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18. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.”
It is the object of this passage of Scripture, to evince, that since God is merciful and just, he is not unrighteous. From the proclamation to Moses, the apostle Paul does not conclude that God is just, but that he is merciful. The conjunction for, which introduces the 17th verse, refers to the reply made to the question, 'Is there unrighteousness with God? The 18th verse is a conclusion drawn from all the preceding. The inference, and whom he will he hardeneth, is derived, not from the declaration to Moses, but from the hardening of Pharaoh.
The glory of God does not consist immediately in the exhibition of his justice. He is indeed glorified, eventually, by the display of this attribute ; in other words, he is glorified by his justice, when it has produced the conversion, and the happiness of the transgressor. When this is accomplished, all the demands of justice are satisfied. In this view, and in this only, is the divine justice properly termed glorious. It is glorious in what may be termed a transitive sense, or in relation to that mercy, of which it renders the criminal a fit subject. Strictly speaking, therefore, Jehovah is not glorified in his justice, but by his justice.
“ And I will proclaim the name of the Lord, I will praise thy name, O Lord; for it is good." Psalm liv. 6. We shall readily discover the benignity included in the name of the Lord, when thus proclaimed to Moses, by considering what works Jehovah is said to perform for his name's sake. That none of these are punishments, but all of them are loving kindnesses, the following extracts amply evince.
• I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. 1 John, ii. 12. Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. 3 Jobn, 7. For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. Isa. xlviii. 9. For thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity ; for it is great. Psalm xxiv. 11.**
As a striking confirmation of this doctrine of the divine glory, we subjoin a few verses from St. John.
• And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I bad with thee, before the world was.' Observe the nature of this request ;-glorify thou me with thine own self. Holy Father, keep through thine own name, those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word: That they may all be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us ; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
This unity between the Father, the Son, and the saints, is a unity of love ; for, says Jesus Christ, • by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another. And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them : that they may be one, even as we are one. That is, “thy love for me,
* M. Duponceau, treating on comprehensive forms of language, is in raptures with one word, as concentrating the essence of the amiable. It is this: WULAMALESSOHALIAN---thou who makest me happy. What an acquisition are suc : terms to the poet and the orator! Ia this harmonious word, are knit together, like the soul of Jonathan to the soul of David, at once the agent, the object, and the delightful sentiment. Can the name of the Lord be less amiable !
I have imparted to them, that they may love one another. In other terms this glory is love. • I in them, and thou in me, that they may bemade perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.' Here is an additional proof, that that love is the essence of this unity.-- Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am: that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me : for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. This passage affords further evidence, that the glory conferred on the Son, was the love of his Father.- See John xvii.
From the Scriptures last quoted, it is evident, that the reciprocal unity between the Father, the Son, and the children of God, is a unity of love. It is also manisest, that the glory of the Son is love, the glory of the saints is love; and that this glory is the Father's own self. God is love.
Thirdly. God is not glorified in the miseries of hell. *
To affirm that God is glorified in the pains of hell, is evidently the same, as to affirm that he is glorified in his justice. But this last assertion, we have already pronounced to be false. That he is glorified by the miseries of the condemned, may be admitted, on condition that they are instruments for effecting the happiness of those who endure them. But without this condition, we deny that God can be glorified by such afflictions. We are now to prove from the Scriptures, that God cannot be glorified in the miseries of the condemned, on any condition whatever.
* We have not undertaken to define hell,
If God is glorified in the miseries of the con. demned, how does it happen, that the Psalms of David, which illustrate all the modes of divine praise, no where afford expressions like the following ?- Praise him for his wrath-Praise him for his fierce anger, yea, for his fury-And forget not all his hatred to the children of men Sing to the praise of his revengeful justice-Break forth in songs, ye daughters of Zion, ye tender hearted virgins ; for great is the glory of eternal damnation.'*
What! is the glory of God unworthy of praise ! Can God be glorified in what affords him no pleasure! Has he prohibited his children, those who are in him', and be in them', and who are
one spirit with him', from participating his obvious delights! And is he not to be praised for all the objects of our holy joys !- Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power ; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are, and were created.' Rev. iv. 11. All mankind were consequently created for the pleasure and glory of God. It is indeed said in the Psalms, 5 Give thanks to him who smoţe Egypt in her first-born': but why? (take notice) • for his mercy' (not his wrath) • endur. eth forever.' • His anger is but for a moment. Consult Psalm cxxxvi. The justice of God wounds and kills, only that his mercy may heal and make alive : so that wherever the divine jus
* What the Scriptures term the wrath of Gol, isthe extremity of paternal, not of diabolical punishment. The illustrious Dr. Price thinks he has discovered, that though God loves the good, he must hate the wicked.'
Sing to the praise of his revengeful justice'. The words of Calvin are, •To the praise of his vindictive justice. The author has only put them into plain English. For vindictive certainly means revengeful.
tice is exerted, it is glorious, and worthy of praise, not in itself, but for the sake of that mercy in which it always terminates.
If God is glorified in the torments of hell, it is unaccountable, that St. Paul, speaking of that day, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, did not inform us, that he should also be glorified in the wicked. On the contrary, to the wicked, he denounces, at the same period, banishment • from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.' How can God be glorified in those who are excluded from the glory of his power? From the glory which is confined to Jehovah's person, we are all equally banished. Where, then, can this glory of his power exist, but in his creatures ? and how can he be glorified in those creatures, in whom the glory of his power has no place ? There is not a particle of evi. dence, that what is here called the glory of his power, is an expression consecrated to any particular species, or degree of visible glory : if you assume this, you consequently substitute groundless conjecture, for solid argument.
Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. And if God be glorified in him, God shall glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.' John xiii. 31. 32. By the same mode of reasoning, if God be glorified in the condemned, then will he also glorify them, and straightway glorify them. Of course, they will be inmediately delivered from the chains of darkness, into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 'Tis in vain to object, by saying, they are men-in them is illustrated only the glory of God's vindictive justice. For is not the Son of man also man? And as to any particular species