Henry Hibbert (1601/2-1678) on the Mercy of God

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism   in God is Merciful


Mercy, as it referred to God, is the Divine Essence inclining itself to pity and relieve all his creatures; but more peculiarly of his elect children, without respect of merit.

God’s most glorious mercy. “Show me thy Glory” (says Moses). It follows what it was, “The Lord God, merciful and glorious,” [Exod. 34.] &c. In this he is superlative, and outstrips.

1. Helping his elect, and comforting

1. General,

2. In scattering and confounding the enemies.

Mercy is,

1. In promising.

2. More particular,

2. In performing.

And these are the flagons of win to comfort distressed souls.

Mercy is an attribute, in the manifestation of which, as all our happiness consists so God takes greatest complacency, and delights in it above all his other words. “He punishes to the third and fourth generation, but shows mercy unto thousands” [Exod. 20. 5,8.]. Therefore the Jews have a saying, “That Michael flies with one wing, and Gabriel with two”; meaning, that the pacifying angel, the Minister of Mercy, lies swift; but the exterminating angel, the Messenger of wrath, is slow.

1. Because we are thereby more indebted

The more mercy we receive, the
more humble we ought to be,      2. In danger to be more sinful; worms crawl after rain

3. We have more to account for.

But alas! Even as the glorious sun, darting out of his illustrious beams, shines upon the stinking carrion , but still it remains a carrion, when the beams are gone; so the mercy of God shines (as I may say) upon the wicked, but he remains wicked.

For the Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting [Psal. 100.5.]. The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies aare over all his works [Psal. 145.9.]. He delights in mercy [Micah 7.18.].

Henry Hibbert, Syntagma Theologicum: Or, a Treatise Wherein is Concisely Comprehended the Body of Divinity, and the Fundamentals of Religion Orderly Discussed, ([London: Printed by E.M. for John Clark 1662]), 11. [Some reformatting; marginal Latin reference not included; marginal Scripture references cited inline; some spelling modernized; and underlining mine.]

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