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LONGUAN AND CO., ROUTLEDGE AND CO., J. MASON.
DERBY: J. AXD C. MOZIBY.
THE TWO PARTS INTO WHICH TIIIS LITTLE WORK IS DIVIDED, FORMED THE BASIS OP TWO LECTURES DELIVERED TO THE DIRECTORS AND MEMBERS OF THE BURNLEY MECHANICS' INSTITUTE:
HENRY KAY, ESQ. PRESIDING ON EACH OCCASION.
THE ANTIQUITY OF
TII E MOSAIC NARRATIVE.
If there be a God-unoriginated, independent, and eternal; “ far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come"—if “ he made the world and all things therein, and is the Lord of heaven and earth, and giveth to all life, and breath, and all things, and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation"—if he established the laws of nature, and presides, as the supreme ruler of the universe, to administer those laws: "doing according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: none being able to stay his hand, or say unto him, what doest thou”—if all men are necessarily,
absolutely, and incessantly dependant upon him, and responsible to him for the moral quality of every volition of the mind, of every utterance of the tongue, and of every act of their existence—if “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 Godheaul;" and he hath given to man a capacity for acquiring a knowledge of himself, and rendered that knowledge congenial to his mind, and promotive of the happiness and perfection of his nature, and made it the instrument by which he becomes better qualified for the successful discharge of the various duties of life—if a partial acquaintance with the history and experience of mankind be sufficient to convince any sober enquirer after truth, that it is not possible, for a being circumstanced as man is, to ascertain, by the mere exercise of his natural powers, either the nature or measure of that duty which he owes to the supreme being :—then a revelation from God is possible, necessary, and may reasonably be expected. The most intelligent and devout heathens, that have written on the subjects of religion and morals, have admitted that the knowledge of man
must be defective without some direct, authentic, and ample communication from God; and
that until such communication should be received it would be impossible accurately to define the character of virtue or vice; or distinctly to mark the limits of man's duty. Thus, Tully, aware of the little that human creatures can do of themselves, says expressly, “ no man was ever truly great without some divine influence." And Plato concludes, that we cannot “ know of ourselves what petition will be pleasing to God, or what worship to pay him ; but that it is necessary a lawgiver should be sent from heaven to instruct us : aird such a one he did expect: and · O, says he,“ how greatly do I desire to see that man, and who he is!' Nay, he goes further, and says
that this lawgiver must be more than man: for, since every nature is governed by another nature that is superior to it, as birds and beasts by man, he infers that this lawgiver, who was to teach man what man could not know by his own nature, must be of a nature superior to man, that is, of a divine nature." a
It does not appear that the doctrines of modern Infidelity contain more certain principles-that they furnish more influential motives--or that they exhibit a steadier light to their votaries, in their pursuit after the attainment of virtue and happiness--than those of Plato.
a Dr. Gregory, vol. i. 56.