Page images

vided Being, is plainly declared in Scripture, and attested by reason, which unitedly instruct us that necessary self-existence, perfection of nature, omnipotence, consistency of willing, and concord of action, are incompatible with a plurality of gods, or that these properties, which are essential to the Divine Nature, cannot subsist in more gods than one.

§ 4. Spirituality,--the being, in a peculiar manner, a pure immaterial Essence, invisible and incapable of representation. God is known to be a Spirit, because a Spirit is of the highest order of existence, and He who created the Angelic Spirits cannot be their inferior. The invisible God was pleased to manifest himself in former times by assumed appearances, such as those of the Shecinah, the forms of Angels, the human Figure ; and in Dreams and Visions.

[merged small][ocr errors]

$5. The Eternity of God implies, not only his infinite duration, his being without beginning and without end, but also his immutability, or being incapable of change, and his perfect independence. He who exists of himself, must have esisted from all eternity, and must still continue to do so without end, as there is no cause of termination in his nature. From God all things are derived, and on him all things depend.

$ 6. Immensity, Omnipreseuce, or that infinite, unlimited property, by which God fills all space, and is every where, at all times and in all places, is a de. cessary Attribute ; because, wherever his power or providence extends, there is his inseparable Essence : and the whole created universe is subject to his guidance, and upheld by his support; as it was originally called into existence by the Word of his Power.

[ocr errors]

$ 7. Of the Conimunicable Properties (or those in which inferior beings may participate), the first ascribed to God is that of Life---the perfection of the Divine Nature, in consequence of which, God is not only himself pre-eminently a living and incorruptible Being, but is also the Author and Preserver of Life to all beings which are endued with it.

[ocr errors]

§ 8. The Omniscience, or infinite Knowledge of God, is that faculty by which he considers and understands all things absolutely and infallibly. It is a faculty intimately connected with the other Divine Attributes, especially those of Omnipotence and Omnipresence. God gives knowledge, and what he confers he must himself possess in an unlimited degree.

As Knowledge is the speculative, so Wisdom is the practical act of the Divine Mind. The latter is the application of the former to certain objects. Perfect Wisdom directs the fittest means to the best purpose ; such means and purpose as are suggested by perfect Knowledge. The works of Creation, of Providence, and of Redemption, afford abundant evidence of the exercise of consummate Wisdom.

$ 9. The Omnipotence, or Mighty Power of God, is capable of effecting all things which do not contradict his other Attributes, or imply a contradiction in themselves. God is the origin of all power, and must, therefore, excel in power all other beings, even so as to be irresistible, uncontroulable, and able, without effort, to execute the sentence of his own will. Witliout this Omnipotent Authority, the most perfect Knowledge and unerring Wisdom, would not have availed in the construction and support of the created Universe.

$ 10. Happiness, in its most exalted degree, as it is to be considered with reference to the Deity, arises from the possession of infinite excellence, or the perfection of His other Attributes. His Knowledge, Wisdom, and Power, ensure the attainment and permadency of entire and unalloyed felicity. Absolutely and independently harpy in Himself, He must needs be so in an infinite degree. In Him is the source of Happiness, and the Divine Happiness can receive no increase or diminution from exterior causes.

$11. The Holiness of God, implies that He is entirely free from every thing which partakes, be it ever so slightly, of evil or moral imperfection; and is intrinsically possessed of every pure and holy quality in the fullest measure. Were He not thus holy, Hiş other Attributes might tend to evil ;-which we may not suppose possible of God.

$ 12. Infinite Goodness consists in that benevolent desire to impart to all His creatures whatever is expedient for them, and may contribute to their happiness and welfare, which the Deity alone can exercise without restraint or error. The bestowing of a spiritual or temporal benefit by God, without merit in the receiver, is Grace; contrary to merit, Mercy; in alleviation of distress, Pity ; in the supply of want, Bounty; in support of the innocent, Righteousness; in pardon of sin, Forgiveness ; in bearing with sin, Long-suffering, or Patience. Of all the Attributes of the Deity, no one is more universally declared in his dispensations of Providence and Grace, than this most amiable, most consoling property of Perfect Good


$ 13. Justice is that quality by which all things are ordered according to the fixed and immutable Law of Right, by which God binds himself to follow and fulfil whatever rules and conditions his will has established and decreed. Endowed with perfect knowledge, wisdom, holiness, and power, his Justice must be infallible.

$14. The Truth of God is evinced by perfect sincerity in his declarations, and perfect fidelity in his promises. Falsehood arises from such sources alone as are incompatible with the Divine Nature. Perfect holiness implies perfect truth, and omnipotence needs no deceit or sinister means. His word is, therefore, to be implicitly relied on, although the execution of his promises be not always perceptible to us.

§ 15. The Glory of God consists in that excellence by which He so far surpasses all other beings, and which is manifested in the operation of his Attributės. It is that for which all things were called into existence, and to which all events and dispensations shall ultimately tend.

§ 16. When we speak or read of the affections or passions of the Deity, we are not to understand such expressions literally, but only as denoting acts of the Divine Will, which bear some analogy or resemblance to the effects of certain human dispositions ; -90, likewise, when bodily form or members are ascribed to God, it is to be understood figuratively: his eye, for example, is his boundless knowledge ; his righthand, his absolute power.

From Scripture.


[ocr errors]

JEREMIAH ix. 24. But let him that glorieth, glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth. Job xi. 7, 8. Canst thou by searching find out God ? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection ? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do! deeper than hell; what canst thou know? Job xxxvii. 5. God thundereth maryellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend. Deut. iv. 39. Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath; there is none else. John xvii. 3. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.


Exod. iii. 14. And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I am hath sent me unto you. Psalm lxxxiji. 18. That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JxHOVAH, art the Most High over all the earth. 1 Cor. viii. 4. We know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. 1 Tim. i. 17. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.


Deut. vi. 4. Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is One Lord. Gal. iii. 20. Now a mediator is not a mediator of

« PreviousContinue »