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all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness towards the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them, according to the mercies, and ace' cording to the multitude of his loving kindnelles, For he said, surely, they are my people, children that will not lie : so he was their saviour. In all their affliation be was afflicted, and the angel of his prefepce saved them.”
Does what is here faid of the divine fengbility, on beholding the afflictions of Israel, infer that the hap. piness of God was increased by the afflictions of that people ? Even the causing finful rebellious people to suffer the due reward of their wickedness, is de nominated by the prophet, God's Arange work. " For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his frange work; and bring to pass his act, bis Arange a87." Ila. xxviii. 21. For the comfort and consolation of the afflicted, the prophet holds the following language, " For the Lord will not cast off forever. But though he cause grief, yet will he have compaffion according to the multitude of his mercies. For be dotle not affie willingly, nor grieug obe children of men." Sam. iii. 31, 32, 33. The apostle, entertaining the same idea with the prophet, of the affli&ions of, men says, "Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations." 1. Pet. i. 6. From these fcripture representations of God's manner of affli&ting his church, or individu
als, are we led to suppose that the sufferings of mora tals on earth, redound to the happiness of God rather, are we not most clearly taught that God hath ever had a uniform regard to the personal benefit of the affli&ted, in those sufferings which his providence hath inflicted upon them? 'Though we should concede that Universaliks may be mistaken, in some articles of their creed ; yet they will never be convinced, or refuted, whilft their adversaries oppose them with false and corrupt prinčia' ples, borrowed from an old hackneyed fystem of faith, and gross contradi&tions and misconstructions of scripture. I have no doubt but that Universale ists lie open to conviction, and are as willing as other men to receive light and truth. But it is a 'vety. preposterous method to endeavor to fubverë their argument from the divine benevolence, by present: ing them with such ideas of that benevolence, as-are palpably false, and contradictory in themselves, and which infer the grofleft reflections on the divine char.
We will go on fill with our examination of Mr. S's ideas of benevolence, Towards the bottom of p. 112, he begins his 5th observation thus," A bea nevolence, limited by the law of individual happik ness, is so far from the true benevolence of God, atid of holy creatures, and from making all creatures blefa fed in its operation ; that it's not holiness, neither çan it ever give perfect happiness to any mind. There is no middle way, between selfishness and a sü
preme regard to the good and glory of God and his kingdom. The heart must have an object of its fupreme regard. If self be this object there is a nea'
cessary oppofation to the public good"; and all the ni äeasures of divine government, will be approved or
lilapproved by this rule, am I benefited, or not? Selfishness will look with a jealous and an afflicted eye on the emolument of every other being, that cannot be made subservient to its own purposes. The human heart wishes that every thing may conspire to the advancement of that interest, which it prefers to all others. A selfish creature wishes that every thing may conspire to the advancement of self, and puts himself in the place of God and the universe ; and he müh'either be unhappy, or the divine 'goveroment mul bow to his individual interests." We now have a long quotation before us. Let us 'candidly and fairly, though critically, examine it. . HOA benevolence, limited by the law of individual happiness; is selfishness. All the measures of divine government will be approved, or disapproved, by this rule, am I benefited, or not? A selfish eye looks, with jealousy and affliction, on the emolument of ev. ery other being. A selfish creature wishes that every thing may conspire to the advancement of self." A selfish soul is unhappy, if all the measures of the die Vine government do not bow to his individual interefts. - Thús I have truly and fairly stated Mr. S's. idea of felfishness, 1:1 i. ; .
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Will it not be conceived by every candid and conGftent mind, that benevolence ought to be so de. fined as to form a perfect contrast to selfishness ? Benevolence, then, tenders the happiness of every individual in the universe, that is capable of it. Benevolence will highly approve of all those measures of the divine government, which are calculated to fabserve the real interest and happiness of all the members of that government. A benevolent eye will look, with the most cordial pleasure and satisfaction, on the emolument of every other being. A benevolent creature wilhes that every thing may conspire to the advancement of the pleasure and happiness of all others, as well as of itself. The benevolent soul feels itself, in a great measure unhappy, whilst, un, der the excellent measures of the divine government, all its fellow creatures are not persuaded to be virtu, ous and happy.
I appeal, not only to the reason and common sense of my readers, but to their hearts, whether I have not stated the idea of benevolence in perfect con. trast with Mr. S's. idea of selfishness, and in suc manner as to meet their entire approbation. Yes, my christian readers, I ask your hearts, whether they do got approve of the picture of benevolence which I have set before them.
But you know that this is far from being Mr. S's. idea of benevolence. If it really were his idea, we should have no controversy with him. His benevolence, instead of grasping the intelligent universe in
the arras of its tenderest affection, is a regard to an airy phantom, a mere fyftematic figment, called the public good, or greatest quantity of bappiness, even that public good, or greatest quantity of happiness, which is necessarily produced by the fin and mifery of a great part of the human race!!
Turn back, my kind readers, a few pages, and you may refresh your memories with Mr. S's. fundamental ideas of benevolence. There you will find that I here represent them truly. What, but a fond attachment to a hypothesis, could prevent Mr. S. from seeing the inconsistencies which he hath made ? Selfishness, he says, is a regard to one's own individ| ual happiness, without respect to the happiness of others. Benevolence, he says, is a regard to God's holy intelligent kingdom, without any respect to the Virtue and happiness of numberless millions of Ginful and miserable beings. In a society of a thousand members, what is the difference between that berjev. olence which is limited to one, and that which is ex. tended to five, or to fifty, or to five hundred, if it Still fall short of grasping the whole ? They are both partial. One, indeed, includes a few more within the arms of love ; but leaves a great part of the society in mifery.
Again, our author proceeds, p. 114, According to the above explanation, the infinite benevolence of God is no proof of universal salvation ; for if the just and eternal misery of some, be a necessary meat's of the greateft bappiness, it will doubtless be preferred