The Pleasure Of

17. The pleasure of God is in favor of the salvation of all men; and therefore, neither death, sin, nor pain, can be the ultimate object of God in reference to man. "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked." Ezek. 23:11. Death and sin and pain may exist for a time; but if God has no pleasure in them of themselves, they are not the end at which he aims, but the means by which he accomplishes that end. The end in which God rests as his pleasure, design, or purpose, must be essentially benevolent, because he is essentially a benevolent God. Neither death, nor sin, nor pain can be his ultimate plan or pleasure; they are the means by which his holy and righteous designs are carried into effect.

18. God created all men expressly for his pleasure, and, therefore, not for ultimate death. "Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." Rev. 4:11 Adam Clarke has a fine remark on this passage. He says, "He made all things for his pleasure; and through the same motive he preserves. Hence, it is most evident, that he hateth nothing that he has made; and could have made no intelligent creature with the design to make it eternally miserable. It is strange, that a contrary supposition has ever entered into the heart of man; and it is high time that the benevolent nature of the Supreme God, should be fully vindicated from aspersions of this kind."

19. The pleasure of God shall prosper in the hand of Christ. "The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand." Isaiah 53:10 Clarke says, on Isaiah 53:10, that the pleasure of God is, "to have all men saved, and brought to the knowledge of the truth." Compare this with the 20th section.

20. God's pleasure shall surely be accomplished. "So shall by word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." Isaiah 55:11. "I will do all my pleasure." 46:10 Does not this passage show that God's pleasure shall certainly be accomplished? His word shall not return unto him void: it shall accomplish what he please, and prosper in the object which he sent it to accomplish. God has no pleasure in the death or suffering of the sinner. That was not the object of creation. God created men for his pleasure, and his pleasure shall certainly be accomplished.

21. God has purposed the salvation of all men. "Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him." (Eph. 1:9,10) It is evident from this passage, that God has purposed to gather together all things in Christ. God's purpose agrees with his will or pleasure. He wills to have all men saved; he has no pleasure in the death of the wicked; and accordingly he has purposed to gather together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth. This is God's purpose; this is what he has purposed in himself. And this is not the gathering together of those things only which are in Christ, but the gathering together of all things in him. "Unto him shall the gathering of the people be." (Gen. 49:10) And Jesus confirms this: "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." (John 12:32) Thus we see all things are to be gathered into Christ. They are all to have his spirit, and partake of his new creation; for "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new." (2 Cor. 5:17) By the phrase "all things," as Archbishop Newcome says, it meant, "all persons, all intelligent beings. See the neuter for the masculine, John 6:37,39." See more on this subject under the 78th section.

22. The purpose of God cannot fail: it must certainly be accomplished. "The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, surely as I have purposed, so shall it stand." (Isaiah 14:24) "For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?"( verse 27) "I have purposed it, I will also do it." (46:11) Now, whatever God purposes must take place. God can have no second thoughts; hence, Paul speaks of "the purpose of him who worketh all things according to the counsel (i.e. the previous consultations or deliberations) of his own will." (Eph 1:11) What, then, shall hinder the accomplishment of this purpose? Has he formed a plan which he cannot execute? No; the concurrent testimony of the sacred writers is, that whatever God has purposed, SHALL BE DONE. So let it be, O Lord.

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