The complete duty of man
Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC
By: Henry Venn
Excerpt from book: CHAPTER IV. THE CHARACTER OF GOD EXEMPLIFIED. In our last chapter we have the character of God, given by his own inspired penmen. We have seen that they represent him as a Being merciful and yet just: merciful, even abounding in grace towards his obedient children : but just to those who despise him, in bringing upon them all the curses written in his book. By this disposition towards both, he appears infinitely holy and reverend, and his character gives the greatest encouragement to the exercise of faith in his name, and to the practice of righteousness for his sake. But if the character of God were only marked out to us by his own declarations, we should be apt (such is our nature) to be only faintly impressed by it. To give it weight sufficient to regulate our practice, the character must be made still more conspicuous by actions. There must be facts, established upon such authority, that we can no more question their truth, than if with our own eyes we had seen them performed : facts expressive of the very same perfections in God, which his word declares he possesses. Accordingly the method of God's procedure, both with angels and men, is an additional and the strongest confirmation possible that he is good, merciful, and holy: that he abounds in love towards his faithful people, but is the dreadful avenger of iniquity. With respect to the goodness of God, it shines forth in all the excellencies which angels possess, and all the bliss they inherit, who have never fallen from God, nor left that glorious habitation he of his bounty provided for them. On man, as he came immediately out of the hands of his creator, and whilst he stood in his first estate, the signatures of the divine goodness were so strongly impressed, as to excite envy in one who had himself exper...