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warranted to call the divine Being, God himself-I am Alpha and Omega-faith the Almighty.
3. The principle of divine knowledge then, or discoverable divine Being, is his purpose or will; in which purpose is included the idea of action, for purposing and doing cannot be two things with God; farther than his purpose, or voluntary action, nothing is or can be known of God; and, indeed, relative to light and knowledge nothing farther than this exists.-Our enquiry concerning the divine Being will go no farther than, as according to the ancient He-. brewism, God is his own workmanship.
4. In a fense unlimited, God iš invisible, and his works are unsearchable; for as no approach has been made, nor ever will be made io the discovery of God, farther than his pura pofe, fo neither is, or will there be made any discovery of his works farther than their state or disposition, which answers to his purpose; and
every attempt or desire to know more of God than his counsel or decree is fruitless and criminal.-But the purpose or will of God is discoverable, and is the subject of all đivine manifestation, and all rational enquiry and reflection.-This is the true godhead The intellectual sun, or principle of divine revelation and knowledge.--It is eternal life, the foul-satisfying object of the wife in heart. The man, who, through defire of this, having f_parated himself, findeth treasures; but he who desireth and seeketh it not, wrongeth his own soul.
DEFINITION. 1. The divine principle or purpose, stated to be the visibility of God, is a maiter of fact, and exists in voluntary action.-If the pur. pose or will of God be not a fact, and found in voluntary action, it is all unknown, and has been mistaken for the principle of knowledge: for it is certain that our sphere of knowledge does not extend in the least beyond matters of fact, This particular of the definition of the divine principle, with those also following, will be supported by the whole illustration of the theory.
2. The divine purpose or will is the subject of all the divine chara&ters. It is immense, eternal, unchangeable, almighty, sovereign, wise, holy, just and good. This has been universally acknowledged; and it will not be denied, that this is the only known subject of these characters.
3. The divine principle or purpose is of the nature of a covenant, or a matter of record between parties. This has been acknowledged as fully, perhaps, as any doctrine of divine revelation.
4. The divine purpose or will bears the personal characters, and exhibits voluntary agency. Being of the covenant nature, or a fact of record, the divine principle cannot be contemplated otherwise ihan in contemplating intelligent agency, and the full exer. cise of the perlonal capacities.
5. The divine principle or purpose presents a trinity, and it cannot be conceived of
otherwise than in conceiving of a trinity. It is so far from being true, that it is hard to conceive of a trinity in the godhead, that no conception can be formed of the eternal truth offered in the purpose of God, and a trinity not to be contemplated, and with the same clearness of light.
The difficulty in the minds of men of discovering the Holy Trinity, is nothing more or less than the difficulty of discovering the truth in a false principle. But, let the true principle be discovered and the trinity cannot be hid, for it belongs to the body of the godhead, and is inseparable from the discovery of the Divine Being, and is the light itself.' With the men of Athens we may know merely that there is a God, but without the knowledge of the divine will, which, in its nature presents necessarily a trinity of persons, we, like them, know not what God is.
Whatever darkness there be in our minds concerning the Trinity, there must neceffarily be the same concerning the whole purpose of God; and we can no farther conceive of the divine principle than we conceive of a trinity. In a covenant there is a covenanter, one who makes the covenant; a covenantee, one brought into the covenant; and a mutualinterest contracted for, And, in the
purpose of God each of these bear all the divine and personal characters, which it will be a part of this work clearly to illustrate.
In this place it will not be expected that we clear the subject, but only that we ftate and define the principle of divine knowledge.
And when an illustration of this principle is spoken of in the work before us, it should not be understood to mean that there is any obscurity in the subject itself. This is as luminous as the body of heaven; but that there is a necessity of dispelling, by particular application of the true principle, the otherwile impenetrable darknels of false principles, so that if any man have eyes to see he may see,
The arduous task before us is not so much to form as to throw away notions. The opinion that the Trinity is not so essentially the principle of revelation, but is something of God, more diftant, mysterious, and obscure, in its nature, distinct from that divine body of light which, like the natural sun, fhines with one indivisible blaze, is the most egregious and fatal error, and never could have existed and been propagated, had not some men allowed themselves to talk and write of the Divine Being with their eyes shut,
, and others shut their eyes in order to follow them.
6, The divine principle or purpose is one; and though it consists of certain distinct parts; yet it is apparent, when the subject is in view, that a fact of such a nature cannot exist without such parts being united together; and that the parts and the whole have a necessary dependance on each other. The diversty and unity of the will of God is an acknowledged truth-that there are divisions in the word or will of God is well un. derstood. 2 Tim. ii. 15. Whilst the divine characters it sustains, immensity, eternity,
&c. fully demonstrate its unity. These cha. racters can belong only to one principle.
The definition of the divine principle, as being an action or operation, requires a more particular statement:
1. Though with deference to the human mind, ever habituated to make the distinc. tion, and the common use of words; and also on account of the nature of the subject, it is requisite to state the divine principle both as a purpose and a work. It must ftill be remembered that the divine operation is. essentially one with the divine purpose; that it is contained in the definition given of the subject; and that no true definition can be given of the purpose of God, which does not contain the primary operation; for it is most evident that, in God, willing and doing are inseparable.
2. The works of God are manifold; where. ever we look, we behold operation succeeding operation in numberlels progressions ; but they who attentively consider the works of God, observe one first operation through which all others proceed. *This, in the di. vine system, is the subject which we are attempting to state and define.
3. As the thousands of successive undula. tions of the earth or water, from a shock or explosion, do all exist in the power of the shock or explosion; fo absolutely does all the immensity of the universe exilt in one divine operation.
4. The first divine operation being necesfarily coinprized in the divine purpose, in