God’s tender mercies: great in many respects

Psalm 119:156

Great are thy tender mercies, O Lord: quicken me according to thy judgments. (KJV):

William Cowper:

Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD. Two epithets he ascribes to God’s mercies;

  1. first, he calls them “great,”
  2. and then he calls them “tender” mercies.

They are great in many respects: for continuance, they endure for ever; for largeness, they reach unto the heavens, and are higher than they; yea, they are above all the works of God. And this is for the comfort of poor sinners, whose sins are many and great: let them not despair; his mercies are greater and more; for since they are greater than all his works, how much more greater than thou and all thy sinful works!…The other epithet he gives them is, that they ale “tender” mercies; because the Lord is easy to be entreated; for he is slow unto wrath, but ready to show mercy: S. James saith that the wisdom which is from above is “gentle, peaceable, easy to be entreated.” If his grace in his children make them gentle and easy to be entreated, what shall we think of himself? Since he will have such pity in us poor creatures, that seventy times seven times in the day he will have us to forgive the offences of our brethren; Oh, what pity and compassion abound in himself! Thus we see our comfort is increased; that as his mercies are great, so are they tender; easily obtained, where they are earnestly craved. –William Cowper.

As quoted in “The Treasury of David” 


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