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If every world be inhabited by free agents, it has been said, that every world may, at one time or other, be in a state of apostacy, and, in that case it would be necessary for the Son of God to be almost perpetually travelling from one world to another, and, in the several natures of the inhabitants, to make satisfaction or their sins. But the probability is, as will be shown below, that there is not another world of intelligent beings whose natures and circumstances are similar to ours ; so that, supposing their apostacy, it will not be necessary to treat them exactly in the same manner. The sacred Scriptures have settled this point by assuring us that Christ died for sin once ; He dieth no more ; death hath no more dominion over Him, Rom. vi. 9, 10. The angels, who are probably the next order of beings above men, did not all maintain their primitive innocence; but Jesus Christ will not redeem them, for it is written, “ He taketh not hold

on angels. Heb. ii. 16.

2. The inhabitants of other worlds stand in a higher rank in the scale of being than the inhabitants of this world. I cannot deliver

my
sentiments upon

this subject better than in the words of the immortal Locke, with a few notes subjoined, which I have selected from other writers for the sake of illustration. “ It is not impossi“ble to conceive, nor repugnant to reason, that there may “ be many species of spirits, as much separated and di“ versified one from another, by distinct properties, “whereof we have no ideas, as the species of sensible “ things are distinguished one from another, by quali“ ties which we know, and observe in them. That there “ should be more species of intelligent creatures above

us than there are of sensible and material below us, is probable to me from hence, that in all the visible cor

poreal world, we see no chasms or gaps. All quite “ around us, an innumerable multitude of worlds, each of which has “ its peculiar arrangement, laws, productions, and inhabitants." Sturm', Reflections, Vol. ii. p. 185. Clarke's edition.

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** down from us, the descent is by easy steps, and a con* tinued series of things, that in each remove differ very “ little one from the other. *

* There are fishes that have wings, and are not strangers to the airy region : and there are some birds, that

are inhabitants of the water ; whose blood is cold as " that of fishes, and their fesh so like in taste, that the

scrupulous are allowed them on fish days. There are “ animals so near of kin both to birds and beasts, that

they are in the middle between both: amphibious ani“ mals link the terrestrial and aquatic together; seals “ live at land and at sea, and porpoises bave the warm “ blood and entrails of a hog, not to mention what is con“ fidently reported of mermaids or sea-men.

There are "some brutes, that seem to have as much knowledge and

reason, as some that are called men :f and the animal

* “ There are some living creatures which are raised but just above 1 dead matter. To mention only that species of shellfish, which are “ formed in the fashion of a cone, that grow to the surface of several rocks, " and immediately die upon being severed from the place where they grow. “ There are many other creatures but one remove from these, which have " no other sense besides that of feeling and taste : others have still an ad* ditional one of hearing : others of smell, and others of sight. It is won“ derful to observe by what a gradual progress the world of life advances “ through a prodigious variety of species, before a creature is formed that is " complete in all its senses ; and even among these, there is such a different " degree of perfection in the sense which one animal enjoys beyond what appears

in another, that though the sense in different animals be distinguished " by the same common denomination, it seems almost of a different nature. “ If after this we look into the several inward perfections of cunning and

sagacity, or what we generally call instinct, we find them rising after " the same manner imperceptibly one above another, and receiving addi. * tional improvements, according to the species in which they are implanted. “ This progress in nature is so very gradual, that the most perfect of an “ inferior species come very near to the most imperfect of that which is " immediately above it.” Spectator, No. 519.

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f" The Orang Outang has nearly the shape and stature of a man, and

appears to have some share of his intelligence. They are niinble, strong, " and bold; and put themselves in a posture of defence against armed “ hunters. The natives take them with gins, tame them, and teach them 56 to walk or their hind feet, employing their hands in other services, as

“ and vegetable kingdoms are so nearly joined, that if you “ will take the lowest of one, and the highest of the other, “ there will scarce be perceived any great difference “ between them; and so on till we come to the lowest “ and the most inorganical parts of matter,* we shall find

every where, that several species are linked together “and differ but in almost insensible degrees. And when “ we consider the infinite power and wisdom of the “ Maker, we have reason to think that it is suitable to the “ magnificent harmony of the universe, and the great

design and infinite goodness of the Architect, that the species of creatures should also, by gentle degrees, “ascend upward from us towards his infinite perfection,

as we see they gradually descend from us downwards": “ which if it be probable, we have reason then to be per

suaded, that there are far more species of creatures “ above us, than there are beneath; we being, in de

grees of perfection, much more remote from the infi“ nite being of God, than we are from the lowest state of s being, and that which approaches nearest to nothing."

