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incomprehensible. Since one cannot comprehend how a
thing may endure eternally, unless there be in that duration
a succession fix)m one moment to another through intermediate
moments." He then asserts contrary to the usual doctrine,
that " Time consists of finite moments, Eternity of infinite ;
yea, Eternity seems really to be nothing else than Time
without a beginning or end, and all finite Time a small
portion only of Eternity." He lastly protests, that his object
was not to determine that Eternity is successive duration,
but to show that there are inexplicable diflSculties on either
side, and therefore that the mode of eternal duration is not
to be rashly and imperiously defined.®

The attribute under consideration is grounded on these
texts: "For thus saith the high and lofty One that in-
habiteth eternity : " ' " the King eternal, immortal, invisible ; " «
" Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no
man can approach unto ; " ^ " I am Alpha and Omega, the
beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and
which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." *

It is scarcely necessary in conclusion to do more than
barely notice the perverse opinions, which have sought to
communicate the glorious attribute of Eternity to other than
the Almighty. The most reasonable heresy is that of
Origen, who held with the later Platonists the eternity of the
world as an object-matter for the operations of Divine Power
and Wisdom. If, indeed, it be * heresy ' to aflBrm what seems
to be countenanced by Scripture, if not retrospectively, at
least prospectively. (Isaiah Ixv. 17, Rev. xxii.) Mohammed
has adopted it. The heavens and earth were not made for
instantaneous display, but GoD watches over His works f<yr
eternity. (Kordriy p. 260.) The Valentinian doctrine of the
emanation of ^ons from the Godhead was a distortion of the

• Limborch, L. ii. c. y. ${• ^» ^» * 1 T"^- *• ^7.

10. * Ibid. vi. 16.

' Isa. lyii. 15. • Rev. i. 8.



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90 OF THE EXISTENCE AND ATTRIBUTES OF GOD.

Catholic Verity concerning the Persons in the Sacred Trinity :
while the height of absurd impiety seems to have been at-
tained by the monastic followers of the Greek Palamas, who
held that the light, which shone on Mount Tabor in the
Transfiguration and was seen by the Apostles with their
bodily eyes, was uncreate and co-eternal with God. And, if
it is not superfluous to descend to the errors of individuals
who had no followers, Augustinus Steuchus Eugubiuus may
be joined with them ; who thought that the empyreal Heaven
was an eternal light, attending on Deity as light doth on the
sun, yet distinct from It.^
Fifthly. of §. 9. Closely allied to the attribute of Eternity is that of

menaity or (jOD s Immensitv or Omnipresence ; for as the former declares
Him to exceed our conceptions of time, so does the latter
proclaim Him unrestricted with regard to space.

Many texts of Scripture apply this attribute to God:
" Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit ? or whither shall I flee
from Thy presence ? If I ascend up into heaven. Thou art
there : if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there. If
I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost
parts of the sea ; even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy
right hand shall hold me." ^ " Am I a God at hand, saith
the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in
secret places that I shall not see him ? saith the Lord. Do
not I fill heaven and earth ? saith the Lord." '

A question is mooted, whether God is omnipresent virtually
by reason of His power and providence, or really by reason
of His Essence. I think it sufficient to cite one author only
in support of the former position. S. Clement of Alexandria
writes : " * I am a GoD at hand, saith the Lord ' ; afar off
indeed in Essence (He is), for how should the begotten be
ever near the Unbegotten ? but most near in power, whereby
all things are contained." " But this position is manifestly
erroneous ; for God is simple in Essence, not composite nor
made up of qualities ; so that where His Power is, there also
must needs be His Essence, seeing It is whole and indiscerp-

i See PeUyius, Tom. I. Lib. iiL * Jer. xxiii. 23, 24.

cap. 5. " 8. Clem. Alex. Strom. L. ii. p.

k Ps. cxxxix. 7—10. 264.



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OF THE EXISTENCE AND ATTRIBUTES OF GOD. 91

tible. Then, if we admit that God is omnipresent in Essence,
we are met by two classes of thinkers. The first tells us that
God is present everywhere like a point whole and indivisible.
But this opinion involves Pantheism, and destroys the ante-
cedent objection against idolatry ; for how should not every-
thing be divine, seeing the Divine Essence resides in or is
it ? and how can there be such a thing in reality as idolatry,
seeing everything is divine ? The second class, (of whom
Vorst is a type, who succeeded Arminius in the Professorial
Chair at Leyden in 1610,) maintains, that Omnipresence is
by the mode of infinite extension. Yet even here we stand
on perilous ground, for we seem thus to attach the idea of
quantity to GoD. We see our way sufficiently to affirm
many things ; but not so as to remove the difficulties with
which they are surrounded^

Two objections to the doctrine of God's Omnipresence
may be briefly stated and answered.

