Manton: God Must Do Good To Your Children Too

It may press us to admire the grace of God to his children. He cannot satisfy himself in doing good to you, but he must do good to your children too. How should we entertain this with reverence! When God told Abraham, I am thy God, and the God of thy seed, ‘Abraham fell upon his face,’ as humbly adoring the goodness of God, Gen.17:3; so David, when God spake concerning his house and his children: 2 Sam. 7:18, 19, ‘What am I, O Lord, and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?’ And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord God; for thou hast spoken also of thy servant’s house for a great while to come;’ he stands wondering at this mercy of God.

Thomas Manton, The Complete Works of Thomas Manton vol. 14 (London: James Nisbet & Co., 1973), 206–07.


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  1. Well, but how about Jesus words in Luke 12:51-53?(For myself, I understand this Jesus words in the light of the teachings of stoic Zeno of Citium)

    • Ihor,

      I can’t see how reading Jesus in light of the Stoics is a sound way to interpret texts. Why not read Jesus against the background of Egyptian magic or something equally random? What hath Jesus to do with Zeno? We have no need of Zeno’s porch. We have Solomon’s (Tertullian).

  2. Good day, dr. Clark.

    Methinks, that the Jesus words in Luke 12: 51-53, Luke 14:26, and in Mat. 10:34-37 voiced the same or similar idea, that Zeno declared in his “Republic”:

    “…he applies to all men who are not virtuous the opprobrious epithets of foemen, enemies, slaves, and aliens to one another, parents to children, brothers to brothers, friends to friends. Again, in the Republic, making an invidious contrast, he declares the good alone to be true citizens or friends or kindred or free men ; and accordingly in the view of the Stoics parents and children are enemies, not being wise”. (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, VII. Chapter 1.32-33.).

    What do you think about this, and about those Jesus words? For the first look, it seems, they can look contradictory to the conclusions of Manton.

    And I also think, that God mustnot do good for our children too (if they didn’t want to know the Jesus death in itself and to be crucified with Him). If it was so, Jesus never say that He come to give division, “father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father” and etc.

    Knowing that passage from Zeno, methinks, we just can better understand what Jesus want to say. May be that was a bad comparison. But we must not afraid ancient heathen authors, esp. those of them who can be close in spirit to Christianity (such as Stoics). John Calvin in his comments to Titus 1:12 says: “those persons are superstitious, who do not venture to borrow anything from heathen authors. All truth is from God; and consequently, if wicked men have said anything that is true and just, we ought not to reject it; for it has come from God. Besides, all things are of God; and, therefore, why should it not be lawful to dedicate to his glory everything that can properly be employed for such a purpose?”

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