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it is not only kindness shewn where none is deserved, but kindness shewn where punishment is due. In ordinary conversation, all acts of kindness bestowed upon the poor and affiicted are commonly spoken of as acts of mercy; though they are scarcely such if the strict sense of the term be considered, but acts of kindness or pity only. But when used with reference to God, mercy on His part implies a state of guilt on ours: and whenever we entreat for mercy we confess guilt. And this is but right, for “guilty” we are. That sentence has long been passed upon all men because of their sins. Such being the case, it is a great encouragement to know that our God is a God of mercy, yea full of mercy: because we thence hope that, guilty as we are, deserving of punishment as we are, we may yet obtain pardon and forgiveness, a remission of penalties, and a restoration to privileges.
This doctrine is asserted in Deut. iv. 31; Ex. xx. 6; Ps. cxvi. 5; Jonah, iv. 2; Ps. xxv. 10; Ps. cxxxvi; Ex. xxxiv. 6-7; Ps. ciii. 8–11.
It is explained and illustrated in Lam. iii. 22; Ps. cxxx. 3-4 ; Ps. xxxii. 1-2; Gen. xviii. 23–33; Jonah, iii. 10; Luke, xv. 11-32 ; Rom. v. 6–8; 2 Cor. v. 21.
It is applied by way of encouragement in Joel, ii. 13–14; Matt. v. r ; Rom. xii. 1; Ps. vi. 4; Neh. xiii. 22.
In addition to the preceding, which are the attributes most generally introduced, the attributes of Omniscience and Omnipresence, though not spoken of under these particular titles, are yet, as to the doctrines, so frequently introduced into the Collects, that it has been thought advisable to speak of them here with the rest.
By this title is denoted a Perfect Knowledge of all things : not only of all things that now are, but also of all things that ever have been, or that ever will be. A knowledge unlimited by space or time, incapable of increase or diminution, but at once full, complete, perfect, and abiding. In this doctrine there is great consolation to the sincere worshipper of God. For whereas men will often misrepresent him, refuse to give him credit for honest motives, and judge falsely of his acts ; God, who reads the heart, will deal justly towards him, and vindicate his cause.
This doctrine is asserted in Heb. iv. 13 ; Prov. xv. 11; Job, xxxiv. 21;. Job, xlii. 2; Ps. cxxxix. 1-5 ; Jer. xvii. 10; Rev. ii. 23; Jer. xxxii. 19.
It is explained and illustrated in Gen. iv. 8–12; Gen. xvi. 7–14; Gen. xviii. 19; Ex. iii 7; John, i. 48; 2 Kings, vi. 8-12; Matt. ix. 4; Mark, ix. 33.
It is applied in 2 Kings, xix. 27; Ps. i. 6; 2 Tim. ii. 19; Nahum, i. 7.
This title expresses the doctrine that God is Everywhere Present, present in every place at the same time and at all times; that there is no place where God is not; and no time when God is absent from that place. All which shews us also the nature of God, that He is a pure spirit, since it is only as a spirit that He can be everywhere at once, and so everywhere as to admit of the presence of other bodies at the same time. And this again is an encouraging doctrine to every sincere Believer, to every right-minded Christian; for he has in this an assurance of perpetual aid. God being ever present with him, he can never lack His support; and if there is no place where God is not, wherever we may be called to go we shall still find our God at hand. His presence may be obscured for a season by the clouds of sin and unbelief, but He can never be removed from His people nor His people from Him. The doctrine is asserted in Ps. cxxxix. 7-16
Prov. xv. 3; Eph. i. 23; Matt. xviii. 20; 1 Tim. ii. 8.
It is explained and illustrated in Jonah, i.; Jer. xxiii. 23–24 ; Ps. xlvi. 1 ; Acts, x. 33.
It is applied in Ps. xvi. 8; Isa. xli. 10; Isa. xliii. 1-2; Ps. xxiii. 4; Ezra, viii. 21–23.
END OF PART I.
THE COLLECTS ANALYSED
ACCORDING TO THE PRECEDING PLAN;
WITH THE SUBJECTS OF PRAYER CONCISELY STATED AT
THE HEAD OF EACH — ITS THREE PARTS OR DIVISIONS CLEARLY MARKED-THE VARIOUS STATEMENTS INVOLVED IN EACH PART DISTINCTLY BROUGHT OUT — AND THEIR TRUTH ESTABLISHED (WHERE NECESSARY) BY REFERENCE TO APPROPRIATE PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE ;
PARTICULAR WORDS AND PHRASES.