Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

respects and includes the omnipresence and eternity of God; he is not bounded by space, and therefore is every where ; and he is not bounded by time, so he is eternal; that he is in this sense infinite appears from his 'spirituality and simplicity, before established: Immutability infers both omnipresence and eternity, the two branches of Infinity.

God is infinite in all his attributes; and which are indeed, himself, his nature, as has been observed, and are separately considered by us, as a relief to our mind, and helps to our better understanding it. His understanding is infinite, Psal. cxlvii

. 5. The same may be said of his knowledge and wis. dom, there is a depth, the apostle ascribes, to both; and which is not to be sounded by mortals, Rom. xi. 33. The power of God is infinite; with him nothing is impossible ; his power has never been exerted to the uttermost; he that has made one world, could have made millions. His goodness is infi. nite, nor can there be any addition to it; it is infinitely perfect

, my goodness extends not to thee, Psal. xvi. 2. God is infinite in his purity, holiness, and justice ; there is none holy as he is, Job. iv. 17, 18. Isai. vi. 2, 3. in short, he is infinite. ly perfect, and infinitely blessed and happy. We rightly give him titles and epithets of immense and incomprehensible, which belong to his affinity. He is immense, that is, unmca surable. As there is a height, a depth, a length and breadth in the love of God, immeasurable, Eph. iii. 18. so there is in

attribute of God, and consequently in his nature ; his immensity is his magnitude, and of his greatness it is said, that it is unsearchable, Psal. cxlv. 3. and therefore must be in. comprehensible. Sooner may all the waters of the ocean be put into a nut shell, than that the infinite Being of God should be comprehended by angels or men. The OMNIPRESENCE OF God, or his ubiquity, which as it is included in his infinity, must be strongly concluded from it; for if God is infinite, that is, unbounded with respect to space

place, then he must be every where : and this is to be proved from his power, which is every where. The omnipre.

every

and

sence of God may be argued from the distributions of his
goodness to all. And as he is every where by his power and
providence, so he is by his knowledge; all things are naked
and open to him, being all before him, and he present with
them; unless he was omnipresent, he could not be in whatso-
ever place the saints are worshipping in different parts of the
world; as in Europe, so in America. The presence of God
may be observed in a different manner; there is his glorious
presence in heaven; there is his powerful and providential
presence with all his creatures; and there is his gracious pre-
sence with good men: and all suppose his omnipresence.

This attribute is most clearly expressed in several passages.
of scripture as particularly in Psal. cxxxix. 7--10. See alike
enumeration of places in Amos ix. 2, 3. Another passage of
Scripture, proving the Omnipresence of God, is in Isai. Ixvi.
1. But no where is the Omnipresence of God more express.
ly declared than in Jer. xxiii. 23, 24. Nor is this disproved
by other passages of scripture, which may seem, at first sight,
to discountedance or contradict it: not such as speak of men's
departing and Aueting from his presence, as Cain and Jonak
are said to do, Gen. iv. 16. Jonah i. 3.- for Cain only went
from the place where he and the Lord had been conversing.
Jonah's A eing, was withdrawing himself from the service of
God; but he soon found his mistake, and that God was every
where, and could meet with him by sea, and by land. Such
that represent God as descending from heaven ; as at Babel,
Sodom, and on mount Sinai; only denotes some more than
ordinary manifestations of his presence, or exertion of his
power.

The ETERNITY of God belonge to his infinity; for as he is not bounded by space, so neither by time, and therefore eternal. He is often called the everlasting God, and the King eternal, Gen. xxi. 31. Deut. xxxiii, 27, yea, eternity itself, 1. Sam. xv. 29. and is said to inhabit it, Isai. lvii. 15. Eternity, properly so calles, is that which is without beginning and end; time is the measure of a creature's duration: eternity only be

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

longs to God. Psal. xc. 2. Eternity, is true of God, essen. tially considered, and in the sense explained, is to be proved; and that he is without beginning, without end, and without succession.

I That he is without beginning, or from everlasting , this is put by the way of interrogation, Hab. i. 12. and is strongly affirmed, Psal. xciii. 2, and may be proved,

1. From his nature and being; the existence of God is not arbitrary, but necessary; if arbitrary, it must be from his own will, or from the will of another; not from his own will, which would suppose him in being already; and then he must be before he existed, and must be, and not be, at the same instant: not from the will of another, for then that other would be both prior and superior to him, and so be God, and not he. If there was an instant in which he was not, then there was an instant in which there was no God; and if so, there may be one again in which he may cease to be ; for that which once was not, may again not be ; and this will bring us into the depih of athe, ism. . The eternity of God may be inferred from his immu, tability, which has been already established; those two go together, and prove each other, Psal. cii. 27. Moreover, God is the most perfect Being; which he would not be, if not eter, nal; for not to be or to have a beginning, is an imperfection ; and it is an humbling consideration to man, a creature of time, that he is but of yesterday, Job viii. 9. Add to this, that God is the first Cause of all things, and therefore must be eternal.

