Is his readiness to relieve the miserable and to pardon the guilty. 1. It is essential to his nature, Exod. 34:6,7; not, indeed, as a passion or affection, as it is in men, but the result of his sovereign will, and guided by his infinite wisdom.–2. It is free, as nothing out of himself can be the cause of it; for then there would be a cause prior to him, the cause of himself. The misery of the creature is not the cause of mercy, for he is not wrought upon as creatures are, nor are the merits of the creature the cause, Tit. 3:5; nor are even the sufferings of Christ the cause, but the effects of it; but it arises from the goodness of his nature, and from his sovereign will and pleasure, Exod. 33:19. Rom. 9:18.–3. His mercy is infinite; it pardons offences committed against an infinitely holy Being, and bestows an infinite good on all who believe, even Jesus Christ, Luke 1:78.–4. It is immutable; nothing can change it; it is invariably the same, Mal. 3:6. Luke 1:50.–5. Shall be for ever celebrated in a future state, Psal. 89:2. 103:17.–6. It is only displayed in and through Christ, Eph. 2. It has been farther distinguished into, 1. Preventing mercy, Psal. 59:10.–2. Forbearing mercy, Rom. 2:4.—3. Comforting mercy, 2 Cor. 1:4.—4. Relieving mercy, Psal. 114:8,9.–5. Pardoning mercy, Is. 55:6.—6. Universal or extensive mercy. It extends to all kinds of beings and fallen creatures. The brute creation share in it, Psal. 145:9. 36:5,6. The ungodly are the objects of it in a general way, Matt. 5:45. 1 Tim. 4:10. The saints on earth are continual monuments of it, Rom. 9:23; and the spirits of just men made perfect in glory are always praising God for it. Finally, it is enjoyed in an especial manner by all who are true believers, of every nation, in every age, in every circumstance, in all places, and at all times.


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