Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
Then came the New Testament revelation as another great gift manifesting the generosity of God. The Gospels, the Acts, the Epistles and the Revelation, with the Old Testament revelations, give us the whole revelation of God to date. This part of God's revelation contains a richer, fuller and higher set of truths than those of the Old Testament, and constitutes a rare gift indeed, bestowing as it does the main doctrinal, preceptorial, promissory, hortatory, prophetical, historical and some important typical features of God's plan. Thus the New Testament is a most generous gift in the way of a revelation. Summing up the revelatory gift of God in the Old and New Testaments, we might say that the Bible is one of the most generous, rich and important gifts that God ever bestowed, whose value is all the more enhanced when we consider the great cost of its giving in the way of time, talent, thought, feeling, effort and the giving of its agents and servants, on God's part. Well may we sing of the generosity of this gift:—
Blessed Bible, precious Word!
Boon most sacred from the Lord;
Glory to His name be giv'n,
For this choicest gift from heav'n.
Then, too, God was very generous in the gifts that He has bestowed upon His Old Testament servants and friends and upon His New Testament servants and sons. To Abel He gave the gift of sacrificial acceptance; to Enoch the gift of fellowship and translation; to Noah the gift of knowledge of the coming flood, of deliverance and an unbreakable covenant. To Abraham He gave, apart from great wealth, the gift of the all-embracing covenant—the Abrahamic Covenant—as well as jointly to him and his seed the gift of the Oath-bound Covenant. He gave him the gift of constant protection and guidance, as well as the gift of personal friendship and privilege of typing some of the finest characters and things of God's plan.
To Isaac He gave, apart from great wealth, the privilege of being the seed typical, as well as being a part of the earthly seed. Hence He gave him the privilege of typing in the main parts of his recorded career the Christ, Head and Body, as well as favored him with the covenant promises. Similar gifts He bestowed upon Jacob and Joseph. How generously God dealt out gifts of privilege, of office and of service to Moses, as well as used him signally as a variform type! God gave Israel, not only a share in the Abrahamic promises, but also the blessings of the Law Covenant and all its implications, e.g., God as their covenant God and them as His covenant people, with the teachings and other benefits of the Law Covenant, the land of Israel, the priesthood, the royalty and the prophetship. Centered in these blessings were myriads of gifts of love and favor. Certainly God's gifts of hope to His Old Testament servants and friends display great and abounding generosity whereby He delighted to bestow good on its subjects.
But God's liberality is even more patent in His dealings with His Gospel-Age sons and servants. To the Logos He gave the privilege of attaining the highest of all creaturely exaltation as the Supreme Agent of God's plan. This implied His carnation. And to Him came as gifts of love from God the privilege of offering His humanity as a sacrifice to God and His begettal to the Divine nature, the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the High-priestly and the Prophet office. On His proving faithful unto death, God gave Him exaltation to the Divine nature, Headship over the Church and Vicegerency over the universe. Thus for mankind He has been given the offices of Priest, Prophet, King, Judge, Mediator, Physician and Father; and for the Church, Priest, Prophet, King, Judge, Advocate, Physician and Bridegroom. And God has in His exaltation given Him a position, honor and nature above every other created being. Surely
God has been liberal in sentiment and act toward His Firstborn, our Lord Jesus Christ. So has He also been liberal toward His other Gospel-Age sons and servants. His liberality is manifest in the fact that, despite the fallen natural condition in which He foresaw this class as a whole, He yet prearranged for there being such a class, as well as for its glorious destiny. How astoundingly liberal was He toward them in giving up for them His only begotten Son to become a human being and as such to become a sacrifice unto death amid the most crucial sufferings, physical and mental! Jesus, a gift of gifts, was one of God's most liberal benefactions to them.
