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we now are; for that which was not in existence, could not possibly make itself; and, consequently, must owe its beginning to some higher power. Now, we know that the wisest of our class of beings, the very best of mankind, have not the ability to create; that is, to form any creature by, or according to, their own will: nor, indeed, can we determine, with certainty, how nature acts in any thing we see, as daily experience causes us to change our opinions, and to close our inquiries in wonder and adoration. This, then, clearly proves our finite intelligence, that our understanding and knowledge is bounded or confined, and that we ourselves must be the effect of some first cause; for, if we had been self-existent, we had known every thing; and, instead of creatures, we should have been gods; for, to be, or exist from its own infinite power, is the first attribute or perfection of the Deity. Now, this way of reasoning will lead us directly to the notion of that First Cause, which must be self-existent, because there was no time when it was not. It is consequently without beginning and without end; for, that which has a Beginning, must derive its origin from something in being before it, and gives the idea of being made; and, again, that which hath an end, argues weakness or insufficiency in itself to remain: both which destroy the very notion of a Supreme Being, or God, whom we prove selfexistent from this order of causes *.

Now, among other proofs that God is, or that there is an Almighty Father, who made and governs all things, and which are powerfully convincing to the human mind, we have, first, the universal consent of all nations, who, under whatever name or shape they have distinguished the object of their hopes and fears, and however blinded by ignorance and superstition, yet have ever been disposed to pay respect to, and place confidence in, some Being they conceived superior to themselves; for, that inborn sense of weakness, and want of something to perfect their happiness—that constant change from one object of delight to another-and that short comfort the most desirable things are capable of affording: this occasional dissatisfaction, which possesses the human race, leads to a dependence on some higher power, and gives birth to the hope of more lasting enjoyments,

The creation of the world, likewise, furnishes us with a manifest and forcible argument for the pre-existence of something to mere matter, which, as St. Paul advances as a scriptural proof, and most pointedly determines, I cannot

* Should these arguments appear too deep and abstruse for an uneducated congregation, they may be omitted in preaching

avoid introducing it here, though we are not absolutely considering the testimony of Holy Writ in this place, for we must be convinced that matter can never move itselfand this truth, founded on indisputable experience, oversets at once the absurd notion of chance, because the beautiful and continued order of the creation, for so many known ages, contradicts the very idea of accident, which is built upon uncertainty and change; nay, it is the very nature of chance to produce variety, which, in so long a course of time, must occasionally have interfered with the invariable revolutions that mark the direction of a divine Hand, in the works of God, and would have introduced confusion and disorder: for, what is chance? When we consider the word strictly, it only signifies our positive ignorance how things are done; and the utmost good meaning that can be put to it, is this, that when events come to pass, the regular causes of which we are not able to trace out, we are apt to determine them by this vague expression, through want of knowing the nicer and more extraordinary workings of Providence; whereas, instead of any real virtue being contained in this common word, the cases that are attributed to its direction, assure us still more of the supreme invisible power of the Great God, who made and governs all things: so that, in fact, to say a thing falls out by chance, is to acknowledge the secret workings of Providence, which we cannot account for according to the effects of common observation.

2. The extensive usefulness of the things that are made, proves that an Almighty God ex ists, and that the goodness of the Creator is equal to his power and his wisdom. And St. Paul, to remove all excuse for infidelity from the heathen world, declares (Rom. i. 20), that the invisible things of Him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.

3. Another proof of a divine original Being, is the effect of conscience, that distinguishing property of a human creature, which we all bear about us, as an unanswerable argument of our relationship to a higher Power, to whom we are accountable for what we have received at his hands : hence we may justly term it the language of the soul, which, as the Apostle says, accuses or excuses, as the spirit of a man tendeth to darkness or light; and may not be improperly styled, the divinity that stirs within us, &c. The act of reasoning alone, proves that the mind is distinct from matter or substance, though, in the wonderful contrivance of the divine wisdom, a material body is appointed as the medium to employ the powers of the soul (for matter cannot reflect, as is clear from the brutal

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and vegetable world); and, consequently, man, having a spiritual nature, must be derived from a spiritual Being. God is a SPIRIT, that is, uns compounded of gross substance; for a bodily substance cannot give being to a spiritual one: there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual bodyman is made up of both. If there were no God, we could not think; for mere matter cannot think: but, as we know we have this faeulty, we are sure we exist; and in that we exist, we are sure there is a God, in whom alone we live, and move, and have our being. If there were no God, we could never have been; because it is certain we neither made ourselves, nor can effect the like, by any intelligent or absolute power of our own. For, though our parents are instrumental in producing us, and we, again, to the existence of our offspring ; yet the first of mankind must have had a beginning; and whence could they proceed but from the Supreme Creator? We act only as suitable engines, with the rest of nature, in the wise purpose of the Almighty, to continue the several species of creation; nor can we any ways determine, alter, or contrive, by any coercive powers of our own, the course of nature, nor indeed account for its mysterious effects.

These, my brethren, are some of the many proofs which we call internal or inward evidences, why we should believe that God is, and

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