a' Brakel on general mercy

"Mercy, being the merciful God Himself, is an essential attribute whereby God is inclined to come to the aid of a creature in his misery. Even though a miserable one is the object of the manifestation of divine mercy, misery is nevertheless not the motivating cause of God’s mercy, but it issues forth from the goodness of God, which in its manifestation towards a miserable one is denominated as mercy. When God revealed Himself to Moses, He called Himself merciful (Exo. 34:6). The Lord Jesus refers to this mercy as an example worthy of imitation. 'Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful' (Luke 6:36).

 Divine mercy is either general or special in nature. The general manifestation of mercy extends to all the works of God, unconverted persons inclusive. 'His tender mercies are over all His works' (Psa. 145:9). The Lord Jesus showed compassion towards all sorts of miserable persons (Mat. 14:14; Mark 6:34). The special manifestation of mercy extends to the elect who therefore are called vessels of mercy (Rom. 9:23). Since the manifestation of this mercy is purely volitional in nature–'I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy' (Rom. 9:15)–It is also inexpressibly great. This is not only because it extends from generation to generation (Luke 1:50), but also because of its intensity and magnitude. It therefore is emphatically referred to as great mercy: 'According to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope' (1 Pet. 1:3). It is further stated that God is rich in mercy, God of multiple mercies. 'The Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort' (2 Cor. 1:3). God’s mercy is referred to as being tender. 'Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us' (Luke 1:78)." (Wilhelmus a'Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service; underlining mine--CD)





In response to a'Brakel's adulteration of Psalm 145:9, I quote Marc D. Carpenter's comments on that passage (paragraphing mine):



==So what about Psalm 145:9? Isn't God merciful to all his works? And don't all his works include the reprobate? Well, as I hope you will see, "all his works" does not mean "every single work without exception." First, look at the context:

Verse 8: "The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy."

Grace and mercy are here tied together. If God is merciful to someone, He is gracious to someone. 

God is "full of compassion." Is this talking about God's attitude toward the reprobate?  Let's look at some other Psalms: 

"He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision" (2:4). "The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming" (37:13). "But thou, O Lord, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have the heathen in derision" (59:8). No compassion here.

God is "slow to anger." Is this talking about the reprobate? Well, let's look at Psalm 7:11: "God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day." Slow to anger with the reprobate? Obviously not.

Thus, verse 8 is not talking about every human being without exception.

Verse 10: "All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee."

If "all thy works" includes the reprobate, then the reprobate will praise God.

Look further down at verses 14 to 20. "Common mercy" and "common grace" advocates like to quote verses 14 to 16. "The Lord upholdeth all that fall ... thou givest them their meat in due season ... satisfiest the desire of every living thing." But look at verse 19: "He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him." And verse 20: "The Lord preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy." Common mercy? Common grace? Hardly! [SOURCE] ==