Beattie, James (1735–1803)

James Beattie was a Scottish poet, professor of moral philosophy and logic at Aberdeen, and advocate of pluralism, who in his Evidences of the Christian Religion (1786) replies to those who question that in a universe so large, God should have troubled to redeem the inhabitants of one small planet with the sacrifice of his Son. He agrees with Richard Bentley that the soul of one good man is worth more than all the material contents of the universe. Moreover, he argues that the redemption of mankind might have extraterrestrial consequences and that:


[I]t is not absurd to imagine, that our fall and recovery may be used to them as an example; and that the divine grace manifested in our redemption may raise their adoration and gratitude into higher raptures and quicken their ardour to inquire ... into the dispensions into infinite wisdom.