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But can any one imagine that the exertions o fdivine. power and goodness in opposition to fin, and to remedy the evils which would otherwise be consequent upon it, at all alter or diminish the criminality of the finner? Is the demerit of a crime to be estimated either by the exertions of divine power to prevent the mischiefs which would otherwise flow from it, or by their success? If this be the rule by which we are to estimate the evil or demerit of fin, surely there is no evil at all in it, nor even the least degree of demerit belonging to it. For all must grant, that the power and goodness of God will in fact fo restrain and over-rule fin, that no evil at all, on the whole, will thereby befal the system, collectively considera ed. But, on the other hand, through the over-ruling power and providence of God, it will be the occasion of great and lasting good. And if we are to take our estimate of the demerit of fin from the evils which it in fact eventually brings on the collective system, in judging of its qualities, in respect of blameworthinefs and the contrary, we cannot justly and equitably leave out of the account the good which it occasions in the fame way, whereby its Teal and eventual mischiefs are prevented, viz. by the over-ruling power and providence of God. But, on estimating the qualities of fin by such a rule as this, we readily discover, that it not only has no demerit, not even in the least degree, in it, but, on the other hand, is poflefled of proper positive merit, and that, too, to an infinite degree. · Hence it appears, that our estimate of the evil or demerit of fin is not to be taken from the exertions of any foreign power, either to prevent the mischiefs which would otherwise follow from it, or to make it the occafion of good; but from the mischief, the hurt to the moral system, which, in a common course of things, would be its natural and necessary effect. But the interest of the moral system in general is so much a common inhtereft, and that of individuals so closely and intimately connected with the interest and good of the whole, that it will easily appear that noinjury can be done to any particular member of this great community, without affect
ing the whole; and every violence offered toany particular part, will, in a natural course of things, extend its influence to the whole. The connection of the several interests in this great community is so close and inseparable, that every violation of the rules of equity and righteousness, by any individual, will be like a gangrene in a particular member of the natural body, which, without the appli, cation of timely remedy, will soon corrupt and mortify the whole.
On this principle it is we urge, that where benevolent affection is exercised toward one, it will, of course, be exercised toward all; and that it is, in the nature of things, abfurd to suppose, that a person should exercise true good will toward one, and not toward all, On this prin ciple only it is that our Saviour realons, Luke xvi. 10. where he says, “He that is faithful in that which is least, " is faithful also in much.” Such is the nature of all benevolent affection, that it extends to the whole, and embraces the whole. And such the very nature of fin, on the other hand, that its baneful influence, unless restrain, ed by some foreign and superior power, will necessarily extend to the whole, and affect the whole. D ie
If it should be urged, that, as benevolent affection extends itself to the whole, and, in a common course of things, gives pleasure and enjoyment to the whole-as there is joy in heaven over one finner that repenteth; by a parity of reason its merit ought to be considered as being infinite, because it, in fact, does infinite good. It may be replied, that this reasoning will appear inconclusive, if we recollect the rule by which it has before been obferved, we are to estimate the merit of virtue on the one hand, and the demerit of vice on the other. It has been observed, that the merit or worth of a virtuous action is to be estimated by the quantity of good it produceth, as its own genuine effect, according to a common course of nature, without the aids of the virtue of others; and, on the other hand, the demerit of vice, by the misery it in like manner produceth, without any concurrence of the triines and wickedness of others. If there is joy in hea
ven over one finner that repenteth, this must be the virtue of its inhabitants, and arise from the exercise of their benevolent affections. But if an infringement of the divine authority, and a diffolution of the divine government, which will, in fact, ensue, unless prevented by the power and providence of God, diffuse universal concern, and give a blow to the happiness of the whole; this, furely, cannot be imputed to creatures as their vice. But, is there any reason why the virtue of others, in rejoicing in my repentance, should be set to the score of my merit. As little reafon is there that the misery and pain produced in others by iny wickedness, without any concurrence of vice in them, should be left out of the computation, in estimating my demerit. According to this rule of estimating human actions, it will appear that the merit of our virtue is but small and inconsidera able ; but, the demerit of our vice, infinite. . · The penalties of the divine law for transgreffing naturally lead us to suppose, that this is the rule by which the Deity himself estimates the evil and demerit of sin: for we find all fin threatened with infinite or endless punishment. And if it be manifest that the unrestrained effect of fin will naturally and necessarily be infinitely hurtful, we cannot see how, on the footing of equality, its punishment should be otherwise than endless. , · It is no more than a dietate of reason that every one fhould receive hurt in proportion to the hurt which he actually doth to others. Nor could any laws sufficiently guard the interest, and secure the safety, of the community, which did not contain this provision in it; and it this way apportion punishment to crimes. And to give an idea of this rule of equality between crimes and punishments, and impress it upon the consciences and hearts of his people, God made it a law in Israel, “ If any man * caufe a blemish in his neighbour, as he hath done, ro “ fhall it be done unto him. Breach for breach, eye for eye, as tooth for tooth; as he hath caused a blemish in a $12, « so thall it be done unto him.”
