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النشر الإلكتروني

God is a Spirit.

HAT is God? i

Quelt. 4. WA. God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his Being, Wifdom, Power, Holiness, Juftice, Goodness, and Truth.

Q. Can the Nature of God be defined, fo as Men may exprefs properly and ftrictly what God is?

A. No: Job xi. 7. Canft thou by searching find out God? canft thou find out the Almighty unto Perfection?

We do then conceive moft rightly of God, when we acknowledge him to be unconceivable; and therefore one being afked the Queftion, what God is anfwered rightly; If I fully knew that, I fhould be a God myfelf; for God only knows his own Effence.

Q. 2. How many Ways are there by which Men may know and defcribe the Nature of God, though ftill with imperfect Knowledge?

A. There are two Ways of knowing God in this Life; Firft, by Way of Affirmation; affirming that of God by Way of Eminence, which is excellent in the Creature ; as when we affirm him to be wife, good, merciful, &c. Secondly, by Way of Negation, when we remove from God in our Conceptions all that is imperfect in the Creature: So we fay God is immenfe, infinite, immutable; and in this Senfe we also call him a Spirit, i. e. he is not a grofs corporeal Substance.

Q.3. How many Sorts of Spirits are there? And of which Sort is God?

A. There be two Sorts of Spirits, created and finite; as Angels, and the Souls of Men are. Secondly, uncreated, and infinite; and fuch a Spirit God only is, infinitely above all other Spirits.

Q4. If God be a Spirit, in what Senfe are we to underftand all thofe Scriptures, which speak of the Eyes of the Lord, the Ears and Hand of God?

A. We are to understand them as Expreffions of God, in Condefcention to the Weakness of our Understandings; even as the Glory of Heaven is expreft to us in Scripture by a

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.

Q5. 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 fo perfect a Spirit as God is? And as it is finful to attempt it, fo it is impoffibleto do it; Deut. iv. 15, 16. Take ye therefore good heed unto your felves; for ye faw no Manner of Similitude on the Day that the Lord fpoke to you in Horeb out of the midst of the Fire; left ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven Image, the Similitude of any Figure, &c.

Q6. What else may be inferred from thence?

A. That our Souls are the moft noble and excellent Part of us, which most resembles God, and therefore our chief Regard and Care fhould 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 lofe his own Soul? Or what shall a Man give in Exchange for his Soul?

Q.7. What further Truth may be inferred hence ?>

A. That Men fhould beware of fpiritual Sins, as well as of grofs and outward Sins; for there is a Filthiness of the Spirit, as well as of the Flesh, 2 Cor. vii. 1. Let us cleanse ourfelves from all Filthiness of Flesh and Spirit; and as God fees them, fo he greatly abhors them, as Sins that defile the nobleft Part of Man, on which he stamped his own Image.

Q. 8. What alfo may be inferred from hence?

A. Hence we learn, that fpiritual Worship is moft agree able to his Nature and Will; and the more fpiritual it is, the more acceptable it will be to him, John iv. 24. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, muft worship him in Spirit and in Truth. Externals in worship are of little Regard with God; as places, Habits, Gestures, &c.

Apply this,

First, To fuperftitious Men, Ifa. lxvi. 1, 2, 3.

Secondly, To Children that fay a Prayer, but mind not to

whom, nor what they say.


Of God's Infinity.

Quest. 1. W Word [Infinity ]

HAT is the Senfe and Meaning of this

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A. It fignifies that which hath no bounds or Limits, within which it is contained, as all created 'Things are. Q. 2. In how many Refpects is God infinite? A. God is infinite or boundlefs in three Refpects. First, In Refpect of the Perfection of his Nature; his Wisdom, Power, and Holiness, exceed all Measures and Limits; as 1 Sam. ii. 2. There is none holy as the Lord, &c. Secondly, In Refpect of Time and Place; no Time can meafure him, Ifa. lvii. 15. Thus faith the high and lofty One, that inhabiteth Eternity, Kings, viii. 27 Bebald 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 Refpect of his Incomprehenfiblenefs, by the Understanding of all Creatures, Job xi. 7. Canft thou by fearching find out God? canft thou find out the Almighty to Perfection? ·

Q3. If God be thus infinite, and no Understanding can comprehend him, how then is it faid in 1 John iii. 2. We fball fee him as he is?


A. The Meaning is not, that glorified Saints fhall comprehend God in their Understandings; but that they fhall have a true apprehenfive Knowledge, though not a comprehenfive Knowledge of God: And that we hall fee him immediately, and not as we do now thorough a Glass darkly. Q4. What is the firft Leffon to be learnt from God's Infinity?


A. That therefore Men fhould tremble to fin even in Secret, Pfal. cxxxix. 11. If I fay, Surely the Darkness shall cover me, even the Night fall be Light about me.

Q5. What is the fecond Inftruction from hence ?

A. The fecond Inftruction is, That there is an infinite Evil in Sin, objectively confidered, as it is committed against an infinite God; and therefore it deferves eternal Punishment; and no Satisfaction can poffiblybe made for it, but by the Blood of Christ, 1 Pet. i. 18. Forasmuch as ye know that

ye were

ye were not redeemed with corruptible Things, as Silver and Gold- -but with the precious Blood of Chrift.

Q. 6. What is the third Inftruction from God's Infinity? A. The third Inftruction is, That those who are reconci led to God in Chrift, 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 thofe that are not reconciled, are in a very miserable Condition, having infinite Power set on work to punish them, 2 Thef. i. 9. Who shall be punished with everlafting Deftruation from the Prefence of the Lord, and from the Glory of

his Power.

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Q.7. What is the fourth Inftruction from God's Infinity? A. That no Place can bar the Accefs 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.

Queft. 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 Refpects; First, In this, That tho' Angels, and the Souls of Men fhall have no End; yet they had a Beginning, which God had not; Secondly, Our Eternity is by Gift from God, or by his Appointment; but his Eternity is neceffary, and from his own Nature.

Q3. In what Senfe 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 fhall have no End.

Q4. In what Senfe is the Gofpel everlafting? yoniga A. The Gofpel is called the everlafting Gofpel, Rev. xiv.

6. because

6. because the Effects thereof upon the Souls it fanctifies, will abide in them for ever.

Q. 5. In what Senfe is the Redemption of Chrift called the eternal Redemption?

A. The Redemption of Chrift is called eternal Redemption in Heb. ix. 12. because those whom he redeems by his Blood, fhall never more come into Condemnation, John v. 24. He that beareth my Word, and believeth on him that fent me, bath everlasting Life, and shall not come into Condemnation, but is paffed from Death to Life.

Q.6. Why is the laft 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 becaufe the Day of Judgment fhall laft to Eternity; but because the Confequences of it will be everlafting Joy or Mifery 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 fee their own Mifery in the Perfection of it; that they will have an eternal Enemy to avenge himself upon them for ever, in the World to come, 2 Theff. i. 9. Who shall be punished with everlasting Destruction, from the Prefence of the Lord.

Q.8.. What may good Men learn from it?

A. That their Joy and Happinefs will be perfect and endless, who have the eternal God for their Portion, Pfalm xvi. 11. In thy Prefence is Fulness of Joy, at thy right Hand there are Pleafures 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, Pfal. xxxix. 5. Mine Age is nothing before thee. Secondly, That Sins, or Duties, long fince committed, or performed, are all prefent before God. Thirdly, That God can never want Opportunity to do his Work, and carry on his Defigns in the World. All Time is in the Hand of the eternal God, Rev. xii. 12. The Devil is come down unto you, having great Wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a fhort Time.

Quest. 1.

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