by George Bowen
We read elsewhere of " God our Saviour, who will have all men to be saved." The Gospel, promulgated for every creature, is the expression of this divine willingness that men should come to repentance. " Knowest thou not," says Paul to the hardened sinner, " that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" Thus we see that all the goodness so profusely exhibited in the providence of God to men generally, is an expression of God's will that they should turn away from their sins and seek his grace. Day by day, during many, many years, he supplies the table of the impenitent man with palatable and suitable food; clothes him and his with raiment; fills his granaries and his coffers; and does it all not simply that he may meet the temporal wants of this sinner, but that he may touch his heart and lead him to turn penitently to his God. The sun returns to the east day after day, not because a law of nature requires it, but because the God of nature is the God of grace, and would have all men come to repentance.
Many there are who reckon confidently upon a future display of the mercy of God, who yet are utterly unobservant of the mercy now shown. They seek the mercy of God in the wrong place, that is to say at the judgment seat; while they spend their days in treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath. They utterly object to the doctrine of a hell, which they repudiate as involving the sacrifice of God's perfections. Well, if they like, there shall be no hell. God wishes not that there should be any. He is ready to cancel, with respect to them, every denunciation of future punishment contained in the Bible. He is ready to exceed, a thousand fold, all their conceptions of divine goodness. He will not only destroy, for them, the hell of unquenchable fire, but the inward hell whose materials are heaped up within their own heart, the hell of sin, which, if undestroyed, will nullify for them all the heavens of creation. He will purify them from all unhallowed affections and unlawful desires give them the tastes and aptitudes of heaven, the love of Christ, the hatred of sin; and will then give them to dwell in the place for which he has fitted them. God is not willing that any should perish; his unwillingness is written upon the face of universal things; but they who come not to repentance, cannot but perish. In the day of the flood, the door of the ark shall not be open; if you insist upon making God a liar, if you regard his prophesied wrath as a fiction, you can surely reproach no one but yourself when you find that he hath spoken truth. If you flatter yourself with the idea that God will accommodate himself to your impious unbelief, and falsify his own word to show that you were right in viewing him as a liar, you do but evince the amazing and persistent blindness of your nature.
Bible verses: 2 Peter 3:9
George H. Bowen (30 April 1816 at Middlebury, Vermont – 5 February 1888 at Bombay, India) was an American missionary, newspaper man, linguist, and translator in India. He was known as "The White Saint of India" for his resemblance in manner and dress to the Hindu holy men.Wikipedia
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