First, if He be Omnipresent, we must allow what a re-
ligious nature will shrink from with instinctive horror, that
He is present with evil and all its hideous and base accom-
paniments, even with Satan and his angels. To this it may
be answered, that it is a part of human infirmity to seek to
draw from the information, which Revelation supplies us
with, consequences, which would be logical, if the object of
our inquiries were of a piece with matters of everyday
experience. And even granting the force of the objection,
we may with S. Macarius " refer to the analogy of the sun's
shining on the ungodly as well as the godly in proof of the
Divine Majesty's remaining uninjured by the presumed con-
tamination. "For Wisdom is more moving than any
motion ; she passeth and goeth through all things by reason
of her pureness." •

The second objection is, that Heaven is constantly called
the * habitation' of GoD in Scripture, as in the prayer of
Solomon ; " Hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling place," p and
especially in Our Lord's Prayer. But the objection, if
valid, would go to prove the Divinity circumscribed by place

■ Horn. vii. xv. » 1 Eings viii. 43.

• Wisd. vii. 24.



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92 OF THE EXISTENCE AND ATTRIBUTES OF CK)D.

and therefore finite ; whereas Solomon distinctly saith^
" Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain
Thee."** We must therefore interpret such expressions as
condescensions to our infirmity, in order to lead us to form
the purest, most exalted, and least material notions possible
of the Majesty and Glory of God. In the same manner
light and fire, being the purest substances we know of, are
represented in connection with His appearances to men, as to
Moses in the Burning Bush ; '' and to the Elders of Israel
there appeared, " under His feet, as it were a paved work of
a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his
clearness." ■
Of the Com- §. ] 0. There are other attributes of God, which from their

Attributes : beiufif shared in however imperfect a desree by men are called

first, of the -, ° . , , _ _. \ . ° . / .

LUeofGoD. L/ommunicable. No created nature is simple or mcomposite
or one or immutable or eternal or infinite ; but it doth parti-
cipate in life, and knowledge or wisdom, and will, and power,
and the capacity of happiness. Of these Communicable
Attributes, I propose to treat only of Life, and Wisdom, and
Will ; for where these three exist supremely complete in one
Simple and Perfect Essence, Power and Beatitude are in-
volved in their co-existence and union. Where there is
perfect Life, there must be perfect Beatitude. For the notion
of happiness consists in the fiill play and harmonious opera-
tions of the vital functions of a composite being, animal as
well as intellectual. But in the case of the Divine Being,
who is simple, impartible, and incomposite, the Unity of
Essence excludes the possibility of defect or discord, and the
perfection of His Life implies complete Beatitude. And so
David addresses the Almighty; "Thou shalt make them
drink of the river of Thy pleasures : for with Thee is the
fountain of life."* So again with respect to Power; the
union of perfect Wisdom and a supreme Will with the very
source and fountain of Life supposes Omnipotence; for a
sovereign Will, actuated by perfect Wisdom, and proceeding
from the Life of life, lacks nothing ; but in GoD to know and
to will are not separate acts, as they are to our apprehension,

« lb. viii. 27. • lb. xxiv. 10.

' Exod. iii. 2. • Pa. xulyI 8, 9.



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OF THE EXISTENCE AND ATTRIBUTES OF GOD. 93

bnt indivisible generations of His perfect Life. Nor do the
Scriptures pause to describe His operations ; the expression
of His Will is considered sufficient. " For He spake, and it
was done ; He commanded, and it stood fast." *

Life is attributed to GoD in Scripture sometimes simply
in contradistinction to imaginary gods, as by S. Paul ; " how
ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true
GoD."^ But this is only in an inferior sense. The real
force of the attribute is to express our belief in God as the
cause of life and being to all creatures. The attribution of
Life is frequent and emphatic in the Bible : thus, " For I lift
up My hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever."^ " For as
the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the
Son to have life in Himself." * And as He is Life Itself, so
He is the cause of life to others. " In Him was life ; and
the life was the light of men." ^ " He giveth to all life, and
breath, and all things." * "I give thee charge in the sight
of God, who quickeneth all things." •

