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grave, or exist in respect to man in a state of future retribution.

That the present is a state of probation, is perhaps a truth so clear, that all attempts to support it by argument must be deemed superfluous; I shall therefore assume it as an admitted point. And, as probation looks into futurity for some retribution, we must be probationers for that life which lies beyond the grave. In that state we must be accountable for the actions of the present life; and receive that retribution which flows from the moral justice of God. As, therefore, retribution and probation are incompatible with each other in the same state; and, as in a future state retribution must exist; it follows, that the present state of probation shall be done away, to make room for those rewards and punishments, which are the moral consequences of our actions in the present life.

That a state of probation is necessary to the existence of moral evil, is so obvious, that the instant we suppose the contrary, we impute its origin to God. Between choice and necessity there can be no medium to man, in all those actions which are of a moral nature. Those which originate in the former, demonstrate a probationary state ; and those which originate in the latter, can entitle the creature to neither praise nor blame. As, then, a probationary state must be done away, and must cease with our present state of being, we can have no conception that moral evil can continue to exist,

when that state which was absolutely necessary to its existence, shall be no more,

If moral evil can exist in a state which is not probationary, which must be admitted if it exist beyond the grave, it must exist without any discriminating criterion, by which the morality and immorality of actions can be distinguished from each other ; or we must presume, that the moral law must be transplanted into a future state. In the former case, we must suppose transgression to exist where there is no law, which is unjust; and in the latter, we must suppose, that even a state of retribution is probationary, which has been already proved to be absurd. "If then, the latter of these cases involve a contradiction, and the former be unjust; if no transgression can exist where there is no law; and if a probationary state cannot be a state of retribution; it follows, that moral evil must be confined to a probationary state. For, could we only imagine that moral evil could be determined to exist, without the violation of those laws which are peculiarly appro: priate to our present condition; we must admit the existence of moral evil, while we admit ourselves to · be totally destitute of those rules of discrimination, by which alone good and evil can be distinguished from each other.

Existing in this state and manner, moral evil can produce no consciousness of innocence or guilt; the rules of eternal right must be unknown, and consequently it can excite no solicitude, and awaken nei, ther our hopes nor fears. The rewards and punishments, to which it may expose its possessors, cannot be founded

upon those principles of justice which are comprehensible to man; because the individuals, unable to act, except under the direction of chance or the impulse of necessity, cannot be the subjects either of censure or applause. i To suppose that the same laws, which now distinguish vice from virtue in the view of man, shall continue to operate beyond the grave, is to suppose the moral condition of man to be precisely the same both in time and in eternity. We must therefore admit, that those laws which were given to man in this life, must continue to operate when our confines shall be enlarged, and when the present condition shall be done away, These suppositions must break down the principal distinctions between time and eternity, and make those distinct abodes to differ chiefly in the locality and enlargement of our scenes of action. In fine, it will make a state of retribution to be a state of probation; they will become terms synonymous with each other to which we may even annex the same idea ; in short, it will be a state of retribution, and not a state of retribution, at the same time.

But, since a state of retribution necessarily implies a state of previous probation, while a state of probation as necessarily looks forward to a state of retribution ; the terms and ideas must be so distinct from each other, that all attempts to blend them together will involve contradictions of the most palpable nature; probation in such a case can be no probation, and retribution can be no retribution. We, therefore, come to the same conclusion which we have already seen, namely, that moral evil must be confined within the boundaries of the moral law; that this law must be confined to a state of probation, that probation is confined to the present life, and that retribution lies beyond the grave.

What the physical nature of moral evil is, when abstracted from man, I take not upon ine to say ; neither do I presume to determine in what inanner it applies to other lapsed intelligences. Man is the subject of our inquiries, and “the proper study of mankind is man. Of this truth, however, we may be assured, that moral evil, as it applies to man, must apply to him as such; and therefore inust exclusively apply to him in his compounded condition. It was to man, in his compounded state, that the laws of God, both natural and revealed, were exclusively given; and to him in this state those laws, which distinguish vice from virtue, must exclusively apply. But when this compounded mode of man's being shall be dissolved, and we shall enter into another condition of existence, I can have no conception how those laws, which were given to man, in his probationary state and compounded condition, can be applicable to him in another, where probation, and (if the body rise not) compound must be alike unknown.

From these sources of argument, in conjunction with others, we cannot avoid inferring, that moral evil must be confined to a probationary state. And therefore, when this probationary state shall cease, even moral evil shall be no more.

That death shall terminate our probationary coudition of being, is too obvious to require further proof. The separation of soul and body, together with the changes which present themselves to our senses, plainly mark the awful moment as an important epoch in existence; an epoch which launches the disembodied spirit into a future state, and commences that retribution which shall never end. And, since death must be considered as a natural effect of moral evil, which must be confined to our probationary state ; when the cause expires, the effect must necessarily discontinue. For, as the existence of death is not real and personal, but rather negative, relative, and dependent ; it can no longer continue in being than while that cause on which it is dependent is preserved. And, since moral evil is the primary cause from which it sprang, and is exclusively confined to a probationary state which death must terminate, the consequence is evident, that death, and moral evil, and a probationary state, must expire together,

As death has passed upon all men, because all have sinned, these arguments will apply individually to every victim of its gloomy power,

The natural effects which finally terminate in the dissolution of the component parts of our bodies, may appear indeed to continue for a season; but when that cause which produced these effects shall be totally subdued, these effects must for ever cease. Then that principle, which we shall soon consider, which constitutes the identity of the body, under all its changes, both in life and death, removed from those oppres

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