But, beside this redemptive gift of Jesus as their Ransom, God has given them the gift of the Truth, not simply the truth on the surface things of God's Word, but on its deepest and most confidential truths; and thereby He has shown them His confidence in them, and thereby has revealed to them the secrets which He keeps from all others. Such truths are exceedingly valuable and desirable, and are among the richest and most liberal of God's gifts. Additionally He gives them gratuitous justification through the merit of God's Son, God Himself providing it for us. This is a rich possession. The liberality of this gift can be seen from an analysis of what it is and does. It consists of the forgiveness of the Adamic sin and all its resultant sins (Rom. 3: 24-26; 4: 5-8), whereby we are freed from the Adamic death sentence, and of the imputation of Christ's righteousness as our own (Rom. 10: 4; 1 Cor. 1: 30; Phil. 3: 9). Thereby we are forever perfected in God's sight from all Adamic weaknesses and sins, as well as sentence, so that no more can we die the Adamic death. And this makes us acceptable and keeps us acceptable to God in our humanity even to death. It implies that God regards us as though we really have perfect bodies, with the right to life and its life-rights, as well as perfect
characters. Accordingly, our gratuitous justification is a very liberal gift from God.
Furthermore, God liberally gives us sanctification with all that it implies, i.e., He gives us the privilege of being set apart from self and the world unto Him. As to our human all, this implies that He gives us the privilege of diverting it from selfishness and worldliness with all their unsatisfactions and disappointments, and of applying it to the most privileged service this side of heaven. Some consider it a great privilege to give their human all in the interests of education, reform, science, art, philosophy, social uplift, home, friends, relations, country, party, sect, fame, riches, position. But none of these, however good some of them are, is comparable to the privilege of giving our human all in the interests of God's plan—the greatest, best and noblest of all causes. It is to such a cause that God gives His faithful consecrated people the privilege of yielding their human all in service, and thus they spend and are spent in the best and most fruitful and most lasting of all causes. Truly God has been liberal in giving so great a privilege. But the gift, privilege, of sanctification implies more and greater privileges than those consisting of yielding our human all in God's service. It implies many things connected with our spirits, new creatures. In the first place, it implies our receiving the new creature—the Holy Spirit. This is one of the three highest and greatest of God's gifts, the others being Jesus and the Truth. It is the beginning of the Divine nature and is the pledge of its completion in the Faithful. It makes us sons of God, heirs of God and Joint-heirs with Christ. It gives us the privilege of membership in the Christ, with all the blessed prospects of glory, honor and immortality as ours. Moreover, God gives us as new creatures increased knowledge of the deep things and the privilege of making these known to fellow new
creatures according to our ability, spirit and position in the Body of Christ.
He gives us in our new creatures the privilege to grow into more and more of His character likeness, and thus gives us all the graces—the higher and lower primary, the secondary and the tertiary graces. Therein He gives us the privilege of detaching our affections from earthly things and attaching them to corresponding heavenly things. And in these character features, after they are developed, He gives us strength, balance and crystallization. Not only does He give us these and thus gives us the best of all personal possessions—a perfected spiritual character—but He also gives us the privilege, according to ability, opportunity and spirit, to assist other new creatures to develop into the same kind of perfected spiritual characters. Then, too, He gives us the privilege of deliverance, thereby in our conflicts with the devil, the world and the flesh, enabling us, as we battle faithfully, to come off conquerors and to help other new creatures to the same kind of victories. And if we persevere faithfully in these conflicts unto death, He will give us the crowning feature of deliverance—victory over death unto the Divine nature in the first resurrection.
But these are not all the gifts that His liberality provides for His faithful Little Flock. Beyond the vail He has great gifts in reservation for them. They will as Divine beings have immortality—life in themselves, i.e., a death-proof condition—which will make them independent of all external conditions for existence. They will be given powers so great that they will be able to pass through any object, move worlds or make new ones and serve under Christ in the rulership of the universe. During the Millennium they will from God receive as gifts the privilege of being members of the world's King, Priest, Mediator, Judge, Physician, Prophet and Mother, which offices they will
use for the awakening of the dead, establishing God's Kingdom, overthrowing conditions conducive to sin and error, introducing conditions conducive to righteousness and truth, blessing all mankind with favorable opportunities of coming into harmony with God and receiving gradual healing from the effects of the curse and gradual bestowment of restitution as they obey, until they will have ministered perfection to the obedient. Then God will give them the privilege of presiding over a final trial of mankind, which they will bring to a conclusion by giving life everlasting to the faithful in the paradisaic earth, which they will prepare, and death everlasting to the unfaithful. Thereafter God will give them the privilege of being an ever extending kingdom throughout the universe as their eternal employment. Surely the richness of His liberality toward the saints is beyond anything that man could think or ask.
