Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

with reference to his Effence, but his Generation, whereby he must be fuppos'd to receive his Being from his Father, who alone hath it of himself, and is the Original of all Power and Effence in the Son. Hence we find Chrift often acknowledging, that he is from him, and that he liveth by him, generally owning all things as receiv'd of him: The Son (faith he) can do nothing of himself, but what he Seeth the Father do; having no Power of himself, but what the Father gave him; and elsewhere, As the Father hath Life in himself, fo hath be given to the Son to have Life in himself; John 5. 26. Both have it (as one obferves upon the Place) but with this Difference, the Father giveth it, and the Son receiveth it.

The Preheminence then of the first Perfon in the Trinity, is, to be of none but himself; whereas the Order of the other Persons befpeaks their having their Being from him: and as 'tis contrary to the Nature and Notion of a Son to be of himself, fo 'tis a high Derogation from the Honour of the Father, to fuppofe him to be of any other.

Thus is God the eternal Father of his own eternal Son, who was before all Worlds, by an ineffable Generation, begotten of him: Which being a great Myftery, is to be receiv'd as the Object of our Faith, and not to be scan'd by the narrow Meafures of our fhallow Reason. From whence I proceed,

Laftly, To the Duties that may be infer'd from this Relation. And,

1. From that Relation of Father, which God bears to us, we may learn filial Fear, Honour, and Obedience to him. A Son honoureth his Father, being both afraid and unwilling to offend him; If I then be a Father, where is my Honour? if a Mafter, where is my Fear? faith the Lord of Hofts; Mal. 1. 6. Moreover, this Relation challenges our Love, Reverence, and Obedience; Children obey your Parents (faith the Apoftle) as 'tis meet in the Lord: and elfewhere, We have had Fathers in the Flesh, and we did them Reverence. Thefe are Natural Duties, which every one must own, yea, they are Debts, which the common Reafon of Mankind teaches them to pay; and if this be to be done to Earthly Parents, how much more to our Father who is in Heaven?

2. This Relation teaches us to imitate God, and to become as like him as we may. Children, we know, not only refemble their Parents in their Features and Complexion,

but

but commonly imitate them in their Behaviour and Actions: Be followers of God (faith the Apoftle) as dear Children: Eph. 4. 1. Let us fet him before us as our Pattern, and frame our Lives both by his Precepts and Example. This Leffon the Holy Scripture frequently inculcates upon us, willing us to be holy as he that hath call'd us is holy, to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect, and merciful even as he is merciful.

3. This Relation teaches us to put our whole Trust and Affiance in God. A Child (you know) is not wont to dif truft the Love of his Father, but cafts himself upon the Care and tender Affection of his Parents; how much more fhould we rely on our heavenly Father, who is never deaf to the Wants and Petitions of his People? For if Earthly Parents know how to give good Gifts to their Children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give good Things to them that ask them?

4. We learn from hence patiently and thankfully to bear our Heavenly Father's Correction: for he never corrects us but for our Good; he never chaftens any out of Paffion, or for his Pleasure, but merely for their Profit, that they may be Partakers of his Holinefs: his Chaftifements proceed only from the Love and Bowels of a Father, and yield the peaceable Fruits of Righteousness to them that are exercis'd therewith. In fhort,

If God be our Father, we may learn to demean ourselves worthy of, and futable to that Relation. This should infpire us with noble Thoughts, and encourage us to nothing but brave and worthy Undertakings: confidering the Dignity of our Defcent, we fhould raife our Minds above all mean and bafe Projects and Defigns, and not do any thing unworthy our near alliance unto Heaven.

Laftly, if God be the Father of our Lord Jefus Chrift, let us learn thence to admire and adore the Power of the Divine Majefty, acknowledging the Trinity, and worshipping the Unity: And becaufe we cannot thorowly fathom this Myftery, nor understand how he that was from Eternity fhould be begotten, let us veil our Reafon to Faith, and admire and believe what we cannot comprehend.

DISCOURSE V.

REV. i. 8. latter part.

The Almighty. The foregoing Words are, I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, faith the Lord; which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

W

E are yet upon the first Article of the Creed, where having explain'd the Act of Believing, contain'd in those first Words, I believe; together, with the Object of it, in thofe, I believe in God: I came to the three Properties attributed to him as the first Person in the ever-bleffed Trinity; which being three great Truths affented to in this Article, must be particularly handled. As, First, The near Relation he bears to Chrift, and to all Mankind, contain'd in that Word, The Father; of which in the last.

Secondly, the boundless Extent and Immenfity of his Power, in the Word Almighty; of which I am to speak at prefent.

Thirdly, The Amplitude and Greatnefs of his Works, in those Words, Maker of Heaven and Earth; of which hereafter.

