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the nature of our Creator-consisting of three Persons, God is one, infinite, eternal Spirit, invisible, and ever-present.
We will now search the scriptures to discover what they testify concerning the character or qualities of our heavenly King.
They describe him as all-powerful, “the mighty God,” “who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can think. We know that, “in the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth: and the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” We know that “ He maketh a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightening of the thunder :” that angels and archangels, the Cherubim and Seraphim were not, until the word of the Lord called them into being. These things indeed manifest power wonderful beyond conception ; but whereas there is not another being so mighty as to dispute God's holy will, or to hinder his working, we
conclude that “whatsoever pleaseth him, that doeth he in heaven and in earth.” “ There is no end to his greatness.”
“Yea and his wisdom is infinite.”m The God who fills every place with his presence, who made every thing that is made —what can be acted in heaven, what can be whispered upon earth, and escape his knowledge? “He that made the shall he not see? He that formed the ear, shall he not hear?” Foolish is the craft of deceitful men, vain is the subtlety of wickedness! For “nothing is secret which shall not be made manifest, neither any thing hid that shall not be known and come abroad.”n
God is holy. Sin is in its very nature most opposite to him, and most hateful ; nay, sin may properly be termed the only
, object of God's hate; so pure, so perfect, so above measure exalted is his holiness, that “he chargeth his angels with folly, and the heavens are not clean in his sight. How much less they that dwell in houses
1 Psalm cxv. 3.
m Psalm cxlvii. 5. n Mark, iv. 22.
of clay, whose foundation is in the dust." “Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the Gods; who is like unto thee, glorious in holiness?" He is just and righteous.
With no weakness, no temptation, no constraint, no preference, to pervert his judgments; directed in all his dealings by perfect holiness and truth ; never can the Almighty depart in the slightest degree from justice. “Righteousness,” says the psalmist, “and equity are the habitation of thy seat.”
Finally, God is good. The texts which celebrate this divine perfection, lie scattered over the pages of scripture, as numerous and cheering as the stars on the face of heaven. David, in his hymns of pious thankfulness, pours them forth in the richest abundance : they gush from his lips like the full waters of a living fountain. k. My song shall be alway of the lovingkindness of the Lord; with my mouth will I be shewing of thy truth from one generation to another.” “My trust is in thy mercy,
Job, iv. 18.
" God so
vation.” “ The Lord is gracious and merciful, long-suffering, and of great goodness. The Lord is loving unto every man, and his mercy is over all his works.” Where indeed is the man who is not a living proof of the goodness, mercy, and loving-kindness of the Lord our God ?
But most fully, most sweetly, most graciously, do they shine forth in the whole plan of man's redemption by Christ Jesus. loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son to the end that all who believe in him should not.perish but have everlasting life.”P
Such are the qualities, or, to use a less familiar term, the perfections of the Most High: all infinite, without measure, yet su exercised as ever to adorn and magnify each other. One thing must yet be added to this short and feeble description : the Lord is unchangeable. " He is not a man that he should repent.”! It is true that in certain passages of scripture, as in the cases of the Ninevites and David, he is said to alter his purposes according to the
p John, iji. 16. 41 Samuel, xv. 29.
behaviour of those with whom he is dealing: we should err, however, grievously in supposing that the all-wise God forms a design and afterwards changes it, as men use to do. We, in such a case, imagine him ignorant of his creatures' change of conduct until it had taken place; which amounts to a denial of his infinite wisdom. The truth is simply this; the transgressions of men bring them under the justice of the Lord, their repentance makes them capable of enjoying his mercy and goodness. No change takes place in his own intention ; but, in consequence of the sinner's altered conduct, mercy is exercised instead of judgment.
You have thus laid before you a short, but, I trust, a clear statement of that which your Bible teaches concerning the Lord of hosts. The picture is necessarily poor and most imperfect: indeed, to obtain ideas in any degree worthy of the subject, you must make yourselves familiar with the sublime contents, the magnificent language of holy scripture. You must study the Almighty, not only in the declarations of