The Barddas of Iolo Morganwg, Vol. I., ed. by J. Williams Ab Ithel, , at sacred-texts.com
Disciple and Teacher.
This is the Druidism of the Bards of the Isle of Britain, with their opinion respecting God and all living beings, of whatsoever grade or kind they may be. It is rudimentally taught as follows:--
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1. Question. What is God?
Answer. What cannot be otherwise.
Q. Why cannot it be otherwise?
A. Could it be otherwise, we should have no knowledge of any animation, being, existence, or futurity, in respect of any thing now known to us.
Q. What is God?
A. Complete and perfect life, and the total annihilation of every thing inanimate and death, nor can any species of mortality concur with Him. And God is life, full, entire, imperishable, and without end.
2. God is perfect life, which cannot be limited 1 or confined, and, in virtue of His proper essence, is possessed of perfect knowledge, in respect of sight, sufferance, and intention, having His origin in Himself, without communion with any thing else whatsoever, and wholly free from all participation in evil.
3. God is absolute good, in that He totally annihilates all evil, and there cannot be in Him the least particle of the nature of evil.
4. God is absolute power, in that He totally annihilates inability, nor can power and will in Him be restrained, since He is almighty, and allgood.
5. God is absolute wisdom and knowledge, in that He totally annihilates ignorance, and folly; and therefore no event can by any chance happen, which He knows not of. And in view of these qualities and properties 2 no being or animation can be conceived or contemplated other than coming from God, except natural evil, which annihilates all life and goodness.
6. What would utterly annihilate and reject God and life, and therein all goodness, is absolute and natural evil; which is thus in complete opposition, and of a contrary nature, and essence, to God, life, and goodness.
7. And by means of this direction, may be seen two things existing of necessity, namely: the living and dead;
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good and evil; God and Cythraul, and darkness in darkness, and powerless inability.
8. Cythraul is destitute of life and intention--a thing of necessity, not of will, without being or life, in respect of existence and personality; but vacant in reference to what is vacant, dead in reference to what is dead, and nothing in reference to what is nothing. Whereas God is good with reference to what is good, is fulness in reference to fulness, life in life, all in all, and light in light.
9. And from what has been said, it may be seen that there can be no existence of original nature but God and Cythraul, the dead and living, nothing and occurrence, issue from what is issueless, and existence from mutual union.
10. God mercifully, out of love and pity, uniting Himself with the lifeless, that is, the evil, with the intention of subduing it unto life, imparted the existence of vitality to animated and living beings, and thus did life lay hold of the dead, whence intellectual animations and vitality first sprang. And intellectual existences and animations began in the depth of Annwn, for there is the lowest and least grade, and it cannot but be that there and in that state intellectual life first began, for it cannot be otherwise than that the least and lowest grade of every thing should be the original and primordial one. The greatest cannot exist in an intellectual existence before the least; there can be no intellectual existence without gradation, and in respect of gradation there cannot but be a beginning, a middle, and an end or extremity,--first, augmentation, and ultimate or conclusion. Thus may be seen that there is to every intellectual existence a necessary gradation, which necessarily begins at the lowest grade, progressing from thence incessantly along every addition, intervention, increase, growth in age, and completion, unto conclusion and extremity, where it rests for ever from pure necessity, for there can not be any thing further or higher or better in respect of gradation and Abred.
11. All intellectual existences partake of good and
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evil, and that, more or less, according to their degree in Abred, from the dead in the depth of Annwn, to the living in the extremity of goodness and power, even so far as would not be at all possible for God to conduct them further.
12. Animations in Annwn are partakers of life and goodness in the lowest possible degree, and of death and evil in the highest degree that is possibly compatible with life and personal identity. Therefore, they are necessarily evil, because of the preponderance of evil over the good; and scarcely do they live and exist; and their duration and life are necessarily short, whilst by means of dissolution and death they are removed gradually to a higher degree, where they receive an accumulation of life and goodness, and thus they progress from grade to grade, nearer and nearer to the extremity of life and goodness, God, of His merciful affection for animated beings, preparing the ways along Abred, out of pure love to them, until they arrive at the state and point of human existence, where goodness and evil equiponderate, neither weighing down the other. From this spring liberty and choice and elective power in man, so that he can perform which ever he likes of any two things, as of good and evil; and thus is it seen that the state of humanity is a state of probation and instruction, where the good and evil equiponderate, and animated beings are left to their own will and pleasure.
13. In every state and point of Abred that is below humanity, all living beings are necessarily evil, and necessarily bound to evil, from utter want of will and power, notwithstanding all the exertion and power put forth, which vary according as they are situate in Abred, whether the point be high or low. On this account God does not hate or punish them, but loves and cherishes them, because they cannot be otherwise, and because they are under obligation, and have no will and choice, and whatever the amount of evil may be, they cannot help it, because it is from obligation, and not willingly, that they are in this condition.
14. After having arrived at the point of humanity in
[paragraph continues] Abred, where evil and good equiponderate, man is free from all obligation, because goodness and wickedness do not press one upon the other, nor does either of them preponderate over the other. Therefore, the state of man is a state of will and freedom and ability, where every act is one of project and selection, consent and choice, and not of obligation and dislike, necessity and inability. On this account man is a living being capable of judgment, and judgment will be given upon him and his acts, for he will be good or bad according to his works, since whatever he does he could do differently; therefore it is right that he should receive punishment or reward, as his works require.
207:1 p. 206 Al, "restrained."
207:2 Instead of "qualities and properties," another version has "attributes." Al. simply, "properties."