At prefent I am to treat of that great Attribute of God the Father, his Almightinefs; from the Words read, in which God exprefly declares himself to be what we here believe him, The Almighty.

In treating of this Attribute, I must,

First, Shew the true Sense and Meaning of this Word Almighty.

Secondly, That it truly and properly belongs to God and to none else.

Thirdly, What Influence the Belief of it is to have upon our Practice.

For

For the Senfe and Importance of the Word Almighty, it implies thefe two things: 1. An Infiniteness of Power; and, 2. An Abfolutenefs of Rule and Dominion.

1. I fay, it fignifies an Infiniteness or Immenfity of Power; and to be Almighty, is to have all Might and Power in and from one's felf, and by virtue thereof to be able to do all things: 'tis to have no Bounds or Limits fet to the Power of the Agent, to have no determinate Sphere of Action, but to be boundless and infinite in Operation, and able to do whatsoever plea feth him. This cannot be affirm'd of any created beings, who are all limited both in their Effence and Operations: they have a certain Sphere of Activity, wherein they are confin'd, and beyond which they cannot act. Thus Man and all other Creatures have a power of doing fome things which reach to those within their Sphere, and without it all things are impoffible to them: whereas an Almighty Being hath no Bounds or Limits to its Activity, but can do whatever pleases him both in Heaven and Earth and he to whom all things are poffible, and nothing impof fible, is truly and properly Omnipotent: which is the firft Senfe of this Almightiness.

[ocr errors]

2. It implies farther an Abfolutenefs of Rule and Dominion over all things; and this is founded on a Power of making them, which gives a Right of governing and difpofing all things by an abfolute Freedom of Will: for none can have an unlimited Sovereignty and Authority over all, but he that made them; and confequently, he that is able to command and govern all Perfons and all Things as feemeth him good; he that hath a fupreme, uncontrolable and independent Authority over all, without receiving his Power from another, or being accountable for the Ufe, Exercise, or Regulation of it, he is truly Almighty.

Thus having briefly fhew'd what is imply'd in the word Almighty, namely, a Power that reaches to the making, governing, and difpofing of all things; I proceed,

Secondly, To fhew that this truly and properly belongs to God and none else. This Attribute we daily afcribe to him in our Prayers, and by this Attribute the Holy Scripture hath frequently taught us to fet forth his Praife. Now the Omnipotence of God may appear feveral ways.

1. Because the Force and Activity of his Power reaches to all things, neither is there any thing poffible which he

cannot

:

cannot do I know (faith Fob) that thou canst do every thing, Job 42. 1, 8. This is confirm'd to us by the Teftimony of an Angel, who told the bleffed Virgin, that with God nothing is impoffible, Luke 1. 34. yea, we have the word of Chrift for it, who tells us, that with God all things are pof fible, Mark 10. 27. He is not ty'd up or limited in his Operations, but his Power extends to all things: to stop the Sun in his Courfe, or make it go back; to divide the Sea, and make the Waters ftand on a heap; to draw Water out of a Rock; to keep the Fire from burning; with other miraculous Acts that are out of the Power of any Created Beings, are all poffible and have been effected by him. Again,

2. He is able not only to do all things, but he can do them with the greatest eafe; there is nothing difficult to Omnipotence; he can perform the greatest things with the leaft Exertion of his Power, reftoring Sight to the Blind, yea, raising the Dead to Life again, with a Look, a Touch, or a Word: If he fay the Word, the most diseas'd Patient Jhall be whole; he doth but look on the Earth, and it trembleth; and if he touch the Hills, they will fmoke: Pfal. 18. 18. Yea he made the whole World with a Word, and by the fame Word can unmake and annihilate it: And fure nothing can be difficult or impoffible to him who fo eafily made, and can fo eafily deftroy all things. Is any thing too hard for the Lord? faith God to Abraham, Gen. 18. 14. No; for thou hast made the Heaven and the Earth by thy great Power, and thy out-ftretched Arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee; Jer. 32. 17, 27.

3. God hath all this Power in and from himself, and no other his Power is not deriv'd, but inherent; and his Ability of doing all things is effential to his Being. 'Tis a Weakness to depend on, or receive the Power of acting from another; which is therefore to be remov'd in our Conceptions of God, who is the first Cause of all things, and hath all Power in himself: he is not, he cannot be beholden to another for it, nor is he accountable for its Ufe or Exercife. Of his own Will he firft made the World, and by his own Power he ftill continues to uphold it; from the infinite Fulness and Plenitude whereof, he is truly ftyl'd The Almighty.

4. Another Proof of God's Omnipotence, is, that all the Power that is in the Creatures is deriv'd from him. He is the Fountain of all Might, and fo may be juftly

term'd

« AnkstesnisTęsti »