John Yates (fl. 1612–1660) on the Mercy of God

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism   in God is Merciful


vbi interim

Q. What is mercy?
A. Whereby he uses compassion also towards his creatures offending. Gen. 6:3, and 8:21, Psal. 78:38, 39. Mercy is more common than grace, for he pities all, though he but receive some again into favour. He feeds the filthy as well as the faithful with his hid treasures, and makes his sun to shine, and his rain to fall on the just and unjust. He vouchsafes them (ill deserving) common mercies, that they might seek him for more special graces. Thus mercy is offered before the sentence be executed, and then justice, which was all this time burning, flames out upon sinners that would not come at his call.


Q. How manifold is this mercy?
A His clemency and bounty: God is both gentle and kind to all sinners, mild in mercy, and bountiful in his benefits. Rom 2:9, 2 Chron. 36:15,Isa. 55:7,8,9.

In patientia & longanimitata

Q. What is his gentleness, or clemency?
A. Whereby in justice he remembers mercy, kindly inviting sinners to repentance. He bears the reproaches of sinners, and a while stays and waits for their repentance. Erech appajim in Hebrew is one that has a long nose; and it is frequently given to God, for is patience and longanimity. The nose is the seat of anger, and a long one is not easily contracted. God is slow to frowning upon sinners, and he is hardly provoked. Numb. 14:18, Psal. 86:13, and 103: 8 and 145:8, Joel 2:13, Nah. 1:3, Jon. 4, verse 2, Rom. 2:4 and 3:25, and 9:22, 1 Pet. 3:20, 2 Pet. 3 verse 15. These places say not that God is without anger, or wrath, but that he is not easily, quickened, or rashly moved thereunto. Yet most true is that God is not subject to anger properly called, being simple in his nature and so free from all passion and alteration.

John Yates, A Model of Divinity, Catechistically Composed. Wherein is Delivered the Matter and Method of Religion. According to the Creed, Tenne Commandements, Lords Prayer, and the Sacraments (Printed by John Legatt, for Faulke Clifton and are to be sold on New-fish streete Hill, Under St. Margrets Church, 1623), 189. [Some spelling modernized; italics original; and marginal references included.]

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