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there is mercy
his goodnes. I will only produce some Vol.VII. of those many Texts of Scripture
which attribute this Perfection to God. Exod. 34. 6. The Lord, the Lord God, gracious and merciful. Deut. 4. 31. The Lord thy God is a merciful God. 2 Chron. 30. 9. The Lord your God is gracious and merciful. Neh. 9. 17. Ready to pardon, gracious and merciful. Pfal. 25.10. All the paths of the Lord are mercy, Psal. 62. 12. Vnto thee, O Lord, belongeth, mercy. Pfal. 103. 8. Merciful and gracious, Pfal. 130. 7. With the Lord
And fo Jer. 3. 12. 70el 2. 13. Jonah 4. 2. Luke 6. 36. Be je therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. The Scripturę speaks of this as most natural to him, 2 Cor. 1. 3. he is called the Father of mercies. But when he punisheth, he doth as it were relinquish his Nature, and do a strange work. The Lord will wait that he may be gracious, Ifa. 30.18. God pafseth by opportunities of punishing, but his mercy takes opportunity to display it self; he waits to be gracious, To afiet or punish is a work that God is unwilling to, that he takes no pleasure in ; Lam. 3. 33. He doth not, afflict willingly, nór grieve the children of men. But mercy is a Work that he
delights in, Mic. 7. 18. He delighteth my
Vol VII, in mercy. When God shews mercy, he does it with pleasure and delight; he is said to rejoyce over his people to do them good. Those Attributes that declare God's goodness, as when he is said to be gracious, or merciful, and long-suffering, they Thèw what God is in himself, and delights to be: those which declare his wrath and severity, shew what he is upon provocation, and the occasion of lin; not what he chuseth to be, but what we do as it were compel and necessitate him to be.
Thirdly, For the degree of it; that God is a God of great mercy,
The Scripture doth delight to advance the mercy of God, and does use •great variety of Expression to magnifie it. It speaks of the greatness of his mercy, Numb. 14. 19. According to the greatness of his mercy.
2 Sam. 24. 14. Let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercies are great. 'Tis çalPd ani abundant mercy, , Pet, t. 3: According to his abundant mercj. Psal. 103. 8. he is said to be plenteous in mercy; and rich in mercy, Eph. 2. 4. Pfal. 5: 7. he fpeaks of the multitude of God's
m mercies ; and of the variety of them, Vol.VI.
9. 18. In thy manifold mercies thok forsookest them Rot. So many are they, that we are said to be surrounded and campassed about on every side with them; Psal. 103. 4. Who crowneth us with loving kindness and tender mer. cies.
And yet further to set forth the greatness of them, the Scripture useth all dimensions. Heighth ; Psal. 57. 10. Thy mercy is great unto the Heavens. Nay, higher yet; Psal. 108. 4. Thy mercy is great above the heavens. For the latitude and extent of it, 'tis as large as the Earth, and extends to all the Creatures in it ; Psal. 109. 64. The earth is full of thy mercy. Pfal. 145. 8. His tender mercies are over all his works. For the length, or duration and continuance of it; Exod. 34. 7. Laying up mercy in store for thousands of generations, one after another. Nay, it is of a longer continuance; Psal. 118. 'tis several times repeated, That his mercy endureth for ever.
And to fhew the intense degree of this affection of mercy or pity, the Scripture useth several emphatical Expressions to set it forth to us. The
Scripture speaks of the tender mercies of God, Psal. 25.6. Remember, O Lord, Vol. VIL thy tender mercies. Yea, of the multitude of these, Psal. 51. 1. According to the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgresions. Fam. 5. 11. The Lord is very pitiful and of tender
. mercy. They are called God's Bowels, which are the tenderest apt to yern and stir in us when
any affections of love and pity are excited, H. 63. 15. Where is the sounding of thy bowels, and of thy mercies, are they restrained ? Luke 1. 78. Through the tender mercy of our God. So it is in our Tranlation; but if we render it from the Original, 'tis through the bowels of tbe mercies of our God. How doth God condescend in those pathetical Expressions, which he useth concerning his People? Hof. 11. 8. How shall I give thee up, Ephraim ? mine heart is turned within me, and my repentings are kindled together. Nay, to express his tender sense of our miseries and sufferings, he is represented as being afflicted with us, and bearing a part in our sufferings í Isa, 63. 9. In all their afflictions he was afflicted.
The compassions of God are comVol VII.pared to the tenderest affections among
Men; to that of a father towards his Children; Psal. 103. 13. As a father, pitieth his Children, Jo the Lord pitieth them that fear him. Nay, to the com. passions of a Mother towards her In, fant ; Isa. 49. 15. Can a woman forget ber sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, The
may, 'tis possible, tho' most unlikely : but tho' a Mother may turn unnatural; yet God cannot be unmerciful.
In short, the Scripture doth every where magnifie the mercy of God, and speak of it with all possible advartage, as if the Divine Nature, which doth in all Perfections excel all others, did in this excel it felf., The Scripture speaks of it as if God was wholly
with it, as if it was his conftant Exercise and Employment , fo that in comparison of it, he doth hardly display any other excellency ; Pfäl. 25. 10. All the paths of the Lord are mercy; as if in this World God had a design to advance Iris mercy above his other Attributes. The mercy of God is now in the Throne, this is the day