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escape, and that
in the existence of a DIVINE INTELLIGENCE, a GREAT First Cause, and who ever contemplates His goodness as manifested in the happiness of the myriads of animals, whether it is likely that there ever was oppression, which, if not repented of on the part of the oppressor, that the oppressor should not, first or last, suffer as much for as the oppressed? “ Shall not the JUDGE of all the earth do right ?" And if there be not some way of
walked in subsequently by the oppressor, is it possible reasonably to hope that his oppressions shall not find him out by that DIVINE UNIVERSAL INTELLIGENCE ? which we
to an indescribable extent in the animal and vegetable classes, neither ever knew it to err in what we call the heavenly bodies. Indeed it would seem that wishes for the welfare of the oppressor tend more strongly than even wishes for the oppressed, to the removal of causes and opportunities of oppression, by removing such organizations and constructions of society as afford them tangibility and opportunity.
Now might one be permitted to ask, did any noble peer or noble lady set about to select, in their own imagination, a specific number of their own class, of each or either sex, who appeared to possess the greatest enjoyment of life, would not the selection fall on those who were most in the habit of doing good to others, the most just and amiable in their own families ; most punctual and honourable in fulfilling their engagements, and most careful to avoid all acts of injustice and oppression? Can it be doubted but the profligate would gladly change with such, even where they pretend to despise them ? But if a human being becomes enslaved by his passions, it is no very easy matter to break the chains, and still more difficult to throw them entirely away.
Were I to address a man, who though from birth or acquirements a legislator, yet had squandered his property, the support of his wife, the inheritance of his children, in gambling, and who knowing that its reward had been unmingled bitterness, to such an one I would address myself :- Though so
infatuated thou canst not emerge from this vortex of injustice and fraudulent desires, yet have pity on thy children, do thy best by judicious enactments against that ever-growing ever-knawing evil to remove all sign of it as far as possible from them and their children, that they might, if possible, be hardly led to think of, far less to desire success, from this murderer of friendship—this impoverisher of emperors—this destroyer of the dignity of human nature; that thou mayest a little alleviate thy vexation, and make some amends to thy children and society for these infatuating pursuits.
Probably many who would think, scorn to hear suggestions for their own welfare, in the avoidance of whatever offends DIVINE GOODNESS, yet would be glad that their wives, children, and young relatives and friends, should be mindful of those very things, being sensible that such a course would have tended to lead out of a very large proportion, perhaps nearly all the most considerable troubles that they retrospect in their own experience; but if we deem it good for others, oh, the real weakness, under the specious garb of imaginary high-mindedness, that leads us to refuse it to ourselves! Indeed, if all would seek a chief portion of their happiness in considering how they could best assist their fellow-creatures, they would find that they had not laboured in vain; and if each would, in his happiest and most favoured moments, reflect on what he would wish as the conduct of his children or nearest friends, and honestly avowing “ this ought then to be my path,” endeavour to blend practice with this theory, much good would be likely to result.
Perhaps there are few, who if they look back on the features and circumstances of their past lives, but might trace the hand of God, in various incidents, which, if attended to at the time, would have led out of those things which cause sorrow, or any degree of real disgrace; and where we do not see it, it is not because He does not rule, but because our senses are obtuse, partly from sin, partly from disease of mind or body, all arising from that one grand foul root of transgression, and none to be extirpated but by the one remedy,
though man may gloss them over for present ease, or the devil may gloss them over for future designs.
Ah, how sweetly, how divinely simple, hath the TRUE AUTHOR of true religion condescended to make it ; but poor man, excited by his great, though secret and insidious enemy, would be wiser than his MAKER, and trammel the gracious designs of INFINITE Wisdom with the puny, stumbling, and feverish effervescences of his own brain; no wonder, that when the True Pilot is thus forasken, thus insulted, the vessel should be “ carried about by every wind of doctrine,” and eventually shattered to pieces on the rocks of ignorance or despair, or be put together again for the purpose of the requital of its obstinacy, ingratitude, and the numberless transgressions into which they have opened so wide a door.
If this, on a candid survey, become apparent, what encouragement to trust Him every where! And in all things to give Him thanks, and obey every intimation of His will in our hearts! then may we humbly hope that He will condescend to bless those objects which