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bless God that we have a more sure word of pro. ve constant recourse unto ice; and try every docind act as that directs us, Lay be for our good, and
is incomprehensible, he is
he has no need of a name Plato says he has no name. what he should say to the the name of him that sent in that I am; that is, The 35; nevertheless, there are ken from one or other of his consideration. chy* observes, some of them Jehovah, Lord, God: others
of him, or attributed to him, le respect the relation the divine to each other, as Father, Son, and [ God to the creatures; and which Ind not them, as Creator, Preserver, common to the three divine Persons, er, Spirit; and some peculiar to each, gotten, begotten, proceeding from the
some are figurative and metaphorical, sres, to whom God is compared ; and others nes, by which he either calls himself, or is called us and Apostles, in the books of the Old and
De Natura Dei, 1. 1. c. 4.
to themselves, which shew the work of the law written on their hearts; their consciences also bearing witness, and their though's the meun while accusing, or else excusing one another, Rom. ii. 14, 15. and so have some notion of the difference between moral good and evil; yet this is not so clear and extensive, but that some of the greatest moralists among them, gave into the most notorious vices.
v. Though in many cases reason taught them that certain vices were disagreeable to God; how to recor.cile him to them and recommend themselves to his favour, they were quite ignorant; and therefore took the most shocking and detestalle methods for it, as human sacrifices, and particularly, burning their innocent infants,
vi. Men may, by the light of nature, have some notion of sin as an offence to God, and of their need of forgiveness from him þut'then they cannot be certain of it from thence, or that even God will pardon sin at all, the sins of any man; and still less how this can be done consistent with his holiness and justice.
VII. The light of nature leaves men' entirely without the knowledge of the way of salvation by the Son of God. Some have thought that Socrates had some notion of it; who is made to say,* “ It is necessary to wait till some one teaches how to behave towards God and men.”
vill. The light of nature is far from giving any clear and certain account of the immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the body, and a future state of happiness and misery; as for the immortality of the soul, the heathens rather wished it to be true, than were fully satisfied of it. In what a low manner do they represent the happiness of the future state ; by walking in pleasant fie!ds, by sitting under fragrant bowers, and cooling shades, and by shelter from inclement weather; by viewing flowing fountains, and purling streams; by carnal mirth, feasting, music, and dancing: and the misery of it, by being bound neck and heels together, or in chains, or fastened to rocks, and whipped by furies, with a scourge of serpents, or doomed to some laborious service. But not the least hint is giyen of the presence of God with the one, nor of his absence
Plato in Alcibiad. 2. p. 459.
from the other. Let us therefore bless God that we have a better rule and guide to go by; "a more sure word of
pro. phecy to take heed unto :” let us have constant recourse unto it, as the standard of faith and practice ; and try every doctrine and practice by it, and believe and act as that directs us, and fetch every thing from it that may be for our good, and the glory of God.
OF THE NAMES OF GOD.
PROPERLY speaking, since God is incomprehensible, he is not nominable ; and being but one, he has no need of a name to distinguish him; and therefore Plato says he has no name. So when Moses asked the Lord, what he should say to the children of Israel, should they ask the name of him that sent him to them, he bid him say, I am that I am; that is, The eternal Being, the Being of beings; nevertheless, there are names of God in the scriptures taken from one or other of his attributes, which are worthy of consideration.
The names of God, as Zanchy* observes, some of them respect him as the subject, as Jehovah, Lord, God: others are predicates, what are spoken of him, or attributed to him, as holy, just good, &c. Some respect the relation the divine persons in the Godhead stand to each other, as Father, Son, and Spirit: others the relation of God to the creatures; and which are properly said of him, and not them, as Creator, Preserver, Governor, &c. some are common to the three divine Persons, as Jehovah, God, Father, Spirit; and some peculiar to each, as the epithets of unbegotten, begotten, proceeding from the Father and the Son : some are figurative and metaphorical, taken from creatures, to whom God is compared ; and others are proper, names, by which he either calls himself
, or is called by the prophets and Apostles
, in the books of the Old and
• De Natura Dei, I. 1. c. 4.
1. Elohim is the first name of God we meet with in Scripture, and is translated God. Gen. i. 1. and is most frequently used throughout the whole Old Testament; sometimes, indeed, improperly of creatures, angels, and men, and of false deities, Psal. viii. 5. and lxxxii. 1, 6. Jer. x. 11. but properly only of God.
The word Elohim may be derived from a word in the Ara. bic language, which signifies to worship, as is thought by many learned men*; and so is a fit name for God, who is the sole object of religious worship and adoration. It is a word of the plural number, and though it has a singular, which it some. times used, yet it is most frequently in this form; and being joined with a verb singular, as in Gen. i. 1. it is thoughtf to denote a plurality of persons in the unity of the divine essence.
11. Another name of God is El; and which may be observed in the word Beth-el, which signifies, The House of God, Gen. xii. 7, 8. Both the singular and plural, El Elim, the God of gods, are used in Dan. xi. 36. and the word is left untranslated in Mat. xxvii. 46. Eli, Eli ; my God, my God. It is ex. pressive of the power of God.
111. The next name of God we meet with is Elion, the most high, Gen. xiv. 18—22. S. Christ is called The son of the Highest, and the Spirit, the power of the Highest, Luke i. 32, 35. and which name God has either from his habitation, the highest heavens, Isai. Ivii. 15. or from his superiority, power, and dominion over all creatures, or from the sublimity of his nature and essence, which is out of the reach of finite minds, and is incomprehensible, Job xi. 7, 8. It is expressive of the supremacy of God.
IV. Another name of God is, Shaddai: under this name God appeared to Abraham, Gen. xvii. 1. and to which reference is had, Exod. vi. 3. we translate it Almighty in both places, and in all others. Some choose to render it sufficient,
* Stockii Clavis S. Ling: p. 61. Hottingeri Smegma Oriental: 1. 1. c. 8.p. 123. Schultens in Job i. 1. Noldius, No. 1093. Alting Dissert. 4. de plural. Elohim, p. 177. † Schindler. Lexic. Pentaglott. col 78.