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sion of his Son, he promises, through his own goodness, and the merits of our Saviour, a free admission into his kingdom, and a participation of those pleasures which arc at his own right hand for evermore: when he thus considers what he may hereafter be, and associates in his mind these various and numerous instances of God's gracious and merciful conduct towards him, and adds to them the consideration of the various blessings of this life he is permitted to enjoy; and likewise considers, that he neither has nor can give God any equivalent for the least of these blessings; what man is there who can resist saying, with all his heart, with all his mind, and with all his soul, The Lord our God is a God of goodness; he is gracious, and his mercy endureth for ever? And is it possible to suppose the reason of man, under these just impressions of God's conduct to him, should accede to so monstrous a conclusion, that the same God who has thus shewn such partiality, such favour to the human race, should first create the species in his own image, and then devote a large portion of it to eternal destruction, to such a state of reprobation, as to doom them before their birth, or their having offended him, to a
state of endless misery? Such a conclusion is so false and foolish, that the unprejudiced reason of man naturally abhors and revolts from it: even the Heathens, who were so much less instructed in the attributes of the Deity, and especially in that of his goodness, than we are, would have been shocked at the cruelty and injustice so impiously imputed to him by Calvin.
In a fragment of the Greek poet Menander, the goodness of the Deity is inculcated in the following lines, elegantly translated by the late Mr. Fawkes.
Whoe'er approaches to the Lord of all,
And with his offerings desolates the stall;
Who brings an hundred bulls with garlands drest,
The purple mantle, or the golden vest;
Or ivory figures richly wrought around,
Or curious images with emeralds crown'd;
And hopes with these God's favours to obtain,
His thoughts are foolish, and his hopes are vain.
He, only he, may trust his prayers will rise,
And Heaven accept his grateful sacrifice,
Who leads beneficent a virtuous life,
Who wrongs no virgin, who corrupts no wife.
No robber he, no murderer of mankind,
No miser, servant to the sordid mind;
For God is nigh us, and his purer sight
In acts of goodness only takes delight:
He feeds the labourer for his. honest toil,
And heaps his substance as he turns the soil.
To him then humbly pay the rites divine.
And not in garments, but in goodness shine.
Socrates, in a long discourse with the Sceptic Aristodemus, related in Xenophon's Memorabilia, expressly asserts the goodness of God to man, by an enumeration of the various instances of that goodness shewn to him, and especially exhibited in the perfections of body and mind, with which, above all other creatures, he is endued. Pythagoras and Plato infer the same, and for the same reasons: and every one conversant in the principles of the Stoic Philosophers, especially of those excellent ones, Epictetus and Marcus Antoninus, knows that, whatever errors there were in their philosophy, they uniformly maintained not only the superintendance of a providence in opposition to the Epicureans, but likewise the justice and goodness of that providence. Cicero infers the goodness of God to the human species in these words: "Animal hoc providum, sa"gax, multiplex, acutum, memor, plenum ra"tionis et consilii, quem vocamus hominem, "praeclara quadam conditione generatum esse "a summo Deo: solum est enim ex tot ani"niantium generibus atque naturis, parti"ceps rationis et cOgitationis, cum cetera "sint omnia expertia. Quid est autem, non "dicam in homine, sed in omni coelo atque
"terra, ratione divinius*?" Seneca still more emphatically as follows: " Unde ista quae pos"sides? quae das? quae negas? quae servas? "quae rapis? unde haec innumerabilia, oculos, "aures, animum mulcentia? unde ilia luxu"riam quoque instruens copia? neque enim "necessitatibus tantummodo nostris provi"sum est: usque in delicias amamur. Tot "arbusta, non uno modo frugifera, tot herbae "salutares, tot varietates ciborum per totum "annum digestae, ut inerti quoque fortuita "terras alimenta praeberent. Jam animalia "omnis generis, alia in sicco solidoque, alia "in humo innascentia, alia per sublime di"missa, ut omnis rerum naturae pars tribu"turn aliquod nobis con ferret." And no Christian theologist can express the goodness of God to man stronger than Juvenal does in these words:
"aptissima queeque dabunt Dii:
"Charior est illis homo quam sibi f.M
Every reader of this Essay, I doubt not, is acquainted with that high and perfect conviction of the great goodness of God, which is expressed in the writings of Sir Isaac Newton, Boyle, Locke, and Lord Bacon,
and especially in those of Mr. Addison; and likeAvise that the same opinion of it is declared in the works of Dr. Clarke, Dr. Barrow, Dr. Jortin, Bishop Butler, Dr. Doddridge, Archbishop Tillotson, and an almost infinite number of others that might be enumerated; but these are particularly mentioned, because there is not one of them who was not as learned, and had as much natural genius and intellect, as Calvin, without his arbitrary, gloomy, haughty, and intolerant spirit: and as, from the writings of these great men, we may be very certain they never did or could have been influenced to adopt Calvin's doctrine of partial election and reprobation, we may with precision affirm it is contrary to reason; for human reason never existed or has been displayed on every important point of theology more strongly, or with more truth and brilliancy, than in the writings of the men I have quoted. To prove how much this abominable doctrine maintained by Calvin militates against the common sense of mankind, the argument may be left to this issue.
Let five hundred unprejudiced men, promiscuously assembled either in the cities of London, Pekin, or Amsterdam, be asked