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from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock.
Job 36:15. He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression.
James 1:9. Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted.
CONTAINING THE VIEWS OF DISTINGUISHED THEO
LOGIANS OF VARIOUS DENOMINATIONS, UPON THE FULFILMENT OF THE DIVINE PROMISES, RELATING TO THE SALVATION OF THE WORLD.
God is omnipotent, his will must therefore be
done. “ He can do all his pleasure; he knows how to do it, and his pleasure is to do the greatest good. Must not the consequence follow, then ? When we are desirous to do any thing, in order to bring about any event which we clearly know how to effect, and have strength and fortitude to remove every obstacle, and surmount every difficulty in the way, is it possible the event should not take place ? It would be manifestly absurd to suppose it. And shall we suppose that the designs of God will fail, whose knowledge and power are unlimited, and before whom nothing is a difficulty, nothing an impediment, nothing any discouragement? By no means: If we cannot conclude from the power, knowledge, and goodness of God, that
the most noble, godlike end, the highest good, shall be effected under the divine adminis. tration, from what premises can we infer any conclusion at all? Erroneous as human reason is, it is impossible to mistake here. Does it not then become us to be still, under a sense that God is God! especially when we consider that with him there is neither variableness nor shadow of turning. So that he will remain forever, the same omnipotent, omniscient, and infinitely good God; and to all eternity exert himself to do the best things.” (Rev. Nathaniel Niles, A. M.)
Aim of the Divine Character. " The divine character is the most respectable object in the universe. It is so, because it aims most cordially, entirely, wisely, unchangeably, and irresistibly, at the highest possible good and perfection of the universe! God has in tender mercy given his Son to die for us, and, as a consequence of his death, has ordered every thing in every world to work together for our good. Here, then, we have a God whose mercy is as pure as it is tender, regular as strong, just as forgiving, as glorious to God as it is happy to man.” (Ibid.)
The love of God unchangeable towards his
enemies. “God is not only kind to his friends, but the divinity of his nature diffuseth mercy to the miserable, and grace to the ill-deserving. We were miserable, and he pitied us! We were sinful, and he detested us; yet his pity neither ceased nor abated. His bowels yearned towards us ; his heart melted with compassion; he resolved to exert himself in our favor open a way through which all may be saved, and become kings and priests unto God. His heart was so full of the gracious scheme, and so immovably fixed in it, thąt he hesitated not to sacrifice his only begotten Son, upon the accursed tree, by the hands of wicked men. He freely gave him up for us all. For us! Who are we? What have we done to call forth such an instance of kindness from the Deity ? Alas! what indeed ? God has loaded us with goodness, and we have loaded him with contempt and provocation. He saw our hearts full of opposition to himself and ways. We had forsaken the fountain of living water, and hewed to ourselves broken cisterns which could hold no water. He warns us of our folly, and that we must either return or perish. With
what strength of affection, with what an ardent pathos did he call on us, 'Turn ye, turn ye, why will ye die?' But we turned a deaf ear to the heavenly charmer; yet, astonishing! he did not whet his glittering sword. The heavens did not gather blackness, nor did the thunder of divine wraih burst upon us. In him we have lived, and moved, and had our being. He has been infinitely more kind to us than the most affectionate parent ever was to a darling child, when in the utmost danger. Not a day has passed in which he has not given us food and raiment; nor a moment but he has given us breath. Infinite compassion has excited all his feelings; but the vilest ingratitude, rebellion, and perverseness, have marked all our actions. Such was the conduct of God towards us before his Son came into the world, that he could exclaim, with the greatest propriety, • What more conld I have done for my vineyard than I have done in it?'. Yet, after all, when he looked that it should bring forth grapes, it brought forth wild grapes; the grapes of Sodom, and the clusters of Gomorrah. Still, not all our perverseness, nor all our provocations could induce him to forsake the merciful scheme of our recovery; no, for in the ful