« PreviousContinue »
idence; from His treatment of all moral beings; and from the instructions of His word. (k)
Q. 16. What is meant by the justice of God ? and how is it proved ?
A. By his justice is meant a disposition to do no wrong to any, and a disposition to do right by every one, or the rendering unto all their due. It is remunerative and punitive, and is exercised in conferring rewards on the holy, and in inflicting punishment on the unholy, and respects the future state, as well as the present.
- That God possesses this perfection, may be argued from His other perfections; from the displays of His justice in the moral world, and from the Scriptures. (?)
Q. 17. What is meant by the mercy of God ? and how is it proved?
A. Mercy in God means a disposition to pity the miserable and to bestow good upon the ill-deserving.*
-That God possesses this perfection, we have abundant proof from the gift of His Son; from His forbearance with sinners ; from His provision of the means of salvation ; from His proffers of eternal happiness; and from express declarations of His word. (m)
Q. 18. What is meant by the truth of God ? and how is it proved ?
A. Truth in God means His perfect veracity of disposition, and the accordance of Ilis declarations
(k) Isaiah i. 4. They have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger.-Lev. xix. 2. Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.
() Ps. cxix. 137. Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments.
(m) Eph. ii. 4, 5. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ.
* Mercy is frequently used as synonymous with grace ; though in their strict and natural sense these words differ. mercy means good shown to the miserable, and grace, good shown to the ill deserving.
In this sense,
with the real state of things, His faithfulness in fulfilling His promises, in executing His threatenings, and in accomplishing His predictions. This perfection of God may be proved from His other moral perfections; from His conduct, and from His word. (n)
Q. 19. Is God incomprehensible?
A. He is not so to Himself; but he is so to us. His incomprehensibility arises solely from our incapacity to comprehend Him. God is infinite ; we are finite; and it is impossible that finite beings should comprehend the infinite God. He must, therefore, of necessity, be incomprehensible to us in His nature, purposes, and works. (0)
Q. 20. In what does the greatness of God consist?
A. In the infinitude of His perfections.
A. In His moral perfections. His natural perfections derive their real glory from His moral perfections, the former being exercised under the influence of the latter. (p)
Trinity. Q. 1. Do the Scriptures teach the doctrine of three Persons in the Godhead ?
A. They teach, that there is one God, numerically one in essence, and that, in this one God, there is a threefold subsistence or distinction, or three Per.
(n) Num. xxiii. 19. God is not a man, that he should lie, neither the son of man, that he should repent; hath he said, and shall he not do it ? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it
(0) Job xi. 7. Canst thou by searching find out God ? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?
(P) Exod. xxxiii. 18, 19. And he said, I beseech thee show me zhy glory. And he saiu, i wiži make aii my gooaness pass before thee; and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee, and will he gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
sons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, possessing numerically the same essence, and the same nerfections. This mode of existence is neculiar tn the great Jehovah. In the one self-existent Being, there is a something, which is the ground of His existing as a Trinity in Unity. (a)
Q. 2. Why is the term person used in reference to the Trinity in the Godhead ?
A. Because dist personal attributes or properties, and acts, are ascribed to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; and because the three personal pronouns I, Thou, and He are in Scripture applied to them. This lays the foundation for using the term, though its meaning, when applied to the Trinity, is not the same, in all respects, as when applied to men. But no better term can be found to convey our ideas of the threefold subsistence or distinction in the Godhead, and therefore it may and should be used.
Q. 3. Is the doctrine of the Trinity taught in the Sacred Scriptures only?
It is—they only reveal it. (a) Matt. xxviii. 19. Go ye, therefore, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of ihe Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.—2 Cor. xiii. 14. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.-1 John v. 7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one.—2 Thess. ïïi. 5. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.-Gen. i. 26. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.—Gen. iii. 12. And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us to know good and evil.-Gen. xi. 7. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.—Isaiah'vi. 8. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us ?-Isaiah xlviii. 16. And now the Lord God and his Spirit hath sent me.-Gal. i. 7. Grace be to you, and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ.--1 Pet. i. 2. Eloct according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ
Q. 4. Are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, each, truly and essentially Divine ?
A. They are. In the Sriptures, to each Person Divine names and titles are given, Divine attributes, prerogatives and works are ascribed, Divine offices are assigned, and Divine worship and honors are paid. Surely, then, the Father must be God, the Son must be God, and the Holy Ghost must be God. (6)
(b) Jude 1. Jude the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father.- John iv. 23. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him.- Isaiah ix. 6. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be
upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty. God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.-John i. 1. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.—John x. 13. I and my Father are one.—John xx. 28. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.-Heb. i. 8. But unto the Son he saith, *hy throne, o God, is forever and ever ; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.--1 John v. 20. And we know, that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true; and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.Rom. ix. 5. Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. Tit. ii. 13. Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the greai God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ.–Rev. 1. 8. 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.—Rev. xvii. 14. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them ; for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings.-Jer. xxiii. 6. And this is his name whereby he shall be called, the Lord our Righteousness.—Heb. xiii. 8. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.-Matt. xxviii. 18. And Jesus came, and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.–Mait. xviii. 20. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.- John xxi. 17. And he said unto him, Lord thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee.-Íleb. iii. 4. For every house is builded by some man, but he that built all things is God.Col. i. 16, 17. For by him were all things created, that
Q.5. Is God one and three in the same sense?
A. He is not. God is three in personality, but one in essence or substance—three in one respect,
are in heaven, and that are in carth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers ; all things were created by him, and for him. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.- Eph. i. 22. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.-Acts x. 42. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.John v. 23. That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.—Heb. i. 6. And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.-Rev. v. 13. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.-Acts vii. 59. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.-Acts v. 3, 4. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost?-Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.John iji. 5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.—John i. 13. Which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man. but of God.-2 Tim. iii. 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God.--2 Pet. i. 21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.–1 Cor. ii. 16. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you ?–1 Cor. vi. 19. What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in
you, have of God, and ye are not your own ?-John xvi. 13, How beit when he the Spirit of truth is coine, he will guide you into all truth, for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will show you things to come.Luke xii. 12. For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.-Luke iii. 22. And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him.--Heb. ix. 14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your con science from dead works to serve the living God -1 Cor. ir. 10. For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.-Ps. cxxxix. 7. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit, or whither shall I flee from thy presence ?--Job'xxvi. 13. By