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Jer. xxiii. 24. do not I fill heaven and earth? Eph. iv. 6, who is abore all, and through all, and in you all. Our thoughts of the omnipresence of God, whatever may be the nature of the attribute, should be such as appear most suitable to the reverence due to the Deity.
VIII. OMNIPOTENCE. 2 Chron. xx. 6. in thine hand is there not power and might? Job xlii. 2. I know that thou canst do every thing. Psal. xxxiii. 9. he spake, and it was done. cxv. 3. he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. See also cxxxv. 6. Matt. xix. 26. with God all things are possible. Luke i. 37, with God nothing shall be impossible. Hence the name of El Shaddai, applied to the Deity, Gen. xvii. 1. I am the Almighty” God, literally, sufficient. Ruth i. 21. the Almighty hath afflicted me. Jer. xxxii. 18. the Great, the Mighty God, the Lord of Hosts. Gen. xiv. 22. Jehovah, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth. Thus also the name is frequently occurs. In the New Testament, the Lord Almighty, 2 Cor. vi. 18, and Rev. i. 8. the only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 1 Tim. vi. 15. There seems, therefore, an impropriety in the term of actus purus, or the active principle, which Aristotle" applies to God, for thus the Deity would have no choice of act, but what he did he would do of necessity, and could do in no other way, which would be inconsistent with his omnipotence and free agency. But it must be observed, that the power of God is not exerted in things which imply a contradiction.’ 2 Tim. ii. 13. he cannot deny himself. Tit. i. 2. God, that cannot lie. Heb. vi. 18. in which it was impossible for God to lie.
* Fortis omnipotens. Tremellius. Shaddai. Hebr. qui sum sufficiens.
* See Aristot. Metaph. lib. 1. cap. ix. &c. lib. 14. cap. vi. Cudworth's Intellectual System, Vol. II. p. 322. Birch's Edit. * Can he make deathless death 2 That were to make
Strange contradiction, which to God himself
Impossible is held; as argument
Of weakness, not of power. Paradise Lost, X. 798. “Cum autem dico potentiae Dei objectum omne esse possibile, per possibile intelligo illud quod non implicat contradictionem ut fiat. Nam quod contradictionem implicat, ne Deus quidem ipse potest. Curcellaei Institutio II. 2.
IX. All the preceding attributes may be regarded as necessary causes of the ninth attribute, the UNITY of God; of which, however, other proofs are not wanting. Deut. iv. 35. Jehovah he is God, there is none also beside him. v. 39. Jehovah he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else. vi. 4. hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah. xxxii. 39. I, even I, am he, and there is no God with me. 1 Kings viii. 60. that all the people of the earth may know that Jehovah is God, and that there is none else. 2 Kings xix. 15. thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. Isai. xliv. 6. beside me there is no God. v. 8. is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any. xlv. 5. I am Jehovah, and there is none else; there is no God beside me. v. 21. there is no God else beside me.....there is none beside me. v. 22. I am God, and there is none else—that is, no spirit, no person, no being beside him is God; for none is an universal negative. xlvi. 9. I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me. What can be plainer, what more distinct, what more suitable to general comprehension and the ordinary forms of speech in order that the people of God might understand that there was numerically one God and one Spirit, in the common acceptation of numerical unity?
For it was fitting and highly agreeable to reason, that what was the first and consequently the greatest commandment, scrupulous obedience to which was required by God even from the lowest of all the people, should be delivered in so plain a manner, that nothing ambiguous or obscure in its terms could lead his worshippers into error, or keep them in suspense or doubt. And thus the Israelites under the law and the prophets always understood it to mean, that God was numerically one God, that beside him there was none other, much less any equal. For those disputants of the schools had not yet appeared, who depending on their own sagacity, or rather on arguments of a purely contradictory tendency, cast a doubt upon that very unity of God which they pretended to assert. But as with regard to the omnipotence of the Deity, it is universally allowed, as has been stated before, that he can do nothing which involves
a contradiction; so must it also be remembered in this place, that nothing
can be said of the one God, which is inconsistent with his unity, and which implies at the same time the unity and plurality of the Godhead.
Proceeding to the evidence of the New Testament, we find it equally clear, in so far as it goes over the former ground, and in one respect even clearer, inasmuch as it testifies that the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is that One God. Mark xii. 28, Christ having been asked, which was the first commandment of all, answers, v. 29. from Deut. vi. 4.—a passage quoted before, and evidently understood by our Lord in the same sense which had been always applied to it—hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. To which answer the scribe assented, v. 32. well, Master, thou hast said the truth; for there is one God, and there is none other but he. John xvii. 3. this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God. Rom. iii. 30. seeing it is one God. 1 Cor. viii. 4. we know....that there is none other God but one. v. 6. to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things. Gal. iii. 20. a mediator is not a mediator of one; but God is one. Eph. iv. 6. one God and Father of all. 1 Tim. ii. 5. there is one God. So too, though Dros be plural in the Hebrew, it is used notwithstanding for the One God, Gen. i. 1. NJ; pros. Psal. vii. 10. and lxxxvi. 10. to-Dros ; and elsewhere. But Fox is also used in the singular, Psal. xviii. 31. who is God save Jehovah, or who is a rock save our God? which verse is sufficient to show that the singular and plural of this word both mean the same thing. More will be found on this subject in the fifth Chapter.
