Friday, September 26, 2008

The goodness of God

"Another way to love God is to consider his wonderful goodness. He is good and doth good. It is a communicative goodness. Let us think of his goodness and the streaming of it out to the creature. The whole earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. What are all the creatures but God's goodness? We can see nothing but the goodness of God. What is all the creation but Deus explicatus, God unfolded to the senses? He offers himself to our bodies and souls; all is God's goodness. . . .

He hath fitted every part of us, soul and body, with goodness, all the senses with goodness. What do we see but goodness in colors? What do we hear but his good in those delights that come that way? We taste and feel his goodness. . . .

But then for our souls, what food hath he for that? The death of Christ, his own Son, to feed our souls. The soul is a spiritual substance, and he thought nothing good enough to feed it but his own Son. . . . The soul, being continually troubled with the guilt of some sin or other, feeds on this. . . .

Then, as God's goodness is great and fit, so it is near us. It is not a goodness afar off but God follows us with his goodness in whatever condition we be. He applies himself to us, and he hath taken upon him near relations, that he might be near us in goodness. He is a father, and everywhere to maintain us. He is a husband, and everywhere to help. He is a friend, and everywhere to comfort and counsel. So his love is a near love. . . .

And then again this goodness of God is a free goodness, merely from himself, and an overflowing goodness and an everlasting goodness. It is never drawn dry; he loves us unto life everlasting. He loves us in this world and follows us with signs of his love in all the parts of us, in body and soul, till he hath brought body and soul to heaven to enjoy himself forever there.

These considerations may serve to stir us up to love God, and direct us how to love God."

Richard Sibbes, Works, 4:195-196.