that it may be justly said of the whole of the divine government, as far as we are able to extend our enquiries into it, with the son of Syrach,a “All things are double one against another: and God hath made nothing imperfect.” The inward frame of the human mind, all its affections and powers, and all their laws correspond to the external condition and circumstances in which man is placed, i.e. to the laws of the sensible world, which we are at present capable of enjoying in various ways, and consequently of being variously affected by it; these two constitutions are so analogous, so correspondent, so nicely adjusted to one another, that had we no other argument to prove them to be one system directed to one end, by one Author and Ruler, by similar methods of government, that single consideration would be sufficient to evince it. For as we must either not admit final causes at all, or we must admit them wherever we perceive them; so, we must either admit similarity and correspondence, wherever we perceive it, or not admit it in any instances. And there are no where in nature, clearer instances of analogy in nature, than between several laws of the natural world, and several laws of the moral world.
A careful examiner will find, that all our affections and passions are not only well-suited to our external circumstances; but that they themselves, and all the laws or methods of exercising them, with their different consequences, have a very exact correspondence with, and analogy to the sensible world, and its laws. Is there not an obvious similarity between the principle of gravitation toward a common center, and universal benevolence, in their operation? And what is self-love, but the attraction by which a private system is constituted, preserved, and kept together, in like manner, as by close cohesion of parts, particular bodies<180> are formed and preserved. Nor is there any more inconsistency between the co-existence of the two principles of self-love and benevolence in the same mind, than between the attraction of parts by which every particular body is formed, and its gravitation toward the common center of the whole system, in order to the coherence or support of the whole. Homogeneous bodies more easily coalesce than others: and so is it with minds. For is not friendship a particular sympathy of minds analogous to that particular tendency we may observe in certain bodies to run together and mix or adhere? Compassion, or a disposition to relieve the distressed, is it not similar to that tendency we observe in nutritious particles of several kinds, to run to the supply of wants in bodies which they are respectively proper to supply. Hunger, and other such appetites, are with regard to our conservation what a disposition in all plants to attract their proper nutriment is to them; which, while they want, they droop and seem uneasy like famished animals. Minds repel injuries in the same way that bodies do, (our eye-lids, for example) instantaneously, by a similar, innate, repelling force. And which is yet a more remarkable instance of similarity between the natural and the moral world, dominion is proportional to property, as gravity to quantity of matter; so that all mutations in the orbs of civil government, if one may so speak, are resolvable into that moral law of dominion, in like manner as all the motions and variations in the celestial orbs are into the natural law of gravitation.a
But since no one can be acquainted with nature, or indeed with the imitative arts, with poetry in particular, without perceiving and admiring the<181> correspondence between the sensible and moral world, from which arises such a beautiful, rich source of imagery in poetry, and without which there could be no such thing; I shall not insist longer upon it than just to observe, that we are excellently fitted to admire the beauty of the natural world, and to trace that connexion between beauty and utility, every where prevailing in nature, confessed by artists, who imitate nature as the foundation of their arts; and which is the chief source of all the natural philosopher’s delight: and there is the same connexion in the moral part, between the moral beauty of affections, actions and characters, and real advantage, real soundness and usefulness, whether with respect to the private system; i.e. the good of each individual, or the publick system, i.e. the good of our kind. And, to add no more, as every thing in nature requires culture, in order to its arrival to its perfect state; so likewise does every quality of the mind require proper diligence to bring it to proper maturity: and as the power of man in the natural world, extends no further, than uniting and disuniting elementary unchangeable bodies; so in the moral world, all his power likewise consists in uniting and disuniting; or associating and dissociating elementary unchangeable ideas and affections. So that, upon the whole, from the consideration of nature, there is good reason to conclude, that all is governed by general laws very analogous or similar.
