The idea of a God we infer from our experimental dependence on something superior to ourselves in wisdom, power and goodness, which we call God; our senses discover to us the works of God which we call nature, and which is a manifest demonstration of his invisible essence. Thus it is from the works of nature that we deduce the knowledge of a God, and not because we have, or can have any immediate knowledge of, or revelation from him.
Ch. V Section II - Containing Observations on the Providence and Agency of God, as it Respects the Natural and Moral World, with Strictures on Revelation in General
Ever since I arrived to a state of manhood , I have felt a sincere passion for liberty . The history of nations doomed to perpetual slavery , in consequence of yielding up to tyrants their natural born liberties, I read with a sort of philosophical horror; so that the first systematical and bloody attempt at Lexington, to enslave America, thoroughly electrified my mind, and fully determined me to take part with my country.Ethan Allen
As creation was the result of eternal and infinite wisdom , justice, goodness, and truth, and effected by infinite power, it is like its great author, mysterious to us. How it could be accomplished, or in what manner performed, can never be comprehended by any capacity. Eternal, whether applied to duration, existence, action, or creation, is incomprehensible to us, but implies no contradiction in either of them; for that which is above comprehension we cannot perceive to be contradictory, nor on the other hand can we perceive its rationality or consistency.Ethan Allen
To suppose that God Almighty has confined his goodness to this world, to the exclusion of all others, is much similar to the idle fancies of some individuals in this world, that they, and those of their communion or faith, are the favorites of heaven exclusively; but these are narrow and bigoted conceptions, which are degrading to a rational nature, and utterly unworthy of God, of whom we should form the most exalted ideas.Ethan Allen
It may be objected that a man cannot subsist in the sun; but does it follow from thence, that God cannot or has not constituted a nature peculiar to that fiery region, and caused it to be as natural and necessary for it to suck in and breathe out flames of fire, as it is for us to do the like in air.Ethan Allen
Those who invalidate reason, ought seriously to consider, "whether they argue against reason, with or without reason; if with reason, then they establish the principle, that they are laboring to dethrone;" but if they argue without reason, (which, in order to be consistent with themselves, they must do,) they are out of the reach of rational conviction, nor do they deserve a rational argument.Ethan Allen
Such people as can be prevailed upon to believe, that their reason is depraved, may easily be led by the nose, and duped into superstition at the pleasure of those in whom they confide, and there remain from generation to generation: for when they throw by the law of reason the only one which God gave them to direct them in their speculations and duty, they are exposed to ignorant or insidious teachers, and also to their own irregular passions, and to the folly and enthusiasm of those about them, which nothing but reason can prevent or restrain...Ethan Allen
Comets, earthquakes, volcanoes, and northern lights (in the night,) with many other extraordinary phenomena or appearances intimidate weak minds, and are by them thought to be miraculous, although they undoubtedly have their proper natural causes, which have been in a great measure discovered. Jack-with-a-lantern is a frightful appearance to some people, but not so much as the imaginary specter. But of all the scarecrows which have made human nature tremble, the devil has been chief; his family is said to be very numerous, consisting of "legions," with which he has kept our world in a terrible uproar.Ethan Allen
In those parts of the world where learning and science has prevailed, miracles have ceased; but in such parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue; which is of itself a strong presumption that in the infancy of letters, learning and science, or in the world's non-age, those who confided in miracles, as a proof of the divine mission of the first promulgators of revelation, were imposed upon by fictitious appearances instead of miracles.Ethan Allen
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