Alvah Hovey (1820-1903) on Divine Benevolence

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism   in God is Good


III. Benevolence. By this, we mean that God desires the welfare of his creatures, with a desire most powerful and most pure. In proof of this may be alleged[:]

(1) The testimony of Scripture (Ps. lvii. 11 ; cxlv. 9; ciii. 11- 13 ; cxxxvi. 1-26; Isa. xlix. 14-16; Matt. v. 45; vii. 11; Luke xii. 7; John iii. 16; 1 John iv. 8, 18; 1 Tim. ii. 4; 2 Cor. xiii. 11; Ezek. xviii. 23; xxxiii. n).

(2) The testimony of reason. The moral perfection of God, and the predominance of happiness over misery in the animal world, may be insisted upon in this connection. It may now be remarked, (a) That the grace of God is his benevolence as exercised towards the guilty or the undeserving, (b) That the mercy of God is his benevolence, as exercised towards those who are miserable, as well as guilty. (c) That the patience of God is his benevolence, as exercised in forbearing to punish the guilty without delay, (d) That the wisdom of God is his omniscience, exercised with righteousness and benevolence in securing the best ends by the best means.

Alvah Hovey, A Manual of Christian Systematic and Christian Ethics (Boston: [Henry A. Young] 1877), 94-95. [Some reformatting and underlining mine.]

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