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Throughout the whole Bible there is not one single instance in which the conduct of God appears unfriendly or unkind to the human race, or in which he punishes it either nationally or individually, without at the same time condescending to assign his reasons for that punishment. Dr. Jortin observes in one of his Sermons, that though God does not appear to consider it as necessary to account for the preference and partiality he shews to human beings, having a clear right to do as he will with his own, yet


appears to consider it as an object of great moment that his conduct should ever appear to them as founded in justice and mercy. It is certainly agreeable to the highest reason to presume that the infinite purity and justice of God requires that sin should not be perpetrated with entire impunity; and accordingly, in the character God has deigned to give of himself to man, he declares he will not clear the guilty. Thus our first parents having disobeyed God, they and their offspring in this world are subject, in a certain degree, to infirmities of body and sorrows of mind, as a punishment for that disobedience; but by the account given in Scripture of this disobedience, it clearly appears that man, and

not God, is chargeable with this suffering. The antediluvians were punished because their guilt was such that God observed only evil continually in their hearts; the Seven Nations, and likewise the Assyrians, Egyptians, and Jews, were punished, but their great and particular crimes are all stated and mentioned; and the same may be said of individuals, as in the cases of Saul, David, the Jewish kings, and others. But how often God is pleased to temper mercy with judgment, is proved first by the redemption of the human race from the death it had incurred; again by his promise of pardoning the sinner on his repentance and amendment; by his having been willing to have pardoned the people of Sodom, had there been even ten righteous persons found amongst them; likewise by his actually pardoning the Ninevites on their having repented at the preaching of Jonah. The same gracious conduct he observed with individuals, as in the instances of Ahab and others. And how greatly God is disposed to shew mercy to man may be collected from the gracious declaration he is pleased to make to Abraham in consequence of this Patriarch's obedience: “ By myself have I

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sworn, saith the Lord; for because thou “ hast done this thing, and hast not withheld

thy son, thine only son; that in blessing I “ will bless thee, and in multiplying I will

multiply thy seed as the stars of the hea“ ven, and as the sand which is

upon “ shore: and in thy seed shall all the nations “ of the earth be blessed; because thou hast “ obeyed my voice.” There are a great variety of other texts, directly or indirectly proving that God graciously intends the happiness of his creatures, such as the following: Casting all your care upon him, for “ he careth for you. Have I any pleasure at “ all that the wicked should die, saith the

Lord, and not that he should return from “ his ways and live?” Now here it


be remarked as an extraordinary thing, that Calvin could imagine that God should ever have pleasure in the death of the innocent, and that he should doom and devote innocent beings to eternal punishment, when he is graciously pleased to declare, he has no pleasure even in the death of the wicked, and that there is joy in heaven when a sinner repenteth. Delight thou in the Lord, " and he shall give thee thy heart's desire. “ Commit thy way unto the Lord, put also

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thy trust in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Blessed be the Lord, who daily “ loadeth us with benefits. God giveth to all

men liberally, and upbraideth not. He “ will fulfil the desire of them that fear him. “ All the paths of the Lord are mercy

and “ truth unto such as keep his covenant: the “ Lord shall open unto them his good trea

sure, and bless all the work of their hands. “ God so loved the world, that he gave

his only-begotten Son, that whosoever be“ lieveth in him should not perish, but have “ everlasting life. In this was manifested the “ love of God towards us, because that God “ sent his only-begotten Son into the world, " that we might live through him. His

mercy is on them that fear him throughout “ all generations. And as in Adam all die,

in Christ shall all be made alive." Thus reason and common sense in general, and Scripture in particular, both in its spirit and letter, is clearly against Calvin's doctrine of absolute and unconditional decrees; against his doctrines of election and predestination; the foregoing quotations from it proving that it proclaims the inost positive promises of temporal and eternal happiness to all righteous men without exception. Ac

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cordingly, a rational and grateful being wholly trusts in these promises: they are the repose of his soul whilst he lives in this world, and he derives all his hopes and expectations of future happiness from them. But at the same time he is conscious these promises are neither capriciously nor unconditionally made; they are not predestinated, nor are they made to the man who says,

Lord, Lord,” but only to him who doth the will of his Creator to the best of his power; and who, knowing his incapacity to fulfil it of himself, most humbly entreats the assistance of God's


and favour to enable him to accomplish it: such a man has a solid foundation, on which his hope and confidence may justly rest. But there is no other basis, on which any man can properly do so, nor is there any other criterion, by which a man ought to imagine himself entitled to the favour of God, but from the consciousness of a perfect resignation to his will, and a constant wish and desire to obey it; nevertheless, and notwithstanding this clear, precise, and unambiguous statement in Scripture of the terms on which the human species are to expect the favour of God, there are a class of men who consider themselves as predes-,

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