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Ezekiel 20:44

44. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

44. Et cognoscetis quod ego Iehovah, cum fecero vobiscum propter nomen meum, non secundum vias vestras malas, et secundum opera vestra corrupta, domus Israel, dicit Dominator Iehovah.

 

Here at length God pronounces that his glory would be chiefly conspicuous in the pity which he bestowed upon those who were desperate and abandoned, gratuitously and solely with respect to his own name. Hence Paul so specially celebrates; the grace of God in the first chapter of the epistle to the Ephesians, as that mercy by which God deigns to call his own elect in a peculiar sense — his glory; for his glory extends farther than his pity. (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14.)

As thy name, so thy praise is extended through all lands,
(Psalm 48:10)

for God deserves no less glory when he destroys the wicked than when he pities his own people. But Paul calls that gratuitous favor glory par excellence, by which God embraced his own elect when he adopted them. So also it is said in this passage, then you shall know that I am Jehovah, since I shall deal with you on behalf of my name, and not according to your sins. But when God wishes his glory to shine conspicuously in gratuitous pity, hence we gather that the enemies of his glory were too gross and open, who obscure his mercy, or extenuate it, or as far as they can, endeavor to reduce it to nothing. But we know the teaching of the papacy to be that God’s gratuitous goodness either is buried or enfolded in dark obscurity, or utterly vanish away: for they have invented a system of general merits which they oppose to God’s gratuitous favor. For they distinguish merits into preparations, good works acquiring God’s favor, and satisfactions, by which they buy off the penalties to which they were subjected. Afterwards they add what they call the suffrages of the saints; for they fabricate for themselves numberless patrons, and various reasonings are concocted for the purpose of obscuring God’s glory, or at least of allowing only a few sparks to be visible. Since therefore the whole papacy tends that way, we see that they professedly oppose God’s glory, and those who defend such abominations are sworn enemies of God’s glory.

For ourselves, then, let. us learn that we cannot otherwise worship God with acceptance unless we adopt whatever pleases him as pertaining to our salvation. For if we wish to come to a debtor and creditor account, or to consider that he is in the slightest degree indebted to us, we in this way diminish his glory, and as far as is in our power we despoil ourselves of that inestimable privilege which the Prophet now commends. Hence let us desire to acknowledge God in this way, since he treats us with amazing clemency and pity out of regard for his own name, and not according to our sins. And since that was said to his ancient people because they returned to the land of Canaan, how much more ought God’s gratuitous goodness to be extolled by us, when his heavenly kingdom is at this day open to us, and when he openly calls us to himself in heaven, and to the hope of that happy immortality which has been obtained for us through Christ?

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