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fore to be the leading principle of every heart, and the rule of the spirit and conduct of every one in practice, in our actions and dealings with mankind in all things whatever.
Here the • Moral Law,' and the Law of Nations, and the Rule of Practice,' all correspond and harmonize together, in securing the social rights, obligations and duties of man, which have the Almighty for their Author; to whom man is accountable.' Of course man ought to be actuated by noble principles conforming himself accordingly-seeing his eternity depends upon it.
But to deprive man of the right to think and judge, and act for himself, in point of Moral duty, is an infringement on the Creator's government, as well as on Natural Justice, and contrary to every Rule of Right, and is attended with complicated misery to the human family. It creates broils, animosities and contentions in society; and raises a domineering spirit in cne, and a spirit of resentment and resistance in another; and thus more blood hath been shed in consequence of such a line of prescription and practice, than from all other sources put together. And hath been attended with more apparent cruelty and misery to mankind, than all other things whatsoever.Therefore, such national Establishments of Religion, are well styled the Whore of Babylon, or the Mother of Harlols, and the abominations of the Earth.' The MOTHER, must be the old • W****,' and if she be a Mother,' who can her daughters be, but the corrupt, established Protestant Churches, which came out of her, and have not forgot to tread in her steps of persecution, towards those who differ from them in opinion? And hence they are said to be drunk with the bloud of the Saints and Martyrs,' which GOD, as a Just Governor, will cause to be visited on
them in their turn; that the Earth may revert to its original and proper OWNER, and the inhabitants know that His Kingdom is over all.
OF GOVERNMENTS. From what authority, shall one person or a bo. dy of men, have power and exercise a command over others?
It must be obtained in one of these three ways, 1st. It must be the gift of the Creator and Gova ernor of the Universe or 2ndly, it must be delegated by the people-or else 3rdly, must be selfcreated or usurped.*
OF DIVINE DELEGATION. First. With regard to that a THORITY, which is said to be the gift of the Creator, and derived from the Governor of the Universe as his delegated power. It hath not for its foundation or support, either Scripture or Common Sense.
Before any conclusion can be admitted, certain facts, or first principles, or data must be established or admitted for its confirmation.
The error of those who reason by precedents drawn from antiquity, respecting the Rights of Man, is, that they do not go far enough into antiquity: They do not go the whole way. They stop in some of the intermediate stages, of a hundred or a thousand years, and produce what was then done, as their precedent. This is no authority at all. If we travel still further into antiquity, we shall find a direct contrary opinion and practice prevailing. And if antiquity is to be thority, a thousand such authorities may be produced, successively contradicting each other. But if we proceed on, we shall at last come out right
*By the Creator's Law of Nature,' is Man a Cosmopolitc or the Local property of another
we shall come to the time, when man came from the hand of his Maker, What was he then ?
• MAN! Man was his high and only title, and a higher cannot be given him.
We have now gone back to the origin of man and to the origin of his rights. As to the manmer in which the world has been governed from that day to this, it is no farther any concern of ours, than to help us to make a proper use of former errors, and suitable improvements upon ancient history. Those who lived an hundred or a thousand years ago, were then moderns as we are now. They had their ancients, and those ancients had others, and we shall be ancients in our turn. If the mere name of antiquity is to govern in the affairs of life, the people who are to live an hundred or a thousand years hence, will be as much bound to take us for a precedent, as we are to take as a precedent those who lived an hundred or a thousand years ago.
The fact is, that an appeal to antiquity, may prove any thing, and establish nothing. It is authority against authority, still ascending till we come to the Divine origin of the Rights of Man at the Creation. Here our inquiries find a resting place, and reason finds a home. If a dispute about the Rights of Man had arisen at the distance of an hundred years from the Creation, to this source of authority, they must have referred and to the same source of authority, we must nów refer.
The genealogy of Christ is traced to Adam. Why not trace the Rights of Man up to his crea. tion? The answer is--- That upstart governments,' through ambition founded in Moral Evil,' have arisen and thrust themselves between, to unmake man, and trample upon 'all bis pre
cious rights, to keep him in profoand ignorance, that they may be served at his expense.
If any generation of men ever possessed the right of dictating the mode by which the world should be governed forever, it was the first generation that existed ; and if that generation did not, no succeeding generation can slew authority for so doing. The illuminating and divine principle of the equal rights of man, (for it has its origin from the Maker of man) relates not only to living individuals, but to all generations of men succeeding each other. Every generation is equal io rights, to the generation which preceded it; by the same rule that every individual is born equal in rights to his coteniporary.
Every history of the creation, and every traclitionary account, whether from the lettered or unlettered world, however they may vary in their opinion or belief of certain particulars, all agree in establishing one point: the unity of man. By which I mean that all men are of one degree; and consequently, that all men are born equal, and with equal natural rights; in the same manner as if posterity had been continued by Creation instead of Generation. The latter being only the mode by which the former is carried forward; and consequently, every child born into the world, must be considered as deriving its existence from GOD. The world is as new to him, as it was to the first man that existed, and his natural rights are of the same kind.
The Mosaic account of the Creation, whether taken as divine authority, or merely historial, fully maintains the unity or equality of man. The following expression admits of no controversy.
And God said, let us make Man in our own image. In the image of God created he him ; male and female created he theni. The distince tion of the sexes is pointed out, but no other distinction is implied. If this be not divine author. ity, it is at least historical authority, and shews the equality of man so far from being a modern doctrine, to be the oldest upon record,
It is also to be observed, that all the religions known in the world, are founded, as far as they relate to man, on the unity of Man, as being all of one degrce. Whether in beaven or in leil, or in whaterer state man may be supposed to exist hercafter, the bad and good are the only distinctions. Nay, even the laws of government are obliged to slide into this principle, by making degree to consist in crimes and not in persons.
This is one of the greatest of all truths, and it is our highest interest to cultivate it. By considering man ia this light, it places him in a close connexion with his duties, whether to his Creator, or the creation of which he is a part; and it is only when he forgets his birth or origin, or to use a more fashionable phrase, his birth and family,' that he becomes dissolute.
The distinction of the sexes only, is mentioned at the creation of man. Hence, the MAN was considered as the head of his family; and so established by the law of custom, which gave risc to the simple Patriarchial Government.
But so far are the scriptures from justifying the idea that monarely is the • Delegaied power of God,' that they speak directly to the reverse. -They inform us that the Jews were the peculiar people of God, and they desired a KING to reign over them, to be like all the nations round about, after they had been a Coinmonwealth for several hundred years. And a KING they obtained, as a judgment for their “MORAL Evil;' and he proved a scourge for their national sin
Thus, the nations round about,' had Kings at an early period. The Israelites also desired to Lavo one, and a King was given thorn as a Judg