Man, whatever he says or does, is not an independent being. He is free, it is true, but with a relative and reasonable liberty, in the sense that he may do everything except evil, that he depends on no one save God and his conscience, and according to the existing social order.
On the fireze of her law courts, the France of 1789 wrote The Rights of Man. Her great ancestors might also have spoken of his duties….With regard to God, man in the strict sense of the word has no rights; he has only duties. Only merit can give him rights. They should have begun then by inscribing The Rights of God.
Man, then, as regards both body and soul, is in absolute dependence upon God, to such an extent that if God so willed, he would not even exist. S. Paul is then right in asking the imperious question: ‘What hast thou that thou hast not received?’
(To be continued.)