saw not, and ear heard not, And which entered not into the heart of man, Whatsoever things God prepared for them that love him.
Regulus goes back to Carthage to die rather than break his promise to his enemies. George William Curtis economizes for years, and gives up all hope of being himself a rich man, in order that he may pay the debts of his deceased father. When General Grant sold all the presents made to him by the crowned heads of Europe, and paid the obligations in which his insolvent son had involved him, he said: ?Better poverty and honor, than wealth and disgrace.? Many a businessman would rather die than fail to fulfill his promise and let his note go to protest. ?Maxwelton braes are bonnie, Where early falls the dew, And ?twas there that Annie Laurie Gave me her promise true; Which ne?er forget will I; And for bonnie Annie Laurie I?d lay me down and dee.? Betray the man she loves? Not ?Till a? the seas gang dry, my dear, And the rocks melt wi? the sun.? God?s truth will not be less than that of mortal man. God?s veracity is the natural correlate to our faith.
2. Mercy and Goodness, or Transitive Love.
By mercy and goodness we mean the transitive love of God in its twofold relation to the disobedient and to the obedient portions of his creatures. <560304> Titus 3:4 ? ?his love toward man?; <450204>Romans 2:4 ? ?goodness of God? <400544>Matthew 5:44, 45 ? love your enemies that ye may be sons of your Father?; <430316>John 3:16 ? ?God so loved the world?; <600103>1 Peter 1:3 ? ?granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness?;
<450832> Romans 8:32 ? ?freely give us all things?; <430410>John 4:10 ? ?Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.?
(a) Mercy is that eternal principle of God?s nature, which leads him to seek the temporal good and eternal salvation of those who, have opposed themselves to his will, even at the cost of infinite self-sacrifice.
Martensen: ?Viewed in relation to sin, eternal love is compassionate grace.? God?s continued impartation of natural life is a foreshadowing, in a lower sphere, of what he desires to do for his creatures in the higher sphere ? the communication of spiritual and eternal life through Jesus Christ. When he bids us love our enemies, he only bids us follow his own example. Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, 2:2 ? ?Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods? Draw near them, then, in being merciful.? Twelfth Night, 3:4 ? ?In nature there?s no blemish but the mind; None can be called deformed but the unkind. Virtue is beauty.?
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