Though in a smaller measure than to the saints, God has been exercising and will exercise His liberality to the Ancient Worthies, the Great Company and the Youthful Worthies. To the first of these classes He liberally gave His Old Testament revelation with such of its truth as was due to them to see, gave them the privilege of a faith justification in view of Christ's coming sacrifice, and amid trials of faith and devotion to righteousness gave them the training fitting them for princeship throughout the earth in the Millennium (Ps. 45: 16). He will give them a resurrection better than the world will get (Heb. 11: 35), better because it will be 1,000 years ahead of theirs, because it will give them princeship, ruling in blessing over mankind, while the others will be their subjects under the Christ, and because it will give them at the end of the Millennium the privilege of becoming spiritual and receiving a heavenly home, which the world never will get. For them will be reserved a set of eternal privileges very high indeed, though inferior to those given the Little
Flock. A contrast of their Millennial offices will prove this. The Little Flock will be Kings, they princes; the former Priests, the latter Kohathite Levites; the former the Mediator, the latter servants of the Mediator; the former the Physician, the latter nurses; the former the great Prophet, the latter subordinate prophets; the former the judge, the latter His deputies; the former the Mother, the latter children of this Mother, the nurses of the Mother's other children. The Little Flock's superiority to the Ancient Worthies will be eternal, but, though the latter will be the former's inferiors (Heb. 11: 40), they will nevertheless be very highly exalted as an expression of Jehovah's benevolence and beneficence.
What we have said of God's liberality to the Ancient Worthies applies in a less degree to the Great Company and the Youthful Worthies. The Great Company, consisting of those who fail to qualify for the position of the Bride of Christ, through failure to sacrifice faithfully in the interests of the Lord's cause and through failure to develop a character like Christ, naturally fail of the Kingdom; but repentant of their course and later proving loyal, they will have as gifts from God a position as spirit beings in subordination to the Bride in the Kingdom and inferior in honor as Kingdom representatives to the Ancient Worthies. They will be noblemen in the Kingdom and Merari Levites to the Priests and the world, assisting the great Mediator, Physician, Prophet, Judge and Parents of mankind in a less honorable position of service than that of the Ancient Worthies, who were more faithful in this life than the former. Nevertheless, their position, nature and works will be wonderful expressions of God's liberality, especially considering that they were, under trial, found unworthy of Little-Flockship. The Youthful Worthies, consisting of those who consecrated too late to have opportunity to stand trial for Little-Flockship, but standing trial for a position inferior to the
Ancient Worthies, are being given many liberal gifts of grace, mercy and truth by God, and millennially will be given the privilege of being an inferior order of princes in the earth, with all pertinent privileges, and postmillennially will be raised with the Ancient Worthies to a spirit nature and a heavenly home. Accordingly, we see that God has been and will continue to be exceedingly liberal to all four elect classes of His plan.
God's liberality toward the non-elect world also has been exercising itself while the curse has rested on the race, and will in the next Age be manifest in a much clearer way. Remembering that the human family is by God's sentence through heredity from Adam a race of convicts doomed to death, we are in a better position to recognize how liberal God is by considering His kindness to convicts. Under certain restrictions compatible with the execution of His sentence on the race, He has been very generous and beneficent toward mankind. He has given them many blessings for body, mind and heart. The blessings of nature to the degree that they would be able to obtain them He freely sends them; for He makes the sun to shine on the evil as well as on the good, and sends the rain to the unjust as well as to the just. Man's main evils come to him through the keeper of his penitentiary—Satan—who selfishly uses his position to work evil on the convicts over whom he rules. When we consider the physical and mental blessings that the convict world has gotten in health, wealth, home, society, state, finance, industry, education, art, science, literature and law, all of which in the good they contain are due to God's liberality, we must admit that God is very benevolent and beneficent to His convicts. Nowhere is there His equal.
But His liberality appears in richer forms when we consider how richly He has given and will give in order to rescue the world from its fallen condition.