III. But if any one should say, why lay such a stress upon government by general laws; for is it not sufficient, that all things be disposed, placed and adapted for the greater good, whether the author of nature works by general laws or not: i.e. whether effects are reducible to certain harmonies and analogies, or stand single, and have no relation to one principle: or, in other words, tho’ no two effects are instances of the same manner of operation: for those are the<182> different phrases by which philosophers explain their meaning when they speak of general laws. To this an answer hath already been given, viz. that were that the case, nature could not be called an united system; it would be a loose incoherent heap of effects, without any cement or union, like a heap of independent unconnected stones. And how one end can be pursued in such a case, or what meaning the pursuit of general good can have upon that supposition, I am entirely at a loss to conceive. But one thing is certain, beyond all doubt, that no intelligent creature could ever understand such a course of things, perceive beauty in it, comprehend it, or form rules of conduct to itself from it. From which it plainly follows, that all the interests of intelligent beings, all their rational exercises of understanding, of will, or of affections, absolutely require government by general laws: knowledge, contemplation of beauty, activity, prudence, virtue, are impossible attainments, but in a state where general laws do obtain, and are traceable to a certain degree. But this hath been already observed, and is only repeated now, because it is necessary to be put in mind of it, in order to our being able to answer the other question with regard to providence, which it was proposed to discuss under this head, namely,
II. Whether miraculous interpositions of providence are consistent with government of the world by general laws. An excellent author reasons to this purpose on this subject. “It is from analogy that we conclude the whole of nature to be capable of being reduced into general laws. It is from our finding, that the course of nature in some respects, and so far, goes on by general laws, that we conclude this of the rest. And if that be a just ground for such a conclusion, it is a just ground also, if not to conclude, yet to apprehend, to render it supposeable and credible, which is sufficient for answering objections, that God’s<183> miraculous interpositions may have been, all along, in like manner, by general laws of wisdom. Thus, that miraculous powers should be exerted at such times, upon such occasions, in such degrees and manners, and with regard to such persons rather than others; that the affairs of the world, being permitted to go on in their natural course so far, should just at such a point have a new direction given them by miraculous interpositions; that these interpositions should be exactly in such degrees and respects only; all this may have been by general laws. These laws are unknown indeed to us: but no more unknown than several other laws from whence certain effects proceed are, though it is taken for granted, they are as much reducible to general ones as gravitation. Now, if the revealed dispensations of providence, and miraculous interpositions be by general laws, as well as God’s ordinary government in the course of nature, made known by reason and experience; there is no more reason to expect, that every exigence, as it arises, should be provided for by these general laws of miraculous interpositions, than that every exigence in nature should by the general laws of nature. Yet there might be wise and good reasons, that miraculous interpositions should be by general laws; and that these laws should not be broken in upon, or deviated from by other miracles.”
This reasoning from analogy is certainly very just. But it is not from analogy merely, that we have reason to conclude, that the whole of the divine government must be by general laws; and consequently, that even miraculous interpositions must be all along carried on by general laws, tho’ unknown to us. Because the scheme of providence which is carrying on, whether in a way we can trace, as we do when we are able to reduce certain effects into their general laws; or in methods unknown to us; must be a scheme, all the parts of which were chosen by the divine creator and<184> ruler of all things, as the best and fittest in order to promote his sole end, universal good; an end called in scripture very properly his glory. It cannot therefore be a scheme which frequently requires interpositions, at certain points, till then never thought of by the ruler of the world, and maker of all things. That is inconsistent with his perfections. And yet between such instantaneous, extemporary, and before unthought of interpositions to serve particular exigencies, and a scheme in which all is carried on according to a general order and method; or, which is the same thing, according to general laws established by him from the first, or more properly speaking, from all eternity, there is no middle. The one or the other must be the case; but the former being absurd, the later must be true. But if miraculous interpositions cannot mean such extemporary, unpremeditated or casual interpositions, pro re nata;22 ’tis plain, miraculous interpositions can be in no other sense miraculous to us, than any other effects are really such, whose laws are unknown to us, tho’ we do not call all such miraculous. A miraculous interposition, the effect of a general law, is not miraculous, if by miraculous is meant anomalous; because that would be to say, it is an anomalous effect of a general law. But as the commonalty of mankind, who have no notion of general laws, call nothing miraculous but what is uncommon, and do call all uncommon effects such; so even the philosophers, whose daily employment it is to trace general laws, do not however call effects which they daily or often see miraculous, merely because they know nothing of their general laws; but such only as are either contrary to general laws they are acquainted with; or are, at least, at the same time extremely uncommon, and extremely unlike the common course of nature. In this sense, do they who believe the truth of the dispensations recorded in holy writ, say many things in them are contrary to known laws, and many are very unlike the common<185> course of nature, and they are therefore miraculous. But when that is said, nothing is said that is contrary to the doctrine of the divine government throughout all, from the beginning, and for ever by general laws. For all these dispensations may have been carried on by general laws unknown to us, as many laws of effects, which being very common, do not startle us, are: and if they be really what they are represented to be in the scriptures, that is, if they be really true, or if they really happened, they must have been brought about by general laws, since providence works in no other manner.
