"wise, holy, just. and good"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Nov 30 06:50:04 UTC 2008

What is the origin of the phrase describing God (and sometimes man)
as "wise, holy, just, and good"?

Google Books takes it back to 1796, in John Gill, A Complete Body of
Divinity.  (It also claims a 1584 date for The Creeds of Christendom
..., by Philip Schaff, but this is actually 1877.)  It is apparently
part of the creed of "Independent (or Congregational) Dissenters",
from the 1830s.

But does it come from an earlier writing of the "dissenters", which
might place it in the late 1500s, or perhaps from a Latin text, or
from the Bible?


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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