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The Goodness of God.

The Goodness of God.

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Published by glennpease
BY NATHANAEL EMMONS, D. D.


PSALM cxix. 68.

Thou art good and doest good
BY NATHANAEL EMMONS, D. D.


PSALM cxix. 68.

Thou art good and doest good

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 29, 2013
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04/26/2014

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THE GOODESS OF GOD.BY ATHAAEL EMMOS, D. D.PSALM cxix. 68.Thou art good and doest goodDavid was early and intimately acquainted withGod. From his youth he delighted to contemplateupon the works and ways of God, and to trace allsecondary causes to the first and supreme cause.While he watched his flocks by night, and surveyedthe shining orbs above, his pious heart led him to ex-claim in the language of joy and praise, '' The heavensdeclare the glory of God and the firmament shovvethhis handy work." He had an eye to see God in theworks of providence as well as in the works of crea-tion. And the longer he observed the divine conducttowards himself and towards the rest of mankind, themore he was convinced of the goodness of God. Hewas able to say, from his own experience and obser-vation, in his nearest approach to God, " Thou artgood, and doest good." The plain import of thesewords is.That God's goodness moves him to do good. 1 shall,I. Describe the goodness of God ; and,II. Show that it moves him to do good.I. The first thing is, to describe the goodness of God.Goodness is the same in God as in man. In man itcomprizes every amiable, moral quality of the heart,arfd signifies the same as general benevolence, which
 
is the essence of every virtuous or holy affection.There are benevolent and selfish affections ; goodnessconsists ir) benevolent affections, and badness in selfish1290 SERMO vr.ones. God is love, and all his goodness consists inlove ; which is something entirely distinct from hispower, or knowledge, or any other natural perlection.ft is his heart. Goodness in every moral being lies inhis heart, and consists in benevolent affecttons. Butthough the goodness of God lies in his heart, and con-sists in benevolent afTections ; yet, in various respects,it is superiour to the goodness of all other beings.For,1. His goodness is absolutely piwe and free from everything of a selfish or sinful nature. Though some menare really good in this life, yet their goodness fe'mix-ed with a great deal of evil. Their benevolent affec-tions do nof flow in a constant, uninterrupted stream;but are often obstructed by unholy and unfriendly af-fections. They do not always feel the same love toGod, nor the same love to man. Their hearts arecomposed of discordant and diametrically oppositeexercises. Their goodness is like the morning cloudand early dew, which soon vanisheth away. But thegoodness of God is constant, uninterrupted, and entire-ly free from every discordant affection. Io selfishfeelinii; ever existed in his heart. His heart is allgoodness, and full of holy, kind, and benevolent affec-tions. He is in scripture called the Holy One. Hisholiness consists in his goodness, and his goodness iswithout the least alloy, or impure mixture of unholi-ness, unrighteousness, injustice, or malevolence.2. His goodness is not only pure., but permanent.
 
The immutability of his goodness results from theimmutability of his existence and natural attributes.His existence is immutable, because it is necessaryand independent, and his power, knowledge, and wis-dom are equally independent and necessary. Andsince his existence and all his natural attributes areimmutable, we cannot see any cause or reason for anychange in his goodness. All created beings are d*e-pendent in respect to their existence and all their nat-ural powers and faculties; therefore we can easilyconceive, that after they have possessed pure good-SERMOX Vl. 9iKess, they may become partially, or totally destitute of it. There is nothing incredible in the account wehave of the angels, who kept not their first estate.Though they were created perfectly holy and good ;yet they might lose their perfect goodness, and be-come entirely sinful. There is nothing incredible inthe first apostacy of our first parents. Though theywere formed in the moral image of their maker, andwere possessed of a pure heart ; yet they were depen-dent for the continuance, as well as for the first exis-tence of their moral rectitude. But we cannot con-ceive of any thing either iviihoul, or within a self exis-tent and independent being that should be a cause of intercepting, diminishing or destroying his goodness.We may, therefore, justly conclude, that his goodnessis permanent and immutable as his existence. Davidexpressly declares, that his goodness is unchangeableand everlasting. In the hundred and thirty-sixth psalm,he devoutly and gratefully cries, "' O give thanks untothe Lord ; for he is good : for his mercy endureth for,ever." And he repeats the declaration more thantwenty-five times in this psalm. In the fifty-secondpsalm, he expressly asserts, " The goodness of Godendureth continually." And to the friends of God he

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