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Such are the declarations of Scripture respecting what are called the natural attributes of Jehovah. His moral attributes are displayed, in the same book, with equal clearness. God is holy.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory."* “ The Lord is righteous in all his ways and holy in all his works." He is of
purer eyes than to behold evil." “All that do unrighteously are an abomination unto the Lord thy God.”
He is just, the moral Governor of the world, rewarding virtue and punishing vice. “Say ye to the righteous that it shall be well with him, for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Wo unto the wicked ! it shall be ill with him; for the reward of his hands shall be given him." In the present world there are many apparent interruptions of God's retributive justice; but the Scriptures teach us that in the world to come, it will operate without hindrance and through all eternity. “He that soweth to the flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption ; but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." “ And these (the wicked) shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal." God is equal.
* Isa. vi, 1–3. Comp. Rev. iv, 8.
“Without respect of persons,” he "judgeth according to every man's work.” “ Is not my way equal, saith the Lord ?” “ God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation, he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted with him.” The servant who “knew his Lord's will” and did it not, “ shall be beaten with many stripes ; but he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required."
He is good, abounding in kindness towards his creatures, 'our bounteous Protector and Father. “ The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” God "giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not....every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights."* “ He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Yet his beneficence is directed, with peculiar effect, towards his obedient children, * James i, 5, 17, Comp. Ps. cxlv, 9. Acts xiv, 15–17.
whom he supports and comforts under every trial, and whose afflictions he applies to their highest welfare. “But thou, Israel, art my servant, the seed of Abraham
friend....fear thou not, for I arn with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."* " All things work together for good to them that love God : to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
God is merciful ; and his mercy is, of all his attributes, the most frequently alluded to in Scripture.“ The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin.” “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." The mercy of God is nearly identical with his love, under the pure impulse of which towards our fallen world, “ he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” “ God commendeth his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ."
* Isą. xli, 8–10. Comp Ps. xci, 1,
Finally, He is faithful or true.-" The word of our God shall stand forever.” “ His truth endureth to all generations." “ Also the strength of Israel will not lie.” “ If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself.”+ In this attribute, we have an unfailing warrant that his law is unalterable, that his judgments will be executed, that his mercies are sure, and that his promises are “ yea" and "amen" for
Such is Jehovah, as described in the sacred volume, -- the only true God, eternal, the Creator and Ruler of all things, a Spirit, omnipresent, almighty, omniscient, perfectly wise ; holy, just, equal, benevolent, long-suffering, merciful and true. Now these divine attributes are blended, but not confused. They do not weaken, much less nullify each other, but ex* Rom. v, 8.
Eph. ii, 4, 5. Comp. 1 John iv, 10, † 2 Tim. ii, 13. Comp. Heb. x, 23. Ps. cxi, 9.
isting severally and unalterably in infinite strength, they meet and combine in perfect union.
This harmony and nice adjustment of the various attributes ascribed in Scripture to the Supreme Being, must strike every reflecting mind. His sole existence, from eternity, coincides with his creating all things; his spirituality with his pervading all things; his omnipresence with his knowing all things. How dreadful would be his omnipotence, were it not combined with perfect wisdom ! And how worthy is it of all admiration, that although able to effect all things immediately by his fiat, he ever makes use of means, that his wisdom may be made known to his rational creatures !
Were he not the omnipotent sovereign of the universe, he could not be its moral governor. Were he not omniscient, he could not render to every man according to his deeds. His holiness is the basis of his justice ; his justice is inseparably connected with his equity.
Above all, in the Christian doctrine of atonement, we find a solution of that most difficult moral problem - how God can forgive and save a sinful race, consistently with the due main