Can we call what is bad in man
good in God?
Let us take an illustration that we may see this more clearly. A frail and narrow bridge swings across a gulf, fearful and fathomless. On this, as it rocks wildly in the winds, a father places his young child. Beyond, on the other side of the gulf, he has placed a prize beyond estimate, which he promises to the child if he passes the bridge safely, and then compels him to go, commanding him to look neither to the right nor left.
The boy, heedless and disobedient, hesitates, reels, the bridge quivers for a moment, swings from under him, and hurled into the gulf, he is caught and impaled on a sharp rock down the abyss. There he hangs for long and weary years, agonizing and writhing in torture, and crying to his father for help and deliverance. But his father turns a deaf ear to all his entreaties, wholly indifferent to the horrible sufferings of his child, and justifies himself by saying, The boy might have passed the bridge safely, he was warned, and he suffers justly. Admitting the possibility of passing safely, yet all men would pronounce this father a monster and a fiend. And shall God place me on the frail and narrow bridge of life, stretched over the awful and flaming abyss of endless perdition, with the possibility of a heaven beyond, and then leave me there to cross it, swinging fearfully in the winds of temptation, knowing that as a matter of fact I shall, in crossing, be precipitated into the horrible pit, there to lie for ever in hopeless agony? Who would not cry out with the poet:
And canst Thou then look down from perfect bliss
And see me plunging in this dark abyss,
Calling Thee Father in a sea of fire,
Or pouring blasphemies at Thy desire?
Yes the question is essentially this, and no argument can evade the enquiry Is God good, and is He a just God, as men use these terms, or is He not?
But the popular view represents God as doing that which the most degraded human being would not do.
This view, says Dr. Littledale, puts God on a moral level with the devisers of the most savagely malignant revenge known to history.
Christ Triumphant by Thomas Allin 1890
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