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terra, ratione divinius *?" Seneca still more emphatically as follows:“ Unde ista quæ pos“ sides? quæ das? quæ negas? quæ servas?
quæ rapis? unde hæc innumerabilia, oculos,
aures, animum mulcentia? unde illa luxu“ riam quoque instruens copia? neque enim
necessitatibus tantummodo nostris provi“sum est: usque in delicias amamur. Tot “ arbusta, non uno modo frugifera, tot herbæ “ salutares, tot varietates ciborum per totum
annum digestæ, ut inerti quoque fortuita “ terræ alimenta præberent. Jam animalia “ omnis generis, alia in sicco solidoque, alia “ in humo innascentia, alia per sublime di- , “ missa, ut omnis rerum naturæ pars tribu« tum aliquod nobis conferret.” And no Christian theologist can express the goodness of God to man stronger than Juvenal does in these words:
-aptissima quæque dabunt Dii: “Charior est illis homo quam sibi t." 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,
* Cic. de Legibus.
* Sat, x
and especially in those of Mr. Addison; and likewise 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
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
these questions: Do
think the God who made heaven and earth is a God of
mercy and goodness, and inclined to favour and make happy those men who serve him faithfully and to the best of their power, or not?--Can it be at all questioned but that at least nine tenths of these people would answer in the affirmative?
If a man serves God as well as he can, and is exceedingly anxious to love, honour, and obey him; is a good father, husband, master, and friend; is kind to the
and leads a sober and orderly life: do yoù conceive it possible that such a man should be doomed before he was born to suffer eternal damnation?-To this question the inevitable answer must be, that it was impossible God should act so unjustly.
Is not, in your opinion, such a man as has been just described, a man who sincerely endeavours to fulfil his duty to God and man, more likely to be approved, accepted, and chosen by God, than a man who considers the discharge of the moral and social duties of no vital consequence, and who rests his ideas of being accepted and approved by God solely on the persuasion of his being one of his Elect, though he can produce no
warrant, nor assign any justor reasonable cause for the preference he proudly assumes ?---The natural reply to this question would be, We think God to be a righteous judge, and that he will reward every man according to his works.
Do you think it possible that a God, who has planted the love of justice and the necessity of adhering to its laws so strongly in the human heart; that all mankind, in every age and nation, whether barbarous or civilized, agree that the violation of it deserves infamy and punishment; who has in the most decided manner, by his prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, declared, that he himself will punish its infraction, and who, in one of his three great injunctions to his creatures, has in the most express terms required of them to do justly--do you think it possible that the same God, who has thus strictly required all men to do justly and to love mercy, should himself so infringe both, as to decree that a multitude of human beings should be doomed to suffer eternal punishment before they were born, and had in no respect offended him?--I believe every rational candid person will be of opinion, the people so met and interrogated, of whatever religion or persuasion they might be, would unanimously say, such conduct on the part of God was incredible, was impossible. I. believe, if they were even infidels as to other points of natural or revealed religion, they would say the same; therefore we may fairly conclude this wicked doctrine of Calvin's to be disclaimed equally by reason and common
But the arguments of the greatest weight and authority against this vile superstition are to be collected from the Scriptures, because their premises establish in the mind conclusions diametrically opposite to those of Calvin. It is allowed by all the writers of his age,
that Calvin was a man of a haughty, gloomy, and intolerant temper: of such people Mr. Addison, in one of his Spectators *, observes as follows; “People of gloomy “ uncheerful imaginations, or of envious ma“ lignant tempers, whatever kind of life they “ are engaged in, will discover their natural “ tincture of mind in their thoughts, words, “ and actions; and the most religious thoughts “ often draw something that is particular “ from the constitution of the mind in which
they arise: thus when folly or superstition
* Vol. vii. No. 489.