ent should how, on necessarily
Of NONANTUM, the first civilized and Christian Settle's ment of Indians within the English Colonies of NorthAmerica; and of the first Fruits of the AMERICAN GENTILES.
(Continued from page 29+, and concluded.) T HE first civil laws which were ever established in
this country, for the regulation of the aboriginals, were made for the settlement of Nonantum. Their laws, which are still preserved in ancient and modern publications, were designed for the promotion of cleanIiness, decency, chastity, and industry, and the discou. ragement of the opposite qualities and vices. A court, of judicature; over which an English magistrate (the Hon. Mr. Gookin being the first) presided, was appointed. The fachems had liberty, by summons, or attachment, to bring any of their people to the said court, and to keep a monthly court for smaller causes among themselves. The fachems appointed officers to serve warrants, and to execute the orders and judgments of either of these courts. The fines imposed upon transgressors were to be, devoted to building houses for the education of their children in learning, or to other uses for the public benefit. It was recommended by the go-: vernment, both to Mr. Eliot and to the magistrates, that " they should endeavour to make the natives under “ stand the most useful laws of the English, and the prin“ ciples of reason, justice and equity, on which they are « founded.”
The high grounds of the north-east part of Cambridge. village (now Newton) appear to have been occupied by the Nonantum Indians (who, according to Mr. Gookin, were a subdivision of the once numerous and powerful tribe of Massachusetts) until A. D. 1651, when, by the increase of converts, the place was found too ftrait for them. A fertile and beautiful tract, of about 3000 acres, at Natick, 10 miles south-west of their first settlement, was provided for their accommodation. Here
was founded a more regular and well built town, with three principal streets, and suitable public buildings. At this place, an Indian church continued, and flourished under a succession of indefatigable and pious teachers, natives and English, who officiated to them; until within a few years past, by repeated wafting sickness and other causes, well elucidated in the highly judicious communications lately made to the Historical Society by their last pastor, still living, the Rev. Mr. Badger, and pub. lished in their Collections, they have becoine gradually and almost totally extinct.
The virtuous Waban accompanied his brethren to Natick, and was chosen a ruler of fifty in their civil administration. He died there, aged seventy, A. D. 1674, testifying, with his dying breath, his obligations to that grace which had brought himself and his fellow-coun, trymen from the darkness of paganism to the marvellous light of the gospel. The name is still honourably remembered at Natick, where some of his posterity were known not many years since. The name and civil office of Esquire Waban, one of his descendants, is particularly mentioned. An instructive and serious exhortation from Matt. ix. 12, 13. delivered by Waban the first, to an Indian assembly, convened on a day of fasting and prayer, 15th Nov. 1658, upon occasion of excessive rains, connected with a very general and alarining sickness, is summarily contained in the first volume of Neal's History of New England, page 240 and 241. ..
Mr. Eliot gives this testimony of Waban, that “ he “ had approved himself to be a good christian in church “ order, and in civil order, a zealous, faithful, and stead. “fast ruler to his death." At his death, he expressed an animating joy in the hope of heaven, where he should unite with the souls of departed believers. He charged his children and friends not to mourn at his departure, and urged them all to confess, to repent of their fins, and believe in Jesus Christ, in whom he trusted for the resurrection of his body. His last words, immediately before he expired, were, “I give my soul to thee, O
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