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[Extracts referred to in the Postscript.] Has man any knowledge of God ? How does he obtain it? What does he know of God ?-Have our Divines examined these Questions honestly and deliberately? No: they are treated evasively: all take their flight to Revelation. Yet Revelation is a word without meaning, unless there is a previous knowledge of God. The whole religious system stands therefore upon a foundation of sand. But such baseless systems are just what all hierarchies want. If the first notions of the Deity were clear and sound, it would be difficult to build upon them any such theories as that of original sin, and the atonement. Where then shall we obtain these notions of God ? Whence shall we derive the answers to the above stated questions ?
“Not from any conceptions or principles; for if they contained those answers, the questions must have been answered previously to the establishment of such conceptions or principles. We must look for the solution in the living reality, wherein all knowledge has its ground."'--Suabedissen.
This living reality is our own spiritual life. The knowledge of the Unlimited is implied in the knowledge of the limited being.
enabled to read these Memoirs for the last time. My bodily sufferings are dreadful, and the misery produced by my solitude is not to be described. But trusting in God's Spirit within me, I await my dissolution without fear. Into thy hands, 0 eternal source of life, of love, of virtue, I commend my spirit.”
" J. B. W."
Our Author is convinced, that there is no way of arguing any man into a belief of the existence of God. He must find the conviction in himself, or be without it. I have long been persuaded of the same truth.
But how are we to convince ourselves of the Existence of God ?-Such conviction does not depend upon argument. We are conscious of our existence, and conscious of its being set within bounds, and we must perceive by the same act of consciousness, that a boundless being has set our limits.
"In the knowledge of our Limitation is contained the knowledge of the Limiting, as such, consequently of the not limited, i.e. the Unlimited.”—Suabedissen.
According to my observation, this is the usual ground of belief in the Deity. Children are invariably struck with the question, who brought you into life? applied to the case of their parents, and their parents' parents, &c. A conviction that there must be one who did not derive life from another is generally the result of that simple view. But this is only a method of directing the mind to the aspection of its own conditioned and limited existence, an aspection which is identical with that of an unlimited Being—the Source of the limitation. The same applies to the existence and limitation of the mental faculties.—But it should be the business of a man's life to dwell upon this primitive, immoveable, simple fact. We should, as it were, live in it. Just to think of it, and then put it aside as a matter of speculation, is to deprive ourselves for ever of the only true source of religion. All, whatever does not grow out of this ground is more or less superstition and enthusiasm.
“If nothing but limited beings existed there would be no limiting being. But in that case there would be no limited beings; in other words, the Limited, being limited by nothing, would be unlimited.”
January 1st. My retrospect of last year is for the most part painful and gloomy. Constant suffering, constant im. prisonment in my chair, a most painful separation from my son, constitute an existence with nothing pleasureable in it. I have however to thank God for composure of mind, and undarkened understand. ing. But the prospect before me requires a constant exertion of self-government; else I should grow despondent.
2nd. A very restless night-greatly convulsed. NewYear letters from Harriet and Louisa Moore. Dr. Sutherland came full of the idea that the use of my legs might be restored by rubbing. I agreed to do the rubbing myself, and began the practice steadily. Mr. Thom told me that my London Publisher wished for leave to publish the Poor Man's Preservative on his own account. I feel very much inclined to re