Though he sheweth a glorious power in his wrath in condemning men, yet he sheweth a greater riches of glory, of mercy and of all attributes else, in saving men and bringing men to heaven. The power that God will shew in glorifying his saints will infinitely exceed the power he sheweth in condemning wicked men. The power that love stirreth up is a greater power than what wrath stirreth up in God.

I will give you the reason of it: nothing commandeth power and strength more than love; it commandeth it more than wrath, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy strength” (Mark 12:30). Doth God love thee? He loves thee with all his strength, as thou lovest him, and art to love him. “I will rejoice over them to do them good, with my whole heart and with my whole soul” (Jer 32:41); his love makes him to love them with all his strength, with all his heart. Now, when he sheweth forth the power of his wrath when he cometh to condemn men, yet let me tell you this, it is not with all his heart, there is something that regrets within him; for he considereth that they are his creatures, and he doth not will the death of a sinner simply for itself, for there is something in him that makes a reluctancy; there is not his whole power in this, though it be the power of his wrath. But when he cometh to shew forth his power out of love, that draws his whole heart; therefore you shall find in Scripture that mercy is called God’s strength, because when he will have mercy, all the strength and power of God accompanieth it. “Let the power of my Lord be great.” What to do? To destroy them? To do some great work for them? No, but “according as thou hast spoken,” saith he, “saying, The Lord is long-suffering and of great mercy; pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness of thy mercy” (Num 14:17). His mercy is there called his strength, because that love doth draw forth all the strength of God.

—Thomas Goodwin
Works, 1:337.


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