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lence to any other individual, or number of individ. uals, or to any other system of intelligent creatures.
The universe is not so large as to exhaust the divine benevolence. God loves all the worlds, and all the creatures, he hath made ; and if he had made as many more, he would have loved them all.
Mr. S.'s idea of the divine benevolence is not on. ly contrary to reason, to common sense, to the com mon feelings of the human heart, and reducible to the groffest absurdity ; but most directly contrary to the Scripture representation of the love of God to his creatures.
'I will presently show what is the scripture represen. tation of the divine benevolence; after I have made a few observations on Mr. S.'s idea of selfishness, or partial benevolence.
From the quotations I have already made, we may form the following statement of Mr. S's. idea on this subject. · That, to think that the happiness of individuals composes the happiness of the whole ;-or that the greatest happiness of the whole, and the happiness of the individuals which compose that whole, are the fame ; is selfishness.
That, to attempt the comfort and consolation of suffering individuals in this life, by telling them that God will reward them in the world to come, and richly compensate them in heaven, for their fuf. ferings on earth ; proceeds from a selfish principle, and not from a view to the general good.
Suppose a fociety confifts of one hundred indi. viduals. The happiness of the hundred individuals does not make up the happiness of the whole. The supreme happiness of the whole hundred, may consist well with the extreme misery of fifty. And it is a glorious imitation of divine benevolence, to take a supreme pleasure in the misery of fifty, if we can only see the other fifty happy.
The subje&, I acknowledge, is serious ; but Mr. S.'s metaphysics bring to my mind a prayer once made by a good old farmer ; and, since the prayer was made in the very spirit of that benevolence which Mr. S. fo ardently pleads for, I must recite it.
" The Lord bless me, and my wife, my son John, and his wife ; we four and no more.”
The candid reader will forgive me the introduc. tion of this prayer, when I folemnly declare to him, that I have not the least disposition to render Mr. S. ridiculous, or to treat the facred subject with indecency. The sole object I had in view, in the intro. duction of this prayer was, that I might present to the world Mr. S.'s system in its true light, which I fup. pose this prayer does.
On Mr. S's. plan, the good honest husbandman was perfectly right. That every family, or every in. dividual, in his neighborhood, or town, should be blessed, was not, at all, necessary to the happiness of the whole neighborhood, or town. And I cannot fee, on Mr. S.'s scheme of benevolence, that the good
farmer's philanthropy was a whit too contracted. · In whatever light we view Mr. S.'s scheme of the public, or general good ; the glory and blessedness of God, and of his holy intelligent kingdom ; the greatest posible happiness, &c. we shall find it essentially defective. And his idea of divine be. nevolence, which originates dire&ly in his scheme of the greatest possible happiness, is as defective.
If the system of eternal misery cannot be founded on better principles than these, it must and will fall to the ground. I should certainly congder my son who is not ten years old, as verily guilty, and worthy of corre&ion, if he could not substantially refute such a scheme of eternal misery.
Indeed, the whole scheme of the greatest possible happiness, and of the divine benevolence, as brought into view by Mr. S., is a mere systematic whim, a phantasma of a disordered imagination, first introduced into the Christian Church, in the 5th centu. ry, by the bishop of Rome, in company with the doctrines of original fin, partial election, irreGiftable grace, and others of equal truth. And, from Rome, through Germany and Great Britain, this scheme of eternal misery came into Connecticut, where it hath been for almost two centuries ; and, by many in that State, is still held as a darling tenet, however slender and rotten be its foundation. I will now endeavor to bring into view two
fchemes of divine providence, in the creation and government of men, and fairly to represent them both, conducting each through the various ages of this world, up to those grand periods, when, as it is fupposed, they will respectively close in the result of the divine mediatorial plan,
Though one of these schemes is as much older than the other, as truth is older than error, I shall not con. fult seniority in the order in which I shall place them.
In the ages of eternity, it seemed good to him who alone inhabits eternity, to create a universe, and to people it, in part, with rational creatures; to form this planetary fyftem, and to plant man upon the earth.
He clearly faw the defectibility of such a creature ;-that he would fin, and fall from his primeval state ; and that, with fin, ficknefs, and pain, and forrow and death, with an infinite train of natural evils, would enter the fyftem. Though God, perhans, confidered his power fufficient to form an indefećtible creature, he chose to make man. He considered that ļome of his rational creatures would maintain their integrity, and preserve their innocent ftate. That He could, congfently with a divine character, and the recitude of his gorernment, enter on a mediatorial plan, that would eventually fave a part of the human kind. He considered also that, with those intelligent creatures who should keep their first estate, and that part of mankind, which the mediatorial scheme would save, He could be far more glorious and blessed, and his holy intelligent kinga dom far more happy, than if He could, and should, save every individual of the human race. And, as He saw, that not the virtue and happiness of the whole race of Adam, but the fin and misery of a great part of them, would be the necessary means of producing the greatest glory and blessed. ness to himself, and the greatest possible quantity of happiness to His holy intelligent kingdom ; He determined and ordained that man should be created, with this express design, that some of Adam's race Thould be restored to virtue and happiness, by the mediatorial scheme, and that the rest should endure an eternity of fin and misery.
He also determined that all things should be fo calculated and conducted, both in his providential and mediatorial schemes of government of the world, as that some part of mankind should be eventually restored to virtue and happiness, and the rest eventually be left to spend a dreary eternity in finning and suffering.
God also beheld, with divine benevolence and complacency, this mixed and checkered system of moral beings ; Himself, supremely holy, blessed, and happy, amidst a universe of rational immortals, parta: ly virtuous and happy, and partly finful and misera. ble.
He considered this moral disposition of beings and things, as absolutely the best; He loves it accord. ingly, with supreme affection, and this is his divine