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[98] change, but should be called in the strictest sense an original creation. Hence, although man is fallen, depraved — and we need not object to the strong terms in which this depravity is usually expressed — still we find that the sentiment of all mankind is on the side of virtue, on the side of the good; and that men, though unchanged by sovereign grace, are still required to be honest, gentlemanly, and in all things regardful of each other's rights. We admit of exceptions or modifications of this only in the case of those in whom humanity has not been fully developed, as before noticed, and those in civilized life who have so far abused their moral nature as, in the language of Paul, to fit themselves for destruction. Therefore, it still remains that the good in the form of rectitude, right, is in some modification an endowment of my nature: the right, in itself, is mine by nature.

But the good, as an attribute, is an active principle. We were endowed with it for the purpose of movement — for results. It is my duty to act right--straight or in accordance with the good as a rule. Hence, whatever is a necessary condition of the operation of this active principle, the essential good, is in itself a good which is either in my possession, and hence is mine by possession; or it ought to be in my possession, and hence is mine

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Paul (1)
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