Monday, March 3, 2008

The Goodness of God

One of the best writers on the attributes of God is Stephen Charnock.  His writing reflects a deep meditation on the being of God and he has a gift for articulate, worship filled language.  The following quote is probably worthy of at least an hour of pondering:
"God is only originally good, good of himself.  All created goodness is a rivulet from this fountain, but divine goodness hath no spring.  God depends upon no other for his goodness; he hath it in, and of, himself; man hath no goodness of himself, God hath no goodness from without himself:  his goodness is no more derived from another than his being:  if he were good by any external thing, that thing; must be in being before him, or after him; if before him, he was not then himself from eternity if after him, he was not good in himself from eternity...God is good by and in himself, since all things are only good by him; and all that goodness which is in creatures, is but the breathing of his own goodness upon them:  they have all their loveliness from the same hand they have their being from.  Though by creation God was declared good, yet he was not made good by any, or by all the creatures.  He partakes of none, but all things partake of him.  He is so good, that he gives all, and receives nothing; only good, because nothing is good but by him:  nothing hath a goodness but from him."
Stephen Charnock, The Existence and Attributes of God, Volume 2 Discourse 12, 210-11.

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