5. 11. The next step to Life is Knowledge : for, to begin of the
with our own experience, the first act of Life raised above or wisdom
the mere animal condition is the knowledge or consciousness
which the living creature possesses of its own existence. And
so in the Divine Nature the first act of GoD is the Knowledge
of Himself, so to say ; for, though there is no first or second
or succession of acts in Him Who is Perfect and Simple and
Incomposite, we are constrained to apply human conditions
metaphorically to That which transcends our thoughts. Thus,
S. Paul saith ; " For what man knoweth the things of a man,
save the spirit of man which is in him ; even so the things of
God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." ^ But as it
has been before stated that there is no composition of sub-
stance and qualities in the simplicity of the Divine Essence,
it follows that the Knowledge, Wisdom, Reason, or Word of
God, His Logos ^ inheres in It, not as a quality, but as a Per-
sonal subsistency (Tiroaraais). "Where shall wisdom be

■ Pa. xxxiiL 9. ' Jb. i. 4.

' 1 Thess. i. 9. • Acts xvii. 26.

' Dent, xxxii. 40. • 2 Tim. vi. 13.

« S. John V. 26. »» 1 Cor. ii. 11.



of God.



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94 OF THE EXISTENCE AND ATTRIBUTES OF GOD.

foDnd ? and where is the place of understanding ? Gk)D un-
derstandeth the way thereof, and He knoweth the place
thereof. For He looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth
under the whole heaven." ^ Of this Personal Wisdom Solo-
mon saith ; '^ The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His
way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlast-
ing, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When He
appointed the foundations of the earth ; then I was by Him,
as one brought up with Him : and I was daily His delight,
rejoicing always before Him ; rejoicing in the habitable part
of His earth ; and my delights were with the sons of men." ^
And S. Paul distinctly styles Christ, " the power of God,
and the wisdom of GoD." • And, because He is the author of
reason which distinguishes man from the brute creatures and
indicates the existence of soul. He is said by S. John to be
'' the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into
the world."'

I feel myself obliged here to anticipate what would pro-
perly come in, when we treat of the Logos or Second Person
in the Blessed Trinity ; because the description of Divine
Knowledge applies to Him strictly, and because He is the
medium whereby we know the Fountain of Divinity. This
will appear clearly, when the properties of Divine Knowledge
shall have been shown. First then. It is not a quality of GoD
or something adventitious to His substance, but His very
substance Itself. "With us prudence and wisdom and
counsel come and go as a habit, not however with GrOD ; for
with GoD nothing comes and goes, as He is invariable and
onchangeable, and we must not speak of accident in His
case." « Secondly, That Knowledge is not derived from its
objects, but GoD knoweth all things in and by Himself and
His own Nature. The consequence whereof is, thirdly,
that His Knowledge is simple, not diverse and manifold as
ours is: simple in nature, yet manifold in its operations.
Fourthly, It is immutable, being the substance of God ; and,
fifthly, it is the cause of all things ; for '^ in wisdom hast Thou

• Job xxvui. 12, 23. 24. ' S. John i. 9.

« ProTerbs viii. 22, 23, 30, 31. * S. Jo. Damasoen. De Orth.

• 1 Cor. i. 24. Fide, L. i. c. 14.



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OF THE EXISTENCE AND ATTRIBUTES OF GOD. 95

made them all " saith the Psalmist ; ^ and " All things were
made by Him ; and without EUm was not anything made that
was made." *

The knowledge of GoD as extending to all creation is in-
volved in the title of * Maker of all things/ but may be illus-
trated by His Providence in regard to Man the chief of
all His works ; so that what is found to apply to the greater
will the more forcibly cover the lesser class. The Lord
searcheth all hearts, and nnderstandeth all the imaginations
of the thoughts."^ "The heart is deceitftd above all things,
and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord
search the heart, and I try the reins, even to give every man
according to his ways, and according to the firuit of his
doings." *

It was the opinion of Averroes, that " the knowledge of
God is not universal ; because universal knowledge imports
power in respect of single items ; and there is no power in
His knowledge, as he supposes ; nor is it particular, as he
argues, because particulars are infinite, and not determined
by knowledge." ' The same sophistry is also attributed, but
uncertainly, to Aristotle."* The whole of Revelation supplies
a direct negative to this. For not only is God " a discemer
of the thoughts and intents of the heart,"" but " He telleth
the number of the stars ; He calleth them all by their names." **
His Providence descends to the fowls of the air and the lilies
of the field ; ^ His " Wisdom reacheth from one end to an-
other mightily: and sweetly doth she order all things;"**
" neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His
sight : but all things are naked and open unto the eyes of
Him with Whom we have to do." '

More wisely then than his brother-philosopher doth Avi-
cenna show that nothing comes to pass by chance but by
Divine providence, saying ; " Tou cannot tell what comes to

* Pa. civ. 24. ■ See Vasquez, in D. Tho. qu.

