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Here I might tire the reader's patience, by a long train of arguments, commonly advanced to prove that there can be no more than one God: but as I have engaged to keep to scripture evidence, and this being a point never questioned by any de nomination of christians, let it suffice to name a few texts concerning the unity of God, and the perfections peculiar to him for proof of it. • I* am the LORD (JEHOVAH) and there is none else, there is no GOD besides me. Thou, even thou art JEHOVAH alone. That men may know, that thou whose name alone is JEAOVAH, art the most high over all the earth. Know ye that the LORD he is GOD, it is he that made us. Who|| shall not fear thee, O LORD, and glorify thy name, for thou only art holy. And¶ there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God, who worketh all in all. The** same God over all, is rich unto all that call upon him. Hear,tt O Israel, the LORD our GOD is ONE Lord. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but GOD is one. Wess know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. To us there is but one GOD, the Father, of whom are all things. For thou art great, and dost wondrous works: thou art God alone. But¶¶ the LORD is the true GOD, he is the living God, and an everlasting king. For*** there is one GOD, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Thouttt believest that there is one GOD; thou dost well."
Where the perfections peculiar to Deity are mentioned in scripture, the unity thereof is either
expressly taught, or necessarily understood; excluding in the plainest terms every idea of a plurality of Gods.
Revelation gives us a clear account of one Being who is ALMIGHTY and OMNIPOTENT.-" I* am the almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. I am God almighty; be thou fruitful and multiply. And they rest not day and night, saying, holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And I heard as it was the voice of a great multitude, saying, alleluia; for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. He doth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, what dost thou? Whatsoever¶ the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven and in earth, in the seas, and in all deep places. He** maketh all things, stretcheth forth the heavens alone, and spreadeth abroad the earth by himself. Upholdeth++ all things by the word of his power. God who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things that be not as though they were."
INFINITE. Which includes INCOMPREHENSIBLENESS, IMMENSITY, and OMNIPRESENCE. Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty to perfection? High as heaven, what canst thou do? Deeper than hell, what canst thou know? How little a portion is heard of him? The thunder of his power who can understand? Behold¶¶ God is great, and we
*Gen. xvii. 1. Ibid. xix. 6. ** Isa. xliv. 24. §§ Job xi. 7, 3.
know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out. Heaven, and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; who* hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with a span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance. He sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers;—that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in.-Great is the Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite; greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord."
ETERNAL.-Without BEGINNING, END, or SUCCESSION. "From everlasting to everlasting thou art God. Thou, O Lord, shalt endure for ever, and thy years shall have no end. One¶ day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
UNCHANGEABLE.-"I** am the Lord, and change not. The†† Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. The‡‡ same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.
There are many texts which point out the one divine Being to be ALL-SUFFICIENT, ABSOLUTELY GREAT, GOOD, and INDEPENDENT on any other being in his perfections and operations. He is the
Isa. xl. 12, 22. ↑ Jer. xxiii. 23, 24. ¶ 2 Pet. iii. 8.
† Psa. cxlvii. 5. and cxlv. 3.
|| Ibid. cii. 12, 27.
tt Jam. i. 7.
Creator of heaven and earth, with all that they contain-the preserver of all-by him all things consist-in him they live, move, and have their being he opens his hand liberally, and satisfies the desire of every thing that lives-his kingdom ruleth over all-he is the governor among the nations-the one law-giver, who is able to save and to destroy-there is none good but one, that is GOD.
Now, as it is abundantly evident from these texts, (and reason also teacheth us) that there is but one first cause, and ultimate end of all thingsone infinite, eternal, unchangeable Being-one almighty and omnipotent, whom no being can oppose or resist-one, who created and uniformly governs all things to one certain end-one, who possesses all these perfections which the scriptures attribute to Deity. I say, since there can be but one Being, who is the author of all things, and the ultimate end of them, it must follow, that there is but one divine Being, who is to be worshipped as the supreme object of all religious adoration-one, who is the chief good and centre of happiness-who is to be served and loved with all the heart, soul, and strength; and consequently but one God. Hence, every one who credits revelation, (with those who do not, I have no business at this time) may join with David in saying, "O* Lord, there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears."
1 Chron. xvii. 20.
THE next thing promised, was to shew that the scriptures teach us there is a DIVINE RALITY, and that it is limited to THREE.
Infinite wisdom and divine prudence, appear conspicuously in the revelation of the scripture character of GOD. A divine plurality is copiously pointed out, and at the same time the divine unity every where strictly taught and maintained.
This would have appeared with brighter evidence, if the translators of the bible into English had given us the words JEHOVAH and ELOHIM where they occurred, without any translation: or told the English reader, how he should know when the words LORD and GOD, which they have translated them by, had JEHOVAH and ELOHIM for their originals. But as they have given us these words, not only from JEHOVAH and ELOHIM, but from other original words of another meaning, the reader not only loses the peculiar beauties pointed forth in those words that LORD and GoD are taken from; but is bewildered in seeking the scope and meaning of many passages where they are promiscuously used: whereas, if a distinction had been preserved in the translation, or the words expressed from the original, and the sense of them once pointed out in the margin, contents, or otherwise, the old testament would have appeared a more intelligible book to the enquiring English reader, or hearer, than it has often done.
One, among many instances which might be given, is that text which should read, "Hear,* O
Deut. vi. 4.