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THE CONDUCT OF GOD
AND ON THE
DIVINE MISSION OF JESUS CHRIST.
BY THE LATE
REV. J. HARE, A. M.
AUTHOR OF AN ESSAY ON SCEPTICISM,
KECTOR OF COLN ST. DENYS, GLOUCESTERSHIRE, AND VICAR
OF STRATTON ST. MARGARET, WILTS.
THE SECOND EDITION.
By T. C. Hansard, Peterboro' Court, Fleet Street, London.
THE CONDUCT OF GOD
HUMAN SPECIES, &c.
THE method I mean to pursue in this treatise is to endeavour, in the first proposition, to refute those objections which the rashness and inconsiderateness rather than the reason of man has presumed to advance against the conduct and goodness of God; particularly those bigotted and superstitious tenets in the writings of John Calvin respecting election and predestination; and, above all, his unwarrantable and therefore impious assertion, that, even before their birth, or they could possibly have offended him, God devoted a portion of the human race to perdition, and the sufferance of everlasting torment. In the second proposition I shall state from Scripture that proclamation which God has condescendingly and graciously been pleased to make of his character
and intended conduct to the human race, and prove that his actions have been exactly correspondent with that proclamation.' Secondly, I shall endeavour to refute the two greatest objections made by Sceptics against the divine mission of our blessed Saviour; the first, that it is inconsistent with our natural ideas of the majesty of God to suppose that he would send his Son into this world for any period however^ short, or for any human purposes however great; the second, that it was the occult design of our Saviour to make himself a temporal king of the Jewish people; and then I shall assign such reasons as appear to me convincing in proof of his divinity and divine mission. And in the third and last proposition I shall attempt to shew the goodnesi of God to the human species, by an induction of particulars, and by an exemplification of it in a variety of instances.
All religion is at best ceremonial, and without any vital essence or effect, unless accompanied with a firm belief in the infinite goodness of God; and I apprehend, so far from any person's being able to accomplish the first and paramount duty he is enjoined by his Saviour to perform, of loving God with all his heart, with all his mind, with all his soul, and with all his strength, it is morally impossible he can love him at all,' unless his heart is fully impressed with an absolute conviction of