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degree of expectation, which we call hope, rather than that larger degree of expectation which we call assurance: and this, for the reason that, while conscience gives proof that God is a God of holiness, we have not, from the light of nature, equal evidence that God is a God of love. Reason teaches man that, as a sinner, he merits condemnation; but he cannot, from reason alone, know that God will have mercy upon him and provide salvation. His doubts can be removed only by God?s own voice, assuring him of ?redemption...the forgiveness of... trespasses? ( <490107>Ephesians 1:7) and revealing to him the way in which that forgiveness has been rendered possible.

Conscience knows no pardon, and no Savior. Hovey, Manual of Christian Theology, 9, seems to us to go too far when he says, ?Even natural affection and conscience afford some clue to the goodness and holiness of God, though much more is needed by one who undertakes the study of Christian theology.? We grant that natural affection gives some clue to God?s goodness, but we regard conscience as reflecting only God?s holiness and his hatred of sin. We agree with Alexander McLaren: ?Does God?s love need to be proved? Yes, as all paganism shows. Gods vicious, gods careless, gods cruel, gods beautiful, there are in abundance; but where is there a god who loves??

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