"Goodness and severity"

In discussing the fate of unbelievers, Paul issued to the Christians in Rome a warning and a promise worthy of careful consideration by all who try to direct their course in accordance with Christian teaching. "Behold therefore," he implored them, "the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness."

Paul, manifestly, saw no incongruity in placing God's goodness and severity in such juxtaposition. He saw nothing contradictory in attributing both goodness and severity to divine Love, "who is the father of us all." It was toward those who fell, that is, toward those who became materially minded, having other gods before the one God, that he conceived God to deal with severity; at the same time he promised goodness to the faithful.

The Swallowing up of Mortality
June 13, 1925

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