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sinful and miserable for ever, he would be the most malicious and hateful being that could exist. Though God will punish many of mankind with endless destruction, yet no one was ever created merely for this purpose. In their punishment God acts according to wisdom, and truth, and justice, and goodness. He is influenced by the purest motives, and accomplishes the most important and desirable purposes. From what God said to Pharaoh, whom he destroyed, and whom he determined to destroy, and whom he fitted for destruction, it appears, that in designing and accomplishing the destruction of that reprobate, he designed and accomplished the very end, for which all persons pray when they offer the Lord's Prayer. In that prayer the first petition is, "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name." In offering this petition we profess to desire, supremely, that the name of God may be glorified. By destroying Pharaoh God shewed his power, and declared his name throughout the earth. And he greatly glorified his name by manifesting so clearly the glory of his perfections. By the destruction of other sinners, as well as of Pharaoh, the same great and glorious purposes will be answered. For, as it is written, “ The Lord hath made all things for himself; yea even the wicked for the day of evil.” God has made the wicked for himself, that he may, according to the counsel of his own will, effect his holy and wise designs. Nor would they have been created for the day of evil, unless the glory of his great and holy name required their destruction. And if the glory of his name require the destrucion of all the sinners, who shall be for ever punished, what more important and desirable end could be effected or proposed ? By the apostle the Holy Spirit asks, “ What, if God willing to shew his wrath and make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction ?" By so doing God accomplishes the chief end, which he
pro. posed to himself in the councils of eternity to effect, by his great and marvellous works. And this is the same end, which all holy beings supremely desire, and for which they earnestly pray. Since God desires, in itself, the salvation of every human being, and since such wise and holy purposes are answered by the endless punishment of those persons, who shall be destroyed, it is very false and very wrong to say, or to suppose, that God ever created any one of the human race, merely for destruction.
2. As God desires the salvation of every one of mankind, simply considered, his goodness will be very manifest in the endless punishment of those persons who shall be lost. God is as unwilling that any soul should perish, as he is desirous that every one should be saved. The destruction of a human soul must be, in itself, highly disagreeable to God. No one will ever suffer the endless torments of hell, unless the wisest and best reasons justify and demand his destruction. In the punishment of the wicked, God cannot be influenced by a cruel and malicious spirit; but he is influenced by the highest and purest benevolence. God foresees the multitude and the magnitude of the transgressions, which every son of perdition will commit in eternity: He clearly perceives the tremendous weight of divine wrath, which every one that shall perish must endure. No being, but God, 'can form any conception of the endless sin and misery of one sinner, who shall fall into perdition. But as God fully realizes all the sin and misery of the vessels of wrath in eternity, their destruction appears in his view infi. nitely greater, than it can appear to any other being. Besides, he hates sin and misery infinitely more than they are hated by all other beings. In dooming rational creatures to a state of endless sin and woe, God executes a work which is, in itself, the most painful and distressing to his heart. How powerful, then, and inflexible is the goodness of Jehovah, in the endless damnation of immortal souls, whose salvation, in itself, he most ardently desires !
There are several considerations which may more clearly illustrate the goodness of God, as it is manifested in the perdition of sinners.
First, Their destruction is mentioned in the holy scriptures as an evidence of divine goodness. When Moses said unto God, “I beseech thee shew me thy glory;" he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before thee.” Ac. cording to his promise, God passed before Mo. ses and proclaimed his name : “ The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands í forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty ; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and upon the children's children, unto the third and fourth generation. When God proclaimed his name, and caused all his goodness to pass before Moses, he de. clared that he would by no means clear the guilty. From his own words, then, it is evi. dent, that God manifests his goodness in the punishment of sinners. In the hundred and
, thirty-sixth Psalm, the everlasting mercy of God is celebrated; and many instances in which God had manifested his mercy are mentioned. The Psalmist there says, “O give thanks unto the Lord ; for he is good : for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of gods; for his mercy endureth for ever. To him, who smote Egypt in their first-born; for his mercy endureth
for ever ; and brought out Israel from among them; for his mercy endu
; reth for ever: But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea ; for his mercy endureth for ever. To him who smote great kings; for his mercy endureth for ever: and slew famous kings ; for his mercy endureth for ever: Sihon, king of the Amorites ; for his mercy endureth for ever : and Og, king of Bashan; for his mercy endureth for ever." Here the terrible manifestations of divine wrath, in the destruction of sinners, are adduced as evidences of the
gooåness and everlasting mercy of God. It is evident, then, from the divine testimony, that God manifests his goodness in punishing sin
Again, The friends of God when divinely inspired, have prayed that the wicked might be destroyed. In the song of Deborah and Ba. rak, which they sang when God destroyed the enemies of Israel, they say,
" So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord.” The Psalms abound in imprecations against the wicked. The Psalmist says, “Destroy thou them O God : let them fall by their own counsels : cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions ; for they have rebelled against thee.” Again he says, “Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours; give them after the work of their hands; render to them their deserts.” And again, “ Consume them in wrath,
“ consume them that they may not be, and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth.” Once more he says, “ Let their table become a snare before them; and that which should have been for their welfare let it become a trap, let their eyes be darkened
a that they see not, and make their loins continually to shake. Pour out thine indignation upon them : and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them.” Jeremiah says unto God, “ Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not upon thy name.” Again he says, “ Ren