conformed to rule: thus in each case we imply the correlative ideas.
Now, whatever is in my possession by natural endowment is mine
, in the strictest sense.
is mine, duty
is mine, and rectitude
is mine, because the good
is mine, and those are the elements of the good, each one implying the others.
Hence arises the idea of natural right
: that is, the right
with which I am endowed by the constitution of my nature as a rational being.
But what is that right?
Evidently, the good
. The good as an attribute is in my possession.
I am constituted with it and by it. Hence it is inalienable.
Divest me of the good as an attribute of my nature, i. e., liberty, rectitude, and duty, and I sink at once in the scale of being: I cease altogether to be a rational or accountable being.
Let no one imagine that this position conflicts with the well-known fact that man is a fallen being.
For although fallen, he is still accountable.
True, his moral nature is in ruins, but still it is a moral nature.
Though disordered, it is not eradicated.
Hence the restoration by grace is called a conversion; but if the essential moral nature of man had been destroyed by the fall, and an attribute of essential evil had taken the place of it, his restoration could not be called, as it is, a