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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. XI. 1798
William Godwin to Harriet Lee, [August 1798]

Contents Vol. I
Ch. I. 1756-1785
Ch. II. 1785-1788
Ch. III. 1788-1792
Ch. IV. 1793
Ch. V. 1783-1794
Ch. VI. 1794-1796
Ch. VII. 1759-1791
Ch. VII. 1791-1796
Ch. IX. 1797
Ch. X. 1797
Ch. XI. 1798
Ch. XII. 1799
Ch. XIII. 1800
Contents Vol. II
Ch. I. 1800
Ch. II. 1800
Ch. III. 1800
Ch. IV. 1801-1803
Ch. V. 1802-1803
Ch. VI. 1804-1806
Ch. VII. 1806-1811
Ch. VIII. 1811-1814
Ch. IX. 1812-1819
Ch. X. 1819-1824
Ch. XI. 1824-1832
Ch. XII. 1832-1836
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Produced by CATH
[Early in August, 1798.]

“. . . Bigots have pretended that the will of God is the foundation of morality, that what He commands is therefore right, and what He forbids is therefore wrong. But rational theism teaches that morality is antecedent to the divine will, and is a rule to which God himself delights to conform. Rational theism teaches that God is good; and to prove that He is so, compares His providence and works with the immediate standard of rectitude to which God and good men equally adhere. The will of God therefore is by no means the foundation of morality, but merely its sanction, an additional reason why we should conform to it . . .”