11. The Eternity of God may be proved from his attributes, several of which are said to be eternal, or from everlasting power, Rom. i. 20. knowledge, Acts, xv. 18. mercy, Psal. ciii. 17. and love, 1 John iv. 16.

111. That God is Eternal may be argued from his purposes, counsels, and decrees; which are said to be of old, tha: is, from everlasting, Isai. xxv. 1. they are expressly said to be eternal, Eph. ii. 11. and if they are eternal, then God, in

and by whom they are formed, must be eter. nal also. His choice of men to everlasting life, is eternal,

whom they are,

Rom. ix. 11. they were chosen by him from the beginning, £. Thess. ii. 13.

iv. The Eternity of God may be concluded from the cove. nant of grace, stiled, an everlasting covenant, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. Now if there was a covenant made by God from everlasting, and Christ was set up by him so early, as the Mediator of it; and there were blessings of grace, and promises of grace, made by him before time was, then he must be from everlasting,

v. It may be proved from the works of God in time : all creatures are the works of his hand; all things are from him, and so have a beginning; but he from whom they are, is from none, has no cause of his being, and therefore must be eternal. S creation is made a proof of his eternal power and Godhead, Rm. i. 20. creation proves his eternity, and eternity proves his deity. Hence Thales said, “ The most ancient of Beings is God."

II. That God is' to everlasting, and without end, may be proved from his spirituality and simplicity, already established. It may be argued from his independency; from his immutability, and from his dominion and government; he is, and sits King for ever; he is an everlasting King, his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation, and will never end, Jer. x 10. Psal. x. 16. He is not only called the living God, Jer. x. 10. but is often said to lide for ever and ever, Rev. iv. 9, 10. and x. 6.

Ill, The Eternity of God, or his being from everlasting to everlasting, is without succession, or any distinctions of time succeeding one another, as moments, minutes, hours, days, months, and years; the reasons are, because he existed before such were in being; Before the day was, I am he, Isai. xliii. 13. he is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever; these are all at once, and together with him; he is he which is, und was, and is to come, Heb. xiii. 8. Rev. i. 4. in his nature, ists with all the points of time, in time; but is unmoved and nnaffected with any, as a rock in the rolling waves of the sea, or a tower in a torrent of gliding water ; or as the gnomon or stile of a sun-dial, which has all the hours of the day surrounding it, and the sun, by it, casts a shade upon them, points at and distinguishes them, but the stile stands firm and unmoved, and not effected thereby: hence it is that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years ; and a thousand yeurs as one day, 2 Pet. iii. 8. In short, God is Eternity itself, and inhabits eternity; so he did before time, and without succession; so he does throughout time; and so he will to all eternity.

he co-ex

[ocr errors]

OF THE LIFE OF GOD.

rege

In order to apprehend somewhat of the life of God, for comprehend it we cannot, it may be necessary to consider life in the creatures, what that is ; and br rising from the lowest degree in life, to an higher, and from that to an higher still, we may form some idea of the life of God, though an inade. quate one. The sun, moon, and planets move, yet they are inanimate. The lowest degree of real life is in vegetables, in herbs, plants, and trees. In animals there is an higher degree of life. There is an higher degree still, in rational creatures, angels, and the souls of men. But what comes nearest to the life of God, that we can conceive of, is that which is in nerated persons, who have a principle of spiritual life, grace, and holiness, implanted in them, by the Spirit of God. This most resembles the life of God, especially, as it will be perfect and eternal in a future state, though it comes abundantly short of what is in God.

1. God is life essentially, it is his nature and essence, it is in and of himself. The Father has life in himself, John v. 26. and so has the son and Word of God, John i. 1, 4. and likes wise the Spirit, called, therefore, the Spirit of life, Rev. xi. 11. it is independent. God lives his own life ; he is El-Shaddai, God all sufficient, blessed, and happy in himself for evermore. The scriptures frequently speak of God as the living God, both in the Old and New Testament, Deut. v. 26. The living God is opposed to idols, lifeless and motionless, Jer. x. 10– 16. and to heroes, kings, and emperors, deified after their

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »