The residence of the Plymouth settlers in the Netherlands, and the later conquest of the Dutch colonies, had brought the Americans into contact with the singularly wise and free institutions of the Dutch.
The Stuart sovereigns of England steadily attempted to strengthen their power, and the resistance to that effort caused an immense growth of Parliamentary influence.
Those who believe in God because their experience of life and the facts of nature prove his existence must have led sheltered lives and closed their hearts to the voice of their brothers’ blood.
In each colony in 1750 were to be found two sets of governing organizations, – the local and the general.
I hold that the mark of a genuine idea is that its possibility can be proved, either a priori by conceiving its cause or reason, or a posteriori when experience teaches us that it is in fact in nature.
Here an attempt is made to explain suffering: the outcaste of traditional Hinduism is held to deserve his fetched fate; it is a punishment for the wrongs he did in a previous life.
The ultimate reason of things must lie in a necessary substance, in which the differentiation of the changes only exists eminently as in their source; and this is what we call God.
Thirdly, even if we assume that the world is governed by purpose, we need only add that this purpose – or, if there are several, at least one of them – is not especially intent on preventing suffering, whether it is indifferent to suffering or actually rejoices in it.
Whence it follows that God is absolutely perfect, since perfection is nothing but magnitude of positive reality, in the strict sense, setting aside the limits or bounds in things which are limited.
Finally there are simple ideas of which no definition can be given; there are also axioms or postulates, or in a word primary principles, which cannot be proved and have no need of proof.