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  • Trace God's Government in History and in His Precepts, and You Will Find It Full of His Goodness.

    Chapter XVII.—Trace God’s Government in History and in His Precepts, and You Will Find It Full of His Goodness.

    These considerations show that the entire order of God as Judge is an operative one, and (that I may express myself in worthier words) protective of His Catholic2898

    2898 Catholic, because diffused throughout creation (Pamelius).

    and supreme goodness, which, removed as it is from judiciary emotions, and pure in its own condition, the Marcionites refuse to acknowledge to be in one and the same Deity, “raining on the just and on the unjust, and making His sun to rise on the evil and on the good,”2899

    2899 Matt. v. 45. T. predicts this (by the word pluentem) strictly of the “goodness” of God, the quam.

    —a bounty which no other god at all exercises.  It is true that Marcion has been bold enough to erase from the gospel this testimony of Christ to the Creator; but yet the world itself is inscribed with the goodness of its Maker, and the inscription is read by each man’s conscience.  Nay, this very long-suffering of the Creator will tend to the condemnation of Marcion; that patience, (I mean,) which waits for the sinner’s repentance rather than his death, which prefers mercy to sacrifice,2900

    2900 Hos. vi. 6.

    averting from the Ninevites the ruin which had been already denounced against them,2901

    2901 Jonah iii. 10.

    and vouchsafing to Hezekiah’s tears an extension of his life,2902

    2902 2 Kings xx. i.

    and restoring his kingly state to the monarch of Babylon after his complete repentance;2903

    2903 Dan. iv. 33.

    that mercy, too, which conceded to the devotion of the people the son of Saul when about to die,2904

    2904 1 Sam. xiv. 45.

    and gave free forgiveness to David on his confessing his sins against the house of Uriah;2905

    2905 2 Sam. xii. 13.

    which also restored the house of Israel as often as it condemned it, and addressed to it consolation no less frequently than reproof. Do not therefore look at God simply as Judge, but turn your attention also to examples of His conduct as the Most Good.2906

    2906 Optimi.

    Noting Him, as you do, when He takes vengeance, consider Him likewise when He shows mercy.2907

    2907 Indulget.

    In the scale, against His severity place His gentleness. When you shall have discovered both qualities to co-exist in the Creator, you will find in Him that very circumstance which induces you to think there is another God. Lastly, come and examine into His doctrine, discipline, precepts, and counsels. You will perhaps say that there are equally good prescriptions in human laws. But Moses and God existed before all your Lycurguses and Solons. There is not one after-age2908

    2908 Posteritas.

    which does not take from primitive sources.  At any rate, my Creator did not learn from your God to issue such commandments as: Thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not bear false witness; thou shalt not covet what is thy neighbour’s; honour thy father and thy mother; and, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. To these prime counsels of innocence, chastity, and justice, and piety, are also added prescriptions of humanity, as when every seventh year slaves are released for liberty;2909

    2909 Lev. xxv. 4, etc.

    when at the same period the land is spared from tillage; a place is also granted to the needy; and from the treading ox’s mouth the muzzle is removed, for the enjoyment of the fruit of his labour before him, in order that kindness first shown in the case of animals might be raised from such rudiments2910

    2910 Erudiretur.

    to the refreshment2911

    2911 Refrigeria. [1 Cor. ix. 10.]

    of men.


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