* 8. John L 8. ziv. art. 6. Greg. De Valentia, qu.
J 1 Chron. xrviii. 9. xiv. panct. 3.

^ Jer. xviii. 9, 10. See 1 Sam. ■ Heb. iv. 12.

xxi. 7. Ps. vii. 9 ; oxxxix. 23, 24. • Ps. cxlvii. 4.

Bom. Till 27. » 8. Matt. tI. 26, 28, 30.

* Bradwardin. De Causa Dei, « Wisd. viii. 1.
Lib. i. cap. 7, p. 186. ' Heb. iv. 13.



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96 OF THE EXISTENCE AND ATTRIBUTES OF GOD.

pass by chance, because reason induces you to judge that all
things proceed from government and disposition. For you
should know that God's care of them arises from this;
namely, that He first knoweth Himself, and that from Him-
self is 'the necessity of ordaining good, and that His Essence
is the cause of goodness and perfection, as things admit of it
and as it pleaseth Him/ " ■ " For God knoweth all things,"
saith Clement of Alexandria, " not only those that are, but
also those that shall be, and as everything shall be ; and fore-
seeing their particular motions. He overseeth and heareth all
things, and hath through eternity the thought of each par-
ticular ; • • for He seeth all things collectively and particu-
larly at one glance." *

As the Nature of God is simple, not admitting of variation
or succession of parts or of separate consciousnesses, it
follows that His Knowledge embraces all things without
distinction of Past, Present, or Future. Not that His Know-
ledge contradicts the successive and fragmentary knowledge,
which alone is compatible with the capacity of creatures
limited by time and space, but that It infinitely surpasses it.
He " calleth those things which be not as though they were "
saith S. Paul;* not as though they really co-existed with
Him from eternity, for then we should be admitting not only
the eternity of matter but also of all material as well as in-
tellectual forms, which is absurd ; but as existing in idea and
possibility in the Eternal Mind, not in actual operation.

The foreknowledge of GoD is in itself simple, nor doth it
vary according to its object-matter. But as we cannot treat
of it at all without borrowing from our own experience, it re-
ceives in the language of the Schools different names, accord-
ing as our intellect takes in notions of future things. For
things future are classed, first, as necessary, such as not only
proceed from a natural cause and determined to one object,
but also cannot be hindered by any natural opposition of
causes, as the sun's rising, eclipses, and the like ; secondly,
as possible or contingent, such as either seem to us to admit of

" Bradwardin. lib. i. cap. 9, p. * S. Clem. Alex. Strom. Lib. vi.

192. p. 498.

■ Rom. iv. 17.



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OF THE EXISTENCE AND ATTRIBUTES OF GOD. 97

proceeding from any free or natural cause but also may be
hindered by a like cause, as the occurrence of atmospheric
changes, rains, diseases, and the like; or such as depend
more immediately and evidently on freewill, as many human
actions/

In speaking then of the Divine Knowledge, it is termed
the hnowledge of simple intelligence^ that is, of truths possible
and necessary, even of infinite worlds not brought into exist-
ence. It is also called tlie hnowledge of vision, that is, of
actual existing truths, past, present, and future, even of the
world as created. A third mode is also proposed, namely,
God's knowledge of things contingent but never to take place,
which conditionally would take place some time or other;
although neither the condition itself nor its consequence is in
any wise to take place.^

The instances of this Scientia Media given from Scripture
are these. First, GoD foretold to David that the men of
Eeilah would deliver him into the hands of Saul : which
however did not take place, for David being warned of GoD
saved himself by retiring from Keilah.* Secondly, GoD
foretold to king Zedekiah by His Prophet Jeremiah, that, if
he went forth to the king of Babylon's princes, the Jews
should not deliver him into their hands nor mock him : which
also never took place.' But these instances are not well put,
for they relate to God's knowledge of the present though
secret purposes of men rather than to things future. But a
clear instance of prescience is aflForded by the woe denounced
by Our Lord on Chorazin and Bethsaida, because that they
sinned under conditions, which, had the same been offered to
Tyre and Sidon, would have produced repentance in those
sinners of ancient time : a saying, which can only be referred
to the Prescience and Omniscience of GoD.» For an exhaustive
account of these intricate questions, see Thomdike, Of the
Covenant of Grace, ch. xxiv., Just Weights, ch. xii. 9.

