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perusal of his Scripture, an unalterable idea of the goodness of God, and then to honour and glorify that goodness, instead of vilifying and degrading it. This miserable doctrine is neither supported by the reason or common sense of mankind, nor by Scripture; and certainly any speculative opinion in religion which violates reason, common sense, and Scripture, may justly be denominated false and spurious. That it is not supported by the reason of mankind, I may appeal to the natural suggestions of that reason; for is it possible, when any man considers what he was, what he is, and what the gracious goodness of God intends he shall be, (if he himself does not by his own folly frustrate that intention): when he considers that he was originally nothing but the earth on which he treads, and that he was taken from that unconscious state, and created in the image of God, and formed not merely with a corporal frame and a sensitive soul as a brute, but created only a little lower than the angels, with a mind endued with a capacity of worshipping God like them, though not in excellence and perfection, yet in kind; and in some degree: when he considers that he is a being permitted not only to see and survey the glories of

God's creation, shining in the sun, breathing in the air, and flowing in the ocean, but is endued with the angelic privilege and prerogative of comprehending and understanding to a very high degree the use, beauty, and perfection of these glorious works of God, and, from that knowledge and comprehension, to infer the infinite wisdom, power, and goodness of his Creator: when he considers that he is at all times at his own option permitted to come into the presence of God, to pray to him, to praise him, and to “ walk “ with him;" and further considers, that the duty enjoined man to perform in this life is not rigorous and severe, as it might have been from the disobedience of our first parents, but that its ways are ways of plea: santness, and all its paths peace: when he considers God's goodness in the redemption of the human species, his readiness to pardon its sins on repentance, how freely. his grace is offered to assist us in our worldly career, and that God promises his blessing and his peace to the man whose mind is stayed on him; and that, when this life is ended, to the man who has endeavoured in the course of it to love, honour, and obey him, and who believes in the divine mis

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 are 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.

Whøe'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.

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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,

præclara quadam conditione generatum esse

a summo Deo: solum est enim ex tot ani“ mantium generibus atque naturis, parti

ceps rationis et cogitationis, cum cetera “ sint omnia expertia. Quid est autem, non “ dicam in homine, sed in omni cælo atque

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