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among the Jews, seems to encourage it. But for a Christian to persecute, is to fly in the face of his Sovereign, and is the fame, as to tell him, that he will not have him to reign over him : And, tho' he likes to be called after his, viz. Christ's name, as it is the fashion of the country in which he lives, and, to be called otherwise, would be disreputable; and though he likes to profess his religion, because of the pomp, and wealth, and power, which may be tacked to that profession, or on some other worldly consideration; yet, he very much diflikes the thing, and chuses rather to be governed by his own lusts, than by Christ's laws. This is the language of a persecutor's conduct, if I may so speak. For a Christian, therefore, to persecute, is very preposterous. However, it is a matter of no small consolation to me, that, as I do not lie at these mens mercy now, so I shall be perfectly secure from their ill-will hereafter, as I am to be judged by one, who is thoroughly acquainted with every one's case, who will weigh all things in an equal balance, and who will render to every one, according as his works shall be, whether they be good, or whether they be evil.

VINDICATION

OF THE
Author's short Dissertation

ON PROVIDENCE.

TN my Dissertation on Providence, I have

Thewed what I intended by a general, and what by a particular providence. In

my definition of a general providence, I observed, that God, at the creation, put the natural world under the direction of certain laws; and that, ever since, he has caused it to be passively subject to those laws. By this my reader may fee, that the divine energy, or those immediate acts of God's power, by which the system of nature is kept together, and continually upheld and preserved, is by me considered, as a part of God's general providence. However, if Mr. Woolafton, or any other person, · has, or shall differently distinguish a general, and a particular providence, from what I have done, and shall make that a part of

God's

God's particular providence, which I have made a part of his general providence; let it be fo, it makes nothing for, nor against me. Again,

In my Differtation on Providence, I have pot laid the foundation of my scheme of providence on the New Testament, as a nameless * writer represents me to have done; but only attempted to thew two things, viz. First, that those facts, that are considered as eminent and apparent instances of such a particular provi. dence, as I oppose, do not shew, or prove, any such thing; with respect to which, 'my opponent has not attempted to Thew, but only prefumes, that they do, and then makes a fine flourish upon the revolution, viz, that it was a case, in which a great and good end was served by it, &c. As if no great and good end could be brought about, without the particular and Special inter position of the Deity to effect it. Whereas this very event might bave been, and was, brought about, in the course of God's general providence, for any thing this writer has, or can shew, or prove, to the contrary. Alas! there are many events take place, some of which are great benefits, others, great evils, to mankind, with respect to which, it is not apparent, that there was a particular and special interposition of the Deity to effect them. And here, I think, it, may not be amiss for me, to take notice of another event; namely,

G2 ...the * See a book, intitled, an Answer to Mr. Chubb's Thort Dissertation on Providence, &c.

the burning the town of Blandford, which was brought about in the same way with that of the revolution; in which, to appearance, at least, it was not a great and good, but a very bad end, that was served by it, viz. the bringing into great distress, the inhabitants of that town. For, when the fire broke out in that place, the great desolation that followed, was owing, as I have been informed, to the wind's fudden and frequent shifting and changing its quarter. Now, admitting this to be the cafe, I think, it will be very hard to suppose, that the inhabitants of the town of Blandford were more vile, and wicked, and, as such, were more the objects of the divine refentment, than the inhabitants of the city of London, or any other place, and therefore were singled out to be monuments of God's displeasure: i fay, it will be hard to suppose this; and, confequently, it will be hard to suppose, that the particular and special interposition of the Deity was concerned in bringing that great desolation upon them. What I would observe, is, that though by the wind's sudden and frequent shifting and changing its quarter, a great deliverance accrued to

great distress upon the inhabitants of the town of Blandford, in another; yet, nothing can be concluded from either of these cases, in favour of such a particular providence, as I oppose ; because, we have no just ground to presume, that, in either of the forementioned instances, the event was brought about by a particular

and

and special interpofition of the Deity. But farther, I undertook to shew, Secondly, that such a particular providence, as. I oppose, is not proved by any thing that our Lord Jesus Christ has said touching this matter. These áre what I attempted to shew, and these apa pear, to me, to be the truth of the case, notwithstanding what has been offered against me on this subject; tho'these are points, that must be submitted to the judgment of our readers. * *

But, perhaps, were I to proceed no farther, my opponent might then think, he had just ground of complaint against me, viz. that I chose to avoid speaking to what he has urged; because I could not make a proper reply to it. And therefore, to bar all such complaints, I farther observe, that our Lord, in Matt. vi. 28. puts the question to his disciples, And why take ye thought for raiment? to which he adds, in that, and the following verses, Consider the lilies of the field, - how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet, I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so cloath the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, Mall be not much more cloath you, Oye of little faith? Here, by those words, [much more) my op: ponent thinks, that our Saviour taught the doctrine of such a particular providence, as I oppose. For, if God, in the course of his general providence, cloaths the grass of the field, then by his much more cloathing Christ's faith

ful

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