" See Vasquez, in D. Tho. qu, into the Schools in his book Be Can*
xiv. art. 13, cap. 1. cordia OratuB et Liheri Arbitrii.

" See Petavius, Dogmata Theol. « 1 8am. xxiii. 10 — 13.

Lib. iv. cap. 8. The Jesuit Molina ^ Jer. xxxviii. 17 — 20.

first introduced this Seientia Media ■ S. Matt. xi. 21. See Limborcb,

Lib. ii. cap. 8, §. 29.

H



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98 OF THE EXISTENCE AND ATTRIBUTES OP GOD.

2i^ofA?I §• ^^* Closely connected with the present subject is the

id^^ doctrine of Ideas ; and, as it has to a great extent affected
Theological speculations about the Divine Nature, it cannot
properly be omitted here. As Plato has generally the repu-
tation of having invented the term, we must seek for an ex-
planation of its primary meaning in his writings. Regarding
all things as in a state of change, he argued that there must
be somewhere an enduring type and pattern of what was so
imperfectly developed in the visible universe : " that there
is the species that possesses identity, that is unbegotten and
imperishable, that neither admits into itself aught from else-
where nor itself enters into something else in any direction,
but is invisible and otherwise beyond sense ; namely, That
which thought only can perceive." • These forms or ideas
he considered distinct from the Divine Essence; and his
follower Philo went a step ftirther, and thought that, as an
architect draws his plans before he attempts the actual
building of any structure, so GoD created these types or ideas
before He created the material world.^ Elsewhere, he speaks
of these Ideas, as the Rabbins do of the Sephiroth. Moses is
introduced as thus addressing GoD ; " But I consider Thy
glory to be the powers that attend Thee, the comprehension
of which up to the present escaping me causes no small
longing for to know them." And GoD answers ; " The powers
which thou seekest after are invisible, and objects of intellect
in every sense, as belonging to Me the Invisible and Intelligi-
ble." ® From the Platonic school this phraseology was brought
into the Christian Church ; and from the time of the Pseudo-
Dionysius the Areopagite downward it became usual %)
designate certain abstract forms or ideas, aifToetvaiy avTo^cotfy
avTo<TO(f>ia9 avroayaOorfffy avroBtKaioavvt), and so forth ; the
writers who do so not intending to express any concrete
separate entities, but simply the Divine Essence, as being
Itself very Being, Life, Wisdom, Goodness, Righteousness.
If the Gnostics made these Ideas to be constituent members
of the Divine Pleroma, we need not, with Thomdike, charge

• riftto in Tinueo, § 26 Ed. ^ Philo, De Mandi Opifido, T. I.

Bekk. p. 4. Bd. Mangey.

• De Monarchia, T. II. p. 218.



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OF THE EXISTENCE AND ATTRIBUTES OP GOD. 99

Plato and Pythagoras with ' familiarity with unclean spirits.'
(Works, Bk. m. c. xxvi. p. 621.)

It is necessary then to show what passages of Scripture
seem to approach this doctrine of Ideas. Moses was per-
mitted to see by some miraculous means the Divine Ideas,
of which the tabernacle service was but a shadow and a tran-
script. "Look that thou make them after their pattern,
which was showed thee in the mount." * And S. Paul sup-
plies the comment on the text : " It was therefore necessary
that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified
with these ; but the heavenly things themselves with better
sacrifices than these." • Now as the Divine Essence excludes
the notion of divisible thoughts and ideas from its perfect
Unity and Simplicity, it follows that there is but one Idea,
one Reason in GoD, Which is none other than the Son by
Whom the Father " made the worlds ; being the brightness
of His glory, and the express image of His Person, and up-
holding all things by the word of His power." ' " All things
were made by Him ; and without Him was not anything made
that was made." « In Him therefore as the Personal Image
of the unseen Father, by whom the Godhead manifests Itself
in operation, converge all created intelligences as in their
True Archetypal Idea ; for " in Him was life ; and the life
was the light of men." ^ He is " that perfect Word, to Whom
nothing is wanting, and a certain Art of the Almighty and
Wise God, full of all living and immutable reasons ; and all
things are one in Him, as He is One in Him with Whom He
is One. In Him GoD knoweth all things which He made by
Him ; and therefore when times come and go, nothing comes
or goes from the knowledge of GoD. For these things that



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