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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Benevolence


BENEV'OLENCE, noun [Latin benevolentia, of bene, well and volo, to will or wish. See Will.]

1. The disposition to do good; good will; kindness; charitableness; the love, of mankind, accompanied with a desire to promote their happiness.

The benevolence of God is one of his moral attributes; that attribute which delights in the happiness of intelligent beings. 'God is love.' 1 John 4:1.

2. An act of kindness; good done; charity given.

3. A species of contribution or tax illegally exacted by arbitrary kings of England.