His dealings with the Elect are to prepare them to deliver the non-elect! So greatly did He love the world that He gave up His Son to become a human being and to die, that they might gain eternal life by complying with its terms and conditions. And not only has He given His Firstborn—our Lord Jesus—unto death that the world might be rescued from the Adamic death and thus gain an opportunity of winning eternal life; but in the same liberal spirit He has been giving up the rest of His faithful Elect children even to death in the interests of His plan, that the world may get the benefit of their millennial ministry. The same liberality prompted Him to prepare the subordinate elect—the Ancient Worthies, the Great Company and the Youthful Worthies. Thus God's preparing the administrators of the Kingdom in order that they might administer its blessings to the whole race in the Millennium, is a glorious expression of His liberality toward them. This same quality of liberality will mark God's millennial deeds toward the world. Giving them thoroughly wise, just, loving and powerful helpers for their uplift is certainly an act of great generosity and beneficence. Forgiving them all their sins and remembering them no more against them, is another deed of the same kind. Putting them into the hands of a sheltering Mediator, who will shield them in their imperfections from the strict justice of God, is a work of the same character. Giving them the truth on every subject is a first class expression of liberality.
Raising the dead world and putting them under the same conditions, further demonstrates His liberality. Giving them every deterrent from evil and every encouragement to good, further exemplifies this noble quality in God toward the world. As they obey, His healing their physical, mental, moral and religious infirmities will in another way show His abounding liberality toward them. Pouring out His Spirit for all and giving it to the obedient will further prove His
liberality. Helping the willing and obedient to grow in grace, knowledge and fruitfulness in service by giving them the necessary helps through His Spirit, Word and providence, gives another indication of His wonderful liberality. Giving man a paradisaic earth with perfect climate and fruitfulness is a stroke of God's liberality. Varying the kingdom conditions, opportunities and demands, according to the needs and abilities of each, will show how kindly disposed God will be to them. Even the stripes of that time will be for the reformation of all concerned, that they might thus be helped to everlasting life, and will thus be another evidence of His liberality. The same remark applies with reference to God's restraining during the Millennium evil angels and men from tempting and wronging any member of the human family. Thus His millennial dealings will be on a most magnificent scale of liberality toward the human family, all intended to restore it to perfection and life everlasting, as it obeys.
It is liberality that will mark God's post-millennial acts toward the world. He will not permit the trial of the Little Season to transcend the powers of perfect sinless human beings. Thus He will give all a fair and liberal trial, for which He will have been liberally preparing the race. Liberal will be His gift of grace sufficient to the faithful, delivering them in and from the trial, as they are loyal therein, and after they will have demonstrated loyalty therein to the end. And His crowning them with everlasting life in the paradisaic earth after the faithful have demonstrated loyalty to the end, will be the climax of His liberality to the world. Even the destruction of the incorrigible angels and men will be generous and beneficent to them, saving them from an eternity of sorrow; as it will also be generous and beneficent to the faithful for the incorrigible to be destroyed; for the continued existence of these would be an eternal menace to the righteous, as well as a constant source of trouble and sorrow to
themselves. Accordingly, the final rewards and punishments at the end of the Little Season will be expressions of liberality.
And what shall we say of God's liberality in the Ages that will follow the Millennium in endless succession? We can say this, that with a perfect earth and perfect sinless human beings as a basis for Jehovah's post-millennial dealings, His wisdom, power, justice and love, in contact with such a set of conditions, may be depended upon to lavish with utmost liberality His bounties on His beloved earthly children. Is. 65: 17-25 describes the post-millennial conditions and it warrants us in declaring that as from a cornucopia God will pour out such an abundance of good things upon perfect humanity as will fully satisfy every exaction of their minds, every craving of their hearts and every need of their bodies. He will anticipate their every desire, even as verse 24 declares: "Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." He will give them every opportunity for the gratification of their every need and for the application of their every power. And what a wonderful world that will be; for if fallen man under imperfect conditions has in many individual cases accomplished so great things now, what will be the attainments and achievements of perfect men under God's liberal tuition! Surely God's liberality will then be one of the grounds of the human family joining in the general hallelujah chorus of Rev. 5: 13: "Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb, forever and ever." And we who have tasted of His liberality to the Elect and know of His coming liberality to the non-elect, may well, in present enjoyment of our portion of His liberality and in anticipation of His future liberality to us and the world, sing the high praises of our God and the Lamb; for they are, worthy of "power and riches
and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing."—Rev. 5: 12, 13.
