Dr. Beougher: And shall God do that which He abhors? We read in the law regarding bondmen, and strangers, and debtors and widows and orphans, and in that same law regarding the punishment of the wicked, which shall not exceed forty stripes lest your brother should seem vile unto you. Shall God do that which He abhors?
Hear the prophets exhorting to 'break every yoke, 'to let the oppressed go free', and to 'undo the heavy burdens:' (Isa. 58: 6.)--hear the still clearer witness of the gospel, 'not to let the sun go down upon our wrath,' (Eph. 4: 26.) to 'forgive not until seven times, but until seventy times seven,' (S. Matt. 18: 22.) 'not to be overcome of evil, but to overcome evil with good:' (Rom. 12:21.) to 'walk in love as Christ has loved us,' and to 'be imitators of God as dear children:' (Eph. 5: 1,2.)--see the judgment of those who neglect the poor, and the naked, and the hungry, and the stranger, and the prisoner; (S. Matt. 25:. 41-43)--and then say,
Shall God do that which He abhors?
Shall He command that bondmen and debtors be freed, and yet Himself keep those who are in worse bondage and under a greater debt in endless imprisonment? Shall He bid us care for widows and orphans, and Himself forget this widowed nature, which has lost its Head and Lord, and those poor orphan souls which cannot cry, Abba, Father? Shall He limit punishment to forty strips, 'lest thy brother seem vile,' and Himself inflict more upon those who though fallen still are His children? Is not Christ the faithful Israelite, who fulfills the law; and shall He break it in any one of these particulars? Shall He say, 'Forgive till seventy times seven,' and Himself not forgive except in this short life? Shall He command us to 'overcome evil with good,' and Himself, the Almighty, be overcome of evil? Shall He judge those who leave the captives unvisited, and Himself leave captives in a worse prison for ever unvisited? Does He not again and again appeal to our own natural feelings of mercy, as witnessing 'how much more' we may expect a larger mercy from our 'Father which is in heaven'? (St. Matt. 7: 6-11.) If it were otherwise, might not the adversary reproach, and say, Thou that teachest and judgest another, teachest Thou not thyself? Not thus will God be justified. But, blessed be His Name, He shall in all be justified. And when in His day He opens 'the treasures of the hail,' and shews what sweet waters He can bring out of hard hailstones; when He unlocks "the place where light now dwells" shut up, and reveals what light is hid in darkness and hardness, as we see in coal and flint, those silent witnesses of the dark hard hearts, which God can turn to floods of light; when we have "taken darkness to the bound thereof," (Job. 38: 19, 20.) and have seen not only how "the earth is full of God's riches," but how He has laid up the depths in storehouses; (Psa. 106:24; and 33: 7.) in that day when "the mystery of God is finished," and He has destroyed them which corrupt the earth," (Rev. 11:18)--then shall it be seen how truly God's judgments are love, and that 'in very faithfulness He hath afflicted us.' (Psa. 119:75)