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By George A Starr

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It is I really desperate, not when God hinders or chastises them, but when he forbears, leaving them to sin on in security. Neither Crusoe nor the Private Gentleman ever reaches this final stage; shift and dodge as they will, God stays in pursuit. But both arrive at such a pitch of hardness that only the. most drastic methods) can bring them to submissio~~he graver their mal8 Account, p. II4. Cf. Hopkins, Works, p. 19; Willia~ Payne, A Practical Discourse of Repentance (1695), pp. 28788; and Hebrews I2: 6-11.

Eden, ro vols. God suffers men to go on in sin and punishes them not, it is not a mercy, it is not a forbearance;, it is a . hardening t:J:iem,·a,consigning them to ruin and reprobation: and themselves give the best argument to prove it; for they continue in their sin, they inultiply their iniquity, and every day grow more enemy to God; and that is no mercy that in-: creases their hostility and enmity with God. " The Transition to Fiction 59 ady, the harsher the medicine God must administer; as the Priva~e Gentleman reflects afterwards, "Any that observe the various Passages of my Life past, will - plainly perceive a Gradation of Sins and Judgments, which center' d finally in a desperate Complication of Sin and Misery, with the utmost Danger of what was infinitely ·worse" (p.

Leave God, and live at his own hand; he would stand on his own legs and bottom, and be at his own dispose: Thu~ it is with every, man by Nature . . Man wottld be at liberty from God and his Will, to follow and fulfill his own; Man is born like a wild Am;s Colt; vain man is so, saith Zophar. 6 5 M~ditations Upon our Saviour's Parable of the Prodigal Son ( 1678), pp. 44, 46; cf. John Goodman, The Penitent Pardoned, p. 85; Ezekiel Hopkins, Works, p. 525. 6 What Mr. Novak describes in positive terms as "a love of travel" should perhaps be regarded merely as Crusoe's initial manifestation of the impulse Grew deplores.

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