Liberality, being a secondary grace, arising from the higher primary graces suppressing the controllership of love for gaining and retaining, does not control God's acts. He never exercises it contrary to His wisdom, power, justice and love; but always in subordination to these. Hence when these forbid its exercise God keeps it in inactivity, e.g., God is always just before He is generous, and will not be generous, if His justice forbids. It is especially through the Ransom satisfying His justice that God can in harmony with justice be so very liberal as He is and will be to the Elect and non-elect. Hence to become in the full sense the beneficiaries of God's liberality we must approach Him through Jesus Christ as our High Priest and Advocate. Accordingly those who so do get immeasurably more from God's liberality than those who do not so do.
Impartiality is the tenth and last of God's secondary attributes of character that we will discuss in this connection. Hitherto we have discussed as God's secondary attributes of character His modesty, industriousness, longsuffering, forbearance, forgiveness, candor, courage and liberality; and in the chapter on God's Lower Primary Attributes of Character, in connection with God's self-esteem, we discussed His humility, a secondary grace. We trust that our study of Gods virtues and praises have not only helped all of us intellectually, but also morally and religiously; for to minister the latter two ways of help is our main design in writing these articles on God's attributes of character. Impartiality is a secondary grace, because it results from the higher primary graces laying hold of and suppressing the control of certain lower affection-organs; but it differs from the other secondary graces in this: Whereas each of the other secondary graces so far considered results from the higher primary graces suppressing the efforts, at controllership,
of but one lower selfish affection-organ—the pertinent one in each case—impartiality results from the higher primary graces suppressing the efforts at controllership of any one or more than one of our social affection-organs.
This leads us to describe the sphere within which the grace of impartiality works—the social affection-organs, which connect us with our fellows as members of the same human or spiritual relations as ourselves. And it is within this sphere where the disgrace of partiality exercises itself. Thus, as against others, we are prone to exercise partiality toward the opposite sex, our spouses, parents, children, relatives, friends, associates, acquaintances, countrymen, co-religionists, etc., all of whom are united with us by one or another social tie. And such partiality expresses itself frequently toward all in each of these classes as against others, or toward certain individuals of most of these classes as against other individuals of these classes; for partiality is nothing less than the quality that feels and acts toward some individuals and classes as distinct from other individuals and classes, not from the standpoint of the character worth of those concerned, but because of some reason not connected with the character worth of the pertinent person or class. Thus if we should as against the character worth of an individual make him experience untoward things in order chat favor may be shown to someone else on account of the latter's appearance, birth, education, rank, office, title, wealth, station, influence, popularity, relation to us, etc., we would be showing partiality. But it is along such lines that we more or less allow partiality to mark our thoughts, feelings, words and acts with respect to those toward whom our social affections act. Partiality is almost exclusively exercised along the lines of the objects of our social affections— toward the opposite sex as such, our spouses, parents, children, relations, friends, associates, acquaintances,
countrymen, co-religionists, etc., as well as toward certain ones as distinct from other ones in these classes.
These considerations better prepare us to understand and appreciate the quality of impartiality. It may be defined as the quality by which we think, feel, speak and act as to others from the standpoint of their character deserts, and not from the standpoint of other things, such as their appearance, birth, education, rank, office, title, wealth, station, influence, popularity, etc. Certainly God's thoughts, feelings, words and acts toward others are not based upon their appearance, birth, education, rank, office, title, wealth, station, influence, popularity, etc. The following Scriptures clearly show this: "He regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward [bribes]" (Deut. 10: 17). "But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature …; for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance" (1 Sam. 16: 7). "He respecteth not any that are wise of heart" (Job 37: 24). "God is no respecter of persons" (Acts 10: 34). "There is no respect of persons with God" (Rom. 2: 11). "God accepteth no man's person" (Gal. 2: 6). "There is no respect of persons [with God]" (Col. 3: 25). "The Father, who without respect of persons judgeth" (1 Pet. 1: 17).
