Monday, January 28, 2013

The merciful God

From the additional notes to Charles Spurgeon's The Treasury of David, Psalm 116:

Verse 5. Our God is merciful. Mercy is God's darling attribute; and by his infinite wisdom he has enabled mercy to triumph over justice without in any degree violating his honour or his truth. The character of merciful is that by which our God seems to delight in being known. When he proclaimed himself amid terrific grandeur to the children of Israel, it was as "the Lord, the Lord God merciful and gracious, pardoning iniquity, transgression, and sin." And such was the impression of this his character on the mind of Jonah that he says to him, "I knew that thou wert a merciful God." These, however, are not mere assertions—claims made to the character by God on the one hand, and extorted without evidence from man on the other; for in whatever way we look upon God, and examine into his conduct towards his creatures, we perceive it to bear the impression of mercy. Nor can we more exalt the Lord our God than by speaking of his mercy and confiding in it; for our "Lord's delight is in them that fear him, and put their trust in his mercy." 

John Gwyther, 1833. [Gwyther was a minister known to George Eliot in her childhood; a character in one of her early stories was strongly considered to be based on him.]

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