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sistence, or person, can be nothing else but that most perfect essence by which God subsists by himself, in himself, and through himself. For neither substance nor subsistence make any addition to what is already a most perfect essence; and the word person in its later acceptation signifies any individual thing gifted with intelligence, whereas hypostasis denotes not the ens itself, but the essence of the ens in the abstract. Hypostasis, therefore, is clearly the same as essence, and thus many of the Latin commentators' render it in the passage already quoted. Therefore, as God is a most simple essence, so is he also a most simple subsistence.

III. IMMENSITY and INFINITY." 1 Kings viii. 27. “the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee.” Job xi. 8. “it is as high as heaven.... deeper than hell.” xxxvi. 26. “God is great, and we know him not.”

IV. ETERNITY. It is universally acknowledged that nothing is eternal, strictly speaking, but what has neither beginning nor end, both which properties are attributed to God, not indeed in each of the following passages separately, but as a plain deduction from the several texts when compared together. Job xxxvi. 26. “neither can the number of his years be searched out.” Gen. xxi. 33. “the everlasting God,” literally

9 Imago essentiæ ejus. Tremellius. Personæ illius. Beza. Substantiæ illius. Vulg. Erasmus, and Grotius. 1 See Locke On Human Understanding, Book II. chap. 17.

Thee Father, first they sung Omnipotent,
Immutable, Immortal, Infinite,
Eternal King.

Paradise Lost, III. 372. Another expression of great beauty is used in Samson Agonistes to denote the same attribute.

As if they would confine the Interminable,
And tie him to his own prescript.

307. 2 The disputes among the schoolmen respecting the proper definition of eternity could not have been forgotten by Milton. It appears therefore that at this time the famous definition of Boëthius was generally rejectedæternitas est interminabilis vitæ tota simul et perfecta possessio. According to these terms, God would not necessarily have been without a beginning. Compare Paradise Regained, IV. 389.

what kingdom,
Real or allegoric, I discern not,
Nor when, eternal sure, as without end,
Without beginning. Paradise Regained, iv. 389.


“ the God of old time, or ages.

Psal. xc. 2. « from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God, or from age to age.” cii. 12.“but thou, O Jehovah, shalt endure for ever.” v. 24. “thy years are through all generations.” v. 27. but thou art the

same, and thy years shall have no end." Psal. cxlv. 13. thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.” Isai. xliii. 10. “ before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” xliv. 6. “I am the first, and I am the last.” Habak. i. 12. “art thou not from everlasting,” literally, “from old time.”

The evidence of the New Testament is still clearer, because the Greek word signifies always existent.Rom. xvi. 26. “according to the commandment of the everlasting God.” 1 Tim. i. 17. “unto the King eternal. Rev. i. 4. “ from him which is, and which was, and which is to come.”

But all the words used in Scripture to denote eternity, often signify only of old time, or antiquity. Gen. vi. 4. “inighty men which were of old.” Job. xx. 4. “knowest thou not this of old,” or “from eternity, since man was placed upon earth ?" Isai. xlii. 11. “I have long time holden my peace.” David also seems to have understood that the term for ever only intimated a great while to come. 2 Sam. vii. 13. “I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever," compared with v. 19. “ thou hast spoken also of thy servant's house for a great while to come.” See also 1 Chron. xvii. 12, 14, 17. John ix. 32. “since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind.” Acts iii. 21.®“ which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.' 2 Tim. i. 9. and Tit. i. 2. “ before the world began : and in Heb. xi. 3. the word is also used to signify this world, where the Syriac_version translates it,—before the worlds were framed. From these and many similar texts it appears that the idea of eternity, properly so called, is conveyed in the Ilebrew language rather by comparison and deduction than in express words.

• Sic etiam Deus dicitur qui est, qui erat, et qui futurus est, Apoc. 1. 8. et iv. 8. Deo tamen ævum sive æternitas, non tempus, attribui solet : quid autem est ævum proprie, nisi duratio perpetua, Græce aiwv, quasi áci ūv, semper existens.” Artis Logicæ plenior Institutio, &c. Prose Works, VI. 221.


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V. The IMMUTABILITY of God has an immediate connection with the last attribute. Psal. cii. 27. “but thou art the same.” Mal. iii. 6. “I am Jehovah, I change not.” James i. 17. “with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

VI. His INCORRUPTIBILITY is also derived from the fourth attribute. Psal. cii. 26. “thou shalt endure.” Rom. i. 23. “ the uncorruptible God.” 1 Tim. i. 17. “ until the King immortal.”

VII. The OMNIPRESENCE of God, which is his next attribute, is the consequence of his infinity. Psal. cxxxix. 8, 9. “ if I ascend up into heaven, thou art there,” &c. &c. Prov. xv. 3. “the eyes of Jehovah are in every place.” Jer. xxiii. 24. “ do not I fill heaven and earth ?” Eph. iv. 6.“ who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Our thoughts of the omnipresence of God, whatever may be the nature of the attributes, 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 "978 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,” i Tim. vi. 15. There seems, therefore, an impropriety in the term of actus purus, or the active principle, which Aristotle applies to God, for

áp apro. incorruptibili. Tremellius. qui non corrumpitur. Beza. 5 Fortis omnipotens. Tremellius. Shaddai. Ilebr. qui sum sufficiens.

6 See Aristot. Metaph. lib. I. cap. ix. &c. lib. 14. cap. vi. Cudworth's Intellectual System, vol. ii. p. 322. Birch's Edit. Harris's Philosophical Arrangements, chap. xi. Waterland's Dissertation on the Argument à priori, Works, vol. iv. 395.


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thus the Deity would have no choice of aut, 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. It must be remembered, however, 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.”

IX. The ninth attribute, or the UNITY of God, may be considered as proceeding necessarily from all the foregoing attributes. Separate proof for it, however, is not wanting. Deut. iv. 35. “ Jehovah he is God, there is none else 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 for the purpose of impressing on the people of God that there was numerically one God and one Spirit, in the common acceptation of numerical unity. It was in truth fitting and highly agreeable to reason, that the first and consequently

7 Can he make deathless death? 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 potentiæ Dei objectum omne esse possibile, per possibile intelligo illud quod non implicat contradictionem ut fiat. Nam quod contradictionem implicat, ne Deus quidem ipse potest.' Curcellæi Institutio II. 2.

- See the whole fourth Chapter of Cudworth’s Intellectual System.

the greatest commandment, to which even the lowest of the people were required to pay scrupulous obedience, should be delivered in so plain a manner, that no ambiguous or obscure expressions might lead his worshippers into error, or keep them in suspense or doubt. Accordingly, the Israelites under the law and the prophets always understood it to mean, that God was numerically one God, beside whom there was none other, much less any equal. For the schoolmen had not as yet appeared, who, through their confidence in their own sagacity, or, more properly speaking, on arguments purely contradictory, impugned the doctrine itself of the 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 assigns to him at the same time the attributes of unity and plurality.

Proceeding to the evidence of the New Testament, we find it equally clear, 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. Christ having been asked, Mark xii. 28. 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

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 baba be plural in the IIebrew, it is used notwithstanding for the One God, Gen. i. 1. *72 din Psal. vii. 10. and lxxxvi. 10. 772) Dobx; and elsewhere. But nbx 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

but one.

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