On the other hand the Scriptures teach that His varying thoughts, feelings, words and acts as to others are entirely dependent on their varying characters, in that He shows favor to the good and disfavor to the evil, but in every case acting in harmony with the principles underlying the case. God's acting from principle and not from any other consideration makes Him impartial as the following Scriptures show: "Man looketh on the outward appearance; but the Lord looketh on the heart" (1 Sam. 16: 7). "Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any" (Job 36: 5). "God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he
that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him" (Acts 10: 34, 35). "He will render to every man according to his deeds" (Rom. 2: 6). "Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free" (Eph. 6: 8). "But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done" (Col. 3: 25). "Call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work" (1 Pet. 1: 17). Thus these passages show that God does not regard persons from the standpoint of their external advantages, but from the standpoint of their hearts—their characters.
God's impartiality does not mean that He treats everybody alike; for He certainly does not so do. Nothing is plainer, both from the standpoint of the Scriptures and experience than that God does not treat everybody alike. Neither in the realm of nature nor in the realm of Grace, neither in the expressions of His justice nor in those of His love, does He treat everybody alike. Indeed, superficial thinkers, reasoning on the differences of treatment that some receive from that which others receive from God, deny His impartiality altogether. Among other things, the doctrine of election and its practical operation are the clearest of proofs that God does not treat all alike. But superficial thinkers, quoting passages like this: "There is no respect of persons with God," deny election. These people err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the character of God as Sovereign. While God is not a respecter of persons, He certainly is a respecter of character (Acts 10: 34, 35; Rom.
2: 6; Eph. 6: 8; Col. 3: 25; 1 Pet. 1: 17). And God accordingly is not partial when, upon the basis of character differences in various people, He treats them differently, favoring those who reverence Him and work righteousness, and disfavoring those who are impious toward Him and work unrighteousness. On the contrary, such varying
attitudes and acts in God are an expression of impartiality, because they prove that He variously regards people from the standpoint of their varying relation toward proper principles; for as we saw above, impartiality is the quality by which we think, feel, speak and act as to others from the standpoint of their character deserts, and not from the standpoint of such things as their appearance, birth, education, rank, office, title, wealth, station, influence, popularity, sex, work, party, etc.
Nor do the facts that God deals so variously with those whom He favors with elective blessings, and permits the rest to fare so differently from one another under the curse, prove that God is partial. The reason that He deals differently with some from what He does with others of His children is that their dispositions and attainments vary and that some must have different experiences from others on account of their character needs for their present and future place in His plan; and this proves His impartiality toward, great love for, and practical attitude to each of His children. And the reason that there are differences among the members of the world is in part that the Lord has permitted, not wrought these differences, in that He has given up the race under condemnation and deals no more with it on covenant basis. It is also in part that different experiences are needed by different characters in learning the lesson of the exceeding sinfulness of sin. It is finally in part that in the Age following this an adjustment of accounts will be made in those cases wherein, if they had been made in this life, the lesson of the exceeding sinfulness of sin would not have been universally learned. Hence there is no partiality in God in His varying acts toward His children and in His permitting varying conditions and experiences to come to the world under the curse. There is nothing in these two courses in God that is arbitrary or against principle, or flowing out of favoritism as
against principle. Indeed, in and through it all God is seeking in harmony with good principles the best interests of each and all concerned, according to their character deserts in relation to good principles. Certainly He who gives the wisdom from above, which among other things is without partiality, is, as the source of that wisdom, impartial.—Jas. 3: 17.
If we examine God's acts we find that they are impartial. His rewards have always been along the lines of character fitness. His punishments have been along the lines of character unfitness and have been impartial, both as to His servants and non-servants. Notice how His rewards and punishments toward His servants and non-servants have been along lines of character expressions. The righteous Noah and his family were saved in the flood period, while the unrighteous world perished therein. Tested Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were blessed with the covenant promises, while their unfit relatives were passed by. Loyal Joseph was honored with the ministry of delivering millions from famine deaths, while his evil brethren were humiliated. Faithful Moses and Aaron were honored with the leadership of their people, and proud and rebellious Moses and Aaron were punished with exclusion from the holy land. Faithful Israel received the land in peaceful inheritance; backsliding Israel was punished with various oppressions and captivities, and penitent Israel was reinstated in God's favor. Faithful David was prospered in the kingdom, while disobedient David received condigned punishment. Loyal Ruth and Rahab were incorporated into Israel and into ancestralship of Christ, while apostates were cast off from the commonwealth of Israel. Devoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were preserved in the fiery furnace, while their tormentors perished thereat. Uncompromising Daniel was preserved in the lions' den, while his traducers perished therein. Dependable Elijah was preserved amid the famine and rewarded with leading the
nation back to the Divine service, while wicked Ahab and Jezebel miserably perished. Kings and prophets, nobles and plebeians, priests and people, in Israel, are in their varying experiences so many proofs of God's impartiality.
God's sending His Son to become the Savior of all is a remarkable expression of His impartiality. His selecting some because of their possession of the faith quality, which fits them for a trial for life now, and His rejecting others from the election because their unbelief unfits them for a present trial for life and His reserving them for a trial when the faith quality which they lack will not be indispensable, are very impressive evidences of God's impartiality— proving that He is actuated by the pertinent one's character fitness or unfitness and not by external considerations in mankind in the bestowal of His favors. His selecting the poor of this world, full of faith, as against the wise, the mighty, the noble, and prudent, shows the same quality (Jas. 2: 5; 1 Cor. 1: 26-29; Matt. 11: 25-27). God's rejecting disobedient Israelites and selecting God-fearing Gentiles, e.g., the scribes and Pharisees, etc., on the one hand, and Cornelius, Titus, etc., on the other hand, evidence the operation of the same quality. The same principle showed itself in the period between the harvests in a multitude of examples for both elective and non-elective individuals. Remarkably did it show itself in the Parousia—the great, the wise, the mighty, the rich being passed by and "the shirt seller" given chief place, because, impartiality acting on proper principle, God saw that this was best for all concerned. Then, too, only the loyal of Christendom were honored with the Harvest Truth, and the disloyal were allowed to wander away into all sorts of vagaries. The faithful He preserved in the Truth, while He permitted the unfaithful to fall in the Harvest siftings, always restoring the penitent on their repentance. The same principle is working in the Epiphany: the rebellious being
relegated to the Great Company, the utterly faithless remanded to the second death, while the Faithful are kept standing and are rewarded with the advancing light. Always and everywhere is God proving that His thoughts, feelings, words and acts as to others are based, not upon respect of persons, but upon respect of character.
This thought certainly is comforting. For one thing, the bulk of God's people do not have those things that man so highly regards. Hence if God made these His criterion of judging and dealing with us, the bulk of us would stand no chance of blessing from, and dealing with Him in the elective part of His plan. Moreover, this would give the advantage to the least responsive and base it on the accidental as distinct from the real worth. God's ways are equal and therein may we have comfort. Do we lack earthly beauty, strength, wealth, position, title, education, popularity? Well, what of it? These do not commend us to God, nor make Him favorable to us above others. His attitude is expressed in these words: "To this man will I look [show favor], even to him that is of a poor [humble] and contrite [crushed for sin] spirit and trembleth [is reverent] at My Word." This passage expresses both the heart of impartiality and the substance of grace. Herein may we rejoice and glory; for herein lies our hope for every good gift and every perfect gift. We therefore praise our God for His impartiality, mellowed by His grace; for herein is our hope grounded, that if we approach Him with true hearts through Jesus Christ, He will receive us, one and all, impartially; and that if we abide in such a true heart's attitude, He will impartially help us, one and all, to the very best of which we are capable in the way of development for our eternal inheritance.
High in the Heavens, eternal God,
Thy goodness in full glory shines;
Thy Truth shall break through every cloud
That veils and darkens Thy designs.
Forever firm Thy justice stands,
As mountains their foundations keep;
Wise are the wonders of Thy hands,
Thy judgments are a mighty deep.
Thy providence is kind and large;
Both man and beast Thy bounty share;
The whole creation is Thy charge;
But saints are Thy peculiar care.
My God, how excellent Thy grace!
Whence all our hope and comfort springs;
Mid earthly woes we sweetly rest
Under the shadow of Thy wings.