But here it will be said, is not all this directly repugnant to what you have been endeavouring to establish; for of what use can miraculous interpositions be, if no rules can be inferred from them for our conduct; but rules for conduct can only be deduced from known general laws, or effects reducible into general laws: and is it not very contradictory to talk of an established order of nature, and at the same time of effects or interpositions contrary to this order of nature: And yet what do miraculous interpositions mean, but dispensations suspending or counteracting and conquering general laws of nature? In order therefore to takeoff all those difficulties and clear this matter as fully as we can. Let it be observed,
I. That if there are created beings in nature higher than man, as it hath been often said nature and reason render highly probable there are, of very various ranks, gradually ascending in knowledge and power one above another, in such proportion that the lowest of them transcends man, as man does the highest class of brutes; upon that supposition, every order of such beings will have its peculiar sphere of power, activity, or dominion alloted to it, as man hath his appointed to him. But the exertions of power natural to a rank of beings superior to man, or according<186> to the laws of their nature, and of their sphere of activity, will be in respect to man miraculous in the strongest sense of the word, that is, impossible, or absolutely beyond his reach. To such beings the laws which limit human power in the natural world may be no confinement; but it may be in their power to act quite contrary to them. For hence it will not follow, that the same nature admits repugnant laws, since what we call the laws of matter and motion, or the laws of the sensible world, are the laws according to which sensible effects are produced to us or in us, and according to which we must operate, in order to gain certain ends; and while these remain the same to us, nature remains the same of us. Thus, to explain the matter by an example or two, though the law of gravity prevail universally through the natural world, insomuch that all the appearances of the planets are reducible into it, together with that centrifugal force, which is the result of the inertnes of matter; and that we cannot suspend or change it, but must act and work conformably to it; yet very consistently with this order of nature it may be in the power of beings, superior to us, to act contrary to this property which is to us a rule and boundary of power, so as to be able to walk upon the water, and to suspend heavy bodies in the air, &c. In like manner, though it be not in our power to cure any diseases but gradually, and by certain methods discovered to us by experience; yet it may be in the power of beings of a superior sphere of activity immediately or instantaneously to cure or remove certain diseases by methods altogether unconceivable by us. All this may be, and yet order in nature may be preserved; for order is preserved while the laws belonging to every particular class of beings prevail invariably, making to each class their peculiar spheres of power and rules of action. Nay, various orders of beings cannot possibly take place in nature, but it must be true, that with respect to every lower kind there will really be in nature as various<187> exertions of power quite miraculous, as there are orders of beings higher than them, that is, exertions of power, which being perceived by them, would necessarily appear quite miraculous to them. And if we suppose it possible, as there being no contradiction in it we must allow it to be, that beings superior to man belonging to the same system, may operate upon the same material objects, and render at times their operations visible to us, then will in all such cases real miracles happen to us; that is, operations performed, either contrary to the laws of matter and motion we cannot suspend or alter, but must invariably conform to in all our operations; or though agreeably to them, yet, which comes to the same thing, without such a visible intermediate progress as all our operations are and must be performed in; for both of these ways of operating are equally miraculous with respect to us. But as if ever such productions of superior beings visible to us have happened, or shall happen, they are productions of power derived from God, according to spheres of activity and laws of powers appointed by him, and so make a part of the general scheme of providence: so whether they be a part of it or not, human power, and the laws of human power, or our sphere of activity and dominion can suffer no alteration; nor consequently, our rules of conduct pointed out to us by our make and sphere, or deducible from it. We must suppose beings of superior ranks to man either to have no power in the material world to produce sensible effects; or we must needs suppose many effects may be produced by them, which are not miraculous, but reducible to the general laws of nature, and therefore in no degree surprising to us. But whatever their powers and operations may be, all that is, is according to the will of one cause the Author of all things, from whom all powers and laws of powers are derived, and who hath appointed all things for the greater good. And there is really no more reason to say that the world is not the same uniform<188> system, if we consider it as the theatre in which various beings with different powers exert themselves variously; than there is to say, that nature or the world is not the same uniform system, because different men have different degrees of knowledge, and consequently of power; or because in ages of science men have vastly greater power than they had in ages of ignorance, and before certain laws of nature, and properties of things were known, which being discovered, augment man’s power. The scripture asserts that there are various orders of beings superior to man, who have vast powers, and are not inactive, but are continually employed in exerting their powers. But they are said to be created by God, and to be subject to him; to be ministring spirits to do his will. And there is no inconsistency with what is said there, of their being employed or employing themselves to the service of good men, or in any other way under the superintendency of providence, or agreeably to the great end providence proposed and unerringly pursues, in giving to beings various powers, and appointing to each class its peculiar sphere and bounds. For so far every thing is carried on with infinite wisdom and goodness, and according to general laws. And man, though he knows not the spheres of other beings, yet in proportion as he knows his own sphere, which with regard to him is never altered, may know his duty or rule of conduct, which, with regard to every being, can be nothing else but what its make and sphere points out, and renders always the same to it. But when it is said, that the sphere of man remains always the same, let it not be inferred from hence, that a man may not be endued with power, the exertions of which will be truly miraculous to his fellow-creatures, and shew him to be endued with knowledge and power superior to them, or to be directed and assisted in certain operations by some being of a superior rank to man; for though that may be, yet the natural sphere of mankind will remain<189> the same even in that case, and while it remains the same, the duties resulting from it must also be the same.
II. Now this being understood, it must be obvious, that interpositions or dispensations of providence, said in scripture to have been particular, extraordinary, or miraculous; as in delivering a particular person or nation, in conveying certain blessings, or inflicting certain evils at certain times upon persons or nations, in sending a preacher of his will invested with power to give it an evidence of an authority more than human, and in other such like instances, are by no means contradictory to the doctrine of the government of the world by general laws; because we may evidently comprehend how all such may be produced by general laws, as making parts of the vast scheme of providence. And though we should never be able to trace these effects to their general laws, yet some other created beings superior to us, may in their larger situation be able to do it; and in that way may be capable of deducing to themselves very useful observations for their conduct from such laws, in the same manner as we do rules for our conduct, from what we are able to discover of the connexions and laws of things in the world, by our experience and reason.