3. The number of the finally lost will bear no propor. tion to the number of the saved. If the above conjecture be probable, that all the other orders of intelligent

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“ wiping the glasses, pouring out liquor, turning the spit, and such little “ offices, which they perform with great dexterity.” Grand Mag. for May 1758. See also Sturm's Reflections, Vol. iv. p. 244.

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* “There are in some liquors Animalcules so small, as, upon a calcula, “ tion, the whole magnitude of the earth is not large enough to be a third

proportional to those minute floating animals and the vast whales of the • ocean. There is contained in every animalcule the heart that is the “ fountain of its life, the muscles necessary to its motions, the glands for * the secretion of its fluids, the stomach and bowels to digest its food, and “other innumerable members, without which it is impossible an animal " should subsist. What some philosophers have dreamed concerning “ angels, is true of these animalcules, viz. that many thousands of them

may dance on the point of a small needle.” Keil's Introd. to Nat. Philos. p. 56.

† Essay on Human Underst. Vol. ii. p. 48, 49. 7th edit,

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creatures gradually rise above us, we need be under no alarm respecting the fidelity of the principal part of them, since in proportion to the excellency of their natures, they are the less likely to abuse their liberty. The whole of the human race are in a fallen state ; but under circumstances which rendered it consistent with the divine perfections to provide a scheme of redemption, through which many will be finally happy. The angels are probably the next order above us.

It is certain they did not all apostatize ; and when we consider their favourable circumstances, and the great number of good angels spoken of in the Scriptures, it will not appear likely that many

of them left their first estate. The probability in favour of even partial apostacy will apply to only a very few orders higher, and then of the remaining thousands of orders, the presumption is, that they all persevere io a course of virtue.

4. The inhabitants of all the worlds in the universe stand related to each other; and hence the exemplary punishment of men may be useful to keep other intelligent beings in their obedience. " It is not unreasonable to suppose," says Dr. Abernethy,* " that the affairs of this lower world (principally those of its chief inhabit

ants,) have a respect to superior natures, and are

extensively useful to the whole system of intelligent “ creatures. That there are in the universe other spe“cies of rational agents besides mankind, and above them, " cannot well be doubted. As the state and situation of - distant orbs, render them useful to the earth, which

may be also useful to them in a different way,

spiring to make one regular harmonious system of ma" terial nature; the like order may be, and we have

reason to believe is established, among the several " kinds of rational beings, which, . under different par

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all con

* Diss. on the Attrib. of God. Vol. ij. p. 138, 140.

“ticular economies, do all of them together make one 66 beautiful and moral system.”

The fallen angels did not exist in this world during their day of probation, yet we are informed of their punishment, and the apostle Paul warns us against

falling into the condemnation of the Devil.1 Tim. ii. 6.

The apostles Jude and Peter alsó, put us in remembrance of their condition with a view to preserve us from presumptuous sins.

Jude ver. 6. 2 Pet. ji. 4. By parity of reason, the punishment of wicked men may be a warning to other worlds of free agents, and thus prevent their apostacy.* Hence in creating those who suffer for ever, the goodness and foreknowledge of God perfectly harmonize. Had God foreseen that no good could be brought out of the fall, equivalent to the evil which it occasioned, no doubt but his goodness would have prevented it. But when, by the punishment of a comparative few, so many orders of creatures are kept in subjection, the evil appears so little in comparison of the good, that no objection can lie against the goodness of God in giving existence to those whom He foresaw would apostatize and perish.

If it should be objected, that the punishment of the wicked can be of no service to others any longer than during their day of probation, and therefore when that is ended, punishment should cease ; it is sufficient to reply, that if examples of suffering, under the sentence

*“ How know we, who shall survive the present world, to whom God may make men's hell a warning ? Are not the devils now set out in Scrip“ ture for a warning to man? And how know we what other creatures “ God hath, to whom these punished sinners may be a warning? Or “ whether the new earth wherein righteousness must dwell, according to “God's promise (2 Pet. iii. 12, 13.) shall not have use of this warning to " keep them in their righteousness? As long as all these things are pro"bable, and the contrary utterly uncertain, how foolish a thing is it, to go " from the light of a plain revelation and Scripture, and argue from " our dark uncertainties against the light?" Baxter on the Christian Rel. p. 394.

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