God is first good and then compassionate. Righteousness in Scripture is often understood not as justice, but as charitableness. This attribute, says one theologian, is so full of God, that it deifies all the rest and renders God worthy of all adoration. His wisdom might contrive against us, or His power bear down too hard upon us. His wisdom might be too hard for the ignorant, and His power prove too mighty for a weak creature. His holiness would scare an impure and guilty creature, yet His goodness tempers all these qualities  and transforms them into an lovely and amiable appearance.

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Whatever comeliness these qualities have for our creature eyes, whatever comfort they afford to our hearts, we are obliged to His goodness for them all. His reigning goodness puts all these qualities into a delightful exercise: His wisdom becomes a design for us, and His power acts for us. This principle goodness veils His holiness from frightening us and moves His mercy to relieve us.

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From the book “Boundlessly Good”

 

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