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instance, as the mandates of the Most High. Several learned systems of natural religion, so called, have passed under his review; but he cannot rely on any work, whatever its literary character may be, which is not based on the divine oracles. Human opinions, founded on unassisted reason, are generally erroneous in the deep things of God; but those which are built on the inspired records, rationally understood, are always correct. Here we take our stand, and proceed in our work, not fearing the attacks of “ unreasonable and wicked men."
It is natural to suppose that the profound theologian, whose mind is richly stored with sacred knowledge, will not stoop to read this small piece ; but it may be useful to young students, who have many things to learn in doctrinal and practical religion. A clear, connected, and comprehensive view of divine truth may assist them considerably, before they enter on the wide field of sacred literature. And those parents who desire to train up their children in the way they should go, may safely recommend this brief outline to them, as a suitable introduction to more elaborate works.
THE BEING OF A GOD.
The Being of a God is the foundation of religion-Something
now exists-Something has existed from eternity-That which has existed from eternity is either matter or mindIf mere matter, there never could have been mind, If mind, that mind, or intellectual Being, is the God whom we adore- This proved by his wondrous works-by the consent of all nations-and by the impression which he has stamped on the human mind.
The Being of a God, who made and governs the world, is the foundation of religion; for if there be no God, prayer and praise, love and obedience, are empty names. The atheist imagines that he owes being, and all he has, to chance; that his possessions have no other security than mere hazard; and that he has an absolute right to guide and govern himself just as he pleases. But he who believes in God gratefully acknowledges that he owes all he has to his Creator; that all his possessions are placed under the watchful care of divine Providence; and that he owes adoration and obedience to
the supreme Being.
That there is such a Being, is taken for granted in the sacred Scriptures, and will not be denied by any man of sober reflection. The following observations are quite sufficient, in our opinion, to prove this momentous truth:
I. It will be allowed by every man, whose mind is sane, that something now exists.
Man knows, with certainty, his own existence; for every one will say of himself, without hesitation, “ I am.” And he knows the existence of other men, with whom he has constant intercourse, in the varied transactions of life. Thus, in common language, we say, “I am, thou art, he is; we are, ye are, they are."
These are self-evident truths, denied by none whose minds are sound; but if we were to doubt or deny these truths, both our doubt and denial would prove their reality; for doubting and denying are mental actions, and real proofs of existence.
II. If something now exist, it is easy to prove, that something has existed from eternity.
To deny this would involve us in the strange absurdity that nothing can produce something; and it would clearly follow, that an effect may be produced without a cause; a thing which is utterly impossible. If there ever were a time, however remote, when nothing existed, there never could have been any thing at all. This argument will strike a rustic of the lowest