« PreviousContinue »
City, and the Royal Feast. These Shadows are useful to us whilst we are in the Body; but we shall know him in Heaven after a more perfect Manner.
Q. 5. What may be inferred from the Spiritual Nature of God?
A. Hence learn, that it is both finful and dangerous to frame an Image or Picture of God. Who can make an Image of his Soul? which yet is not so perfect a Spirit as God is? And as it is finful to attempt it, so it is impossible to do it; Deut. iv. 15, 16. Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye faw no Manner of Similitude on the Day that the Lord spoke 10 you in Horeb out of the unidst of the Fire; left ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven Image, the Similitude of any Figure, &c.
Q. 6. What else may be inferred from thence ?
A. That our Souls are the most noble and excellent Part of us, which most resembles God, and therefore our chief Regard and Care should be for them, whatever becomes of
the vile Body, Mat. xvi. 26. For what is a Man profited if he - gain the whole World, and lose his own Soul? Or what mall a Man give in Exchange for his Soul?
Q. 7. What further Truth may be inferred hence?
A. That Men should beware of spiritual Sins, as well as of gross and outward Sins; for there is a Filthiness of the Spirit, as well as of the Flesh, 2 Cor. vii. 1. Let us cleanse ourselves from all Filthiness of Flesh and Spirit; and as God Sees them, so he greatly abhors them, as Sins that defile the noblest Part of Man, on which he stamped his own Image.
Q. 8. What also may be inferred from hence ?
A. Hence we learn, that spiritual Worship is most agree*** able to his Nature and Will; and the more spiritual it is,
the more acceptable it will be to him, John iv. 24. God is a Spirit, and they that wor, hip him, muft worship him in Spirit vand in Truth. Externals in worship are of little Regard with God; as places, Habits, Gestures, &c.
First, To fuperftitious Men, Ifa. lxvi. 1, 2, 3.
Secondly, To Children that say a Prayer, but mind not to. whom, nor what they say.
Of God's Infinity. Queft. 1. HAT is the Sense and Meaning of this
Word [Infinity :] A. It signifies that which hath no bounds or Limits, within which it is contained, as all created 'Things are.
Q. 2. In how many Respects is God infinite ? A. God is infinite or boundless in three Refpects. First, In Respect of the Perfection of his Nature; his Wisdom, Power, and Holiness, exceed all Measures and Limits; as i Sam. ii. 2. There is none holy as the Lord, &c. Secondly, In Respect of Time and Place; no Time can meafure him, Ifa. lvii. 15. Thus faith the high and lofty One, that inhabiteth Eternity, 1 Kings, viii. 27. Behold the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain thee, how much less this House which I have built? The Heaven of Heavens contains all created Beings; but not the Creator. Thirdly, in Respect of his Incomprehensibleness, by the Understanding of all Creatures, Job xi. 7. Canft thou by searching find out God? cant thou find out the Almighty to Perfection?
Q. 3. If God be thus infinite, and no Understanding can comprehend him, how then is it faid in 1 John iii. 2. We hall see him as he is ?
A. The Meaning is not, that glorified Saints shall comprehend God in their Understandings; but that they shall have a true apprehensive Knowledge, though not a comprehensive Knowledge of God: And that we all fee him im• mediately, and not as we do now thorough a Glass darkly.
Q: 4. What is the first Lesson to be learnt from God's Infinity ?
A. That therefore Men should tremble to fin even in Secret, Pfal. cxxxix. 11. If I say, surely the Darkness fall cover me, even the Night soall be Light about me.
Q. 5. What is the second Instruction from hence ?
A. The second Instruction is, That there is an infinite Evil in Sin, objectively considered, as it is committed against an infinite God; and therefore it deserves eternal Punishment; and no Satisfaction can possiblybe made for it, but by the Blood of Christ, 1 Pet. i. 18. Forasmuch as ye know that
je were not redeemed with corruptible Things, as Silver and Goldbut with the precious Blood of Chrift.
Q. 6. What is the third Instruction from God's Infinity?
A. The third Instruction is, That those who are reconciled to God in Christ, need not fear his Ability to perform any Mercy for them; for he is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think, Eph. iii. 20. And those that are not reconciled, are in a very miserable Condition, having infinite Power set on work to punih them,-2 Thef. i. 9. Who hall be punished with everlasting Destruction from the Presence of the Lord, and from the Glory of his Power.
