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dead fo often upon a Man's Hand: To this it may be anfwer'd; that Power is beft lodg'd with the fupream Being; that our Views of things are imperfect, and our Wishes not always good when we think them fo.
For inftance, 'tis natural to defire we could relieve Want, and cure Diseases when we fee People fuffer: But poffibly those we are thus willing to affift, may be punish'd for their Faults; and can't be reclaim'd any other way; and that their Rescue might prove their Ruine. It may be their Patience is exercis'd, and their Merit put to the Teft; and then to take off the Hardship, is to lef fen the Reward.
Thus, if our good Nature was always gratified, the Schemes of Providence must be disturb'd, and the Measures of Justice broken. At this rate the Wisdom of Heaven must be disappointed, Omnipotence attend Ignorance, and Miracles be wrought for Mistakes. Not but that a kind Wish is a commendable Difpofition, and ought to be puth'd forward as far as our Abilities will give leave. To return: Power is a noble Privilege of Being; it furnishes the Faculty, fills up the empty Spaces, and makes things obfequious to defire. 'Tis Plenty in Hand
Hand and Ease in Profpect: And Satif faction never fails till Power deferts it. 'Tis want of Power which is the immediate Cause of all Mifery: 'Tis Weaknefs, not Will that makes People fuffer. They are not strong enough to difmifs that they don't like, or feize that they do. 'Tis Impotence that blasts their Wishes, leaves them in Despair, and makes them fear, and feel their Averfion.
Power is that glorious Attribute of God Almighty, which furnishes the rest of his Perfections. 'Tis his Omnipotence that makes his Wisdom and Goodness effectual, and fucceed to the length of his Will. Thus his Decrees are immutable; and all his Councils ftand. This fecures his Prerogative, and guards the Sovereignty of his Being: 'Twas his Power which made his Ideas fruitful, and struck the World out of his Thought. 'Twas this which anfwer'd the Model of the Creation, gave Birth to Time and Nature, and brought them forth at his firft Call: Thus, He Spake the Word and they were made, he commanded; and they were created. 'Tis the Divinė Power which is the Basis of all Things; which continues the Vigour of Second Causes, and keeps the Sun and Moon in repair. This holds every thing conftant
to Appointment, and true to the first Plan. Thus the Revolutions of Seafons, the Support of Animals, the Perpetuity of Species is carried on and maintained. Without this, things would foon run Riot, and ramble out of Diftinction, the Succours of Life would be cut off, and Nature drop into Decay.
Omniscience and Goodness without a correfpondent Power, would be ftrangely fhort of Satisfaction: To know every thing without being able to fupply Defects, and remedy Disorders, thuft prove an unpleasant Speculation. To fee fo many noble Schemes languifh in the Mind, and prove abortive; to fee the most confummate Wisdom, the most generous Temper fetter'd and difarm'd, muft be a Grievance. But when Omnipotence comes into the Notion, the Grandeur is perfect, and the Pleasure entire.
And as Power fupplies Benevolence, and makes it eafy, fo 'tis an Argument of that Quality. One Proof of God's Goodness may be drawn from his Omnipotence. Severity amongft Men proceeds oftentimes from Fear: 'Tis Weaknefs more than Malice that makes them cruel. They are afraid of Revenge and Reprifals, and therefore ftrike home when they have the Advantage. They won't let
let an Enemy rife, for fear he should grow too strong and turn upon them. And thus the most timorous are generally obferved to be most favage. This Confideration fometimes obliges Princes to difable whole Families for a fingle Traytor, and punish the Children for their Fathers. A lefs extensive Severity might encourage Revolt, and wrest the Scepter out of their Hands.
But a Being that is abfolutely impregnable, that has neither Limits nor Dependance in his Strength, that is fortified in his own Omnipotence, can have no Motives to strike out of Jealoufy, or Prevention: He that has a Kingdom which cannot be jhaken, and the Univerfe at his Mercy, can't punish beyond Defert : He that can neither be furprized, nor aver-powered, needs not apply to unreafonable Rigour; and as he is above Fear, fo we may conclude he is above Cruelty. Thus the Wisdom of Solomon argues, Becaufe thou art Lord of all, therefore thou art gracious unto all, cap. 12. On the other fide, 'tis a comfortable Confideration, that the best Being is the greateft; that Omnipotence is lodg'd in the Hands of a benign Nature, determin'd by milder Attributes, and as it were, Oz ver-tul'd by Goodness. There's Abundance
dance of Thought in that of the Pfal mift; The Lord is King, the Earth * Pfal.976 may be glad thereof: yea, the Multitude of the Iftes may be glad thereof.
As for created Beings, the Limitations of Power are a great Bleffing. Where Ignorance and Ill-will abounds, Impotence is the best Security. Could unbenevolent Minds do what they pleafe, honeft Men would have an ill time on't, Virtue would be exterminated, and Order thrown into Confufion: What Ravage does Pride and Passion make in the World, when back'd with Force and Prevalence? Were a Tyrant's Limbs answerable to his Temper, where could his Fury be ftopt? Indeed, for a good Prince one would almoft with him invincible in his Perfon, impenetrable in his Fortune, and able, like Achilles, to drive a whole Army before him. But alas! the Power of Princes, as things go, is little more than imaginary: The Crown gives no proper Strength to thofe that wear it. If perfonal Force was proportion'd to their Station, and reach'd as far as Prerogative, 'twould be a mighty Advantage. Then a Monarch might fit fure: But as the Cafe ftands, their Empire confifts chiefly in the Submiffion of other Mens Wills; which is in a manner but reigning by Courtefy.