But if it be said, of what use can such dispensations be with regard to man? It may be answered, No exertions of the powers of other beings; no particular miraculous interpositions of providence, can alter the rules of conduct, which are deducible from our make, our sphere of activity, and the connexions and laws of things with regard to us. So that it will always remain to be our business to know these, that we may not by any means, by any false reasoning, or specious shew of supreme, divine authority, be deluded into the reception of rules contrary to them. For nothing inconsistent with them can be a true rule to<190> us; a rule that will not misguide us. But then a certain part of providence, which we cannot discover by experience or reason, being made known to us by divine revelation, or, which comes to the same in the present case, by a being superior to us, who is acquainted with it; though the general rules according to which it is carried on be not laid open to us; yet by such information of certain facts, if there be reason to depend upon it, we may be led to the knowledge of certain rules of conduct, or certain duties otherwise not known to us; because these may as evidently result from the knowledge of that part of providence thus discovered to us, as our other duties knowable by reason and experience do result from those parts of providence whence they are inferred: and if the former be not inconsistent with the latter, that is, contradictory to them, we can have no reason to object against them upon the account of the manner in which we are brought to the knowledge of them; but in such a case, the whole question will turn upon the credibility of our information concerning that part of providence from which they result and are inferred. Did rules thus made known to us clash with those deducible from experience and reason, we would have sufficient ground to reject the information. But if they do not, the credibility of such information, as hath been now supposed, will doubtless be a question well worth our considering; nay, a question we cannot refuse to consider with close and candid deliberation, without transgressing one rule of conduct, which reason and experience clearly teaches us; namely, not to despise any information concerning the conduct of providence, and our duties resulting from it, which hath any likelihood of truth: for those beings, who are invested with superior knowledge to us, or who have larger views of nature than we, are certainly able to instruct us, who are not so wise and knowing; and we being made to receive our knowledge for the direction of<191> our conduct, not wholly by immediate experience, but in a great measure by testimony, ought to examine instruction in nature or providence offered to us by testimony. It is not now my present business to enquire into the particular miraculous dispensations of providence mentioned in scripture; but merely in general to shew how such are not inconsistent with the government of the world by general laws, which hath been done. And this was necessary, in order to reconcile them with what the scripture says, as we have seen of fore-knowledge, and of an universal providence, by which general laws are established, which all things invariably obey; or according to which all effects are produced for the greater good. For in such a manner do the holy writers speak of all things animate and inanimate; of all beings of whatever orders and ranks.a “The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure in them. His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever. He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.—The Lord is high above all nations and his glory above the heavens. The Heavens are the Lord’s; but he hath given the earth to the children of men.— Great is our Lord, and of great power; his understanding is infinite.— Praise him from the heavens, praise him in the heights. Praise him all ye angels, praise ye him all hosts, praise ye him sun, moon, and stars, praise him all the stars of light. Praise him ye heavens, and ye nations above the heavens. Let them praise the Lord, for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which<192> they shall not pass—Let all beings praise the Lord, for his name alone is excellent, his glory is above the earth and heaven, for all, even fire, and hail, and snow, fulfil his will. The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of the Lord, the voice of his word. Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts, ye ministers of his that do his pleasure. Bless the Lord all his works in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Bless the Lord, O my soul: O Lord, my God, thou art very great, thou art clothed with honour and majesty—Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flaming fire—He appointeth the moon for seasons; the sun knoweth his going down—O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.” “He that liveth for ever created all things in general. The Lord only is righteous, and there is none other but he who governs the world with the palm of his hand, and all things obey his will, for he is the king of all by his power. As for the wondrous works of the Lord, there may nothing be taken from them, neither may any thing be put unto them, neither can the ground of them be found out.”a So likewise in a few words the apostle St. Paul,b For of him, and to him, and through him, are all things, to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
[a. ]Psal. xxxiv. 4, &c. Psal. iii. 7, 8. cxlviii. 5, 6, 7, 8.
[a. ]Ecclus. xiii. 4.
[a. ]All the mutations which have happened in the most considerable states, of which ancient history gives us any tolerably exact accounts, may be reduced into effects of this law, and of inequality in the rotation of power, as the phenomena in the mundan system are resolved into effects of gravitation. See the ingenious Mr. Harrington’s works. A careful consideration of the principles he goes upon will lead us to a solution of many great moral phenomena from very simple and excellent principles or laws in the moral world. [That power should rotate is a key idea of James Harrington’s. See especially his Commonwealth of Oceana.]
[22. ]“In these circumstances” or “as things stand.”
[a. ]Ps iii. civ. cxiii. cxv. cxlvii. cxlviii.
[a. ]Eccles. chap. xviii.
[b. ]Rom. xi. 36.