Hitherto those attributes only have been mentioned which describe the nature of God, partly in an affirmative sense, partly negatively, as where they deny the existence of those imperfections in the Deity, which belong to created things, as, for instance, when we speak of his immensity, his infinity, his incorruptibility. The succeeding attributes are such as show his divine power and excellence under the ideas of VITALITY, INTELLIGENCE and will.
I. VITALITY. Deut. xxxii. 40. I live for ever, whence he is called the living God. Psal. xlii. 2. and in many other passages. John v. 26. the Father hath life in himself.
II. The attribute of om NISCIENCE refers to the INTELLIGENCE of God. Gen. vi. 5. God saw ..... every imagination of the thoughts of his heart. Gen. xviii. 14, is anything too hard for Jehovah 2 1 Chron. xxviii. 9. Jehovah searcheth all hearts. 2 Chron. vi. 30. thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men. Psal. xxxiii. 15. he fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works. cxxxix. 2. thou understandest my thought qfar aff, v. 4. for there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Jehovah, thou knowest it altogether. cxlvii. 5. his understanding is infinite. Job xi. 7–9. canst thou by searching find out God? &c. xxvi. 6. hell is naked before him. Prov. xv. 11. hell and destruction are before Jehovah; how much more then the hearts of the children of men. xvi. 2. Jehovah weigheth the spirits. xvii. 3. Jehovah trieth the hearts. Isai. xl. 28. there is no searching of his understanding. Jer. xvii. 10. I Jehovah search the heart, I try the reins, whence, Acts i. 24. he is called the Lord which knoweth the hearts of all men. Jer. xxiii. 23, 24. am I a God at hand, saith Jehovah, and not a God afar off? can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him 2 Heb. iv. 13. all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him, whence he is called the only wise, Dan. ii. 10. Rom. xvi. 27. 1 Tim. i. 17. So extensive is the prescience of God, that he knows beforehand the thoughts and actions of free agents as yet unborn, and many ages before those thoughts or actions have their origin. Deut. xxxi. 16. behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, &c. v. 20, 21. then will they turn unto other gods, &c. for I know the imagination which they go about even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware. 2 Kings viii. 12. I know the evil that thou will do unto the children of Israel.
III. With reference to the will, God is, 1". INFINITELY PURE AND HOLY. Exod. xv. 11. glorious in holiness. Josh. xxiv. 19. he is an holy God. 1 Sam. ii. 2. there is none holy as Jehovah. vi. 20. before this holy God Jehovah. Job xv. 15. the heavens are not clean in his sight. Isai. vi. 2, 3, he covered his face .... and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts. xl. 25. saith the Holy One. xli. 20. the Holy One of Israel. Habak. i. 13, thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil.
2. He is Most GRACIOUs. Exod. xxxiv. 6. merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. See also Psal. lxxxvi. 15. and ciii. 8. v. 4, neither shall evil duell with thee. xxv. 6. thy lovinghindnesses .... have been ever of old ciii. 11. great is his mercy toward them that fear him. v. 17. the mercy of Jehovah is from everlasting to ererlasting. cxix. 68. thou art good, and doest good. Lam. iii. 22. it is of the mercies of Jehovah that we are not consumed. Matt. xix. 17. there is none good but one, that is, God. Luke vi. 36. be ye merciful, as your Father also is merciful. 2 Cor. i. 3. the Father of mercies. Eph. ii. 4. rich in mercy. 1 John iv. 8. God is love. And thus again God may be proved to be immutable, from the consideration of his infinite wisdom and goodness; since a being of infinite wisdom and goodness would neither wish to change an infinitely good state for another, nor would he be able to change it without contradicting his own attributes.
3. As God is true by nature, so is he also TRUE and FAITH FUL in respect of his will. Psal. xix. 7. the testimony of Jehovah is sure. John vii. 28. he that sent me is true. Rom. iii. 4. let God be true, but every man a liar. 2 Tim. ii. 13. if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful. 1 Cor. i. 9. and x. 13. God is faithful. Rev. vi. 10. O Lord, holy and true.
4. He is also JUST. Deut. xxxii. 4. all his ways are judgement, a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. Psal. xxxvi. 6. thy righteousness is like the great mountains. cxix. 137, righteous art thou, O Jehovah, and upright are thy judgements. Isai. v. 16. God.... shall be sanctified in righteousness. It is not requisite to discuss at large in