Q. 7. What is the fourth Instruction from God's Infinity?
A. That no Place can bar the Access of gracious Souls to God.
They are as near him in a Dungeon, as when at Liberty; and that he knows their Thoughts, when their Tongues cannot utter them.
. 1. ?
. HAT is it to be eternal as God is?
A. The Eternity of God is, to be without Beginning and without End. Pfal. xc. 2. From everlasting to everlasting thou art God.
Q. 2. How doth God's Eternity differ from the Eternity of Angels, and humane Souls?
A. It differs in two Respects; FirA, In this, That tho? An.. gels, and the Souls of Men shall have no End; yet they had à Beginning, which God had not; Secondly, Our Eternity is by Gift from God, or by his Appointment; but his Eternity is necessary, and from his own Nature.
Q. 3. In what Sense is the Covenant called an everlasting Covenant ?
A. The Covenant is called an everlasting Covenant, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. because the Mercies of it, coveyed to Believers, as Pardon, Peace, and Salvation, are Mercies that thall have no End.
Q.4. In what Sense is the Gospel everlasting?
6. because the Effects thereof upon the Souls it fanctifies, will abide in them for ever.
Q. 5. In what Sense is the Redemption of Christ called the eternal Redemption?
A. The Redemption of Christ is called eternal Redemption in Heb. ix. 12. because those whom he redeems by his Blood, fall never more come into Condemnation, John k. 24. He that beareth my Word, and believeth on him that fent me, hath everlasting Life, and
shall not come into Condemnation, but is passed from Death to Life.
Q. 6. Why is the last Judgment of the World by Chrift, called eternal Judgment?
A. The laft Judgment is called eternal Judgment, not becaufe God judged men from Eternity, or because the Day of Judgment Tall last to Eternity; but because the Consequences of it will be everlasting Joy or Misery to the Souls of Men; therefore it is called eternal Judgment, Heb. vi. 2.
Q. 7. What may wicked Men learn from the Eternity of God?
A. Hence wicked Men may see their own Misery in the Perfection of it; that they will have an eternal Enemy to avenge himself
them for ever, in the World to come, 2 Theff. i. 9. Who fall be punished with everlasting Deftruction, from the Presence of the Lord.
Q. 8. What may good Men learn from it?
A. That their Joy and Happiness will be perfect and endlefs, who have the eternal God for their Portion, Psalm xvi. 11. In thy Presence is Fulness of Joy, at thy right Hand there are pleasures for evermore. Q. 9; What
may all Men, good and bad, learn from it? A. All Men may learn three Things from the Eternity of God. First, That their Life is a Thing of Nought, compared with God, Psal. xxxix. _5. Mine Age is nothing before ihee. Secondly, That Sins, or Duties, long since committed, or performed, are all present before God. Thirdly, That God can never want Opportunity to do his work, and carry on his Designs in the World. All Time is in the Hand of the eternal God, Rev. xii. 12. The Devil is come down unto jou, baving great Wrath, because he knoweth that be bath but a bort Time.
Of God's Unchangeableness. Queft. 1.
HAT Scriptures plainly affert this Attri
bute? A. Exod. iii. 14. And God said unto Mofes, I AM, that I AM, Dan. vi. 26. For he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, Jam. i. 17. With whom is no Variableness, neither Shadow of Turning.
Q. 2. Whence doth God's Immutability flow? A. The Immutability of God flows from the Perfection of his Nature, to which nothing can be added, and from which nothing can be taken away. If any Thing could be added to make him better than he is; or if any Thing could be taken away, to make him less good than he is, then he were not the chiefes Good, and consequently not God.
Q. 3. By what other Argument prove you his Immutability
A. I prove it from the Eternity of God. If God be eternal, he mult be immutable; for if he change by Addition of something to him he had not before, then there is something in God which he had not from Eternity: And if he change by Diminution, then there was something, in God from Eternity, which now is not; but from everlasting to everlasting, he is the fame God, and therefore changeth
Q. 4. But it is said, God repents, and Repentance is a Change; how then is he unchangeable, and yet repents ?
A. 'In those Phrases God speaks to us, as we must speak of, and to him"; not properly, but after the Manner of Men ; and it only notes a Change in his outward Providence, not in his Nature.
Q. 5. But how could God become Mån, and yet no Change made on him?
A. There is a twofold Change, one active, made by God, that we allow. He made a Change upon our Nature by uniting it to Chrift; but a paffive Change made upon God, we deny. The Nature of Man was made more excellent; but the divine Nature was still the same.