Edward Payson Archive

Selected Thoughts

God The Only Source of Excellence

God only, the Father of lights, from whom cometh down every good and perfect gift, makes one creature to differ from another. They are wise only by his wisdom, strong in his strength, and good in his goodness. He is more entirely the Author of everything good in heaven and on earth, than the sun is the author of that image of himself which is seen in a mirror. When creatures acknowledge this, and ascribe all the excellences they possess to him alone, they then, in the language of Scripture, bring forth fruit, not to themselves, but to his glory.

God is the source of everything excellent or praiseworthy in the intellectual world. To him angels and men are alike indebted for all their faculties. Reason, memory, wit, prudence, invention and imagination, are only his gifts. The statesman, the warrior, the mathematician, the poet, the orator, the historian, the astronomer, the painter, and the sculptor, all were formed, instructed and directed by him. By his assistance, all the great enterprises, splendid achievements and admirable works which the world ever saw, were performed. It is he, says David, who teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. It was he who guided Columbus to the discovery of this new world. It was he who qualified our revered Washington for the great work of delivering his country, and assisted him in its accomplishment. And while we admire the gifts of God in men, shall we not admire the Giver? While we admire the achievements, enterprises and works of men, shall we not admire him who enabled men to perform them? Shall we rest in streams, and admire them only, without praising the fountain? Surely this is highly unreasonable.

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